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Old 02-19-2014, 07:41 PM   #41
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Hey, by the way these old speakers I am trying to revive have sensitivity of 96dB @ 1W supposedly. They do sound like it, as I get room filling sound with only a few watts, as shown by the real-time power indicator on one of my amps.
You are correct-auricaps are price-y. Well worth it for the upgrade in my system. YMMV. Auricap High Resolution Capacitor Reviews
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Old 02-19-2014, 07:58 PM   #42
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I know I've shown it before. But, since we now have an audiophile thread I'll put it here. I built this system from Bottlehead.com kits, and some internet speaker designs. Naturally, I modified them a little from OEM design. Cost me about $1500, including phonograph. It sounds outstanding. The amp is a 2a3 based SET amp. Pre-amp uses 12au7s. Phono preamp uses
Have you ever found a reasonably priced source for 2A3 tubes? I have an EH Scott 23 tube radio whose amplifier uses four of them in a push pull cascaded set up. the only sources I have ever found are more than $150 per tube.
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Old 02-19-2014, 08:00 PM   #43
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I fell in love with SETs the first time I heard them. At times, when the moon is right, the recording is good and the planets align, this system has "you are there" abilities. Not all the time, but enough.

I've never heard my speakers called beautiful before . Bright, easy to see, loud-yes. Beautiful-no! They are about 95db. The speakers have a VERY simple first order crossover. Simplicity is the key to everything when it comes to SETs. They are all about ensuring a few watts of very high quality power. The amps put out about 5 watts. With that sensitivity they get pleasantly loud. The stereo is in the basement, and I can hear it in the other end of the house on the main floor when cranked.
You are welcome . I read somewhere that Paul Klipsch - famous speaker designer said something like "what this country needs is a good 5 watt amp" Sounds like you have the answer!
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Old 02-19-2014, 08:02 PM   #44
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Well, I looked. There will be no Auri caps for these speakers. As these crossovers are a bit complex (that was the norm back then), each has 6 caps and high values too, like 50uF and 30uF.

The total cost will be way more than these speakers are worth. I love them, but not that much.

PS. About the measurement setup, I had a hell of a time with the ground loops between the PC output and input. That problem of course does not exist when the measurement input is a mike, compared to an electrical connection directly to the crossover. Took me a bit of time to work around that.
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Old 02-19-2014, 08:17 PM   #45
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Have you ever found a reasonably priced source for 2A3 tubes? I have an EH Scott 23 tube radio whose amplifier uses four of them in a push pull cascaded set up. the only sources I have ever found are more than $150 per tube.

It has been a few years, but I got some Sovteks for about $100 on ebay. They aren't cheap.
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Old 02-19-2014, 09:51 PM   #46
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Have you ever found a reasonably priced source for 2A3 tubes? I have an EH Scott 23 tube radio whose amplifier uses four of them in a push pull cascaded set up. the only sources I have ever found are more than $150 per tube.
I have purchased tubes from this guy in the past. Reasonable prices and good service.

https://www.tubedepot.com/products?u...3&keywords=2A3
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Old 02-19-2014, 10:00 PM   #47
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So many comments since I last checked in! I'll try this w/o all the tedious multi-quoting, hope I get it right:

Keim - I'm impressed with that set-up. I planned for so long to build my own speakers, but the 1.6 Maggies finally came along at a price/performance level I just could not pass up. But I kind of regret not doing it.

The Maggies are not high efficiency speakers, so they probably would not mate well with an SET. I recall the SETs were talked about quite a bit when I was reading Stereophile. I'd probably really love an SET with the right speakers for listening to string quartets, or other 'non-bombastic' acoustic stuff.

Mr Paul - I gotta agree with ejman, never heard anyone refer to Dunlavy as 'mid-range'! A friend has them and they are impressive. He likes my Maggies, but always has to kid me that I'm missing the bottom octave (and he's right).

NW-B - Speaker measurements are tedious, crossovers interact with the speaker and that's tedious. I held out a long, long time before getting the Maggies - every time I listened to speakers, I just got confused. These sound different, these sound different - but which sound 'better'? And in no time, my ears would adjust to the sound of one, and I'd get frustrated into analysis paralysis. I think I'd go nuts trying to evaluate crossover changes. What made it easy to buy the Maggies was, it had been so long, the reviews were fantastic for the price range, and I loved the open sound. Being a non-conventional sort, I think I really was drawn to them being different. It's kind of fun to show people that there is nothing behind them just ~ 1" thick, and explain the sound radiates from the entire surface.

