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Confusion at MX110 12AX7 tube results

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Posted on December 28, 2016 at 20:29:49
Paul Kehayas
Audiophile

Posts: 47
Location: Ontario
Joined: May 15, 2014
I used to have all Tele 12ax7s in the MX110/240 combo. I didn't like the thinness and changed over to RCA black plates and grabbed a few RCA long grey plates for stocking up. Turns out they sound different to the black plates and my when some died or became microphonic I started to search for alternatives. I had Genelec gold lions around and some reissue Tung Sols and I found that I knows likes the Gold Lions in the 2nd amp (or is it first) sole 12ax7 position more than I liked the RCAs and also the Tung Sol reissues sounded darker in the phono stage than both the gold lions and the RCAs. That is what causes my head to explode. I thought they would be brighter than the others and now I am scared to try a tube that is said to be on the warm side for fear that it won't react the way others say it it should.
Does anybody have experience with this amp and also could help me get a grip on this so that I can figure it out?
Thanks all!
Paul

 

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RE: Confusion at MX110 12AX7 tube results, posted on December 29, 2016 at 07:43:40
airtime
Audiophile

Posts: 8511
Location: Arizona
Joined: February 4, 2003
You may want to go over to audiokarma's McIntosh group and ask this question.

I don't remember if this piece was professionally restored or not? And or what was done?

 

RE: Confusion at MX110 12AX7 tube results, posted on December 29, 2016 at 07:58:14
Paul Kehayas
Audiophile

Posts: 47
Location: Ontario
Joined: May 15, 2014
Well it was purchased from Audio Classics in 2012 with Richard Modafferi. So everything works as it should.

I suppose the problem here is my confusion at what is said for the Tung Sols to sound like (lively and chimey) don't in the phono section yet do in the line stage. It is pulling my hair out because being circuit dependent, it doesn't help with strategizing tube purchases when this happens. BTW it sounded less strident than the Gold Lions in the phono section here.

Yes I suppose I could post this in the Mac section over there, but this needs knowledge of tubes and how they work in various circuits to uncrack for me. The lads over there are very good and I might just do that right after this, but seeing as this is where the tube experts live, I am confident you all can help.

Btw in the MC240, the Gold Lion provided a deeper smoother soundstage than a ribbed Telefunken. That was a surprise.

See? Everything is all upside down. Plus the naysayers who say that current tubes aren't a patch on old stuff confuses me. I tried a Mullard 161 and a 163 in the line stage in the 110 and they were strident and shrill compared to the Gold Lions.

I am wondering how a Mullard reissue in the phono section might work against the Tung Sols. I can't predict because it seems that down is up in that different applications...
Paul

 

RE: Confusion at MX110 12AX7 tube results, posted on December 29, 2016 at 08:47:36
airtime
Audiophile

Posts: 8511
Location: Arizona
Joined: February 4, 2003
Hey, don't underestimate those guys over at AK. They now that stereo and they know that circuit design. And they also have a good knowledge of how that piece fits in with other gear like speakers!!!

 

RE: Confusion at MX110 12AX7 tube results, posted on December 29, 2016 at 10:32:56
Sondek
Audiophile

Posts: 2651
Location: Fort Worth
Joined: May 17, 2000
Contributor
  Since:
April 5, 2002
All of the Russian reissues have the same house sound, IME. There is a shading of bright to dark among them however. The TS reissues tended to have the brightest sound, and the GL's the darkest sound. With the Mullards being in the middle. To my ear there is only a small difference among them from top to bottom, and again, they all have the same basic house-sound. In the end I much preferred the sound of the JJ's in my CAT SL1 Renaissance. Using their 6922's and their ECC803s in the CAT and could not be happier with them.

Best of luck finding a combo that does it for you. The hunt can be fun if you'll let it be.

 

RE: Confusion at MX110 12AX7 tube results, posted on December 29, 2016 at 10:39:12
Paul Kehayas
Audiophile

Posts: 47
Location: Ontario
Joined: May 15, 2014
How did the JJ sound in comparison to the house sound of the New Swnsor stuff? Particularly the 803s?

Paul

 

RE: Confusion at MX110 12AX7 tube results, posted on December 29, 2016 at 11:02:47
Sondek
Audiophile

Posts: 2651
Location: Fort Worth
Joined: May 17, 2000
Contributor
  Since:
April 5, 2002
In general, smoother, more natural sounding than the Ruskies. More holographic in their presentation. The JJ's may have more midrange emphasis, which is not to say they lack anything at frequency extremes, but I feel it gives them a more lifelike presentation. I went through a period where I tried nearly every one of the New Sensor reissues including the TS 803s. In the end none of them satisfied. They all left me wanting. To say they disappointed would not be fair at all, as they are all competent performers. They just didn't scratch my itch the way the JJ's do. I read someplace that much of the tooling JJ uses came from Telefunken. Comparing the sound of the JJ 6922's to my coveted stash of Tele 6922's I have no problem believing that story about the tooling. They are VERY close. I've also read comments of others likening the sound of the JJ 803 to the Tele. However I have no Tele 12AX or 803 examples in my collection from which I can pass on any personal experience on that. At roughly $25 a piece for the JJ 803s, it's not much to venture to find out.

