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Can someone explain how this actually changes the tone??

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  • Can someone explain how this actually changes the tone??

    I'm referring to the Yuan-Jing 6N3 Tube Pre-amplifier Board: http://www.parts-express.com/yuan-ji...oard--320-6502.

    I'm curious, how will this make the sound warmer, and if you think it's worth the $$? My plan is the incorporate the preamp with SURE 2x100 watt TDA7494, and the speakers are Bic America DV62si with Ed Frias xover mod. All going on my large desktop setup. I do prefer a "warmer" tone.

    Additional question: Will the tube light up too bright for being near a LED computer monitor? Ya know, will it be distracting? Thanks!




  • #2
    I prefer a neutral or accurate sound. Some tube equipment is said to be tilted somewhat to a slightly rolled off high end, or exaggerated mid bass sound, but good stuff is accurate.
    I have owned older tube stuff, that had that sound, but while it was enjoyable in a way, I seek a more accurate rendition of a recording overall.

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    • #3
      I can't back this up but have heard that the known "tube sound" can sometimes be attributed to a slight increase in 2nd order distortion, giving a warm or lush sound.

      I think it depends on the amp and tubes used though, which prompts people to play around with tube rolling.

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      • #4
        Thanks for the info, I just watched a YouTube video about this board claiming these preamp boards are fake, and the only reason they need a power supply is to power the tube for decoration. Thoughts?

        Here's the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N0WEBGm2f9s

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        • #5
          The tube will be a very dim glow, but if there is an led under it then that could change things a little. I I still doubt it would be distracting. My avatar shows four little preamp tubes (12ax7/12au7) and as you can see you can hardly see a glow, especially compared to the el34s behind them.

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          • #6
            Not sure what's up with that. Be interesting to follow the traces and map out a schematic.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by dynamo View Post
              Not sure what's up with that. Be interesting to follow the traces and map out a schematic.
              I believe someone looked into it: http://nomadentp.blogspot.com/2013/1...eamp-tube.html

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              • #8
                The fact that he still got audio with the tube removed can be seen in the diagram you posted. The circuit will still flow ac (audio) without the tube in place. It's a legit circuit.

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                • #9
                  Here is a bravo v2 circuit. It doesn't look like this particular one would pass audio without the tube since the circuit is entirely broken with the removal of the tube, unlike the circuit you posted. Just different designs. Someone smarter than me can clarify I'm sure.
                  Last edited by dynamo; 08-04-2016, 09:33 AM.

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                  • #10
                    Yeah the LED kinda bugs me, I might disable it. I'm looking for something more natural looking. Does anyone have any more explanations of how/why this may be worth the investment?

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                    • #11
                      Sometimes the LED is part of the function of a larger circuit. I am nowhere near smart enough to know if it is here or not, but you may want to consult somebody before removing it. Otherwise a little black paint may solve your issue. If it is worth it is subjective. I don't see an output voltage listed, so you may be actually taking a step backwards if the output impedance is higher than you would have without it, output voltage could be lower, etc. Most sources have adequate output without the need of an additional preamp. You also may just be injecting more noise and distortion.

                      That said, it may be worth it if you plug it in and find that it happens to alter the tone of your music to "sound warmer" to you. Spend the $30 and give it a shot. Either it sounds worse and now you know, it sounds the same but looks cool, or it sounds better. Be a fun thing to play around with for the price. Driving a small class d amp board with it effectively creates a hybrid tube/ss integrated amp, which is very popular right now.

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                      • #12
                        [QUOTE=Hi-Fi Luggage;n1293244]I'm referring to the Yuan-Jing 6N3 Tube Pre-amplifier Board: http://www.parts-express.com/yuan-ji...oard--320-6502.

                        I'm curious, how will this make the sound warmer, and if you think it's worth the $$? My plan is the incorporate the preamp with SURE 2x100 watt TDA7494, and the speakers are Bic America DV62si with Ed Frias xover mod. All going on my large desktop setup. I do prefer a "warmer" tone.

                        Additional question: Will the tube light up too bright for being near a LED computer monitor? Ya know, will it be distracting? Thanks!


                        First thing to consider is that the sound of the "tube" is going to be mostly determined by the circuit it is connected to. For this amp, according to the schematic posted in this thread, the tube is applied as a cathode follower, which means no voltage gain, only current gain, and in that type of circuit I wouldn't expect much tone change unless the tube is biased unusually or the heater voltage is too low.

                        By comparison, the Bravo headphone amp mentioned above, according to that schematic, uses it's tube in a single-ended gain stage, so I would expect some harmonic tone contribution.

                        I suspect that the LED would be brighter than the glowing heater filament. Feel free to remove or replace the LED with a regular 1N4001 - it doesn't appear to have a vital role in circuit operation.

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                        • #13
                          I know with my "little bear" pre amp , the glow from the tubes themself do not illuminate all that much. Probably why they decided to add the helper led's under the tube sockets. I can check in the morning and tell you what tubes are used in my pre amp if that will help with your decision

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                          • #14
                            The 4 reviews on the PE are 5-star and mention a change in sound.

                            Is that change due to 2nd harmonic distortion? From what I gathered here, that's the reason for classic tube warmth. Or is it another form of modification to the sound. Reading between the lines -less harshness- the reviews may suggest what kevintomb wrote: "Some tube equipment is said to be tilted somewhat to a slightly rolled off high end, ..."

                            Just fodder for thought.

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                            • #15
                              Good catch on the cathode follower, I never even picked up on that. I have the bravo, decent little amp but was a nicer deal when it was cheaper. It is actually decently "warm" but the particular fets used on the output have some hf rolloff. There is an upgrade thread on another forum that lists alternative flatter fets which I ordered but never ended up changing. Switched the tube to an old Rca black plate and it sounds pretty good. I also changed the power cap. But I digress..

                              I still say give it a shot

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