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Will a tube buffer improve audio quality in my setup?..

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tuff

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Like surfatwork mentioned, speakers need to be better. Tube's change the sound, not improve or degrade. It is only after trying out that you may judge it for yourself. Some do get rid of the tubes once experiencing the new sound.
 

hifitoaster

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On that speaker due to its limited resolution, colored sound profile you may not get an advantage from tubes more than what you do with a eq. Upgrade speakers one level and then it may make sense.
 

vinyl

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Hi,
I have the below setup for stereo listening.

1. Win 10 PC - Source foobar, youtube and prime audio
2. Fiio E10k DAC
3. Logitech Z-623 speakers

This is serving me well. But would like to know if adding a tube buffer like below will enhance the quality. please suggest.

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/FEI...f239-4e75-8839-bc4dfcc005f8&priceBeautifyAB=0
The FX Audio tube 01, is a buffer and it's main role is to act as an intermediary, between source and amp and is beneficial under two circumstances. One is if you are using the headphone out of the source, be it digital/ analog, to connect to line in of amp, then this buffer plays a marvelous role. Secondly if you are using the line out of any digital source, then using this buffer in between source and amp will smoothen the stepped sine wave output and reduce the harshness of digital music. But if you use this buffer between line out of an analog source and line in of amp, there wont be much enhancement. These are my practical observations.
 

kvandhi

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But if you use this buffer between line out of an analog source and line in of amp, there wont be much enhancement. These are my practical observations.
Do you mean buffer between usb DAC and amplifier , assume laptop connected to usb DAC.
 

jls001

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Don't buy anything. Just use the equalizer plugin of foobar and tweak the 20-odd bands to your liking. Be gentle with how much you tweak each band, say a boost of +0.5 dB at 500 Hz and going up +1 to +1.5 dB around 1 and 2 kHz then gently going down to +0.5 dB at 5000 Hz. This will give a subtle but nice boost to the presence region where most human vocals fall.

You may rolling off the highs from 8000 Hz till it touches around -1.5 to -1.7 dB at 20000 Hz.
 

madhanmss

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I would suspect that the speakers are the weakest link in your setup. Doubt if a tube buffer will make a discernible difference in fidelity.
In my experience, just adding components in a chain is unlikely to "improve" matters.

This case is specific to my PC setup. I am building another one with RPI3 and will look for a better speakers there.
 

madhanmss

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Don't buy anything. Just use the equalizer plugin of foobar and tweak the 20-odd bands to your liking. Be gentle with how much you tweak each band, say a boost of +0.5 dB at 500 Hz and going up +1 to +1.5 dB around 1 and 2 kHz then gently going down to +0.5 dB at 5000 Hz. This will give a subtle but nice boost to the presence region where most human vocals fall.

You may rolling off the highs from 8000 Hz till it touches around -1.5 to -1.7 dB at 20000 Hz.

I will give it a try. As of now i did not use the equalizer in foobar. The reason i asked for buffer is i also listen from youtube a lot. Anyway to improve this?
 

Hari Iyer

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I have asked for a tube buffer in my setup for a listen may be for a week or two for testing. I have removed the DCB1 from my current setup couple of months ago as i suspected the quality of the jfet begin duplicate. To my surprise removing the DCB1 improved dynamics. But i still feel that tube buffer (cathode follower type - unity gain) would have some potential.
 

Audiodoc

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I have made few tube buffers. They mellow down audio but I will advice you to save money for better speakers and good quality source material like atleast flacs or CD quality if not hires material. These will give you the best results. DAC and amps come next.
 

yogibear

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Just putting any buffer in the audio lineup because it has a tube will not do any magic. Rather it may distort sound. It may make treble hard on ears, vocals bright or muddy the bass. The 6J1 tube is no brainer. The Russian counterpart from Voshkod is much better or the 6AK5 replacement. But you must have revealing speakers to hear the difference else its mostly psychoacoustic.

Look for true tube buffers with no gain and no solid state devices. 6992, 6DJ8, 12AX7 or even 12AT7 are great tubes to be considered.
 

kvandhi

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Just putting any buffer in the audio lineup because it has a tube will not do any magic. Rather it may distort sound. It may make treble hard on ears, vocals bright or muddy the bass. The 6J1 tube is no brainer. The Russian counterpart from Voshkod is much better or the 6AK5 replacement. But you must have revealing speakers to hear the difference else its mostly psychoacoustic.

Look for true tube buffers with no gain and no solid state devices. 6992, 6DJ8, 12AX7 or even 12AT7 are great tubes to be considered.
How about 6P1 and 6N1 tubes ?
 
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