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-   Inspire by Dennis Had (https://www.audioaficionado.org/forumdisplay.php?f=184)
-   -   Dennis Had Inspire Amps (https://www.audioaficionado.org/showthread.php?t=24170)

Justlisten2 09-22-2014 04:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by richamor (Post 639806)
Now......another email and he has asked that I bring the preamp and power amp both.....as he may "have a mod or two up his sleeve."

I feel like a 6yo with Christmas coming up:banana:

That sounds like some fun right there!! I'll bet that Dennis is even more fun in person than his gear is!! :music:

pstrisik 09-22-2014 05:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by richamor (Post 639806)
Now......another email and he has asked that I bring the preamp and power amp both.....as he may "have a mod or two up his sleeve."

I feel like a 6yo with Christmas coming up:banana:

http://www.gospel-herald.com/images/envy.gif

Aercool 09-22-2014 06:28 PM

Rich, which Inspire do you have? Is the amp the one with the power tubes at an angle to one another or in a line parallel with the front panel?

I've got the KT-150 style amp with the power tubes in a line and the 6922-type driver tube in front of them in a triangular position.

I do recall he had a mod for the type of amp where the power tubes are at an angle. Not sure what it is, but it's intriguing!

pstrisik 09-22-2014 06:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Aercool (Post 639843)
Rich, which Inspire do you have? Is the amp the one with the power tubes at an angle to one another or in a line parallel with the front panel?

I've got the KT-150 style amp with the power tubes in a line and the 6922-type driver tube in front of them in a triangular position.

I do recall he had a mod for the type of amp where the power tubes are at an angle. Not sure what it is, but it's intriguing!

I did recall correctly. I don't think he made very many of the KT150s, not sure why. My impression is that it has been his top of the line before getting into monoblocs. Maybe the relative cost perception when compared to similar amp like the KT88? I'm glad to have the extra iron even though I haven't compared sound to other Inspires. Just some added confidence in its capabilities.

By the way... I've been disorganized, but made some changes and progress in tube rolling. I'm currently running a pair of Mullard EL34 XF2 that may have took the top position for me. I need to do a direct compare going back to the Popes at this point. But the EL34s give me 10 watts vs. the 5 from the Popes, so they have an edge if sound is comparable at moderate volume. They do seem to have more dynamics as well as more defined mid-bass.

I also put in the 6N1P Voskhod rockets. Intial impression was favorable, but haven't gone back in the other direction for confirmation.

richamor 09-22-2014 07:20 PM

Mine is the one with the outputs and rectifier in a row with the 6922 in front between the outputs.

I have Valve Art 350B's in now with a VA 274 rectifier. A BB 6922 fill out the quad. The best sounding set-up in my house by far. I have the Gold Lion's it came with and will try those after I have a few hours on the VA's.

I would like to be able to use the 6922 tubes in the pre instead of the 6189.

Dennis did say that if someone wanted to join me on the trip up........

Anybody??

Aercool 09-23-2014 07:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pstrisik (Post 639786)
+1!

Mark, Am I recalling correctly that you have the KT150 model (same as mine)?

Yes, mine was shipped as the KT-150, but hasn't used those tubes in months.

Keep up posted on these "upgrades"! If I'm gone for a period of time, I might think about sending mine into the spa for a refresh!

richamor 09-26-2014 10:57 AM

My trip to the Fun Factory..or a visit with Dennis Had
 
After a 3 hour drive I arrived at a nondescript door at a small row complex in a nice part of town. I saw the Telefunken sticker on the door so I figured I was at the tight place. As I was calling Dennis, Tony arrived with some parts so I was privileged to him for a bit as well. He is also a retiree from Cary that Dennis has enlisted to help with the growing workload. Tony does all of the metal work once the boxes arrive from the fab shop in Ohio. Tony does all of the holes and cutouts and mounts the transformers, tube sockets, etc. The powder coating is done just up the street in the same complex.

Dennis arrived with a carload of stuff, including some very interesting open baffle speakers. Once the hello's were out if the way and the equipment sat in place, Dennis put on some killer Mark Knopfler live that I was not familiar with. Through his amp and pre out to those open baffle speakers, I was transported to another place. Mark Knopfler was right there in the room in front of me. The music seemed to fill the room without losing any coherency. The snare snapped, the upright bass had that thump that can only be an upright. The vocals were clear and clean and the piano had the sparkle in the upper end that is so hard to find without sibilance. Crisp, clean, clear with bass that was bass, not boom and brilliance that sparkled, not hissed. And this was the smaller speakers! He hooked up the larger set of open baffles and overall the sound was bigger with a tad more bass, but without the sparkle of the smaller speakers. The little open baffles won me over and will soon be in my living room just as soon as I can get back to Cary. To say I was impressed with the man or his equipment would be a gross understatement.

