audio research sp-10

hi..i'm fairly new to tubes. i have an AR sp-10 pre, AR d-125 amp, vandersteen 2ci speakers, and a shanling t-100 cd player. running the cd player on the tube output of the shanling. my music tastes run the gamut from synthpop/ sarah mclachlin, and josh groban. the system seems just a tad bright to me, which it seems it shouldn't with all the tubes i'm using. i've put the sp-10 on "high gain" which seems to it "bad" to use the high gain on a regular basis? speakers are biwired..but with no name wires..any suggestions for compatable speaker wires and or interconnects (using legend interconnects right now) or any other suggestions would be appreciated. thanks in advance :)
What are you using for tubes in the line stage of the SP10? FWIW high gain is "normal" and reducing the gain by 12db with the switch on front only reduces the input (source) by 12db, not the output from the line stage. This pre amp should not sound bright if your other components are properly matched and set up. Is your amp contributing, i.e. what kind of tubes, small and large? You might be able to change the tone there as well. How are your speakers set up - are they optomized, especially the deadening of the 1st reflection points? Is this set up only too bright with the Shandling? How about tuner and TT? or other CDP?. Perhaps that's your issue. Have you listened to it in other neutral systems. Just some food for thought...........

I owned the SP-10 for 8 years (1987-1995) and for phono playback, even with the rolled off frequency extremes, a noise floor a bit too high, and mediocre resolution, it was a most incredibly musical component. It took me many years to find something (LS5II/PH2) which had all its strenghths .... and so many of its weaknesses dramatically reduced.

Once I heard the LS5 line stage did I finally realize how poor was the SP-10's line stage. For the first time did I learn that CD playback can be enjoyable.

If you are truly focusing on CD playback, I simply can not recommend the SP-10. But it could very well be a great phono stage that drives (through its tape outputs) a modern line stage.

Concerning the use of the high gain switch position, listen with both and choose the one that works best for you. Newbee is correct that the 12db is an attenuator setting so this surely will cause some loss in the world of "transparency". But there is no "wrong" in using either setting as one position may allow for more fine level adjustment or perhaps the other will allow you to have the volume control around 12 o'clock which is often reported by members here to be preferred for less coloration caused by the volume pot.

Look for the ultra-low noise tubes for the phono section. I used RAM tubes for this and they worked so well. Perhaps RAM Labs still sources such 6DJ8/6922 tubes. Every 6 months or so, as the phono stage became sensitive to noise, I bought another pair or quad, put the new ones in the phono stage and moved the old phono stage tubes to the line stage.

The SP-10 is anything but bright so you can surely eliminate it as a possibility for this trait. If you're system is a wee bit bright, I have found Cardas Golden Cross cables to tone this down and bring on a little more warmth as well.

