Thanks for all the advice folks. I'll report back on the Rocket after it's been in the system for a while.
What preamp are you guys using? You know the pre needs a lot of gain since the Rocket doesn't have any. After my Rocket got broken in, I changed the Sovtek 6922s for a matched pair of Siemens NOS from the mid 60s. It was well worth the $200. I'm now also using a matched quad of Svetlana KT88s . Somewhat smoother with more 3D soundstage,but not as great an improvement as the 6922 upgrade.
If you tube roll your Rockets, please keep me in your loop. I also did extensive tube rollin of my SLP2002.
I spoke to Dennis Had prior to my purchase. According to him, running a pre-amp on the other end of the volume control gives better sound because you're running the signal through the lower value resistors.
I'm running an ARC LS-16 Mk.I balanced into the Rocket 88. The '16 has 18dB gain balanced and 12dB single ended. At 12:00 on the volume control, I'm getting background music. At 2:00 to 3:00, I'm at my usual moderate listening levels. It looks wierd to see the volume level indicator LEDs go down as the music gets louder but, other than that, everything seems to be working fine.
One note: Use efficient speakers with this amp. I'm running Rogers LS3/5A's and I can tell that I'm not getting the dynamics this amp would be capable of into a more efficient speaker. (Possibly a worthless caviat - the LS3/5A doesn't seem very dynamic with any amount of power!).
My volume settings are similar, but a little better than yours playing vinyl(up to 3 sometimes playin rock). 10 to 11 o clock for moderate volume with Arcam CDP. My N804s are 87db efficient. I think I need Reference MM de Capos to mate with the Rocket. Then my system will be complete (and other lies/wishful thinkin').
I'm using a high output MC into the 54dB ARC PH3. This pair tends to play a little louder than CD through the LS16. So the volumne control sits around 1:30 for normal listening levels with vinyl. Man, vinyl really shines through the '88! I've been listening to Freewheelin' Dylan and also the Ella/Gershwin songbook set and both just draw you right in. If I ever switch to a low output MC in this rig, I'll need a step-up transformer. That or run the volume all the way to the stop!
I also did extensive tube rollin of my SLP2002.
Well, Claud, spill the beans, man! I just got mine, and initally put a set of Amperex 7308's in place of the Sovteks, and a pair of Tungsram 12AU7's in place of the Philips. Tried a pair of French CIFTE's after the Tungsrams, and just received some Tele 12AU7's but haven't had a chance to try them yet.
What are your faves so far?
I have tried Amperex USN CEP and Siemens (mid 60s) 6922s.Also tried the Sovtek 6H30PI (BAT's SE tube), but the killer is Telfunken 6DJ8s. For 12AU7s , I have tried Tesla's special ECC 802S, Mullard ECC 82,RCA clear top side getter 12AU7s and Siemens 5814. The best was Amperex Bugle Boy 12AU7s. I still want to try Bugle Boy 7316s.
I was looking for truth in timber and tone without a too euphonic (jucy) sound. The Tel/ BB combo hits it on the head. Clean clear ,highly dynamic sound.
I tuned my SLP 2002 using a used, well brokenin BelCanto EVo200.2 as my amp. The Rocket with Svetlana KT88s and Siemens 6922s gives a more lush tube sound and a midrange to die for in combo with the tube rolled SLP. The Bel Canto tended to be a little dry without the SLP, but is very fast and dynamic as well as true to tone and timber with it. Bass was fast and detailed, but lacked weight and impact. This was remedied with new EVo2.
I have some Tele 6DJ8's -- I'll give 'em a try. Don't have any Amperex 12AU7's...I'll see if I can find some. I'm running mine with the V-12 monos (with the "Rocket 88 mod" to the front end). Best sound I've had yet in my listening room. Dennis mentioned to try a pair of 12AX7's in the buffer sockets. He hadn't tried it yet himself, but said it looked pretty interesting on the scope. I plan on giving that a whirl this weekend.
Since I can't Email you, I have a request. Just for me, Would you try Telfunken 12AU7s and 6DJ8s together in your SLP 2002. I have been wondering if there might be some synergy in a all tel tube set. The tels ain't cheap, but you seem to have both on hand. Thanks!! You can E me your findings or post , which is best for the other inmates.
For a "beginner" , Bill.
The lower gain in the CAD-808 is a GOOD thing!!! If you are using normal sources, a normal preamp, normal speakers, and are in a small or medium-sized room, then the Cary's lower (versus the ubiquitous 29dB) gain is a blessing.
Chances are, J Harris (as well as other CAD-808 owners) will now be able to use his preamp. Now he'll actually be able to lift the volume control more than just a step past MIN. Wow, what a novel concept.
-Lummy The Seahorse
I'm using the Rogue 99 Magnum. The manual says the "Gain - Line Stage" is 23 dB. No spec for the phono gain, but I think it's 63 dB MM or similar. Will this be sufficient, do you think?
I'll keep both you and Smashatoms posted on the amp and tube rolling. I've already got a quad of KT-88s coming with it as well.
That puppy has got loads of gain. More than my SLP 2002. Thanks for keeping me in the loop.Dennis designed the Rocket without a gain stage to get as close to SET sound as he could.
There's a gain knob with 4 settings accessible from the front of the Rogue as well, may come in handy in this case.
I keep it at the max when using it with my Paramours.
Yup, Dennis's statement of intent on the Cary website really tweaked my interest on this one. I don't want to lose the SET transparency but I also want the rhythmic drive and extra power overhead of push-pull. Hopefully the Rocket will come close to this commbination!
I've had mine for about two weeks. Once you get settled, let's compare notes.
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