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What tubes fit a Zen C? Go ahead and laugh. (Read 9096 times)
Dirty_Dawg
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What tubes fit a Zen C? Go ahead and laugh.
01/06/08 at 23:39:16
 
Hi, guys,

I know I haven't been around for a while, but life things change, sometimes.

I have a long awaited pair of Zen Cs and I want to goof with a variety of tubes. I know if the search engine was working, I could probably find this info in a number of threads, but it's NOT!

(Did you know this, Steve? It gives me an error message, no matter how simple I make the inquiry. GRRRR)

I know that I can try a variety of rectifiers and I have a modest selection on hand, but I want to be sure that I don't "break anything" by switching stuff around.

I would love to have a n00by type list of tube types which I can use in the Zen C, all in one place. Don't hesitate to comment or recommend certain combinations, because I am fairly new at this.

If you guys don't remember me, I am an old time "sand scratcher" with lots of pro audio experience, (and several fashionable old sand amps as well) working the hair bands of the eighties, but only a bit of audiophile knowledge. I have very little experience with tubes, which aren't distorting in a guitar amp.

There are no comments too simplistic from which I can gain. Please, feel free to pontificate, admonish, harangue or minister to me as you see fit.
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« Last Edit: 01/06/08 at 23:41:27 by Dirty_Dawg »  

Anxiously watching as the whirling wind scoops up and hurls into oblivion the chalky white dust that was once the rank bones of my final oppressor, I relax finally, as I have survived again.
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Eli Duttman
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Re: What tubes fit a Zen C? Go ahead and laugh.
Reply #1 - 01/07/08 at 00:13:14
 
ALL SE84s, except "Selects", use 5Y3 rectifiers.  You could do WORSE than buy a pair of the 6106s recently discussed on the Tube Lovers forum.  :)

A very nice way to "roll" is a pair of JJ E88CCs in the voltage gain "slots".
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Eli D.
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veryoldcat
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Re: What tubes fit a Zen C? Go ahead and laugh.
Reply #2 - 01/07/08 at 03:36:00
 
If you look at the classifieds, "roblikestubes" has some "Cryo'd 6P15P-EVs" which are in my mind THE RITZ for output tubes. These are the military sv83's. I've listened to them in a couple of Selects (stock and heavily modded) and also in the Taboo, and I also love and use them in my Select.

It continues to amaze and bother me a bit that the cryo process should make any diff, but it sure does with these.

The uncryoed version sounds quite good and is now the stock output tube included with Decware gear (better than the  more lightly built Svetlana branded sv83's), but the cryoed version is faster and more transparent in the upper mids to highs. They also have a more solid sound than the Svetlana's, overall, whether cryoed or not.

I second Eli's impression of the Bendix 6106. Sounds great and really rugged. My absolute fav 5y3's are the Mullards, but they've been a little more fragile, besides ghastly pricey.

For the driver tube you can use 6n1p's, 6dj8's, 6922's, or 6n2p's. The 6n2p is over-the-top sounding in my Select, but as I understand sounds particularly good in the Decware EL34 based amps.

Good to see you post, Dirt. Sorry about all those years of suffering with sand kicked in your, uhh, ears. Roll Eyes

Whatya gonna use for speakers??

Karl


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proud_indian
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Re: What tubes fit a Zen C? Go ahead and laugh.
Reply #3 - 01/07/08 at 09:39:33
 
Dirt,
I have rolled quite a few on the C and the so far I have used  5Y3,5R4,5R4GY. For the EL 84's JJ's RCA's Mullards and BEL. In front, I use the Siemens or Mullard E88CC.

I have kind of gotten used to the sound of these and am quite happy. I havent bought any new tubes in a long time. And of couse all are cryoed, so if you  do manage to get them done, it would be great!!

shreekant Smiley
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Dirty_Dawg
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Re: What tubes fit a Zen C? Go ahead and laugh.
Reply #4 - 01/07/08 at 21:37:26
 
veryoldcat wrote on 01/07/08 at 03:36:00:
If you look at the classifieds, "roblikestubes" has some "Cryo'd 6P15P-EVs" which are in my mind THE RITZ for output tubes. These are the military sv83's. I've listened to them in a couple of Selects (stock and heavily modded) and also in the Taboo, and I also love and use them in my Select.

It continues to amaze and bother me a bit that the cryo process should make any diff, but it sure does with these.

The uncryoed version sounds quite good and is now the stock output tube included with Decware gear (better than the  more lightly built Svetlana branded sv83's), but the cryoed version is faster and more transparent in the upper mids to highs. They also have a more solid sound than the Svetlana's, overall, whether cryoed or not.

