Amp/Preamp Asylum

Looking for a new Amp or Preamp? If you're after tubes, post over here.

Return to Amp/Preamp Asylum


Message Sort: Post Order or Asylum Reverse Threaded

More Confused Every Day

64.147.208.242

Posted on January 9, 2017 at 12:39:07
70padams
Audiophile

Posts: 13
Location: Southeast US
Joined: December 28, 2016
I have never considered myself an audiophile. Heck, my most expensive listening device (that I use regularly) cost me about $20.00.

I have always enjoyed working with my hands and many years ago took up rebuilding stuff that I could resale (to fund my hobby of buying crap to fix). I have redone old Lionel Trains, Kitchen Aide mixers and other items sticking to things from the 50's and earlier.

Tube radios were a part of this. At first it was just fixing them up and selling them. Then I got a Zenith Y825 which has a phono input that is switchable - bypasses tuners to use as an integrated amp for the phono. I hooked my phone to it and it has been my go to music device ever since.

I never knew what listener fatigue was and would have poo-poo'd the idea if I had heard of it. But I could never listen to music for a long period of time before listening on Tube Radios. Even with this old Y825 and its single Pdyn speaker I hear all of the music and there is a mellowness/warmth that does not exist on my trucks radio or the dedicated Bluetooth speaker I have. The tube radio I can tell between the instruments and hear every word of the vocals. (I listen to lots of Leonard Cohen/Classical/folk-folk rock/progressive rock/40's and 50's music). It was an epiphany.

Now I would like to buy a tube amp and speakers for my new home. Unfortunately the more I read the more confused I become. I think it goes without saying that I am not ready to jump off the deep end and spring for a complete super expensive tube amp.

I want something sub $1000.00 - the main thing I want is a sound that is pleasing. I know that is subjective but I am hoping someone here understands. Yaqin amps I have found intriguing in my research. I do not mind a used amp either.

Any advice as I begin this journey.

(LOCATED IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA)

 

Hide full thread outline!
    ...
RE: More Confused Every Day, posted on January 9, 2017 at 13:16:11
Sondek
Audiophile

Posts: 2676
Location: Fort Worth
Joined: May 17, 2000
Contributor
  Since:
April 5, 2002
Howdy, and welcome.

You may have to help us out a little to get the best advice. How big is the room you're wanting to put this in, and how loud do you like to listen? Is spousal acceptance an issue (many ladies do not like to see large speakers in a family room or other)? What kind of sources need to be considered? LP? CD? Streaming? I would definitely advise the purchase of used gear. You will get a lot more bang for your buck that way. Many here are not fond of gear made in China such as the Yaqin. Although, Yaqin is one thought of more favorably than others.

 

RE: More Confused Every Day, posted on January 9, 2017 at 13:23:25
70padams
Audiophile

Posts: 13
Location: Southeast US
Joined: December 28, 2016
Room is about 600 square feet (bedroom). I do not want large speakers and I do not listen at loud or even moderately loud volumes. Will have a listening area situated fairly close to location of system. Bookshelf size will be fine with me.

CD and streaming will be primary methods of listening to music.

 

RE: More Confused Every Day, posted on January 9, 2017 at 15:17:12
Uncle Mike
Audiophile

Posts: 2223
Location: Eastern Pa.
Joined: June 20, 2003
Your a DIY guy. Find some Dynaco gear ST70, MKiv monos or ST35 needing an update (or get one of Bob Latino's kits). The cost of entry is low and there are many support paths to follow. I recommend you stay away from the PAS 2/3 preamps, you can get better.
Also look into an EL84/7189 integrated such as Scott, Sherwood or Harman Kardon.
For speakers I would recommend a Klipsch Forte or it's little brother the Quartet. Efficient, not much power needed and tuned to tube gear and not small but a moderate size speaker that will serve well.
The Dynaco MKiv monos with the Klipsch Quartets combo I have in a second system, works nicely

 

hello, posted on January 9, 2017 at 16:26:24
bullethead
Audiophile

Posts: 7287
Location: East Coast USA
Joined: May 6, 2012
Contributor
  Since:
December 0, 0000
hello, since you mentioned Yaqin, I have 2 Yaqin made stereo equipment(s), in terms of that I have the K-9 DAC as well as their dual Tube Buffer for my digital setup.

