Domesticating & Documenting the Little Bear

the thin end of the wedge
z33k
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Re: Domesticating & Documenting the Little Bear

Post by z33k » 19 Jul 2018 21:54

T10 V2.6 or the T11 2017?

OK. I am about to blow my first load on the Little Bear T10 or T11.

"doukstore" currently has both listed on eBay for roughly the same price.

Which one has the best performance "Out of the Box"? I will not have time to tinker with soldering new components for at least a 3 or 4 months. Maybe just swapping valves for now.

I was about to get the T10 V2.6 with the Toroidal transformer. I like the plastic case and general looks of this unit.

The T11 though, has a "VOLUME" knob on it. I am wondering if this will actually be useful?

Will the T11 aluminum case help shield noise?

The T11 "looks" more refined with the externally mounted acrylic shields (also comes with metal shields). The valves also appear to be mounted high for better display. I am more concerned, however, about performance and ease of tinkering (when I get around to it).

So, which base unit would you go with if you were starting out? T10 V2.6 or the T11 2017?


Thanks,
z33k

mamakasou
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Re: Domesticating & Documenting the Little Bear

Post by mamakasou » 20 Jul 2018 02:22

z33k wrote:T10 V2.6 or the T11 2017?

OK. I am about to blow my first load on the Little Bear T10 or T11.

"doukstore" currently has both listed on eBay for roughly the same price.

Which one has the best performance "Out of the Box"? I will not have time to tinker with soldering new components for at least a 3 or 4 months. Maybe just swapping valves for now.

I was about to get the T10 V2.6 with the Toroidal transformer. I like the plastic case and general looks of this unit.

The T11 though, has a "VOLUME" knob on it. I am wondering if this will actually be useful?

Will the T11 aluminum case help shield noise?

The T11 "looks" more refined with the externally mounted acrylic shields (also comes with metal shields). The valves also appear to be mounted high for better display. I am more concerned, however, about performance and ease of tinkering (when I get around to it).

So, which base unit would you go with if you were starting out? T10 V2.6 or the T11 2017?


Thanks,
z33k
I will look at mine and tell you which one i own.
I am quite pleased with its performance for the money, so far.

Gain is minimal and i use it as a buffer.
Connected between the line out after my phono preamplifier and the line in of my amplifier.
Volume pot is set to 50%.

JoeJester
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Re: Domesticating & Documenting the Little Bear

Post by JoeJester » 20 Jul 2018 06:42

Just curious, why do you have a preamp before your phono amp which is a cartridge to line level converter with RIAA deemphasis? Doesn't your phono preamp have RIAA deemphasis? What is the model of your "phono preamp" that is before your LB.

Milky_5343
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Re: Domesticating & Documenting the Little Bear

Post by Milky_5343 » 20 Jul 2018 07:29

Beat me to it. The LB will happily amplify signals as low as 2mv to line level, so don't understand why you would introduce another level of potential distortion and noise.

mamakasou
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Re: Domesticating & Documenting the Little Bear

Post by mamakasou » 20 Jul 2018 14:16

So, I have the "Little Bear P3".
Completely different than yours.

It is an SRPP topology and comes with its own a power supply (transformer).

I use it as a "buffer".
Essentially, it does not produce much gain and is just there to colour the sound with a bit of "tubeness".

I have it connected after my phono stage and before my preamplifier line input.
The signal gets full amplification and RIAA equalization from the phono stage and then a bit of tube harmonics is added to it.

I can hear a certain difference before and after. Nothing too dramatic though.
In fact, I can prepare files (digital recordings) for anyone that wants to hear the difference.

