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JJ 6CA7s (Read 15086 times)
Lon
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Re: JJ 6CA7s
Reply #75 - 03/06/13 at 23:05:41
 
Maybe I'll get to experience the bass knob function one day. I'm divided, mainly I just hate to part with the amp long enough to have mods done. It's my daily vehicle for transcendence. Smiley

I love the RCA 5U4G type and learned how to work with it quite well. The Valve Art 274B offered a different window, but I never could quite get past the tonal balance AND the biggest obstacle to relaxing into their sound for me was the image and sound stage presentation:  just too big and bold, not accurate enough for me. That just really bugs me. The 5Y3GT gives me what seems appropriate, and the tonal balance is very near where I want a tube set to be, enough bass and a sweet enough treble. Other tube types may bring a bit more bass, but at the expense in my system at least of a harder treble. These two RCA 5Y3GT seem to be just the ticket at least for now. It's shocking how small and short they are in comparison to the Valve Art 274Bs!

Now if I could just remind myself not to mess with anything else and just relax and listen. Oh wait a minute. . .that won't happen, I have a PowerBase for my PWT and PWD Mk II on the way to me, should arrive tomorrow.
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will
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Re: JJ 6CA7s
Reply #76 - 03/07/13 at 00:51:38
 
If you ever run across some early Heinz and Kaufman 5Y3WGTAs, I think you would likely love them...They make my 50s RCA 5Y3s sound coolish.
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orangecrush
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Re: JJ 6CA7s
Reply #77 - 03/07/13 at 03:07:30
 
I did not know 5Y3WGTA (6106) can be used in the Torii. Will, I am sure those (1950's w/tan bases) Heintz and Kaufman 5Y3WGTA's are a rebranded Bendix 6106.  I am going to try set, they are seriously over built. What else can you say about how they sound?
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« Last Edit: 03/07/13 at 03:14:30 by orangecrush »  
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Lon
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Re: JJ 6CA7s
Reply #78 - 03/07/13 at 03:37:08
 
will wrote on 03/07/13 at 00:51:38:
If you ever run across some early Heinz and Kaufman 5Y3WGTAs, I think you would likely love them...They make my 50s RCA 5Y3s sound coolish.


Interesting. Thanks.
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will
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Re: JJ 6CA7s
Reply #79 - 03/07/13 at 05:35:46
 
Quote:
I did not know 5Y3WGTA (6106) can be used in the Torii. Will, I am sure those (1950's w/tan bases) Heintz and Kaufman 5Y3WGTA's are a rebranded Bendix 6106.  I am going to try set, they are seriously over built. What else can you say about how they sound?


Those are the ones alright. The Bendix are higher for name brand.

I will have to give them a listen again, but what I recall is a very special characterful tube with great texture, warmth, detail, balance and range. Sophisticated might be a good term for them...you know every now and then a tube just does it all well...that is whatever they are supposed to do based on their type and electronics.

I alway love the 5Y3GTs when I put them in, then within a few days I fall back on the 5U4s in the Torii, so I can't say I have given them a full, long term listen.

I will give them a listen tomorrow and let you know if I am recalling them correctly and with anything else I notice, but I'd say now, if you like 5Y3s, this is a great tube.

I got them here: http://www.nostubestore.com/search/label/5Y3GT%2F5Y3WGTA%2F6106

along with a bunch of other tubes a few years ago.
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Lon
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Re: JJ 6CA7s
Reply #80 - 03/07/13 at 12:14:31
 
Thanks will. I inquired about buying a pair (but if you're not using yours and wish to sell, let me know). Sounds worth trying.

There is something about the 5Y3 that is just so right in my system I haven't even been tempted to pop a 5U4 back in!
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Pale Rider
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Re: JJ 6CA7s
Reply #81 - 03/07/13 at 16:02:20
 
Hmmm, may have to try those out. Interesting.
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will
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Re: JJ 6CA7s
Reply #82 - 03/07/13 at 21:17:53
 
Interesting. First, these things are built heavy!!! and you really need to get them warmed up before evaluating, including playing music through them in this case....

