Here's a chance to sample "Tube Sound"

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captrajesh

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This is on behalf FM smedhavi who is not well and wanted to give away the following audio equipment. I suggested that we pass on the equipment for forum members to sample tube sound.

1. Fatman hybrid tube amp. Good condition, no box.
IMG-20200610-WA0005.jpg

2. Bravo Audio Ocean Mini Valve Class A Tube Headphone Amplifier and Stereo Pre-amplifier.
IMG-20200610-WA0004.jpg

This is a chance for the newbies of Bangalore to sample tube sound. The scheme works like this:

The participating FM must be a member of HFV for at least three months and must have at least 91 "meaningful" posts.

No audition. Self pickup from his residence in Bangalore or Dunzo would work fine too. A volunteer needs to take this upon himself to collect the two amps and he gets to sample both the equipment in his setup. He gets to keep the amps for a week each. He needs to arrange proper box with enough space for the amp and sufficient PU foam all around so that the equipment remains safe, especially during transit.

Whosoever wants to sample it needs to express his interest on this thread and send me a PM with his contact details. The process on passing will be strictly on first-come-first basis. After I approve, he gets to collect it from the above volunteer. He gets to keep it for one week. He then needs to pass it on to the next FM that I approve.

Only one amp per FM. (Only exception would be the first volunteer who collected the amps and arranged for boxes for the amps.) So the FM needs to decide if he wants to sample the preamp or the integrated amp which would of course depend on the sensitivity of one's speakers.

Whosoever collects the amp needs to post a pic of his set up and make a small write up on his experience with the equipment.

And, last but not the least; be gentle with the equipment. The responsibility to ensure functional status of the equipment rests with the current user. If anything goes wrong, he would be required to get the equipment repaired and make it fully functional.

Any positive suggestions to improve the scheme are welcome.

Let the show begin.
 
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venkatcr

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Venkat sir, I'll take it as your interest in trying them out. Which one it is? I too am interested in trying out the headphone amp. Let them go around in Bangalore for now. We can think of other cities later.
My interest is always on Integrated amps. With Tinnitus, I cannot even think of using headphones. Thanks.
 

Kannan

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Wish you a speedy recovery @smedhavi ji.

Some caution for persons who will be trying tube amps for the 1st time.

Do not power on the fatman without speakers connected.
It has two inputs. When switching inputs, power off and switch.
Some models of iTube come with separate 4 ohm taps, if this one has that terminal and if your speakers are rated at 4 ohms., please wire the speakers to the impedance matching terminal.
Give the amp atleast 30 minutes for the tubes to warm up before you sit down for serious listening.
I see the tube grill missing. Be very careful and don't touch the tubes as they can get quite hot, and be wary of children around as the tube can attract their attention to touch.
Never pull out interconnects when the amp is powered.
In case of any interference, don't try jugaads like grounding the body. It has a star ground, so use only 3-pin cables for power. If you are using isolation transformer, insulate the earth pin on the plug if your speaker picks up hum.
It has 220/120 volt selectable switch which is recessed in the rear. Don't accidentally switch to 120 volts.
Follow the standard on/off sequence. Fatman last while switching on with volume set at zero, and first while switching off after fully lowering the volume.
Give natural ventilation and avoid placing inside fully closed cabinets.
If kids are around, place it at an elevated position.

Please don't infer that I am trying to splurge gyaan or high-standing.
Just shared as I own this particular amp model and have used some other tube gear in the past and have erred and repented.

Finally a big thumbs up to @captrajesh and @smedhavi sir for this very kind gesture.
 

captrajesh

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My interest is always on Integrated amps. With Tinnitus, I cannot even think of using headphones. Thanks.
Okay. After they do the rounds with Bangalore FMs, it'll be sent to you.
Hello @captrajesh , consider me next in line for the integrated amp sample.
@Kumar442244 one FM Kartikeya messaged me at 5:00 p.m. and I asked him to respond here but he's yet to come online again. If he responds here, he'll be next; else, it comes to you next.

@Kannan these are valid points which, I should've thought of mentioning especially since the participants are likely to be beginners mostly.

Being gentle with volume control is another point. Also, the point of fixing responsibility to ensure functional status of equipment has been added in the first post.
 
