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Which input tube for a splash of seduction? (Read 25943 times)
Lon
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #100 - 07/25/11 at 01:39:33
 
I know will, I'm being very wary. This time if I go crazy tube-rolling I might have to finally go on psych meds! Cheesy

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will
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #101 - 07/25/11 at 01:44:55
 
Ah, I bet you can take it! Cool It will be interesting!
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« Last Edit: 07/25/11 at 01:45:33 by will »  

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datman
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #102 - 07/25/11 at 02:44:35
 
Just to further confuse the situation, I have some tube rolling news. I had recently purchased a matched quad of JJ 6CA7's as a backup for my Shuguang Treasure 6CA7-Z's. On a whim last night I substituted the JJ's for the Shuguang's. The difference was NOT subtile. The brand new JJ's have MUCH deeper,  more expressive bass. The highs are still a little rough but they are THERE. Not reticent or subdued but THERE. Now I am upset that I can't fold time and just jump through the breakin process.

Just to be clear, the JJ 6CA7's are NOT EL34's in a different bottle. They are a different tube. However, they are electrically identical to the EL34 and are a direct replacement. The pinouts are the same for both so the Hazen Grid mod applies. As for quality, on visual inspection the JJ tubes appear to be well made. After 15 hours iof use, nothing has self destructed.
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kana813
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #103 - 07/25/11 at 04:19:02
 
Very interesting.

My TORII came with JJ EL 34s that have a singe halo getter. Yes, The JJ 6CA7s are different tubes, they have dual getters like the classic Mullards.

The highs on the JJ EL 34s smoothed out after 30 hours and the bass has continued to improve.

datman, what regulator tubes are you using?

PS- I've included my current tube set in my signature. Maybe we can all
include this info.

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« Last Edit: 07/25/11 at 06:44:34 by kana813 »  
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datman
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #104 - 07/25/11 at 04:47:25
 
I am using SED 5U4G blakplate regulators. I still have the original RCA 0A3's in place. I subsequently did some experimenting with the 0C2's.

I tried the 0A2 and found it made my system sound very dull. Not restriced in the highs but just dull. The 0B2's are much better than the 0A2's. While the 0A2's sounded dull and lifeless, the 0B2's had a more extended presentation.

It took a couple of days to find out the 0B2's flattened the sound. The soundstage simply disappeared. In replacing the 0C2's I found one of them to be defective. I purchased a new set and installed them. The sound now be best described as juicy.

Juicy as is in wet and lucid not syrupy or sugar coated. There is now an "aliveness" to the sound that has not been there like this before. If you happen to download the 24/96 recording of Ella and Louis from HDTracks and play "You Can't Take That Away From Me", you will know what I mean. It is more than just "you are there". There is now a real sense of palpability, that just reach out and touch sensation.

I am certain something will change and everything will have to be adjusted. I am really enjoying what I have right now.
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« Last Edit: 07/26/11 at 01:27:38 by datman »  

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Gopher
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #105 - 07/25/11 at 17:08:21
 
Will,

PM me with your addy--I'll send you a couple.  I have six and unless something gives I won't be using any!

Very interesting Datman.  Please keep us posted on how you like them in comparison to the BTs.  The BT 6ca7s are the least offensive of the luxury Shuguang tubes (I've disliked most Treasure and Psvanes--I know I'm in the minority) I've tried and they were a step up from the Winged Cs, but I do wonder if in addition to that additional bass impact, it is a more compelling tube.
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« Last Edit: 07/25/11 at 17:09:04 by Gopher »  
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will
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #106 - 07/25/11 at 20:19:48
 
Gopher, PM coming your way.


Ditto datman. Very interesting. I look forward to your comparisons and more final impressions of the JJs once they are burned in.

Though with some sets I like the openness of the OB2, I keep coming back to the OC2 as well.
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« Last Edit: 07/25/11 at 20:20:33 by will »  

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Gopher
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #107 - 07/26/11 at 19:50:27
 
Will,  

Keep an eye out for them--they're in the mail.

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will
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #108 - 07/26/11 at 21:08:50
 
Great thanks!
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Gopher
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #109 - 08/10/11 at 15:20:16
 
I had an interesting discovery with those OA3 tubes.  They were frightfully bad when using my Torii without a preamp, but with either a Dodd battery buffer or Shindo Auregies on my Torii, it was a very pleasant change.  

More drive, more tonal density, better bass--no real draw backs, just an even more masculine presentation.  I will be keeping the remaining 4  ;)
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Lon
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #110 - 08/10/11 at 15:49:35
 
Interesting!  I've been playing around with that rectifier position, and auditioning the following pairs:

the tube the amp came with, a straight sided RCA OA3
a straight sided GE OA3
a coke bottle RCA OA3
two different coke bottle GE OB3
a straight sided RCA OC3

I kindof really like the RCA OC3, but I feel I'm missing out on dynamics that make the music come to life. Of all the others I find I prefer the tube the amp came with, the straight sided RCA OA3.

