New Line Magnetic 508ia Integrated Amp

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by GoldprintAudio, May 20, 2016.

  1. Lee Seungwoo

    Lee Seungwoo New Member

    Location:
    Seoul
    <Swapping out the stock 300Bs for the Western Electric Psvane replicas also helped with the sound by virtually eliminating any remaining hum from the speakers>

    interesting!

    I use 508 with a pair of JBL4333B (93dB) and they both make hum,, also I use McIntosh pre / power . But McIntosh does not produce hum.

    Is it possible for 508 to eliminate hum with the aid of swapping out the stock 300Bs for the Western Electric Psvane replicas?

    If so, I would like to consider to buy them.
     
  2. JeffC

    JeffC New Member

    Location:
    Catskill, NY
    Replacing the stock 300Bs certainly did the most to reduce the hum for me (I'd already adjusted the hum balancer). Before that, replacing the stock 6SL7 with a 6SU7GTY also helped. The Psvane WE replica are the only other 300Bs I tried so I can't claim that they are the only tubes that help with hum. They are expensive, and one of the pair I ordered developed a short within the first 9 hours of use. It was quickly replaced by Grant Fidelity.
     
  3. Mark broadhead

    Mark broadhead Active Member

    Location:
    Newcastle England
    Different amp but I put Psvane T 211 tubes in my LM218 and they have developed hum after about 1000 hrs and yes I have tried bias and hum adjustment. The stock tubes have a very slight hum by comparison.
     
  4. JMAC

    JMAC Well-Known Member

    Location:
    PDX, OR, USA
    If anyone has been thinking about purchasing a 508ia, mine is going up for sale and you can get a deal. Just bought new Psvane 805a TII power tubes for her—haven’t even installed them yet. Also have a NOS Tung-Sol 6SU7GTY in the 6sl7 slot. Mint condition except for a small nick in the paint on the rear of one of the transformers.

    $3700–more than 25% off the price of a new one. Any interest here before I go to the usual channels?
     
  5. JeffC

    JeffC New Member

    Location:
    Catskill, NY
    I didn't realize that 211 and 845 tubes were compatible.
    My friend has the LM 218 and I think it's an incredible amplifier. It's actually what inspired me to get the 508.
    To me, the fabulously vibrant and detailed sound these SET amps provide is well worth the hassle of having to deal occasionally with tube noise.
     
  6. J.D.80

    J.D.80 Member

    Location:
    New York City
    I don't think that the 211 and the 845 are interchangeable. Maybe that's why the amp developed a hum in the first place???
    The 211 tubes use a different output transformer.
     
  7. jkull

    jkull Active Member

    Location:
    NJ
    You're right, they are not. Idk what would lead one to believe they were.....
     
  8. GoldprintAudio

    GoldprintAudio Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Lexington, NC
    He likely has the newer LM218ia which runs 211 tubes. It was switched over to a 211 based amp a year or so ago.
     
  9. Mark broadhead

    Mark broadhead Active Member

    Location:
    Newcastle England
    211's require different circuit and transformers. Its a very good amp, however Im using a pair of Tannoy Berkeley 11 ( with the K 3828 drivers )at the moment and they definitely need more power. 845's generally put out a little more, but it is marginal. I have a pair of open baffles which are more efficient, but the Tannoy's are very addictive.

    I have a friend over from Hamburg, he bought over a heavily modified Panasonic XR 55 class D digital receiver. I can tell you I was guilty of preconceived ideas about this before we hooked it up - it sold for $ 250.00 some years ago. All I can say is we spent the next few hours glancing at each other in disbelief at the sound. My transport ran straight into the amp. Clean, huge sound with incredible detail and dynamics. No harshness whatsoever. A clear case of horses for courses here. I can never understand why folks run SE amps with speakers under say 90db/w. They will have a large amount of 2nd order harmonic distortion at any real volume, though the 508 may well be different. I have listened to a few Class D amps, but the Berkeley's have we'll and truly woken up. I haven't even tried the USB input yet ( the mods include one ).

    So to sum up in this instance, a modified Panasonic receiver works better than a $2500.00 amp in conjunction with a $ 2000.00 DAC ( Lampizator ). Just to complicate things further my ANK DAC 4.1 has arrived..
     
  10. Richard Austen

    Richard Austen Forum Resident

    Location:
    Hong Kong
    I have seen several people leave SET for class D and Class T amps. Then a year later they go back to SET amps. So sometimes the initial sheen from the shiny new toy impresses and then wears off. I too am looking at high power amplifiers because as a reviewer I am currently limited to what companies will send me when I have a 12 watt amplifier.

    The problem is I have yet to truly like SS or class D. BUT, with the AN M3 i am hopeful that its character will triumph over the power amp. I am looking at several class D amps and no feedback SS like the Ayre VX 5 Twenty and some 5 channel amps from ATI as that would at least cover my home theater as well.

    Class D has typically sounded dull and reliability from what dealers tell me have been atrocious. Although that was 10 years back so perhaps things have improved.
     
