Although Gordon mentioned that the Brick should not be too sensitive to tube rolling, I did notice a discernable difference between tubes over the past few months I had the Brick.
My Brick came standard with a Ei 12Au7 goldpin, which resulted in a detailed and quick sound that is a little on the lean side. The RCA cleartops I tried are fuller sounding, with a liquid midrange, smooth highs and full bass; detail as well as spatial clues are not quite as well developed (the RCA cleartops were OS and I am not sure how well they measured on a tube tester). The one I ike the most so far is an RFT La Radiotechnique that was tonally somewhere between the Ei and the RCA without sacrificing any detail - well balanced, good timing and dynamics, good spatial detail.
Finally I got some recommendations from other users that I will be trying over the next few months: Mazda trible mica, Amperex, Telefunken, etc.
Also, I have an Opticis USB extension cable on the way to isolate the Brick electrically from the Macbook.
Enjoy the Brick!
Thanks for your reply. My used Brick came with a Teonex 6067, Google has little or no info on it. I just put in an Amperex 7316, I'm still evaluating that one. I wanted to try the Mullard CV491 as well, the premium tubes get really pricey. I do have the Opticis cable, I like it very much. Someone had posted about using an alternative battery power supply, I'll have to look into that as well.
I did see a few negative posts about the Brick here, but I like mine. I'm using it with an iMac desktop, far better than the Dell desktop I was using it with. Sounds like you're enjoying your Brick, too!
Check with Gordon, he recommends NOT using a battery supply.
Herman, just to clarify, I was referring to an external battery supply for the Opticis cable to replace the inexpensive stock power supply, not for the Brick itself.
Who said something bad about the Brick? It is a wonderful piece...I have one, and I am waiting for my Cosecant-about a month. I love the Brick, haven't tube rolled, heard the same thing from Gordon about it not having a big effect. I would try anyway.
I spoke with Gordon on the Opticis, and he actually scoped it, and said the power supply it comes with is terrible, and adds noise. I quickly returned mine (unopened) upon hearing this from Gordon. He offered to build a linear power supply if I wanted to use the Opticis, but it was cost prohibitive. After weighing all the benefitsa against the ongoing effort, I personally decided it was not worth it. Got the Kimber USB, casedclosed for me. I felt it was smarter to put the $$ into upgrading to the Cosecant-can't wait.
Anyway, the Brick is one heck of a front end, I love it. Can't say enough good about it. I may tube roll after living with the Cosecant for a while.
I need the Opticis cable because my iMac and stereo rig are about 45 feet apart. This is what the Opticis is really for, long USB runs. Didn't want to go wireless, with the potential problems of that. I must say, mine sounds pretty good! I'd love to hear the Cosecant, you don't really see any on the used market.
Thats a very good reason to use it then, your are well researched. I am sure there are benefits too, so kudos to that set up.
Yeah the Cosecants don't pop up much on the used side, although there was one here on Agon, a version 1 I believe. I wanted a V2. Any of Gordon's stuff sound great I am sure.
Thanks for the post Heymikey and Restock. The EI tube in my Brick just died and was searching for recommendations. Quite pleased with the La Radiotechnique you suggested. Thanks!
Oldgrey -here are some more comments I posted in another thread a few months later:
After getting the Benchmark, I got to improve the Brick a little more by doing some very careful tube rolling. With the Mazda Triple Mica, flow and coherence is a little better than the Benchmark, but it still looses control somewhat in complex passages especially for classical music. With a Siemens 12AU7, the bass of the Brick is tighter and drums are as explosive as with the Benchmark.
In summary, what I really liked about the Benchmark the most was how transients and dynamics are preserved. Many CDs sound very exciting whereas the Brick can be laid back at time. The Brick has its strength in the natural decay of tones, which the Benchmark sometimes cuts to short. For spatial presentation, the Benchmark has the better separation between instruments, especially in complex passages, whereas the Brick sketches a more realistic three-dimensional picture for single instruments. The Brick did particularly well with solo piano. Overall for complex music and electronic music I would give the nod to the Benchmark, for a more natural sound and small ensembles I would prefer the Brick.
One final comment: For the Brick tube rolling is essential. IMO it performs far from its best with the stock tubes. Try the Mazda Triple Mica or the Siemens 12AU7. Single 12AU7 NOS tubes are fairly affordable and can be found easily
Also, I should say that I had an opportunity to listen to a Brick v2 since - The newer Brick performs another step above the earlier Brick, putting the Brick significantly above the Benchmark in terms of resolution and drive. If you have a v1 I would seriously consider the upgrade to the later versions.
Enjoy the Brick!
Excellent --thank you. I'll have to give those a shot as well. As for an upgrade, I made the move to the v2 last year and, as you pointed out, the difference was enormous. I'm considering moving to a v3, but I'd like to learn more before I do.
I see Sangam is listed in "heavy rotation" on your system page --Eric Harland is amazing. Terrific album.