Is the 'Blue Circle Sound' getting more sophisticated?

Jymn
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Is the 'Blue Circle Sound' getting more sophisticated?

Post by Jymn » Sat May 24, 2014 6:30 pm

A number of years ago I bought demos of early BC21/BC22. The sound rocked my world. At first I thought something was wrong - the sound was so thick and hefty. I had never heard such power. It had balls.

Since then, I've had to sell my audio due to financial difficulties. Now I've recovered, I couldn't find a 21/22 combo so I got a GDC amp mod only. Nice and clean with well-defined bass but not visceral.

So, I just bought a DAR and it has more heft than the GDC but not as much as I was expecting. Granted, I could listen to the DAR all day without any fatigue but I'm curious what happened to that powerful lower mid-range and bass of the 21/22? Was the heavy sound not desirable?

Anyway, they're all great rock and roll amps. I wish Gilbert would push this to the public.

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bobneill
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Yes and No

Post by bobneill » Sun May 25, 2014 9:38 am

Some of the newer BC amps are more sophisticated. But there are still a handful of "hefty" ones in the stable. The FtTH2 has more heft than the DAR. The BC200 series amps (202, 204, 206, 208) have more still. They cede a bit of clarity, transparency, speed, and sophistication to some of the newer amps (N series), but they definitely are weightier, thicker, ballsier. The BC 1022 is an interesting compromise: a bit more clarity than the FtTH2 and 200 series, a bit more bass grip than the N's.
Last edited by bobneill on Sun May 25, 2014 10:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by masluck » Sun May 25, 2014 9:44 am

Hi Jymn,

I can only comment on where I was (BC21-L2 and BC26) and I agree with you that the lower mids and bass were thicker and had a heftier sound - at least in my rig and to be candid very much influenced by the tubes I used in the BC21. I then went to BC3000-GZpz-SE and a highly modified BC26 that is now more like a BC206-NST than anything else. The sound became more refined and the profile shifted just a tad, but it still can kick some major butt and BC midrange is legendary. I just think you get more articulation with the upper range gear. I can't comment on the NSP and NSL (and the solid state preamps like the BC109) as I think Bob Neill and Double D are better suited as they have them. But I can say, that I did have a Katlas in my system and I did really like it - that amp was just plain powerful and refined, while maintaining that BC magic. I feel that BC tube gear is very influenced by the tubes you use - you get to hear the tube more so than most other brands - especially those that use more than one tube in the design. My point is that trying some different 6SN7's in the DAR will provide you the ability to get the sound where you want it. For example, to my old ears, the venerable NOS Sylvania 6SN7W was the absolute best tube I ever had in the BC21. It was just a phenomenal tube, had long life and gave what you are looking for in spades. The JAN 6SN7WGTA brown base were excellent too. If I was you, I would look for new or NOS that allows you to focus the sound where you want it and go from there. My BC3000 is the same way and I have run a lot more brands and different types (6DJ8, 6922, 7308's) and currently I like the Siemens A-frames. I hope this helps!!!

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Post by Jeddy » Mon May 26, 2014 12:43 am

I'll just quickly state that I have a DAR and just put in a
Shugung Black Treasure tube and eveything "went up
a notch". The overall sound is much thicker and richer
whith NO loss of detail. Best tube I've ever heard.

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Post by Jymn » Mon May 26, 2014 6:43 pm

Thanks for the feedback, everyone. I don't know why the DAR isn't capturing my love the way the 21/22 did. I'd try some of the tubes so helpfully suggested. However, I found a Moscode 401HR for a grand and it fills the room. Perfect combo with the 21.1. My left ear has lost some hearing, especially in the lower ranges. I need the Balance control of the 21.1 to help me 'balance' the sound. The DAR's sound to me comes almost directly from the right speaker so I can't hear much of the left speaker. The Moscode throws the sound around the room so I can hear it all.

If you have not heard the 21/22 combo, you owe yourself a treat. I've dreamt about such a sound forever. It was finally here and now it's gone. And now there are no 22's around. It is the perfect rock & roll combo and I bet our dear Gilbert doesn't know it.

Not to brag on Moscode - it's a fluke I even heard it.

