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Pre-Amp Shootout

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beemers417

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Post Thu Oct 13, 2011 11:47 pm

Re: Pre-Amp Shootout

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Gunter the wonder dog is watching you...
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70chevelle

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M-400t CUBE

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Post Thu Oct 20, 2011 9:52 am

Re: Pre-Amp Shootout

Update - Some of my CD's suck! I was playing one of my favorites, Fleetwood Mac Rumors, and I had the volume at 4:00. Put in Queen and had to back off to 12-1:00. Not a lot of gain in this Pre and very little in that recording. I'm still missing some bass and hoping that some tube rolling will help that out. Tube rolling has me a bit concerned also, since there is so much to take into account along with some pretty hefty prices. I'm thinking of getting Matsushita 7DJ8's from what I've read on Upscale Audio. http://www.upscaleaudio.com/products/Ma ... -7DJ8.html I emailed for some add'l info, but haven't heard back yet. I'm also thinking of to ordering some EH6922's. Reasonably priced and I've read some good reviews. I have some amazon points (read 'free!') and they are available, but they don't offer matched sets like the other tube suppliers. Thoughts?

I connected my CD players via RCA's and then thru my Maverick Tube Dac to the Sunfire via Coax & Toslink. (NAD/Carver respectively). The NAD 525Bee thru the Coax/Mav made the vocals very forward with a touch of sibilance, instruments a bit muddy, and a little bit of sizzle throughout. I went back to the RCA's direct to the Sunfire and it was crystal clear and the vocals fell back a bit, along with the instruments. I found that I liked the Carver SDA/360 a little better thru the toslink/Mav. I know the sound is a bit colored, but it was more engaging that direct thru the RCA's. I guess the DAC chip in the Mav is better than the what's in the 20 year old Carver?

Now to the CD's. I guess it's just a crap shoot to get a good recording? I have a Springsteen (greatest hits) cd that is horrible. Flat. (Best description I can give) My two favorites on that CD are The River and Thunder Road. Two pretty engaging songs, that just don't do it for me from that disk. So, now that (I guess) I'm building a more revealing system, how do you ensure you're not wasting money on the music?

One last thing. I thought about switching in my M500 (non t). The only thing that kept me from doing it is pure lazyness :-" I have my Vandy's bi-wired with bananas, and my M500 doesn't take bananas, so I'll have to remove the bananas to connect to the M500. :-({|= I'm going to take some initiative and give this a try this weekend. Any thoughts on this combination?

Oh, and as far as the shootout goes: The Sunfire is definitely the winner. The CT6 is a pretty nice sounding unit and I'm glad I have it. The Anthem just doesn't have the synergy with my Carver equipment.
Main: TFM-45, Sunfire Tube CCC, Maverick DAC, NAD525Bee, Vandy 2C, Laptop
Office: M-500, CT-6, SDA360, Paradigm Studio 20, HRT MSII, PC
HT: Acurus 200x3, HK AVR247, Paradigm Mini Monitors, CC290, Micros, Velodyne DSL3750
Wght Rm: HR732, Paradigm Micros, Pure20
House: Denon AVR1400, Niles spkr box, SpeakerCraft Ceilings, BA A60II's, BA T930's, PC
Bedroom: Yamaha AVR, Panasonic DVD/CD chgr, Paradigm CC50/Micros, Yam sub.
Headphones: AKG Q701's, Sennheiser HD238's
Patio: Yamaha AVR, KLH In/Out Speakers
Misc: HK 330i
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Chauss

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Post Thu Oct 20, 2011 10:09 am

Re: Pre-Amp Shootout

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Good sound—like good music, good wine and good fellowship—is meant to be shared.
"The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits" Albert Einstein
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stereo_buff

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Post Thu Oct 20, 2011 10:22 am

Re: Pre-Amp Shootout

Fleetwood Mac's Rumours held the distinction for many years as one of the worst CDs ever released, the transfer from the analog tape to the digital domain being so bad. That aside, you'll also find (if you haven't already) how much the CD player can affect sound. An eye-opening experience of that nature occurred to me several years ago when accompanying my brother to purchase a new CD player. We were in a high-end hi-fi salon listening to a Marantz CD-63 that sounded pretty good. The salesman then suggested we swap out the CD-63, replacing it with a CD-63 SE (Special Edition). The difference in sound was like night and day! According to the salesman, the only difference between the two was the analog output section, the SE using 'higher quality components.' Otherwise, he claimed the DAC and other digital components were identical between the two.

