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I like a man that's confident in his opinions.
Bought KR VT-231 BG. Now looking at
I do not recall talking about the ground wire in USB but that is possible. I built @Ripper2860's cables for sure but just followed what he asked for. I did not have the exact equipment he was using to check them out.
A word about cables...The most you can hope for with a cable is to maintain the signal that enters the cable. A cable itself or any variation thereof should not cause that signal to sound better than what you have enter it. Cables can vary in resistance, capacitance, impedance etc. but most effects you can bring about by adding or changing things are not generally good ones IMHO. You can add a different gauge wire or solid versus stranded wire to increase conductivity and lower resistance. If you bi-wire speakers, it can cause a slight difference in signal level.
You can trap out certain frequencies but i will not get into that right now.
In wires that handle a digital signal, the same holds true except you are dealing with the equivalent of 1's and 0's, and type of wire and shielding can be more important but once again, you are trying to preserve what is there, not delay it, or clip the signal. If you are going to spend $400, spend it on the equipment because a lot more is happening before or after the signal hits a USB cable. Use quality cable for sure, a cable where you are guaranteed one piece will be identical to the next you buy but do not expect a lot of sound differences there.
Back to tubes, some folks love, and some hate the Melz 1578 but in some testing done over the last couple days, people were more likely to pick it out compared to other tubes including some very good sylvania, tung sol, ken rad, whatever. Right now with current votes it is the favorite among the group but maybe for the wrong reasons. It is distinguishable, the mids are more forward sounding and jump out at you IMHO. Maybe that is why people notice it more and give it some very good scores. So far I have had no one say the highs are harsh, but terminology in audio can be tricky to replicate. Some say the other seven tubes sound similar, and this tube just sounds so very different. Right now this is not serious testing, that will happen whenever the tubes come back from Schiit and there will be no limits set on which tubes the Melz might go up against. The results should be more well defined.
It has been a while but was the improvement supposed to be that you are eliminating the 5 volt line and any noise it might induce? I know at the time you mentioned a reason for doing this. I am just trying to follow the theory. Would better shielding give the same result?
Yes. PCs are electrically noisy and the thought is that noise can be injected from the computer into the DAC via the unused 5v + line, sounds plausible. Since my DAC is externally powered, I figured it was worth a try. Not really sure what audible difference it has, but it doesn't hurt.
Yes, I have done component level repair on PC’s and their power supplies. I also taught some switch mode power supply theory.
I have some more thoughts on tubes that I will try to relay later on.
Ok here is a theory on tubes, and it is my theory and my opinion, nothing more.
I believe we like things that are out of the norm, that might be harder to obtain. I have been told that Russians do not consider the Melz 1578 that great of a tube, and would rather buy Sylvanias. Americans have a lot of access to Sylvania, RCA, Tung Sol etc. yet here we are looking for specific Russian tubes, or British tubes. Occasionally there are some US made tubes we think the world of but some recent tests are a prime example of my theory.
A friend thought most of the 8 tubes (6sn7 equivalent) I presented him in a blind test sounded similar, then he got to the Melz and it was so different, it stood out to him. He picked it as his favorite. Last Saturday I went through a bunch of Amperex from different periods and most all of them sounded harsh and raspy, I basically just plugged them all in without looking at the types very closely and my favorite was one that probably sounded the least like the others, but I liked the sound. It may have been the cheapest, and least sought after yet, it sounded so different to me, and I was not getting the harshness I disliked in the other tubes, with my amp and DAC setup.
Do I think the overall SQ of single triode tubes is better than some really nice dual triode 6sn7's, doubtful, but they sound different. The spacing is nice. Will a 7n7 rank towards the top in my testing? Or a Foton ribbed plate 1954? Possibly but once again, when you listen to a lot of RCA's and Sylvania's, they sound very different so to me that could be part of it. I like to do blind testing because you can eliminate some of the preformed ideas. That does not mean a tube like a GE would finish toward the top, there are tubes that can be stand out in a bad way.
If you have access to a lot of Brimars, is that your tube of choice if you are British? Just some thoughts, nothing else.
I am staying away from cable discussions for one simple reason. I had been reviewing a set of speaker cables which cost almost $3K, but the review came to an end. @Paladin79 terminated some good quality cables and shipped them to me at no charge. I attached the speakers and plugged into the integrated, and the sound was as good, certainly not worse. He had explained what a cable does, and what a cable could not do.
That was all I needed to hear, and I submitted my resignation to the "Do expensive Cables make a huge difference?" debating society. Does good quality cable work better than speaker wire that looks like an extension cord? Maybe, I don't know. I do know that quality runs of cable don't need to cost an arm and a leg.
I am not British, but discovering Brimar valves from the early 1960s has certainly opened my eyes. I have the 1951ribbed Foton and the Melz 1578, and they sound great on the Vali 2. Rolling 6sn7 into the Valhalla 2 was not a good experience.
@Ripper2860 suggested a pair of the Brimar CV4033, and I bought a set. Oh, Boy, Howdy! They were $90 for the pair at Tubemonger.com and they are the best sounding valves for my headphone rig. Our friends at Vivatubes.com had a similar offer, the CV 4024 for sixty a pair. I am using them as my daily listeners with the CV4033 in reserve. I pulled up the sign that read, "We Buy Cheap Tubes" and have no desire to look back.
I am still very new to tubes. My Vali 2 arrived in December. It has been a learning curve, with no regrets. Once you find a set of valves which work and make the best music, the desire to keep looking wanes fast.
I am revisiting my tube collection in the new setup with aune T1. Now going through 6C8G. Some sound gorgeous in vali 2, but do not quite work in aune technically (blurry sound on higher loads). Ken-Rad VT163 sound absolutely awesome, and do not cost a lot. So do National Union VT-163 with support rods (btw, see a pair at good price https://www.ebay.com/itm/2-NIB-6C8G-Tubes-National-Union-Simular-to-6F8G/264437192805).
Otherwise, found 15 pieces NOS NIB CBS Hytron 6J5 $5 apiece and bought them all. They also have loads of Ken-Rad JAN6J5M which I want to try, and more than a 1000 pieces EC8010 from Siemens and Philips, but these I cannot buy all .
Was going to post this as a non joke post, with a fantastic price for Amperex 6922 D getter USA. But then I noticed the seller.
@Ripper2860 just wanted some free cables. His only rationale was....free. You could have sent him some 30 year old lamp cord with dry rotted insulation falling off in chunks and he’d never have known the difference, assuming you’d encased it in some pretty sleeving.
Frankly, I cannot recall if I paid for them. I have purchased cables from Tom in the past, so the assumption that they are free would be incorrect, sir.
I do believe Ripper did pay for them but my memory is a little hazy. He may be the person I offered 9 different shades of blue to and he still wanted the jacket color to be half way between the first and last shade of blue. It made me want to give choices like Henry Ford, the color is black, that is the only color, go away and leave me alone. I could be thinking of someone else though.
That would NOT be me. The nit-pickiness about shades of blue sounds like @bcowen and his aversion to Duke's basketball program and their winning ways.