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"potato masher" rectifiers in the SE 34i.2+ (Read 5101 times)
dias
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"potato masher" rectifiers in the SE 34i.2+
03/29/13 at 18:10:11
 
Hello, all. I'm the proud owner of an SE 34i.2+.  I'm flirting with the idea of trying out some NOS Cetron 5R4GWB rectifiers.  Wondering if anyone else here has tried these in this amp and wants to share their impressions.

Cheers!

System = Thorens 160/Goldring 1012GX/Rega Fono; SB Duet/Lavry DA 11; SE 34i.2+; Blumenstein Audio Floorstanders
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will
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Re: "potato masher" rectifiers in the SE 34i.2+
Reply #1 - 01/23/14 at 01:59:42
 
Dias,

Sorry I missed this thread, and you have probably long forgotten it. I use Chatham labelled 5R4WGYs in my Torri MKIV (and in my MkIII) regularly.  Not knowing the rectifier you use, I can't compare, but this tube has a very solid sound that is extended, neutral and open with just a touch of warmth. I really like them as a choice. My other most used rectifiers are 50's RCA 5U4G-STs with different plates and getters offering pretty nice variation within the theme.
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dias
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Re: "potato masher" rectifiers in the SE 34i.2+
Reply #2 - 01/23/14 at 04:38:08
 
Howdy, Will.

Many thanks for the response.  

I have been using RCA 5U4Gs (straight bottle) with great success.  They were noticeably better than the Sovteks that preceded them.  Smoother and warmer, yet no apparent loss of detail.

Very recently, however, I subbed in some 1940s RCA 5R4GYs (dark brown base, double bottom getters).  I'm still forming impressions, but so far am very impressed and think I may be all done thinking about rectifiers!  Other tubes are 6n1P-ev drivers and cryod JJ 6CA7 outputs.

System:  Mac running Amarra; ifi usb purifier; Lavry DA 11; Thorens 160 with Goldring 1012GX; Lounge Audio LCR phono stage; custom preamp with 7788 tubes and parafeed transformer coupled outputs; Decware SE 34I.2+; Blumenstein Orcas with dual subs
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will
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Re: "potato masher" rectifiers in the SE 34i
Reply #3 - 01/23/14 at 05:01:22
 
Hey Dias,

Sounds like you found some nice tubes. I have some RCA 5R4GYs, medium/dark brown base, single rectangle bottom getter, that I think are early 50s. They are nice tubes, leaner than the Chathams, slightly off balance with a very open midrange and a big mid-bass. I have a number of tubes like this, but tend to personally prefer a more neutral rectifier though it depends on the other tubes. Your earlier RCA's may have a different signature than mine, but with 6N1ps and JJ6CA7, I can imagine that mine would sound very, very nice in your 34.

I had a long affair with 5U4G straight bottles and really did enjoy that. I imagine I might head that way again one day. I really like the very open and textured midrange and deep bass many have. Congrats on finding a great rectifier for your setup!
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« Last Edit: 01/23/14 at 05:02:37 by will »  

Mac Mini/PureMusic player, Tranquility DAC, CSP3, TORII MkIV, Morrow SP-6, HR-1s...VHaudio DIY, Grover, ICs...PSAudio P5 and Shunyata Defender, PI Audio and DIY power cables, HerbiesAudioLab isocups, small gliders and tube dampers...
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dias
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Re: "potato masher" rectifiers in the SE 34i.2+
Reply #4 - 01/24/14 at 00:18:01
 
I believe the straight bottle RCA 5U4Gs are a tremendous value. They can be found relatively cheap, and are just so darned musical.  So far these 1940s 5R4GYs are really impressing me, but I need to log in some more listening time to make my final concusions.  I know I could easily live with the straight bottle RCA 5U4Gs if I had to do so.

All of this really goes to show how incredibly resolving the Decware amp is - in my experience every change in the system (be it driver, rectifier or power tubes, the ifi purifier I just added, better isolation between my digital and analog components, etc) is clearly and audibly appreciated.

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will
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Re: "potato masher" rectifiers in the SE 34i
Reply #5 - 01/24/14 at 16:38:29
 
I have found this to be the case too. Everything really matters with Decware gear assuming there are not one or more weak links that degrades the whole. For me this level of resolution and musicality is really important, as I have a lot of fun...listening carefully....refining the system/room....and getting totally captivated by the music. Sort of three very enjoyable aspects to explore at once....It sounds like you like these too. For me this would not happen if the sound were not so resolving, but as importantly, so natural and engulfing. I am really grateful for the Decware crew's dedication to this!
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« Last Edit: 01/24/14 at 16:39:06 by will »  

Mac Mini/PureMusic player, Tranquility DAC, CSP3, TORII MkIV, Morrow SP-6, HR-1s...VHaudio DIY, Grover, ICs...PSAudio P5 and Shunyata Defender, PI Audio and DIY power cables, HerbiesAudioLab isocups, small gliders and tube dampers...
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Luis
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Re: "potato masher" rectifiers in the SE 34i.2+
Reply #6 - 02/12/15 at 16:59:51
 
Is there really a big difference between RCA 5U4G and RCA 5U4GB?

