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post #3736 of 12280
Quote:
Originally Posted by Megalith View Post
 

Does anyone have any cleaning advice? My Valhalla and Bifrost seem to be showing white streaks, which I figure might be oxidation.

Do not try to polish them with metal polish, bar keepers friend, etc.

This will remove the clear finish.

 

When I built my amp and hap the top panel professionally polished I asked how best to remove smudges and finger prints.

To my amazement:

 

"Lemon Pledge"

 

It works great

 

Further,  It's unlikely to be oxidation since it is clear coated.

EDIT:  I can't type/spell


Edited by sceleratus - 12/8/13 at 8:30pm
post #3737 of 12280

I would recommend spraying it on the towel or rag you are cleaning with and not directly on the component, to keep over spray from getting inside the amp or DAC.  Oh, and unplug them obviously...:biggrin: 


Edited by bearFNF - 12/8/13 at 6:35pm
post #3738 of 12280

You guys need my special cryo treated lemon pledge.  the lemon molecules are more uniform ;)

post #3739 of 12280
Quote:
Originally Posted by bearFNF View Post
 

I would recommend spraying it on the towel or rag you are cleaning with and not directly on the component, to keep over spray from getting inside the amp or DAC.  Oh, and unplug them obviously...:biggrin: 

+1 Always spray the cloth.  

 

"Micro Fiber" cloth. Get a ten pack at your local auto parts store.

post #3740 of 12280
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amictus View Post
 


Tube newbie question of the day: why are (good) older tubes better? There was a wider use of valves then, leading to more efficient production with economies of scale? The Lord Sauron stole the recipe?

 

Thank you for all this good advice - Ebay sounds a bit risky, though... still, in for a penny, in for a couple of hundred dollars.

 

Transistors came along. Then integrated circuits (IC's). Most (but not all) tubes became obsolete. That's why. In the 80's and 90's I spent some time working at a company that made some of the last remaining vacuum tubes on the planet, so I know a little about them. There aren't many people wandering the planet these days who can tell you much about tubes. The folks on Head-fi are probably one of the best remaining resources.

 

The recipe was lost, is probably a good analogy. More to the point, no one cared any more. The economies of scale just aren't there for a relatively small handful of audiophiles, who still want tubes. The Chinese and Russian folks who bought the rights to make Tung-Sol tubes for example, apparently didn't also buy some of the arcane knowledge that has since been lost to time.

 

The remaining tubes made today are for things like satellites, radar, etc, and they're insanely expensive. They also don't resemble audio tubes, but the general principle is the same.

 

When it comes to hand-made things like audio tubes (and the stuff I worked on), there a lot of things about the process that just weren't written down. The folks who really know what to do, retired, passed away, etc before documenting what they knew. Metallurgy was probably part of it, but that's surely not all of it. People become subject matter experts in their little parts of the world, that made pieces of this tube or that. For whatever reason, they chose not to share what they knew before they moved on. Speaking from direct experience, I know that there are undocumented parts of the process. Sadly this is true in a lot of fields where manufacturing is involved.

 

Today, I am a big fan of documenting things that haven't been written down, and this is one of the reasons why. Any time there is too much "Tribal knowledge" involved in any process, the company making (whatever it is) loses out when the folks who don't document what they know, leave the company, retire, die in a car accident, etc. It doesn't help when the technology you're working on becomes obsolete. People and companies lose interest. The art of making Really Good Tubes is gone.

 

As for ebay being risky, yes, it is. But it's less so today than when I first started using it in the 90s. You do need to keep your eyes open, and know a lot about what you're looking for. I've had a couple expensive deals in the last 8 months or so, but most of the people I've dealt with on ebay are good folks, who honestly describe what they sell. I've even run into a few Really Good Deals (like old Mullard's for under $10 or $20 bucks), but those are usually unbalanced/test low and are quite rare. However, there are lots of good old American tubes for sale cheaply (I bought a Raytheon long black plate 12AU7 not long ago for under $12 shipped). The best deal I found was a man selling 5963 tubes for $2.50 each (I bought a half dozen lol). Best thing to do is buy from someone with a 100% positive feedback. The people who are highly rated don't usually risk that rating on one bad deal.

post #3741 of 12280

Thank you UmustBKidn, for that splendid post. It was really helpful. When my Lyr arrives (and I have built my Bottlehead Crack, eventually?) I will try to be content with the stock tubes - but we all know that it won't last!


