Message started by Chris K on 01/07/10 at 04:50:20

Title: Tube rolling the CSP2
Post by Chris K on 01/07/10 at 04:50:20

Fellow CSP2 fans I have to share that I can heartily recommend the 6CG7/6FQ7 family of twin triode tube in the center position.
I've been running several 6CG7 in the center/input slot, but in particular RCA old equipment pulls, and the result is very nice. It is a tube with a longer plate structure and electrically close to the family of tubes that are spec'd for this preamp. The tube is a bit taller than the height of a 6DJ8/6922. Been running them for 2 months so all is safe. Try it you'll like it :)

Title: Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Post by Rivieraranch on 01/07/10 at 12:43:37

You say "tube rolling;" I say "valve swapping."

I tried some of those 6CG7's in my MLB headphone amplifier, which is the predecessor to the CSP2. I concluded that they lacked the life, sparkle and verve of a 6N1P-EV or a member of the 6922 family of tubes. So I sold my 6CG's.  

Title: Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Post by Lord Soth on 10/31/11 at 16:23:43

There was a very good thread started on the choice of rectifier tubes.

If anyone has tried difference flavours of the 6922/6DJ8/6N1P vacuum tubes, please share your experience here.

Title: Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Post by Lord Soth on 06/03/12 at 08:35:46

For those who are interested, there have been many threads posted in the WWW about people preferring Lorenz Stuttgart Germany PCC88 Tubes over the more famous Siemens CCa Grey shields.

I have personally compared (and preferred) the Lorenz Tubes over the Siemens Grey Shields CCa, Valvo Grey Shields CCa, Telefunken, French Made Philipe E188CC, Russian 6N1P-EV tubes etc...

This is a brief comparative review of the Lorenz PCC88/E88CC/CCa tubes.
I intend to post a more comprehensive review over in the Tubes Asylum Forum in the very near future.
The 5 types of Lorenz (Stuttgart Germany) tubes in my possession are

Lorenz 2 Mica Version
(a) CCa
(b) E88CC
(c) PCC88

Lorenz 3 Mica Version
(a) E88CC
(b) PCC88

I had been using the Lorenz PCC88 2 Mica version rather contentedly for many months now and had only swopped in my other Lorenz tubes from time to time for non-serious comparisons.
Recently, I decided to get really serious.
For a fair comparison, I managed to burn in all my Lorenz tubes for 100+ hrs.
They were all subjected to 24 hours burn in (heater only) and another round of >80 hours of audio burn in using burn-in audio CDs for e.g . the frybaby mp3.

The audio characteristics are as follows:-

Lorenz 2 Mica Version
Since I was in a unique position to be able to compare all these Lorenz variants, one of my discoveries was that the 2 Mica tubes seem to be able to introduce Tube Euphony at certain audio frequencies. They remind me of the frequency equalizers found in some of my older digital hifi equipment.

If you ever played adventure role-playing games such as "The Bard's Tale" series or the recent "Dragon Age: Origins", one of the abilities of a Master Bard is the ability to enthrall audiences. The equivalent over here would be the ability to inject Tube Euphony.

(a) CCa – Best (i.e. most euphoric) Treble or High Frequencies. Best for instrumental audio tracks especially string instruments or Wind instruments.
Best resolution and sonic clarity.
Best Instrument separation. Backup vocal singers are the most distinct from the lead singers.
Mids are slightly warmer than PCC88 version. Soundstage is smaller than PCC88. Mids are slightly more forward than the PCC88.
This tube is highly recommended for Classical music with plenty of string instruments.
On “The Story” by Brandi Carlile, this tube managed to evoke a strong emotional response in me when the guitar was played. So far, no other tube (Lorenz or otherwise) has ever managed to do so. If you want to add a dose of Tube “magic” to your treble, the Lorenz CCa is highly recommended.

(b) E88CC – Best (i.e. most euphoric) Vocals or Mid Range. Best for music with emphasis on vocals. This tube reminds me of the Telefunken family of tubes which can impart special mid-range magic to any song.
2nd best resolution and sonic clarity. Mids are the warmest in the Lorenz family. Soundstage is smaller than PCC88. Mids are slightly more forward than the PCC88.
If you like music with emphasis on vocals, this is the tube for you.
If I did not own the 3 Mica Lorenz variants (details below), I would have considered this to be my personal favourite. This tube can make Madonna sing with emotion! Yes, her contemporary pop songs are catchy but this was the first time I felt so moved by her vocals. As for how magical this tube is, let’s just say that I would not hesitate to put out a “Do Not Disturb” sign when I am listening to Ella Fitzgerald with this tube.

(c) PCC88 – Best (i.e. most impactful) Percussive Drums or low end Bass. You can “feel” the greatest impact from this tube.
Best 3D effect with the largest soundstage of all 5 Lorenz tube variants.
This has a slight sonic “veil” as compared with the other 2 Mica variants.
This tube is most recommended for music whereby the bass is emphasised. This tube literally KICKS ASS! When listening to Japanese Taiko drums on my cans, there are times when I feel as though I am listening to real solid vibrationary drums from speakers.

Lorenz 3 Mica Version

(a) E88CC – Balanced Tube with soundstage about the same size as the Lorenz 2 Mica E88CC and CCa. Is the 2nd best in all audio frequencies as compared with the 2 Mica Lorenz tubes. Mids are slightly more forward than the PCC88.

(b) PCC88 - Balanced Tube with the smallest soundstage. Is the 2nd best in all audio frequencies as compared with the 2 Mica Lorenz tubes.

The best way to describe the 3 Mica Lorenz family tube would be “balanced”.

What I mean is that the 3 Mica Lorenz tubes are outstanding on their own with regard to the low end, the mid range and the top end treble frequencies.
However, they are 2nd best when compared with the Treble of the 2 Mica CCa, the midrange of the 2 Mica E88CC and the low end bass of the 2 Mica PCC88 which were mentioned above.

I would not say that there is any one BEST Lorenz tube.

