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post #466 of 641

Not true at all. With the right tube it will sound very euphonic.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by givemevinyl View Post

I'm very interested in the LG.  However, I'm not a tube-roller, per se, mainly because I haven't had the opportunity.  I realize the LG is suppose to reflect the sound of the selected tube, but at the end of the day, it's still a hybrid amp, right?  Is it correct to assume that regardless of the tube, the LG can't be made to sound like a "tubey" amp (let's say the Woo WA22), right?

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post #467 of 641
I am going to offer a different insight. "Tubey" amps are more than a little harmonic coloration originating from the tube. The are slow , have a poor controll in general and as such end up with a large dollop of bass bloom and roll off the top end . The LG will never sound like this with any tube . It will sound like a big DHT tube amp with tons of detail and air with the right tube . There are just some things that a great amp cannot stoop to achieve ..dB
post #468 of 641
Quote:
Originally Posted by dBel84 View Post

I am going to offer a different insight. "Tubey" amps are more than a little harmonic coloration originating from the tube. The are slow , have a poor controll in general and as such end up with a large dollop of bass bloom and roll off the top end . The LG will never sound like this with any tube . It will sound like a big DHT tube amp with tons of detail and air with the right tube . There are just some things that a great amp cannot stoop to achieve ..dB

 

Yeah, exactly! I think this "tubey" association is unfortunate, as most people assume tubes are supposed to sound warm, slow, bloomy. That's really the amp doing that, not the tubes. Just like plenty of solid state amps can sound mushy and "tubey."

post #469 of 641

Who's up for an anecdote specific example?  This is the story of three Dynaco ST-70's.  One essentially uses the stock circuit; my dad replaced and/or upgraded each of the components during the rebuild, but it's still more or less the original amp outside of some extra capacitance in the power supply.  He's more or less given me this amp on a permanent basis.  The second is another one that my dad also built, but this one uses a driver board designed by Joe Curcio.  In place of the 7199's, it uses 4 6922's.  The third is my own that's really no longer a ST-70.  The driver board has been replaced with the board from Wellborne labs (uses two 5751's, and two 6U8A's).  I've also installed Joe Curcio's Bias Control System (auto-bias) along with additional caps, and an improved power transformer.  In reality the only remaining original part in my build is the original cloth-lead output transformers (even the chassis is new).  

 

The amp with the original circuit has a beautiful, euphonic sound with wonderful clarity from the mid-bass to the upper end of the mid range, but bass and treble extension is just okay, and the bass is a little loose.  On the amp with the Curcio driver board, the frequency response is extremely linear, and the bass can be very tight.  However, the sound can be a little etched.  My build has very good extension with solid grip on the bass and very natural sound.  To phrase it a different way, the original ST-70 certainly sounds like a tube amp; it's not tubby, but it's got plenty of the classic euphonic character.  The two other amps compare more to amps with sounds signatures that remind me of Bryston and Nelson Pass respectively.  Essentially the Curcio ST-70 sounds like a SS amp that employs Bipolar transistors while my Wellborne/Curcio build sounds like it uses MOSFETs.  

 

The differences may not be quite as stark as I've laid out here, but there three tube amps built on similar concepts that range from the popular concept of "tubey" to the sometimes strident tone of solid state, and a best of both worlds.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MuppetFace View Post

 

Yeah, exactly! I think this "tubey" association is unfortunate, as most people assume tubes are supposed to sound warm, slow, bloomy. That's really the amp doing that, not the tubes. Just like plenty of solid state amps can sound mushy and "tubey."

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dBel84 View Post

I am going to offer a different insight. "Tubey" amps are more than a little harmonic coloration originating from the tube. The are slow , have a poor controll in general and as such end up with a large dollop of bass bloom and roll off the top end . The LG will never sound like this with any tube . It will sound like a big DHT tube amp with tons of detail and air with the right tube . There are just some things that a great amp cannot stoop to achieve ..dB

Edited by jazzerdave - 3/18/13 at 8:13pm
post #470 of 641

I wanted to chime back in this thread to say how impressed I am with the stock tubes in the LG.

 

Never in my life have I had a tube amp sound as good as the LG with the stock tubes. Edit for clarity: every amp that I personally heard, as configured with its stock tubes, didn't sound as good as the LG, as configured with its respective stock tubes.

 

In fact, even though I got my LG last year, I only put in the stock pair a few days ago after having lent out two of my vintage pairs to a fellow head-fi'er, and was getting the amp ready to ship back to Alex for the hum fix. Since he insisted that I ship the amp back with the stock tubes, I figured what the heck, while I'm at it let's give them a listen. My jaw dropped. Not because it was the best sound that I had ever heard (it wasn't), but because I didn't expect them to be that good. My expectation I guess was set pretty low by the combination of the LF with the stock JJ tubes, which was horrible by my taste. The LG, however, with stock tubes, is one exceptional sound machine. 

 

One more edit, and that is to say that with a pair of Mullard CV-181 brown base British tubes, the LG/LCD-3 has provided the best dynamic sound that I have personally heard.


