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Rectifier Tubes (Read 3904 times)
will
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Re: Rectifier Tubes
Reply #50 - 07/08/19 at 16:41:37
 
Good to hear Lon.
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Power-PSA P5, Brickwall/Shunyata Defender+>RevolutionMacMini/Audirvana>Kitsune Singxer>Gustard x20pro DAC modified; Cables: Pi Audio PC, DIY: PCs, ICs, USB, Speaker; Decware- CSP3, Torii IV, HR1-all modified; DIY ZBIT; feet- Madscientist, Archie's, isocups, DIY +
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JOMAN
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Posts: 368
Re: Rectifier Tubes
Reply #51 - 07/12/19 at 04:41:20
 
Itís time for a follow up on the Philips Miniwatt Metal Base GZ34.  It is now THE permanent rectifier for my UFO-25.  Before I get into some of the specifics, a bit about the tube set in the UFO-25 and the cabling.

UFO-25 Tube set
The rear VR Tubes: Raytheon (CEI Labeled) OA3 GT Bottle
Front VR Tube:       Sylavania OD3W
Output Tubes:        6P15-EV (Decware Supplied)
Input Tube:            Telefunken PCC189

The cables are all Decware except the Coax which is a Snake River Audio, Boomslang:

ZSTYX Speaker cables (connectors Furutech Gold), DSR Silver Reference w/standard connectors, DHC1 Power cables with a mix of Furutech and Neotech Connectors.  I have had these cables for some time so that I would have a base line to work with when tube rolling.

The amp was fast, dynamic and transparent from the outset but the Metal Base GZ34 has really shown what this amp is capable of.  

The outstanding attributes of the Metal Base are Speed,Transparency, Resolution, Decay, and LIQUIDITY.  A review of this tube refers to it as ďminty coolĒ and it also states that it can make bring solid state qualities to a tube system.  I would agree with ďMinty CoolĒ but donít take that to mean that it is somewhat cold sounding.  It is not!  While it isnít Ďwarmí sounding it is utterly EUPHONIC!  Perhaps even more so than some Ďwarmí tubes.

If you are familiar with the ARC sound of the late 70ís, 80ís and early 90ís, when Bill Johnson was the designer, when components such as the Classic 30, VT50, LS5, and the SP series of amps and pre amps prior to the change to the 6H30 tubes, were competing with CJ and McIntosh, thatís the type of sound that I relate to as cool and euphonic, and certainly not solid state like in any way.

That statement was made in the review to try to explain the type of bass that this tube produces, which is another of itís very strong attributes, in fact the best of any other rectifier that I have had.  Punchy, detailed but nothing that would make me relate to the bass of SS gear, at least not in the UFO-25!

The sound stage is also interesting in that itís really not so focused on imaging.  It is expansive and deep depending on the recording.  If the recording is of a live event and well miked you will feel that you are in the audience, I mean REALLY there.  The acoustic qualities of the venue will be very evident because of the incredible layering.  If the recording is of a Jazz Trio, they will be IN YOUR ROOM with you.  It just seems so REAL.  The only other time I felt this to this degree was when I first auditioned an ARC/LP12/Magnapan Tympani system.  That feeling of REAL is what started me down this path and stayed with me all these years.

The other attribute that I found surprising is itís transparency when it comes to the signal that is being fed from other tubes and components. In my CSP-3 the output tubes are Siemens E88CC Grey Plates which sounded far more refined when feeding the Metal Base GZ34.  I wanted to check myself on this so I rolled 6N5Pís.  The sound was Ďwarmerí but with added emphasis on texture, with out any frequency being rolled off.  I related it to the CJ sound, which was the runner up to ARC for me.  Far better than the last time I had these in the CSP-3.  I feel that the Metal Base GZ34 allows all the attributes associated components to come through, at least more so than any other rectifier I have had.

In summary I would say that the Philips Miniwatt is a rectifier with some very special qualities and it is quite unique.  However donít take this to mean that this should be the tube of choice for everyone.  There isnít one tube for all just as there isnít one speaker for all.  Budgets and tastes vary.  This  has been my experience and perhaps thereís something in all this that will be of benefit.
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JOMAN
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Re: Rectifier Tubes
Reply #52 - 08/13/19 at 20:57:39
 
Well, here I go again...

The GZ34 Metal Base in my UFO25 has impressed tremendously, so much so that I just have to try one in the CSP3.  So another is on the way.  This one is a 1956 vintage but otherwise the same as the one in the UFO25.

Iíve been trying to resist getting another because up till now I have not liked the results of using the same rectifier in both the CSP3 and the Amp.  But I have a hunch about the GZ34 Metal Base that I have to explore.

My fall back is the stubby fat bottle Valvo GZ32 made in France in the CSP3.  In fact this combo is so good that I had to wonder why I would need to explore any further.  I guess itís not about it being a need.

Regardless of the outcome, I will predict that after this my tube rolling will be over.
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JOMAN
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Posts: 368
Re: Rectifier Tubes
Reply #53 - 09/02/19 at 21:09:44
 
The second Philips Miniwatt GZ34 Metal Base has arrived and has been in my CSP3 for the past hour.  I was reluctant to get another as up till now I have yet to be satisfied with the results of the same rectifier in both my amp and pre amp.  But I had a gut feel about the GZ34 Metal Base after experiencing what it is all about.  And...  the tube rolling has stopped!

To detail what it does would take a very long time so to be as brief and to the point as I can I will say that it hits ALL the attributes that we can talk about and nails them like no other rectifier that I have tried, ALL OF THEM NO EXAGERATION!  Like the UFO25 it is in a league of its own.

The whole room has become the stage with detail and layers that I did not expect to be achievable.  Everything is so real, so liquid, ...is the best way to describe the results.  As for the bass... solid with impact and tuneful resolution... I had to back off the ZR2.  

Itís a real shame that the prices of this tube continue to increase as this will be a limiting factor and many music lovers will miss the experience.
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pursuitofnow
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Re: Rectifier Tubes
Reply #54 - 09/02/19 at 21:22:36
 
Based on the feedback I will have to try some of the metal base ones in my monoblocks. You weren't kidding on the rising prices... https://www.ebay.com/itm/gz34-tube-5ar4-mullard-nos-nib-valve-metal-base-5u4g-6s...  ;D
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VPI Classic Signature (2M Black)
Decware ZP3-25th > ZSTAGE-25th
PS Audio DirectStream DAC
Decware ZTPRE > ZBIT > ZROCK2-25th
Decware SE84UFO3-25th
Omega Super 3 HO XRS, Deep 8
Zenwave D4, ZSTYX, TWL
PI Audio Uberbuss, Digibuss, Mongo
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JOMAN
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Posts: 368
Re: Rectifier Tubes
Reply #55 - 09/02/19 at 21:49:06
 
I would hold off a bit.  I got my first one, a NOS New in Box for $370.00 USD (which I consider to be a deal), and the second for $320.00 USD.  The second is probably used although hard to tell by a visual inspection and by listening, it was a good buy.

Recently there was a NOS new in box Amprex BB branded Metal Base that went for around the $400.00 mark.  I suspect there will be more at a more reasonable price.  

I just finished listening to Santana... I was 18 again.
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