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MAD Ear+ Purist HD appreciation thread. - Page 63

post #931 of 1062

Just ordered an Ear+ HD, my first tube amp!  Given my tube noobness, please don't kill me for any of the following questions... biggrin.gif

 

I came across the tube newbie thread, and I also saw quite a few amp-specific tube rolling threads.  I see there is a lot of tube discussion in this thread, so is there a dedicated tube rolling thread for mapletree that I didn't find in my forum search, or perhaps this thread would be the best source of such information?  Also, what are some of your favorite places to buy both new production and NOS tubes in the USA?

 

I can't wait for my amp to arrive - it should be a lot of fun!

Gear mentioned in this thread:

post #932 of 1062
Quote:
Originally Posted by TitaniumDust View Post

Just ordered an Ear+ HD, my first tube amp!  Given my tube noobness, please don't kill me for any of the following questions... biggrin.gif

I came across the tube newbie thread, and I also saw quite a few amp-specific tube rolling threads.  I see there is a lot of tube discussion in this thread, so is there a dedicated tube rolling thread for mapletree that I didn't find in my forum search, or perhaps this thread would be the best source of such information?  Also, what are some of your favorite places to buy both new production and NOS tubes in the USA?

I can't wait for my amp to arrive - it should be a lot of fun!

Tubeworld.com is a good source of tubes for the Mapletree. So far, my favorites are the JAN 5963 and GE 5 Star 5751.

EDIT: I forgot to add the tube that I have been listening to for quite awhile! Amperex 12AU7 Bugleboy.
Edited by HiFlight - 8/5/12 at 6:34pm
post #933 of 1062

everything you need to know about the mappletree is in this thread
 

post #934 of 1062

Not that this amp needs any more glowing reviews, but after burn in and doing some tube rolling, I must say that the Ear+ HD is an incredible amp.  I find it to be very versatile.  If you want more of a solid-state sound, you can get an inexpensive Sylvania/Jan 5751 DMGP or a GE 5-star (Sylvania is better for this purpose IMO) or if you want a more fluid, lush sound, you can do that too with something like a Sylvania 5751 Gold Brand TMGP, a GE 5751 TMBP, or even something as inexpensive as a new production TungSol 12AX7.  You can also find anything in between.

 

I listen mainly to metal and hard rock with fast and detailed headphones, so I wanted a quick-sounding tube.  After trying some various tubes, I didn't think I'd find a tube I was 100% happy with until I tried the Sylvania Gold Brand 5751 TMBP.  It has all the quickness and punch of a good solid state amp, plus it has the incredible liveliness and lusher mids that a good tube can give you.  Mids are somewhat lush and warm, but not overly so, which is perfect for me.  I like it so much, I ordered a small stock of this tube.  I also found my perfect amp in the process.  I've never heard a top-end SS amp, but I can't imagine it being much, if any, better than this amp with the Sylvania tube.  Cheers to Dr. Peppard for making such a wonderful amp!
 

400

post #935 of 1062

 

 


Edited by malky - 11/2/12 at 11:42am
post #936 of 1062
After 18 months with the Mad Ear plus HD II I am aiming to try some new tubes.
 
Below are all on Ebay at the moment.
Matched Pair Golds Label SYLVANIA 5751 Black Plates 3 Mica $170
Matched Pair GE 5751 Black Plates 3 Mica Square Getter $71
Matched Pair RCA 5751 Black Plates 3 Mica Square Getter=12AX7,ECC83 7025 $70
 
Some advise on the above would be appreciated. At the moment I am using my Senns HD 650 which 
sound fine although I read on here that these are not the best for the MAD amp but I havent compared
 anything else as yet.I am also considering another pair of cans maybe the Senn.HD 800. Beyer DT 880.
Grado RS 1 or maybe 1000 i. Im not sure about Grado though as some seem to feel they are rather too much
 in the highs, and I may fall into this catagory, I never could get along with AKG 701 which may have a similar 
sound signature to Grado, which were nice and detailed, but lacked the richness and bottom end that the Senns give.
I listen to Rock mainly, older type Led Zepp. Rush Wishbone Ash, also Suzzanne Vega, Paloma Faith, Adele, Paul Simon,
 loads of 70S 80S. Much prefer analog on the old recordings, fronting with
Inspire Eclipse TT SME M2 12 R Audio Technica 33 EV cartridge,
also using Nakamichi CR7 and RX 505 cassettte decks. CD is Musical Fidelity Nu Vista.
I am in the U.K.
Malky.

Edited by malky - 11/2/12 at 11:44am
post #937 of 1062
Quote:
Originally Posted by malky View Post

After 18 months with the Mad Ear plus HD II I am aiming to try some new tubes.
 