Jafox, FWIW I got so frustrated trying to use RAM sourced tubes in my SP10 I dammed near sold it - noisy, short lived, and not all that transparent. Then they tore down the Berlin wall and we were able to get eastern European tubes at last. I don't think the line stage is all that bad (then or now) if you put some LN, sturdy 6922's in it. I use NOS 6h23s or NOS Sovteks which to some may be coolish, but the gain in clarity is well worth the effort. I pick up a bit of compensating warmth with the drivers in my amps. By the way, I agree that this pre amp is wasted when used only as a line stage. :-)
thanks so much both of am so a newbie..i actually had to look to see what tubes are in the preamp. (my ex bought this whole system for me as a gift) they say ars 6922 E88. would ars mean they are the original tubes ?? i can't move the amp to see what tubes are in there, but i remember the guy my ex bought it from saying something about lots of 6550s and 12ax7s (is that right? geez i'm embarassed.) i haven't used the phono stage yet...wondering now if i might want to switch the tubes from that side to the ls?? newbie..the shanling could be it broke in it did get brighter which i thought was quite odd. i do have a marantz 65 se i could try that as an alternative. as for the speaker placement..i'm working on that. the room is 13' by 9.75 and the speakers are now placed 4.5 ft from the back wall and 24 in from the side toe in...ummm errrr..what are the "first reflection points? nope, haven't listened to neutral systems.. i really have no clue what it "should" sound like. jafox, why is the sp-10 "bad" for cd playing? argh...why don't they tell us this stuff in the rave reviews?? i had the arc ls2 here before the sp-10. nothing bright about it but no "magic" either and very little soundstage as opposed to the sp-10 where i finally heard in person what i had heard audiophiles talk about..every breath..every pluck of the guitar...and i could "see" where all the instruments what an experience.!! thanks so much for your advice..both of u...i sooo appreciate it!! (and obviously i need!!!)
The low gain of a line stage is usually for low volume listening or if you have a super high gain power amp. I think some people in old days needed it when taping. The high gain should be the "normal" setting. If you care to retube your SP10 power supply's tube and transistor, I was told by true sound in bay area, it will rivial today's new top preamp even in resolution. A classic preamp.
omg i'm such a searched ARS tubes on google...apparently military tubes?? are they any good? i have sooooooo much to learn..speaking of which..what's the bypass switch for on the sp-10? thanks in advance for your patience :)
Where to start :-). 1st, relax about what jafox said - he was addressing the comment to someone with very high level expectations in an advanced system/setup. That SP10 is a far better pre-amp than many new ones sold today and the phono stage is still world class.

You have good ears...if you can tell the difference between the high and low gain stages. My compliments. The low gain stage should be slighly (!) less transparent, you are putting an attenuator in the signal path of the source (Shanling in this case). ARS is the name of the tube retailer, it is not the name of the manufacturer. You will have to gently pull one of the tubes from its socket - you will then find on the tube the manufacturer's name.

Before you start doing a micro exam of tubes etc, I would suggest that you make sure that your speakers are set up to their best advantage - to do that you must have an understanding of their radiation pattern - some speakers are meant to be pointed straight ahead - to listen to them pointed at your listening position will make them sound very aggressive and bright. Such speakers have a wide radiation pattern and will bounce sound off the wall (ceiling & floors) which you refer to as the 1st reflection points - these points must be deadened or the reflected sound will hit your ears mili seconds after the direct sound from the speaker - this will increase the apparent amplitude of the highs and muddy up the direct signal. Since you are dealing with high frequency signals you can usually deaden this area by using heavy wall hangings, book cases, etc - most anything that absorbs sound. As a temporary test, just hang some heavy wool blankets on the walls adjacent to and slightly ahead of your speakers. Also make sure that you have some type of deadening materiel on the floor (carpet/rugs). I have also had a lot of success in small rooms crossing these types of speakers so that the axis' cross well in front of you, at about the same relative angle to your listening position as they are when pointed straight ahead.

Once you have done that, then I would suggest that you become very logical in your approach to solving your problem. I would start with the CDP (which I suspect may really be the problem). Listen to other sources, the better the quality, the better the test. Listen to the Shanling in some ones else system if your can and see how it compares. If you rule out the Shanling as being a problem then you can go to the next step - FWIW, this pre-amp is not euphonic but it is not(!) inherrently bright. Its like an old Ferrari - its still very capable of very high performance if set up and maintained properly but its not one that you would want to just drive about town and to the grocery store.......Hope this helps and feel free to ask more questions, we all want to help.
Bluefin, FWIW, contrary to your common misconception, the high/low setting switch on the SP10 does NOT attenuate the gain from the line stage as seen by the amp, it reduces the gain from the source(s) as seen by the line stage amp by 12db. In the SP10 the line stage gain remains 26db whether the switch is in its high or low setting. This is not typical of many pre amps which do allow attenuation of the preamp gain itself. And as an aside, personally, I would not want an attenuator between my line stage and my amp, semi purist that I am! :-)
The by pass switch is used in conjunction with the phono section - it allows for the phono section to bypass all of the controls on the preamp (except volume) and take the signal straight to the line amp section. By the way, I have not heard of a tube manufacturer known as ARS. FWIW, tubes used in military applications are typically more rugged tubes, but not necessarily better sonically. To further your basic knowledge of tubes, I would suggest that you visit another audio forum, Audio Asylum, go to their FAQ's and read Joe's Tube Lore. Its a great primer.
One thing I haven't seen mentioned is the 2Ci's have adjustments for the mid and treble drivers on the back of the speaker right near the cable connections. I would check these and make sure they are not set on the high side, e.g. +2 dB. I had 2Ci's for over 10 years and never thought they were bright. I've never heard the SP-10 or D-125 but all reviewers have said the SP-10 was, if anything, on the dark side. Not sure about the D-125, but I don't think bright would apply to it either. You might want to try some good quality budget cables like Kimber Hero interconnects and 4TC/8TC speaker cables in place of the no-name stuff you have. Doubt that is the cause of the brightness but it might alleviate thin bass that could give the same impression.
Newbee, I never made the effort to try other tubes in the SP-10 like you have. This perhaps would have helped a little with the 10's line stage performance, but the RAM tubes worked so well for me in the phono stage. I must have been a lucky customer of RAM tubes.

