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SE34.3 Tube Upgrades (Read 3211 times)
Lon
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Re: SE34.3 Tube Upgrades
Reply #15 - 03/23/13 at 14:05:38
 
Interesting review will. Some matches my own observations when I've heard the same tubes.

cryoset.com is a very good vendor. Ron believes in treating customers more than "right," and he makes good tube choices (and is open to suggestions, for example he stocks the Valve Art 274B after I asked him to try the tube out). I also think that his interconnects are an excellent sounding bang for buck tube; I replaced my Decware interconnects with them.
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Greg12
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Re: SE34.3 Tube Upgrades
Reply #16 - 03/23/13 at 14:07:31
 
Nice job Will.  I'll be getting my Torii III in about 3wks so will be coming back to this thread down the road when I'm ready to try some tube rolling.

Thanks,
Greg
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Torii MkIII, DM945/Companion Bass cabinet, Oppo 105
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will
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Re: SE34.3 Tube Upgrades
Reply #17 - 03/23/13 at 18:36:37
 
Yeah, I hope this is useful.....

Writing about something so subtle and complex as tube sound is pretty risky. But I remember when I was first looking at tube choices and how hard it could be to discern the qualities of a tube without trying it...many comments being fully personal, like "I like it" without a lot of what actually made the tube likable, and often without any system/room context.

But even with more description and comparison like I like to work toward, and with the context, it is all system/room/taste dependent, still highly personal, and finally influenced by how we interpret wording. Like, How wide a range does slightly have.....a very, very little bit....a little bit...it is tricky.

For me, I listen pretty hard and this awakens hyper-mode hearing, and all indicators point to my system being very revealing, so I have a hard time coming up with ways to convey my impressions with confidence...am I talking about discerning the little bitty stuff or the broader?

Ah, all you can do is try.

In thinking later about what I heard and wrote, I got to wondering if cryo'd Winged Cs might solve the issues I continue to have in my system/room with the "raw" ones I have. Can't say, but it is possible. Cryoing can make for a big refinement (or more subtle) depending on the original tube makeup.

Anyway Palomino, if you want to chill the force of the Tungsol, and lean things a bit, while opening/brightening with more space/air, the Ruby is a really good tube for that job. I am enjoying them now. If you want something that is also a very good sounding, and also of notably different character from the Tungsol, the JJ is a bit safer from being "too bright/open," since its detail articulation is cradled in a deeper, slightly warmer and more atmospheric surrounding.. It is also a great tube. But I am guessing that since my description of the Ruby caught your attention, you are craving some opening up in your setting.

Then what about the other tubes, where we can balance or compound the tonal shifts brought on by changing one of our tube types. This is why I think having perhaps three varied and quality tubes for each position could be a great beginning for serious exploration and refinement of room, system and preferences. Something worth considering and perhaps working toward while adjusting to the variations new tubes bring to the music.

I agree with Lon about Ron Sheldon at Cryoset. He is a real-world and forthright guy with a personal interest in quality, and with discerning perception. To me, this makes him a great person to depend on for quality stuff at good prices.



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« Last Edit: 03/23/13 at 18:39:30 by will »  

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will
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Re: SE34.3 Tube Upgrades
Reply #18 - 03/23/13 at 19:59:38
 
I just stuck in some Amperex PQ (orange label) inputs that I had cryo'd. With the Raytheon dual rectangle top/side getter 5U4GBs, Marshall OA3 STs, RCA OC2s, and Ruby EL34BHT....wow!~ music without restriction...beautiful body but with open spaciousness...smooth and a little bit warm without of veils, realistic ambience that is unnoticeable unless noticed, balanced upper mids and highs, clarified but without edge, bass is alive and fresh...deep and full of body, but dynamic and not muddled.

I love this tube play.
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« Last Edit: 03/23/13 at 20:01:25 by will »  

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Lon
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Re: SE34.3 Tube Upgrades
Reply #19 - 03/23/13 at 20:57:02
 
I've wondered the same thing about the Winged C cryo'ing possibility, but ever since I found such joy in the JJ 6CA7 tubes I have just stuck with them and haven't been curious about other output tubes. I'm sticking with these, they do all I want them to.

I have a quad of cryo'd Tungsol reissues. . . they have a brittle treble edge that just doesn't seem to want to soften up. . . they weren't for me.
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will
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Re: SE34.3 Tube Upgrades
Reply #20 - 03/24/13 at 00:53:13
 
Yes, since I never "fell" for the Winged Cs, I am not inclined at this point to find out just how resolved the cryo makes them either. I bet it is good though.

You can guess that I did think of you when I said the Tungsols, depending on tastes and conditions could be too forward, or hardish in the mids...I had not heard them in a long time, bringing them out because Palamino had them as a reference...

So it does not surprise me that the Tungsols don't suit you. Their definition and power top to bottom is wild, perhaps extreme. And I suspect it is the same for most of us, that if this definition and edge is too strong in the mid/highs, making a tube sound hard, this is a big problem. But when I listened to them...my tastes, system/room and that particular tube set, they showed their particular attributes well and in a balanced way, making them a great tube for what they do. But who knows...the same setup in your room might suck to me.....makes it hard.

And taste-wise, I really like all aspects detail, but not if it ends in hard mids and highs. But I generally do work toward resolution that approaches hard edges (as long as there is enough body to carry/balance it) then back it off a bit. So I might be placed in the detail club...I don't know...I love smooth and rich and full body too.

