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lyrita audio tube phonostage

Home Theatre Systems

stevieboy

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received the lyrita audio tube phonostage yesterday. has inputs for mm and mc through the cinemag step up transformer. the mm is for the sumiko blue point cart i currently use and the mc input and step up transformer is for the denon dl 103 i have planned for the garrard turntable as funds allow.

straight out of the box it sounded unimpressive. this is a feature even with the lyrita SET amp. after extended periods of non-use it requires a few songs to sound decent. i guess that's cos of the heavy duty transformers in both amps? after three songs however it started showing its true colours. all 5-6 lps i played sounded like re-mixed records! the same old music but wow! things sounded so fleshed out and 3D! superb vocals portrayal. notes decay naturally and beautifully not ending abruptly. this gives a good sense of flow to the music. sound simply sounded 3D compared to a flattish sound I had heard from the project tube box II. very well spatially defined with each instrument heard clearly if you wanted to follow that instrument yet part of the music.

the most surprising part was all the second hand lps i listened to did not sound second hand!! they took on a new life far far more than they took on after wet cleaning! absolutely unbelievable that flea market lps could sound like they were sounding! in one word - alive. detail came through that i thought was not there cos of the quality and condition of the record. i read that a phono stage was very important cos of the ultra low level of the signal and after hearing the lyrita i realize the truth of this.

overall this makes me want to clean more lps and listen and realizing how good even old lps sound is perhaps the best achievement for the phonostage!

highly recommended if you want to hear what your old record is really capable out outputting.

downsides: hum issues at high volume. this is cos my speakers are high efficiency bout 92 db. viren had a solution - he said the hum is at 100hz approx and so therefore sit at a point in the room where there's a null point. it does work. there are distances from the speaker where the bass increases and decreases and if i sit in the right spot the hum issue becomes lower. however the hum is a problem only at silent spots on the record like track changes or quieter passages in the music. once the music is playing it does not interfere.

will be experimenting with rajiv's suggestion for tubes to reduce hum. let's see how that goes!
 

soundsgreat

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Hi,

Very interesting :licklips:! So Am I invited to experience this :D ??

Btw what speaker are those ? and please do elaborate on the whole chain so that we can get a better feel of what you've described ;)!

Regards.
 

Asit

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Nice to read your report. Which phono-stage you were using before and can you compare with that, kindly?

It would also help us if you let us know what is the rest of your set-up. From some other thread, I think I gathered you have one of Viren's SET amps, which one?

The hum you mentioned: does it remain after proper grounding?

My speakers are apparently more sensitive than yours. But when I hooked up my TT to my amp (with in-built phono-stage), there would be humming w/o proper grounding, which really vanishes when you tighten the grounding cable spades. You must be familiar with that. Are you talking about something else then?
 

stevieboy

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most welcome soundsgreat! i shall issue an official invitation in a couple of weeks when its run in a while :)

system: project rpm 9 tt with sumiko bluepoint mc cart, lyrita 2A3 SET amp, lyrita fostex fe 167 single driver speakers.

asit,

the grounding is an issue with the tube circuit. from the reading i had been doing, the 5751s are higher gain therefore more hum compared to the 12AX7 which is bout 30% lower gain and quieter. i think the 12AX7 is the same tube as an ECC83. however the 5 series of tubes sound better that's what i remember viren saying once. and i think that's why he's used these tubes inspite of the hum.

as i've mentioned, i've compared it to the project tube box II which has ECC83s and runs quieter. but soundwise is miles MILES behind.

overall i've found that the combo of a SET amp and single driver brings out nuances in the music. you miss out on ultra tight bass and extended treble but its an extremely musical combo that gets to the soul of the music. the feeling compared to other systems (solid state multi-driver systems) is that you notice more of the band's characteristics rather than isolated guitar or a saxophone or a drum beat. the intent of the group comes shining through... soul i guess captures it.

so in this context, the lyrita phono completes the feeling beautifully. fleshed out full bodied 3D music :clapping:

my phone data cable is with someone else. as soon as i get hold of it i'll post pictures.
 

grubyhalo

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Hi Stevie,
Good to know you're enjoying the phono-stage. I had the opportunity to listen to both Viren's 2A3 SETs and the phono-stage at Rajiv's place last Sunday and thoroughly enjoyed it. I am trying to get some time to compose and put up my listening impressions in a new thread soon!
 

Rajiv

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Hi Steven,


Congratulations on your phono stage.

The Lyrita is one of the best kept secrets of the audio world.
It replaced a Naim Stageline in my system.

the grounding is an issue with the tube circuit. from the reading i had been doing, the 5751s are higher gain therefore more hum compared to the 12AX7 which is bout 30% lower gain and quieter. i think the 12AX7 is the same tube as an ECC83. however the 5 series of tubes sound better that's what i remember viren saying once. and i think that's why he's used these tubes inspite of the hum.

