Tube Buffer Necessary?

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jlafrenz

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Tube Buffer Necessary?
« on: 17 Sep 2011, 10:32 pm »
It seems like tube buffers are really popular with the Virtue units. I am curious if they are really necessary? Before you answer, let me explain where this question comes from. I previously had an all tube integrated amp. I sold it to get a larger amp and ended up going with a hybrid. It's just not the same to me. While searching, I have come across the Virtue units which people are raving about how musical they are. The price is nice too  :D But, it seems that everyone is using the tube buffer with them, which increases the price a decent amount. I really want to try one of these, but don't want to stray from that tube sound and I am battling with myself as to go for it or stick with a true tube integrated. With that stated, is the tube buffer necessary or will a stock unit do me justice?

Jason T

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Re: Tube Buffer Necessary?
« Reply #1 on: 17 Sep 2011, 10:57 pm »
It seems like tube buffers are really popular with the Virtue units. I am curious if they are really necessary? Before you answer, let me explain where this question comes from. I previously had an all tube integrated amp. I sold it to get a larger amp and ended up going with a hhybrid. It's just not the same to me. While searching, I have come across the Virtue units which people are raving about how musical they are. The price is nice too  :D But, it seems that everyone is using the tube buffer with them, which increases the price a decent amount. I really want to try one of these, but don't want to stray from that tube sound and I am battling with myself as to go for it or stick with a true tube integrated. With that stated, is the tube buffer necessary or will a stock unit do me justice?

Its true that our T amps are very tube like and in my personal experience excel in ways my fully modified Golden Tube Audio SE-40 does not and visa versa.

I think with a nice detailed warm capacitor upgrade such as the Clarity MR or Dueland caps you could get away without using a buffer.
I'm running in some Clarity MR caps right now without a buffer and it sounds fantastic. If you do the buffer and caps I think you'll be amazed.
one of the great things about our amps is their upgradeability. You can do one thing at a time and switch things back and forth until you get what you like.

Hopefully more of our members will give you feedback.

You can email me anytime with questions
Jason@virtueaudio.com

jlafrenz

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Re: Tube Buffer Necessary?
« Reply #2 on: 18 Sep 2011, 12:23 am »
Thanks for the response Jason. I have done very minimal reading about the caps, but know that they are another popular upgrade. That is one thing that I like about the amps, you can tailor them to your tastes similar to tube rolling.

I am looking forward to what others have to say about their experiences with the Virtue units vs. tubed units.

Rocket

Re: Tube Buffer Necessary?
« Reply #3 on: 18 Sep 2011, 12:45 am »
Hi,

Why not just go with the cap upgrade as suggested and if you really like the amp get the tube buffer a year or two later.

Regards rod

jlafrenz

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Re: Tube Buffer Necessary?
« Reply #4 on: 18 Sep 2011, 01:13 am »
Hi,

Why not just go with the cap upgrade as suggested and if you really like the amp get the tube buffer a year or two later.

Regards rod

Caps are something I would consider down the road. I want to make sure that I am starting off with the right amp in the first place. If not, then it could be a never ending battle changing out parts to achieve what I like.

Jason T

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Re: Tube Buffer Necessary?
« Reply #5 on: 18 Sep 2011, 01:46 am »
Caps are something I would consider down the road. I want to make sure that I am starting off with the right amp in the first place. If not, then it could be a never ending battle changing out parts to achieve what I like.


The problem with looking at it that way is that just a cap upgrade or turn e buffer changes the amp allot so if you aren't completely satisfied at first just a cap change can put you past your expectations. Just ask the guys that are letting me do their clarity cap upgrade.
The nice thing is if your lightly skilled at soldering you can do the cap upgrade yourself. With my cap upgrade I do for people I also upgrade the speaker wire inside the amp.

jlafrenz

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Re: Tube Buffer Necessary?
« Reply #6 on: 18 Sep 2011, 02:22 am »
What is the cost of the cap upgrade?