When I heard the LS5, it was so far ahead of the 10 that simply could not be entirely due to tube rolling. And in fact, when I got the LS5, I still had some RAM tubes which I used later on and they worked very well.

Yes, there were rave reviews on the 10 back in the early to mid 80s. But this was relative to its competition at that time. Keep in mind that all the reviewers at that time were using LPs as their primary source and for the most part, they could not stand the sound of CD playback.

Anyone who claims the 10's line stage (CD) capabilities to be excellent or even very good simply has not heard the incredible products from the last 10 years. But indeed, when used for phono, it has incredibly magical abilities like very few phono stages out there.

I can only imagine what an overhaul of this unit by Great Northern Sound could do to its capability. But the LS5 and PH2 outperformed the 10 in phono and by quite a large margin. By the time you got an 10 on the used market (typically running at around $2200 and who knows why!), and then paid for the upgrades, etc., for an overhauled 10, I feel you could be so better off to go down a number of other paths with newer products. If I sound very critical of the 10, it is only because I feel it was optimized for phono and because products like the LS5, PH2, BAT5i, BAT31SE, BATP10, AesthetixIo, etc., take music presentations to a whole new level that once you hear this, there's no going back to the 10. But for 8 years for me, for LP playback, the 10 had no competition....including the SP-11. For a full unit preamp, the CAT SL might just be the ticket.

And I have to smile and laugh at synthgirl's comment that the LS2 had no magic compared to the SP-10. I absolutely concur! When I sold the 10 I was sure the LS2 (along with the PH2) would be what I had wanted as a major "upgrade". The LS2 was hands down the most disappointing audition I ever had. I guess this was due to my great expectations. But hearing the LS5 minutes later at the same dealer brought back that awesome SP-10 magic but with refinements all over the place. The price scared the heck out of me but once I heard it, I knew I had found what I had been searching for. I just coudl not understand how ARC had products that sounded so very different: the LS2's analytical and sterile presentation and the LS5 with it's SP-10 like bloom and harmonic richness. The fact that Stereophile gave both these units a Class A rating was absolutely ridiculous!

So if you're only looking at CDs as a source, or other line-level sources, I would recommend that you sell the 10. From what these sell for, and if you want to stay with ARC products, you can get an LS5 MK III and you will never look back. Even the MK II in the $1500-1800 price range is a steal.