 

RE: Confusion at MX110 12AX7 tube results, posted on December 29, 2016 at 11:13:17
Uncle Mike
Audiophile

Posts: 2208
Location: Eastern Pa.
Joined: June 20, 2003
I don't know of the other tubes or how they react in other preamp positions. With what I have to work with now there has not been a need to try them. However, for a long time now I have found that the Sovtec 12ax7LPS is THE tube to use, in the first position at least, of a (as in all I have tried)phono stage. It is a very neutral, quiet tube.

 

RE: Confusion at MX110 12AX7 tube results, posted on December 29, 2016 at 16:21:34
hcman
Audiophile

Posts: 5686
Location: S.E.Washington
Joined: February 5, 2005
Wish I could help. My MX110 was also modified by Richard at AudioClassics. I have never had any desire to replace the Tele 12ax7's as I love the sound. My amp is an MC225.

 

RE: Confusion at MX110 12AX7 tube results, posted on December 29, 2016 at 23:17:17
Michael Samra
Dealer

Posts: 35458
Location: saginaw michigan
Joined: January 30, 2005
Contributor
  Since:
June 24, 2005
I rebuild a lot of Mac amps and preamps.Whenever I get an MX110z that was modded by Mr Modaferri,I always put it back to the original later MX110z design.He raises the resistance values of the plate and cathode resistors and it moves it from the original operating points that produced low distortion and perfect linearity in the critical interim stages.The mod on the MR78 tuner he did was fine which Mac had updated in a service bulletin.
It sounds as tho you are lacking body to the music that the preamp had at one time and that usually indicates filter caps and coupling caps are getting tired.Your preamp may have the stock value components but take a look and see if any new caps were changed such as the can filter caps.If it is a CE on the filter cap with a little sticker,it was changed which it should be ok.
When the filter caps get old,the develop leakage and high ESR and that raises havoc. If you could pop the bottom off,you can see if they used decent coupling caps or some cheap metallized polyesters as some places do.Maybe shoot us a picture because I don't think tubes are going to correct the issue you are having to your satisfaction.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong" H. L. Mencken

 

RE: Confusion at MX110 12AX7 tube results, posted on December 30, 2016 at 10:11:14
Paul Kehayas
Audiophile

Posts: 47
Location: Ontario
Joined: May 15, 2014



Ok so here's some pics.

There was a failure of half the filter cap at the back next to the transformer (paper covering on it) and is now aided by a capacitor inside the amp (I believe you will understand and see what that is.

Also another filter multi cap died (the one in the middle) and that was replaced with a Mallory in that position.

Other than that I am hearing a loss of smoothness on the top somehow. I am using an EAR 834 now into the MC240 (McShane and your mod) and it sounds fuller than the once fuller sounding MX110 phono section. I am at a loss...

Did they do something wrong at the shop? Apparently they know what they are doing but have no considerations usually for audiophile tendencies. (all mods are considered idiotic by them)...

Have a look...
Paul

 

RE: Confusion at MX110 12AX7 tube results, posted on December 30, 2016 at 10:15:31
Paul Kehayas
Audiophile

Posts: 47
Location: Ontario
Joined: May 15, 2014



And another...
Paul

 

RE: Confusion at MX110 12AX7 tube results, posted on December 30, 2016 at 10:16:38
Paul Kehayas
Audiophile

Posts: 47
Location: Ontario
Joined: May 15, 2014



Another
Paul

 

RE: Confusion at MX110 12AX7 tube results, posted on December 30, 2016 at 10:17:28
Paul Kehayas
Audiophile

Posts: 47
Location: Ontario
Joined: May 15, 2014



Number 4
Paul

 

RE: Confusion at MX110 12AX7 tube results, posted on December 30, 2016 at 10:18:34
Paul Kehayas
Audiophile

Posts: 47
Location: Ontario
Joined: May 15, 2014



Number 5
Paul

 

RE: Confusion at MX110 12AX7 tube results, posted on December 30, 2016 at 10:19:15
Paul Kehayas
Audiophile

Posts: 47
Location: Ontario
Joined: May 15, 2014



Number 6
Paul

 

RE: Confusion at MX110 12AX7 tube results, posted on December 30, 2016 at 10:20:10
Paul Kehayas
Audiophile

