Long time lurker checking in with a thank you!

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Jake
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Long time lurker checking in with a thank you!

Post by Jake » Sun Apr 08, 2018 6:56 pm

Greetings Blue Circle Audio Community -

Up until a few weeks ago I was standing fairly well outside of the Blue Circle Circle of Trust (self imposed), but a second hand purchase of a beautiful FtTH Integrated had me seeing the light. I would love to claim rights to being a full BCA retail client as many of you have been, but I just haven't been able to pull it together with life's obligations. Now that the kids are gone, we're getting closer. I post without full shame as I bought a DAC Thingee from Walt in 2009, and have defended the unconventional design to all visiting listeners, all proclaiming that it was about the coolest, weirdest thing they've ever seen.

We're a long way from that now. OPPO has proclaimed that they are putting up the shutters eschewing physical media, Stereophile is undergoing an ownership change thus upsetting the audiophile apple cart, and the stock market is about to make rich people into slightly less rich people. All this to say, that I sure hope Gilbert keeps up his gig for a long time as he stands to win a few more clients as businesses fold- assuming that's what he wants. (I've been lurking for a long time and this last point is not immediately clear). This place is a niche boutique home for the like-minded. It's like that delicious soup that contains a certain ingredient that the Italian Mama-chef can't commit to a written recipe, therefore you can never make it at home. It only tastes good when she makes it.

What I'm saying is that one does not truly understand nor appreciate Blue Circle Audio Gear until you actually own it. It competes with anything and everything. It's like owning an original Picasso, or perhaps a Manet.

I set up my little humble dedicated audio room to obliterate the need for a remote. From my corner of the world this was an essential commitment to undertake toward understanding Gilbert's design intentions. I must say, reaching over from my listening position to click off a few notches on those beastly Shallcos (yes, there are two of them) provides a certain tactile satisfaction that is not easily found anywhere else. It's far better than pushing a button on a plastic wand. I don't know what its like to launch a ballistic missile from the control room deep in the North Dakota plains, but I'm fairly certain that I now possess the requisite skills to apply for the job.

The sound. Well, I used to listen to reproductions of what the artist would like me to hear, filtered by balance knobs, bass and treble settings, obscured by power supplies jammed into the same metal box because such a compromise makes it easier to package, market, and sell the thing. Now I hear music. I understand why Bob Neill frequently describes his experiences with BCA gear through the lens of music appreciation. Gilbert's gear, at least in my case, is able to put the artists in my listening space better than anything I've had to date. I took the leap of faith to acquire Blue Circle gear based on everything I've read from all of you and it delivered.

I realize that many of you are smirking, knowing that you remember when you took your first step into this level of audio reproduction. I am simply at the beginning. A toe dipped into the waters of recreating one of life's simplest and most rewarding pleasures - actual fidelity. Truth.

I'm starting to get it. I knew it was out there, but now I have some of it.

All this to say, thank you. Don't go away. Not yet. Thanks Gilbert for what you do. Thanks to the community for pointing the way.

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esoxhntr
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Re: Long time lurker checking in with a thank you!

Post by esoxhntr » Sun Apr 08, 2018 7:36 pm

Welcome Jake...

If I had posted back in 1996 when I first purchased a BC21/BC22 pre/power combo, I'm guessing the post would have been a lot like this. Welcome to the journey, and enjoy the music!

Bob Neill
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Re: Long time lurker checking in with a thank you!

Post by Bob Neill » Mon Apr 09, 2018 11:18 am

What are you using for speakers?

Oh yeah, welcome to the Niche.

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BlueKnight
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Re: Long time lurker checking in with a thank you!

Post by BlueKnight » Mon Apr 09, 2018 1:06 pm

Image

Yes, Boo Sirkle is a niche but one that is grounded to earth and not for noses up in the stratosphere. Since you have been lurking for some time, you probably have noticed how friendly our Forum is.

Silly Cone is the new LSD. He he he.....Image

Cheers!

Boo Lite


Image
Image

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Jake
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Re: Long time lurker checking in with a thank you!

Post by Jake » Mon Apr 09, 2018 3:37 pm

Thanks for the welcome mat!

Hi Bob - I have been rotating my Nola Contenders and KEF LS50s through my small listening space (11 X 14). While the Nolas completely outclass the KEFs, the LS5Os are a better fit for the space and will likely stay. The best part is that they are now living up to their reputation through the FtTH which has really transformed them. I generally keep my gear until I kill them (evidenced by my Marantz Imperials still singing in the garage) but if there is a synergistic match made in Heaven for the FtTH I'm happy to hear about new speakers. I've followed your posts about the Reynauds on occasion.