Starting with Siemens 7DJ8s (CBS label) Raytheon (Westinghouse) OB3, RCA OC2, cryo'd JJ 6CA7s, and cryo'd Valve Art 274B and leaving the bass and treble the same...the Bendix (Heintz and Kaufman) 5Y3WGTA were less powerful (turned up the amp a bit) and shifted the frequency balance/emphasis upward...Less bass, and a midrange shift toward the upper mids. Also, they flesh out the recording more, manifesting amazing spacial information and impressive speed! These are definitely high quality and well made tubes.

But with this tube set, I think I prefer the Valve Arts as they bring out the big part of the mid-midrange and have a softer upper midrange, and they are more laid back...better balance for me.

As usual, there is that synergy thing (or lack thereof), and there are traits of the Bendix worth exploring. Also, these Siemens inputs are on the bright side of transparent/neutral relative to most tubes I have, but also very good tubes technically, with good extension, speed, and balance, and very revealing, so the combination may be the problem.

So I stuck in some warmish inputs...some Mullard 6DJ8s with large hallow getters. Now, the balance shifted downward again. Warmer, bigger bass, still really fast, still very revealing and ridiculous spacial information, but smoother, softened by the Mullard warmth. Are they too revealing....this evaluation may take longer than I expected. This tube is very interesting.

So for now, I will put in the RCA 5Y3s.

Wow! Another notch down on the mid emphasis, back to a similar range as the Valve Arts. The big mid-mids are back on top with a nice balance of upper and lower mids...that seductive "tubey" sound. And the bass aspect of the balance is UP!!!...up to a really nice sense of balance overall.

What's up here? It has been some time since I explored these tubes last, and my system/room (as well as my perception of sound) have gone through a bunch of small, but progressive refinements....Hmmm.....

One thought is that these RCA 5Y3GTs and the 6CA7s have a really good thing together with good, warmish inputs in front. The spacial information is still vast, but smoother and more organic, not too revealing. The upper mids are smoother....The speed is still there, but less notable...again, more organic....this is a really good sound....very nicely balanced, and yes, dynamic!!! On first impressions I would call the micro dynamics extremely good, while perhaps the dynamic range and macro dynamics are a little compressed compared to a lot of 5U4s, and especially the Valve Arts. Interestingly, the way these rectifiers bring down the tonal balance, the upper-upper mids and highs seem softer, but not particularly rolled off...they sound really good. And the bass feels and sounds really good. At the same time, all the necessary articulation and detail is there to flesh out the sound stage and all the sweet little things like air on reeds, attacks, and ambient information...and all with a really friendly, big midrange.

The bass does not go as deep as with 5U4s, but still deep enough in this system, especially with the low-mid bass and mid bass emphasis these tubes bring to the set...the bass feels organic and tight, but not too tight. And there is a sweetness to this tube set that brings out the emotional wonder of amazing musical exploration at home. They feel a wee bit restrained in a way that is currently inexplicable to me, perhaps the slight sense of a narrower dynamic range compared to the Valve Arts, but not in a big or offensive way in the least. I think the Valve Arts are exceptional in dynamic range though.

OK guys...I'm tired. Thanks Lon for helping me stumble into this exploration. I think I will leave these tubes in for a while and check it out more once I have the flavor of the set more subconsciously intact.

Until then....
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« Last Edit: 03/07/13 at 21:19:55 by will »  

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Lon
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Re: JJ 6CA7s
Reply #83 - 03/07/13 at 21:36:03
 
Hmmm. . . if these move the frequency balance upward and the Valve Art are more laid back in that tube set. . . they're not going to stay in long in my system. . . .

Thanks for the impressions!
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« Last Edit: 03/07/13 at 21:39:12 by Lon »  

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will
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Re: JJ 6CA7s
Reply #84 - 03/07/13 at 21:47:48
 
Agreed. This is the opposite of my initial impressions of the H&K versus the RCAs...but that was a while ago, with different tubes, perhaps a different source, and definitely before we had 6CA7s. Anyway, where you are with the RCAs makes sense to me from my wanderings this morning.
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will
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Re: JJ 6CA7s
Reply #85 - 03/08/13 at 14:48:49
 
Doing a bunch of passive listening through the evening, I couldn't shake the feeling of compression from the RCA 5Y3GTs. They just felt restrained, like they were holding something pretty notable back.

