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Message started by Lonely Raven on 10/30/14 at 20:07:15

Title: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lonely Raven on 10/30/14 at 20:07:15

My birthday is coming up in 2 weeks - I'm thinking about getting some tubes for the ZMA to play with. Anyone do any tube rolling in the ZMA yet?

I'm thinking about some Cryoset  Super Cryo 6N1P-EV

http://www.cryoset.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=251&osCsid=8ead1fd8e328bb27c5bf6c003fb50418


I might be able to swing a quad of Gold Lion KT-66. But I don't think I can afford both pre- and power tubes right now. So I'm just pinging the family to see what others have had good luck with. Either way, I'll update this thread with some thoughts on tubes I've tried once their burnt in a bit, whatever I get.


Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lon on 10/30/14 at 21:26:37

I certainly don't have the ZMA but I used those super cryo'd tubes for years and they are the best of that tube type I've ever used.

I did move to 7308s though, finally. . . .

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by jsm71 on 10/30/14 at 21:33:32

It's funny most of us ZMA lovers are standing pat with the tubes.  I simply didn't think anything was wrong with the sound.  I also wanted to drive the quality of my preamp higher so I put nice NOS tubes in that.  The sound I'm getting now along with a couple of cable swaps is so good changing tubes on the ZMA hasn't entered my mind.

I'm open to be persuaed however.   If you try something that you really like, we are all ears. :)

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lonely Raven on 10/30/14 at 21:50:09


Steve mentioned he's using rare NOS Mazda Red-tips for his input tubes. He said he chose those with his tape setup, but likes other tubes with the DAC setup. I've never seen "mazda red tips" before - if anyone has a link for them I'd like to research a bit. I'm also going to research those 7308 that Lon's mentioned here and elsewhere. I've heard of them, but haven't played with them myself. I think they were a bit expensive if they are the ones I'm thinking of.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lonely Raven on 10/30/14 at 22:05:09

I'm considering trying some of these.

http://www.upscaleaudio.com/matsushita-national-pcc88-7dj8/


Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by will on 10/30/14 at 23:38:08

Raven,

I think I recall Steve saying 6N23P-EVs were the only tube of choice for him during development? If this is the case, and that is what you are using, it may be worth checking with him on the 6N1P, and 7DJ8 for that matter.... But the 6N1P has a different heater current or something, and in my MKIII, it was both notably quieter than a 6N23P-EV (a 6922/7308 type), but also the 6N1P distorted in my amp at not very high volume levels. Later Steve said this sometimes happened with Toriis, though most liked them.

Those 7DJ8 Nationals at Upscale are nice tubes, quite popular. Personally though there are a number of 7DJ8/PCC88s I like better in the Toriis, but I tend to like all the PCC88s I have tried, especially after adjustments, and/or balancing with other tubes. I find them, in general less edgy, more open and textured...maybe easier and friendlier, compared to most 6922 types, though I have used 7308/E188CCs and loved them. In the CSP3 now, I have an American Amperex 7308, and a pair of Phillips E188CC (the European designation of same [made by Mullard I think]). In the MKIV are some amazing early 60's Miniwatt PCC88s.

I think I have been lucky to find nice NOS pairs of 7308/E188CCs for 100-120, though I have sometimes seen Sylvania 7308s cheaper.

What tube type is that Mazda Steve likes.

How you would like to change your sound might point you one way or another. I feel for you on the cost of four inputs. That seems to make the decision for power or inputs harder.
;)

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lonely Raven on 10/31/14 at 01:39:02


Yes, Steve did say the 6N23P-EV was the tube for the ZMA. I've already spoken with him - and he says in my case I should try out the 6N1P. Maybe some 6DJ8 as well. I don't recall all he said as when we talk in person we talk at length and tend to wander, and on the phone we're super brief and to the point - that along with my terrible memory, well, I tend to only retain key points. LOL

I've got the Nationals and the Super Cryo 6N1P on the way. If I find myself going back to stock tubes like I kept doing with the little Zen amp, then I'll flip these tubes in the forums for only a few $$ loss. It wouldn't be the first time I tried something I didn't like, only to move on. That's part of why I'm pinging the family to see what others have experienced. I really think the ZMA is great as is, I'm just curious.  :)

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by vyokyong on 10/31/14 at 03:04:43

I re-post my review of NOS tubes rolling in my ZMA again here. You may already read it.

Siemens E88CC ($370 for quad), RCA 6L6GC ($380 for quad) and RCA JAN OA3 ($18 for pair).


The sound quality of ZMA with stock tubes is unquestionably superb
. But I need more in lush midrange female vocal, sparkle treble and powerful bass or bass slam.

My first plan is to burn in ZMA with stock tubes for >300 hrs first to know the sound. Then do tube rolling step by step to observe sound quality changing. But ZMA with stock tube's sound is so good that I imagine what if I put Siemens E88CC tubes in, how much is the sound improvement?  
I cannot wait, I change plan to put in Siemens E88CC tubes first 3 days ago. Midrange sound is more lush, both high end and low end extend more, more holograph sound stage. But speed is slower than stock tube.  The fun or PRAT is reduce a little. But overall sound improvement is very satisfy. I replace KT66 with RCA 6L6GC next day. There is more dense sound and more bass. Now speed come back, PRAT is same as stock tube now. But bass is little bloated, not well control. Then I put in RCA JAN OA3.
OMG, it is the last jigsaw. RCA JAN OA3 make over all sound dense, coherent and PUNCH SLAM bass!  Bloated bass disappear and very well control now.

Now I get all, lush midrange female vocal sound to die for of tube amp reputation, sparkle high and PUNCH SLAM bass!  Playing with heavy rock music, you can feel wavy air movement of bass. It is very very scare realism! If you run at 56 ma, it likes discotheque. If you run at 52 ma, it likes stadium rock live concert. The strange is that you just listen at normal SPL 80-93. It is scale down at any SPL, no need to get loud of 100 SPL to get rock live concert feel.

Remark : My ZMA capacitors are V-cap TFTF, not Jupiter HT Beewaxs caps.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Charnwood on 11/01/14 at 15:31:12

I decided to do some tube rolling and have basically followed Steve's advice in the ZMA user guide. Try a different brand of KT66's and 7DJ8's in place of the 6N23P-EV's.

I decided to go with a quad of cryo Telefunken PCC88/7DJ8's from Upscale Audio. I have a Telefunken E88CC/6922 in my Taboo Mk3 and am very happy with it. The PCC88/7DJ8's are yet to arrive and based on previous experience it will be a few weeks yet.

For the KT66's, after some deliberation, I've gone with Harma-Cryo KT66-Retro's from Watford Valves here in the UK. I suspect they're re-badged Gold Lion KT66's that have been put through a rigorous testing, grading, burn-in and matching process. They arrived this morning.

If I'd heard the Harma KT66's before I'd ordered the Telefunken PCC88's I might not have ordered the PCC88's. The Harma's sounded good straight out of the box. There was nothing wanting. A superb valve that make's the Tung-Sol's sound course and unrefined by comparison.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lon on 11/01/14 at 15:43:35

Very cool, hadn't heard of these. If they did start off as Gold Lions they've got a great foundation, great tubes. Glad they improved the ZMA!

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lonely Raven on 11/01/14 at 17:28:20


Looks like Watford will ship to the US - so that's an option for us.

OK, so I went a little overboard, but I felt I'd treat myself at least a little for my birthday...I'll just be paying for it later.

I went with a quad Cryo Golden Lion KT66, a pair of the Super-Cryo 6N1P,  and a pair of those National 6JD8.

I also have some lightly used 6JD8 in my stash from trying them out on the Zen amp - they were a bit dry there, but worth trying in the ZMA. I just doubt they are balanced and all that, so who knows if they are a good example to put into the ZMA.


Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by will on 11/01/14 at 17:48:44

Raven said: "a pair of the Super-Cryo 6N1P,  and a pair of those National 6JD8."  I guess that means you can run different input pairs in the ZMA, not quads?

BTW, I think the Harma KT66 look like Gold Lions too. I recall at some point that Ron at cryoset tries to get higher Ip power tubes, but don't know how his testing compares with Harma. My quad sounds good though!


Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lonely Raven on 11/02/14 at 14:51:57

Re: pairs - yes - I'd need to ask Steve which does what (damn faulty memory of mine), but the outside tubes do something different than the tubes between the KT66. One set is an input tube, and the other I think is maybe a drive tube or splits the signal to the KT66 or something. Like I said, I don't recall, so don't quote me. I just know they do different things.

Plus, I couldn't afford quads of input tubes and wanted to try two different sets. So this is my compromise. I'll clarify more once I get the tubes and ask Steve what the difference between those preamp tubes is (or he'll post here to clarify).

Seriously, sometimes I wish I brought a tape recorder when I talk with Steve. He imparts so much information on me when we talk, and I'm really good with understanding concepts, but specific details often get lost. It's just the way my brain works unfortunately. If I actually had a decent memory, my IQ would jump 20 points.... [smiley=10.gif]

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by will on 11/02/14 at 16:52:10

Well I like that! That two tubes can be rolled in. I am such a tube lover, and have so many input pairs, that the thought of matched quads makes me squirm. I wondered if the two pair had different functions and worked in sequence rather than together.

I get the Steve talk thing. It is so fun to ramble with him through the various segues that come up, sometimes I forget to ask one of the questions I called for!

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lonely Raven on 11/03/14 at 02:00:54



Quote:
I get the Steve talk thing. It is so fun to ramble with him through the various segues that come up, sometimes I forget to ask one of the questions I called for!


LOL - yes exactly!

So, I pulled out my box of "audiophile" tubes - which is everything that isn't slated for guitar amp use. Right on top I see a pair of 6DJ8 with GE logos, but the notes with the tubes says Telefunken! So I've popped these into the position between the KT66 and it sounds great. But then my setup has sounded exceptional lately - so I can't place if the Telefunken are really making any difference. I really need to do some A/B testing at listening volume, but can't do that for a few days.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by will on 11/03/14 at 17:35:09

I bet your first feeling is right. Those tubes should flavor things a little differently and I would think add quality complexity.

I have some really good sounding GE labelled Mullard made 6922 gold pins. You can sometimes find RCA labelled tubes like this also.

Looking forward to your impressions after A/B...Then you have more to come with the Nationals, 6N1Ps and Genalex! Fun for a happy birthday!

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lonely Raven on 11/04/14 at 02:10:27


Yeah, it's probably going to be a while. I forgot I'm away for 3 days for a wedding in Brianne's family this next weekend. Plus I think I need to burn some of these NOS tubes in before I can really judge them. I'm not sure how long that takes for these preamp tubes to bloom.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by will on 11/04/14 at 23:30:37

Well I find that the cryo'd Russian 6 types can take a while, whereas most European 6 types, maybe 50 hours give or take. But most European 6's sound quite good within 15-20, the occasional one taking 70-100 to come all the way out. Especially 7DJ8s seem to come out pretty fast.

How's that for vague?

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lon on 11/04/14 at 23:39:10

Those cryo'd 6N1Ps are going to take quite a few hour to bloom!

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Charnwood on 11/04/14 at 23:48:11

Much to my surprise the Telefunken PCC88/7DJ8's turned up yesterday. Unfortunately they don't go well with the Harma KT66's. The problem is that both tubes have a strong bottom end which results in quite a dark sound.
On the other hand the PCC88's sound stunning with the Tung-Sol KT66's. Fast and dynamic with amazing clarity.
The Harma KT66's do very well with the 6N23P-EV's but the 6N23P-EV's lack some top end extension in my amp. I'm wondering if my 6N23P-EV's are actually up to scratch because comments I've read suggest they should have good air and extension.  

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by will on 11/05/14 at 00:16:39

Charnwood,

I have seen a few different Telefunken PCC88s, and suspect there are more. One is Siemens made, which I have a pair of, the other...not sure, but both of mine needed some burnin to clarify and solidify the bass, so I suppose it is possible this could be the case for yours.

Also, comparing PCC88s in general, I think you will find them more extended feeling on top than 6N23Ps. An open, detailed, and  textured sound is characteristic of PCC88/7DJ8s in my experience even though they all have their own overall character.

I have been using some Miniwatt labelled early 60's Amperex PCC88s in my Torii MKIV with Gold Lion KT66. These are pretty warm and deep for the tube type, and are sounding great here.

I do favor OB3s though, which are more open and less dense than OA3s, and there is a bass tightening/reducing switch on the Torii. No bias adjustment here though. I wonder what happens if you lower the bias on the Harmas?

The Harmas will continue to refine also based on my Genalex...

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lonely Raven on 11/05/14 at 15:41:52

I got my Gold Lion KT66 and Super-Cryo 6N1P last night. I popped the KT66 in the Mystery amp for a few tracks before I had to run out the door (got to see an early 35mm showing of Interstellar!!). The new power tubes had the typical sibilance of new tubes. With the GE (Telefunken) 6DJ8 they sounded a bit boomy on the bass. I had the KT66 dialed in at 50ma on the ZMA gauges, and it smooth out the boomy bass, but also took some life out of the sound. I'm going to burn them in some more then raise the current to see if I can get some of that life back without driving them to unpleasant distortion. No time for the 6N1P yet. Still waiting on the Nationals. Not judging anything yet - still need to burn everything in and play around. I'm just excited for new tube day!

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 11/05/14 at 15:47:20

I just ordered some National PCC88's. Thanks Charnwood, LR an will. I was told too...that these will be magic with Tong-Sol KT66's. ....extension on top that I like. I do also have a quad of the 23P's Cryo put away as well.

I have Speakers to break in and my P3 continues to burn in... . Then, I will put the National's in.

Listening Room:
Room Treatments from Michael Green & Home Brew
Sony as Transport
Illuminati D-60 (.5 meter)
Chord Chordette QuteHD DAC ---~or~
Audio Alchemy front-end/Revelation Audio Labs Prophecy Cryo-Silver i2s
Kimber Select KS1030 IC RCA (.75 meter)
Decware CSP3 w/Jupiter Caps
Kimber Select KS1030 IC RCA (.5 meter)
Decware Zen Mystery Amplifier
Kimber Select KS3035 Speaker Cable
Acoustic Zen Adagio Speakers
XLO Pro Power Cords to CSP3 & ZMA
PS Audio P3 Power Plant / Pangea AC-9SE from wall to P3

Decware SE84CS (w/NOS Svetlana SV83's from the 1980's-not the New Sensor knock-offs) & Decware Super Zen CKC...when SE Pentodes run in Triode/Decware Style...needs to be in the System!

Decware 6C33C SET Mono-blocks.....pending 2015

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 11/05/14 at 16:38:35

Reading back thru this thread (good question LR/Eric)? Which pair in my ZMA can I switch into the actual preamp stage? I want to split my quad of National PCC88's/7DJ8, an put the other pair in my CSP3 left an right output channels... . Also, run the quad in the ZMA only too for comparison. I will read thru the design notes an see if I can decipher. Or, Steve might chime in...would be great.

Interstellar = Yes!  Can't wait to see it too. I am trying to hit up the 35mm of it as well. The News here carried a nice piece on the Projector and the Film 35MM. One theater here, had to look for parts an blow the dust off the beast from 1996.

*********Found it in the Manual ....the A12 an B12 are the pretubes.
.......the A11 an B11 are the phase inverters.
https://www.decware.com/newsite/ZMAmanual.pdf

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by will on 11/05/14 at 17:23:59

Yes I can only compare charcteristic qualities of tubes not having a ZMA. But I have done a lot of that! In this context though, there is an electronic difference between the MKIII and MKIV to the inputs, and this does seem to effect the sound of all inputs, including PCC88s. They seem bigger and fuller in general in the MKIV, but still have the open, textured quality I love.

I wonder what Steve says about PCC88 sound in the Mystery amp. It may be that the voicing choices, the power to the inputs is also different than a Torii MKIV...???

That the Telefunkens sound great with the Tungsol KT66 in Charnwood's setting, and thick with Harma/Gold Lions.....And likewise LRs first impressions with Gold Lions and GE telefunkens....seems like this could be a borderline.

I remember when I sent Steve some unburned in cryo'd 6N23Ps to check out some years ago (and me with bass issues) he said something close to: no wonder you like them, they don't have a lot of bass! On listening to them after he sent them back, I realized the bass does develop over time, as the pair I was using was the same tube but well burned in, and had more complete and musical bass. But I have not compared them directly to other types myself. Charnwood's and LR's first impressions with Gold Lions seem to support less bass from the 6N23Ps though.

Like Stone found....From the Mystery Amp manual:

"Due to the direct coupling between the two smaller tubes we recommend they be of the same type and be matched from side to side. 6N23P is a dual triode, so actually two tubes in a single bottle, which is why it’s desirable to have both halves of the tubes match. If you can’t find 4 matched tubes like this, you can get by with two matched pairs. Simply make tube location A11 and location B11 match. Then do the same for A12 and B12."

Looks like the front one, 12, is described as the input, and 11, between the power tubes, as a phase inverter. It would be interesting to try alternate tubes in one position with stock in the other, then compare them to the opposite arrangement...see what phase does and what input does!

Lots of warning about discharging the caps before tube rolling too, especially for the OA3s.

Unlike the MKIV where the OA3s filter the power to the Power tubes, and OC2s filter the inputs, best I could tell from the manual, it looks like the OA3s filter the inputs on the ZMA, also saying there are not alternatives to the OA3.

I look forward to you all's impressions and experiments with burn in!

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 11/06/14 at 14:13:45

Got to make it fun for sure will! ....an make sure the ZMA is fully discharged for sure.

The matched quad I'll receive of the Matsushita/National PCC88/7DJ8... .
1st - one pair in CSP3 only
2nd - try just one pair in pre of ZMA only
3rd - pair in CSP3 an ZMA
4th - the quad in ZMA only
5th scenario/Will wrote:
"It would be interesting to try alternate tubes in one position with stock in the other, then compare them to the opposite arrangement...see what phase does and what input does"!


Report what I'm hearing vs. stock tubes in the context of my System an musical tastes. ...with at least 100 hours on each scenario.
If it does not work out for my musical pleasure....ebay they go.
...on to the next matched quad....of 6922 types.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lonely Raven on 11/06/14 at 16:00:41

I had some good-new/bad-news last night.

I got the Nationals in, and had an hour or two before Brianne got home, so I figured I'd play with the 6N1P and Nationals.

Well, I'm pulling the preamp tubes out of the boxes, the KT66 were already installed the other night. The Nationals slip out of their boxes no big deal, then I'm trying to pinch and pull the 6N1P out of their boxes, and one POPS on me!! It popped like it was a fragile glass Xmas ornament!

In my 30+ years of dabbling in tubes, I've never had anything like this happen...now I'm a bit clumsy, and I have strong guitar player hands...but I've never pinched a tube to death! So I quickly E-mail Ron at Cryoset - sent him a couple close up photos of the popped tube on my kitchen counter where I have enough light for a camera phone photo...and the short version, he basically said I dropped it on the granite counter, it's my problem. It sounded like a very curt piss off. I told him I'm sorry that he's probably had to deal with weirdos in the past, but I wouldn't have bothered him with this if I didn't feel this was my fault, and it's too bad he's not going to help me. The only response I got was "send them back". So we'll see how he handles this.

