Author Topic: My new amp  (Read 23673 times)

Offline ozmillsy

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Re: My new amp
« Reply #100 on: January 28, 2014, 08:19:11 AM »
If you do a direct comparison with the TL12 / Williamson / Radford St15 you can draw your own conclusions.  

The Garland modified Leak 20 was compared to the Garland modified Radford ST15 at the ACT GTG last year,   and the result didn't go the way I expected.    That day the Leak 20 trounced the Radford.    And everyone in the room drew their conclusions.

It's hard to quantify the value of modifications, but I value them greatly.    I'm firmly of the opinion that to get great sound, cant easily be done by riding the hifi merry-go-round, hoping to find synergy with stock components.    To get just the right sound, for your tastes, and system, needs tweaking of some kind.

But tweaking often isnt a step forward, the Radford was knobbled due to a change I had made (prior to the GTG).  I had removed some caps,  1 cap had burst due to suspected flaky tube, and I had no spares at the time. The advise received, by removing them was I'd just lose some volume.        Anyway, that change set me back for a long time,  removing the caps changed the sound of the amp,  I didn't just lose volume.    On my system,  I was rebalancing the sound with the treble controls on the Golds. The flavour of coffee was ok (to me) after adjusting the treble.  But more than 1 visitor let me know that the top end wasn't sounding as it should, it was a consistent message I got.   The amp comparison highlighted that the Radford was sounding flat compared to the Leak.  Prior System Feedback + Amp Comparison result on a different system, was pretty conclusive now - something was wrong with the Radford.  

Since then the Caps are now back into circuit (new elna cerafines), along with some magic wire blessed by Tibetan monks, and the Radford/system is singing again.   Sometimes it takes some feedback, and willingness to take it on board,  in order to move forward.

Making modifications can be a slippery slope, down into a maddening dark world of black art,  but it's lucky I don't ride the merry-go-round,  as a great amp would have been sold if I did.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2014, 11:51:26 AM by ozmillsy »
It's all about the music,, not the equipment.

Offline springcreek

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Re: My new amp
« Reply #101 on: January 28, 2014, 09:36:40 AM »
Yep that's what we heard. The Radford was clearly warmer, with much deeper bass and the Leak was tilted up due to the tubes. But for sheer musicality the Leak was substantially ahead. Glad the Radford has it's mojo back, it's a beautiful amp.  8) Definitely a keeper!

Offline springcreek

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Re: My new amp
« Reply #102 on: January 28, 2014, 09:43:12 AM »
I take V's point though that SET's done well with the right speakers tend to be the ultimate, and it comes out is spades in Stevens system. A lack of blur, a directness and palpable sense of reality.

Hopefully I'll have one when funds allow, for now the Leak delivers magic in spades.

Offline ozmillsy

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Re: My new amp
« Reply #103 on: January 28, 2014, 10:21:26 AM »
But for sheer musicality the Leak was substantially ahead.
It was on that given day, with the Radford in that sub-standard state,  no doubt.

As I said,  I thought the Leak sounded superb.   It's a great value amp.

I take V's point though that SET's done well with the right speakers tend to be the ultimate, and it comes out is spades in Stevens system. A lack of blur, a directness and palpable sense of reality.
Stevens system does a remarkable job of disappearing in front of our eyes.   All I see and hear are musicians performing in front of me.

The SET amps are a big part of that, no doubt.    I should have snapped up those killer bee's,  when I had the chance.    8)
« Last Edit: January 28, 2014, 11:12:11 AM by ozmillsy »
It's all about the music,, not the equipment.

Offline zenelectro

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Re: My new amp
« Reply #104 on: January 28, 2014, 01:24:45 PM »
If you do a direct comparison with the TL12 / Williamson / Radford St15 you can draw your own conclusions.  

The Garland modified Leak 20 was compared to the Garland modified Radford ST15 at the ACT GTG last year,   and the result didn't go the way I expected.    That day the Leak 20 trounced the Radford.    And everyone in the room drew their conclusions.


In the musicality / sweetness / emotional connection department, in general comparing an EL34 based amp to an EL84 one always goes in the 84's favor.
It goes the same way with musical instrument amps - EL84's just sound better where it matters - I use one myself.
At an educated guess, in general the original amp designers didn't really understand this and as soon as more than 10 to 15 watts was required, EL84's were not generally considered an option.