There's definitely something about RCA rectifiers that I love.

I'm going to revisit this tube rolling in the near future after I feel that my new "front end" is fully broken in. I'm using the PS Audio PerfectWave DAC as a preamp, and I can also use it as a fixed output source and use the Torii volume control. I'm doing the former as the output for Redbook is so loud that if I have the DAC fully out the Torii volume control is so low that there's compression on the signal and the sound is different.  I've quite a range of sound possible with this set up. Heft and weight and detail as I've not ever had before as well.
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will
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #111 - 08/10/11 at 18:33:35
 
Gopher, It is interesting that the signature of a pre/buffer before the Torii works so well with a tube set you did not like on its own. I have been working with Mac Mini tweaks, feet and cables...also auditioning a Music Fidelity V-Link (USB async) between the Mini and the ZDAC-1....AND an opened-box Tranquility NOS DAC in comparison to that. So with tube experimentation it is thick around here with options.

To get clearer comparisons between the two DAC setups, I took out my ZSTAGE as I wanted to hear the new V-Link clearly. And the output of the Tranquility is higher causing distortion through the Zstage without software volume reduction, so A/Bing both with the Stage is cumbersome. I do stick it back in after the ZDAC at times though, but with my current mind frame, the additional tube stage has a little too much signature, so I am inclined to take it back out. With the ZDAC alone, I definitely liked the Zstage.....and I still might once the dust settles, but for now, I prefer the lack of complication.

With a starlight USB cable to the V-Link, and a glass toslink V-Link to ZDAC-1, the sound is very good...comparable in listenability to the Tranquility which is known to be a giant killer, many who have actually compared liking it better than most of the very popular, current production async DACs. The Tranquility excels at micro detail and ambient cues (very good stuff), but so far, the V-Link/ZDAC for me may be bit more musical....a bit more easy to get lost in the music. Maybe..... The interesting thing is that each has great qualities without a clear winner at this point for me.

But relative to this thread, I do find it interesting that the tube stage, with its current cabling and tube is not an absolute improvement for me in at the moment.
Huh


Lon, What a nice group of regulators to explore! It will be good to hear your impressions after you PS front end sorts itself out.
Cool


In thinking about this thread so far, it is interesting to note (as usual) how important the front end is, our power, what the other tubes we are using, the sound of our individual rooms, cables, feet and all.....all the variables that might make a tube preferable in one setup and not in another. But on the other hand, the net effect of these combined posts gives good pointers for exploration.

Within each setup, if changing only one tube type, we can definitely identify characteristic differences between say input tubes...and this is good information.....one tube is drier, tighter, brighter and the other warmer, more textural, more subdued, but open....or whatever. But with the signatures of the combined setup, with particular power tubes, regulators and VRs....the brighter tube might be best with one set, and the warmer one with another. And this does not even consider room, cables, power etc.

But it does point to the comparative characteristics of two tube pairs within the knowledge that the particular synergy we have arrived at has great power too. And the Torii's options for fine tuning tube sets to preferences is amazing. It is cool that we are sorting this stuff out in some conveyable fashion.

Onward!

Will
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Lon
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #112 - 08/10/11 at 18:57:13
 
Will, interesting to hear your explorations of the Tranquility and V-Link.

I'm behind all that you're saying but no other tube combination has yet made me prefer any other input tube than the 6N1P. I think that with an analog front end I might have another opinion, but though I've tried all the other tube types that work in this circuit in different brands. .. that's the one that works in my Torii.

My new front end is amazing me. The i2S connection via HDMI between the Transport and DAC has given me the best sound I've had in my home. I think it's nearly broken in now. Financially, I shouldn't have done it, and I wish I could send it back. . . but it's staying. Smiley I'll probably divest myself of a handful of components over the next months I never thought I would.
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« Last Edit: 08/10/11 at 18:58:16 by Lon »  

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kana813
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #113 - 08/10/11 at 21:51:21
 
Lon,

The PWD needs about 200 hours of break-in.

Surprised you got the PWT. I use the Bridge with a Seagate HD connected to a Netgear WNDR 3700 router, controlled via the eLyric iPad app more than my PWT.

PS- Tried a pair NOS of coke bottle RCA OA3s before I returned the TORII. If someone wants them send me an email.






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Lon
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #114 - 08/10/11 at 22:00:36
 
I've got nearly 300 hours on both right now.

I'm very happy to have the Transport. I'm not interested in streaming or computer file audio, didn't want the Bridge, don't have it. I love discs. I don't have an iPad. Or an iPhone.
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« Last Edit: 08/10/11 at 22:26:05 by Lon »  

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will
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #115 - 08/11/11 at 01:06:26
 
Lon, it is awesome you found a front end your love more than you beloved Sony! Are you still using the ER's or back to the HR-1s?

