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mondoribo

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For the tube amp afficionados. I had the chance to demo a pair of Quicksilver Mono 100 monoblocs over the long weekend. For all the usual reasons, I was pretty impressed with the tube sound. So I started looking around. For the same price as the demo Quicksilvers, I could also find some Rogue Audio Magnum 120s. And the third choice, would be the TAD-1000 monoblocks. Since I already have a TAD-150, I can get a great deal on the TAD-1000s. So I guess my question is, from a technical perspective, why is the TAD-1000 considered such a "giant killer"? It seems to have some extra features, like a focus control, and volume controls (good if you want to bi-amp), but is there something else, like transformer size, tube set, etc. that makes them superior to the other choices? I know there are a few folks here that have them, as I first read about them here and on Audio Asylum. I can get a pair of them delivered for far less than the other two choices used, so it seems like a no-brainer. Can it really be that simple?
Thanks,
Jon

ML Aeons
ML Depth
Rotel RB-1080 amp
TAD-150 preamp
Rotel RC-955 CD
Pro-ject Xpression TT w/ speed box & Dynavector 10x5 cart
 

roberto

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mondoribo said:
For the tube amp afficionados. I had the chance to demo a pair of Quicksilver Mono 100 monoblocs over the long weekend. For all the usual reasons, I was pretty impressed with the tube sound. So I started looking around. For the same price as the demo Quicksilvers, I could also find some Rogue Audio Magnum 120s. And the third choice, would be the TAD-1000 monoblocks. Since I already have a TAD-150, I can get a great deal on the TAD-1000s. So I guess my question is, from a technical perspective, why is the TAD-1000 considered such a "giant killer"? It seems to have some extra features, like a focus control, and volume controls (good if you want to bi-amp), but is there something else, like transformer size, tube set, etc. that makes them superior to the other choices? I know there are a few folks here that have them, as I first read about them here and on Audio Asylum. I can get a pair of them delivered for far less than the other two choices used, so it seems like a no-brainer. Can it really be that simple?
Thanks,
Jon
ML Aeons
ML Depth
Rotel RB-1080 amp
TAD-150 preamp
Rotel RC-955 CD
Pro-ject Xpression TT w/ speed box & Dynavector 10x5 cart
Hola Jon. Sometimes it is very difficult to "make up our mind" because there are such many good things in the marketplace in now days. My advise to you is: trust in your ears, not in specs! choose the one that you like most, regardless of price, and enjoy the music through ML sound! Happy listening, regards from Costa Rica,
Roberto
 

Spike

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mondoribo said:
I can get a pair of them delivered for far less than the other two choices used, so it seems like a no-brainer. Can it really be that simple?
Yes it IS that simple, well, sort of... Given that you already have the TAD-150 preamp, and that you can get the TAD-1000 monoblocs for less $$$ than the others, what are you waiting for? Technically, you want to look for beefy power-supplies to drive the Logans and the TAD has the edge here compared with the other choices listed. The "focus" knob is just a glorified feedback control and that should not enter into the equation here. Having the volume control is a nice touch for future expansion into bi-amping. Switching between triode and ultra-linear is a nice "demo" feature where it's cool to play with having more power at a flip of a switch. But I find myself always going back to good ol' triode mode for the midrange magic. So, now we're really talking about TAD-1000 monoblocs pumping out 50wpc in triode mode for best performance. Looking at your system, I'd go for the TAD-1000 running in triode mode, in a bi-amping configuration with the Rotel handling bass duties. Another choice you should consider is the AES offering of SixPacs monoblocs from Dennis Had of Cary Audio (http://www.sixpacs.com). But then again, the SixPacs may cost more than the pair of TAD you can get for cheap.

Good Luck
Spike
 

jjqiv

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Sounds like it could be a nice pair of amps. I don't know about the variable negative feedback. Negative feedback generally is not considerred a good thing. My amp has swith to add negative feedback.It is considerred a demo of why negative feedback is not a good idea. I have not thrown the switch yet.

BTW - Thanks. I went to the website and they have Fisher nob caps. I orderred six for my Fisher 400C receiver. A sweet tube receiver from the 60's.
 
J

Jeff Aguilar

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I have a set of TAD-1000's and a TAD-150 pushing my Aerius i's. I really like the way it sounds! I guess that you have to take my opinion with a grain of salt since I did not try any other 100 watt or greater tube amp with my ML's. I was so impressed with Paul and the Cayin TA-30, I took his word as to how good the 1000's would sound. And they do. I really like having the focus control, I have experimented with it a great deal in my set up and it is a great feature to have.

I am sure that you would be happy with any of those amps. I really like the TAD-1000's.

Jeff Aguilar
 

mondoribo

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OK already, I pulled the trigger

Sometimes we just need a little push over the edge :eek:
Jon

PS Roberto, its not always that easy, since I had no way to audition them, and although there is a 15-day period to try them out, there is a 10% restocking fee plus shipping to worry about.
 

jjqiv

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mondoribo said:
Sometimes we just need a little push over the edge :eek:
Jon

PS Roberto, its not always that easy, since I had no way to audition them, and although there is a 15-day period to try them out, there is a 10% restocking fee plus shipping to worry about.
Congratulations! I am sure you will be happy. I sure you will keep us informed.



B.T.W., Paul shipped my Fisher nob caps within minutes of placing my order! You should have your amps in no time!
 