If your audio chain requires a tweak in the Treble, mid-range or Low End, then I would recommend the Lorenz 2 Mica CCa, E88CC or PCC88 respectively over the other Lorenz tubes.

If you prefer a balanced “workhorse” tube, then the Lorenz 3 Mica tubes are recommended over the 2 Mica variety.

I listen to an eclectic range of music and so my personal favourite tube is now the Lorenz 3 Mica E88CC. This seems to do everything very well. It may lose out to the 2 Mica Lorenz tubes individually but the Lorenz 3 Mica E88CC still manages to impart some (as in a slight amount of) tube euphony into the entire audio spectrum.

As for why I prefer the E88CC over the PCC88, the PCC88 has a slight sonic veil and also has the smallest soundstage of all the 5 tubes which I reviewed. The PCC88 has excellent instrument separation though and when this is combined with a smaller soundstage, the backup singers and main vocals are very distinct but seem to be slightly “squashed together”.

If you are not as perturbed by this audio quirk as I am, then the Lorenz PCC88 3 Mica version should be able to meet the needs of just about any other audiophile out there. Yes, the PCC88 (3 Mica) is really that good!

Title: Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Post by JD on 06/04/12 at 15:24:56

Lord Soth appreciate the detailed info included in your post...knowledge is power thanx for sharing.


Title: Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Post by s1 on 06/13/12 at 04:20:59

+1 Thanks Lord Soth :)

Title: Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Post by Lord Soth on 06/14/12 at 13:50:18

Hi JD and S1,

Thanks for the positive feedback.

Audio-tube rolling and reviewing is really hard work.

BTW, should you ever be looking for Lorenz tubes, Ebay is a very good source.
Just wanted to let you know that Lorenz tubes do show up on Ebay from time to time.

For the CSP2+, all we require is only 1 single tube, so tube hunting is much easier than if we required a matched pair like other tube amps out there.


Lord Soth

Title: Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Post by setamp on 06/25/12 at 13:11:59

I am the new owner of a used csp2+.  It came with a complement of amperex bugle boy 6dj8/e88cc tubes as well as a mullard cv593 rectifier.

while mids and upper mids sound nice and warm and smooth, the bass is soft and flubby.  

where should i begin in tube rolling?  it seems the front tube and rectifier have a large effect on tone.  i would like to tighten up my bass but not lose the volume and weight of bass.  i also prefer a warm sound and deep soundstage.  i am VERY sensitive to glare/grain/harshness in the upper mids/lower highs.

Title: Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Post by Lon on 06/25/12 at 13:53:58

I don't know as much about Amperex Bugle Boys as I do other brands, and I'm not really fond of 6DJ8, but what I've read of them and what little experience I have makes me think they would not be presenting "flabby bass." I'd suggest trying 6N1P tubes in the three spots; sells some very nice ones.  At least try one in the first position. I find these tubes to give warmth and yet not a hint of flab.

The rectifier may be the culprit. I believe the 2+ comes stock with 5U4G type rectifiers and I'd recommend as old an RCA that you can find. . . Try at least a sixties RCA. With these RCAs I almost always get warm but tight bass.

Just my suggestions! Waiting for my own CSP2+ to arrive in a few months.

Title: Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Post by setamp on 06/25/12 at 21:54:51

Please disregard my message above about soft and flabby bass.  I was checking out my system today and realized I had inserted a diy interconnect someone wanted me to try.  I swapped it out for my usual cable and everything is now fine.  Sorry for the false alarm  :-[

Title: Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Post by Lon on 06/26/12 at 12:02:49

Whew! Well, that explains that! Carry on with listening enjoyment!

Title: Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Post by Lord Soth on 06/26/12 at 15:55:02

Posted by: setamp
where should i begin in tube rolling?  it seems the front tube and rectifier have a large effect on tone.  i would like to tighten up my bass but not lose the volume and weight of bass.  i also prefer a warm sound and deep soundstage.  i am VERY sensitive to glare/grain/harshness in the upper mids/lower highs.

Hi setamp, glad to hear that your problem has been fixed.

BTW, for tube rolling, for starters,  you can try the solo input tube in front.
This has a very significant impact on the rest of the sound from the CSP2+ tube amp.

The (legendary) Joe's tube lore over here is a very good resource for tube rolling tips.

The link is over here.

I recently got hold of some Amperex 6922 - Made in USA (* etch) tubes.
They are reasonably priced and offer what you are looking for.

The bass is tight and impactful, not too boomy or flabby.

The Amperex 6922 also adds a nice touch of tube euphonics to the mids and treble.

At the same time, the sound is grainless, i.e. there is no noticeable sonic veil as compared with famous tubes such as the Siemens CCa Grey shields which I have rolled before.

I also recently won some Bugle Boys (D getters) from Ebay for a very good price. I shall post my impressions in the very near future.

Title: Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Post by Rivieraranch on 06/26/12 at 18:21:54

I thought bass was "flubby?"

Title: Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Post by setamp on 06/26/12 at 21:57:22

It was flubby and flabby

Title: Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Post by Lon on 06/27/12 at 00:00:49

I once had a music-loving cat. . . who was tubby and tabby.

Title: Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Post by setamp on 06/27/12 at 12:15:51

I found a trio of 60's vintage 6N1P's that I hope arrive for the weekend.  It will be interesting to see how they affect the sound.

I am assuming a 6H30 cannot be used in the front position as it is not a direct replacement for a 6N1P, 6DJ8, 6922.  Has anyone confirmed this?

Title: Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Post by Lord Soth on 06/27/12 at 13:19:45

According to 2 famous and reliable Tube sellers

"The 6H30 tube type is generally not compatible with 6922 and ECC88 tube types."

And also over here,

"This tube is not a replacement for 6922 or any other tube type."

Title: Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Post by setamp on 06/27/12 at 17:20:54

I asked because I used it in my Dodd tube buffer which allows for its use as well as a 6DJ8 or 6922.

Title: Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Post by Lord Soth on 07/03/12 at 16:13:38

Hi setamp,

In general, for tube amps, you can use an alternative tube if the alternative tube has a lower filament current than the original stock tube as was specified in the original tube amp design.