I've never really had cryo'd tubes before - but I understand how the process works as I've had many other things cryo'd over the years. In fact, many of the tube stores use a shop I used some 20+ years ago having Porsche parts and guitar parts cryo'd. (yes, I was way ahead of the curve there). But I don't know how glass envelops handle the cryo treatment-and asked Ron if it sometimes makes the tube fragile...no real response to this of course.

So anyways, the 6N1P are down and out and I'm sending them back tonight. I should just buy the pair in the Classifieds now and tell Ron to Piss Off, but I know he's probably just drawn out from too many idiots out there. I'm hoping we can figure this out, even if we split the cost or something. I really feel like I just got a bad tube - I mean, seriously, since when does a tube pop by hand pressure?

So the ZMA currently has the Nationals in the Input section, the stock 23P in the PI section, and the Golden Lion KT66 in the power section. Right now I don't really like what I hear - but everything is still breaking in. I'm out of town for a few days, so I'll follow up when I get back.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lon on 11/06/14 at 16:40:45

Wow, I'm with you, 6N1P are traditionally pretty rugged in my experience, and I think something was wonky with that one possibly. Ron has been a stellar guy for me over the years, so I hope he makes it good for you.

I've found these cryo'd 6N1P to be much better than the non-cryo'd I've used, and I've used 6N1Ps a lot over the years. Hope you get a pair in and see some improvement.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lonely Raven on 11/06/14 at 17:20:36


Well it was your recommendations that lead me to go try the GL KT66 and  6N1P from Cryoset - so I'm hoping I see the same improvement that you do; though I recognize that you and I have different ultimate goals in our final sound.

I totally see where Ron is coming from, I've never had a tube pop like this, and I know he's handled it after the Cryo treatment, tested it, and documented it. I can only speak to what happened when I tried to pull it out of the box. I also made a point to tell him that I had zero damage to the packaging - which makes this even harder to believe, but it is what it is.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lon on 11/06/14 at 18:45:53

We have different ultimate goals. . . and different amps! But the GL are very good tubes, I bet once they've broken in and you find the right input tubes for them you'll be really enjoying the sound. For me they really showed the Tung-Sols up.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Charnwood on 11/06/14 at 22:21:52

Well, I'm back listening to the Harma KT66's with the 6N23P's and liking what I hear. This is one smooth sounding combination, and I don't mean in the glossed over details sense.
I discovered that I have a problem with my Tung-Sol KT66's in that the bias of one of the tubes is way off. Bad enough that I can't set the correct bias on the ZMA. Not sure what I'm going to do about that.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 11/07/14 at 01:51:40

Well LR, I hope they burn in for you an sound good. If not you have Tong-Sol Kt's to put with Nationals. That is my approach with my 5 scenario's.

Charnwood, I will check out the Harma's. I have two quads of the 23P's.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lonely Raven on 11/07/14 at 01:51:57




Quote:
I discovered that I have a problem with my Tung-Sol KT66's in that the bias of one of the tubes is way off. Bad enough that I can't set the correct bias on the ZMA. Not sure what I'm going to do about that.


Try swapping sides, and if the problem follows the tube, then it's for sure a bad tube.


Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Charnwood on 11/08/14 at 19:22:40


Quote:
Try swapping sides, and if the problem follows the tube, then it's for sure a bad tube.

Yes, the problem follows the tube. Also, when I replaced the Tung-Sol's with the Harma's, one channel needed almost no bias adjustment where as the other was way off.

On a brighter note, in the last 24 hours the Harma KT66's have really opened up and it's quiet a transformation. As of this morning I'm back to pairing them with the Telefunken PCC88's and all the heaviness has gone. This pairing is now pretty well giving me everything I was hoping for.
I don't think I'll be replacing the Tung-Sol KT66's. I may, however, replace the Telefunfen PCC88's with the Telefunken E88CC's. I compared one of the PCC88's with the E88CC in my Taboo. I'll be doing that comparison again in a few weeks once the PCC88's have more time on them.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 11/18/14 at 14:59:10

LR, have you tried the Nationals 7DJ8's yet? I had to get a pair in last night an I'm listening this morning. They are as Kevin described with only 11 hours on them...smooth/extended top an bottom with no exaggeration, yet very articulate and not taking away from transient attacks....an ohhh, the timbre an 3D addition of Air. I am very pleased. I am only using a pair in the Pre slots of the ZMA currently. My first of six scenario's for this tube. Let me know...I will buy them from you...if you do not like them. I am using them with the KT66 Tung-Sols...that they mate well with.

An yes, 11 hours does not make for a complete take on them. But, hopefully after a 100 hours an comparing to the 6N23P back in......will see (hear).

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lonely Raven on 11/18/14 at 20:34:09

LOL - I already responded to this in the other thread.

I'll report back more once I have the 6N1P in hand and I can try some swapping about.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lonely Raven on 11/19/14 at 13:54:44

6N1P showed up last night. Popped them out of the boxes, popped them into the ZMA input section without incident - I think I like them better than the Nationals - but haven't really given them a chance to stretch their legs, or try with the stock KT66.

I'm off all next week, so I'll have plenty of time to listen while Brianne is at work - I should know more next week now that I have my tube lineup in hand and burning in.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 11/25/14 at 13:51:21

Cool Eric, glad you got that 6N1P resolved from Cyroset. I hope all went well. I am enjoying a pair of the National's (in Pre slots) with the stock KT66's. My next move is to put my other pair in the outputs of my CSP3.

Which 6N1P's did you get from Cryoset? Hope your week off is going well with Tube Rolling... .  

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 11/26/14 at 15:15:43

Super Cryo Voshod's I assume you got. Not the GL's.

http://www.cryoset.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=21_24&products_id=251&osCsid=7f2a9e138b026fca054ecda637394f95

Well, I'm off to Pine Tree Apple Orchard to get my pre-ordered Apple Pies in a snow storm!  I love winter!  NOT!

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lonely Raven on 11/27/14 at 04:11:00


I got the Super Cryo 6N1P - burning them in with some music and TV.

I've been super busy working on the house, and doing things for other people lately. So I'm kinda crabby and haven't done any listening since last Thursday. I tried to play some music today but couldn't get into it...just left it playing to burn in the tubes.

Hopefully tomorrow night I'll have some time to play, and I won't be in such a mood that I can't get into listening.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by vyokyong on 11/30/14 at 07:34:50



I just changed Siemens E88CC 4 tubes from Europe Ebay seller to Tube Museum seller. The tubes from Tube Museum provide more than 30% sonic improvement.  It is substantial improvement. But the price of tubes from Tube Museum is more expensive than general eBay sellers of 20%.  You pay for what you get. However the tubes from Europe are much better than stock tubes.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 12/04/14 at 22:54:42

One of my stock Tung-Sol KT66 tubes was getting funky so I bought a matched quad of Gold Lion KT66s from Cryoset.  I don't have the aural memory or the language to describe what I hear but I'd say they are an improvement over the Tung-Sols.  One thing is that I can't bias them below 58+ ma.  They measure 36 on whatever scale is used to test while my Tung-Sols were 30 for one pair and 27 for the other.  So far the transformers are not getting over warm.  Cryoset was a pleasure to deal with and I had the tubes just a few days after ordering.  A go to place for sure!

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 12/05/14 at 16:55:06

I ran my ZMA with the Gold Lion KT66 tubes all day and they settled in somewhat.  The bias dropped to about 56 ma and the sound seemed more "dense" than with the Tung-Sols and also louder.  I don't know if the increase in volume is more due to the 20%+ greater tube strength than anything else?  The transformers, despite the higher bias, actually seem to be running cooler with the GLs than with the TSs.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lon on 12/05/14 at 17:10:19

In the Torii Mk III and Mk II the Gold Lions (and the TADs) have made me clearly prefer them to the Tung-Sols. But the Tung-Sols still sound very good in one of my Mk IIIs; that system has Denon 100th Anniversary components as sources and they tend to be a bit thick and rich, and the Tung-Sols are a nice complement to that.

I'm so glad I tried the Gold Lions, and also glad I tried the TADs--both are fine output tubes with strong and yet refined sound.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 12/11/14 at 14:37:29

Has anyone tried a pair of these choices, in the Pre A12 an B12 of the ZMA?

Tungsram 6922 Platinum Grade 2 x 75. = $150
Ediswan CV2492/6922 Platinum Cryo 2 x 108. = $216.
Philips SQE88CC/6922 Platinum Grade 2 x 169. = $338.
Telefunken E88CC/6922 Platinum Grade 2 x 149. = $298.

I'm currently using a pair of Nationals in my A12 an B12 positions an enjoying the results with the stock Tung-Sol KT66's...Inverter tubes/stock 6N23P's....an 6N1P's stock in my CSP3.

I've got the Tube Rolling Bug....an "try an stop me".  ;D 8-)

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Charnwood on 12/13/14 at 13:14:16

stone_of_tone: I think you should consider adding a pair of Siemens A-Frame E88CC/6922 to your list.

My experience with the Harma KT66's and the Telefunken PCC88's along with the quad of Telefunken E88CC/6922's I've been using for the last 10 days or so has made me wary of tubes with a full mid-range. Both the standard tubes in the ZMA seem to me to have mid-range that's on the lean side in comparison to most of the other tubes I've tried.

I had high hopes for the Telefunken E88CC/6922, it comfortably out performs both the 6N23P and Telefunken PCC88 in my Taboo Mk3, but I've found the Telefunken E88CC's mid-range to be too full in combination with the Harma KT66's. But they may be fine with the Tung-Sol KT66's.

Fortunately, when I ordered the Telefunken E88CC's I also ordered a pair of Siemens A-frame E88CC/6922's. I'd read that the Siemens weren't so full in the mid-range, which I though might be a good thing and so it's proven.

When I first received them I put the Siemens in Pre positions 12A and 12B leaving a pair of PCC88's in positions 11A and 11B. I found the Siemens E88CC's to have excellent extension at both ends of the range. It's that lack of extension that was my main grip with the 6N23P's. The top-end extension is particularly impressive with the Siemens E88CC's.
They have a wonderfully airy and spacious sound but though they sounded a bit lean in the mid-range on some material. I then put them aside whilst I tried the Telefunken E88CC's.

Last night I decided to put the Siemens E88CC's back in, but this time I left a pair of Telefunken E88CC's in positions 11A and 11B. What a transformation! Gone was the leanness in the mid-range I detected previously. The Telefunken's wonderful mid-range made a difference. The result is an airy, open, detailed and very balanced sound.    

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Charnwood on 12/14/14 at 10:45:18

This morning I switched the position of Siemens E88CC/6922's with the Telefunken E88CC/6922's. The Siemens are now in positions 11A and 11B and the Telefunkens are in positions 12A and 12B. The Telefunkens are now the dominant tube and seems I've left the best arrangement until last. This combination brings out the best in the Telefunkens and is very seductive.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 12/15/14 at 17:11:38

The upfront midrange might be a bit much for me with that tube.

For now, I am enjoying the Nationals so much...I'm not rolling any others for awhile.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lonely Raven on 12/16/14 at 02:19:11


The Nationals aren't doing much for me...but then, I've not tried any other configurations for two weeks due to the new El Camino speakers I'm testing out. I didn't want to muddy the water with tube changes on top of new speakers breaking in.

I have next week off, I'm hoping to get back to tube testing now that they should all have 100 or so hours on them or more.


Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 12/17/14 at 16:25:42

Yeah, I have over 100 hours on my Nationals in the A12 an B12. I Love them...more open an relaxed with more detail/aire. Yet, great slam in the bass with extended highs.

YMMV of course, we have very different Systems for our ear brain connections.

Listening Room:
Room Treatments from Michael Green & Home Brew
Sony as Transport
Illuminati D-60
Chord Chordette QuteHD DAC ---~or~
Audio Alchemy front-end/Remote Volume Wand/Revelation Audio Prophecy Cryo-Silver i2s
Kimber Select KS1030 IC RCA
Decware CSP3 w/Jupiter Caps
Kimber Select KS1030 IC RCA
Decware Zen Mystery Amplifier (National 7DJ8's in Pre A12 & B12 positions)
Kimber Select KS3035 Speaker Cable
Vintage Polk SDA1 Speakers in Stereo (X-over's rebuilt/upgraded with Clarity Caps)
Acoustic Zen Adagio Speakers/burning in (X-over's to be gutted an upgraded/replaced)
XLO Pro Power Cords to CSP3 & ZMA
PS Audio P3 Power Plant / Pangea AC-9SE from wall to P3
(Front End an CSP3 Regenerated/116, 118 an 120v are used/Multiwave off...ZMA on HC Output)

Decware SE84CS (w/NOS Svetlana SV83's from 1980's-not the New Sensor knock-offs) & Decware Super Zen CKC...when SE Pentodes run in Triode/Decware Style...needs to be in the System!

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 12/21/14 at 17:59:28

I replaced the Tungsol KT-66s with a matched quad of Gold Lions from Cryoset a couple weeks ago.  As I've been wandering through my vinyl I am noticing an increased resolution in song lyrics.  I assume that the increased resolution goes throughout the music.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 12/31/14 at 20:13:13

I'm ~NOT~ touching my Tung-Sol KT66's from Steve.  My ZMA is singing with my National's.
http://www.upscaleaudio.com/matsushita-national-pcc88-7dj8/
The whet midrange tone an clarity is to die for; while maintaining an extended timbered treble an tight defined low end delineated/bass. I've kept the 6N23P's in the Inverter stage. My CSP3 is staying with all 6N1P's.

Next up in the ZMA A12 an B12 Pre positions are:
http://www.upscaleaudio.com/telefunken-e88cc-6922/
These are not the knock off crap being reissued now. These are the real NOS deal...from the Deal.

Listening Room:
Room Treatments from Michael Green & Home Brew
Sony as Transport
Illuminati D-60
Chord Chordette QuteHD DAC
Kimber Select KS1030 IC RCA
Decware CSP3 w/Jupiter Caps
Kimber Select KS1030 IC RCA
Decware Zen Mystery Amplifier (National 7DJ8's in Pre A12 & B12 positions)
Kimber Select KS3035 Speaker Cable
Vintage Polk SDA1 Speakers in Stereo (X-over's rebuilt/upgraded with Clarity Caps)
XLO Pro Power Cords to CSP3 & ZMA
PS Audio P3 Power Plant / Pangea AC-9SE from wall to P3
(Front End an CSP3 Regenerated/116, 118 an 120v are used/Multiwave off...ZMA on HC Output)

Decware SE84CS (w/NOS Svetlana SV83's from 1980's-not the New Sensor knock-offs) & Decware Super Zen CKC...when SE Pentodes run in Triode/Decware Style...needs to be in the System!

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lon on 12/31/14 at 20:31:25

That's cool. I couldn't keep the Tung-Sols in the main system after hearing the Gold Lions, and then the TADs, the Tung-Sols are definiltely the ones I like least. But then I think I go for a different type of sound than you.

Isn't it great when our systems sing? I'm enjoying mine immensely this afternoon, while I can (will be away from it tonight and tomorrow damnit!)

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 12/31/14 at 20:43:36

Yeah, I'm out of here tonight an tomorrow too (dammit).  I don't want to shut my Rig down.

Well, we have different Amps and Cables to consider too Lon. The Nationals are a match made in heaven for the Tung-Sols. The Tele's are supposed to be too. However, I would not hesitate bringing the Gold Lion Kt66's in for the Tele's, if that is what they need.

Yes, it is great when our System's Sing! My Power Plant 3, Chord an 2nd 1030IC with the Nationals are burned in an blowing my mind.

Cheers, an Happy New Year Lon.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lon on 12/31/14 at 20:50:08

Yes, different systems altogether. I just remember your comment that the PWD MK 2 did not have enough treble for you. . . and it makes my ears bleed there's so much, no DAC I've heard has not made me turn the treble down on my amp, and I praise the Lord for Steve's treble cut circuit, I can't have an amp without one (the main reason I didn't jump on the ZMA wagon).

Have a nice safe one Larry!

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 12/31/14 at 21:49:19

http://www.upscaleaudio.com/telefunken-e88cc-6922/

Just ordered my Tele's. Nice reviews an some Decware user's too.

Happy New Year.  

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 01/08/15 at 17:20:47

Oh boy, the Tele's came yesterday and they did not disappoint!

I put them in this morning at 6 am. They are truly beautiful an neutral. 72 hour burn from Kevin an I have 5 hours on them now. The extra special clarity, musical resolution with even more timbre while remaining tight imaged an deep, is amazing. The ZMA deserves tube rolling in the A12 an B12 inputs/pre.

Cheers, back to the Listening Room for Stone...as a snow storm rages outside. Let me know when it's May!

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lonely Raven on 01/08/15 at 19:37:10



Did you replace all four, or just the front two or back two?

They are a bit expensive for me, but my GE labeled Teles that I actually got for my guitar amps sound really good. I didn't give them much time though due to the other tubes showing up.

Since I was sick for 2+ weeks straight, I didn't have any time to listen and roll tubes.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 01/09/15 at 04:14:40

Yeah, I hear you on being sick. I had a concussion in June an my appendix ruptured in October. Sick the first 10 days of December.

So, I treated myself to these awesome tubes from Upscale. I use a pair in the front positions A12 an B12 (see manual) inputs/pre only. I am so pleased as stated above.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 01/12/15 at 16:31:26

I found my combo for my CSP3 an ZMA for Pre Tubes.

I have a pair of Telefunken 6922 / CCa / 7308, for output tubes in my CSP3. In my ZMA, I have a pair of Matsushita / National PCC88 / 7DJ8, in my A12 an B12 inputs.

The absolute clean clarity neutrality of the Telefunken's putting it forth to the texture an clean grace of the National's is stunning. The System is at a whole new level of musicality.
My 2 cents, if you're tube rolling an own a CSP3 with Jupiter Caps an a Zen Mystery Amp. YMMV, due to System an Cables for sure..... .


Listening Room:
Room Treatments from Michael Green & Home Brew
Sony as Transport
Illuminati D-60
Chord Chordette QuteHD DAC
Kimber Select KS1030 IC RCA
Decware CSP3 w/Jupiter Caps
Kimber Select KS1030 IC RCA
Decware Zen Mystery Amplifier (w/Matsushita / National PCC88 / 7DJ8 in A12 an B12 inputs)
Kimber Select KS3035 Speaker Cable
Vintage Polk SDA1 Speakers in Stereo (91db)
XLO Pro Power Cords to CSP3 & ZMA
PS Audio P3 Power Plant / Pangea AC-9SE from wall to P3
(Front End an CSP3 Regenerated/116, 118 an 120v are used/Multiwave off...ZMA on HC Output)

Decware SE84CS (w/NOS Svetlana SV83's from 1980's-not the New Sensor knock-offs) & Decware Super Zen CKC...when SE Pentodes run in Triode/Decware Style...needs to be in the System!



Footnote: The Telefunken's are to much of a good thing in my CSP3. I put the 6N1P-EV's back in. The CSP3 is perfect the way it is with Steve's tube compliment. The National's stay in the A12 an B12 inputs of my ZMA (wonderful in here).....with the rest of Steve's tube compliment = beautiful.