You were mentioning the tone controls and other things affecting the flatness of the amp. I feel that one of the biggest improvements to my system was bypassing the pre-amp (OK, an NAD receiver I used as a pre-amp), and going straight to a dedicated power amp from the DAC driven by a netbook and external HDD. My DAC (a NuForce ~ $120?) has a volume control. Maybe I'm fooling myself, but eliminating that stage just seemed to make everything solid and clean. I love the simplicity. If I really need it, I guess I can do balance and tone controls from the computer, but I never bothered.

DFW_M5 & ejman - I bet that Revox has great sound! /1/4" tape at high speed has lots of capability. But if you are OK with CD resolution, I suppose an ADC and DAC and computer really is a more practical solution.

I just got done digitizing some old cassettes. Some of these are from the 80's when I has a Fostex 4-track cassette recorder to do over dubs, and a small recording setup in a spare room. When I compare that to what you can do with a computer, an ADC and Audacity, it just doesn't compare! And my tape decks kept breaking down - I was down to one little Radio Shack player to get the last three tapes done. Once I've cleaned up and edited the digital files, and have everything backed up, I guess the old decks will go to recycling, and eventually the tapes to the trash. The end of an era!

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Old 02-20-2014, 08:58 AM   #48
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I do love the Dunlavys (had a chance to buy them right) ... the rest of the system though isn't up to their standard.

I was visiting a fellow in Utah that had for years scrounged around the Moab landfill. His audio system was anchored by a beautiful MacIntosh amp ... he'd pulled it out of the dump and put $140 worth of repair into it as one channel was not working. Paired with Klipsch speakers (Heritage, I think) and a killer listening room, that might have been the best system I've ever heard.
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Old 02-20-2014, 09:20 AM   #49
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What a bunch of trouble makers. This thread is making me want to put together my old system, except the only piece left is the Revox:

Dyanco 120, PAT4, and A25 speakers
Thorens turntable w/Shure V15
Revox A77
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Old 02-20-2014, 09:40 AM   #50
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What a bunch of trouble makers. This thread is making me want to put together my old system, except the only piece left is the Revox:

Dyanco 120, PAT4, and A25 speakers
Thorens turntable w/Shure V15
Revox A77
All easily obtainable at that bay site I would guess for less than $500 altogether except for the Thorens. But it's a slippery slope and not congruent with the LBYM lifestyle we all subscribe to ( I should be speaking as I bought a Jolida 502P tube amp as my Christmas present...)
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Old 02-20-2014, 11:47 AM   #51
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I've heard Magneplanars, and loved the sound. They take a lot of power. Not SET friendly at all. If they were, I'd buy a pair in a heartbeat. SET amps do limit the speaker options considerably. They must be very efficient, preferably horns.

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So many comments since I last checked in! I'll try this w/o all the tedious multi-quoting, hope I get it right:

Keim - I'm impressed with that set-up. I planned for so long to build my own speakers, but the 1.6 Maggies finally came along at a price/performance level I just could not pass up. But I kind of regret not doing it.

The Maggies are not high efficiency speakers, so they probably would not mate well with an SET. I recall the SETs were talked about quite a bit when I was reading Stereophile. I'd probably really love an SET with the right speakers for listening to string quartets, or other 'non-bombastic' acoustic stuff.

Mr Paul - I gotta agree with ejman, never heard anyone refer to Dunlavy as 'mid-range'! A friend has them and they are impressive. He likes my Maggies, but always has to kid me that I'm missing the bottom octave (and he's right).

NW-B - Speaker measurements are tedious, crossovers interact with the speaker and that's tedious. I held out a long, long time before getting the Maggies - every time I listened to speakers, I just got confused. These sound different, these sound different - but which sound 'better'? And in no time, my ears would adjust to the sound of one, and I'd get frustrated into analysis paralysis. I think I'd go nuts trying to evaluate crossover changes. What made it easy to buy the Maggies was, it had been so long, the reviews were fantastic for the price range, and I loved the open sound. Being a non-conventional sort, I think I really was drawn to them being different. It's kind of fun to show people that there is nothing behind them just ~ 1" thick, and explain the sound radiates from the entire surface.