For example, if you take the case of the CSP2+ which was originally designed for the 6N1P tubes,  the filament current of the 6N1P is greater than the alternative European and US ECC88 family of tubes, this is why ECC88, E88CC and 7308, etc can be used instead of the 6N1P.

For the Dodd tube amp, it was originally designed for the 6H30 tube. The 6H30 tube has a larger filament current than the 6N1P tube.

You can compare the specs using the following links.

6N1P : Filament Current of (MIN) 0.55 to 0.65 (MAX) A


6H30P : Filament Current of (MIN) 0.725 to 0.9 A (MAX)

In such cases, it is therefore generally not advisable to use the 6H30P tube in a CSP2+.

Unless you don't mind taking the risk, it is best to check with Steve before you pop in that 6H30 tube.

BTW, this is the technical reasoning behind what Kevin Deal was trying to say at his website.

"Do not use a 6N1P in a 6922 position. But you can almost always use a 6922 in a 6N1P position in products like Peachtree Audio and others.

Do not use a 6H30. The 6H30 is a completely different tube. You also cannot use a 6922 in a 6H30 position except for a couple rare preamps, check with the manufacturer."  

Title: Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Post by setamp on 07/04/12 at 01:41:29

Lots of good info.  Thank you for taking the time and effort to post this.

Title: Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Post by Lord Soth on 07/23/12 at 17:52:00

For those who are lusting after the Lorenz but can't get hold of them,
a suitable and worthy replacement would be the normal Amperex (*USA) 6922 which is cheap and readily available.

I finally carried out an audio shootout between the Pinched Waist 6922 Amperex (* USA) versus my stash of Lorenz tubes.

The PW 6922 has the treble euphonic extension of the Lorenz CCa (2 Mica) and the Midrange euphony of the Lorenz E88CC (2 Mica).
The bottom end of the PW 6922 has punch but loses out slightly to the Lorenz PCC88 (2 Mica).

Another way of looking at the PW 6922 is that it is similar to a Lorenz PCC88 (3 Mica) or Lorenz 6922 (3 Mica) in being balanced sonically.
However, the PW 6922 still does sound slightly better at both the Treble and the Midrange.
The normal Amperex 6922s themselves are also almost as good (IMHO at least 90%) as pinched waist Amperex 6922s.
The usual drill about "D" getters and grey shields being better also apply as usual. ;)
Epilogue or Prologue as the case may be. Joe was right!
IMHO, the Amperex PW 6922s are the King of the hill! :)

Title: Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Post by Lon on 08/19/12 at 21:41:34

No lusting after Lorenz for me. My CSP2+ is arriving Wednesday and I'm going to use three supercryo'd 6N1P tubes from -- these have been my favorite tubes for the Torii and my CSP2. Looking forward to breaking in the preamp, its flexibility and any differences between this and the CSP2. Now my dream system really only lacks one thing: a ZP3. Time to start saving, thinning the herd, etc. for that beauty.

Title: Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Post by sberger on 08/20/12 at 01:14:18

Lon great news! Looking forward to your review(s) out of the box and as it breaks in and makes friends with your Torii. I'm really enjoying my Artemis LA-1 per but I would like to try to get my CSP2 back in the chain.

Those N1P's sound great. I should try some although I presently have Amperex's 6922's, 6DJ8's, 7DJ8's, Edwisian 6922's, Mullard 6922's and some I'm sure I'm forgetting. Wouldn't mind finding some of those Lorenz's either but they're almost impossible to source.

Title: Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Post by Lon on 08/20/12 at 02:33:41

I'll definitely be posting impressions, you know me.

I've tried all kinds of tubes in the front end of the Torii and in all holes of the CSP2 and I just keep going back to the 6N1P. Just has the "forgiving" little bit that I need and the best overall tonal qualities for my collection and room.

Title: Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Post by Lord Soth on 05/03/13 at 19:17:00

I finally got down to rolling my NOS Matched Pair of Siemens E288CC (grey shields) tubes.

These tubes are considered to be a dark horse due to much bashing by Joe's tube lore. However they have earned much praise elsewhere too.

So the question to any tube roller would be, what do these sound like in the CSP2+???

When used as a preamp, the Siemens E288CC works great in the 2x output section.
Without any prolonged burn-in, the tubes are a sonic equivalent ( in my setup) to the Siemens 7308.
Since tubes will improve with use, I'd expect them to surpass the E188CC eventually.

According to the E288CC data sheet, the E288CC is supposed to have higher GM vs the "normal" 6DJ8/E88CC/E188CC.
When used as a preamp, what is interesting to me is that my volume knob choices were maintained at exactly the same level as before.
In the CSP2+, with the self - biasing design, I have found that I have gotten the same volume as the 6DJ8/E88CC/E188CC tubes.

When used as a headphone amp, however, I have to reduce the volume knob by 1 notch.

Some of my sonic impressions of the E288CC are :-

1. Bigger Sound stage vs 7308 Siemens
Live recordings make you feel like you are really there.

2. Crystal clear vocals like the Siemens CCA tubes - these are factory selected UBER tubes

3. Natural tonality - pianos sound like they are in the room

4. Transparency
I normally do not use my CSP2+ with my SE tube power amp because I can hear a slight sonic veil.
What I'd surprising here is that for once I can't detect any sonic veil! :)
For once I can have my cake and eat it coz the CSP2+ still adds a touch more of organic tube warmth and 3D holographic imaging to my set-up.

5. Treble
Hi frequencies are well rendered.
Cymbals have a nice sheen and sparkle.
Strings have "emotional" appeal with great tonal decay, ranks among the best tubes I have heard.

6. Bass
Above average.
Tight and not inadequate in any way.

My source : OPPO 95.
My other tubes are 1x Brimar 5R4GY RECTIFIER and 1x Amperex Pinched Waist 6922 *USA for the input section.
My headphones: Beyer T1.