I will try the Tele's in my SE84CS an CKC before I sell them.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 01/20/15 at 15:24:53

I found the place for my Telefunken's......
http://www.upscaleaudio.com/telefunken-e88cc-6922/

...in the Input tube position of my CSP3. It is hard to mess with perfection of this Preamp (w/Jupiter Caps). However, this Telefunken (Platinum) with the 6N1P-EV's (pair for Outputs) from Steve is just brilliant running into the ZMA with his Tube Compliment. I do use Matsushita/National's (Platinum) in the Input A12 & B12 positions of my ZMA as well.
http://www.upscaleaudio.com/matsushita-national-pcc88-7dj8/

I'm sticking with this scenario for some time to come...... .


Listening Room:
Room Treatments from Michael Green & Home Brew
Sony as Transport
Illuminati D-60
Chord Chordette QuteHD DAC
Kimber Select KS1030 IC RCA
Decware CSP3 w/Jupiter Caps (NOS/Platinum/Telefunken 6922 / E88CC for input tube)
Kimber Select KS1030 IC RCA
Decware Zen Mystery Amplifier (NOS/Platinum/Matsushita / National PCC88 / 7DJ8 in A12 an B12 inputs)
Kimber Select KS3035 Speaker Cable
Vintage Polk SDA1 Speakers in Stereo (91db)
XLO Pro Power Cords to CSP3 & ZMA
PS Audio P3 Power Plant / Pangea AC-9SE from wall to P3
(Front End an CSP3 Regenerated/116, 118 an 120v are used/Multiwave off...ZMA on HC Output)

Decware SE84CS (w/NOS Svetlana SV83's from 1980's-not the New Sensor knock-offs) & Decware Super Zen CKC...when SE Pentodes run in Triode/Decware Style...needs to be in the System!

Decware New SET Mono's pending..... .


Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 01/22/15 at 20:44:06

Happy Birthday to my ZMA! I received it one year ago today. The rest is history.

Coupled with the CSP3 (w/Jupiter Caps) and the Input Tube compliments mentioned in my above post (an System) = musical involvement!

Hey, the dooms day clock got moved to 3 minutes to midnight today. Enjoy some music with Decware.........today!

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lonely Raven on 01/22/15 at 21:44:05


LOL - I did a not quite so quiet celebration of my ZMA on the 7th. :)

At least, I think it was the 7th I got my ZMA. I'd have to go back through that long thread where we spend pages pining over the build list.  :)

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by FarmBoss on 02/19/15 at 14:13:10

Stone,

What order would you recommend rolling with the ZMA/CSP3/ZP3 in order to get the most bang for the buck?

I suspect it would be working the inputs  starting with the source ZP3=>CSP3=>ZMA, only  then looking at the outputs.  Or would you roll the ZP3 inputs and outputs before moving to the CSP3/ZMA?



What is your take?

Thanks

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 02/19/15 at 18:05:50

I can't comment on the ZP3. I do have a Vinyl Rig though in my SS System. One day, maybe a ZP3 for me too.

I would work the inputs as you can see I have done, with the Telefunken an Nationals. I am pleased with the results. I have the ZDSD coming in to run direct to my ZMA. However, I love my CSP3 with my Telefunken as input tube. Will see how direct vs. through CSP3 sounds.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 02/20/15 at 14:02:06

Farmboss, I did try the pair of my Tele's (listed above) an my pair of National's in the outputs of the CSP3 an did not like the results. Those 6N1P's from Steve are awesome for outputs on this Pre. So, for me, it is the Tele for Input only on the CSP3 an my pair of National's (listed above) for Inputs A12 an B12 on my ZMA. I did try both pair's in the A12 an B12 too....but prefer the National's in the ZMA Inputs.

Kevin's Tubes at Upscale are worth it. He specializes in Input/Pre an Pre/Output for a reason...not Power Tubes. Pre tubes make the most difference for sure. But, of course it is a matter of taste/preference in that difference. The CSP3 an ZMA voiced and Tubed by Steve is wonderful as is. However, the shocking beauty an clarity of the Telefunken feeding the 6N1P's from Steve is awesome. Furthermore, the extended highs and even tighter Bass of the National's with a textured Midrange in the ZMA's A12 an B12 I love in conjunction with the Tele Tube in the CSP3 Input.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by mark58 on 02/20/15 at 14:21:34

Stone, if you like those stock Russian tubes Steve sends in the CSP3, you'll love those in the link below from a Russian Seller.  I believe they are older 1960's versions with triple Micas of the same type Steve uses.  Syd (Marky) and I both bought a pair and mine aren't going anywhere.  Shortly after, I changed the other Russian tube Steve sent to an Amperex 7308.  I can't remember which forum member turned Syd and I on to these tubes but they are great and worth the money and the wait.  Mark.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-RAREST-MATCHED-BALANCED-PAIR-6N1P-E-military-boxed-anode-CCa-E88CC-6CG7-60-/171685994104?

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by marky on 02/20/15 at 17:39:25

funch turned us on to them Mark. Natural sound thats big and tries to wrap around at every opportunity if the album has great sonics, worth some experimentation in the single spot on the CSP. I`m so tube unsavvy that I thought all 3 tubes did the same job.
Now I`ve got the ZP3 down to  managable rolling combinations for now, I can address that 6dj8,7dj8,6n1p,6922 spot on the CSP.
Stones Tele is well worth a look.
On the other hand a quad would be nice as the Rachaels use them and I could free the Bugle Boys up....or just buy a B/Boy to try.
Syd

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Leigh on 02/21/15 at 22:51:01

Anyone roll EL34 (6CA7) tubes yet? If so, is there a characteristic sound difference with EL34's over the stock KT66's?

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by bvictor on 02/25/15 at 13:37:52

I am using Shuguang Treasure 6CA7-Z's now, only because they have been rocking it out in my Rachel for the past 6 months.  

I have been following along this thread and rolled 5881s and cryoed Gold Lion KT66's as output. 5881s were dang good (russian 6P3S-E coin base), but I had high expectations for the KT's.  Not so much.  I hit reset with outputs and tried rolling the Tele's and the Nationals from Upscale as drivers.  Tele's were thin and too focused on top end for me.  To be fair, I only gave them about 40 hours, so I need to revisit.  Nationals were lush, but not a great combo with the KT66s.  Finally went back to the 6N23P and have been pretty satisfied.

I decided to retry the output rolling.  I got a matched quad of the shuguang 6CA7-Z's, and I was shocked.  They are truly amazing in the extension of both ends, as well as their clarity and presence.  No harshness on the highs.  Liquid, deep and real.  You know the moment when you exhale and just get absorbed in the music.  These tubes brought me there.  For the past week, I can't wait to turn on the ZMA each day and listen.  It is the sound I had been hoping for from the Mystery amp.

My next attempt will be the Shuguang treasure KT88-Z.  May take a few weeks to ship.

In case you're wondering about whether the setup is impacting the tubes, I'm running ZDAC to ZMA to level 3 Anticables to Klipsch KLF-30s (rebuilt Xovers and Ti tweeter diaphragm).  

Try these 6CA7-Zs out.  They're pretty awesome.


Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lon on 02/25/15 at 13:41:55

Cool. I have fallen in love with the KT66 sound in my Toriis so I probably won't move back to the 6CA7 sound but I bet these are good, and there's a lot of great listening with that tube type I bet in the ZMA (I know there is in the Toriis, I listened to several brands for a few years it seems).

I must say though that in my recent experiencee cryo'd Gold Lion KT66 took over 100 hours to really became what they promise to be and even more to really season and become jaw-dropping.  If you can stand to break them in further you may find they sound better than they have. If not, I bet you could sell a quad here pretty easily. . . .

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by bvictor on 02/25/15 at 13:54:17

Thanks for the recommendation, Lon.  I'll take you up on it.  Given the positive reviews all around I need to give the Gold Lions a better shot at it. After weeks of rolling, it's just hard to think about changing right now from the 6CA7s the sound is so phenomenal.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lon on 02/25/15 at 13:57:10

I totally understand that! I have a great tube complement in my main system right now and am loathe to change one single part of it. I did roll a pair of Hytron OB2 tubes in place of RCA OA2 tubes and the sound was so . . . not right. . . with this complement that within 4 hours they were out and the RCA was back. It's amazing how each tube type is vital in these revealing amps, and synergy once found is hard to tamper with!

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lon on 02/25/15 at 13:59:17

Wow, the ZMA has been out a year plus! What a fast year that was in so many ways. (Mine speeded up wildly the minute Lucinda stepped into my life in May). Here it is about to be bumped from "new amp" status by the Torii Mk V.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by JD on 02/25/15 at 14:03:45

That's great BVictor.  I'm using PSVANE 6ca7-t in my Torii III and just can't take them out.  I completely agree with your well written description.

JD

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by mark58 on 02/25/15 at 14:54:05

OK,  I'm curious...where did you buy these...russian 6P3S-E coin base.  Tell me more.  Thinking of these for a Torii mK IV.  Mark.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by FarmBoss on 02/26/15 at 01:44:02

Can we run KT-88's?   I though KT-77 was the limit.  Or more to the point what is available that would give max output?

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by bvictor on 02/26/15 at 16:40:15

Steve wrote KT88 as an alt tube in the ZMA manual.  

You can get the coin base 5881 (6P3S-E from Saratov plant)  from www.cryoset.com   ($32.99 for a cryoed mached pair).


Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by mark58 on 02/26/15 at 16:44:17

bvictor,  after doing a google search, I found that yesterday.  If I buy them that's where I'll go.  Thanks,  Mark.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by bvictor on 02/26/15 at 16:59:04

Hey Mark,  I think they are excellent tubes for the price, in fact I bought a second quad just in case they begin to run out of stock.  After hearing them a friend of mine in DC bought a quad as well.  Hope you like them.  Brian

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by mark58 on 02/26/15 at 17:41:51

Brian,  I just ordered a Quad.  There were very few available on ebay and no quads and no US sellers.  Jim McShane that used to have them according to older threads else where also has none.  I also ordered a cryoed version of the valve arts 274b that I use in my CSP3.  Mark.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by marky on 02/26/15 at 19:41:51

Couldn`t resist it  :)
Been doing a lot of research on them.
Mainly positive.
My Tesla EL 34`s will get their r`n`r.

ps I think it`s that seller that has some with whopping great bases. Maybe not the E suffix.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by mark58 on 02/26/15 at 19:48:28

Syd,  this time you followed me.  Let's hope they sound good.  They are circa 1980's NOS Russian Military tubes and I've found more good than bad impressions on the internet.  Prior to researching these, I was going to buy the 6L6GC reissues Lon bought from cryoset for $95 that he likes.  Hope I made the right choice because I don't think I'll be buying anymore power tubes soon.  Let me add that there will be a 50 to 100 hour burn in period before everything gels according to other users.  Mark.

PS...the ones with the coin bases are supposed to be much better sounding than the larger black bases.

PSS...Syd,  I emailed Alex, our Russian seller, to ask if he had these...he did not have any more of them.  Of course he said the two other types he had were better...yeah right!

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by marky on 02/26/15 at 20:17:41

Twin flying saucer getters Mark !
Thanks for the 50-100 hrs burn in info, I glossed over that.
Cant think what I fancied as a second quad. Oh thats right I was toying with the idea of KT 66`s or the ones that are ok, 77`s 88`s. I always have to refer back to the Rachael info page.
Syd.

Ps I hope you get yours by the Fall.  :)

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by mark58 on 02/26/15 at 20:28:27

LOL Syd,  in this case, with a US seller using the US Postal Service, I should get them within a week...not over two months.  I did find a Russian site that sold them for $11 but I think it's money well spent to get them Cryo treated from a US Seller for $16.50 each. Mark.

PS...when I bought the Torii MK IV, I ordered it with the Tung Sol KT-66 but when I bought a used pair of RFT EL-34s, I loved the sound so much better that they have never come out.  I have come to the conclusion that I need to give the KT-66s a fair trial someday.  I doubt they're even broken in.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by marky on 02/26/15 at 20:58:12

They`ll have to be good to better the old Teslas.
Hope mine get out of the Ukraine ok.
Syd

You`ve not had a look at the Emission Labs 5u4 mesh ?
It`s on my bucket list.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by mark58 on 02/26/15 at 21:10:40

Syd,  you bought them from a Ukrainian seller?...mmm.  I've found 2 Russian sellers who sell them for 11 or 12 dollars...not on ebay.  Mark.

PS...I think I read about that rectifier in someone's "Rectifier Shoot Out"...maybe on headfi.  I won't spend that much on rectifiers.

PSS...when I initially looked on ebay, I must have used the wrong name for these tubes because when I looked just now there are lots of sellers...including many from the Ukraine.  But mine will be cryoed...hehe.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by mark58 on 02/26/15 at 23:06:04

Well Damn,  Ron at cryoset just emailed me that they are out of the Russian tubes I ordered. He is offering a 10% discount if I order something else.  I'll have to think about this.  

Syd,  give me the link where you bought yours, please.  I may wait and see how you like them. Oh well,  that's what I get for waiting. Mark.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by marky on 02/27/15 at 17:45:04

Hi Mark, funeral duty today, long drives + a nap when I got back.
We`re still in the ZMA thread but common tubes . I checked Rons site before I bought and thought you had bought these leaving one or two quads available.
Heres the link, double the postage of the 6n1p-E`s but twice the amount of tubes. Oh, Mark I think he`s out of them as well.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/181620057977?_trksid=p2059210.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT
says he gives 5% discount for paypal ???
Syd

He has pairs available here.
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/6P3S-E-6L6-6L6GT-Matched-Selected-Pair-Gold-Grid-NOS-NEW-MILLITARY-STRONG-/181300188954?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2a3655571a

These look a good price, much better than mine, same tubes
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/6P3S-E-5881-6L6GC-Tubes-Gold-Logo-Gold-Grid-Lot-of-4-Pcs-NOS-NIB-/231356844839?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item35ddf14b27

Says he gives 5% discount for paypal ???
Syd

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lonely Raven on 02/28/15 at 00:04:39


That last one says LOT of 4, not really matched quad. You might have to buy a few lots and match them up yourself.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by mark58 on 02/28/15 at 00:29:29

Syd, LR,  I'm not too wild about buying from these places but if I decide I want the tubes I may have to.  I think I may buy from a Russian tube seller and ask for tests to verify that I'm getting a matched quad...I have no way to test them myself.  Ron said he had gotten 400 of the tubes originally but quite a few were not usable, so I wouldn't want to buy from a foreign seller that doesn't test and match.  I would really prefer to buy from a US seller but I don't think that's possible now.  I'll do some digging around.  Might even get something different.  A used quad of RCA Black plate 6L6GCs went for $152 recently...a bit more than I'd like to pay...those are supposed to be real nice tubes.  

Syd, looking at those sites, it seems like a lot of these tubes have sold in the last 24 hours.  Who's buying these?  Besides Syd and Brian?  Mark.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by marky on 02/28/15 at 12:29:48

I really dont know Mark. I never checked for dates on the reviews I read. There might be a "buzz" floating around. Perhaps Ron at Cryoset gave a good review. I see he say`s his non-E version ( which he does have )has longer plates and is sweeter. Interesting LR mentioning the lot of four not garaunteed as matched. Got to agree there. Does the Decware self biasing match them up, and if NIB how far out could they be ?
I`ve come down to earth now I`ve bought them. Should I really be thinking £9ea V £50ea Teslas is a fair shoot out ? No I wont be comparing. It`ll be a different presentation, and at this moment in time thats as far as it goes. I`ll be running them on a cd loop daytime and taking them out in the evening. As much as I`d like to hear them burning in I cant afford giving up quality litening time.
Syd.

I`ve seen a nos pair from 1963 and a nos quad from 1981. Dont know what mine are.
The original photo you posted in `Whats spinning` is still there with sets available. I would have bought those but didn`t see them as you have to scroll down miles to the international sellers. Moldovia, Romania, etc.
I wonder what compatible  Russian tube will pop up next.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by mark58 on 02/28/15 at 14:56:10

Syd, the reviews I read except for those here were from years ago...I think.  To me the difference in price means very little.  Of course there are rather arbitrary limits to what I will pay...seems to change from day to day.  Like most things, it's a matter of supply and demand...and so far the demand for the NOS 80's Russian tubes isn't high enough to have caused the supply to become scarce, at least in former USSR countries.  If you read Joe's Tube Lore you'll see some of the prices he occasionally quotes...if only we could get those tubes for the prices back then..late 90's I believe.  His review probably had a hand in popularizing and making known many of the tubes he reviewed. Even the tubes you and I bought from Alex in Russia, have gone up $6 since our purchases, maybe due to those who bought after reading our praises.

My interest in the 6L6 type power tubes was to find a warmer presentation than the RFT EL-34s.  In recent reading I was coming to realize that included in all the traits I love about these tubes there is also an extended or pronounced high end that I don't particularly enjoy with quite a few recordings.  To tell you the truth though, since my experiments with resistors in the HR-1s this issue is becoming less important.  I may cool my jets on trying new power tubes for now.  I may pop in the KT-66s I already have to see what most people here are raving about...as I've learned with time, I probably hadn't even broken them in properly.  I will await others impressions of these coin based Russian Military power tubes and would definitely try them if a US seller stocked matched Quads for a reasonable price.  Mark.

 

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by will on 02/28/15 at 18:01:05

Mark, Considering your criteria of warm with less top end, this tube may just work in your MKIV. In mine, I find it is warm and wettish, but with quite open and clear mids and top...they have an open lushness that is mellower than the RFTs, smoother up top, but still lucid. The Genalex KT66s are drier, less lush and perhaps a little step further into bass warmth, but similar mids warmth. The Genalex also have a bit less liquid upper mids, even a little bit tinselly by comparison...at least in this room, with this tube set, and the treble knob wide open. Mazda GZ32, Sylvania 40s OB3, Mullard E88CC, British 75C1. This is what I searched on Ebay when I got mine.

6P3S-E

I think I will leave them in for a while to re-explore! They sound really good here.

For what it is worth, I got them from this seller in Ukraine

http://stores.ebay.com/svetlanaukraine/_i.html?rt=nc&_pgn=3&_ipg=48

The tubes were good and everything went well. I can't recall exactly, but I am pretty sure I was after 80's tubes with gold grids...maybe some review recommended them??? If the reflector diamond and numbers are dates, mine seem to be 80 and 89, but with exactly the same construction. I think they were listed as 80s and I asked for a matched quad before buying. I would guess he may be able to give you specific matched dates too. Mine were about 60 delivered. I see he has some that look to be from the 60s for more $....I wonder what those would sound like?

