Welcome, Guest. Please Login or Register
Decware Audio Forums
10/18/19 at 09:36:08 


     



Pages: 1 2 
Send Topic Print
New Sophia Electric Aqua 274B tube (Read 14067 times)
jslateiv
Seasoned Member
****




Posts: 134
Re: New Sophia Electric Aqua 274B tube
Reply #50 - 09/30/19 at 19:36:58
 
So it goes,..  I guess it just goes to show that it can be hit or miss with these, thus my endorsement of the 'warranty', knowing that other have had issues too.   That's great that your are holding up so well Lon.  I know they see extended use like mine do!  Just wish they had a bit tighter control on the reliability.

 Geno,  I have been very impressed with the 5c3s I picked up from a Russian seller.  A fellow I've actually bought a number of other (6p15-ev / 6n1p / 6n5p, etc..) tubes from.   For the price and favorable comparison to other US brand NOS 5u4g's,  I'm  going to go ahead pick up another 5 or 6  just have in the drawer!
Back to top
 
 

VPI Scout (SS Zephyr MIMC) > Lundahl 1933 SUT > ZP3 > Auralic Aries Mini > PSA DSD w/BridgeII > PSA BHK Pre > 25th Anniv. Zen Amp/Torii Jr./NuForce STA200/TubeLab 300B > Triangle Celius 202 / Zu Omen (Hi-Mod) : PSA P12 : Iconoclast Cabling
  IP Logged
Geno
Seasoned Member
****


Without music, life
would be a mistake.
Nietzsche

Posts: 529
Re: New Sophia Electric Aqua 274B tube
Reply #51 - 09/30/19 at 20:51:42
 
All of the Russian tubes you mentioned are 'Forever tubes' in my Zen.  The combo is good to the point that I don't feel any urge to roll any of them anymore. I do go back and forth between the 6N1P and 6N5P, although the 5 has been in for the last 2 months.
Back to top
 
 

SE84UFO-25thMods
PS Audio DSDAC JR
Cambr Audio CXC
ZBIT
ZLC
Lonely Raven Audio PC
Technics PL 1210MK5-KAB Mods-Soundsm.Carmen MKII
ZP3-25thMods
Zstage
Teac A-3300SR R2R
Caintuck Audio Betsy Baffles & Lii Audio Crystal 10 Baffles
(2) 12" Bass Baff
  IP Logged
JOMAN
Seasoned Member
****




Posts: 368
Re: New Sophia Electric Aqua 274B tube
Reply #52 - 09/30/19 at 21:26:19
 
If bass is what you want try the Mullard GZ34/5AR4 Fat Base, Smooth Plate, F31 Code.  This one is as close as you’re going to get to the Metal Base for a lot less than the Metal base, the mids and highs are among the best.  It’s not as “cool” and doesn’t have the decay of the Metal Base but no other rectifier I’ve tried comes close.  

Probably can pick up a NOS for $50.00 more than the Sophia and IMO it’s money better spent than on the warrantee for the Aqua, based on my experience.
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
jslateiv
Seasoned Member
****




Posts: 134
Re: New Sophia Electric Aqua 274B tube
Reply #53 - 10/01/19 at 01:47:56
 
I don't find myself rolling much anymore either.  I'm currently using a E288cc and everything is just right,  but funny thing with this amp,  I generally find that whatever I put in to try sounds just right (albeit maybe a little different).

Joman,  I've read your previous comments on the 5ar4's over the last few months and have been watching them on ebay.  A metal base just went for ~$250.   I have found some fat/smooth plates but non specifically called out for F31 though I have been watching.  Def. not as many smooth plates out there as the notched versions.  I'll keep my eyes open specifically for a F31 though .  Thanks!
Back to top
 
 

VPI Scout (SS Zephyr MIMC) > Lundahl 1933 SUT > ZP3 > Auralic Aries Mini > PSA DSD w/BridgeII > PSA BHK Pre > 25th Anniv. Zen Amp/Torii Jr./NuForce STA200/TubeLab 300B > Triangle Celius 202 / Zu Omen (Hi-Mod) : PSA P12 : Iconoclast Cabling
  IP Logged
JOMAN
Seasoned Member
****




Posts: 368
Re: New Sophia Electric Aqua 274B tube
Reply #54 - 10/01/19 at 02:58:01
 
The F31, F32 refers to the date of manufacture.  The F31 production is from 1958 - 1962.  Many of these were branded for companies that made amps ie. IECO, but clearly and unmistakably Mullard/Blackburn.  They are supposed to be very long lasting. The F31’s were the immediate successors to the Metal Base.  I picked up A 1958 IECO branded GZ34 and that’s what started the whole process.  

