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mlgold
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Creek 50A v Rogue Sphinx

Am slowly, piece by piece upgrading my system and starting with the amplification. my sole music sources are a phono (SOTA Comet) and a CD player to be named later. Have been pouring over this site, and others, and I've got my choices down to 3:

Creek Evolution 50A v2
Rogue Sphinx
Music Hall a15.3

Am curently using a pair of B&W DM100 speakers that are old, but still work well for me.

I don't own an Ipod, or other digital sources, and don't really foresee doing so any time soon, so that's not an issue. Both the Creek and Sphinx are similarly priced, and seem to be both highly recommended. Was curious if anyone had thoughts or preferences between the two. The Music Hall is an option insofar as it'd give me some funds to add the C-DAC 15.3 on top of the amp.

bierfeldt
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Strictly a matter of personal preference

Both are great units and it is really a matter of personal preference. Any chance you can get out to hear them?

The one thing I will say is that the Shinx's 100w of power will give you more flexibility long term. The Creeks 55w are more than enough power to drive the relatively efficient DM100s. If you got a less efficient speaker in the future, you might like having a bit more oomph.

mlgold
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Thanks for the feedback!

Thanks for the feedback! Unfortunately there aren't any dealers near me, at least not for the Sphinx to allow me to test them out. I have been leaning towards the Rogue unit, the only hesitation I have being the longevity, and ease of replacing the tubes inside. I read at least one forum thread somewhere about someone buying the Sphinx, and having problems with the tubes, and finding suitable replacements for them. That's obviously not a problem with the Creek.

bierfeldt
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Tubes

The Tubes in a hybrid unit like the Sphinx will last a long time. I have one of Rogues higher end power amps and I believe they state the tubes are good for an average of like 3000 hours. You will not be replacing them frequently.

There was a recent thread here from someone who really didn't like the stock tubes and has had issue with the replacement tubes they bought. This is a retailer issue IMO. There is an outlet in So Cal called Upscale Audio. They do internet sales of tubes and they have new, vintage and NOS tubes that are all tested and graded. That is where I will be buying replacement tubes from when I need them. I am pretty happy with my stock tubes at this point.

Regarding the actual process of changing them, you need to unplug the unit for about an hour before you open it up and change them. It is about as hard as changing a light bulb and should not be a source of stress.

commsysman
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AMPLIFIER
mlgold wrote:

Am slowly, piece by piece upgrading my system and starting with the amplification. my sole music sources are a phono (SOTA Comet) and a CD player to be named later. Have been pouring over this site, and others, and I've got my choices down to 3:

Creek Evolution 50A v2
Rogue Sphinx
Music Hall a15.3

Am curently using a pair of B&W DM100 speakers that are old, but still work well for me.

I don't own an Ipod, or other digital sources, and don't really foresee doing so any time soon, so that's not an issue. Both the Creek and Sphinx are similarly priced, and seem to be both highly recommended. Was curious if anyone had thoughts or preferences between the two. The Music Hall is an option insofar as it'd give me some funds to add the C-DAC 15.3 on top of the amp.

I recommend the Music Hall amplifier; it is excellent, and has enough power for 90% of the speakers on the market.

A number of people seem to be less than happy with the Rogue products, although some like them.

pentode
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Rogue Problems?

Being an infrequent poster (except lately) I've only read about one minor issue regarding a Rogue. Sometimes tubes can be problematic, but once good tubes are acquired, their good sound is often worth it. In my case, I've had problems with my first two, high-end, solid-state, preamps and poweramps that were well-known and recommended. This time around I'm going back to tubes. When transistors go bad, it may not pay to repair the unit. Replacing tubes often restores an amp, affordably. Besides, I like much of what tubes do right.

mlgold
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Phono Stage

If I am correct in my understanding, I suppose one additional factor is that the Rogue Sphinx has a built in phono stage, whereas the Creek Evo 50A (and 100A) requires an additional internal or external phono pre-amp. Don't recall seeing anything negative about the Rogue's phono playback, and assume that it's decent.

