Cypher Labs new product : Vacuum tube Headphone Amplifier PRAUTES
Feb 17, 2022 at 6:10 AM Post #47 of 58

best56

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Because both the distributor Chypher Labs and Coffman Labs have closed down the business, devoting themselves to other projects. I contacted last month Damon, the designer of the Prautes, to ask if it was possible to have some more Drivers here in Italy, and he replied that he had sold his Brand, and therefore it was no longer possible to have such an item.
 
Feb 18, 2022 at 7:41 AM Post #48 of 58

John Massaria

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Here are my considerations on the Chypher Labs Prautes, in my possession:
Connected to the Accuphase Duo CDP (Mecc./Conv.) and put on a CD by Peo Alfonsi, Works for Lute Vol.1 by J.S.Bach, from the first two notes, I knew I was facing "the Immense". A sound made of sweetness but at the same time of firmness, with a lot of air and an amazing depth, with a resolution, a transparency and an impressive transient response, each sound is perfectly separated from the rest, and the focus is sculpted. The colour of the sound, in my opinion, is perfect, without ever going to affect the transparency and balance between the various frequencies ... Fear!!!... Never heard a live effect like that, and / or perhaps only the great Triodes 845, VIVA and AVENTADOR, can express themselves at these levels. Too bad for the Price, but the quality is really there, and it is an object that is made to last in time, and without time. Finally, the gem of this one is its S/N, in fact it is "Special", and Mr. David Maudlin, Sales Mgr. of Cypher Labs, had this to say about my new purchase
"The Serial # 001 is also special. We usually reserve this for ourselves, but our importer in France is a good friend"

The thing that surprised me the most in listening to this Driver, is that the Music opened up in my head, from the auditory apparatus went straight as a "Frecciarossa" to the brain, without this having to activate any "Cerebral Synapses", to elaborate the signal coming from the auditory receptors, as much as it was "Natural", and my body, through the muscles, automatically went into a sort of pre "REM" state, made of deep tranquillity and quiet. A sensation, believe me very strange and never experienced before, and it is perhaps the first time that the "Sound" according to the concept of the "Accuphase Philosophy", which translated means "Fluidity and Flowability" of the sound message, has fully materialised in my head.

crap, this Damond Coffman, is a "Genius", and thanks to the exclusive use of Military Components, recovered in the years, during his long period in force, at the USA Navy, he has brought his devices, first with his well known G1-A Preamplifier and then with this Damond Coffman Signature Edition, for Headphones, to realize his "Perfect Sound", with a level of realism, just like a live listening. All the switches, inside this Driver, have been taken from Military Aircrafts, and in operating them, they have given me the same sensations, of when I used to operate them for work, to make tests, inside the Cockpit of our Aircrafts...What can I say, it is one of my best purchases ever. And then we want to talk about the CRYO-156° Power Cable! It's simply extraordinary, for its appearance, and the two Plug Blocks, made of solid AL, have on one side, a large milling, in the shape of an arrow, which identifies the direction of the phase...spectacular.

Yesterday evening, I ordered from Cyphen Labs, co-producer, together with Coffman Labs, thanks to the good relationship with David Maudlin, a 50L6 Black NOS Valve Quartet, together with its Aluminium Case, for its possible Transport.

I enclose a couple of photos of its interior, when it was under development and a few pages of reading and videos from the Web to describe the product and understand the Philosophy of the manufacturer, Damon Coffman.

Meanwhile, after a few days, the listening sessions confirm the amazing sonic beauty of this US driver, in combination with both the Grado PS1000 S.E. and the HD800 and Abyss 1266, the latter directly connected to the Prautes Speaker Outputs via Tail by Invictus Cable.

Note: The PS1000 is even more pleasant to listen to, full-bodied and with more punch, by setting the Impedance Selector on the front panel to 8 Ohm, instead of 32 Ohm.

