Feliks Audio Elise Impressions Thread – a New Start (please read first post for summary)
Oct 7, 2016 at 4:50 AM Post #2,731 of 11,820

UntilThen

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I've had somewhat of an epiphany this afternoon.
Tubes aren't necessarily a case of "better" or "worse", (as in audio this is all subjective).
What they do is give us choice.
They can be altered to suit the music, the mood or the headphones (and I guess any other part of the chain)
They can be used instead of an (inferior IMO) graphic equaliser to tailor the sound.
I can pop in the stock drivers and be listening to Lou Reed in a small bar, or I can swap them for the EL3Ns and I'm in a stadium!
 

You're hooked on tubes now. They will fascinate you and before you know it, you're scouting eBay for more tubes. 
 
In the wild west, they say 'Have guns will travel'. Here in vintage land, it's 'Have tube amps will roll'. 
 
Oct 7, 2016 at 4:54 AM Post #2,732 of 11,820

richdytch

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Not sure if these have ever been discussed here, but decent budget tube alert! I read on some web page I can't even remember, that there were some cheapo 68NP tubes, a direct equivalent (or so I was told) to 6SN7 coming out of China. The thread was very divided on the subject - some people reckoned they were amazing, others were a bit sniffy. 
 
I got a pair, just to see what they were like, since they were only £17 for the pair. They arrived very quickly and I gave them a whizz with Chatham 6AS7G as powers. This was when I was using my Quad power amp, which I've come to realise, has very specific tube combos which work, but not much else sounds any good. The 68NP sounded pretty flat, not terribly good in any department. I let them run a while, gave them a chance, but they didn't shape up - if anything they seemed to deteriorate as they burned in. They certainly looked pretty tatty too. 
 
However, I just randomly tried them again, since I'm revisiting all my tubes to reassess them in the light of getting my Bantam Gold amp. What a difference. In this setup, with Mullard 6080, they seem to be a bit of a decent all-rounder. Their special talent seems to be highlighting the frequencies which accentuate reverb. Orchestral stuff sounds really 'live' and involving. But they're certainly a good achiever in the mids and bass.  There's a real absence of harshness to my ears. 
 
Those observations were from use of the Elise as a preamp, over speakers. I just tried a comparison with the HE400 and they still do quite well. I'd say with those headphones there seems to be a very slight hole somewhere in the mids, which I can't quite put my finger on yet. Will have to give them more time later on. 
 
Anyway, I'm a big believer that any tube's performance are at least 50% dependent on the other components in the chain. But for £17 (and you could probably find them cheaper) they're worth a stab. I'm certainly enjoying them a lot right now. A lot of depth and involvement. 
 

 
Oct 7, 2016 at 5:05 AM Post #2,733 of 11,820

HOWIE13

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  Hahahaha 
biggrin.gif
 Just making sure you have your glasses on. 
biggrin.gif

 
Those pictures were taken last week when the vinyls came and I had on Fivre 6N7G brown base with Tung Sol 7236. Superb combo.
 
Today I listened with stock tubes for most of the day and then switch to Sylvania 6SN7gtb with Tung Sol 5998 at the end. Each time I switch away from stock tubes, I hear a big improvement even though when I'm listening to stock tubes, they sound reasonable to me.

Ah-ha just testing eh?
biggrin.gif

 
I think the Fivre's look really cool. I don't have those Sylvanias, got some Tung-Sol 6SN7gtb's' from the '60's. A bit different sounding from Elise's stock tubes of the same name. Less warm, more inner detail and treble. Very good value, price wise, at the time I bought them for Horizon about 2 years ago.
 
Oct 7, 2016 at 5:21 AM Post #2,734 of 11,820

UntilThen

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Well Rich, I've completely forgotten about the 6N8P and likewise the 6N5P power tubes from China. These are stock tubes in my Darkvoice 336se and the stock tubes were lock up and the keys thrown away. It's only now that you mention it that I brought them out of jail to get a breath of fresh air. 
 
Listening to it now on DV... hmmmm not bad... I didn't feel the urge to reach for the Listerine mouth wash or ear cleanser. There might be some hope here...
 

 
Oct 7, 2016 at 5:24 AM Post #2,735 of 11,820

HOWIE13

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  For the ultimate in thick chocolatey milk shake, you must try the all RCA combo of RCA 6sn7gt VTI smoke glass and RCA 6AS7G.
 