Glenn Gavryluk
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Re: Domesticating & Documenting the Little Bear

Post by Glenn Gavryluk » 15 Aug 2018 21:23

Hey guys, this is my first post.thanks for all the wisdom that is shared on this forum, as I too have recently aquired a t10 pro version 2.62. I was expecting it it come with the torodial transformer but instead came with the el transformer. Anyone have a link or spec of the torodial I would need.?...already bought electro harmonix 12ax7 valves and replaced the rectifier with a GE 6x4 (through adapter socket) and looking into mundorf silver gold oil caps. I have no real electronic experience but can solder and undertake practical work. Also built a hardwood case for it, (waiting for glue to set right now!) :) so any help would ve greatly appreciated. Btw- it's a bloody good sounding phono stage...my previous attempt at valve amps was a little bear t7. I sold it as I wasn't impressed!..but heard about this little beauty...and being a guy how loves to tinker with stuff, this had me sold!...

cminor7b5
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Re: Domesticating & Documenting the Little Bear

Post by cminor7b5 » 16 Aug 2018 00:09

z33k wrote:T10 V2.6 or the T11 2017?

OK. I am about to blow my first load on the Little Bear T10 or T11.

"doukstore" currently has both listed on eBay for roughly the same price.

Which one has the best performance "Out of the Box"? I will not have time to tinker with soldering new components for at least a 3 or 4 months. Maybe just swapping valves for now.

I was about to get the T10 V2.6 with the Toroidal transformer. I like the plastic case and general looks of this unit.

The T11 though, has a "VOLUME" knob on it. I am wondering if this will actually be useful?

Will the T11 aluminum case help shield noise?

The T11 "looks" more refined with the externally mounted acrylic shields (also comes with metal shields). The valves also appear to be mounted high for better display. I am more concerned, however, about performance and ease of tinkering (when I get around to it).

So, which base unit would you go with if you were starting out? T10 V2.6 or the T11 2017?


Thanks,
z33k

z33: I've owned a T11 since Feb 2018. I set the volume on max. I find it to be extremely quiet with no hum. I grounded the tube 1 metal shield to the chasis ground and it works great. Extended dynamic range and great soundstage. I replaced the original tubes, which were quiet acceptable, with generic soviet tubes from ebay. THe improvement was immediately noticeable, even without tube burn in.

The unit never seems to be working hard. It handles audio inputs with ease.

I would buy again.

Glenn Gavryluk
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Re: Domesticating & Documenting the Little Bear

Post by Glenn Gavryluk » 28 Aug 2018 21:24

Hello, forum users. I'm interested in the riaa configuration that Mr. Leyton has done and want to do this..but to save me time can anyone direct me to the page number of the parts needed and where they go, please...would be great if someone posted a youtube video about this change as it would greatly help those of us who don't understand schematic too well!...but any help would be great. BTW I'm version 2.62..

cobrabucket
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Re: Domesticating & Documenting the Little Bear

Post by cobrabucket » 30 Aug 2018 10:57

Hello all. This is my first post here. I recently took the plunge and bought the T11. I'm excited, but have zero experience with soldering, etc. I might have some questions in the future, but wanted to say "Thank You" in advance for all the insight supplied so far and in the future! I have some Generic Soviet 6N2P and 6C4P-EV tubes on the way. I can get a trio of Mullard 12ax7 for ~$53 via ebay. Worth it or should I just stick with the 6N2Ps?

cminor7b5
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Re: Domesticating & Documenting the Little Bear

Post by cminor7b5 » 31 Aug 2018 02:56

cobrabucket wrote:Hello all. This is my first post here. I recently took the plunge and bought the T11. I'm excited, but have zero experience with soldering, etc. I might have some questions in the future, but wanted to say "Thank You" in advance for all the insight supplied so far and in the future! I have some Generic Soviet 6N2P and 6C4P-EV tubes on the way. I can get a trio of Mullard 12ax7 for ~$53 via ebay. Worth it or should I just stick with the 6N2Ps?
I would suggest you live with the original Chinese tubes for a while to familiarize yourself with them. After a few weeks replace them with the generic Soviet tubes. You may find that your desire for the Mullards lessens over time.

I doubt you'll be disappointed with the unit and any of the tubes initially. I'm listening to my T11 as i write this and, while I'm sure better tubes would enhance the performance, I currently have no desire to upgrade. It's not often you find yourself in audio heaven with all of the competing products out there. When I do find myself in that position, I try to savour it as long as i can before upgrading.

