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What a difference a tube makes... (Read 2623 times)
zul
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What a difference a tube makes...
01/02/11 at 17:47:04
 
Listening to my ~10 year old Zen Select; the RCA 5U4G rectifier was going bad, so I swapped in a Sylvania JAN.  It was like somebody had stuffed wattebueschel in my head.  Just no air.  Looking through the toy box, I discovered a Raytheon JAN I had never tried.  The air was back, instantly.

Considering the ridiculous prices commanded by NOS 5U4Gs, I ordered some 1990s vintage Russian 5C3Ss.  Anyone have experience with these?
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ski bum
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Re: What a difference a tube makes...
Reply #1 - 01/02/11 at 18:10:06
 
NOS RCA 5u4GB's from Lord Valve/NBS Electronics, on S. Broadway in Denver, for about 1/3 the cost (or less) of other retailers. Dude's kind of a wingnut, but a great source of tubes.  I got a pair for $35.  They appear brand new, and he tested them on the spot.  He had a crate or two of them.  They are '70's era black plates.  I like 'em the best of the ones I've tried, for my SE84's.

Tube Depot sells the same ones for $100 apiece.

Can't comment on the other tubes you mention.
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« Last Edit: 01/02/11 at 18:27:56 by ski bum »  
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zul
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Re: What a difference a tube makes...
Reply #2 - 01/02/11 at 23:22:38
 
SB...I tried Sylvania and GE 5U4GBs several years ago and wasn't impressed.  I thought the big-bottle RCAs sounded better.  Have you compared the Bs with RCA's original 5U4Gs?
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ski bum
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Re: What a difference a tube makes...
Reply #3 - 01/03/11 at 15:49:08
 
No, zul, I'm kind of a noob, haven't tried too many rectifiers.  The 5U4GB's seem to make the power tranny run hotter than the 5AR4 types (I hope I'm not putting too much stress on various bits with the sudden power rush and slightly different ratings of the 5U4G/GB vs the 5AR4...considering Steve has the 5U4G on the schematic, I doubt it).  I could be completely mistaken, but they seemed to sound better, too.  I haven't had the pleasure of RCA 5U4G big bottles.  That tube is favored by many Decware users.  I do have a chinese 5U4G, which I also prefer to the Sovtek 5AR4.  

Sorry, not much help am I?  I told you I'm a noob!  Hey, I'm cheap, and at least I've found a tube dealer that doesn't ask for your first born.  That merchant I mentioned before probably has whatever tube you wish to try in stock.  You've got me curious, I may call myself and see if he has any RCA non 'B' 5U4G's and for how much.  If I do, I'll post what I find out.
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Rivieraranch
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Re: What a difference a tube makes...
Reply #4 - 01/04/11 at 00:23:37
 
If I am not mistaken, the 5U4GB was designed to go into television sets. It has a little more voltage than the 5U4G, but many here have expressed that the coke bottle types sound better than the thinner GB. Russian and Chinese made rectifiers cannot hold a candle to genuine vintage US production. You can even get a used 5U4G tube that would probably last for many years.
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DECWARE CSP2+, TABOO MK III; SE84CKC; HR1; TRAPEZIUM DESKTOP SPEAKERS; TECHNICS SL1200MK5 turntable; Ah! Njoe Tjoeb CD player; MARANTZ 2226B, 2216B receivers; SENNHEISER HD-580 headphones
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Lon
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Re: What a difference a tube makes...
Reply #5 - 01/04/11 at 01:42:09
 
Personally, I've found the opposite true for me in my Select amp (when I had it) and my Integrated and Toriis: I find the smaller tubes sound better to me than the coke bottle type. But again, it's all a subjective, preference thing.  I agree that, in my experience, US rectifiers are da bomb.
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« Last Edit: 01/04/11 at 02:24:03 by Lon »  

Decware:ERR,HR-1,ZP3,CSP2+,Torii Mk III,PS Audio PWT+DS,
PowerBases,PPP,AC-12 pcs, Denon DBP-A100, Denon DCD-A100,Rega RP3 +TTPSU,white belt+Exact2, VooDoo Cable:Evo,Ultra Linear, Iso-PodMapleshade:Double Heiix Plus.Samsonv2+v3 +4" platforms,Herbie's Iso-Cup
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ski bum
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Re: What a difference a tube makes...
Reply #6 - 01/04/11 at 14:52:55
 
Thanks Lon and Riv for your feedback.    