Interesting your love of the 6N1P too. I can see that. I tried two kinds of cryo'd 70/80's 6N1Ps and I liked them a lot, but preferred the various NOS 60's mullard, siemens, amperex 6922 and 6DJ8s from a batch of slightly used tubes I was auditioning. So I didn't keep the 6N1Ps. I may not have given them enough time though.

But also I got the coke bottle RCA OA3s with my amp, which sound notably warmer than the no-name straight bottle OA3s Gopher sent me for comparison, so had I had your preferred straight bottle RCAs they might have sent me in a different direction than I went.

Huh


Listening now with the straight OA3s, some 40s RCA coke bottle 5U4Gs (brighter/opener than the 50s ST's) and NOS RFT/Brinmar EL34s, my torii's stock 6N1P sounds pretty damn good. Very warm and textural. But compared to the Mullard CV2492 (6922) pulls I had been using, the Mullards have a similar warmth, and actually similar tonal values altogether, but notably more detail, micro detail and dynamics, leaving a blacker background, a more open/less veiled presentation, and a more defined sound stage. They make the seductive texture of the 6N1P sound a little distorted.

But these are not cryo'd 6N1Ps like yours, and may not be from the same time period or company, so there are possibly variables at play beyond personal tastes. If the warm texture of the 6N1P is characteristic, you may not like these Mullards. Who knows, but for me, though they are interesting tubes, I can't use the particular 6N1Ps I have over any of the many NOS 6922/6DJ8s I have.
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« Last Edit: 08/11/11 at 01:06:49 by will »  

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Lon
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #116 - 08/11/11 at 01:25:49
 
This PerfectWave combo is a clear step up from the Sony, from the ZDAC-1, and from anything else I've heard in my home or a friend's home. (The last few months I was using the Sony as a transport to feed the ZDAC-1, that component finally seemed to edge out the Sony for most material). The new combo has shown me another level of the Torii and ERR combo. I still have the ERRs in play, I haven't taken them out since that one excursion where I missed them immediately. And they just keep sounding better and better as the front end seasons and opens up.

I know that the memory buffer and the constantly reading of the disc til it has a "perfect" version, as well as the built in Digital Lens has a lot to do with it, removing jitter before the DAC, and I know the I2S connection has a lot to do with it. I remember years ago when Randy was talking about the difference an I2S connection made with his then front end, and I started reading up on that. Anyway, I think the Torii and ERR combo deserves the finest I can afford to put in front of it, and then a fine tune from there, and I think that the PerfectWave combo is not something I really should have bought, but it's doing the system justice. I'm really reveling in sound that I didn't think I'd ever have.

I wouldn't say it's warmth per se or seduction with the 6N1P, it's just the tube type that sounds "right" for this machine and the material I listen to; it may even be a bit of "occlusion," allowing the flaws of so much of the material to be less obvious. I've heard a lot of really good 6922s, but just moving to that tube type puts me in a sonic field that is "less right" for me, and that seems to be regardless of rectifier and output tube combinations too. C.E. has also seemed to find himself locked in with this tube type. I've a few spares and I should probably look for some more possible different brands and makes.

I listened to a disc today that has always sounded a bit thin and harsh to me before and it sounded perfect today. And I put in another disc that always seemed a bit muddy and thick before. Today it sounded perfect. Smiley What's going on?  It's weird, but welcome. I think that I'm very close to another long period of just sitting back and listening to the music.

On the flipside, I'm enjoying change in my bedroom system as well. I put my Integrated back in place of the Torii Mk II in there, and am enjoying the subtle differenced the SET nature there makes (and the lower power, I don't need all that Torii power in that room). And I've added the ZDAC-1, then taken it out, the CSP2, then taken it out, the ZBOX, then taken it out, etc. Everything is in a bit of chaos now, but I'll have the best sound going on soon, and relaxing into it.
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« Last Edit: 08/11/11 at 01:35:13 by Lon »  

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will
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #117 - 08/11/11 at 01:55:26
 
Lon' It sounds like you have reached your goal of a system synergy that plays anything in a way that sounds beautiful. Bravo! It has been interesting to follow in your comments....the PS power regen unit, then the ERRs, and finally the PS front end. Sounds awesome.

I get the "occlusion" thing with the 6N1P too, but I suspect the particular one you are using is a better tube than the one I have as well. I think I recall Voshod, Anod, and Reflectors as name brands and EV or plain, and then the cryo thing and time period of production. So really, it seems there are a lot of 6N1Ps out there. Do you recall where you got yours and what they are exactly?
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Lon
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #118 - 08/11/11 at 02:02:06
 
I never had any firm information about what these were as far as brand and factory. So it's a wide-open field out there.

I just know that no 6922 has sounded right to me, I have tried enough to not want to try another. So it's looking into 6N1Ps for me, in time.