Glenn Gavryluk
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Re: Domesticating & Documenting the Little Bear

Post by Glenn Gavryluk » 02 Sep 2018 23:53

Hello again,still no replies yet so I'll post again.
I'm looking to do the riaa mod and I've found the list of part on this forum but can someone please let me know what goes where?
I know it's the small orange disk caps that need replacing but what is the order for replacing these?..again, I'm no electrical engineer but can do basic soldering etc. So if some one can tell me what to do exactly that would be great! Also I'm no good at reading scematic. Also I ask this as I've gotten confused with coffee phil- he made a new riaa then said not to use it!..then mentioned he was making a new one!...which should I do!?...t. leytons or coffee phil mod?..anyone any advice?...which is best. Please help..

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Re: Domesticating & Documenting the Little Bear

Post by mamakasou » 03 Sep 2018 00:33

cminor7b5 wrote: I would suggest you live with the original Chinese tubes for a while to familiarize yourself with them. After a few weeks replace them with the generic Soviet tubes. You may find that your desire for the Mullards lessens over time.

I doubt you'll be disappointed with the unit and any of the tubes initially. I'm listening to my T11 as i write this and, while I'm sure better tubes would enhance the performance, I currently have no desire to upgrade.
I think I agree with your suggestion.

I use the Little Bear P3 with original, Chinese tubes and it does sound pretty good. Apart from being a bit noisy, it performs nicely as a 'buffer' stage. In normal use(without cranking the volume to MAX position), "it delivers the goods", so to speak.

I'm considering an 'upgrade' in the near future, by installing a pair of compatible vintage tubes, but as you said, better take your time listening to it as it comes. That way, you'll be in a better position to appreciate any changes in its performance.

I do not have any serious

cobrabucket
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Re: Domesticating & Documenting the Little Bear

Post by cobrabucket » 03 Sep 2018 01:19

OK, thanks guys! I'm anxiously waiting. I also ordered an Ortofon Blue to upgrade my Orto. Red, and the Little Bear T11 to (hopefully) upgrade my U-Turn Pluto. I do enjoy this set-up, but it is lacking that "something special" and I'm hoping the warmth of tubes helps.

cobrabucket
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Re: Domesticating & Documenting the Little Bear

Post by cobrabucket » 05 Sep 2018 10:48

Amy thoughts as to whether 12ax7 or 12au7 would be a better match for the T11?

Coffee Phil
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Re: Domesticating & Documenting the Little Bear

Post by Coffee Phil » 10 Sep 2018 01:27

Hi Glenn,

Here is the story. The LB has a gain of ~ 50 dB @ 1 KHz which is somewhat high for a MM phono stage. The RIAA accuracy is fair as supplied, but there is room for improvement. I designed a new feedback network to give ~ 40 dB of gain @ 1 KHz. The RIAA accuracy was not very good at the low end. I assumed that there was insufficient open loop gain to support 40 dB gain with a feedback network network assuming infinite open loop gain so I altered some of the values to achieve good RIAA accuracy. The values which I posted for the 40 dB network gave good results which I posted. I would not be upset if you duplicated that network. I then set out to design a 30 dB gain network assuming the RIAA accuracy come out well with no “tweaking”. It turned out the 30 dB also was off. I then dug out Mr. Lipshitt’s paper and discovered the error in my design method. About the same time Mr. Layton posted values which he calculated using Mr. Lipshitt’s is equations. I have yet to re-do the calculations using Lipshitt’s equations but it is on my to do list. I would expect that Mr. Layton’s values for both 30 dB and 40 dB should work fine. If I remember his 40 dB values are close to my empirically tweaked values so I believe them. I have not yet tried either of his networks.

I’m pretty sure you should be able to use either of his networks and get good results.

Phil

Glenn Gavryluk wrote:Hello again,still no replies yet so I'll post again.
I'm looking todo the riaa mod and I've found the list of part on this forum but can someone please let me know what goes where?
I know it's the small orange disk caps that need replacing but what is the order for replacing these?..again, I'm no electrical engineer but can do basic soldering etc. So if some one can tell me what to do exactly that would be great! Also I'm no good at reading scematic. Also I ask this as I've gotten confused with coffee phil- he made a new riaa then said not to use it!..then mentioned he was making a new one!...which should I do!?...t. leytons or coffee phil mod?..anyone any advice?...which is best. Please help..

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