Tubes, Tubes, Tubes -- Resources for Rollers!

Discussion in 'General Audio Discussion' started by The Alchemist, Oct 7, 2015.

  1. ergopower

    ergopower Friend

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    I bought one of these. I needed it after buying a T1 here because some tubes barely protrude at all and are crazy hard to access. But also is really handy for hot tube swaps whilst listening. For smaller gain stage tubes.
     
  2. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils MOT: rhythmdevils audio

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    I have one of those too. Very handy!
     
  3. dBel84

    dBel84 Friend

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    The irony of life......
     
  4. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils MOT: rhythmdevils audio

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    What happened to Mav's super long "I hate tube rolling but let''s discuss tubes" thread? That was the biggest tube discussion thread on SBAF is it gone? @zerodeefex @jexby @shotgunshane
     
  5. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils MOT: rhythmdevils audio

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    I would love some recommendations for KT88, KT66 and el34 tubes for my recently acquired Ampsandsound Bigger Ben rev2.

    I have an RCA 3 hole KT88 but that's it for power tubes. And this amp responds to tubes more than any other amp I have heard, changing the rectifier has the same quantitative effect on the overall SQ as the driver tube in most amps. I had to go through rectifiers to get rid of an elevated lower treble with the driver tube I was using, the 7316 Philips super 12au7 (because I'm using my S12 ortho iems with the amp and need it to be as quiet as humanly possible). I wound. up using a Sylvania 5U4G hanging filament from the 1940's.

    But I'd like to try different power tubes as I have tons of 12au7's and 5AR4/5U4G tubes. It seems so far that the Bigger Ben likes 5U4G rectifiers better.

    I would also like to confirm whether el34 tubes are swappable with 6CA7 tubes? I have read they are the same online, but this amp is particular about power tubes, the 6L6GC is the only tube in the 6L6 family that works, the 6L6G (sadly) does not work in the amp. Sad because there are some gorgeous 6L6G tubes out there and some very early production. But 6CA7 tubes are not listed as compatible with the amp and el34 is. So I have some concern.

    Cheers
     
  6. dasman66

    dasman66 Self proclaimed lazy ass - friend

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    LOL... welcome to tube rolling A&S style. I love my one of a kind mogwai SE++ amp... Justin upgraded my run of the mill mogwai v1 to an SE with bigger chokes, Jupiter foil caps, and something else that I don't remember (I'd have to dig out the paperwork).

    Don't limit yourself to KT88, KT66 and el34 tubes. You have many of the same power tube choices as the Mogwai and they all seem to make significant (in audiophile terms) change to the sound signature. My hands down favorite power tubes are the Bendix 6889 in adapters. Second place is RCA 6L6GC black plate and 3rd is new production TungSol 6L6GC. I have rolled thru new production TS EL34b (thin/limp), new production TS 6550 (ok, would like to try NOS), and a number of other new production that I sold off as uninspiring.

    From a rectifier standpoint... I like the svetlana 5u4g (cheap). I've also rolled an RCA black plate 5u4g, RCA 5ar4, an Amperex 5ar4, and various new production 5ar4 (Tungsol, gold lion, sovtek). The svetlana is the favorite... followed by the RCA 5u4g. I have a 7-notch mullard 5ar4/gz34 that I didn't like in the mogwai, but love in the studio b.

    I really need to sell off the tubes I'm not using... I have too many tubes for both the mogwai and the crack...
    ----edited for clarity-----
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2023
  7. Cspirou

    Cspirou They call me Sparky

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  8. Woland

    Woland Friend

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    I'm impressed to see SBAF members picked up on the infamous 6922 'Holy Grail' tube 'pump and dump' within a few days of it being mentioned here, while it never seems to have been properly addressed on Head-Fi.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2023
  9. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils MOT: rhythmdevils audio

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    Cool video showing how tubes are made. I've never seen any of this before, it's beautiful. And cool seeing these old ladies making tubes. :)

    Watching this makes me wonder why tubes aren't actually ore expensive than they currently are. They're not a high volume item.

     
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  10. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils MOT: rhythmdevils audio

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    Anyone have any experience with new production KT88 / 6550 tubes?

    A little birdie told me that the NP tubes are better than the NOS KT88 tubes. Which is hard to believe but I'm up for trying, But opinions on the rest of the internet are all over the place as usual. There's generally a lot of praise for the Gold Lion KT88's but "for the price".

    I found these "KR Audio KT88 tubes" which are intriguing though usually very expensive, as much as NOS GEC, except on that one website which I think made a typo and that price is for one tube, they sell elsewhere for $600 per pair.

    Thanks for any recommendations!
     
