Author Topic: Less "shouting" please  (Read 6817 times)

Offline richidoo

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Less "shouting" please
« on: March 11, 2007, 06:42:29 PM »
I have recently installed acoustic treatment that lets me hear a characteristic of the sound of my tube amp that I don't like. It is a kinda shouty, aggressive horn speaker like harshness evident in the 300-1200Hz range, brass, female alto vocals, guitar. I guess it could be higher order harmonics popping up, that's kinda what it sounds like. At first I thought it was distortion from running the amp far into its power curve. But the sound is the same at medium volume, but is better at low volume. So I think it is either the sound of the amp, which would defy every review of it ever written, or the sound of the tubes. The tubes seem more likely the culprit because I had a set of 6L6 type tubes in there once which sounded very shouty. I replaced those with the current Svetlana "winged C" 6550C and they seemed to cure the problem. But now with the proverbial "veil" lifted, it's back, though nowhere near as bad as the 6L6s.

So I am thinking, "Hey! :idea: Instead of buying a new amp, maybe new tubes will fix it? It helped before, maybe I just need even less shouty tubes."

Cary has shipped this amp (SLI-80) with Chinese 6550s or KT-88s over the years. I have never tried KT-88 in it. I have tried EL34, it was too sweet and wimpy, but those were not especially good tubes.  

I have read that the Elektro Harmonix is one of the better KT-88s. I heard a Cayin intregated KT88 amp playing new Quads last month, that was nice.

Should I try KT-88? Or maybe another tube that is ballsy, clear and no shouting? Or just save up for ARC Ref210? :wink:

Thanks !!
Rich

WEEZ

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Less "shouting" please
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2007, 07:10:39 PM »
The acoustic treatments may simply require that you move your speakers just a little. Frustrating to get right, maybe, but cheaper than new tubes.

Just a thought..

WEEZ

Offline richidoo

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Less "shouting" please
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2007, 06:49:40 AM »
Thanks WEEZ, you are an endless source of excellent ideas!!! I've been shuffling speakers around a lot in the last two weeks. Sound definitely changes for the better compared to previous location, but the shout remains in each case. I am calling Upscale to ask about tubes as soon as they wake up this morning. They sell a modded version of my amp (F1) and I am a big F1 fan, so we will have something to talk about anyway, after they tell me tubes won't help try moving my speakers, haha!

Offline richidoo

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Less "shouting" please
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2007, 01:04:12 PM »
Found my EH EL34s again, plugged them in to revisit my first impression from a year ago. Now I remember what happened last time. POP! Left pair bias steadily rises as it warms up and apparently never stops!  I thought it was stable at 75ma, but as I was adjusting the other side, it must have started rising again and continued up until it blew the (500ma) fuse. One tube on left is 25% below the plate current from the other 4 anyway. I couldn't tell if they sounded any better, it blew too soon to listen to any music. On the bright side, one new fuse and no harm done.

Offline richidoo

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Less "shouting" please
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2007, 07:13:14 PM »
WEEZ I found another way to hear EL34s that you recommended. I have two brand new Manley Snappers on demo playing in the living room right now!  :D  A good friend is a dealer, he is letting me break them in for him. Because they were new, they sounded awful at first, but now with about 20 hours on them they are sounding much better, almost excellent in fact! Shouty sound is gone. Putting Cary back in brings it back. Now I gotta see if it is the tubes or just the different design, probably some of both.

WEEZ

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« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2007, 03:03:00 AM »
Manley and Cary DO have a different sound, that's for sure.

Wish I had a dealer near me...much less one that let me break-in some amps!!

WEEZ

Offline richidoo

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Less "shouting" please
« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2007, 05:56:48 PM »
WEEZ, I took your advice. You said try some EL34s. Today I bought a pair of new Manley Snappers with EL34s! I am 40yo and in love like I was 13.

