EAR V20 question maybe tubes question?


I just purchased a used EAR V20 amplifier. I've never owned tube gear, and I've never auditioned the V20 (I've auditioned other tube amps though) (as to why I bought it: it was on ebay, auction was ending and the price seemed very right.)

The amp sounds great, but there is a slight problem and I have also one question about what I should be expecting from a 20-W tube amp.

-- When the volume control is used, there is audible hiss/scratch coming from the speakers. How can this be remedied? Is it a big problem or just a matter of changing some tubes?

-- The amp replaces a Creek 5350SE in a setup that uses Triangle Antal speakers and a Philips 1000 SACD source. Even though on classical music and voice the V20 sounds much better and seems to set the Triangles free in a way, the base sounds quite a bit leaner: tighter and cleaner but also with less body. Is that to be expected? Is that what I'm giving up with the tubes?

Thanks in advance!!

V20 is a great integrated. I've used one for quite a while in my second system.

- Scratching/hiss sounds like a bad tube. Does it come from only one side? If so, begin swapping tubes one at a time from one side to the other to determine the culprit.

- Bass: "tight, clean" bass is a good thing. It looks like the Antals are a nominal 4ohm load, and the Creek may not have been able to drive the bass effectively. This would result in the lower frequencies sounding a little thicker, adding apparent weight. This is actually due to the amp not handling the load of the crossover/speaker. I'd experiment with the speaker cables attached to the 4ohm output tap, which will give a slightly darker, "fuller" sound than the 8ohm tap.

Sounds like a cool system.


If the noise is only when you are adjusting volume, you probably just have a dirty pot. Clean out the volume pot and see if the problem persists. Happy listening.
"When the volume control is used, there is audible hiss/scratch coming from the speakers"
sounds to me like a dirty pot. Suggest to get a bottle of Caig Progold contact cleaner. The V20 is no doubt an outstanding integrated when matched with speaker with at least 93db efficiency with 8ohm load. Tube rolling and retubing are expensive!