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PAF (WAF) and valve-amps


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I feel audiophiles need to have suitable group-therapy.

 

I note there is a thread on Ugly-Hi-Fi, however I feel that there is a particular pariah effect for an audiophile when he/she produces a valve-amp that doesn't benefit from a 'modesty cover'.

 

I took delivery (well actually my wife did) of a new McChanson amp this morning. I tried to get to the door first, however my wife made it there before me, probably because I still hadn't fully dressed. ☺️

 

Anyway, my plan had been, over breakfast, to introduce the imminent arrival of the new family member.

 

No major drama emerged, however there is a serious WAF issue with a valve-amp with unshielded transformers and valves.

Of course, my wife's reaction is also significantly generated by my somewhat obsessive nature when it comes to cameras, largely replaced over the  last couple of years by my huge return to enjoying hi-fi.

 

Before going further I must clarify that my wife is a wonderful person and she puts up with a lot, however her aesthetic sensibilities are tuned differently to mine and they do not factor in the offsetting effects of technical performance. 😎

 

After a couple of hours of listening to this my first valve-amp (KT150 UL/SET), I have been advised that said amp will not be residing in the lounge-room "it's ugly, that's not staying in here". My primary role for it is in a garage system, however I do want a substitution role in the lounge when my valve-itch undoubtedly triggers.

 

This KT150 from Eric Chan is performing beautifully and the thing is beautiful, to me. Those KT150s have a sci-fi character all in themselves.

 

My main amp could not be more different, design-wise:  a Gamut D200 Mk III (200W into 8 Ohms, dual-mono single large MOSFET each channel) and this is only my second current amp, discounting a headamp and a Sonos Connect.

 

 

KT150-in-system.jpeg

20210908_toobs.jpg

Edited by lenticularis
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I think we can all relate to your dilemma !

 

I managed to have this OTL Son of Beast OKed when I built it in winter, until some $75 EL509s valves expired in summer because there wasn't enough airflow and our house was hot. I really miss that valve sound now and we have a cooler house too but I did get away with installing  some new NEAT Acoustics speakers which now partially block our front windows.🥴

 

Cheers, RobSOBinstalled.thumb.jpg.a50a20e6eb64a2c384cbc8e745e90680.jpg

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, lenticularis said:

 

No major drama emerged, however there is a serious WAF issue with a valve-amp with unshielded transformers and valves

.

After a couple of hours of listening to this my first valve-amp (KT150 UL/SET), I have been advised that said amp will not be residing in the lounge-room "it's ugly, that's not staying in here". My primary role for it is in a garage system, however I do want a substitution role in the lounge when my valve-itch undoubtedly triggers.

 

This KT150 from Eric Chan is performing beautifully and the thing is beautiful, to me. Those KT150s have a sci-fi character all in themselves.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Could Eric fashion an aesthetically pleasing cover of some sort?   Back in the day a mesh cover of some sort was common to cover those industrial looking transformers.  Or could you repurpose/invent another cover or screen to hide it?

Being in Canberra you don't have to worry about heat build up  😂 (At least in winter..)

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@RankStranger: In a later conversation today, I did share the cost (the cost to contract Eric, somewhat neglecting the earlier ca $300 purchase of a bodged amp that led to this new-build course of action). That caused a slight reaction ( directly mathematically proportional to the expressed cost, but with a sign inversion 😙  ), however the conversation did start by asking "didn't you say your other amp cost you thousands...?". That was a pre-marital expense some 15 years ago and although the cost of the Gamut does make me blanche it hasn't been regretted and it continues to delight.

 

Actually this 10W (?) McChanson amp in SET mode is doing a fine job playing a range of music. Astonishing really because my Sonus Faber Concerto Home speakers are only about 87 dB efficient.

Edited by lenticularis
laptop has forgotten how to type a 'C' without using caps lock!
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10 minutes ago, RoHo said:

Could Eric fashion an aesthetically pleasing cover of some sort?   

 

...Being in Canberra you don't have to worry about heat build up  😂 (At least in winter..)

 

Good idea and one that I have thought about today. Worth pursuing. BTW, I already brought up the positive heating effect as I gazed longingly at the glow of the driver tubes.

 

Of course I could exacerbate the WAF response curve (downwards) and buy a drainage rack and plonk that on top...

Edited by lenticularis
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theres just something about that no frills/chaotic look inside that appeals to me with mcchanson amps. i use to wonder why doesnt he put in a little more effort in the appearance. but now i feel its just right. his signature so to speak.

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1 hour ago, robmid said:

I think we can all relate to your dilemma !

 

I managed to have this OTL Son of Beast OKed when I built it in winter, until some $75 EL509s valves expired in summer because there wasn't enough airflow and our house was hot. I really miss that valve sound now and we have a cooler house too but I did get away with installing  some new NEAT Acoustics speakers which now partially block our front windows.🥴

 

Cheers, RobSOBinstalled.thumb.jpg.a50a20e6eb64a2c384cbc8e745e90680.jpg

 

 

 

 

Cheers Rob,

 

Indeed, that is a fine beast of an OTL amp.  Good luck rectifying ( 😙   ) it through a repair.

 

Your speaker choice is impressive! Do I see that the badge says 'WAF'? 😝

Not the NEAT Acoustics?

 

cheers,
Dave

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I bought one of these. It’s so heavy it has to stay. Sounds ok too. I’m amazed by it, she’s amazed at what I’m amazed by. Usually the “easier to ask for forgiveness than permission” method is applied. 

