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

pstrisik 06-23-2014 01:54 PM

Good point. The Gold Lions were $62/pr btw. I found NOS RCA 6SN7's (in my SLP-05) to be quite dark. They work well in the mix with Sylvanias, but I've been cautious about NOS RCA's in general as a result (except for rectifiers). This may not be warranted with the 6V6's though. Are you running a pair? What is the sound like to you?

Edit: Aercool... I see a couple of posts back that you have these on the way. So I'll look forward to your impressions when you get them. I put an inquiry in to Brent Jessee who has advised me well in the past. Where are you buying from?

Aercool 06-23-2014 09:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pstrisik (Post 617738)
Good point. The Gold Lions were $62/pr btw. I found NOS RCA 6SN7's (in my SLP-05) to be quite dark. They work well in the mix with Sylvanias, but I've been cautious about NOS RCA's in general as a result (except for rectifiers). This may not be warranted with the 6V6's though. Are you running a pair? What is the sound like to you?

Edit: Aercool... I see a couple of posts back that you have these on the way. So I'll look forward to your impressions when you get them. I put an inquiry in to Brent Jessee who has advised me well in the past. Where are you buying from?

I've got a few pair of NOS tubes. One set of 40's VT-107A RCA 6V6GT's, another set of regular RCA 6V6GT gray glass, a pair of Sylvania 6V6G's. The 6V6G's were the only disappointment - just a little congested in louder music. In acoustic/solo stuff they were fine. Put on the remix of LedZep's III, and there was some bloat. I guess I'm searching for the "golden era" of the 6V6G/6V6GT, where the sound was best because it was the cornerstone vacuum tube and best manufacturing practices were in place and every one was a gem. Right now, if I had to guess, I'd say it was early/mid 40's. Can you draw a correlation to the US tubes being made when the country was pulling itself out of the depression and workers were motivated by the world war? Dunno, but it's fun to think about.

pstrisik 06-24-2014 12:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Aercool (Post 617845)
I've got a few pair of NOS tubes. One set of 40's VT-107A RCA 6V6GT's, another set of regular RCA 6V6GT gray glass, a pair of Sylvania 6V6G's. The 6V6G's were the only disappointment - just a little congested in louder music. In acoustic/solo stuff they were fine. Put on the remix of LedZep's III, and there was some bloat. I guess I'm searching for the "golden era" of the 6V6G/6V6GT, where the sound was best because it was the cornerstone vacuum tube and best manufacturing practices were in place and every one was a gem. Right now, if I had to guess, I'd say it was early/mid 40's. Can you draw a correlation to the US tubes being made when the country was pulling itself out of the depression and workers were motivated by the world war? Dunno, but it's fun to think about.

Hey, that's a whole level deeper man! You could do a dissertation on histories influence on tube quality and its effect on the audio world!

Bottom line though, I'm not sure what you're saying about the RCA 6V6GT gray glass. The Sylvania's disappointed, how were the two RCA's? Had you had any others to compare with before this trio?

My Popes are certainly doing very well. We'll see how the Gold Lions compare. And now I'm curious about throwing RCAs in the mix.

Aercool 06-24-2014 10:05 PM

The RCA's in my opinion are the gold standard in 6V6GT's. Better than the Popes in my limited listening. I agree that the RCA's probably aren't the best choice for 6SN7's, better options there like the Tung-Sols. Besides, preamp tubes are different beasts that power tubes, but yes, please contact Brent for a pair of vintage RCA's. I've got a pair of his matched RCA's in my amp now, and they're glorious.

But somewhere en route are the very earliest of the early 6V6G's with the ST shaped coke bottle glass from a reputable tube seller. Estimated 1936/1937 vintage. Will it test my history influence theory? The people that HAD jobs then were dang happy to have them, and worked like dogs to make the best stuff they could so they could KEEP their job? National pride from the war hadn't yet taken hold, but self pride was there! (okay, yes, I've had an adult beverage. my enthusiasm is hitting the flood stage.)

pstrisik 06-25-2014 11:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Aercool (Post 618147)
The RCA's in my opinion are the gold standard in 6V6GT's. Better than the Popes in my limited listening. I agree that the RCA's probably aren't the best choice for 6SN7's, better options there like the Tung-Sols. Besides, preamp tubes are different beasts that power tubes, but yes, please contact Brent for a pair of vintage RCA's. I've got a pair of his matched RCA's in my amp now, and they're glorious.


