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Which input tube for a splash of seduction? (Read 39267 times)
Gopher
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Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
07/03/11 at 19:13:18
 
I am a new Torii 3 owner and the amp is very impressive driving my Zu Soul Superfly speakers.  The control, transparency, and staging are all really excellent in this pairing and things sound impressive top to bottom.

The one area I wouldn't mind tweaking slightly is wanting for a touch of romance.  I'm not talking flabby, colored, compromised sound, but just a slightly more emotionally stirring presentation, similar to what I experienced with Shindo.

I've got Shuguang BTs in the output positions, the rest stock--From what I've read National 7DJ8s may be a good match for these outputs.

Any further feedback?  I also noticed many are using RCA rectifiers, what was the significance of that?
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Lon
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #1 - 07/03/11 at 19:35:56
 
The RCA rectifiers may be just the trick for you. They have a meaty and yet controlled bottom end and a well-mannered dynamic presentation.

If you don't need the grunt, I really like 6N2Ps in place of 6922 etc. Warm and with enough detail. Some might call that romantic.
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Pale Rider
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #2 - 07/03/11 at 21:36:28
 
Gopher, looking forward to your feedback. I have both the National and Ediswan 6922 tubes lined up to try in the Torii. I need to track down the RCA rectifier.
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Gopher
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #3 - 07/05/11 at 03:06:34
 
Thanks, guys.  I am going to start with a pair of RCA 5u4g tubes to see what that yields.  

The amp, with BT outputs and all else stock is sounding very good, even without burn in.  Right now its a little bit on the intellectually stimulating side and not quite on the absolutely musically mesmerizing side I've experienced with some pricier gear, but again--this unit isn't burned in AND the tubes haven't been fine tuned for me.  I see a lot of potential here.

I'm still debating whether to use a preamp with it and tired a Tubeguru.hu pre with it Saturday.  The preamp lent surprisingly little to the presentation but didn't feel it brought enough to the table....  maybe I'll save ~3k.  

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datman
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #4 - 07/05/11 at 04:18:51
 
I'm the one with the National 7DJ8's in my Torii III. I specifically wanted a tube to REALLY sweeten up the sound of the amp. Kevin at Upscale Audio wholeheartedly recommended these and boy, was he right!

Sweetness without syrup. Lows without boom and highs without etch. What more could you ask for?

I am still experimenting with the 0C2 input voltage regulator and am currently  liking the 0B2 in this position. I am certain this will change over time as my mental acuity ebbs and flows.

You don't have to be crazy to participate in this hobby, but it certainly helps!
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« Last Edit: 07/05/11 at 04:20:12 by datman »  

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Pale Rider
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #5 - 07/05/11 at 04:49:45
 
Got my Nationals and Ediswans from Upscale also. And crazy does help. Wink
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Gopher
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #6 - 07/06/11 at 01:28:09
 
datman,

Is the driver grade the one I ought to buy from upscale?   Any reason to go with the gold or platinum for this position?
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datman
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #7 - 07/06/11 at 01:37:36
 
I am sure the driver grade will be fine.  I would imagine triode balance is more important than microphonics in this application. Usually at Upscale I tend to buy what Kevin suggests.

This having been said, I always buy the highest grade available. Generally, the difference in cost is actually fairly inexpensive ego gratification.
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Pale Rider
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #8 - 07/06/11 at 05:26:21
 
Quote:
This having been said, I always buy the highest grade available. Generally, the difference in cost is actually fairly inexpensive ego gratification.

Spot on, datman. I have a feeling there is a bit of ego stroking in higher graded tubes. But like you, I buy the highest grade I can. I did that with the Shuguang Treasures (which I will be testing this week against the quad I picked up on fleabay), and I did it with both the Nationals and Ediswans. Now, maybe platinum grade isn't necessary, but in an amp like the Torii—which I have yet to hear, but is by all accounts exceptionally revealing—I am not sure I would see the point in not buying the best that one could afford.

In fairness, at this stage, that's just an abstract point of view when it comes to the Torii, and I will admit that Steve's own words suggest that less-than-perfectly-matched tubes should do just fine in Decware's self-biasing circuits.
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Gopher
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #9 - 07/06/11 at 15:44:06
 
Welp, I bought the driver grade Nationals last night--hopefully it wasnt a mistake.  In hindsight I should have split the difference and gone gold at least.

I'm excited to hear how these things do!  Hopefully they arrive before the weekend.
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will
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #10 - 07/06/11 at 19:13:09
 
I think synergy makes all the difference, and all the tubes in the Torii matter. So I just put in the stock 6N1Ps that came with mine as a point of reference for heading into a sweeter "romantic" sound. Right now I am using RCA 5U4G-ST (coke bottle.... off branding cheap from brent jesse), cryo'd Ruby EL34BSTs (Shuguang/not treasures), RCA OA3s and RCA OC2s. From this, I will change only input tubes for this comparison.

But no matter what inputs you use, something very useful with the torii is the reg tubes. OA3s to OB3s or OC3Ws will lower the grid voltage opening things up without extreme signature shifts. Or, for an input tube shift, you can change the OC2s to OB2s directly "tweaking" the input tube sound toward more detail/less warmth. So depending on the objective, if the general sound is good, you can really tune it to taste with the regulators in a really inexpensive way.

Smiley

Then there are feet and tube dampers. The first thing I noticed with the 6N1Ps is that they are richened/smoothed up a notch by putting herbiesaudiolab RX tube dampers on them. In my experience, these tube dampers and herbies isocup feet w/lampblack balls level the playing field of tubes. By cutting vibration and  microphonics tubes tend to sound better while making them more readable. My feet have stainless basses and actually I am using two w/lampblack balls and two w/picture jasper balls under the Torii at the moment...a bit more focus and detail than lampblacks alone). I don't use tube dampers on all the tubes. Like now I don't have them on the back EL34s, or the regulators. I try to hold the a fine line between things getting so smooth that I lose musicality.

Anyway, I replaced the 6N1Ps with some "premium" national 7DJ8s, and what I heard first was more power! So I turned it down. Then I heard increased dynamics, space, texture, definition and a slight bawdy openness quality that I like as it tends to pull a "liveness" from the sound. That could perhaps move them into the romantic depending on how you look at it....definitely more everything good, but with a similar richness as the 6N1P. The only down side might be that they could be thought of as a little brash and unrefined. But then I put on the RX dampers, and this refined them notably. I like this tube, but I like an open live sound. So I think this tube will probably not be a mistake. Just might be worth a look at the RX dampers and perhap feet if they are a little brash after burnin.

Another tube in a similar arena is the Matsushita/National 6922 (also Mullard tooling) from tubemonger 80 for a pair.....warmer, with more of the 6922 solidity....I would say more even mannered than the national 7DJ8, though I don't suggest this as necessarily a better trait, just different. Also I have a pair of Mullard CV2492 E88CC 6922 - M. Pairs USED 1969-1978 Dimple Disc Getter - Gt. Britain also from tubemonger. At $75 a pair, this is a good way to try the famed Mullards without too much investment. And unlike some tube companies, tubemonger's sets are all well matched ('Premium" or better) unless marked with "imperfect scores." I find these Mullards sort of in between the two japanese tubes with the sort of even refinement of the 6922 and a nice, (though slightly more refined) open clarity of the 7DJ8, and they are couched in a classic warmth. It is a detailed warmth without too much sense of a darkish veil....a "warmth" I prefer. Probably a decent choice if the 7DJ8s are not quite refined/sweet/warm enough Smiley

Lastly, In the quest for romance, I wanted to look at Amperex. I put in some Bugle Boy pulls from nostubestore.com. @$64 a pair (before shipping from Turkey), a cheap way to try really nice NOS tubes. I have always loved aspects of these tubes.....their soft, but detailed and musical character. Like the Mullards, warmth without veils, but also with a micro detail I really like from good 6DJ8s. Also in the Amperex vein, the orange globe/a-frame 6DJ8 pulls (56/pr from nostubestore) ...definately the Amperex micro detail and brighter upper midrange than the Bugle Boys, but quite a bit in the same family. I really like Amperex tubes, and the 6DJ8s in particular have a nice warmth we might call romantic. These may be worth look too if you feel the need to roll the 7DJ8s. My input tube of choice lately is a pair of early 60s Philips/Amperex 6922/E88CC SQ, also from nostubestore but not listed on the site. Very transparent, refined, open, smooth and warm without loss of detail. But they were 90 each. Koray at the nostubestore, is a really good resource by the way if you email him.

Wink

All of these are nice tubes that I suspect would do good things toward bringing in that sort of real/live sound that we might count as sweeter and richer, and to me, all have notable improvements over the 6N1P. And again, these comparisons are just changing the inputs. I will often change the regs, rectifiers or power tubes to refine things.  

Also again, with this many tubes in a Torii, vibration is a thing, so if this is not solved in your system, I think the herbies stuff is well worth a look/try (90 day return) making tube rolling no less fun, but a little less important.
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« Last Edit: 07/06/11 at 20:30:45 by will »  

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Pale Rider
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #11 - 07/06/11 at 19:59:20
 
Will, what a tremendous post! Thanks much for sharing these experiences and impressions.
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will
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #12 - 07/06/11 at 23:24:50
 
Your are welcome PR. I hope it is useful since room and tastes are so much a part of it, and we all perceive subtleties differently. I am afraid for me, with my ears, subtle in audio is really sort of rare these days. When working out the details it all seems sort of big to me!

And I was glad the question was only about romance/seduction, narrowing the field. I have a lot of tubes! And I feel like I am just now learning to use them more fully after a long time exploring. Finely tuned tuning can get confusing with all the tube sets, knobs and switches on the Torii, each effecting everything else in its own particular way. But man, what tools they are after getting a bit of a handle on them, and more importantly, how they work together.

For example, a long time ago, I had sort of blown off the OB2 input regs because they have such a big impact on the amp's sound....finding them interesting, but too bright hard and lean in comparison to the OC2. But I had found RCA OC2, which I like better than Raytheon (a little more detailed/less warm), and been using OB3 and OC3W power regs almost exclusively (already toning down the push of the amp). Also I did not have bass knobs then.

