Say cruisaire! Check it out!

Discussion in 'Tube Audio' started by wajobu, Feb 3, 2007.

  1. wajobu

    wajobu Boing Boom Tschak Subscriber

    Thanks to a recent thread on a "Budget Tube Amplifier", I got to reading and followed a bunch links and recommendations. Despite my long term affinity for SS equipment, I have wanted to branch into Tube Audio for quite some time; the sound, the history, the elegance of glowing tubes and their warmth, etc.

    After doing some reading, I decided to part with a relatively small sum of money on a lark. I went here, partially at cruisaire's recommendation (it's his fault! :D ):

    http://www.vista-audio.com/Custom/custom.htm

    At the top of this page is the P6, based on PCL82 tubes (4 Westinghouse--appear to be NOS). I'm learning here guys so be patient with me. I wanted to start with a low power (5 wpc Class A, single ended), dead simple, integrated amp to hook up some efficient speakers and a CDP. It arrived yesterday and I hooked it up this morning. It's such a pretty little amp. The speaker connections (based on the red and black colors) were a bit counter-intuitive, but hook-up instructions were included--nice. Listening tests to follow over the weekend, but the early word is: IT SOUNDS REALLY SWEET!

    Boris from Vista-Audio was very helpful with securing the purchase. So, here's to ANOTHER new adventure...

    Oh, and BTW, our Music Room now has another source of heat besides Yamaha in Class A :D
     
  2. ejfud

    ejfud Audio Pinhead

    Messages:
    5,353
    Location:
    St Paul, MN
    Nice amp.

    The only problem I can think of is that it is only your first. You have started down that slippery tube slope my friend.

    Welcome aboard.
     
  3. wajobu

    wajobu Boing Boom Tschak Subscriber

  4. wajobu

    wajobu Boing Boom Tschak Subscriber

    The Vista is just great from here!

    After some initial warm-up exercises this morning, I nudged the Volume controls on this little amp. To be sure that I wasn’t going to do any damage to beloved equipment (until I get to know this amp better), I decided to use some middle of the road equipment to play some of what I call my “reference recordings”. I started with three selections:

    Michael Franks – Dragonfly Summer
    (An intimate jazz recording that includes a stunning duet with Miss Peggy Lee, one of her last recordings [You Were Meant For Me]. This is a beautiful recording with exquisite instrumentation.)
    Dragonfly Summer
    String of Pearls
    You Were Meant For Me
    How I Remember You

    Genesis – We Can’t Dance
    (The first piece is an extremely well played almost jazz piece with an incredible trio solo exchange [guitar, keyboards, drums] in the closing section—one of their best recorded pieces, and the other is an excellent ballad)
    Living Forever
    Hold On My Heart

    Vince Gill – The Reason Why/The Groovy Record
    (Note: My main complaint with this recording is that the hi-hat on the drum kit is terribly mic’ed, the rest of the drums are, however, just fine. This is a beautiful CD of marvelous songs)
    Memory of You (Duet with Trisha Yearwood)
    How Lonely Looks

    The speakers are Yamaha NS-225 (bass reflex with 10” woofers and 1 “ dome tweeter) and a venerable Sony CD Player.

    All of the pieces I listened to this morning have broad dynamic range and some pieces are challenging for any amp (quiet sections followed by sudden drum or bass fill-ins, etc.). I found the Vista to be a very capable amp for all of these pieces thus far. It’s intimate on one hand, yet I found it to open up quite well for extended passages. I had the gain on the individual Volume pots set at about 2/3s, so often my listening room (about 12 by 16 feet) was filled with sound without being overpowered at all. At no time did I hear or sense this amplifier straining--just the recording--uncolored. It sounded clear, warm, open and yet intimate with great instrument and stereo definition.

    I think that the only criticism thus far is that there is a bit more hum in the right channel than the left, but it’s very subtle and disappears as soon as program material shrouds it. Not being overly familiar with tube gear (yet!), I’m not quite sure what to expect as “normal”, though I certainly recall some “hum” at the speakers from my years of listening to tube powered shortwave radios.

    For the price, I think that it's a great amplifier and a good one for my introduction to Affordable Tube Audio.

    More to follow…
     
  5. cruisaire

    cruisaire PGA and Rainwater!

    Messages:
    1,616
    Location:
    Down South
    Now THAT"S what I'm talking about! :D Glad to help you spend YOUR money and welcome you to the "low end" of the tube pool. The water here is a little shallow, we have lower in upfront cost, but the tunes are quite quite rewarding via tubes. That's not a slam on SS, just an observation. With the exception of picking up and refurbing a free console amp, you entered the tube club at a super price point. That hum is certainly traceable/repairable, possibly even as simple as a wiring swap. Check the archives and chat with Ward, Mike Stehr, et al for a fairly quick checklist of things to review for a solution. Your amp, combined with fairly efficient speakers, is as nice a pairing as anybody could hope for. Congrats and enjoy the music!!!!:thmbsp:
     
  6. cruisaire

    cruisaire PGA and Rainwater!

    Messages:
    1,616
    Location:
    Down South
    Hey!

    How's it sounding? Any new reference pieces tried out on it?
     
  7. bolly

    bolly Lunatic Member

    Messages:
    16,718
    Location:
    CFB Borden
    nice lookin amp Walker! :thmbsp:
     
  8. wajobu

    wajobu Boing Boom Tschak Subscriber

    Well CA, need to do some more listenin' and less workin'! This weekend, for sure.

    Greg! Well, it's not your Electrohome, but it sure sounds nice. An intimate listening experience. It's interesting, the sound fills the room, but it doesn't overpower it--it has a certain softness to it. Guess that must be the tubes.
     
  9. spaceman

    spaceman Registered Lunatic

    Messages:
    14,905
    Location:
    Seattle
    Nice amp, congrats! :smoke:
     

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