John are a riot, and of great help...and such a warm welcome too..thank you :) but...why do u call yourself newbee..i think that would officially be me!!!

bluefin and newbee thanks for the comfort that the sp-10 is still a good choice..i'm breathing again now..whew!!

newbee..ty for the compliment on my ear..fortunately or unfortunately..i do have an audiophile ear..without the knowledge (yet) to adapt my equipment to what i hear and that's a challenge!! my gut says the same as yours does..that the problem is the source...but the shanling is so dang pretty to look at i don't want it to be that!!! also don't want to-can't afford to do the 1200. worth of mods to make it "tolerable". interesting that you said to put the speaker axis in front of me..seems as that is what i have done..just naturally liking how it sounded. last night i put the vandersteens on stands not the ones they are supposed to be on...but at least up off the hardwood floors. now that was interesting..the system sounded much more "live" or in your face..whichever way you want to look at it...but somehow "off" which could be that the reccomended height is 6" off the ground and these brought them to 9" and my normal listening height is from 31-33'. placed where they now are i would have to be at 39" listening height. so trying to figure out what a good happy medium would be...thinking of just putting spikes under the speakers directly...even tho vandersteen reccomends the 6" stands. would you have any suggestions regarding that? the system is in my bedroom/living adjusting listening height wouldn't be very pheasable. (unless i put the bed up on bricks or something. and he talks about tiltback if the listening level is higher, but not if its lower than recommended. i tried to tilt them forward at a friends insistence...yuck is all i can say to that attempt. i like you am a purist...and vandersteens angled down to the listener seems counter to his entire design of those speakers..tho don't hesitate to right me if i'm wrong. this is a very adventurous but frustrating hobby when one is truely a newbie as i am..i hear what is "wrong" but don't know how to fix grateful that you wonderful ppl are here to help...okay..going to look for wool rugs now :))) thanks again!
hey jafox..thanks that was really helpful in explaining why you dislike the ls in the sp-10 and it does make total sense seeing as it was focused and ravely reviewed on the phono section.

i just love that validation in what i heard in the ls2...since we concur on that, what you said really makes me want to try the ls5 m111 now. is it one of their new products, or can i find it used? may i ask..what other components are you running it with? and what kind of music do you listen to mostly?

newbee...will check out audio asylum...i'm like the little computer dude in the movie short circuit..need imput..need imput!!

you guys are the best :)
Jafox, I have absolutely no argument with your anaylsis of the relative merits of these pre-amps. If I were in the market today for a better line stage the LS5 would be at the top of my list. Don't laugh too much, but I find that my little EAR834L (used in a seperate system) gives the SP10 some pretty stiff competition, sonically speaking and it sure is cheap to tube and play with. I don't have any illusions, but I do have a turntable and large LP collection which I enjoy. CD's for me have mostly musical value but I've never seen them as a source for any kind of sonic wonderment. Like a faithful spouse, its just hard to part with this unit which has served me so well(I've had it since the mid 80's) just become some young chick comes alone. :-) By the way, how would you like to have started your system out with an SP10 and the 125? Think of all the bucks you would have saved trying and trading equipment just to get to that point. Her ex did her a real favor if she is at all interested in what is possible.....
newbee...thinking about what you axis on the you mean to toe them in that much? ive been kinda going on the triangle to the listening position philosophy..equal distance between speakers..and listening position..ughh..listening now..and they really sound BAD on the speaker stands..i mean i was lacking a tad of bass with them on the floor, and a bit of the punch i prefer but the sounstage was awesome and the vocals brought tears to my eyes..geez this stuff is confusing!!!
LMAO newbee..don't EVEN ask..the story behind the "big favor" my ex did me...he gave me the system for all of 5 min then took it back when , well that's another's taken two years for me to get it back...this time with "no strings attached"...and IN WRITING...believe me the price i paid was far higher than you can imagine. on the other hand..yes, i am fortunate i do have it back now..and yes..whoa..what a way to start exploring the possibilities...i'm just a tad embarrassed i have all this equipment and i'm such a rookie!!

what kind of tubes do you have in yours?