They are much more than I ever expected in an upgrade amp within my budget. Review coming, but holy gonads, Batman. Power and finesse and resolution of the tiniest sounds, like feet shuffling on stage, wild stuff like that. They're not Stereophile kind of transparent, they do have a touch of fire, like they mean business on everything they play. Even tinkly little waif music sounds like, "Mister, you better listen or I will KICK YOUR ASS!" And if you feed it some Tchaikovsky, Basie or even Chris Daughtry you better bring the tissue because soon you will be crying or laughing. I always thought I needed therapy, now I can get it at the puch of a button! The hard part is standing up and getting on with my life after an hour in "the electric chair."

I have no preamp now, just SB into the amps with anticable ICs. The Grover ICs were even more detailed than the anticable, so I can't imagine what that will sound like. My little girl wants her record player and "Tina the Ballerina" music back, so I will need a preamp soon for switching and VC.

It has been a giant whirlpool black hole of audio this past week. Thanks to everyone that helped make this decision so much fun. I met a lot of new friends and discovered 1st hand the intense excitement and joy this hobby has to offer.
Rich

Offline stereofool

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Less "shouting" please
« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2007, 06:18:34 PM »
Rich,

Congratulations, on the decision  :) ! Your Legacy's are great, and now you have to power to make them sing!

I know that you will enjoy rediscovering your music collection.

Steve
Steve
Have you ever noticed.... Anyone going slower than you is an idiot...and anyone going faster than you is a maniac?

Offline Carlman

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Less "shouting" please
« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2007, 06:23:42 PM »
That's such a good high to have... when you discover a presentation that lets you reconnect with your music all over again.  Congrats, Rich.

If you want recommendations on a new preamp, let us know... :)

-C
I really enjoy listening to music.

WEEZ

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« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2007, 06:58:55 PM »
Rich,

8th Nerve is selling his Manley pre-amp..check AC

WEEZ

Offline richidoo

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Less "shouting" please
« Reply #10 on: March 28, 2007, 04:52:41 AM »
Thanks guys.

Saw Nathan's Shrimp, thanks for the tip. That is quite interesting, someone whose ears I respect moving away from the Shrimp, hmmmm.... I am to much a contrarian. It doesn't have a remote volume, only disadvantage for me. Good price though! I will have one to demo in a couple weeks from my dealer. He is too good to me not to buy Manley from him, a real old fashioned stereo shop.

Also thinking about Placette, AVA and ModWright, or used ARC. Gotta get through Grover's cables first, then cool it for a little while.

miklorsmith

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Less "shouting" please
« Reply #11 on: March 28, 2007, 07:47:10 AM »
Good for you, Rich!  May the buzz last a while . . .

I've got a used Lamm LL2 Deluxe coming my way, I'll report back.

Offline steve

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Re: Less "shouting" please
« Reply #12 on: June 21, 2007, 01:27:50 PM »
Hi Rich

     I have found the winged C KT88s to have a little less "glare" if you will, then the winged C 6550, but also less control of the bass. The JJ kT88s seem even a little more subdued than the winged C KT88, and the bass seems a little tighter than the winged C KT88. However, I found the JJs pins seem a little small, kinda like the KT77s. They fit loose in the socket compared to the winged Cs.

Hope this helps.



I have read that the Elektro Harmonix is one of the better KT-88s. I heard a Cayin intregated KT88 amp playing new Quads last month, that was nice.

Should I try KT-88? Or maybe another tube that is ballsy, clear and no shouting? Or just save up for ARC Ref210? :wink:

Thanks !!
Rich
[/quote]
« Last Edit: June 21, 2007, 01:30:58 PM by steve »
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Offline richidoo

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Re: Less "shouting" please
« Reply #13 on: June 21, 2007, 02:46:00 PM »
Hi Steve,
Welcome again to the forum. Thanks for your advice. Since that first post I have new amps which eat only EL34/KT77 so no more 6550s for me :(   I am very happy with the Manley Snappers though. I am  learning there are many other factors contributing to the shoutiness than the tubes, which actually turned out to be OK. I'm only in this hobby almost 2 years, and I started as cheap as possible, now gradually screening out the not good enough stuff that I started with. I'm pretty sure the speaker wires are the primary shouters. Last thing I woulda suspected, and why it took so long to figure it out! hehe
Thanks
Rich