Lately, I have been playing RCA OB2s into the game smarter. Like today.....I had a big detailed sound that was warmish using OA3 power regs (the biggest sounding regs) very articulate and warmish Amperex 6922s that go deep, and when I first put in the OB2s it was as expected, really bringing out the transparent top of the Amperex......too bright/clear in the mids by far, but interesting elsewhere. And by reducing the treble knobs quite a bit and then tuning the bass knobs....the OB2 brings to this particular tube set, a very compelling signature shift with loads of detail throughout the spectrum and a still very convincing bass. I like it.

With this quality of sound, I really love the game. It all sounds good, but the exquisite lurks in there and when I hear it, it awakens new subtle explorations in the quest for more experience of it with a broader range of recordings.
Cool
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« Last Edit: 07/06/11 at 23:31:17 by will »  

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Gopher
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #13 - 07/07/11 at 03:09:11
 
Thank you so much for sharing your experience and thoughts, Will.  Some very good information in there, albeit a bit intimidating as I'm not much of a tweaker and don't have the experience to really change multiple tube types to tailor a certain sound.    Lot of variables for this amp!

You aren't a NYer by chance?  lol.  I would love to hear an experienced Torii-phile's opinion on how its sounding in my moderately treated room to see if they had insight on the treble/bass knobs or the tube compliment for my living room.
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will
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #14 - 07/07/11 at 06:10:05
 
Gopher,

Nope I live in New Mexico. And I am not a tweaker, just a quester, and the quest has opened interesting doors little by little to a point now where, like many, it has become a more serious hobby for me. To me it is all about the sound. If you like it, it is good sound. And if you find things that could sound better, and it stimulates investigation, then new information enters the equation. And all rooms are good that sound good to the room user.

But to more practical matters. All the knobs and switches are totally tools for tailoring the sound to taste. And for me, since I like to mess around, they change. Sometimes I like the impedance switches one way, and other times, the other way. And the same for the bias switch though with my speakers I tend to end up back at the softer impedance setting and the neutral bias setting.

The bass knobs were a little weird to me, but made more sense once I understood what they do. Basically, depending on your speaker drivers, full one way will be the tightest sound...with the least driver movement. Full the other will be more open with the greatest driver throw and less tight bass. After figuring that out, the rest makes sense in between the two extremes.

Seems like for many, these things are plenty to play with to fine-tune the sound. Or you can go feako like me and play with it all! Wink

Something that happened to me was that this amp pulled a lot from my system/room revealing things that were not there before, setting me to looking at room, cables, tubes, resonance damping and all in a deeper way. And one thing led to another......but simple things like room treatment placement, and gear and speaker placement can really make big differences.

And your amp is still barely burnt in and it will continue to change for a while. Lots of fun ahead! Smiley But as to how the torii can sound! It can sound absolutely engrossing and enchanting. It can sound clean, or warm, transparent or colored....it can sound pretty much like you want it to with care, thought and effort!
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« Last Edit: 07/07/11 at 06:19:04 by will »  

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Pale Rider
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #15 - 07/07/11 at 15:48:21
 
Quote:
With this quality of sound, I really love the game. It all sounds good, but the exquisite lurks in there and when I hear it, it awakens new subtle explorations in the quest for more experience of it with a broader range of recordings.

Will, I think this is what Steve is saying about taking the time to find out what the Torii can really do. The exquisite lurks in there. I feel that way about the Taboo right now, with its combo of the Mullard rectifier, the Mullard signal, and the 6P15P output tubes. Along with the Mullard in the ZSTAGE, the combo sings, maybe a touch like Queen's Fat Bottomed Girls ;), but so sweet. I may try to tighten the bass up a tad, but I may not. It is that close to perfect.

With the first Torii in shipment, I am looking forward to all the possibilities.
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will
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #16 - 07/07/11 at 15:57:52
 
PR. That is great you have the Taboo where you want it! Good luck with the Torii! Fun!
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« Last Edit: 07/07/11 at 15:58:36 by will »  

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Pale Rider
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #17 - 07/07/11 at 17:38:03
 
Fun indeed. And then, there is the Ultra, of course. I ordered it without tubes, so I won't quite know what it is supposed to sound like. I think Lon cautioned me on that point, but I was reckless. Wink Anyway, there will be a lot of virgin (to me) sockets.
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Gopher
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #18 - 07/07/11 at 19:10:31
 
Thanks guys.  In addition to those Nationals (changed order with upscale audio to platinum) I sourced some RCA 5u4gs to replace the Chinese that came with my Torii.

The rectifiers should be here Saturday, the nationals on the 12th.   In the meantime I'm going to try swapping the output tubes (Shuguang Black Treasures) in favor of stock (wing cs).  I only listened briefly with the SEDs before swapping them out and they deserve revisiting.  I know I'm in the minority, but I havent been too wild about Black Treasure and Psvanes in the past and only purchased thse as I saw Steve offers them specifically for this amp.  

Maybe stock will give me my romance, lol.  No shortage of variables with this amp!
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will
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #19 - 07/07/11 at 19:16:18
 
PR, I suspect you will love all those explorations!

As I give the quest for engaging music at home more thought, it brings up some interesting stuff. It seems to me that the nature of life is to change and transform as we develop in interaction with our environment. And if we oppose the natural flow of change, trying to stop it, we get sad or sick. But if we accept its nature in reality, and nurture it in directions that are healthy for us, then change is our friend and it can happen much more rapidly than what is culturally expected. The foundation of change appears to be nature itself…the nature of all of us at once working in our own, and in our collective efforts to get better. And for most of us, a main thing we can influence is our environment.

The Torii (or other good music maker) is a big player in a lot of our environments, and since it can contribute to a natural conveyance of music, it gives us something we subconsciously like, something we develop a natural affinity with. So it can become a huge aspect of our time. This makes it a big player in our transformation in time. It and all its associates in our musical environments influence us on all levels, cellular to quantum, contributing to how and who we are. The frequencies, waves and patterns imprint us with information and patterning, and we heighten this interaction as we engage in the music.

Since music is for most of us heavily weighted in open mind consciousness or right brain, non linear perception and integration, it integrates in more rounded/overlapping/intuitive ways than linear process. In this, because it sympathizes with our deeper nature, making us feel better, we tend to take in natural art without many filters . In other words, we take in natural art, be it a wilderness environment, basket, painting, music or whatever as it was expressed, in an artistic way. This in many ways awakens a connection to the world for us, and is therefore a sort of food that we can come to crave once recognized.

In the natural comfort of this interaction, many overlaid and interdependent flows of information come in at once bypassing the comparatively glacial linear flow. I think this is a big part of why art is so compelling, it activates much of our natural mind function…..the function that allows "mind" to breath freely and interactively in nature.

Finally, by engaging deeply in the music, transformation (that we may not even notice) is natural. In this, something that was not there in this moment is potentially there in the next, just because we are different and therefore respond differently in our environment. So what is "right" now, may need refining as time passes.

Thus the game. As we change, we feel and respond differently, and for something we have an interactive relationship with, like our music environment, we may then be compelled to adjust it to suit what we believe will make us feel better now. And on and on and on it can go. But then there are things that just satisfy! Like a waterfall a Yosemite, or a Van Gogh, or your Taboo setup….things that are so close to natural balance that we just dive in and enjoy them. Or, like me, in a place of brilliance with the music, but at the moment, I love to explore nuances, nuances that shift in my every-changing sense of sympathetic interaction.

I think this points to the main part of the Decware beauty...it is natural enough in its conveyance of music that we crave interaction with it. It can carry natural frequencies, waves and patterns of music into our homes and daily lives. And in doing so in a way that we intuitively "know" to be real and comfortable, it sparks creativity...a fundamental, but culturally devalued aspect of our nature. This creativity can be sheerly in the experience/exploration of the music, or in the fun of coaxing the music toward a more sympathetic presentation, and for most of us, a combination.

So finally, to me, the game seems to be a product of creativity blooming into interactive processes toward more balanced and accessible musical engagement. And it can be looked at as a quest in resolving some levels of dissatisfaction, or as a quest toward natural refinement. I prefer the latter since it is the basis of natural transformation, and since the desire for more balance innately carries with it an interest in the unknown, it is the foundation of creativity. In this we explore and discover, explore and discover….discovering the experience of creative process and art.

Long story short, I think Decware and other natural conveyers of music are tools for creative exploration and the resultant art of creating and enjoying music at home. And anything that brings the creative into our lives is priceless.
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will
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #20 - 07/07/11 at 19:19:15
 
Gopher,

Have fun! But also remember that the amp, tubes and cables need a lot of burnin. Some more than others. I think I recall that the Treasures need at least 300 hours! The Empirical burnin CD may be a good friend for now!
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will
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #21 - 07/07/11 at 20:26:57
 
Gopher, I can't recall the amp you got. Wasn't it a very lightly used one?

Also, I wonder if you can describe what is missing in your sound, and describe what you would like that is not there? Semantics are such a mine field, and each system/room makes the same components act/sound differently, so I am just wondering if you can get more specific than "romance".

Once your system is all settled in, and if you are up for it, I would surely be interested in your impressions comparing the Winged Cs to the Treasures. The information on them is a little vague to me and they cost a pretty penny, so I have been reticent.
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #22 - 07/07/11 at 23:08:00
 
Will,

I purchased this Torii lightly used from a gentleman in IL who had it posted on audiogon.  Rather than shipping it to me, he brought it to Steve for an inspection, the installation of a bass knob (it was an earlier Torii 3) and I had him swap the taps from 4ohm/8ohm to 8ohm/16ohm (I have Zu Soul Superfly 16ohm speakers).

The sound is fairly complete as is.  I'm experiencing awesome dynamics, powerful but controlled bass, nice harmonic richness/a very textured sound and overall resolution is great--its very accurate and sometimes honesty isn't always flattering.  I guess I'd like a splash more warmth and sweetness.  The mids are very meaty and textured, but a splash more tonal coloring would paint a really beautiful picture.

For perspective, before using the Torii as an integrated I was using a significantly more expensive combination of the Shindo Auregies preamplifier driving 845 SET monoblocks (with 300B drivers).

This is giving me a similar presentation then the esoteric separates, better in many instances, but its not quite as emotionally compelling and I imagine the things I bring up wanting may play a part.  