When the music ended, Dennis said lets have a look at your pre first. He opened it up and visually gave it a good looking over. Satisfied with that he hooked it up to the test equipment. Although I didn't (and still don't fully) understand what I was looking at, Dennis explained it to me in a way that at least made sense to me. He was well pleased with the test results and I am well pleased with the sound. Then on to the power amp. He opened up the bottom and removed a resistor (I believe) from the bias circuit and added another wire to apply negative voltage to the bias circuit. He patiently explained what he was doing and why until I feel like I understood, but I'm afraid the details are lost in the grey matter. Once finished he buttoned it up and put it to the test. And this is where it gets real good. Everyone wonders why Dennis's amps sound so big, why his 6 watt amp can drive "hard to drive" low efficiency speakers. It's because their output is almost DOUBLE what Dennis advertises. My KT-88 with Svetlava EL34 tubes and a 274B rectifier made 18WPC before clipping. Dennis popped in a Ruby 5AR4 and measured 22WPC before clipping. These are sold as 10WPC amps!!! He then rolled in his favorite 6V6 with the 274B and measured 12WPC before clipping instead of the 5 he sells it as. He then took my favorite RCA cleartop driver tube out and put his favorite in. Then he showed me why on the test scope and even I could see the reduced second and third order harmonics. Then he explained what I was looking at and the importance of the second and third order harmonics in different amps. I was under the spell of the Master.

Then Lunch!!! Lovely meal at a local favorite spot. Made all the better by conversation with a legend in the industry that chatted with me like I was a long lost friend.

Back at the shop, the fun really gets started. I like the fact that Dennis kept playing the same music at every change. That way any difference, good or bad, is immediately obvious. First up, my amp as brought in with the EL34 and 274B through the small OB's. That's my girl, singing her heart out and sounding even lovelier than before. Dennis's bias improvement seems to have made the highs even more clear. Kinda like wiping the smudge off your glasses. Then on to his favorite tube, the 6V6GT, and another OMG moment. My amp, on steroids. Crisp, clean clear with just a tad more bass. A bit of the sparkle in highs was gone, but replaced by a midrange that seemed to fill the room without overpowering the sound. I was mesmerized. But for thevpièce de résistance, Dennis brought out the lovely Sophia 274B. Sounding at least as good as she looks, that SNAP on the snare became slap of a brush. How a rectifier tube can clear up sound like that befuddles me and even Dennis could only grin. As happy as a pig in poo but reluctant to leave, I started packing up for the return trip. Dennis insisted I keep the 6V6 and driver tube. The Sophia would have left as well, but it was his last one and destined for a new headphone amp due to leave. Not in a rush to go, I jumped at the opportunity to listen to the new headphone amp. Although never a big can fan before, this could convert me easily. The combination of his amp, the Moon cables, and the $2000 Audex headphones would convert anyone I believe.

But all to soon, that 3 hour drive was looming. And Dennis has obligations to fill having given me the biggest part of the day. All to soon it was time to go. I will go back next week to pick up the speakers. As you would figure, Dennis said I was welcome anytime and started talking about the next visit!

All in All......one of the Best Days Ever in my 58+ years. In my job I get to meet a wide variety of people, from janitors to CEO's. I've been impressed by only 2 or 3. Dennis Had adds one more to that number. Thank you Sir.

Back to reality

pstrisik 09-26-2014 11:50 AM

Sounds like a wonderful visit! Is there more after lunch?

And, pray tell, what is Dennis' favorite 6V6?

Any photos, particularly of those OB's?

Thanks for the virtual experience!

richamor 09-26-2014 12:15 PM

Part 2

A few things we discussed. Dennis does this as a hobby. Hard to believe, but nonetheless true. He truly seems to be having fun and will continue doing this as long as it is fun. It takes him 5 hours to wire up an amp once the hardware is installed by Tony. Given his time, the manufacturing, powdercoating, tubes, overhead, etc I'm fairly certain he isn't doing it for the money. So no 300B tube amps and no integrateds.

A phono pre is in the works. And I have my name on the list for one as soon as it's available. I saw what he was using (no I won't tell).

The 6V6GT is a Genelex.

No pics at all. That will be up to him to post as he sees fit. If not before, I will post pics when I get them home.

His shop is a wonderland. I could spend days there oohhing and aahhing. Very much Like Terry DeWick's place but a bit larger.

There is a lot left out as I dread typing. I met his lovely wife whom I believe he introduced her as Donna.

I saw the new monoblocks, the 12WPC and the mighty 25WPC. The new copper color is drop dead gorgeous in person. Love the new headphone amp and these are going to be big sellers.

He could double his prices and these would still be a bargain. And remember, I bought mine USED!! We all hear so much bad press about customer support and service after you've spent your hard earned dollar. Dennis also has an issue with that and I believe anyone else would receive at least the same treatment. These are his "babies" as he called them. "How could I not care about them" he said.

And I am very much a convert. I will have a complete Dennis Had system in my home and be privileged for the opportunity. If anyone is ever in the area and you don't contact him it's your loss. He very much enjoys the company and I promise you, you will remember the visit.

And FWIW-I contacted him through his ebay sales contact info.

pstrisik 09-26-2014 12:20 PM

Thanks Rich.

Are those current production Genelex 6V6 he likes?


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