Jason T

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Re: Tube Buffer Necessary?
« Reply #7 on: 18 Sep 2011, 02:34 am »
I'm doing it for $220. customer pays shipping (unless you have me do it before I ship out your new unit)

jlafrenz

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Re: Tube Buffer Necessary?
« Reply #8 on: 18 Sep 2011, 02:40 am »
What is the cost of the caps if I do it myself?

Jason T

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Re: Tube Buffer Necessary?
« Reply #9 on: 18 Sep 2011, 03:05 am »
What is the cost of the caps if I do it myself?

you'll need 2 of these
http://www.madisoundspeakerstore.com/mr-cap-630vdc/claritycap-3.3-mfd-mr-range-polypropylene-caps/

I do believe Madisound is out of stock still but hificollective.co.uk has them in stock

50jess

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Re: Tube Buffer Necessary?
« Reply #10 on: 18 Sep 2011, 05:10 am »
I noticed you upgrade the caps to 3.3uf not the 2.2uf that is originally installed.  Is the sonic change more significant with a 3.3uf than using a 2.2uf?

Jason T

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Re: Tube Buffer Necessary?
« Reply #11 on: 18 Sep 2011, 05:14 am »
I noticed you upgrade the caps to 3.3uf not the 2.2uf that is originally installed.  Is the sonic change more significant with a 3.3uf than using a 2.2uf?

The 3.3 caps give a little bigger more conteolled bottom end.

50jess

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Re: Tube Buffer Necessary?
« Reply #12 on: 18 Sep 2011, 05:16 am »

The problem with looking at it that way is that just a cap upgrade or turn e buffer changes the amp allot so if you aren't completely satisfied at first just a cap change can put you past your expectations. Just ask the guys that are letting me do their clarity cap upgrade.
The nice thing is if your lightly skilled at soldering you can do the cap upgrade yourself. With my cap upgrade I do for people I also upgrade the speaker wire inside the amp.

Jason, what kind of speaker wire do you upgrade the Virtue amp with?

virtue

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Re: Tube Buffer Necessary?
« Reply #13 on: 18 Sep 2011, 07:54 am »
Any cap above 1uF stops acting as a low-pass filter.  2.2 is overkill so if you're hearing things with 3.3 it has nothing to do with the value and more to do with the cap.

Jason T

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Re: Tube Buffer Necessary?
« Reply #14 on: 18 Sep 2011, 02:18 pm »
Jason, what kind of speaker wire do you upgrade the Virtue amp with?

I can use anything but generally do auric hookup 18awg in twisted pairs.

jlafrenz

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Re: Tube Buffer Necessary?
« Reply #15 on: 23 Oct 2011, 03:14 am »
I just spent some time reading the recommended tube preamps with Virtue gear. Just curious if anyone has compared using a tube pre to a unit with the built in tube buffer?

morganc

Re: Tube Buffer Necessary?
« Reply #16 on: 23 Oct 2011, 05:08 am »
Tube buffer=best pre amp that you can buy within $1000 to several $$$$$.

pslate

Re: Tube Buffer Necessary?
« Reply #17 on: 14 Nov 2011, 01:52 pm »
Might the Clarity MR or Duelund caps be available on the Three? Or would that be a DIY procedure? I am eagerly yet patiently waiting for your new creation  :thumb: Best of luck to you in it's final stages of development sir.

Jason T

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Re: Tube Buffer Necessary?
« Reply #18 on: 14 Nov 2011, 02:09 pm »
Might the Clarity MR or Duelund caps be available on the Three? Or would that be a DIY procedure? I am eagerly yet patiently waiting for your new creation  :thumb: Best of luck to you in it's final stages of development sir.

The clarity and dueland caps are much to big to fit into a three chassis.
Once I have a Three in my hands ill let you guys know which upgrade caps will fit. There probably won't be many options due to the space limitations.

pslate

Re: Tube Buffer Necessary?
« Reply #19 on: 14 Nov 2011, 07:46 pm »
Thank you for the reply Jason. Makes one think of a Sensation Two  :thumb: