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  1. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by brianle View Post
    Sounds like a winner. How was the bass?
    The bass is outstanding!

    Right now in the rectifier position I have a 1959 Mullard Blackburn made w/D getter - cathode follower 1955 Sylvania 12AU7 short black plate w/SQ getter - gain stage 1956 Valvo ECC82 long plate made in Hamburg w/D getter with foil strip.

    It's like the musicians are right in the room with me

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30; Eastern Electric Mini Max; Adcom GDA600; MIT S3/Z Pc; SDA 1C; Squeezebox; Tubes add soul!

  2. #32

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    It seems to have the same issue the Dared does in some systems, a little too much gain. Can't get it much past the 9:00 position w/o it being really loud. I hate throwing away all the rest of the vol pot.

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30; Eastern Electric Mini Max; Adcom GDA600; MIT S3/Z Pc; SDA 1C; Squeezebox; Tubes add soul!

  3. #33

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    A Joule pre amp would solve that gain issue. In fact, it is adjustable.
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end."

  4. #34

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    It certainly would Jesse, you willing to gift me the difference in cost

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30; Eastern Electric Mini Max; Adcom GDA600; MIT S3/Z Pc; SDA 1C; Squeezebox; Tubes add soul!

  5. #35

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    Eh, sell off your over supply of tubes and you'd be there.
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end."

  6. #36

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    But then I'd have no tubes to roll!
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30; Eastern Electric Mini Max; Adcom GDA600; MIT S3/Z Pc; SDA 1C; Squeezebox; Tubes add soul!

  7. #37

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    Glad you like it Brock. Looks like one of those bang for your buck pre's many are looking for. Does this mean the Dared will be on the chopping block ?

  8. #38

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    Tony, so far it's more than one of those "bang for the buck" pre's. Seems to punch a little higher that it's price. $1100 ain't chump change.

    It appears the Dared will be on the chopping block, but I'm going to give both an honest evaluation before deciding.

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30; Eastern Electric Mini Max; Adcom GDA600; MIT S3/Z Pc; SDA 1C; Squeezebox; Tubes add soul!

  9. #39

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    Glad you are enjoying it Brocko,, the only reason I sold mine wad no remote--it does perform well above it's price point.
    JC approves....he told me so. (F-1 nut)

  10. #40

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    I guess I'll just keep going with the running commentary.

    George I hear ya, I don't sit too far away so not a big issue, but remote would certainly be nice.

    This thing is so musical and effortless and it's a tube rollers dream as it responds well to tube rolling in all positions. The options are limitless. The combo I am using right now is simply fantastic is every area. The bass is deep and extended when called for and mid bass is right on. The sound stage is huge and I can't get over how dead quiet the background is. It seems I am getting more music from the same songs I usually listen to. Sort of like a dirty window that is freshly clean. Not really a lifting of a veil but more focus around the edges. The sense of realism when it's in the recording is startling.

    Whatever combination or parts, design, etc they used.......it works very well. The bass is superb, vocals are haunting and hang in the air.

    Again, tubed gear is hard to compare head to head since tubes can make or break a piece. This piece, with the tubes I am using, is 2 steps up from the Dared in some key areas as mentioned above. In fact I haven't wanted to stop listening to it. Every free moment I have the main rig is on playing music.

    One thing I sort of don't like with the Mini Max is the power switch, it seems rugged enough for everyday use mechanically, but the toggle is a little on the cheap side and doesn't "click" with the authority of something at this price point. But I have no worries of it failing, just not as robust as I expected.

    1959 Mullard (Blackburn) - D getter 6x4 (EZ90) rectifier
    1955 Sylvania 12AU7 - SQ getter, short black wrinkle plate (cathode follower)
    1956 Valvo (Hamburg) - D getter with foil strip, long gray plate (gain stage)

    So far that's the combo absolutely knocking out of the park.

    Probably the best audio purchase of 2013.............going to be hard to top it in 2014.

    If you can at all fore-go a remote control, this is a no-brainer.

    H9
    Last edited by heiney9; 12-31-2013 at 04:05 PM.
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30; Eastern Electric Mini Max; Adcom GDA600; MIT S3/Z Pc; SDA 1C; Squeezebox; Tubes add soul!

  11. #41

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    Just bought the same pre as well. Hopefully it will give some improvement over ee minimal dac's pre :)

  12. #42

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    Congratulations on the new piece, Brock!
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  13. #43

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    So, time for an update!

    One really great thing about this pre-amp is you don't have to use a pair of the same tubes. You can mix and match each 12AU7 since one is the buffer and the other is the amplification. Only thing you need to be sure of, is fairly closely matching sections since each tube handles L and R (one channel for each triode) I have always subscribed to "the approx. 10% tolerance rule". Meaning each triode should be approx 10% of each other. Even a 15% variance I feel is inaudible.

