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Project Ember Tube Rolling - Page 165

post #2461 of 2818
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikesale View Post
 

 

You may want to branch out in your music selection as well to some chamber music. Orchestral music tends to be highly textured and complex (one of the reasons I love it so and am a subscriber to my local orchestra). I found the following classical works great for comparisons, but you'll need to spend many hours to get a valid comparison:

  • Starker Bach Cello suites (Mercury Live Presence)
  • Kodama Beethoven Piano Sonatas (Pentatone)
  • Fliter Chopin Preludes
  • Emerson Quartet Schubert Death and the Maiden
  • Grimaud/Gabetta "Duo" album
  • Pires Chopin Nocturnes

Familiarity with the recording is important. I suspect you have others that you will find helpful.

 

If you're an orchestra only person, check out some of the amazing recordings on the "Reference Recordings" label. The dynamics and texture of the recordings are ecstatic at times! Particularly great for auditions are Eiji Oue doing Fanfare of the Common Man and Firebird.

 

Again, taking hours to become intimate with the recordings on your equipment is key to recognizing the differences in the same way a musician can understand a the beauty of a piece performed that they're intimately familiar with (or be brought to great emotion by it's failed performance). Once you have those hours logged, you begin to notice things missing and added when you swap out equipment. 

Great list there mikesale. I think the Emersons are the best recordings of Schubert quartets I've heard.

post #2462 of 2818

Critical listening is a difficult thing. You focus on an instrument or instruments and when you look for differences and don't find any. Likely because you are too narrowly focused. In my mind this is a problem with blind testing.

 

Some changes are really only noticed when you are enjoying your music. Something catches your attention.

 

For me, it was discovering more precise placement of an instrument on the left with audibly clear space from other instruments on the stage. My eyes were closed at the time and when it caught my attention, my mind immediately tried to visualize what was happening. Blackness around the instrument is all I could see. Perhaps because my eyes were closed or more likely because it was an audio recording, no video included. It was the distinction that mattered though.

 

 A big thanks to connieflyer for the extra tubes included with the Ember he sold me. They are all good . I think it was the 6L5 I was using but I needed to try out the 6sn7g and 6j5gt pairs too. 

post #2463 of 2818
Quote:
Originally Posted by bilboda View Post
 

Critical listening is a difficult thing. You focus on an instrument or instruments and when you look for differences and don't find any. Likely because you are too narrowly focused. In my mind this is a problem with blind testing.

 

Some changes are really only noticed when you are enjoying your music. Something catches your attention.

 

For me, it was discovering more precise placement of an instrument on the left with audibly clear space from other instruments on the stage. My eyes were closed at the time and when it caught my attention, my mind immediately tried to visualize what was happening. Blackness around the instrument is all I could see. Perhaps because my eyes were closed or more likely because it was an audio recording, no video included. It was the distinction that mattered though.

 

 A big thanks to connieflyer for the extra tubes included with the Ember he sold me. They are all good . I think it was the 6L5 I was using but I needed to try out the 6sn7g and 6j5gt pairs too. 

That's really interesting about the eyes 

Depending on the recording I sometimes get heightened realism with my eyes closed and sometimes with them open.

Isn't the brain strange.

post #2464 of 2818
Quote:
Originally Posted by HiHead Hunter View Post
 

Hey, thanks for your thoughts. No, I'm not just an orchestra person. I listen to lots of chamber and solo piano music (and the Bach cello suites) but was focusing on orchestral music for my initial week of comparison. I am very intimately familiar with the music I was playing: I know exactly how the woodwinds sound in certain passages, exactly how sweet massed violins sound, exactly how impactful a timpani stroke is, how the cellos and basses sing, etc. and was looking for differences in those details and overall sound as well.

 

Incidentally, I do have the Eiji recording of the Firebird and Rite of Spring and it was one of the CDs I played. It's one of a handful of HDCDs I have.


Based on my experience, I think you'll find only a deeply subtle difference with your current comparison that you'll find over time in particular sections where your ears just perk up. 

 

Sounds like you audition things from the opposite direction and start with Orchestral. Everyone has their own approach that works, more important to stick to it if it's working for you! 

post #2465 of 2818
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikesale View Post
 


Based on my experience, I think you'll find only a deeply subtle difference with your current comparison that you'll find over time in particular sections where your ears just perk up. 

