Not Getting that "Warm" Sound

Discussion in 'Tube Audio' started by SJC2574, Feb 16, 2017.

  1. SJC2574

    SJC2574 New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Katy, TX
    Let me start with, I am very new to tubes. I started with an AR XA that was beautifully restored and upgrade and bought a Marantz 2230 and Heresy II's. I loved this set up! Everything I thought when I started in to building a vintage system. But, like everything, if it was that good what could be better...I know...TUBES! So after very little research I jumped in head first with a GemTune GS-01 with a Yaqin MS23 pre amp. Now, I just got this setup today from UPS and have about 5 hours on the amps. That being said, I hope this improves. So far I am not getting warmth from this set up. The sound stage is amazing so there is hope. Do I need to let these tubes burn in or will it not get much warmer? Is this a tube issue that could be changes with some tube rolling? If so what tubes should I be looking for? Anyway just wanted to give my thoughts and look for a little help...really hope this gets better. Thanks in advance
     
  2. Hi-FiGuy

    Hi-FiGuy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    518
    Location:
    Southern California
    Tube equipment rarely comes with great tubes. You are still in the new range on those tubes, if your looking for warm tubes check out vintage mullards or brimar. Any of the vintage tubes are better than the new tubes.
     
  3. x3workshop

    x3workshop AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,670
    Location:
    Harlem
    The OP hasn't said what the tubes are that are in the gear presently. That would help determine quality level and areas for possible improvement. Many new issue tubes are quite good with some outperforming 'vintage' in certain positions. Certainly some burn in time will improve the sound quality no matter what.

    To the OP, give us a rundown of your tube compliment.
     
  4. gslikker

    gslikker Super Member

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    1,401
    Location:
    Close to Alkmaar, Netherlands
    or....the amp is just doing its work properly and there is nothing to worry about.
     
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  5. GordonW

    GordonW Speakerfixer Subscriber

    Messages:
    18,136
    Location:
    Marietta/Moultrie GA USA
    I am of the opinion, that excessive "warmth" is sometimes actually a bug, and not a feature...

    A proper tube amp or preamp should be a true "straight wire with gain". And, it's possible for that to happen more readily with tube gear (due to the less prevalent problem with higher-order harmonics and other non-harmonic distortion in tube amps, compared to solid state). It does take some careful design and execution, but it is possible...

    Regards,
    Gordon.
     
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  6. SJC2574

    SJC2574 New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Katy, TX
    Thank you for the replies so far...
    x3-the current tubes are the stock tubes that came with the GS-01 psvane el34-b's, 6n9p's, and 573pa is what is on the sides of the tube glass not sure of brand. The MS23b has the 12AX7's and again not sure of the brand.
    I do have to say that this morning I have been running a few records and it does sound better than last night. However...I will try and give my impressions and I don't understand most of the terminology I've read on AK when describing sounds so I will give it my best shot. The middle range of sound seems to very far out infront much more when compared to the low end but less so than on the high frequencies. It seems to have no bottom end as compared to my 2230 and I like girls with big butts! I see where the overall is getting better I just don't think it will fix these issues. I think to be truly happy I will have to try some different tubes, I hope that helps.

    Thanks again for any suggestions and help. I do hope I can make this sing. I can see the potential and after all it looks extremely cool!

    Jason
     
  7. Djcoolray

    Djcoolray Super Member

    Messages:
    4,199
    Location:
    A rocks throw from JBLM !!!!
    The cost of chasing sound can cause a person to spend money, but after the tube rolling is done you can sell the left over tubes. Read the reviews from companies that make the same said tubes. Many have said that the 12UX7 is a softer, warmer sounding tube compared to the 12AX7. Then when it comes to tubes, a tube from a specific manufacturer does not sound the same in different peices of equipment unless you can find someone that has the same piece of equipment you have.....

    I would recommend that even after you finish rolling tubes that you keep a lookout for military surplus tubes because the sound quality is even better and they don't burn out as easily over time. If you have a pair of the same kind of tube find a matched pair.....
     
  8. 6DZ7

    6DZ7 Super Member

    Messages:
    1,039
    Save your money, it's not the tubes. Don't know why I bothered to post this advice. My advancing dementia perhaps, forgetting how many times this subject is posted and I can't help myself but to continue to try to help... If the tube ain't broke, replacing it with the same type won't change anything. It takes a massive power loss to change the perceived volume level/loss at low frequencies. It's everything else in the circuit that creates that kind of symptom. Welcome to the hampster wheel.
     