My room has some acoustic treatments to it, though I never took proper measurements--just went to town with some GIK pannels and the reflection point mirror tricks--it did help greatly as before the treatment my room was sounding miserable.
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #23 - 07/07/11 at 23:57:52
 
I don't think the Shuguang Black Treasures are bad at all in this amp.  I tried going back to the winged cs to begin tonights listening session and it sounded threadbare by comparison.  

I'm glad I did right for once with high end Chinese tubes.  I've owned at least 5 other iterations of Black Treasure and Psvane and none have really impressed me (some I actually hate!)
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #24 - 07/08/11 at 00:19:40
 
Damn it G, you were supposed to say that the Winged Cs were just fine in comparison to the Treasures. Smiley

If I can find a job this year, I'll probably have to try them. Maybe Greg will tell us that the ones from ebay are just as good, that will help.
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #25 - 07/08/11 at 01:01:45
 
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #26 - 07/08/11 at 21:05:48
 
Gopher,

It will be interesting to see what you think of the National 7DJ8s.

In thinking of my setup, the Torii is not at all cool, in fact, I work to open/brighten it up, but this could be mostly room and tastes??? I do like what you seem to like and call romance....that captivating textural warmth but with detail and punch to further enliven the sense of realism. I would call my sound dynamic, slightly warm, textural, harmonically rich, and with clarity and sparkle so you can hear all the cool stuff like drum skins, reeds, keys, pads and the like, and cymbals sound just like cymbals, but string basses or kicks sound just right too. I think this combination is what makes it engaging, and is what evokes terms like romantic for me....it is an amazing thing to be able to be completely absorbed by the music.

So it is odd to me that your setup is a little cool. And you probably have looked at this, but I find bringing a new component into the system can require re-looking at speaker placement, cable configuration and so on. Makes sense since each component has a signature and in turn adjusts the signature of the entire system/room.

So I wonder...since you got a sweetness you liked from your previous setup, did you have to do any work to get there beside room treatments. Did you choose interconnects, speaker cables, power cables, or whatever to open/brighten up the old setup??? It could be that what was beneficial to the old amps might be working a little against the new amp.

As you have heard, the Torii is very revealing, and this can be good or bad...but for me, definitely good in the end if a little demanding. Every single thing I do in my system can be heard be it foot type and placement, different cables, minor speaker shifts...like I have all different audio power cables, and by shifting them around to different components, there is definitely cable to gear synergy for my tastes with particular configurations, and the opposite with others. Same with ICs. And some pretty subtle speaker placement and toe shifts can have a pretty strong impact in my room. This stuff is just so revealing, and I would say, not designed to color the sound much.

Just some more thoughts.
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #27 - 07/09/11 at 02:59:18
 
Will,

Very insightful of you!  I actually struggled deeply with room issues before selling my Shindo/845s in an act of frustration before trying the Torii.  Here is a link to my journey:  http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=94834.0  I think I actually need additional treatments but the wife's foot is kinda down and I've gotta work on bringing the aesthetic back up after all my experimenting:  http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=95556.0

I didn't say it was at all coolish.  My sound is very neutral and transparant, I'm not looking for greater accuracy--if anything I'm looking for a little embellishment.  For perspective, I prioritize emotional involvement over audiophile adjectives any day of the week.  My gut tells me the Torii may allow me to achieve both.  I'm hoping the Nationals are in my mail box tomorrow, but I imagine it will take a while to burn them in...
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #28 - 07/09/11 at 03:19:50
 
It didn't take more than 10 hours for the 7DJ8's to break in. They have sounded excellent from the start.
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #29 - 07/09/11 at 03:45:15
 
Gopher, if the Nationals aren't your cup of tea, have you tried the 6N1P or the 6N2P?  Like you I look for that little bit of forgiveness, that little diminishment of brutal detail that brings a romantic edge to the utter transparncy and can make less perfect recordings stand out less. These tube types have gotten me there.
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #30 - 07/09/11 at 06:37:03
 
Gopher,

I guess I equated desire for warmth and sweetness as equivalent to your sound being a little cool for your tastes. Semantics are hard. And I was not suggesting bringing articulation to the system, I was wondering if you had done work with your old setup to open/brighten the sound, perhaps being good for the old system, and perhaps over-compensation for the Torii. Then, if so, it is possible that these could be re-adjusted with the Torii to sway things toward a sound you find sweeter. But if everything is great other than a little "embellishment" I suspect you can find that with tubes.
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #31 - 07/09/11 at 18:59:06
 
I received the RCA 5u4gs today and they're plugged in now.  They may need some time to settle, but the first thing I notice is a significantly less impactfull bass and a little vagueness to the sound like a light veil.

I guess I'll see what a weekends worth of burn in/settling time brings.
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #32 - 07/09/11 at 20:07:27
 
I think that will change when breakin is past. I find these to give me the deepest and warmest bass of any other brands and types I've tried, and a bit of bloom others don't.

Here's hoping they're what you like! If you find you don't like them, I may be interested in buying the pair from you. . . .
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #33 - 07/09/11 at 21:10:07
 
Gopher, Did you get 5U4G-ST (coke bottle shape like the rubys) or 5U4G-B (straight side, bottle shape.) I have no experience with the B. And my interpretation of the ST may not be like yours, but can see how you could see it that way. I put the Rubies in to check with my current tube set, and with these amp settings. For my system, the bass with the RCAs is more focused and defined, but I would not say there is a lot less.....and everything is more liquid/sweet, the Rubies having an edginess by contrast.

With this setup, the Rubys are way in-your-face. But with a softer/warmer tube set, they might sound quite good to me. Interested, I then put some herbies RX tube dampers on the Rubys, and they became more liquid and balanced, with tighter bass, and less edgy, but still edgy. So I guess it is really relative to everything else. One thing is for sure, if I were using the Rubies, I would play with my amp adjustments and tubes (set now for the RCAs) to adjust to what they bring to the sound. The difference between them and the RCAs are notable, begging for a synergy that this set and settings don't give them.

Also, I find at times that some combinations of tubes can make the qualities of individual tubes change in unusual ways, bringing out different things than expected as some other tube in the setup takes a dominant influence over them.

Finally, if your tubes are NOS, I agree with Lon, they will likely take a while to settle in. I seem to remember my RCAs taking something like 50 hours???? to begin to open up, but can't be sure about that.

If you can run the system while away, and since you have very specific tastes and are playing with new stuff a lot, the Esoteric/Iso-tek Burnin CD may be worth a serious look. It is supposed to shorten burnin a lot in a safe, mathematically calculated way. It took me a long time to get there, but I recently had a lot of new/repaired stuff at once and the burnin was killing me after having really good sound, so I was happy to spend the thirty bucks or so it costs. There is a good review on it out there somewhere.
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #34 - 07/09/11 at 22:13:49
 
I did have an ST type pair of RCAs years ago, but in comparison I've preferred the B type, both looks (never really like the coke bottle shape) and sound. My remarks above were about the B type in the Torii Mk II and III.

The new Electro Harmonix B type is a decent modern tube, sort of in between the Ruby (which really never has worked out for me well) and the RCA.
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« Last Edit: 07/09/11 at 22:14:32 by Lon »  

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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #35 - 07/09/11 at 22:24:40
 
I suspect they'll change with some hours as well.  It is one 1953 and 1955 coke bottle RCA 5u4g.  I purchased them from tubeword where they tested new but had smudged labels.  

I was just posting some initial findings--I'm not worried about it or anything.  These things probably haven't seen any usage in a couple decades (if they ever did) I'll give them a fair chance to warm up.  The decrease in bass quantity was a little surprising, but I've been in the hobby long enough not to judge a tube (or most equipment) immediately.

I do have the Isotek burn in tones which I will be running over night at a low volume.  Until then I'll leave my system on idling--unfortunately my listening room is also my living room and my wife and kid need to utilize this area--especially on weekends, without listening to burn in tones in the back ground...  they just don't get it!   Grin

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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #36 - 07/10/11 at 02:55:19
 
Quote:
I did have an ST type pair of RCAs years ago, but in comparison I've preferred the B type, both looks (never really like the coke bottle shape) and sound. My remarks above were about the B type in the Torii Mk II and III.

Lon, I am just shocked. Dazed. Confused. On looks alone, the bottle shape has a seductiveness that rivals Sophia Loren. Seriously, you have completely undone the underpinnings of my world. Wink
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #37 - 07/10/11 at 14:33:01
 
Sorry to undermine those underpinnings. Smiley I'm sure a nice nap will restore them.

I'm a lover all sort of womanly body shapes, but like my valves symmetrically round and straight.
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #38 - 07/10/11 at 15:24:34
 
Quote:
I did have an ST type pair of RCAs years ago, but in comparison I've preferred the B type, both looks (never really like the coke bottle shape) and sound. My remarks above were about the B type in the Torii Mk II and III.


That is funny Lon. If I remember correctly, it was your love of the RCA 5U4G that finally got me off my butt to try some. I had been using 5AR4s then. And since the stock Ruby was an ST, and since Brent Jesse recommended STs over Bs, it never occurred to me that you were referring to 5U4G-Bs.

But I really like the sound and shape of the ST so no problem....just interesting. Wink

Now I'll have to find some Bs to try!
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« Last Edit: 07/10/11 at 15:25:35 by will »  

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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #39 - 07/10/11 at 15:43:27
 
It is worth a chuckle. I confess it's been long enough, and enough system changes, that I may even prefer the sound of the ST now, it's hard to know. But I really do enjoy my Bs (the ones I'm using came with Bob's Torii Mk II). One of them is giving me problems (it seems to be problematic making contact and glowing, every now and then I have to re-seat it in the socket) and in time I'll be looking for a new one. I used the Electroharmonix 5U4GB for a spell, which is almost as good (a less lush presentation but very dynamic) and those are now in my second system Mk II.

I believe I am using a very similar RCA in my CSP2. I'm telling you, the CSP2 has become an integral part of my system, probably in a similar way that your ZSTAGE has to yours. I can change the entire signature of the amp just by adjusting the gain pots. It's like having several different amps by that method alone, let alone the changes you can make to the Mk III with input bias and speaker settings. Coupled with the electrical accuracy and stability the PS Audio Premier has brought to the scene, I'm just constantly rediscovering my system's playback beauty. It's nothing like real live music Smiley but it's glorious.
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #40 - 07/10/11 at 15:53:23
 
Damn, it sounds like the Music Direct Ps Audio Premier was a deal not to miss, but alas, I did.