I have found a pair of 1940's RCA 5U4G's for 300$... that seems way too much... or not?
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will
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Re: "potato masher" rectifiers in the SE 34i
Reply #7 - 02/12/15 at 22:22:56
 
Luis,

There is a big difference in some ways, depending on how deeply you are looking. I think you are referring to 5U4G-STs (coke bottle shape), and the GBs are straight bottle, right. Also both come in different vintages with different construction. 300 is a lot in my book for STs. I wonder if this is a nice 40's pair, which is a really nice tube, but 50s are good too. If you look on Ebay, you can usually find a nice NOS or near NOS matched pair "buy it now" for 70-100 delivered. And if you look carefully at construction, you can find RCA made rectifiers with different company labels, and these are almost always cheaper. I have a pair of Raytheon labeled Sts that look exactly like some RCAs and were brand new for 55. This was an extra good buy, but they are there if you take some time.

If you go shopping be sure they are at the top of the test range, matched, and have exactly the same construction...the same getters, plates, bottle shape, space from top micas to glass top etc... this is usually the case anyway, but some sellers will have electronically matched pairs that are not quite the same construction.

Generally, GBs are bigger and deeper low down and generally with a relatively sweet, open richness in the mids, with nice open highs. They also tend to have a more "powerful" vibe by a touch...a bit more push. I have seen and heard three basic types of RCAs, short bottle, tall bottle, and extra tall bottle , the extra tall with the inner construction just like STs. The later was my favorite for solid, open, detailed and extended sound with less color. For more richness and warmth, a couple of Raytheons I had of different construction were favorites. One was 50s and the other 40s with a strange stepped shaped base. Both were really nice for warmth without detail sacrifice. It seems that earlier is often better, but I had some great sounding tall bottle Sylvanias from the 60s too...I would not get GBs if you have bass issues in your system/room and no way to tune the bass.

I personally went back to STs after my affair with GBs finding them solid, but generally more neutral and smooth, and having nice, delicate inner detail...also with really good extension, but generally not as bass heavy as GBs.

That said, they both vary within these generalities. The RCA-STs with the the wires running between the plates from the bottom through the top mica, those are I think 40s, and they will generally be more delicate and revealing with a bit less bass than the later 50s tubes with thick plates and no wires between the plates. And the 50s tubes vary also, some denser and darker and other more delicate.

Hope this helps some. What you are replacing, what you would like to get for sound change based on your current sound, and if you setup tends to muddle or being too bright, these would weigh into what would be best for your setting. There are other interesting rectifiers too that have specific advantages depending on need like 5Y3GTs, 5R4GYs, and 5V4Gs...all in a similar sound range, but each type tending to do it differently.
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« Last Edit: 02/12/15 at 22:29:52 by will »  

Mac Mini/PureMusic player, Tranquility DAC, CSP3, TORII MkIV, Morrow SP-6, HR-1s...VHaudio DIY, Grover, ICs...PSAudio P5 and Shunyata Defender, PI Audio and DIY power cables, HerbiesAudioLab isocups, small gliders and tube dampers...
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mark58
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Re: "potato masher" rectifiers in the SE 34i.2+
Reply #8 - 02/12/15 at 23:24:05
 
Luis,  Will has said it all much better than I could...as usual.  I can't remember specifics but  I think I tried a set of the tall bottle RCA 5U4GBs and ended up using 50's RCA 5U4Gs.  More recently, I got a pair of 1943 Ken Rad 5U4Gs included with my purchase of a pair of Zen Signature Monoblocks.  I immediately replaced the RCAs in my Torii with these WW II tubes and to be honest,  I'm not sure there's a great deal of difference...both are very nice.  The RCA 5U4Gs are in the monoblocks now.

Regarding price...$300 is insane.  Just buy some good testing 50's RCA 5U4Gs or relabeled ones...just make sure they have the 274 RCA manufacture's code on the black base and examine the pics for construction.  When I read your post earlier today I went to ebay and found this auction.  Sorry but I decided I needed another back up pair.  I paid $30 for this high testing pair with free shipping...one labeled Emerson. Deals are out there everyday.  Set up email notification for what you want and go from there.  Mark.  

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Two-RCA-Black-Plate-Top-Getter-5U4G-5U4-G-Vacuum-Tubes-V...