    Buying a single tube of some of the cream of the crop, rarer tubes has proven to be pretty cost effective. This has allowed me to pick up some superb tubes very reasonably compared to having to buy a matching pair which command more than double the price of a single.

    So far these are the singles I've acquired.

    1948 Tung Sol 12AU7 blk plate - vertical D getter. One of the very first 12AU7 types produced. Almost non-existent, currently looking for a mate. Impossible to find. These are a little different than the black glass version as many of those are gray plate, but there are a small portion that are black plate as well, but don't have the vertical D getter as they are slightly later build.

    1953 Westinghouse 12AU7 charcoal plate - long arm D getter. Westinghouse in it's early days did actually manufacture their own tubes at the Landsdale plant. There are about 4 tell tale signs it's a genuine Westinghouse vs. a rebranded tube from another manufacturer.

    1952 GE/Ken Rad 5814 blk wrinkle plate - 2 mica- square getter - silver plate clips. Another very early 12AU7 type. Fairly hard to find, but they are around and reasonably priced if you wait for a deal.

    1954 GE/Ken Rad JG-5814 blk wrinkle plate - 3 mica - flat U getter - silver plate clips

    1956 CBS 5814 - blk wrinkle plate - square getter - silver plate clips.

    1957 Valvo Hamburg ECC82- long gray plate - angled D getter, ultra hard to find. Superb tube, it has it all!

    1957 Amperex Bugle Boy ECC82 - long gray plate -foil D getter - made in Holland. Another superb sounding tube, not quite as magical as the above Hamburg tube, but still superb.

    1958 Amperex Bugle Boy w/treble Cleft ECC82 - long gray plate - wrinkle glass - double post O getter - Mitcham made. Very rare Mitcham made tube. The Mitcham plant in England mostly made military tubes, but they did also make small runs of civilian tubes, this being the harder to find. Blackburn made of this same type are easier to find. I have found that Mitcham made tubes are a little more focused and slightly less bloated in the mid bass compared to Blackburn made tubes. It's subtle, but noticeable.

    1959 Valvo Hamburg ECC82 - short gray plate - 30* angled O getter. This just falls short in soundstage and openness compared to the long plate version, but still one of my top 5. I use this in the buffer position and the long plate Hamburg tube in the amplification position and it's simply stunning.

    I have several other 12AU7 and variants and still need to try numerous combinations.

    Currently I have been running a 1959 Mullard EZ90 rectifier; 1959 Valvo Hamburg ECC82, short plate angled O getter in the buffer position; 1957 Valvo Hamburg ECC82 long plate, angled D getter in the amplification position and I don't want to remove them for other tubes........ they sound that good!!

    H9
    Last edited by heiney9; 02-22-2014 at 11:14 AM.
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30; Eastern Electric Mini Max; Adcom GDA600; MIT S3/Z Pc; SDA 1C; Squeezebox; Tubes add soul!

  14. #44

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    Anyone who thinks because the Mini Max is Chinese based (actual American's helped design and create acceptable build tolerances and QC) and doesn't use exotic caps isn't a contender for a superb tubed pre-amp at or even twice it's selling price is very misinformed. So far I have been blown away how good this thing sounds with my favorite tubes. It's also a tube rollers dream as it really conveys the subtle (to not so subtle) changes tube rolling allows. Yet it sounds good even with mediocre tubes.

    The Dared has found a new home and I will always defend the Dared SL2000A w/auricaps as a great little unit that punches higher than it's price point to a certain level. But the EE Mini Max is in a different league and, IMO could punch much higher than it's cost suggests and beyond.

    It's always been my opinion that it is difficult to compare across tube gear because the choice of tubes, circuit designs have enough variance that you don't know if you are evaluating the piece or the tubes. While this can be said about transistor based units it's been my experience that tube gear can create a wider gap.

    All in all this piece has been the 2nd best purchase I've made. The 1st best purchase being my Pass Aleph 30. Not to discredit the Dared and the enjoyment I got from it for a long time, the EE Mini Max has raised the bar by a lot.

    H9

    P.s. This is also one of the first pieces of gear (again the Pass Aleph 30 too) where the reviews and the "hype" surrounding a piece of gear actually lives up to it. I agree with much that has been written about this piece. Many time reviews are overblown and one's expectations doesn't live up to reality. In this case it does!!!
    Last edited by heiney9; 02-22-2014 at 11:41 AM.
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30; Eastern Electric Mini Max; Adcom GDA600; MIT S3/Z Pc; SDA 1C; Squeezebox; Tubes add soul!

