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December 14, 2019, 02:10:00 PM

Author Topic: The 45 tube sound - Impressions (please share yours)  (Read 640 times)

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Offline Deke609

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The 45 tube sound - Impressions (please share yours)
« on: February 08, 2019, 11:47:14 AM »
I am so struck by the "45 sound" that I thought I'd share my early impressions after only two weeks of having my SII-45 up and running.  For now, I'm not going to comment on the usual sonic qualities (these vary by tube pair, and I will have more to say about them after a few months), but instead share my thoughts on what is sometimes described as the "magic" of the 45. 

Each of the three pairs of vintage 45 tubes I've listened to share this same "magic".  The magic isn't a function of detail or frequency response or dynamics or even depth or soundstage ... it seems to be an entirely different quality, not captured by the usual audiophile descriptors. The best analogy I can come up with (and it is not perfect) is this: a vintage 45 tube does for music what "magic light" (the hour or so before sunset) does for film and photography: everything seems luminous, enchanted ... in a word, "magical".  It draws you into the music. And it is not subtle -- you don't have to listen for it: it strikes you immediately.

Another way of describing it (which may or may not resonate depending on experience): it's almost as if you've been given a really light dose of psychedelics -- just enough to break down some of the barrier between listener and listened-to. Music is more immediate, vivid and immersive. In comparison, listening with my JJ 2A3-40s on my other SII is more like a highly caffeinated experience - not necessarily less enjoyable, just very different.

This may all sound over the top, but this is honestly how these tubes strike me.  Quite amazing. 

It would be great if others with 45 amps could share their impressions.

cheers,

Derek



Derek
______

Roon Intel NUC ->  Yggdrasil DAC -> BeePre (w/ BeeQuiet and EML 300B)  -> Kaiju (w/ DCFil and EML 300B) or Stereomour II (2A3 [EML Mesh] and 45 Conversion [EML 45B])  -> Audeze LCD4

Offline johnsonad

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Re: The 45 tube sound - Impressions (please share yours)
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2019, 01:41:21 PM »
The 45 is a nice tube.  I don't share you opinion of it unfortunately and prefer the 300B and 71A.  Sometimes you find that perfect sound that fits your listening taste and your system.  To me, the ultimate Technicolor experience is the 300B.  It colors in all the right ways that makes me feel good.  The 45 hasn't given me this experience and I've tried it in three amps and listened to some great ones including Gordon's amps in some nice horn systems. 

This is my opinion and nothing more.  Congrats on finding the system synergy that works for your listening pleasure!
Aaron Johnson

Offline Deke609

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Re: The 45 tube sound - Impressions (please share yours)
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2019, 02:49:53 PM »
To me, the ultimate Technicolor experience is the 300B.  It colors in all the right ways that makes me feel good.

Agree. I should've mentioned that I am listening to the SII-45 fed by a BeePre with both gross and fine attenuators fully open.  The BeePre 300b is staying put in my system - what I'm playing with is what overlays on the BeePre I like.  At some point I'll try double-300b: BeePre + Kaiju. 
Derek
______

Roon Intel NUC ->  Yggdrasil DAC -> BeePre (w/ BeeQuiet and EML 300B)  -> Kaiju (w/ DCFil and EML 300B) or Stereomour II (2A3 [EML Mesh] and 45 Conversion [EML 45B])  -> Audeze LCD4

Offline Alonzo

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Re: The 45 tube sound - Impressions (please share yours)
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2019, 06:09:17 PM »
You should try a Stereomour 45 on headphones.  Great match!
Alonzo B
BeePre, Kaiju, some Stereomours (I's and a II) to DT150 tweeters, GPA 802-8G's on Jabo horns, Altec 414z's, Eminence 15A's open baffles, Seductor to Altec 299-8A with MRII horns and a Mainline with HD800

Offline Deke609

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Re: The 45 tube sound - Impressions (please share yours)
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2019, 02:02:08 AM »
You should try a Stereomour 45 on headphones.  Great match!

That's how I listen! With my Audeze LCD-4 headphones. Sounds amazing.
Derek
______

Roon Intel NUC ->  Yggdrasil DAC -> BeePre (w/ BeeQuiet and EML 300B)  -> Kaiju (w/ DCFil and EML 300B) or Stereomour II (2A3 [EML Mesh] and 45 Conversion [EML 45B])  -> Audeze LCD4

Offline maryc27182

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Re: The 45 tube sound - Impressions (please share yours)
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2019, 05:27:16 AM »
I [snip] prefer the 300B and 71A.

Not to hijack the thread, however, I'd love to hear about your 71A amp.

Mary
DIY 2-ways (TAD TD-2002, AE TD15M), Stereomour 45
Fostex TH-500RP, S.E.X. 2.1
Eros Phono

Offline johnsonad

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Re: The 45 tube sound - Impressions (please share yours)
« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2019, 07:40:40 AM »
Not to hijack the thread, however, I'd love to hear about your 71A amp.