While I'm waiting for Fat Willie the Wingnut to call back on those RCA's, I have another tube question which perhaps you guys could help with, concerning input tubes.  I have several input tubes, including some NOS Jan Sylvania 6922's which were hyped up by the seller.  Well, I tried them and they ended up being highly microphonic.  Extremely microphonic, as in even just looking at them made them ring out.  The inexpensive Procomm 6922 I got from Steve (for far less, by the way) are much less microphonic, so thats whats currently in place.  I would like to give those old tubes I wasted money on another chance, so my question is wheather or not a tube damper device would help.  Any of you guys use tube dampers?  Do they work?  And how well?
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« Last Edit: 01/04/11 at 15:47:03 by ski bum »  
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Lon
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"Love without
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Re: What a difference a tube makes...
Reply #7 - 01/04/11 at 15:00:14
 
I've used Herbie Audio Labs tube dampers for years and really enjoy them. I did have one microphonic tube years ago that was fairly well reigned in by the damper installed. Even installed on non-microphonic tubes they make a difference in focus and dynamics in my opinion.

Recently I moved my previous Herbie dampers to my second system and bought his newest models for my main system. And they're better.

http://herbiesaudiolab.net/tube.htm

Herbie is a manufacturer and merchant like Steve who has innovative products of great value and who is available to customers and enthusiasts.
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Decware:ERR,HR-1,ZP3,CSP2+,Torii Mk III,PS Audio PWT+DS,
PowerBases,PPP,AC-12 pcs, Denon DBP-A100, Denon DCD-A100,Rega RP3 +TTPSU,white belt+Exact2, VooDoo Cable:Evo,Ultra Linear, Iso-PodMapleshade:Double Heiix Plus.Samsonv2+v3 +4" platforms,Herbie's Iso-Cup
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drummerboy
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Re: What a difference a tube makes...
Reply #8 - 01/04/11 at 16:56:51
 
Once I heard something about these http://cgi.ebay.de/5U4G-5C3S-RARE1957-SVETLANA-BLACK-PLATE-TESTED-Lot-of-2-/1403...
and I bought them together with these http://cgi.ebay.de/6N1P-EV-4-MATCHED-PAIRS-VOSKHOD-tubes-NOS-NIB-OTK-/1404657869...
All I can say is  ;D They do make wonderful sounding music...
The 6N1P-EV's are even better than E88CC JJ Electronic Goldpins... I think...
Very open detailed sound.
JJ's were dull and blown up sounding... Shocked
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zul
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Re: What a difference a tube makes...
Reply #9 - 01/04/11 at 18:31:03
 
Drummerboy, that was the information I was looking for.  Having compared 6N1P-EVs to 6922s (and even 6N23P-EVs) I much prefer the former.  Fearing I had ordered some turkey rectifiers I was seriously considering paying the extortion fees for RCA NOS.  I think I'll just wait and see how the Soviets do when they arrive.  Thanks.
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drumsgreg
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Re: What a difference a tube makes...
Reply #10 - 01/06/11 at 01:08:23
 
I have a pair of Bendix 6106's in my CSP2 and my Taboo that like better than the 274b and the 5u4g that I had be using, these will last in that amp and preamp forever....quite too!
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zul
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Re: What a difference a tube makes...
Reply #11 - 01/06/11 at 01:23:53
 
Never even HEARD of Bendix tubes.  Okay, I'm game...I'll look.  

Always devoted to that extra tweak...

-Z
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Crazy Bill the Eel Killer
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Tubes Rule !!

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Re: What a difference a tube makes...
Reply #12 - 01/06/11 at 23:19:09
 
Hello all,

Got a pr of 50's vintage coke bottle 5U4G from Ebay at auction a while back, and they are very good. However, the Svetlana black plates that I have ( again, late 50's vintage ) are significantly better.

Zul,
You'll have to wait and give a listen as the ones you have on your way are 90's vintage. There usually is a difference to the newer stuff vrs the older ( prior to 1970 ) stuff. They will require some break-in though, so give em some time before you make up your mind.

Also, I agree with your assessment that the 6N1P-EV is a superior sounding tube in this circuit. However, Steve's operating points aren't even close to optimal. You should hear this tube when its biased hotter. 200v @ 10ma will make it SING !!! Requires some serious rework though. But very much worth it, IMHO.

Have fun.          Cheers,                Crazy Bill
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zul
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Re: What a difference a tube makes...
Reply #13 - 01/07/11 at 01:03:22
 
C. Bill & Co.: I am intrigued by the mods you have suggested, although the thought of me wielding a soldering tool is tantamount to mixing gasoline and red fuming nitric acid in the same container.

I will patiently wait for the '90's vintage rectifiers and hope for the best.

Cheers!

-Z
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don pettit
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Re: What a difference a tube makes...
Reply #14 - 01/07/11 at 14:02:13
 
bendix 6106 are worth it!  stocked up with 6 tubes.  gz32 also.  chinese 274b(valve art) cheap.  all good.  my opinion.  used in zen plus and csp2. don pettit, long beach, washington
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Rap
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I Really, really,
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1G - SP1! ::)

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Re: What a difference a tube makes...
Reply #15 - 01/07/11 at 14:08:46
 
Second the GZ32's though a bit pricey they have lasted a long time in my Selects.
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