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JJ 6CA7s (Read 19789 times)
Gopher
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Re: JJ 6CA7s
Reply #30 - 10/09/11 at 05:36:44
 
Interesting.  I guess I'm not the only one with reservations about the JJs.  I just plugged 'em back in my amp right now after removing them for a couple of weeks.

They have a pleasant sound, but its not nearly as 'bold' as the the black treasures.  I did prefer them to the Winged C's I had, but maybe my Winged Cs weren't fully broken in.
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will
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Re: JJ 6CA7s
Reply #31 - 10/09/11 at 08:16:44
 
Though at times I have enjoyed the winged Cs, I have never completely warmed up to them. I think they are nice tubes, but in my system, though they have a great open midrange quality, they have a leanness in the mids-mids that seems off balance with the warmness from the very low mids down. To me, there is a bit of unevenness that I just can't get used to with most tube sets I like.

But what we put any tube with is such a huge part of the story, and since I like more open and dynamic input tubes, they tend to bring out this unevenness, where some warmish input tubes balance nicely with the Winged C. Then there is how the rectifiers and VR balance...too many variables to blame or praise one tube easily.

I have found the JJ 6AC7 a bit dark and flat with warmer inputs, but with a couple different 7DJ8s, the RCA OA3-ST, and 40s RCA 5U4G-STs (more open than the 50/60s), they are sounding extremely good in this system....warm and textural, good body without a sense of excess density, smooth, dynamic and open.

For me, I think they are just particular as to what they work really well with. At the moment, with this set, my system has never sounded better. It is odd though. I have been playing around with different tubes to work with the JJs for a couple weeks, and this set did not quite occur to me while just thinking about the individual tube characters, so I came by it by the back door so to speak. That magical synergy is there though and it is really beautiful. I have no Treasures to compare.
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« Last Edit: 10/09/11 at 08:37:03 by will »  

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Lon
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Re: JJ 6CA7s
Reply #32 - 10/09/11 at 14:05:18
 
Well, there are so many variables, and room and personal taste and the very way we individually perceive music are important factors. And what we are shooting for (I mean I have one audiophile friend whose goal is to have dozens of great great sounding recordings that shine whereas I seek a balance that favors thousands of varied recordings). I did try a few different tube rollings but still never quite got past that sort of "congestion" that the JJs brought, made the Torii sound like a sixties tube amp, not the sound I'm used to or going for. And I'm sold on the 6N1P input, none of the other input types quite do it for me, and the Cs may have a certain compatibility with that tube type, that the JJs don't (for my purposes at least).

I'd say of the three tube types I've used in the Mk III as output the Cs are my favorite, then the JJs, then a quad of Tungsol croy'd. Having rescued my previous quad and now that I have a new quad of Cs on the way I have great sound for more than a year ahead.

Next time I experiment I'm going to try Mullard reissues; I've used two in my Integrated and they were awesome in that application.
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« Last Edit: 10/09/11 at 15:44:52 by Lon »  

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will
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Re: JJ 6CA7s
Reply #33 - 10/09/11 at 15:26:18
 
Quote:
I did try a few different tube rollings but still never quite got past that sort of "congestion" that the Cs brought, made the Torii sound like a sixties tube amp, not the sound I'm used to or going for.


Lon, Are you referring the JJ's here? I would not have thought of "congestion" as a term to describe the Cs, though I could see it as a descriptor for the JJ 6AC7 with certain tube sets. And I agree about room...when I refer to system, I consider the room part of it since room is so much of our sound.

From my experiments with various tubes and tube types, I suspect Datman likes the tube so much because he had a synergistic combo that sings, as did I finally. I believe he uses National 7DJ8s with his, and maybe RCA 5U4G-STs, but I can't recall exactly, and then there is everything else in the system. Part of what finally brought mine out was a little cable/AC component "rolling" for me. I found them compelling in general, but being a bit dense and dark they did not easily fit my ultimate tastes until I put them with 7DJ8s which opened them up, makng them more spacious, and increasing the sense of dynamics. Then I found much more potential with the tube, but did not get there until I got that just right combo. I am actually using some Zaerix labeled 7DJ8s. So I think it is sort of a quirky tube, at least in terms of getting the ultimate sound I like. I mean, for my tastes, with the 60's sort of tubular sound of the JJs, I would never have thought to use my OA3-STs, them being warmer VRs....but they somehow contributed to the friendly spaciousness this particular tube set brought. Got me.....

