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Aune T1 USB Tube DAC+Amp Discussion Thread ***See first post for FAQ*** - Page 101

post #1501 of 6068
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkBastard View Post

Hello all, looking for some feedback before I buy this DAC.

 

Sorry in advance as I know this is my first post and that this forum is headphone specific, however I wish to purchase this primarily as a DAC to sit between my HTPC and integrated stereo amp to be used with speakers, however would also use it for headphone listening from time to time.

 

I want to know how it performs as a DAC only, ie using the USB port as an input and the RCA line out then connecting to an integrated amp.

 

My setup is a Marantz PM6004 amp and Monitor Audio BX2 speakers. I bought this gear recently and it's great with my record player but my current DAC just isn't cutting it, pales in comparison to the record players performance (Pro-Ject Debut Carbon).

 

The tube is used during the DAC stage right? So I'll get tube warmth even when using line-out?

 

Out of interest, has anyone used this with XBMC / OpenElec or linux in general? I imagine there's no issues?

 

I have read a lot of the thread and searched but couldn't find answers to these questions (nor on the greater Internet).

 

Thanks

Lots of posts here about just that aspect of the device. My set up is almost identical to what you describe, with my PC playing my digital library via the T1 through my hi-fi system. It works wonderfully this way.

post #1502 of 6068
Quote:
Originally Posted by buestad View Post

I have tried som more rolling today between the 6922EH and Phillips PCC189, and if I listen very closely I can maybe hear that the PCC189 is a bit more "open". Is it this you guys call sondstage? I find this tube a tiny bit more relaxing to listen to.

 

I find myself using the PCC189 most, so probably my subconscious tells me that I like this better, or maybe it is just that I payed extra for it :)

 

I have a pair of 6n23p coming. Will be intresting to see if i can differ the sound with this tube.

 

Where can I get the Ultron from a trustworthy seller?

Actually, "soundstage" is the presentation of the placement of specific sounds across the width (and in some cases height and breadth) of the aural presentation. IOW, close your eyes and visualize an actual stage where the musicians are at different locations on the stage.  That is the "soundstage". Much equipment will "blur" that soundstage or be indistinct so that you can't really place where the instruments are located (this is probably closer to how music is perceived at an actual live performance, however). "Improved" soundstage communicates that each instrument or voice is better localized across the width, height or breadth of the aural presentation.

 

"Openness" is, well, "openness" - the soundstage, if you will, is bigger. Instead of being right between your ears, it is perceived to extend beyond your ears. This is usually most noticeable with open back headphones. Closed headphones generally only give you a very narrowly focused, or "closed", soundstage.

 

Does that help?

post #1503 of 6068
Quote:
Originally Posted by buestad View Post

I have tried som more rolling today between the 6922EH and Phillips PCC189, and if I listen very closely I can maybe hear that the PCC189 is a bit more "open". Is it this you guys call sondstage? I find this tube a tiny bit more relaxing to listen to.

 

I find myself using the PCC189 most, so probably my subconscious tells me that I like this better, or maybe it is just that I payed extra for it :)

 

I have a pair of 6n23p coming. Will be intresting to see if i can differ the sound with this tube.

 

Where can I get the Ultron from a trustworthy seller?

To respond to your second paragraph about finding yourself listening more to the PCC189, that is one aspect of listening to any equipment. Sometimes aural differences are extremely subtle. Many (most?) times, differences are exaggerated in an attempt to communication what one is hearing. But even when you can't articulate or sometimes even consciously discern a real difference, over time the difference presents itself as a tendency such as you describe. You just like listening to one over another.  My reaction to the Phillips was the same as yours. I subjected it to about 48 hours of constant "brown noise" (google it and you'll find a site to play or download a sample of it) to break it in.  After break in, it truly opens up and becomes a really different tube.  To be fair, I did NOT subject the stock tube to the same treatment and have not given it any listen at all since the first day or so after receiving the T1.

