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Tube rolling the CSP2 (Read 12930 times)
Chris K
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Tube rolling the CSP2
01/07/10 at 04:50:20
 
Fellow CSP2 fans I have to share that I can heartily recommend the 6CG7/6FQ7 family of twin triode tube in the center position.
I've been running several 6CG7 in the center/input slot, but in particular RCA old equipment pulls, and the result is very nice. It is a tube with a longer plate structure and electrically close to the family of tubes that are spec'd for this preamp. The tube is a bit taller than the height of a 6DJ8/6922. Been running them for 2 months so all is safe. Try it you'll like it Smiley
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Rivieraranch
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Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Reply #1 - 01/07/10 at 12:43:37
 
You say "tube rolling;" I say "valve swapping."

I tried some of those 6CG7's in my MLB headphone amplifier, which is the predecessor to the CSP2. I concluded that they lacked the life, sparkle and verve of a 6N1P-EV or a member of the 6922 family of tubes. So I sold my 6CG's.
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Lord Soth
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Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Reply #2 - 10/31/11 at 16:23:43
 
There was a very good thread started on the choice of rectifier tubes.

If anyone has tried difference flavours of the 6922/6DJ8/6N1P vacuum tubes, please share your experience here.
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Lord Soth
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Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Reply #3 - 06/03/12 at 08:35:46
 
For those who are interested, there have been many threads posted in the WWW about people preferring Lorenz Stuttgart Germany PCC88 Tubes over the more famous Siemens CCa Grey shields.

I have personally compared (and preferred) the Lorenz Tubes over the Siemens Grey Shields CCa, Valvo Grey Shields CCa, Telefunken, French Made Philipe E188CC, Russian 6N1P-EV tubes etc...

This is a brief comparative review of the Lorenz PCC88/E88CC/CCa tubes.
I intend to post a more comprehensive review over in the Tubes Asylum Forum in the very near future.
The 5 types of Lorenz (Stuttgart Germany) tubes in my possession are

Lorenz 2 Mica Version
(a) CCa
(b) E88CC
(c) PCC88

Lorenz 3 Mica Version
(a) E88CC
(b) PCC88

I had been using the Lorenz PCC88 2 Mica version rather contentedly for many months now and had only swopped in my other Lorenz tubes from time to time for non-serious comparisons.
Recently, I decided to get really serious.
For a fair comparison, I managed to burn in all my Lorenz tubes for 100+ hrs.
They were all subjected to 24 hours burn in (heater only) and another round of >80 hours of audio burn in using burn-in audio CDs for e.g . the frybaby mp3.

The audio characteristics are as follows:-

Lorenz 2 Mica Version
Since I was in a unique position to be able to compare all these Lorenz variants, one of my discoveries was that the 2 Mica tubes seem to be able to introduce Tube Euphony at certain audio frequencies. They remind me of the frequency equalizers found in some of my older digital hifi equipment.

If you ever played adventure role-playing games such as "The Bard's Tale" series or the recent "Dragon Age: Origins", one of the abilities of a Master Bard is the ability to enthrall audiences. The equivalent over here would be the ability to inject Tube Euphony.

(a) CCa – Best (i.e. most euphoric) Treble or High Frequencies. Best for instrumental audio tracks especially string instruments or Wind instruments.
Best resolution and sonic clarity.
Best Instrument separation. Backup vocal singers are the most distinct from the lead singers.
Mids are slightly warmer than PCC88 version. Soundstage is smaller than PCC88. Mids are slightly more forward than the PCC88.
This tube is highly recommended for Classical music with plenty of string instruments.
On “The Story” by Brandi Carlile, this tube managed to evoke a strong emotional response in me when the guitar was played. So far, no other tube (Lorenz or otherwise) has ever managed to do so. If you want to add a dose of Tube “magic” to your treble, the Lorenz CCa is highly recommended.