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by mark58 on 02/28/15 at 18:30:11

Will,  I had been researching those for a while when I posted here for some user impressions.  Brian had them and really liked them.  The day before, I knew they were available in matched cryoed quads from Cryoset but didn't pull the trigger until Brian's endorsement. Unfortunately Brian decided to buy what would turn out to be the last Quad Ron had available...the Bastard...hehe.  So now I'm reconsidering.  It is very helpful to have had fellow forum members who have bought from and had a good experience with a foreign seller.  I'm always reluctant otherwise. My exchange was in the ZMA tube rolling thread even though I have a Torii MK IV as you do. Thanks,  Mark


Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by mark58 on 02/28/15 at 22:08:41

OK, I did it!  I bought the 6P3S-E tubes...  two pair of 60's tubes from the Photon Plant and a Quad of those reflectors from the Saratov plant from the 70's....from the seller Will bought from.  I hope they're good because I could have had that RCA Black Plate Quad for what I paid. The search is over...for now. Mark.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/181300188954?_trksid=p2059210.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

http://www.ebay.com/itm/171604076434?_trksid=p2059210.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

http://www.ebay.com/itm/171604080168?_trksid=p2059210.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by will on 03/01/15 at 01:42:56

Well that is digging in Mark! If they are similar to these 80s Reflektors, I am guessing they may be what you are after...I hope so...of the tubes I have they are similar/closest to the RFT sound, but notched back a bit, nicely so to me...sort of between the EL34s and KT66.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by mark58 on 03/01/15 at 01:58:20

Will, the reflektors I bought are like yours only they were manufactured in '71, '77, '77 and '78...all have the same test values.  Now the others where made in the 60's in the Photon plant that preceded the Saratov Plant where the Reflektors were made.  The seller said they were better so I thought I'd give them a shot.  I tried to get him to come off his price but the best he'd do is combine shipping at $23.  We'll see how they play in the Torii but sounds like after break in they should be at least good if not great. The tubes Cryoset still has the ones with out the E and big bases, are from the late 80's and aren't supposed to be as good. I've been looking at what he has so I can take advantage of his 10% discount but don't see anything I'd want right now except the Valve Art 274B that can wait...I've got two from Steve. Mark.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by will on 03/01/15 at 04:13:12

Sounds good. Seems with tubes, earlier is very often better. Hope they fit in your system!

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Syd on 03/04/15 at 11:57:19

Tubes arrived today Mark. It`s noon. I`ll put them in in half hour after coffee. They look nice, shorter than EL34`s.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by mark58 on 03/04/15 at 12:12:54

Syd,  as usual you're way ahead of me.  I paid for mine on Saturday but for some reason ebay/paypal didn't use the 200+ cash in the account or my Credit Card as they usually do...they paid with an E Check from my bank that wasn't debited until Monday and who knows how many days it will take to clear to the seller.  In other words, my tubes haven't even shipped yet.

I'm eager to hear your impressions.  Mark.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Syd on 03/04/15 at 14:00:50

If we`ve got the same seller he`s excellent Mark. Sent me an e-mail to say they`d shipped and a positive note with it.
I let them warm up for an hour and then remembered I should play a cd on repeat. Turned the sound off, started the cd and hit repeat.
I tentatively increased the volume untill I could just hear it, but then gave it a quick burst for 2 seconds. Sounded better than I could imagine, that is, no distortion due to being new. I turned the volume back down and left the room feeling +ve. I`ll be listening to them through burn in.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by mark58 on 03/04/15 at 14:16:19

Syd,  I did buy from the same seller as you and Will.  If anyone still wants these tubes he's relisted the Quad ad.  Mark.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/6P3S-E-6L6-6L6GT-Matched-Selected-Quad-Gold-Grid-NOS-NEW-OTK-/171702074721?

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lonely Raven on 03/04/15 at 18:43:26


I bought some from the same seller as well. He didn't have any quads up, so I bought two pair. I figure if I don't love them in the ZMA, I have a few guitar amps that will enjoy them.  :)


Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 03/04/15 at 20:39:07


Quote:
Syd,  I did buy from the same seller as you and Will.  If anyone still wants these tubes he's relisted the Quad ad.  Mark.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/6P3S-E-6L6-6L6GT-Matched-Selected-Quad-Gold-Grid-NOS-N...


Thanks for the link.  I jumped on the band wagon and ordered a quad at $69 delivered.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by mark58 on 03/04/15 at 21:01:46

You're welcome, Archie.  Mark.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Syd on 03/04/15 at 21:20:16

Initial impressions. Very clear, bass a little polite but good. Lots of detail. Long way to go before they bloom.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Syd on 03/05/15 at 18:41:51

I took a TFK 12au7 out of the ZP3 which I had put in to attenuate the bass a bit, before these tubes came along, and put the previous Mullard back in. Balance restored. Eerie
I`ve put a Brimar in now. Nice


Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by mark58 on 03/05/15 at 19:18:37

Syd,  are you talking Mullard 12AU7?  and a Brimar what?  rectifier...5R4GY?    And were talking just the ZP3? With new Russian tubes in the Torii. Mark.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Syd on 03/05/15 at 19:42:28

Mark, the Mullard 12au7 seemed good but I thought I might as well try the Brimar 12au7 and it was a good fit, bit more organised.

Just had a big moment. Sonny Rollins sax went distorted and so did Jim Halls guitar. I was twiddlng valves, replaced the Brimar for a miniwatt. Put it down to the new tubes burning in. Turned the record over, big lump of fluff on the needle. That was a relief.
Put the Brimar back in.
Started out with Crimson because I wanted to check the bass. The Mullard overdid it a bit.
Staying on jazz for now.
Instruments are coming out of a blacker background so it seems a bit wierder than normal. I can hear the ambience trying to get through.

Also the volume is deceptive. First thing I did was to turn  it up to compensate for the bass.  I`m still slightly higher than the EL34`s but yesterday I was getting close to maxing out. The CSP2+` pres were on max and volume around 85%. Now the CSP`s pre out is back 2 notches and the pre in back 1 notch with volume at 65%.
There was a distance aspect at first, like you were a way back and `looking` further to see the music.
It`s shifting and getting closer.

Oh thats nice. Side one of KOB sounded thin. Side two started and I just turned the volume up just a shade and everything came together.
lol I still dont know Coltrane from Adderly. I allways guess. First solo first track Coltrane ?
Flamenco Sketches, the way Davis just hints at the theme is awesome.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Syd on 03/06/15 at 19:20:54

A 10hr loop of Aphex Twin today. Imagine being tied to the chair through that.   :-[

The tubes have 20 hrs on them. Hendrix Isle Of White : The bass is monumental Drums snappy, delicate, with air, the snare is vibrating at times, Hendrix guitar is very detailed. The next 80 hrs should be good.

Mark, your `60s and `70s sets........
Think mine are `81, if that the date written on them.

Troubador JJ Cale : Love JJ, lots of clever layers. I do like the new presentation. I dont like to say it but I`m connecting in a +ve way, expecting new details.
Syd.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by mark58 on 03/06/15 at 19:39:11

Syd,  that's correct, my two quads are 60's and 70's sets.  The seller acknowledged yesterday that he had gotten notice of the payment I made on 2/28.  So mine should be shipped soon.

Your impressions sound promising.  I'm also glad that they are sounding good with as little as 20 hours on them.  Mark.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Syd on 03/06/15 at 20:22:32

Yes they`ve definitely turned a corner Mark. It`s good not to faff around and just enjoy. I thought they might be underpowered but my settings are now back to normal and the volume level is where I like it. They are drawing 40 ma.


Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by bvictor on 03/06/15 at 22:44:18

Hey guys,  just back to this thread.  Syd, sounds like you are liking the 6P3S-E's so far.  I'm glad to read it.   I'm still digging the Shuguang Treasure 6CA7-Z's.  They're more pricey than the coin base 6P3S, but wow, great right out of the gate from the moment current hit them.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Syd on 03/07/15 at 00:22:58

Hi bvictor, just read a great write up for the Shuguangs. Bet they look nice in the Rachael and well worth the money. I wish all power tubes were decorated. If only they could have forseen them being on show back in the day :)
The 6P3S-E`s are a follow up to some tubes some of us bought for the CSP`s, a 6n1p-E, Russian made as well. They are excellent and a low price. Both have those small dish getters with a dimple ( flying saucers ) The 6P3S-E have 2 getters. Bit of a long shot, they have had good reviews and are shaping up on the right track.
I read about the detail your Shuguangs are capable of. Now that would be something if the 6P3S-E`s could get somewhere near.
Syd.

Oh, I see you have the ZMA. So you have 4 Shuguangs.
lol this is the ZMA thread. I got hijacked into here. Honest. :)

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 03/18/15 at 00:20:40

I received the matched quad of 6P3S-E Russian tubes today (under 2 weeks from the Ukraine -- not bad!) and I thought I'd share my first impressions.  They bias on my ZMA at a max of 60 mA whereas my cryo'd Gold Lion KT-66s biased at a minimum of not much less.  The quad seems matched well and very stable.  The seem to play much louder that the GLs but the bass seems a bit light.  I think Syd mentioned that his were a bit bass light too.  I'll keep them in for a while and see if they bloom on the bottom end.  I do like the increase in volume though.  For $69/quad they seem like a great bargain.  My GLs were $189/quad.  They will probably end up as a back up to my GLs.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Syd on 03/18/15 at 10:57:52

I could write a lot about them Archie, they went through a number of changes. The bass was light then warmed up but got in a muddle behind the drummer, like he had a cloak over him. 20 hrs gave them a listenable take but something was missing. 40 hrs and they got involving. I`m on about 50hrs+ and wont be taking them out. They are just starting to deliver the goods. Last night was another milestone when I played H. Wolfs Lon. Sessions. I`ve been nailed to the listening seat for a while.
As always it`s a credit to Decware that I can monitor all the improvements with confidence.
And of course Mark who flagged them up.
They are on my saved searches so I can spot a `60`s set.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 03/18/15 at 16:29:06

Thanks for your comments Syd.  I'll be sure to give them a good burn in.  After  a few hours of listening I started to like them more.  And they do have a pretty strong blue glow!  :D

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lonely Raven on 03/18/15 at 17:00:29


Still waiting on my Russian tubes. Must be coming on a slow boat from...Romania or wherever.


Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 03/18/15 at 19:18:24

The ebay seller Yura, who goes by svetlana_ua was awesome.  Very communicative and on the ball.  Hardly took longer than ordering from Cyoset!

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lonely Raven on 03/19/15 at 03:42:25

Tubes showed up today. Good, sexy midrange. Smooth treble. But you give up bass and attack compared to KT66

Not bad for the money.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 03/22/15 at 20:41:41

LR, is your bass coming in at all with the new tubes?  Mine seems to be or I can't remember what I had with the GL KT66s.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lonely Raven on 03/23/15 at 18:07:59

Bass isn't bad, it's just not big and punchy like with the KT66. I think the attack on the KT66 is nicer, which also makes the bass better.

But for what I paid, these are pretty good tubes! And they haven't drifted after 30 hours of playback! I may have to keep these in storage, and pick up another pair for guitar amp use.

I'm already back to my stock KT66, and I put my GE Labeled Telefunkin (at least the sticker says Telefunkin on it - I have no idea what they really are). I have them in the PI section, and they really liven up the music. Everything sounds...I don't know, happier. Brighter and more airy without being edgy or piercing. I really need to figure out what these tubes are and buy a backup set! It's rare that a tube makes more than a slight difference in my system - so this is one I'd like to stock up on.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by will on 03/23/15 at 18:28:56

I don't recall how long the Russian 6P3S-E take to burn in, but generally for me 30 is not close for power tubes. Also I think it is always the bass that is slowest to define with the ones I have used in Toriis...EL34 and KT66/5881/6L6 types.

Not that the Russians will sound like the Tungsol KT66, they won't, but I guess you will need at least 100 to hear them fully. I have had some power tubes (when I was sort of counting) take over 200.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 03/28/15 at 17:28:45

When counting hours for the purpose of breaking in tubes, do the total hours count or just the hours the amp is playing music?  My amps seem to be on 2+ times as long as I play music through them.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by will on 03/28/15 at 20:50:36

Archie,

Whatever it is...signal cable, amp, cap or tube, I always think of it as music time with all its electronic variations.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 03/29/15 at 00:48:42

Thanks Will. That's what I figured but I was hoping it might be differnt with tubes.  I am liking these Russian 6P3s-Es.  After a few more weeks I might try my GL KT66s again to see if I'm missing anything.  Sure doesnt' seem like it.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by lLance on 03/29/15 at 16:21:26

I am trying out some EL34's this morning in my ZMA. They will only bias to about 38-39 on the meters. I know Steve says best between 40-50. Will this cause any problems? Hard on transformers?

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by will on 03/29/15 at 18:29:17

Archie,

Sounds good. I am listening to the GL KT66 in the MKIV now. I really like that tube. For me, though I like tube sets with different overall tonal characters, my "requirements" for sound balance have become so specific, I really am glad to have selection of nice rectifiers, VRs, inputs and power tubes. You Mystery folks have two inputs and power tubes, right? Less tubes to have to own, and less adjustment potential too. But then the bias must be a nice tuning tool.

I recall the manual saying that the OA3s are not to be changed to another regulator type, like OB3 in the Mystery. But since the VR is in front of the inputs, and the input/phase tubes drive the power tubes, it would seem to me a tube that might be fun to explore. I have a number of OA3s, and they all shift the Toriis in their own ways...different. I wonder what Steve would think of trying different OA3s? If the amp ships with those pictured, they look like black based RCAs, really nice tubes, but also they have a particular flavor that is its own within the tube type.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 03/29/15 at 19:11:57

lLance,

As always, when in doubt, contact Steve.  However, I've talked to him about bias before and I think we need to worry about the higher settings and not the lower.  My transformers run hotter with higher bias.  I'm running at 52 mA right now because that's as low as I can go on my Russian 6P3S-E tubes.  Steve runs his bias CONSIDERABLY higher but he admits that as the factory, he can repair his amp if he damages it.  He suggested that we could run maybe as much as 1/3 higher bias but only for a couple of hours at a time.  My transformers seem to run at about 120 F and I think their design point is over 140 F. I did install a small fan behind my ZMA to blow air over my transformers since I figure if heat was the enemy, I'd dissipate some of it.  And it helps warm my room in the winter!
 :D

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by will on 03/29/15 at 20:44:17

From the Mystery Amp manual:

"This amplifier is designed to operate with a 50ma bias on each output tube.
Running higher bias currents for any length of time will overheat the power supply
transformers and could cause pre-mature failure. We recommend no more than
60ma per tube at any point. Running less is not an issue for the power supply but
doing so will reduce the power output of the tubes and change how they sound.
Some will use this technique as an esoteric voicing tool."

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by lLance on 03/29/15 at 21:33:24

Thanks Will and Archie

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by FarmBoss on 05/05/15 at 00:49:18

Stone,

I have been working my way through the input sections, starting with the phono stage (using RCA triple Mica) then the preamp (http://www.upscaleaudio.com/amperex-7308-vintage-gold-pin/).  

Taking a bit of your advice I bought a pair of the nationals and put them into the preamp slots of the ZMA.

Mostly I listen to Classic 70's hard rock and big band.  I never felt I had understood the term "relaxed" before, but I totally felt that the nationals transformed the ZMA so I was experiencing the relaxed sound.  Great highs and a really wide soundstage.  The downside I experienced was that with rock I lost a lot of the PRAT.  It seemed this is a trade off that works fine with music with singers and the big band sound but is not acceptable with say ZZ Top.  

Granted I only have 10 hours of burn in on the nationals but I moved them over to the preamp in the output stage to burn in.  They actually sound pretty good there and I get a lot more PRAT out of the entire system.  I may leave the there but I will revisit moving them back to the ZMA after some more seasoning.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 05/05/15 at 02:41:17

Good to hear FB. I really like them in the ZMA Inputs A12 an B12. But I need to try them in the Outputs of the Pre with 6N23P's back in the A12 an B12 tomorrow. Cool.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lonely Raven on 05/05/15 at 03:27:26


Quote:
Great highs and a really wide soundstage.  The downside I experienced was that with rock I lost a lot of the PRAT.


The lack of PRAT is why I didn't like the nationals. Good sound, but I lost something that the ZMA does well.

IMHO - I'm going for air and detail with silky top end. I'm still looking for that.


Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 05/05/15 at 14:02:45

I have no lack of PRAT, especially with my Modified Adagio's. However, I use a Telefunken: http://www.upscaleaudio.com/telefunken-e88cc-6922/
for my Input Tube/CSP3 ....that is so in command of orchestrating the 6N1P-EV's from Steve-the Output Tubes of my CSP3.....it works well driving into the National's.

I have two of the Telefunken and worked them as a Pair in the Outputs of the CSP3 and Inputs on A12 an B12 of my ZMA. But, need it as the Master and Commander as an Input Tube on the CSP3 only.

I do need to put the Nationals, as I mentioned, as a pair Out-putting from my CSP3 though. I have not tried that combination.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 05/08/15 at 14:58:26

I've had the 6N23P's back in the A12 an B12 positions for a couple days now, with my CSP3 of course with the Tube compliment detailed above.
As great as the 6N23P's are and I will enjoy over the weekend before taking them out..........I need/enjoy more of the top air extension and deep, deep bass the Nationals produce being driven into by my CSP3. Awesome to Tube Roll!  Solid State sucks!

I am glad I have a Cryoset Quad of the 6N23P's in my On-deck Circle. Enjoy them enough to rotate in for sure.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 05/10/15 at 13:32:26

A pair of Ediswan CV2492 / 6922 from Upscale are coming in. I will put them in the A12 an B12/ZMA. I can't contain my lust for this Tube any longer. The textured midrange is supposed to be something. I will report back in a month or two on these babies.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 07/22/15 at 14:04:01

I finally put my Ediswan CV2492 / 6922 from Upscale in my A12 an B12 slots of my ZMA. I have 10 + hours on them from last night and today. No hype in my opinion from customer reviews for this tube!  I like! I will see what I think of them 100 hours from now.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 07/23/15 at 17:46:21

I don't mean to create confusion by using the Owner's manual number positions for the Input Tubes of the ZMA (A12 & B12). I do it, so others do not confuse them with the phase inverter tubes positions. I will just refer to them as the Input Tube positions going forward. We OWN the ZMA.  

I have enjoyed rolling 5 pair of tubes through the Inputs of the ZMA:
The shipped with 6N23P's
NOS Sovtek 6922's (True NOS)
NOS Platinum National 7DJ8's
http://www.upscaleaudio.com/matsushita-national-pcc88-7dj8/
NOS Platinum Telefunken 6922"s
http://www.upscaleaudio.com/telefunken-e88cc-6922/
NOS Platinum Ediswan 6922's
http://www.upscaleaudio.com/ediswan-cv2492-6922/

The Ediswan's are breathtaking in what they are providing to the Output!  
Stunning midrange texture while maintaining top and bottom end extension.....is NOT hyperbole!

Expensive, yeah~and worth it. Highly recommend the Ediswan's with the rest of Steve's Tube compliment shipped:
Tung-Sol KT66's (Bias at: 48 mA)
NOS 0A3 JAN Sylvania USA (or USA RCA NOS 0A3)
6N23P's as inverter's.

I use the NOS Platinum Telefunken 6922 as my Input Tube in my CSP3. Talk about the Master & Commander Tube for my 6N1P-EV's shipped from Steve with the CSP3......clarity/transparency...provided to ZMA.