 

 

3CC0E690-27E6-4383-9A1A-C6CF1785B8B1.jpeg

Edited by Godot
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3 hours ago, lenticularis said:

 

I feel audiophiles need to have suitable group-therapy.

 

I note there is a thread on Ugly-Hi-Fi, however I feel that there is a particular pariah effect for an audiophile when he/she produces a valve-amp that doesn't benefit from a 'modesty cover'.

 

I took delivery (well actually my wife did) of a new McChanson amp this morning. I tried to get to the door first, however my wife made it there before me, probably because I still hadn't fully dressed. ☺️

 

Anyway, my plan had been, over breakfast, to introduce the imminent arrival of the new family member.

 

No major drama emerged, however there is a serious WAF issue with a valve-amp with unshielded transformers and valves.

Of course, my wife's reaction is also significantly generated by my somewhat obsessive nature when it comes to cameras, largely replaced over the  last couple of years by my huge return to enjoying hi-fi.

 

Before going further I must clarify that my wife is a wonderful person and she puts up with a lot, however her aesthetic sensibilities are tuned differently to mine and they do not factor in the offsetting effects of technical performance. 😎

 

After a couple of hours of listening to this my first valve-amp (KT150 UL/SET), I have been advised that said amp will not be residing in the lounge-room "it's ugly, that's not staying in here". My primary role for it is in a garage system, however I do want a substitution role in the lounge when my valve-itch undoubtedly triggers.

 

This KT150 from Eric Chan is performing beautifully and the thing is beautiful, to me. Those KT150s have a sci-fi character all in themselves.

 

My main amp could not be more different, design-wise:  a Gamut D200 Mk III (200W into 8 Ohms, dual-mono single large MOSFET each channel) and this is only my second current amp, discounting a headamp and a Sonos Connect.

 

 

KT150-in-system.jpeg

20210908_toobs.jpg

I reckon that amp is a thing of beauty. 
Given the mess that my system is I’m in no position to talk, but I reckon you’d show the amp in a better light if you could place it somewhere where it could be level. Also get rid of that towel it’s sitting on 😀

Edited by sir sanders zingmore
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The amp is level, my photography perhaps not.

 

The towel is there to protect the mighty Gamut.

 

Believe me, the domestic arrangement is that this amp is not going to be in the same room as my wife when she wishes to sit and enjoy the room!!  It will be garage-bound, poor acoustics and all, and then swiftly retrieved for me to enjoy its qualities, followed by a return to vehicular exile.

Edited by lenticularis
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1 hour ago, Godot said:

I bought one of these. It’s so heavy it has to stay. Sounds ok too. I’m amazed by it, she’s amazed at what I’m amazed by. Usually the “easier to ask for forgiveness than permission” method is applied. 

 

 

3CC0E690-27E6-4383-9A1A-C6CF1785B8B1.jpeg

I love your line "she is amazed by what I am amazed by"

 

Have you tried placing flowers in those thoughtfully-added black plant-pots at the LHS of your amp?

 SO thoughtful of those Canadians to make a dual-purpose amplifier, one that amplifies and simultaneously provides enjoyment of horticulture, thereby increasing WAF through 'intelligent design'.

 

...I see that you live in the Kiewa Valley. What an awesomely beautiful part of Victoria. I have spend so many great hours gliding from Mt. Beauty at Easter camps when I was visiting from Melbourne in another life.

Edited by lenticularis
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Flowers top idea, except our cats already get frighteningly close, they love the warmth of valves as much as me. Further encouraging them to get close and dig could get messy. Yep, it’s pretty nice here, lots of flying today, paragliders launching off the Tawonga Gap site. 

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Have a cage made for it so the valves are not visible.... Get the entire thing professionally painted metallic gunmetal grey (this colour goes with everything and hides dust well) and finished gloss with gold text on the front. Make sure the power button and knobs are not painted. If you enjoy the equipment, it can be made to look stunning. Such work costs though. Many women simply do not like the appearance of exposed tubes. Hide them away and they're ok with it. Make everything "pretty" and they're ok with it.

 

That said, I'm delighted to have moved to tubes just in my DAC in each of my systems. Means I've significantly less heat in the house during the summer though it can be a bit cool in winter though easy to chuck on a jacket and slippers. 10WPC class A doesn't even burn you to touch the heat sinks  ;)

 

That said my journey isn't over. Going to be a very long time to save the $6k USD for an Abbas Audio DAC 3.2SE  ;)

Edited by MattyW
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24 minutes ago, davewantsmoore said:

I do all the cooking in my house, and I still wouldn't be allowed to have a valve amp in the main lounge room.

Not even one of these?

 

audio-note-oto-pure-class-a-integrated-amplifier.jpg.504212782e41927b2b39a43dc6f9cc9c.jpg

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1 hour ago, davewantsmoore said:

I do all the cooking in my house, and I still wouldn't be allowed to have a valve amp in the main lounge room.

Maybe that's more to do with your cooking skills than the amps aesthetic qualities 😁😁😁

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2 minutes ago, RoHo said:

Maybe that's more to do with your cooking skills than the amps aesthetic qualities 😁😁😁

...though can you imagine if he consistently turned out solid-state cuisine?

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I do have a preference for having a cage over valve amps.  I think it looks neater, and is safer.  They may have gone out of fashion as a cost-cutting measure by the manufacturers, and because the purchasers may want to look at why their amp's have cost so much money! 

 

@lenticularis, your garage will be much better than my carport!

 

 

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19 hours ago, Ihearmusic said:

I did not get much appreciation for this one.........well actually I received not any appreciation at all🤔

 

Cause you took all the breadboards from the kitchen...🙂

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