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Which input tube for a splash of seduction? (Read 39737 times)
Pale Rider
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #165 - 12/19/11 at 14:19:36
 
What Lon said:
Quote:
Also, with the exception of the Ruby rectifiers (I've never been a fan, I pluck them out immediately) I think that the stock tube configuration is very good and I'd recommend spending time with that set up to see how the factory voicing is. . . .


I completely agree. But in the interest of disclosure, and "do as I say, not as I do," I should note that I ordered my Ultra without tubes, and so cannot speak to the factory voicing. Further, on my Toriis, I immediately installed the Shuguang Treasures and the NOS RCA rectifiers. I tried some NOS Svetlanas as well, but came back to the RCAs.

One other point of note: a few weeks/months ago, there were several posts suggesting that the JJ 6CA7 valves outperformed the JJ EL34 (I think I have this right), and as I recall, Steve tried them out, concurred, and announced that the Torii would henceforth ship with the 6CA7 valves. I haven't kept up with that discussion, and I don't know if Steve has stuck by that decision, but I do know the forum posts were not unanimous on this point.
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Lon
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #166 - 12/19/11 at 14:30:41
 
Right, there's a thread on the new JJ tubes. I think as the Winged Cs became harder and costlier to find, he moved to JJ EL34 and then to the JJ 6CA7. I've used all three of these tube types and I'm warming up to the JJ 6CA7s, they have a different presentation that takes a while for me to get used to, but they're very good tubes. Stevef says they're the most neutral he's heard in this tube type. I still feel they're a bit on the warm side of neutral, and the Winged Cs that I'm so used to may be on the lean side of neutral, and that spread to the other side of neutral is important. I've been alternating between the Cs and the JJs and am more and more letting the JJs stay in as they're cheaper and easier to find and I'm liking them more with a lot of the music I'm listening to a lot lately (jazz and classical). If these come stock in your machine Morgan know that they're very good.
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Pale Rider
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #167 - 12/19/11 at 14:44:34
 
I went out to the garage and checked, and confirmed that I had ordered two quads of the JJ 6CA7 as part of my "legacy tube inventory." After I am dead and burned, I want my wife and kids to to know exactly how to keep this equipment running for as many years as they care to. So, I have written detailed instructions, and stocked—or have a goal to stock—50,000 hours of tube for each socket.
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walt
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #168 - 12/19/11 at 16:38:51
 
I am now listening to a pair of Mullard 6DJ8's. Mid sixties Blackburns I believe.  I have never know another tube in any applications that went through more wide swings in sound and tonality before burning in.  There was a clarity that once heard is hard to do without but everything I loved about listening was shot for two weeks. I started turning on the Torii and going downstairs and watching TV.  I even posted in the general discussions about thinking the Christmas tree was screwing up my sound.  Well the tree is still there and as I write Joni Mitchell and the LA Express is performing live in my living room and my sound is again great throughout the whole house.  The  Mullards have a roundness of tone and top to bottom even tonality that have never been duplicated here, so much so that I did not seem it could have been possible.  I have lived with music for over 35 years and it never sounded so good.  A testament for sure to the Mullards but no doubt to the Torii III in the long run.
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will
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #169 - 12/19/11 at 22:55:38
 
Morgan

I like a lot of music too, though I tend to listen most to jazz either from, or based in the more lyrical stuff from the 50s/60s along with a fair bit of EMI stuff; bosa nova and women singers from Peru, Brazil, and Colombia; simple early classical like Jordi Savall, and the many interpretations of Bach violin and cello; folk music from around the world, rock from The Band and Young to Morphine and Massive Attack........

My room is treated but still live which I like for the most part, contributing to the live player in the room feel.

I can't separate detail from musicality, finding them part and parcel of an enjoyable musical experience. Micro detail contributing to subtleties of texture and air.... macro helping define the instrument sound and place in space.....individual character and focus. And the combo giving us all that other cool stuff like ambience conveyed from the recording to my room, the finger hit part on a classical guitar or bass string, or hand drum, the dynamic and varied vibrations of a cymbal and so on......