Listening Room:
Room Treatments from Michael Green & Home Brew

Sony as Transport (DVP-NS57P)/Sandwich weighted for Isolation
Illuminati D-60 Digital Coax IC

Decware ZDSD DAC / Recorder (@ -20 Ref Level @ 16/176.4)

AURALiC Vega D/A processor.....coming!

WBT-0102Ag RCA Kimber Select KS1030
Decware CSP3 w/Jupiter Caps (NOS/Platinum/Telefunken 6922/E88CC .....for Input Tube)
WBT-0102Ag RCA Kimber Select KS1030

Decware Zen Mystery Amplifier
***NOS/Platinum/Ediswan's CV2492/6922 in my A12 an B12 positions***

Kimber Select KS3033 Speaker Cable
Acoustic Zen Adagio - Black Pearl (Modified)
M-CAP® Supreme Silver / Gold & Oil.....pending this Fall!

Acoustic Zen Adagio's x-over's Modified/Full Range with Mundorf MCap Supremes-single Cap to each Tweeter/4.5k cross
(Gutted: 3kHz/18dB/Octave, Linkwitz/Riley Crossovers....with all crappy parts = gone)

XLO Pro Power Cords to CSP3 an ZMA
PS Audio P3 Power Plant / Pangea AC-9SE from wall to P3
(Transport, ZDSD an CSP3, Regenerated/120 ~ Multiwave off...ZMA on High Current Output)




Decware SE84CS (NOS Svetlana SV83's from 1980's-not the New Sensor knock-offs) ...when SE Pentodes run in Triode/Decware Style...needs to be in the System!

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 07/31/15 at 19:10:31

Over 70 hours on the Ediswan's. Love um'.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lonely Raven on 07/31/15 at 21:32:46


I've got some noise coming from my Nationals. I think I'm going back to the stock tubes.

Last I had my Amp at Decware, Steve said my tubes are looking tired...I probably should just go with a fresh set all around. I'm pretty sure I've got close to 1000 hours on the amp by now.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 08/01/15 at 17:45:09

Oh yeah, I have one KT66 wavering slightly. Nice, we can see that with a ZMA and its most bodacious meters! I bet I have 1500 hours plus on my ZMA.

I will replace the quad KT66's, put in my new matched cryoed/quad 6N23P's from Cryoset....get a feel for the original sound again before returning my Ediswan's back to the Input stage.

I think my 0A3's are still hardy?

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 08/02/15 at 00:58:56

I was under the impression that the tubes generally lasted more into the 5 digit range.  What can we expect to get out of our ZMA tubes?  What's a "tired" tube look like anyway?  I know we can see the health of the power tubes from the meters so I'm refering to the others.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by lLance on 08/02/15 at 17:25:22

I just replaced a quad of Gold Lion KT66 from Cryoset in my ZMA with the exact same tubes. This new quad of Gold Lions don't seem to bias like the last pair. Can't get them below 62ma. This will be a problem I think. I see you guys talking about the Tung Sols, maybe I go back and try them again.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 08/02/15 at 19:55:07

lLance, you wore out a quad of the GLs already?  Mine bias to about 56.  Steve told me that he goes into the 80s but that he runs the system hard at that point.  You can ask him but I doubt there's and issue at 62.  The transformers might run hotter but I think I read that they are good for around 145 degrees.  When I was biasing at 60 with the stock Tuns Sols my trans were under 125 degrees.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 12/16/15 at 15:18:51

Added a pair of Upscale Audio NOS Platinum Cryogenic Ediswan's for CSP3 Outputs (see tube sig's below). With them running into my ZMA Ediswan Inputs........no looking back!

Highly recommended. If you get them and don't like them....I will most likely buy them from you..... . PM me, I'll check back in a month or two. I would not mind having an Insurance pair (or two), 4 to 5000 hours down the road to replace one or both of the pair's I'm running.  







Listening Room:



Room Treatments from Michael Green & Home Brew

Sony as Transport (DVP-NS57P)/Sandwich weighted for Isolation

Illuminati D-60 Digital Coax IC

****Shunyata Research ZiTron Alpha Digital Power Cord****
{you need to experience the next level it can take your DAC}

Decware ZDSD DAC / Recorder
***************************************************************
W/Steve's Output Transformer's/kicking to the curb quite a few superb DAC'S!
***************************************************************
(@ -20 Ref Level, 0.0 Input volume and @ 16/192)
{also @ kept/-20 Ref Level & -.5db or -1.0 Input volume Level}


WBT-0102Ag RCA Kimber Select KS1030

Decware CSP3 w/Jupiter Caps
(NOS/Platinum/Telefunken 6922/E88CC for Input Tube~NOS/Platinum/Ediswan's CV2492/6922 for Output Tubes & 5U4G-C Rectifier)
****************************************************
10 of 10 for Input tube & 9 of 10 voltage for Output tubes
Volume adjustment usage at 25% to 35% of usable volume
****************************************************

WBT-0102Ag RCA Kimber Select KS1030

Decware Zen Mystery Amplifier
(NOS/Platinum/Ediswan's CV2492/6922 in my A12 an B12 positions~6N23P-EV's for Inverter Tubes~JAN Sylvania 0A3's & Tung-Sol KT66's)
ZMA adjusted at 25% to 30% of usable volume

***************************************************
Kimber Select KS6063 Speaker Cable 8ft WBT-0681-Ag Spades
***************************************************

Acoustic Zen Adagio - Black Pearl (Modified)




Acoustic Zen Adagio's x-over's Modified/Full Range with Mundorf MCap Supremes-single Cap to each Tweeter/4.5k cross
(Gutted: 3kHz/18dB/Octave, Linkwitz/Riley Crossovers....with all crappy parts = gone)

XLO Pro Power Cords to CSP3 an ZMA
PS Audio P3 Power Plant / Pangea AC-9SE from wall to P3
(Transport, ZDSD an CSP3, Regenerated/120 ~ Multiwave off...ZMA on High Current Output)

PS=the: NOS/Platinum/Ediswan's CV2492/6922 /Inputs = ZMA are breathtaking.............. .

NOS/Platinum/Telefunken 6922/E88CC for Input Tube/CSP3 ~ not taken for granted neither......... .
NOS/Platinum/Ediswan's CV2492/6922 for CSP3 Outputs = Stellar!

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 12/22/15 at 15:42:21

I went back to my 6N1P-EV's as Output pre tubes for my CSP3. Double Ediswan's was to much of a good thing (Edi's out to Edi's in of ZMA).

But, an absolute must for my System is the NOS Platinum Telefunken I'm running for Input of my CSP3 and THE NOS Platinum Ediswan's for Input's of my Zen Mystery Amp.

I have NOS Cryogenic 6N23P-EV's (the good ones), from Cryoset....before they went extinct....and love them...and will switch them in ZMA Input's now and then going forward. .....but, the Ediswan's are my FAV's for Input's for my ZMA!!!!

....and of course now, I have a tucked away pair of NOS plat/Edi's....for 5000 hours from now.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lonely Raven on 12/28/15 at 19:46:00


Stone, my power tubes are really tired - what are you using for power tubes on the ZMA?


Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lon on 12/28/15 at 20:20:28

LR, if I can make a suggestion I'd recommend considering the TAD KT-66 from cryoset.com I've had these for more than 2,000 hours of really great playback. Very balanced tube frequency wise, dynamic. I've had the Tung-Sol and Gold Lion KT-66 but the TAD are better in my amps.

http://www.cryoset.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=394&osCsid=96kba50l4bhjihonlgpuhbaet1

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 12/29/15 at 15:21:05

Hey LR, I recently replaced mine after 22 months. I put the new matched quad in on 11/23, last month. I stuck with the Tung-Sol reissue KT66's. ......Two year anniversary for my ZMA, coming Jan/22nd.

I considered getting them from Cryoset, but decided to go un-cryo from TubeDepot.com, out of Memphis.

Nice, to put in a nice fresh quad, and because we have them, see the meters go to full bias pretty damn quick....mine were so tired too. We get to bias and balance perfectly!

I noticed something too? This new fresh quad is DEAD quiet. The quad Steve sent...they were a little noisey and one tube dragged to warm up pretty soon in on..... . It can happen. However, Tube Depot, I have loved for years and this quad is rock solid stellar!

I might someday, try the TADS Lon is suggesting. But, all research indicates INPUT Tubes make the most difference. As I stated in my post just above, loving those tubes.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lon on 12/29/15 at 16:06:58

In my experience all tubes make a difference in every Deware amp or preamp I've owned. I can distinctly hear the differences in power tubes. Just saying. I liked the Tung-Sol the least of the three I've tried in my Torii Mk IIIs and Mk II. Different amps, yes. But my mileage. Others vary.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by will on 12/30/15 at 00:21:32

I agree with Lon. It may be true that inputs do the most...may be...but I hear notable differences with changes in any of the eight tube positions I use. Even VRs to me are pretty powerful. OA3 to OB3 is a real signature change, and even between vintages of OB3 by the same maker, one is a bit warmer and more textural, and the other more bold, articulate and dynamic, again a very good tuning tool. The ZMA OA3 sounds like you can't change to a different voltage tube, but at least in the MKIII and MKIV, different OA3 makes and shapes sound different enough to definitely prefer one over another in a given tube set.

And power tubes have more effect than VRs. To work around a given power tube, tuning to preferences with the others is no doubt a valid choice.

But that leaves out an important set of possibilities if you want to go deep. Similar in over-all sound influence to inputs (but with a different vibe since they are POWER tubes), their sound qualities not only change the amp, but effect the subtle qualities of the other tubes. I am glad to have several favorite power tubes to change things up. For example, the Ediswans in the CSP3 and Mystery being too much of a good thing could possibly be just right with a power tube that has a lot of spaciousness and inner detail. Possibly.

Right now I have winnowed down to the Valve Art KT66 (looks just like TAD, but I guess without the TAD selection system) Genalex KT66, and Tungsol 6L6G. For my preferences, to really tune the sound, I use them all at different times. Can't say now how the Tungsol KT66 would fit in there, but I preferred these tubes over it early on and the Tungsol KT66 have been in my Blue Torii since where some very open Telsa PCC88s bring them out nicely.

Long story short Stone...the way you are having fun with tuning to taste with tubes, you may enjoy a little variety of power tubes to work with. And the ZMA, with its bias tuning would make it a more powerful tuning tool I guess.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lon on 12/30/15 at 01:13:32

In my post from yesterday I said Gold Lion but meant to say Genalex.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 12/31/15 at 16:08:28

Neither of you own ZMA's. Input tubes matter the most as stated. So, no need to pee on the tree here, to mark your territory you don't have (read ZMA).
;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D

Happy New Year, you two blowhards!  Have some fun tonight. Don't spend it on the Forum here!  

Who loves ya baby!

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lon on 12/31/15 at 16:15:09

Nobody is "peeing on the tree," just offering advice on a great power tube imo, one I've preferred after using two other brands, both of whom had one fail on me early as well. I'd have a ZMA if I wanted one, I don't want one. But my guess is the TAD tubes would shine in the ZMA. I was offering that advice to Eric, not you.

Happy new year. We're going out to dinner and then staying in and have some sober fun.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 12/31/15 at 17:34:31

You don't own a ZMA ~ so don't comment on the ZMA. It is pretty simple...... .






Listening Room:



Room Treatments from Michael Green & Home Brew

Sony as Transport (DVP-NS57P)/Sandwich weighted for Isolation

Illuminati D-60 Digital Coax IC


Decware ZDSD DAC / Recorder
***************************************************************
W/Steve's Output Transformer's/kicking to the curb quite a few superb DAC'S!
***************************************************************
(@ -20 Ref Level, 0.0 Input volume and @ 16/192)
{also @ kept/-20 Ref Level & -.5db Input volume Level}


WBT-0102Ag RCA Kimber Select KS1030

Decware CSP3 w/Jupiter Caps
(NOS/Platinum/Telefunken 6922/E88CC for Input Tube~6N1P-EV's for Output Tubes & 5U4G-C Rectifier)
****************************************************
10 of 10 for Input tube & 8 of 10 voltage for Output tubes
Volume adjustment usage at 25% to 45% of usable volume
****************************************************

WBT-0102Ag RCA Kimber Select KS1030

Decware Zen Mystery Amplifier
(NOS/Platinum/Ediswan's CV2492/6922 in my A12 an B12 positions~6N23P-EV's for Inverter Tubes~JAN Sylvania 0A3's & Tung-Sol KT66's)
ZMA adjusted at 25% to 35% of usable volume

***************************************************
Kimber Select KS6063 Speaker Cable 8ft WBT-0681-Ag Spades
***************************************************

Acoustic Zen Adagio - Black Pearl (Modified)




Acoustic Zen Adagio's x-over's Modified/Full Range with Mundorf MCap Supremes-single Cap to each Tweeter/4.5k cross
(Gutted: 3kHz/18dB/Octave, Linkwitz/Riley Crossovers....with all crappy parts = gone)

XLO Pro Power Cords to CSP3 an ZMA
All four pieces of Gear running from an: ADCOM ACE - 515 AC enhancer

PS=the: NOS/Platinum/Ediswan's CV2492/6922 /Inputs = ZMA are breathtaking.............. .
Also: Cryoset 6N23N-EB's, rotated in and out of Inputs/ZMA

NOS/Platinum/Telefunken 6922/E88CC for Input Tube/CSP3 ~ not taken for granted neither......... .

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lon on 12/31/15 at 18:26:16

What's simple is that you have no authority over what I post, this year or next.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by will on 12/31/15 at 22:26:09

Stone,

Sorry you find our attempts to help people based on our rather serious experimentation as "blowing hard." Personally, I really appreciate others giving useful information based on their experience. It helps me understand better what is going on in general, and can help me get the sound I love....To me this is what this forum is about.

What we were talking about was the nature of tube sound.... and the interaction between tubes in Decware amps. As Lon said, with all Decware amps he has used, and the same for me, all tubes notably effect the sound if a system is revealing at all. In this room I have used an SE34, Rachael, Blue Torii, Torii MKIII and MKIV, Zstage, Taboo, and CSP3 and every tube makes a difference in all of those. Though I have not heard a Mystery amp, to me it defies logic that any of Steve's amps would not clearly reflect the various characters of different power tubes.

And though not necessarily my experience, even if it were true that inputs across the board brought about the most powerful sound shifts, this does not mean power tubes do not bring about powerful sound shifts also. I would be dumbfounded if Steve did not agree! Now which is the best in a given setting, who knows.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 01/03/16 at 18:18:45

~Bloviating~ ::) ;D







Listening Room:



Room Treatments from Michael Green & Home Brew

Sony as Transport (DVP-NS57P)/Sandwich weighted for Isolation

Illuminati D-60 Digital Coax IC


Decware ZDSD DAC / Recorder
***************************************************************
W/Steve's Output Transformer's/kicking to the curb quite a few superb DAC'S!
***************************************************************
(@ -20 Ref Level, 0.0 Input volume and @ 16/192)
{also @ kept/-20 Ref Level & -.5db Input volume Level}


WBT-0102Ag RCA Kimber Select KS1030

Decware CSP3 w/Jupiter Caps
(NOS/Platinum/Telefunken 6922/E88CC for Input Tube~6N1P-EV's for Output Tubes & 5U4G-C Rectifier)
****************************************************
10 of 10 for Input tube & 8 of 10 voltage for Output tubes
Volume adjustment usage at 25% to 45% of usable volume
****************************************************

WBT-0102Ag RCA Kimber Select KS1030

Decware Zen Mystery Amplifier
(NOS/Platinum/Ediswan's CV2492/6922 in my A12 an B12 positions~6N23P-EV's for Inverter Tubes~JAN Sylvania 0A3's & Tung-Sol KT66's)
ZMA adjusted at 25% to 35% of usable volume

***************************************************
Kimber Select KS6063 Speaker Cable 8ft WBT-0681-Ag Spades
***************************************************

Acoustic Zen Adagio - Black Pearl (Modified)




Acoustic Zen Adagio's x-over's Modified/Full Range with Mundorf MCap Supremes-single Cap to each Tweeter/4.5k cross
(Gutted: 3kHz/18dB/Octave, Linkwitz/Riley Crossovers....with all crappy parts = gone)

***************************************************************************
XLO Pro Power Cords to CSP3 an ZMA
All four pieces of Gear running from an: ADCOM ACE - 515 AC enhancer

~OR~

PS Audio P3 Power Plant / Pangea AC-9SE from wall to P3
(Transport, ZDSD an CSP3, Regenerated/120 ~ Multiwave off...ZMA on High Current Output)
***************************************************************************

PS=the: NOS/Platinum/Ediswan's CV2492/6922 /Inputs = ZMA are breathtaking.............. .
Also: Cryoset 6N23N-EB's, rotated in and out of Inputs/ZMA

NOS/Platinum/Telefunken 6922/E88CC for Input Tube/CSP3 ~ not taken for granted neither......... .

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lord Soth on 01/05/16 at 17:15:41

I agree with both Will and Lon.

I own the CSP3, CSP2+ and Torii Mk4.
Steve's amps are built based on the concept of a straight wire with gain.
So every tube from the input to the output will make a difference to your sound.

For those with a limited budget, your amp will still sound good with the stock tubes. But as a tube roller, I'm very certain that the sound in your Decware amp can still be improved with better NOS tubes in place.

Now, back to the concept of a straight wire with gain design.
This is the reason why Joe's tube lore has stood the test of time.
The pinched waist really does sound the best of all the 6DJ8s, except  for maybe the Stuttgart Lorenz PCC88 which I was fortunate enough to acquire.
Regardless of your particular amp, Decware or otherwise and even ZMA or otherwise, joe's tube lore is highly reliable.

As for power tubes , as someone who has tube rolled with NOS EL34s MULLARDS, Phillips BROWNbases and Philips Metalbase tubes, the metal base tubes are really worth the extra , if you can find them. I'm really fortunate to have gotten a few quads of them for my Torii Mk4, which is why I'm certain that my Decware amp is running at peak performance.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 01/07/16 at 16:18:18

Once again, IF you don't own it ~ don't comment on its Tube Fidelity.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 01/10/16 at 19:09:06

LR -- I've been running a quad of the Gold Lion KT66s from Cryoset and I've liked them better than the Tungsol but I also just put back in a quad of 6P3S-E - 6L6 - 6L6GT that I bought on ebay some time ago.  They are excellent and a real bargain compared to other options.  Plus they have a strong blue glow!   ;)

Let us know what you think if you decide to try some.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/171702074721?_trksid=p2055119.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lon on 01/10/16 at 19:30:59

Interesting. I ordered a quad. They're matched I assume? I hope.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 01/10/16 at 19:48:49

Mine are and the add says they are too.  I'm thinking of getting a second quad before he runs out.  If you search 6P3S-E there is a lot of chit chat on these tubes on the Forum.  I would not call them bass shy anymore as I did when I first got them.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 01/10/16 at 20:09:55

Just ordered another quad of the 6P3S-E.  I also considered the TAD KT66 but these are about a third the price and are good for me now.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lon on 01/10/16 at 20:28:51

Cool. I remember you and Mark and a few others talking about these. I love the TAD KT-66 and have gotten more hours out of them than any other output tubes I've had in the Torii in years. I'll be ordering another quad this year. But I'll try these too. . . . I have three Toriis so there are always a place for another quad.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 01/11/16 at 18:07:45

LR, did you get a new Quad? What are you biasing at (these days)?

