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  1. #1

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    Default Ordered a Musical Fidelity X-10V3 Tube Buffer Stage Today

    Well, I haven't gotten anything new in a couple of months (last thing was a Melos preamp for the SDA CRS+), so today I took the plunge and in my search to add tubes to another rig that I have I ordered one:

    http://www.musicalfidelity.com/mf/en.../SmallX/SX10V3

    Mu-Vista tubes with an estimated life of 100,000 hrs (save the calculator.. that's eleven years always on folks.) Should be interesting. Will give it a run with my Rotel CDP vs. the modified Jolida JD100 CDP that I've had for about 10 months now.

    If this thing works then I can't think of an easier way to get into tubes.

    Tubes... just gotta have them.

  2. #2

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    Cool, let me know what you think of it.
    '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."

  3. #3

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    I'm very interested in how it works out for you. :)
    SDA-2a, Anthem Pre-2L, Anthem Amp 1, MF A324 DAC, Rotel RCD1070

    Senn HD650 Cardas, Mapletree Audio Ear+ HD2, Kimber KS1030, Bel Canto DAC2, M-Audio Transit, Laptop.

  4. #4

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    Sorry, gotta ask -- what's a tube buffer stage???
    HT/2-channel Rig: Sony 50 LCD TV; Toshiba HD-A2 DVD player; Emotiva LMC-1 pre/pro; Rogue Audio M-120 monoblocks (modded); Placette RVC; Emotiva LPA-1 amp; Bada HD-22 tube CDP (modded); VMPS Tower II SE (fronts); DIY Clearwave Dynamic 4CC (center); Wharfedale Opus Tri-Surrounds (rear); and VMPS 215 sub

    "God grooves with tubes."

  5. #5

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    Sorry, gotta ask -- what's a tube buffer stage???
    It's (usually) a unity-gain circuit to 'buffer' input and output impedances... in this case, it's an excuse to introduce tubes into an ss circuit. I love tube audio equipment (that's an understatement), but IMO a tube buffer stage is a way to inject some of that ol' tube warmth (read: distortion and compression characteristics) into sterile ss/digital sound.

    IMO and FWW a good tube preamp would be a better investment :-)

    If you want to try a tube buffer cheap, you can always take a look at this.
    http://www.paia.com/tubestuf.htm#tubehead


    all the best,
    mrh

  6. #6

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    I think he's giving it a try is in the interest of experimentation. I'm very curious and anxious to read about his results.
    SDA-2a, Anthem Pre-2L, Anthem Amp 1, MF A324 DAC, Rotel RCD1070

    Senn HD650 Cardas, Mapletree Audio Ear+ HD2, Kimber KS1030, Bel Canto DAC2, M-Audio Transit, Laptop.

  7. #7

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    I think he's giving it a try is in the interest of experimentation.
    Rgr that. It is an experiment. I love the tube sound and am trying to incorporate it into different systems that I have. Some speakers love tube amps and others do better with SS amps. I have a couple of tube preamps now, SS and tube amps, SS and tube cdp, and different types of speakers. Its just trying to find all the synergy between the gear that I have and spreading out tubes to the equipment that fares better with the SS amps without hopefully having to go and get another Jolida cdp.

    Besides, the reviews on this thing have really raised my curiousity. One of my SS preamps is a MF CD Pre 24 which should be an interesting combo with this tube buffer stage.

  8. #8

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    Default re: 6112

    Y'all probably knew this already, but the 6112 twin triode is a subminiature tube (pencil tube). Interesting choice...

    http://hereford.ampr.org/cgi-bin/tube?tube=6112

    all the best,
    mrh

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  10. #10

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    Welcome back, Paul! Long time no see. The new toy looks very cool. Can't wait to hear what you think of it.

    Hbomb and Mhardy,
    Thanks for posting the links. I really enjoyed reading those articles.

    Maurice
    CD Player: Original CD-A8T
    Pre: Antique Sound Lab Passive T1-X DT
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    "I would rather have a cup of tone than an ocean of power" **Dr. Harvey Rosenberg**

  11. #11

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    Looks real neat....tubes kick arse.

  12. #12

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    Default

    Hey I got my X-10v3 on November 1st. Hooked it up between my receiver and my Carver amp. It adds a warm more detailed sound to strings, horns, and keybords. The soundstage seems wider, and I've noticed that I hear both speakers better when I'm off center then I did before I added it to the system.

    I had to adjust the subs, crossover point, and I figure it will probably take a month or so to tweak. First impressions are good. I didn't expect it to be so small though. It's the first Tube gear I've ever tried in my system, and the first Musical Fidelity equipment as well.