DTB300

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mondoribo said:
PS Roberto, its not always that easy, since I had no way to audition them, and although there is a 15-day period to try them out, there is a 10% restocking fee plus shipping to worry about.
This is the exact reason why I did not try out the TAD Amps when I was auditioning a bunch of Tube Amps as consideration for my new Main Amplifier purchase. I understand the shipping fees, but the restocking charge (which came to around $200) was not acceptable for me.

I was not going to purchase an amp without hearing it first or without a recommendation from a very close audio friend of mine - as we agree on audio sound.

Dan
 

mondoribo

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TAD-1000s have arrived

Well, they came in the other day. Since they are so huge, I had to rearrange everything so they could sit on the strongest shelf. The very bright blue LED on one of them was intermittent, and has now gone dead. Paul is sending me a new one. In the meantime, the amps are cranking continuously to break them in. Out of the box, they don't sound all that great compared to the Rotel. Definitely rolled off in the high frequencies. I have been experimenting with triode vs. UL mode, and the focus control, but I suppose its moot at this point. I think I need to wait a few days and let them settle in before I start messing with the settings.
 

DTB300

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mondoribo said:
Out of the box, they don't sound all that great compared to the Rotel. Definitely rolled off in the high frequencies.
I found this trait in a some of the Tube Amps that I auditioned, each to a different degree.

Hopefully things open up some more for you with time, or the company can help you out with why you hear this. I know there are many folks here that may even have tube rolling suggestions if things do not change - even people who use these amps.

Dan
 

Sky Saw

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Congrats on the amp! You know, it's possible that you have adjusted your system to accommodate the brightness of the Rotel, and now the new amp requires its own set of conditions.

I realize that simultaneously breaking in and adjusting your setup is not recommended, but given your trial time constraint, I suggest that you try moving your speakers around and trying some basic room treatments (by that I mean moving furniture, etc.) to see if you can make it better. It's also possible that you purchased your front end and cabling to suit the Rotel, and now those issues are being presented by the new amp. If you find qualities about your new amp that are clearly superior to the Rotel, then perhaps you should hang on to it, and start to make a few changes in the rest of the system to improve the overall results.

Here's my suggestion to see if you should keep the amp:
1) keep breaking it in.
2) Move the speakers and furniture to tune the sound more toward the top end.
3) Get a buddy or a store that has different cables and CD player (front end) to bring their equipment over and see if the rolled-off highs are still as present.
4) I wouldn't bother with tube rolling until you know the final sound of the amp, and how it interacts with your system at its best. Then I would look at tailoring its abilities with tubes.

I hope that your upgrade comes into its element, and that you are happy with the setup.
 
A

Artar1

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Try Before You Buy

An interesting facet of tube amps is how they interact with the speaker load. In some situations, a tube amp will produce a reasonably flat frequency response, and in other situations, the response is far from flat. In these situations, the midrange could be emphasized and the highs could be somewhat rolled off. In other situations, the bass may be a little weak with an emphasis in the highs, etc.

The only way one will know whether a particular tube amp will work with one's speakers and room is to try it. If the amp/speaker/room combination is not harmonious, then tube rolling can be tried or another tube amp substituted for the one under consideration.

I usually find it most helpful to hear a prospective tube amp at the dealer's show room using the same speakers or nearly the same speakers I have at home. If I like what I hear, the next step would be to take the tube amp home for further auditioning.

I hope TAD has a good return policy.
 

DTB300

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Artar1 said:
I hope TAD has a good return policy.
Last I knew they had a 10% restocking/return fee.

This what kept me from trying out their amps during my amp trials. I could not justify having to pay $200 - $250 if I did not like their amps.

But again, others here really like these amps. Try to work with TAD and see what might be the problem before giving up on them.
 

mondoribo

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They are sounding MUCH better now

Really nice, in fact. And I am feeling much better now too, and relieved. They were on all day, about 15 hours straight. I'll let them go overnight. Spoke with Paul at TAD, and he said give them at least 30 hours at moderate volume. Played some of my most familiar vinyl tonight, and these amps are starting to sing. Sound much more like the Quicksilvers I demo'ed. I tried triode vs. UL, and I guess I'm an UL person. The sound is much more dynamic. Triode sounds muted and flat. Great test of this was Needle and the Damage Done and Old Man from Neil Young's Greatest Hits. The vocal has great presence now, and really resonates in UL mode. Thanks to everyone. I will report back once I've gone past 30 hours.
Jon
 
J

Jeff Aguilar

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Jon,

Just wondering if you have let your TAD-1000 burn in 30 hours now and what you think of them?

Which tubes are you using with your amp?

I have a TAD-1000, and I was using the KT88 tubes, this past week I switched over to EL34's to see the difference. Just curious what you are using.

Jeff Aguilar
 

risabet

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Wait and try triode mode again.

I originally found the tride mode to be muted and loose with my M-L Clarity's, interestingly after about 100 hours and some serious messing with the focus control I now listen almost completely in triode mode.
 

risabet

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Jeff,

How do you like the EL-34's? What driver tubes are you running? Have you tried the EL-34 as the driver tubes?
 
J

Jeff Aguilar

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I was using the EH KT88 driver tubes. I had one blow out and did not have a replacement so I swapped them out with some of my EL34's I had laying around. One one amp, I have 4 EH EL34's and the other one is actually Cayin EL34's. They do sound different and I am going to buy some Svetlana S logo EL-34 from Paul and see how they sound.

I did compare one speaker with the KT88's to the other one with the EL34's. The EL34's were smoother to me. The lower mid bass was a little heavyier too. I really liked the way the EL34's sounded compared to the KT88's. To me, the KT88's sounded a little grainier. So much for my explanations...

What are you using in your TAD-1000's?

Jeff
 
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