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OLDER DECWARE GEAR SUPPORT >> TORII MK III >> Torii MkIII with KT77, KT88, 6550???
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Message started by will on 04/17/13 at 21:36:08

Title: Torii MkIII with KT77, KT88, 6550???
Post by will on 04/17/13 at 21:36:08

Having trusted the reports on the Hazen Grid Mod I have always used EL34s and 6CA7s in my MkIII. So I have never "heard" the difference.

I am interested though.

Can anyone report on their use of KT77, KT88, or 6550 in the Torii MkIII in comparison with EL34s?

Title: Re: Torii MkIII with KT77, KT88, 6550???
Post by orangecrush on 08/14/13 at 01:29:07

Well I am going to try Genalex Gold Lion KT77s or KT88, which would be your choice?

Title: Re: Torii MkIII with KT77, KT88, 6550???
Post by will on 08/14/13 at 01:49:44

orangecrush,

Not having tried any of them, I can't say. I got caught by some unexpected craziness that ate up the last half year, and I lost the thread of experimenting.  I hear the KT77 is closer to the EL34 electronically, so might match more closely to Steve's bias setup, though not utilize the hazen grid mod. But then, the 88s might do something really cool.

I was also tempted by the 6550, but I don't know! Hopefully you will hear from some who have tried the Genalex's in the MkIII.

Cryoset often matches or betters the price of "raw" tubes with cryo'd tubes, and I think Ron tends to push for tubes with high scores from the factories. Worth a look anyway.

I ran some Genalex 77s in a SE34 for a while, but really can't recall the differences enough to comment with any clarity. I do remember them taking a long time to burn in.

If you get something going, please let us know what you think.

Title: Re: Torii MkIII with KT77, KT88, 6550???
Post by SteveC on 08/14/13 at 02:01:21

I'm curious about this too, but I have the words from Torii's manual burned into my mind.

"Unlike the TORII MK II that used EL34, KT77, 6550 or KT88 without re-biasing the TORII
MK III uses our new Hazen Grid Technology to push the transparency, speed, tightness to
a level that greatly surpasses the alternate tubes. Since this is the case, extra voicing
was used to get the maximum sonics from the EL34 at the cost of making any of the
above listed alternates a waste of time because they will not sound as good"

So, while I'm curious, I'm not curious enough (JJ KT88 $39 ea at tubestore for example)  :)    

love to hear about any experiments.

good luck.


Title: Re: Torii MkIII with KT77, KT88, 6550???
Post by orangecrush on 08/15/13 at 02:18:45

I leaning towards the KT77. Bias will be be closer. I love how JJ's sound but the failure rate has been dismal for me.

Title: Re: Torii MkIII with KT77, KT88, 6550???
Post by Lon on 08/15/13 at 02:25:34

I'm going to ignore this thread so I don't end up with yet another box full of tubes. . . .

Title: Re: Torii MkIII with KT77, KT88, 6550???
Post by will on 08/15/13 at 05:50:28

orangecrush,

Are you referring to JJ power tubes in general, or the 6CA7? I am temped to give the JJKT77 a try.

Title: Re: Torii MkIII with KT77, KT88, 6550???
Post by orangecrush on 08/15/13 at 15:37:56

JJ6CA7 is the only JJ's I have used. They are cheap but so far I have never gotten more then 6 months from a quad. These have gotten my attention: http://psvanetube.com/wordpress/store/products/psvane-philips-holland-metal-base-replica-el34ph-quad/

Title: Re: Torii MkIII with KT77, KT88, 6550???
Post by will on 08/15/13 at 15:57:07

I have trouble with the JJ6CA7s in my MkIII too. Don't know why, but I am thinking that this may not rule out other JJs. It seems at one point Steve stopped shipping the 6CA7 and shipped JJEL34s instead.

Those Psvanes look good. Still use the Hazen Grid too. If you get them please let us know how they sound.

Title: Re: Torii MkIII with KT77, KT88, 6550???
Post by will on 08/15/13 at 21:59:51

I just stuck back in my most recent JJ6CA7s. I got them from Cryoset and and hoping they last. In the past, when the tube was newly out, I would lose one tube in a quad  within 80-100 hours, so was able to work it out with the vendor. This set was later production and has maybe 500 hours with no problems. Hope they last. They sure have a nice distinctive sound. Makes me remember how much I like them.