I second Eli's impression of the Bendix 6106. Sounds great and really rugged. My absolute fav 5y3's are the Mullards, but they've been a little more fragile, besides ghastly pricey.

For the driver tube you can use 6n1p's, 6dj8's, 6922's, or 6n2p's. The 6n2p is over-the-top sounding in my Select, but as I understand sounds particularly good in the Decware EL34 based amps.

Good to see you post, Dirt. Sorry about all those years of suffering with sand kicked in your, uhh, ears. Roll Eyes

Whatya gonna use for speakers??

Karl





Thanks for all the info, guys.

Speakers?

I have a number of vintage JBL, AR, Yamaha things still around. The flattest sounding to my ears are the eight inch, two way, near field JBL Monitors, but by far the sweetest are my own creations. I use an open back configuration with a Visaton B200 over dual modified JBL fifteens (they are 2235s) which matches my tiny room with aplomb. I use a big coil on the fifteens, which are parallel four ohm drivers, with the parallel Visaton taking over in the mid hundred cycles.

I am mostly sold on open back systems. Mine seems to measure out around 1.9 ohms (even with the big hand wound coils) and the sound with Decware amps in mono is awesome.
I have brought home to demo a set of Klipsch (dual eights and a horn, can't remember the model number), but they were quite harsh, although quite efficient, also.
I work at a Best Buy store now and I have also tried the two Martin Logans and a Definitive they carry. I like them all in some ways, but none has a neutral ear appeal like the open back Visatons, over the dual fifteens wall of cones sound.  Mine are more efficient than the Martin Logans, not as flat, but much more musical and personally involving.

I also brought home "The Source" Hybrid Electrostatic speakers and I opened the brand new boxes myself, but one had a defective power supply. I was extremely disappointed, because I don't get many chances to try out stuff that has just arrived. I could tell by listening in mono that they are fairly respectable speakers. Not efficient at all, though. I was running out of juice with the Zen C in mono. These will not really work for us, although the one speaker really came into its own with a couple hundred McIntosh sand watts across it.


I guess my point is that I am still playing with speakers, but I have found my amps. If the speakers don't sound good with my Zens, then they don't deserve to stay.

Grin
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« Last Edit: 01/07/08 at 21:41:55 by Dirty_Dawg »  

Anxiously watching as the whirling wind scoops up and hurls into oblivion the chalky white dust that was once the rank bones of my final oppressor, I relax finally, as I have survived again.
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Dirty_Dawg
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Re: What tubes fit a Zen C? Go ahead and laugh.
Reply #5 - 01/07/08 at 21:53:19
 
proud_indian wrote on 01/07/08 at 09:39:33:
Dirt,
I have rolled quite a few on the C and the so far I have used  5Y3,5R4,5R4GY. For the EL 84's JJ's RCA's Mullards and BEL. In front, I use the Siemens or Mullard E88CC.

I have kind of gotten used to the sound of these and am quite happy. I havent bought any new tubes in a long time. And of couse all are cryoed, so if you  do manage to get them done, it would be great!!

shreekant Smiley


SO, should I settle on a type of tube sound first and then buy a batch to cryo or should I get cryo'ed tubes before i decide my preferences?

Your post, along with Karl's makes me think and think. I do have a cryo'ed 5Y3, which is definitely different, but I don't have a matching uncryo'ed  version to compare.
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Anxiously watching as the whirling wind scoops up and hurls into oblivion the chalky white dust that was once the rank bones of my final oppressor, I relax finally, as I have survived again.
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proud_indian
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Re: What tubes fit a Zen C? Go ahead and laugh.
Reply #6 - 01/08/08 at 09:08:54
 
Dirt,

I think you are trying to establish the kind of tubes you would like to use. For this you would have to listen to them, and see the sound you prefer. The JJ's would sound different from other EL84's, but may sound good with a combination that you like. If that is arrived at , then you can add to that sound by cryoing.

shreekant Smiley
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Dirty_Dawg
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Re: What tubes fit a Zen C? Go ahead and laugh.
Reply #7 - 01/08/08 at 19:30:55
 
I've only tried a few different ones, none were expensive NOS or anything.
I have much to learn and explore, yet.
I tend to really enjoy the low-mid boost I get from the JJ EL84 on most of my favorite music. I listen to mostly acoustic/horn jazz and guitar oriented rock, with an occasional dip into string ensemble or piano classical.

That probably explains my speaker preferences also and my disinterest in many of the boxed speakers available.
Grin

Thanks for the comments!