I'm really close. Actually the progression I believe was: finding the right families of power cords (PS Audio xStream SC and PerfectWave AC), the ERRs, the Power Plant Permier: that gave me controlled power and great speakers. We know the Torii is such a great heart of a system. That left me open for the front end. These Decware products really are ripe for the best front end anyone can put in front of them. I totally get those that devote a turntable to the system. That just doesn't offer the right "software" for me. So I've had to be looking at digital. I'm not interested in computer files as a source, I've tried it, my heart just doesn't move out towards it, I know when to admit defeat there. The PerfectWave combo seems to be the right move for me to get through to the next decade. We'll see if I can go into another period of happy listening and viewing. I think I can.
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« Last Edit: 08/11/11 at 02:02:49 by Lon »  

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C.E.
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #119 - 08/11/11 at 03:16:41
 
Hi All,

I've run through a BUNCH of combinations of input tubes, regulators, and rectifiers...and FWIW here's my final Torii tube combo I'm using and why:

(Background...I'm using a computer driven source. Macbook Pro to a homemade DAC with TDA1541A chip and tube output stage. I've got a subwoofer and a seperate pair of satellites. The sub has a seperate plate amp with phase, crossover, and volume control. My listening space tends to be VERY bright and I'm limited on acoustic treatments. My Torii was purchased a year ago and has V-Caps with upgraded attenuator. It came with the Winged C EL34's.)

Input tubes...I've settled on some 1970's 6N1P's. Warm layered sound, great soundstage, and vocal/instrument timbre. The other tubes were all good contenders; National 7DJ8, Amperex 6DJ8, 6N23P, and some 6922's. Everything was back to stock when I rolled the input tubes. All of the tubes tubes I tried were good conteners but they all seemed to "shove" different things at me that didn't sound right. The 6N1P's had the best balance and warmth.

Rectifier...I confess I cheated on this a bit. I called Steve during the 1100 hour (hair pulling) break-in period last year and asked him which (if any tube) he would roll. After a long pause he said if he had to swap any tube it would be the rectifiers. IF he were to swap. He thought the supplied tubes were/are that good. I took the advice and got some 1940's RCA's and have been tickled ever since. Just to make the simple more complex, I got some 1960's Svetlana 5U3C's. Still like the RCA's more. They're more "rich" sounding.

Compared 0B2 and 0C2. Loved the 0C2.

I then got a set of each of the 0A3, 0B3, 0C3, and 0D3. This was the final step. I settled on the 0D3's. My speakers have a "resistorless crossover" and I feel that with the bright room acoustics, the 0D3's place the proper emphasis on everything. Most people will find the 0A3, 0B3, and 0C3 to their liking I suspect.

So.....here's my humble opinion on the order of tube rolling:

1. Buy some NOS rectifiers. No brainer.

2. Use the 0C2 and roll input tubes. Settle on the sonic signature that fits your source and musical tastes.

3. Try different tubes in the 0X3 family. They will ALL make the amp sound different. But the sonic signature will remain constant.

Good listening to all. This amp is truly magical.









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Lon
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #120 - 08/11/11 at 03:21:28
 
Wow, thanks for that summation!

This amplifier is maddeningly revealing, and the good news is that with effort we can each find incredible sounds. OUR incredible sounds. Or you can take the amp the way Steve delivers it. . . and have incredible sounds!

Very good advice, nice method to follow here!
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kana813
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #121 - 08/11/11 at 07:29:55
 
"This amplifier is maddeningly revealing, and the good news is that with effort we can each find incredible sounds. OUR incredible sounds. Or you can take the amp the way Steve delivers it. . . and have incredible sounds!"

Lon,

When you mute your PWD, do you have any noise/hum coming from your speakers?
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #122 - 08/11/11 at 12:16:31
 
Yes, just as before. When my ear is about five inches away. I don't even think about it.
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« Last Edit: 08/11/11 at 13:27:53 by Lon »  

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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #123 - 08/11/11 at 14:39:46
 
Does anyone have any additional thoughts on the JJ 6CA7s?  It sounded like they may have been cheap Black Treasure killers.

I sometimes wonder if these black treasures stunt the fullest emotional expression of these amps--other high end tubes have left me numb.  Things sounds very good as is, but I wonder if more pull might come from other outputs.
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #124 - 08/11/11 at 15:50:40
 
I used these in the Integrated as a pair, with good results. I think I preferred the Mullard reissue EL34s by a hair. And Winged C's by a hair over the Mullard reissues.

The JJs are very nice, warm, in that amp.  I've never used a quartet in a Torii.
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« Last Edit: 08/11/11 at 15:51:10 by Lon »  

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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #125 - 08/11/11 at 16:37:22
 
Gopher, I think the JJs are more than okay, quite nice.  But Shuguang-killers? Not so far. On a $4$ basis, maybe so, but then things get awfully subjective, as if they weren't already!

