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myrman

Tube buffers - Should I add some valves to my system?

27 posts in this topic

I am considering adding a tube buffer to my system probably between my pre and power or maybe just between the CD & pre. I just want toslightlysoften the top end that my ATCs are producing but I dont want to lose any soundstage or detail. My first thought was the MF X10D but there seems to be some interesting Chinese options. For less than £100 I thought they might be worth a try. Has anyone any experience of any of them?

fc41_1_b.JPG

Weiduka 6J1

Y_Tube_Buff_Front.JPG

YAQIN CD2-6J1

I found an interestingreview of the Yaqin here which seems to rule out the MF: LINK

I quite like the idea of being able to swap valves. Who knows I might even end up having some idea what half you tube rollersare on about. ;-)

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I thought the prime reason for abuffer stage was to impedance match or allow longer cables to be driven! Be cheaper to tape a tissue over your tweeters! Sorry if thats a bit negative, but this IMOjust bring us back full circle to having tone controls, which TBH I wouldn't mind at all.

;-)

Paul

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mrwippy wrote:

I thought the prime reason for abuffer stage was to impedance match or allow longer cables to be driven! Be cheaper to tape a tissue over your tweeters! Sorry if thats a bit negative, but this IMOjust bring us back full circle to having tone controls, which TBH I wouldn't mind at all.

;-)

Paul

Completely agree. It seems sad somehow that we've collectively abandoned tone controls, yet try and achieve the same results by changing cables, or introducing unecessary electronics. If you want tochange the sound, then get a pre-amp with tone controls. Quad 34 or 44 comes to mind as being superbly built and cheap.

S.

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I'm sure someone will be along to give their opinion, but I have read somewhere on here about tube buffers doing sweet fuck all and being a waste of money. No personal experience myself, but tread carefully.

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paulf-2007 wrote:

I'm sure someone will be along to give their opinion, but I have read somewhere on here about tube buffers doing sweet fuck all and being a waste of money. No personal experience myself, but tread carefully.

Much like biwiring then :D

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myrman wrote:

paulf-2007 wrote:
I'm sure someone will be along to give their opinion, but I have read somewhere on here about tube buffers doing sweet fuck all and being a waste of money. No personal experience myself, but tread carefully.

Much like biwiring then :D

There's no reason why bi wiring would work, some peolpe hear what they want to hear imo.

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paulf-2007 wrote:

I'm sure someone will be along to give their opinion, but I have read somewhere on here about tube buffers doing sweet fuck all and being a waste of money. No personal experience myself, but tread carefully.

Buffers have a function, mostly to do with impedance matching between a high(ish) source and a low(ish) destination. If you already have a pre-amp, then the output impedance will already be sufficiently low that indeed the buffer will dosweet Fanny Adams.

Using a buffer as a tone control is madness.

S.

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SergeAuckland wrote:

paulf-2007 wrote:
I'm sure someone will be along to give their opinion, but I have read somewhere on here about tube buffers doing sweet fuck all and being a waste of money. No personal experience myself, but tread carefully.

Buffers have a function, mostly to do with impedance matching between a high(ish) source and a low(ish) destination. If you already have a pre-amp, then the output impedance will already be sufficiently low that indeed the buffer will dosweet Fanny Adams.

Using a buffer as a tone control is madness.

S.

thats her, fanny adams, just couldn't remember her name.

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SergeAuckland wrote:

paulf-2007 wrote:
I'm sure someone will be along to give their opinion, but I have read somewhere on here about tube buffers doing sweet fuck all and being a waste of money. No personal experience myself, but tread carefully.

Buffers have a function, mostly to do with impedance matching between a high(ish) source and a low(ish) destination. If you already have a pre-amp, then the output impedance will already be sufficiently low that indeed the buffer will dosweet Fanny Adams.

Using a buffer as a tone control is madness.

S.

I dont want to cut the treble as such just change its presentation slightly if that is possible. The ATC tweeter isvery clean and detailed and using CD as my main source I am very much at the mercy of the recording. Just fancy adding a touch of warmth and I mean just a touch, I don't want or expect a massive change.

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would it be possible to modify the crossover with something to adjust the hf, something like they use on Tannoys.

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I would forget those tube buffers they will only degrade the sound of your system. I would suggest that you get yourself a tube preamp. That should do the job nicely

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myrman wrote:

SergeAuckland wrote:
paulf-2007 wrote:
I'm sure someone will be along to give their opinion, but I have read somewhere on here about tube buffers doing sweet fuck all and being a waste of money. No personal experience myself, but tread carefully.

Buffers have a function, mostly to do with impedance matching between a high(ish) source and a low(ish) destination. If you already have a pre-amp, then the output impedance will already be sufficiently low that indeed the buffer will dosweet Fanny Adams.

Using a buffer as a tone control is madness.

S.

I dont want to cut the treble as such just change its presentation slightly if that is possible. The ATC tweeter isvery clean and detailed and using CD as my main source I am very much at the mercy of the recording. Just fancy adding a touch of warmth and I mean just a touch, I don't want or expect a massive change.

It rather depends what you mean by Presentation. You can cut the level of the tweeter a fixed number of dBs which will reduce the whole top end, using a shelving control. Alternatively, you can reduce the extreme HF by using a roll-off filter that will keep the lower end of the tweeter's range unchanged, and just roll-off the very highs. If you're really interested in doing this properly, thena parametric equaliser is the answer.

Warmth is also a difficult parameter to define, but using something like the Quad tilt control, that reduces the HF andrelatively increases the LF to provide a better balance if it all sounds too sharp.

If I were in your position, I would borrow or buy a Quad 34 or 44 andtry it. If you don't like what it does, you can very easily resell the Quad, at probably no or very little loss.

S.

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I used an X10D a few years ago between an Arcam cdp & an MF X-A1, it added width to the soundstage, bass was slightly more powerfull & treble just a tad smoother. I liked the effect in that system, the difference though not massive was easy to hear.

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Have you tried not toeing in the speakers?

Keith.

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