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Hey I am new here and also have some questions about getting a tube amp and maybe new speakers

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

So my system is like this at the moment. Computer > schiit modi (usb dac) > sansui au8500 (amp/preamp sections) > boston acoustic a100 speakers/advent loud speakers

 

 

I was thinking about adding a little dot MKII tube amp in the chain after the usb DAC for some tube sound I would then just use the amp section of the au8500 I am guessing. I am wondering what everyone's opinion on this would be.

 

Also both of my speakers are 1970's models and while they have new foam and I think they sound great maybe I should get a "modern" pair of stereo speakers? Need ideas on that too


Edited by SansuiAU8500 - 9/13/13 at 8:12pm
post #2 of 10

Heya,

 

You can use the LD MKII as a pre-amp, it will add the sound of Tube to the chain. It can then output the line level signal with tubiness to your Sansui. It also lets you plug in headphones to listen to at the same time if you want for late night use (though use higher impedance headphones for best results, tubes need work loads to be at peak performance).

 

If your speakers sound good, don't change them. Use that money and buy more music. But if you want new speakers, describe what you like to hear, and give us a budget. Also tell us how big your room is, and what you're looking to gain from new speakers that you feel like you're missing now.

 

Very best,

post #3 of 10

Just a little word of warning with Little Dot amplifiers used as pre amp's...

 

Quote: Directly from the Little Dot Manual
The Little Dot MK II is not recommended for use with a direct or DC coupled power amplifier.

 

The pre out circuitry of the LD headphone amplifiers has no protection built in, so under certain tube failures the LD can dump 100+ VDC into your amplifier inputs. If your amp is DC coupled then that will destroy the amplifier and your speakers with it.

 

There can be many causes of failure in the existing amplifier system that could do the same thing, but adding pre amp with no protection is a risky proposition.

 

It's highly likely that this will never happen but it could, one sketchy tube from 50 years ago that shorts and the smoke will roll...

It's a bit of Russian Roulette with your home system IMHO.

post #4 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by SansuiAU8500 View Post

Also both of my speakers are 1970's models and while they have new foam and I think they sound great maybe I should get a "modern" pair of stereo speakers? Need ideas on that too

I'm more of a fan of changing speaker sound by changing the speakers instead of buying a tube pre-amp. I have a Maverick Audio TubeMagic DAC. The tube does add a little to the sound vs. bypassing the pre-amp, but not enough that I would go out and buy one for that purpose. If you really want tube sound, you need a full tube amp, and those are price prohibitive in home audio unless you have money to burn way beyond your current setup.

Now modern speakers are not inherently better than vintage speaker designs, although the crossover in your speaker may not be performing optimally given it's age. Best bet would be to go out and listen to speakers at some local hi-fi shops. Even listen at 50 or 100% over your budget range. Then if you know the type of speakers you like, you could look for used versions of them or find out on a speaker forum what might be better for your money smily_headphones1.gif
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post


I'm more of a fan of changing speaker sound by changing the speakers instead of buying a tube pre-amp. I have a Maverick Audio TubeMagic DAC. The tube does add a little to the sound vs. bypassing the pre-amp, but not enough that I would go out and buy one for that purpose. If you really want tube sound, you need a full tube amp, and those are price prohibitive in home audio unless you have money to burn way beyond your current setup.

Now modern speakers are not inherently better than vintage speaker designs, although the crossover in your speaker may not be performing optimally given it's age. Best bet would be to go out and listen to speakers at some local hi-fi shops. Even listen at 50 or 100% over your budget range. Then if you know the type of speakers you like, you could look for used versions of them or find out on a speaker forum what might be better for your money smily_headphones1.gif

 

 

I don't even know what crossover means...... lol

 

it is interesting to hear that current speaker designs aren't that different from 70's models. I would think differently with the rate of change of all other technologies that speakers have stayed the same?

 

I'm mostly a computer expert over audiophile but I really like music and I am getting in to trying to setup an even better home system. Like I said though my current speakers still sound really great to me. I am open to suggestions though.

 

I probably should go demo some newer model tower speakers though.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TrollDragon View Post
 

Just a little word of warning with Little Dot amplifiers used as pre amp's...

 

 

The pre out circuitry of the LD headphone amplifiers has no protection built in, so under certain tube failures the LD can dump 100+ VDC into your amplifier inputs. If your amp is DC coupled then that will destroy the amplifier and your speakers with it.

 

There can be many causes of failure in the existing amplifier system that could do the same thing, but adding pre amp with no protection is a risky proposition.

 

It's highly likely that this will never happen but it could, one sketchy tube from 50 years ago that shorts and the smoke will roll...