Mary

Hi Mary,  I hope the OP doesn't mind.

It's a fully shunt regulated cap coupled amp that uses 6J5 variants (6J5/7A4/2C22, etc) and the lovely 71 or 71A output tubes.  DC on the heaters and filaments, C4S on the driver, 100H for the Parafeed chokes and odd outputs.  It's switchable between Magnequest TL404's and Sowter phase inverting non-gapped inter-stage transformers.  The TL404's output is on a switch with outputs between 4 Ohms and 500 Ohms driving standard headphones or RCA outs.  The Sowters output to Stax Earspeakers (bias supply on a switch to a standard Stax headphone socket).   

It was a labor of love and a lot of cash.  It sounds very nice to me but isn't the greatest amp I've ever heard.  It sees the most use as my current preamp as I don't like listening to headphones unless I have to. It excels as a preamp though it's quite large....
Aaron Johnson

Offline johnsonad

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Re: The 45 tube sound - Impressions (please share yours)
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2019, 07:49:01 AM »
Agree. I should've mentioned that I am listening to the SII-45 fed by a BeePre with both gross and fine attenuators fully open.  The BeePre 300b is staying put in my system - what I'm playing with is what overlays on the BeePre I like.  At some point I'll try double-300b: BeePre + Kaiju.

You will love the Kaiju.  I've listened to DocB's system more than the average customer these last three years and love the sound of the Kaiju.  The nice part with the BeePre, you can output to both sets of amps (SII-45 and Kaiju). 
Aaron Johnson

Offline maryc27182

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Re: The 45 tube sound - Impressions (please share yours)
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2019, 03:24:09 AM »
 

It was a labor of love and a lot of cash.  It sounds very nice to me but isn't the greatest amp I've ever heard.  It sees the most use as my current preamp as I don't like listening to headphones unless I have to. It excels as a preamp though it's quite large....

Thank you for the description. I appreciate it. I've been thinking about a 71A amp for a while, and it is good to hear what others have made. Thanks again.

Mary
DIY 2-ways (TAD TD-2002, AE TD15M), Stereomour 45
Fostex TH-500RP, S.E.X. 2.1
Eros Phono

Offline galyons

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Re: The 45 tube sound - Impressions (please share yours)
« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2019, 06:25:09 AM »
I am a big fan of the 45.  It seems to do everything "just right"!  Timbre, tonality, imaging and musicality are, IMO, spot on.  The 45 does not have the mid range emphasis of a 300B, so more FR neutral.  I tried some of the newly built 45 tubes, (Chinese and EML solid plate) but to my ears, nothing has bested vintage OS 45's.  The European DHT power tubes, to me, seem to lean toward a solid state sonic signature, detail over tonality.  Obviously, one must have highly efficient speakers to fully appreciate the flea watt tube. 

Cheers,
Geary
VPI TNT IV/JMW12.7i/FR1 MkII Soundsmith retip >Eros TH+ Otari MX5050 IIIB2 > Eros + ANK Dac2.1 > BeePre >Paramount 300B 7N7 > EV Sentry IV-A

Crack 7N7 > Sennheiser HD650 & AKG K240 Sextetts

Thorens TD124/Ortofon RMG-212/SPU >Seduction > Smash^Up> Paramour 45 MQ >K12's

Offline Natural Sound

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Re: The 45 tube sound - Impressions (please share yours)
« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2019, 06:37:43 AM »
I have an old school pair of Bottlehead Paramour II monoblocks upgraded with OT-2 transformers and modified to run 45's. I've owned quite a few amplifiers over the years but none can come close to the detail this amplifier presents. I understand the "magic" you speak of listening to 45's. However I wont admit to any hallucinogenic experiences. ;) The only obvious downside is the relatively low 1.75W power rating. I find that its easy to run out of horsepower when listening to certain source material. When that happens I just back the pre-amp off a click or two and accept a slightly lower volume level.

Offline elcraigo

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Re: The 45 tube sound - Impressions (please share yours)
« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2019, 12:48:22 PM »
I have Paramour I converted to 45. I have EXO-45 pinstripes and BCP-15 installed. I've had these for a long time. I built them stock, and used them that way for 4 or so years before converting to 45s.
They sound wonderful, and I never will get rid of these amps.
Craig Lewis (elcraigo is a nickname a good friend who grew up in Mexico gave me)

Offline Alonzo

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Re: The 45 tube sound - Impressions (please share yours)
« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2019, 01:53:15 PM »
Craig, happy 100 posts.
I tried 45's 2 ways.  One with TL-404's as a headphone/tweeter amp.  One with EXO-145's Ni Pins and grid chokes.  This one is my main wide range amp.  Amazingly, I haven't touched the amps in years.  They just chug along, making sweet music.
Alonzo B
BeePre, Kaiju, some Stereomours (I's and a II) to DT150 tweeters, GPA 802-8G's on Jabo horns, Altec 414z's, Eminence 15A's open baffles, Seductor to Altec 299-8A with MRII horns and a Mainline with HD800