(b) E88CC – Best (i.e. most euphoric) Vocals or Mid Range. Best for music with emphasis on vocals. This tube reminds me of the Telefunken family of tubes which can impart special mid-range magic to any song.
2nd best resolution and sonic clarity. Mids are the warmest in the Lorenz family. Soundstage is smaller than PCC88. Mids are slightly more forward than the PCC88.
If you like music with emphasis on vocals, this is the tube for you.
If I did not own the 3 Mica Lorenz variants (details below), I would have considered this to be my personal favourite. This tube can make Madonna sing with emotion! Yes, her contemporary pop songs are catchy but this was the first time I felt so moved by her vocals. As for how magical this tube is, let’s just say that I would not hesitate to put out a “Do Not Disturb” sign when I am listening to Ella Fitzgerald with this tube.

(c) PCC88 – Best (i.e. most impactful) Percussive Drums or low end Bass. You can “feel” the greatest impact from this tube.
Best 3D effect with the largest soundstage of all 5 Lorenz tube variants.
This has a slight sonic “veil” as compared with the other 2 Mica variants.
This tube is most recommended for music whereby the bass is emphasised. This tube literally KICKS ASS! When listening to Japanese Taiko drums on my cans, there are times when I feel as though I am listening to real solid vibrationary drums from speakers.

Lorenz 3 Mica Version

(a) E88CC – Balanced Tube with soundstage about the same size as the Lorenz 2 Mica E88CC and CCa. Is the 2nd best in all audio frequencies as compared with the 2 Mica Lorenz tubes. Mids are slightly more forward than the PCC88.

(b) PCC88 - Balanced Tube with the smallest soundstage. Is the 2nd best in all audio frequencies as compared with the 2 Mica Lorenz tubes.

The best way to describe the 3 Mica Lorenz family tube would be “balanced”.

What I mean is that the 3 Mica Lorenz tubes are outstanding on their own with regard to the low end, the mid range and the top end treble frequencies.
However, they are 2nd best when compared with the Treble of the 2 Mica CCa, the midrange of the 2 Mica E88CC and the low end bass of the 2 Mica PCC88 which were mentioned above.

Conclusion
I would not say that there is any one BEST Lorenz tube.

If your audio chain requires a tweak in the Treble, mid-range or Low End, then I would recommend the Lorenz 2 Mica CCa, E88CC or PCC88 respectively over the other Lorenz tubes.

If you prefer a balanced “workhorse” tube, then the Lorenz 3 Mica tubes are recommended over the 2 Mica variety.

I listen to an eclectic range of music and so my personal favourite tube is now the Lorenz 3 Mica E88CC. This seems to do everything very well. It may lose out to the 2 Mica Lorenz tubes individually but the Lorenz 3 Mica E88CC still manages to impart some (as in a slight amount of) tube euphony into the entire audio spectrum.

As for why I prefer the E88CC over the PCC88, the PCC88 has a slight sonic veil and also has the smallest soundstage of all the 5 tubes which I reviewed. The PCC88 has excellent instrument separation though and when this is combined with a smaller soundstage, the backup singers and main vocals are very distinct but seem to be slightly “squashed together”.

If you are not as perturbed by this audio quirk as I am, then the Lorenz PCC88 3 Mica version should be able to meet the needs of just about any other audiophile out there. Yes, the PCC88 (3 Mica) is really that good!
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« Last Edit: 06/03/12 at 08:43:17 by Lord Soth »  
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JD
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Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Reply #4 - 06/04/12 at 15:24:56
 
Lord Soth appreciate the detailed info included in your post...knowledge is power thanx for sharing.

jd
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s1
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Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Reply #5 - 06/13/12 at 04:20:59
 
+1 Thanks Lord Soth Smiley
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Lord Soth
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Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Reply #6 - 06/14/12 at 13:50:18
 
Hi JD and S1,

Thanks for the positive feedback.

Audio-tube rolling and reviewing is really hard work.