Title: Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Post by Francesco on 09/29/13 at 00:58:11

hello peoples
Let introducing myself
My name is Francesco from Montreal Canada, a couples of weks ago i bought used a CSP 2+ with the russian tubes and the 5U4 Chinese
after testing with my tube tester the 6N1P-EB was no too good, so I decide to start a tube roling, i try same Tunsgram 6922 to noisy, russian 6922 no good, amperex 6dj8 bof!!
Then i put 3 philips E188CC from holland 1965 and a 5U4 GB Philips Miniwat also from Holland, and ........WOW....WOW
My monoblock 845 have a new life, strong and tight bass very musical
I am very Happy, thanks Mr Deckert
Sorry about my poor English

Title: Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Post by Lon on 09/29/13 at 01:29:54


Welcome! Glad you enjoying the Decware sound.

And your English is very good!

Title: Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Post by will on 09/29/13 at 06:33:44


Thanks for your input. Right now I am running some early 60s Amperex E188CC in my Torii and I really like them! I have not tried them in the CSP3 yet. In the CSP3 I am using Ultron 6BQ7As drivers, an Ediswan (Mullard) 6DJ8 input, and a 50s GE/RCA 5U4G-ST. Also WOW! I too am getting a very strong, tight bass, and really there is brilliant clarity and dynamics throughout...all delivered very musically.

Title: Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Post by Francesco on 09/29/13 at 12:54:52

Bonjour Will & Lon
The preamp sound well also with A Sylvania 5931 JAN.
The 5U4 GB is branded Philips Miniwat but is a GE USA, I forgot to mention that, here is a picture

Title: Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Post by Rivieraranch on 09/29/13 at 13:19:53

Etched glass is definitely GE. Glad you found your right tubes.

Title: Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Post by Francesco on 09/29/13 at 13:38:32

I Riviera ranch
Wath is this the tubes configuration for your Preamp?
du you use the 6Q7B, wow is sound?

Title: Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Post by Rivieraranch on 09/29/13 at 18:31:34

Lord South here is the expert on tube swapping in this amp.

I am using GE 6BQ7A tubes screened for Tektronix. They are drier and more accurate than the standard 6N1P-EV.

You might want to start with 3 6N1P-EV tubes in all positions and work from there.

Try 6BQ7A; 6922, 6N23P, 7308 and if you haven't lost your mind then you can venture into the exotic - E188CC; E288CC, etc.  

Title: Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Post by KobeeDog on 04/26/14 at 02:07:03

I have a spare Gold Lion 6922 laying around. Has anyone tried this tube in the #1 position?

Title: Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Post by will on 04/26/14 at 04:26:12

I have tried a lot of various tubes in the first postion. It will work there. Why not give it a listen?

Title: Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Post by KobeeDog on 04/26/14 at 20:00:42

Tried it. Sounds pretty good. Sounds more and airy than the previous tube in there, which has always been my experience with 6922 tubes.

I'm guessing 6922 will work in the other spots as well?

Title: Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Post by Lon on 04/26/14 at 20:14:25

Yes, it will.

Title: Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Post by KobeeDog on 04/29/14 at 02:46:16

OK, I tried the 6922 in the front slot and it caused a noticeable hum, an unforgivable sin, in my opinion.

I put the original tube back in, and no hum.

Title: Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Post by will on 04/29/14 at 04:10:34

I am a little confused. I thought when you first tried the gold lion 6922, and it sounded good, it was in the "1st" or front position??? I suspect that if it caused hum there, it is likely that tube itself rather than the tube type or the pre-amp. In my experience, it is the second position (pair) that can be a little tricky.

Title: Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Post by KobeeDog on 04/29/14 at 11:40:00

The preamp originally came with a Sylvania tube (not sure what kind, but I don't think a 6922) in the front position.

I swapped that out the other day for the Gold Lion 6922. I'm not sure if the hum started last night (when I first noticed it), or if it had been there all along.

I suspect it just started, because with music not playing, I can hear the hum from my listening position, about 10 feet away. I would have noticed that before, right?

Title: Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Post by Luis on 03/01/15 at 09:15:45

Hi, anyone using at the moment a 7dj8 as input? I was wondering how this could sound with two 6n1p-ev. Thanks, Luis

Title: Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Post by mark58 on 03/01/15 at 13:22:04

Luis, I haven't used that tube type but I know Will has and really likes them but I don't know if he's tried it in a CSP.  He's talked about them in his Torii MK IV and III.  He'll give you his impression when he gets on today.  Mark.

Title: Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Post by Luis on 03/01/15 at 15:14:20

Good to know, thanks Mark. Luis

Title: Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Post by mark58 on 03/01/15 at 15:36:49

Luis,  I'm nearing the end of Will's Opus on the Torii MK IV and he lists what he is currently using in his CSP3..."Tubes are now: an American Amperex 7308 in front, a pair of Phillip/Holland E188CC in the power positions, and a 1940's Westinghouse labelled (looks like an RCA) 5R4GY-ST"

I too am using an Amperex 7308 as an input in my CSP3 but I'm using the stock Valve Art 274B as rectifier and a pair of 60's triple mica Russian Military 6N1P-E boxed anode tubes as outputs.  So far this combo is my favorite.  I am not good at putting what I hear into Audio Lingo so I'll leave that to others. My advice, which I found difficult to follow myself, is take it slow.  Only change one thing at a time and live with it for a while before moving on to other changes.  This is a Marathon, not a 50 yard dash.  Enjoy, Mark.

Title: Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Post by Luis on 03/01/15 at 18:34:01

I look for the triple mica 6n1p from time to time and I never find any, as much as I like the 6n1p-ev those are some I would like to try! Luis

Title: Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Post by mark58 on 03/01/15 at 18:59:37

Luis,  these are the ones from the Russian seller that I, Syd (Marky) and Funch have bought.  I'm not sure why there's a $5 difference. I recommend them. Mark.

Title: Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Post by Luis on 03/01/15 at 19:05:27

Alright Mark! Thanks! Luis

Title: Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Post by will on 03/03/15 at 23:36:34

Luis, I have been playing around the last few days with PCC88s, and though it usually takes several days for me to really hear some changes fully, I really like them so far.