Anyway, I have a gorgeous DAR for sale. ;)

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Post by stew » Mon May 26, 2014 8:01 pm

I have a set of BC22 mk2 monoblocks that are pretty maxed out by G. I have listened to them and loved them for a number of years. I am however selling them... When I get back from my honeymoon in a few weeks I plan to list them in the new Sellers part of the Forum... How serendipitous!

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Post by stew » Mon May 26, 2014 8:04 pm

PS. I still own and love my BC3000 Gzpz KQ and also my BC509 which I am thinking of upgrading after my return ... Point is I LOVE the BC sound and always visit this forum with excitement and in anticipation of G's next tempting creation!

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Post by masluck » Mon May 26, 2014 8:08 pm

Jymn,

List your DAR on the BC Buy & Sell :D

Mark

Jymn
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Post by Jymn » Wed May 28, 2014 8:18 pm

masluck wrote:Jymn,

List your DAR on the BC Buy & Sell :D

Mark
Thanks.

Gilbert used to make rock and roll amps. I don't' think that was his purpose. Hold on to your 21/22. I've never heard anything better, harder, fuller, and real than that combo.

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Letting go...

Post by masluck » Wed May 28, 2014 8:52 pm

Hi Jymn,

Actually, I had a BC21 and a BC26 - the bigger brother of the 22. To be candid, sure those amps rocked, but to say that no other BC amps can lay down rock & roll with aplomb is, IMHO not true. I listen to a fair amount of rock & roll (being a 70's child and all) and I can tell you that what I have now (BC3000-GZpz-SE and BC26/206-NST) can easily hang with the depth, fullness and slam of the BC21/BC22-BC26 series amps - actually I get that AND more realism and musicality. If your current setup lights your fire, then I am happy that you are where you need to be and content to arrive there. But, I have no regrets leaving the 20 series amps and I now have an excellent balance of strong multi-genre support and a level of refinement that could not be achieved in the 20 series suite..enjoy your rig!! :D

Mark

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Don Leman
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Post by Don Leman » Wed May 28, 2014 11:14 pm

Jymn wrote:
masluck wrote:Jymn,

List your DAR on the BC Buy & Sell :D

Mark
Thanks.

Gilbert used to make rock and roll amps. I don't' think that was his purpose. Hold on to your 21/22. I've never heard anything better, harder, fuller, and real than that combo.
Do you still have the same speakers? Has your room setup changed? Both will have a significant impact on what you hear.

Don
Don

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ERM
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Post by ERM » Fri May 30, 2014 5:20 pm

Jeddy wrote:I'll just quickly state that I have a DAR and just put in a
Shugung Black Treasure tube and eveything "went up
a notch". The overall sound is much thicker and richer
whith NO loss of detail. Best tube I've ever heard.
Hey Jeddy, I purchased a Shuguang Treasure CV-181-Z (black $225) and couldn't shoehorn it into my DAR. Needed another 1/4 for manoeuvre it in. I ended up returning unfortunately. Is what you are using and if so, how did you get in?

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ERM
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Post by ERM » Fri May 30, 2014 5:20 pm

Jeddy wrote:I'll just quickly state that I have a DAR and just put in a
Shugung Black Treasure tube and eveything "went up
a notch". The overall sound is much thicker and richer
whith NO loss of detail. Best tube I've ever heard.
Hey Jeddy, I purchased a Shuguang Treasure CV-181-Z (black $225) and couldn't shoehorn it into my DAR. Needed another 1/4 for manoeuvre it in. I ended up returning unfortunately. Is what you are using and if so, how did you get in?

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Post by Jeddy » Fri May 30, 2014 7:47 pm

It was a "mod" that Blue Circle did to allow the bottle shape
of the tube. The little circuit that causes the blue circle to
Illuminate on the front of the amp was removed.
So no blue light but GREAT sound!

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ERM
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Post by ERM » Sat May 31, 2014 10:15 am

Jeddy wrote:It was a "mod" that Blue Circle did to allow the bottle shape
of the tube. The little circuit that causes the blue circle to
Illuminate on the front of the amp was removed.
So no blue light but GREAT sound!
Thanks Jeddy, good to know.

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