I sure hope the Metal Base that I have last a very, very long time.  Reportedly they can last upwards of 40 years or longer, we’ll see.  If they last 20 they’ll be a steal and I’ll probably be partially deaf at that point.

The F32 were made between 1963 - 1975, usually with 4 notches on the plate edges and I believe, later ones with eight notches.  Stick to the F31 if  at all possible.  Not sure if I would go for the later ones.


Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
JOMAN
Seasoned Member
****




Posts: 368
Re: New Sophia Electric Aqua 274B tube
Reply #55 - 10/01/19 at 10:52:01
 
One other thing....
The F31 or F32 is etched in the glass bottle close to the base along with the Blackburn Factory Code
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
JOMAN
Seasoned Member
****




Posts: 368
Re: New Sophia Electric Aqua 274B tube
Reply #56 - 10/01/19 at 11:14:26
 
I just had a quick look on E Bay and it appears that eventually even the F31 Fat Base production went to 4 notched plates.  I suspect that the Smooth Plate version of the F31 was 1958- 1959 production years, possibly 1960 also.

So it is a rare tube now days, unfortunately.  However given their reputed longevity, may be well worth looking for.


Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
Lon
Seasoned Member
****


"Love without
guts is
worthless!"
Philip K. D*ck

Posts: 16109
Re: New Sophia Electric Aqua 274B tube
Reply #57 - 10/01/19 at 14:36:07
 
jslateiv wrote on 10/01/19 at 01:47:56:
I don't find myself rolling much anymore either.  I'm currently using a E288cc and everything is just right,  but funny thing with this amp,  I generally find that whatever I put in to try sounds just right (albeit maybe a little different).

I agree with this Johnny. As I've had no issues with my Aquas I've used these and Steve's carefully matched and tested output tubes as my "anchors" and find that I can roll voltage regulation tubes and input tubes around them and get great sound from a number of combinations, in effect having a number of different excellent amplifiers. At the moment I'm using a pair of Arcturus 0B3 that have just the right tonal qualities to allow me to use an all Amperex signal chain otherwise: 7308s in the ZTPRE, and 6085 in the ROCK2 and Monoblocks. The 6085 work fabulously in my Mononblocks whether they should or not. They allow me to pump a little more gain into the amps and I am getting a full, rich, textured sound.

I haven't been that impressed with Mullard rectifiers I've used in my amps so am not tempted to explore these expensive options. I'm sure I could roll a number of tube combinations and find better fits than I have before, but I'm just inclined to stay with what I have and am familiar with rolling around.

Regarding the E288CC I have three Valvos with gold pins that are fascinating tubes. I have used them to great effect in my CSP3-25 preamp. I love tall input tubes, they seem to have a complementary magic to tall rectifiers.
Back to top
 
 

HR-1,ZTPRE,ZBIT,ZROCK2,SE84UFO3-25th, CSP3-25th.Taboo Mk IV+MK III;Rega P3 w/modPS Audio:DMP+DSD,P10,NPC,PowerBases,AC-12 pcs; Mapleshade:SamsonV2+V3,double helix Plus spark cbl;Oppo UDP205;VooDoo:Cremona+Amati,Iso-Pods;MD90-T SE tuner; headphones: PM1,HD800S,LCD-
  IP Logged
jslateiv
Seasoned Member
****




Posts: 134
Re: New Sophia Electric Aqua 274B tube
Reply #58 - 10/01/19 at 15:27:09
 
That's interesting on the 6085 in your Mono's,  I'll have to try that out.   I have not found it to be overly favorable in the ZR2.  Seems to want to clip/distort to quickly for me in that position.  I figure it's the very low operating point at which the ZR2 drives the tube from.   The 25th should be operating it at a much closer to 'wanted' point though with higher plate voltage and bias then the ZR2.  