 

Tube rolling isn't a "hoax", but in a buffer stage the effects are far more subtle than in an amplifier or even a pre-amp.

post #1504 of 6068

I did "burn in" the PCC189 with 40h of brown noise. (The K550 I buned in with 60h of pink noise).

Maybe critical listening or tube rolling isn't for me, but in any case, I enjoy the sound from my headphones + amp very much!

 

Thaks for the tips about sound terms and how to listen. I won't give up just yet!


Edited by buestad - 4/12/13 at 4:07am
post #1505 of 6068
Quote:
Originally Posted by Salvatore View Post

If you are interested of Ultron ask McKajVah. He bought 10 tubes and is giving them away for free / small compensation / trades. I think he's also from Norway.

 

PM to Buestad sent.

 

The tubes will probably come next week, but I'm going away for the next two weeks... :(

 

When I get back I'll send some of them out. The ten of them only cost me $50 incl. shipping. I will of course keep some to my self, but why hold on to ten when I know some people are having problems getting them. Sure I could sell them on for $10-$15, but for me it's more important to try to help others and get their opinion on them.

 

For instance I'm going to send Joeq70 one (the tread starter). This way I can compare his opinion on them with mine and hopefully draw some meaningfull information to his experience with other tubes he has tested. If he really like it then he can keep it and if not, then maybe send it to someone else who wants to try. 

 

Happy listening.

post #1506 of 6068
Quote:
Originally Posted by BluesDaddy View Post

Actually, "soundstage" is the presentation of the placement of specific sounds across the width (and in some cases height and breadth) of the aural presentation. IOW, close your eyes and visualize an actual stage where the musicians are at different locations on the stage.  That is the "soundstage". Much equipment will "blur" that soundstage or be indistinct so that you can't really place where the instruments are located (this is probably closer to how music is perceived at an actual live performance, however). "Improved" soundstage communicates that each instrument or voice is better localized across the width, height or breadth of the aural presentation.

 

"Openness" is, well, "openness" - the soundstage, if you will, is bigger. Instead of being right between your ears, it is perceived to extend beyond your ears. This is usually most noticeable with open back headphones. Closed headphones generally only give you a very narrowly focused, or "closed", soundstage.

 

Does that help?

 

I agree about sound stage being the stage or space where the sounds are located (height depth width). This spatial area can easily go far beyond your ears and head (ever had those moments when you think somebody is behind you when listening greatly produced records with cool sound stage effects). I personally use imaging to describe the placement of the instruments. For example sound stage could be very large but the imaging could be kind of off (for example some instrument seems to be out of balance etc). Transparency for me means how the instruments are separated. You could again have very large sound stage, but some sounds are not reaching your ear clearly enough for whatever reason. I often use open to describe wide sound stage and airy to kind of combine sound stage with transparency. Cold could be used to describe analytical sound and warm/mellow to describe cozy more musical sound. Sometimes you hear people saying that something is recessed or laid back, mids for example. This means that the mids are not as powerful as the rest of the mix (bass and treble). If bass is muddy it lacks the resolution. Sound stage, imaging and transparency along with some other terms discussed here are often overlapping and not so unambiguous. But yeah this is just how I personally see these things.

post #1507 of 6068

Quote:

Originally Posted by MrEleventy View Post


I think it'll fit but not sure if it'll "work". I wouldn't recommend using it, keyboards don't output a large current through those cords so there's no way of knowing if the cord can handle that kind of load for extended periods. You're better off cracking open the transformer itself and soldering a new cable and reusing the head. Or find something else that matches it's intended use.

 

Thanks for your response, I'll keep on looking :)

post #1508 of 6068
Quote:
Originally Posted by CoiL View Post

O_o ...we must be hearing things differently & also seems to be the matter of taste.

