Informal Poll

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ajzepp

Informal Poll
« on: 16 Dec 2020, 06:00 pm »
Hey all...

I found a tube hybrid preamp that I love - the black Ice F360. Im having to send it back to the office because one of the opamps needs to be replaced. I happened to bring up possible upgrades, since I may as well consider them while Im going through the hassle of sending it back.

So here is my question for the gallery: I understand there are caveats, variables, personal preferences, etc, etc.  But in general, if you could pick among four options in order to generally improve the sonics of the unit, which ONE option would you choose? 1) caps, 2) wire, 3) opamps, or 4) resistors?

Thanks!

ajzepp

Re: Informal Poll
« Reply #1 on: 16 Dec 2020, 06:01 pm »
PS: I already have tube upgrades on the way, which is why I didnt list that

Jon L

Re: Informal Poll
« Reply #2 on: 16 Dec 2020, 06:22 pm »


Black Ice F360 is a pretty complicated preamp with the "Dimension" control and tone controls.  Normally, I would roll the tubes, opamps, and caps in signal path to see which one I liked, but there is potential to lose the sound signature you like by "upgrading."

In this case, I would tell the manufacturer your budget and ask them what THEY think would be safe and effective upgrade.

ajzepp

Re: Informal Poll
« Reply #3 on: 16 Dec 2020, 06:26 pm »
Hi Jon: I agree. Ive asked Jerred of Black Ice, as well as Walter of Underwood Hifi (dealer) this exact question. Just trying to get additional feedback from the consumer side. Your point is well made and I willcertainly keep that in mind.

rotarius

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Re: Informal Poll
« Reply #4 on: 22 Dec 2020, 02:38 am »
After tubes, caps have made the biggest difference for me.  Not sure what the opamps are doing in the circuit but that could be upgraded for not much money so might as well get that out of the way as well.

mresseguie

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Re: Informal Poll
« Reply #5 on: 22 Dec 2020, 03:50 am »
Caps....

Most recently, I've been researching caps for a new pair of speakers and have narrowed my list down to Jupiter, Miflex, and V-cap ODAM. [I understand you're not modding speakers.]

Michael
« Last Edit: 22 Dec 2020, 06:39 am by mresseguie »

ajzepp

Re: Informal Poll
« Reply #6 on: 24 Dec 2020, 09:19 am »
thanks all, the feedback is much appreciated.

I had a pretty good SAS Labs preamp several years ago, but I was really surprised when I took this F360 back out of my system to send back for the board fix. Even with the small issue it was having (slight intermittent distortion), this pre sounds great.

I went with three pair of Z foil resistors and the opamp upgrade (the opamps here are primarily for the proprietary soundstage expander circult that Jim Fosgate included in this pre), and then I picked up a couple of NOS tubes to play around with. For now, I'll leave the stock tube in place so I can give a listen to the upgrades, then start rolling a bit.

I did see a couple of you say the cap upgrade is significant, so I may look at that in the near future. Thanks again for the help!