Joman,  do you have any experience with the Matsushita (Japanese Mullard) GZ34 smooth plate?   Supposedly same tooling and material.  Def. alot cheaper then English made.
Back to top
 
 

VPI Scout (SS Zephyr MIMC) > Lundahl 1933 SUT > ZP3 > Auralic Aries Mini > PSA DSD w/BridgeII > PSA BHK Pre > 25th Anniv. Zen Amp/Torii Jr./NuForce STA200/TubeLab 300B > Triangle Celius 202 / Zu Omen (Hi-Mod) : PSA P12 : Iconoclast Cabling
  IP Logged
JOMAN
Seasoned Member
****




Posts: 368
Re: New Sophia Electric Aqua 274B tube
Reply #59 - 10/01/19 at 16:24:25
 
No I do not have any experience with the Matsushita GZ34.  If you try one of these make sure it’s not a re branded soviet rectifier, look at the plate structure.  Evidently that’s what some of the Japanese GZ34’s are/were, so why pay more for a rebranded tube.

I did try two versions of Philips Holland Made GZ34’s smooth plate ‘skinnier base’.  Often you get that these are very close to the metal base or as good as the Fat Base Mullard/Blackburn and I wanted to find out for myself what that meant in reality.

One was a Philips BB the other a Valvo.  The BB has F31 X9D etchings with “Made in Holland” on it.  The Valvo etchings are hard to make out but I can make out X9G which would indicate that it is a Philips made tube.  Didn’t pay a lot, about $80.00 ea.  In no way are these similar to the Mullard Fat Base and not even remotely close to the Metal Base.  This is the part that is hard to accept... that there is a significant difference between these.  If you start with the cheaper “close to” versions you will not want to even consider spending the big bucks for the other two.  I sure wouldn’t.

I started with the Mullard 1958 Fat Base and was very surprised and impressed.  Because of that I then went to the Metal Base.  I just had to find out what “close to” actually meant in reality.  An expensive education, but boy, there’s no way I could have possibly guessed that there would be that kind of difference and what that difference would be as it doesn’t fall into the typical “expected” difference/result.

I agree with Lon.  The other GZ34’s were not that impressive and at $80.00... OK, but not my preference.  So, IMO, it’s the Mullard Fat Base Smooth Plate 1958 - 1959 or if one has the stomach and cash for the cost the Metal Base 1955-1957.  I for one did not think that I would ever think that spending $350 - $450 on a tube would be worth it.  I do now understand why some spend double that for those, I just don’t have that kind of money to spend on a tube.  Rather spend that on the Anniversary upgrades.
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
Lon
Seasoned Member
****


"Love without
guts is
worthless!"
Philip K. D*ck

Posts: 16109
Re: New Sophia Electric Aqua 274B tube
Reply #60 - 10/01/19 at 17:13:23
 
jslateiv wrote on 10/01/19 at 15:27:09:
That's interesting on the 6085 in your Mono's,  I'll have to try that out.   I have not found it to be overly favorable in the ZR2.  Seems to want to clip/distort to quickly for me in that position.  I figure it's the very low operating point at which the ZR2 drives the tube from.   The 25th should be operating it at a much closer to 'wanted' point though with higher plate voltage and bias then the ZR2.  

Interesting. I'm getting excellent sound with the 6085 in the ZROCK2, though admittedly best when used with the same tube in the amps, and with careful adjustment of gain with the DSD, ZTPRE, ZBIT and amps. I'm getting a very black background with large instrumental images and especially good dynamic playback, both micro and macro. It has unseated the 5814A from the ZROCK2, which was not easy to do!

What wonderful components these are.
Back to top
 
 

HR-1,ZTPRE,ZBIT,ZROCK2,SE84UFO3-25th, CSP3-25th.Taboo Mk IV+MK III;Rega P3 w/modPS Audio:DMP+DSD,P10,NPC,PowerBases,AC-12 pcs; Mapleshade:SamsonV2+V3,double helix Plus spark cbl;Oppo UDP205;VooDoo:Cremona+Amati,Iso-Pods;MD90-T SE tuner; headphones: PM1,HD800S,LCD-
  IP Logged
Pages: 1 2 
Send Topic Print