And yes, I totally get the gain stage thing. Great tool! I would love to hear the CSP2 in that capacity.
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #41 - 07/10/11 at 16:46:21
 
Will, indeed, tha PSA Power Plant was a great deal at Music Direct. I wish I had just gone ahead and bought two. There is one right now in black on fleabay, (used to be two of them), used, but the price is not bad, starting at 949 with a BIN of 1149. In the alternative, I can attest that the Transcendent Balanced Power Supply is very effective at creating a black background, with no discernible hum or noise. It was also fun to put together. I plan to pair it with a PSA Quintet.
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« Last Edit: 07/10/11 at 16:53:10 by Pale Rider »  

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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #42 - 07/10/11 at 17:07:55
 
Thanks Greg, If you could have only one, your balanced or your regen, which would you have? Does one do things better or more completely than he other sound-wise? And when you say there is no discernible noise from the balanced kit, do you mean the unit adds no noise, or the unit eliminates all noise previously heard? Sorry to get off topic, but actually power noise has a big impact on tube sound> Roll Eyes
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #43 - 07/10/11 at 22:57:00
 
Will, I cannot yet say that the BPS reduces noise, though I believe it does. It does not reduce the THD coming out of the wall socket, but its design should have less noise, and the sense of black would seem to support that. It is definitely "blacker" than the Monster AVS-2000 it has replaced. But if I had to choose between just one—the BPS or the PPP—I would almost certainly choose the PPP. While more expensive, it is more flexible, has more current capability, has the isolated zones, etc.
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #44 - 07/11/11 at 01:54:44
 
I did a little passive listening today and things sounded a bit more relaxed with the RCA 5u4gs.  The bass impact was definitely not where it was, but it was still pleasing and I suspect I can dial some in with the bass knob once things settle.  

The Nationals should be in on tuesday and I'm hoping to be acquainted with the sound by that time--I usually get a bit of time to listen on monday nights.  I also purchased some OA3 tubes on ebay (mine only came with the reg tubes that burn purple).

So I'll have some combinations to play with.

Ohh another variable that changed is that my GIK tri-traps were dropped off at my parents house to reside until I sell my condo.  They were a major issue for my wife, so I'm just using some also very good (and less intrusive) vimak corner traps up front.  They'll have to do for now--truthfully I don't hear a big difference between the two bass traps.
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #45 - 07/11/11 at 02:28:13
 
Thanks Greg. I am considering the PS thing and this helps. I actually have a pretty quiet, very black background, great resolution and clarity, and great dynamics now with a complex of a audio brickwall surge/filter, a bunch of alan maher's little boxes and a Kemp Schumann Resonator, so I don't quite know why I am looking. But yours and Lon's praise of the PS rig got me going and you know........


Gopher,

Sounds like the less intrusive bass traps work. I made a bunch built into a naturally hidden alcove using rigid fiberboard. One diaphragmatic for low bass, and several others different thicknesses and covered with cloth for higher bass and low mids.

I wonder what those purple burning VRegs are. I had thought your setup was all stock other than the Treasures, but stock RCA OA3s burn orange, and this could help explain some of your missing warmth and romance. Are the VRs you have marked? May be OB3s, OC3s, or OD3s. Or they might have the voltage marked on them like VR90 for OB3s. I am thinking purple might be a OC3 or OD3....the lowest key options.

I suspect the OA3 might really help toward your more romantic/engaging goal. They will push your tubes with more dynamics, body, weight and more everything else basically. I think you are in for a pretty different amp once you have all your choices in place.
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #46 - 07/11/11 at 03:38:18
 
The gentleman I bought it from didn't roll tubes and gave it to me as he picked it up (locally) from Steve.  He did not have as many tubes as it sounded like the Torii normally came with.

I have VR150 tubes it appears, so when I get the OA3s in there I should be at least starting from a stock base.  I also couldn't tell what my inputs were 6N1P, 6922, etc.  When I turn my amp off later I'll try and read it again but I was unsure.

Right now we're working with:

Shuguang Black Treasure/Winged "C"s output
RCA 5u4gs/ Chinese 5u4g
VR150s/ soon to be OA3s
wildcard 6922 variant/Nationals

My amp is configured for 8 ohm/16 ohm, I do have a bass control, but it was added after the original sale by Steve and I do NOT seem to have the bias switch--it seems I have dual mono input selectors.

DAMN!  I wish I'd realized the Reg was probably a culprit--it was a suspicion, though not a strong one--had I known I'd have paid more and bought it locally...  Now I've gotta wait for these suckers to come from friggin' Lithuania  ;D
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« Last Edit: 07/11/11 at 03:41:12 by Gopher »  
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #47 - 07/11/11 at 04:02:56
 
VR-150 is an OD3. I would say that your sound will have notably more density, dynamics, body, weight and texture with the OA3s. The OD3 creates the lowest grid voltage. Big difference coming your way! Maybe too much, but you will have to see.

I got an OA3 from tubeworld after I broke one of mine and it was not expensive if you want to get it done.

My 6N1Ps from Decware have had a diamond on them on one side and letters on the other.

If you have the bias switch, which I thought they all had, it is the one on the front right, right of the volume, the left of the volume one should be your input selector. Toward you should punch things up a bit and back more neutral.

The switches outside the power switches (on the back) are the impedance adjusting switches and create a big shift in the sound. Steve told me neither way is necessarily right or wrong....a taste thing.

Have fun!
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« Last Edit: 07/11/11 at 06:13:49 by will »  

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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #48 - 07/11/11 at 06:25:32
 
Gopher, don't know, but I get the urge for the amp to sound like you want it to. It could be worth it to pick up a pair of OB3s too if you get some OA3s from a more local source. This would be a cheap insurance policy just in case the OA3 is too intense/dense for you. If the OD3 has you almost there, it is a pretty big jump from a OD3 to the OA3. At least to me it is.
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« Last Edit: 07/11/11 at 06:26:21 by will »  

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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #49 - 07/11/11 at 20:25:57
 
Very interesting.

Density, body, weight and texture are already strong suits for this amplifier--I have a hard time conceptualizing more, but am excited to experience it.

I'm somewhat of a texture/density junkie, so it will be interesting to experiment.
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #50 - 07/11/11 at 22:20:53
 
This is just an observation, as I do not know the details electronically. But I think that with the big VRs, the general signature remains relatively similar with the different lettered/voltages of A,B,C,D.

In you case, as you change them, since your start is the lowest key one....as the grid voltage increases, the sound of the tubes downstream of the VRs becomes more.....sort of across the spectrum, but particularly notable is weight, body and bass. I think this is why Steve talks about using them to tune the bass in particular.

In my case, with various editions of my room/system, I used VRs to tone down the VRs from the stock OA3 to OB3 or OC3W, resulting in a slightly lower key presentation overall, less weight/bass, and a resulting sense of more midrange openness.

Lately I use either the OB3 or OA3, and for me when I don't want to use the OA3s, it is because, in that set, they tend to be a little in my face....good stuff but a little pushy. My system/room/tastes though. I'll be interested to hear yours.
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« Last Edit: 07/11/11 at 22:22:10 by will »  

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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #51 - 07/12/11 at 02:55:33
 
I am almost afraid to take my new Torii out of its plastic wrap. I know that, once I do, my own tube rolling insanity will commence. My 1950s NOS RCA 5U4G rectifiers showed up today, too, so I am set there (with NOS Svetlanas as backups on the way), and I have a number of VR tubes as alternatives. Inputs for the Toriis are the Ediswans, and the outputs are the Treasures. but I am still planning to break in those V-caps using the stock tubes.

My ERRs are all but done, so they will be here soon. My Ultra has been in QC testing for some time now, but I expect it to ship soon as well. The net of all this is that they will all be breaking in together, I guess.

FWIW, and it's worth a lot to me, the woodworking and craftsmanship on the Ttorii are just beautiful. Built like a tank. And gets a lot of "wow" from everyone who sees it. Grin
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #52 - 07/12/11 at 03:26:45
 
Duuddddeee!!!!! You are in for some fun. You are also reintroducing speakers and room! Incredible. I wish I could be a fly on your wall! Congratulations.
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #53 - 07/12/11 at 03:30:54
 
I have been really impressed how smart and decisive your progression has been. No messing around, getting the stuff that is most likely to suit your tastes and setting. The ERRs are supposed to really work with less-than-perfect rooms = Smart....the Treasures have happy reviews from good ears and Steve offers them = smart....and so on and so on. I am really excited for you.
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #54 - 07/12/11 at 03:58:11
 
Thanks for the good words Will. I hope it's smart. Wink I look at it as a big case of "doubling down." I heard the Taboo, compared it to my previous/reference rig, and having read the forums and Steve's papers, and the few reviews I could find, I concluded this stuff suited me. I made the decision to buy what would—if it delivered as well as the Taboo—make me very happy without leaving me with a case of upgrade-itis. While not cheap, in today's dollars, it's much less expensive than I have spent on the upgrade merry-go-round in the past.

True, I have way more tubes than I need, but if I feel the need to upgrade, I have plenty of tubes to roll. And by going ahead and getting the power cords, ICs, and speaker wire I need, I figure I can sit back, break it all in, and enjoy the music and home theater.

Bob has been kind enough to share in words and photos the builds of my ERRs. Absolutely fascinating. And to all of you who have been generous with your experience and your expertise, thank you.  
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #55 - 07/12/11 at 04:30:09
 
Pale,

Congratulations on the new addition(s). Be patient with the V-Caps.

FWIW the RCA NOS 5U4G's (ST) are my "go to" rectifiers (big, juicy bass). I've had the Svet's for a while, but can't bring myself to try them...