Below are all on Ebay at the moment.
Matched Pair Golds Label SYLVANIA 5751 Black Plates 3 Mica $170
Matched Pair GE 5751 Black Plates 3 Mica Square Getter $71
Matched Pair RCA 5751 Black Plates 3 Mica Square Getter=12AX7,ECC83 7025 $70
 
Some advise on the above would be appreciated. At the moment I am using my Senns HD 650 which 
sound fine although I read on here that these are not the best for the MAD amp but I havent compared
 anything else as yet.I am also considering another pair of cans maybe the Senn.HD 800. Beyer DT 880.
Grado RS 1 or maybe 1000 i. Im not sure about Grado though as some seem to feel they are rather too much
 in the highs, and I may fall into this catagory, I never could get along with AKG 701 which may have a similar 
sound signature to Grado, which were nice and detailed, but lacked the richness and bottom end that the Senns give.
I listen to Rock mainly, older type Led Zepp. Rush Wishbone Ash, also Suzzanne Vega, Paloma Faith, Adele, Paul Simon,
 loads of 70S 80S. Much prefer analog on the old recordings, fronting with
Inspire Eclipse TT SME M2 12 R Audio Technica 33 EV cartridge,
also using Nakamichi CR7 and RX 505 cassettte decks. CD is Musical Fidelity Nu Vista.
I am in the U.K.
Malky.

 

Hey Malky,  you have some nice gear feeding your MAD amp!  Are you committed to just trying 5751's?  In general, they are cleaner sounding than 12AX7's but they have only about half the gain.  This makes a pretty big difference with some of the headphones you are considering.  So you might try some 12AX7's too.  Maybe get some current production tubes, like the re-issue Gold Lion's or so-called Mullards from New Sensor.  These are reasonably priced compared to the eBay tubes and you might find you like them quite well, especially if you're playing with some of the Sennheisers.  Actually Dr. Lloyd used Sennheisers in voicing the Ear (I think he has HD600's tho), based on a conversation I had with him a couple of years ago.

 

Of the tubes you've listed, the Sylvania triple mica black plates would be my choice, but I think you can do better than that price-wise.  Or if you pay that, make sure you get a guarantee!  Tubes should be tested and certified for the match.  I'm using some GE/JAN black plate 5751's (only double-mica, but they sound great!).  I've also got a bunch of other tubes, including some of the Sylvania's and some really lovely windmill getter Raytheons, which are some of the best I've tried in the MAD.  Right now they're in my preamp, and I'm happier with them there.  Too bad you are across the pond, or I'd lend you some different tubes to listen to.  Maybe you can check out a local audiphile/listening club and find someone who has a stash of tubes.  Just going out to eBay and shooting in the dark is the expensive way to find out what works best for you and your music!

 

I'm currently using three headphones with my somewhat-modded Ear+ HD Super II.  Most of my head time is with the LCD 2.1's  They shouldn't work too well,but for a lot of music they are spectacularly good (think female vocalists, girl with piano, chamber music and stuff).  When things get rockin' I go for the Grado's (RS-1's).  They are lively and fun, and there really is a great synergy with the MAD.  Unfortunately, I find them uncomfortable after a couple of hours.  Then there are the Sennheisers.  I had a set of HD800's that I sold, and the ones I still have are the HD-580's which are quite a good match with the MAD amp, in a relaxed sort of way.  Most of my music listening is headphones during work hours, then speakers at night (Magneplanars + tube amps + vinyl).  Anyway, I usually swap in 12AX7's when using the LCD-2's or the Senn's and keep the 5751's in place with the Grado's.

 

Hope this helps!

 

Frank

post #938 of 1062

I thought I'd share my tube rolling experience with the Ear+ HD (made in Aug 2012) for any users who may want such information in the future.  I'm new to tubes so my descriptions may sound a little different than those of others.

 

I'll start out with the power tube section, the two 12B4As, as there seems to be less discussion on these than on the input tube.  After finding my perfect input tube, a Sylvania Gold Brand TMBP 5751 (mine is actually JHS-labelled) I tried three different power tubes.  All three pairs are matched.  First is RCA made in 1960s.  Next is GE/JAN made in 1966.  Finally there is Sylvania/JAN made in 1974.  It is true that the diference in sound when changing power tubes is much less than when changing the input tube, but I still heard some differences.  I'll list each pair and describe the sound as positives and negatives.  Remember that a positive for me may be a negative for you, and vice versa.

