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2359glenn | studio - Page 779

post #11671 of 11672
Originally Posted by gibosi View Post


Every amp is custom built. And therefore such a list would require a fairly detailed description of each and every amp, as they are all different. And really, in my opinion, Glenn has better things to do with his time, that is, build amps.


If you read through this thread, you will see there have been two common types: A 6SN7/6AS7 OTL which starts at around $1000. And a C3g/300B which starts at around $2,500. But again, these can be and have been customized in many, many different ways. The sky is the limit. And I am sure that if you would prefer something different, say an all solid state amp, he would be happy to build you one. :)


Again, figure out what kind of amp you want and then ask Glenn to build it. Or, if you don't care about all the details, then simply ask Glenn to build the best amp he can for your budget.


Honestly both of those numbers could be cut down quite a bit.  Glenn's original mission was to built cheap amps that sound good, but all of us here have been steadily pushing the cost up with requests and suggestions to eek out small gains in performance.  I'm probably the most guilty party here. 


My version of the OTL can probably still be built for $600 for example.  All that extra $400 gets you is a bit of extra tube rolling ability and and a reduction in background noise.  With less exotic transformers and cap choices a 300B could probably go out the door for $1500. 


These are my numbers by the way, definitely not to be taken as fact.  I just wanted to point out to new people that the price door can be swung both ways to some degree.

post #11672 of 11672
Originally Posted by gibosi View Post

In my experience, "house sound" can be a useful concept when discussing the "sound" of any particular tube. That is, tubes produced by any particular manufacturer often share a similar and even predictable "sound". For example, I believe many of us might agree that there is such a thing as the Sylvania house sound, the RCA house sound and the Mullard house sound. So when evaluating the Brimar ECC804, I wanted to first begin by comparing it to other Brimar tubes to see how similar, or different, it is, and after digging through my stash, I found a black glass 6SN7GTY and 13D3.

I should note that I do not have the patience nor the discipline to listen to the same track over and over again, trying to parse tiny differences. I very much admire those who have this skill. But I look for larger differences, primarily in tonal balance, which I hope will be of some use. I have been enjoying the new album by Melody Gardot, Currency of Man, so rolled these tubes in while listening to a few tracks.

Switching from the ECC804 to the 6SN7GTY, the biggest difference I notice is the bass. The 6SN7 has a bigger and thicker bass. Otherwise, the midrange and highs seem to be to be quite similar. And even though the bass with the ECC804 is not as big and thick, it is still very good, and as one might expect, it is more detailed. I could be happy with either of these tubes.

Rolling in the 13D3, it is very similar to the ECC804, with very good bass, but vocals seem to be a bit more forward, and I don't think the mids are as liquid. To my ears, the 13D3 just isn't as musical as the other two, although can't quite say why....

Next, how does the Brimar ECC804 compare to the Philips Heerlen-made E182CC? Well first, I would like the reader to consider that there might be something like a "tonal-balance continuum" running from west to east, across Europe, from the thick and warm Mullards to the thin and cool Siemens. And I would say that the E182CC is a superlative example of the Philips' Heerlen house sound, intermediate between thick and warm Mullard and thin and cool Siemens, and characterized by a lush midrange. And further, I would say that Brimar is intermediate between Mullard and Heerlen along this continuum, not as warm as the Mullard and not as bright and lush as the Heerlen. Of course, this continuum construct idea is mostly a figment of my imagination, lol, but it does help me in my efforts to get a handle on the sound of European tubes. To sum up, the major difference I hear between the ECC804 and E182CC is that lushness. But both are superb.

To make things a bit more complicated, after the Heerlen factory was decommissioned in the 1970s, production of the E182CC was relocated to the Philips' Amperex factory in Hicksville, New York. And of course, that factory has a different house sound, most notably, it is not as lush as Heerlen. Interestingly enough, a US-made E182CC sounds very similar to the Brimar ECC804.

Again, to my mind, the 6SN7GTY, ECC804 and E182CC are superlative tubes, none better than the other, just slightly different. And I think I can say that if you like the Brimar house sound, the ECC804 will not disappoint. It is a terrific tube.

Excellent, thanks you for taking the time and effort to compare those tubes. I am with you that I am also not big fan of formalizsed reviews about N th degree in detail and as such, tonal balanced makes a system work or fail. Also tonal balaned is the soul of a system.
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