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  1. #1
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    Question Tube Buffer Stage?

    I just received the most recent flyer from Musicdirect and on the front page is a Musical Fidelity X-10v3 Tube Buffer Stage for 25% off MSRP.

    I did a search here on tube buffer stages and got 19 threads as hits. I read them all and I'm not sure I am understanding this.

    You guys, and you know who you are, have me salivating and jonesing to hear tubes. I've heard hybrid preamps and a tubed preamp. I've also heard tubed CDPs. I haven't heard a fully tubed system in 20 years and what I remember of them wasn't good but I am sure that in 20 years tubed systems have been improved if not nearly perfected.

    I remember as a kid my father, mother, and band members all using tubed amplifiers when they had jam sessions and I do remember that sound. I haven't heard that sound in many many years but it is very hard to forget it.


    So that lends this question. . . would I get a good taste of what tubes sound like by placing this unit between my preamp and three amps? Is it possible for this to "warm" things up sufficiently to give me a real taste for the natural sound and bass that tubes provide? $299 new plus shipping makes me wonder.

    All feedback is appreciated, all wise cracks welcome, all rips encouraged :p LOL!!!:D :)

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    Joe, don't be afraid to go all the way to tubes. I am listening right now to the 3.1 TL's with the TAD-60 (plus a tubed pre and CDP). and all I can say is WOW. Who said that bass with tubes is not good?

    I think there's still one left ;)
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  3. #3

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    What it comes down to is ....try it and let your ears be the judge.Given the resale on those is high,sounds like a small price to pay to find out eh?
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    Quote Originally Posted by HTrookie
    Joe, don't be afraid to go all the way to tubes. I am listening right now to the 3.1 TL's with the TAD-60 (plus a tubed pre and CDP). and all I can say is WOW. Who said that bass with tubes is not good?

    I think there's still one left ;)
    :D TAD = Magic! ;)

    I'm running an all tube rig right now Joe And I love it!

    I've heard great thing about the MF tube buffer especially when used in conjunction with the MF power supply.
    Last edited by halo; 03-09-2007 at 06:13 PM.
    Better to have and not need than to need and not have!

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    Yeah Joe...just Dooooooo It !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:D

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    Quote Originally Posted by HTrookie
    Joe, don't be afraid to go all the way to tubes. I am listening right now to the 3.1 TL's with the TAD-60 (plus a tubed pre and CDP). and all I can say is WOW. Who said that bass with tubes is not good?

    I think there's still one left ;)

    No no, you misunderstood. . .I was saying that the bass was more real with tubes. Sorry I may have to edit my initial post.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tonyb
    Yeah Joe...just Dooooooo It !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:D

    I am seriously considering it!!! but for some reason the word DIVORCE seems to loom largely in my mind LOL. . . I think she'll get over it if I ask her nicely and prove it will make her listening experience more enjoyable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hearingimpared
    I am seriously considering it!!! but for some reason the word DIVORCE seems to loom largely in my mind LOL. . . I think she'll get over it if I ask her nicely and prove it will make her listening experience more enjoyable.

    Oh crap Joe,are you a Dago or not?? We know women....one night
    at the Syberis and your in like Flint man.:)

    We can also start a petition drive,lets say 100 sigs to
    show the wife....Dooooo it!!
    Last edited by tonyb; 03-09-2007 at 06:10 PM.
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  9. #9

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    I know my previous mental perception of tubes were that they were blurry, had rolled off highs, and exagerrated mids. I could not have been more wrong. I am finding my tube amps to be very detailed, with exceptional textures and microdynamics.

    I am not familiar with version 3 but I believe the tube isn't swappable, which is something that would deter me.

    Just my take,
    Mike
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  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by hearingimpared
    I just received the most recent flyer from Musicdirect and on the front page is a Musical Fidelity X-10v3 Tube Buffer Stage for 25% off MSRP.

    I did a search here on tube buffer stages and got 19 threads as hits. I read them all and I'm not sure I am understanding this.

    You guys, and you know who you are, have me salivating and jonesing to hear tubes. I've heard hybrid preamps and a tubed preamp. I've also heard tubed CDPs. I haven't heard a fully tubed system in 20 years and what I remember of them wasn't good but I am sure that in 20 years tubed systems have been improved if not nearly perfected.