Do you have another CD player available that you can repeat the test, using the same CDs but swapping out the CD player? It would be interesting to find out.
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70chevelle

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M-400t CUBE

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Post Thu Oct 20, 2011 11:06 am

Re: Pre-Amp Shootout

stereo_buff wrote:Fleetwood Mac's Rumours held the distinction for many years as one of the worst CDs ever released, the transfer from the analog tape to the digital domain being so bad. That aside, you'll also find (if you haven't already) how much the CD player can affect sound. An eye-opening experience of that nature occurred to me several years ago when accompanying my brother to purchase a new CD player. We were in a high-end hi-fi salon listening to a Marantz CD-63 that sounded pretty good. The salesman then suggested we swap out the CD-63, replacing it with a CD-63 SE (Special Edition). The difference in sound was like night and day! According to the salesman, the only difference between the two was the analog output section, the SE using 'higher quality components.' Otherwise, he claimed the DAC and other digital components were identical between the two.

Do you have another CD player available that you can repeat the test, using the same CDs but swapping out the CD player? It would be interesting to find out.


That's what I was doing last nite. I haven't gotten tired of Norah Jones yet, and her vocals with the Sunfire Pre are spectacular. I played the same song on the NAD via RCA then Coax/Mav Dac then moved the disk to the SDA360 and played thru RCA's then Optical/Mav Dac. The differences between the 4 presentations were very apparent and all very different. The only other player I have is a Toshiba HD A2. I may throw it in just to see how it sounds. I was hoping it played SACD's, but it doesn't. Thanks for the info on the Rumours CD.
Main: TFM-45, Sunfire Tube CCC, Maverick DAC, NAD525Bee, Vandy 2C, Laptop
Office: M-500, CT-6, SDA360, Paradigm Studio 20, HRT MSII, PC
HT: Acurus 200x3, HK AVR247, Paradigm Mini Monitors, CC290, Micros, Velodyne DSL3750
Wght Rm: HR732, Paradigm Micros, Pure20
House: Denon AVR1400, Niles spkr box, SpeakerCraft Ceilings, BA A60II's, BA T930's, PC
Bedroom: Yamaha AVR, Panasonic DVD/CD chgr, Paradigm CC50/Micros, Yam sub.
Headphones: AKG Q701's, Sennheiser HD238's
Patio: Yamaha AVR, KLH In/Out Speakers
Misc: HK 330i
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BrianT

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Post Thu Oct 20, 2011 5:53 pm

Re: Pre-Amp Shootout

70chevelle wrote:Oh, and as far as the shootout goes: The Sunfire is definitely the winner. The CT6 is a pretty nice sounding unit and I'm glad I have it. The Anthem just doesn't have the synergy with my Carver equipment.


Chev.

I glad that you have come to that decision, as the Sunfire is very hard to beat.

Brian
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Sunfire Vacuum Tube Control Centre. C/W Mod'ed Phono Stage
Carver Silver 7's Tube Amps
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Snoop65

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Post Thu Oct 20, 2011 6:37 pm

Re: Pre-Amp Shootout

BrianT wrote:
70chevelle wrote:Oh, and as far as the shootout goes: The Sunfire is definitely the winner. The CT6 is a pretty nice sounding unit and I'm glad I have it. The Anthem just doesn't have the synergy with my Carver equipment.


Chev.

I glad that you have come to that decision, as the Sunfire is very hard to beat.

Brian


Yes it is. Especially when you drop some nos tubes in it.
CARVER LIGHTSTAR REFERENCE+SUNFIRE CLASSIC TUBE PREAMPLIFIER+JBL XPL200+MUSIC HALL MMF-9.1+GRADO REFERENCE MASTER 1+CARVER SD/A 390t=WOW!!!!!!
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70chevelle

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M-400t CUBE

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Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 2:01 pm

Post Fri Oct 21, 2011 9:36 am

Re: Pre-Amp Shootout

I hooked up the m 500. Not as detailed or extended. It may have controlled the bass a hair better, but the 45 is the one. My playlist included "maybe" from Janis Joplins greatest hits. All I can say is WOW! One of my all time favorites and it was spectacular. I also put in Neil Young Live Rust. Wow again. Sounded like I was back at the Civic Arena in 1983. Since no one is home I had it cranking. The gain at 3:00 was loud but not strained. Don't think I can use all the power the amp has due to the limited gain of the pre, but I don't think I'd enjoy any louder. Thanks for the help through this journey. I'll be ordering some tubes in the near future and will start another thread with my thoughts.
Main: TFM-45, Sunfire Tube CCC, Maverick DAC, NAD525Bee, Vandy 2C, Laptop
Office: M-500, CT-6, SDA360, Paradigm Studio 20, HRT MSII, PC
HT: Acurus 200x3, HK AVR247, Paradigm Mini Monitors, CC290, Micros, Velodyne DSL3750
Wght Rm: HR732, Paradigm Micros, Pure20
House: Denon AVR1400, Niles spkr box, SpeakerCraft Ceilings, BA A60II's, BA T930's, PC
Bedroom: Yamaha AVR, Panasonic DVD/CD chgr, Paradigm CC50/Micros, Yam sub.
Headphones: AKG Q701's, Sennheiser HD238's
Patio: Yamaha AVR, KLH In/Out Speakers
Misc: HK 330i
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