It's a bit of Russian Roulette with your home system IMHO.

 

yeah that is super scary.... I don't know if my sansui is DC couple or not.....

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MalVeauX View Post
 

Heya,

 

You can use the LD MKII as a pre-amp, it will add the sound of Tube to the chain. It can then output the line level signal with tubiness to your Sansui. It also lets you plug in headphones to listen to at the same time if you want for late night use (though use higher impedance headphones for best results, tubes need work loads to be at peak performance).

 

If your speakers sound good, don't change them. Use that money and buy more music. But if you want new speakers, describe what you like to hear, and give us a budget. Also tell us how big your room is, and what you're looking to gain from new speakers that you feel like you're missing now.

 

Very best,

 

I listen to mostly classic rock/blues with a bit of select hip hop/rap.

 

I guess i'm a fan of good bass because I use my amp with the loudness switch on most of the time unless I turn it up pretty high.

 

budget would be around $500 not sure if this is good enough or if I should just wait and save up. I don't honestly know what I am missing It just would just surprise me that 40 years of technology hasn't produced much better speakers.

 

I bought these boston acoustics and advents a few years ago and while they do sound great I just feel like maybe they are outdated ?

 

This also leads to the question is my amp outdated? it is also around forty years old and I've heard capacitors start to go bad. There is no noticeable noise during playback but you can hear a bit of noise when the speakers are selected but music is paused or something, this increases with a higher volume on the amp. I am guessing this would be normal though without signal you'd just hear the noise.

 

So basically while everything sounds good to me I am in pursuit of even better sound like all of us right?


Edited by SansuiAU8500 - 9/14/13 at 9:35am
post #6 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by SansuiAU8500 View Post


I don't even know what crossover means...... lol

it is interesting to hear that current speaker designs aren't that different from 70's models. I would think differently with the rate of change of all other technologies that speakers have stayed the same?

I'm mostly a computer expert over audiophile but I really like music and I am getting in to trying to setup an even better home system. Like I said though my current speakers still sound really great to me. I am open to suggestions though.

I probably should go demo some newer model tower speakers though.

Sent you a PM.

I'm not the best to explain crossovers, but maybe that means my layman's thinking will communicate well smily_headphones1.gif

The crossover integrates the sound generated by the drivers/tweeters together. It creates a smooth transition between them by filtering the highs out on one and the lows on the other. See this picture of how the sound output of two speaker components is made to roll off so that they are not overlapping heavily in output at any frequencies:



Modern speaker do make use of better composites and there have certainly been some engineering tweaks, but the audio science is the same. There are excellent vintage speakers out there. It may be you won't find something better that you like for the money than your BAs smily_headphones1.gif

But yeah. I would definitely go listen before jumping into this. You might find some speakers you like better.
post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by SansuiAU8500 View Post
 
yeah that is super scary.... I don't know if my sansui is DC couple or not.....

 

 

I listen to mostly classic rock/blues with a bit of select hip hop/rap.

 

I guess i'm a fan of good bass because I use my amp with the loudness switch on most of the time unless I turn it up pretty high.

 

budget would be around $500 not sure if this is good enough or if I should just wait and save up. I don't honestly know what I am missing It just would just surprise me that 40 years of technology hasn't produced much better speakers.

 

I bought these boston acoustics and advents a few years ago and while they do sound great I just feel like maybe they are outdated ?

 

This also leads to the question is my amp outdated? it is also around forty years old and I've heard capacitors start to go bad. There is no noticeable noise during playback but you can hear a bit of noise when the speakers are selected but music is paused or something, this increases with a higher volume on the amp. I am guessing this would be normal though without signal you'd just hear the noise.

 

So basically while everything sounds good to me I am in pursuit of even better sound like all of us right?

 

There's nothing wrong with Advents or Boston Acoustics - had both of them myself.  I even teamed up with a friend to stack the Advents with 2 pairs, something that Advent was pushing in the middle of the decade.

 

However, electrolytic capacitors do age and electrolyte dries out, evaporates, etc.  That in itself can cause the noise you notice, especially with the amp.  It's a documented issue as electronics age.  Since huge electrolytics are used to filter out power supplies, when they go bad you start to hear 60Hz hum.  The same is true in other parts of the circuitry.  You can even experience the damage that others have noted if you have components that are depending on electrolytics on the output to filter out DC.

 

High quality equipment in the 70's is still high-quality today.  If you hear noise, it's telling you something's going bad.

post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomb View Post
 

 

There's nothing wrong with Advents or Boston Acoustics - had both of them myself.  I even teamed up with a friend to stack the Advents with 2 pairs, something that Advent was pushing in the middle of the decade.