Check out Youtube and videos of Yakin integrated amps playing, you'll be pleased.

here's one:






 

RE: More Confused Every Day, posted on January 9, 2017 at 16:57:21
airtime
Audiophile

Posts: 8584
Location: Arizona
Joined: February 4, 2003
You can try one of these. Believe it or not these are NOT entry level. I've been in audio for decades and this IS the amp I am using right now. From here you can explore the world of tube rolling.

As for speakers - are you handy? I am using these and they are fantastic speakers.

https://www.madisoundspeakerstore.com/2-way-speaker-kits/zaph%7Caudio-sr71-kit-pair-parts-only/

Now like I said I've been dabbling in audio for decades and this is the setup I'm using. Just as a subwoofer when your're ready and then you're set for life.

charles

 

RE: More Confused Every Day, posted on January 9, 2017 at 17:09:49
Tweaker456
Audiophile

Posts: 2190
Location: No. Cal
Joined: January 19, 2012
Consider reading reviews of the Cambridge Soundworks Model 6, acoustic suspension speaker. AS is my preference. You might think about if you want a remote controlled amp or preamp. The fewer tubes you have the easier tube rolling will be if you get into it. T456
"The Borg is the ultimate user. They're unlike any threat your Federation has ever faced."

- Q, 2365

 

Great amp, posted on January 9, 2017 at 19:01:38
Awe-d-o-file
Manufacturer

Posts: 16838
Location: 100 miles west of DC
Joined: January 10, 2004
Contributor
  Since:
October 31, 2005
He could probably do the build but it will run him well over budget by the time speakers are added.


ET

"If at first you don't succeed, keep on sucking till you do suck seed" - Curly Howard 1936

 

RE: More Confused Every Day, posted on January 9, 2017 at 20:26:02
Sondek
Audiophile

Posts: 2676
Location: Fort Worth
Joined: May 17, 2000
Contributor
  Since:
April 5, 2002
A nice little system I put together for my daughter a while back was the Jolida FX 10 and a pair of PSB Alpha B1's. The Jolida uses a pair of 12AX7 and a quad of EL84's. Puts out 10 to 12 watts as I recall. The amp, speakers and cables came in around $800 or so. Prices have gone up some, but if you're a good shopper, or don't mind buying used, you can still do it for less than a grand. Turned out to be a real sweet sounding little system too. Substituting some JJ 5751's for the stock 12AX7's really helps the sound of the amp. It is no where near the last word in bass reproduction, but for the styles of music you mentioned it should more than satisfy. Surprisingly good sound for such a small package.

 

RE: Great amp, posted on January 10, 2017 at 07:10:27
airtime
Audiophile

Posts: 8584
Location: Arizona
Joined: February 4, 2003
I think the total will end up running him around $1400 after he builds the speakers. But geez he'll have one HELL of a stereo system.

And later on he can add a nice preamp and a subwoofer and be set for life!!!

Like I said I've been farting around in audio for something like 30 years and this IS my setup. With a Conrad Johnson Classic 2SE preamp, stereo Paradigm subwoofers and a Marantz NA7004 DAC network streamer. After 30 years and maybe a couple of hundred stereos.

 

RE: More Confused Every Day, posted on January 10, 2017 at 07:47:05
fredtr
Audiophile

Posts: 536
Location: Phoenix
Joined: January 4, 2005
At your price target, suggest you watch Craigslist, here and ebay for an integrated amplifier or receiver. Sherwood's get rave reviews, Eico, Dynaco, Fisher, Heathkit, probably missed a few. Look at the Vintage forum to see how to update. You should be able to find something good for $300 - $400, but may take some patience.

Speakers are more a matter of personal taste, but you will need to look at efficiency if the amplifier you buy is EL84. Not much power, but great sound. There are excellent vintage speakers, but speakers are something that has gotten better at a reasonable price. Wherever you can, listen to as many as you have the opportunity, a lot of brands have their characteristic sound. I may take some heat on this, but general rule of thumb on speakers is where the companies are located, look for US, UK, Canada, Germany.