Not quite sure what you mean by "stunting the fullest emptional expression" of these amps, but that certainly hasn't been my experience. If it weren't for Steve offering the GTs as an option, I might never have considered them. As it is, I am glad I did. One thing I have learned, and as you and others have observed, is that it's not just the one tube that matters, it is the synergy of all of them together. I have the 0B3 VR running right now in my Torii, and it is sounding very, very nice. Bass seems rich, but not quite as fat as the 0A3 was sounding.  I have a couple of NOS Raytheon 0C2 for the other regulators, but expect some 0B2 to arrive soon. I have also tried a number of rectifiers, and have yet to settle on the one I like best. I have some 1950s RCAs of various typers that just arrived, and will start listening to just those soon. Again, it goes to that synergy issue. Every single change produces more than just the addition/subtraction of the one tube type; it also produces changes in the other tubes and the amp overall.

Don't know if you noticed it, but on the comments on the Tone Audio blog post about the Torii, one poster asked Jeff about his thoughts of the Torii as compared to the RWA Signature 30.2. Jeff observed the obvious (very different amps), and then commented on the fact that RWA is what it is, and short of a flavored pre-amp in front of it, there is no rolling the sound. In contrast, the Torii is a tube rollers dream. I would add "Or nightmare. Or maybe manic obsessive rabbit hole." Wink
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #126 - 08/11/11 at 19:51:28
 
As the one who introduced introduced the JJ 6CA7 to this forum, I think it is time for an update. Now that the JJ's have fully broken in In can unequivocally say they outperform the Treasures IN MY SYSTEM, particularly at the extremes. As a matter of fact, my amp provides so much additional information that I can now hear the sonic linits of my Squeezebox Touch/Wyred 4 Sound DAC-1. This is costing me some real money.

I have just acquired a Wyred 4 Sound DAC-2 so I can connect my new Sonore Signature music server via I2S. Once this is all put together, I expect to be able to hear some amazing results. What I do know for certain is that whatever changes this combo provides I will be able to hear them through my Torii.
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« Last Edit: 08/11/11 at 20:13:52 by datman »  

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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #127 - 08/11/11 at 20:11:49
 
So, datman, you gonna unload those Treasures? Wink
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #128 - 08/11/11 at 20:13:09
 
Already done.
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #129 - 08/11/11 at 20:42:34
 
Hey Datman, Thanks for the input. Sounds compelling to me. I wonder if you could elaborate on what the JJs sound like compared to the Treasures. I like a lot of information too, but sometimes it comes at a cost of excessive brightness, hard edges, hyper realism etc. I am guessing this is not your experience, but since we all have different tastes, rooms etc...just wondering if you might describe the context of your preferences for these tubes.....the other tubes you are using with the JJs and what you love about the sound they give in your Torii.


PR, just wondering the same from you. I know you might not be there yet with burn in and adapting your new system, but if you feel like it, could you describe what you hear/like/dislike from the JJs and the Treasures, and what other tubes you are using.

Thanks guys! Cool

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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #130 - 08/11/11 at 21:06:37
 
Hey Will, you bet. Remember that one of my Toriis probably has less than 100 hours on it, while the other probably has between 500-600 hours on it. And so, this assessment should be taken with more than a few pounds of salt. [In fact, I made the decision to swap them last night, and while it was the right decision, and I can hardly call it "painful," the newer one definitely sounds less pleasing than the older one; in a word, I would say the newer one sounds "etched," or perhaps less three-dimensional.]

If I had to pick one characteristic, that for me defines the difference between the two tubes—as opposed to merely being distinct—it is in the high end. To me, the JJs sounded a bit "over-smooth" on the top end, perhaps even rolled off. As I have mentioned before, I don't trust my owns ears too far past 15kHz, but this was where I noticed the difference. That range, between 7500-15k, is so critical to the imagery and soundstage, and that's where a big part of my tastes lie, that I felt I was missing something with the JJs. In the mid to low registers, the JJs seemed a touch tauter, but maybe not quite as full. I have learned that every single tube in the Torii seems to impact the lower end, so this perception I am quick to qualify with: "could be the VRs I was playing with, also."

On an ROI basis, do the Treasures justify costing 4 times as much? Probably not. In market-hype-speak, does that make the JJs "Treasure-killers"? Perhaps so. Since I own both, I think I may take advantage of the Ultra's flexibility and switching capabilities to perform a better-than-side-by-side test of the two.
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #131 - 08/11/11 at 21:18:54
 
Compare and contrast. Always fun, so here goes. The primary difference between the JJ's and the Treasure's lies in the extremes. When I first installed the JJ's my immediate reaction was "where did all this bass come from?" My system had never been bass deficient before, but all of the sudden I bass extension that simply was not there previously.

Initially the highs were a little rough. Because I have tinnitus I am very sensaitive to this. Once the JJ's were broken in, the highs smoothed out and now they go on forever with no edge or grit. The treasures also porduced excellent highs as far as they went, but not what I am geting from the JJ's. The one area that both tubes were alike is in soundstage presentation. The JJ's produce a fully formed image between my speakers complete with excellent 3d characterisitcs, as did the Treasures.