Also, the sweetness I was hearing with my test recordings was intermittent...recording dependent. Seems this tube set has certain areas it excels in and others...not as good. I started hearing a veiled hardness in the mids on some stuff.

So I stuck back in the Valve Art 274Bs and I might not use the old blanket adage, but probably a flannel sheet. It was like it opened up the world for me...no restrictions in any way...the music flows easily and freely. The dynamic range is back, the openness top to bottom....I like it way better.

I guess in this system, and for my tastes, the 5Y3GTs I have are not for me.
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JD
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Re: JJ 6CA7s
Reply #86 - 03/08/13 at 15:10:55
 
Will try getting your hands on nos rca 5R4GY rectifiers...they are my favorite.

JD
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Lon
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Re: JJ 6CA7s
Reply #87 - 03/08/13 at 15:36:43
 
will wrote on 03/08/13 at 14:48:49:
Doing a bunch of passive listening through the evening, I couldn't shake the feeling of compression from the RCA 5Y3GTs. They just felt restrained, like they were holding something pretty notable back.

Also, the sweetness I was hearing with my test recordings was intermittent...recording dependent. Seems this tube set has certain areas it excels in and others...not as good. I started hearing a veiled hardness in the mids on some stuff.

So I stuck back in the Valve Art 274Bs and I might not use the old blanket adage, but probably a flannel sheet. It was like it opened up the world for me...no restrictions in any way...the music flows easily and freely. The dynamic range is back, the openness top to bottom....I like it way better.

I guess in this system, and for my tastes, the 5Y3GTs I have are not for me.


Interesting, as in my system the opposite is true: the Valve Arts are holding back the foundation of the music in comparison to the RCA 5Y3, and I don't hear a mid-range hardness from either tube type so far. I could live with the Valve Arts happily if it didn't "blow up" the image and stage for me, that's my biggest beef for me, not accurate according the reference material I use in comparison to the RCA 5U4 or 5Y3 types, Valve Art is just too big and bold. Our systems have different power treatment, cabling, and sources so I'm not surprised there are differences. I just added a PS Audio PowerBase in place of the Mapleshade 4" maple platform under my PWT and PWD Mk II and that has been another level boost. Vibration isolation is enhanced, and although the electrical components are breaking in there's an improvement further in dynamics and depth showing up. (I and other components plugged into the PowerBase over night, and just evaluated its vibration isolation effects last night, and this morning I plugged the PWD and PWT into it. Much more listening and breaking in to go through, but a positive new addition.) I'll try the Valve Arts in again over the weekend, we'll see, but if I go back to 5U4 types i will likely be RCA. . . .

Anyway, moving the maple platform to under the Rega RP3 turntable was an ear-opener. WOW!
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« Last Edit: 03/08/13 at 15:40:33 by Lon »  

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will
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Re: JJ 6CA7s
Reply #88 - 03/08/13 at 17:02:07
 
JD,

Thanks for the tip...I have some GE and some Phillips 5R4GY, and I really do like them...They have an interesting blend of clarity, warmth and articulation. Right now though, my exploration of the cryo'd Valve Arts is consuming and keeping my attention. As Lon suggests, they can be demanding, but for the live players in the room sound I am after, they are really good. Literally, no sense of restriction of musical flow and a big open sound top to bottom that is somehow not harsh, but remains very spacious. It holds nothing back...all the textures, ambient cues, etc, it is all there uniformly across recordings.

Lon,

Big changes again in your system. I look forward to your impressions as you get the new parts integrated.

I agree, the differences in our gear/setups could make a mark. But on the other hand, revealing is revealing, and how we accomplish it could work from a lot of angles. I do have a world class source, great cabling and cable synergy, serious power and vibration isolation, as well as a fair bit of room work/compensation...

So yes, different, but if anything, my system is hyper transparent and  revealing. So finally, within a revealing system/room, I always think a tube to tube comparison is the best we can do considering that each of our system/rooms are invariably different...the room generally being the biggest "component." Interestingly, in this room, and within my live/open sound objective, my soundstage player locations do not change significantly unless I really damp down the sound...losing detail and therefore spacial/ambient information. The Valve Arts are big sounding, and more forward feeling, but the player locations don't change in any notable way with them for me.

