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New Torii owner - help with tube rolling. (Read 23292 times)
orangecrush
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New Torii owner - help with tube rolling.
04/18/12 at 02:46:26
 
Received my Torii. Only 100 hrs but so far it's transparancy is breath taking. My wife is a piano teacher and she is astounded at the amps ability to express how softly or hard keys are played. The scale of full orchestral music is shocking. I am a vocal lover and am thrilled at how I can now hear how close to the mic the singer is and other nuances.  Tom Waits Orphans-Bawlers has so much intimacy and texture it is hard for me to turn it off!

I am new to tubes and so need some help. I have enjoyed your comments on this forum. First, my minimalist system consists of a BPT-1 balanced power isolation transformer, SB touch with Flac recordings, MHDT Havana with Bendix red bank, Torii with vcaps and 16 ohm taps, Zu Soul Superfly.

I listen in a near field triangle. I have all stock tubes in the Torii with the optional Shugang Treasues waiting to take a turn. The JJ's sound good so far. The input tubes are EH 6922's which surprised me as I thought the stock were Russian 6n1p's. The rectifiers are stock OA3 and OC2. The OC2 is Raytheon Kr85 and glows lavender.

The Zu's are extremy dynamic, highly resolving, forward sounding but also unforgiving to the point that with some music I feel the need for a bit more warmth and body. I have the treble pots set at 11 o'clock and the bass at 1:00 o'clock.

Would switching to the 6n1p-ev do the trick or would the National's 7dj8 from upscale audio be better?

Which 6n1p's to buy?

Also, I want to replace the stock Chinese 5u4g's. What do you reccomend and a good source to buy them from?

Thinking of Winged "C" (SED) 5U4-G Black Plates.

Thanks for your help!
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« Last Edit: 04/18/12 at 04:29:11 by orangecrush »  
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Lon
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Re: New Zen Torii owner - help with tube rolling.
Reply #1 - 04/18/12 at 03:39:27
 
Congratulations! I know you're going to be very happy with this amp.

I think the 6N1P may be a good choice to add warmth to the sound. I find that the 6N1P tubes offered by www.cryoset.com are very good, I've tried several and all are nice-sounding and have survived cryo-ing and been very reliable and stable.

In my opinion almost any 5U4G tube will be better than those Rubys, I really dislike every one of those I've heard. I've had good success with this tube type by RCA, GE, EH and Sylvania, in both straight-sided and bottle shaped. I buy these from ebay, and also have bought from a board member and from www.tubeman.com

But some of the current brightness may dissipate with some use. I'd say stick it out for a few hundred hours and evaluate again. And keep us posted!
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will
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Re: New Torii owner - help with tube rolling.
Reply #2 - 04/18/12 at 07:18:54
 
Sounds like a nice setup!

With only 100 hours on the V-caps and 6CA7s, it would certainly seem you are not hearing where the amp will go, but I get the urge to refine with tubes, and nice ones offer good tuning choices now and later. I find that every tube counts for fine tuning, not just the power and input tubes. If your Torii has the straight sided Russian OA3's, you can get a warmer sound from some 50s OA3s. Ebay and Tubeworld are good sources for VRs. I particularly like Hytron, Tungsol, and Raytheon labeled ST shaped VRs for warmth.

Also, if you do not have tube dampers, I suspect they might solve some of your current sound refinement needs. Check out Herbiesaudiolab. I find that these solidify the tone of tubes and help take the edginess off.

I got some 1955 Winged -C 5U4G-STs from ebay, and so far I prefer the warm transparency and balance of my 50's RCA-STs, but the Russian tubes only have about 80 hours, so I am not sure this is a fair comparison. I do think the Russian 5U4Gs will warm things up over the bright and open Ruby's, though mine seem to have a high mid bump compared to the neutrality of the RCAs. I like 5U4GBs a lot too and they are cheap on Ebay. I find Raytheon/Tungsol are warmish, and Sylvania, more open/neutral.

Not having heard the ElectroHarmonics 6922, I can't compare. And I can't get the 6N1Ps to sound right in my Torii in that they are too prone to distortion with my setup, so I stick with 6922, 6DJ8, and 7DJ8. Any of these types can be warmer or more neutral depending on make and year.

I prefer buying "pulls," or relatively low usage Old Stock tubes when possible, being notably cheaper and already broken in. Mullard and Amperex 6922 and 6DJ8 are my favorites overall.

7DJ8s are a good bargain for the most part for NOS, and most I have heard sound good. The upscale National is an interesting tube with a nice warmth, deep bass, good balance, and a particularly open and seductive presence. It could end up a little in your face with your present tubes though, it is so clear and dynamic across the spectrum. But with warmer 5U4G and/or OA3s, you might love them. They are a very expressive tube bringing out a lot of macro and micro detail. Or for an inexpensive taste of the 7DJ8 the Lorenz labeled Eis at tubemonger are smoother/warmer than the Nationals and might help without changing the other tubes. Also a touch warmer, one of my current favorites for a natural sound is a Siemens/CBS 7DJ8 from cryoset.

Lately I have been back to exploring 6922s though, particularly some Mullard gold pin pulls.

I have to say though that I have a range of all the tube types, so I can easily mix and match to make most decent tubes sound very good. So many tubes and so little time!

Have fun!


