I've just bi-wired and I'm thrilled

Stevenj

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Thread Starter
I decided to bi-wire using my tube amp for mid and treble and solid state for the bass. Wow is all I can say. I've not been so impressed with an "audio tweak" in ages.
Steve
 

Rudy

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Funny, I just bought jumpers so I can UN-bi-wire my speakers. 😁 Sounds like you are bi-amping as well. It's a great idea, as you discovered--the solid state portion can provide plenty of cojones for the bass, and the magic tube power goes to the mids and highs.

I previously had Vandersteens and they benefited a lot with bi-wiring from the same amp. (They were also fussy about how they were set on the floor--the bass tightened up a lot once I got the proper stands for them.) But my newer speakers have a powered bass section built in, so there's no real need to bi-wire since there is so little current draw from the bass. That way I can get more of the tube power to the panels. I did the bi-wiring a little differently though--I'm using the braided Kimber cable, so it was just a matter of pulling some of the strands for the highs and others for the lows.

My tube amp is headed over to Music Technology in Virginia to check out a bias issue I'm having (one of the owners worked at C-J as their technical director for a couple of decades, and he'll be working on the amp for me). He's also doing a couple of modifications, like installing an IEC socket to replace the damaged power cord, and doing the "A" revision to the bias LED circuit. Bad thing is, shipping that thing, insured, is going to be about $110 each way, and I may have to ship the tubes separately. (I have the factory shipping carton coming to me in a couple of days.)
 

Stevenj

Well-Known Member
Thread Starter
Funny, I just bought jumpers so I can UN-bi-wire my speakers. 😁 Sounds like you are bi-amping as well. It's a great idea, as you discovered--the solid state portion can provide plenty of cojones for the bass, and the magic tube power goes to the mids and highs.

I previously had Vandersteens and they benefited a lot with bi-wiring from the same amp. (They were also fussy about how they were set on the floor--the bass tightened up a lot once I got the proper stands for them.) But my newer speakers have a powered bass section built in, so there's no real need to bi-wire since there is so little current draw from the bass. That way I can get more of the tube power to the panels. I did the bi-wiring a little differently though--I'm using the braided Kimber cable, so it was just a matter of pulling some of the strands for the highs and others for the lows.

My tube amp is headed over to Music Technology in Virginia to check out a bias issue I'm having (one of the owners worked at C-J as their technical director for a couple of decades, and he'll be working on the amp for me). He's also doing a couple of modifications, like installing an IEC socket to replace the damaged power cord, and doing the "A" revision to the bias LED circuit. Bad thing is, shipping that thing, insured, is going to be about $110 each way, and I may have to ship the tubes separately. (I have the factory shipping carton coming to me in a couple of days.)
Oh, yes. That would be Bill Thalmann, yes? I have 2 sonographe sa250s I was running bi-wired then thought, why not through the CJ MV55 into the mix and it is glory. The only thing is a small background hum so I'm waiting on a iso max.
 

Rudy

¡Que siga la fiesta!
Staff member
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Oh, yes. That would be Bill Thalmann, yes? I have 2 sonographe sa250s I was running bi-wired then thought, why not through the CJ MV55 into the mix and it is glory. The only thing is a small background hum so I'm waiting on a iso max.
Yep, Bill's the man for this sort of thing, so, off it goes. 👍 And that MV55 is a classic.

I remember I had a weird issue with a couple of other components of mine, and I discovered the ground wire throughout the room was not connected. (The central outlet in the room had three sets of wires attached to it, rather sloppy.)
 

Rudy

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Yep, Bill's the man for this sort of thing, so, off it goes. 👍
Took three weeks to get the shipping carton from C-J, but it arrived Thursday and I sent the amp off with plenty of insurance yesterday (Friday) and a list of things to check on. It only has the one issue, but want to upgrade it to the "A" revision, verify 4-ohm wiring (they come from the factory), install the IEC socket and check on a minor channel imbalance.

Given the cost of the shipping carton and the shipping charge, it wouldn't have cost me much more to drive it down there myself.
 

Stevenj

Well-Known Member
Thread Starter
Took three weeks to get the shipping carton from C-J, but it arrived Thursday and I sent the amp off with plenty of insurance yesterday (Friday) and a list of things to check on. It only has the one issue, but want to upgrade it to the "A" revision, verify 4-ohm wiring (they come from the factory), install the IEC socket and check on a minor channel imbalance.

Given the cost of the shipping carton and the shipping charge, it wouldn't have cost me much more to drive it down there myself.
I really love the Conrad Johnson sound. Let us know how good the restore/upgrade goes.
 

Rudy

¡Que siga la fiesta!
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I really love the Conrad Johnson sound. Let us know how good the restore/upgrade goes.
It will probably be a few weeks if not a couple of months, depending on their backlog. I'll be happy when Bill fixes whatever component failed and gives it a clean bill of health. (I'm guessing a power supply component, since all four tubes cannot be biased properly.) The "A" revision was only a capacitor across the zener diode for each of the bias LEDs--it was supposed to be a slight reduction in background noise (which is nearly silent anyway), but I'm thinking with that, and a verification of everything else being adjusted properly, it should be in good shape once it returns.

A local seller up in Clarkston has a pair of Premier 12s, but his have no cages, and the asking price is too high without them. I haven't used my tube cage, but if I move things around and have to run the amp in a more exposed location, I want the option of being able to use the cage to prevent anything from falling right onto the tubes. I would have to make a modification so the cage will fit, though--the KT120s I run are taller than 6550s, so I'd need to get something like circuit board standoffs to raise the cage about 3/4". I inquired a few years ago with C-J about metal parts for a pair of Premier 12s (cages, and front faceplates--I found a good running but cosmetically challenged pair down in North Carolina that I almost bought), and they have nothing available.

I'll keep you posted!
 
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