bierfeldt
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Rogue Phono Stage

You will always be able to buy a better external phono stage than what is internal. The question is, how much do you have to spend to beat the internal phono stage. Everything I have read and the couple times I have heard the Sphinx, my feeling is you would need to spend about $300 on something like the Vincent PHO-8 to beat the one in the Rogue which means it's really pretty good. That being said, my opinion, as always is worth what you paid for it. I would talk to the guys at Needledoctor and get their POV. They have never steered me wrong and I have bought a bunch of stuff from them, including my Vincent PHO-8.

mlgold
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Rogue Phono Stage

Thanks bierfeldt! I appreciate the information greatly. Since it seems as though I'll have to cobble together my new system over time, I'll probably start with the Rogue Sphinx, and add pieces as I can. If I were to go with the Creek Evo 50A integrated amp, I might be more inclined to go with the Vincent PHO-8, but cost-wise, I think the Rogue alone, with its internal phono stage will suit my needs for now. I am looking at a decent upgrade to my CD player, and the Oppo 103, or the Music Hall C-DAC 15.3 both look appealing. Sadly, I can't have it all, though, and that will have to wait. Thanks again!

bierfeldt
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A thought

If you have a digital output on your current CD player, you could just get an external DAC. Something like the Peachtree DAC iTx is really nice for $299. It will completely change the sound profile. Just a thought.

pentode
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Rogue RP-1

I'm using a Rega P3 with their Elys MM cartridge. Of course, this is quite an ordinary, "mid-fi?" set-up. For now, the solid state phono preamp in the RP-1 is quiet and sounds good to me. I haven't the hearing of those who are "golden-eared" or an expensive MC cartridge, but I have to wonder how much improvement I'd notice with an outboard phono amp?

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Creek 50A

mlgold:

I too evaluated the rogue and creek; and also a Croft integrated, and decided on the creek and have enjoyed it since its release (I received a version 2) and have zero regrets.

Some reasons why the creek won:

1. It has an available outstanding internal DAC, digital FM tuner and Bluetooth receiver combined into one module available for a great value based on the Wolfson DAC (designed and built in Scotland). Interestingly, the fm signal gets processed by the DAC. An engineering delight no other manufacturer has ever done!

2. The creek also has a total of THREE internal and affordable phono stage upgrades for mm or mc.

3. The creek is a traditional class A/B component with decades proven, upgraded, improved and reliable architecture vs. the new hybrid approach of class D integrated with tube tech which has to be maintained with replacing tubes.

4. My little creek is now a total integrated high end receiver with only one remote operating a tuner, phono, amp, pre-amp, etc...

5. The creek has a wonderful OLED display showing artist info etc.. The rogue has none.

6. The creek has a remote. Rogue has none.

7. Unlike most DACS on the market, the creek DAC displays the actual frequency.. I find it very useful for verifying the correct frequency is in fact being properly passed and processed.

8. Aesthetics are in my opinion superior and lend a much more modern and clean look; especially the high quality display.

9. Most important for last: The sound is sublime.

Actually, even more in favor of the rogue, I really like the Croft integrated... It has:

1. Love the simple casework actually.
2. Point-to-point old school wiring with Bakelite.
3. Tubes (negative in maintenance but huge positive in sound)
4. Small, quirky and very British company with a passionate designer

Had I been given an opportunity to audition the Croft, I may have purchased it; with Sphinx a close second, but the Creek winning out.

My educated, researched, and experienced input from a creek evolution 50a owner

Kind Regards,

Ronald Stesiak, PhD

Edit: the new revision of the rogue unit now offers a remote, but it appears very limited.