  15. #45

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    Good info on the Tubes! So, you only have a single of these all the 12AU7 you mentioned? Have you ever tried the Tung-Sol (USA) and the Amperex (Holland) 12AU7? I found them both very nice sounding tubes. The Slyvy 12AU7 Gold Pins are good too.

    Is your MiniMax using the same tube complement as your ex-Dared?

    By the way, post up pictures of these tubes if you can.
    Trying out Different Audio Cables is a Religious Affair. You don't discuss it with anyone.

  16. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by megasat16 View Post
    Good info on the Tubes! So, you only have a single of these all the 12AU7 you mentioned?
    No, many I have pairs of also

    Quote Originally Posted by megasat16 View Post
    Have you ever tried the Tung-Sol (USA) and the Amperex (Holland) 12AU7? I found them both very nice sounding tubes. The Slyvy 12AU7 Gold Pins are good too.
    yes, yes, yes.

    I prefer the black plate Tung Sol from the late 40's, and the "D" getter verison from the mid/late 50's

    I have every Holland made ECC82 (long and short plate) with the exception of the 7316 which I hope to acquire soon. The long plate (K63 code) from 1957 w/D foil getter is superb. For something not quite as spendy look for 1959-1961 (and some very early 1962) Amperex Holland, short plate, large halo, ECC82, production code Gf3. Not as good as the long plate, but still nice.

    The Sylvania JHS-5814 gray plate 3-mica, Gold brand are even better, IMO, than the Sylvania 12AU7's

    Another superb 5814 is the early CBS black plate w/square getter. CBS only made their own tubes for awhile so look for 1954 thru about 1958 for the "real" ones.



    Quote Originally Posted by megasat16 View Post
    Is your MiniMax using the same tube complement as your ex-Dared?
    No, the Dared used 12AT7's the MM uses 12AU7's. I have an integrated amp that uses 12AX7 and 12AU7's so I have all types of 12AU7's too. Sold off most of my 12AT7's but kept about 8 pairs of my all time favorites and rarities in case I ever need them in the future. Also kept many 5965's since they can be used in the MM also in the buffer slot.

    Quote Originally Posted by megasat16 View Post
    By the way, post up pictures of these tubes if you can.
    If I get some time I will try. Taking, editing, posting pics takes a lot of time, but I will try
    Last edited by heiney9; 02-22-2014 at 03:38 PM.
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30; Eastern Electric Mini Max; Adcom GDA600; MIT S3/Z Pc; SDA 1C; Squeezebox; Tubes add soul!

  17. #47

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    I think you have been lucky to find the tubes with mostly intact text / lettering on them to decipher the year and the plant they are they are manufactured in.

    I have been not so lucky since the tubes I found cheap have only partial lettering. But I know they are from 50s and 60s since the equipments they come from generally suggest that date and the internal constructions of the tubes.

    So, pictures will help me a lot and see if I can relate to what you have. Besides, you can write a small visual Tube Wiki.

  18. #48

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    Edit : Don't know why but this is a double post to the above.

  19. #49

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    Quote Originally Posted by megasat16 View Post
    I think you have been lucky to find the tubes with mostly intact text / lettering on them to decipher the year and the plant they are they are manufactured in.

    I have been not so lucky since the tubes I found cheap have only partial lettering. But I know they are from 50s and 60s since the equipments they come from generally suggest that date and the internal constructions of the tubes.

    So, pictures will help me a lot and see if I can relate to what you have. Besides, you can write a small visual Tube Wiki.
    I will try, but there is a big difference between a 1957 and 1967 Amperex tube, etc. So just knowing the decade doesn't mean much as far as identification.
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30; Eastern Electric Mini Max; Adcom GDA600; MIT S3/Z Pc; SDA 1C; Squeezebox; Tubes add soul!

  20. #50

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    Mega - might try and post some photo's this weekend.

    I have been swapping a couple rectifiers. I didn't realize there are atleast 9 (yes 9) different construction Tung Sol 6X4 rectifiers. http://www.audioasylum.com/audio/tub...10/108784.html

    I have one not on the list.

    It's a mid 50's double vertical D getter, extra support rods, silver and black "X" plates no holes. It sounds fantastic, so far the best rectifier I've heard for the EE Mini Max. I have #4 on the list as well and the double D getter sounds even better! It's weird to see two getters in such a small tube envelope.

    Granted I haven't rolled too many rectifiers yet, but I will.

    Carry on

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30; Eastern Electric Mini Max; Adcom GDA600; MIT S3/Z Pc; SDA 1C; Squeezebox; Tubes add soul!

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