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Inspire by Dennis Had Enjoying Vacuum Tube Audio

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  #6711  
Old 02-04-2022, 11:58 AM
bearcity bearcity is offline
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Originally Posted by FloridaBoy View Post
Does that mean Dennis prefers straight SEP vs. triode strapped?


This is a very good question that has no permanent answer. Over the past 6 or 7 years as I have gotten to know Dennis I have realized he can be a bit fickle. I once joked with him about this with him. His response, “Ya think?” He has gone back and forth on this exact question more times than I can remember. Most recently with what I am pretty sure is that Blue Racer. If I am not mistaken that is an amp that was a match to one of mine. His latest 6V6er. Really an 6FLV with a different PT. An SEP design. Before my last visit he sent me a pict of same amp he had modified to SET and said I needed to bring mine for same update. I was hesitant because I really like my little blue 6V6er. Instead I brought my custom Universal for comparison. An SET design with the Universal OPTs from a few years back. Mine also has the IIPS and tube rectification. A fantastic amp. If the new design was better I would likely be needing another Inspire (Yes, I have a problem). First we listened to his latest SET design which he had been raving about. Then my Universal SET. He said he was afraid he might be embarrassed. I said, “How? They are both yours.” Anyway his latest Mod did not stand up to the Universal. It really was night and day but upon reflection it was not a fair comparison. His blue was running KT88s and my Universal, metal 6f6s. I ended up leaving my Universal for Dennis to figure out what he had done before. Now it looks like, based on Analog’s recent visit, he has turned this blue fellow back to an SEP and loves it. I have concluded over the years that, like me, Dennis often gets engrossed in a “new” sound, only later to sometimes come to the conclusion that the “new” was not better. I have also concluded that SET vs SEP is very much a personal preference. They both sound fantastic and each has a magic that will bring a tear to your eye. To my ears the SEP has more drive and control and therefore a better match to some good ole rock n’ roll. SET has midrange magic that just excels with Jazz, bluegrass, and vocals. Of course all of this is system dependent. I suggest owning both.

To answer your question from my point of view, though Dennis is currently on the SEP kick, I am sure he will start playing with SET again real soon and love it like never before.
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  #6712  
Old 02-05-2022, 07:54 AM
FloridaBoy FloridaBoy is offline
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I have concluded over the years that, like me, Dennis often gets engrossed in a “new” sound, only later to sometimes come to the conclusion that the “new” was not better. I have also concluded that SET vs SEP is very much a personal preference. They both sound fantastic and each has a magic that will bring a tear to your eye. To my ears the SEP has more drive and control and therefore a better match to some good ole rock n’ roll. SET has midrange magic that just excels with Jazz, bluegrass, and vocals. Of course all of this is system dependent. I suggest owning both.

I'm guilty as charged too. My first Inspire was a triode strapped SEP. I contacted Dennis and asked about a specific amp. He said you have to get the one I am finishing up now. So, I did. I still have it and will not sell it. I think he made three of them. I tried a lot of tubes but prefer it with KT88's until I run a different tube. It's a real chameleon.

[IMG][/IMG]


I bought an LP27A shortly after the amp. A few years later a 45/2A3 showed up. Then a 2030 preamp appeared. Funny how that works.

Last edited by FloridaBoy; 02-05-2022 at 08:48 AM. Reason: Add photo
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  #6713  
Old 02-05-2022, 08:11 AM
FloridaBoy FloridaBoy is offline
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Mistake, I'm a Luddite.

Last edited by FloridaBoy; 02-05-2022 at 08:42 AM.
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  #6714  
Old 02-05-2022, 01:02 PM
bearcity bearcity is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FloridaBoy View Post
Mistake, I'm a Luddite.


I think anyone who has a stereo based on obsolete tube tech would qualify as a Luddite. This thread is fully populated by such. I am happy to be among such like minds.
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  #6715  
Old 02-06-2022, 01:31 PM
FloridaBoy FloridaBoy is offline
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Originally Posted by bearcity View Post
I think anyone who has a stereo based on obsolete tube tech would qualify as a Luddite. This thread is fully populated by such. I am happy to be among such like minds.
:thumbs-up:

I could not delete a post so I became a Luddite.
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  #6716  
Old 02-07-2022, 07:45 PM
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Analog Addict Analog Addict is offline
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Originally Posted by bearcity View Post
To answer your question from my point of view, though Dennis is currently on the SEP kick, I am sure he will start playing with SET again real soon and love it like never before.
Well, his comment was that after messing with it for years, he has decided that the pentodes sound best as pentodes, not strapped as triodes. That doesn't mean that he's gonna stop building triode amps. but who knows what might come down the pike in the future.