 

Sounds like you audition things from the opposite direction and start with Orchestral. Everyone has their own approach that works, more important to stick to it if it's working for you! 

Yes, subtle differences is what I'm looking for now :) If you read some of the original reviews of the tubes, you'd think it's a night and day difference. 

 

By the way, I noticed you have Asgard 2 and Lyr in your sig. How do they compare to Ember?

post #2466 of 2818
Quote:
Originally Posted by HiHead Hunter View Post
 

Yes, subtle differences is what I'm looking for now :) If you read some of the original reviews of the tubes, you'd think it's a night and day difference. 

 

By the way, I noticed you have Asgard 2 and Lyr in your sig. How do they compare to Ember?

Slight differences in tone, Ember is the warmest, Lyr2 just a touch on the warmer side but tubes will make some differences, and Asgard2 is just a touch on the bright side to me.

 

Glad you noticed that many over state the differences any change makes.  I was like you, yes there is a difference but its not a night and day difference.

post #2467 of 2818
Quote:
Originally Posted by HiHead Hunter View Post
 

Yes, subtle differences is what I'm looking for now :) If you read some of the original reviews of the tubes, you'd think it's a night and day difference. 

 

By the way, I noticed you have Asgard 2 and Lyr in your sig. How do they compare to Ember?


Not yet heard a "night and day" difference with anything outside of headphones or mismatching headphone to the wrong amp. 

 

Asgard has exactly what you'd expect for solid state: dry & transparent. I don't often listen to it outside of comparisons any longer. It has done me well for what I wanted from it. Lyr & Ember are signatures I prefer whereas the Asgard... has no signature by design :)

 

Lyr and Ember are more a comparison (and what I prefer currently). The flexibility of the Ember makes it a great choice with various headphones, but for my ears and musical tastes I prefer the Lyr with my HE-560 and the Ember with everything else and even with some recordings I prefer the Ember with the right tube(s). In *all* these cases the differences are insanely minute and require time and attention for me to clearly differentiate (and even still have to decide which I prefer sometimes takes even longer!) It typically takes me a solid week of listening focused on one setup then switching to the other to compare effectively with a minimum of 20 hours of listening while doing *nothing* other then notes with paper and pencil in front of me. While my computer "runs" the music, I use remote from my iPad to keep from distractions.

 

I'm still pretty new to the Ember and I love it. If I had to go to just one amp it would definitely be the Ember. 

post #2468 of 2818
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikesale View Post
 


Not yet heard a "night and day" difference with anything outside of headphones or mismatching headphone to the wrong amp. 

 

Asgard has exactly what you'd expect for solid state: dry & transparent. I don't often listen to it outside of comparisons any longer. It has done me well for what I wanted from it. Lyr & Ember are signatures I prefer whereas the Asgard... has no signature by design :)

 

Lyr and Ember are more a comparison (and what I prefer currently). The flexibility of the Ember makes it a great choice with various headphones, but for my ears and musical tastes I prefer the Lyr with my HE-560 and the Ember with everything else and even with some recordings I prefer the Ember with the right tube(s). In *all* these cases the differences are insanely minute and require time and attention for me to clearly differentiate (and even still have to decide which I prefer sometimes takes even longer!) It typically takes me a solid week of listening focused on one setup then switching to the other to compare effectively with a minimum of 20 hours of listening while doing *nothing* other then notes with paper and pencil in front of me. While my computer "runs" the music, I use remote from my iPad to keep from distractions.

 

I'm still pretty new to the Ember and I love it. If I had to go to just one amp it would definitely be the Ember. 


Agree with the Lyr2 for the HE-560, the only place where the Ember would be my second choice is with the HD-800 and T1, they just pair better with a BH Crack, for the HD-600/650 its pretty close between the Ember and BH Crack, I tend to favor the Ember for the HD-600 and the BH Crack for the HD-650.

