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Tube Rollin (Read 2312 times)
patshrews
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Tube Rollin
12/31/14 at 20:31:03
 
Hi Everyone,

I'm looking to roll some tubes, and wanted the biggest bang for the buck. I have all stock tubes except for a pair of Super Cryo Golden Lion 6922's.
It has Tung Sol kt66's as well.

Thanks,

Pat
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Lon
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Re: Tube Rollin
Reply #1 - 12/31/14 at 20:53:42
 
Pat, regulator and rectifier tubes will bring you big bang for little bucks comparatively speaking. I recommend trying other OC2 (or OA2 or OB2) tubes, they're generally cheap for matched pairs. And a different brand of OA3 (or OB3, OC3. . . some even like the super lean sound of OD3) tubes can reap interesting sonic changes. Also rectifier tubes can have a big impact. . . I use old RCA 5V4 tubes in one of my Mk IIIs, and new Valve Art 274B in the other and each has its merits.
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patshrews
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Re: Tube Rollin
Reply #2 - 12/31/14 at 21:08:08
 
thanks Lon!
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will
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Re: Tube Rollin
Reply #3 - 01/01/15 at 01:14:09
 
Pat,

Did you read over this thread: http://www.decware.com/cgi-bin/yabb22/YaBB.pl?num=1384627106/0

I find the MKIV to be exceptional for tube rolling once fully burned in…a tube rollers dream. Finally it is best to have a selection of each type to mix and match if you really want to get refined to your personal space and tastes, but you can get nice changes with just one tube type if you are lucky. Did the Gold Lion 6922s help?

Also, it all depends on where you want your sound to go. If you follow up with some things you would like to change I could be more specific.

And it is system and taste dependent, but there are characteristic qualities of tubes that read across systems.

I have tried many tubes in my MKIV (perhaps more than anyone on earth) and have some that I consistently fall back on in this system and room.

I agree with Lon, you can get a lot from VRs.

The O_2s affect the inputs, and O_3s the power tubes. If you need to lean/open the sound, one or both can be changed. If you need to do a lot due to excess bass/darkness, you can chill both, replacing the OC2 with OB2 as well as changing the OA3s to OB3s. Alternately leave the OC2s and put in OC3s, or as Lon says, OD3s for the most leaning from the big VRs. There is a lot you can do with these tubes if you need to open the sound, but you will get different tonal qualities from different brands of the same value tubes if your tone has good balance.

In the OC2 line, I have been using some European 75C1s, and they are really nice...open, textured and a bit warm. Quite similar but perhaps a little bigger sounding are Mullard OC2s, but are hard to get. Also, if yours came with Russian OC2s, Raytheons or RCAs will offer some difference, the Raytheons a bit bigger and more warm, the RCAs open like the Russians, but more solid and bigger sounding.

I am glad Lon mentioned OB2s. I found OB2s too lean when I explored them in my MKIII, but in the MKIV, I just put in some RCAs and they create a nice spacious opening of the sound, but still revealing attack and dynamics nicely. With this particular tube set they sound more delicate and open without sounding lean, having a very nice "live" sound. But I am running Genalex KT66 which have a tonal density without sounding dense overall, and Miniwatt PCC88s which  are a bit more warm and tonally dense for this tube type. Both are a nice compliment for the slightly leaner OB2. With these tubes the OB2 is more subtle in the MKIV circuit than in the MKIII. Very nice for opening up the system if needed.

For the big VRs I use OB3s, alway liking them better than OA3s. They open the sound just enough to cut density and reveal articulation and nuance. The 40s OB3s are more solid and big sounding (my current fav), and the 50s are a bit more warm and textured (my fav in the MKIII). If you have notably too much bass with the stock OA3s, Hytron OC3s are really nice tubes for opening and leaning without sounding thin.

Valve Art KT66 is a pretty inexpensive way to try other power tubes. I like them a lot from Antique Electronic Supply. Ask for higher lp if you get some. They sound open like the TSols, but without the slightly flat/warm veil of the Tungsols. They are nicely extended and transparent with nice body. Then the cryo'd Genalex KT66…more money, but they keep pulling me back in. Really nice tubes for a solid foundation in the MKIV. More body, power and tonal density, but still very nicely articulated and nuanced. For the money, the Valve Arts are very nice though….when I put either in I like them better. These two tubes represent remakes of the two variations of legendary NOS KT66.

The Rectifiers effect everything providing the DC, making them pretty great for modifying the sound.

NOS 40s-50s RCA 5U4G-STs are an old fav and can be gotten relatively inexpensively if you take your time on Ebay. In case you have not spent time there, always go for good measurements and look carefully at the pictures to see that they are in fact the same construction..getters the same shape and size and in the same configuration, the same glass and mica arrangements etc. This holds true for all tubes. It does matter. You can contact sellers if there is question too. The RCAs cover the same territory as Ruby's, but they tend to do it in a much more facile way, drawing out more natural body, subtlety, smoothness, inner detail and micro detail if your system is revealing.

My fav 5V4G/GZ32 is Mazda. It is a bit more solid, big and revealing than the RCAs I have, particularly in the mids, but generally less easy to find inexpensively.

For inputs, though the MKIV does 6922s exceptionally, I almost always end up with 7DJ8/PCC88s. They are all a little different, but they tend to bring out more fine detail and openness without sounding hard or brash, also having nice texture. I love the early 60s Miniwatt PCC88s (made by Amperex Holland) I found on ebay for good prices. I have a lot I can get to sound great with the right tube compliments though. These tubes are getting more popular, and more sellers are asking higher prices, but if you look, you can still get nice NOS pairs pretty inexpensively, still much cheaper than 6922/E88CCs.


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« Last Edit: 01/01/15 at 02:27:56 by will »  

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patshrews
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Re: Tube Rollin
Reply #4 - 01/01/15 at 02:01:12
 
Hi Will,
I did look through that thread several times. The Gold Lion 6692's opened up sound a lot. I don't know how much better the sound can get. So I want to try the VR's and Rectofiers next. Thanks for the advice!

Pat
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will
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Re: Tube Rollin
Reply #5 - 01/01/15 at 02:39:33
 
Yes, have fun. It can be a labyrinth but also it can be very rewarding. At some point I had enough variations of each tube type that I could get great sound from many tube combinations. Now it is is just really fun to change things up now and then. It makes the system alive, refreshing the music in exciting ways. Also, as I go forward, I am constantly amazed by how the beauty can be taken further. I felt like my system/room was almost eerily real and beautiful years ago, and it was. But now it is well beyond that, though the descriptors are still the same.
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« Last Edit: 01/01/15 at 02:40:41 by will »  

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