    Snoflo1998 likes this.
  11. Mark broadhead

    Mark broadhead Active Member

    Location:
    Newcastle England
    I have listened to quite a few class D amps, this one sounds different - fleshed out if you like, not all leading edges. Believe me it is anything but dull. In fact it sounds better than any class A amp I have heard, including the various I own. My additional point was that we must be careful not to pigeonhole products and technologies based on the opinions of others. Obviously the Panasonic has been heavily modified ( I have looked inside it ), its clear the Tannoy's match well, but the Tannoy DCs are very fussy with amps, a bit like the NS2000 I used to own in that respect.
     
  12. Richard Austen

    Richard Austen Forum Resident

    Location:
    Hong Kong
    I don't pigeonhole stuff though I do make generalizations, Generally SET sounds better than Push Pull - but I did sell my SET amp for a push pull amp. Generally tubes sound better than SS until you run into the First Watt and Sugdens of the world that beat a lot of tube amps.

    I've only heard class D amps from Bel Canto, NAD, Peachtree, Rotel, (and interestingly pretty sure the Panasonic you are talking about albeit a stock version) and some hybrids - Rogue Audio (though I greatly preferred their all tube unit). I can't say any of these exactly wowed me. Devialet didn't impress me at all. Listening to their dedicated store demonstrations - granted their silly pulsing speakers are probably the reason it sounded poor. Looks kinda cool though as a new sort of Bang and Oluffson style system

    Much will have to do with the rest of the system. Obviously SET is grossly limited at what speakers it can drive properly and Tannoy has never really been a good match. At CAS the Tannoy rep noted to me that they need big power. Sensitivity is deceptive.

    Class D intrigues me because of the high high power for relatively lower price points. But some of these Class D amps are very expensive and I am not seeing any sort to parts quality to justify those price points.
     
  13. JeffC

    JeffC New Member

    Location:
    Catskill, NY
    I know what you mean about the Tannoy sound being very addictive. I've been using a pair of Tannoy Berkeley (HPD 385, with bespoke external RFC crossovers) in my main system for three years now and nothing else I've experienced is as captivating. The sound is at once visceral, detailed and atmospheric. Of the 4 amplifiers I've used with the Tannoys (Naim Nait XS2, Exposure 2010s, Leben CS 300XS, Line Magnetic 508ia), the LM 508ia does by far the best job. I know that most people believe Tannoy and SET don't work well together (because most SET amps are low powered) but this is not the case with the 48-watt 508. The Exposure and the Naim sounded downright flat, dry, and lifeless compared to the three dimensionality, sparkle, and relative finesse of the Leben. The Lm 508 added a dynamism and resolving power that the 15 watt Leben couldn't quite provide for the Berkeleys. The 508 does employ negative feedback (with 4 settings to choose from), and I think that along with the unusually higher output power for SET designs this may have something to with the control it can exert over the 15 inch drivers.
     
  14. IanL

    IanL Forum Resident

    Location:
    Oneonta, NY USA
    I don't understand this stuff really well, but I have always associated a tube amp's ability to control a speaker's driver with the transformers. And although there are limits, I also encounter the same thing with my 518ia's abilities to drive my Harbeths. 22wpc does not seem like it should drive an 86 sensitivity speaker, but it does. Both of us could find a better match, I'm sure, but just because something is not perfect does not mean it is not damn good. The 518ia does not have any of the negative feedback adjustments like the 508ia, and it has less than half the power, but I bet its transformers are very similar in design.
     
    Snoflo1998 likes this.
  15. JeffC

    JeffC New Member

    Location:
    Catskill, NY
    There's a reason these amps are so darn heavy, and it's the transformers. I agree that these are of prime importance, and the name of the company suggests to me that they think so too. Of course, it can't be only the transformers and I'm assuming the efficacy and success of these units must also have something to do with the particular circuit implementations and tube types. The complex interrelations of different variables that are always in play, I think, are what make our experiences interesting and, more often than we tend to assume, unpredictable. The push-pull Leben CS 300XS weighs in at 22 pounds compared to the SET 508's 90 pounds and it was also able to drive the Tannoys, albeit not as effortlessly and not to the same volume levels without beginning to sound somewhat compressed. I agree it's likely we'd both be able to find a better match. I haven't tried Class D amplification and I'd very much like to keep an open mind. The Leben was the first tube amplifier I'd heard that made me aware I was missing some very important things in the reproduction of music with the solid state amplifiers I'd been using until then. I haven't tried every solid state design, of course, and I'm sure there are some SS amps I'd love. But life is short, funds are not unlimited, and unless we are talking about grammatical tenses, I think the concept of the "perfect" is nothing but troublingly limiting in a world whose very maculacy, frangibility, and reconfigurability seems to have much to do with the richness of experience and the open-ended structure of possibility. And now I'm sure I've had too many double lattes today.
     
    IanL likes this.
  16. Mark broadhead

    Mark broadhead Active Member

    Location:
    Newcastle England
    Hi Jeff. I have changed the crossovers too. Tannoy used the same crossover in the mk2 which should never have happened since it is an entirely different driver to the HPD, consequently there was a hardness to the sound, so I took the leap and bought some bespoke crossovers designed for the K's. Result - hardness gone. I must admit I have looked at the 508, but also the excellent Radford ST15/25 reissues which are supposed to be excellent with DC's. In fact an old friend who has since passed owned one and it sounded fantastic albeit with different speakers.