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Dr.Lakshay

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A very nice gesture by @smedhavi and @captrajesh for coordinatimg it all. Will definitely benefit the newbies like me.
I wish our fm @smedhavi a speedy recovery.
I was contemplating something along these lines for a umik mic too for people who want to do measurements. If fms are interested I can chip in for some initial investment for a new one.
 

kartikay

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@captrajesh I can be after @Kumar442244 or even someone else who wants to try this first. I picked a Cayin A-50T few days bacj so I am now acquainted with tube sound. :)
But this is really nice gesture, and one of its kind I have seen here. Wishing @smedhavi a speedy recovery.
 

sud98

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Hi,

Finally managed to go to smedhavi's house and picked up all the goodies and they are very nice to look at. Unfortunately could not meet him and hope he has a speedy recovery.

1. The Hybrid amplifier.
8EEfiVS.jpg


2. The preamp/headphone amplifier
tNcVMQe.jpg


3. Spare tubes and misc.
dtLXtT3.jpg


Now if someone can guide me on what to do next, it would be really useful as I dont want to blow up these or my house :)
My current chain is the Shield/BD player->UMC1->Power Amp->Speakers.

Should i replace the UMC1 with the headphone amp and the power amp by the hybrid or i can directly connect the shield to the hybrid?
Are there any i/o issues to be taken care of?
Do i need to use any of the items in the misc box before using these amps?
Lastly, how long does one wait before the valves get fully heated?

All these fit into a nice box that smedhavi has packed into, so I assume all i need to do is to add some more thermocoal and foam as possible to make a tight fit,right?

May the games begin :)
 

raghupb

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@sud98

Do read up about the product on the web.
The basic steps of power sequencing have been detailed by @Kannan
Power on sequence: Source, IA
Power off sequence: IA, Source

Don't power on without speakers connected to the IA.
This seems like a line preamp stage. So connect 2-RCA from whatever source you have at full level.
Full level meaning, digital volume (if applicable is set to max or disabled).
Hopefully you won't have to switch sources.
If you connect 2 sources, mute volume before switching; better if you can power down-switch-power up.

You may not require the spare tubes to start off. Nice spares for rolling though, Mullard, JJ, Sovtek :)
If the unit has not been in use for a while, just make sure the tubes are seated properly.
First time it may take about 20-30 mins to start hearing its signature.

Don't know about the head-phone/preamp.

Take a few more opinions other than this one, before you start off.

Edit:
Mentally prepare yourself to experience different sound
For all you know, it may not sound good to your ears
Leading one to question, "What's all the fuss about?" :)

Cheers,
Raghu
 
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sud98

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Thanks Raghu.

Planning to start with the preamp first.

Connecting rca out of oppo to line in of bravo audio and line out to my power amp left and right channel.

Post connecting will power cd player and then power amp and then pre amp. Hope that's fine.
 

captrajesh

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Finally managed to go to smedhavi's house and picked up all the goodies and they are very nice to look at. Unfortunately could not meet him and hope he has a speedy recovery.
Good job. Congratulations. Yes, we all wish him a speedy recovery.

Now if someone can guide me on what to do next, it would be really useful as I dont want to blow up these or my house :)

My current chain is the Shield/BD player->UMC1->Power Amp->Speakers.

Should i replace the UMC1 with the headphone amp and the power amp by the hybrid or i can directly connect the shield to the hybrid?
Are there any i/o issues to be taken care of?

Do i need to use any of the items in the misc box before using these amps?

Lastly, how long does one wait before the valves get fully heated?

We discussed but still. The iTube is an Integrated Amplifier whereas, the Bravo Audio is a Preamplifier. So if you intend to use any of these in your setup, the Shield and UMC1 are out. You can use the BDP as source.

Since your speakers are already connected to your Power Amp, I suggest that you connect the BDP RCA out to the Bravo Preamplifier. When you're done with your listening through this combo, you can power down everything, connect the BDP to the iTube Line1 or Line 2 of Integrated Amplifier and connect the speakers to it's binding posts; effectively taking your Emotiva Pre & Power Amps out of the chain.

Sequence of powering up and powering down have already been explained by Kannan & Raghupb. The tubes take not more than a minute to heat up but many FMs vouch for improvement in SQ by keeping the amps idle for sometime ranging from few minutes to half an hour or even more. Don't bother too much. Switch it on let it idle for a minute or two. That should be enough. And you need some experience to do the tube rolling. Hold on to them a bit.

Edit:
As per packing the whole thing when sending these across, we'll cross the bridge when it comes.

Happy listening.
 
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