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Author Topic: My New Amina HD4 Tube Playback Head Pre Amp  (Read 7542 times)

Offline rbwtapeinterlink-Bob

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My New Amina HD4 Tube Playback Head Pre Amp
« on: September 13, 2013, 04:01:48 PM »
Good afternoon everyone,
I've tried for the past several hours to re-write a lengthy piece of what's been happening with me for the past year. Each time I re-wrote what I wanted to say and tried to attache photos of my system, there was a long wait and everything vanished. Yes, the entire post was gone. So, now, let me just say that I've got my new tube tape head pre amp. Actually, as much as I wanted the Tube Repro, I could not afford it. So, I asked my engineer/tech Mr. Benny Amina if he could build such a pre amp. He said he could given time since he not only repairs high end audio for those in the Atlanta, Georgia area, but he and his staff builds and sells speaker systems, amplifiers and preamps they sell on their website. Initially, Mr. Amina said he could build my pre amp for about $1600 dollars. I gave him the Ok but knew it would be 6 months to one year before he would have it ready, what with all of the testing required. Long story short, Mr. Amina finally called me and said he had completed the pre amp and it would cost me $1195.00. I was so overjoyed I had to sit down. Grinning for ear to ear I arranged to pick up the HD4 tube tape head preamp plus my Tascam 42B tape deck which I left with him to make sure everything worked. By the way, I had to contact Mr. John French (JFR Magnetics) for advice on a playback head. This very nice man recommended the pro Nortronics Laminated (400mHy) playback head. He also said he would have to build a shoe so that the Nortronics would fit my Tascam. The price for all of his hard work was very reasonable. I was more than pleased.

The sound of the combination HD4 tube preamp and the Nortronics head is fantastic. I wanted a preamp that may not approach the sound of the awesome Tube Repro, King Cello or the DeHavilland pre amps, but would give me and others maximum pleasure non-the-less. As a retiree living on a fixed income I was looking to purchase a tube head preamp I could afford and really did not want to spend more than $1500 dollars maximum. There is more to this story but I don't want to do a lot of writing and it all vanishes. I think it might have been due to not knowing how to properly attach my audio system photos. Someone will have to help me with that since I am not all that computer literate. At any rate during 2 listening sessions with friends, we were all pleased with what we heard. My tech, Mr. Benny Amina of Atlanta, Georgia can be found in the "Service Resource" session here. I will post photos when I am sure how to do it properly. Thanks so much guys for all your guidance and support. The photo of my pre amp file is too large and won't post. Please PM me and I will email photo to you.

             Here is the link to photos of my music system speakers, tape deck and new Amina HD4 Tube Tape Head Preamp>>>>>>>  https://www.dropbox.com/sc/e89sy7as4gb82lt/J8Q4GfekBM
« Last Edit: September 17, 2013, 02:28:28 PM by rbwtapeinterlink-Bob »
Bob W. (African American) VPI, Ref Standard Grado, Denon 103r, Threshold, DecWare tube pre and Classe pre amp, Jolida tube phono pre amp, (Peter Gunn) modified Magnapan 1.6, Tascam 32-2B & 42B tape decks, Parasound belt drive CD transport, Pacific Valve tube DAC, VPI  TT, various upscale cables.

Offline rbwtapeinterlink-Bob

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Re: My New Amina HD4 Tube Playback Head Pre Amp
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2013, 06:07:11 PM »
Good evening everyone,
As I continue to put miles on my HD4 the sound seems to open up a little more. I had some old (20 year old) GE 12AX7 tubes and decided to replace the ones that came with the head amp. There seem to be a slight change in the sound of music which was more open and a little more extended low end though there was not an extraordinary difference. I wonder if I should start doing some tube rolling now or give the HD4 more time to break in? Also I will want to replace the  AC cable that came with it. Does anyone have suggestions on a cable that does not cost an arm and eye to purchase?  Also, where would you suggest is the best place to purchase the best sounding new tubes. I am not interested in NOS? Thanks much guys for all suggestions.

bob w.
Bob W. (African American) VPI, Ref Standard Grado, Denon 103r, Threshold, DecWare tube pre and Classe pre amp, Jolida tube phono pre amp, (Peter Gunn) modified Magnapan 1.6, Tascam 32-2B & 42B tape decks, Parasound belt drive CD transport, Pacific Valve tube DAC, VPI  TT, various upscale cables.

