Modded SET amps

Oct 12, 2011
262
1
18
55
Brooklyn
#41
Ron,

In my experience with other's equipment/systems, the sound is very system dependent. Most of the time it has involved vintage and/or SETs. Generally there has been an improvement but the scale has varied.

In my case, while they weren't in the amp, I replaced the autoformers in my volume control with silver. The sound improvement was subtle but easily heard. A bit more detail, more coherent presentation and just an overall "nicer" sound. Wasn't life changing but definitely was better.

Beau


Has anyone ever replaced a copper wire wound transformer with a silver wire wound transformer?

Do silver transformer windings and copper transformer windings have consistent differences in sound?
 

JackD201

[WBF Founding Member]
Apr 21, 2010
10,994
8
38
Manila, Philippines
#42
Nice to see that you seem to have a positive opinion on the old Air Tight 211 SETs. A pair was offered locally for sale some years ago at a very nice price and I immediately discarded it after seeing the measurements and also the very negative comments of Stereophile on those graphs - I am prepared to ignore measurements but those really seemed too bad! :eek:

I think that the important aspect is that more than tube or topology what matters most is design and implementation. In my case I never listened to a 211 tube amplifier of the rank of the Marantz T1, so I can not comment on relative performance at all. In the end we must let our ears be the judges with an open mind.

So it seems we have one more amplifier for Ron's list : the Air Tight 3211 monos!
They definitely sounded good on Quads to me :D
 

morricab

Active Member
Apr 25, 2014
2,302
8
38
Switzerland
#43
Nice to see that you seem to have a positive opinion on the old Air Tight 211 SETs. A pair was offered locally for sale some years ago at a very nice price and I immediately discarded it after seeing the measurements and also the very negative comments of Stereophile on those graphs - I am prepared to ignore measurements but those really seemed too bad! :eek:

I think that the important aspect is that more than tube or topology what matters most is design and implementation. In my case I never listened to a 211 tube amplifier of the rank of the Marantz T1, so I can not comment on relative performance at all. In the end we must let our ears be the judges with an open mind.

So it seems we have one more amplifier for Ron's list : the Air Tight 3211 monos!
The ATM-211 doesn't measure so different than the majority of SETs. Only the early clipping at high frequencies would possibly be a concern. With a high sensitivity speaker i am sure this amp sounds quite fine.
 
May 30, 2010
13,964
42
48
Portugal
#44
The ATM-211 doesn't measure so different than the majority of SETs. Only the early clipping at high frequencies would possibly be a concern. With a high sensitivity speaker i am sure this amp sounds quite fine.
Quoting from the Stereophile review: "Its poor high-frequency linearity, incipient ultrasonic instability, and the presence of supply hum in its output are all factors that would rule the ATM-211 out for me, even if I had speakers that were sensitive enough and had a high enough modulus of impedance to minimize its measured problems."

Read more at https://www.stereophile.com/content...er-amplifier-measurements#y3l7rgYPVkwMOMMR.99.

Fortunately most SET's I have seen do not have such sins. I hate systems having hum, probably also because mains in Europe is 50 Hz and at that time my room had 6.8m length - an exact resonance of the second harmonic! Considering the weight of the Aires-Cerat amplifiers, having many chokes in the power supplies, I can imagine they are completely hum free!

Probably, as Jack pointed, the Quad's used at moderate levels could be good candidates for an excellent sound quality for the ATM-211 .
 

morricab

Active Member
Apr 25, 2014
2,302
8
38
Switzerland
#45
Quoting from the Stereophile review: "Its poor high-frequency linearity, incipient ultrasonic instability, and the presence of supply hum in its output are all factors that would rule the ATM-211 out for me, even if I had speakers that were sensitive enough and had a high enough modulus of impedance to minimize its measured problems."

Read more at https://www.stereophile.com/content...er-amplifier-measurements#y3l7rgYPVkwMOMMR.99.

Fortunately most SET's I have seen do not have such sins. I hate systems having hum, probably also because mains in Europe is 50 Hz and at that time my room had 6.8m length - an exact resonance of the second harmonic! Considering the weight of the Aires-Cerat amplifiers, having many chokes in the power supplies, I can imagine they are completely hum free!

Probably, as Jack pointed, the Quad's used at moderate levels could be good candidates for an excellent sound quality for the ATM-211 .
No need to quote or link the review I knew it already. JA is always trying to compare to "better engineered" SS products. Again, I say not so different from many SETs. Hum is often system dependent and issues I have had in the past were mostly grounding issues not inherent from the gear.
Discounting the ATM-211 for these measurements would disqualify about 80% of all SETs.

It is also important to note that JA's opinion on SET measurements has softened over the years since this 2004 review. He and TJN used to be quite harsh on tube amp measurements but weight of listening evidence has changed his view on what the measurements mean a bit.

You are right that AC gear doesn't hum.
 
May 30, 2010
13,964
42
48
Portugal
#46
No need to quote or link the review I knew it already. JA is always trying to compare to "better engineered" SS products. Again, I say not so different from many SETs. Hum is often system dependent and issues I have had in the past were mostly grounding issues not inherent from the gear.
Discounting the ATM-211 for these measurements would disqualify about 80% of all SETs.

It is also important to note that JA's opinion on SET measurements has softened over the years since this 2004 review. He and TJN used to be quite harsh on tube amp measurements but weight of listening evidence has changed his view on what the measurements mean a bit.

You are right that AC gear doesn't hum.
IMHO we should include quotes and links when referring to specific opinions - our members that have not seen the measurements deserve it. One nice thing of the Stereophile site is that when we copy something to quote, the browser automatically includes the link.

My view is that although must of the time I can afford to ignore his comments, this time he was correct in his warnings in the conclusion about the measurements considering what he found.
 

morricab

Active Member
Apr 25, 2014
2,302
8
38
Switzerland
#47
IMHO we should include quotes and links when referring to specific opinions - our members that have not seen the measurements deserve it. One nice thing of the Stereophile site is that when we copy something to quote, the browser automatically includes the link.

My view is that although must of the time I can afford to ignore his comments, this time he was correct in his warnings in the conclusion about the measurements considering what he found.
"this time he was correct in his warnings in the conclusion "

You forgot "IMO"...because i think I made it clear that I didn't really agree with his conclusion...and 2017 JA might not either...
 

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