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  9. Tom Bombadil

    Tom Bombadil AK Member Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,480
    Location:
    Madison, Wisconsin
    Your amp produces just 8 wpc and probably less than that down around 40Hz. So I don't know how much strong, deep bass you can expect. As to tubes, those stock tubes are generally considered fairly low end. Perhaps they are okay, once broken in. I haven't used either of them. I would be inclined to replace the 6N9P tubes with vintage 6SL7 or VT-229. This is what I would do first if you want to tinker a bit. These tubes can be found for $10-$20 each. Sylvania, RCA, KEN-RAD, or GE are plentiful.

    As to the EL34s, if it turns out that you want to try something else the new Electro Harmonix 6CA7s are pretty decent. At around $40/pr they won't break the bank. JJ KT77s are in the same price range and they are okay too.
     
  10. Scifi

    Scifi Super Member

    Messages:
    1,241
    Try using a good turntable with all analog vinyl and/or a good tubed FM radio like a Dyna FM3.
     
  11. maxhifi

    maxhifi Super Member

    Messages:
    1,036
    Location:
    Canada
    Hersey's aren't the world's most bass heavy speaker. And old receivers sometimes had a built in bass bost, which your new amp doesn't have. I can't speak for Marantz but similar vintage Sansui receivers had some bass contour which you may very well be used to, hence the missing "warmth".

    Try and live with your new setup for a while, you may very well get used to it, and in the future find that the Marantz sounds coloured by comparison.
     
  12. Northwinds

    Northwinds Huh? Turn what down? Subscriber

    Messages:
    9,335
    Location:
    Connecticut
    This, I got rid of mine almost the same week. Same thing when I got a pair of the Pro version KP-250s. Very disappointing sound, seemed like all mids and that horn tweeter was as obnoxious as the bullet horns in my D9s which I replaced as soon as I could with soft domes
     
  13. Scifi

    Scifi Super Member

    Messages:
    1,241
    Room acoustics have a big influence on the sound. This is something I really noticed with tube amps, tubed FM radios, tubed phono preamps, etc. back in the late 1980's when I first started experimenting with them. Try moving your system around to different rooms and/or different areas in your main music room. You can even try moving the speakers around, ie. point them at certain angles, change the distance between them, etc.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2017
  14. Palustris

    Palustris Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    630
    Buying a $380 Chinese amp and complaining about the sound is like buying a Yugo and complaining about the acceleration! The output transformers on all of my tube amps cost more than $380 and the output transformer is the most important component of the entire amplifier. Sure the power transformer and tubes are important, but the output transformer is the interface with the speakers and a tiny output transformer having no inductance will affect the frequency response most of all, particularly the bass. Have fun with your amp, just don't expect that you are hearing what a good quality tube amp can sound like. Installing better tubes in this thing is the same as painting racing stripes on the Yugo. It is still a Yugo!
     
  15. maxhifi

    maxhifi Super Member

    Messages:
    1,036
    Location:
    Canada
    Yeah, some say that... I love the T35/K77 in my la scalas. Your "obnoxious" is my "crisp". Actually the tweeters and mids are the aspects of Klipsch heritage speakers I like the most.
     
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  16. 6DZ7

    6DZ7 Super Member

    Messages:
    1,039
    .... now where did they hide that loudness button? An amp with no loudness button is like Rocky Road ice cream without the nuts. Twist the bass knob on your pre a bit to the right or add a nice equalizer. ... before you spend the money on tubes.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2017
  17. Snoober

    Snoober Dysthymic

    Messages:
    570
    I'd suggest letting the tubes burn-in for in between 50 to 100 hours at least before one starts to get too anxious.

    As to cheap Chinese tube amps, I can only speak from my experience: a cheap Bowei amp decimated - sound wise - a CJ ET3SE / MV60SE combo in my system, and bettered a Line Magnetic LM-216ia. The only problem is that the Bowei died after one year of light use. :)
     
  18. bberkom

    bberkom AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    590
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    Heresy's are not the "warmest"-sounding speaker in the world and can be lacking in bass depending on the setup. I power some with a tube amp, but the speakers are dictating the tonal quality of the sound much more than the amp does. Either way, I'd give it some time and see if you "warm" up to it.
     
  19. SJC2574

    SJC2574 New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Katy, TX
    I am by no means going to give up on it yet. I understand it needs some burn in time. Think I will start looking into some tube rolling at some point in the near future as well. What are military surplus tubes and where would one find them? What are NOS tubes, is that a brand?
     
  20. nerdorama

    nerdorama AK member Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,178
    Location:
    Seattle area
    Does your Amp have output impedance tap choices? If you are using 8 ohm taps, try the 4 ohm connections or the 16's. See what they sound like.
     

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