Allen Fant
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mlgold-

mlgold-

a few years back, I was taken w/ an older Creek model, on Thiel CS 2.4 loudspeakers. Anyone whom knows Thiel, knows these beauties crave high-current. Well, the Creek held its own during my audition and presented a wonderful listening experience! At any point over a few hours the Creek never stressed and played very loudly on Rock CDs. I would be very interested in re-visiting the 50A or 100A models.

mlgold
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Where were you all earlier!

thanks for the feedback all! I did end up getting the Rogue Sphinx.

Dr. Stesiak, I will say that all of the comments about the Creek amp, were all of the positive factors for me in its consideration, and why it made the final cut. It's truly a much more attractive product than the Sphinx for one, and more inherently "upgradeable." Having said that, I think it came down to sound (sad to say I didn't get to demo either in the end). I like the idea of integrating tubes into the design, and do think that they add a positive quality to the sound.. As an occasional guitar player, I do have a soft spot for tubes over electronics. Also, I figured that the Creek add on components that I might want, I can find as external pieces, whenever I decide that I need them.

I really only have two sources of music, vinyl and cds. Don't own an Ipod, or a spotify subscription, so my need for a DAC is somewhat limited right now. Maybe that will change. I did pick up a NAD 516BEE CD player, and a set of Audioquest Big Sur cables, that for now are plugged directly into the Sphinx. Eventually I will likely add either the Peachtree DAC-ITx, or the Musical Fidelity V90-DAC. Haven't seen too many reviews of the Peachtree ITx, but all things being equal, in performance and price, it is more aesthetically pleasing than the MF.

thanks to everyone for their input. It was helpful and much appreciated.

Mark

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mlgold-

mlgold-

Rega cd players & Rogue Audio are sonic matches as well.

bierfeldt
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Congratulations on getting the Rogue

Congratulations on the Rogue Sphinx. I hope you are as happy with it as I am with my Hydra power amp. That NAD is a nice little CD player. It has a pretty good internal DAC though you will likely hear a step forward with the Peachtree or the Musical Fidelity. I am a huge fan of the Peachtree. I have listened to it dozens of times and it is an awesome value. I don't believe I have ever actually heard the V90 so I can't say which is better but I can say the Peachtree is fabulous.

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I, too, have been considering

I, too, have been considering both the Creek an Rogue and had decided on the Creek for the same reasons you mention. Besides, having a smaller listening room, and intending to purchase bookshelf speakers, the 100 watts that the Rogue provided would have been overkill.

You mentioned your Creek DAC...I don't have a DAC so am considering the Creek CDP. Considering that I have a rather large CD collection I figured it worth the dollars to get a CDP/DAC combination.

Beings it's been over 30 years since I last purchased and stereo equipment it was reassuring to know that my choices are in line with what those who are better aware of what's what.

Now, it's over to the loudspeaker forum for an education.

michael green
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glad to see

I'm glad to see this thread continue on the Creek. I received mine about 2 weeks ago and looking forward to seeing what it can do.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune
http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/

59mga
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michael green wrote:
michael green wrote:

I'm glad to see this thread continue on the Creek. I received mine about 2 weeks ago and looking forward to seeing what it can do.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune
http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/

Please keep us posted. I'm interested in your findings.

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the 50

Hi 59mga

Sure will. It's on the bench now. I've owned quite a few Creek amps so this will be interesting.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune
http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/

59mga
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Thanks.

Thanks.

There are 2 local venders for Creek but neither has an amp for demo purposes. I've read a few reviews on the 50 but input from an owner always seems to be more candid.

I look forward to you thought.

michael green
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the 50

Hi 59mga

Finally made my way round to the Ev50. We are still thinking about if we want to tune this unit or not, here's why. If you read TuneLand, we take stock components and turn them into "super components" by using the techniques we have applied since 25 some years now. Creek has always been one brand at the top of our lists because of the simplistic designs. The Evolution 50A though is a different animal than we are use to seeing from Creek and for tuning sake gives me pause. Although there are many pluses to this design, from my view point I found a few things that I would need to do right off the batt to see the performance reach it's potentual and I'm not sure audiophiles would be willing to make the same changes to the unit. To be honest it kinda broke my heart cause I have enjoyed tuning Creek in the past.

