Got tubes???

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Scott_N, Aug 18, 2003.

  1. Scott_N

    Scott_N Second Unit

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    Well I bought a demo Conrad Johnson CAV-50 this Sat and I have been basking in it's glow all weekend. My speakers aren't very hard to push so 45 tube watts go a long way. It has smooth grain free treble and clear mids and pretty good bass. I'm going to sell my Aragon amp and preamp and never go back to SS again.
     
  2. ChrisLazarko

    ChrisLazarko Supporting Actor

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    I'm suprised you don't like Aragon, it is one of the best out there IMO and is also very pricey. Most people who go with Aragon usually don't look at anything else after.
     
  3. Scott Oliver

    Scott Oliver Screenwriter

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    Did you get the CJ preamp as well that you mentioned you wanted as well? (oops just noticed you got the CAV-50, that is their integrated amp isn't it?)

    Also why did you end with the MV-50(CAV-50) vs. the MV-60 or Cary V12 that you had previously desired?
     
  4. Scott_N

    Scott_N Second Unit

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    Scott

    I got the CAV-50 which is a integrated amp. I still plan to get a CJ PV-14 and a CJ MV60SE later on since my dealer has a upgrade program but decided for money reasons to get the CAV-50 because i'm tired of SS sound and I also want to upgrade my turntable. I got the CAV-50 for $1700 and i'm getting $1000 for my Aragon equipment. As far as the Cary V12 goes i've heard a number of amps I like better. I plan to get a Nottingham Interspace turntable with Space arm and Dynavector 20x cartridge and Lehman Black Cube phono preamp.

    Chris

    I don't hate Aragon i'm just tired of solid state amps.
     
  5. Scott Oliver

    Scott Oliver Screenwriter

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    Congrats on the sweet step into tubes.
    What other brands of tube gear have you had the opportunity to hear, Rogue and Cary, any others? Have you decided that Conrad-Johnson is the brand for you?

    That should be a really sweet TT set-up.

    I am still waiting on things to come together (need special armboard) to get my Spacedeck w/ Hadcock 242 tonearm and Benz-Micro ACE h2 up and running. Everyday it sits on the shelf is just kiling me right now.
     
  6. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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  7. AndyHangartner

    AndyHangartner Stunt Coordinator

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    I had an Aragon 8008x5. Took it with me to San Diego to Jeffssoundvalues for comparisons. Actually took the wife along. After 5 hours or so, and 6-7 different amps, we left the Aragon and walked out with a BAT VK60. There was no comparison. She also insisted we take along the Shanling T100 tube CD player that was so pretty. After she twisted my arm a little I said ok. She still insists its hers!
    andy
     
  8. Kevin_R_H

    Kevin_R_H Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi Scott,

    Congratulations on your new amp. I'm sure it sounds wonderful. The upgrade program from your dealer is also great. Conrad-Johnson makes really high quality gear - I have no doubt you will be happy for years.

    I also own tubes, both monoblocks and stereo preamp:
    > KORA Cosmos Monoblocks (100W Triode / Pure Class A)
    > KORA Eclipse Preamp (w/ MC/MM phono)

    These pieces drive VMPS RM40 speakers (w/ TRT caps). It all makes for a pretty good match.

    Welcome to the club,
    Kevin
     
  9. Scott Oliver

    Scott Oliver Screenwriter

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    I nominate Andy's wife as wife of the year!

    My wife is pretty cool about this hobby of mine as well.
    This summer she went to Brazil and upon her return she had like $9500 MSRP worth of new equipment smiling at her.
     
  10. Yogi

    Yogi Screenwriter

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  11. Scott_N

    Scott_N Second Unit

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    Yogi

    I've heard the Cary Rocket 88 which didn't sound powerful enough for me. The Cary V12i which sounded good but not the best i've heard. I've also heard some of their SET amps like the CAD 805C and 300SEI which sound good but aren't my cup of tea. I think CJ amps have a better midrange than Cary push/pull amps.