It is good you mentioned this edge that just won't go away though, because these tubes are so powerful that they could be too demanding depending on the many things working together that make up a system.

But if one needs a "super tube" ...maybe for a very powerful, defined, expressive, and punchy sound; or perhaps one wants exceptional definition while solving loose bass in a generally dark system/room; or for balancing other stuff that may cause an understated sound; or like me, where my system/room is quite flexible, flexible enough to adjust for edginess or pushiness if it shows up, and they are just plain fun for a change....this is potentially a really good tube for many conditions. But it is true, it could be just too much depending on conditions and tastes.

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Lon
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Re: SE34.3 Tube Upgrades
Reply #21 - 03/24/13 at 01:12:29
 
I'm very sensitive to treble response, and few of the digital recordings I have seem to have the cleanest and most grain-free examples in these frequencies I guess. I always appreciate a tube that is a bit more forgiving perhaps, or at least is not hard. That said there have been some changes since I last tried the Tung-Sols, but I'd be really surprised if my opinion of them changed.

But still, I've moved more and more into your realm of thinking on these matters: it's helpful for us all to develop a language and lexicon of our impressions and also be able to place them a bit in context to make some comparisons more meaningful. I admire and appreciate your direction and work along these lines.
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« Last Edit: 03/24/13 at 01:54:59 by Lon »  

Decware:ERR,HR-1,ZP3,CSP2+(2),Torii Mk III, PS Audio PWT+PWD MkII,PowerBases,PPP,AC-12 pcs, Denon DBP-A100, Denon DCD-A100, Rega RP3 +TTPSU,white belt+Exact2, VooDoo Cable IC: Evo and UL, Mapleshade:Double Heiix Samsonv2+v3 and 4"platforms,Herbie's IsoCups+Tendft
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P K
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Re: SE34.3 Tube Upgrades
Reply #22 - 07/12/13 at 19:18:22
 
How much was the RCA NOS 5U4G?

From what year?

The color of the base and writng on base?

Where did you purchase it from?

Thanks
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will
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Re: SE34.3 Tube Upgrades
Reply #23 - 07/12/13 at 20:58:46
 
PK, I think NOS RCA 5U4Gs are mentioned several places in this thread. Which are you interested in? I find that the 50's 5U4G-ST (coke bottle) black plates are all good, though they do vary in sound. All of mine have black bases. I also find that they vary a lot in price. I just wait for a good value on Ebay, making sure the seller tests the tubes, that they test high, and that there is a return policy if they don't work right. In my experience with tube sellers on ebay that I have bought from, the few problems I had, the sellers were eager to replace any tubes that were off in any way. Not sure this is across the board, but it makes sense since they depend on ratings to get comfortable new buyers.
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Palomino
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Re: SE34.3 Tube Upgrades
Reply #24 - 08/27/13 at 14:56:43
 
Just as an update, I have not tried any new power tubes yet.  Seems that about mid summer my amp hit a new plateau of really really good sound, so I didn't follow-up on any of the suggestions here other than to find sources for each tube type and price them out.

Forum member Frimpy did just send me some Tesla 7DJ8s to try.  He currently favors the Lorenz 7DJ8s so he said I could try his Teslas rather than them sitting unused.

I got and interesting boost in detail and top end shimmer with the Teslas.  Strings sound more "plucked" now.  Slightly better air.  Bass may be tighter, but not as loud.  

I am new to tubes and it amazes me still how much different you can make the amp sound.  However, I found myself a little fatigued at the end of the session.  These tubes have about 80 hours on them, so mabe they are not fully broken in.  Also, I have them mated with the Tung Sol EL 34s which I've heard could be a bit more forward.

So the search continues.  If I can keep the detail but lose the fatigue, I think that would be a good combo for me.
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« Last Edit: 08/27/13 at 18:16:04 by Palomino »  

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jameskk
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Re: SE34.3 Tube Upgrades
Reply #25 - 12/23/13 at 12:24:39
 
Print out a copy of the owners manual and read that . It's more specific than other manuals he has , especially with tubes !!! And listen to Will's recommendation on Rectifiers, he's really done his homework!!!
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« Last Edit: 12/23/13 at 12:27:44 by jameskk »  
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Palomino
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Re: SE34.3 Tube Upgrades
Reply #26 - 12/23/13 at 14:16:21
 
I have three sets of tubes now:

Original: Ruby 5U4G, 6n1Ps, Tung Sol EL34B

Set #2: RCA NOS 5U4G, Lorenz SEL 7DJ8, Cryo'd JJ EL34

Set #3: Cryo TAD 5AR4, Cryo Gold Lion 6922, Cryo TAD KT88s
Set #3 came to me in an amp I bought online.

I mix and match, but right now, my favorite all around set is the RCA NOS rectifier, Gold Lion Inputs and the KT88s.

At first, I thought the KT88s were a toss out, but they filled in nicely and have the best bass definition.  They seem to be more powerful all around.

If I want to go a little more aggressive, I put in the JJs and/or the TAD rectifier.

My desktop rig is basically the original set but I do swap out from time to time.  

I am still playing around with combinations for different kinds of music.  I have a tray that came from an old spice rack that holds tubes right beside my setup for easy swapping out.
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