hey i really like that you won't leave "old faithful" for the "young chick" way to go newbee ;)
hi pmotz...all the controls are in neutral..being the purist i am..however i do think you are correct in that what i am hearing may not be so much brightness as it is lack of bass to balance it. do you have the kimbers on yours? do you have them on the stands they are supposed to be on? i believe that could be one of my big probs as well..not being on the "proper stands", also the speaker wires and as you suggest..that is the only thing that hasn't been changed in my entire system since starting out with nad and the vandies...hey, do you by any chance have the 2ci instructions?? thanks for your input :)
I'm sure you've figured this out, but the axis of the speaker is on a line perpendicular from the face of the speaker. On axis the speaker would be facing you. Crossing the axis of the speakers in front of you has the principle befit of reducing sidewall reflections and still allowing you to have wide separation and sound stage in a small room. Re height of the speaker - Ideally you want the tweeter height to be level with your ear height, so if your tweeter is 33" off the floor thats where your ear should be. If the tweeter is higher in the speaker than your ears,sit on pillows :-). Re the effect of stands, other than to put the tweeter at ear level...If the manufacturer recommends 6" stands they have probably mounted the woofer so that it works in conjuction with the floor to produce the smoothest upper bass. When you start raising the speaker higher you are going to change this and produce a upper bass suck out. When you lower it you can produce a peak in the same area. I would suggest, for the purposes of getting the best bass response that you invest a couple of bucks in a Radio Shack sound level meter and a test disc with test tones (see the Rives site) - you will learn a lot about speaker set up including positioning of the listening position as well as speakers. Remember, to a lot of us this is a Hobby as well as having access to great music and sound. My moniker is a just a reminder to me about humility - I'm also into flagellation, when all else fails :-). Don't fear moving the speakers about 'til it comes together...every room is different and fractions of inches, ultimately can make a real difference. What you will hear when you really get it right is not only width and height of sound stage, but a depth of image and the sonic illusion of seeing stars on a dark night out in the deep country side. TAKE YOUR TIME, if it were simple it wouldn't be a good hobby.
newbee...great advice..and what i am hearing directly reflects what you are's starting to make sense..k..i'm gonna take a deep breath..relax...take my time..and ENJOY the are so right there...looking forward to seeing the stars on a dark night in the country...but as they say anything worth having is worth waiting for....thanks soooo much :)
Wow! I think synthgirl is absorbing a lot of ideas here is a very short time. It was never my intention to put any negative spin on the SP-10. Afterall I owned it for 8 years so that has to tell you how much I liked this product. I was only trying to make you aware that what you have, for the sake of playing CDs, you could make a change to your system at no added cost and gain an incredible amount of improvement. The other point I wanted to make was that the SP-10 can not at all be the cause of any bright or forward characteristic to your system. It has a laid back top end which allows you to hear the magical mids even more....almost too much of a good thing except for us ambience and bloom fanatics.

And yes, I also forgot to mention how fortunate you are to have this music system at the start. The sound quality you now have took many of us 10+ years to achieve.

Concerning the LS5, it came out I think in late 93 or early 94. In late 94 the Mk II came out which had a lower noise floor and changed to use 10 6922 tubes. In 1997, after the Ref1 came along, much of what was gained from this was put into a LS5 III. This had reduced gain and 8 6922s. So many people I met and talked to here in Minneapolis preferred the LS5 III to the Ref1. Do a search here for the LS5 and you will read what I have written on the differences between the II and the III.

Concerning my system, I have not gotten around to listing my system like so many other members. But the magical ARC PH2/LS5III/DAC3II/VT130 has morphed into AesthetixIo/BAT31SE/ManleyRefDAC/Wolcott. Speakers are Magnepan 3.5. I have two TTs: Clearaudio Ref/TQi/Accurate cartridge and VersaDynamics 2 with Koetsu RWS. A pioneer PD65 is my CD transport which drives a Genesis Time Lens which drives the Manley DAC. All cables are NBS Statement except for the phono cable with is SilverAudio SilverBreeze.

And yes, Newbee is clearly anything but a newbie.

