I took possesion of a new, full on preamp from Kevin about a week ago. I've been running LPs through it non-stop, maybe 15 hours so far.
I wonder about break-in aspects & do understand that this puppy needs a good amount of time, before those big Cardas parafeed caps open up in particular. That said, it is already capable of fantastic resolution & imparts some nice speed to my system in almost all tube rolling configurations. It's an awesome piece of kit, I can tell that already. Mine also has the 1931 trafos.. so a maxxed out, Maxxed Out, if you will. :)
My other gear is what i'd say is pretty neutral, with a "bouncy" front end: Art Audio HC Jota (AVVT 325Bs), Gill Audio Alana preamp, an OMA Lenco/Schick arm, with a SS retipped Denon 103R.
My issue is this: I just tried rolling some Siemens ECC88s in both the K&K and then I shifted them to my Linestage (I put some 60's Mullards in to the phono stage in their place). I'm surprised that even with some late 60's short plate Mullards in the K&K and the German tubes in the linestage. While the pacing is fantastic, it just seems a bit to hot for my ears.
It was even quicker & a little preferable overall with Valvos in my linestage & the Siemens in the K&K. I've gone through my cart setup a few times, i'm sure it could be better, but i detect no mistracking and my cart orientation (VTA/RTA) is just barely tail down.
I wonder if these Siemens are just a little "too much of a good thing" in the high end department for use with the K&K due to it being so nicely extended to begin with? May I ask what other Maxxed Out owners use in their preamps?
I'll fiddle with my cartridge a touch more before giving up on the Siemens entirely for phono stage duty. Maybe I should wait for some more run in time on the unit before drawing any such conclusions on valves? It is only a few hours into service.
I can eventually figure something out and roll some other types of tubes in to it; thinking something in the Amperex school now. Just a bit of a buzzkill, cause I love the pace the Siemens give everything. They really make an all tubed, glorified, high current 300b based SET amp system get up & boogie. Fatiguing if fatuiging though.
I didn't pay a ton for the valves.. by all identifers I can see, they seem like the real article, A3 issue Siemens E88CCs from the mid 60's. I thought they'd be detailed but a little sweet as per what i'd heard about them. I guess it's system dependent & semantics (like everything else).
My speakers are Ars Aures F1 floorstanders btw. Nice, musical & err on the sweet side. Not insanely detailed by reputation or in my room.
Thanks for any & all insights Maxxed Out owners. I've had some magic already with this unit & it ain't going anywhere. I'm just looking for that little extra, perceived pace, without the ear bleeding.