ALO Audio Studio Six Reviews and Impressions Thread

Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by shigzeo, Jul 29, 2013.
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  1. MelaVerde
    16" wide, 11.5" deep and 7.5" tall with the stock tubes,I had the same challenge when purchasing the audio rack to accommodate this beauty.
  2. Currawong Contributor
    I'm not sure anyone has asked, but I was wondering if it is possible to use 6L6 tubes instead of the 6V6? I've used a pair of 6K6 tubes, but the output power is lower.
  3. TomSix
    Unfortunately, the 6L6 tube is not suitable for use in the Studio-Six amplifier. The tube bias and plate voltage would be incorrect. I advise strongly against attempting such a substitution.

    A few brief observations however, comparing the 6L6 to the 6V6, based on extensive personal experimentation and listening:

    the 6L6 is a quite different tube electrically from the 6V6. The 6L6, used in a circuit compatible with it, can potentially produce a little more power than the 6V6, but has a much different sonic presentation.

    When optimally implemented in a single-ended triode (SET) amplifier configuration, the 6L6 produces a less dynamic, less detailed and less open sound than the 6V6. The 6L6 does present a "warmer" or "rounder" fullish sound in some ways in comparison to the 6V6, but IMO very much takes a back seat to it's smaller cousin in terms of overall sound quality.

    The 6L6 does sound quite good push-pull amplifiers, but again, has less merit when employed in SET amplifiers.

    The 6V6 really is something quite particularly special when properly implemented as a triode.
    Last edited: May 9, 2017
    Currawong likes this.
  4. geraldshanghai
    hello, TomSix

    can I use 5692 tube to replace 6sn7? thanks for your reply
  5. TomSix
    The 5692 is a basically high-quality variant of the 6SN7, and the relevant electrical specifications are identical. So yes, you can use a 5692 tube in place of the Studio Six's stock 6SN7 with no problems.

    Do please let us know how you like the sound of the 5692 in your Studio Six once you get a few hours of use with it.


  6. Currawong Contributor
    I find the 5692 to be a bit more exciting, but less refined. It's good when the 6V6 tubes you have are boring.
  7. Rotten Apple
    This comment provides a great insight as to why I have spent the equivalent amount of money on my amp/dac, "to disappear and leave me with the music."
    The other, and admittedly better half, jokingly chides me for spending hours at the computer seemingly lost in the music, the stars as she calls it. Truth. Perhaps
    it does take gobs of quality power with a liquified signature to stimulate us humans that enjoy music. When matched with headphones that we love, music that we
    love, in an environment that we love - we get closer to the source that makes us more human.

    All the best to you and all listeners...
  8. TomSix
    Indeed. The quest for the most engaging recorded music playback can become a sort of labyrinth. IMO, it's all too easy to find oneself at some point on a "merry-go-round" where attention moves primarily to the gear and reproduction technicalities, and away from the otherwise more basic desire to simply sit back and enjoy music. Once one is exposed to a certain level of gear performance, it does raise a subjective bar which one tends not to want to step back from --we get a bit spoiled, Ha!

    When the Studio Six was being developed, a central goal was to design an amp which had such a high level of transparency and drive capability as to make it essentially an "obsolescence proof" piece of gear which could be purchased and then simply forgotten about as one enjoyed their music. I leave it up to users to judge the extent to which we met that mark.
    Last edited: May 26, 2017
    Currawong likes this.
  9. fhuang
    Any audio technica fan here?
  10. sejsel
    Sort of, old mate... curious to hear from you how S6 pairs with low impedance, but tough to drive properly Grado GS1000 first and foremost, since I know You like(d) Grados as well. GS1000 are very different animal from - let's say RS1 and RS2, in terms of amp synergy.

    Audio Technica ATH-MSR7 is my "poison" for mobile purposes, pleased with them, even though there might be better (coming) headphones lurking around. Still, they are quite good for the price and for the purpose...
  11. Currawong Contributor
    Tube rolling so far.

    The following impressions are with the Mullard Metal Base GZ34 and Mullard OB2 as rectification.

    6SN7 socket:
    : Very clear, but thinnest-sounding by far.
    Sylvania JAN-CHS VT231 "Tall Boy": Probably technically the best with speed, neutrality and overall clarity.
    Sylvania Chrome Top: The king of smooth neutrality. Seems a tiny bit rolled-off at the extremes.
    Tung Sol: Slightly euphoric and a touch more relaxed than the tubes above.
    5692 Red Base: More lively and aggressive, but can get tiring as I think what you're really hearing is distortion.

    Via adaptors:
    Amperex 6922 PQ:
    Excellent clarity and smoothness at the same time, alongside great extension at both ends of the spectrum. Magic! With metal adaptors can ring horribly though.
    Western Electric 396A: More entertaining sound than the usual GE or Sylvania, and makes the music seem more spacious and dynamic, but can be a bit fatiguing with bright cans, though not quite as much as the 5692.

    6V6 socket:
    Sylvania Chrome Top:
    The usual deal -- The king of smooth neutrality, but can be a bit boring.
    Phillips JAN: The best all-rounder -- performance without coloration.
    Bendix 5992: Stupidly expensive and stupidly bad-sounding. I don't mind a bit of color, but these tubes are just wrong. Don't do it.
    Brimar: Bloomy and slightly warm English sound. Worked great with some headphones that could do with that touch of warmth (eg: HE1000 V2) but sounds a bit distorted with Utopias.

    For something different:
    Visseaux 6K6
    : Clear sound, but a drop in output power.

    It is possible to fill up all the sockets (except, I think, the 5AR4, though I could be wrong) with Sylvania Chrome Tops and OB2s (or probably Mullard as well) and have an amp that is crazily smooth-sounding. My preferred challenge is to see what the most interesting-sounding tubes I can stick in the amp are, but without the Utopias reporting unpleasant distortion. It has been one of only a small number of amps so far that seem to give the Utopias a full soundstage. Everything else seems to be just too slow for their beryllium drivers.
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2017
    Thenewguy007 likes this.
  12. meomap
    Excellent impressions like always.
    I will do tube rolling for my ST6 in the future as well.
  13. fhuang
    adding some gec or mullard 6v6 sound smooth enough to me. maybe i already have grey glass rca 6sn7? thanks for the info Currawong
  14. fhuang
    i do enjoy my gs1000i with the studio six and some other low impedance phone, such as, beyer t5p. the studio six is my favorite amp for the t5p, and i'm a beyer guy. let see if i like the w1000, which i got recently, with the amp.
  15. sejsel
    How much room - range on the volume knob (gain) is available on S6, with Grado GS1000, while retaining a listenable level?
    With the Quad Pa One tube amp, on demo, while on < 100 ohm gain setting, I was able to to travel to not more than max between 11-12 o' clock. Otherwise, with GS1000 that amp was really excellent, I could only imagine how well should S6 sound with the Grados...
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