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Tube Selection on Osprey

 

rkochman
(@rkochman)
Active Member
Joined: 8 months ago
Posts: 5
Topic starter  

I am very close to purchasing the Osprey to drive my Spatial M3 Sapphire open baffle speakers. I had a great talk with James but wanted to ask about the different flavors of tubes and what they do sonically? James said Phillips in row 1, Brimar in row 2, and RCA Cleartop in row 3. What will that bring to the M3’s and how will that combination differ than the others? Thanks, Rene


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mikeknj
(@mikeknj)
Eminent Member
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 20
 

James had suggested to me Amperex in row 1, Brimar in row 2 and CBS in row 3.


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bwilson
(@bwilson)
Member Admin
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 58
 

Hey Rene... First off, the Brimar and RCA tubes are vintage tubes and are some of the best-made tubes ever. So, the quality of the tube will enhance the sound. With regard to the exact difference, they will make with the M3's, this would be subject to your speakers, your source, cables, your room etc. However, I can describe what I've experienced with my Raven Audio Nighthawk MK3 and CeLest' Tower Speakers. 

 

The Brimar 13D9's tend to add midrange depth with a nice crisp punch to the bass. The RCA clear tops also affect the sound stage with a wider feel and seem to also bring an overall warmth to the midrange rounding off the sound. 

 

Hope this helps. You will LOVE the Osprey!

Operations - Raven Team


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mikeknj
(@mikeknj)
Eminent Member
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 20
 

One of the members recently purchased a Blackhawk and it was a 3.1.  I emailed with Dave and he indicated that they were not ready.  Is your Osprey a 3.1?


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rkochman
(@rkochman)
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Joined: 8 months ago
Posts: 5
Topic starter  

@mikeknj

Hi Mike I have not purchased the Osprey yet but James said it’s a few weeks lead time. Looking at which tube compliment I get.


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bwilson
(@bwilson)
Member Admin
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 58
 

All new Avian Integrated Tube Amp orders shipping are now the Avian MK3.1 (Nighthawk, Blackhawk, Osprey). Sorry, we have not updated the website quite yet, but that's coming. ? 

Operations - Raven Team


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rkochman
(@rkochman)
Active Member
Joined: 8 months ago
Posts: 5
Topic starter  

@bwilson

What’s changed on the 3.1?


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bwilson
(@bwilson)
Member Admin
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 58
 

New RCA connectors from Cardas, the high pass X-Over is now only at 80hz and the black color has changed to Charcoal Black (Blackhawk and Osprey). 

Operations - Raven Team


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rkochman
(@rkochman)
Active Member
Joined: 8 months ago
Posts: 5
Topic starter  

@bwilson

Too bad loved the two-tone and read great things about the original RCA’s and Crossover. Sounds like reducing overhead. Am I wrong?


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bwilson
(@bwilson)
Member Admin
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 58
 

Respectfully, you are wrong.

The new upgrades actually cost us more, yet we have not raised our prices. 

As you may know, we build our amps in the USA and we take great pride in this. We chose to partner with Cardas for two reasons.

  1. Cardas is highly regarded for its connectors in the audio industry. They make some of the best connectors in the world. We want connectors like that in our products even if they cost more. 
  2. Cardas is based in the USA and we LOVE supporting other US-based businesses. 

With regard to the High-Pass x-over. After much feedback from clients, we determined that 80Hz was the only x-over point clients used. Furthermore, utilizing a dual-pole, single-throw switch enabled us to choose a higher quality switch. All in all, this creates a much better circuit and makes it easier for the customer to operate. 

The New MK3.1's are still colored in 2 tones. The CNC aluminum faceplate, handles, and tube trim are silver anodized and the chassis is powder-coated in "Charcoal Black Metallic". We chose the new color simply because it's beautiful. 

*** RCA connectors shown below on a Nighthawk. Other pics show the new "Charcoal Black Metallic" on a Blackhawk. I also added a glowing tube pic because... it's just cool ? 

 

Avian 3.10086
Avian 3.10033
Avian 3.10067
Avian 3.10097

 

This post was modified 7 months ago by bwilson

Operations - Raven Team


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rkochman
(@rkochman)
Active Member
Joined: 8 months ago
Posts: 5
Topic starter  

@bwilson

Absolutely Bryant I meant no disrespect. So many companies are cutting back. It's really nice to see USA made and partnered with others and keeping quality as their #1 mission. I just want to be an educated consumer and yes the two-tone is absolutely gorgeous! You will be getting my business. 