    It's nice to hear the music like it use to sound back when I had records. I've missed that.

    Let us know what you think after you listen to yours I'll be in touch. J
    JmasterJ Polk to the Death

  13. #13

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    Forgot to ask. How much did that pretty little thing run you if you don't mind me asking? Looks like an excellent way to introduce tube sound to ss systems. Or wth, if you already have an all tube system, more tubes in the audio chain shouldn't hurt.

    Maurice
    CD Player: Original CD-A8T
    Pre: Antique Sound Lab Passive T1-X DT
    Amp: NAD C270
    Speakers: B&W DM6
    "I would rather have a cup of tone than an ocean of power" **Dr. Harvey Rosenberg**

  14. #14

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    Hi Maurice,

    It was $409.50 including shipping Chicago/ Atlanta
    JmasterJ Polk to the Death

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    jmasterj,

    Well that's certainly good news to hear that it made a difference for you. I should receive mine tomorrow and look forward to putting it through the tests with different setups that I have.

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    I was pondering about X10v3 myself. Be sure to let us know about your results! :)

  17. #17
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    Interesting piece as is jmj's option of placing it in the pre-amp/ amp path rather than on a source...

    mhardy,
    What are the units for the dimensions in that 6112 sketch? cm?
    More later,
    Tour...
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  18. #18

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    Thumbs up

    Well, its been a while and time to report back on some findings. The verdict in a nutshell............

    I just ordered another one!

    Believe me I tend to be a skeptical person but this thing improved every system I put it in for a test. Bass goes a little deeper, midrange comes out a little more, more separation and air in the instruments and highs. Tonally, in my opinion, it doesn't provide the warmth of say my Rogue 88 tube amp but it does add some of the tube richness which is sometimes missing with just SS gear. More on that later.

    System 1
    =======
    LSi 15s w/ SVS PB1+
    B&K AVR317 w/ DH Labs DIY powercord
    Myryad Z110 cdp w/ Asylum DIY powercord
    Rotel RCD961 cdp w/ Asylum DIY powercord
    Krell KAV400xi integrated amp
    Jolida JD100 tube cdp with Level 1 mods
    Transparent Musiclinks / Musicwave wiring

    First up was the X10 on the Rotel cdp output to the B&K receiver. Head to Head comparison with the Myryad cdp in stock form except for the powercord. To be honest, in this configuration I couldn't tell a difference. Both sounded great and indifferentiable to my ears. In stock form though, I felt that the stock Myryad bested the stock Rotel (without the buffer stage by about 10% improvement). I then placed it on the outputs of the Myryad and left the Rotel stock. Switching inputs on the B&K on the fly with the same cd in both players. Ah now I can clearly hear a difference. Almost sounds like the volume is higher or there is more gain with the Myryad in the loop.

    Next I tried the LSi 15s with the Myryad and X10 combo on the Krell integrated head to head against the Jolida JD100. The Jolida is more relaxed and laid back sounding a great match with the Krell in this setup. The Myryad / X10 combo on the Krell was more detailed but not analytical or fatiguing. Take your pick here they both sounded great. I preferred the Jolida with the Krell in this setup. Back to the B&K receiver, I liked the Myryad / X10 combo over the Jolida / B&K setup. Just a personal preference here they both sounded great.

    Next system
    =========
    Musical Fidelity Cd Pre 24 w/ X10 buffer
    Rogue 88 tube amp
    Kimber Hero ICs
    Kimber 8TC speaker wire
    DH Labs DIY powercords
    Asylum powercord on source
    Spendor S8 and Polk Monitor 10a speakers

    Here again, the X10 added another layer of richness to the sound. Almost like if one were to raise the volume or hit the "loudness" button with the X10 in there. I'm thinking to myself, this thing is adding some gain and "louder sounds better" tricking the brain? This theory will be put to the test shortly.

    Next system
    =========
    Krell KAV400xi
    Jolida JD100 cdp with Level 1 mods
    Dynaudio Contour 1.3MKII
    Transparent Musiclink + MM technology
    Transparent Musicwave + MM technology
    DH Labs DIY powercord
    Asylum DIY powercord
    Hsu STF2 sub

    This time I put the X10 in the tape loop of the Krell integrated. I've always felt that the Dynaudios were a little lean sounding on this setup even with the Jolida. With the X10 in the tape loop, I can just hit the tape button on the remote and compare the sound with and without the X10 in the loop on the fly. Both sounded great but with the X10 in there, the bass was a little louder again, mids seemed to jump out more, and highs were more extended. I thought about the gain thing again and put it to the test. Bass test tone cd track number 5. This is the 80 hz track. Interesting, the X10 adds about 1 db of SPL to the Radio Shack decibel meter. I tried to compare the X10 in the loop to without but adding some volume to compensate. Listening to some Eva Cassidy, Chris Issac, and Smashing Pumpkins. Adding the volume manually does make it louder but it just doesn't have the same air to it. Really weird.

