You might have some noisy tubes. Is it the same on both channels?
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With the Heron volume level set to 60 and the M22 gain set to Low, the sound was hollow. With the Heron volume level set to 60 and the M22 gain set to Mid, everything opened up. The detail is there, and the sound is so much more musical with a wider soundstage than the M12. The M12 is a good piece, but as my system has evolved, the Heron fits soooo much better.
While the hiss is still slightly there, it is less with the M22 gain set to Mid. I’m satisfied (at least for now).
@jmolsberg. I bought it used. The VTPH-2A would be a nice addition I’m sure - if I could only sneak it in the house without my wife noticing (:
Herron gain was set to Low. I set it to High and left the M12 at Mid. I had to lower the volume to around 35. Sounds OK, but I like it better the way it was. I’m going to play with different combinations later today. Of course, the tweeter hiss is a little louder in the High position.
All of my components are plugged into a Furman Elite-15 PF power conditioner. The Furman is plugged into a PS Audio receptacle, which is connected to a dedicated AC line. I use WireWorld and VooDoo power cables; with a VooDoo cable to the Herron.
Regarding the AC filter, are you referring to something like this:
I was researching the viability of using an RCA to XLR cable, with RCA on the Herron and XLR on the M22. Might that help, or is it a bad idea.
I was researching the viability of using an RCA to XLR cable, with RCA on the Herron and XLR on the M22. Might that help, or is it a bad idea.It won't make any difference. What might help though is to make sure you have a jumper installed in the M22 between pins 1 and 3 of the XLR when using the RCA input. This will prevent pin 3 from picking up noise.
The RCA connection is single ended and that won't change if the other end of the cable has an XLR connector on it.
I've finally found my sweet spot with the Herron and NAD settings. The Herron gain is set to low; the NAD M22 v2 gain is set to mid. Now I understand why many here have recommended a tube preamp and SS poweramp. I'm quite happy with the Herron/NAD combination.
I also re-positioned my speakers. I have a small 11x12 listening room. I placed the Tannoy's 36" from the back and side walls, and toed them in about 3/4 of an inch. My two listening chars are a little more than equidistant between the speakers. No more glare and I can listen for hours with no music fatigue. I'm finally enjoying digital music as much as analog.
Now I'm wondering what a better DAC would do. I have a Mytek Liberty, which sounds pretty good with my current setup. My planning budget is ~ $2.5K. Suggestions anyone?
There’s a 99.99% chance that they are much better, than what you got with your preamp, without exaggeration. It appears you have an ear for sound. I’m simply offering an opportunity, to hear what’s available, without spending any money, outside of the postage to return them to me, after you’ve experimented. Call a couple tube vendors and ask them about 1960 to 1962, Amperex, Navy 6922s(gold pins).
My Tubadour Signature arrived today. The DAC came expertly packed. The build quality is excellent and it looks good. And, it was a pleasure doing business with Vlad.
Out of the box, the Tubadour sounds much better than my Liberty DAC. It should considering it cost more than twice as much. I didn’t know what to expect; better sounding for sure, but in comparison, this DAC is in a different league.
The Tubadour sound is lush, more detailed, with a wider soundstage. I fits very well with my existing equipment. I can’t imagine how much better it will sound once it’s broken in. I plan to do some serious listening over the next couple of weeks.
I’ll be selling my Mytek Liberty DAC starting tomorrow :-)
A quick follow-up after a half-day of listening to music with the Tubadour DAC in my system. I get the best SQ with the Herron pre-amp gain set to Hi and the NAD pwr amp gain set to Lo. (With the Liberty, the Herron was set to Lo and the NAD to Mid.)
I've also noticed a larger difference in sound volume when I switch between my analog and digital sources (Analog: Technics SL-1200G w/ Ortofon Quintet Black/Parasound JC3 Jr; Digital: Innous Zenith MKII/ sonicTransporter with Roon DSP/Tubadour DAC.) In summary, at the same volume setting, when I switch between inputs, the digital music is noticeably louder. With the Liberty DAC, the music was also louder, but there was much less of a difference.
I was thinking of adding an Ortofon ST-7 SUT to get more analog gain, or buying a better phone pre. Thoughts anyone?