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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #56 - 07/12/11 at 05:27:55
 
And just for thoroughness—and in honor of Lon—I picked up a few straight tube 5U4GB pieces.
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #57 - 07/12/11 at 07:28:03
 
If they had a definition Tube-o-phile in the dictionary, I’m sure there would be a picture of PR. Cool

Please put the stock tubes in and give us your initial impressions.....
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #58 - 07/12/11 at 12:21:54
 
Thank Goodness you have a Torii at last! With the V-Caps you're reportedly in for a long haul before you're "broken in" but i suspect you'll have quite a bit of fun along the way. Smiley

I know you'll be keeping us updated, and I'm looking forward to your impressions.
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #59 - 07/12/11 at 15:40:04
 
Lon, I think I am going to set up my first Torii with the stock tubes at the office, running off my headphone rig. I have a couple of spare Orbs that I can use for a speaker load. I can then schedule the Mac mini to play music for 5 hours at a time, take a break for 5 hours, and then resume. Over and over again. That way, I can accumulate several hundred hours before my Radials even arrive. This will help get the V-caps "out of the way."
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #60 - 07/12/11 at 16:23:25
 
Wow, can you schedule turning the Torii off too every five hours? Pretty cool. Good idea!
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #61 - 07/12/11 at 16:56:28
 
Yeah, seems like the ± 5hr heat up-cool down cycles are a big deal for settling caps.
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« Last Edit: 07/12/11 at 16:56:53 by will »  

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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #62 - 07/12/11 at 17:15:20
 
Turning the amp on and off on 5 hour cycles is not too difficult, but I do have a question: how significant is amplifier volume during the break-in process?
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #63 - 07/12/11 at 18:45:17
 
I don't really know, but it seems logical to flex the gear similarly to how we would be using it if we were in the room listening. So if your amp is hooked to resistors or to speakers seems like varying the volume levels as we would while listening makes sense???
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #64 - 07/12/11 at 19:11:45
 
Agreed. Seems logical, especially for the caps. I know when I received my Liquid Fire, the designer recommended another 150 hours of break-in, over and above the 50 they did before shipping, and he supplied a dummy load, and recommended that the volume be turned 3/4 up.
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #65 - 07/12/11 at 19:26:45
 
The 3/4 thing makes some sense too I suppose...pushing the current through everything hard. Or maybe use a big push as part of the equation with more normal levels interspersed...

It would be interesting to get Steve's take on this. Called him lately?
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #66 - 07/12/11 at 20:00:29
 
Have not, but would like to get his take.
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #67 - 07/13/11 at 00:36:58
 
I got my Nationals today and popped them in after work.

First impression:  delicious! I don't normally enjoy tubes immediately, but without burn in this is more up my alley. Thunderous bass is back as is a little moisture--this amp has such palpable images...  just solid and holographic.

Very impressive.
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #68 - 07/13/11 at 00:41:15
 
Great to hear Gopher!  I am putting the same tube in my Ultra, and will swap between them and the Ediswans in my Toriis.
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« Last Edit: 07/13/11 at 01:09:39 by Pale Rider »  

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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #69 - 07/13/11 at 01:41:26
 
Happy day!

Since it is so good now, it will be interesting to hear your thoughts with more push from the coming VRs.
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« Last Edit: 07/13/11 at 01:42:53 by will »  

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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #70 - 07/13/11 at 19:37:03
 
Gopher,

Now that you've got the Nationals installed, how do you think the TORII compares with the Shindo gear?
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #71 - 07/13/11 at 21:47:52
 
Kind of a difficult question as my only Shindo experience was with a preamplifier rather than a power amp.  I can say the Shindo gear has some of the most beautiful tone I've heard with very lifelike dynamics and just a natural, intrinsically musical sound.

The Torii's sound is very masculine by comparison.  Really palpable images with supreme texture and BALLS for days.  It makes some really great bass with my Zu speakers that I didn't know they could produce and its dynamic characteristic is almost larger than life.  For grins I found myself listening to hip hop last night and the Torii obliged.

The Auregies-L preamplifier I had has a 5000ohm output impedance.  Would that be a horrible match for the Torii?  I'm thinking to mate their virtues and put a Shindo in front of the Torii (with slightly more room treatments) might be my audio nirvana.
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #72 - 07/13/11 at 22:26:47
 
Gopher,

Thanks for the feedback.

On your preamp question see:

http://www.decware.com/paper55.htm

A 5Kohms output into a 100K input should work, but based on your
source output voltage, do you need the extra gain from the preamp?
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #73 - 07/14/11 at 00:47:17
 
Now I really regret selling it before receiving my torii!  My sources have adequate gain, that shouldn't be an issue at all.
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #74 - 07/14/11 at 07:37:47
 
Seller's regret, a subject that lots of us long time Audiophiles have had to deal with.

I remember when my hand made Futterman mono amps went out the front door, but it seems that Decware has given us a second chance at
sonic salvation.

My TORII was shipped today. A showdown against my KWA 100SE and a pair of $70K monos awaits. Cool
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #75 - 07/14/11 at 19:42:39
 
Its not a super regret--they aren't THAT rare, but it may cost me a few hundred bucks to do the experimenting I should have as it appears I sold the Shindo for less then I could have as prices seem to be going up.

I've got my money on the Torii over the Modwright, but I haven't really been a fan of any MW equipment I've heard in the past...   SEVENTY THOUSAND DOLLAR monos?  You, or your friends play in a very different league than I!  Which amps are those?  

As much as I'd like to cheer for the little guy, that is quite the price disparity...
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #76 - 07/15/11 at 16:53:59
 
I'm glad to report that the Torii with this tube compliment seems to be holding my attention!  I think things are just about right on the amp front.  

I'm getting urges to try a preamp as this is basically resolved, as my last experience with the Shindo brought a lot of additional emotion to the table, but what I have now is in itself an accomplishment.
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #77 - 07/15/11 at 17:01:51
 
I understand that temptation for a preamp, and also that it's not really needed.

I use a CSP2 in front of the Torii Mk III now, didn't used to, but it has convinced me. The CSP2 has gobs of gain and the gain output is adjustable and it amazes me how the sound can be tailored. Now it's hard to be without it. An amazing preamp for the money.

Though I do often run a source straight into the Torii and I'm totally satisfied with the sound. So I don't need it.

But I do.

No, I don't.

Yes, I do.

Hey I didn't come here looking for an argument, I swear. Smiley
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #78 - 07/15/11 at 18:05:19
 
LOL, Lon! You know, I debated this issue in my own assessment of the Ultra. I could see running amps directly from my Oppo BDP-95, but I saw not just gain, but sound management advantages to investing in the Ultra.  I see it in the ZSTAGE/Taboo combo as well. Steve's concept of "riding the gain" has many advantages.
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« Last Edit: 07/15/11 at 18:55:06 by Pale Rider »  

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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #79 - 07/15/11 at 18:41:01
 
Man, the Ultra makes absolute stunning sense for multi-channel use (and allowing you a killer two channel usage as well). The moment I digested what it could do I thought "This is among the best preamps possible for a multi-channel tube nut!" If I could I would go the route you've gone. . . .Maybe with a new home and a new salary I would in the future. It's going to be the bomb!
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #80 - 07/19/11 at 17:38:25
 
I got some pulls from PartsConnexion that sound very good to me. But their matching system is foreign to me and I am wondering if someone can translate so I can tell how "used" they are. Or more importantly, how much life is left!

Here is one of them:

Mu 29.3/29.4
Gm 3970/3810
Vn -81.5/-81.6

Thanks
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #81 - 07/21/11 at 17:46:16
 
It looks like I got my OA3s in the mail today and I'm looking forward to plugging them in and doing some listening tonight--I actually have the house to myself for the evening.

I pulled my Wywires speaker cables from my system to send them back in for an updating and in their place I put my Zu Mission speaker cables...  significant loss in harmonic foundation and texture--will be nice if this restores the balance for the time being...
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #82 - 07/21/11 at 19:18:02
 
Gopher,

What are they updating on your speaker cables?

Have you tried the Decware ZEN STYX?
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #83 - 07/21/11 at 21:01:40
 
Technically, the change has to do with the the new wire having twice the number of Litz conductors per leg and a smaller cross section for each conductor. Dielectric and connectors are the same.

No I haven't, and I expect the Decware stuff is probably pretty darn good, but I'm Wywired throughout and have no desire to change cabling.
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #84 - 07/22/11 at 00:10:53
 
Should the OA3s need some burn in time?  I'm not liking the sound I'm getting with them plus the Zu Mission cables at all.

Harsh, shrill, and basically unlistenable.  I can hear some things are improved, like inner detail, but this is almost painful.  

I can't wait to get my speaker cables back!
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #85 - 07/22/11 at 00:46:04
 
Those may change a bit in break-in but the same character and nature would likely be there.

I haven't done any tube-rolling with that rectification tube; I am afraid to lose the sound that I have now with the tubes that the amp arrived with.
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #86 - 07/22/11 at 01:38:30
 
Well, I think its the combo of them with the Zu cable I don't like.  I am curious how they'll perform when I get my Wywires back.  

Worst case scenario, I go back to what I had--these were inexpensive anyway.
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #87 - 07/22/11 at 01:58:59
 
Gopher, My experience with my stock OA3s (RCA coke bottle shape) does not quite sync with yours. But I have noticed that VR tubes have a sound for sure, depending on the tube, so who knows.

With the ones I have tried, it sounds to me like the individual tube sound difference (say different OB3 brands) is subtler than how the different voltages effect the grid voltage and therefore how the tubes that follow sound. And it is bound to be system dependent as is everything else.

What I hear from my OA3s compared to Sylvania OB3s and then some Westinghouse OD3s, all coke bottles, .....is a natural sounding progression....The OD3, pushing the other tubes less, is most spacious textural, and soft...leaner. On the other end of the spectrum, the OA3 has more push/intensity/density throughout, so the mid and upper mid push is there, but is balanced by the increased low mids and bass density in my setup. The OB3 has an intensity in between the others with less push/density than the OA3 and more than the OD3. The final sense for me if I don't like the OA3 in a tube set is more that I don't like this overall push/intensity with some tube combinations....

So depending on the tendency of your tube combination in the context of your system sound, I can imagine that the extra push of the OA3 might bring out the mid/upper mid too intensely tending to harsh.

But if you really like the OD3 and the OA3 is unlistenable, this is extreme by my experience in my system.

As to burn in, when I replaced one of my OA3s, I don't recall a notable sound difference from the one I had been using, but maybe the replacement was somewhat used/burnt in? It was certainly not unlistenably more harsh and shrill.

