Tube DAC or Tube Amp

Discussion in 'General Audio Discussion' started by playittwice, Mar 11, 2018.

  1. playittwice

    playittwice Well-Known Member

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    I would like to add more warmth in my system. Would I be better off with a different DAC or Amp? Currently using a Schiit Modi 2 with amps listed in my sig/into Klipsch speakers also listed in my sig. Sound is good, would like a bit more warmth. I’m thinking amp might be the answer.
     

     

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  2. slimecity

    slimecity Super Member

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    I would have thought a 9500 and 9090 woud be plenty "warm."

    Perhaps there is too much top end on your Klipsch speakers? I havent heard them myself, this is how I hear others reporting on the sound of these speakers.
     
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  3. bobins08

    bobins08 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Agree with above. The Sansui electronics are "warm" sounding. The vast array of Klipsch speakers could be your culprit. Horns are not warm IMO. Do you have them in a room with a carpet, drapes and other absorbing materials? This will help a lot.

    A DAC with tube output could help but you will need a warm tube like a NOS Mullard.
     
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  4. playittwice

    playittwice Well-Known Member

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    Yes room treatment is very good. So it might be the highs a bit bright OR my listening position is a bit close too. All the Sansui’s have a warm presentation, just thinking some tunes in the chain might help. Don’t know.
     
  5. playittwice

    playittwice Well-Known Member

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    [QUOTE="bobins08, post: 11410011, member: 136092"

    A DAC with tube output could help but you will need a warm tube like a NOS Mullard.[/QUOTE]


    Which DAC offers that option?
    Would a multi-bit be a better option?
     
  6. botrytis

    botrytis Trying not to be a Small Speaker Hoarder Subscriber

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    Every single tube DAC I have heard has been noisy with very high background noise. That includes from 500 to 10K (the Lampizator DACs) price range.

    My suggestion is get different speakers.
     

     

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  7. BillWojo

    BillWojo AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Horns and tubes are made for each other. Plus you can roll the input tubes to add more warmth.

    BillWojo
     
  8. bobins08

    bobins08 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Which DAC offers that option?
    Would a multi-bit be a better option?[/QUOTE]

    There are a number of Tube Dacs and Tube buffers out there. I think the source needs to be very quiet. I prefer a SS DAC like the Stello that I have which puts emphasis on power supply, analog design, build quality, etc.

    I assume the multi-bit you refer to is from Schiit? That is their latest design. Never heard it, so can’t comment.

    Without hearing and seeing the OPs set up it’s hard to say. His room could be a big part of the problem. As mentioned, if he loves Klipsch speakers then maybe a tube amp is best.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2018
  9. Poultrygeist

    Poultrygeist Lunatic Member

    I'd sell the Sansui amp(s) and take the money and buy a flea watt single ended tube amp. Consider a 2a3, 300B or EL84
     
  10. Oerets

    Oerets AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Get one and see, I'm guilty of this. The amplifier is where I'd be going first.
    Can always sell the unused later down the road.
    In the end this is a decision only your can make.
    Be much like me selecting a partner for life for you over this internet.
    Not knowing what you liked disliked.
    In picking out gear, sometimes good choices are made then other no so much.
    Buy right and you can come out OK when a bad one is made.


    Barney
     
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  11. JoeESP9

    JoeESP9 ESL's & tubes since 83

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    I'm with botrytis. Changing the amplifier is not going to give you warm sound. Try different speakers. No horns that I've ever heard could be considered warm. I find most of them to be too bright and in your face.
     
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  12. botrytis

    botrytis Trying not to be a Small Speaker Hoarder Subscriber

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    Sansui Seven. Klipschorns, Heresy, KG4, KG1.5, KG1 - You can get quite a bit of coin from selling these and buying a different set of speakers, one that matches your ears. Horns, especially Klipsch will sound bright and annoying (my personal opinion here). If you are set on horns - JBL 4335's would be a better one to try.
     
  13. twiiii

    twiiii Addicted Member

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    I don't like to speak ill of Klipsch, but they do need to be tamed in some environments. I would say if you don't like them with SS you will probably feel the same way with tube amps, too. I would be looking for other speakers. JBL 4435 and 4430 are totally different beasts. Altec model 19 is to. ITs hard to do but maybe you should check out larger Tannoys. The larger models are efficient ut have a totally different sound. For a smoother sound look for an Altec 604 G or later. Point source speakers are totally different animals and require over 20 times the power. Older folks who felt Klipsch wasn't quite the right mix preferred Bozak Symphonies and Concert Grands. Older Mac line arrays are another choice but again you need big power. Personally I would look for pre-owned Lyngdorph Pre-amps with Room Perfect or One of Mcintosh MEN 220 room eq's with Room Perfect to straighten out room and speaker anomalies. Once they are taken care of your tone controls will work with very little adjustment to further adjust the sound to your tastes.
     
  14. darkblue94

    darkblue94 It wasn't me. Subscriber

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    Ignore the Klipsch haters, they love to spew their disdain at every possible opportunity including when it's not relevant to the discussion. Try a quality tube amplifier in your system and you will likely find what you're seeking. :smoke:
     
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  15. botrytis

    botrytis Trying not to be a Small Speaker Hoarder Subscriber

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    What are your room treatments? That can help also.

    Not being a Klipsch hater at all. I have had several pairs but they never lasted. You obviously don't know me......
     
  16. Poultrygeist

    Poultrygeist Lunatic Member

    Did the OP ask for speaker recommendations?
     

     

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  17. playittwice

    playittwice Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for all the replies. I do realize like everything else in the world, these topics can be very controversial.
    So with the feedback I did receive I know before seeking different speakers I am going to try to find a tube amp/receiver. I am not giving up on my Klipsch, had them for many years and I do enjoy them, just trying to add a little more warmth. So when I find the right piece at an affordable price, Im going to be all over it!

    Thanks again.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2018
  18. mjw21a

    mjw21a Super Member

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    From everything I've read Klipsch speakers are similar to my Dayton PS220-8's speakers. Incredibly revealing of everything upstream in the audio chain so I found a Marantz 7 based phono stage did the trick for my analog chain. With digital content it wasn't until I tried a Starting Point Systems DAC3 using a NOS Philips TDA1543 chip that the fatiguing sound through these speakers was resolved. This was all running through a tube integrated amp.

    I'd previously tried a tube DAC also to no avail. Tubes alone couldn't take the edge off digital music. Though the DAC3 could. I'm yet to try my Gieseler Groß DAC from my system upstairs on this system as that will tell me more. This is perhaps the smoothest, most natural DAC I've ever heard so if it comes across as fatiguing in that system it will certainly be due to the speakers top end. However if not then it's entirely down to the nature of the source.

    I hope my experience is of some use to you despite being about different speakers. I've been trying to tame these a while now. The DAC3 does the trick for now though is missing the high end of more modern DAC's. If the Groß is amazing I'll wait for Clay to release the budget version of the Groß which is going to replace his Klein DAC series. It uses smaller Jensen output transformers than the Groß.
     
  19. JoeESP9

    JoeESP9 ESL's & tubes since 83

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    No, the OP asked about achieving a warmer sound. The easiest way to do that is to use speakers that sound warm. Klipsch speakers do not sound warm. Whether I like them or not is irrelevant. That they don't sound warm is a given.
     
  20. PAGS

    PAGS AK Subscriber Subscriber

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