Eddie Current Zana Deux S

Discussion in 'Eddie Current' started by Luckbad, Apr 5, 2016.

  1. bxh

    bxh Friend

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    The EY500 are the correct equivalent tube to the 6D22S, just keep in mind they are almost a full inch taller than 6D22S and with the power supply chassis of my 445, they do not fit, but I run it topless. Do this at your own risk as it is high voltage. There are lots of EY500s on ebay for ~5$ each, just make sure to get a matched pair.

    I've had good luck with NOS GE EY500 which Craig recommended, they sound better than the 6D22S having a more open soundstage and higher quality low end.

    EDIT: Forgot the ZD does not have internal rect tubes, I guess height isn't an issue so long as you have long enough leads for them.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2018
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  2. David De Lucena

    David De Lucena Science Nut

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    After few days using ygg to freya to ZDS , I’m not happy with the results. My thoughts are aligned with some friends earlier impressions. The freya add a blur in the resolution and image of the instruments. I could felt it even in the passive mode. My other hypothesis was the new cable adding, but I don’t want to enter this matter. Using the tube buffer, as expected worsened the problem, specially in the lower frequency. But the sound was less bright and edgy when compared to passive preamp. Maybe this can improve with time... some people have observed burn in in freya. For now, I using ZDS connected to Yggdrasil with better results and working out my fat ass to get up from the sofa to change the volume between songs. Tchau amigos
     
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  3. skem

    skem Friend

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    Well, aren't you in luck. A post about tube rolling the ZDS. Just what you needed.

    @Artasia and I both have ZDS and decided to team up and figure out which tubes we like. He has a budding collection of 6SL7s, and I... well, I had just one: the Fivre loved by several senior SBAF members (or so I hope, the photos will tell). We decided to do some swaps, collected our thoughts, and produced these notes which we hope will benefit all ZDS owners.

    Listening Conditions
    Only one copy of each tube was tested therefore we cannot be sure that our impressions would apply to other copies of the same tube. We also don't have tube-testing equipment to measure the gain.

    @skem is listening with Benchmark DAC3 feeding directly to ZDS set to low impedance, which is powering... *gasp* an HEKv1! The HEK has @purr1n's toilet-paper mod to soften the treble. All listening comparisons were done with the same setup, so although HEK may suffer some distortion on ZDS being an ortho, the relative rankings of the tubes are hopefully correct. @skem's acoustic preferences and prior impressions on some headphones can be found here (LCD2C) and here (Sundara). In short, he likes a warm, soft, and very detailed sound.

    @Artasia listens to his ZDS with the more orthodox parings of HD600, HD650, and Utopia. His views were formed over longer listening sessions than @skem’s, and across different cans.

    These notes are primarily compiled by @skem, with broad concurrence from @Artasia. Where @Artasia had differing views, they are separately noted. Finally, a big thanks to @Artasia for providing these tubes—it was a lot of fun.


    The Tubes

    [​IMG]
    Fivre (1953) brown base
    Identification Note:
    The assertion that this is 1953 is based on what the seller told me, who was a collector. I haven't determined the year independently. The label differs from the Fivres owned by @brencho & different again than those owned by @bazeilio, but appears to have the same internal construction as both.

    Detail: A fully textured sound, but has very slightly compromised clarity (see 10K note in Tonality, below). Can sound hashed in loud/complex passages.

    Tonality: slight emphasis around 1k causing tenors and female vocals to be forward, creates more emotion but also more difficult at loud volumes. Lacks a touch of mid-bass perhaps ~200Hz that gives body. May be missing a touch of very high ~10K that creates a sense of definition, but HEK is already poor in this area.

    Euphony: slightly sweet. @Artasia says this tube has "inner warmth."

    Staging: wide, but it can occasionally get blobby.

    Distortion: minimal except notable on loud electronica.

    Timbre: Hyper-realistic strings. Piano feels slightly percussive. Voices are forward.

    Thoughts:
    @Artasia: Strikes the best balance between most of these tubes and thus deserves its reputation
    @skem: Fivre is second place for me, I prefer the clarity of JAN Green with HEK.


    [​IMG]

    Philips ECG 6SL7WGT JAN (green)
    Identification note:
    black with green text, circular getter

    Detail: Slightly less detailed than Fivre in treble but better detail in bass.

    Tonality: @skem says: Excellent balance, perhaps slightly warmer than Fivre: more body. @Artasia says: Neutral to Slightly bright

    Euphony: A touch

    Staging: Solid, steady.

    Distortion: Hard to compare to Fivre, but seems to perform better at high volume.

    Timbre: Voices not a pure sounding as Fivre; very clean bass instruments. Piano not quite realistic sounding.

    Genre compatibility: Bass emphasis better for acoustic than for electronica, where weaker treble undermines the presence required.

    Thoughts:
    @Artasia: less magical than the Fivre.
    @skem: Initially I felt this was cleaner than Fivre, but after long-term listening I sometimes switch back to Fivre because I feel it has slightly less distortion in some instances.


    [​IMG]

    Tung-Sol 6SU7GTY round black plates
    Detail
    : Good, cleaner rendition than the Fivre but maybe less midrange detail

    Tonality: Cooler than Fivre and JAN Green label. The key fault of this tube is it is tipped up in the treble. @Artasia feels this is more neutral (i.e., less warm) than Fivre.