I shall give them a try! I'd love to try Bendix also, but that's getting a bit pricey. Just put in the order with Brent. So I will have Pope, Gold Lion, RCA to compare. I still think the Pope 6V6 have the edge over the KT150's, though I like the 150's as well. So 6V6 seems like the way to go for me right now and this will give a good sampling between highly rated NOS and current production tubes. I also have GL KT88's coming to try a different type of tube. Have to be careful though. Don't want to spend more on tubes than I did for the amp that uses them! :p

Quote:

But somewhere en route are the very earliest of the early 6V6G's with the ST shaped coke bottle glass from a reputable tube seller. Estimated 1936/1937 vintage. Will it test my history influence theory? The people that HAD jobs then were dang happy to have them, and worked like dogs to make the best stuff they could so they could KEEP their job? National pride from the war hadn't yet taken hold, but self pride was there! (okay, yes, I've had an adult beverage. my enthusiasm is hitting the flood stage.)
Interesting speculation, though you risk finding a reason for every period of time producing the best quality! :scratch2: :cheers:

Simonatsea 06-25-2014 12:28 PM

1941 VT-107A RCA 6V6GT are in my amp now and I have to say they have me sold on the 6V6 sound. Smooth and sweet, plenty of drive and very articulate and detailed. Gotta say fleabay came through on this one for $44 pair! I also got some RCA 6SN7 x 3, sound very nice as well but I have a feeling that rolling my full music 6SL7 will take it to a higher level. I am currently running them with a Rogers Labeled Holland made 5Y3(Mazda). Gotta say between that and setup and the Penta (TS preferred series) KT88, I've got two winning combo's with very different feels.
Have not been impressed with the GL 6V6, especially when compared to the 40's VT-107A RCA 6V6GT

pstrisik 06-25-2014 12:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Simonatsea (Post 618284)
1941 VT-107A RCA 6V6GT are in my amp now and I have to say they have me sold on the 6V6 sound. Smooth and sweet, plenty of drive and very articulate and detailed. Gotta say fleabay came through on this one for $44 pair! I also got some RCA 6SN7 x 3, sound very nice as well but I have a feeling that rolling my full music 6SL7 will take it to a higher level. I am currently running them with a Rogers Labeled Holland made 5Y3(Mazda). Gotta say between that and setup and the Penta (TS preferred series) KT88, I've got two winning combo's with very different feels.
Have not been impressed with the GL 6V6, especially when compared to the 40's VT-107A RCA 6V6GT

Good to hear about the RCAs and KT88. A different application but, in my SLP-05, RCA 6SN7's were dark. The Sylvania Chrome Domes were the best I tried (just a few). I ended up with four Sylvanias and two RCAs in that preamp. So, 6SN7's may still be worth considering if you want to try something other than the RCA's.

Aercool 06-28-2014 07:47 AM

I had my pair of the Popes on flEabay for the last week with no takers, and now I'm glad no one bid. I popped them back in with a vintage 5U4G rectifier (RCA) and they sound fantastic. I think I was just accumulating too many power tubes and felt like I needed to shed a pair, but glad no one else wanted them! I think I'll leave this combo in for a while.

Last night I was listening to the 2011 release from War On Drugs, "Slave Ambient". Some pretty cool ambient textures on that release. Nice room filling sound.

Anybody else recommend any particularly well-recorded music?

pstrisik 07-09-2014 01:24 PM

Used Inspire equipment currently on both eBay and AudiogoN! The one on AG would be a tempting one - EL34 based. There is a LP-2 preamp on eBay in white. Dennis doesn't usually list these and makes them for existing customers.

Speaking of Dennis, he wrote me about his new monoblocs....