The 5751 is a lower gain tube .The ECC83/12AX7 are higher gain.The hum in the Lyrita is controlable by playing around with the 5751/ECC83 tubes.I have tried TFK ecc83,Philips 7025,Mullard ecc83 tubes with a huge reduction in hum.It is practically non existant except when the volume is turned up above 12'o clock. My speakers are 98+ Db/1 W/1M

I agree with Viren the 5751 tubes are very good and he supplies some very good NOS tubes with the phono stage.These tubes are big bucks on Ebay. My personal favourite is the Tfk smooth plate ECC83.

Try the ECC83 from your Project and see if there is a reduction in hum.

Regards
Rajiv
 

stevieboy

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The 5751 is a lower gain tube .The ECC83/12AX7 are higher gain.
Regards
Rajiv

yikes! thanks for correcting me! the phono stage is really something isn't it? the tube box i have already sold off so no ECC83 on hand to try. will source some i think siva here keeps some bel ecc83s. these are the popular choice in most tube phonostages i've seen cos of their low noise performance.

watching two sets of tubes glowing is really something! my system is complete!!!! :yahoo:

is the 5751 better sounding than the ecc83?

regards
 

stevieboy

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Hi Stevie,
Good to know you're enjoying the phono-stage. I had the opportunity to listen to both Viren's 2A3 SETs and the phono-stage at Rajiv's place last Sunday and thoroughly enjoyed it. I am trying to get some time to compose and put up my listening impressions in a new thread soon!

please do! would be interesting to hear your take on viren's system!
 

smedhavi

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stevieboy,

Congratulations on the purchase. I am sure you would have a great time listening to all your vinyl records again and again.

Hum seems to be a common problem for most preamps from Indian companies, including integrated amps. I wonder if it is something that takes a lot of research and investment to fix. It depends more on the actual volume at which you are listening, and not really the sensitivity of the speakers, as you would need to pump up the volume control further on less sensitive speakers. Most of the times you can ignore the hum but sometimes it gets on your nerves.

Thanks,
Sharad
 

Rajiv

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is the 5751 better sounding than the ecc83?

Hi Steven,

The 5751 is a very good tube,as to being better than the ecc83 it is matter of choice.
There are so many flavours of these tubes that it is impossible to say that one is better than the other.

You will have to try out different makes types and find the ones that sound right for you.However it is a very expensive proposition given that good NOS tube sources in India have all but dried up.Gone are the days when you could buy an ecc83 for Rs.50.

BE3 Amplifiers - INDIA

You could try these guys last time I asked they had some Mullards,Philips,Valvo ECC83's at around Rs.500-600.
Reasonable if you compare the price these tubes go for on Ebay.

Slightly off topic but I received my pair of 45 triodes yesterday and have been listening to them in the 2A3 amp.Initial impressions are very favourable.
The amp with the 45's is rated at 1.5 watts RMS but I do not find the reduction in power to be a constraint.

Regards
Rajiv
 

stevieboy

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cool! i didnt know you could swap 45s for the 2A3s i had asked viren he said a slightly different circuit needed to be made. i had wanted the flexibility initially having heard bout 45s reputation. which 45s did you get and from where?

i've managed to accidentally solve a major part of the hum problem:clapping: i had placed my palm on the metal plate where the tubes are and the hum came down drastically. mentioned it to viren and he suggested putting a wire between the screw on the front plate and connecting it to the grounding post. did it and ah its come down quite a bit! next stop mullard ECC83. you think they'd be original mullards from BE3? thanks for the link. just couldn't remember what they were called!
 

venkatcr

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i've managed to accidentally solve a major part of the hum problem:clapping: i had placed my palm on the metal plate where the tubes are and the hum came down drastically. mentioned it to viren and he suggested putting a wire between the screw on the front plate and connecting it to the grounding post. did it and ah its come down quite a bit!

We have discussed the need for proper grounding many times. Done properly the hum should not be present at all.

This might sound silly, but if your pre has a two pin plug (which I am quite sure it has), check with Viren about the polarity (he will say it does not matter), and see if you can plug the system into the mains with the correct polarity. Also check for RFI/EMI issues. The other issue could be the power cable shielding.

Properly done, there should have no hum whatsoever

Cheers
 
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Rajiv

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Hi Steven,

Yes you can swap the 45's for 2A3's in Viren's amp.

Viren operates the 2A3 amp with 200V on the plate,-35(approx) bias and at 45-50 current.These are very conservative ratings for a 2A3 and will not stress the tubes.

These are close to ideal 45 operating points.Ideally the 45's need a higher impedence OPT's compared to the 2A3,but I find that the sound quality is not compromised by running the 45's with the 2A3 OPTs.I can run the 16 ohm Altecs from the 8 ohm tap on amp the to make the 45's see a higher load but have been lazy to go behind the rack and change the connections.