 

However, electrolytic capacitors do age and electrolyte dries out, evaporates, etc.  That in itself can cause the noise you notice, especially with the amp.  It's a documented issue as electronics age.  Since huge electrolytics are used to filter out power supplies, when they go bad you start to hear 60Hz hum.  The same is true in other parts of the circuitry.  You can even experience the damage that others have noted if you have components that are depending on electrolytics on the output to filter out DC.

 

High quality equipment in the 70's is still high-quality today.  If you hear noise, it's telling you something's going bad.

 

I don't hear noise while playing..... I don't hear noise at a distance with no input. I only hear noise if I turn the volume up a bit and put my ear to the speaker is this abnormal ?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tomb View Post
 

 

There's nothing wrong with Advents or Boston Acoustics - had both of them myself.  I even teamed up with a friend to stack the Advents with 2 pairs, something that Advent was pushing in the middle of the decade.

 

However, electrolytic capacitors do age and electrolyte dries out, evaporates, etc.  That in itself can cause the noise you notice, especially with the amp.  It's a documented issue as electronics age.  Since huge electrolytics are used to filter out power supplies, when they go bad you start to hear 60Hz hum.  The same is true in other parts of the circuitry.  You can even experience the damage that others have noted if you have components that are depending on electrolytics on the output to filter out DC.

 

High quality equipment in the 70's is still high-quality today.  If you hear noise, it's telling you something's going bad.


do you mean stacking the advents like on top of each other? I actually think I like the advents better than the boston acoustics although I couldn't say why.

 

I wonder how expensive it would be to have a repair shop just give my amp a once over and make sure everything is okay. Seems like it is to me.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post


Sent you a PM.

I'm not the best to explain crossovers, but maybe that means my layman's thinking will communicate well smily_headphones1.gif

The crossover integrates the sound generated by the drivers/tweeters together. It creates a smooth transition between them by filtering the highs out on one and the lows on the other. See this picture of how the sound output of two speaker components is made to roll off so that they are not overlapping heavily in output at any frequencies:



Modern speaker do make use of better composites and there have certainly been some engineering tweaks, but the audio science is the same. There are excellent vintage speakers out there. It may be you won't find something better that you like for the money than your BAs smily_headphones1.gif

But yeah. I would definitely go listen before jumping into this. You might find some speakers you like better.

 

Yeah I am in no rush and would really like to hear anything I'm going to buy before I buy it.... Which might prove to be difficult I don't know how many hi-fi stores I have near me. I will check out that website you sent me at some point this weekend. For now I am off to study anatomy and physiology, boring stuff :rolleyes:


Edited by SansuiAU8500 - 9/14/13 at 10:38am
post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by SansuiAU8500 View Post
 

 

I don't hear noise while playing..... I don't hear noise at a distance with no input. I only hear noise if I turn the volume up a bit and put my ear to the speaker is this abnormal ?

Yes.

 

 

 


do you mean stacking the advents like on top of each other? I actually think I like the advents better than the boston acoustics although I couldn't say why.

Yes - back in the day, you'd stack Advents with the top speaker upside down.  That way, the tweeters in both speakers were next to each other.  Supposedly, that gave a huge difference in sound.

 

Keep in mind that the Advent tweeter was a pretty cheap driver.  You could do a lot better with a Peerless tweeter or similar these days, but I don't know - you might have to re-do the cross-over, too.  Still, they were great speakers.  That said, I read somewhere that the biggest advances in stereo equipment over the years have been in speakers.  If the headphone culture is any gauge, then maybe that's true.

 

Just an FYI, but I went from Advents and Boston Acoustics to Polk Monitor 10's in the late 70's/early 80's.  There was no comparison when it came to bass.  With speaker stand spikes in carpet over a crawl space, 30Hz tones and lower would make the glass in the living room windows rattle.  As good as they were, I never heard that with Advents.

 

I wonder how expensive it would be to have a repair shop just give my amp a once over and make sure everything is okay. Seems like it is to me.

Can't say for sure - but I bet it would be at least $100 minimum.  I also doubt that anyone but an "Electronics Restoration Service" would do anymore than check it out for shorts, etc.

 

Yeah I am in no rush and would really like to hear anything I'm going to buy before I buy it.... Which might prove to be difficult I don't know how many hi-fi stores I have near me. I will check out that website you sent me at some point this weekend. For now I am off to study anatomy and physiology, boring stuff :rolleyes:

post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 

We have a supposedly very good repair shop near me.... I'll have to make an appointment to take it in and have it looked at I guess see what they think of any noise it makes.

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