Offline ironbut

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Re: My New Amina HD4 Tube Playback Head Pre Amp
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2013, 12:05:57 PM »
Hey Bob,

Glad to hear that you got your tape rig sorted!
IMHO, it's best to live with a new piece of gear to let it burn in completely and also to get a handle on the sound.
I'm a fan of NOS tubes so I can't really be any help in that dept., but I always wait until I find something that the sound seems to lack or overemphasize and then try and correct that problem with tubes, cables etc..
Otherwise, I'm just hoping to get lucky.

Happy listening!
steve koto
 Sony scd 777es(R. Kern mods)> Vpi Aires>Dynavector XX-2mkll>Bent mu>CAT ultimate>CJ premeir 140>Magnepan 1.6qr(Jensen xover)Headphone Eddie Current Zana Deux>AT ad2000,HD800 ,Metric Halo ULN-2 (battery powered),
 HE Audio Jades

Offline rbwtapeinterlink-Bob

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Re: My New Amina HD4 Tube Playback Head Pre Amp
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2013, 12:16:12 PM »
Hello my friend Steve,
It's been a while and yes, you are right about getting a good sense of what the sound is like. I plan to listen good for the next several weeks and then, as you say, I will have some idea what may be lacking, if anything, in what I am hearing. I tried several times to put at least one photo of the pre amp up but to no avail. I did not think that a photo of my preamp would be a file too large. I've got to find another way because I want you and other forum members to see what I have. We will see if I can figure it out enough to post at least one photo. Thank you Steve for chiming in. When I am ready to purchase tubes I will check you out. Tell me Steve, what are you using to play your fabulous Tape Project Tapes? Thanks again sir.

bob w.
Bob W. (African American) VPI, Ref Standard Grado, Denon 103r, Threshold, DecWare tube pre and Classe pre amp, Jolida tube phono pre amp, (Peter Gunn) modified Magnapan 1.6, Tascam 32-2B & 42B tape decks, Parasound belt drive CD transport, Pacific Valve tube DAC, VPI  TT, various upscale cables.

Offline ironbut

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Re: My New Amina HD4 Tube Playback Head Pre Amp
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2013, 12:31:23 PM »
Bob,

I have a Tube Repro and it's fantastic.
I use that with an RS1500 that I've modified myself.

Regarding posting pictures, you should get a free account with ImageShack, upload your pictures there and follow their directions to post pictures on forums.

http://imageshack.us/
steve koto
 Sony scd 777es(R. Kern mods)> Vpi Aires>Dynavector XX-2mkll>Bent mu>CAT ultimate>CJ premeir 140>Magnepan 1.6qr(Jensen xover)Headphone Eddie Current Zana Deux>AT ad2000,HD800 ,Metric Halo ULN-2 (battery powered),
 HE Audio Jades

Offline rbwtapeinterlink-Bob

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Re: My New Amina HD4 Tube Playback Head Pre Amp
« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2013, 08:16:20 PM »
Good evening Steve and thank you so much for sharing. I really wanted to be able to afford the Repro or King Cello. After I got my Magnapans modified I could never scrape up the funds to purchase anything over $1600 dollars at the most. So, you can understand my glee when I convinced my tech to design and build the HD4. So far I am loving the sound and look forward to it opening up even more. The tech said it should be settled in pretty good after 40 hours of continuous play. Thank you my friend for this link. I am going to check it out and will be back in touch. You and yours have a great coming week sir.

bob w.
Bob W. (African American) VPI, Ref Standard Grado, Denon 103r, Threshold, DecWare tube pre and Classe pre amp, Jolida tube phono pre amp, (Peter Gunn) modified Magnapan 1.6, Tascam 32-2B & 42B tape decks, Parasound belt drive CD transport, Pacific Valve tube DAC, VPI  TT, various upscale cables.

Offline rbwtapeinterlink-Bob

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Re: My New Amina HD4 Tube Playback Head Pre Amp
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2013, 08:25:59 AM »
Good morning Steve,
I just sent you a PM regarding "Dropbox". When you get time, please respond. Thanks much sir.

bob w.
Bob W. (African American) VPI, Ref Standard Grado, Denon 103r, Threshold, DecWare tube pre and Classe pre amp, Jolida tube phono pre amp, (Peter Gunn) modified Magnapan 1.6, Tascam 32-2B & 42B tape decks, Parasound belt drive CD transport, Pacific Valve tube DAC, VPI  TT, various upscale cables.