New EL84 based amp

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mr_bill

Re: New EL84 based amp
« Reply #60 on: 21 Feb 2020, 06:27 pm »
Better than the iDSD Micro silver and black both.  Those were both great, beautiful to listen to.  But the Zen DAC has a definitely step up in clarity and punch.  And never ever tips over to any type of cold or analytical sound.  Probably because those Bur Brown chips just sound less analytical than the more common ESS Sabre chips.

The Zen DAC keeps the nice tonality of the earlier iFi designs but adds quite a bit more control and jump factor.  It's really good.  The only downside, IMO, is it only has USB input.  I guess they did that to keep costs down.  But not an issue for most people I would imagine.

Hi Tyson, in your living room system how do you power your Zen Dac?  Are you using a computer as a server to power it or did you buy a 5V power supply?

also, do you use the Zen volume control to drive amp?

xoundmind

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Re: New EL84 based amp
« Reply #61 on: 22 Feb 2020, 03:39 pm »
Tyson,

Dumb question: is this amp sufficiently “old school” sounding? What I mean is that companies like PrimaLuna get reviews on having a “new” tube sound; ie leaning towards solid state - and I definitely don’t want that. :)

Tyson

Re: New EL84 based amp
« Reply #62 on: 22 Feb 2020, 08:06 pm »
Hi Tyson, in your living room system how do you power your Zen Dac?  Are you using a computer as a server to power it or did you buy a 5V power supply?

also, do you use the Zen volume control to drive amp?

I take the USB power off the Auralic Aries via an Audioquest carbon USB cable.  The Aries is actually an ultra-clean power source.  If I didn't have the Aries, I would definitely use an external linear 5v power supply for the Zen DAC.  On the Zen DAC I bypass the volume pot and use it as a DAC only.  I control volume from my Roon remote app.  Before I had Roon I was using the Qobuz app.  Both worked great.

Tyson,

Dumb question: is this amp sufficiently “old school” sounding? What I mean is that companies like PrimaLuna get reviews on having a “new” tube sound; ie leaning towards solid state - and I definitely don’t want that. :)

I have a bunch of amps that are SET, from a Type 45 to a 2a3 and 300b.  This EL84 amp fits right in with them, sound wise.
« Last Edit: 22 Feb 2020, 09:28 pm by Tyson »

xoundmind

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Re: New EL84 based amp
« Reply #63 on: 22 Feb 2020, 09:03 pm »
I take the USB power off the Auralic Aries via an Audioquest carbon USB cable.  The Aries is actually an ultra-clean power source.  If I didn't have the Aries, I would definitely use an external linear 5v power supply for the Zen DAC. 

I have a bunch of amps that are SET, from a Type 45 to a 2a3 and 300b.  This EL84 amp fits right in with them, sound wise.

Very interesting. Thank you.

Tyson

Re: New EL84 based amp
« Reply #64 on: 22 Feb 2020, 09:26 pm »
Very interesting. Thank you.

I should point out that the output caps you use and the tubes you use will affect the final sound you get.  I'm using old stock Tung Sols from the 50's and 60's for my tubes. 

Tomy2Tone

Re: New EL84 based amp
« Reply #65 on: 25 Mar 2020, 10:44 pm »
Roy is finishing up the ST35 amp and shipping mine soon. Here’s some pics with a little larger chassis.










Tyson

Re: New EL84 based amp
« Reply #66 on: 26 Mar 2020, 12:22 am »
Looking good :thumb:

S Clark

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Re: New EL84 based amp
« Reply #67 on: 26 Mar 2020, 12:45 am »
I should point out that the output caps you use and the tubes you use will affect the final sound you get.  I'm using old stock Tung Sols from the 50's and 60's for my tubes.
I like Tung Sols in my EL84 amp that Gary Dodd built for me...those and Austrian Valvos

Tomy2Tone

Re: New EL84 based amp
« Reply #68 on: 26 Mar 2020, 02:31 am »
Anybody got any recommendations on where and what specific type of el84 tube to look for? Been a while since I’ve been tube shopping and have never looked for el84’s. There’s a local outfit that has quad Tung Sol reissues for about $65 for the set.

FullRangeMan

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Re: New EL84 based amp
« Reply #69 on: 26 Mar 2020, 02:37 am »
I like to buy from Andreiy in Russia, he have Reflector 6n14n-EP matched 5000 hours military version at $8 each:
https://www.gstube.com/catalog/?key=el84&submit=Find

S Clark

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Re: New EL84 based amp
« Reply #70 on: 26 Mar 2020, 03:23 am »
I'd be careful with Russian tubes.  Some can have larger pins than the old stock, screwing up the sockets.  And the new Tung Sols are Russian. 
Find out which sockets are in the amp before buying tubes.

tubes4hifi

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Re: New EL84 based amp
« Reply #71 on: 28 Mar 2020, 11:35 pm »
much nicer in the larger chassis, more room and more ventilation for the tubes.