  11. dasman66

    dasman66 Self proclaimed lazy ass - friend

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    I have some new production tung sol 6550... I remember them as sounding ok, but I haven't had them in the amp for a long time. I can send them to you if you want to give them a try
     
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  12. DenverW

    DenverW New

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    I have a Bigger Ben rev 1 and love it! Justin from A&S gave a tube seminar at the last canjam socal and in a discussion afterwards mentioned the 6384 and 6889 tubes as really good ones for the BB. Like @dasman66 I found the 6889 with adapter to be my favorite so far. Great bass especially.

    I'm using the USAF 596 (with adapter, again, I seem to like adapters!) for my rectifier and a tung sol 6Su7gty. I do run 9 pin input tubes as well, and the welded plate tungsram circle getter is a good inexpensive one that sounds great.

    Cheers! First non introduction post :).
     
  13. caute

    caute Lana Del Gayer than you

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    What are some holy grail 6922, 12AU7 (or adapter-friendly families) and 6080 (same) that you guys are either using or lusting after?
     
  14. dasman66

    dasman66 Self proclaimed lazy ass - friend

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    I think the chain matters in having that discussion... my order of priority when selecting tubes:
    1. amp
    2. headphones
    3. dac
    (IOW, dac matters... but way less than the amp and the headphones).
     
  15. Phantaminum

    Phantaminum Friend

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    It's all amp dependent. You're going to have to roll tubes to find a sound that fits what you like.

    For example: an amp that's not lush, and is more solid state like, you may want to look at rolling in Mullard E88CC driver tube and something like a Thomson 6080. If the amp leans more on the lush side then probably a Siemens E88CC and a Tung Sol 6080 (or 7236). If the amp is down the middle and you want some slamming bass, without rolling the top end, then something like an Amperex 6922 (or RCA 6922) and a Bendix 6080. You can go on Brent Jesse's website and check out their tube sound description. It's basically spot on from my experience when I was rolling tubes.

    Just so I don't cop out here's my list of holy grail tubes in no particular order and all are late 50s / early 60s.

    6922/E88CC:
    • Siemens E188CC/CCa
    • Telenfunken E188CC
    • Amperex pinched waist 6922
    • Mullard E88CC
    12AU7:
    • Mullard 12AU7 square getter
    • Bugle Boy 12AU7
    • Amperex 7236 (12AU7)
    6080:
    • Bendix 6080
    • GEC 6080 (one of my favorites)
    • Tung Sol 7236
     
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  16. caute

    caute Lana Del Gayer than you

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    These two are on my grail list too

    Never heard of these, but they're on my list now! I'm using an RCA Clear Top in my loaned, modded Crack and I actually really like it.

    Funny, @dasman66 is graciously letting me borrow some power/input tubes for the Crack, and while I've heard all about the GEC and Bendix, I'd never heard of the TS 7236, but it quickly ousted all the other output tubes he sent and is the one I daily drive!
     
  17. dasman66

    dasman66 Self proclaimed lazy ass - friend

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    Glad you're enjoying them... the 7236 does real well with bloomy/warmer amps and warmer headphones. The 7236 was my daily driver before I started modding my crack and I ended up with a couple of them (I tend to buy backups of any tubes that I use regularly). I often paired the 7236 with a Mullard CV4003 (the military version of the Mullard in @Phantaminum 's post).
     
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  18. Phantaminum

    Phantaminum Friend

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    The TS 7236 are punchy and fast. Loved them on the Glenn OTL. Since you have the BH Crack, you should look for a TS 5998 tube. It's a nice change from the 7236 with their deep, wide, and holographic sound stage. Although, the prices for some of the holy grail tubes on the list are insane right now. Good luck to your wallet sir.
     
  19. Slade01

    Slade01 Almost "Made"

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    I'll add to the 12au7 list of things to look for, but probably holy grail pricey these days:

    Raytheon 7730 (Long Plate / D-Getters)
    Telefunken ECC82 (Smooth Plates) [ECC802S is the Holy Grail Variant tho']
    Brimar CV4003 / 12AU7 (Long Black Plate / Square Getters)

    The Raytheons and Telefunken were suberb all around. The Brimar was more of a mid-forward tube, but fantastic with vocals and the mid (to upper) range.

    Also - (they were budget tubes not so long ago) but (punching way above its price class)
    Raytheon 5814a
    Sylvania Gold Brand (GB-5814a)

    and same for the 6080 here, Sylvania Gold Brand 6080. Not the regular run of the mill Sylvanias here, the Gold Brand stuff is better for sure.

    GIve my condolences to your wallet. Happy tube hunting!
     
  20. dasman66

    dasman66 Self proclaimed lazy ass - friend

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    @caute ... FWIW, there is one of those in the box I sent you... as well as a CBS/Hytron 5814 (I liked the 5814 paired with the Tung-Sol/Chatham 6AS7G... but YMMV)
     

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