I also plan to order some of the "Cryo'd 6P15P-EV" offerings from Rob, tomorrow, as per Karl's suggestion.

Cool
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« Last Edit: 01/08/08 at 19:37:49 by Dirty_Dawg »  

Anxiously watching as the whirling wind scoops up and hurls into oblivion the chalky white dust that was once the rank bones of my final oppressor, I relax finally, as I have survived again.
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Doorman
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Re: What tubes fit a Zen C? Go ahead and laugh.
Reply #8 - 01/08/08 at 21:17:30
 
Dirty_Dawg wrote on 01/08/08 at 19:30:55:
I've only tried a few different ones, none were expensive NOS or anything.
I have much to learn and explore, yet.
I tend to really enjoy the low-mid boost I get from the JJ EL84 on most of my favorite music. I listen to mostly acoustic/horn jazz and guitar oriented rock, with an occasional dip into string ensemble or piano classical.

That probably explains my speaker preferences also and my disinterest in many of the boxed speakers available.
Grin

Thanks for the comments!

I also plan to order some of the "Cryo'd 6P15P-EV" offerings from Rob, tomorrow, as per Karl's suggestion.

Cool

Those above mentioned cryo'd output tubes are the most satisfying I've had in my Select. Prior to getting them I was using Mullard EL84's (also very nice tubes)
                                                                                                                       Don
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« Last Edit: 01/08/08 at 21:18:28 by Doorman »  

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Dirty_Dawg
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Re: What tubes fit a Zen C? Go ahead and laugh.
Reply #9 - 02/08/08 at 01:29:03
 
Doorman wrote on 01/08/08 at 21:17:30:
Those above mentioned cryo'd output tubes are the most satisfying I've had in my Select. Prior to getting them I was using Mullard EL84's (also very nice tubes)
                                                                                                                       Don


Thanks. I am still waiting for a shipment of these cryo'ed tubes.

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Anxiously watching as the whirling wind scoops up and hurls into oblivion the chalky white dust that was once the rank bones of my final oppressor, I relax finally, as I have survived again.
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veryoldcat
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Re: What tubes fit a Zen C? Go ahead and laugh.
Reply #10 - 02/10/08 at 04:09:02
 
Dirt,

One thing I've noticed (and Terry brought it up on the *other* forum) is the cryoed military sv83's really open up hugely after they've been played hard for a month or two.

I just got out a pair of cryoed but unplayed tubes last week to compare, and the difference was truly dramatic.

Karl
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Dirty_Dawg
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Re: What tubes fit a Zen C? Go ahead and laugh.
Reply #11 - 02/16/08 at 23:42:19
 
veryoldcat wrote on 02/10/08 at 04:09:02:
Dirt,

One thing I've noticed (and Terry brought it up on the *other* forum) is the cryoed military sv83's really open up hugely after they've been played hard for a month or two.

I just got out a pair of cryoed but unplayed tubes last week to compare, and the difference was truly dramatic.

Karl


Thanks for the heads-up, Karl.

I have learned over the years that almost everything likes to burn in a bit, but I would never admit it in public.

Grin

Thanks to RobLikesTubes for having the foresight to lay back a few of these for us late bloomers.

I received them just today, so I plan to keep them hot all weekend!
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Anxiously watching as the whirling wind scoops up and hurls into oblivion the chalky white dust that was once the rank bones of my final oppressor, I relax finally, as I have survived again.
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veryoldcat
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Re: What tubes fit a Zen C? Go ahead and laugh.
Reply #12 - 02/17/08 at 04:06:43
 
I don't think you'll regret the cryoed tubes (which still surprises me). I have some un-cryoed of the same, and they sound good, but not near the transparence and open-ness of the of the former.

Happy listening,
Karl


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DirtDawg
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Re: What tubes fit a Zen C? Go ahead and laugh.
Reply #13 - 02/22/10 at 20:58:29
 
I suppose this thread is dying.

I just bought eight (four matched pairs)  JJ E88CCs from Tube Depot. It was only my second order from this supplier. My first order was about rectifiers and it was fairly large in diversity. I think I bought at least two or three of every type of rectifier that fit my amps.  It was more of an education in the differences in rectifiers, to be honest.

What tube dealers have other people here had good experiences in dealing with?

Who can you recommend for our favorite tubes?

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« Last Edit: 02/22/10 at 20:59:54 by DirtDawg »  
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Lon
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Re: What tubes fit a Zen C? Go ahead and laugh.
Reply #14 - 02/22/10 at 21:43:29
 
I've basically used www.tubeman.com for the last years.  Great service, selection, decent prices.
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