I'm different from you in that I change headphones and DAC/amp combos all the time so slight changes have become easier to notice for me.  Best thing is I have 2 HD-700's and 2 HD-650's (the second pair of each are my GF's), easy to level match 2 amps and just need to switch headphones, and if I let my GF do the switching its like doing a blind test since I can't go by feel since its the same headphone.

post #2469 of 2818
Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidA View Post
 


Agree with the Lyr2 for the HE-560, the only place where the Ember would be my second choice is with the HD-800 and T1, they just pair better with a BH Crack, for the HD-600/650 its pretty close between the Ember and BH Crack, I tend to favor the Ember for the HD-600 and the BH Crack for the HD-650.

I'm different from you in that I change headphones and DAC/amp combos all the time so slight changes have become easier to notice for me.  Best thing is I have 2 HD-700's and 2 HD-650's (the second pair of each are my GF's), easy to level match 2 amps and just need to switch headphones, and if I let my GF do the switching its like doing a blind test since I can't go by feel since its the same headphone.


You insights have always been a pleasure to read. I have no where near the stable that you do, nor likely the time (I'm no where near semi retired in career or dad-hood with two daughters just entering into teen and tween).

 

I do a good bit of A/B testing with a get-up I have: a headphone switch with an RCA switch for both DAC and AMP so I can switch between 3 different headphones, 4 different DACs (or different DAC inputs) and 2 different amps. 

 

I have found that A/B testing finds specific distinct differences in particulars for specific recordings, but to get an overall sense of what I prefer, I combine A/B with longer focused, critical listening over a week each where I try to minimize changes after the first day or so to get "burned in" (I'm of the school that much of what people think of as product burn in is actually our ears becoming more aware and accustomed to the change). The hardest temptation is to keep from not rolling different tubes when I run into something I think a particular tube will render more to my liking. I stumble and partake a bit sometimes, but I get back on the wagon quickly enough :wink_face:

 

Again, thank you for sharing your methodology and I look forward to learning more from your adventures!

post #2470 of 2818

@mikesale, I have a hard time listening with the same setup for any length of time due to my GF living with me and we are always switching headphones, like a try this or I think you might like this better banter between us.  Not to mention her girlfriends are over a few times a week and want to listen to different headphones and DAC/amp combos.  My GF's friends are just starting out and they got a lot more interested ever since I gave them Momentum on-ears for birthday or x-mas presents (they were really cheap most of last year since the new version came out, picked up a few in the $48 to $54 range for used-like new ones) since most were just using the ear-buds that came with their smart phones.

 

As for rolling tubes, I've gone to just rotating them about once a month or so unless I get new ones, like you I want to get to know the tube a little better and how it interacts with the different headphones.  But I will say when I first started I was changing tubes up to 10 times in a day with the Ember and Lyr2, the BH Crack I've never really wanted to roll tubes much after getting the TS-5998 or WE 421A, granted they are pricy so after getting 1 of each I decided to look for more and found that with some searching and luck I've found them for great prices and now have 4 of each and rotate them at once a month intervals.

 

Looking at your signature you are well on your way to catching up :beerchug:

 

Also look forward to your adventures

post #2471 of 2818

I just scored a matched pair of Tung-Sol VT-94A/6J5G off ebay.  They're NOS, never used.  1942 vintage and came in original boxes.  Breaking them in right now.  They sound excellent already.  Can't wait to see what a little break-in does for them.

 

Processed By eBay with ImageMagick, z1.1.0. ||B2

 

Processed By eBay with ImageMagick, z1.1.0. ||B2

post #2472 of 2818

Downsizing my tube collection so I'm letting go of these tubes. All have been tested to work fine and sound great in the Ember.

 

- RCA 12AU7A Cleartops (2 of them, second is free)

- Amperex 6DJ8 Bugle Boy

- Amperex 6DJ8, GE branded

- GE 6DJ8 Smoked Glass (quite microphonic)

- Russian 6N6P Gold Grid

- Electro Harmonix 6N30P

- RCA 6SN7GTB (6SN7 adapter required)

 

All these for only $85 shipped. (paid over $180 for them)

 

Send me a PM if interested! :) 

post #2473 of 2818
Wow I have 4 of the tubes you listed!
post #2474 of 2818
Quote:
Originally Posted by husafreak View Post

Wow I have 4 of the tubes you listed!
Which 4? Haha just curious.
post #2475 of 2818
The 6n6p, 6sn7gtb, and a couple of GE 6dj8 smoked glass. The first two there are favorites. Mostly I listen to the 6SN7GTB.
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