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This just arrived all the way from China. It's a cheap valve pre amp board based on the Musical Buffer X10 Buffer and using Chinese 6P1 valves. It cost £8.50 including shipping, came complete and you just feed it with 12V AC.

 

I know the equipment before and after it is of a reasonable standard but for £8.50 it's absolutely amazing. Its particularly good at voice, I was expecting loads of hum and basically average sound but no its quiet and sounds superb, I might have got lucky and got a good one but for the price its got to be worth the wait on shipping. This one will be going into a nice box with a decent toroidal transformer and quality volume pot.

 

So if anyone is ok with DIY projects and fancies a go at valves this is a very good and cheap way into them.

DSCF0012_zpsjvqeqcff.jpg

 

DSCF0013_zpsknrvyiem.jpg

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1 hour ago, allenh said:

This just arrived all the way from China. It's a cheap valve pre amp board based on the Musical Buffer X10 Buffer and using Chinese 6P1 valves. It cost £8.50 including shipping, came complete and you just feed it with 12V AC.

 

I know the equipment before and after it is of a reasonable standard but for £8.50 it's absolutely amazing. Its particularly good at voice, I was expecting loads of hum and basically average sound but no its quiet and sounds superb, I might have got lucky and got a good one but for the price its got to be worth the wait on shipping. This one will be going into a nice box with a decent toroidal transformer and quality volume pot.

 

So if anyone is ok with DIY projects and fancies a go at valves this is a very good and cheap way into them.

DSCF0012_zpsjvqeqcff.jpg

 

DSCF0013_zpsknrvyiem.jpg

I fancy giving that a pop. Where did you order it from?

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On December 4, 2016 at 3:30 PM, drewvandal said:

Tapped out for the moment but cannot believe how much I love my new VPI HW 16.5

 

I had so many record shot records that now sound like new, well worth the investment.

 

IMG_3568.jpg

I'd love to have one of those but I can't afford it at the moment. Just ordered a new needle for my Shure M97XE cart.

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37 minutes ago, whenicomearound said:

I'd love to have one of those but I can't afford it at the moment. Just ordered a new needle for my Shure M97XE cart.

 

What stylus did you go with? I've been eyeing this. Heard some good reviews too.

 

http://www.lpgear.com/product/SHN097xVL.html

Edited by vinyl addict

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On 12/4/2016 at 0:30 PM, drewvandal said:

Tapped out for the moment but cannot believe how much I love my new VPI HW 16.5

 

I had so many record shot records that now sound like new, well worth the investment.

 

IMG_3568.jpg

Didn't realize  you were using CM8s. Love those speakers. Also good call on the rosenut color. What are you powering them with?

Edited by yanquiuxo

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10 hours ago, yanquiuxo said:

Didn't realize  you were using CM8s. Love those speakers. Also good call on the rosenut color. What are you powering them with?

I have a Cronus Magnum II, even with a budget cart / turntable (Denon 300F & 2M Red) I think my set up sounds incredible.  I can't imagine when I move up to a Scout with comparable cart.

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22 hours ago, vinyl addict said:

 

What stylus did you go with? I've been eyeing this. Heard some good reviews too.

 

http://www.lpgear.com/product/SHN097xVL.html

Just the stock one. I want to upgrade someday but I also have to pay bills. If I can get promoted at work down the road (we are building a new store in my area) I'll upgrade my gear. For now any money I have for the hobby I want to put towards more vinyl. I was having some issues with surface noise on a couple of records. Sold a record to a guy but told him there was some surface noise between tracks and during a few quiet parts but still very listenable. He has the same cart (different table though) and said that there was hardly any noise so somethings off with my setup. Re aligned the cart the best I could, re leveled the table, set the VTA as close as I could get it, re balanced the arm, etc and no change. The majority of people on anther forum I belong who responded to my thread suggested that my stylus needed to be replaced so new needle it is. If this doesn't fix it we have  a bigger problem. This will keep me listening until I can afford to upgrade some of my gear. My TT is a Technics 1210 MK2. Bought it from a guy on audiokarma.org who had done some of the audiophile mods to it. Great table.

Edited by whenicomearound

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I finally added a DAC to my system. I found a marked down Cambridge DACmagic 100 and grabbed a used Apple TV off ebay to stream my digital library. I'm really happy with the results so far... sure beats the hell out of bluetooth. I'm also running my Denon DVD player through it for CD's and did some a/b testing, and the DAC definitely added some weight to the sound. I wasn't really expecting it to sound any different, but there was a clear improvement. I don't have any audio files higher than CD quality, but at least now I can try it out to see what the fuss is about.

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14 minutes ago, bjorn said:

I finally added a DAC to my system. I found a marked down Cambridge DACmagic 100 and grabbed a used Apple TV off ebay to stream my digital library. I'm really happy with the results so far... sure beats the hell out of bluetooth. I'm also running my Denon DVD player through it for CD's and did some a/b testing, and the DAC definitely added some weight to the sound. I wasn't really expecting it to sound any different, but there was a clear improvement. I don't have any audio files higher than CD quality, but at least now I can try it out to see what the fuss is about.