Mine is a CSP3 with jupiter caps. As Mark said, I had been using a USA Amperex 7308 in the input and Phillips SQ E188CC in the 2nd positions, with a Westinghouse labelled 5R4GY (probably a 40s RCA). This set came from attempts to get the CSP3, linear, extended, slightly warm, and with the a high level of complex detail. “Detail” is an odd thing we all interpret it in our own ways. My explorations are showing me there is more to it than I thought. It is definitely a part of what we associate with clarity and brightness, but it has many layers and levels if the gear can pull it, and this is what I have been looking into. In doing so, I found I could have high levels of detail without hardness, I believe due to an actual increase that is more layered. With more layers of detail, more particles so to speak, micro detail and inner detail....if it is all there, and in balance, the perception of detail can be softer and more more bits creates greater resolution. I can't recall why I got onto 6922s in front before, but the 7DJ8 can be very good for micro detail also.

As with everything, if our system/rooms are revealing as Decware can be, everything effects everything else. As an example, for a short while I had been listening to Reflektor 6P3S-E power tubes, and they are warmer, wetter, richer, and have a different way of balancing the highs and mids than the more linear Genalex KT66 I am used to. So when I started testing PCC88s in the CSP, they were harder to read. Putting back the Genalex, everything is more familiar and less colored, so easier for me since the system and my mind are tuned to the Genalex.

Generally, the PCC88/7DJ8 sort of combines traits of 6DJ8/ECC88 and 6922/ texture of 6DJ8s, and speed, articulation and linearity similar to the 6922, but also, there is the PCC88 open spaciousness, generally across the spectrum, and great texture, that give it a “live” feel that is its own trait.

Compared to 6922s, most are a little less extended on bottom, but don't feel lacking to me, the bass generally pretty fast and solid. Most are notably clear and open, with a relatively strong sense of micro detail complexity. The openness contributes to detail complexity and “liveness,” the very empty space between notes helping everything to emerge with clarity, micro detail and the associated texture and feathered edges,. This also is good for ambient information near and far.

The 6922 type, is probably the most dynamic, extended and neutral in frequency balance, but the more defined edges can be hard and/or cool when it does not work, and they can feel a little “too good,” lacking off-beat character that can accent musicality. Alternately, 7DJ8's slightly reduced bass extension, open spaciousness, and micro detail articulation, depending on everything else in the system/room, they could come off as too clear.

Like all tube types, these are generalities and different makes and vintages can vary quite a lot within the type tendencies.

And it all depends what we start with. The PCC88 traits may be just right to wake up a system. Or if what we have is satisfying as-is, they could throw off the balance. But with some other tubes to play with, and/or amp adjustments, a change that may be a little too much at first, can turn into great beauty with some tuning.

So who knows.

For context, without changes other than putting back in the Genalex KT66, I put my favorite black plate 6N1P in front of the CSP (I have never heard the 3 micas). The 6N1P  sounds quite good to me, though less refined after the 7308. Similar warmth, the 6N1P has a softer, less defined (but still nice) bass; more textured and pleasantly forward/clear mids (more mid-mids focus enhancing close ambience); though nicely detailed feeling, it has less complex/micro detail and is less extended on both ends; and they are less solid overall. The 7308 is more linear, accurate and complete, which can be good or bad depending on objectives and what we are putting it with. I had put the 7308 in for its accuracy, including micro detail, extension, dynamics, definition....but with a pleasant warmth and smooth musicality that seems to be inherent to this tube. That said, with this tube set, I enjoy the 6N1P, musical, fresh and forgiving, though I personally prefer the 7308's more complete sound.

Then I put a Miniwatt PCC88 with a large O getter. It was not as loud as the 6N1P, so I upped the main volume a little to compensate, but this made it sound a little thick, especially in the mid-bass. So I tried increasing the power tube (2nd) silver volume pots. I had been running them on 8 and the front ones on 9. Now they are both on 9 and for some reason, the sound got better, evening up the presentation of the PCC88, more powerful notes from clearer space and no notable low end thickness. Maybe it has something to do with the 7 volts of the PCC88, or maybe the CSP balance, but it brought it out very nicely. Warm, but open and fresh.

Compared to the 7308, it has a little less bass extension, but with the PCC88's fast, revealing character, it feels solid and extended in a different way....and with its characteristic open spaciousness and quite good micro detail and texture, the edges are softened but nice and clear, notes coming from more space. They sound very good. Compared to the 6N1P, these are more linear with the a similar mid openness, but the openness spreads down and up with the PCC88. Nice. I see this tube now and then at reasonable prices on ebay.

Then I tried a warmer National PCC88. With the 2nd knobs on 8, these had an odd imbalance. Very clear mids, but mids up, less complex, making them a little rigid. And the lower-mids to the low bass was warmer, softer and less defined than the Phillips, a bit muddled by comparison. I have never fallen for this tube for these reasons. But with the second pots on 9...again a really good change with this particular tube set. Though with less complex detail and the slightly soft/dark/less defined low mids (compared to the Miniwatt) it sounds really good to me. Closer to the 6N1P warmth and frequency balance, but it has more micro detail balancing the mids, upper mids and highs better than the 6N1P...and smoothly. With more open spaciousness, everything feels more alive and present, from bass to highs, open with more balanced ambience than the 6N1P.  I am of course talking in serious listening mode, little things being magnified, but this tube sounds very good, if a little warm for my personal tastes.....this is available from Upscale Audio.

Then I put in a Zaerix labelled PCC88, it looks Russian made. This tube in my experience is sort of on its own as a PCC88. It is extended and extraordinarily spacious, with nice smooth balance. It seemed a bit pushed with the 2nd knobs on 9, so I dropped them back to the original 8 giving more natural tone and dynamics. It's more extended bottom, and sort of big inner spaciousness are really nice; texture is smoother than many PCC88s but present with a sense of complete detail; edges feather well though and this tube is comparatively fast and solid. It covers all ambient information exceptionally. Also a little warm, but still nicely spacious, first impressions are very good. It is still available on ebay.