    These are not night / day differences but subtle and noticeable. With the X10 in the chain, it improved the dynamics slightly to every system I tried. It adds some of the richness that tube equipment provides. If your system tends to sound a little on the "lean" side, then this gadget helps to give the system body and texture that is quite noticeable.

    Like I said, I'm getting another one for the living room for the Myryad / LSi 15 / B&K combo.

    Paul
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    Last edited by pjdami; 12-05-2004 at 12:42 PM.

  19. #19

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    Great read Bro.

    HBomb
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  20. #20
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    Paul,

    Thanks for sharing your impressions. Nice systems, glad to see you have kept most of the gear.

    Sean

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    Cool review, Paul!

    btw, on the KAV, 20 on the readout gives you enough volume? I supposed it was on the Dyna?
    I am sorry, I have no opinion on the matter. I am sure you do. So, don't mind me, I just want to talk audio and pie.

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    btw, on the KAV, 20 on the readout gives you enough volume? I supposed it was on the Dyna?
    PT, 20 on the Krell is quite low actually. I had turned it down to take the picture. This is the office setup where I have my computer. I usually listen to 35 - 50 on the volume in here.

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    that's what I thought, and your range is about right with LSi9 on mine. cheers..
    I am sorry, I have no opinion on the matter. I am sure you do. So, don't mind me, I just want to talk audio and pie.

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    Hi Paul.

    I've been waiting to hear what you thought about the X-10v3.

    I also would like to get another one just don't have the funds. I moved into my new home in August and the budget says no more toys for now. Predictions are they will be sold out by Janurary or Feb. I just love the improvement it made to the sound of my system. It was money well spent. enjoy ! J
    JmasterJ Polk to the Death

  25. #25

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    Excellent review, Paul! I really enjoyed reading it. I wonder if more companies other than MF make a tube buffer stage. I'd like to play with one of those in the future. You have some kick ass equipment. Are you planning to put up some pics on the showcase?

    Maurice
    CD Player: Original CD-A8T
    Pre: Antique Sound Lab Passive T1-X DT
    Amp: NAD C270
    Speakers: B&W DM6
    "I would rather have a cup of tone than an ocean of power" **Dr. Harvey Rosenberg**

  26. #26

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    I just added a music hall mmf cd25 player,now Im condomplating my next move,could the x10 possibley be a benefit to my very modest system?

    music hall mmf25 cd player

    carver ct26v preamp (modified)

    carver tfm power amp 225 wpc

    for $399,its an affordable upgrade....also how would it hook up to my system?I dont know much at all about these buffers!
    opininions please

  27. #27

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    Keith

    It hooks up like a tape player, rca in and outs.

    I am really interested in jmasterj's use of it between his receiver (used as a preamp) and his power amp. Is this a good idea? Looks to me from the manual it should only be placed between sources and a preamp?? has anyone asked about using it on a variable output? I would think you could overload the unit.

    And lastly, I have to ask, is a 400.00 unit that adds the tube sound a better choice than say getting a 400.00 tubed preamp? Seems like a lot of dough for a single use.
    Dodd - Battery Preamp
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    Where is the remote? Where is the $%#$% remote!

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    Hmmmm,ya got me thinkin Russ

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    I am really interested in jmasterj's use of it between his receiver (used as a preamp) and his power amp. Is this a good idea? Looks to me from the manual it should only be placed between sources and a preamp?? has anyone asked about using it on a variable output? I would think you could overload the unit.
    Hi Russ. If you look on the review link at the Musical Fidelity website they say that it can be used between the pre and the amp. I did so as well using it between the MF CD Pre 24 that I own and a Rogue tube amp.

    My opinion, this thing will not make your system sound as "tubey" as say a dedicated tube pre or a tube amp. I've done the comparisons for a few weeks now. However, if one owns some solid state gear and doesn't want to deal with getting rid of all that gear and going hardcore tubes, then this device will add a little of the tube "richness" magic to solid state gear that can sound a little dry in comparison. It is an easily noticeable audible difference although subtle and really a matter of personal preference.

    I'm really happy with how it improves the sound of the Rotel and Myryad cdps that I have in direct comparison to the Jolida tube output cdp that I have. It also seems to be system dependant with the electronics / speakers you mate it with. Once again, just my personal preferences.

  30. #30

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    Earlier versions of the Missing Link are going for $150-$200.X10 D Missing Link

    These are the round can-like tube buffers.
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