Title: Re: Torii MkIII with KT77, KT88, 6550???
Post by Lon on 08/15/13 at 22:21:59

In four sets of four JJ 6CA7 tubes, one set cryo'd, in use in two amplifiers, I have had one failure of a tube, which failed after thousands of hours, and perhaps because it shook in a box in the back of a UHaul truck for 1500 miles. . . :)

I love these tubes and will keep using them. They've better sound than any other current production tube I've tried in these amps, and the Hazen Grid Mod works. I love the sound I get.

Title: Re: Torii MkIII with KT77, KT88, 6550???
Post by orangecrush on 08/16/13 at 02:07:43

Lon, you have either been extremely lucky  or many others have been very unlucky! Man I wish I could get more than a couple hundred hours out of a set, but one tube always goes. It really sucks. It gets to the point where it becomes more expensive to run tubes with failure rates. My last were from Cyroset and I hoped they would be better. Really frustrating.

Will, sadly all JJ's tubes seem to suffer from high failure rate if you look around the web. Some vendors won't sell them anymore. However their octals seem to nave the worst reputation. I think PaleRider has said this before.

The golden lion KT77 gets rave reviews and are seem to be very well made and that is why I was interested in them. However, for the price, I now wonder about spending more and going for those Psvanes EL34PH which as you say will still take advantage of the hazel grid mod. They are a few headfiers who are using them with Headamps Blue Hawaii Special amp ($6,000 headphone amp) and one poster said the "Psvane EL34PH is knocking the crap out of the Shuguang 6CA7-Z. It's not even close. Better everything, not more, just way better". Others report they surpass very expensive NOS EL34's. Psvane claims the design process costs even more than the WE300B 1:1 replica which retail at $900 a pair.

I had trouble with the Treasures from Decware, but it seems unless you buy from Grant Fidelity, you are getting lower quality tubes are meant to be sold locally in China. These new EL34PH's also have some issues, seem a bit fragile (centre guide pin can break) but Psvane says the pins are a bit larger then newer tubes as it is an exact replica so you need to be more careful. There replica series of tubes seem to be getting ridiculously good reviews. If you could actually get close to 5000 hours on a set they would be cheaper, than buying several sets of JJ's with shipping. Steve says the way the amp is designed tubes are supposed to last longer than normal, so that is not unrealistic.





Title: Re: Torii MkIII with KT77, KT88, 6550???
Post by Lon on 08/16/13 at 12:07:09

Maybe I'm lucky, maybe because I'm using 6N1P as input tube?  I've tried 6922 and 6DJ8, 7DJ8 etc. and I just don't prefer the nature of the sound. Perhaps the 6N1P drives these differently? Steve is now shipping with TungSols (don't like these myself).

Title: Re: Torii MkIII with KT77, KT88, 6550???
Post by will on 08/16/13 at 16:24:05

Lon,

I wish I knew how the current the inputs draw effect the power tubes....I have been told that 6N1Ps do draw 600mah filament versus 300 mah for the others. But I can't use them in my MkIII because of too-early distortion, so if your thought is correct, I am out anyway.

orangecrush,

I just don't have the confidence to buy a 400 dollar quad unheard. Ran into the same sort of feeling with the KT77 Golden Lions due to Steve's opinion on the Hazen Grid mod...a $200 risk. At some point I decided to splurge on a good buy for some Siemens/RFT NOS EL34s...a favorite for many. Great and interesting sound, but they Just never got under my skin.

I agree with your thinking though. If the Psvane  EL34PH sound as good as reported, and they last, the Psvane may well be a great buy compared to failing JJ6CA7s over the long run. I don't get why they decided to be that purist in reproduction as to make the guide pins fragile, but you never know what does what with the revealing sound of our amps. Seems a doable thing though knowing they are tight and fragile...

I am in hopes that my latest Quad of JJs holds up...maybe they sorted out build issues. But I am discouraged that you have found a lot of reports on bad JJs. I really like the sound of the 6CA7s.

Title: Re: Torii MkIII with KT77, KT88, 6550???
Post by Lon on 08/16/13 at 17:10:42

will, yeah, I don't know the electrical effects either, but it seems there would be something besides luck that would account for my lack of failures on the 6CA7.

Title: Re: Torii MkIII with KT77, KT88, 6550???
Post by will on 08/16/13 at 18:18:52

I think you have a good point there too. Who knows though. You deserve a little luck!

Title: Re: Torii MkIII with KT77, KT88, 6550???
Post by Lon on 08/16/13 at 18:36:58

I won't argue that! I was lucky enough to have ten days off from my parental care and a trip on the Fat Bob to Texas and back, which was amazing and rejuvenating and about to end. . . .

Enjoying more hours with my systems now right before I go back to not hearing it at all often again. Sounds awesome, both systems, different but . . awesome. We're all lucky we have gotten this far on our audio paths.

