DIY Audio Projects Forum
 NEW  Matt presents bias and operation data for the 6V6 tube in SE operation - 6V6 Single-Ended (SE) Ultra Linear (UL) Bias Optimization.

DIY Audio Projects Forum

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 Post subject: Newbie Set-Up Advice
PostPosted: 26 Jan 2011, 15:22 

Joined: 26 Jan 2011, 14:41
Posts: 1
Very excited about this site! I'm somewhat a HiFi newbie and want to solicit some suggestions upgrading my set-up and which DIY project I should take on.

What I have:
- HK 3485 Stereo Receiver
- Audio-Technica PL120 Turntable
- JBL Venue Series Balcony Speakers
- Mac/iPod (music is mostly lossless but not above 16bit or anything fancy)

It's not a great system, but no component has been disappointing considering their price-points. The HK Receiver is better than expected. I'd much prefer the simplicity/design on an integrated amp, but I use the tuner a lot and its sound is far better than I expected. My only complaints is that the soundstage/imaging is a little small (doesn't have that, "holy crap they're in the room right now" vibe).

- I'm inclined to keep the HK Receiver because I'm sure I'll get more for my money in other areas.
- I will be replacing the turntable and speakers (a discussion for another time). Note: the phono input to the HK Receiver is pretty decent and I'm inclined to keep that direct.
- I THINK I would like to invest in a DAC and/or a Tube preamp for the digital source. This is not only an attempt to get better sound from my main music source, but also an excuse for a tube DIY project!

Will a tube pre-amp actually make a decent difference? Is there any problem putting a preamp into the HK Receiver (or must it be a passive preamp)? Should I bother with a DAC? Or would I be altogether better off making a tube amp (I can still use the HK as a preamp)?

I hope these newbie posts aren't annoying, just trying to get started. Thanks for any advice!

 Post subject: Re: Newbie Set-Up Advice
PostPosted: 30 Jan 2011, 21:11 
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Joined: 28 May 2008, 21:53
Posts: 4589
Location: Winnipeg, CANADA
Welcome to the forum.

Do you have experience with building tube gear?

My suggestion was going to be a phono stage kit. ;) With that config I would lean towards a DAC, particularly if you are using analogue signal from the iPod/Mac.


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