EC Aficionado (was: The Studio Jr.)

Discussion in 'Eddie Current' started by AppleheadMay, Nov 10, 2015.

  1. ogodei

    ogodei Friend

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    These are a set of well used Shuguang Nature Sound 2A3C-T's. Havent exhibited the noise on other amps but i moved them and they're tubes so who knows...

    I have several other sets, will swap these out with a known working pair from another amp and see what happens.
     

  2. cskippy

    cskippy Friend

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    I have the same tubes and same intermittent high frequency whine. What new tubes are you getting? Please post impressions and compare them to the 2a3-Tii when you get them.
     
  3. Marvey

    Marvey Loves sex and records

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    Been running Hytron black? wavy plates. Sylvanias, RCAs, and other American vintage plates have a similar sound, but some are warmer than others. Compare to the Psvanes, these American vintage tubes are crisper and sharper in the highs. The reason I like the American tubes is because there always seems to be a lot of high frequency energy at live events, and I want plenty of this effect. Tubes have this ability to sound sharp without inducing fatigue - I don't think I could stand equivalent sharpness from solid-state.

    I don't talk about tubes so much these days because I know that I like and prefer to keep it simple. Preferences are all over the place too, so what I like others may not and vice versa.

    For drivers, the WE396 is a step above the rest. Some of the American driver tube come very close. The WE396 brings a greater sense of immediacy and realism than the others. I don't know what it is about WE.The WE 300Bs were the best. Same with WE417. Maybe it's placebo.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2017
  4. jexby

    jexby Raised by Carthusian Monks - Friend

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    any Af owner have a single spare
    JW Western Electric 396A/2C51 tube
    that is both: not microphone and for sale?

    both my JWs can ring (quickly) when hitting pot or tapping on af casing, which I don't do while listening. but still.
    would like ears to hear if a non microphonic version of this tube presents differently or not.
     
  5. Marvey

    Marvey Loves sex and records

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    I'll send you one or two. PM me. Let me check microphonics before I send out. Make sure it's not the 2A3s if you haven't already.
     
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  6. jexby

    jexby Raised by Carthusian Monks - Friend

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    earlier this week tried a RCA Command and GE 5star in driver tube, and microphonics were not (as) present. will check the 2A3 (swap out RCA for Sylvania) and then PM next week. cheers!
     
  7. jexby

    jexby Raised by Carthusian Monks - Friend

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    well, removed JW WE 2c51 - rolled in a GE 5star 5760 tube with RCA 2A3s, tapping top case or pot tap induces 1sec microphonic ringing.
    rolled out RCA 2A3s to Sylvania 2A3s. same result.
    rolled out GE 5 star, to a LM Ericsson 2C51 with Sylvanias. microphonic ringing louder.

    again, only if tapping top case or pot.

    (all of the above included 20 minute warm ups)

    luckily the amp/tubes are dead quiet with no music playing and vol pot cranked. (with Utopia)

    guess every tube I own is microphonic with Af. :confused:
    someone tell me to shut up and not worry about it since the music sounds great. ha!
     
  8. winders

    winders Friend

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    A tube is not microphonic if you tap it and the tap is heard through the speakers. A tube is microphonic when it continues to make noise for a period of time after you tap it or it makes noise all on its own when music is playing.
     
  9. Marvey

    Marvey Loves sex and records

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    Every tube is microphonic to some extent, especially with headphones. It's not uncommon for footsteps to be transmitted to the AF while listening to headphones.

    The microphonic characteristics of individual tubes do contribute to their sound, for better or worse. Craig put forth that the highly microphonic nature of the KR PX4 of the old BA was responsible for it's rich harmonic character.
     
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  10. JK47

    JK47 Friend

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    Nope, a quiet tube WILL NOT make hardley a mouse fart under any circumstance. I speak from testing hundreds of tubes. A large portion of the Western Electric 2C51’s I’ve bought have been bunk, because sellers know they command a premium and most likely get away with it.

    That’s why I invested in tube testers, which I have parroted for the last several years... I’ll test tube for no charge.

    Again, I will state I have an ancient Hickock which is next to no good, but ebayer's swear by them because they test very favorable in most circumstances. I have a Maximatcher II, and a Maxi preamp II. Both modern and not susceptible to the weak irreplaceable transformers in the vintage Hickock's, which have been "calibrated" my ass, it's fucking bullshit what tube sellers are getting away with.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2017
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  11. winders

    winders Friend

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    Different tube designs, even within tube types, will have vary levels of "microphonics" when tapped.

    I can tap on almost every tube I have ever owned (several hundred now) and can hear that tap in my headphones to some degree. Some tubes are worse than others. I have many 6SN7 tubes that make noise when you tap on them but are not microphonic at all when used with my 2 channel system even at loud volume levels.

    Only a few tubes I have owned have ever started making microphonic noise on their own.
     
  12. winders

    winders Friend

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    Also, Kevin Deal references "The RCA Radiotron Designers Handbook: Fourth Edition" in the following link:

    https://www.upscaleaudio.com/pages/microphonics

    To quote the handbook:

    "In radio receiver factories the valves are usually tested in the chassis in which they are to operate, the set being tuned to a signal generator with internal modulation, and the volume control set at maximum. Any microphonic sounds which quickly die away are not considered as cause for removal of the valve, but a sustained howl is so considered."

    Now, I am no Kevin Deal fan. But, he is quoting a book published by RCA in 1953.
     
  13. Xecuter

    Xecuter Friend

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    [​IMG]

    Bad phone photo!
    Who said 2a3s couldn't glow beautifully? Not sure if this is to do with the copper rods in this 2a3 tube. However the tube seems to be testing perfectly, just glowing blue from excited electrons colliding with the glass wall.
     
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  14. Ray

    Ray Friend

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    IMG_7878.JPG AF #18 in the house.
     
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  15. jexby

    jexby Raised by Carthusian Monks - Friend

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    congrats! but the 3 month burn in until it sounds divine shall test your patience.
    ;)
     
  16. Ray

    Ray Friend

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    Got to spend the evening with the AF last night. Only took a few Alison Kraus songs to hear this amp is on another level compared to my ZDS. Clarity, detail, cohesiveness, transparency & tone. All listening was with my 650's. Doesn't have the slam the ZDS has but I found that works better with the 650's. The only nitpick about the ZDS was I thought is had a bit of veil and I found myself having to turn the volume up louder than I liked to. This is non-existent on this amplifier. This is my end game amp for my 650's
     
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  17. Boops

    Boops Friend

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    af-lo.jpg

    Aficionado #19 arrived yesterday. I'm stepping up from an EC BW2 (more evidence that Craig/Marv's master plan is working) and the increase in detail and stage width/depth are immediately obvious. And as others have said, the placement of instruments has a subtlety and precision I am not used to. Tone is wonderful so far. Not much else of substance to report after only a few hours listening, but I am very much looking forward to more.

    The amp is beautiful. I really like the combination of the understated black metal casework and more ornate copper-accented top and bottom plates. Photos do not do the effect justice.

    For the interested, I'm running new production EH 2A3s, a WE396A, and the included rectifier.
     
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  18. Boops

    Boops Friend

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    Forgot to mention, Aficionado also comes with a significant font upgrade:

    fonts.jpg
     
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  19. Marvey

    Marvey Loves sex and records

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    We instituted a process where I would be present during the printing of the transparency for the silkscreen.
     
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  20. jowls

    jowls Something related to poop - Friend

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    I still wish Craig had actually run with Aficionodo.

    Looking forward to further impressions and comparison with BW2. Gateway drug indeed :rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2017
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