Those operatic tenors of the past will sound better than the 3 Tenors.
 

LOL!
 
I don't have those smokey RCA's but I have unsmoked ones which are also warm so I can try them. Maybe 'Mouse Ears' or a 6N6P will be almost as warm. I haven't tried  6N6P in Elise before-will be right on the 6.8A max if I use with the 6AS7powers though.
 
Oct 7, 2016 at 5:32 AM Post #2,736 of 11,820

richdytch

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  Well Rich, I've completely forgotten about the 6N8P and likewise the 6N5P power tubes from China. These are stock tubes in my Darkvoice 336se and the stock tubes were lock up and the keys thrown away. It's only now that you mention it that I brought them out of jail to get a breath of fresh air. 
 
Listening to it now on DV... hmmmm not bad... I didn't feel the urge to reach for the Listerine mouth wash or ear cleanser. There might be some hope here...
 

 Oh nice, I didn't realise that they did a similar power tube :)  - I might have to give some of those a go :)
 
I don't think they'll set the world alight, but they do seem like a decent all-rounder, not actually bad in any department - but they do seem to go well with my speakers. I think that's the important thing. For me anyway. 
 
Oct 7, 2016 at 7:40 AM Post #2,737 of 11,820

DecentLevi

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  Have you tried to get rid of the microphonic noise with your silicone rings?

Yup I've tried that before, and didn't seem to notice much difference in that regards, but can test more
 
   
Yep-I did think those RCA's where too warm for most of my listening, with not enough resolution in the treble most of the time. If you want a lush tube it will suit though. I've come to the conclusion that I'm a bit of a treble freak anyway cos of all the complex orchestral music I listen to. They could suit vocals or some late night Jazz, I would imagine. I'll give them a try with the Duke, Ella and Peggy tonight.
 
Now two things are bothering me this morning (well three if I include laryngitis),
 
 @DecentLevi, I didn't think Mimby was an R2R DAC. My understanding is that most present day multibit DACS are still Delta Sigma in design.
 

Personally my initial impressions of the RCA 6AS7G's were the bass was full and excellent quality / multilayered ability, but not necessarily emphasized, and for the treble, it was somewhat detailed / forward
 
Further research is required on if Mimby is actually a DS DAC
 
Oct 7, 2016 at 7:52 AM Post #2,738 of 11,820

HOWIE13

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  Yup I've tried that before, and didn't seem to notice much difference in that regards, but can test more
 
Personally my initial impressions of the RCA 6AS7G's were the bass was full and excellent quality / multilayered ability, but not necessarily emphasized, and for the treble, it was somewhat detailed / forward
 
Further research is required on if Mimby is actually a DS DAC

Perfect timing as I've just found a reference to the AD 5547CRUZ chip in Mimby indeed being of R2R architecture. It was on a seller's website. No mention of architecture on the manufacturer's spec sheet.
 
Oct 7, 2016 at 8:47 AM Post #2,739 of 11,820

hpamdr

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  Perfect timing as I've just found a reference to the AD 5547CRUZ chip in Mimby indeed being of R2R architecture. It was on a seller's website. No mention of architecture on the manufacturer's spec sheet.


Give  a look on Analog device http://www.analog.com/en/products/digital-to-analog-converters/da-converters/ad5547.html#product-overview
On mouser : http://www.mouser.fr/ProductDetail/Analog-Devices/AD5547CRUZ  you will get the same info.... But it is not a huge resistor network not like in totaldac :wink:
 
Oct 7, 2016 at 9:31 AM Post #2,740 of 11,820

HOWIE13

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Give  a look on Analog device http://www.analog.com/en/products/digital-to-analog-converters/da-converters/ad5547.html#product-overview
On mouser : http://www.mouser.fr/ProductDetail/Analog-Devices/AD5547CRUZ  you will get the same info.... But it is not a huge resistor network not like in totaldac :wink:

 
Thanks for those links. It's all pretty incomprehensible to me, unfortunately, but I did find one seller describe the chip as an R2R, although neither Mouser or AD say so in their descriptions-but maybe it's inferred in the other specs and I don't understand enough about electronics to realise.
 