I'm wondering if our tactics for getting good sound across recordings have diverged enough that a segue from your sound (or mine) one way or another could feel very different depending on the starting point....You seem to be working from the best average sound across all recording types by softening/ warming things while trying to maintain the best detail, texture, dynamics etc from within that.....and perhaps I am trying likewise, but by livening/opening things up as much as possible while maintaining enough softness and warmth for it not to get hard. If I have this roughly correct, it occurs to me that this could yield pretty different feeling sound.

Also, you refer to your old studio recordings as a baseline reference for liveness, soundstage etc, and I rely on the makers of my gear to have worked the reference/accuracy angle and follow that using only what I hear in my system/room as a baseline. Then I creatively and progressively refine toward my sense of an engrossing, live, players-in-the-room sound.  So my "reference" changes as I change and my system changes.

This feels to me sort of like playing music, but I am "playing" my system/room...the starting point being where I am right now. From this, the system and my perceptions have evolved, and for me, I have a better sound (for me) than I have heard in almost any studio or live room I have been in.

I could never quite buy the idea of accuracy, since every studio and room is different, and every engineer is different, with different preferences and objectives toward their idea of "real" sounding. So really, I don't think a solid baseline for accuracy exists or is possible.

On the other hand, my shifts are progressive, and I could be off track....I could be out on a limb, but it sure doesn't feel that way. I get grabbed by the music all the time!

One thing occurs to me though that is quite different in our systems....and it might help help explain the differences with our sense of our system sound in general. I remembered that you are running the Torii wide open on the volume/power, so I tried that using Pure Music as a pre to ride the volume from flat in Pure, turning up the Torii, and riding down the Pure to about -20dB to get a similar volume as the Torii at about 8:30 and Pure at OdB.

Not the same as how you accomplish this, but a similar approach, and man does my setup (with these tubes) sound pushy and hard with the Torii at full power and the dithered "pre" down enough for normal listening.

Hard to say...just brainstorming....but I am glad we are both reaching our objectives, though from pretty different angles.
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Lon
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Re: JJ 6CA7s
Reply #89 - 03/08/13 at 17:19:53
 
I don't exclusively use my own recordings as a reference, nor were they done in a studio but a garage apartment, but I do use them as an indicator of relative instrumental imaging and placement, as I lived in the room and spent hundreds of hours with these players and their instruments there, they do allow me a baseline for accurately portraying what's on a tape. The Valve Arts exaggerate image size and crowd placement in my machine, both the cryo'd and non-cryo'd pair, when compared with the RCA 5U4G and 5Y3 types. I'm certainly not hung up on accuracy, but the presentation with the Valve Arts just hits me as unnatural every time, and that doesn't help me settle into the music. I do have a sense from my own recordings, form recordings that I've lived with for years, and from listening in the real world that there's a certain perspective or balance that is right for a recording, and the Valve Arts just seem to upset that apple-cart subtly and I really don't prefer that.

And I ride the gain a lot varying it, there was a time I was running the Torii wide open and riding the gain between the adjusted output of the PWD and the CSP2+. Lately I tend to run the PWD wide open, the CSP2+ pretty high, and the Torii at about 1/2 for Redbook. Having three gain sources to adjust is trippy.

I wouldn't say that I lack transparency. My room is very alive and I have to tone down treble energy and it seems to suck up bass energy, that's what I'm most trying to balance over a slew of recordings. I don't want to list pecking orders but I think my sources are first-rate as well. I think the most likely sonic difference in our systems may be the CSP2+ in my system. I think it's probably different than the ZStage in its presentation, and it sure makes an impact on my sources, any of them run straight into the Torii has a very different character than run through the CSP2+. I didn't always prefer the CSP2+ in the chain but cabling has moved me towards preferring it most often. Another deciding difference may be the power regeneration I have. It does impart a certain "nature" to the sound. It sure is better than dirty gritty power. But another "cleansing" system might impart a different nature.

At the heart I think we either or both hear things a bit differently or have a different perspective, different preference on sound. Which is cool. I'm really enjoying the 5Y3 at the moment, in all the Decware components. And as I really don't like to change tube sets very often, they'll probably stay put.
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« Last Edit: 03/08/13 at 17:23:21 by Lon »  

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