Dismiss Notice
We are making some updates and reconfigurations to our server. Apologies for any downtime or slow forum loading now or within the next week or so. Thanks!

Little Bear T11

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by orange5o, Apr 3, 2017.

  1. orange5o

    orange5o Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Hi,

    Anyone have any experience with this phono pre-amp? Sounds like a new and improved T10 but haven't seen any reviews or comparisons. Anyone have any experience with this?

    Thanks
     
  2. PhilBiker

    PhilBiker sh.tv member number 666

    Location:
    Northern VA, USA
    I'm replying because I just got a Little Bear T7 preamp installed in my system. I needed a cheap phono pre and it seemed fun and interesting so I figured what the heck. I think the T7 is a more refined version of the original DIY little bear devices. Internet reviews are wildly divergent. So far it sounds just fine here. I may open it and futz with the gain pot; it's a little low on the output. My system is no audiophile dream so even if there are better options at the price range I may not even notice. So far - very early first impressions of this little bear T7 are very good. They put LEDs under the tubes so they look like they're glowing!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2017
    SirMarc, bluemooze and H8SLKC like this.
  3. mrbbrj

    mrbbrj New Member

    Location:
    Kansas City
    Yes I just received the T11. it was quite well packaged. there were virtually no instructions (what's that little switch on the back). the power cord was defective,
    But I had a spare. I comes with Chinese 6n2 tubes but you can used 12ax7 s just by flipping a switch.
    I Hooked it up with just the ground from the TT, no ground connection to the receiver and I don't hear any hum. The Chinese tubes seemed to be balanced ok.
    Do tubes sound better than solid state, do I need better tubes? I'll have to listen some more.
     
    H8SLKC and PhilBiker like this.
  4. PhilBiker

    PhilBiker sh.tv member number 666

    Location:
    Northern VA, USA
    I replaced the Chinese tubes with a set of old tested matched GE USA made tubes that I got for under $15 including shipping on eBay. They definitely sound better than the Chinese tubes.
     
    H8SLKC likes this.
  5. H8SLKC

    H8SLKC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Boston, MA
    Digging up an old thread. Any posters using the T11 who can comment on it?
     
  6. PhilBiker

    PhilBiker sh.tv member number 666

    Location:
    Northern VA, USA
    Still very happy with my Little Bear.
     
    H8SLKC likes this.
  7. H8SLKC

    H8SLKC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Boston, MA
    I have a T11 on order that should arrive today. Hopefully I'll avoid the hum issues I hear about online! I've been hankering for little bit of tube-ness, but am a budget buyer. The T11 was bought for a pretty low price from Amazon, so I'll have time to check it out and send it back if it doesn't do me good. I also ordered Tung Sol 12ax7 tubes for it. If I keep the thing I'll have to figure out the Chinese 6Z4 rectifier tube to see if it is best replaced or left alone.

     
  8. H8SLKC

    H8SLKC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Boston, MA
    The T11 arrived and has surprised me. I hooked it up to my Marantz TT-15 and Pioneer AVR. I wanted a little taste of the tube sound, and for $189 from Amazon couldn't resist. I also bought three Tung Sol 12ax7s for it. I was amazed at the lack of hum! It's quiet! It adds a touch of warmth and openness and widens the soundstage, compared to the Pluto preamp it has replaced. I like it a lot! For those who have this model, where have you found your best sound regarding the gain? The rotary gain knob is very effective but I'm unsure whether its better to add lots of gain from the pre (clipping potential?) or to leave it lower and boost from the amp?

    This is my first foray into tubes and so far (3 hours in) I'm happy with it, especially for the price.
     
  9. Machiventa

    Machiventa Forum Resident

    Location:
    Salida, Colorado
    I've been really tempted to dip my toes into the land of tube preamps and have been eyeing this little guy as my first. I just wonder if it will be any better than the preamp in my receivers? I have a early 70s Sansui and mid 70s Pioneer. Both of those receivers sound great at lower levels but can sometimes be too intense and fatiguing at louder levels. I love to crank my music and am wondering if something like a tube preamp would tone down the harshness?

    I'm willing to go up a bit in quality and see the Budgie recommended a lot, but might first want to try something I can return easily in case it doesn't help my situation.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2018
    H8SLKC likes this.
  10. Dave99

    Dave99 Active Member

    Location:
    Denver
    Purchased the T-11 about 3 months ago and will never go back. The best vinyl sound I’ve ever heard from my vintage Kenwood amp and preamp. I did replace the tubes with some vintage 12AX7’s and that made a world of difference from the Chinese tubes that came with the unit. This is my first all tube preamp and very pleased. With the low price its a great bang for the buck. I’m sure there are better ones on the market, but not at this price.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 3, 2018
    Machiventa and H8SLKC like this.
  11. patient_ot

    patient_ot Senior Member

    Location:
    USA
    On any phono pre you generally only want to add as much gain as you need. That will depend on the output of your cartridge. Check some calculators online. KABUSA has one.
     
  12. PhilBiker

    PhilBiker sh.tv member number 666

    Location:
    Northern VA, USA
    Shameless self promotion - My Little Bear T7 is going on the Marketplace if anybody's interested.
     
