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Ampsandsound Kenzie/Mogwai Impressions

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  1. exdmd
    Good info to have thanks. I recently tried 2C52s from three different vendors. One was defective out of the box and the remaining two sounded different to each other and both were inferior. Scraping the bottom of the barrel perhaps? Hope the same situation is not occurring with the Tung Sol 1626 and they become available on ebay again.
  2. bearwarrior
    I find the Sylvania Gold Brand 6201 is a very good option for the preamp tube.
  3. omniweltall

    How does the Mogwai SE compared to the Mogwai with upgraded caps?
    dunkyboy likes this.
  4. exdmd
    I bought one of the adapters available on eBay and a $60 1982 Siemens-Rohre ECC801S to try out. Still using NOS RCA 1626s as there are no Tung Sol 1626 anywhere. I have been using WWII RCA 1626 and RCA gray coated glass 12SL7GT. This combination gave me the most enjoyable sound with my Kenzie. Bass quantity is good, maybe lacking a bit in definition but made up by lifelike midrange and accurate highs. Soundstage width and depth is good and imaging also. I could live with this tube combo no problem.

    The ECC801S threw me for a loop when I first tried it out. There was no soundstage depth at all, sounded like the music was presented on a flat plate of glass centered between my ears. After playing for a number of hours spread over a few days some depth has developed but this tube still presents the music very much in my face. On the plus side there is plenty of air, bass and midrange are very good but I sometimes get some smearing of highs (think cymbals.) I'm going to give this tube a week or so to settle in and see if I can get more depth.

    Has anyone compared the 1960 vintage Telefunken ECC801S to the Siemens in the Kenzie? Pretty expensive I would be hesitant to buy one without a recommendation.
  5. cute
    Have you listened to this YouTube video? It might tell you where you're soundstage is with different tube combinations:

    Headphones, cables and source also play a part in what your ears are hearing, imo. It may also be the Tung Sol 1626 power tubes in combination with the Siemans preamp tubes. The Siemans Halske ECC801S 12AT7 that I use is from 1960's NOS, and it is considered a higher end tube than the ECC801S that you listed from 1982. Brent Jesee says the Siemans Halske is very close to the Telefunken ECC801S, but tubes can vary even from the same lot.
  6. exdmd
    I bought a 1960's Telefunken ECC801S and it corrects every problem I had with the 1980's Siemens ECC801S. The 1960 tubes definitely are the ones to look for. I found a 60's Siemens-Halske but decided to splurge for the Telefunken. The Telefunken is the best sounding input tube I have tried in my Kenzie. Thanks for the tip!
  7. cute
    Can you share where you found the 1960's Telefunken?
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2018
  8. exdmd
    PM sent
  9. exdmd
    I have been enjoying my Kenzie with a 1963 Telefunken ECC801S input tube and finally, a pair of Tung Sol 1626. By far the best tubes for my Kenzie using either my HD800S on 300 Ohm output or Elears on 32 Ohm. The ECC801S improve the SQ of the wartime RCA 1626 but the magic happens when you swap in the Tung Sols. The input transformers are behind the amp.


    This older photo shows the black box with the input transformers before I changed the tubes:

    Last edited: Mar 6, 2018
  10. llamaluv
    Hi all. It appears that I have a Kenzie Encore Deluxe on the way, and I believe I will be wanting to experiment with comparing the 32-ohm SE output to the 8-ohm pre outputs (for use with headphones).

    Does anyone have any tips on a good adapter for this purpose? (4-pin XLR, ideally)

    Also, any experience with any particular headphones that responds favorably using the pre-outs versus 32-ohm?
    Wildcatsare1 likes this.
  11. Wildcatsare1
    Look forward to reading your feedback on the Kenzie Encore and the Utopia!
    llamaluv likes this.
  12. exdmd
    Might be a good idea to email Justin for advice before you try this.
  13. llamaluv
    Ah... ignore me. I was thinking of the Mogwai's speaker taps, not the Kenzie's pre-outs. That's what I get for browsing forums half-distractedly in the middle of the workday.

  14. ZenErik
    Received my fully loaded Kenzie Encore 1 1/2 weeks ago. Absolutely love it. It’s my first time going into the $2000+ range, and I couldn’t be happier.

    Still waiting on my XLR to RCA box so I can output from my Onyx via XLR, but it sounds fantastic either way.

    I don’t have my Auteur yet, but I’ve done a lot of listening on the HD650 from both the 32 and 300 ohm jacks. Still unsure which I prefer. The 32ohmn is definitely cleaner and has a lower noise floor, but sometimes the 300ohm output is a bit more satisfying. Suppose I’d say it’s a bit more wet sounding.

    I have some hum issues in my setup that I’m still working on sorting out. Might have to do with the house I live in being over 100 years old. The electricity was probably updated 20 years ago, but perhaps it’s still pretty dirty. Might have to look into trying a power conditioner. From the tests I’ve done the hum doesn’t seem to be coming from the amp itself.

    Wildcatsare1 likes this.
  15. exdmd
    @ZenErik that is a beautiful Encore congrats! The amp should be dead quiet suggest you email Justin for some help on correcting the hum. Sounds like you have a ground loop somewhere see if this link helps.
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