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What tubes sound the best in your SE84CKC? (Read 4197 times)
edtyre
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What tubes sound the best in your SE84CKC?
02/18/14 at 00:42:36
 
Just got my new Zen and i am very happy with the stock sound driving my vintage Altec Lansing Laguna's. Surprised at the loudness level for just the two watts :)

For a little better sound i have replaced the stock rectifier with a NOS Mullard GZ-32 and the input tube with NOS Amperex 7308, but changing the output tubes to some other EL-84's.the sound is worse. Even with
some really good vintage tubes, i have found the sound to the best with
the stock Russian Rockets. With the EL-84's the volume level seems a lot lower and there a muddy sound with a tad of distortion. YUCK!!

What are others using?
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Doorman
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Re: What tubes sound the best in your SE84CKC?
Reply #1 - 02/18/14 at 00:47:31
 
I know you're aware that the sound will change a lot as your new amp
settles in. This can take some time, so while it's tempting to start tube swapping straightaway, what sounds " off " today may be much more
involving down the road.
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edtyre
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Re: What tubes sound the best in your SE84CKC?
Reply #2 - 02/18/14 at 01:51:02
 
Doorman i appreciate the fast reply and i agree the amp will sound different in the future, but tell me what tubes you are using like i asked.

I have 3 other tube amps including a SE34I.2, which i switched out the
stock tubes the first day i got it for vintage tubes and now it's 6 years later and the vintage tubes still sound WAY better than the originals.
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busterfree
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Re: What tubes sound the best in your SE84CKC?
Reply #3 - 02/18/14 at 01:59:00
 
I only use 6P15P-EV output tubes.
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Rivieraranch
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Re: What tubes sound the best in your SE84CKC?
Reply #4 - 02/18/14 at 02:37:12
 
The CKC pushed the limits of the 6922 type input tube so I doubt that the 7308 would do better than the 6N1P-EV
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jameskk
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Re: What tubes sound the best in your SE84CKC?
Reply #5 - 09/12/14 at 19:19:29
 
always go back to the tubes Mr. Deckert supplies, you might be surprised, and save a ton of money!!!
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Lonely Raven
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Re: What tubes sound the best in your SE84CKC?
Reply #6 - 09/15/14 at 16:38:25
 
I agree - I was just mentioning that I went back to the tubes Steve put in my old Zen after it's recent tune-up.
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jameskk
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Re: What tubes sound the best in your SE84CKC?
Reply #7 - 09/20/14 at 17:36:12
 
tesla 7dj8seems as good as 6n1p. Any thoughts on the large labeled 6p15ev as opposed to the small label of the same tube????
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« Last Edit: 09/20/14 at 17:43:07 by jameskk »  
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Acetone
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Re: What tubes sound the best in your SE84CKC?
Reply #8 - 11/14/14 at 18:01:03
 
60's Phillips  SQ E88CC  60's,  Phillips 5R4GYS best combo for me so far. I don't roll the 6P15P supplied with the Zen.
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SuperZen-CKC, ZP3, VPI -Traveler w/Ortofon 2M black. Tekton-Lores. Philips CDR-880. Decware-IC, RAC-pwr cables & IC's, Mapleshade Dbl Helix+ Spkr wire, Blue Circle PLC FX2 X0e. Herbies tube dampers, tenderfoots, GIK & PI Audio room treatments.
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flapland
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Re: What tubes sound the best in your SE84CKC?
Reply #9 - 03/14/15 at 15:46:29
 
I have tried Mullard labeled but Philips(Canada) made EL84 but they sound muffled and rolled off. These valves(I am in the UK  :) ) are tested and known to be good. The amp was built last year so I assume current spec so just wondering if standard EL84 can work successfully or with any modifications.

I have had good success however with Philips and Ferrantti 5r4gy's.

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Lon
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Re: What tubes sound the best in your SE84CKC?
Reply #10 - 03/14/15 at 16:47:10
 
EL84s in Zen amps have been problematic imo. I have used them in my Zen amp #27 (which was upgraded to an "A"--the first version to use the SV83) and my old trusty Select and my Zen C amp which is modded by Eddie Vaughn. In each of the amps, some brands definitely sounded better than other brands. There's nowhere for sound to hide in these amps, each part and tube is a big part of the whole.

In the A SV83 just always sounded better, though some EL84 came close (Sovtek, surprisingly enough, bested other brands). In the Select I found an old pair of RCA EL84 that really did sound good, almost as good as the SV83 tubes, and gave just a touch of classic warmth, a brush-by kiss of old school tube sound. Quite nice! The modded C amp. . . well I've tried SVi83s and both Mullard Reissue and TAD EL84s and I am using the TAD, they just give a bit of richness that the SV83s seem to need, and it makes me wonder if the mods Eddie did favor or were meant to maximize EL84 use. The amp is sounding really really good in my fiancee's system with the TAD EL84s.
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« Last Edit: 03/14/15 at 16:52:52 by Lon »  

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flapland
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Re: What tubes sound the best in your SE84CKC?
Reply #11 - 03/14/15 at 16:52:41
 
Philip, thanks for the response. It sounds like a standard SE84CKC isn't ideal and I may need some modification if I want to use EL84's. Shame but I think its one of those comprises I have to face as Decware focused on getting the best out of well made but low cost SV83's.

Currently listening into Auditorium 23 Solovox which are 95db sensitivity and were a great 2nd hand bargain.
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huguesb
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Re: What tubes sound the best in your SE84CKC?
Reply #12 - 03/26/15 at 20:48:27
 
On my side, I replaced the input tube (6n1p) with a 6n2p-ev. This gave me a warmer sound than the 6n1p with the switch in the laid back position.

I was unable to decide between the two positions until I tried this tube.
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Acetone
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Re: What tubes sound the best in your SE84CKC?
Reply #13 - 04/09/15 at 22:48:44
 
Curently have:  Amperex W. Ger nos 62' ECC88-6DJ8 -input,  6p15p-ev -output, and Philips 5R4GYS -rect...sound is excellent.
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SuperZen-CKC, ZP3, VPI -Traveler w/Ortofon 2M black. Tekton-Lores. Philips CDR-880. Decware-IC, RAC-pwr cables & IC's, Mapleshade Dbl Helix+ Spkr wire, Blue Circle PLC FX2 X0e. Herbies tube dampers, tenderfoots, GIK & PI Audio room treatments.
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FullRangeMan
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Re: What tubes sound the best in your SE84CKC?
Reply #14 - 07/25/15 at 04:31:10
 
On my side, I replaced the input tube (6n1p) with a 6n2p-ev. This gave me a warmer sound than the 6n1p with the switch in the laid back position.
Huguesb,
What is this switch you refer?
Thanks
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