IMO the amp that you are probably looking for uses  a quad or even sextet of EL84's in push pull triode mode = 15 to 20 watts of class A triode power. 
This will get you some useable power / bottom end but still retain the lovely character of EL84's.  I don't know that there are hi fi amps of this configuration around. 

Z

Offline ozmillsy

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Re: My new amp
« Reply #105 on: January 28, 2014, 03:56:49 PM »
You're probably right in a general characteristic sense.   But not all EL34's are equal.

Drive and weight are just as important (to me) as sweetness.

Build one Zen,  bring it to the next GTG (around April),   if it lives up to the theory of delivering both the weight and sweetness,  I'm sure someone will snaffle it.    ???

But hang on,,,,,,  there's other stuff to do.   :-\  :P  
It's all about the music,, not the equipment.

Offline hedalfa

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Re: My new amp
« Reply #106 on: January 28, 2014, 05:34:41 PM »
You're probably right in a general characteristic sense.   But not all EL34's are equal.

Drive and weight are just as important (to me) as sweetness.

Build one Zen,  bring it to the next GTG (around April),   if it lives up to the theory of delivering both the weight and sweetness,  I'm sure someone will snaffle it.    ???

But hang on,,,,,,  there's other stuff to do.   :-\  :P  

I have to agree here not EL34's are equal.  There some nice sounding el34 valves and I like el34 run in triode mode.
 






Offline Jehuty

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Re: My new amp
« Reply #107 on: January 28, 2014, 10:35:10 PM »
IMO the amp that you are probably looking for uses  a quad or even sextet of EL84's in push pull triode mode = 15 to 20 watts of class A triode power.

Here you go Zen, the Beard P35 amp. Rawl99 got one for a bargain. He should start modifying the Beard and ditch the Leak  ;D Haha kidding of course!
Not all that matters can be measured, not all that can be measured matters.

Offline zenelectro

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Re: My new amp
« Reply #108 on: January 29, 2014, 12:38:16 AM »
You're probably right in a general characteristic sense.   But not all EL34's are equal.

Drive and weight are just as important (to me) as sweetness.

Build one Zen,  bring it to the next GTG (around April),   if it lives up to the theory of delivering both the weight and sweetness,  I'm sure someone will snaffle it.    ???

But hang on,,,,,,  there's other stuff to do.   :-\  :P  

Exactly - I have other fish to fry and they are well on the way   ;D - I am just doing a well calculated hypothetical based on experience.

Z

Offline zenelectro

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Re: My new amp
« Reply #109 on: January 29, 2014, 12:54:13 AM »
IMO the amp that you are probably looking for uses  a quad or even sextet of EL84's in push pull triode mode = 15 to 20 watts of class A triode power.

Here you go Zen, the Beard P35 amp. Rawl99 got one for a bargain. He should start modifying the Beard and ditch the Leak  ;D Haha kidding of course!

Yep, seen the Beard schematic. Again, same old same old, ultralinear OP stage, global feedback, solid state rectifier...... how to make a great tube sound average.


Z
 

Offline Jehuty

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Re: My new amp
« Reply #110 on: January 29, 2014, 01:28:21 AM »
I thought they were pretty highly regarded. I would love to hear one and see if they're any good. The solid state rectifier is indeed the glaring weakness.
Not all that matters can be measured, not all that can be measured matters.

Offline zenelectro

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Re: My new amp
« Reply #111 on: January 31, 2014, 10:13:26 AM »
Speaking of EL84's - what type / brand is everyone running in their Leaks?

I'm currently looking at trying some 7189 types for their better durability, has anyone tried 'em?

cheers

Z

Offline vitavoxdude

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Re: My new amp
« Reply #112 on: January 31, 2014, 02:37:03 PM »
Always used Mullards.................................this probably does not help, sorry.
V
We all like different things so lets all agree to disagree and if any common ground is found then worship it.  Mine is the KD hence being present on this forum.

Offline stevenvalve

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Re: My new amp
« Reply #113 on: January 31, 2014, 03:27:59 PM »
Speaking of EL84's - what type / brand is everyone running in their Leaks?