AppleTV won't do hi-res files, so not really worth seeking any out. It samples everything to 16-bit/48khz. Airplay is amazing though.

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On 03/12/2016 at 11:52 AM, allenh said:

Thanks Allen. This arrived today, unfortunately the tubes were all bent up so I'll have to get a replacement. Second time's a charm!

 

EDIT: @allenh - I straightened out the tubes and got it running. However, everything sounds a bit 'distant' compared to the CA 551. This could be due to the fact the tubes were all over the place, but did you sound there wasn't much punch when you got yours going? I'd also be interested to see what you do as a case when you get there!

Edited by lastvaultboy

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On 31/12/2016 at 11:30 AM, lastvaultboy said:

Thanks Allen. This arrived today, unfortunately the tubes were all bent up so I'll have to get a replacement. Second time's a charm!

 

EDIT: @allenh - I straightened out the tubes and got it running. However, everything sounds a bit 'distant' compared to the CA 551. This could be due to the fact the tubes were all over the place, but did you sound there wasn't much punch when you got yours going? I'd also be interested to see what you do as a case when you get there!

Bent pins on the tubes shouldn't matter, that sounds like a lack of gain or an impedance mis match.

This thing is derived from the Musical Fidelity X10 which is a valve buffer stage with no gain at all, the Chinese modified the circuit to give it some gain so it could be used as a pre amp stage, one thing they do though is to push the power supply to the very edge of being able to work so you might find the output of your transformer is too low under load which would mean the HT voltage on the valves is too low.

What are you using as a transformer to power it and have you got anything bigger to try? it isn't necessarily low voltage to start with but if the current output is low then there will be a big volt drop under load which effectively means you are not giving it enough voltage when it needs it.

I used one of the cheap toroids from Maplin for mine, the one 15VA with two 6V secondaries did the job,  I wired the two secondaries in series to give me 12V

Mine looks like this now.

DSCF0020_zpsfjcedarh.jpg

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6 hours ago, allenh said:

Bent pins on the tubes shouldn't matter, that sounds like a lack of gain or an impedance mis match.

This thing is derived from the Musical Fidelity X10 which is a valve buffer stage with no gain at all, the Chinese modified the circuit to give it some gain so it could be used as a pre amp stage, one thing they do though is to push the power supply to the very edge of being able to work so you might find the output of your transformer is too low under load which would mean the HT voltage on the valves is too low.

What are you using as a transformer to power it and have you got anything bigger to try? it isn't necessarily low voltage to start with but if the current output is low then there will be a big volt drop under load which effectively means you are not giving it enough voltage when it needs it.

I used one of the cheap toroids from Maplin for mine, the one 15VA with two 6V secondaries did the job,  I wired the two secondaries in series to give me 12V

Mine looks like this now.

DSCF0020_zpsfjcedarh.jpg

Looks good!

Thanks for all the information, good to know some more about it. I used my CA pre amp plug which is 12v output - reckon this would struggle to drive it correctly?

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Not to leap off topic too much, but has anyone got any current speaker recommendations? I'm currently running a Cambridge Audio 351a amp and would anticipate I need some smaller floor standing speakers for the size of my room (potentially a decent set of larger bookshelf will work, either way they will be floor based!).

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richersounds has a bunch of stuff on clearance: http://www.richersounds.com/clearance

 

for example, these are great: http://www.richersounds.com/showclearanceproduct/TANN-XT6F-DK-WAL/Tannoy+Xt6f+Dk+Wal.html

 

or even these: http://www.richersounds.com/showclearanceproduct/DALI-ZENSOR-5-WHI/Dali+Zensor+5+White.html

 

or if you go for bookshelf size: 

 

http://www.richersounds.com/showclearanceproduct/MONI-AUDI-SILV-2-WAL/Monitor+Audio+Silver+2+Walnut.html

 

http://www.richersounds.com/showclearanceproduct/FOCA-CHOR-706-BLK/Focal+Chorus+706+Blk+(Soc).html

 

What's the size of the room? It's very important for determining what type of speakers to get.

Edited by slinch

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52 minutes ago, slinch said:

Thanks for the suggestions - I'll spend some time taking a look. 

Room is about 172ftsq so not huge but a reasonable size. Want to future proof a little too as a move might be on the cards!

 

listened to some CM8s. Amazing. 

Edited by lastvaultboy

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4 hours ago, lastvaultboy said:

Thanks for the suggestions - I'll spend some time taking a look. 

Room is about 172ftsq so not huge but a reasonable size. Want to future proof a little too as a move might be on the cards!

 

listened to some CM8s. Amazing. 

I love my CM8's.

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