Sound stage is really important to me too, but I don't sacrifice musicality for detail, playing within the balance that makes it all sound like real music is my goal. Does the bass have articulate deep vibes that you feel? And is the sound of the wood there, the space between the wood....the bow hair or finger on string.... or the subtle string hits on the neck; the sax with air and brass hitting you in the low gut.....but also the key sounds and the subtle sounds of the reeds; each of the drums like real drums in the room, the locations clear but expressing all the character of the wood, head, hand/stick and air. Seems like this is the game to me, and requires a balance of detail, warmth, body, depth, weight, and dynamics.

I agree that with the level of revelation this gear brings, the choices we make for cables, front end, feet, weights, spikes and all have a big impact for me, and play bigtime into the sound equation.

My main music is AIFF files via PureMusic played from a tricked out 2010 Mac Mini, to a Tranquility DAC with an amazing new output stage, and the Torii into Ziegler HR-ONEs (radial front firing hybrid). No Pre.

I can't say how this stuff compares to your room, speakers or front end. For me, I get listening fatigue if the low bass is too heavy, likely contributed to by remaining room stuff. So my preferences go to the resolving side of things, but without hardness. I would say I like warmth, but seek balance, neutrality and definition for a sound that seems natural to me.

I have a hard time saying which tubes are my favorite as there are so many ways to find synergy, and I have a lot of tubes to play with at this point from steady exploration.

Right now I am using RCA OC2 (a touch more transparent to me than Raytheon), 80's Sylvania OA3-ST (less "warm" and in my system/room, more neutral than early STs) Cryo'd Ruby fat bottle EL-34 (from Cryoset...though a little less texture than Winged-C, a similar fresh and open midrange, but better bass definition...
Also similar balance as JJ 6AC7, but not as dark and dense) early 50s RCA 5U4GB (interesting straight/tall bottles with internal construction similar to RCA 5U4G STs, no bottom mica and a lot of glass there...very real sounding tube to me) and like Walt, I am currently enjoying some Mullard ECC88/6DJ8s. Mine are pulls/used so I did not suffer any burnin with them. They are Blackburn A-frames looking like 60s or 70s and for a warm tube, seem nicely balanced to me with excellent articulation and inner detail.

So I have segued away from stock altogether. Edit:My stock tubes were Raytheon OC2, early RCA OA3-ST, Ruby 5U4G-ST, Winged C EL34, and 6N1Ps. Once you get your sound sorted out, it is easier to point more toward tubes that might help accomplish your taste goals from within the context of your system/room, and by comparing the sound quality between different tubes. Those 6AC7s are real slow burners too! They will keep coming out for 120-150 hours if they are like my set. But you will be wading through caps and wire burnin too, so it will all work out.

Exciting time to come!
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« Last Edit: 12/20/11 at 00:02:55 by will »  

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Pale Rider
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #170 - 12/19/11 at 23:12:08
 
Lovely detail here Will, and I completely agree with your assessments of the interrelationship between detail, musicality, soundstage, SQ, etc. It is the music that matters, not any one isolated characteristic of it.

And thanks for reminding me about the RCA 0C2 tubes. I have them and don't believe I have tried them.
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will
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #171 - 12/19/11 at 23:38:49
 
Hey Greg,

Yes, the music! I find it so interesting coaxing out the best experience my system/room can provide. The combination of being totally amazed by and sucked into the music while exploring fun and varied ways to experience it is a real pleasure to me.  And as I have said before on here, I really love shaking up the tube set to find different, but equally good synergy, shifting the music enough to make it fresher!
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Morganc
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #172 - 12/20/11 at 04:59:32
 
"I went out to the garage and checked, and confirmed that I had ordered two quads of the JJ 6CA7 as part of my "legacy tube inventory." After I am dead and burned, I want my wife and kids to to know exactly how to keep this equipment running for as many years as they care to. So, I have written detailed instructions, and stocked—or have a goal to stock—50,000 hours of tube for each socket."

Now that's funny! Grin
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Morganc
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #173 - 12/20/11 at 05:11:53
 
Thanks so much for all the information guys.   I think that I have found a group with similar tastes to my own and it is good to hear that most of you have similar goals and somewhat similar equipment.  

I have already bought and received a quad of BT Output tubes as the deal was too good to resist and I own a lot of 5U4,s including a pair of Mullards so I will likely give those a try to start.  However I may leave it at that and see how things progress goong forward.  