I guess you have compared the OD3s with these speaker cables in place..... And played with the treble and bass knobs with the OA3s in? This might help the decision to see if you even want to burn them in?



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« Last Edit: 07/22/11 at 01:59:50 by will »  

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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #88 - 07/22/11 at 02:22:01
 
I honestly don't want to touch the bass/treble knobs.  They took me a while to dial in and want them normal so that when my speaker cable comes back I can have a meaningful (as much so as auditory memory can be) comparison.  

I'm listening to Beck's Sea Changes now an old fav and its passable albeit unengaging, but I was listening The Dears earlier and it was laughably unlistenable and the kinds of volume I normally would.

Be mindful these aren't Torii criticisms, and I'm not even sure its tube criticisms--I think my speaker cables had me spoiled and that plays a large role too.

I think I'm going to pop the regular regs in to see where the preference is with these Zu cables... I know the cable change alone left me unhappy.  Maybe the OA3s are getting a bum rap unfairly.
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #89 - 07/22/11 at 02:55:16
 
I put my old regs back in and I'm still not feeling my sound.  Its the speaker cables...   I guess I just gotta hang in there till they come back and do a proper evaluation with the oa3s
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #90 - 07/22/11 at 06:57:33
 
Gopher,

I'm surprised that your speaker cables make that big a difference.

When I look at speaker cables, I can't figure out why they cost as much or more than my amp.

I'm currently using shotgun runs of these:

http://cgi.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cl.pl?cablspkr&1314681047

which are similar to the ZEN STYX.

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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #91 - 07/22/11 at 14:58:19
 
Those are interesting cables over on Audiogon kana. If I didn't already have my ZenStyx on order, I would give those a try. They're in the right price range. I am willing to pay for good stuff, and the Decware cords, cables, & ICs are in that price spot that makes sense to me. Some of the prices for cables these days are just mind-boggling.
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #92 - 07/24/11 at 02:34:42
 
I pulled my Torii and tried it at a buddy's house that has a fully treated room, and Daedlus Ullysses speakers and it held its own against a Shindo Auregies-L/TubeGuru F2a push pull mono setup.  

Ultimately the Shindo/TG had a little more body and better low end impact and a much bigger stage then the Torii.  This was strange to me as the Torii has the best harmonic development and bass I've ever heard with my speakers.  I did wonder if his crossover was part of the issue vs. my cross-less speakers.

I also was surprised to find, at least in his rig, we both preferred NOT having the Shindo in the chain...  Cleaner, more liquid sound direct from his tricked out Tranquility SE DAC.

I think this amp may benefit from a pre, but the urgency of my quest for one is significantly lessened--the Torii handled itself WELL.

Ohh, and we both felt the same way about the OA3s.  They were instant losers as soon as plugged in.  I will do my due diligence and try to burn them in some, but I dont' think they're for me.

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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #93 - 07/24/11 at 02:54:37
 
Interesting observations Gopher. Not suggesting this is the case, but I wonder if with the Torii, the sound stage, body and low end in your friend's rig might have been different had the room/speaker placement been tuned to the Torii rather than the Shindo/TG.

And what OA3 do you have? Were the problems shillness and harshness again? I get that OA3s may not be for you, as most of the time they are not for me either. But your thing may be as much a lack of synergy as anything else with the nationals and Shuguangs. In my general experience, with the RCA coke bottle OA3s I have, for me, perhaps the most notable change in my system is more body and bass.
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« Last Edit: 07/24/11 at 02:55:38 by will »  

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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #94 - 07/24/11 at 04:21:01
 
Will,

These are the OA3:  http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=280705099877&ssPageName=ADME:...

Perhaps they are just a garbage make and/or need burn in.  I was actually excited to throw them in as we were wanting for a touch more body and bass in my buddy's rig, but that is not what we got when we swapped 'em.

I'm not sure his speakers have changed their positioning in the last 4 amps my buddy has owned, but I think he's stayed pretty consistent with Sablon audio cables.  Today we did introduce some of my Wywires into the mix and found ourselves preferring mixes of both cables to only one or the other which is a major praise for the Sablon as my Wywires are exquisite

In addition his room treatments are pretty comprehensive, though done without measurements.  He's got a pretty  rectangular room and has GIK all around (this is the friend I shared the big used score with).   All reflection points are treated and he's experimenting with sprinkling in some diffusiors.
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #95 - 07/24/11 at 06:12:04
 
Yes, definitely a very different looking tube. I wonder if burn in would help as much as it sounds like they need. Mine look more like this http://www.blujay.com/item/RCA-0A3-VR-75-Vacuum-Tube-Voltage-Regulator-8130100-1...

Sounds like some fun exploring!
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #96 - 07/24/11 at 20:36:09
 
If you want to experiment, I'll toss you a couple on me.  Chances are I won't be using any of the six anyway at this rate.
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #97 - 07/24/11 at 21:48:32
 
You two have inspired me to try some rolling on that tube type. I ordered a pair of GE OA3s, and bid on a batch that have RCA OA3s, GE OB3s and RCA OC3 pairs. May not win that, I'm not going to pay a lot.

Gopher, those you have look oddly like those I have stock from Steve.
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« Last Edit: 07/24/11 at 21:49:09 by Lon »  

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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #98 - 07/25/11 at 01:32:16
 
Ah ha, won the tubes on ebay, 7 tubes for 18 dollars total. Got lucky.
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #99 - 07/25/11 at 01:34:35
 
Careful Lon! Wink

I will be interested if you find something you like! Please keep us informed!


Gopher, If you are up for sending a couple, it might be interesting to see how I respond to the same tube in a different setting/system, though you proved the new ones incompatible in yours and your buddy's. This is all so subjective and made weirder by semantics....it could be an interesting experiment though.

How are you feeling about the National 7DJ8s and RCA 5U4G-STs these days? I got some Mullard 6922 pulls from partsconexion and am liking them with some power tubes quite a bit.
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #108 - 07/26/11 at 21:08:50
 
Great thanks!
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Pale Rider
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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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will
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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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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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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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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 »  

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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 »  

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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #150 - 08/17/11 at 19:04:50
 
Quote:
the number of 6922 "slots" in my amps, these present all sort of synergy opportunities.


Fun! Cool
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« Last Edit: 08/17/11 at 19:05:18 by will »  

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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #151 - 10/04/11 at 21:12:34
 
Gopher,

Having spent a fair bit of time with NOS RCA-GBs (straight, fat bottle) 5U4Gs, I think I can say that they would likely bring a "splash of seduction" to your Torii. I found some tall bottle ones labeled Sylvania, and some short bottle RCA label on ebay for 25 and 40 (shipped) and both seem to bring texture and open freshness to the midranges and more deep bass compared to the more "liquid" RCA 5U4G-STs. In my system/room, I actually had to slightly EQ out some bass (a very nice, and good sounding refinement feature of the Pure Music software player) and once done, these tubes have become a favorite for me. But I have a history of low bass issues with my Torii in this room.

Anyway, if your low bass is better controlled than mine, you might really like them???
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #152 - 10/05/11 at 07:11:10
 
For what it is worth, I did some listening tonight and I find the tall bottle "Sylvanias" more organic and alive than the short bottles labeled RCA.
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« Last Edit: 10/05/11 at 07:12:06 by will »  

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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #153 - 10/19/11 at 06:49:02
 
I had a hard time falling asleep this evening, and my girlfriend is at her house tonight, so I started futzing with the stereo and figured out how to add the CSP2 back in using an antique cherry end table that was my late wife's grandmother's, and a Mapleshade platform. I've got 6N2Ps in the CSP2 and one of my spare pair of RCA 5U4G rectifiers and I'm so far enjoying the added bit of warmth and dimensionality the CSP2 always delivers. It's a bit awkward to adjust (the table is behind the Samson rack and the TV stand) and I will have to work on footers, but I think this is going to be a nice setup at least for a while til I can afford another Samson rack, which I think is the ultimate solution to my situation.

It's all just warming up and getting good sound, I'm going to enjoy this tomorrow as it settles in. Thank goodness for music. It sustains a large portion of my consciousness these days.
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« Last Edit: 10/19/11 at 06:51:46 by Lon »  

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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #154 - 10/19/11 at 22:40:31
 
Lon,

Where do you set the volume level on the PWD, when your using the CSP2?
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #155 - 10/19/11 at 22:44:24
 
I'm still experimenting. Right now I am using the volume control at 100 percent most of the time. I aggravated making judgments by doing some tube-rolling.
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« Last Edit: 10/19/11 at 22:46:05 by Lon »  

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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #156 - 10/20/11 at 16:08:10
 
Well, it was a fun experiment. . . but I've come to the conclusion that there are too many variables that I keep playing with, and that the PerfectWave DAC directly into the Torii is as good sounding. . . if not possibly a bit clearer sounding. I CAN get a bit of a more dynamic presentation with the CSP2 and a lot of dialing in, but there's a cohesiveness to the direct sound without the CSP2 that I think I prefer (although it may be that I have become so used to and happy with it I don't want to settle into a new sound). I've taken the CSP2 out.
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #157 - 11/02/11 at 07:24:21
 
Lon, you still have the CSP2 out of the loop with your Perfect Wave DAC?
I also have a PW DAC and leave it at 100% output to the CSP2 and then to my Torii MKII.  I kinda like fiddling with the CSP2 levels and the Torii levels to achieve slightly different results.

Think I will run the PW DAC direct for a few days though to experience the sound.  I know PSAudio recommends no preamp.
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #158 - 11/02/11 at 12:08:45
 
I took the CSP2 out. I didn't feel it was adding enough to warrant the eventual cost of another excellent power cord, etc. And with it in the system I had a hum to chase down again and after months of hum-free I just didn't feel I had the will power to do so. Smiley Anyway, I found I could accomplish most of what I could with the CSP2 by altering the input gain on the Torii and the output of the PerfectWave DAC. And the DAC sounds so so good straight in, I've just left it like that. In fact, I'm probably going to sell the CSP2 so it doesn't spend months and months on a shelf again. My other system sounds great with a ZBox (mine has two inputs) going into the Torii Mk II, and I really don't need the CSP2 any longer.
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« Last Edit: 11/02/11 at 14:25:17 by Lon »  

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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #159 - 12/19/11 at 00:11:51
 
I have tried the PWDAC both through my Ultra and straight into the Torii. Sounds great both ways. The PWDAC is very good as a preamp. But I like the flexibility of the Ultra, and I am about to start taking more advantage of its tube rolling.