There are many other nice PCC88s available and I have many more I like, but I need to move on. With three for three PCC88s sounding very good to me once adjusted, it seems a good tube for the input, at least with these tubes, and in this setting. The enhanced open spaciousness of the tube type, the “live player” quality, is quite seductive for me. If these traits sound like what you would like, I would by all means try one in the CSP input. Thanks for the reminder.

Title: Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Post by Luis on 03/04/15 at 16:29:21

Will!! thanks a lot for the answer, I really appreciate the effort!! I´m currently using an Amperex bugle boy 6dj8 with two 6n1p-ev in my CSP2+ with great success but I don´t really have the possibility of doing such a great tube rolling so that´s why I really appreciate your opinion and Mark´s and Lon´s and many others that are always ready to help!! Thanks, really!! I will definitely look for one 7DJ8 to see how they work! Luis

Title: Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Post by will on 03/04/15 at 23:17:00

Luis, I put in a mid-60's Bugle Boy 6DJ8. I used it for quite a while several years back and was surprised how well I remembered it. I like it with this tubes set, the Phillips E188CCs and Westinghouse 5R4GY. With the CSP3 settings on 9 in front and back, and the main volume pointing to the outside edge of the 2nd, right volume pot, I did a brief comparison with the Zaerix labelled Russian PCC88. I was surprised that the BB seems to have a bit more bass, or maybe the PCC88 is just tighter?...close though. It is quite open, has a sweet, lively midrange, and an upper midrange-up emphasis. This emphasis seems in relative balance, hearing it more by comparison rather than noting it as and imbalance in the tube's sound. This contributes to its open sound, but can be a little bit peaky there, like with some horns, at least in this room and with my system setup today&*()_+. At the same time, the mid-mids have a really pleasant character, sweet and mellow, being a little receded...but again no sense of the balance being off except by comparison. I like the tube here.

The PCC88 seems similar in the upper mids, but being a little more open, particularly below, it has a bit more clear character, more balanced, with less of that upper range peakiness...probably because it is more linear, the openness everywhere. This makes the textures and ambient information a bit more complete.

That said, the BB is a nice sounding tube in the input to me. It seems quite like a PCC88 with similar traits so you might enjoy the the 7DJ8.

Hope this helps.

Title: Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Post by mark58 on 03/04/15 at 23:31:01

Will, your post has me wanting to try my Bugle Boy 6DJ8 in the input of my CSP3 tonight.  Currently I have a pair that I use as inputs when using my Omega Alinco Super 7XRS speakers with my Monos...might have to pick up another if I like one in the CSP3.  In the Monos they tone down the high end that's very extended on the Omegas.  If they have the same effect on my main system, that'd be a plus right now.  Maybe I'll try them in place of the Amperex 7308's in the Torii to see what happens.  Mark.

PS...first I have to put the 15 ohm resistors in the HR-1's but after a couple LPs, I'll pop in the Bugle Boy...

Title: Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Post by will on 03/05/15 at 00:50:29

Hey Mark. Nice you have some handy to try. I tend to get more irritated by the upper mids and lower highs, I think the area the BB seems to emphasize a bit, at least in the context of their particular balance and sound. Those Omegas and monos sound less forgiving than the torii and Hr-1s. Part of BBs character compared to the 7308s seems to be its more open, textured and more feathery character...softer and mellower than 6922s though clear. Even though the American Amperex are mellow for the type, they are so articulate and powerful, you may be onto something. Hope so. Sounds like some fun testing all around. I'll be interested in what you hear.

Title: Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Post by mark58 on 03/05/15 at 01:20:38

Will, I won't be trying the Bugle Boys tonight.  The 15 ohm resistors are to much tweeter attenuation in the HR-1s as I suspected but I'm not going to have enough time tonight to investigate more LPs with the BBs will have to wait.

The Zu Audio Souls with the Amperex 7303's as inputs in the Monos are perfect. The Souls with the Monos is a bit warmer and forgiving combo.  My favorite in my second system.

I'm going to set up my Taboo and Audeze cans in the Den now to watch and listen to a live feed of a benifit here in Dallas called "Cancer Blows", it was sold out.  Doc Sevirnsen and Aurturo Sandavol are two of many to be playing with the UNT One O'clock Lab Band.  Mark.

Title: Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Post by will on 03/05/15 at 02:29:18

Wow Mark, you have regular audio playground! Sounds like a lot of fun!

Title: Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Post by Luis on 03/06/15 at 16:57:32

Sure it helps Will! thanks. Luis

Title: Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Post by will on 03/10/15 at 02:23:13

This PCC88 input is interesting. I alway find a point at which the CSP3 is doing its thing too much for my tastes. Often I hear it better when I am not in the listening room. Just too much clarity, articulation, and dynamics... the effect can be seductive at first, but then I hear it sort of like the music is being dissected by the power and spacious dynamics. As I get used to this tube I am moving settings in the opposite direction from when I first changed to the PCC88 from the Amperex 7308.

It seems the generalized PCC88 character is similar to a lot of what the CSP3 does on its own, open spaciousness, inner detail, articulation, powerful dynamics. With a revealing tube set, the tube can be a little tricky to get "just right."

I am still exploring, mainly the silver pot balance... I tried different rectifiers, and that was interesting, but this GE labelled 5R4GY is just so alive and complete, it ends up back in, though its dynamics and clean transparency can make it tricky too. With 7308s I Last ended up with the front pots on 9 and the back two on 7 or 8.

With a Mullard 7DJ8 input I have in now, I first raised the back two pots to 9, but now it looks like I am heading back to 9-10 in front, and 7 in back???

I don't know where it will end up, but there is a lot good about PCC88s, and I like it when a change forces me to explore a different CSP3 balance....I get to learn in the process and lots of times end up with better sound than before!

Title: Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Post by Luis on 03/10/15 at 20:52:24

A lot to learn and enjoy in the process Will! I usually keep my CSP2+ with the volume around 10-12 with the inputs wide open and the outputs at 3-5, this is with a RCA 5Y3-GT, 2x6n1p-ev and the BB 6dj8. Luis

Title: Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Post by will on 03/10/15 at 22:21:43

Hey Luis. Wow, those are pretty low key settings, and with a pretty low key rectifier too.