BTW, should you ever be looking for Lorenz tubes, Ebay is a very good source.
Just wanted to let you know that Lorenz tubes do show up on Ebay from time to time.

For the CSP2+, all we require is only 1 single tube, so tube hunting is much easier than if we required a matched pair like other tube amps out there.

Cheers!

Lord Soth
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setamp
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Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Reply #7 - 06/25/12 at 13:11:59
 
I am the new owner of a used csp2+.  It came with a complement of amperex bugle boy 6dj8/e88cc tubes as well as a mullard cv593 rectifier.

while mids and upper mids sound nice and warm and smooth, the bass is soft and flubby.  

where should i begin in tube rolling?  it seems the front tube and rectifier have a large effect on tone.  i would like to tighten up my bass but not lose the volume and weight of bass.  i also prefer a warm sound and deep soundstage.  i am VERY sensitive to glare/grain/harshness in the upper mids/lower highs.
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Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Reply #8 - 06/25/12 at 13:53:58
 
I don't know as much about Amperex Bugle Boys as I do other brands, and I'm not really fond of 6DJ8, but what I've read of them and what little experience I have makes me think they would not be presenting "flabby bass." I'd suggest trying 6N1P tubes in the three spots; cryoset.com sells some very nice ones.  At least try one in the first position. I find these tubes to give warmth and yet not a hint of flab.

The rectifier may be the culprit. I believe the 2+ comes stock with 5U4G type rectifiers and I'd recommend as old an RCA that you can find. . . Try at least a sixties RCA. With these RCAs I almost always get warm but tight bass.

Just my suggestions! Waiting for my own CSP2+ to arrive in a few months.
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« Last Edit: 06/25/12 at 13:57:27 by Lon »  

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setamp
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Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Reply #9 - 06/25/12 at 21:54:51
 
Please disregard my message above about soft and flabby bass.  I was checking out my system today and realized I had inserted a diy interconnect someone wanted me to try.  I swapped it out for my usual cable and everything is now fine.  Sorry for the false alarm  :-[
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Lon
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Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Reply #10 - 06/26/12 at 12:02:49
 
Whew! Well, that explains that! Carry on with listening enjoyment!
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Lord Soth
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Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Reply #11 - 06/26/12 at 15:55:02
 
Posted by: setamp Quote:
where should i begin in tube rolling?  it seems the front tube and rectifier have a large effect on tone.  i would like to tighten up my bass but not lose the volume and weight of bass.  i also prefer a warm sound and deep soundstage.  i am VERY sensitive to glare/grain/harshness in the upper mids/lower highs.



Hi setamp, glad to hear that your problem has been fixed.

BTW, for tube rolling, for starters,  you can try the solo input tube in front.
This has a very significant impact on the rest of the sound from the CSP2+ tube amp.


The (legendary) Joe's tube lore over here is a very good resource for tube rolling tips.

The link is over here.
http://www.audioasylum.com/scripts/d.pl?audio/faq/joes-tubes.html



I recently got hold of some Amperex 6922 - Made in USA (* etch) tubes.
They are reasonably priced and offer what you are looking for.



The bass is tight and impactful, not too boomy or flabby.

The Amperex 6922 also adds a nice touch of tube euphonics to the mids and treble.

At the same time, the sound is grainless, i.e. there is no noticeable sonic veil as compared with famous tubes such as the Siemens CCa Grey shields which I have rolled before.

I also recently won some Bugle Boys (D getters) from Ebay for a very good price. I shall post my impressions in the very near future.
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Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Reply #12 - 06/26/12 at 18:21:54
 
I thought bass was "flubby?"
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setamp
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Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Reply #13 - 06/26/12 at 21:57:22
 
It was flubby and flabby
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Lon
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Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Reply #14 - 06/27/12 at 00:00:49
 
I once had a music-loving cat. . . who was tubby and tabby.
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Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Reply #15 - 06/27/12 at 12:15:51
 
I found a trio of 60's vintage 6N1P's that I hope arrive for the weekend.  It will be interesting to see how they affect the sound.