Having said that, I think if I was only driving two channels, I would be very inclined to run the PWDAC straight to the Torii. And the reports of the PWDAC upgrade suggest even greater dynamics, along with the balance adjustability, making it even more suited to being its own preamp.
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #160 - 12/19/11 at 01:23:04
 
I want you to keep your impressions of the upgrade to yourself when you form them. Smiley I don't want the temptation to upgrade! Just kidding.

I'm now using the CSP2 in the bedroom system, and just sold the ZBOX I was using there. I just had to put the CSP2 to use, and it sounds great in that system now that my DEC685 is being used as the source again. The ZBOX was going to be sitting on the shelf. I actually feel quite happy having sold the components I have the last few months, they're in use and they're enjoyed and they're not just holed away and MAYBE going to be used.

I think ultimately I'd love to have the new version of the CSP2 to use in my main system, and if I get in a money-making situation again I'll buy a second Samson rack, another PS Audio PerfectWave AC12 power cord and I know I would be very very happy. But the PerfectWave DAC is a very satisfying preamp in my system, and man I love the sound.
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #161 - 12/19/11 at 02:16:16
 
Like you, I like to see good equipment put to good use. That's why I am glad I found a home for the ZSTAGE. I love that little box, but I just don't know when I would ever put it to use again.
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #162 - 12/19/11 at 08:14:15
 
Hey guys,
   My new Torii is on the way and I should have her by the end of the week.  I wanted to take a survey and was hoping all of you pros out there would chime in.   As I'm good friends with Gopher, I hope he doesn't mind the hi-jack, but the topic is the same so I thought we could keep the ball rolling so to speak Wink.
  So if you could all chime in, I think this would help me make some choices:
1.  What is your favorite tube combination (not just favorite at each position, but synergistic favorites)?
2.  What kind of music do you prefer?
3.  Do you prefer detail over musicality....i.e. would you rather hear every detail imaginable at the expense of fatiguability, ear bleeding, etc?
4.  Does your room tend to be highly reflective, moderately reflective, or is it treated to the max?
5.   Do you use a pre-amp and if so which one?  
6.   What speakers do you have?

Thanks for humoring me here, but without knowing these answers above, it doesn't help so much.   Currently I have a bright tweeter in a highly reflective room that I am trying to either tame or replace the speaker.  
2.  I listen to all music, from rock to jazz and electronica.   I would like a tube combination that works well in all these settings.
3.   I prefer musicality, meaning i want to hear amazing dynamics, coherence, tonality, timbre etc and detail is much less important.  Listening fatigue is my enemy!   Lol
4. I have a highly reflective room with no treatment.  
5.   I have a Modwright Pre and also coming this week, a 2nd generation Dodd Battery Pre-amp.  
6.  My speakers are Zu Omen Def and soon (early next week) Tekton Pendragons.  

Thanks guys!
Cheers,
Morgan
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #163 - 12/19/11 at 11:11:44
 
Morgan:

Happy to chime in here, though I will observe at the outset that there are so many variables at work that you may still have some difficulty teasing out any meaningful commonalities. But I am game.

1. For tubes in the Toriis, I currently run Ediswann 6922 inputs, Shuguang Treasure 6CA7 outputs, RCA rectifiers and Raytheon regulators. I love this combo, but I will be shortly trying out Amperex 7308 PQ valves for inputs. All tubes except for the Treasures are NOS. I have some early 1970s Voskhods to try in both the Toriis and Ultra as well. On first test listen, those were quite nice.
2. All types, even some high energy hip hop in small doses. My preferences are for classic rock, large scale classical, e.g., Verdi's Requiem, jazz, fusion, the AIX Acoustica series, good live recordings of all types. For accuracy and tonality, I will turn to the Telarc John O'Conor Beethoven Piano Concertos and the Stereophile Robert Silverman Variations. Sublime.
3.  I am all about the music, but I believe that detail and soundstage are very important to musicality. I value micro dynamics and air that contribute to tonal accuracy. But I don't want the music to sound clinical. Precision in instrument and voice location is very important to me. I can listen to this rig for hours in end without fatigue.
4. Room: I have a mix of a very open room with odd asymmetrical angles, large absorptive furniture, partially reflective walls, and a large plasma display. There is a fair bit of window in the room, but with thermal and acoustic treatments. Overally, somewhat on the reflective side.
5. Preamp: yes, the Decware Ultra running National NOS 6922 valves, an RCA NOS 1964 black plate 54UG big bottle rectifier, and 0B3 regulators, if memory serves. The Nationals are about to be replaced with Siemens Halske 1960s NOS EC88 valves.
6. Speakers: 6 ERRs in a 5.0 configuration. Two of them serve as a center channel speaker with the ribbon tweeters directed at the plasma screen. They are powered by a Decware SE84ZS running in mono.  Bob is working Ina pair of Deathbix DBK212 subs to match the ERRs. They will be sloped in by a Paradigm X-30 and powered by a modified Carver M1.5T.
7. I don't think you asked about sources, but primarily my PS Audio PerfectWave DAC w/ Bridge pulling files from an NAS or Mac mini running eLyric Music Manager, all files AIFF. My transport is an Oppo BDP-95, but I may add a PE Transport just for two channel discs. As good as the Oop and its DAC are, they are no match for the PWDAC.  
8. You didn't ask about power, but I have two PS Audio Power Plant Premier units connected to the Power Port receptacle. All cords are either Decware power cords or PS Audio Statements.

Hope this helps.

Greg
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« Last Edit: 12/19/11 at 11:35:20 by Pale Rider »  

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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #164 - 12/19/11 at 13:06:54
 
Hey Morgan, I'll contribute though I will echo that direct correlations are difficult; rooms and personal sonic tastes are huge factors.

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. . . .

1. For tubes in the Toriis, I currently run cryo'd 'seventies 6N1P for inputs, JJ 6CA7 or Winged C EL34 for outputs, RCA rectifiers (sixties I think) and the Raytheon regulators supplied (will eventually find something else to try).

2. I enjoy all types of music I guess, with my heart really being with jazz, blues and soul. I've been exploring classical music the last few years.

3. Musicality is the thing for me. I have a huge collection of recordings and I don't buy recordings that sound good exclusively. My goal, my search is to find a system that allows me to enjoy all the recordings. No easy feat. I'm getting there. . . .

4. My room is a living room and dining room space, long rectangular, and full of bookcases with cds, leather furniture, dining room table, drum set, a few guitar amps, hutch, guitars, etc. Mainly reflective I'd say.

5. In this system I most of the time did not use a preamp with the Torii, but I know use the PS Audio PerfectWave DAC as a preamp, and I usually have it set at 65 and up and the Torii volume all the way up. Get the clearest sound that way.

6. Half of this year I've been using ERRs and love them. A great match for the Torii! I've been hooked on the Decware Radial speakers and now can't imagine listening to another speaker type.

Like Greg I've been using PS Audio power items, I have one Power Plant Premier, and I have the PS Audio PerfectWave AC12 power cords on the PerfectWave DAC and PerfectWave Transport, and the Premier and the Torii, and I have PS Audio Premier SC cords on the TV and my Sony BDP-S5000ES Blu-ray player, and a PS Audio Statement feeding my DVR. I think power treatment and interconnect and speaker wire choice is important for a system and will determine many factors including accuracy of tonality and soundstage and imaging. I use Decware interconnects and speaker wire, and am very happy with them (though they take freaking long times to break in!)
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« Last Edit: 12/19/11 at 13:28:43 by Lon »  

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #180 - 12/21/11 at 02:01:02
 
All I can say is that this is one fun thread.;)

My new best friend 5U4GB appear "short," with black plates and D getters. Will post a link if I can.
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #181 - 01/03/12 at 13:41:12
 
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.

That's what I've noticed too Will.....all these old tubes sound different!
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #182 - 01/03/12 at 14:35:48
 
I finally found another set of RCAs that sound like the one that I most prize, so I have both pairs going in both Toriis and am very happy. And I have the other RCA pair (which sounds better in the Mk II than in the III) as a spare, along with a pair of EH that aren't too bad. I'm good for quite some time! (which probably won't stop me from picking up more if found cheaply).
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #183 - 01/03/12 at 15:08:45
 
Hi All,

I've recently been "re-employed", so only able to view sporadically...nice to see some new names enjoying Steve's wonderful offerings.

I noticed some ways back that someone mentioned an RCA 0C2 tube...would you mind sharing your source? I'd love to try it!
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #184 - 01/03/12 at 15:55:44
 
Chris, good to see you.

I haven't seen any other source besides ebay (when listed) for these. I snagged a pair. A drier presentation than the Raytheon, I'm using them now and happy enough with them. The Raytheon may go back in soon though, I miss a sort of "bloom" they impart.
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #185 - 01/03/12 at 16:26:35
 
And congrats on being re-employed. I haven't steeled up the nerve to begin job-hunting yet but I hope that happens to me before summer.
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #186 - 01/03/12 at 16:32:19
 
Lon,

Thanks for the kind words and keeping the musical faith!

Losing my job hit me pretty hard, so it's nice to be gainfully employed again.

I'll continue to search ebay for those RCA 0C2's.
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #187 - 01/03/12 at 18:45:18
 
Hey Chris,

To me the input VRs (at least of the same type) are the most subtle shifters in the Torii. But if your tube set/system/room is on the revealing side, changing from Raytheon to RCA OC2s is a real choice (changing to an OB2 is a big shift BTW). I like both the RCA and Raytheon, but I use the RCA most of the time. Both tubes bring out good balance top to bottom.

Like Lon said, the Raytheon does seem to have a little more bloom...it is a warmer tube, a little low mid bump that blends the music slightly more but without masking detail ...all good if this is what you need. The RCA I have I would call transparent, which can be good or bad to me depending on the other tubes, system and room, especially the input tubes that these regs "filter". The RCA is more open and spacious, more differentiating, and pulls a bit more ambient information. This is what I hear comparing the two with the tube set I have in right now, and for my sound needs a meaningful choice.