 

Imho Ultron PCC189 is definitely better than Philips PCC189. And same or little better than Amperex GAC, depending on music. For example, Amperex GAC is too mellow & warm with Dead Letter Circus /  TOOL / Karnivool and lacks littlebit in bass/percussion tightness & kick - Ultron PCC189 "fixes" all that. Like I said already, both have same soundstage imaging but Ultron is much better layered and transparent with instrument separation also being lot better. Same goes against Philips PCC189.

 

Well, anyway, nice to hear someones else opinion. For me it`s very very good tube, and for the price I`m getting them - killer tube!

 

My Ultron PCC189's arrived this morning and the one I put in sounds really nice just out of the box, no burn in. It sounds nothing like the Phillips 189 A Frame that a lot of people here bought for 6 or 7 dollars, I bought that one as well. That Phillips sounded kind of lifeless to me and I don't know how anyone could confuse the Ultron with it, unless Ultron sourced from adifferent suppliers for the PCC189. I don't know if the highs of the Ultron are as good as my Siemens 6dj8 or my RCA 6922 (US Amperex from 1962), but everything else about this tube is just as good as those two. I think the mids are better. It is really good with drums and sounds really nice now playing New Order's Technique. Did you find out anything else about who made this tube? The one I am playing now has no markings on the bottom, but one of them that came today has a "+". They also have the weakest glow of any tube I have ever seen. Thanks for the recommendation and maybe my PCC88 Ultron will come tomorrow.

.

post #1509 of 6068

I feel same about Ultron pcc189 vs. Philips pcc189 - philips sounds "lifeless" compared to Ultron. Don`t get me wrong, Philips pcc189 is also great tube for the money but nowhere near to Ultron.

My Ultron pcc189`s that I got from eBay has no marks on the bottom. And all the prints tube has are in great condition and durable (still come off if your RUB with something wet). The tube I`ve been using for longer time now has following markings: Golden crown logo with Ultron SQ written in it, Larger PCC189 and smaller 7ES8 under it, vertically on the side of the tube is code 40811 and the usual factory code location it has DJF with V3B under it. Second tube has exactly same markings. Haven`t received my other Ultrons from Salvatore, so don`t know about those yet. 

About highs, imho they are great. Maybe it has something to do with different gear we are using. 

As far as I know Ultron PCC189 tubes are made in Hungary. Probably made in same factories as Tungsram`s but Ultrons seem to be "Special Quality" league out of them. I also tried to search similiarities between Tungsram PCC189 but they seem to be physically different tubes.


Edited by CoiL - 4/13/13 at 5:17am
post #1510 of 6068
Quote:
Originally Posted by nykobing View Post

My Ultron PCC189's arrived this morning and the one I put in sounds really nice just out of the box, no burn in. It sounds nothing like the Phillips 189 A Frame that a lot of people here bought for 6 or 7 dollars, I bought that one as well. That Phillips sounded kind of lifeless to me and I don't know how anyone could confuse the Ultron with it, unless Ultron sourced from adifferent suppliers for the PCC189. I don't know if the highs of the Ultron are as good as my Siemens 6dj8 or my RCA 6922 (US Amperex from 1962), but everything else about this tube is just as good as those two. I think the mids are better. It is really good with drums and sounds really nice now playing New Order's Technique. Did you find out anything else about who made this tube? The one I am playing now has no markings on the bottom, but one of them that came today has a "+". They also have the weakest glow of any tube I have ever seen. Thanks for the recommendation and maybe my PCC88 Ultron will come tomorrow.

 

"Ultron is a German (West) relabeler. They usually relabeled and marketed the tubes from European and Asian manufacturers." These could be relabeled Siemens tubes or some Japanese tubes or who knows what. It would, however, make sense that they relabeled mostly German tubes? The main thing for me is that they sound good (and different than my other tubes). I also find the upper mids and highs to be slightly tamed on this tube, but for me it actually makes my cans less fatiguing with some music (my tube of choice for rock at the moment). I feel like this tube could be very specific to what kind of cans you have. So I'd say this tube has good synergy with brighter cans (AKG, Grado etc.). I also repeat myself by saying that this is not my best tube to watch dialogue heavy tv series. When watching "pawn stars", for example, (yeah I watch pawn stars :D) I could hear the dialogue was not as strong as with orange globe.