After clearing up some mess, as it often happens to mere mortals, I had time to mount the new 50L6 Black Nos Power Valves, arrived from Cyphen Labs, Oregon, and warmly recommended to me by David Maudlin. The tubes are NIB, (New in Box), so they need at least 100 hours of warm up, but at their first listening, something has been noticed, that is a slightly softer and warmer sound, without losing that wonderful detailed and airy sound of the 1970's Full Set RCA NOS. Now, since as preamplifiers, this Prautes always mounts 12AU7 RCA NOS valves, I would like to try a pair of 12AU7 Radiotechnique valves, made in France, at the end of the 50's/60's. According to Sal, who has mounted them on his new Riviera, he has found them excellent compared to other NOS valves of those years.
From my little experience with Valvular Drivers, I've heard that the best benefits, with the change of valves, are to be found more with the Driver and Rectifier ones, than with the Power ones. As a matter of fact, on my Trafomatic TR-2+ Ampli, beautiful Serbian Driver, dedicated to the Piezoelectric Taket H2, the benefit was not so much in the change of its Tung-Sol EL 34, with the Mullard EL-34 XF2 Double Getter, paid a lot, as in the substitution of the ECC88 Driver, with a NOS Siemens Gold Pin, where listening to female Voices or the sound of Guitars is a blast.

Waiting to receive the two new 12AU7 NOS Valves by Radiotechnique of 1958, today I have received the second Cypher Labs Cable, in CRYO 156° version, purchased after I have visually realized, with the arrival of the Prautes Driver and its Wiring, their goodness, in terms of Construction and Materials used, as well as the excellent Audio performance.

This Power Cable, with Rhodium-plated Aluminium Connectors, with Cryogenic internal Cable at -156°, will be mounted on the Prautes Driver, while the previous one will power the Weiss DAC-202.
We all know by now, that the musical performance with all Digital Machines, increases significantly, using a good Power Cable.

Meanwhile, after the installation of the new Black Nos power valves, Tung-Sol 50L6, the listening sessions with the HD800, to which I gave the new Airtech "AIR" Cable, and the Audeze LCD-X with the Aftermarket Cables, Invictus Cable, Silver Litz 26 AWG and Portento Audio "INCANTO" have become even more involving and fantastic. This last Headphone reaches very high listening values, with the S.S. Dual Mono, Single End, Full Balance Class A and Separate Power Supply, SXT-2 Limited Edition, 10W+10W, at 32 Ohm, and that for a 20 Ohm impedance, like the one of the LCD-X, pulls out more than 6 W per channel, confirming that the best synergies for Orthodynamic Headphones, are the S.S. Drivers.

Finally, the 12AU7 NOS 1958 Driver Valves from Radiotechique have arrived, so I have mounted them together with the AC Cable, Cryo by C.L., and after the necessary warm-up of the Driver, I am now enjoying one of the most beautiful Drivers I have ever heard. With a marvellous and holographic stage presence, so much so that you could hear it in a Live of Fay Classon, in Amsterdam, there in the middle of the audience, applauding the performance of this excellent Singer.

I would love to try it against the RIVIERA, and I don't think the final result would be so obvious!!!...Let's see later on, if it will be possible to meet Salvatore and get rid of this whim. I say that for me, with these changes I have reached the right amalgam and the coupling with Senn HD800+AIR; PS1000 by Spirit Labs and LCD-X+Silver Litz, is almost perfect and synergic.

After a few days of listening with the new set of Black NOS 50L6 Tung-Sol Power Valves and the NOS 12AU7 Preamplifiers from Radiotecniche 1958, mounted on the Cypher Lab Prautes, I must say that these are giving back a Sound made of impact but at the same time silky, creamy and full-bodied at the right point, giving back a really beautiful and true "Live" image. Like sipping a good glass of Wisky Cream.
Right now I'm enjoying the Live performance of Mary Stallings in "Live at the village vanguard" of 2001, what can I say, really exciting, wonderful Track 4, Sunday Kind Of Love, it's goose bumps!!!.. Listened with the LCD-X...Highly recommended for an hour of pure and satisfying listening!!!
What you wrote I was moved by so much I included in my review at the very end in a special box and of course included you as that author- let me know if that is okay. I feel a record needs to be kept for all to see... thank you! I am blessed to own this amp for sure...
 