    I remember as a kid my father, mother, and band members all using tubed amplifiers when they had jam sessions and I do remember that sound. I haven't heard that sound in many many years but it is very hard to forget it.


    So that lends this question. . . would I get a good taste of what tubes sound like by placing this unit between my preamp and three amps? Is it possible for this to "warm" things up sufficiently to give me a real taste for the natural sound and bass that tubes provide? $299 new plus shipping makes me wonder.

    All feedback is appreciated, all wise cracks welcome, all rips encouraged :p LOL!!!:D :)
    Yo Joe,

    Go ahead man & order the damn thing already!!! There's only one way to find out about the sound...in your system with your ear tweak in place of course.
    For the record, I tried one & wound up sending it back. It didn't do anything in my system. That does not mean that in your system you won't love it. They have a very good return policy & credit your account very quickly. Now you have nothing to lose. Don't forget... it only costs $25 LOL!!!

    PS.. Where the hell have you been? Let's set up another get together at my place. You bring the Prime Rib, I'll supply the potatoes!!
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by pearsall001
    it only costs $25 LOL!!!
    Phyllisann is so onto that, that if I say something costs $25 and it really does she still doesn't believe me! LOL

    Quote Originally Posted by pearsall001
    PS.. Where the hell have you been?
    I've been here but have been having a real hard time with that problem if you know what I mean.

    Quote Originally Posted by pearsall001
    Let's set up another get together at my place. You bring the Prime Rib, I'll supply the potatoes!!
    Uh, excuse me, I think you have that backwards there Kimosabe!!!

    Billy's back in circulation and jonesing for some company. We should plan another "Across the river" expedition. If we have it here I can manage some prime rib for the three of us. . . hey let's not forget Antny.

  12. #12
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    I'm still having a problem understanding how this would work. If I put it between my preamp and my amps, what exactly is it doing?

  13. #13

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    Aren't those to be applied coming from a source?

    Mike
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by tonyb
    Oh crap Joe,are you a Dago or not?? We know women....one night
    at the Syberis and your in like Flint man.:)

    WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAa

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    Quote Originally Posted by Midnite Mick
    Aren't those to be applied coming from a source?

    Mike
    According to the write in the flyer it can be placed between a preamp and amp or after your CD/SACD player, or "even behind your phonostage." The phono stage in my case is in my preamp. But I still don't get what it does in the signal path. It seems to me that it just runs the signal through tubes without increasing the signal, no gain??? Wouldn't that be like putting another piece of gear, like God forbid, an equalizer in the path.
    Last edited by hearingimpared; 03-09-2007 at 07:40 PM.

  16. #16

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    I wouldn't think that it would be any different than a tube buffered cd players. Isn't that what most of them do, but maybe in different points within the circuit? I believe the Jolida is one of the exceptions to this.

    However, I don't know much....still learning.

    Mike
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  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by hearingimpared
    I'm still having a problem understanding how this would work. If I put it between my preamp and my amps, what exactly is it doing?
    Probably nothing, that's why you need to try it in your system. Trust your ears on this one.
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  18. #18

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    Joe, tubes are evil. They run hot, may need biasing (depending on the amp design), and eventually wear out and need to be replaced. Then you get into tube rolling. With some tube types, you got lots of choices. New production, NOS, real pricey NOS, this one is better in the mids, but this one is better in the highs, where did my bass go, etc. Don’t do it Joe!

    OK, I lied….you need tubes. Start small with the buffer and work your way up.
    Make yourself necessary to someone. Ralph Waldo Emerson

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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by SCompRacer
    Joe, tubes are evil. They run hot, may need biasing (depending on the amp design), and eventually wear out and need to be replaced. Then you get into tube rolling. With some tube types, you got lots of choices. New production, NOS, real pricey NOS, this one is better in the mids, but this one is better in the highs, where did my bass go, etc. Don’t do it Joe!

    OK, I lied….you need tubes. Start small with the buffer and work your way up.
    BACK!!! BACK!!! you evil drug pusher you!!! WAAAAAAAAAAA

    Work my way up, you mean work my way to the poor house!!!!

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    Seriously, can someone please explain what this thing actually does? How does it work?

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    Joe you should talk to Carl about this.
    Better to have and not need than to need and not have!