    Scott

    I've heard Cary,Rogue,CJ,Thor,Quad,Lamm,VTL,ARC,Consonance, Unison, and Nagra. I think CJ amps are a great value and sound good so I think I will stick with them.

    Kevin
    Thanks for the nice words you have a great setup. My CJ will drive Tetra Spaces and I have a Cary 308T CDP and a Marantz 8260 SACD player and a cheap Sony turntable.
     
  12. Yogi

    Yogi Screenwriter

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    I have listened to a load of SS amps but only a handful of tube amps. From your words I think I am not even going to waste my time auditioning different amps as I am pretty much settled on CJ brand.
     
  13. Scott_N

    Scott_N Second Unit

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    Yogi

    You should listen to the CJ Premier 140. I got a chance to listen to it this past weekend on a pair of Dali Euphonia speakers and all I can say is wow!! It sounded huge and had deep and musical bass. It sounded much bigger than my Aragon 8008ST and while it uses 6550's instead of EL34's it still has the CJ midrange just not quite as seductive as a MV55 or CAV-50.
     
  14. Yogi

    Yogi Screenwriter

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    Its all in the midrange. I luv my MV55 and see no reason to upgrade for a long time to come. I am sure the CAV-50 is the same. Its basically the MV-55 with a PV10AL integrated into one unit.
     
  15. Scott_N

    Scott_N Second Unit

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    Well I still want to move up to a PV14 and MV60SE but i'm not in any hurry. I'm going to try some different tubes in the CAV-50. Maybe some Svetlana EL34's and NOS for the input tubes.
     
  16. Yogi

    Yogi Screenwriter

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    The Svetlana's will sound sweet all around but if you like better dynamics and tighter lower end try some JJs. The Svetlana's are on sale at Triode Electronics for $49.99 a matched quad. I haven't found it any cheaper anywhere. I dont know how the Sovteks sound. What tubes do you have in your amp? And how do they sound?
     
  17. Scott Oliver

    Scott Oliver Screenwriter

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    That is a pretty good list of stuff you have been able to hear Scott. Nagra and Lamm are really nice, but way out my reach.

    Some other tube brands to seek out for an audition IMO are Art Audio (own it and love everything I have heard from them, if I started a store I would try to carry Art Audio), Wavelength (ditto, but models are all lower wattage SET), Border Patrol (I really want to hear this 300B design after reading about their unique power supply), Audiomat (wonderful French integrateds, very musical), Audio Note (haven't heard but I am planning a future trip to San antonio to hear some of their gear), WAVAC (beautiful stuff all around).

    Of course there are a ton of other good brands but these are some of my favorites that aren't super well known.
     
  18. Scott_N

    Scott_N Second Unit

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    Scott

    Luckily my dealer carries alot of brands so i've been able to auditon some very good amps. Let me know how that turntable sounds when you get it going.

    Yogi

    My CAV-50 has stock tubes so it has Sovteks which have very smooth highs. I'm looking for more sparkle on the top so I might try the JJ's.
     
  19. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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  20. Kevin_R_H

    Kevin_R_H Stunt Coordinator

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    Lee,

    I agree with you on relying on the track record of companies. The two you mention, along with Quad (and possibly some other manufacturers of tube equipment) have been in the hi-end business for years and years. There is certainly "value" associated with the piece of mind this brings.

    When I was auditioning tube amps, I never lost sight of this advantage. When I finally decided on the KORAs, I admit I did so apprehensively: "My God, this is a European company no one has heard of (and with a limited presence in the USA)". I had to weigh that large negative with any advantages that emerged from auditioning.

    Of course, the Customer Service of KORA was highly regarded, and has been just as outstanding as advertised. So far, so good. But it's true that if they decide to close up operations in the US someday, I could run into some difficulty.

    Like anyone, I had to weigh all the pros and cons in making my decision. And your point is very valid, and any prospective buyer would be foolish to ignore it.

    Kevin
     

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