You were mentioning the tone controls and other things affecting the flatness of the amp. I feel that one of the biggest improvements to my system was bypassing the pre-amp (OK, an NAD receiver I used as a pre-amp), and going straight to a dedicated power amp from the DAC driven by a netbook and external HDD. My DAC (a NuForce ~ $120?) has a volume control. Maybe I'm fooling myself, but eliminating that stage just seemed to make everything solid and clean. I love the simplicity. If I really need it, I guess I can do balance and tone controls from the computer, but I never bothered.

DFW_M5 & ejman - I bet that Revox has great sound! /1/4" tape at high speed has lots of capability. But if you are OK with CD resolution, I suppose an ADC and DAC and computer really is a more practical solution.

I just got done digitizing some old cassettes. Some of these are from the 80's when I has a Fostex 4-track cassette recorder to do over dubs, and a small recording setup in a spare room. When I compare that to what you can do with a computer, an ADC and Audacity, it just doesn't compare! And my tape decks kept breaking down - I was down to one little Radio Shack player to get the last three tapes done. Once I've cleaned up and edited the digital files, and have everything backed up, I guess the old decks will go to recycling, and eventually the tapes to the trash. The end of an era!

-ERD50
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Old 02-20-2014, 12:12 PM   #52
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You were mentioning the tone controls and other things affecting the flatness of the amp. I feel that one of the biggest improvements to my system was bypassing the pre-amp (OK, an NAD receiver I used as a pre-amp), and going straight to a dedicated power amp from the DAC driven by a netbook and external HDD. My DAC (a NuForce ~ $120?) has a volume control. Maybe I'm fooling myself, but eliminating that stage just seemed to make everything solid and clean. I love the simplicity. If I really need it, I guess I can do balance and tone controls from the computer, but I never bothered.
My last stereo preamp was two small custom made boxes with switched audiophile resistors, pure passive. Very nice.
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Old 02-20-2014, 12:55 PM   #53
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My last stereo preamp was two small custom made boxes with switched audiophile resistors, pure passive. Very nice.
Yes, that would be nice as well. That is what I planned to do, maybe with a simple FET class A stage as a buffer, or maybe 3 to 6 db gain for low signal sources.

But once again, procrastination paid off, and this DAC with volume control suits me very well.

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Old 02-20-2014, 02:52 PM   #54
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The flatness of the amp is no longer a problem, now that I figure out how to set it up right. At 6Hz, you can watch the woofer cone moving without making any sound. Very cool!

Anyway, I had to look up SET to see what it means. Now, the simplicity of something like that makes sense. I can quite understand the allure of getting nice room-filling sound from a single tube like that 2A3 driving a highly efficient speaker.

But part of this would be for nostalgic reasons, you guys have got to admit. I grew up playing with tubes too, starting when I was 12 or 13, before switching to transistors for my projects. However, I have no fond memories of tube audio amps, and please let me tell further.

In the early 60s, the audio equipment of my parents consisted of a Garrard phonograph with a mono ceramic stylus. The amp was a Sony, a bit bigger than a toaster. It got 3 tubes: 1 diode rectifier, a triode preamp, then a pentode for the output stage. The built-in oval speaker was perhaps 3"x5". If a 2A3 puts out 5W, then I guess what this Sony would have an output of 1W. The whole thing was pretty low-fi!

Later, my parents got a console. It was stereo, but still low-fi. I remember looking inside the thing, and can recall that the output tubes weren't any bigger than that of the little Sony. And I still remember the output transformers. It looked like they used 6.3V 60Hz filament transformers for the audio. Well, maybe not, but the sound had not much high frequency, nor the bass. The speakers were two simple 6" jobs. No, the output transformers were truly audio, as the output stages were class B. Still, good audio transformers were never cheap, and these looked like it.

Then, in the early 70s, my parents got a solid-state amp, a Sansui 4000. That thing was marvelous! It was powerful enough to drive two pairs of 8-ohm speakers in parallel. Wow! I had to open it up to look. The user manual included schematic diagrams, which I spent so much time studying. The speakers were the smaller Pioneer CS-33. The tape deck was a Panasonic, whose model I forgot.

My parents got money, but they were not really into audio. I really wished that they had bought the bigger Pioneer speakers, or the Sansuis which I liked even better. I spent countless hours looking over Allied catalogs, drooling over these equipments.

In 1980, when I finished my graduate work and made money, I finally bought the Pioneer and Sansui dream speakers of my youth. Of course they were already discontinued, and these second-hand units had been somewhat abused when I got them. I knew there were something wrong with them, because the high-frequency was lacking compared to the smaller bookshelf JBLs I had.