Oct 7, 2016 at 11:04 AM Post #2,741 of 11,820

pctazhp

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Thanks for those links. It's all pretty incomprehensible to me, unfortunately, but I did find one seller describe the chip as an R2R, although neither Mouser or AD say so in their descriptions-but maybe it's inferred in the other specs and I don't understand enough about electronics to realise.

When I was a kid I loved earning my Ham Radio license and learning about electronics. The concept of a triode tube seemed so simple and the additional elements of a pentode made sense. The only other thing needed was Ohms Law.
 
When digital first came along it seemed pretty simple with the 1s and 0s. From what I could remember from my calculus classes, it seemed to make sense how the waveform was recreated in a digital realm. But then digital skyrocketed beyond my feeble comprehension.
 
In my audiophile days I owned Mike Moffatt's Theta 5 DAC and it was the only DAC I had heard that approached the level I enjoyed from vinyl. So when I got back into headphones I bought my Bimby. I don't say much about it here because the only other relatively current DAC I have heard is the Aune T1 and there's no comparison. I don't have a clue regarding the Bimby's multibit technology, but it does the trick for me )))
 
Oct 7, 2016 at 11:11 AM Post #2,742 of 11,820

HOWIE13

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  When I was a kid I loved earning my Ham Radio license and learning about electronics. The concept of a triode tube seemed so simple and the additional elements of a pentode made sense. The only other thing needed was Ohms Law.
 
When digital first came along it seemed pretty simple with the 1s and 0s. From what I could remember from my calculus classes, it seemed to make sense how the waveform was recreated in a digital realm. But then digital skyrocketed beyond my feeble comprehension.
 
In my audiophile days I owned Mike Moffatt's Theta 5 DAC and it was the only DAC I had heard that approached the level I enjoyed from vinyl. So when I got back into headphones I bought my Bimby. I don't say much about it here because the only other relatively current DAC I have heard is the Aune T1 and there's no comparison. I don't have a clue regarding the Bimby's multibit technology, but it does the trick for me )))

That's so good to hear because I think Mimby is not too dissimilar in sound, from what I've read.
My friend Ian has a 30 year old Arcam CD player with an NOS DAC, built in, and it sounds very vinyl like, music flowing effortlessly across the room. I could listen for days on end to that sound.
 
Oct 7, 2016 at 11:15 AM Post #2,743 of 11,820

pctazhp

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  That's so good to hear because I think Mimby is not too dissimilar in sound, from what I've read.
My friend Ian has a 30 year old Arcam CD player with an NOS DAC, built in, and it sounds very vinyl like, music flowing effortlessly across the room. I could listen for days to that sound.

I think I've mentioned before that most of the posts I've seen regarding the Schiit multibit DACs lead me to believe there probably is not a significant distance between the Mimby and the Bimby. In fact, I'm not sure there really is a significant difference from bottom to top of the Schiit DACs. Beyond the Bimby one is paying for balanced DACs, which to me seems like mainly a waste of money when running a single ended amp. But I haven't heard any Schiit DAC other than my Bimby.
 
Oct 7, 2016 at 11:22 AM Post #2,744 of 11,820

HOWIE13

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  I think I've mentioned before that most of the posts I've seen regarding the Schiit multibit DACs lead me to believe there probably is not a significant distance between the Mimby and the Bimby. In fact, I'm not sure there really is a significant difference from bottom to top of the Schiit DACs. Beyond the Bimby one is paying for balanced DACs, which to me seems like mainly a waste of money when running a single ended amp. But I haven't heard any Schiit DAC other than my Bimby.

The only other Schiit I have is a Vali2. It's a fun amp to have by the bedside and take away on holiday. Nice sound, versatile, seems well built and, as usual with Schiit, good value.
 
Oct 7, 2016 at 11:48 AM Post #2,745 of 11,820

UntilThen

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Don't be too caught up with r2r vs ds. The discussions here will rob you of any sleep. http://www.head-fi.org/t/779572/r2r-multibit-vs-delta-sigma-is-there-a-measurable-scientific-difference-thats-audible
 
For us layman. it's best just to listen and decide for ourselves what sounds best to us. There are no absolutes here.
 
All this talk about DACs sounding vinyl like, I'm pretty sure my turntable sounds vinyl like and that the vinyls sounds vinyl and not plastic but that's debatable. 
 

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