I was using 52 mA for the longest time. I just went back to 60 mA! So much better for my Ediswan Input tubes. Better for the 0A3's and the Inverter tubes too with these Edi's. Transients are total killer now!

Torii III weenies don't get to customize their Input Tubes!

That was fun to say!   ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D
Especially when Torii weenies insist on commenting about tube rolling in an Amp (ZMA).....they don't have/own.....ANY EXPERIENCE WITH. But, some people are Legends in there own minds!


INSIGHT - The two small 9 pin tubes (6N23P) that make up the input stage and
phase inverter are used to drive the output stage. These tubes have an effect on
the overall matching of a given pair of output tubes. That means you can have a
perfectly matched pair and an odd or misbehaving 6N23P could cause the tubes to
be off sightly. Of course with the Mystery Amp you can simply compensate with the
ingenious balance control.

....and since I tube roll:

NOS/Platinum/Ediswan's CV2492/6922 /Inputs = ZMA

Also: Cryoset 6N23N-EB's, rotated in and out of Inputs/ZMA

....so critical to balance.....and have the option to bias at: 50, 52, 54, 56, 58 or 60 mA.
(working "the" between the hashes, from 48 on up with subtlety).




Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 01/13/16 at 19:52:18

Try Cable Rolling!

Kimber Kable KS6063
Broad-shouldered, muscular, and hugely dynamic, KS6063 is simultaneously capable of brutal transients and the most intimate delicacy. This reference cable delivers unforgettable experiences, with effortless extensions into both extremes.

Not bull-malarkey!  .....so damn glad to have um'!!!!!!!!!

DECWARE UL RULES.......and the rest of the Market can just drool!






Listening Room:



Room Treatments from Michael Green & Home Brew

Sony as Transport (DVP-NS57P)/Sandwich weighted for Isolation

Illuminati D-60 Digital Coax IC

Shunyata Research Zitron Alpha Digital Power Cord to ZDSD!

Decware ZDSD DAC / Recorder
***************************************************************
W/Steve's Output Transformer's/kicking to the curb quite a few superb DAC'S!
***************************************************************
(@ -20 Ref Level, 0.0 Input volume and @ 16/192)

WBT-0102Ag RCA Kimber Select KS1030

Decware CSP3 w/Jupiter Caps
(NOS/Platinum/Telefunken 6922/E88CC for Input Tube~6N1P-EV's for Output Tubes & 5U4G-C Rectifier)
****************************************************
10 of 10 for Input tube & *9* of 10 voltage for Output tubes
Volume adjustment usage at 25% to 55% of usable volume
****************************************************

WBT-0102Ag RCA Kimber Select KS1030

Decware Zen Mystery Amplifier
~BIASED at *60* mA~
(NOS/Platinum/Ediswan's CV2492/6922 in my A12 an B12 positions~6N23P-EV's for Inverter Tubes~JAN Sylvania 0A3's & Tung-Sol KT66's)
ZMA adjusted at 25% to 35% of usable volume

***************************************************
Kimber Select KS6063 Speaker Cable 8ft WBT-0681-Ag Spades
***************************************************

Acoustic Zen Adagio - Black Pearl (Modified)




Acoustic Zen Adagio's x-over's Modified/Full Range with Mundorf MCap Supremes-single Cap to each Tweeter/4.5k cross
(Gutted: 3kHz/18dB/Octave, Linkwitz/Riley Crossovers....with all crappy parts = gone)


XLO Pro Power Cords to CSP3 an ZMA
PS Audio P3 Power Plant / Pangea AC-9SE from wall to P3
(Transport, ZDSD an CSP3, Regenerated/*122*~ Multiwave off...ZMA on High Current Output)
***************************************************************************

PS: NOS/Platinum/Ediswan's CV2492/6922 /Inputs = ZMA are breathtaking.............. .

*Also: Cryoset 6N23N-EB's, rotated in and out of Inputs/ZMA*

NOS/Platinum/Telefunken 6922/E88CC for Input Tube/CSP3 ~ not taken for granted neither......... .

NOS/Platinum/Ediswan's CV2492/6922 /PRE Outputs of CSP3, running out into ZMA Inputs with Ediswan's = revelatory!

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lon on 01/19/16 at 00:25:05

Interestingly cryoset.com is now offering these Reflector 6P3S-E, and at about the same price as the foreign seller I bought a quad from. So I ordered some from cryoset as well. . . we'll see which comes first!

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lon on 01/21/16 at 23:34:42

Well, I got these tubes in from Cryoset and tried them out. Back to the sound I had in the Torii before I moved to KT66--more upfront, more vibrant perhaps. . . but a bit light weight and missing the solidity and openness I find so appealing in the KT66, especially the TAD. A bit less "3D". . . .I had to put in some rock because jazz, especially piano, didn't sound quite right to me on these tubes (so far).

I'll keep them in and out a few days and see if the bass comes in soon. . . but I miss the TADs already!

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 01/24/16 at 15:42:36

INSIGHT - The two small 9 pin tubes (6N23P) that make up the input stage and
phase inverter are used to drive the output stage. These tubes have an effect on
the overall matching of a given pair of output tubes. That means you can have a
perfectly matched pair and an odd or misbehaving 6N23P could cause the tubes to
be off sightly. Of course with the Mystery Amp you can simply compensate with the
ingenious balance control.

....and since I tube roll:

NOS/Platinum/Ediswan's CV2492/6922 /Inputs = ZMA

Also: Cryoset 6H23N-EB's, rotated in and out of Inputs/ZMA

....so critical to balance.....and have the option to bias at: 50, 52, 54, 56, 58 or 60 mA.
(working "the" between the hashes, from 48 on up with subtlety).


Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lon on 01/26/16 at 14:31:43


mark58 wrote on 02/28/15 at 22:08:41:
OK, I did it!  I bought the 6P3S-E tubes...  two pair of 60's tubes from the Photon Plant and a Quad of those reflectors from the Saratov plant from the 70's....from the seller Will bought from.  I hope they're good because I could have had that RCA Black Plate Quad for what I paid. The search is over...for now. Mark.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/181300188954?_trksid=p2059210.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

http://www.ebay.com/itm/171604076434?_trksid=p2059210.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

http://www.ebay.com/itm/171604080168?_trksid=p2059210.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT


Seems about a year that people have been reporting on these. I have about 30 hours on my cryo'd quad (serving background and TV duty) and am listening critically now. Quite nice. In comparison to the TAD KT66 more forward and less bass impact and depth, at least so far. More detailed perhaps, but I don't feel I miss the details with the TADs. There is much less of an "open field of sound" than with the TADs and a much denser center fill, a very different soundscape.

Nice change of pace though. I know I'll miss the TADs and after about 15 months it's really time for a new quad of TADs. those 6P35s are sure cheaper though. . . by more than half. . .and I'm enjoying the change now that they've bloomed and de-sizzled a bit.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 01/26/16 at 14:58:20

Torii III? We eat Torii III's for lunch on this Thread. You must be lost? Or, confused?!   :D  ;D  ;D  ;D  ;D


Further sonic pleasure improvements (Zen Mystery Amp & CSP3) have been Tube Rolling:

NOS/Platinum/Ediswan's CV2492/6922 /Inputs = ZMA are breathtaking.............. .

*Also: Cryoset 6H23N-EB's, rotated in and out of Inputs/ZMA*
(Way different internal guts/halo/getter...they are NOT 6N23P-EV's)

NOS/Platinum/Telefunken 6922/E88CC for Input Tube/CSP3 ~ not taken for granted neither......... .

NOS/Platinum/Ediswan's CV2492/6922 /PRE Outputs of CSP3, running  into ZMA Inputs with Ediswan's = revelatory!  



Furthermore, customizing my Acoustic Zen Adagio's:

Acoustic Zen Adagio's x-over's Modified/Full Range with Mundorf MCap Supremes-single Cap to each Tweeter/4.5k cross
(Gutted: 3kHz/18dB/Octave, Linkwitz/Riley Crossovers....with all crappy parts = gone)
...........................Revelatory!

Especially when the Adagio Drivers are equipped with underhung voice coils and Neodymium magnets – a short voice coil in a long magnetic gap allows to eliminates most of the distortions and coloration.

......then with the Transmission Lines.....magnificent overacheivers!





PS: Goals in 2016/for my System:

1) Three more choice/select/NOS/Platinum pairs of 6922's from Upscale Audio.

2) I'm bringing in a PASS LABS XA 30.8 (used/demo/seasoned in), to challenge my Zen Mystery Amp. Yes, the XA 30.8.....not the XA 30.5.
(I'll probably end up keeping the 30.8 & the ZMA will be going nowhere~it stays/period).

3) Kimber Internal Silver wire or Duelund, inside Adagio's...and Upgrade Caps to Mundorf Silver Oils.








Listening Room:


Room Treatments from Michael Green & Home Brew

Sony as Transport (DVP-NS57P)/Sandwich weighted for Isolation

Illuminati D-60 Digital Coax IC

Shunyata Research Ztron Alpha Digital Power Cord to ZDSD!

Decware ZDSD DAC / Recorder
***************************************************************
W/Steve's Output Transformer's/kicking to the curb quite a few superb DAC'S!
***************************************************************
(@ -20 Ref Level, 0.0 Input volume and @ 16/192)

WBT-0102Ag RCA Kimber Select KS1030

Decware CSP3 w/Jupiter Caps
(NOS/Platinum/Telefunken 6922/E88CC for Input Tube~NOS Platinum Ediswan Cryogenic 6922's for Output Tubes & 5U4G-C Rectifier)
****************************************************
10 of 10 for Input tube & *9* of 10 voltage for Output tubes
Volume adjustment usage at 25% to 55% from 0
****************************************************

WBT-0102Ag RCA Kimber Select KS1030

Decware Zen Mystery Amplifier
~BIASED at *60* mA~
(NOS/Platinum/Ediswan's CV2492/6922 in my A12 an B12 positions~6N23P-EV's for Inverter Tubes~JAN Sylvania 0A3's & Tung-Sol KT66's)
ZMA adjusted at 20% to 30% from 0

***************************************************
Kimber Select KS6063 Speaker Cable 8ft WBT-0681-Ag Spades
***************************************************

Acoustic Zen Adagio - Black Pearl (Modified)




Acoustic Zen Adagio's x-over's Modified/Full Range with Mundorf MCap Supremes-single Cap to each Tweeter/4.5k cross
(Gutted: 3kHz/18dB/Octave, Linkwitz/Riley Crossovers....with all crappy parts = gone)


XLO Pro Power Cords to CSP3 an ZMA
PS Audio P3 Power Plant / Pangea AC-9SE from wall to P3
(Transport, ZDSD an CSP3, Regenerated/*122*~ Multiwave off...ZMA on High Current Output)
***************************************************************************

PS: NOS/Platinum/Ediswan's CV2492/6922 /Inputs = ZMA are breathtaking.............. .

*Also: Cryoset 6H23N-EB's, rotated in and out of Inputs/ZMA*
(Way different internal guts/halo/getter...they are NOT 6N23P-EV's)

NOS/Platinum/Telefunken 6922/E88CC for Input Tube/CSP3 ~ not taken for granted neither......... .

NOS/Platinum/Ediswan's CV2492/6922 /PRE Outputs of CSP3, running  into ZMA Inputs with Ediswan's = revelatory!  

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lon on 01/26/16 at 15:03:34

UMMM. . . this thread does not belong to you, and that's where these tubes are discussed. See ya.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 01/26/16 at 15:06:13

Ummm....lost & confused.....as I suspected.   :P

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lon on 01/26/16 at 15:12:05

Yes, apparently you are. ;)

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 01/26/16 at 15:17:07

:D :D ;D ;D

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Charnwood on 02/15/16 at 18:10:54

One of the issues I've had right from the start with my ZMA is the difficulty in achieving the recommended 50mA bias current. The Tung-Sol KT66 that came with amp couldn't quiet get there. The Harma KT66-Retro's I replaced the Tung-Sols with were better but not much better. I discovered that mains voltage has an affect on this by powering the ZMA with main re-generator with a fixed output voltage of 230v instead of the 251v I typically get at the mains socket and decided that this was the reason. I live across the road from the local substation. Subsequent research indicated that the Tung-Sol KT66 was atypical of most KT66s in that its bias current requirement was lower. Something was very wrong with my original KT66s.
My system has been out of use the last few months whilst I renovated my main listening room. Last weekend thing had reached the point where I could setup a basic system and start to have a listen and so took the opportunity to purchase a new matched quad of Tung-Sol KT66s. Ill admit that, with hind-sight, it's something I should have done from the start. The new Tung-Sol KT66s have sorted the bias adjustment issue and are sounding amazing. The subsequent listening session lead to an interesting discovery but that will the subject of another post.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 02/15/16 at 19:16:49

I treat the 50 mA bias as more of a target and set bias more to the tube.  The original recommendation was 60 mA.  I bias my Gold Lion KT66s at 56 mA which is a bit higher than their minimum.  I think higher bias may cause the output transformers to run hotter but mine are still way below the 140 degrees Steve said was the design run point.

One of my original Tung-Sols is funky and takes a long time to settle so I don't use them.  I don't feel like I got near the life from that Tung-Sol tube that I should have.  I really like the 6P3S-Es from Russia but I had a problem with one or two from the last quad I bought.  After running fine for weeks, I left my house for an hour and when I came back there was a very loud and awful sound coming form my speakers and the left channel meters were pegged at the top.  After powering down and back up everything seemed fine but the left tubes started acting up several days later with the meters jumping and bad sounds coming from the left speaker.  Steve told me that they would be bad when I conferred with him over the original incident.

When cash flow improves I think I'll try the TAD KT66s from Cryoset.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Charnwood on 02/15/16 at 22:30:03

It seems I'm not the only to choose a different make of KT66 when the original Tung-Sols gave problems. The new quad of Tung-Sol KT66s are in a different class when compared to the originals.

The object of my initial listening session last Saturday was to get reacquainted with the system. The input tubes were Telefunken E88CCs, the phase splitters were Telefunken PCC88s and the output tubes were the new Tung-Sol KT66s. In general I was very impressed with the system, and as far as I could recall possibly the best I'd ever heard it. However, on about a third of the tracks it seemed as if the bass was leaking into the mid-range. At the time I put this down to a need for better equipment supports and acoustic treatments.

On Sunday I decided to swap the original 6N23Ps back in to remind me what the standard configuration sounded like. After about an hour I decided I preferred what I was hearing on Saturday and so swap the input tube for not for the Telefunken E88CC but the Siemans E88CC.
The result was much more like that which I was getting the previous day but not quite and the dark mid-range was still there on some tracks. I decided to swap the phase splitter to see what difference that might make. By chance I put the Telefunken E88CC instead of the PCC88s.
So did it make a difference? Yes!, one hell of a difference. For a start, gone was the darkening of the mid-range not mention all other benefits this brought with it. It was allowing the Siemans E88CC to perform as it should. It seems the choice of phase splitter tube can be critical.  

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 02/16/16 at 14:30:54

Oh yeah, getting the original quad/sent with my ZMA out after 22 months this past November....they were noisey from the start.
My new quad of KT66 Tung-Sol are quiet and awesome.

Yes, I just made the Inverter Tubes a priority. I have a pair of Cryoset Cry'ode 6H23N-EB's in. ....see my complete tubes below.

After 25 months and 2500 hours on the originals from Steve....they were slow!  Anyone out there thinking it's your Input tubes being slow on your ZMA...it might be and probably is your Phase Inverter tubes. ....and yes, with only 2500 hours on them. Being a UL Amp...I drive it hard and Listen to it at 86 to 94db SPL's....you won't get 4500 hours out of the Inverters....only about 2500.  

Chranwood, I have some Mullards, Bels coming for Input and Output.....LOVING MY EDISWANS!!!!

I should get the Telefunken E88CC .....for Inverters too!





Listening Room:


Room Treatments from Michael Green & Home Brew

Sony as Transport (DVP-NS57P)/Sandwich weighted for Isolation

Illuminati D-60 Digital Coax IC

Shunyata Research Ztron Alpha Digital Power Cord to ZDSD!

Decware ZDSD DAC / Recorder
***************************************************************
W/Steve's Output Transformer's/kicking to the curb quite a few superb DAC'S!
***************************************************************
(@ -20 Ref Level, 0.0 Input volume and @ 16/192)

WBT-0102Ag RCA Kimber Select KS1030

Decware CSP3 w/Jupiter Caps
(NOS/Platinum/Telefunken 6922/E88CC for Input Tube~NOS Platinum Ediswan Cryogenic 6922's for Output Tubes & 5U4G-C Rectifier)
****************************************************
10 of 10 for Input tube & *9* of 10 voltage for Output tubes
Volume adjustment usage at 25% to 55% from 0
****************************************************

WBT-0102Ag RCA Kimber Select KS1030

Decware Zen Mystery Amplifier
~BIASED at *60* mA~
(NOS/Platinum/Ediswan's CV2492/6922 in my A12 an B12 positions~Cryoset 6H23N-EB's for Inverter Tubes~JAN Sylvania 0A3's & New Quad of Tube Depot Stealth/Tung-Sol KT66's)
ZMA adjusted at 10%, 15% to 25% max, from 0

***************************************************
Kimber Select KS6063 Speaker Cable 8ft WBT-0681-Ag Spades
***************************************************

Acoustic Zen Adagio - Black Pearl (Modified)
.....from 8ohm Taps




Acoustic Zen Adagio's x-over's Modified/Full Range with Mundorf MCap Supremes-single Cap to each Tweeter/4.5k cross
(Gutted: 3kHz/18dB/Octave, Linkwitz/Riley Crossovers....with all crappy parts = gone)


XLO Pro Power Cords to CSP3 an ZMA
PS Audio P3 Power Plant / Pangea AC-9SE from wall to P3
(Transport, ZDSD an CSP3, Regenerated/*122*~ Multiwave off...ZMA on High Current Output)
***************************************************************************

PS: NOS/Platinum/Ediswan's CV2492/6922 /Inputs = ZMA are breathtaking.............. .

*Also: Cryoset 6H23N-EB's, rotated in and out of Inputs/ZMA*
(Way different internal guts/halo/getter...they are NOT 6N23P-EV's)

NOS/Platinum/Telefunken 6922/E88CC for Input Tube/CSP3 ~ not taken for granted neither......... .

NOS/Platinum/Ediswan's CV2492/6922 /PRE Outputs of CSP3, running  into ZMA Inputs with Ediswan's = revelatory!