I too have a Tranquility SE, with the new Output stage and it is phenomenal coming out of a Mac Mini.  

I will break the amp in on my Zu's and then I will get the chance to run up a few hundred more hours on my new Pendragons.  I prefer to break them all in at once it seems  ;).  

Any more thoughts and opinions are all appreciated. This is what makes the hobby so fun.   And me as a relative newbie, has tons to learn!
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Pale Rider
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #174 - 12/20/11 at 15:15:08
 
Will, your reference to the 5U4GB caught my eye, and I couldn't quite remember why. I have all coke bottle style rectifiers in my amps, mostly RCA, but a Mullard in my Taboo right now. I believe Lon has a preference for the straight-sided recrifiers, but i like curves. Wink

Anyway this week, I came across a couple of 1950s RCA NOS 5U4GB black plate D-getter rectifiers, and I just had to get them. Why? Well, they  are RCA, but they are labeled on the base "HAMMOND," which happens to be my surname. And so I have completed the "vanity personalization" of my Toriis.  ;D
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will
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #175 - 12/20/11 at 17:27:39
 
Hey Greg,

Yes I like the curves too! But my amp is in a cabinet, so the look is less important and I have come to like the look of the tall straights too. After I figured out the "5U4G" that Lon liked so much was GB, I wanted to check them out. I always thought he was referring to STs since the Torii comes with STs and since tube selling guys seem to tend to prefer them over 5U4GB for Audiophile applications.

So I got a pair of cheap, short bottle RCA 5U4GB black plates with a top/side hallow getter off Ebay to check out, and liked them....compared to my favorite RCA made 5U4G-ST (I think 40's... with the wires running up between the plates) a bit more spacious, a bit more textural, and showing nicely in the bass presentation though just a little dark and wooly in the bass for my tastes. This spacious texture and for the most part, seductive bass, made the tube type worth exploring for me.

So I went on a binge and ordered several pair of varied construction 5U4GBs off Ebay, this time all tall bottles on the hunch that they might be more spacious and open....less confined in the bass. Surprisingly, this was the case with all I got, and  I really like them all, the variations between them making for some interesting tuning possibilities with other tubes. It is very interesting how many getter variations there are.

How do you like your "Hammonds?"
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Lon
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #176 - 12/20/11 at 17:34:23
 
In my defense the pair I have nowhere have a "B" imprinted on them, just "G." Great tubes. Glad you found some to like. I have another vintage RCA pair with the "B" that are good. . . but I like them less, a bit more "sterile" sounding (kiss of death for me and tubes). Probably should look for some more. . . before you guys buy them all up. Smiley
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will
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #177 - 12/20/11 at 18:11:28
 
Hey Lon, No defense necessary...my assumptions were off. And like your GBs, the STs I like best just have 5U4G on them too. But it is good to have figured it out since the bottle type does offer slightly different characteristics. In my experience, it is the same with the OA3, OB3, and OC3s...generally (though not always) notable differences between the STs and Bs.

I wonder if I have some GB's like your favorites? Can you describe there construction? Are they tall bottle? Plates? Getter shape and getter placement???

In any Torii thread, since all the parts and their synergy play such a huge role in the Torii presentation, including how if so easily presents tube characteristics, it seems it could be very useful to know what we are comparing!
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« Last Edit: 12/20/11 at 18:12:30 by will »  

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Lon
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #178 - 12/20/11 at 19:42:16
 
These are short barrelled, silver plates, side getters. I don't really know their provenance. . . they're very similar to another pair I have which are purportedly from the 'sixties.

I have found I prefer the straight side as well in the O-3 series.
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will
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #179 - 12/20/11 at 20:01:31
 
Thanks Lon, that is interesting. I actually have two pair of 5U4GBs that look like exactly the same construction, tall bottle, the same black plates, micas the same, double top hallow getters....everything the same. Both tested similarly too. One has no writing and was sold as an RCA make, the other pair is labeled Sylvania, and though their sounds have characteristics that are obviously the same, one is cooler and the other more rich and textural. Go figure.
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« Last Edit: 12/20/11 at 20:02:43 by will »  

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