This is place to discuss the ampsandsound Bigger Ben Tube Amplifier.
I believe ampsandsound has 3 categories of headphone amps: Kenzie series with 1626 power tubes; Mogwai series with 6L6/EL34 power tubes; Leeloo/ZMF Pendant series with EL84 power tubes. All are transformer coupled Class A single ended, no feedback, except the Leeloo which has minimal feedback (I’m uncertain about the Pendant). As you move up in series, the transformers get better/bigger, the caps get better, and there is the inclusion of an input transformer. When I tried looking up what other amps have an input transformer, I came across the DNA Stellaris.
Revisions such as moving outputs to the front of the amp and power supply improvements were intended to reduce the noise floor.
All of their headphone amps except the Kenzie also have speaker or preamp outputs.
Here’s an interview with their founder Justin Weber: https://youtu.be/ZFAfMj21XcE.
Thanks, this was very helpful. I found the ampandsound website very confusing. You have to read the detailed description of each amp to try understand the heritage of that amp.
You’re welcome. I spoke to Justin a couple times which was helpful; it did take a bit of time to sort out the lineup.
I believe the kenzie ovation has speaker outs, for which I’m currently saving my pennies for.
you shoulda stopped after pennies.
You are correct, thank you
Good way to describe it. And the bigger ben and nautilus are the two heads at the top looking down upon the rest!
Just got my Bigger Ben today. I’m going to run it with the stock tubes for a week to establish a baseline, then start rolling. Noticably improved just by leaving it on for about 9 hours.
So one thing everybody needs to know is that I am lacking self control. I started rolling tubes in Wednesday. I’ve tried a few different combos of input and power tubes that I had on hand. Nothing is really beating the stock tubes. Got some stuff coming in. I’ll update as I go along
As expected. I kid.
What was your stock tube roll by the way?
Sovtek 6550e power tubes
EH 5U4GBEH Rectifier
Nothing fancy, but it runs really clean with this setup.
I’m glad that’s working out. I tend to think that well designed and built tube amps are able to approach (i.e., somewhere between 80 and 90%) their maximum potential with stock tubes. For me, tube rolling is more about determining the appropriate tube type in order to optimize power output, gain, amp output impedance, etc.
I’d imagine that’s the case with this amp. It’s been amazing since day one with the stock tubes. I had some tubes to try and I bought a few more, but I don’t feel like I need the tubes as an upgrade like I have on other amps, it just for minor tweaks and honestly because it’s fun to try the different combos.
Awesome. It’s what we do. Right now with my Mogwai SE, I have the stock JJ 5U4G and TS 6L6GC-STR, and $45 Tungsram Czech made 12AU7 (for reduced gain) driving my HD6XX and everything just sounds correct.
have tried some Tung Sol 6550’s from the 60’s? I’d definitely try those before finishing up your tube expedition.
I just won a pair of GE 6550A’s. I’ve never used them before. Also looking to pick up a pair of tung sol 6550’s sooner or later.
I’ll put those on the list. Let me know what you think of the GE’s
But I agree to an extent as new production tubes are a great place to stay. Easy and very convenient. You can even upgrade to higher level of new production too like stuff from psvane and the likes.
Yeah, I have a set of PSVane KT-88s that I’m using as one of my options
The Tung Sol 6550’s that @Earmuffs used to own sound fabulous in my Nautilus. It’s a shame they’re super-glued into my amp, or I’d send them back, now that he needs them again.
I’ve had the most fun rolling 12AU7’s, making the amp warm (Mullard), bright (Mazda), neutral (Sylvania 5814), finally settling on the warm side of neutral (Amperex). @bpcarb , I’ve never tried a Tungsram. I know it’s hard to describe the sound of an individual tube because you’re listening to it in combination with your other tubes, but would you mind taking a stab at it?