The 'NEW' YAQIN MS-20L Integrated Vacuum Tube Amp Thread - Page 29 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #841 of 843 Old 01-26-2016, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by rntlee View Post
Just a FYI for everybody...

I tried my GE jan5654w's in my amp again, just to give them a second shot. I noticed a faint high-pitched whine from the right channel while the amp was idling with no signal. I promptly pulled the 5654's and put my 6j1p-ev's back in.

I looked up the data sheet for the GE 5654's and it specifies a maximum heater to cathode voltage of 90v. This amp uses an SRPP (the Chinese love this circuit) in the input stage and the cathode in the top tube gets close to 100v applied to it. I think the sound I could hear was leakage from the the heater to the cathode. The Russian 6j1p's I have are spec'd to a max heater/cathode voltage of 120v.

So, heads up to anyone else running 5654's in your amps...they're out of spec by quite a bit in this amp.
Hello rntlee. Sorry to revive an old thread, but could you confirm for me that the Mullard M8100 has a maximum heater to cathode voltage (Vh-k) of 130 volts according to the spec sheet I've attached? Just want to make sure I'm interpreting the info correctly before purchasing an octet. Thank you in advance!

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post #842 of 843 Old 06-26-2016, 05:58 AM
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Hello, This is my first post here. On an old thread, but it's the one that helped me the most. Thanks to the OP !

Well....this week marks the first anniversary of my puchase of the Silk Audio MS -38, so it's time for a review of my experience so far.
I am not new to hifi. My first amp was a Cyrus 1, which I built a DNM capped 1000va external psu for in the 80s. Next came a Musical Fidelity (MuFi ) A100 class A mini heater (!)followed much later by a Musical Fidelity X-150v3. This was supplemented with various MuFi TUBE buffers. I never listen without these anymore. I love the fluid sound of tubes!
My main system now uses a pair of bridged MuFi X-P200 amps with X-P100 preamp? and REL subs for a HUGE soundstage!
But....after we moved a couple of teens through the basement guestroom I decided it was time to repurpose the room for a "morning music room"! Something far from our bedroom, that would pass the WAF.
I had enough MuFi equipment to build an entire second system....So why not?
The second system was built around the Mu-Fi X-150 integrated with M1 CLIC streamer/dac and Marantz cd67 players. Speakers are Rega Naos transmission lines with REL T3 sub.
Cables all Kimber.
This was the system I added the Silk Audio MS-38 to after checking out this thread. I realized that most owners were upgrading from Onkyo receivers,? but comments about reliability and the two stateside distributors were very reassuring. I wanted to hear for myself if a tube amp would be a satisfying alternative to the tube buffered solid state route I was on for both systems.? I didn't want to sell any of the Mu-Fi stuff to finance the tube amp, so I found the Yaqin MS-20/30 models appealing at a crazy price ( at $650ish, I hear my wife reminding me that it's still an expensive item - Thanks, Honey....But still half the price of the X-150)!!
Now, that was all fine and good to daydream over until I saw the Silk Audio version of the same amp. The MS-38.
Ray of SA has done a great facelift job on the original design, adding a VU meter to the front panel. Modern retro. Very appealing.
He was very prompt replying to my queries, usually answering at least half of my questions? ( Tabnaac suffers from the same handicap, but terser). I have found that only asking one question at a time helps here!
Since SA is in Chicago USA, shipping was cosiderably cheaper than from Canada - something to bear in mind if a return for service is ever required.

The amp arrived quickly, well packaged . I risked back injury lifting it out of the double box to its support stand - top heavy due to the substantial transformers mounted to the top plate. Power tubes were well protected in pvs pipes and numbered at the factory,? so I installed them in order. Signal tubes come pre-installed.

Several posts have commented on the fine construction quality.? I would add that while one might expect a thick aluminium? ( AH... A Brit! ) face plate on a modern amp, the rear panel is usually a thinner steel affair. Not so here. The same thick aluminium is used for the input/ speaker terminal plates too. Compare this to other "budget" tube amps at twice the price.
And what about the cnc'd bezel around the signal tubes?
Or the tube cage ( not even photographed on Silk Audio's ebay listings ) ??
23 machined parts!
Even if you leave the power tubes exposed, it sits very neatly over the output transformer covers.? I use a custom cut? 1/4" foam rubber mat material from Michaels craft store for damped anti-scratch support. Why hide it?
A guitarist friend who repairs tube guitar amps looked the MS-38 over and said it must be worth $5,000.
Well it looks the part!
How does it sound?
Tricky question, since it takes 40 hours or so to burn in the supplied tube set. I would say, from memory, that it was warm and pleasant from the start, but veiled. The clarity opened up gradually over the first month though. Remember, I had my big rig as a reference. Proac tablette speakers are very revealing especially with a Rogers LSB1 and REL subs!
No, this was MUSIC without the spotlights. Tonally quite satisfying.
A couple of months after the burn in I ordered a matched set of eight GE5654 tubes. A modest investment of $80.

The new GE 5654 tubes intantly sounded much clearer with a better insight into the recorded acoustic.
Since the Silk arrived I have fallen in love with Baroque music. My favorite music is still Jazz and Reggae ( Fat Freddy's Drop especially - that bass!), but that doesn't fly until after 8am.
After 40 hours of burn in the sound is so pure and "right" that I struggle to turn off the music to get on with my workday. What a pleasant way to start? your day!
The level of improvement is way more than that of a cable upgrade - for less.
No need to agonize over this one. Just do it. You won't be sorry.

A couple of weeks ago I noticed that the three transformers at the rear of the MS-38 were not level.
The cause?
They are so heavy that they can make the top plate of the amp sag!
I contacted Ray at Silk Audio.? He contacted Yaqin for a solution.? All they could come up with was to offer to replace the top plate.
I looked inside the amp. It was obviously a big job to remove the circuit board and transformers. Add to that the shipping charges and probable rough handling in transit, I suspected that the sag would still be a risk.
Besides, I had a better idea:

I first built a 2x6 jig to suspend the amp upside down by its edges, not resting on the transformers. Next I added a lacuered steel L brace (silver in photos) under the transformers, with longer self tapping screws and aluminium spacers to clear the wiring beneath.
VIOLA no more sag!
Maybe the factory will add a version of this mod.
( Violas also sound very nice - Voila!! )
Ray was very impressed. No doubt relieved too. I suggested he thank me with a set of output tubes instead of the new top plate, labour and shipping. He's working on it.....I hope.

Swapping from the Mu-Fi X-150 back to the newly reinforced? MS-38,? I couldn't miss the increase in body and weight. Maybe there was less detail, but the MUSIC was well served.

If you are looking for just one amp for a satisfying music system, why not contact Ray at Silk Audio?? I am so glad I listened to the others on this forum who recommended this amp, or the Yaqin MS-20/30!

I just got a set of MULLARD NOS 5654 tubes delivered. Will be installing once I have a set of Electro Harmonix KT77 or Gold Lions. Or maybe before....
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post #843 of 843 Old 06-26-2016, 06:18 AM
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Just for the record? About half of the question marks in my above post were added. Not in the text I pasted here.
I'm not Australian! Cheerio!
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