While we are on the fence with the 50, let me give the nut shell version. I am sometimes a little fussy about left/right signal purity. I know that most audiophiles can't or don't understand what to listen for but in many designs amplifiers sound different one channel side from the other. This can be solved most of the time by changing the route of output. In the case of the Evolution one side (the left) runs straight from the plastic output plugin to the binding posts, while the right channel runs beside a heatsink and under a circuit board during it's 9" longer output run than the left side. Second, I'm not crazy about the sound of plastic output plugs on the board. They're sometimes ok at louder volumes but at softer can cause the stage to become anemic even fatiquing sounding. This makes it a bit of a pain when going from one dynamic recording to the next. Lastly after looking closer I would need to remove the power input plug and assembly.

At only $1195.00 it's not so big of a deal to do these mods and move forward, but my concern is, how many people are going to want to convert this unit from stock to mod?

With changes happening so quickly among receivers and integrated amps I'm more tempted to hot rod a lower priced unit of simple build, than tearing into something that, for me, would need to jump a few hurdles before getting to my required starting point.

with my love of Creek though, this could flip flop a few times in my mind before getting off the fence one way or another

michael green
MGA/RoomTune
http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/

59mga
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Creek

Michael,

You present food for thought. I've never owned Creek equipment but am familiar with it's sound. My reasoning in purchasing a Creek was to get a the sound I want without having spend the money to modify a lesser expensive unit. (While I've never heard a modified device I question buying a cheaper device, spending $$$ to have it modified only to end up with a unit that sounds the same as the more expensive unit, to begin with.) A Catch 22.

Your insight is appreciated. Now, to decide on what to do.

Thanks, once more.

Mike

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Creek 50A or Rogue Sphinx for B&W 583 S2
rrstesiak wrote:

mlgold:

I too evaluated the rogue and creek; and also a Croft integrated, and decided on the creek and have enjoyed it since its release (I received a version 2) and have zero regrets.

Some reasons why the creek won:

1. It has an available outstanding internal DAC, digital FM tuner and Bluetooth receiver combined into one module available for a great value based on the Wolfson DAC (designed and built in Scotland). Interestingly, the fm signal gets processed by the DAC. An engineering delight no other manufacturer has ever done!

2. The creek also has a total of THREE internal and affordable phono stage upgrades for mm or mc.

3. The creek is a traditional class A/B component with decades proven, upgraded, improved and reliable architecture vs. the new hybrid approach of class D integrated with tube tech which has to be maintained with replacing tubes.

4. My little creek is now a total integrated high end receiver with only one remote operating a tuner, phono, amp, pre-amp, etc...

5. The creek has a wonderful OLED display showing artist info etc.. The rogue has none.

6. The creek has a remote. Rogue has none.

7. Unlike most DACS on the market, the creek DAC displays the actual frequency.. I find it very useful for verifying the correct frequency is in fact being properly passed and processed.

8. Aesthetics are in my opinion superior and lend a much more modern and clean look; especially the high quality display.

9. Most important for last: The sound is sublime.

Actually, even more in favor of the rogue, I really like the Croft integrated... It has:

1. Love the simple casework actually.
2. Point-to-point old school wiring with Bakelite.
3. Tubes (negative in maintenance but huge positive in sound)
4. Small, quirky and very British company with a passionate designer

Had I been given an opportunity to audition the Croft, I may have purchased it; with Sphinx a close second, but the Creek winning out.

My educated, researched, and experienced input from a creek evolution 50a owner

Kind Regards,

Ronald Stesiak, PhD

Edit: the new revision of the rogue unit now offers a remote, but it appears very limited.

I have used this forum as a reference for a long time in researching audio components, but this is my first post here, I was hoping for some advice regarding these two integrated amps.

Basically my question is if the Creek 50A could adequately power B&W 683 S2? And Secondly, does the Rogue or Creek 'pair' nicer to the 683 S2 ?