The one other area the JJ's exceed the Treasures is in micro detail. As I said in my earlier post, with the Treasures, I never really noticed any limitations in my digital playback. With the JJ's I notice there is not the kind of sonic differences I would expect when playing 24/96 downloads. What I attribute this to is the greatly increased resolution of tyhe JJ's. They have actually allowed me to hear the limitations of my Touch/DAC-1 digital front end.

So being the good neurotic audiophile that I am, I have ordered a Sonore Signature I2S output digital server and a DAC-2 with I2S support. From what I have been able to ascertain, this combo should allow me to hear EVERYTHING I couldn't with the Touch.  

I am using the following tubes:

JJ 6CA7 outputs
Svetlana NOS Blackplate 5U4G
0C2 and 0A3 regulators ( I didn't have much luck playing with these)
National 7DJ8 input tubes

My speakers are Musical Affairs Grand Crscendo KM30 SAG with PHY-HP coaxial drivers.

Preamp is a Wyred 4 Sound STP-SE.
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #132 - 08/11/11 at 21:31:11
 
Interesting that datman and I both suffer from tinnitus, and still hear things differently!

I do note that I have not listened to my Toriis on my computer rig. I am on the verge of putting a W4S DAC-2 in my rig, but all that listening is through the Cavalli Liquid Fire headphone amp [formerly, the Taboo, but not because of any sonic deficiency in the Taboo] and my Audez'e LCD-2 cans.
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #133 - 08/11/11 at 21:37:41
 
Thanks guys! I appreciate that.

Very interesting to me too that for one the JJ highs are more extended and the other, they may be a bit rolled off! Indicates the synergy thing I think but then.....headphones versus speakers in a room.....Mannnn...too many variables!

I have definitely noticed a bump in all the various areas with certain tube combinations. The more subtle changes are expected, but the big bumps are always a surprise especially when it is bass extension. I guess this is due in part to the Torii can go down low if all else can. But the thing is that some combinations of tubes really impact one another more than others!

Wow, both of you sound like you are having a lot of fun!
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« Last Edit: 08/11/11 at 21:39:16 by will »  

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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #134 - 08/11/11 at 22:01:40
 
Datman,

Were your Treasures from Grant and if so, which selection.
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #135 - 08/12/11 at 02:09:09
 
They were from Grant Fidelity and they were graded A+.
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #136 - 08/12/11 at 02:17:22
 
Got it, thanks.
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #137 - 08/16/11 at 21:02:10
 
I couldn't help myself. I bought some JJ6CA7s. I hate to comment much with them so new, but I have a couple somewhat interesting observations.

I played the tubes several hours last night, ran them all night without music, and played them with music about 6 hours today. I'd say not close to burned in, but I think they are just beginning to open up.

First impressions....dark, veiled and taught, but showing good potential, especially in the mid-mid and bass body and definition. But then I had been using cryo'd Ruby 34-Bs (very open and detailed) tempered by nicely warm Mullard 6922 pulls (darkish but nicely detailed), coke bottle OA3s (my warmest, big sounding VR), OC2, and 50s RAC 5U4G (darker/tighter/more liquid than 40s). So my whole set other than the EL34s was warmish/liquid oriented, making the EL34-B great. But with the new JJs....too dark.

So I changed to the brighter, opener, and more exuberant, but well balanced National 7DJ8s, 40s RAC 5U4G (opener), and sylvania coke bottle OB2s (sig like the RCA OA3 Coke bottles, but less push...gentler). Now I hear potential for these JJs, especially as they are beginning to come alive. They beautifully temper the bawdy nature of the Nationals that can show up with brighter tube sets. This is a nice sounding combination. Synergy is everything. I look forward to these 6CA7s after another 70 hours!

So Greg and Dat, do you have impressions as to the burn in time of these tubes?

I will do some direct comparisons with some other EL34s once they are there.

Wink




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« Last Edit: 08/16/11 at 21:07:50 by will »  

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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #138 - 08/16/11 at 21:15:45
 
Will, I don't really have a comment on burn-in time, as I did not sit with the JJs for very long, and in point of fact, nowhere near enough to get them out of the V-cap break-in. On my inputs, I have Ediswans in the Toriis, though I have the Nationals (8 of them) across the Ultra.

I might be inclined to put the JJs back in on one of the Toriis, and use them for side-by-side comparisons, taking advantage of the Ultra's ability to let me switch between two amps. As soon as I get through this break-in time, that is. Wink
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #139 - 08/16/11 at 21:22:09
 
Yes, I don't envy the breakin time. I really have come to dislike it actually. But then, once over, if the choices were good, it is all worth it!!!