 

I see you have Siemens 6DJ8. I personally think it's a very nice tube.

 

BTW Coil your Ultrons + A-frame globe + Surprise are on the way. Just dropped them to post office. The Ultrons I have have batch number of 50402. Nothing on the bottom though.

post #1511 of 6068

Salvatore, where did you get your "German relabeled" info? They should be Hungarian as far as I know. 

Thanks for posting update. Can`t wait for the surprise :D

 


Quote:
Originally Posted by CoiL View Post

The tube I`ve been using for longer time now has following markings: Golden crown logo with Ultron SQ written in it, Larger PCC189 and smaller 7ES8 under it, vertically on the side of the tube is code 40811 and the usual factory code location it has DJF with V3B under it. Second tube has exactly same markings.

 

Nykobking, Salvatore & Bluesdaddy - can you give other markings from your tube(s)? Lets see if some of us has same batch tubes.

 

Btw, seems that this 10x Ultron PCC189 lot has Ultrons with WHITE markings! http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/10-x-TUBES-ULTRON-PCC189-NEW-ORIGINALBOX-/261194482336?pt=Vintage_Electronics_R2&hash=item3cd06782a0

My tubes have golden logo and markings, Crown logo has SQ and smaller silverish area on top of the tube! -> http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/PCC189-7ES8-NIB-2-PCS-AUDIO-TUBES-NOS-/321076193500?_trksid=p2047675.l2557&clk_rvr_id=467853878510&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEWNX%3AIT&nma=true&si=scU2jyHuX3P5FUga5NVlCuC%252FryU%253D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc

 

Guys, are we looking at many different types of Ultron PCC189`s ? ;(


Edited by CoiL - 4/13/13 at 5:59am
post #1512 of 6068

Just browsed several random web pages. Nothing official but some of them say that Ultron was German company that relabeled tubes. This could also be misinformation because the original boxes are printed in West Germany (nothing in my tubes proof that the actual tubes are German made).

 

These Ultrons have white text. Says Ultron in the crown with PCC189 and 7ES8 underneath (these seem to be the same tubes than in that link). Batch code is 50402, but no etchings / normal factory codes are to be found. I'm pretty sure we are looking at different tubes here. If this is indeed the case, then also the sound could be different. Well only couple of days and Coil can confirm if there is any differences in the sound. It could be that Coil's tube is better than this white label. At least according to his description. Lower batch number could also mean that the gold labels are older. Like I said I find this tube to be less analytical and layered as my best tubes, but has smooth (even soft) sound with slightly tamed upper mids / highs. All in all this tube fits nicely into my collection.

post #1513 of 6068

Damn, just when I though I had discovered something good for all of you, this difference in tubes comes in play -.- . Well, lets see when I get the white Ultrons. Glad I have 2 of those gold labeled Ultrons. They really are very very good.


Edited by CoiL - 4/13/13 at 6:06am
post #1514 of 6068
Quote:
Originally Posted by CoiL View Post

Damn, just when I though I had discovered something good for all of you, this difference in tubes comes in play -.- . Well, lets see when I get the white Ultrons. Glad I have 2 of those gold labeled Ultrons. They really are very very good.

But it could explain why there are different reactions to the "same" tube. You and I had virtually the same reaction to the Amperex Orange Globe GAC and we could identify it as the same tube not only from their markings but from the physical makeup of the tube. Not so sure about the Ultron. I'm listening to some Jazz piano now (Oscar Petersen) using my K501s and the Ultron and just don't have that same "wow" factor as with either the Mullard or the GAC. Guess I need to swap back out just to make sure I still get it from those two tubes.

post #1515 of 6068

Could be. But what markings your Ultron has?

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