So what was your first question again? 8-)

jafox...quite a morph there...i know..just part of the hobby:) what am i getting myself into!! lol

i've unabsorbed the idea that you put a bad spin on the sp-10...i get it now, for the money, it is not the #1 choice for playing cd's , which at the moment is all i actually that was very valid advice.

i am also an "ambience and bloom fanatic" which is how i fell in love with tubes in the first place.

i'm beginning to wonder...maybe i should have brought this up first..but i thought it was a solved problem. the first day i had the sp-10 it was so beautiful..i swear i cried like all day...humbled..and just in awe. then late that day..the left channel ex told me to mess with the balance knob..i did, and it went away. however, it could be my imagination..but it hasn't been the same since. the ex who gave me the system said when he had it the left channel had done the same so he brought it in where he bought it..they "fixed it" supposedly just sprayed the switches and it was supposed to be all better. and that was the day he gave it to me. well the brightness thing started after the first crackle here...and today it did it again...since all of you agree the sp-10 cannot and should not be bright...and wasn't that first i'm thinking it needs repair?? do tubes go out that an occasional crackle and/or hiss..or would it be a switch prob..or?? and hmmm....could that cause the "brightness" i'm hearing that was just not there that first magical day?

thanks again all of you, not just for your help, but for the seem like a great bunch of people :)
If you are hearing crackling/hissing without touching the dials it is not likely that it is the contacts in the volume or balance controls. If you hear it more when the amp is first turned on and it diminishes as time passes, like 30 minutes or so, you likely have noisy/dying tubes. Since it is restricted to the left channel - here is how to test it: turn it off til the tubes cool down. Remove the top. On the left side remove the front two tubes and reverse them. Turn the amp back on and see if the sound is now coming from the right channel. If not, turn it off and let it cool down. Remove the rear two tubes and reverse them and turn it back on. If the problem remains in the left channel its not the tubes. You don't need to change the tubes back. Now with the unit on, rotate both the volume knob and the balance knob (not at the same time) and see if you hear any noise - if you do then the contacts in the controls should be cleaned (by a technician) but you can usually remove the corrosion to a great extent by just rotating the dials completely for a minute or so. The friction from the contact will cleam them up. Now the killer answer - dying tubes and corroded contacts really shouldn't cause brightness, and in both channels - to the contrary, dying tubes usually cause dullness, noisy perhaps, but dull never the less. Have you read all of the reviews and user comments here and on Audio Asylum yet on your Shanling? Yeh, I know, it looks pretty - I'm waiting for the tiny space ship to land any day now. :-)'re spelled out those instructions so well..including that i don't need to put the tubes back where they were, that i am actually going to dare to go into the sp-10 and do as you cool..i love doing stuff like that but i never had anyone spell it out so simply that i could actually attempt it with my stereo equipment...i'll let you know what happens. and umm..i can take a take it you have read the reviews on the shanling..??! going there now...after i carpet my floors, ceilings...walls..move my speakers..and wait for the tiny green men to come and take me away :))
umm..newbeeeeeeeeeeeee...i think my first clue is that these screws on the top seemingly haven't been untightened since the incredible hulk (apparently!!) tightened them in 1984. (theres a "passed inspection" 1984 tag hanging from the power cord) okay now then..i used to make recycled industrial jewelry from antique machinery...much older than 1984 and there wasn't a screw i couldn't conquor!!! arghhhhhhh...i couldn't get a single one to budge!!! just venting...where theres a will theres a way (i hope!!!) thanks for being there!! (wheres those little green men when ya need them :) welp...i guess that gives me lots of time to look at the shanling reviews..or maybe i should say..gulp??!
You've got to get a wee can of penetrating oil at the local hardware store. Put a drop on each screw and the little green men will back off and let you inside that SP10. Whats life without a few challenges. :-)
i can't wait to read the next installment in the synthgirl episode... ;)
Synthgirl33- I don't have the 2Ci's any more, replaced them with 3A Signatures, but I was using the Kimber wires with them. I had the Sound Anchor stands, slightly better than Vanderstands, but elevated them to the same height. If you do not have stands I would strongly recommend them. You could place a wanted ad here, someone might have a spare set. Another thing I thought of is the stands permit you to tilt back the speakers. I'm not sure if the 2Ci had instructions on this but the 3A does. By tilting the speaker you can adjust the sweet spot of the tweeter for various listening heights. I don't have the instruction manual so I can't confirm this, but my brother does (I sold the 2Ci's to him). Not sure if I can get the manual right away but I will try.'s the low level hiss is only on the right side as rule!! this is with just the front two tubes swapped so far..what next?
oh wow..i posted these last posts days ago...