Title: Re: Torii MkIII with KT77, KT88, 6550???
Post by orangecrush on 08/16/13 at 23:07:09

I am using the 61NP as well. I hear ya, $400 per quad is a gamble.

Title: Re: Torii MkIII with KT77, KT88, 6550???
Post by JD on 08/16/13 at 23:26:34

I'm using Psvane 6ca7-t that i got for 300 a while back and they are my favorite.  I like em better than even my reissued mullards and definitely the jj's.

JD

Title: Re: Torii MkIII with KT77, KT88, 6550???
Post by orangecrush on 08/31/13 at 19:27:34

Grand Fidelity has just posted this to the EL34PH page.

Stock update: Some previous users reported tube pins too rigid or reliability issue. We have discussed with manufacturer to tighten up our quality control criteria to ensure all our customers to receive as high quality as possible tubes from us. We stand behind our warranty 100% and all current stock has been re-screened for the new criteria. Please purchase with confidence and we will be here to service your needs.

Title: Re: Torii MkIII with KT77, KT88, 6550???
Post by hifitubes on 10/12/13 at 20:56:54

Yes, do not buy from folks direct in China for PSVANE. I did so and my PSVANE Type II EL34 almost damaged my EL34.1 after one month. I'd like to try some more and the metal base PSVANE El34 but will have to go through a reputable dealer.

Title: Re: Torii MkIII with KT77, KT88, 6550???
Post by JD on 10/12/13 at 22:29:36

I've only gone through grantfidelity out of vancouver(i believe) and they are reliable.

JD

Title: Re: Torii MkIII with KT77, KT88, 6550???
Post by orangecrush on 10/21/13 at 03:33:07

Well, this time I got a little longer life out of my Cyro JJ's 6AC7's, 8 months! That is the longest I have had a set last. So no more JJ's for me. One tubes always starts to go a month or two before it complete stops working. It will start to get noisy and when changing the bias switch or input switch will cause a loud pop through the speaker (side with the bad tube). It's possible maybe the Torri is malfunctioning and the cause premature failure, but the only way to find out is to change tube brand. All my other tubes seem to last forever.

I just ordered a Cyro quad of Genalex Gold Lion KT77 's from Ron at CyroSet and also some Genelex Gold Lion ECC88 / 6922 Gold Pin. Both of these tubes get rave reviews so we will see how they sound in the Torri.

Its seem the internet reviews all agree that the Gold Lion KT77's sound better then any other new production EL34 and the fact it is a drop in replacement, I have high hopes. Yes, no more CCE mod, but I just can't afford to replace the JJ's twice a year.  

I will still eventually try the Psvane El34PH, but will first test the KT77's as I need backup tubes anyway.

Title: Re: Torii MkIII with KT77, KT88, 6550???
Post by will on 10/21/13 at 04:17:44

Thanks for diving in OC. I look forward to your impressions! I have been running cryo'd Mullard EL34 reissues lately.

Title: Re: Torii MkIII with KT77, KT88, 6550???
Post by Lonely Raven on 10/21/13 at 12:35:26


OC, where do you get your JJ tubes from?

I've been getting my JJ from http://www.eurotubes.com/

Granted, this is because I buy them for guitar use, but Bob has an in at the JJ factory (family if I recall correctly), and takes the time to weed out bad tubes. I use the JJ KT77 in one of my very hard driven guitar amps, and that set has been in there for 5+ years!

Those Genalex do sound interesting though! I wonder if Steve has tried out their KT66 on the new amps...

Title: Re: Torii MkIII with KT77, KT88, 6550???
Post by orangecrush on 10/21/13 at 15:50:49

I've been getting them from CyroSet. Thanks for the link it might come in handy. I will report back.

Title: Re: Torii MkIII with KT77, KT88, 6550???
Post by Lonely Raven on 10/21/13 at 20:00:58

Hrm, Cryoset is supposed to be very thorough - probably more so than Eurotubes. You would think their process would help weed out the clunkers.

I've got nothing. Maybe JJ has gone to crap over the years. It's been a long while since I've needed to purchase any JJ tubes. But I've beat the snot out of their 12AX7, 6L6, EL84 KT77, and even used the 6V6 in 6L6 applications that would normally kill a 6V6 tube. Usually pretty tough stuff.

Title: Re: Torii MkIII with KT77, KT88, 6550???
Post by Lon on 10/21/13 at 20:13:59

I've gotten quads of the JJ 6CA7 from Decware and indirectly from Decware (that is from forum members selling them when they came with the Torii) and from cryoset. (The cryo'd are the best, no doubt about it).