Your setup would be so amazing for tube comparison once burned in. I hope you will do a bit of it for us. Those Nationals all across the Ultra will certainly flavor your system in their particular way.

Have fun!

Will
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #140 - 08/16/11 at 21:29:00
 
The Nationals all across the Ultra board do present a challenge in one sense, though no matter what tube I choose, at least it will be consistent in the preamp stage. I am tempted to put the stock tubes in for these comparisons we are contemplating. So, perhaps one weekend, I will install what would have been the stock tubes [remember, I bought the Ultra without tubes], and burn them in over a full weekend cycle of 5/5.

As for the break-in time, well, yes, a bit of a PITA, but in reality, hardly a bad bet. The likelihood that the V-caps would ultimately sound bad was pretty slender it seems to me, and the only real question was whether it could be worth $500. Who knows? That is up to each individual buyer, and while I suspect the investment can only help my resale value, I frankly plan to bequeath this equipment, not re-sell it in the future. [I have, I believe, stocked enough NOS tubes to last 3-4 decades.]

And at least on my first Torii, which now probably has over 750 hours of music on it, the amp sounds great. Without a non-V-cap Torii to hear side-by-side, it's difficult to know what the difference would be. But what I hear now sounds pretty flippin' awesome.
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« Last Edit: 08/16/11 at 21:46:05 by Pale Rider »  

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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #141 - 08/16/11 at 22:02:06
 
The Nationals seem well balanced across the spectrum to me, though comparatively I find them weighted toward openness and exuberance. This is in part the 7DJ8 thing. Within this, they are revealing, so might set a good foundation for hearing subtle differences in other tubes! On the other hand, they could make a darkish/veiled tube seem otherwise and a more neutral tube seem brightish, so I see your consideration.

Of all the tubes I have tried, of the ones I like, most of what I can say is they are different. I would be hard pressed to name one input that is the most neutral. Especially since my experience is all based in one system/room, and as you have said, synergy with other tubes is a HUGE thing. The 6N1Ps I have tried I would classify more like Lon suggested....with the right synergy, good for presentation for a wide variety of recording qualities perhaps in part due to some "occlusion." For that, I personally can't use them, though I should go ahead and try some decent cryo'd ones through burnin.

Cool
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #142 - 08/17/11 at 00:17:52
 
Greg, I think you must have added to your post as I was responding. Smiley

Sounds like your Toriis are becoming amazing and what makes them what you love is what there are, including the VCaps! Sounds great!

I have not taken the time to try to understand the functions of the Ultra, but that you could easily run different tubes in different Toriis and at will choose which to use for two channel will be awesome. And for comparison, wow, you could easily volume match very different tube sets. What a tool.

I just remembered some Voshkod 6N23P gold pins I had gotten from Koray Kural in Turkey and remembered they were supposed to be pretty neutral and non-colored. In his comparisons he found the Voshkods "more balanced, natural and smoother on the top end" than Reflector 6N23Ps. He also put the Voshkods in with 60s Siemens, and Amperex/Philips ECC88/E898CCs for neutral balanced sound with little color. I would agree. But I do find the 6N23Ps tend also more toward a nice big, tight/open tuby sound...more ambient information over texture than the others, contributing to their neutrality and sort of particular to them in my experience. The reason I mention this is that the Russion tubes are cheap. They are sounding pretty great with the 6CA7s. They probably are sort of neutral.
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« Last Edit: 08/17/11 at 00:24:21 by will »  

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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #143 - 08/17/11 at 01:25:11
 
Yep, you caught me, I was adding to my previous post. Thanks for the reference to the Voskhods. They are indeed very reasonably priced. And something relatively neutral in character is probably a good thing to have available. I noticed as I looked around the web that a number of different manufacture dates are attributed to these tubes. Still, the reviews generally seem positive, and the prices are reasonable. Looks like a dozen to go, please.
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #144 - 08/17/11 at 02:10:04
 
Greg, I am pretty sure I recall from Ron @ cryoset that the earlier ones like 70s-80ish, or was it pre 90s are better. Worth checking out I think. I don't know the year of mine but you could find out if interested. Koray is fun to email with if you want to check out his stock. He has a lot of tubes not listed at http://www.nostubestore.com/ Mine are Voshkod gold pins labeled Zaerix.

Couldn't you run different tubes in the various pre stages of the Ultra too. The interchangeability with the Torii input is cool! This could allow you to play with even more inputs than me having two applications!!! I love the tube quests though!
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #145 - 08/17/11 at 14:36:56
 
Will, thanks again for your reference to the NOS Tube Store. In my search for some of the Voskhods, I came across a fellow named Tom Scata who at one time had offered up 110 pairs of cryo-treated tubes. I contacted him, and he replied promptly, even though he no longer had any in stock. His reply came just as I was about to pull the trigger on a doze on eBay; here is what he said:
Quote:
I haven't been able to find a another stash of good NOS 6N23P Voskhod "rocket logo" tubes in quite awhile now. I'll keep your email addrtess and contact you should I find some.  Be careful there's a lot of rip-offs selling bad pulls, Reflector 6N23P (which sound terrible) or the 6N23P-EB and 6N23P-EV tubes and claiming they are  NOS 6N23P Voskhod "rocket logo" tubes!

