Discussion in 'Headphone Amplifiers and Combo (DAC/Amp) Units' started by Koth Ganesh, Sep 28, 2019.
Was wondering how you felt about the amperex vs the mullards. I recently ordered some mullards from a well respected place and got amperex.. Not sure if I should be pissed. I asked if they had these type of tubes and they mentioned mullards. Then sent me amperex lol... NIce 1960's matched tube set though. I guess I'll run em for a while.
Amperex are a bit thicker, richer, rounder than Mullards. Both are warmer than stock by an appreciable amount.
The info i now have from the seller is this EF184/6EJ7 tube is not made by mullard anyway. The "mullards" have amperex date codes anyway. Should be no difference then.
I don't know enough about tubes, maybe they are wrong or dont care but I thought I was buying these.
then they say they were not made by mullard ?
Which ones exactly?
The Amperex and Mullards I have sound noticeably different. I bought my pairs from Viva tubes, as well. The Mullard is def tilted up a little bit in the treble and bass is tight, but lacks dynamics/slam. It is a very resolving tube. Beautifully open, but a change of pace tube for me. The Amperex has amore even handed sound.. spacious, smooth, slightly rolled off up top.
I've long suspected the Tungsram EF184 could be my favorite tube (to date) in the SW51+. After a lengthy amount of time with it, sure enough, it's become my daily driver. It'll withold the flowery tube prose.. I'd best describe it as a juiced up version of the stock tube.. better extension, layering, clarity, resolving ability, and tone. Micro/macro dynamics take a noticeable step up. The Tungsram took an agonizingly long ass time to break in. Listening to Pearl Jam's Ten right now and it's nothing short of majestic out of this wonder amp (w/ the Elex & HD650).
Top or bottom end? Both?
How would you compare the tonality of the Tungsten Tungsrams* to other tubes you've heard?
*Edited to fix autocorrect typo.
At @FlySweep's suggestion, I got the Tungsram EF184s.
My initial impressions are that, in comparison with the stock tubes, the EF184s have:
More bass and tonal weight
Better treble extension
Less upper mids/lower treble emphasis i.e. not as bright/glarey
There do seem to be more details but they're more subtle because of the lack of emphasis in upper mids/lower treble
Better layering, separation and instrument placement
Will update with any changes as listening continues.
p.s. mods any chance of merging this thread with the other SW51+ impressions thread? Then maybe the thread starter could update the OP with tube options/impressions.
Quick impressions after 24 hours with HD600 + HD6XX being fed MD Airist R2R DAC via Schitt Eitr:
If you prefer warm with a focus on Euphonic stuff, get the ZDT Jr.
You heard it from me, ZDT Jr to me is boring as fuck to listen to after a while. Good amp, soooooo not for me (preference here, not the performance of the amp). However, just because I don't like it doesn't mean that you will hate it. In matter of fact, there are plenty of people here who like the ZDT Jr. I would try to hear the ZDT Jr. if you can to see if that fits your jam.
SW51+ stock tube has the SS advantage (more detail focus, leaner sound, dynamics like made with good micro/marco details, more extended bass than ZDT Jr.) with mostly without the infamous SS glare (I can only get it on the most digital shit recorded song, which really on a high level of things it isn't a major problem). Sometimes I'm like is this really a SS amp?
Smaller stage and less layers/separation than playing on a DNA Starlett, but differences aren't crazy big.
I think SW51+ has stronger attacks with stock tubes than Starlett, but for some it could be tiresome after a while depending on the type of music. SW51+ is like a standard Jack Daniels Whiskey and Starlett is more like 10+ year old Scotch Whiskey. Both good, but one is more matured than the other. This part is for @Jinxy245.
SW51+ almost kills the HD6XX veil, it makes it sing like me on the toilet taking a poop. Good stuff.
For most people, this might be the only tube amp they ever need, provided if they like a more neutral sounding amp like SW51+.
Edit: JVC/Drop HA-FDX1 sounds excellent on this than the THX AAA 789 (you heard it from me @shotgunshane). Sometimes I get glare with FDX1 with green nozzle thru THX, not really so much on SW51+.
And tighter, and punchier, no?
Not something I expected to read in an audio component impression writeup, nor something I want to read again.
Quite similar to how I find Mullard Blackburns. Has anyone compared these 2 tubes?
Great idea. Could be a bit of work to merge them and maintain the flow of conversations. A single thread would be an easier to use resource.
Very very yes to the answer to your question with the current stock tubes. ZDT Jr. to me with the front GE Jan tubes had this muddy bass at times that seems like it wasn't going in any specific direction. However, the bloatness of the bass made Jaco Pastorius bass playing a dream at times (but not something I want on all the time). Did help a bit with the HD600 on sub-bass, but it wasn't really a major improvement (that's wishful thinking).
The punch is very tasteful without going overboard. Could be good for those who are into Electronic/EDM on certain headphones without going overboard with sub-bass response. Then again, I can really see with the stock tubes that some might get tired listening with the SW51+ due to the attacks. However, the up-side is almost no glare, which is my biggest problem with most SS amps in my lifetime.
Ha-Ha-Ha. Life is cynical. Many great discoveries were made by authors sitting on the toilet
Like this post I'm doing now. Not joking.
I'm very curious on @Zampotech successor amp. @Gaspasser should talk about that phono pre amp.
Blech, I just threw up a little. Seriously @YMO, with much love & respect, please spare us from your style of “dick & fart” jokes. I prefer tongue in cheek jokes as opposed to tongue in...well you catch my drift.
I like to keep initial impressions to status posts because I sometimes pass judgement quickly and like to change my mind. However, that being said, the Laconic T15B phono preamp is evoking the same positive feelings as I have toward SW51+. It is bassier and more detailed than Frankenphono which is what I was looking for and is a perfect complement to SW51+.
I am VERY impressed with what is going on in @Zampotech house of wonders. Then you consider the value proposition and it boggles the mind. I’ve been watching HP movies with the kids, sorry.
Can't help it, only kids younger than nine can play. Even typing this up with some good bourbon, I caught your drift loud and clear.
My bad! Come back later when you try it out more. I don't know if people are even aware of the T15B at all, but I could be wrong.
@Zampotech should be applauded for being so transparent and open with us
Got a pair of new tubes to play with tonight. I'm not going to wax poetic here but the Morpheus -> SW51+ -> HD650 has come alive with this tube and has some serious synergy. First time I can say anything remotely like authorative bass with the HD650 - the bass is very clean and clear and doesn't muddle the mids which brings out a lot more midrange spatial cues and overall plankton. I didn't order from this guy (Canadian eBay seller but I've since bought both his pairs available). https://www.laboratoriomusicale.net/en/6ej7-ef184-philips-ecg-jan-nos-pentode-tube
My other concern is that the QC over at Viva Tubes is just shit and doesn't represent the tubes I own well, I don't know. (Amperex Bugle Boy, GE, RCA (blah) or stock). I can say I've had 2 pairs of tubes and 1 single bite the dust in short order so I'm glad I didn't give them any more money.
I got a sleeve of 5, exact same tube for $30 from ebay. Still prefer the stock tube with stock HD600, simplicity at it's finest.
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