pmotz..thank you for the kind offer to find the vandersteen 2ci instruction manual. have been an immense help..more than i can say..thanks

if any other posts show up out of's cause my posts haven't been posting for the past few days..

hey whats your opinion on whether to leave the tubes on all the time...or turn them off whenever they are not in use..i've heard varying opinions..

thanks guys :)
I currently own an SP10 as my main preamp. I disagree with the posts above, it has a great line stage. I wont use it for CD's because I dont want to waste the tubes on CD listening. Quality tubes are not that easy to find anymore. The SP10 is a tube microscope. When I picked up mine, it had sovteks and it was too bright for me. I immediately changed them out. The best tube I have come across in the SP10 is the Siemens 7308. They are fantastic in the 10. The tubes you put in the SP10, good or bad, form the personality for the sound quality. There is also a thread on tubes for the SP10 in audio asylum by "bambi" that is very informative. I have owned the SP11, SP8, SP6B SP3A1, Klyne SK2A, Klyne SK5A, Spectral DMC10 and many others. No matter what, for me, I always preferred the sound of the SP10. Anyways, there are many opinions, use your own ears. If you can get a variety of tubes to try (not so easy these days and very $$$$$), you will discover why this preamp is considered one of the best by many.
Turn it off at the end of each day when you are thru listening. The SP10 has a very gentle warm up phase and the tubes don't suffer much from turn on trauma.

Linnlp12, you won't get much argument from me, except we differ on tube preference a tad. I've been using mine for over 20 years - warts and all, its still my favorite pre-amp.
linnlp...thank you so much for your imput...when i can afford the $ i will try those tubes as well as the ones that newbee reccomended..this is really fun with the help of those of you with so much more experience..

newbee..will do..thanks again:)
hi..its me any of you have any suggestions for how i can make 6" high speaker stands for my vandersteen 2ci's until i can find the sound anchor ones used? thanks:)
Hey Hey Synthgirl,

If you have not had much success to find tubes, perhaps you can call Michael Elliot, the designer of Counterpoint gear. Go to and click on "Replacement Tubes" on the left side of the page. Then scroll down to the 6DJ8 links in the products line. He has grouped tubes with different noise/microphonic levels. Just give him a call as he is very helpful.

Also, I respect LinnLP12's viewpoint that he likes the SP-10, but all the units he compared it to are those at the same time or long before the SP-10. I too heard the SP-8 and Spectral DMC-10 along with the Klyne and Krell PAM3 at that time and for me the SP-10 was hands down the winner. But that was then! Line stages have come a long long way since then (1984). Your focus needs to be on a product that serves CD playback well. Wish you lived here in Minneapolis as I'd be happy to invite you to hear what I am talking about.

Anyway, give Mr. Elliot a call as I think he could help you here.

hey jafox :) ohh...what a dream that would be to actually HEAR what is possible. thanks for the thought...i would SO be there if i could. i am fumbling in the dark here...i have the ear for music...but often not the knowledge (or funds) to make it happen, which is very frustrating. you guys are helping tremendously tho. i know even the system i have is capable of sooo much of you could come in here and presto-magic...i just sooo don't know what i am doing!! i try to remind myself what newbee said...relax..take your time..and have fun...BUT i want it set up i CAN just sit back..listen..and enjoy...i just want my music!! whahhh. can anyone relate ;)
hi you guys..i just wanted to let you know that newbie me had the speakers all measured out to "perfection" so i thought..until i was reading the instructions for the 2ce's tho i have the 2ci's...and it dawned on me..acoustical center!!!!! DUHHHHHH. i of course had measured from the edge of the speakers...ARGGGHH...just thought i would give you guys a giggle at the newbie here..the 5 inches difference closer to the backwall made all the difference. now..i just can't wait to get the stands!!