  13. TheVU

    TheVU Forum Resident

    Pm
     
    PhilBiker likes this.
  14. hogwylde09

    hogwylde09 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Jasper Texas
    Just received one. Little Bear T11. I have an incredible amount of tubes on hand to roll.
    Now granted, I am also experimenting with a new tube preamplifier at the same time.
    And also this is not my main tube system.
    In stock form with the supposed 6n2 tubes, I am very pleased. But I found, it has too much gain. Loads of bass. Too much in fact. The preamp I'm using has no rumble filter. In judging by the Klipsch 3.5 woofer cones bouncing severely.
    I also didn't think there was enough high end. (could attribute this to low end AT95e).
    So next on to 3 matched RCA 17mm grey plate 12AX7. About the same results. Maybe a little more defined in overall soundstage. Still too much gain.
    Next in line, still trying to reduce gain, bass and bring out the highs, I popped in some vintage GE 5 star star triple mica 5751.
    I believe I am getting close.
    No speaker cone excessive movement. Plenty of bass, high end has improved. And can turn up the gain to 3:00. As opposed to only 1/2 with the stock tubes and the RCA's.
    This is and ongoing little project.
    I happy so far with the purchase of this little tube preamp.
    What little noise (hum) I've encountered is solved with the supplied ground wire from V1 to the front chassis grounding post.
    It will even work with the plastic tube covers.
    I can see having a lot of fun with this little dude!
     
    gmcjj and Machiventa like this.
  15. gmcjj

    gmcjj Forum Resident

    Location:
    Mid Michigan
    I'm about ready to pull the trigger on a t11 and have been researching these amps and tubes. It seems like anything that replaces the stock Chinese tubes makes an improvement. I'm kind of excited to see what works best with my system.
     
  16. gmcjj

    gmcjj Forum Resident

    Location:
    Mid Michigan
    Ok I pulled the trigger and bought this here sum bitch and like the Tom Petty song the waiting is the hardest part. I bought some 12ax7 tubes and some 6N2P-EV tubes to mess around with and I have the tubes already. Just when you think your done then wack they suck me back in. My wallet hates me for loving vinyl lol
     
    Machiventa likes this.
  17. Machiventa

    Machiventa Forum Resident

    Location:
    Salida, Colorado
    Did ya get it yet?
     
  18. gmcjj

    gmcjj Forum Resident

    Location:
    Mid Michigan
    I got it and have been rolling some tubes in it, I was surprised that it came in 2 1/2 weeks from China (wife said 2 months lol). I have absolutely zero hum from it and it sounds so darn good after I now settled on a gold lion 12ax7 in v1, tungsol 12ax7 in v2, and a new Mullard reissue 12ax7 in v3. I also added a 6C4P-EV for the rectifier and I'm in love with the sound I am getting. So far the smile has not left my face whenever I'm listening.
     
    Machiventa and SirMarc like this.
  19. Machiventa

    Machiventa Forum Resident

    Location:
    Salida, Colorado
    Aw man that's so awesome to hear! I would like to try the T11 some day.

    I ended up getting the Yaqin MS23B and and love it, even without the Lesbox mod usually done on these units.... though I'm very tempted to get the mod done to see the difference, people say it's significant. I'll probably do it this summer when funds are a little more flush.

    Hope you continue to have that big smile on your face!
     
    gmcjj likes this.
  20. gmcjj

    gmcjj Forum Resident

    Location:
    Mid Michigan
    It was down to the yaqin or the t11 and I liked the fact that it had more tubes in the t11 that could be swapped out to alter the sound. That yaqin is also a really good unit I've read about, especially when modified. Eventually I will replace the caps in the t11 to make it sound better but right now I'm happy with the results.
     
    Machiventa likes this.
  21. Machiventa

    Machiventa Forum Resident

    Location:
    Salida, Colorado
    Yeah, more tubes sound like a no-brainer!

    I have no experience with soldering and no knowledge of electronic circuits but would love to take a stab at it some day. I bought a soldering kit and have watched some videos, but feel reluctant to try a modification for my first time. The Yaqin mod seems pretty difficult to me, but replacing just capacitors sounds much easier and appealing.
    I'm kind of regretting getting the Yaqin instead of the T11, for this reason, and for it having only 2 tubes. There's a guy Jim Mintz who can do the mod for $200 plus shipping, but then I'd get no experience soldering. Or I could sell my Yaqin (if it even sells), get the T11, and do the mod you mentioned. Hmmm.

    Just noticed you're in mid Michigan. I lived in Midland on and off since childhood until my late teens. Weird place, even visiting is kind of hard for me lol. The view sure is pretty though!
     
  22. gmcjj

    gmcjj Forum Resident

    Location:
    Mid Michigan
    Nice I've been to Midland quite a few times for various things. I live just north of Lansing, nice meeting another michigander.
    I just got a 1961 era Mullard I put in v1 and now it sounds amazing to my old ears. I'm debating if I want to replace the caps but I'm happy with the sound now.
     
  23. imsjry

    imsjry Forum Resident

    Location:
    Neenah WI
    Do you know if it's advised to install all three of the tubes the exact same make and must they be matched? Reason i ask is I have two JJ 12ax-7 and wanted to try them in here, but that would leave the third tube an orphan type.

    Thanks in advance for your thoughts!
     
  24. gmcjj

    gmcjj Forum Resident

    Location:
    Mid Michigan
    They dont have to be matched which is the fun on tube rolling. I have a 50s rca black plate in 1 and a 50s millard in #2 and a new gold lion in the third slot. For me I found that the tone its putting out is bliss to me. It's all up to you.
     
  25. imsjry

    imsjry Forum Resident

    Location:
    Neenah WI
    Wow that is great to know. That takes tube rolling to a whole other level. Do you know sonically which slot seems to have the most impact or would they each be similar in importance?
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2020

Share This Page

molar-endocrine