Quicksilver Audio Headphone Amplifier any opinions?
Oct 28, 2021 at 10:28 PM Post #256 of 394

ckhirnigs113

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I have also limited my rolling to 12AX7/ECC83 after inquiring with Mike at Quicksilver. I’ve also followed his advice and stuck to EL84/6BQ5 output tubes. I don’t know very much about using tubes that an amp wasn’t designed for, but I have decided to stick with what Mike recommends.

That being said, there are some great choices out there even within the stock tube families, 12AX7 and EL84. I’ve tried 5 or 6 types of each and have found some great sounding combinations. The stock setup is surprisingly good considering the tubes being used, but I’ve found some vintage tubes that take it to another level for my preferences.
 
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Oct 28, 2021 at 11:02 PM Post #257 of 394

Pharmaboy

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And to further clarify the tube substitution question, I asked him this:

On Thu, Jul 16, 2020 at 7:34 AM Quicksilver Audio <info@quicksilveraudio.com> wrote:
Sorry to hear this, since it scuttles my 12AT7 rolling idea. But it's better to find this out from you than have a problem with the amp itself.

I do have a pair of Telefunken 12AX7s, which I'm told are some kind of holy grail. But I doubt it's a matched pair. So I'm back at zero--no NOS tubes for an amp I don't own yet.
 
Oct 28, 2021 at 11:14 PM Post #258 of 394

Pharmaboy

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Interesting, I would love to know a more definitive answer. Its pretty common to switch. between the three 12a - 7 variants on many amps.

I found many 12ax7 tubes that I did not like, but have had great success with both 12au7 and 12at7 sonically. The Stock 12ax7's were the best I tried of that variant.
Do you mean that you had great success with both 12AU7 and 12AT7 sonically in the Quicksilver tube headphone amp? Or in other devices?

I do know that 12AT7 tubes have lower output than 12AX7 tubes. Apparently Mike Sanders designed his tube for the output of 12AX7s and nothing lower...
 
Oct 28, 2021 at 11:20 PM Post #259 of 394

ksorota

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I have been using the 12au7 and 12at7 variants in the Quicksilver and have not noticed anything but good sound. My favorite pairs are the Raytheon 7728s and 7730s, but the 7728s are pretty exclusively being used with the JJ EL84 stock tubes. Great synergy together!

They run very cool compared to the JJs. Less than 100 degree F for sure
 
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Oct 28, 2021 at 11:29 PM Post #260 of 394

jonathan c

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Do you mean that you had great success with both 12AU7 and 12AT7 sonically in the Quicksilver tube headphone amp? Or in other devices?

I do know that 12AT7 tubes have lower output than 12AX7 tubes. Apparently Mike Sanders designed his tube for the output of 12AX7s and nothing lower...
I would think 🤷🏻 that using a tube with lower gain but the same filament current etc would be OK. As an example, the Linear Tube Audio MZ3 is designed to use 12AT7s (60x). The LTA people (and the manual) say that 12AU7s (20x) are OK but that 12AX7s (100x) are not OK.
 
Oct 29, 2021 at 12:03 AM Post #261 of 394

ckhirnigs113

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I would think 🤷🏻 that using a tube with lower gain but the same filament current etc would be OK. As an example, the Linear Tube Audio MZ3 is designed to use 12AT7s (60x). The LTA people (and the manual) say that 12AU7s (20x) are OK but that 12AX7s (100x) are not OK.
That certainly makes sense to me, but Mike must have a reason for discouraging owners of his amp from trying these lower gain tubes.
 
Oct 29, 2021 at 12:09 AM Post #262 of 394

jonathan c

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That certainly makes sense to me, but Mike must have a reason for discouraging owners of his amp from trying these lower gain tubes.
One possible benefit of using lower gain tubes could be having to turn the volume knob further clockwise - this could minimise or eliminate the channel volume mismatches which sometimes occur early in the knob rotation.
 
Oct 29, 2021 at 2:45 AM Post #263 of 394

gefski

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One possible benefit of using lower gain tubes could be having to turn the volume knob further clockwise - this could minimise or eliminate the channel volume mismatches which sometimes occur early in the knob rotation.
I’ve had the QS for a few days and wasn’t thrilled with the high gain for exactly that reason. (9:00 is plenty loud) I saw that JJ has an EL844 as a low gain/power replacement for EL84. When I asked about using it the answer was “You could but the gain won't be any different. Mike Sanders”.

I also looked at several threads & forums about the 12AX7 family and came away with lots of comments suggesting it was hard to tell any difference with the low gain tubes. There isn’t much info about tube gain in Hi-Fi amps though; most of what I saw related to guitar amps.
 
Oct 29, 2021 at 1:12 PM Post #264 of 394

Pharmaboy

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I have been using the 12au7 and 12at7 variants in the Quicksilver and have not noticed anything but good sound. My favorite pairs are the Raytheon 7728s and 7730s, but the 7728s are pretty exclusively being used with the JJ EL84 stock tubes. Great synergy together!

