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The Joys of Tube Rolling.

 

I swapped in some Tungsram Haltron 12au7's last night that I had previously tried in the gain stage of the PL for a hand full of  hours over about three sessions when I purchased them about a year ago.

Back then I found that they had amazing separation and detail that was that extreme that you could hear every instrument completely on its own, which is amazing to hear but, for me anyway, becomes quite tiring pretty quick. The better half disliked them instantly as being to harsh and disjointed.

 

Anyway I packed them away and have not used them since, in the interim I have had the caps on the PL upgraded to Jupitor Copper foils, plus I have replaced the speaker and interconnect cables with the new version Lenehan Foilflex's. I also tried out and really liked some Tunsgram NOS E80CC's in place of the NOS RadioTechique 12au7's that were my pick of the various 12au7 tubes that I purchased from a SNA member, which included the Haltrons.

 

Anyway fast forward to last night and rolling the Haltrons in and what a huge difference, yes the separation is still there but not as extreme or tiring as it was previously, in fact they made my system sound bloody amazing with both a Dire Straits and then Leonard Cohen CD that I tried first up. So I decided to try them playing a record and as I had played the previous night a Dianna Krall album I put it back on and that magic that they produced with CD's didn't work with vinyl. All of a sudden the detail sounded shallow and the music lost all of its warmth. I then tried a favourite CD of mine Allen Taylor's the Beat Hotel and that to didn't sound nearly as good as it does with the E80CC's. Taylor's voice is not as strong as Cohen's and that I think is why Cohen sounded great but Taylor was lost.

 

So up we get this morning and the wife puts on a London Grammer CD and again that magic sound returned and she has gone from someone who didn't like these tubes originally to a convert. 

 

I'm guessing the cap upgrade in the PL is the reason the Haltrons now sound so much better, but who knows.

 

I know I'm preaching to the converted with this long rant, but my point is not how good or bad the Haltron tubes are, rather how good is it that with tube amplifiers that by simply rolling two small gain tubes our sound systems sq can so dramatically be changed to make the most of the different genres in music. 

 

It takes less than twenty seconds to roll the gain tubes on a PL so the Haltrons will now sit alongside the amp waiting for when I play music that they work extremely well with and the E80CC's will be slotted in when I play records and old mate Allen Taylor. 

 

cheers Terry

 

*I actually recently lent these tubes to Mark(Scumbag) to try out in his PS Audio BHK Signature pre amp and so far out of maybe a dozen or so different 12au7's he has tried he liked the Haltrons the most. I only got them back a day or so ago so decided to try them again.

 

 

Edited by TerryO

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3 hours ago, TerryO said:

The Joys of Rolling.

 

Hi Terry,

 

I may have missed you mentioning something about this elsewhere but have you ever tried swapping out all the small tubes in the PL and not just the input tubes? Sounds like you've still got a nice selection of tubes on hand and I'm guessing that a lot of them would sound better than the stock tubes. The PL uses 12au7's right across the front, right?

I'll bet with a little bit of mixing and matching that there are quite a few gains still to be had from the amp.

 Cheers

 

Chris

Edited by unclekanus

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4 hours ago, unclekanus said:

Hi Terry,

 

I may have missed you mentioning something about this elsewhere but have you ever tried swapping out all the small tubes in the PL and not just the input tubes? Sounds like you've still got a nice selection of tubes on hand and I'm guessing that a lot of them would sound better than the stock tubes. The PL uses 12au7's right across the front, right?

I'll bet with a little bit of mixing and matching that there are quite a few gains still to be had from the amp.

 Cheers

 

Chris

Hi Chris,

 

Actually no I have not, but will give it a go tonight, it would be a mixed bag, Valvo's, RadioTechique, NEC's, Mullards. 

 

Thanks for reminding to try this.

 

cheers Terry

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8 minutes ago, TerryO said:

Hi Chris,

 

Actually no I have not, but will give it a go tonight, it would be a mixed bag, Valvo's, RadioTechique, NEC's, Mullards. 

 

Thanks for reminding to try this.

 

cheers Terry

Well.... I think you may be in for a few surprises tonight!!!

 

One thing I might suggest as well worth trying would be to use the e80cc's as the phase splitters (should be the tubes at the extreme left and right sides) and your other favourites on the input, then experiment with your other pairs as the drivers. 

Let us know how you go... sounds like you have some nice tubes and many combinations to try so it should be interesting to say the least:thumb:

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54 minutes ago, unclekanus said:

Well.... I think you may be in for a few surprises tonight!!!

 

One thing I might suggest as well worth trying would be to use the e80cc's as the phase splitters (should be the tubes at the extreme left and right sides) and your other favourites on the input, then experiment with your other pairs as the drivers. 

Let us know how you go... sounds like you have some nice tubes and many combinations to try so it should be interesting to say the least:thumb:

Thanks for that info Uncle, I also have a pair of Phillips Miniwatt E80CC's which are meant to be superior to the Tungsrams but to my ears come second. If this can sound better then I'll be an extremely happy man.

 

 

cheers Terry

Edited by TerryO

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Thanks for that info Uncle, I also have a pair of Phillips Miniwatt E80CC's which are meant to be superior to the Tungsrams but to my ears come second. If this can sound better then I'll be an extremely happy man.