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Charnwood on 02/16/16 at 18:19:02

I've decided I don't really care for the Siemans E88CC as an input tube, much preferring the Telefunken E88CC in that position, but the Siemans does make a fine phase-splitter tube along with the Telefunken E88CC.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Charnwood on 02/16/16 at 20:54:39

I'm going to have to temper my last post in regards to the Siemans E88CC as phase-splitter, simply put it's not in the Telefunken E88CC's league. I'm now running with Telefunken E88CC's for both input and phase-splitter and it's a case of "You don't know what you've got until it's gone". In this instance, a bit of looseness in the bass and a little clouding in the mid-range.
I'm not sure how much is due to running matched tubes in both positions, and how much is due to the Telefunken E88CC's abilities as a phase-splitter. It should be noted that the Telefunken also worked very well with the Siemans as the input tube. The issue I had with the Siemans was that I found it emphasised the treble a little too much. But that view may change once I install some acoustic panesl in my listening room. The room is pretty bare at the moment. It's a testament to the ERRx that the system sounds as good as it does.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 02/28/16 at 21:07:29

I've been running the stock ZMA input tubes but since one or more are going bad and may need changing, I was wondering if any ZMA owners who have changed their input tubes could tell me what specific changes they heard from their specific tube?  I'm not unhappy with the stock tubes but opportunity is knocking.  I might just change a pair so if you can say if you use them in the "11" or "12" spot it would be great.

I'm hoping for fairly specific descriptions, if possible.  Much thanks!  :)

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 03/05/16 at 18:49:17

Charn', I believe you. I am going to go for another pair (ouch), of the Telefunken E88CC/6922's......for my phase splitter's.





Listening Room:


Room Treatments from Michael Green & Home Brew

Sony as Transport (DVP-NS57P)/Sandwich weighted for Isolation

Illuminati D-60 Digital Coax IC

Shunyata Research Ztron Alpha Digital Power Cord to ZDSD!

Decware ZDSD DAC / Recorder
***************************************************************
W/Steve's Output Transformer's/kicking to the curb quite a few superb DAC'S!
***************************************************************
(@ -20 Ref Level, 0.0 Input volume and @ 16/192)


WBT-0102Ag RCA Kimber Select KS1030


Decware Zen Mystery Amplifier
~BIASED at *60* mA~
(NOS/Platinum/Telefunken E88CC/6922 in my A12 an B12 positions~Cryoset 6H23N-EB's for Inverter Tubes~JAN Sylvania 0A3's & New Quad of Tube Depot Stealth/Tung-Sol KT66's)


***************************************************
Kimber Select KS6063 Speaker Cable 8ft WBT-0681-Ag Spades
***************************************************

Acoustic Zen Adagio - Black Pearl (Modified)


Acoustic Zen Adagio's x-over's Modified/Full Range with Mundorf MCap Supremes-single Cap to each Tweeter/4.5k cross
(Gutted: 3kHz/18dB/Octave, Linkwitz/Riley Crossovers....with all crappy parts = gone)


XLO Pro Power Cord to ZMA
PS Audio P3 Power Plant / Pangea AC-9SE from wall to P3
(Transport, ZDSD are Regenerated/*122*~ Multiwave off...ZMA on High Current Output)
***************************************************************************

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Charnwood on 03/06/16 at 11:32:09

Stone, I take it that you've tried the Telefunfen E88CC's as phase-splitters and found them to be beneficial before deciding to cause your wallet more grief.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 03/06/16 at 15:30:04

Yes, the Telefunken E88CC's as phase-splitters with my Ediswan's for Inputs. Kevin is going to continue to raise the price on the Tele's....so I'm biting the bullet now.

E88CC phase-splitters with my other/current pair of E88CC's and Ediswan rotation for Inputs = MAGIC. I have two pair of the Edi's.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 03/06/16 at 15:43:51

I am so impressed by what the best 6922's can do....I can't go back.

Plus, for those that are reading and have never heard what a pair of NOS Platinum Telefunken E88CC's from 1968, as phase-splitters with Ediswan NOS Platinum CV2492/6922's for Inputs of my ZMA can do, .....I guess you will never know?!!

Plus consider the amortization.....they last 5000 to 7500 hours. ..... quite a few years.   Worth it.

....also, bringing my Platinum Tubes and some Tubes I'm selling...to a Hickok Tester in Stillwater soon.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by NormD on 11/25/17 at 02:45:17

It seems to be a while since this topic has been active, so I thought I'd ask for some current opinions. I'm running my year-old ZMA with a ZTPre and I love the sound. But we are always looking for a little more, no?

So I swapped out the stock 6N1P's with the National 7DJ8's in A12 and B12 and the sound stage and midrange have opened up considerably. I'm very happy.  Reading through this thread, there are favorable reviews about the Ediswans CV2492's and the Telefunken E88CC. The Ediswans are no longer on the Upscale site and we all know the Telefunken's are pricy.

Are folks still happy with the Telefunkens over the Nationals?  Other recommendations?

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lon on 11/25/17 at 08:03:14

I don't have a ZMA but I am rocking a ZTPRE in my system. One complement of tubes I run in the ZTPRE is a sextet of ECC189 that though labeled Mullard and Lorenz I believe are Philips made tubes. Very clear and focused and dynamic tubes.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 11/25/17 at 14:38:32

Hi Norm....here is my gig....the last couple years now. I go without other things, so I can afford my NOS Plat' tubes.  :D  I can't go back to low power from my ZMA and I can't go back to less than these tubes I'm running below..... . I put the Russian tubes in to remind me of the original signature and will probably sell the Tung' 6922's ~ NOT the Tung' 7DJ8's....they are the perfect yang to my ying Mullard in my Audio Research LS-2B MkII.


Probably, trying these Siemens next. Easy resale on Audiogon...if they don't work out for me....... .
https://www.upscaleaudio.com/collections/preamp-tubes/products/siemens-a-frame-e88cc-6922
.....might be an even better yang, in my ZMA as inputs.....with my Mullard in my ARC Line Stage.

NOS/Platinum/Telefunken 6922/E88CC for Inverter Tubes~NOS RCA 0A3's & matched new production Quad/Tung-Sol KT66's

I don't like the Tele's as inputs....but live by them for inverter's.

https://www.upscaleaudio.com/collections/preamp-tubes/products/telefunken-e88cc-6922


.......here is my order of Listening (keeping each scenario in one to two weeks at a time):

ZMA direct from ZDSD with Ediswan pair (Cryo'd) CV2492/6922 ....as inputs/ZMA

ZMA direct from ZDSD with Mullard pair (Cryo'd) 7308/E188CC ....as inputs/ZMA

ARC LS-2B/single Mullard 7308/E188CC (Cryo'd) to Tungsram pair PCC88/7DJ8 ...inputs/ZMA

.....I have my best pair of Cryogenic Ediswans in right now/direct as above mentioned....Heaven.


~NOS Platinum Tubes from Upscale Audio/Kevin:

(Great Britain) Mullard 7308/E188CC ~  2 pair (both pair Cryogenic)
(Germany) Telefunken E88CC ~ 1 pair (painfully expensive/worth it)
(US/Great Britain) Ediswan CV2492/6922 ~ 2 pair (one pair Cryogenic)
(Hungary) Tungsram 6922/E88CC ~ 1 pair
(Hungary) Tungsram PCC88/7DJ8 ~ 1 pair.

From Cryoset:
(Russia) 6N23N/P-EB ~ 2 pair

(Russia) 6N23P's ~ 2 pair/came with ZMA.    

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 11/26/17 at 04:01:00

Watching the video for the Siemens, scares me.  However, I appreciate Kevin's honesty about them. I will pass on those. I like what he has to say in the video about the Philips PCC88/7Dj8+the reviews. Probably, my next pair for solo input for ZMA and running my Line Stage in to them.


Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 11/26/17 at 18:01:54

Norm, I am not a big fan of the Matsu Nationals. I would try the Tungsram PCC88's ....I love. However, .....all subjective...maybe I have a shitty pair of the Matsu's?

For me, other than receiving my ZROCK2 and hearing if it works (for me/certain genre's/recordings).....? I have tricked out my Listening Room System to the point...tube rolling is now my option and I enjoy it/but, not much more out there for me to roll/no complaints. Done rolling Speaker's now....nothing has beat my modified Adagio's with their underhung gig/German made (to Mr. Lee's spec's) with Mundorf MCap Supremes/gutted original x-over's.....and the Adagio Tweeter's.......the Swan's Tweeter's can't compete.....end of story.

Far as Ediswans go....they pop up on the Agon' tube section. Just Vet them well. The killer expensive Telefunken's are worth it for Inverter's and the next 10,000 hours (yes think about it.....pennies per use).

Unfortunately, Kevin's Tubes are supply and demand...but worth it to me.....to get the most out of my ZMA. Some people can't hear the difference I suppose....but in my Rig and Cabling.....I sure hear the difference.







.......here is my order of Listening (keeping each scenario in one to two weeks at a time):

ZMA direct from ZDSD with Ediswan pair (Cryo'd) CV2492/6922 ....as inputs/ZMA

ZMA direct from ZDSD with Mullard pair (Cryo'd) 7308/E188CC ....as inputs/ZMA

ARC LS-2B/single Mullard 7308/E188CC (Cryo'd) to Tungsram pair PCC88/7DJ8 ...inputs/ZMA.


.....currently running with ZDSD direct to ZMA (no Line Stage)....with Cryogenic Ediswan pair for inputs in my ZMA. All else (below) equal/in System.


Previous Decware Amplifier's/I have owned/Purchased new: SE84CS (#76 Zen Select/you see in my original Signature below/I used for 13 years/2001 till 2014), Torii MkIII & SuperZen CKC.





Listening Room:



Room Treatments from Michael Green & my Home Brew


Sony as Transport (DVP-NS57P)
Illuminati D-60 Digital Coax IC ~.5 meter


Shunyata Research Zitron Alpha Digital Power Cord to ZDSD {Significant}


Decware ZDSD DAC / Recorder
***************************************************************
W/Steve's Output Transformer's/kicking to the Curb quite a few superb DAC'S
***************************************************************
(@ -20 Ref Level, 0.0 Input volume and @ 16/192)


WBT RCA Kimber Select KS1030 ~.5 meter


Audio Research Stereo Line Stage Amplifier w/remote volume & mute LS-2B MkII
NOS Platinum/Mullard 7308/E188CC / Cryogenic


WBT-0102Ag RCA Kimber Select KS1030 ~.75 meter


currently.....NOS Platinum Tungsram PCC88/7DJ8 ~ 1 pair....in for Inputs/ZMA

Decware Zen Mystery Amplifier
~BIASED at *56* mA~
NOS/Platinum/Mullard E188CC/7308's in my A12 an B12 Input positions Cryogenic~NOS/Platinum/Telefunken E88CC for Inverter Tubes~NOS RCA 0A3's & matched Quad/Tung-Sol KT66's

ZMA adjusted at  60-90% Gain ~ w/ARC Line Stage, running via Remote Control



***************************************************
Kimber Select KS6063 Speaker Cable 8ft WBT-0681-Ag Spades
***************************************************
Kimber 8TC new/white & clear jacket/to remind me of how fluid/timbre correct and good the KS6063 are
Also Read.....the lowest noise floor you will ever witness....that a $5180 pair of speaker cables should have....and they do.....(I was fortunate to get them for $2680/Demo pair/mint, from the CableCo....worth every penny/extraordinary realism.....)



Acoustic Zen Adagio - Black Pearl (Modified)
.....enjoying from 8 ohm ZMA Taps


Caintuck Audio Eminence Alpha 15" OB BASS Unit
at 53Hz, with my Velodyne CHT 130 watt plate amp and 0 degree phase.....at 1/6 volume on plate
Plate Amp....regen'd clean ~ plugged into P3
Auralex Subdude (a must)
(NOTE: Only needed when the recording calls for...Open Baffle Bass has been the best integration I have witnessed when needed and called on)







Acoustic Zen Adagio's x-over's Modified/Full Range with Mundorf MCap Supremes-single Cap to each Tweeter/4.5k cross
(Gutted: 3kHz/18dB/Octave, Linkwitz/Riley Crossovers....with all crappy parts = gone)


XLO Pro Power Cord to ZMA
PS Audio P3 Power Plant / Pangea AC-9SE from wall to P3
(Transport, ARC Pre, and ZDSD, Regenerated/*120*~ Multiwave off...ZMA on High Current Output).


~NOS Platinum Tubes from Upscale Audio/Kevin:

(Great Britain) Mullard 7308/E188CC ~  2 pair (both pair Cryogenic)
(Germany) Telefunken 6922/E88CC ~ 1 pair (painfully expensive/worth it)
(US/Great Britain) Ediswan CV2492/6922 ~ 2 pair (one pair Cryogenic)
(Hungary) Tungsram 6922/E88CC ~ 1 pair
(Hungary) Tungsram PCC88/7DJ8 ~ 1 pair.

From Cryoset:
(Russia) 6N23N/P-EB ~ 2 pair

(Russia) 6N23P's ~ 2 pair/came with ZMA.    


Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 11/26/17 at 19:36:41

PS-Brent Jessee, does have some tubes....I might go after....and next fall, I might put Mundorf Silver Oil's in my Adagio's. .....this will be a super painful burn in process......could be worth it.

Other than (possibly these above mentioned).....enjoy it all....and keep the wallet closed!

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 12/02/17 at 20:34:45

Matched/NOS/Platinum/Mullard E188CC/7308's/Cryogenic in my A12 an B12 Input positions/ZMA

.........have taken over the lead!

.....these are breath taking tubes in the ZMA..... .


Matched/NOS/Platinum/Telefunken 6922/E88CC for Inverter Tubes~NOS RCA 0A3's & matched Quad/Tung-Sol KT66's.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by NormD on 12/05/17 at 01:39:31

stone:

You are hard to keep up with. I had just put my Nationals in my ZMA and really liked them but now you go ahead and put Telefunkens and Mullards in your ZMA and raise the bar?  Really?  How are we supposed to keep up and not go broke? I just received my Ediswans and Telefunkens and now you change to Mullards.  Jeeze..

Thanks for leading the way.  I may make the plunge for the Mullards.  I have a soft spot in my heart for them and I like 7308's, but I will give the Ediswans a chance first. I understand that the Ediswans are similar to the Mullards. If so, I’m delighted. The bass is much deeper and full. The mods are clean and I swear the piano is in my room. The highs are crisp and clear without being brilliant. This a nice match for my speakers, which have berillium tweeters.

Where did you get your Mullards?

Norm

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 12/06/17 at 13:57:12

Hi Norm. Yeah, I'm addicted to these Mullards.
Running one in my Audio Research Line Stage today, with Tungsrams for inputs/ZMA.....ohhh, so good!

My two pair of Mulls are from Upscale......Platinum Cryo'd.
https://www.upscaleaudio.com/collections/vacuum-tubes/products/mullard-e188cc-7308?variant=21828917317

The French OEM'd from Mullard.....are here:
http://www.thetubestore.com/Tubes/6922-E88CC-Tube-Types/Mullard-E188CC-7308

....couple others out there have them too.

....and yes, spot on description of the Ediswans....they will always find their way back in my ZMA. However, the little the Mulls give up in the bass....they all so make up for it in the midrange thru treble. + the hit I get out of them, from my ARC Line Stage......is so good...... . I also fly them solo as a pair in my ZMA inputs....ZDSD running them direct.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 12/08/17 at 06:19:50

Has anyone partaken in some serious/dedicated EL34 tube rolling in the ZMA?  Lots of talk about KT66's and KT77's.  Curious as to anyone's experience with various EL34's.  

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 12/08/17 at 16:25:56

Jeff,

I can't give you pages of prose about tube subtleties but for the last several years I've been using various quads of coin based 6PS3-E tubes in my ZMA  I also have a quad of Tug-Sol EL34s that I've used.  I have Tug-Sol and Gold Lion KT66s too but everytime I put them in I end up taking them out after a couple days.  While the EL34s are similar to the 6PS3-Es (and take advantage of the Hazen Grid mod) I always go back to the 6PS3-E.  To me they just have a "sweeter" sound.  Plus, they are very affordable.  Try a quad:  [urlhttp://www.cryoset.com/catalog/index.php?cPath=22_80&osCsid=16425415cc2f68a993098e61e59a93bd][/url]   :)

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lon on 12/08/17 at 18:57:49

Hey you are not supposed to reveal the secret cheap source of those output tubes! :)

I use these in my Torii to good effect, especially with the ZROCK2 to help tailor the sound. . . . Interesting tubes.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 12/08/17 at 18:59:54

Don't worry Lon, Ill let you know when I purchase my set and then you can post the Blue Light for us all to look into.  Then.. Poof!  "What tubes are you referring to Lon?"

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lon on 12/08/17 at 19:03:13

LOL! You'll enjoy them Jeff. ;)

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 12/08/17 at 20:47:36

Damn, I forgot about those coin based buggers. Thanks for the reminder.

Anyway, I grabbed a pair from my matched quad Cryoset 6H23n-EB's and put in my ZMA inputs ....running direct from ZDSD. I forgot how good they are! Glad I bought my uber expensive stuff when I did two years ago ~ yes. But, the EB's are the bargain.

Steve's uplifting holiday message was awesome! I'm still chuckling!

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 12/08/17 at 23:50:56

I bought 2 or 3 quads from and ebay seller (Svetlana or something) with very good luck.  They may have been slightly more than the cryo'd - which came later.

But on second thought, you probably wouldn't like them.   ::)

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 12/09/17 at 15:57:19

Thanks Archie for bringing those back up from JofA's inquiry about 34's. I have a long road till my ZROCK2 arrives.....so checking out these coin based for sweetness will keep me busy rolling inputs with them.

My next quad of KT66's, are coming from Cryo too. Great price including Cryo.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 12/09/17 at 18:00:11

I thought I might mention that although I have several quads of these tubes, I don't think I've worn any out yet since they all bias very closely when swapping.  Low price and long life.  

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 12/21/17 at 22:28:23

Archie, I'm going for it. I'm ordering the 6P Quad on Tuesday along with Preferred Series KT88's from thetubestore. I will then flip a coin to which is going in first!

This ought to keep me busy for the month of January. Sweet 6P's and mighty KT88's.....with KT66's in between.

I liked the Reviews from people with decent stereo Amps....about the PS KT88's. Working my magic with my input tubes too.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 12/22/17 at 01:12:55

Stone, I hope you like them.  I'd like to try the KT88s but the prices might be out of my league.   :-/

Edit:  Although, I just checked Cryoset and the Gold Lions are $230/quad.  Not out of reach but still a bit of a risk.  The Shuguang quads on ebay are really cheap.  I wonder if any hidden diamonds are out there?

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 12/22/17 at 19:05:09

The Preferred Series KT88's are a risk. But, I can flip them to an guitar amp guy or stereo player. Yeah, their is a hit$ to be taken. Furthermore, I'm not completely sold on the ZROCK2.....BUT, you need to have skin in the  game and you need to hear in your System to your tastes, cabling and CD collection.

If the 6P's, PS KT88 or Rock' are not for me...they obviously will be to someone else. Hell, I sold 9.5k of Gear in 2015/16.....I don't miss any of it.  I have exactly what I need in my behemoth System/Solid State~Polk SRS SDA 1.2's & of course my Listening Room System. I will hear if the two Quads and the Rock get to join the Club.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 12/22/17 at 19:24:20

......"don't miss any of it." Well, my Decware yes: CSP3 & SE84CS, of the four other pieces I had. However, they were sitting and the mighty ZMA RULES the Listening Room now. But, I should have kept those two pieces anyway.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 12/22/17 at 21:59:47

Stone, I'm really looking forward to your impressions of both of these tubes.