 

RCA 12B4A (1960s)
   + Lively and very fast, great warmth and lack of brightness
   - Soundstage may be just slightly less holographic than either GE or Sylvania

GE 12B4A (JAN 1966)
   + Lively, good soundstage
   - Bass a bit loose (slightly slower-sounding overall), mids less warm and more bright than RCA

Sylvania 12B4A (JAN 1974)
   + Lively and fairly fast, good linearity in the highs, good soundstage
   - Mids slightly less warm and more bright than RCA; more similar to GE

 

Synopsis: The GE and Sylvania tubes sounded quite similar; I'd say the GE is a bit smoother and also a touch brighter.  The RCA stood out for being the quickest of the bunch, as the well as the warmest and least bright.  If you highly value quickness, go for the RCA.  If you listen to a lot of rock and metal and love the texture and crunch of electric guitars, go with the RCA.  If you are a holographic soundstage freak, go with the GE or Sylvania.  If you are looking for a nice smooth sound, go with Sylvania, or for an ever slightly smoother sound, the GE.

 

I'll do the same for my experience with input tubes.  Changing these out made more of a difference to the sound than swapping power tubes.

 

Genalex Gold Lion 12AX7 (new production)
   + great high end extension
   - thin sounding mids, not a good value for the price (though fairly good sounding overall)

Tung-Sol 12AX7 (new production)
   + mids warm, lush and fairly lively, great value for the money
   - somewhat loose bass, soundstage ok but not great, a little slow-sounding

GE TMBP 5751 (NOS)
   + very good overall, good soundstage
   - mids less warm and slightly lush, imaging slightly soft, slightly mellow-sounding (perhaps my tube is sub-par?)

GE 5-star GP 5751 (NOS)
   + pretty tight bass, soundstage quite good, sharp imaging, somewhat SS-sounding
   - mids slightly less lively and also missing a bit of lushness

Sylvania TMBP 5751 (Gold Brand or equivalent) (NOS)
   + great soundstage, tight bass, lively and fairly lush mids, quick-sounding
   - none

Sylvania TMGP 5751 (Gold Brand or equivalent) (NOS)
   + good soundstage, lively mids
   - bass slightly loose (a little slow-sounding overall), mids a little too lush

Sylvania/JAN DMGP 5751 (NOS)
   + tight bass, lively mids, good soundstage, tight & quick like SS, good high-end extension
   - wish mids were somewhat more lush
 

Synopsis: Eh, this is so subjective that I don't dare try to say what is best for a given situation.  I'm definitely a Sylvania b!tch what it comes to input tubes.  I'll probably try a few more tubes in the future - maybe a Bugle Boy and a Raytheon, but I doubt I will find anything I like better than the Sylvania GB TMBP 5751.

 

Hope this helps anyone out there in the future.  smily_headphones1.gif

post #939 of 1062

How does the EAR+HD play with HD650? Has anyone ever compare it with Crack?

post #940 of 1062

IMO, when I had an HD650, it was too laid back with the Mapletree EAR+ HD

It's a tubey amp that better suits bright cans, like Grado RS, Senn HD800, Beyer T1

post #941 of 1062

Just ordered a MAD EAR+HD 

Will compare it with the ECBA, I know, I know there's a big price difference but IME it's more about synergy.

As an example, the Schiit Mjolnir is the better amp for LCD3s...

In fact, also for my 'Anax-Modded' HD800s

 

If the MAD suits my Grados better, somebody will be getting a nice ECBA wink_face.gif

post #942 of 1062

I just dug out my MAD Cadbury Mk II, which is basically an Ear+ in a Cadbury tin can, with smaller OPTs to reduce the size.  It was on the back burner for a while, as it was described when I got it as non-functioning, so I sort of wrote it off.  Big mistake!  Took a look at it and there were just two weak solder joints, fixed those and it is really nice.  Bass is a little thin driving my old AKG K501s, but overall pretty good for this little guy.  An amazing amount of circuitry packed into the compact "chassis".  I like it so much I'm thinking of letting it go and upgrading to an Ear+HD to join the MAD club here.  


Edited by mls64 - 1/1/13 at 12:34pm
post #943 of 1062
Hey guys, anyone tried the Jds labs odac with the mapletree? If yes with which cans?
post #944 of 1062
Quote:
Originally Posted by mls64 View Post

I just dug out my MAD Cadbury Mk II, which is basically an Ear+ in a Cadbury tin can, with smaller OPTs to reduce the size.  It was on the back burner for a while, as it was described when I got it as non-functioning, so I sort of wrote it off.  Big mistake!  Took a look at it and there were just two weak solder joints, fixed those and it is really nice.  Bass is a little thin driving my old AKG K501s, but overall pretty good for this little guy.  An amazing amount of circuitry packed into the compact "chassis".  I like it so much I'm thinking of letting it go and upgrading to an Ear+HD to join the MAD club here.  

 

That sounds like a fun amp.

Are there any pictures of it anywhere?

post #945 of 1062
Quote:
Originally Posted by jtinto View Post

IMO, when I had an HD650, it was too laid back with the Mapletree EAR+ HD

It's a tubey amp that better suits bright cans, like Grado RS, Senn HD800, Beyer T1

My thoughts 100% as well.

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