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mikeknj
(@mikeknj)
Eminent Member
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 20
 

Bryant,

 

I had an email about these amps with Dave and he told me that the circuit board was changed to make the amp even quitter.  I got the impression they used some type of new isolation to to make them quitter?


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RavenDave
(@ravendave)
Founder of Raven Audio Admin
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 83
 

Hello Gentlemen.

The preamplifier section of the Avian Series is very sensitive to any tube change you make.  It is imperative that you choose fairly close matched pairs of any tube you choose, but any of the tube rows you change out will make a difference in the overall sound of your new Raven Audio amplifier, and therefore your entire system. 

The Brimar 13D9 tubes are clean yet fat and warm sounding without loss of the overall tightness of the bass, which is very important.  The Philips blue print 12AT7's that Raven has in stock are a very clean rugged military grade tube that are upper middle of the road utilitarian that will get you started on finding out why tube amps are so darn fun and exciting to own.  They are not going to degrade your sound, but putting a pair of antique Amperex, Siemens, Valvo, Telefunken, Tungsram etc. in their place is going to frankly make you not want to go back to those unless as a good backup pair should something go wrong, like er dropping one on a tile floor.  Ahem.  I know that pain unfortunately...  it's like losing a beloved pet.  So always handle these tubes with great care when swapping/rolling.

The Raven Audio main office/shop currently has a few pairs of one of the very best 12AU7's ever made.  The GE made shiny black plate 12AU7 Hytron and GE green print 12AU7's are both some of the best 12AU7ECC82's ever made.  This will anchor your preamp complement and the only way you will ever find anything ever-so-slightly better is if you pay many hundreds/thousands of dollars for a rare pair of Telefunken or Valvo ECC802S or something else old and European/UK.  Even then, I personally prefer the GE/Hytrons myself.  They are extremely tight, have huge deep bass and an incredibly beautiful realistic in-your-room midrange, and an open airy delicate yet exceptionally crisp, clean clear high end response. 

As Yoda would say, the perfect 12AU7 tube this is.

When it comes time to experiment just call, text or email me and I will try to help.  Even if you aren't purchasing tubes from me or Raven I will help you.  We are about making customers satisfied with your amplifier AFTER the sale as much as before.  I will take over and help you anytime you have questions or requests about tube choice in the future.  I also field calls/texts at all hours from excited owners that have just tried out their first 1950's era Brimar 6060 Yellow T's or some other astounding tube. 

This hobby is going to change your way of life if you are a new tube amp owner.  A great tube amp is almost like a living organism when it is tubed up properly for your amp and room.  The preamp and power tube swaps that can be made in the future are a great help for those that have difficult rooms and speakers that are not quite up to the task of challenging the environment we have to place them in.  So if you do not immediately love your new amp - it's not the amp, it's something else that we can very possibly help you with very quickly.  A new tube complement most likely will change your listening experience...  sometimes drastically.

One thing is for sure...  you will never again be bored with your audio system!  I cannot imagine owning only solid state/digital anymore.  To me the idea of that kind of amp is so friggin' boring now.  When you FEEL the music instead of just hearing it, that is when you know you've chosen the right tube complement for your room environment.

Don't settle for BOOOOORING!  Tubes RULE~!

RavenDave


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bwilson
(@bwilson)
Member Admin
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 58
 

@mikeknj

Hey Mike, Every new upgrade to the Avian line represents some form of circuit improvement. The new MK3.1 are no exception. Toward that end, the signal to noise ratio has been improved. 

Operations - Raven Team


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RavenDave
(@ravendave)
Founder of Raven Audio Admin
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 83
 

And Mike... All the new Avian Series amplifiers have the new circuit board now. Balancing extreme preamplifier section sensitivity (which is what makes all these great old tube changes immediately audible) against a great tube power amplification stage is always an industry-wide struggle.  As a result, we are always going to be working on this design aspect.  Being that we use 60+-year-old preamp tubes as OEM components sometimes, this is even more of a struggle than most people can imagine.  Especially those that are not experienced tube amplifier owners. 

The new amps are more musical and accurately realistic sounding than in years past.  The Raven Audio design team has made great strides in this field in the last couple of years.

For more information on how they managed to pull this all off call James in Shreveport.  I am so proud to be associated with this team for 2021~!  They have pulled off this miracle with astounding results.  Raven has always made really great sounding amplifiers.  But the new 3.0 & the 3.1's are simply astounding.

This post was modified 7 months ago 3 times by bwilson

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