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The motions of his spirit are dull as night and his affections dark as Hell. Let no such man be trusted." William Shakespeare
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dias
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Re: "potato masher" rectifiers in the SE 34i.2+
Reply #9 - 02/12/15 at 23:26:09
 
Howdy, Luis,

Here are my random thoughts on the subject:

(1) $300/pair is way too much to spend on those rectifiers
(2) RCA 5U4G (straight and ST type) are great in the 34i.2
(3) Picking up on Will's suggestion, I'd recommend spending your money on getting one fine pair of each of the following:  5U4G, 5R4GY, 5Y3, 274B (but make sure it is a type that is OK in this circuit)
(4)Having on hand a variety of different rectifier types will, given the different voltage drops, probably yield far more interesting results than comparing different brands or eras of the same type
(5) I'm currently using, and loving, a pair of 1940s RCA 5R4GY (the kind with the double bottom getters)
(6) I really dig my SE 34i.2+, but my system took a huge leap forward when I added an active preamp.

Cheers,
Blake

Thorens 160, Goldring 1012GX, Lounge Audio LCR Phono; Mac w/ Amarra, Lavry DA 11; custom preamp with 7788 tubes and parafeed transformer coupled outputs; Decware SE 34i.2+; Blumenstein Orcas and active subwoofers
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Luis
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Re: "potato masher" rectifiers in the SE 34i.2+
Reply #10 - 02/13/15 at 17:14:30
 
Thank you all for your help!

I agree with you, that is an insane price, I will take all your advices and keep looking, I already have a pair of mint (and cheap) RCA 5U4GB in mind...

I have a really nice RCA 5Y3GT in my CSP2+ which I love, that was the reason I got a pair of them for the SE 34i.2+, I think they were also really nice but after a little less than a year one of them started to arc so that made me decided to give another try to the 5U4s.

Thanks!!

Luis
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will
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Re: "potato masher" rectifiers in the SE 34i
Reply #11 - 02/13/15 at 18:12:45
 
Luis,

The 5U4G-ST compared to the 5Y3GT will be more dynamic with deeper bass. The 5U4GB will likely have even more push and bass than the ST. The 5R4GY dias is talking about, the dual D getter RCA, will have similar range as the ST, but with more open clarity and definition..so it will feel more powerful, detailed and articulate than the ST. I personally did not like the short bottle RCA 5U4GB I had...too dense and dark for me. There were many others I liked better with more neutrality, including the extra tall bottle RCA I spoke of.

Some things to consider coming from liking the 5Y3...
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« Last Edit: 02/13/15 at 18:15:20 by will »  

Mac Mini/PureMusic player, Tranquility DAC, CSP3, TORII MkIV, Morrow SP-6, HR-1s...VHaudio DIY, Grover, ICs...PSAudio P5 and Shunyata Defender, PI Audio and DIY power cables, HerbiesAudioLab isocups, small gliders and tube dampers...
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Luis
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Re: "potato masher" rectifiers in the SE 34i.2+
Reply #12 - 02/13/15 at 18:26:16
 
Will, thanks a lot for the extra info, this is good to know! It is really easy for me to get lost among countless types, brands, years... of tubes, I wish I could do a proper tube rolling.

Luis
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will
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Re: "potato masher" rectifiers in the SE 34i
Reply #13 - 02/13/15 at 18:40:17
 
Yes it gets complicated there are so many choices. And as dias said, the ideal would be to be able to try several types, since the sound and whether we like it or not is all so relative to everything else in the system and room, and tastes. But barring direct comparison, I think the differences between tube types are somewhat explainable. It is tricky though, since synergy is the thing. Aside from tastes, a tube most like could be off in some systems and rooms, so I feel the confusion...
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« Last Edit: 02/13/15 at 18:40:48 by will »  

Mac Mini/PureMusic player, Tranquility DAC, CSP3, TORII MkIV, Morrow SP-6, HR-1s...VHaudio DIY, Grover, ICs...PSAudio P5 and Shunyata Defender, PI Audio and DIY power cables, HerbiesAudioLab isocups, small gliders and tube dampers...
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mark58
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Re: "potato masher" rectifiers in the SE 34i
Reply #14 - 02/13/15 at 22:46:23
 
OK, yesterday I bought another pair of 50's RCA 5U4Gs.  I just bought a 1946 pair of RCA 5R4GY Black Plates with the double D getters for $53.50 and free shipping.  Not sure if this is a great deal.  Maybe Dias who said he was using these could comment.  I'll be trying them in my Torii MK IV first or maybe the Zen Signature Monoblocks...mmm.  Mark.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/121565457092

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« Last Edit: 02/13/15 at 23:00:12 by mark58 »  

"The man that hath no music in himself, nor is not moved with the concord of sweet sounds, is fit for treasons, deceptions, and spoils;
The motions of his spirit are dull as night and his affections dark as Hell. Let no such man be trusted." William Shakespeare
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