    Euphony: slightly wetter than JAN Green, but somehow also presents as thinner, maybe from cooler tuning.

    Staging: Broad and steady. Narrower than Fivre, but more reliable.

    Distortion: none noticed, not tested with electronica

    Timbre: Less emotional, especially with vocals.

    Note: may need more time to warm up than most.

    Thoughts:
    @Artasia: A somewhat boring tube, set and forget. Does nothing really wrong either.
    @skem: In some sense a more analytical tube, even if not more detailed everywhere. Closer to solid-state emotionality despite slightly wet qualities at time. I found more respect for this tube the more I listened to it.


    [​IMG]

    Raytheon Uniline 569
    Identification note:
    This is supposed to be the same as the RCA Electron 5691 red base, and it does have an identical-looking internal structure.

    Detail: Where'd it go? This is smoooooothed out. Listen at high volume for detail retrieval—effect is lots of loud sound without being too overwhelming.

    Tonality: Warm and full bodied, but sometime warm and boring, but in all cases warm. Has presence in 6-10K region but not much higher.

    Euphony: yes. Lacking in sharp percussion.

    Staging: Distant, big.

    Distortion: Can give a coarse quality to vocals, thick with overtones (worse than Fivre). Can get hashed/muddy.

    Timbre: Bad for strings.

    Genre compatibility: Too soft for electronica. Maybe OK for rock (didn't try).

    Thoughts:
    @Artasia says: Not going to blow anyone away from short sessions. It is indeed warmer and more rolled off. It pairs better with brighter transducers, such as Utopia or HD800. But it has layering and stage-depth This tube sounds better with volume turned up. After having it on for some hours, I have been repeatedly blown away by it.
    @skem: Not able to listen loud enough with HEK/ZDS to enjoy these effects.

    [no photo]
    Philips Miniwatt EC335, unlabeled
    Identification note
    : this is supposed to be identical to the Mullard ECC35.

    Detail: Simultaneously feels less coherent but also more separation (less hashed) than Fivre. U-shaped tonality creates a sense of fake detail.

    Tonality: Sounds distant, lacking in presence. Warmer than Fivre but also has noticeable emphasis on aspirated sounds suggesting U-shaped response giving a rise in the treble.

    Euphony: Concept is "glossy mud."

    Staging: not evaluated.

    Distortion: not evaluated.

    Timbre: Strings are tactile.

    Thoughts:
    @Artasia: need to have it on for a while to appreciate its characteristics. Its weakness, unlike the Fivres, is its up-front and constricted stage—a sort of wall-of-sound effect; but I find it very resolving and detailed. It works well with a darker headphone like the HD650 and has more of a special sound to me than the JAN.
    @skem: I can see how it works with dark headphones that may lack the treble tip and midrange emphasis that creates "mud". I would guess not good with HD800. Wasn't good with HEK.

    [no photo]
    Sophia Electric "Princess" (A grade)

    Detail: Artificial sense of detail comes from a mid-treble spike, actual detail/texture is poor. Effect is airy and unhashed.

    Tonality: Exceedingly dark/warm + airy, high-frequency spike. Plonk-y mids.

    Euphony: Spongy bass, very euphonic

    Staging: extremely narrow, focused

    Distortion: This is classic "tube sound"

    Timbre: Generally fucked. Piano sounds plonky. Baritone voice sounded natural.

    Thoughts:
    @skem: this is a gimmick tube. Technicalities were bad and seemed to get worse the warmer it got, however I can see that this could easily be the preferred tube in narrow conditions. For example, I found it to be the best for old recordings that lack bass extension and have hiss (think shellac transferred to tape transferred to CD). This tube covers the sins and gives body to otherwise low-fi audio. I understand why it has a following.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2018
  4. Drifterxny

    Drifterxny Friend

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    rectifier tubes don't affect the sound for ZDS, the driver does
     
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  5. slankoe

    slankoe Friend

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    Screenshot_20180703-202747_Gallery.jpg

    So the FedEx guy brought me this today.
    These are rough first impressions but in short: this amp is freaking great!

    A good upgrade from the SEX (which held it's own against Mjolnir 2 in many ways), I'm loving the detail and microdynamics, as well as the great soundstage - one of the first things I noticed. It's really taking HD650 and HD250 Linear I to new heights, both of which sound huge now! Impressive. Must say the treble is just perfect, you guys weren't kidding, the timbre is so spot on.
    Got some 6SL7 on the way soon.

    Looking forward to many late nights with this beauty...
     
  6. David De Lucena

    David De Lucena Science Nut

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    @skem thank you very much for all the effort, and my impressions are much alike yours.

    I would like to contribute with a small review of the another tube:
    SHUGUANG TREASURE

    I bought this from a ebay seller from china and don't need to say that my suspicion has very high.
    But for me, this tube its the best among all tubes that I have here. My preference of sound its lively, detailed, good slam, nice soundstage and separation. For me shuguang its equal or better than Philips JAN and Mullard ecc35. So my suspicious state its over. this tube its something special.


    [​IMG]
     
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  7. skem

    skem Friend

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    Excellent, @David De Lucena. I love it when there are genuine discoveries like this. Perhaps @Artasia will explore this tube also.
     
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