 

 

cheers Terry

These will make you extremely happy Terry! sketch-1536139876224.png.536458567ecc0200e9dec62c7c308d39.png

 

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18 minutes ago, dwbasement said:

These will make you extremely happy Terry! sketch-1536139876224.png.536458567ecc0200e9dec62c7c308d39.png

 

That is very generous of you to offer them even though we hardly know each other. ... :winky:

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That is very generous of you to offer them even though we hardly know each other. ... :winky:
Haha, if you are in Sydney, I can bring them over for you to try. Good things best to share. Especially people who agree E80CC better 12au7!

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I have been comparing this evening a PL Dialogue HP Power amp with standard el34's fitted next to our Dialogue HP Integrated with KT150's and NOS 12au7's and e80cc's fitted.

 

I have always liked PL amps with the standard el34's fitted, the standard ones are the nicest el34's I have listened too, however not quite there when compared to the integrated with KT150's. I would love to back to back two PL HP Power amps as mono blocks with el34's to the Integrated with the KT150's, that might be a interesting comparison.

 

Anyway I'm going to fit a second set of KT150's to the Power Amp tomorrow and then compare them both again.

 

cheers Terry

image.jpeg

Edited by TerryO

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On 5 September 2018 at 11:30 AM, dwbasement said:

These will make you extremely happy Terry! sketch-1536139876224.png.536458567ecc0200e9dec62c7c308d39.png

 

Gold pin and all never seen these before. 

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46 minutes ago, dwbasement said:

Yes Mark, they are very rare.

I may have missed something in an earlier post but where are they made. They look Russian, Dutch Russian??? Cost? 

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I may have missed something in an earlier post but where are they made. They look Russian, Dutch Russian??? Cost? 

Holland, priceless!

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I have thoroughly enjoyed the JJ 6922s previously in the preamp section of my Stereo Knight Magnetic Enigma and am now allowing some Phillips Holland made E88CC SQ’s settle in. So far they are more lively than the JJs but whether that suits me and my tastes, time will tell.

 

Edit- anyone tried these? - http://tubeaudio.com.au/genalex-6922-e88cc/

Edited by Darren69

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On ‎23‎/‎04‎/‎2018 at 8:58 PM, realysm42 said:

Fellow tube-o-philes, I have a question for you (and if this too far OT, happy to take it to PM) and would really appreciate your advice.

 

In my Longdog DAC, there is a single EF86 tube for power rectification. In your opinion (or preferably experience), does the pedigree of this tube have any impact on sound quality? I appreciate having one that's within spec / measures well is important, but do you think it'd make much difference to sound, having an average joe to a known top performer?

 

I've played with tubes on the output and that did have an impact on sound quality.

Longdog DAC- yummo.

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Philips miniwatt GZ34 metal base arrived today, sounds great. 20180920_195812.jpg

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24 minutes ago, dwbasement said:

Philips miniwatt GZ34 metal base arrived today, sounds great. 20180920_195812.jpg

What tube are you comparing it with and what are the differences? 

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What tube are you comparing it with and what are the differences? 

I only use metal base now Mark, I do have a tele gz32 and a mullard gz34 and 32 normal base but now in the spare box... i also used to have a valvo (mullard made) f32 and couple of other mullard rebrands gz34. The difference is the clarity of the sound in general, it is not night and day difference but you can hear it and just feel yes, that's nice kind of thing.

 

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2 hours ago, dwbasement said:

I only use metal base now Mark, I do have a tele gz32 and a mullard gz34 and 32 normal base but now in the spare box... i also used to have a valvo (mullard made) f32 and couple of other mullard rebrands gz34. The difference is the clarity of the sound in general, it is not night and day difference but you can hear it and just feel yes, that's nice kind of thing.

 

Ever tried Brimars or an 80? In my 1920s UX-171A based amp I use an 80. Mainly because I wanted to keep it very vintage. A mate who has built a lot of tube amps swears by Brimars, or even Sylvania? 

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My amp can only use GZ32 or 34...I used a brimar gz32 couple of years ago I think, they are ok. Never try sylvania before, I had sylvania 6em7 before but sold them now, prefect GE and Philips.

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Wanky shot of some EL34 with 6SN7 lurking in the background.....IMG_20180928_193801_060.jpg

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Comments from my system thread on the arrival of the Siemens A frames-

 

Interesting, will let the Siemens settle in but right now, they have introduced a bit of sibilance into the system methinks, vs the E88CC SQ Phillips. But again, will let them settle.

 

Awesome bass and a very lively sound, bass is fantastic and highs are good, soundstage is brilliant but if the sibilance and slight glassiness hangs around, the Phillips might go back in.

 

So far, I have not tried the Harmonix 6922's yet. The JJ's are the king of smooth and very very good. The Phillips take a touch of smooth out but add tonnes of realism but don't add any harshness, literally the best of both worlds, and a massive soundstage. For me they beat the JJ's but not by a mile.

 

I don't think anything does soundstage like tubes.

 

But who knows, once the Siemens settle all might be amazing. Time will tell.

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Don't fret Dazzle, I'll give you $20 for those horrible sibilant Seimens. ... afterall what are friends for other then to help out mates when they are in a bind. ... 😉

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Guest scumbag

I got hold of a pair of these:

image.png.fad2caaae3c7c6885f8f746e68d6a307.png

 

I was using some Prima Luna 12AU7's which are nice but these are very enjoyable. There is a very slight rounding off of the treble which is actually really pleasant but they have nice slightly plump bass and a sweet midrange. They have that tube ambiance to the upper midrange - a bit like good vinyl. You just fall into the music. They are still reasonably priced. Once the expensive 12AU7's dry up and the remaining stock becomes crazy dear, people will start jumping on the less well known variants like these.

 

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