Edited by mwilson - 3/18/13 at 8:03pm
post #471 of 641

Alex was pretty excited about the stock tubes when I'd talked to him before. Nice to know they ended up being great. Which cans were you pushing? Could be a good match.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mwilson View Post

I wanted to chime back in this thread to say how impressed I am with the stock tubes in the LG.

 

Never in my life have I had a tube amp sound as good as the LG with the stock tubes. Edit for clarity: every amp that I personally heard, as configured with its stock tubes, didn't sound as good as the LG, as configured with its respective stock tubes.

 

In fact, even though I got my LG last year, I only put in the stock pair a few days ago after having lent out two of my vintage pairs to a fellow head-fi'er, and was getting the amp ready to ship back to Alex for the hum fix. Since he insisted that I ship the amp back with the stock tubes, I figured what the heck, while I'm at it let's give them a listen. My jaw dropped. Not because it was the best sound that I had ever heard (it wasn't), but because I didn't expect them to be that good. My expectation I guess was set pretty low by the combination of the LF with the stock JJ tubes, which was horrible by my taste. The LG, however, with stock tubes, is one exceptional sound machine. 

 

One more edit, and that is to say that with a pair of Mullard CV-181 brown base British tubes, the LG/LCD-3 has provided the best dynamic sound that I have personally heard.

post #472 of 641
I agree that the stock tubes sound surprisingly good (using LCD-3's). Not quite as good as Orange Globes, which are the only other tubes I have had time to roll in so far.
post #473 of 641

jazzerdave - As I read your post above about your ST-70's, I thought 'What a blessing for you to be able to share the audio passion with your dad'.

post #474 of 641

I just joined the club.  Thanks!

 

(It really shouldn't be this easy to spend this kind of money...)

post #475 of 641

Dynaco was very very popular amp back in the days.  Easy to work on because is was simple and great sounding.  I have a Bob Latino Dynaco ST-120 with Tung Sol KT-120 tubes.  Its no way near like the original one but its pretty good.   

post #476 of 641
Quote:
Originally Posted by R Scott Ireland View Post

I agree that the stock tubes sound surprisingly good (using LCD-3's). Not quite as good as Orange Globes, which are the only other tubes I have had time to roll in so far.

 

Oddly enough (or not), the only headphones I've enjoyed with any of the 6DJ8/6922/E88CC variants are my LCD-3's and Mad Dogs which both tend to be on the dark side.  With the HE-6 or HD800, every one of those variants I've tried have been overly etched or piercing.  

 

On the other hand, the bright 6 and 800 tend to thrive with 12AU7's or 6SN7's and the like.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by funch View Post

jazzerdave - As I read your post above about your ST-70's, I thought 'What a blessing for you to be able to share the audio passion with your dad'.

 

I'll quote my profile: "I'm a former musician (trombone, guitar, and piano) who's been around music and hifi since birth."  It's possible I'd have gotten into this hobby even if he weren't into it as well, but I've certainly been blessed to have the opportunity to listen to tons of great gear throughout my life.  Every time I try to make a list, I just give up.  Suffice to say that I've been exposed to a variety of different vintage receivers, tuners, turntables, CD players (on the 30th anniversary of the CD player's commercial release, we listened to all three of the original form factors he'd restored), open-reel tape decks (and cassette decks like the Nakamichi Dragon), preamps, amps, and speakers.  But more than anything it's been the exposure to music itself that I appreciate.  

post #477 of 641

I forgot to confirm this earlier.  Yes, those are the coin base RCA's.  They're superb.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by MorbidToaster View Post

I talked with jazzerdave about those tubes at the big Austin meet. Those look like coin base RCA tubes and they were my favorite out of about 15 pairs when I heard them with the HD800.

 

It's the best I've heard the HD800...ever. And I recommend it whenever possible.

 

As for the TH900, my view on the LG is this...It's an excellent any for any headphone, you just have to find the right tube.

 

If you're a collector and tweaker you should just get one and find the perfect tube for each of your headphones. :D

 

post #478 of 641

Quick question. Is it safe to swap out tubes when the power toggle in the back is on but the front piezo switch hasn't been pushed? (In other words while the piezo switch is illuminated but the other LEDs are off).

post #479 of 641
Quote:
Originally Posted by MuppetFace View Post

Quick question. Is it safe to swap out tubes when the power toggle in the back is on but the front piezo switch hasn't been pushed? (In other words while the piezo switch is illuminated but the other LEDs are off).

 

That's the way Alex does it when swapping tubes at a show and the way I've been swapping the tubes since early December.  I guess calling it standby would work.  As far as I know, the only danger is swapping tubes when it's fully powered (and I'd guess that swapping tubes during the power up cycle would be a bad idea as well).

post #480 of 641

Another question: Is it okay to leave the amp in stand-by phase all the time? I read in the manual that you shouldn't leave the amp on if you aren't using it for extended periods of time, does that include stand by phase? Also, just want to point out that I am in the "getting used to" phase of the piezo switch. That bugger was difficult to turn on the first couple of times before I got used to it. Another thing I have figured out is that there is some kind of delay when you first switch on the stand by switch in the back, before you can power on the amp. Timed it and mine takes about hmm a minute.. or so. Not complaining, just good knowledge to have.

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