Copland CTA 305 and other valve preamps...

SSM

Wammer
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Jul 20, 2005
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This is a sleek looker alright. Could be a suitable second pre for me. :)

Seeking opinions from wammers who have/had used this model. What's its sonic signature like, and how is the reliability long-term?

It uses smaller valves (6922) and seems to have pcbs inside. I've read elsewhere that pcbs are not ideal for valve amp designs, compared to pcb-less point-to-point designs.

Also, is there any validity in the statement I've read that 6SN7s are the most desirable valves for use in preamps? That they stay more uniform in distortion(???) patterns compared to smaller valves like the 12AX7s, 12AU7s, 6922s when the levels are turned up?

Please enlighten.

SS

 

mikedefacto

Wammer
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Aug 1, 2005
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Liverpool
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Mike
This is a sleek looker alright. Could be a suitable second pre for me. :) Seeking opinions from wammers who have/had used this model. What's its sonic signature like, and how is the reliability long-term?

It uses smaller valves (6922) and seems to have pcbs inside. I've read elsewhere that pcbs are not ideal for valve amp designs, compared to pcb-less point-to-point designs.

Also, is there any validity in the statement I've read that 6SN7s are the most desirable valves for use in preamps? That they stay more uniform in distortion(???) patterns compared to smaller valves like the 12AX7s, 12AU7s, 6922s when the levels are turned up?

Please enlighten.

SS
Sorry for the digital necromancy. I think this is actually a hybrid preamp and not an all-valve design. I had a CSA29 which is fabulous however I think the CTA305/520 pre/power are different designs (and not the same design in seperate boxes with psus).

However if it's similar in sonic signtature to the CSA29 then it will be neutral, refined and punchy with excellent inner-detail and dynamics.

 

Incredible Sulk

Wammer
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Jan 7, 2009
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Teddington
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Iain
I had one. Mine had a pair of 6922's in it and a pair of 12AX7's (from the factory). One pair covers the pre and the other pair the phono stage. I can't remember which pair did what though. It sounded fairly decent after I'd swapped the 6922's for some Mullard E88CC, and the 12AX7's for some TJ Full Music. It sounded a bit dire with the stock tubes. I can't remember what they were, but they will still be in my valve box somewhere, as I sold the thing with the Mullards and the TJ's in it.

I sold it for the simple reason that the remote volume control drove me nuts. There was no fine tuning it. It went from quiet to inverting the speaker cones with one prod at the remote. And I'm far too lazy to get up and fiddle with the volume control manually. Had it not been for that, I'd probably have kept it a bit longer.

 

SSM

Wammer
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Jul 20, 2005
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Ta Sulkie and Sodders. That does give me some enthusiasm to explore Copland. I do like the smart styling styling.

So I needn't fret if a well-designed valve kit has PCB innards instead of the hallowed P-to-P wiring. Sensible reasoning though not sure the valve purists would agree. :p

The valve pre on my radar is a refurbished QUAD QC-24 bundled with the 40 II monoblocks, all purportedly made in good old Ingland by Inglish people who drink Yorkshire tea during breaks. I must investigate. I'd heard the QC-24 before, in a demo with the QUAD 909 I bought, and a smooth glowing sound that combo made. Wonder what a whole QUAD toob caboodle sounds like. :geek:

SS

 

Incredible Sulk

Wammer
Wammer
Jan 7, 2009
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Teddington
AKA
Iain
Well FWIW, the Copland I had replaced a Quad QC24. Reason - remote volume control. The rest of the system was a pair of Quad II 40's into ESL 989's.

IMVHO the QC24 was the better pre. Onwards, but not always upwards!

 

SSM

Wammer
Wammer
Jul 20, 2005
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Tipoca City
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Whaa... the QC24 is the better pre? :shock: I must beat a quick path to that private Quad dealer's to check out that Inglish QC24.

The lack of remote doesn't bother me. I don't mind reaching out to grab the knob once in a while. Better yet, I've got someone around on weekends who can crawl in front to adjust the vol, and flash me a nice view of ass as part of the deal. :22: :mrgreen:

How are the II 40's bottom end. Tight? Or full and rounded? :?

SS

 

Incredible Sulk

Wammer
Wammer
Jan 7, 2009
130
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Teddington
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Iain
The QC24/II 40/ ESL combo works really, really well I think. Top notch sound staging and imaging. The thing is ESL's don't do flabby bass, so I'm not sure I can answer the question for a pairing with conventional speakers, as I never ran them with any.

 
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