I'm currently looking at trying some 7189 types for their better durability, has anyone tried 'em?

cheers

Z
I have tried most EL84s, the best is the Mullard with the hole in the plate, next genuine Holland Amperex with the half triangle. I use GE 7189 in my 1960s Fisher amp but the problem is, most 7189s you can buy are the GE brand, and that is not good. They Do have more output than the stranded EL84.  

Offline zenelectro

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Re: My new amp
« Reply #114 on: February 01, 2014, 12:42:38 PM »
Always used Mullards.................................this probably does not help, sorry.
V

Thanks Vita, yes it does help - I haven't tried original Mullards.

I do have clients that want to pay for better NOS tubes. As an example last year restored an original Vox AC30 for a session player, it had a quad of old Telefunkens in it which will need replacing.
I don't want to put JJ's in that! :)

I was using Russian NOS 6P14P-EV tubes imported from Ukraine which are now re labelled and sold as special quality 7189's. They were cheap, very robust and sounded pretty good for new tubes.
But everyone got on to them and stocks are getting scarce.

cheers


Offline zenelectro

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Re: My new amp
« Reply #115 on: February 01, 2014, 01:22:11 PM »
Speaking of EL84's - what type / brand is everyone running in their Leaks?

I'm currently looking at trying some 7189 types for their better durability, has anyone tried 'em?

cheers

Z
I have tried most EL84s, the best is the Mullard with the hole in the plate, next genuine Holland Amperex with the half triangle. I use GE 7189 in my 1960s Fisher amp but the problem is, most 7189s you can buy are the GE brand, and that is not good. They Do have more output than the stranded EL84.  

Thanks Steve. Yep, checked those out they look interesting. What is a decent price for a quad? I'm assuming they are fairly thin on the ground so to speak.






Offline gamve

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Re: My new amp
« Reply #116 on: February 01, 2014, 04:09:05 PM »
Speaking of EL84's - what type / brand is everyone running in their Leaks?

I'm currently looking at trying some 7189 types for their better durability, has anyone tried 'em?

cheers

Z
I have tried most EL84s, the best is the Mullard with the hole in the plate, next genuine Holland Amperex with the half triangle. I use GE 7189 in my 1960s Fisher amp but the problem is, most 7189s you can buy are the GE brand, and that is not good. They Do have more output than the stranded EL84.  

Thanks Steve. Yep, checked those out they look interesting. What is a decent price for a quad? I'm assuming they are fairly thin on the ground so to speak.







Hi Z,
these usually go for at least $300 for a matched quad branded Mullard. You can get lucky if you look for the same tubes branded phillips. If you know what the mullards look like with the hole half way down the plate, the other branded tubes with the hole are mullards.

Offline stevenvalve

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Re: My new amp
« Reply #117 on: February 01, 2014, 05:06:45 PM »
I just sold 3 sets of new mullards, EL84s with the hole in the plate. all of mine where the best, with the B (Blackburn factory) Price is give or take $300.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2014, 05:25:33 PM by stevenvalve »

Offline vitavoxdude

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Re: My new amp
« Reply #118 on: February 02, 2014, 10:47:49 PM »
Link to Hifi world article (short) on the Leak stereo 20.  Enjoy:

http://www.hi-fiworld.co.uk/index.php/olde-worlde/225-leak-stereo-20-valve-amplifier.html

V :D
We all like different things so lets all agree to disagree and if any common ground is found then worship it.  Mine is the KD hence being present on this forum.

Offline stevenvalve

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Re: My new amp
« Reply #119 on: February 03, 2014, 01:06:45 AM »
Link to Hifi world article (short) on the Leak stereo 20.  Enjoy:

http://www.hi-fiworld.co.uk/index.php/olde-worlde/225-leak-stereo-20-valve-amplifier.html

V :D
I love the prices they quote here for a Leak stereo 20, But how times have changed

But the main thing is the great sound of the Stereo 20. The quality of its output transformers was impressive, and due to this the performance  considering its price in standard form is excellent. Pay about 200 for an un-modded Stereo 20, less for a non-mint example and up to about 350 for a fully rebuilt and modified version.