I am assuming a 6H30 cannot be used in the front position as it is not a direct replacement for a 6N1P, 6DJ8, 6922.  Has anyone confirmed this?
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Lord Soth
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Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Reply #16 - 06/27/12 at 13:19:45
 
According to 2 famous and reliable Tube sellers

"The 6H30 tube type is generally not compatible with 6922 and ECC88 tube types."

http://thetubestore.com/6h30types.html

And also over here,

"This tube is not a replacement for 6922 or any other tube type."

http://www.upscaleaudio.com/6h30pi-gold-pin/
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Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Reply #17 - 06/27/12 at 17:20:54
 
I asked because I used it in my Dodd tube buffer which allows for its use as well as a 6DJ8 or 6922.
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Lord Soth
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Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Reply #18 - 07/03/12 at 16:13:38
 
Hi setamp,

In general, for tube amps, you can use an alternative tube if the alternative tube has a lower filament current than the original stock tube as was specified in the original tube amp design.

For example, if you take the case of the CSP2+ which was originally designed for the 6N1P tubes,  the filament current of the 6N1P is greater than the alternative European and US ECC88 family of tubes, this is why ECC88, E88CC and 7308, etc can be used instead of the 6N1P.

For the Dodd tube amp, it was originally designed for the 6H30 tube. The 6H30 tube has a larger filament current than the 6N1P tube.

You can compare the specs using the following links.

6N1P : Filament Current of (MIN) 0.55 to 0.65 (MAX) A
http://www.russiantubes.com/prop.php?t=12&p=194

versus

6H30P : Filament Current of (MIN) 0.725 to 0.9 A (MAX)
http://www.russiantubes.com/prop.php?t=12&p=233

In such cases, it is therefore generally not advisable to use the 6H30P tube in a CSP2+.

Unless you don't mind taking the risk, it is best to check with Steve before you pop in that 6H30 tube.

BTW, this is the technical reasoning behind what Kevin Deal was trying to say at his website.
http://www.upscaleaudio.com/pages/6922-Tube-Types.html

"Do not use a 6N1P in a 6922 position. But you can almost always use a 6922 in a 6N1P position in products like Peachtree Audio and others.

Do not use a 6H30. The 6H30 is a completely different tube. You also cannot use a 6922 in a 6H30 position except for a couple rare preamps, check with the manufacturer."  
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Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Reply #19 - 07/04/12 at 01:41:29
 
Lots of good info.  Thank you for taking the time and effort to post this.
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Lord Soth
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Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Reply #20 - 07/23/12 at 17:52:00
 
For those who are lusting after the Lorenz but can't get hold of them,
a suitable and worthy replacement would be the normal Amperex (*USA) 6922 which is cheap and readily available.

I finally carried out an audio shootout between the Pinched Waist 6922 Amperex (* USA) versus my stash of Lorenz tubes.

The PW 6922 has the treble euphonic extension of the Lorenz CCa (2 Mica) and the Midrange euphony of the Lorenz E88CC (2 Mica).
The bottom end of the PW 6922 has punch but loses out slightly to the Lorenz PCC88 (2 Mica).

Another way of looking at the PW 6922 is that it is similar to a Lorenz PCC88 (3 Mica) or Lorenz 6922 (3 Mica) in being balanced sonically.
However, the PW 6922 still does sound slightly better at both the Treble and the Midrange.
 
