file Anybody using PS Audio M1200 monoblocks?

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charliehatch Posted 4 months 6 hours ago
#29813
Yes, Prayer is probably the best piece on the album. MIdeastern modality? I don't have a sense of bass "power", just very clear depiction of the different basses. The system creates a very realistic soundstage.

I've had a console problem too. The M1200s are only 1/4 inch narrower than the shelf they're sitting on, and they have cooling air grilles on the sides (input) and top (output). Pure convection, no fan. Yesterday I drilled some 1 1/2 inch holes at strategic locations to give them better cooling. But I have just about run out of options with that console and may have to find something more suitable.

I'll update as they continue to break in. Now that they have adequate cooling, I can crank them up some more.

Charlie
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charliehatch Posted 3 months 3 weeks ago
#29830
An update on the M1200s...

Good news is that my ailing Bel Canto has been repaired and both power supplies updated, and they are on the way back.

Bad news is that one of the M1200s decided to kill the 12AU7 tube (evidently). Just when I thought things were getting closer to being broken in. I had run moderate volume pink noise the night before to help the break in. In the morning I turned off the pink noise and all was well. I put the amps into standby (which turns off the tubes), but when I powered them all the way up in the afternoon, I got popping and noise from the left amp. I called PS Audio, and they offered to send me an entirely new amp, but we settled on a new set of tubes for now. I'm awaiting the tubes.

I'm hoping this was just a rare infant mortality of the tube and not a sign of another problem in the amp that killed the tube. Has anybody had a 1 week old tube die like this? I'm a solid state guy with no tube experience. (Well, none since the 1950s replacing tubes in TVs.)

The amps had run a total of around 40 hours when the tube died, but I can say that the sound was getting very good. These things love percussion! More detailed all the way up the audio bandwidth, which produces more soundstage depth with more precise imaging. The best one-word description I can come up with is vivid. I was still hearing some excess brightness way up on top (trumpet and violin high notes, and some vocal overtones). I still don't know if that was from the amps or my hearing or something upstream. I was about to experiment with disabling the digital filtering in my DSPeaker to see if I was hearing artifacts from the filtering. That's when the tube died.

Oh well. Back to the headphones...

Charlie
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rjohn79395 Posted 3 months 3 weeks ago
#29834
Hey Anthem

As a longer term "toober", what's your experience with tube replacement/tube life? I know you like to roll tubes now and then, a whole other subject, but in general, how long should they last, and how much does the sound change over their life? Or with tube rolling?

Like charlie, I'm a solid state guy, and would appreciate your thoughts on this. It's one of the things that has been on my mind as an issue about "going tube", including in hybrid amps, though I do like the reviews of SQ I read regarding tube sound.

Thanks!

Rick
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charliehatch Posted 3 months 3 weeks ago
#29835
Anthem, Rick asked what I have been wondering. Here's another question: is there a sonic advantage to leaving the tubes powered up all the time? The M1200 has a standby mode that shuts down the tube (and maybe more), leaving other parts of the amp running.

Obviously, leaving them powered up will reduce lifetime, whatever that amounts to.

And another. The M1200 uses a 12AU7 twin triode, running in balanced mode. I was looking online at other sources and found one where one option is "high gain". That scared me. I thought a certain type has a fixed gain, but I know nothing about these beasts. Can you explain?

Charlie
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anthem Posted 3 months 3 weeks ago
#29836
Guys:
I purchased my Primaluna Preamp in October of 2013. I lost my first 12au7 tube six months in. Since that time I haven't lost one single tube, including Rectifiers. Tubes can have a life of well over 10,000 hrs. As far as sound is concerned, the Rectifier tube makes the biggest difference, followed by the 12au7. If transparency is your thing, the Phillips 5R4GYS adds a nice touch of warmth, especially on acoustic guitar. 12au7 tubes are somewhat subtle in how they effect the music. With each tube roll there are differences in bass tightness and midrange clarity. For the past few months I've settled on JJ 12au7 for driver tubes and GE 6189w for the gain tubes. I alternate between the Phillips 5R4gys Rectifiers and Primaluna 5AR4 Rectifiers.

Through the years I've tried different combinations of solid state amplifiers/tube amplifiers and solid state Preamps/tube Preamps...although solid state amplifiers and preamps sound great, my ears have fallen in love with solid state amplifiers (for bottom end) and tube Preamps. There's a sweetness in the sound that having ALL solid state equipment can't achieve, at least for me.

Charlie:
If you're not using your tube gear for more than a few hours, power it down. Do you leave the house lights on when you go to bed or leave the house? Leaving gear on 24/7 uses tube life and creates excessive heat which may be a problem for other components.

The twin triode/balanced mode question I know nothing about. Primaluna has those mode options in their amplifiers. I've never researched exactly what's what.
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charliehatch Posted 3 months 3 weeks ago
#29837
Anthem,

Thanks for your input. Very helpful. Yes, PS Audio recommends putting the amp into standby (which shuts down the tube) to extend life. And that's what I had been doing. Maybe that's why I made it all the way to 40 hours!

I don't leave the house lights on all the time :) but I do leave my solid state audio equipment on, including my P20. As an ex mechanical engineer, I have always been aware of the possiblity of repeated thermal cycling causing problems in board components and solder joints over time. But then you have to trade off the potential component degradation with things on all the time. I'm not really sure who wins that race to the bottom. But at least the sound is stable when I'm ready to listen.

Thanks again,

Charlie
Digital source > multiple boxes and cables that are always changing > Triton Reference speakers
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