Another route to consider is lower power amplification with smaller speakers for highs and midrange and powered subwoofer. It is the bass that uses the power, so you can get away with less power/expensive amplification. And there seems to be good deals on used powered subwoofers.

 

Out of the box suggestion, posted on January 10, 2017 at 08:06:39
Charlie8521
Audiophile

Posts: 488
Location: South East Michigan
Joined: October 2, 2004
What about finding and pulling a Magnavox tube amp out of an old stereo console. Upgrade all of the components (not a lot involved), and than matching it to some highly eff. speakers. Maybe you guys could recommend the best Mag amp type to look for. This would be a dirt cheap amp approach that he could rework himself. Google "magnavox tube amp" for what I'm suggesting. Look at the pics and Youtube sites. Just a thought.

 

Schitt Saga Preamp, posted on January 10, 2017 at 08:30:01
Charlie8521
Audiophile

Posts: 488
Location: South East Michigan
Joined: October 2, 2004
Maybe add in the new Saga Preamp, and you may have a really decent sounding system for not much dollars, with remote control. But would need the perfect speaker matchup. See URL link below.

 

RE: More Confused Every Day, posted on January 10, 2017 at 08:55:15
dirtyvinyl
Audiophile

Posts: 1734
Joined: December 10, 2011
Consider a used Prima Luna Prologue I or 2.

Plenty of reviews covering 10 years.Reliable, great value for the money

They seem to get picked up quick in the classifieds.

 

RE: More Confused Every Day, posted on January 10, 2017 at 11:49:52
gordguide
Audiophile

Posts: 105
Joined: January 20, 2002
An "Audiophile" is simply someone who enjoys listening to music through equipment that sounds good to him or her ... you fit the description perfectly, from reading your post.

It has nothing to do with money and a High Fidelity sound system is not an expression of money paid out. It describes a system built with Sound Quality as it's primary criteria. You can do that with a $5 garage sale tube radio, as you have discovered. You prefer certain radios and you prefer them due to the Sound Quality they offer. Bingo. That's all the boxes, checked.

My advice is to purchase something used, or perhaps more specifically the electronics portion used. If you can get good speakers in the second hand market, all the better, but modern loudspeakers offer outstanding quality at pretty much every price point.

The reason is not so much about value ... although that is a feature ... but more about getting started. If you are unsure, then the best way to deal with that is to minimize your potential loss should you decide to revisit your decision. A good used integrated tube-based amp should probably re-sell for about the same as what you might pay to acquire it in the first place.

Later, once you get a frame of reference (what you end up with and listen to in your home) then you can audition other options if you want, or just stay with what you have.

$1000 for a tube based simple system is not a huge amount, when looking at the market overall. Still, it's not an impossible task. Better still, you can get great sound with that kind of investment.

Where someone like myself has an advantage over someone like yourself is I know when a great deal presents itself and know to pull the trigger immediately. You should probably take more time and choose more carefully. Don't worry ... you can still get a great deal. After all, I already own a system; I'm not looking to snipe one from under you. Many of those who seek good sound are in the same boat. We can only listen to one system at a time, after all.

Good luck.

 

RE: More Confused Every Day, posted on January 10, 2017 at 15:21:10
jedrider
Audiophile

Posts: 11641
Location: No. California
Joined: December 26, 2003
Yeah, tube gear seems to have gone high priced, clearly > $1000.

You may want to learn all you can about some gear that once in a while shows up as used gear within your price range. I would think the amplifier is the most essential part to begin with, although an integrated solves both problems at once if you come across one.

I was once told that the output transformers are the most precious part of a tube amplifier, which is one reason you may want to stick with well-reviewed equipment. (Nobody told me that, but someone told me that a particular amplifier I had had crummy transformers, and I then sold that, and that another budget amp had actually good transformers, so I bought that one instead.)

I once saw that same VTL-45 for sale for $2500 and I think I unloaded it for $250. I bought an Anthem Amp-1 instead for $500 which had problems, which I eventually fixed myself, so if you see one, they have good transformers BTW!!

 

Are you certain about the square footage?..., posted on January 10, 2017 at 17:27:20
DeKay
Audiophile

Posts: 3867
Location: So. CA
Joined: November 22, 2002
600 square ft is huge for a bedroom.




