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SteveFord

Steve Ford's Junk

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After having listened to this phono stage for a bit, I can recommend it if you're in need of one.

I gave the Kinks' Muswell Hillbillies a spin (it's a really bad recording) and it managed to bring out a lot of detail which was always buried. Nothing else ever brought all of those background vocals out of the murk.

Silver interconnects ended up working fine on it as well.

You can pick them up new for about 4 bills to your door on eBay - Jolida drop ships.

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Cubbyhole is looking kind of ratty, isn't it?

As for sound, the first thing I noticed was a MUCH wider and deeper soundstage. Sounds are coming from way outside of the speakers and stereo seperation is really good.

Drums and cymbals lost that overly bright and metallic sound, stuff like a bass saxophone sound great, overall a very smooth and non fatiguing sound.

It's revealed considerably more detail - I'm hearing all sorts of stuff which you could only get with headphones and maybe not even then. Who knew all of that junk was on there?

One nice thing is that the detail doesn't disappear when you turn the volume down; it sounds the same, just quieter.

The power cord are just cheap junk so are going to be replaced, I need some of Ben's interconnects for them and I need to bias the tubes this weekend - looks pretty easy to do. Heavy suckers - 75 pounds each. Previous owner said he ran a 20A circuit for each amp or else the transformers (and speakers) would buzz so I guess there goes the electric bill.

I'm VERY impressed and relieved as this was a long distance purchase on Audiogon and I'd never heard these amps before anywhere.

Lynda, who's no stereo buff, said it sounds like a live concert. That's about the best way to put it.

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Cubbyhole is looking kind of ratty, isn't it?

As for sound, the first thing I noticed was a MUCH wider and deeper soundstage. Sounds are coming from way outside of the speakers and stereo seperation is really good.

Drums and cymbals lost that overly bright and metallic sound, stuff like a bass saxophone sound great, overall a very smooth and non fatiguing sound.

It's revealed considerably more detail - I'm hearing all sorts of stuff which you could only get with headphones. Who knew all of that junk was on there?

One nice thing is that the detail doesn't disappear when you turn the volume down; it sounds the same, just quieter.

The power cord are just cheap junk so are going to be replaced, I need some of Ben's interconnects for them and I need to bias the tubes this weekend - looks pretty easy to do. Heavy suckers - 75 pounds each. Previous owner said he ran a 20A circuit for each amp or else the transformers (and speakers) would buzz so I guess there goes the electric bill.

I'm VERY impressed and relieved as this was a long distance purchase on Audiogon and I'd never heard these amps before anywhere.

Lynda, who's no stereo buff, said it sounds like a live concert. That's about the best way to put it.

 

Sounds like your very happy then Steve. God I wish I could just blow the mooooooollaaaaa like you guys can ! My wife would give me a frontal lobotomy.**)) **)) **))

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Did I mention that I now officially HATE Steve's guts ..... LOL!!!!!

 

Me too...................||| ||| ||| Bite me................|:)|

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It's easier to ask for forgiveness than permission.

What's next (other than bills)?

Interconnects

Risers

Power Conditioner(s)

WooAudio6 headphone amp

Tubes

Some sort of cabinet for this crap

Reel to reel from RadioEng2

Possibly dedicated wiring, dag nab it. I hate paying for junk like that.

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As for sound, the first thing I noticed was a MUCH wider and deeper soundstage. Sounds are coming from way outside of the speakers and stereo seperation is really good.

Drums and cymbals lost that overly bright and metallic sound, stuff like a bass saxophone sound great, overall a very smooth and non fatiguing sound.

It's revealed considerably more detail - I'm hearing all sorts of stuff which you could only get with headphones and maybe not even then. Who knew all of that junk was on there?

One nice thing is that the detail doesn't disappear when you turn the volume down; it sounds the same, just quieter.

Steve, very glad to hear your enjoying!!

 

Your comments about the soundstage, and the ability to image is exactly what you should experience from a tube rig! This often repeated crap about tubes being for "coloration" and "pleasing distortion" gets so old when that's not what it's about. At least for everybody I've ever met or heard the system of.

 

There are fundemental differences between tubes and transistors. Some good and some bad. But when your looking for that beauty of fine detail, a good tube rig can do some amazing things.

 

Hope your biasing gets figured out and you can feel comfortable that your running the tubes in their sweet spot!

 

Mark

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A new house in New Mexico sounds good to me and my tortises!!!

 

 

I think the tortoises would still be hibernating (is that what they do?) -- at least for a while more up here in the northern part of the state.

 

But otherwise -- it's a great place to live and breathe!

 

(Well I have seen lots of beetles mating butt to butt out on my patio bricks in the sun lately, though.... FILTH!!!) LOL

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Nothing like a little butt to butt beetle porn to get the adreneline flowing.

Reese, you don't know how good you've got it!

With regards to what Mark was saying about coloration and pleasing distortion, I'm sure that's true with a lot of the older tube amplifiers.

Time marches on with the tube amps, solid state, speakers, cartridges, CD players - you name it. What was true at one time doesn't necessarily apply today.

From talking with other people, just because it has tubes in it doesn't make it really wonderful, either. For instance, the fellow I bought these from replaced them with Conrad Johnson monoblocks, said that was a mistake, wish I hadn't sold those VTLs and is now looking at some Manley 500s because he can't stand the sound of the Conrad Johnsons.

That is what I would like to see Bob do - use a set of those Manleys as a reference amp for the T-mod but that's probably not in the cards.

One final aside: I had a couple over today and the woman laughed at the irony of setting aside her Ipod and listening to music on a turntable with tube components.

What's old is now new again.

 

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No, these are moldy oldies, just pentode.

That's how I would have used them anyway - Maggies suck up the power.

It was interesting reading that article Mark posted on the solution being low power amps with really efficient speakers but I'm so used to the sound of Magnepans that I won't switch speakers.

Is it Thall's signature "I know what I like and I like what I know"?

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Steve' date=' are these the VTLs that can be operated in triode or pentode?[/quote']

 

I don't think that i have ever listened to any tube gear. What is the difference between triode and pentode. Is there a nematode option?:dd

 

I am glad you like those VTLs Steve. Good show.

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