Any opinions / reviews on Gemtune APPJ PA1502A

Discussion in 'Headphone Amps (full-size)' started by mortus, Sep 6, 2015.
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  1. Maxx134
    The Sylvania had a touch more "air",
    Otherwise identical performance.

    The 6L6 should give great Soundstage and the 12ax7 should give you very lively performance to offset the 6L6 distant.
    I can see that as a nice combination.
    So just depending on your dac aggressiveness, it probability sounds sweet for you...

    The advantage of this amp is the ability to fine tune and match with any gear thru such a wide range of tubes...
    It's all about the synergy of your system.

    That's why tube Amps have advantage to "tune", and especially this one!
    The list in this thread of tubes tried is already so much already.

    Since I have yggy as dac I went for most clarity in tube Choice, and the latest choices work nice.

    I would suggest everyone try the 14AF7 type(&14F7), and feel the metal base is better quality than most.
  2. DavidK35
    Been enjoying the music so much with the latest set up I have lost all desire for any upgraditus.
    Changing the Canary DAC to a 7N7 instead of 7AF7, now the combination of 7N7 DAC &
    Gemtunes 14AF7 + 6BG6G is perfect. Seems to give the exact right balance.
    Now I know some of the purists out there will say that is too many tubes in the chain but I always
    let my ears be the judge, and I find it faultless.

    Klaus Schultze - Ballet 3 & 4 has been a revelation, especially My Ty She/Mellowtrone/Soft n Groovy.
    Thats 2 hours of heaven right there.

    Sometimes you dont have to spend the big bucks to get the best sound.
  3. baronbeehive
    Yes, agreed!They are the best tubes so far....both the 14AF7 and 14F7's seem to have a similar sound, apart from the gain. Did you look at the internal construction. I've just checked the TS14AF7 and the RCA14F7 and they are both round plates but the RCA's are larger diameter, more typical RCA. I believe the Sylanias are different again.

    Absolutely! I too am happy with the amp and not looking to change anything lol.
    I was wondering about the tube combination you have there with the DAC in the mix, so it looks and sounds good. That's great!
    Been listening to some HD tracks, (24bit 96kh), and it's awesome...lacks for nothing, can almost feel the singers breath!!
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2017
  4. baronbeehive
    My gosh, just listening to this now, wonderful! So much better than the usual techno. The nearest I've got to this would be Vangelis, the Blade Runner Theme, or Heaven and Hell for example, or some of his other stuff. Thanks for bringing this music to our attention, maybe we should start a music appreciation thread lol! I'm always on the lookout for new music.
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2017
  5. Maxx134
    You can never have too many tubes components in your gear/chain. .
    There's Just too many examples that Tubes portray music better in every way.
    Once you go tubes on a good design setup, it's hard to turn back.
    You get spoiled, and in need of higher end Solid State gear to try match it.

    TOO bad Sylvania changed from round plate to that ribbed angled plates on the 14N7 I tried.
    It's good still, but Just not at the same level.
    The 14AF7 is nice, but lower MU gain and so it is a touch laid back as well.
    I prefer the more immediate 14F7 which still has great Soundstage above my past driver tube choices.
    This driver also pushes the power tubes to their maximum power abilities when needed.

    The 6BG6G is just an amazingly excellent power tube for this particular amp.
    It just matches the amp bias points so well that is sounds best here.
    It is also so visually impressive and large as well.

    I have compared this combo to my larger tube amp and can say it holds its own at normal levels which is a huge huge feat.
    It's not perfect at maximum or minimum levels,
    But I bet I can drop Jaws in disbelief with this amp in this configuration.
    My Sweet baby amp lol.
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2017
  6. DavidK35
    Glad you liked it, only found it by accident recently, although I have known Tangerine dream for the longest time. 2 other CD's of his I really like are:

    Contempory Works II #4 Androgyn (particularly tracks 3,4,5,6 which is basically one 35min track) &
    Contempory Works II #1 Virtual Outback (track 1, 65mins)

    Sounds so good on the Gemtunes & the recording quality really helps here.
  7. baronbeehive
    That's pretty amazing! Not surprised it doesn't have the brute power for the highest volume levels.

    I just compared my baby amp to a friends setup at the weekend, he has £1500 speakers, four times more expensive than mine and frankly I preferred mine, although I didn't tell him! I think the sound is more refined and warmer on the APPJ/Monitor Audio combo with the 14Af7 tubes. The only thing that is inferior is the amount of sub bass which is powerful on his floormounts whereas my standmounts do not register this low, but frankly the balance is still very good for me.

    Thanks, I'll check those out. Funny you should mention Tangerine Dream, that's the other name that sprung to mind after Vangelis, but I didn't know of the connection. You should check out "Heaven and Hell" if you haven't already. I've heard practically all of Tangerine Dream quite a while ago at Uni, a friend was into them, the favourite of mine that I still have is "Exit", I find after a while all of theirs begin to sound the same though.

    Edit: I've been thinking about why my system sounds so open, even with mp3's whereas my friend's system with £1500 speakers sounds so closed with mp3's, although it sounded superb when high res tracks were being played, and I think it must be down to the Jupiter coupling caps, I would also think that Audyn's would sound similarly spacious and airy.
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2017
  8. baronbeehive
    Just looking through some old tubes and I noticed that the Tungsol 12SL7GT that I was using that was causing a lot of static noise was in fact a 6SL7GT....... no wonder!!! I think I must have ordered a 6SL7 by mistake.