Quote:

I have been working on the "Inspire Quadra" 6V6 monos for some time now. After a number of prototypes these guys are ready to face the Magnapan, Vandersteen, B&W and any contender loudspeakers. 25 watts of pure class A single-ended mono's. These 6V6 monos crash into even 2 ohm loads. Wicked Cool and Smokin Hot!!! Soon I will have more info. They will come in considerably more expensive than any other of my offerings. The output iron is very expensive along with a number of other special parts not to mention 8 output tubes.
I am very tempted by these (photo below). I really like the 6V6 in my Inspire KT150. I would love to hear these beasts with eight Popes running in them! But, then again, I don't really need the power now that I have 93db+ sensitive speakers and there is something about the simple circuits paired with crossoverless, single driver speakers that is very sweet. If I wanted to go back to my AR 2ax' (~87db), these would be the ticket. But I'm liking my single driver Omegas too much!

Regarding 6V6 - I've gone a bit crazy finding the brand to stick with. Now have Pope, Gold Lion, NOS RCA, NOS Bendix. I'm going to rotate through a couple of more times, but the Pope is still the one to beat for me. Bendix probably second, then the RCAs. I'll try to post more specifics after more rolling. It's hard though, as it takes time to swap tubes and there should be at least 20 minutes or so of warm up with each tube swap. Audio memory is very fallible.

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http://i862.photobucket.com/albums/a...psdd4e52cb.jpg

Aercool 07-11-2014 11:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pstrisik (Post 622275)
I am very tempted by these (photo below). I really like the 6V6 in my Inspire KT150. I would love to hear these beasts with eight Popes running in them! But, then again, I don't really need the power now that I have 93db+ sensitive speakers and there is something about the simple circuits paired with crossoverless, single driver speakers that is very sweet. If I wanted to go back to my AR 2ax' (~87db), these would be the ticket. But I'm liking my single driver Omegas too much!

Regarding 6V6 - I've gone a bit crazy finding the brand to stick with. Now have Pope, Gold Lion, NOS RCA, NOS Bendix. I'm going to rotate through a couple of more times, but the Pope is still the one to beat for me. Bendix probably second, then the RCAs. I'll try to post more specifics after more rolling. It's hard though, as it takes time to swap tubes and there should be at least 20 minutes or so of warm up with each tube swap. Audio memory is very fallible.

Sheesh. I wish we were in the same area code. I'd love to check out your Omegas. And I'd love for you to check out my Zu Omens!

Either way, I'd love to swap some tubes to roll for less of a PayPal hit. I am confident that the Bendix 5992's didn't work for me. Sold 'em, took a staggering hit, but don't care - I didn't see them in the rotation. I was getting a lot of 'sharpies' with music I know well - that glare that just makes you just want to turn your head. I was putting the RCA 6V6GT/VT-107's through their paces tonight with a Black Crowes music fest. Mostly their Shake Your Moneymaker/Southern Harmony releases. There's some great guitar sounds on those, and the Inspires did well with a whopping 6 wpc from the RCA / Tele E88CC / RCA 5Y3G setup. Also using an LP-2 preamp with the 6FM7's and another vintage RCA 5Y3G rectifier.

I'm torn between the RCA VT-107's and the Popes. Seems like the RCA's just have a little warmer and a little deeper bass presentation. But like you said - audio memory is SO fallible. A fraction of a dB one way or another and it's all up in smoke as far as a "scientific" comparison. I really *want* to like my really old 30's vintage 6V6G's I've got, but they don't seem to like complex music like I was listening to tonight. Acoustic / solo - yeah, just right. But Chris Robinson's close mic style probably would've gotten a little congested sounding. At least that's my recollection (flawed...).

Yeah, these Fire Bottle Inspire amps are fun. They've really brought me back to 2 channel in a big way. Sure. Looking at a bunch of glowing tubes doesn't hurt matters - but it still has to sound right. They do that in spades.

Now on to some Lucinda Williams and Emmylou Harris for a nightcap.

Cheerio! Mark


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