Edited by Amictus - 12/9/13 at 2:04am
post #3742 of 12280

Dear community - my Lyr is coming (hopefully, courtesy of FedEx). Any particular advice as to cables DAC - amp? I have an Audiolab M-DAC at the moment.

post #3743 of 12280
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amictus View Post
 

Thank you UmustBKidn, for that splendid post. It was really helpful. When my Lyr arrives (and I have built my Bottlehead Crack, eventually?) I will try to be content with the stock tubes - but we all know that it won't last!

 

Well, my friend, I apologize if I left you with the impression that tube rolling was something to be avoided. Personally, I think that's one of the more fun and adventurous parts of this hobby! :D I'll be the last person to advise you to stick with stock tubes. There is a Lyr tube rolling thread somewhere on this website, and I would highly recommend you visit it.

 

Just fyi, when I began futzing with cheap little hybrid amps, I started out buying some brand new tubes (e.g. the Russian made Tung-Sol, the JJ Electronics, and an Electro Harmonix tube). They were a minor improvement over the stock tube, but not much. The real improvements came when I finally decided to dust off my ebay account and buy some old American made tubes.

 

You can't go too far wrong if you put a price cap on what you're willing to spend (say, $20 per tube). And if you end up becoming a minor tube collector (like I did), no matter how silly or expensive that adventure might seem, I will guarantee that you'll learn a lot about that famous Tube Sound - and what sounds good (or bad) to you. And that's what you really want, after all.


Edited by UmustBKidn - 12/9/13 at 3:15am
post #3744 of 12280
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amictus View Post
 

Dear community - my Lyr is coming (hopefully, courtesy of FedEx). Any particular advice as to cables DAC - amp? I have an Audiolab M-DAC at the moment.

My contribution: get the Bifrost Uber

post #3745 of 12280
Quote:
Originally Posted by kothganesh View Post
 

My contribution: get the Bifrost Uber

Thank you for that. My question was about cables, but tell me, what added value will I get from the Bifrost Uber?

post #3746 of 12280
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amictus View Post

Thank you for that. My question was about cables, but tell me, what added value will I get from the Bifrost Uber?
First my apologies for a wrong answer. So much for speed reading 😄. Second, I have not heard the Audiolab DAC hence I cannot be of any value add in terms of comparison. To my ears, the Bifrost/Lyr is a great combination and the Uber upgrades the Bifrost to (almost) the Gungnir.
To return to your query, I have a pair of PYST cables (read single ended RCA) that connect the Bifrost to the Lyr. Something like this should work for you.
post #3747 of 12280

I use short cables from Monoprice.  They're inexpensive and allow for a nice neat stack.

post #3748 of 12280

cables, i don't spend a ton on, i pretty much use audioquest, the entry levels for the most part

 

and, my vali arrived today, its a powerful little bugger !!

post #3749 of 12280

When I had a Lyr I used Schiit PYST interconnects.  Very nice, great value.

I now make my own using Neutrik connectors and Mic cable.  2 conductors each in a dielectric, then surrounded by a copper braided shield.  If you decide to make a set terminate the braided shield on one end only.  Economical, built well and sounds great.

 

Here's an article from a brilliant engineer about audio cable and speaker wire.

 

Thumbs up on the Bifrost Über upgrade.  A much greater sonic return than interconnect cables.

post #3750 of 12280

Just bought my first amp and DAC ever last Friday. I went ahead with the Asgard 2 + Bifrost Uber combo. Hopefully they ship out my order this week. Reminds me of being a kid at Christmas.

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