Wanted: Your amp impressions!
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oneeyedhobbit

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Hello good head-fiers,

I'm considering an amp upgrade, and after some research, I've basically narrowed it down to three models:

1. The Ray Samuels HR-2
2. Singlepower PPX3-6SN7
3. Singlepower MPX3

I'd certainly be interested in a Rudistor RP5, but too hard to find one to demo, so that will have to wait til down the road. I've breifly heard the HR-2, the amps I'd really like to hear about are the two singlepowers. I read many rave threads about hte PPX, how does it compare to the MPX? I've heard it can be a bit "dry" and "analytical" sounding compared to the PPX. Also, can anyone compare the HR 2 to these two amps?

Thanks much for any and all impressions!
 
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raif

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why the 6sn7 models over the 6cg7?

I was faced with the same options as you and choose a ppx/supra prototype with the 6cg7 for one big reason.

Really good 6cg7-> $10ish
Really good 6sn7-> $75ish
 
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stryker

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You have my old PPA. Now that's a dry analytical amp! There's nothing dry or analytical about my MPX3. Its a little more transparent and neutral than the PPX3, but that's not a bad thing at all. If you are used to the PPA sound, its a big jump to go to the tube sound of a PPX3. Then again, that may be just what you are looking for. For me, the MPX3 (with NOS tubes) gave me just about everything I wanted: tube sound but minimal loss of detail.
 
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oneeyedhobbit

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I do, and wouldn't have called your old PPA dry or analytical at all stryker, until I was spoiled by hearing the HR 2 and stealth, briefly. I would be into hearing the tube thing, and would still gladly consider the HR 2. Neutral and detailed are definitely good things, by the way--I've been getting along marvelously with the HD 650! But, I don't want neutral/detailed to become dry/dull/lifeless. Other impressions?

Edit: Oh, 6SN7 or 6CG7? Wider soundstage, airier sound (or so I'm told).
 
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sacd lover

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Somewhere I wrote a comparison between the ppx3 original/mpx3 and gilmore v2-se; you might see if you can find it. I have to say I like the ppx3 best vs the mpx3. Moreover, the new ppx3 with the solen stage 1 upgrade is more open, airy and has more neutrality than the original. The new ppx3 (to me) moved closer to the mpx3 sound, while keeping the best attributes of the original ppx3.

I really like the 6cg7 tube used in the ppx3 because it has a more immediate and cleaner sound than the mpx3 with the 6sn7. That said, to me the 6sn7 is an even more airy and open sounding tube. But the 6sn7 sounds a little recessed in the mids, atleast in the mpx3's that have been in my system, and this was using nos tubes.

The mpx3 has better bass extension and a slower more refined sound than the original ppx3. The new ppx3 with the solen upgrade has much of the mpx3's refinement but still is not as airy and open sounding; nor does it have the mpx3's bass extension either. What the ppx3 has is more tonal richness and a warmer more forgiving sound. The mpx3 with the wrong tube can be brightish and sound very solid state. The ppx3 also has more dynamics and speed and is better on rock. The mpx3 excels on acoustic and instrumental music with its exceptionally open sound. I like them both but with my music preferances I seem to listen to the ppx3 much more.

So to summarize,the new ppx3/ solen stage 1 upgrade has positioned the sound midway between the original ppx3 and the mpx3. This amp has the best attributes of both now and this is my recommendation. I dont think he can get that amp any better. I havent heard the ppx3-6sn7 nor the emmeline so I cant comment on those two. But the new ppx3 would be my choice based on sound quality I am getting. Throw in the ppx3 is hundreds cheaper and uses inexpensive, great sounding and readily available tubes; I would give the ppx3 a look.

One last point. The new amps Mikhail is going to be coming out with that have the seperate power supplies might be even better than the mpx3 for not a lot more. I have a prototype that has tube rectification and uses the 6cg7 tube. Its the best singlepower I have had in my setup. The guys at the Ohio mini-meet heard it if you want to check out their opinions, and I wrote a short review of the ppx3 and prototype.

This protoype is more like the ppx3. But it has the bass extension of the mpx3, an even more beautiful tone than the original ppx3, air and treble extension rivaling the mpx3 and resolution on par with the mpx3. The sound is so detailed but exceptionally forgiving. If there ever was a music lovers amp the prototype amp is it. This amp will be available with a 6cg7 or 6sn7 equipped electronics module(your choice) and a tube rectified or solid state rectified power supply(again your choice). Obviously the choices you make will determine the amps character but that tube rectified power supply gives a sound that makes the prototype the most liquid amp I have ever heard. If you check these out make sure you ask about the tube rectified power supply. Since he hasnt officially announced these you can blame me if you call him about them.

Sorry I gave you two more amps to think about.
 
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oneeyedhobbit

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Thanks for the detailed thoughts SACD lover, though you make this more difficult. I know absolutely nothing about tubes, it sounds like perhaps I should be considering the 6cg7 tubes, too...

Ah, I really can't afford to have all these different amps shipped to me, but its looking more and more like that is what this will take.
 
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tom hankins

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I would get one of the two box Singlepower amps like the prototype at sacd lovers house. Earl says with the right tubes it gets close in sound quality to the Singlepower SDS I have. That says alot for that amp. I heard it here and it was very nice. If not that I would get either the PPX3/6sn7, or new model PPX3. The PPX3 will save you 3-4 hundred bucks over the HR2 or MPX3.
BTW, I've heard the amps with the HD650 and they really do shine together.
Be careful if you get a Singlepower amp living in Chicago though.....the R.S. Mafia are based there with you!
 
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stryker

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Quote:

Originally Posted by tom hankins
I would get one of the two box Singlepower amps like the prototype at sacd lovers house. Earl says with the right tubes it gets close in sound quality to the Singlepower SDS I have. That says alot for that amp. I heard it here and it was very nice.


About how much for those beasts? Or a guesstimate.
 
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Sean H

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One thing you might consider if you are considering HR-2 and solid state is if you have Stryker's old PPA you could improve upon what you have now by adding a dedicated linear power supply and try swapping out the opamps for OPA-627's in all three channels. You'll get something much more like the HR-2. Not all PPA's are the same. My PPA (627's, STEPS power supply, discrete buffers) sounds rich, full, smooth and powerful. LT-1122 opamps sound even more rounded. The doobooloo unit you have now is a good one but culd really shine with a nice power supply (~$100-125 in a matching case), a change of opamps and maybe discrete buffers ($100) on down th road. Just a thought. Then again those new tube amps are tempting aren't they!
 
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tom hankins

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Quote:

Originally Posted by stryker
About how much for those beasts? Or a guesstimate.


They are in the $1K range.
 
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oneeyedhobbit

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Thanks for the suggestions and advice, folks. I guess I'm just going to have to bite the bullet and get some units to demo. But the impressions are certainly appreciated, and more are always welcome.
 
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tom hankins

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Quote:

Originally Posted by oneeyedhobbit
Thanks for the suggestions and advice, folks. I guess I'm just going to have to bite the bullet and get some units to demo. But the impressions are certainly appreciated, and more are always welcome.


The PPX3/6sn7 is only 549.00. Read the posts about it in the NY meet impressions thread. Sounds like even more of a winner than the regular PPX3.
 
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