    The LM 218 has around 13w per channel, the Berkeley 11 are around 91db/w as opposed to your HPD's which are 93db/w. Im lucky to have no neighbours so I like to crank it up. LM218 fine up to a point then it just runs out of steam. In isolation the sound is very good - solid bass, dynamic etc. The Class D Panasonic REALLY gets a hold of them but its not hard or typically SS. Might have struck lucky. No chance to try a 508 as there are no LM dealers here. But I can get one for around $ 2200.00 imported. I know the 218 and 518 have a relatively low output impedance which is vital with Tannoy's. No doubt the 508 is the same.
     
  17. JeffC

    JeffC New Member

    Location:
    Catskill, NY
    Hello Mark,

    It's good to meet other fans of the big Tannoys! My pair are 40 years old and going strong. The newly designed crossovers tamed a minor treble harshness, improved midrange richness and detail across the board. I haven't done anything to improve the original Berkeley cabinet yet but I'll probably at least replace the inner foam padding and maybe add some bracing at some point. I know the HPD 385s would benefit from a much larger cabinet (even larger than the Ardens) but I'd have to have them designed and built. Have you done anything with your Berkeleys in this regard? I've also heard nothing but positive things about the Radford reissues. And the images I've seen reveal a truly superb build quality. I'm glad the Panasonic is working out. The next thing I'd like to try with the LM 508ia is a passive preamp (autoformer volume control).
     
  18. Mark broadhead

    Mark broadhead Active Member

    Location:
    Newcastle England
    Hi again Jeff

    My Berkeley's have some extra cabinet reinforcement and some extra internal panel damping. I have looked at re-housing the drivers but the consensus is that the Berkeley and Arden are good cabinets. Id have to have them built as although I can solder and modify circuits there is no way I would attempt advanced woodwork ! There are so many ways to go with it. I'm also looking at amps with the later Hypex modules, Hattor and Nord look pretty good. the NC400 and NC500 look very interesting and have had rave reviews - open, detailed but with real depth and power.If they have moved on from the Pan they must be outstanding. Might be a good way to go. The modded Panasonic really has surprised me, no idea what the standard unit sounds like. This one is very heavily modified. But Class D is really starting to come of age. Unfortunately some of the manufacturers using their modules are charging insane prices. Its possible to build one at a modest cost. As an added bonus they draw minimal power and can be left on permanently. I have no allegiances to manufacturers or technology implementations. If it sounds better then thats the way to go ! Check out the Hatter passive pre amp - looks very interesting.
     
  19. Seafinch

    Seafinch Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Utah
    Did you (or anyone) ever end up trying these?
     
  20. Snoflo1998

    Snoflo1998 Active Member

    Location:
    UK
    I've tried them in a Sun Audio 2A3 amp. They sound better than the other new production tubes that I have tried, but not as good as the best NOS samples from Ken Rad, CBS, Brimar etc. Of course, they are much less expensive than NOS tubes. I think the Shuguang Black Treasures are a good buy.
     
  21. Seafinch

    Seafinch Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Utah
    My last couple listens sounded like the low end wasn’t quite as tight as when i first plugged her in and the top end had gotten a little shrill, I wasn’t worried cause I’m pretty early on in hours - maybe 100 - and I figured that it’d go through some rough spots during break in. On a whim I decided to to re-bias the tubes since that’s probably some of what’s changing in break in. One of the tubes had drifted a good bit. Holy crap!!! It’s wild how much better it sounds. I love this amp.

    Edit: Still using stock tubes.
     
  22. adamaley

    adamaley Member

    I'm interested in purchasing either the 508 or the 518 to power a set of Acoustic Zen Adagios, which are 89db sensitive and 6 Ohms nominal. In the past, I have powered these speakers with a Red Wine Audio 30W battery amp in the past, and it clipped at higher volumes. As a result, I am concerned about either the 518, or even the 219 being able to drive them sufficiently. Someone mentioned using these on the Acoustic Zen Crescendos which are more sensitive than the Adagios - have you ever had a chance to hear the 518 (or the 508 / 219) on the AZ Adagios. Any input would be appreciated.
     
  23. GoldprintAudio

    GoldprintAudio Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Lexington, NC
    I've not heard the any or the 3 with your specific speakers, but I have used them with speakers that had similar (or a little lower) sensitivity ratings (KEF, Joseph). If your 30watt Red Wine had issues, then I would likely lean towards the 508. Are you near a dealer where you could try out the 508?
     
  24. adamaley

    adamaley Member

    I am in Minneapolis, and do not know of any dealers that carry either of the amps, unfortunately. Hopefully, I am wrong, and someone can point me to one.
     
  25. Seafinch

    Seafinch Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Utah
    I'm using the 508ia with some Harbeth C7es3 (86db) and am plenty happy. Haven't noticed any clipping and I listen pretty loud.
     

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