I have run about four pairs between three machines I ahve and get about 10 months to a year out of them; I run my amps hard, they're on about 2/3 of every day. That's reasonable life in my opinion for a power tube. I have had one failure, and that failed after I transported the amp and half of my household in the back of a UHAUL truck that shook like a mofo.

I prefer these tubes to any other that I have put in my Toriis. They're awesome power tubes, and I'm going to keep using them.

Title: Re: Torii MkIII with KT77, KT88, 6550???
Post by Lonely Raven on 10/21/13 at 22:06:41

That sounds more like what I've come to expect from JJ

Title: Re: Torii MkIII with KT77, KT88, 6550???
Post by will on 10/22/13 at 00:31:48

I am not sure that all JJ tubes are created equal. And one JJ story seems to be... wait until they are in production a while. I also noticed Steve stopped putting them in amps.

My personal experience with the 6CA7 is not great. I have had four tubes from 4 quads fail so far. The first two quads were from BOIaudioworks and the tubes failed fast (something like 100 hours). They were very accommodating...since a tube failed from the first quad, and then one from the replacement quad, I asked if I could keep the other 6 tubes in order to have some backup. They very nicely agreed. And one did...so I have one spare left. However, I have not used those tubes since, so who knows if I would even end up with a good quad.

Then I had a cryoset quad that sounded better so put the others away...I agree with Lon...they do all the sound parts a little better, but one failed.

Then I had another cryoset quad, later build, which is going fine so far with maybe 5-600 hours.

Who knows. Like I said, I am playing with cryoset Mullard reissues now and like them fine, though I have not done comparisons with the JJ 6CA7s or other EL34s I have.

I sure am excited to hear orangecrushes thoughts on the Genelex. Every time I have almost got some, I chicken out.


Title: Re: Torii MkIII with KT77, KT88, 6550???
Post by orangecrush on 10/22/13 at 19:13:34

I never have had more then 500 hours on a set.

Title: Re: Torii MkIII with KT77, KT88, 6550???
Post by Lon on 10/22/13 at 19:27:10

Dang, you're unlucky! :)

Title: Re: Torii MkIII with KT77, KT88, 6550???
Post by will on 10/22/13 at 20:12:27

Lon, Since OC and I have lost faith due to failure, sounds to me more like you are lucky!

;)

Title: Re: Torii MkIII with KT77, KT88, 6550???
Post by Lon on 10/22/13 at 20:28:35

Maybe so. Maybe it's my Power Plant Premier. Maybe it's because I won't use 6922 types.  I see no reason to cease using the 6CA7s at the moment, I have two sets in use right now each with several thousand hours on them (one cryo'd) and love the sound.

Title: Re: Torii MkIII with KT77, KT88, 6550???
Post by orangecrush on 10/30/13 at 15:49:23

I started a new thread for the KT77.

http://www.decware.com/cgi-bin/yabb22/YaBB.pl?num=1383090703

Title: Re: Torii MkIII with KT77, KT88, 6550???
Post by jameskk on 02/01/18 at 11:41:49

in the tori mk111 manual the amp is voiced for EL34's and nothing else I presume, so read

Title: Re: Torii MkIII with KT77, KT88, 6550???
Post by Lon on 02/01/18 at 12:26:18

Perhaps, but Steve has shipped with 6CA7 so there's more to it than that. . . .

Title: Re: Torii MkIII with KT77, KT88, 6550???
Post by mark58 on 02/01/18 at 13:11:19

To be specific, Steve said because of the Hazen Grid modification that using tubes other than the EL-34 would be a waste of time...not that they can't be used in the Torii MK III.  On the Torii MK IV page on the website there is a useful graph that shows the characteristics of Output tube types that can be used in the MK III and MK IV.  To quote the Torii MK III manual...

"Unlike the TORII MK II that used EL34, KT77, 6550 or KT88 without re-biasing the TORII
MK III uses our new Hazen Grid Technology to push the transparency, speed, tightness to
a level that greatly surpasses the alternate tubes. Since this is the case, extra voicing
was used to get the maximum sonics from the EL34 at the cost of making any of the
above listed alternates a waste of time because they will not sound as good."

Title: Re: Torii MkIII with KT77, KT88, 6550???
Post by Lon on 02/01/18 at 13:24:54

Yes, I think that's the bottom line. The 6CA7 that he shipped I remember (and using them still I believe) take advantage of the Hazen Grid. And. . . though other tube types DO sound good in the amps, with the Hazen Grid in use there is a level of detail and presence that is involving and seductive.

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