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I've been clubbing everyday since I've Elise.
No wonder you're a bit confused.
Some 'time warped' replies here
Sounds like you're on the right path. I also upgraded my cables early last year including pro-quality RCA and USB cables. I've also been using Wyrd from Schiit Audio - after several A/B comparisons I found it really is cleaning up the data feed coming into my DAC for an overall more refined sound, and I've stood by it for a long time.
Anybody on the fence about "USB cleaners", I definitely recommend it to optimize the signal coming into your DAC. Almost everybody who has tried them saw a positive result, and they're only around $100 or more depending on the brand you choose. Gustard U10 is another one. Speaking of signal enhancement, Louis I recommend also trying the "upsampling" effect, you can read more here.
My EL3N's also exhibit the side effect of clanging and tinkling on warm up & power down, and can even be heard cooling down without headphones. Not a major issue though, and I can't hear it with music playing.
Yes that's how it is with a number of my tubes, just a few minutes of noise on powering up, thereafter silence-but those 7236's are something else.
I probably have a bad pair and will get new ones.
The TS 6SN7GTB with the brown base that I have are the Russian re-issue that came with my amp, so they are not the NOS TS tubes.
Re the 6BL7 tubes, it gets quite confusing, because some Tung Sol tubes are marked Tung Sol but have the tell tale GE sand blasted white dots on the glass. Could be that even those tubes labeled Tung Sol without the GE dots were made by GE. In any case, I would say that the TS/GE 6BL7 tubes sound pretty much the same and re driver/power tubes I would not go out of my way to get an all Tung Sol set-up.
Re headphones, do you have any recommendation for an inexpensive pair that sounds very good? I have a pair of Yamaha MT-220 that are pretty good - paid $135 for them (fictitious list price $399, street price $249 - got them when they were being phased out).
For earbuds I have a good recommendation - the Venture Electronics Monk for $8 shipped. These are amazing for the price (ask pct).
I just ordered the RHA S500 earphones and they will be delivered tomorrow. I tried them from another member at the SF meet last month and they sounded OK for a cheap earphone: linear, punchy and sweet. I didn't go with the Monks because I prefer more isolation.
You're so lucky to have asked me about other headphones in that price range. I'm assuming you meant closed headphones, which these all are: My friend Lyova of Tru-Fi speakers will visit me on Tuesday for feedback on three new prototype headphones he's working on: unique new concept modded versions of DT-770, DT-1770 and SoundMagic HP-150. The last one is already ready to order and sounds great on the Elise (listening to it as I type). The link for this one is in my signature.
Thanks for the reply. I'm using Roon connected with Tidal. My current dac is ARCAM irDAC. Don't think my DAC is high-end enough to have a upsampling control itself nor the Roon can change it as well (unless you know the approach). However, I do find that even by changing the buffer size and USB streaming mode will alter the sound significantly. From the most detail but analytical sound with pops (minimum latency) to the most blur but relaxed sound (extra safe).
I will totally believe what you just said regarding upsampling. Shame that windows 10 supports only to 24 bit/ 192khz.
I'm going to invest a mytek brooklyn DAC in the near future to replace my irDAC, will try your method then. Thanks for the advice.
Looked up the sound magic HP-150. While it gets good reviews and is relatively inexpensive, there are multitudes of serious complaints of very poor build quality with the headphones breaking with very little use.
Those are old reports from a few lone wolfs, while the overwhelming majority have never had any such problems with their HP-100 and 150's - including mine which I've had for almost 2 years and been through a lot without any such problems. Anyway this Tuesday I will be testing several other closed headphone mod prototypes that are said to be far superior. I will test these on the Elise and send you some basic impressions by PM, unless if anyone else here also wants to read about these?
He also has a closed T1 in a T5 body with unique internal reworking
EL3N when new does that. I've just pop in a new pair of EL3N in the power slots and they go clanking and tingling and groaning but all is well with burn in. Which tube wouldn't do that if all they do is light up for you.
Even my NOS Tung Sol 5998 does that.
Those of you who have unfavorable impressions of EL3N, have simply not given those tubes the proper burn in. FYI, my 7236 sounded like metal - perfect for metallic - when I first heard it. After burn in, it just sound amazing. Tight, controlled bass.
That's interesting. Maybe I should burn in my 7236's before buying new ones-that's exactly how they sound- metallic.
I bought an early HP100 and it gave up in the right channel after 3 weeks.
I'm so glad I chose a replacement rather than a refund from Amazon. The replacement has been fine and heavily used.
I even bought a spare for the ridiculous price of £90 on eBay as they are probably my favourite closed can (even unmodded!).
Yeah, that ECC31 of yours sure does look quite a bit different to all the other Mullards out there...but thankfully sounded exactly the same as the usually smaller ones when I tested them......
Glad you've had the same experience when revisiting past tubes, and although relying on memory for such things can be a bit unreliable (to say the least!), I'm certain there's a good bit more going on here than is generally realised - some really interesting science that warrants further research no doubt...(probably is already out there, among some obscure scientific journals! ). So, IMO, the motto must be :
1. Play as wide a variety of music as possible, at safely high volume levels.
2. Use as wide a variety of tubes as possible.
3. Both of the above for as long as possible.
Then, I suspect the principle of the "whole being greater than the sum of the parts" could well in fact be endowed upon each tube after such exhaustive "priming"...with some probably benefitting more than others of course, depending on their makeup/quality. We should also remember that tube pins and amp/adapter sockets may well need regular cleaning...especially if not gold-plated or specially treated with such as Deoxit...
Anyway, these are just my own thoughts on the matter, lol......CHEERS!...
And thx for your kind words, cf....of course you know what you're talking about LOL! ...everything you say is spot on!! ...especially the comradeship......
Hi UT and Howie13,
Second that on the 7236 - benefits greatly from burn-in and they don't need a huge amount of hours either - reckon the standard 30-50 hours.
Looking forward to hear your impressions on new budget priced headphones. The HP150 is $130 on Amazon - is that a good price?,