I buy from Ebay when I can too, an exceptional place for inexpensive 5U4GBs these days BTW.

But I check regularly with Brendan at tubeworld, who seems to always have the more obscure stuff, and VRs are relatively inexpensive.

https://www.tubeworld.com/index_high.htm

The site is weird. Individual page links don't take you there, and the search does not necessarily work for O type tubes. Click Vacuum Tube Stock, then All Tubes from the links across the top...the top one is O. I got my RCAs here.
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #188 - 01/03/12 at 18:52:50
 
Thanks for the input Will.

I've purchased from Brendan in the past. He's a good guy.
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #189 - 01/04/12 at 02:39:39
 
C.E. wrote:

Quote:
I noticed some ways back that someone mentioned an RCA 0C2 tube...would you mind sharing your source? I'd love to try it!


C.E., just to be clear, you are looking for RCA NOS versions of the 0C2, the tube that ships with the Torii? I found RCA, Sylvania, and Raytheon I believe on eBay. There is a listing there now.  Brendan at TubeWorld is also a good source.
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #190 - 01/27/12 at 04:11:48
 
So... without reading all 13 pages, what's the consensus on the input tube?

Also FYI I have several different NOS 6922 tubes here.  NOS RCA and NOS Russian OTK.  Every NOS input tube I've tried sounded slightly "muddy", and also dramatically lowered the gain.  I'd have to turn the volume knob way way past where I normally would, to get the same gain as with the included EH brand 6922's.

Does that sound right?  What's so magical about the EH 6922's that they provide so much more gain than any others?
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #191 - 01/27/12 at 04:29:27
 
That seems odd. I've had EH 6922s (just sent a pair off with my SE34 Monoblocks to the new owner) and didn't notice they were "hotter" than other tubes. I've had OTK 6N2P tubes which were muddy and lower in output but not 6N1Ps marked OTK.

I'm not sure there really is a consensus on the input tubes, two or three different tube types seem to have a following among users.

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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #192 - 01/27/12 at 08:40:59
 
Hi Will or Lon,
    What would you rank as your most revealing tube combination?  I ask as my speakers are on the warm side which I love and the bass is phenomenal (I'm praying not too be booted out before I buy a place). Just wanted to get your thoughts.......
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #193 - 01/27/12 at 12:38:28
 
There are so so many variables that I really doubt even exactly replicating another's tube set would get the same or closlely similar results. (Especially telling are the speakers, room, personal tonal balance tastes, and dare I say it, interconnects and power cords and speaker cables!)

I'll bite though and list what I've been using. As I've mentioned just a bit upstream I'm a big fan of the 6N1P as the input tube, I've tried others with various other combinations of attending tubes, but the 6N1P has the sound that makes the music seem real to me. This is very apparent when I use my ultimate test: music I recorded of bands rehearsing or making demos in my then garage apartment during the late 'eighties. These are recordings that I know very well, I know the players, the characteristics of the mics and machine, the instruments, the sound of the room.

I am using the JJ6CA7 right now, I've warmed up to them, and I'm saving my last quad of Winged C EL34s right now. I use RCA 5U4GB "straight" rectifiers, I've found a few pairs that have a particular rich sound I like in this amp. I'm using the stock Raytheon OC2 tubes, and I'm using RCA "straight" OA3 tubes. This is the tube set that gives me the least "hifi" sound and imparts the right tonal balance and detail to most of my recordings, allowing me to revel in some that I haven't been able to before.
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #194 - 01/27/12 at 15:18:15
 
Morgan,

I agree with Lon's points, as I am sure you do. Room, cables, speakers the lot all matter. And "most revealing" is pretty revealing! In my case, my most revealing combination would be hard to listen to, and I too find my system/room a little warmish.

But if you tell me what you are using now for tubes, and sort of what level of  "revealing" you are after compared to the sound you have now......

And support it with your basic sense of your sound......like: Bass: Almost nice definition, but out of control, tight but too dense...causes low mid articulation to suffer...would prefer this a pretty serious jump in definition and control. Or whatever. Low Mids: too warm and a bit muddled, would prefer slightly more spaciousness and articulation without losing musically.....or whatever. And describe the upper mids and highs in the same way. Try to get anything that sticks out too... like upper mids a little hard, or soft, or highs could offer better ambient information and sparkle, but are also a little hard or whatever.

With this sort of info, I might be able to more carefully point you somewhere based on how I understand your tubes in my system and going from there.
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #195 - 01/27/12 at 15:27:02
 
Morgan,

Also, where are you treble and bass knobs, and the bias and impedance switches.
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #196 - 02/01/12 at 03:16:45
 
Hi Will.   I was letting the Super Cryos burn in over the weekend and wasn't listening too much.  

My bass knob is at 9 o'clock or so and the treble knob at 1-2 or so.   The impedence switch is in the rear position (not sure what number that is).  I have the bias switch in the front in the forward position.  

Thanks for all the help:)
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #197 - 02/01/12 at 06:40:02
 
Hey Morgan, Those answers will help. By the way, your impedance switch is toward the higher value (back) and the bias is on the higher value too (front). Together you are set on fully cranked.

And I guess you have explored lower bass knob setting to open up the low mid/bass a bit??? That would chill the dark aspect of warmth anyway. They are odd compared to the usual. To me, the bass knob right gives fuller/rounder bass, but also some nice textures. And left, tighter, more open bass/low mids, but a little tighter sound throughout. That balance is always changing a bit on my amp when I switch tubes. I don't know about you, but I find that bass knobs do quite a lot when you listen to the full spectrum of the music, and 1/8 turn can be important.

If you look at my post before last I had some thoughts as to how to head somewhere based on what tubes you are using, and asking specifically what you would like to be different. I have messed with a lot of tubes and might be able to give some simple suggestions toward your goal if I had a clearer idea of it. Maybe anyway.

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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #198 - 02/03/12 at 06:35:36
 
Thanks Will.   I did miss your earlier post, so thanks for the advice and for the guiding me how best to decide what I am missing or looking for!  

I am breaking in a new pair of the National 7Dj8 and a pair of the Super Cryo 61NP's along with my new Pendragons.   So I have been laying off of trying to fine tune too much at this moment as on day she sounds amazing and the next day a little less exciting:(.   With my prior full range speakers, it took >400 hours to break in so I suspect I'm having a little of that right now.....also I can't crank her up above about 75-80dB due to my neighbors, so that slows the break in process a bit.  

I did play with the bass knobs tonight and I think I have a better feel for the, now.   I do have a few questions.  
1.  Where do you run your bass knob?  Far left?
2. What do you mean by fully cranked with the impedence switch back and the bias switch forward?   I've played with them a bit and I think I prefer them this way.   It gives a bit more warmth and intimacy to the vocalists.  More of the "in the room" sensation if you will.

I am going to run the system for a few days straight to aid the break in and hopefully be Saturday I'll have a better idea of what's happening.  

Thanks again....Morgan
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #199 - 02/03/12 at 16:25:38
 
Morgan, I think those two inputs will be a nice test sets for you. I look forward to your impressions. Yes.....the breaking in thing along with moderate volumes, I get your reticence to evaluate. Especially for the speakers, but those Nationals will take a while to settle down and smooth in, and Lon says likewise for the 6N1P.

What I meant by cranked from the switches: the higher impedance sounds to me like it pushes the speakers harder and also faster???. A bit louder, a bit more present with an increased articulation that seems to come from more push/punch rather than more detail. I don't think of this as good or bad, but is a great tool for tuning to different speakers of other system factors as you have found. I tend to always be impressed with mine at the back/high setting, but fall back to the front/low setting preferring the more open relaxed sound. But that is my system/room and taste, and I don't think there is a "right" setting for this.

I think the bias switch in the forward position actually pushes up the bias of the output tubes a bit. The back position is more neutral. So forward, I think we get more presence and warmth, with a bit more across the spectrum .... a touch more upper mid emphasis, fuller mid-mids, more bass punch.....

So with both in the high positions, the amp is set to its higher output settings so to speak. This is what I meant by the amp being fully cranked...yours is set for exactly what you hear, with more presence and power which manifests as more warmth and intimacy in your setting.

I play around with my bass and treble knobs a lot. With tube changes, as little as a 1/8 turn here or there is important to me now that I understand them. One thing I find really cool about them both is how you can tune the sound stage with them nudging the center vocal exactly into the center with fine tuning. Or if all is well with the sound stage center, but one side of the room seems a little less sparkly...just a little tweak the knobs, very slightly tightening the bass (bass left), or punching the highs (treble right), or both, can bring everything into the beauty.

I tend to run mine with both the bass and treble knobs in the 11-1 o'clock range providing the sweet area for me in this system/room. But I don't think there is a right setting. They are there to help get you where you feel the best about the music.

I think the trickiest thing to figure out for me was the bass knobs. I find that they tighten or relax the sound throughout the spectrum, though it is most apparent with the bass. So I am always looking for that place where the bass only just tight enough because I love the midrange texture that comes with this setting, tight enough, but still warmish.
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« Last Edit: 02/03/12 at 16:26:43 by will »  

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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #200 - 02/13/12 at 05:37:33
 
Thanks Will.  I have been using your advice for the last week and I am now getting the hang of it and loving the endless flexibility of this amp.  

The speakers are breaking in nicely, the tubes are getting there too, and I just upgraded to the new EE DAC Plus (from the Tranquility SE). That along with my new PI Audio UberBuss and power cord, Sunday AC free from degradation, and I am loving life Smiley.   I am running a pair of Japanese Mullard GZ-34's with the National 7DJ8's, and the JJ 6AC7's and the system has been running all weekend and is simply the best I have ever heard regardless of price. I am free from any listening fatigue, glare, or brightness and the sound stage and imaging is fantastic with the Pendragons.  Vocalists are in the room, jazz is fast, dynamic, and detailed, and even poor recordings sound pretty good!  So thanks for the help guys!

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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #201 - 02/13/12 at 12:43:39
 
Morgan, amazing amps aren't they? So glad you've been enjoying yours so deeply. Nice too that you are close enough to Michael to have an audio buddy that way!
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #202 - 02/13/12 at 14:58:41
 
Awesome Morgan!
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