The normal Amperex 6922s themselves are also almost as good (IMHO at least 90%) as pinched waist Amperex 6922s.
The usual drill about "D" getters and grey shields being better also apply as usual. Wink
 
Epilogue or Prologue as the case may be. Joe was right!
IMHO, the Amperex PW 6922s are the King of the hill! Smiley
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Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Reply #21 - 08/19/12 at 21:41:34
 
No lusting after Lorenz for me. My CSP2+ is arriving Wednesday and I'm going to use three supercryo'd 6N1P tubes from cryoset.com -- these have been my favorite tubes for the Torii and my CSP2. Looking forward to breaking in the preamp, its flexibility and any differences between this and the CSP2. Now my dream system really only lacks one thing: a ZP3. Time to start saving, thinning the herd, etc. for that beauty.
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Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Reply #22 - 08/20/12 at 01:14:18
 
Lon great news! Looking forward to your review(s) out of the box and as it breaks in and makes friends with your Torii. I'm really enjoying my Artemis LA-1 per but I would like to try to get my CSP2 back in the chain.

Those N1P's sound great. I should try some although I presently have Amperex's 6922's, 6DJ8's, 7DJ8's, Edwisian 6922's, Mullard 6922's and some I'm sure I'm forgetting. Wouldn't mind finding some of those Lorenz's either but they're almost impossible to source.
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Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Reply #23 - 08/20/12 at 02:33:41
 
I'll definitely be posting impressions, you know me.

I've tried all kinds of tubes in the front end of the Torii and in all holes of the CSP2 and I just keep going back to the 6N1P. Just has the "forgiving" little bit that I need and the best overall tonal qualities for my collection and room.
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Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Reply #24 - 05/03/13 at 19:17:00
 
I finally got down to rolling my NOS Matched Pair of Siemens E288CC (grey shields) tubes.

These tubes are considered to be a dark horse due to much bashing by Joe's tube lore. However they have earned much praise elsewhere too.

So the question to any tube roller would be, what do these sound like in the CSP2+???

When used as a preamp, the Siemens E288CC works great in the 2x output section.
Without any prolonged burn-in, the tubes are a sonic equivalent ( in my setup) to the Siemens 7308.
Since tubes will improve with use, I'd expect them to surpass the E188CC eventually.

According to the E288CC data sheet, the E288CC is supposed to have higher GM vs the "normal" 6DJ8/E88CC/E188CC.
When used as a preamp, what is interesting to me is that my volume knob choices were maintained at exactly the same level as before.
In the CSP2+, with the self - biasing design, I have found that I have gotten the same volume as the 6DJ8/E88CC/E188CC tubes.

When used as a headphone amp, however, I have to reduce the volume knob by 1 notch.

Some of my sonic impressions of the E288CC are :-

1. Bigger Sound stage vs 7308 Siemens
Live recordings make you feel like you are really there.

2. Crystal clear vocals like the Siemens CCA tubes - these are factory selected UBER tubes

3. Natural tonality - pianos sound like they are in the room

4. Transparency
I normally do not use my CSP2+ with my SE tube power amp because I can hear a slight sonic veil.
What I'd surprising here is that for once I can't detect any sonic veil! Smiley
For once I can have my cake and eat it coz the CSP2+ still adds a touch more of organic tube warmth and 3D holographic imaging to my set-up.

5. Treble
Hi frequencies are well rendered.
Cymbals have a nice sheen and sparkle.
Strings have "emotional" appeal with great tonal decay, ranks among the best tubes I have heard.

6. Bass
Above average.
Tight and not inadequate in any way.

My source : OPPO 95.
My other tubes are 1x Brimar 5R4GY RECTIFIER and 1x Amperex Pinched Waist 6922 *USA for the input section.
My headphones: Beyer T1.
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« Last Edit: 05/04/13 at 04:25:37 by Lord Soth »  
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Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Reply #25 - 09/29/13 at 00:58:11
 
hello peoples
Let introducing myself
My name is Francesco from Montreal Canada, a couples of weks ago i bought used a CSP 2+ with the russian tubes and the 5U4 Chinese
after testing with my tube tester the 6N1P-EB was no too good, so I decide to start a tube roling, i try same Tunsgram 6922 to noisy, russian 6922 no good, amperex 6dj8 bof!!
Then i put 3 philips E188CC from holland 1965 and a 5U4 GB Philips Miniwat also from Holland, and ........WOW....WOW
My monoblock 845 have a new life, strong and tight bass very musical
I am very Happy, thanks Mr Deckert
Francesco
Sorry about my poor English
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Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Reply #26 - 09/29/13 at 01:29:54
 
Francesco,

Welcome! Glad you enjoying the Decware sound.