    That's the trouble with having another amp that uses the 6SL7's, confusing lol !
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2017
  9. baronbeehive
    Guys, I mentioned recently that I've been listening to some high res, 24bit 96kh music. I don't know if anyone has tried high res music here but I would urge you to try it because the amp has just gone up to yet another level in performance! For example you can download some free sampler tracks here: One of the tracks is by Diana Krall, I also have the album on ordinary res and so I can compare them and the difference is very noticeable, for example the bass notes tighten up considerably and lose any trace of bloat, and the soundstage opens up very markedly. If anyone is wondering where an extra 5% of audio excellence would come from this is it! The clarity is quite astonishing. The only drawback is the supply is fairly limited but if you can get some of your favourite albums in high res, I guarantee you will not want to stop playing them.

    I tried high res music some time ago and didn't notice it to this extent, possibly because I only tried the SACD standard not the very high res we now have so I was quite surprised to hear the difference. I would be interested what others thought about this.
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2017
  10. baronbeehive
    I just wanted to come on again guys because lately I've revised my opinion about the 12SL7GE which I rather dismissed before although I did actually say it was a good tube at the time. I've been listening to it quite a bit lately and now I would put it right at the top with the TS 5751 and the 14AF7 TS. The thing is I couldn't get used to the slight harshness at the top end having been used to a much smoother tube but I must say I really like the sound now, I agree with Maxx who also liked this variety of tube, with a good recording it sounds wonderfully transparent with a superb bell like ring to the treble. I also agree with DavidK35 though because on some recordings it can sound slightly thin. On your headphone APPJ it might sound thin due to having less bass output, I get quite a lot now out of the speakers. Because of this change of mind I'm now saving up to try the cryo GE5751 from Watford Valves that I mentioned before. I was curious about this tube and it could be really good when I can afford it.


    Update on the 14F7 RCA, glorious tube! Wide soundstage with everything in perfect balance, fatter sound than the GE 12SL7 yet the treble rings out almost GE like. I think I like this tube better than the 14AF7 TS which is more neutral sounding. It's everything you like about RCA's, I love them. Does no tube sound bad on this amp? The bass is probably the biggest of the 4 tubes I mentioned. So far my favourites: TS5751 for its silky sound, GE for its clean sound, RCA for its balanced sound and TS 14AF7 for its neutral sound. I like all 4 for different reasons.
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2017
    Maxx134 likes this.
  11. davidland
  12. baronbeehive
    Just ordered a Mazda 12AX7 to satisfy my curiousity, it's supposed to be very Mullard like with the same plate construction very high gain and with forward mids. Many people think mullards are the best 12AX7 and I haven't tried any of the ECC83 type tubes apart from the JJ ECC83S. Then finally to complete my tube rolling experiments I've ordered a GE 14AF7. Having liked the shiny plate GE 12SL7 I wanted to try another GE to see how it compares. The shiny plate is rarer than the black or grey plate GE.

    I noticed that the 6SN7 GE's get rather bad reviews, but the 12SN7's are grey, flat or box type plates, whereas the 12SL7's are the shiny round plates, perhaps this has a bearing on sound. Bearing in mind the 12SL7's that I tried are 12 volt versions of 6SN7's with higher gain I wanted to see what other GE's were like. Also the 14AF7's that I've tried have been very good. I liked the forward treble and the transparency of the GE's. The 5751-12AX7 GE's are said to be the best clean sounding tubes of that type so it will be interesting to see what the 14AF7's are like.
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2017
  13. baronbeehive
    Wow, this Mazda 12ax7 is something else, it really grabs you by the throat, and then kicks you when you're down.... By that I mean it packs a punch for sure. I don't really know what to say, it's different to anything I've heard, it's the polar opposite of the GE for example. Instead of being light, airy, fast and treble centric it's dynamic, punchy, powerful, tubey, warm rich midrange, biggest bass of all, outstanding detail, 3d soundstage. The tube is very Mullard like as I expected.

    These are my intial impressions having just received the tube today, I might update on this later if there is anybody out there, I think I might be the only person alive here now, maybe the aliens have abducted the rest of the forum members and taken them away from all this madness, shame they are not here to hear this fantastic tube, oh well never mind....
    braaam likes this.
  14. braaam
    You’re not alone! Which Mazda did you get - as there are several version depending on age. Most common are the silver anode ones (which come in triple/two mica versions). These are very nice IMO - I started to hoard them at some point (as I did with triple mica 12at7 Mazda’s as wel, but they sound very different again - massively punchy, but much more compressed).
  15. baronbeehive
    Ah, greetings to another life form, human I assume!

    I got the Mullard type grey ladder plate because I wanted to check on the Mullard sound as a side issue to the Mazda itself, they're supposed to be quite similar sounding. Having noticed the silver anode version I would really like to try that as well though now..... I recently found that I liked very much the very transparent sound of the GE's, again different to my usual favourites, and I wondered if the silver plate would be an advance on the GE or very similar, I don't know. So I'm not sure whether it's worth trying. The Mazda is double mica with "o" getter.
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