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    I was serioursly considering picking this up to go with my new SACD player. Cant decide if I want to go with the MF tube buffer & PS or just send the thing to ModWright...$450 difference w/ ModWright being more expensive.

    I may have just answered my own question ;)
    Better to have and not need than to need and not have!

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    Carl 54 Where Are You???

    There's a hold up in the Bronx,

    Brooklyn's broken out in fights,

    There's a traffic jam in Harlem,

    That's backed up to Jackson Heights,

    There's a scout troop short a child,

    Khrushchev'S due at Idlewilde,

    CARL 54 WHERE ARE YOU???

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Halo
    I was serioursly considering picking this up to go with my new SACD player. Cant decide if I want to go with the MF tube buffer & PS or just send the thing to ModWright...$450 difference w/ ModWright being more expensive.

    I may have just answered my own question ;)
    I don't knows on third!

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    Quote Originally Posted by hearingimpared
    BACK!!! BACK!!! you evil drug pusher you!!!
    You'll be paraphrasing the 'wolf...... ....I said got damn, got damn the tube pusher man....:D
    Make yourself necessary to someone. Ralph Waldo Emerson

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  26. #26

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    Joe,

    I have the MF tube buffer as you probably know if you researched the threads. I paired it with my Quad CDP. I really like the Quad as it has a huge soundstage with nice depth and detail. I found that it became a little fatiguing after listening at higher volume levels for about a hour. RT1's post convinced me to give it a try. I installed mine between the CDP and the pre.

    I was very impressed! It smoothed out the "edge" while maintaining the depth and detail I liked.

    What does it do? It most likely adds a very small level of distortion to the sound that makes it more pleasing to the ear. You'll find the tube buffer in many of the high end DACs. The newer, low jitter DACs with upsampling make the music maybe a little to "clear". The added detail and depth are very desireable, but it can be a little fatiguing.

    BTW, the MF buffer is down to $275 and the highly recommended power supply (I bought this too) has been reduced from $399 to $299. So now the whole deal is less than $600. This series also has a DAC (if you can find it) a phono stage and headphone amp.

    I might buy another buffer. The power supply can power a total of 4 MF components.

    If I were you, I wouldn't buy it:D :D
    Carl

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    Quote Originally Posted by Halo
    I was serioursly considering....
    I dunno, ModWright with tubed PS. tough call.:D
    Make yourself necessary to someone. Ralph Waldo Emerson

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    Quote Originally Posted by schwarcw
    Joe,

    I have the MF tube buffer as you probably know if you researched the threads. I paired it with my Quad CDP. I really like the Quad as it has a huge soundstage with nice depth and detail. I found that it became a little fatiguing after listening at higher volume levels for about a hour. RT1's post convinced me to give it a try. I installed mine between the CDP and the pre.

    I was very impressed! It smoothed out the "edge" while maintaining the depth and detail I liked.

    What does it do? It most likely adds a very small level of distortion to the sound that makes it more pleasing to the ear. You'll find the tube buffer in many of the high end DACs. The newer, low jitter DACs with upsampling make the music maybe a little to "clear". The added detail and depth are very desireable, but it can be a little fatiguing.

    BTW, the MF buffer is down to $275 and the highly recommended power supply (I bought this too) has been reduced from $399 to $299. So now the whole deal is less than $600. This series also has a DAC (if you can find it) a phono stage and headphone amp.

    I might buy another buffer. The power supply can power a total of 4 MF components.

    If I were you, I wouldn't buy it:D :D
    Thanks for the info Carl!!! I really didn't know that the friggin power supply costs as much as the unit itself. What is that about? I mean why is there two separate units to make one setup?

    See $300 hundred I can get away with. . . $600 is stretching it.

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    Oh dear, I just went to this site I feel the devil on one shoulder and the angel on the other.

    I don't see where it is down to $275 though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SCompRacer
    tough call.:D
    Maybe if I were made of money

    Dan still hasn't responded to my query of what, exactly, is included with the Signature Truth Mods.

    I don't think the master clock upgrade is so thats an additional $350 - $400, tube PS $450, STM's $1150 = $2000 and I don't know if that includes the acoustic zen umbilical but I know I don't get the Bybees at that price. That is waaaaaay too much to spend for me.
    Better to have and not need than to need and not have!

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