I plan to purchase either the Creek 50A or Rogue Sphinx to power B&W 683 S2 or Monitor Silver8 (haven't decided yet). My room dimensions are 11'x19', but not a lot of walls, it is open to adjacent rooms. I listen to a wide range of music, mostly from vinyl. Although the only Rogue includes a pre-amp, I like the Creek for the reasons provided in "rrstesiak" post. in the in the Rogue is nice, I am still considering the Creek.

Any feedback related to any of these components would be greatly appreciated,

Thanks for your help,

traynor3
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traynor3 wrote:
traynor3 wrote:
rrstesiak wrote:

mlgold:

I too evaluated the rogue and creek; and also a Croft integrated, and decided on the creek and have enjoyed it since its release (I received a version 2) and have zero regrets.

Some reasons why the creek won:

1. It has an available outstanding internal DAC, digital FM tuner and Bluetooth receiver combined into one module available for a great value based on the Wolfson DAC (designed and built in Scotland). Interestingly, the fm signal gets processed by the DAC. An engineering delight no other manufacturer has ever done!

2. The creek also has a total of THREE internal and affordable phono stage upgrades for mm or mc.

3. The creek is a traditional class A/B component with decades proven, upgraded, improved and reliable architecture vs. the new hybrid approach of class D integrated with tube tech which has to be maintained with replacing tubes.

4. My little creek is now a total integrated high end receiver with only one remote operating a tuner, phono, amp, pre-amp, etc...

5. The creek has a wonderful OLED display showing artist info etc.. The rogue has none.

6. The creek has a remote. Rogue has none.

7. Unlike most DACS on the market, the creek DAC displays the actual frequency.. I find it very useful for verifying the correct frequency is in fact being properly passed and processed.

8. Aesthetics are in my opinion superior and lend a much more modern and clean look; especially the high quality display.

9. Most important for last: The sound is sublime.

Actually, even more in favor of the rogue, I really like the Croft integrated... It has:

1. Love the simple casework actually.
2. Point-to-point old school wiring with Bakelite.
3. Tubes (negative in maintenance but huge positive in sound)
4. Small, quirky and very British company with a passionate designer

Had I been given an opportunity to audition the Croft, I may have purchased it; with Sphinx a close second, but the Creek winning out.

My educated, researched, and experienced input from a creek evolution 50a owner

Kind Regards,

Ronald Stesiak, PhD

Edit: the new revision of the rogue unit now offers a remote, but it appears very limited.

I have used this forum as a reference for a long time in researching audio components, but this is my first post here, I was hoping for some advice regarding these two integrated amps.

Basically my question is if the Creek 50A could adequately power B&W 683 S2? And Secondly, does the Rogue or Creek 'pair' nicer to the 683 S2 ?

I plan to purchase either the Creek 50A or Rogue Sphinx to power B&W 683 S2 or Monitor Silver8 (haven't decided yet). My room dimensions are 11'x19', but not a lot of walls, it is open to adjacent rooms. I listen to a wide range of music, mostly from vinyl. Although the only Rogue includes a pre-amp, I like the Creek for the reasons provided in "rrstesiak" post. in the in the Rogue is nice, I am still considering the Creek.

Any feedback related to any of these components would be greatly appreciated,

Thanks for your help,

rrstesiak
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Reply

traynor3:

Your question on pairing of speakers is excellent.

I have in fact referenced B&W CM series 5 & 6 on my Creek..and they were the absolute *BEST* speaker but sadly out of my price range at the time so I settled on Epos Epic 2's. (Epos is a sister company to Creek and so they are synergistic). The Epic 2's are out of production but Epos is thriving if you want to add them to your list should you decide on the Creek.

Now down to the specifics of your speakers -

I have heard the B&W 683 S2's in a store, and I found them to be more "forward" and tuned "higher" frequency wise than the other B&W's mentioned. So, I would actually recommend pairing those with the Sphinx; as I believe the Sphinx; with its tube-hybrid approach, is a more mellow amp and would pair nicely with those B&W's.