I haven't popped the top to see what preamp tubes are actually in there, but the PO said they were Seimens 7308 steel pins. He also sent a spare set of Siemens E18800 Gold Pins (Germany) which are supposed to be pretty special. I'm wondering why they are not in there, though they appear to have been used a fair bit. Perhaps they were acting up. I'm open to what works well with the front end of the FtTH as I'd like to have something ready. J.

masluck
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Re: Long time lurker checking in with a thank you!

Post by masluck » Mon Apr 09, 2018 7:43 pm

Hi Jake,

What a thoughtful thing to say. I would agree with others on the music truth statements. I think a lot of us can afford to buy some nice kit, but I am in my 18th year as a BC owner and don't desire any other brand (and I have heard plenty of them). As for tubes, I have spent considerable time and money to assemble a nice 6DJ8/6922/7308 stable. The Siemens tubes have a touch more air than the Amperex, but 7308's tend to be a bit more relaxed than their 6922 counterparts from either manufacturer. I have a BC 3000 GZpz SE and I like the $30 a piece (sourced from Upscale Audio) Matsushita 7DJ8's as they are reasonable in price, last forever and have a richness/realness to them that I like (like live venues). I also am very fond of the Amperex 6DJ8 Orange Globes (Herleen) as they are also very reasonable. You don't have to spend north of $250 to get killer sound out of a BC amp. I will tell you though, more so than most other vendors, is that Gil But's gear let's you hear the tube as his stuff doesn't have multiple tubes (it's either 1 or 2) and you can move around the soundscape just by popping in a new pair. Have fun and welcome!! :D :D :D :D

Mark

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Jake
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Re: Long time lurker checking in with a thank you!

Post by Jake » Thu Apr 12, 2018 6:49 pm

Thanks Mark -

Uncle Kev has the Mastushitas, but the Amperex tubes seem to be down to the noisy inventory. I'll try the 7DJ8's upon your recommendation and see if the 'ol ears appreciate what they offer. Happy listening. J.

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Clave
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Re: Long time lurker checking in with a thank you!

Post by Clave » Fri Apr 13, 2018 8:07 am

Hi, Jake. Welcome to the club, or whatever you want to call it. Your comments about what sets BC gear apart are on the money, from my experience. Regarding 6922 type tubes, the ones I always kept in the longest (besides the stock 6922EH my preamp came with) were the Amperex 7308, which are not hard to find and never gave me any problems. They're a little soft on the top and a smidge loose and bloomy on the bottom, but the midrange is like a perfect pair of shoes. For what it's worth, I did not have a great experience with the 7DJ8's, which sounded a little strained in my system, to the point I suspected they were not a good fit for the circuit (this was in a BC3 pre-amp, I've since transitioned to a solid state 022i integrated).

Meanwhile, I have a pair of Gold Lion 6922s (the best contemporary Russian made tubes I've heard), which I'm happy to send your way. I de-clutter a bit, you get to try the tubes, it's a win-win! Let me know.

masluck
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Re: Long time lurker checking in with a thank you!

Post by masluck » Sat Apr 14, 2018 2:49 pm

Hey Clave,

Hmmmmm...man, I hear ya, but the Matsushita's sound far from "strained" in my rig. Actually, I would need a better definition around the term "strained" I guess. I find them to be pretty darn wet sounding and came as a recommendation from long time BC'er K-Dub, who in my opinion, has a very good understanding of the 6DJ8 family tube to BC interface, if you will. I did ask GilBut about them recently, and although he really doesn't have an opinion (or more importantly doesn't want to have one) on these matters, he did say that a 7DJ8 is a tad harder on the tube voltage regulator in the BC 3000 circuit (higher current draw) but nothing serious. I have Siemens, Mullard, Amperex Orange Globes, EH, Tungsram, etc. within an arms reach and I go with these (depending how my head is feeling at a given time) more often than not. As for Jake, there are various flavors available (like ice cream) and choice is a good thing man....

Peace out!!

Mark

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Jake
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Re: Long time lurker checking in with a thank you!

Post by Jake » Sat Apr 14, 2018 6:50 pm

Thanks Gents -

This feedback is exceedingly helpful as I explore my options. I will definitely experiment around a bit as that is half the fun. Clave, that is an exceedingly generous offer - will PM you (if they let newbies do that) with some details. J.

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