I wonder how the CSP2+ and CSP3 compare. When I got the CSP3 first, with stock caps and a little different electronics I think I used it with the front pots on 9 and the back on 5. Mine was #3 and the pre may have changed later. I sent mine back since it was not compatible with most tubes in the second position. Steve modded it to be more accepting of tubes other than 6N1P and put in Jupiter caps. Since then I have liked it higher for main volume and the second pots and this is what I wonder about...

I don't really think this matters that much though. I am just realizing it may be good for me to revisit these settings now and then, especially with notable tube changes. And it is interesting and fun!

Title: Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Post by Archie on 03/10/15 at 22:46:01

I thought they looked low too but not if he is referring to the face of a clock.  ?

Title: Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Post by JD on 03/11/15 at 00:54:23

I've recently been playing with the inputs and outputs on my CSP2+ and found it's synergy or lack of within my system has a lot to do with my rectifier(s) of choice in both this preamp but more importantly in the TORII III. As a result I've gone back to early 50's RCA 5u4g in the ZP3, CSP2+ and the TORII III. I love the precise and direct sound produced by my early 40's 5r4gy double getters but I needed to make too many adjustment based on artist, recording and sometimes song to song...became too tedious.  I currently have my inputs dialed down 2 spots and my outputs dialed down 3-4 on the CSP2+.  This is mainly while listening to my magnum dynalab tube fm tuner.  When I'm listening to vinyl I often toy with them more often, turning down inputs more when playing classical, especially chamber music while pop and world music gets the inputs bumped up.


Title: Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Post by Syd on 03/11/15 at 13:22:03

Thats interesting about trying to tailor the sound with tubes, sometimes track by track, JD.
I`m burning in 4 6P3S-E in my Rachaels. With around 40 hrs on them, and at the moment on a cd loop as I write. They take each album, and put a `spin` on them. Stuff gets highlighted, not as per usual that I`m used to. Not just instruments but essence. Big word essence, hifalutin` if applied to audio, but thats the only way I can nail it. The tubes may level out with more hours, and Mark did say they could need 100hrs+. I  wouldn`t roll tubes per track.....I`d be up and down like a ........ :)
So the CSP2+`s volume is 9-10 o`clock. Pre ins back 1 click. Pre outs back 2-3 clicks. I`ve been using the pre outs to add some heft when needed.

Title: Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Post by JD on 03/11/15 at 13:38:27

I really love the ability to make so many adjustments on the CSP2+ and the TORII III. With that said it's also not for the faint of heart because the amount of adjustments can be overwhelming.  I enjoy buying tubes and figuring out what works and sounds best at the time. I've realized my mood and the temp/humidity plays a large role as well in my listening environment.

Happy Listening


Title: Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Post by will on 03/11/15 at 19:36:37

JD, I agree, rectifiers are amazing tuning tools, and that the RCA 50s 5U4G (at least the ST shape) is a great all around rectifier. Also that the double getter 5R4GY can be demanding if not in the right company. It sounds like you and Syd's CSP2+ settings are pretty close to what I have been liking too. Interesting dialing back the input a bit with classical. Is this to calm the edges a bit? I would not want tubes sets that made me adjust based on artist either.

Syd, essence sounds like a good thing for making music...those tubes are their own thing for sure!

Title: Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Post by JD on 03/11/15 at 21:57:34

Will, yeah softening the edges some in regard to the wild fluctuations of volume in a lot of classical recordings.  I'm still in the experimental stages of turning down the inputs, but in most pieces my favorite parts are the various crescendos in a piece not always the climax. By lowering the inputs I feel I enjoy the crescendos more while not having to jump up and turn down the tune as it reaches it's climax as to not upset the neighbors, landlord or my ears.


Title: Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Post by will on 03/11/15 at 22:19:08

Right JD, this is interesting. Thanks for the tip. I will play with that some. I am looking for settings I stay with (at least based on the particular tube set), but I think this is similar to one of my most difficult tuning areas. Especially with vivid and dynamic tubes like the early RCA 5R4GY, and the MKIV and CSP3s dynamic nature, peaks from really clean and dynamic recordings or movies can get scary.

Title: Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Post by Luis on 03/15/15 at 22:11:40

Hi all, right now (listening to Sonny Stitt "Sits In The Oscar Peterson Trio") with the CSP2+ inputs 10 clicks/10, outputs 5/10 and volume 13/20 and the SE34I.2 with the volumes at 10/10. Luis

Title: Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Post by Lon on 04/23/16 at 13:44:36

I discovered a trio of NOS Valvo E288CC tubes in boxes in a stash I haven't visited in years, I bought them as Lord Soth had such good experience with a pair as drivers in his preamp in '13, I think I popped them in but was in love with the 6N1P tubes then (I actually think this was because of the power treatment and interconnect choices I had then) and didn't really get them broken in and put them away. In the meantime I introduced regenerated power and better interconnects and fell in love with the Amperex 7308s Mark tugged my coat-tails toward, and then found an RCA labeled Siemens 7308 and a matched pair of unbranded 7308s that really worked well in my CSP2+. But I still found a sort of thickening of the sound with the CSP2+ that worked well with the ZP3 and the Denon universal player but that I don't prefer with the PS Audio DirectStream DAC (my main source). So I thought I would try out these beautiful pristine Valvos.

I have about 150 hours of use on them now and they're wonderful tubes. Just as the bottle type regulators and rectifier tubes seem to offer a sort of texture and clarity that the shorter straight shouldered tubes don't in my system, these taller preamp tubes offer an appealing onion of texture and a bell-like clarity. This gives a spaciousness that is clear and crisp and breathes without the slight cloak of midrange warmth the 7308s brought to the preamp. I confess I still prefer the DirectStream directly into the Torii and that doesn't surprise me. But LP playback and DVD and Blu-ray and SACD disc playback are a bit improved, with a touch more macro-dynamic contrast and a bit less congestion and a "compressed" feeling to the sound than any other tube complement in the CSP2+ has brought. Headphone listening is also very pleasant, a bit less of an "in the head" experience. I rolled a few rectifier types but keep coming back to the old RCA 5Y3GT tubes I prize--in the CSP2 and CSP2+ and ZP3 these just present the most "accurate" and tonally balanced sound in my system.

