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a few concerns with my latest aquisition (sp extreme)


crappyjones123
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Use the 5998s instead of the 6080 and it won't get so hot and will probably sound better anyway. Try the 6sn7 and then you could try the 2c51 with those outputs and see if it works better. Otherwise try and get another one. Good luck with the Beta but it will get worked out and good old Nate has offered to fix it if there really is a problem.

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so far ive been most impressed with the tiny tungsol tube im using with the 2c51 adapter and the ge 5998 tubes. the previous combo of sylvania 6sn7gt and bendix 6080 was sluggish and boring. bass seemed a little less tight and the instrument separation was not as apparent. the energy level of the current combo is a lot higher as well (buddy guy and joe satriani sound like the way they should). however in recordings of concerts, the crowd "noises" seem to be very muffled. with the previous combo, i could hear everyone in the crowd separately. its weird how different tubes sound so different...never woulda thought. im having as much fun as two monkeys in a barrel just playing around with different kinds of tubes.

yes i guess these should go under an impressions thread but im too lazy to start one nor do i think i have opinions well formed enough to deserve a new thread. here are a few pictures though. really like the one with the lights turned off and the tubes glowing.

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cj,

Those 5998A's are pretty much repackaged 6as7s (I have a pair), we'll need to find out if you've got some older 5998s in the tube compliment included with the amp and if not find a way to get you a pair at some point. I'm not saying the A version is bad, but in my listening experience no where near as good as the real old 5998s.

And I see you got your cable back. ;)

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one of the 5998 tubes just made 2 fairly audible cracking noises. the same sound you would expect the tube to make if the glass cracked :( the amp had been turned off for roughly 10 minutes. do i turn it on tomorrow and see if the tube died? could that lead to an explosion blowing me and anyone in the house to shreds? should i pull out the tube first, inspect it for any visible cracks and then try to plug it in and use it? how fragile are vacuum tubes - when they are "hot" i guess/have been used for a few hours? could a sudden drop in temperature lead them to crack?

sorry for the 20 questions in advance. if there is a sticky i should read or a link that answers all these question or most of them even, kindly pass it along. i kinda jumped into this without doing much reading which admittedly isnt the right way to go about things but im willing to learn. :)

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It's pretty normal for tubes to make audible noises while both heating up and cooling down, most of which don't sound all that pretty. The fact that you'd been running them for a few hours means they were good and hot and had a ways to go to get back to room temperature, I wouldn't be worried.

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nothing really has been resolved regarding the beta. nate, very kindly offered to take a look at the amp gratis. the buyer doesnt want to send the amp for another cross country voyage since that is what seemed to have caused the problem in the first place. he found some local people but im certain they would all charge for their time unlike nate. im going to try to get fedex to pay for the repairs and the back and forth shipping (nate just sent me an invoice for the beta22) instead of the whole cost of the insurace. i think they might be more open to do that.

regards the extreme, man is it versatile. or perhaps its the tubes. had a little 30 minute listen this morning before i left for school with a different driver tube and the sound changed immensely. details were not as good and the sound was not so bright but the soundstage was HUGE!

quick question, do the 2 power tubes in the back affect the sound much or is it the driver tube doing most of the work?

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quick question, do the 2 power tubes in the back affect the sound much or is it the driver tube doing most of the work?

Like just about everything else in this hobby opinions vary about which tube position will affect the sound more. Personally, I think the input tube has the most potential to influence the sound but I can certainly hear the difference between output tubes.

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Crappy,

I'm relatively new to tube amps and no experience with sp extreme, but couple of observations that may be helpful (or not):

1. Don't settle for sustained hum/hiss/crackle in your tube amp. Dead quiet background can be achieved with tube amps, eg, my Leben tube integrated amp, my Earmax Silver Edition (had the AE before, regretted selling and reacquired the SE), and even my LDVI (there's mechanical noise, but that's a different story) all have dead quiet background in operation (aside from some noise in start up/shut down).

2. PC as source (especially USB out) has not been too compatible with my tube amps. Once I moved to optical out (eg, 840C as dac, or Apogee miniDAC), tube amps returned to silent background.

3. Trouble shooting left and right noise. Try switching left output tube for right tube (and cleaning pins in between). That worked for me with my Almarro. Or if same noise problem follows the switch, then you know it may be the tube itself.

Again, above may be irrelevant to your situation, but just FYI.

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Like just about everything else in this hobby opinions vary about which tube position will affect the sound more. Personally, I think the input tube has the most potential to influence the sound but I can certainly hear the difference between output tubes.

Nate expressed it great as I feel the same way. The input tube for me changed the sound the most in my experience, but I do hear the difference between the output tubes.

Also, please let us know what Fedex says to covering repairs. I'm sorry about your Beta issue CJ :(. Good luck on that test you had to do as well :)

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should i pull out the tube first, inspect it for any visible cracks and then try to plug it in and use it? how fragile are vacuum tubes - when they are "hot" i guess/have been used for a few hours? could a sudden drop in temperature lead them to crack?

Tubes are pretty robust against cracking, but it can happen. If it does, the gettering (chrome-colored coating often at the top of the tube) will turn white (the barium oxidizes). If that happens, throw the tube out; it's done. If you've still got chrome-colored gettering, the vacuum is intact.

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C.J.,

I'm sorry to hear about your woes with FedEx. It's really frustrating when stuff that should be simple conspires to put stress in a hobby that's all about relaxation.

I few weeks ago, UPS mashed up an enlarger that was being sent to me. I let it upset me and I shouldn't have.

Sometime you've just got to roll with it. At work, we discovered this week that FedEx had delivered a giant Pelican case full of our body armor and helmets to a random house in Miami. It's $8 or 10 K worth of gear, so we're sweating it. But the thing is, what did the people who got the package by mistake think when they opened it? ;-)

We should make a pilgrimage to HighLife's restaurant one day soon.

-Carl

... gotta dig up an avatar somewhere.....

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i think the amp is actually killing tubes. the left 5998 tube that i complained of making that loud cracking noise just died. i went back to try the old sylvania tube that i thought had died, but it worked fine. turns out it was the bendix 6080 tube that was in the same socket that died. dont know what to do with this amp now. dont really want to try any more tubes in case there is a problem with the amp. any suggestions?

ps. the same plastic bag in the air from a car window sound was being made in the left channel. i dont know what could be wrong now. changed the tubes and the same exact sound was made with a different set of tubes.

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i think the amp is actually killing tubes. the left 5998 tube that i complained of making that loud cracking noise just died. i went back to try the old sylvania tube that i thought had died, but it worked fine. turns out it was the bendix 6080 tube that was in the same socket that died. dont know what to do with this amp now. dont really want to try any more tubes in case there is a problem with the amp. any suggestions?

ps. the same plastic bag in the air from a car window sound was being made in the left channel. i dont know what could be wrong now. changed the tubes and the same exact sound was made with a different set of tubes.

Ouch. :sadcat:

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