Message started by TopAce on 01/01/11 at 23:53:09

Title: Lack of Air
Post by TopAce on 01/01/11 at 23:53:09

I have had my z box for about 3 years and I have never been 100% convinced it is the best thing. I can hear all the good things it does which does make it hard to switch it out of the system after getting used to it but the main problem is in every situation I have used it, it has always removed the air and ambience from the music, which I miss.
It is good to hear the comments from veryoldcat

"Well, currently I get the best results with 12BH7's. They have a tendency to sound slightly grainy right at first, but that goes away after they are burning for a while. They have the most spacious sound to my ear."

This might solve my problem. Just wondering if anyone has a suggestion for any good ones. Or any to avoid.

I have just blown up my Z-Box by plugging it into a 240v power socket forgetting that it is a 110v version. I will send it back and get a 240v transformer installed which are now available. I'll let you know how it goes when It is all running again with new tubes.


Title: Re: Lack of Air
Post by Rivieraranch on 01/02/11 at 14:28:09

Various comments have been made about the different 12BH7 tubes. Jim McShane likes RCA's. In particular the long black plate. A lot of folks concurr with this. The Tung Sol black plates are also highly regarded.  "The EI version lacks the detail of the RCA." "The GE is edgy." To quote various posts over on Audio Asylum.

If you are turgid to try a 12BH7 make it an RCA or Tung Sol black plate 12BH7A.  

Title: Re: Lack of Air
Post by Lon on 01/19/11 at 15:57:32

Those are good recommendations.  I've had several RCA and really like them.

Though this last time I've been using my ZBOX I've been using a series of 12AU7 tubes I bought in a lot from ebay, and there are a few winners in there, a few G&Es and one that I am not sure what its provenance is but it's very "resonant" sounding.

Just got my ZBOX back from Steve, who brought it back to life and up to current production standards. Sounds AWESOME.

Title: Re: Lack of Air
Post by Lon on 02/06/11 at 04:43:36

Yesterday I discovered I had a GE 12BH7 tube sitting on a shelf and can't remember where I got it from.  Put it in the ZBOX before I went off to work. . . came home and turned on the stereo and wow it sounded good. Tonight after work again it is sounding great. I think th 12BH7 tube type may be just what Top Ace is looking for. I have been using 12AU7s from GE for a while both before and after I sent the ZBOX back for repair. The 12BH7 is a bit less warm, but gives a very solid image rooted in space.  Right now I'm listening to a George Benson solo and it sounds like it's coming from a guitar amp in the room. There ARE two in the room actually, my 1959 Bassman LTD Reissue, and my Epiphone Valve Jr. :)

I notice Riviera Ranch says he's seen comments that the GEs are "edgy." Well, this one sure isn't, very sweet and passes on the ambient information well. I find that a tube sounds different in different circuits. I'm sure in some this tube might sound "edgy" but it sure doesn't in the ZBOX.

Title: Re: Lack of Air
Post by rmt on 02/14/11 at 00:06:08

RCA 12b7 in my Zbox listening to Live at Leeds.

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