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orangecrush
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Re: New Torii owner - help with tube rolling.
Reply #3 - 04/19/12 at 02:18:20
 
Thanks Lon and Will, I put the treasures in and immediately noticed more body. My OA3's are Russian straight sided. They say v83 on the side, is that right?
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will
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Re: New Torii owner - help with tube rolling.
Reply #4 - 04/19/12 at 02:46:47
 
I think things are well with your OA3s as they were shipped with the amp. The tubes that ship with the Torii change as time goes on...but you can bet Steve liked the synergy at the time. He also sells the premium Treasures and V-caps as upgrades he has decided are worth it. Then there are your source, speakers, cables, feet, power and the rest that the Torii will reveal the individual characters of, as well as the synergy or lack there of, and we go from there. I am really glad the amp is that revealing, making fine tuning to personal taste very articulate no matter how deeply we choose to explore.

My Russian straight sided OA3 say V-68 on the side. I wonder if it is a batch or date code. So hard to tell which do what without direct comparison, but mine are very clear and open. Not warm. This to me is not necessarily bad though as the tubes have great extension and are very revealing, working well with warmer tubes. My favorite bright OA3 is a 80s Sylvania ST shape from tubeworld though, which I tend to choose over the Russian when I need a transparent OA3.

I guess the Treasures are new? So many new parts, but if they fill the need for more body, that is great. I hear the Treasures take a good 300 hours or more to really come into their sound, and I have found the JJs to take 200 or so, but they get close to where they will go after 120 or 130 gradually improving after.

I also find that treble and bass adjustments are often, if not most of the time, relevant with tube changes.

Also speaker position tweaks can be good now and then to refine the sound as the amp develops.
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will
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Re: New Torii owner - help with tube rolling.
Reply #5 - 04/19/12 at 02:58:23
 
On another note, relative to your first post, I recall Steve saying that he voices the amp with 6922s. Don't know which ones, but it is not surprising that he is shipped yours with the EH 6922 considering this.
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orangecrush
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Re: New Torii owner - help with tube rolling.
Reply #6 - 04/19/12 at 20:03:06
 
Ok, I found some 1940's RCA 5R4GY (Military spec) and 1950's RCA 5U4G black plates.  Both are ST coke bottle's.

Any advice on which is better?
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Doorman
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Re: New Torii owner - help with tube rolling.
Reply #7 - 04/19/12 at 20:14:26
 
I'm never sure what "better" means, however, "which do you prefer" is a'nother kettle of fish.
-trying to clarify only, not start a war!!
I'd be interested in preferences myself
Best
Don
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Lon
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Re: New Torii owner - help with tube rolling.
Reply #8 - 04/19/12 at 20:42:45
 
I've never heard 5R4GY in the Torii, so it's really hard to say. The fifties 5U4G that I have sound great in the Torii.
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will
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Re: New Torii owner - help with tube rolling.
Reply #9 - 04/19/12 at 23:34:26
 
I have not heard 5R4GYs either, but have been tempted to try them.

If I am not mistaken there are a number of variations of the RCA 50s 5U4G-STs. I have two of them, one with wider interiors on the plates, and one with narrower. Also there are those with bottom getters and those with top getters, and different micas too. I like both of my pairs though, the heavier plate ones being a bit richer and more liquid, and the lighter plates being a little more open.

After figuring this out, I would ask for matches in construction if I were to order any from say Brent Jesse, who has a lot of them with various labels and construction.
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« Last Edit: 04/19/12 at 23:34:59 by will »  

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orangecrush
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Re: New Torii owner - help with tube rolling.
Reply #10 - 04/20/12 at 01:18:49
 
Thanks guys, I ordered the 1950'2 RCA Jan-5U4-G-ST's. Seemed to be the safest bet.

I also ordered:

RCA OC2 for backup.
RCA OA3 bottle shaped.
6N1P-EV with gold pins.
National 7D78 from upscale.
1957 Svetlana 5U4-G-ST.

That should get me started. I really like the EL34 Treasures so far. Not sure if they worth the price yet but they really are smooth right out of the box.

Thanks for your help and will post impressions in time.
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sberger
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Re: New Torii owner - help with tube rolling.
Reply #11 - 04/20/12 at 01:39:37
 
Good set of tubes to get you going. I'm using the Treasures in my Torii. They sound fantastic but needed a lot of break in. So be patient 'cause they will change up on you until they settle down.
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will
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Re: New Torii owner - help with tube rolling.
Reply #12 - 04/20/12 at 02:38:26
 
Sounds like a really good set of tubes to play with. With your 2 sets of EL34 and options with all the rest of your tube types, the combination possibilities are pretty vast. The RCA OC2 by the way will sound different than the Raythions, that is if the Raythions are older tubes too, so yet another tuning option.
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orangecrush
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Re: New Torii owner - help with tube rolling.
Reply #13 - 04/28/12 at 03:41:31
 
Wow, I really like the National 7DJ8 from upscale. Same dynamics and drive as the EH 6922 that came with the amp but more much more body and texture without any loss of detail. Really nice!

I also put in the RCA 0A3 and 0C2's. No real discernible difference to my ears but the amp is no where near broken in yet.

Have not received the 6n1p's or the RCA rectifiers yet.
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« Last Edit: 04/28/12 at 03:47:47 by orangecrush »  
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will
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Re: New Torii owner - help with tube rolling.
Reply #14 - 04/28/12 at 21:09:37
 
Great news on the Nationals! I really like the texture that 7DJ8s tend to offer and the Nationals do have a nice balance of detail, body, bass and dynamics. The EHs sound like they must be lean at this point in your system. Interesting. Surprised on the VRs. Though the OC2s can be subtler, I haven't heard two OAs sound alike except those of the same make and time. Your suggestion of early stage burnin being an influence makes sense. Keep us informed!
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