I tried two of the trio of E288CC tubes in the Torii in place of the Amperex 7308s . . . . Interesting difference, ultimately there's a touch of warmth to the Amperex 7308s that I am so used to that I wanted back, but the Valvos are truly suitable for the Torii and I may try them again with more hours on the tubes. I can recommend this tube type for the CSP2+ and may try a different brand at some point in the future.

Title: Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Post by will on 04/23/16 at 19:04:52

I don't get a thickened sound with the CSP3 but all the tubes are chosen to reveal "transparency" and avoid density that is thick or dark. Also, my cables are not particularly warm, though not cool either...I choose them for "transparency," "accuracy," and "musicality." I seem to start with balance and lucidity, and then warm it up a little if needed, but only with tubes that do little or no masking. It is interesting how much the "foundation" effects the choices and results. I use the same basic method with the Torii, spacious, but with balance, body and a little warmth.

I have liked the E288CC in the CSP3 before, but from my usual open/spacious foundation, it is so open, dynamic and powerful, I usually need to compensate with some warmth and calming it down a little elsewhere, so I can see why a 5Y3GT came back in with your experiments.

I have one pair labelled Valvo E288CC that are Siemens made. The maker is clear on this tube with the date code stamped on an internal shield. I have another with a simple red E288CC and nothing else, that is supposed to be Siemens made also and does look almost exactly the same except the stamped shield, so I am guessing it is Siemens but a different vintage... I thought I remembered a Phillips labelled pair that also looked the same. I can't find that pair though. Maybe I hid it in the workshop system somewhere, or I may be making that up#$%^&*().... Anyway I wonder if Siemens made most of them or if those are just more available.

I used an American Amperex 7308 in the input of the CSP3 for quite a while with either open PCC88s...or Mullard made, Phillips labelled E188CCs, Phillips labelled E88CC SQs (also Mullard), or similarly articulate and balanced tubes for outputs. Here, all of these are open but friendly. I liked the American Amperex, with great midrange clarity and texture, bass response, and nice "warmth" that does not cause spaciousness degradation in the right company...But finally it is a little veiled in micro information for me...mostly on top, so I don't use it anymore.

Also, in this foundation, an early RCA 5Y3GT always sounds good to me at first, but finally a little unnatural...a little restrained and held back, but I have not tried it with the big E288CCs!

The tubes staying in the CSP3 lately here are a 60's Phillips PCC88 in front, a pair of early 60's Valvo E88CC (similarly articulate and spacious to the E2s, but mellower) and a warm but revealing Fivre GZ32 for a rectifier.

It is fun to watch things shift and change and to notice a system develop, finally perhaps resulting in similar qualities but from different approaches...everything based on everything else.

It has been a little surprising to me to see you shifting toward more open tubes. Makes sense with your front end change, noise work, and cable changes. I also wonder if your Austin room may have been biased a little bright and away from warmth/bass comparatively. It is all fun!


Title: Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Post by Lon on 04/23/16 at 19:23:28

The room change may have a lot to do with it. I've never had true transparency with the CSP2+ and I get a thickening which I hear and think of as compression when the output controls are high, I run them mid to low with my sources (though I did run them higher with earlier sources). Anyway I do NOT like to keep rolling tubes and I do shy away from the really revealing of the innermost detail because most of the material I listen to just doesn't sound its best to me in that sort of a complement. I'm glad I dug these Valvos out (can't see Siemens anywhere on them but they look as if they might be) and I'll be keeping them in (my fondest wish is to have tubes that really do what I want in th system and just leave them be!)

It's interesting that of all the tube rolling I've done lately the tubes that had the biggest impact and won't be going anywhere are the Arcturus 0B3s in the Torii. They just impart an ease and openness that no other 0B3 or 0A3 can or does (I know that 0C3 and 0D3 aren't a good fit for my system). I hope these two OLD tubes last forever! They seem to be the lynchpin that ties my tube complements all together.

Title: Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Post by will on 04/23/16 at 19:39:03

Interesting the Arcturis OB3s. I remember hearing from Brendan at Tube World that they were all made by Sylvania. And all I have with different labels do look like only two different tube constructions from the same company. According to Brendan, these construction differences defined the earlier and later ones. I have some Sylvania labelled, Dumont, Westinghouse, Raytheon, Marconi... All are one of the two constructions, but I think most of mine sound a little different, and not just the vintage difference. Nice you got such a good pair. I seem to use my Dumont labelled ones most these days, always ending up with OB3s in when I try the others for a time. There have been cases when early 40's Hytron OC3 give me an openness I need if the tube set is too dense but otherwise amazing, but rarely do I shift from OB3s.

Title: Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Post by Lon on 04/23/16 at 20:17:03

Interesting, I didn't know that about the Arcturus being made by Sylvania. I have a few other Sylvania 0B3 and they don't sound the same to me. These just have been the anchor for me for some time, once I started using the KT66 these were the ticket.

Title: Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Post by will on 04/23/16 at 23:42:05

Can't say for sure not having seen an Arcturus OB3, but this is what Brendan told me. I guess it is the same coke bottle shape as the other OB3?

Title: Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Post by Lon on 04/24/16 at 03:28:40

Pretty much the same as far as I can tell.

Title: Re: Tube rolling the CSP2
Post by Lon on 05/10/16 at 21:21:41

I've done a bit of tube-rolling and I have settled on the RCA 7308 and the pair of unlabeled 7308s again. When I rolled rectifier tubes (a '40s Philco 5Y3G instead of a similarly old RCA 5Y3G) these give me a touch of warm vividness that was missing. . .and that I am liking a lot, especially for headphone use. (And that's about half the use of the preamp).

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