 

RE: Are you certain about the square footage?..., posted on January 10, 2017 at 17:47:47
70padams
Audiophile

Posts: 13
Location: Southeast US
Joined: December 28, 2016
My house used to be a small dairy barn (small for a barn). I spent the last two years working on it. The bedroom is just under 25X25. Plus it has a 25X10 loft in the room.

 

RE: Are you certain about the square footage?..., posted on January 10, 2017 at 17:52:16
jedrider
Audiophile

Posts: 11641
Location: No. California
Joined: December 26, 2003
Yes, that is a rather big bedroom. So it is a large room with a large object in it!

I use a room of similar size. A ordinary tube amplifier is quite sufficient for such a room size. I use a 40-watt tube amplifier with no problem. If you really want to rock, that is different story, though.

 

OK, I'll suggest looking into a Musical Paradise MP-301 MK3..., posted on January 10, 2017 at 18:59:28
DeKay
Audiophile

Posts: 3867
Location: So. CA
Joined: November 22, 2002
integrated amplifier and the least expensive (or what you are willing to spend per the stated budget) Tekton Lore floor standing speakers.

The MP because I assume the radio you like the sound of is a single ended (not push/pull) design.

The Tekton Lores because they have similarities to single wide range drivers (again the sound you enjoy from your tube radio).

My living room system uses single ended 3 watt tube amps and 8" wide range speakers/drivers, which, on a whole, is not a far cry from your tube radio.

I'm considering such a setup myself as I need to simplify things.



 

RE: Out of the box suggestion, posted on January 10, 2017 at 19:28:01
70padams
Audiophile

Posts: 13
Location: Southeast US
Joined: December 28, 2016
First, I appreciate all the suggestions. They have given me routes to explore.

Second - about the Magnavox idea. WTH! I never thought about the amps in console radios. I have a stereo Mag console sitting in my house (bought new by my parents amazingly enough). It will be donating its amp next time I get a chance to work - I do not even know what model - only that it is from the 60's. Cannot beat free for a trial (well free for the base amp I will recap and work on it before firing it up).

I'll post when I know what model amp it is.

 

RE: Out of the box suggestion, posted on January 10, 2017 at 22:38:51
JURB
Audiophile

Posts: 228
Location: North Ohio
Joined: May 29, 2016
You might want to consider just rehabbing the console. Takes care of the speakers, enclosures etc. Modifications can be made for higher fidelity sound, many consoles were designed fro boom and hiss with steep bass and high mid boost. this can be taken care of if you can get the print.

One thing though is it will have ceramic cartridge that needs to go if you intend to delve into vinyl.

But you'll have that old tube sound and that paper speaker sound. Stuff this old will probably fire up and play something, if nothing else out of AUX input. Just watch very carefully for smoke the first time you turn it on. People talk of using a DBT or a variac to fire up old equipment but that simply does not work all that well on tube equipment. (and a few solid state amps as well)

 

Dennis Had and Vintage Asylum, posted on January 11, 2017 at 05:33:30
Charlie8521
Audiophile

Posts: 488
Location: South East Michigan
Joined: October 2, 2004
There is a large amount of info online on what others have done to rebuild Magnavox amps. A Mr. Dennis Had is exceptionally well know for his work on these amps. I believe he was the founder of Cary Audio, a manufacture of tube amps. He's worth googling. Also, you will find a lot of posts on this site under the Vintage Asylum section. Just search Magnavox Amp. Good luck.

 

RE: More Confused , posted on January 11, 2017 at 19:40:00
bare
Audiophile

Posts: 526
Joined: April 14, 2009
Welcome to the Land of Audio Weenies :-)
Despite what you have read/been told !
Find and BUY an NAD Integrated amp and some PSB speakers.
Used is even cheaper

That stuff IS better than 80% of ALL available Audio gear..
Babbles aside ..it's True.
Then enjoy it.. period.

 

RE: Schitt Saga Preamp, posted on January 14, 2017 at 06:05:53
Utley1
Audiophile

Posts: 735
Location: NYC
Joined: July 30, 2010
The design of the Saga and Freya seem to have a common design of the of WYRED SE PREAMPS.Was looking at the manuals. But do not know how the former would play with stats.

 

Page processed in 0.039 seconds.