There is no dramatic difference between the 2A3 and 45,tonally there are more similarites rather than differences .The 45 surprisingly has tighter bass(not something you expect from a tube made in the 1930's) and it has less of the 'Bloom'in the mids than the 2A3. Only extended listening will bring out the subtle differences.


I got a pair of matched National Union (ST) 45's from tctubes.com.
BE3 have a good reputation and I expect them to have originals.Some of the forum members have bought tubes from them,hope they will chime in with their experiences with BE3.

Regards
Rajiv
 

stevieboy

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hi venkat,

thanks for the tips! there does exist a mobile tower near my place so that's contributing to interference being picked up by tubes. other issue is no grounding at ac outlet which i'm gonna rectify next week by calling an electrician. the plug is three pin not two pin and fully enclosed can't open and reverse it but i'm guessing no proper grounding itself is the issue? also the phono interconnect cables are not shielded, so maybe a shielded pair might help i'll try that as a last option as i dont want to spend unnecessarily.
1. grounding at ac
2. 12ax7/ecc83 tubes which rajiv has reported resulting in no hum issues
3. shielded interconnects

regards
 

stevieboy

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have ordered a mullard ECC803S and a valvo/amperex ECC83 so next week will post reviews on the change of tubes.

anyone interested in getting their lps and/or phonostages over for a listen/comparison most welcome. i thought all phonos were roughly the same so why bother and hence went with the space saving option but viren's phono is a revelation so anyone interested in listening i'd be glad to share the experience! tentatively weekend after this 16th or so...
 

anm

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Hi,
I have a question regarding speakers. Though the speakers from Viren look good, play well, they are kind of limited to music listening. However, I watch movies as well and (my assumption is that) they are not the ones that would be able to keep up with high volume action movies.
So, have you tried/ advice any other speaker, for instance dali ikon 6, that would work great with electronics from lyrita, as well as doubles up for movies. Keeping 2 sets of speaker is something I can not dare do, or along with the speakers I would be thrown out of the house.
I currently have JBL N38 fs.

Do you feel a need of adding a sub with those lyrita speakers? Is the top end missing, as someone else in some other thread pointed out about single driver speakers?

regards
 

stevieboy

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hi anm,

all my tv viewing listening is done through my SET amp and the single driver speakers. movies too :) i dont feel the need for a sub or more power with a 3 watt SET amp :) i think i myself pointed out that treble is less compared to normal speakers cos its a single driver. i dont miss treble extension though cos the sound is so beautifully integrated. i have heard 'good' two/three way speakers and in almost all cases the treble sounds disembodied sort of floating on top of the music very separate from the main body of music that's going on. there's a certain togetherness to the music through a single driver that pulls you in and makes you forget about the 'hi-fi' attributes. the music seems to be united and in one field. you might like the benefits and be willing to live with the compromises or you might prefer the frequency extremes to be covered. you'll have to listen for yourself and decide.

as for adding a sub it would defeat the point of a single driver speaker. also if you have only one sub for music you cancel out cues that are encoded in the music, something to do with phase cancellation or left right channel cues something like that dont remember the exact details. the US distributor of avante garde had written a pdf on tips in which i read this. it made common sense since two signals are being merged into one and left and right ambient cues get lost... if i find the pdf i'll post it.

regards
 

anm

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so do you watch your movies in surround or just 2 channels in this age of 7.2 (11.2 receivers also exist!) ? :)
Do you use sub for movies if not for music?

regards
 

gobble

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hi anm,

all my tv viewing listening is done through my SET amp and the single driver speakers. movies too :) i dont feel the need for a sub or more power with a 3 watt SET amp :) i think i myself pointed out that treble is less compared to normal speakers cos its a single driver. i dont miss treble extension though cos the sound is so beautifully integrated. i have heard 'good' two/three way speakers and in almost all cases the treble sounds disembodied sort of floating on top of the music very separate from the main body of music that's going on. there's a certain togetherness to the music through a single driver that pulls you in and makes you forget about the 'hi-fi' attributes. the music seems to be united and in one field. you might like the benefits and be willing to live with the compromises or you might prefer the frequency extremes to be covered. you'll have to listen for yourself and decide.

Believe me, a single driver coupled with Vinyl is heaven on earth ... !!! And our man's got a SET too in the mix!! You must be in seventh heaven :eek:hyeah: !!

I wonder how it would sound paired with digital redbook sound though since i only heard it on my Dad's vinyl setup. Stevie can you elaborate on the differences? Have you compared A/B ?

TIA
 

stevieboy

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so do you watch your movies in surround or just 2 channels in this age of 7.2 (11.2 receivers also exist!) ? :)
Do you use sub for movies if not for music?

regards

nah anm, no surround sound as yet for me. not too keen on it so far. prefer the SET sound to surround sound! maybe when i get my own house small satellites sub system is the way i'd go. so in this age of surround sound i'm delightfully outdated right now!
 
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