They run very cool compared to the JJs. Less than 100 degree F for sure
verrrrrry interesting...

I don't have the QS yet, but when I do get it from a Head-Fi pal, I'm not sure how much I'll care about warranty coverage, using a lower-power driver tube like my matched pair of Brimar CV4033s, etc. I say that because he's the 2nd owner & told me, "the guy that I got the Quicksilver from swapped the coupling caps in it to V-Cap ODAM caps http://www.v-cap.com/odam-capacitors.php "

Since rolling coupling caps is occasionally mentioned in QS threads as a way to improve the amp's sound (at least somewhat), I'm interested in that particular amp & waiting for my friend to cut it loose...
 
Oct 29, 2021 at 2:02 PM Post #265 of 394

ksorota

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verrrrrry interesting...

I don't have the QS yet, but when I do get it from a Head-Fi pal, I'm not sure how much I'll care about warranty coverage, using a lower-power driver tube like my matched pair of Brimar CV4033s, etc. I say that because he's the 2nd owner & told me, "the guy that I got the Quicksilver from swapped the coupling caps in it to V-Cap ODAM caps http://www.v-cap.com/odam-capacitors.php "

Since rolling coupling caps is occasionally mentioned in QS threads as a way to improve the amp's sound (at least somewhat), I'm interested in that particular amp & waiting for my friend to cut it loose...

I havent been able to find the time, but I will be swapping mine out with some Jupiter Copper foil caps soon! I have swapped out the Large power capacitor already to a Vishay Sprague of same spec. It seemed to add some more impact. I have some other caps to swap in as well, I have some Nichicons and Elnas at the house to play with.

Fun and easy amp to swap parts with.
 
Oct 29, 2021 at 2:12 PM Post #266 of 394

ksorota

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I do wish the tube sockets were of better quality. But overall the thing is solid.

I cannot tell if I like the silver or black transformer cover better, but its a pain to keep changing back and forth so I am going to stick with black for now.
 
Oct 29, 2021 at 4:32 PM Post #267 of 394

gefski

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verrrrrry interesting...

I don't have the QS yet, but when I do get it from a Head-Fi pal, I'm not sure how much I'll care about warranty coverage, using a lower-power driver tube like my matched pair of Brimar CV4033s, etc. I say that because he's the 2nd owner & told me, "the guy that I got the Quicksilver from swapped the coupling caps in it to V-Cap ODAM caps http://www.v-cap.com/odam-capacitors.php "

Since rolling coupling caps is occasionally mentioned in QS threads as a way to improve the amp's sound (at least somewhat), I'm interested in that particular amp & waiting for my friend to cut it loose...
Sounds like my experience as a 3rd owner of my WA6 Gen 1. Originally bought from Woo with their upgraded caps, sockets, volume control. I love it and in our Seattle HeadFi group (unfortunately no meets since early 2020) it’s considered one of the best Woos we’ve had. Hope it keeps on keeping on.

I don’t at this point have any mods in mind for the QS, just want to get to know it.
 
Nov 8, 2021 at 10:04 PM Post #268 of 394

tedacura1

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I have also limited my rolling to 12AX7/ECC83 after inquiring with Mike at Quicksilver. I’ve also followed his advice and stuck to EL84/6BQ5 output tubes. I don’t know very much about using tubes that an amp wasn’t designed for, but I have decided to stick with what Mike recommends.

That being said, there are some great choices out there even within the stock tube families, 12AX7 and EL84. I’ve tried 5 or 6 types of each and have found some great sounding combinations. The stock setup is surprisingly good considering the tubes being used, but I’ve found some vintage tubes that take it to another level for my preferences.
what are some combinations (tubes) that you find to make an improvement on the stock tubes sounds and what are you presently using?
 
Nov 9, 2021 at 8:31 AM Post #269 of 394

mav52

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How does this amp deliver in terms of tube-y goodness, i.e. 3D/holographic soundstage, richness in tone, etc.? Obvioulsy this amp is a champ in terms of build design and quality and can drive a wide range of headphones easily - I'm just curious about those other aspects moreso.

Wow sorry I missed your question. Well it has loads of sound stage,, punchy and I think it leans towards neutral with a hint of warm. OF course tube rolling could change that,
 
Nov 11, 2021 at 8:47 PM Post #270 of 394

Ticonz

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Hey guys! I recently purchased this amp from Mike and absolutely love it for listening to music. I have a quick question about pc gaming. It seems that I get a very low background noise when I am playing video games on my pc. The sound doesn't occur at all when listening to music or doing anything else on my computer but appears during games. It isn't happening at all when there is a load screen but otherwise while in menu's and playing said game.. I can hear it. Wondering if this has happened to anyone else with this amp? I am very new to tube amps ( this being my first one ) so I am unsure of how to go about this or just live with the fact I cant use it to game. Thanks in advance!
 

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