And the opposite is true for the Monitor Silver 8's: They are more on the mellow and deep side and may sound a little too loud in the Bass and thin in treble on the Sphinx so I would mate them to the Creek!

Disclaimer: I have NOT auditioned the Monitor Silver 8's nor Sphinx, but have done exhaustive research on both as I too considered them at a time.

Hope that helps -

Ron

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Thanks for the feedback

Thanks for the feedback rrstesiak,

Any updates to those who have purchased either the Rogue Sphinx or Creek 50A ? Happy with the sound matched for 583 S2 ?

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My take on the Evo and Sphinx

I feel somewhat qualified to comment as I did extensive research and narrowed my choices down to the 50a and the Sphinx. I am fortunate enough to have demoed both at a great store, Brooks Berdan Audio in Monrovia, Ca.

I demoed with Spendor A6 and Revel M106a stand mounts. Both were excellent, although I found the Revels superb with acoustic material, namely Shelby Lynn's "I Can't Imagine" Cd. The CD player was the matching Creek. It was a close shoot out, and I could EASILY have gone with the Creek.

My budget played a factor, as I wanted to have some money left over for a turntable and a rebuild on my Klipsch Forte I speaker crossovers. The key factors came down to what a couple of folks have alluded to: the Creek has "add on" modules that significantly increase the cost. They START at the same price point, but once the add-ons enter the equation it is trickier.

It is a bit of a wash in that you'd still have to buy a separate DAC for the Sphinx. If you're planning on the CreekCD 50a as well, then you have a DAC transport built in already. However, if you want a tuner and a DAC the Creek Ambit and Ruby modules occupy the same position on the amp. Also, the Sequel 2 phono amp is separate, whereas the Rogue has a built in Phono amp. That was really th deciding factor for me-the phono stage.

For sound, I found them to be quite comparable, although the Sphinx had a slightly "warmer" character that I believed would match better with the characteristics of my main speakers, which can be forward and bright. The Evo was very "clean and crisp," or articulate. Again, I could have easily gone with either amp, but the Rogue fit my circumstances better and offered a very strong value IMHO.

On the tube matching for the Rogue, I have not had any great difficulty. The stock JJ tubes are not bad, but the Rogue really does well with NOS Mullards and RCA clear tops, the latter of which can be had much cheaper. If I were to start over, I may very well go with the Creek since I haven't used my turntable to the fullest.

Given a revamped budget, I'd consider the Evo 50a/50CD combination, or if you want to save a few bucks the Music Hall CD/DAC 15.3, which is a strong value and a few hundred bucks cheaper than the Cd50.

bierfeldt
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Thanks for sharing your experience

This is an interesting post and your POV is very interesting.

Question for you on those tubes, I have a Rogue Hydra which is a bit higher end and am thinking about rolling in those NOS Mullards based on everything I have heard. What did it do to the sound? Did it make it warmer? More detailed? Your POV would be helpful.

Rmac587
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Tubes

Hi Bierfeldt,
I STRONGLY recommend trying the RCA long-plate halo getter types first. I think they may actually beat out costlier Mullards overall. Go for New Old Stock. My friend who is way more knowledgable about tubes had the same impression. I found RCA 5963, same as 12AU-7, for 30$. Best, Rmac

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Tubes

The Mullards are warm and have great mids, but the RCA are significantly less veiled with greater clarity, detail, and punch. If your speakers are highly efficient and bright the Mullards might be better. I rotate them and love the Mullards, but rpthe edge goes to RCA. Go RCA first.

bierfeldt
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I feel mine are too warm

Thank you. I feel my system is a bit warm at the moment which would make the mallards a bad choice. I will look into the RCAs

Rmac587
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Rogue Audio

Doc Stesiak,
The Rogue Sphinx v. 2 has a remote. Not sure on v. 1.

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