This makes me wonder....since Steve changed over to them in the Torii, it would be interesting to try the bright/articulate Ruby 5U4Gs and see what those do with the JJs. I wonder if they might not act somewhat like the 7DJ8s, making the JJs more spacious???
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« Last Edit: 10/09/11 at 15:30:29 by will »  

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Lon
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Re: JJ 6CA7s
Reply #34 - 10/09/11 at 15:29:53
 
Sorry yes, just a typo, I truly meant JJs.

Yegads I hate the sound of those Rubys in any tube set I've ever tried, they're permanently banished from my Torii! Smiley  I did try different OA3, OB3, and OC3 tubes with the JJs. . . the Cs are just better for my purposes. With the JJs I have a good back up pair that will be suitable between sets of Cs, that's how I look at it now.

I haven't tried the 7DJ8s but I've tried so many input tubes over the year and always come back to the 6N1P. I'd use the 6N2P if I could but they just aren't right for this amp. The 6N1P is I think essential to my goal of getting a tube set that works over the scope of my collection. Already I've been doing too much tube-rolling lately and getting that nervous feeling that I get from that which is anathema to relaxing and listening for me, so I'm happy with what I'm now using: 6N1P, remarkable straight shoulder RCA 5U4G (this one set trounces even others that seem identical), RCA straight shoulder OA3, the Raytheon VR75s it shipped with and the Winged Cs. It seems to work for my intents, and I should just stick with it and quit fidgeting.

I think speakers are a big determinant too. I know I'd settle on a tube change if I brought the HR-1s out again. Part of why I'm not planning to for some time. This tube-rolling gets to me after a while. Interferes with my image of myself as a music lover first. Smiley
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« Last Edit: 10/09/11 at 15:43:58 by Lon »  

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will
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Re: JJ 6CA7s
Reply #35 - 10/09/11 at 18:19:16
 
Yes, I tried the Ruby 5U4G with my current set and after warm up, took it back out fairly rapidly. Seemed kind of empty by comparison with the 40s RCA 5U4Gs....at least with this set.

Glad you have the tube combo that just keeps on keeping on! I envy you with your straight RCA OA3s (I can't find any!) and those particular straight 5U4Gs. And the 6N1Ps I have tried are quite variable too....which to get???? What a labyrinth it can become....

Enjoy!
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datman
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Re: JJ 6CA7s
Reply #36 - 10/09/11 at 21:36:56
 
I can understand all the conjecture about these tubes. Perhaps I was lucky having the National 7DJ8's in place BEFORE I installed the JJ's, but the JJ's DO sound better than the Treasures to me.

What I have discovered is the need to adjust the bias and the output impedance. These have definately changed with the JJ's. These changes did make things sound even better.

I am using NOS Svetlana black plate 5U4G rectifiers.

Will, I have ordered the series of 0*3 tubes which should be here Monday. Tube rolling will commence then.
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« Last Edit: 10/09/11 at 21:40:13 by datman »  

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will
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Re: JJ 6CA7s
Reply #37 - 10/09/11 at 22:30:44
 
Datman, Thanks for the Svetlana Black plate clarification. Have you compared them to anything else? I heard some folks say they like them, but never heard just what makes their sound good.

I look forward to your O*3 exploration. I like having choices there and wish I could find more availability on the straight bottle tubes.

I noticed likewise with the JJs, that the impedance switch in particular can bring out some cool depth and clarification, but I always seem to end back at  4 ohm and neutral bias. I will have to be more diligent in leaving it set at 8 ohms for a while and adjust knobs around it. Thanks for the tip.
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« Last Edit: 10/09/11 at 22:31:19 by will »  

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datman
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Re: JJ 6CA7s
Reply #38 - 10/09/11 at 23:15:41
 
I actually bought the Svetlana 5U4's when I first got my Torii. One of the supplied 5U4's literally came apart on me (oh, the joy of Chinese tubes). I went out and found the best 5U4 I could and the Svetlana's were it.