Hence, I have been using these big speakers just to supplement the JBLs, using my own simple crossover of big 10mH coils that I happened to have and 150uF caps. The crossover frequency using these coils is about 120Hz, which seems about right. Come to think of it, these big speakers have sensitivities of around 96dB as I found out recently, while the smaller JBLs are only around 88dB. No wonder I have way too much bass!

Anyway, after 30 years, I finally get around to revive these big speakers to listen to them as they should be. While some other series of Sansui and Pioneers have problems with foam surround rot, my series were made with cloth surround. They still look perfect. The only thing wrong with them so far were blown tweeters, and a burned L-pad. These were due to abuses from previous owners.

I am still checking out their crossovers. The surviving L-pads were also scratchy. Perhaps I should replace them too, rather than just use Deoxit. But whatever it is, I will take the time to do it right.
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Old 02-20-2014, 03:25 PM   #55
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NW-Bound, I recommend this site audiokarma.org. Lots of folks there that are really into the nuts and bolts of how audio equipment works
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Old 02-20-2014, 05:05 PM   #56
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Yes, I have been there recently as a lurker. There's a guy who called my 70-vintage speakers "Kabuki".

And then, there's another poster, can't recall if the same guy or not, who said that if he was walking and saw these speakers on the other curb side, he would not even bother to cross the street to set fire to them.

As an EE, I know how these things work, but I am willing to see other views. I just have not spent the time to carefully listen to different set ups for myself. Same as wine, speakers have different characteristics that are difficult to quantify. The frequency response and distortion are just the first place to start, and I am doing these objective measurements with these speakers first.
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Old 02-20-2014, 05:24 PM   #57
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I just have not spent the time to carefully listen to different set ups for myself. Same as wine, speakers have different characteristics that are difficult to quantify.
Yes. Music system testing is like wine tasting. It's very evident if you read an equipment review from Stereophile.
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Old 02-20-2014, 06:11 PM   #58
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Yes, I have been there recently as a lurker. There's a guy who called my 70-vintage speakers "Kabuki".

And then, there's another poster, can't recall if the same guy or not, who said that if he was walking and saw these speakers on the other curb side, he would not even bother to cross the street to set fire to them.

As an EE, I know how these things work, but I am willing to see other views. I just have not spent the time to carefully listen to different set ups for myself. Same as wine, speakers have different characteristics that are difficult to quantify. The frequency response and distortion are just the first place to start, and I am doing these objective measurements with these speakers first.
Well, you'll just have to uncloak and set them straight
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Old 02-21-2014, 02:51 PM   #59
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I dunno. People are entitled to their opinion. And who knows, perhaps these guys happened to listen to the speakers that had been blown up, and they really sounded as bad as they heard. I don't think I need to join any more forum. I have caused enough trouble on this one, not about audio per se but spilling it into other threads.

However, in looking for ideas to revive my vintage speakers, I surfed the Web a bit to look for replacement parts. That was when I ran across these forums. Some of the posters on these forums are really, what should I say, unusual. Here are some examples.

One guy claimed that he spent 5 years to find the perfect placement of his speakers, such that the listener could have perfect stereo imaging anywhere in the room. When he showed off his set up to his friend, the latter said "Wow". And then, to demonstrate how critical his set up was, he moved one speaker 2 inches. The stereo image collapsed, and that huge sweet spot was gone, he claimed!

And then, there was a guy who kept his speaker cords off the ground so that they did not pick up static! He also said that his cords would also pick up all kinds of radiation from cell phones, and wireless devices from the neighborhood and that ruined the sound.

Aye, aye, aye...
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Old 02-21-2014, 03:09 PM   #60
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ERD50 talked earlier about a bit of even-harmonics making the sound better. Now, this is something that I understand, and can agree with to some extent.

As I explained earlier, I have never had a good tube amp, nor listened to one. But I recalled this experience. It used to be that when one bought a DVD-burner for the PC, there was usually some freebie software thrown-in. With one version of Nero, I got a utility (forgot its name), which would enliven some MP3 that had been ruined by low sampling rates. I tried that, and it seemed to work.

I remember distinctly that what that program appeared to do was to run an FFT to get the spectral content, then add some even-harmonics, and reconvert it back from the frequency domain to the time domain. So, something like that has some basis, and I would have no problem with. Of course, if the program material is sufficiently rich and close to the original recording, one would not need that, right?
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