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Just bad phone pics, but here you go:
Looks like you have some lovely equipment in the background. I spy a Kef LS50. What are you driving those with?
Those are currently wired to a Bryston 4BSST2. Upstream is a HeadAmp GS-X as pre and basically the equipment mentioned in my IHA-1 review, only in balanced mode (the unbalanced chain feeds into the IHA-1).
Nice system composition. How does the GS-X fare as a pre?
I've been pretty happy with it, though admittedly have not done any real A/B comparisons with the LS50 or the Bryston to this point. In general I prefer simple and there's enough line voltage, short enough runs, and enough gain on the amp that I would probably just run a passive attenuator if I didn't also want a headamp in the chain (really like Goldpoint's stepped balanced attenuators/switches). But, since the loudspeaker system is second priority to the cans, it's certainly met my needs.
So, I swapped in my NOS brown base Brimar U52 rectifier tube (also sometimes labeled as GEC, Osram, Marconi, etc.) in place of the stock rectifier that comes with the Dragon IHA-1.
In combination with the NOS Sylvania 6BX7's I am getting absolutely magical sound. Never say never, but I don't see myself doing any further tube rolling with this amp.
Now I am free to focus solely on musical enjoyment.
Man, that Sophia sure is a beauty..
That's the emission labs tube Sophia in my review pics.
I have an extra Sophia if anyone with a U52 would like to trade.
Noticed that most of you are using the Sylvania 6SX7. I switched to the Tung Sol and found them an interesting change of pace. They have a slightly different physical structure. Plate hole pattern and rod clips. I like their vocal presentation. Their sound reminds me of the Tung Sol 6SN7. Has anyone seen a Ken Rad 6BX7?
Very interested in reading reviews from the other guys. BlakeT, especially.
I will definitely be posting a review in the future. My first task before doing the review was to finalize my tube selection. Mission accomplished on that front.
The only remaining item is I am debating whether to hold off on my review until I receive my Geek Pulse Xfi (I already received the Geek LPS, and the Pulse should arrive in December-fingers crossed, I should be among the first of the units shipped). That way, I can compare the IHA-1 against the Pulse and against my Crack+Speedball (even though all 3 are divergent technologies).
Hi Blake...we meet again . I'd be very interested in your views on the Crack (+Speedball) and how it compares to the IHA-1. As you already know, I'm interested in the latter, but actually also keen to have a go at DIY and the Crack is top of my list at the moment. Cheers!