My amp is configured as 8/16 ohms. Unfortunately, i don't know which switch position is which. When I started I had the switch TOWARD the transformers. Now it is AWAY from the transformers. This will probably change once I start playing with 0*3 tubes.
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kana813
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Re: JJ 6CA7s
Reply #39 - 10/10/11 at 04:21:29
 
When I had my TORII, I was also confused about the switch positions since it's not covered in the manual.

On your amp with the impendance switches toward the front of the amp,
it should be 8 ohms.
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Lon
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Re: JJ 6CA7s
Reply #40 - 10/19/11 at 06:40:10
 
That's my understanding as well, I believe in the "manual" Steve states that the lowest ohm setting is in the front.

I've tried out the JJs in my SE34 Monoblock amps in my bedroom system. A very good fit with 6N1P input tubes. Nice and warm with moments of surprising 3D. Really happy with that system. All my amps sound good in there, but the Monoblocks have a magic something going on. I always had problems getting just the right bass out of them, but the highs and mids are gorgeous. The JJs help me get the bass closer.

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Lon
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Re: JJ 6CA7s
Reply #41 - 11/02/11 at 16:11:25
 
And now the JJs are in my Torii Mk II amp in the second system and sounding really good. I had my gal pal helping me out evaluating the sound of the different amps in my second system. This time she told me she likes the sound of the Torii Mk II best, and this morning we both heard a fine example of why, listening to a Julio Iglesias cd there was a moment of holographic beauty that we both noticed. The Monoblocks have a certain sweetness and smoothness that I love in that system, but man, there's nothing like the accuracy and control of a Torii to really bring out imaging and positioning of instruments, even when the speakers are far from optimally placed.

So the JJs so impressed me again in that system that I took them out and put them in the Torii Mk III in the main system. And still, I prefer the Winged Cs immediately. There's just an openness to the Cs that makes the JJs sound as if they're compressing the imaging and instrument positioning. And at the same time there's a real vitality that is sparkling the music forward, which is not my favorite posiiton. And this holds up through the different tube complements at hand. So. . . darn. I'm stuck with using the expensive Winged Cs!  ;)
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« Last Edit: 11/02/11 at 17:16:55 by Lon »  

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stone_of_tone
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Re: JJ 6CA7s
Reply #42 - 11/02/11 at 18:02:47
 
My Torii will come with the JJ6CA7's. I plan to have on hand the Winged C's. Compared to the Shuguang Treasures, they are a bargain. I will resist putting the C's in my new Amp until it is sufficiently burned in and I improve the Rectifiers from Ruby's and get a handle on the signature of the Amp. My journey begins soon and I have all these great posts from you guys to learn from and listen.

Who knows? Maybe I'll love the JJ's? However, your experience with the Winged C's 34 Lon, sounds like my cup of tea. I love true Svetlana quality.  

Different tube, but the original SV83 tubes Steve created his Pentodes run in Triode Amps are still my favorite output tubes. I don't like any EL84's compared to the SV83 Svetlana's. I am glad I have a nice stash of them.  

The original Svetlana Tubes (SV83 & EL34 Winged C's) made in St. Petersburg (I refuse to have ever said Lenengrad during the time of the USSR) are tubes to be cherished from the 80's production and early 90's. Then Reflector muddied the water's.     Stone
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Lon
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Re: JJ 6CA7s
Reply #43 - 11/02/11 at 18:19:12
 
I'm with you Stone. Those were great runs of tubes, and they've been an integral part of the Decware experience for me.

Hey the JJs may be just the thing for you and your room(s). I'm convinced that the room and the interaction of the speaker is one of the hugest parts of the equation. I find tubes that I don't really love in a machine sound so lovely in the same machine in another room, with the same or different speakers. Wild, and makes all recommendations and reviews very problematic.

The JJs have really impressed me with their quiet and steady operation and in one amp they have given me three dimensional moments. So here's hoping you love them. They're a real bargain.

How much longer do you think Stone, a week til shipment?
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stone_of_tone
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Re: JJ 6CA7s
Reply #44 - 11/03/11 at 04:24:00
 
I am excited about the JJ's. I am hoping no more than a couple more weeks on the Amp? Steve did get quite a few Torii III orders alone, the last couple of weeks in August. Busy shop.
Stone
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