And your English is very good!
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Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Reply #27 - 09/29/13 at 06:33:44
 
Francesco,

Thanks for your input. Right now I am running some early 60s Amperex E188CC in my Torii and I really like them! I have not tried them in the CSP3 yet. In the CSP3 I am using Ultron 6BQ7As drivers, an Ediswan (Mullard) 6DJ8 input, and a 50s GE/RCA 5U4G-ST. Also WOW! I too am getting a very strong, tight bass, and really there is brilliant clarity and dynamics throughout...all delivered very musically.
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« Last Edit: 09/29/13 at 06:34:37 by will »  

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Francesco
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Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Reply #28 - 09/29/13 at 12:54:52
 
Bonjour Will & Lon
The preamp sound well also with A Sylvania 5931 JAN.
The 5U4 GB is branded Philips Miniwat but is a GE USA, I forgot to mention that, here is a picture
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« Last Edit: 09/29/13 at 12:57:52 by Francesco »  

miniwatt.jpg
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Rivieraranch
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Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Reply #29 - 09/29/13 at 13:19:53
 
Etched glass is definitely GE. Glad you found your right tubes.
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Francesco
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Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Reply #30 - 09/29/13 at 13:38:32
 
I Riviera ranch
Wath is this the tubes configuration for your Preamp?
du you use the 6Q7B, wow is sound?
Francesco
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Rivieraranch
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Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Reply #31 - 09/29/13 at 18:31:34
 
Lord South here is the expert on tube swapping in this amp.

I am using GE 6BQ7A tubes screened for Tektronix. They are drier and more accurate than the standard 6N1P-EV.

You might want to start with 3 6N1P-EV tubes in all positions and work from there.

Try 6BQ7A; 6922, 6N23P, 7308 and if you haven't lost your mind then you can venture into the exotic - E188CC; E288CC, etc.
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KobeeDog
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Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Reply #32 - 04/26/14 at 02:07:03
 
I have a spare Gold Lion 6922 laying around. Has anyone tried this tube in the #1 position?
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will
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Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Reply #33 - 04/26/14 at 04:26:12
 
I have tried a lot of various tubes in the first postion. It will work there. Why not give it a listen?
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KobeeDog
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Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Reply #34 - 04/26/14 at 20:00:42
 
Tried it. Sounds pretty good. Sounds more and airy than the previous tube in there, which has always been my experience with 6922 tubes.

I'm guessing 6922 will work in the other spots as well?

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Lon
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Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Reply #35 - 04/26/14 at 20:14:25
 
Yes, it will.
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KobeeDog
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Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Reply #36 - 04/29/14 at 02:46:16
 
OK, I tried the 6922 in the front slot and it caused a noticeable hum, an unforgivable sin, in my opinion.

I put the original tube back in, and no hum.
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will
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Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Reply #37 - 04/29/14 at 04:10:34
 
I am a little confused. I thought when you first tried the gold lion 6922, and it sounded good, it was in the "1st" or front position??? I suspect that if it caused hum there, it is likely that tube itself rather than the tube type or the pre-amp. In my experience, it is the second position (pair) that can be a little tricky.
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« Last Edit: 04/29/14 at 04:48:07 by will »  

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KobeeDog
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Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Reply #38 - 04/29/14 at 11:40:00
 
The preamp originally came with a Sylvania tube (not sure what kind, but I don't think a 6922) in the front position.

I swapped that out the other day for the Gold Lion 6922. I'm not sure if the hum started last night (when I first noticed it), or if it had been there all along.

I suspect it just started, because with music not playing, I can hear the hum from my listening position, about 10 feet away. I would have noticed that before, right?

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