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Feb 18, 2022 at 9:26 AM Post #50 of 58

John Massaria

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May 24, 2022 at 9:25 AM Post #51 of 58

kroozzy

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Send me the link, I'll read it.
Hi best56

I have the Prautes

Do you get / hear a hum when there is no sound / music played through the headphones

I understand the Prautes suffers microphonics when tapped or a selector is switched

The sound is amazing, though when listening at quieter levels or music with instrumental intervals, the hum is evident

Chris
 
May 24, 2022 at 10:12 AM Post #52 of 58

best56

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Hi best56

I have the Prautes

Do you get / hear a hum when there is no sound / music played through the headphones

I understand the Prautes suffers microphonics when tapped or a selector is switched

The sound is amazing, though when listening at quieter levels or music with instrumental intervals, the hum is evident

Chris
No humming or microphonics on mine. It is possible that you have driver valves that trigger this problem. Try removing and cleaning them or reversing them
 
May 25, 2022 at 10:26 AM Post #53 of 58

kroozzy

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No humming or microphonics on mine. It is possible that you have driver valves that trigger this problem. Try removing and cleaning them or reversing them
Hi best56

I have discovered the issue

What I didn't explain and held off explaining is I have had a fairly decent make over of the Prautes

I have had the Power Supply redone to an external Power Supply .

I don't know too much about the finer details of the make over or the Power Supply,

Though, I know my Tech Person bought exceptionally high grade components and it is a Linear Power Supply with high voltage that interferes with the tubes if placed close

So the humming sound is the Power Supply being too close to the Prautes Unit

When I distant the Power Supply the hum goes away.

Below is a photo of the Custom External Power Supply

20220525_233947.jpg



Below is a photo of the internal stock Power Supply removed from the Prautes Amp

You can see the size difference from the Stock Internal Prautes Power Supply to the Custom External Power Supply we had made .


20220525_235606.jpg
 
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May 26, 2022 at 8:29 AM Post #54 of 58

kroozzy

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More on what we did in the make over of the Prautes

We exchanged the factory caps with Jupiter foil caps


P1070777.JPG



The installation of the Jupiter Foils was made possible by removing the Power Supply, otherwise they would not have fitted inside



P1070786.JPG
 
May 26, 2022 at 3:48 PM Post #55 of 58

best56

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Hi best56

I have discovered the issue

What I didn't explain and held off explaining is I have had a fairly decent make over of the Prautes

I have had the Power Supply redone to an external Power Supply .

I don't know too much about the finer details of the make over or the Power Supply,

Though, I know my Tech Person bought exceptionally high grade components and it is a Linear Power Supply with high voltage that interferes with the tubes if placed close

So the humming sound is the Power Supply being too close to the Prautes Unit

When I distant the Power Supply the hum goes away.

Below is a photo of the Custom External Power Supply




Below is a photo of the internal stock Power Supply removed from the Prautes Amp

You can see the size difference from the Stock Internal Prautes Power Supply to the Custom External Power Supply we had made .


I have several valve drivers with separate power supply, and it is normal that this must be positioned at least 50/100 cm from the driver. Then if you have a super Driver like the Apex Pinnacle PX4-MESH, you don't have this problem, but it costs now over 20k Euro
 

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May 27, 2022 at 3:42 AM Post #58 of 58

best56

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The Apex looks like a great amp 🤩

i don't know too much about different headphone amps


Out of interest

How would you compare it to the Prautes
The great quality of the Apex lies in its harmonic richness and resolution of detail, which are superior to the Cypher, and then it mounts PX4-MESH valves... excellent. Certainly the differences are small but substantial.
 

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