Anyway, I decided not to do the eBay deal, and who knows, maybe I missed a good deal. Instead, I reached out to NOSTS, and they have the Zaerix you mentioned, about double of the basic Voskhod, but sounds worth the try.
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« Last Edit: 08/17/11 at 15:47:17 by Pale Rider »  

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2: MSB Select II | Mjölnir Carbon Select | Stax SR-009
3: PSA DirectStream |KGHVSS | Stax SR-007
4: Lumin A1 | Audez'e King | HeadAmp GS-X mk2 |Audez'e LCD-4 | Senn HD800
NAS: Roon on RS2416+
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will
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #146 - 08/17/11 at 16:52:11
 
I believe the regular ones from NosTS are the same tubes but without gold pins and premium selection. I went for the premium selection but it may not matter. I would hate to have you buy a bunch of these without trying a set. This is only the second time I have played them for any length of time. They just came up as a supposedly neutral tube and they are sounding good with this tube set. But at this point, I have such a selection of decent tubes that I can get good sound out of about any of them with the right combination.

With about $15/30 shipping, if you are shopping it might be interesting to see what 6922/6DJ8 pulls Koray has....a good inexpensive way to try a not very used tube. He also has a lot of stuff not listed....EL34s, and lots of VRs of many types and who knows what else.

Alternately, I could send this pair over for you to check out.
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PSA P5/modified Brickwall/Shunyata Defender/more; MacMini/Audirvana>Jitterbug/Regen> modified Gustard x20pro DAC; DIY + Pi Audio PCs; DIY ICs + USB; Decware-Jupiter CSP3, Torii MKIV, HR1-all modified; DIY Speaker Cables; feet-Madscientist, Archie's, isocups, DIY
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Pale Rider
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #147 - 08/17/11 at 17:21:44
 
Will, I appreciate your generous offer. I ordered 8 of the primo selection. I might in fact add some of the non-premium ones, just to have.

Like you, I have a sufficiently large tube selection, that I am likely to be able to make a tolerable combination out of something. Considering that 5 months ago, I owned none, this is a bit different landscape for me. In fact, I am starting to construct a little Bento database to sort the tubes and characterize them, so when I am dead and gone, my kids have something to go by. Wink
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1: Merging NADAC | Merrill Audio Veritas Amps | Legacy Audio Aeris
2: MSB Select II | Mjölnir Carbon Select | Stax SR-009
3: PSA DirectStream |KGHVSS | Stax SR-007
4: Lumin A1 | Audez'e King | HeadAmp GS-X mk2 |Audez'e LCD-4 | Senn HD800
NAS: Roon on RS2416+
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will
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Posts: 1830
Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #148 - 08/17/11 at 18:03:26
 
Nice idea the Bento data base!

I it is also good you checked with your supplier and he exposed the bad sounding 6N23Ps and fakes out there.

As I was wondering about why I had not used this tube in a while, I think it is in part because that power tubes I tend to use are on the open side of neutral. In their new state, the JJ 6CA7 seem pretty big bodied and warm. So the big, taught, open "tuby" sound and neutrality of the NOS Voshkod 6N23P's that could leave me wanting a more quirky character at times, sounds quite good.

I look forward to your impressions. FYI these tubes for some reason do take quite a while to burn in.

If you would like to delay your order I would be glad to send these over! Really.....
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« Last Edit: 08/17/11 at 18:05:48 by will »  

PSA P5/modified Brickwall/Shunyata Defender/more; MacMini/Audirvana>Jitterbug/Regen> modified Gustard x20pro DAC; DIY + Pi Audio PCs; DIY ICs + USB; Decware-Jupiter CSP3, Torii MKIV, HR1-all modified; DIY Speaker Cables; feet-Madscientist, Archie's, isocups, DIY
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Pale Rider
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Posts: 1284
Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #149 - 08/17/11 at 18:54:41
 
Quote:
If you would like to delay your order I would be glad to send these over! Really.....


You're a gentleman, but no need. Koray has already processed my order. Given the number of 6922 "slots" in my amps, these present all sort of synergy opportunities.
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« Last Edit: 08/17/11 at 18:55:52 by Pale Rider »  

1: Merging NADAC | Merrill Audio Veritas Amps | Legacy Audio Aeris
2: MSB Select II | Mjölnir Carbon Select | Stax SR-009
3: PSA DirectStream |KGHVSS | Stax SR-007
4: Lumin A1 | Audez'e King | HeadAmp GS-X mk2 |Audez'e LCD-4 | Senn HD800
NAS: Roon on RS2416+
  IP Logged
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