On the topic of ab testing, a bit of a funny story. A friend of mine were abing the Sunrise II that I had at the time and the O2 that I had just recently purchased. With a Mullard 12AU7 in on a particular song, I actually got the O2 and the Mullard flipped a couple of times. That told me a few things
1) Even with tubes, what sounds "warm" is still pretty damn close to neutral in most cases.
2) Amp settings make a huge difference. With something like a Syl Baldwin 12au7 in and low output resistance, low gain, and input caps on I can't tell the difference between a colder sounding SS amp and the Ember. Throw a Mullard in on the same settings and it sounds close to a warmer SS amp plus a little bit of that tube magic that makes it somewhat less fatiguing and abrasive.
3) "Neutral" and words like "Warm" or "Cold" aren't necessarily related. For example, to my ears an O2 sounds pretty warm and if it wasn't for the fatiguing treble and somewhat backed off mids I'd get it confused with a tube amp because the tone is pretty similar - just the frequency response is a bit un-tubelike so to speak. On the other end of that, I find the FIIO E9 that I used to own to sound fairly cold and lifeless compared to an o2 while in theory both are "neutral" amps.
Last Edit: Sept 18, 2013 19:45:13 GMT by razrr1275
What every one is questioning here is HOW much of your findings are due to:
1: listening experience (how many years of experience do you have as we do not know you). You could introduce yourself here: www.diyah.boards.net/thread/33/introduce?page=7 and write something about yourself (not a biography, just some things related to you and this hobby) Considering your remark that 2 novice listeners also heard the very same yet most experienced listeners here do not understand your rating method. How great are the odds two of your friends as well as you having 'golden ears' yet trained listeners seem not to experience the same ?
2: How can you be sure the differences you percieve are actually caused by the tube and not by: used music(files), speakers, hour of day, mood, expectation bias e.t.c.
I have a feeling this thing is close to your heart, otherwise you wouldn't write as much about the subject, but may I suggest to just ENJOY the music and stop chasing windmills (different tubes). It is getting on peoples nerves. We do appreciate input and like to discuss these things but for the forum members you are 'overdoing' it to put it mildly.
May I suggest, once more, to do tests blind (have a friend pop in tubes with you not knowing about WHAT tube is in there) and make sure to just use 2 or 3 tubes and 'rotate' them so each tube has passed a few times in random order. Compare notes you made with the notes of your friend who keeps a log of which tube was used at which moment. The Ember is very suited for this test. It'll give you more insight in what your brain hears and reality is. Very enlightening
Last Edit: Sept 19, 2013 8:57:21 GMT by solderdude
use your EARS to enjoy MUSIC .... NOT as an analyzer
2. The setup was the same. I tried the tubes back to back. Same songs, same music. Same time of the time. Back to back. Went through them a couple of times and the difference was obvious each time. The only change was the tube. Nothing else. Same song, same point in the same song. There was no other variable in the equation except the change of the tubes. And the difference was pretty big when compared back to back. Just a difference in flavor though.
AVI ADM 9RS | Swans D1010 | HD 650 | HD 598 | HD 598 CS | AirPods | MCTH | Project Ember 1.0 with SC | Kameleon 2 Portable | Fiio E12 | MMB
To get added to my Whatsapp Audiophilia group, PM me! Objectivists and subjectivists, everybody is welcome!
I didn't listen to Lorenz ITT 12AU7 long enough. Currently listening to it. For a lot of songs I prefer it over Siemens. The bass isn't as good. But the sound is airy and open. And it is much more dynamic. Not as clean, but very articulate. Very comparable to Siemens 6922 and currently I am preferring it to Siemens. May go back to Siemens. Later.
Are they worth exploring, the prices are a lot cheaper. If I can get the same sound quality, then I can go for expensive brands in those families.
Does Jeremy offer Telefuken or Brimar or Valvo or Siemens? Or Lorenz or Amperex?
12AU7 is low gain, 12AT7 is medium gain, 12AX7 is high gain, i would stay away from 12AX7 because i find them too noisy and causing channel imbalance with most headphones because you have to use the knob in a very small zone at the start of the volpot...