Posts: 47
Location: Ontario
Joined: May 15, 2014



Number 7
Paul

 

RE: Confusion at MX110 12AX7 tube results, posted on December 30, 2016 at 10:21:19
Paul Kehayas
Audiophile

Posts: 47
Location: Ontario
Joined: May 15, 2014



Finally Number 8
Paul

 

RE: Confusion at MX110 12AX7 tube results, posted on December 31, 2016 at 08:36:03
Paul Kehayas
Audiophile

Posts: 47
Location: Ontario
Joined: May 15, 2014



Top #1
Paul

 

RE: Confusion at MX110 12AX7 tube results, posted on December 31, 2016 at 08:37:42
Paul Kehayas
Audiophile

Posts: 47
Location: Ontario
Joined: May 15, 2014



#2 on top
Paul

 

RE: Confusion at MX110 12AX7 tube results, posted on December 31, 2016 at 08:38:36
Paul Kehayas
Audiophile

Posts: 47
Location: Ontario
Joined: May 15, 2014



Top #3
Paul

 

RE: Confusion at MX110 12AX7 tube results, posted on December 31, 2016 at 11:40:18
Michael Samra
Dealer

Posts: 35458
Location: saginaw michigan
Joined: January 30, 2005
Contributor
  Since:
June 24, 2005
It looks good underneath but can you shoot a photo of the top side cans?

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong" H. L. Mencken

 

RE: Confusion at MX110 12AX7 tube results, posted on December 31, 2016 at 13:33:24
Paul Kehayas
Audiophile

Posts: 47
Location: Ontario
Joined: May 15, 2014
I believe I added those three pics afterwards! Check to see them and please let me know if I'm alright here.
Thank you Michael!
Paul

 

RE: Confusion at MX110 12AX7 tube results, posted on January 1, 2017 at 03:16:03
Michael Samra
Dealer

Posts: 35458
Location: saginaw michigan
Joined: January 30, 2005
Contributor
  Since:
June 24, 2005
Just as I thought..Those cans are original and they need to be replaced with quad 50s at 500v.It is hard to put in tons of extra capacitance in those other than for the filament circuit which I use a pair of 4700uf at 35v which is perfect..You need a pair of quad 50s at 500v and a pair 4700uf at 35v and the one for the cardboard cap may have been changed from what I see.Also,put Schotky diodes in the thing and if you do this stuff,you will adore your preamp again.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong" H. L. Mencken

 

RE: Confusion at MX110 12AX7 tube results, posted on January 1, 2017 at 06:17:14
Paul Kehayas
Audiophile

Posts: 47
Location: Ontario
Joined: May 15, 2014
That's better news!
The cardboard cap is original. Apparently half of it died and leaked so that's the reason for the extra cap underneath.
Would it be possible to get a list according to schematic of what to get and by what company (keeping the original sound please) of cap?
You mentioned and where your recommended diodes go?
Thanks for this!!!
Paul

 

RE: Confusion at MX110 12AX7 tube results, posted on January 1, 2017 at 10:39:13
Michael Samra
Dealer

Posts: 35458
Location: saginaw michigan
Joined: January 30, 2005
Contributor
  Since:
June 24, 2005
Paul
The cardboard cap has to go as well but I didn't mention it as I wasn't sure it was replaced underneath and glued in.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong" H. L. Mencken

 

RE: Confusion at MX110 12AX7 tube results, posted on January 1, 2017 at 10:45:19
Paul Kehayas
Audiophile

Posts: 47
Location: Ontario
Joined: May 15, 2014
So that's three cap cans. Is it possible to get a small parts list and what to do for this so I may order it?
My email is paul.kehayas@gmail.com

I thank you for all the attention and help!
Paul

 

RE: Confusion at MX110 12AX7 tube results, posted on January 2, 2017 at 14:38:42
2con
Audiophile

Posts: 62
Location: lombardia
Joined: February 12, 2003

My first love was mx 110 mcintosh ,my first tube adventure .

i love it and was my reference for years (i was 30).

I tried everything in there ,but i've always found Ge 7025

and 6201 ge do the trick ;balance between air ,smoothness and

transient attack;they must be well balanced and selected ,

don't use 5751.

Even the tubes in the tuner section influnced the phono sound

(i used sovtek 6au6)

6d10 must be a well selected ge (i remenber i had a bu nch of these

hearing a lot of difference between nos tubes )

Final 12at 7 (cathode follower )make a huge difference too(6201

ge ;my last one was a 12at7wc Tfk marked,Ge production )

Great pre for jazz (never heard miles and chet like this)

I love that sinto-pre

Enjoy(and try to avoid new production tubes in it)

 

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