Meanwhile some more amp porn.....

New Fire Bottle featuring the Nestone KT88s....

Untitled by analog addict, on Flickr

Blue Racer with official face plate and Nesstone 6550s....

Untitled by analog addict, on Flickr
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  #6717  
Old 02-09-2022, 10:59 PM
Bombadil Bombadil is offline
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"New Fire Bottle featuring the Nestone KT88s...."

What do you think of the Nesstone KT88s? I remember you once writing that the vintage Tung-sol 6550 were fantastic.

The only KT88 I have are new production Gold Lion and I like them a lot.
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  #6718  
Old 02-10-2022, 08:43 PM
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x3workshop x3workshop is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FloridaBoy View Post
I have concluded over the years that, like me, Dennis often gets engrossed in a “new” sound, only later to sometimes come to the conclusion that the “new” was not better. I have also concluded that SET vs SEP is very much a personal preference. They both sound fantastic and each has a magic that will bring a tear to your eye. To my ears the SEP has more drive and control and therefore a better match to some good ole rock n’ roll. SET has midrange magic that just excels with Jazz, bluegrass, and vocals. Of course all of this is system dependent. I suggest owning both.

I'm guilty as charged too. My first Inspire was a triode strapped SEP. I contacted Dennis and asked about a specific amp. He said you have to get the one I am finishing up now. So, I did. I still have it and will not sell it. I think he made three of them. I tried a lot of tubes but prefer it with KT88's until I run a different tube. It's a real chameleon.

[IMG][/IMG]


I bought an LP27A shortly after the amp. A few years later a 45/2A3 showed up. Then a 2030 preamp appeared. Funny how that works.
FB, you and I have the same Triode strapped SEP. I also bought an LP27a soon after. It's a great combo.

About 18 months or so ago Dennis built a very, very nice Parallel 45 amp with monster OPTs. It is my favorite amp hands down.
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  #6719  
Old 02-11-2022, 01:29 PM
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Analog Addict Analog Addict is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bombadil View Post
"New Fire Bottle featuring the Nestone KT88s...."

What do you think of the Nesstone KT88s? I remember you once writing that the vintage Tung-sol 6550 were fantastic.

The only KT88 I have are new production Gold Lion and I like them a lot.
Dennis grabbed a pair for me which I haven't picked up yet. I'm currently running the Nesstone 6550s in a pair of MC-60's I just finished restoring for a friend, and they sound pretty nice.

Untitled by analog addict, on Flickr

You may also notice that my C-22 is sitting unused while my 56/76 preamp is driving the big iron. Take of that what you will....

Be that as it may, it's hard to compare those amps to an "Inspired" SEP amp. I'm working on an 8417 amp build now that apparently is going to be similar to the Blue Racer, but at my normal build speed, it might be late Summer before it's finished....
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  #6720  
Old 02-11-2022, 01:57 PM
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Analog Addict Analog Addict is offline
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Originally Posted by x3workshop View Post
About 18 months or so ago Dennis built a very, very nice Parallel 45 amp with monster OPTs. It is my favorite amp hands down.
I agree with you there. For some reason after we built mine it was like pulling teeth to get him to build some of his own to sell. I think it is greatly underappreciated since not many people have heard one.

OTOH, my Q5'er is a SEP universal type amp with a few design twists since it is one of the early prototypes that evolved more or less continuously over the years until reaching it's final configuration. I love it as well.

Perhaps I'm putting words into Dennis' mouth, and believe me, he'll let me know if I am, but I'm thinking he has realized that either type of single ended amp has it's own type of magic, and that trying to modify something to mimic something it's really not is like trying to force water to flow upstream.

To coin a phrase, pentodes are gonna pentode. The trick is to let them do what they want to naturally do without trying to get them to do something they're really not meant to do. Let the water flow downstream the way it was meant to, and figger out ways of making each river run as clear and strong as it can....
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