Hey Jeff, anything you can share about the 6Ps in your system?

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by HockessinKid on 12/22/17 at 23:34:40

So my stock Tungsol KT66's have gotten a bit noisy these days.  Love the sound of these power tubes. I'm using these with triple mica 6N23P-EV's. Also very happy with my CSP3+ preamp with it's  tube compliment.  

Plan on ordering a new quad of Tungsol KT66's from Cryoset. Have these cryo'd tubes proven reliable and quiet for those who have ordered a set?  Thanks.

HK

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 12/23/17 at 00:52:12

I've had good luck with Cryoset's tubes.  I've bought mostly output tubes and all have been quiet and I've not worn any out yet.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lon on 12/23/17 at 01:13:45


HockessinKid wrote on 12/22/17 at 23:34:40:
So my stock Tungsol KT66's have gotten a bit noisy these days.  Love the sound of these power tubes. I'm using these with triple mica 6N23P-EV's. Also very happy with my CSP3+ preamp with it's  tube compliment.  

Plan on ordering a new quad of Tungsol KT66's from Cryoset. Have these cryo'd tubes proven reliable and quiet for those who have ordered a set?  Thanks.

HK

I've been very happy with the quality and longevity of the KT66 tubes I've gotten from cryoset. I bought from there at first to replace the Tung-Sol that were supplied with the amp, those have an "edge" to the sound I didn't like. I have bought Genalex and TAD from cryoset and they've been long lasting and great sounding.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by NormD on 12/23/17 at 03:28:35

One of my original KT66's just crapped out tonight and the bias went to 5.  Love those bias meters! I have a matched quad of 6P3S-E's from Cryostat I just received this week (luck!) and I will put them in tomorrow.  But I am wondering if you had to choose a KT66, which brand would you suggest I go for first, Genalex or TA or something else?

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lon on 12/23/17 at 03:39:22

I personally like the TAD just a hair more than the Genalex, though it's been some time since I tried those and so much has changed in my system. I might try Genelax again myself next time I order KT66. . . . May be soon. Right now my favorite tube in the Torii Mk III is the JJ 6CA7 but they can be unreliable . . . .

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 12/23/17 at 15:32:44

You bet Archie, hope Jeff chimes in soon too.

I have spent the last two years exploring NOS input an inverter tubes...manipulating the best out of my Tung-Sol KT66's. Now, its time to manipulate some other kinds of output Quads with my 6922 tube variants.

I love this hobby! Archie did you order the ZROCK2? In the ZROCK2 Capacitor Choice thread....it reads like you did...in the last sentence of your talk with Steve via phone. Appreciated you posting that....I'm skeptical....as I should be....hope I'm surprised and pleased with mine (in Testing phase right now).

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by NormD on 12/23/17 at 15:51:45

One of my original Tung-Sol KT-66's died yesterday After 18 months and I replaced the quad with a quad of Reflector 6P3S-E (thanks Lon!). Absolutely awesome.  The highs are cleaner and crispier but not harsh, the piano and vocals are stunning and the bass is full. It will be interesting to see how they settle in. I have Ediswan CV2492's in the inputs and Telefunken E88CC's in the inverters.  I'm in heaven. Now I have to listen to all my favorites all over again!

My ZTPre is running Amperex 7308's which are awesome.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 12/23/17 at 16:03:26

Awesome Norm! I read your post....and how they came just when one of your KT66 died. Glad to read you got them in and like....I'm ordering Tuesday morning before he increases the price with the sales movement!  ;D  

I had one of my KT66 go kitty-wampis (JUST 10 OR 14 DAYS AGO)....but, I kept my original Quad/pulled with lots of life left, to swap one in (or two) if needed....yes, got to love the meters to bias and BALANCE!

PS-I'm running exactly what your running for inputs and inverter's! Why am I waiting to order Tuesday....I'm getting on the books today at Cryo!

PURCHASED.

OKAY, time to clean the house and get ready for some Holiday cheer!

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lon on 12/23/17 at 16:51:20

Glad to hear those tubes are sounding great Norm! It's so fortunate we can use so many different tube types in these amps! So much variety of textures and flavors!

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by NormD on 12/23/17 at 16:59:46

Stone: I hope you realize I got the ideas for the inputs and inverters from you.

Lon knows I got the ideas for the 6P3S-E and others from him.  

I'm a great copy-cat and it is working well.

This is an awesome forum!  Thanks guys!

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 12/23/17 at 18:51:32


Quote:
...quad of Reflector 6P3S-E... Absolutely awesome.  The highs are cleaner and crispier but not harsh, the piano and vocals are stunning and the bass is full. ...


That's great to hear!  I like what they sound like on my system but it's always nice to have a reality check.   :)



Stone,

Yes, I ordered the ZROCK2 with the silver RCAs and the Type II caps.  I just now got a couple of Pangea 14 gauge power cords, one for the ZROCK2 and one for my TT.  What a deal these are.  I didn't think it necessary to break the bank for my TT and ZROCK2 cords and these are quite the bargain while beautifully built.  

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 12/23/17 at 21:41:49

Norm, yes, this is a great Forum. The Ediswans + Telefunkens are a special combination.

Archie, great, + your all set on your power cords. I too have mine all set. I use XLO Pro's. I have one running to my ZMA and another in wait for my ZROCK2. The one in wait I used with my CSP3. I have an Shunyata to my ZDSD, with great affect.

Archie & Norm, what do you have your 6PS3-E's biased at?

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by NormD on 12/23/17 at 22:34:37

I started with 50. I'm not sure how much I will deviate from that.  I'd love to hear what others are doing.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 12/23/17 at 22:58:40

I'm at 52.  They wont bias much higher than that.  All the quads I've used, both cryo'd and not, have stayed rock solid on the meters.  Russian military!   8-)

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 12/26/17 at 01:04:50

Hey Stone, I almost forgot to tell you the best part of the 6P3S-Es, They are blue!   :D

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 12/26/17 at 20:07:21

Archie, Blue ~ cool! I did not know that.

Get this? I ordered them Saturday and they actually shipped that day and are out for delivery today/USPS??

Absolutely baffled that this could be?! So, if the information I have is correct and they come today....I will have them in tomorrow morning!

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 12/26/17 at 20:14:11

Hey Guys!

So, Ive been silent on the topic of these tubes as they required some attention to detail when evaluating them.  I didn't want to pop off prematurely until I was sure what I was hearing.  I am off to a post-Christmas gathering with family I wasn't able see yesterday but will come back later this evening with some comments.  

For clarity, I am referring to the Reflektor 6PS3-E tubes from Cryoset.  I will say that of the few pairs of tubes I have rolled through the ZMA, these were the most stable tubes, bias-wise, that I have experienced so far.  I set them at 50ma after a short 30 min warm up and they sat incredibly steady right out of the gate.  After a about 3 days, they settled in nice and tight and simply don't move. Impressive.

More to come....

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by NormD on 12/26/17 at 21:21:43

Hmm. My 6P3S-E'as are not blue.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lon on 12/27/17 at 00:05:58

Mine aren't blue either. But maybe some are.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by will on 12/27/17 at 00:17:06

I rarely use them, but mine have clear glass, and light up a little blue.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 12/27/17 at 00:57:04

I must have the blue light specials!  All of mine have a strong blue glow on the inner sides of the glass.  I need the room lights off to see it though.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 12/27/17 at 01:10:30

I did get mine today. To order on Saturday and receive these 72 hours later from the Bay Area to MN. Wow.

Nice looking tube....will see how they glow....and sound tomorrow.

Question: I see they have 6 pins instead of the KT66, 7 pins?

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 12/27/17 at 01:22:03

Cool!

Yup, 6 pins.  Lon may know, but these might take advantage of the Hazen Grid Mod.  I think this was discussed once but I don't remember the conclusion.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 12/27/17 at 01:45:42

Thanks Arch, yeah, I just looked at a pair of EL34's I have....they have 8 pins and 66's have 7 and these guys are 6. I think you're right, I do remember something back a year ago when we talked about these.... They can do the Hazen Grid/Christmas comes early. Lon, should be able to confirm I bet.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lon on 12/27/17 at 02:47:49

I thought they might take advantage of the Hazen Grid mod, they sound as if they do in some ways. They don't.

They're interesting tubes. Ultimately if I can keep finding JJ 6CA7s that are reliable (my latest quad have been) those are my favorites. . . .but I do like these.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 12/27/17 at 14:23:12

Thanks Lon.....looks like EL34's, only-take advantage of the Hazen Grid Mod, correct?

Well, I have them in now for about 1.5 hrs, playing tunes, after a 20 min warm up. Yes, rock solid at 50 mA and with a blue hue.

Sound so far~initial impression? ....beguiling sweet sound!  Stone-like. Now, lets get them to 25 hours per week for 4 or 5 weeks ...over a 100+ hours ......I think my KT66's are going to be sitting out for awhile.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lon on 12/27/17 at 14:32:13

Well, there are some 6CA7 that will use the Mod, according to Steve. IIRC the JJ do, and they sure sound as if they do, they sound different than the other tubes I use in that regard. It's too bad their reliability is so so . . still I use them the most if I can, most micro detail, best native tonal balance, great dynamics. I haven't used EL34s for some time.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 12/27/17 at 14:42:37

Thanks Lon for the clarification. The reliability does make me nervous.

Moving into the 2nd to 3rd hour on these...the bass is coming in full and I do have my OB Bass, off....to get a handle on these.

Running my Mullard's with Tele's.....liking very much. I will put my Ediswan's in down the road some hours.

Thanks guys, for getting the conversation back out here about these!

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lon on 12/27/17 at 14:47:40

The JJ 6CA7s have been unreliable. These however have been completely reliable.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 12/27/17 at 15:28:19

You bet Lon....they are some solid tubes.

These 6n3cE/6PS3-E's.....nice tonal balance. A little less top air extension.....but, that could change ....I've only had them in 3.5-4 hours. Loving the mids' to mid bass and the Bass tonally in the balance/as said!

But then NOTE....my tweeter's and cabling are capable of top air extension/detail, with the KT66's without edge..... . I can see where "hot" /bright speaker's and wire.....do love these 6P...tubes!

....and don't get me wrong....they are still good....I just hope they open up a little more/on top. But, if right now is there standard fare.....I'm still pleased.

Now, to put 50, 75 and 100 hours on them....and comment.
+ rolling inputs/ZMA.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 12/27/17 at 16:34:29

Stone,

I'm glad you're liking them so far.  I don't have a problem with the high end but it could be that my hearing is shot up there or my system is tuned hotter than some.  I don't use any resistor on my HR1s to tame the high end, for instance.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 12/27/17 at 17:26:54

I bet you still hear pretty good up there. Perfect example for these damn good tubes is how you're running your tweeter's.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 12/27/17 at 17:54:51

I really like these tubes...  a lot!  Of all of the tubes I have run through my ZMA, these have the most incredible mid-range purity I have yet to experience.  It is lush, and captivating.  

I am fine with the bass, both volume and quality, but it could be that my Hegeman Model 1's are to credit for this.  The cabinet design reduces resonance through the use of quarter wave tubes and the mid-bass all the way down to low bass is incredible.  When 2-channel listening, I have not engaged my bass drivers since I put these speakers in play.  If they are fed a half-way decent bass signal, I am usually pretty pleased with the bass sound out of these speakers.  Regardless of why, the bass is sufficient and of quality.    

I am also not running direct to my ZMA.  Everything is run through my Ultra pre-amp.  I am not sure if this is in fact the case, but I am finding that these 6P3S-E's are very complimentary to my '75 Reflektor "Holy Grail" input tubes (In both my Ultra and ZMA).  There seems to be a special synergy between these input tubes and the 6P3S-E output tubes.  

I find the treble clarity and detail to be quite nice.  I feel my Full Music KT88's have an edge in that department, but the difference is not profound.  The balance of high's, mid's, an low's is what I feel these tubes thrive at. I have thrown a few genres at them and they have not balked.  I have listened hours on hours with them, and they have not fatigued.  They seem to be hitting on all 8 cylinders and not leaving me feeling deprived in any department.  I am not yet ready to crown them the King of all output tubes as I still love my KT88's, but they sound awesome - especially for the price.

But as mentioned earlier, the mid's are simply dreamy! That is the difference maker with these tubes in my opinion.  If you are running a ZMA and still have not quite reached the mid-range heaven that you lust over, you must give these tubes a try.  And at $60 for a matched quad, it makes no sense not to try them out.  Like with everything else, allied system components matter, but I am really pleased with what I am hearing with these tubes in my ZMA.  

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 12/28/17 at 01:39:36

Jeff, Thanks for not making me feel like a fool for liking them!   ;)

I have to say, female vocals are special on my system.  I think that must be due to the mids that you are referring to.  I'm really looking forward to hearing what the ZROCK2 does.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 12/28/17 at 16:26:07

The ZROCK2 has me very intrigued.

I have plenty/specific Recordings in mind for this, I bet, wonderful piece from Steve.

However, if it is not for me?  Someone, receives a nice piece potentially, for their System, without any wait come late Spring/early Summer.

I'm betting on the side....I won't be parting with it.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 12/28/17 at 16:35:26

PS-great review Jeff.

I've had the opportunity to listen 4 hours and counting this morning (after 7 yesterday), ......delicious tubes! I look forward to comparison...100 hours down the road.  No matter what, these are a steal.

.....I am still "mind blown" about ordering these on the 23rd/Saturday 11:30CST....cheapest way chosen, ....they/USPS actually moved them over Christmas Eve and Day....to arrive the 26th??!!

Thanks Ron S. at Cryo/processing and out the door/Saturday!!!!

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 12/28/17 at 16:49:21

Thanks Stone.  Yeah, this is a great "bang for the buck" tube and if the synergy is there in the system, they sound really nice.  I have them biased right at 50ma.  They are really stable.  I keep checking my meters since technically, these tubes are still probably burning in, but the needles just stay put.  I guess I am not too surprised as that Reflektor plant has put out some pretty solid tubes historically.  

I am inching closer on the build list for my ZROCK2.  I am eager to witness its effect in my system.  I was able to hear it at Decfect this year, which prompted my purchase, but still need to hear it.  Regardless of what the tag says, you won't know if the shoes fit until you try them on.  

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by NormD on 12/28/17 at 17:46:05

I like these 6P3S-E's so much for the rich mid-ranges not to mention the clear highs and adequate bass, that I ordered a backup quad before you guys drive top the prices.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 12/29/17 at 19:35:28

Norm wait!  ;D

I will know in 3 months if I'm selling my 6P's and 5 months if I'm selling my ZROCK2.

Probably not on both counts.....but, you never know with me.  ;D




Below? Not for sale.  




.......here is my order of Listening (keeping each scenario in one to two weeks at a time):


ZMA direct from ZDSD with Platinum Mullard pair (Cryo'd) 7308/E188CC ....as inputs/ZMA


ZMA direct from ZDSD with Platinum Ediswan pair (Cryo'd) CV2492/6922 ....as inputs/ZMA


Audio Research LS-2B/single Plat' Mullard 7308/E188CC (Cryo'd) to Plat' Tungsram pair PCC88/7DJ8 ...inputs/ZMA.



Previous Decware Amplifier's/I have owned/Purchased new:

SE84CS (#76 Zen Select/you see in my original Signature below/I used for 13 years/2001 till 2014)
Torii MkIII
SuperZen CKC
CSPreamplifier3 w/Jupiter Caps

Using impressive Decware PAC-S(ilver), for DishNetwork HD/DVR RCA output for SeriusXM Sat Radio & TV.



***ZMA, updated with robust Western Electric Bias/Balance Meter's and new Resistor's ~ Feb/17




Listening Room:



Room Treatments from Michael Green & my Home Brew


Sony as Transport (DVP-NS57P)
Illuminati D-60 Digital Coax IC ~.5 meter


Shunyata Research Zitron Alpha Digital Power Cord to ZDSD {Significant}


Decware ZDSD DAC / Recorder
***************************************************************
W/Steve's Output Transformer's/kicking to the Curb quite a few superb DAC'S
***************************************************************
(@ -20 Ref Level, 0.0 Input volume and @ 16/192)


WBT RCA Kimber Select KS1030 ~.5 meter


Audio Research Stereo Line Stage Amplifier w/remote volume & mute LS-2B MkII
NOS Platinum/Mullard 7308/E188CC / Cryogenic


WBT-0102Ag RCA Kimber Select KS1030 ~.75 meter


Decware Zen Mystery Amplifier
~BIASED at *56* mA~
NOS/Platinum/Mullard E188CC/7308's in my A12 an B12 Input positions Cryogenic~NOS/Platinum/Telefunken E88CC for Inverter Tubes~NOS RCA 0A3's & matched Quad/Tung-Sol KT66's

ZMA adjusted at  60-80% Gain ~ when ARC Line Stage is in, running via Remote Control



***************************************************
Kimber Select KS6063 Speaker Cable 8ft WBT-0681-Ag Spades
***************************************************
Kimber 8TC new/white & clear jacket/to remind me of how fluid/timbre correct and good the KS6063 are
Also Read.....the lowest noise floor you will ever witness....that a $5180 pair of speaker cables should have....and they do.....(I was fortunate to get them for $2680/Demo pair/mint, from the CableCo....worth every penny/extraordinary realism.....)



Acoustic Zen Adagio - Black Pearl (Modified)
.....enjoying from 8 ohm ZMA Taps


Caintuck Audio Eminence Alpha 15" OB BASS Unit
at 53Hz, with my Velodyne CHT 130 watt plate amp and 0 degree phase.....at 1/6 volume on plate
Plate Amp....regen'd clean ~ plugged into P3
Auralex Subdude (a must)
(NOTE: Only needed when the recording calls for...Open Baffle Bass has been the best integration I have witnessed when needed and called on)







Acoustic Zen Adagio's x-over's Modified/Full Range with Mundorf MCap Supremes-single Cap to each Tweeter/4.5k cross
(Gutted: 3kHz/18dB/Octave, Linkwitz/Riley Crossovers....with all crappy parts = gone)


XLO Pro Power Cord to ZMA
PS Audio P3 Power Plant / Pangea AC-9SE from wall to P3
(Transport, ARC Line Stage and ZDSD, Regenerated/*120*~ Multiwave off...ZMA on High Current Output).


~NOS Platinum Tubes from Upscale Audio/Kevin:

(Great Britain) Mullard 7308/E188CC ~  2 pair (both pair Cryogenic)
(Germany) Telefunken 6922/E88CC ~ 1 pair (painfully expensive/worth it)
(US/Great Britain) Ediswan CV2492/6922 ~ 2 pair (one pair Cryogenic)
(Hungary) Tungsram 6922/E88CC ~ 1 pair
(Hungary) Tungsram PCC88/7DJ8 ~ 1 pair.

From Cryoset:
(Russia) 6N23N/P-EB ~ 2 pair

(Russia) 6N23P's ~ 2 pair/came with ZMA.    

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 12/29/17 at 20:56:25

Norm, Archie & Jeff (pulled this over from my previous posts/CDaPS thread....to continue the conversation here):

Jeff, great to know/bias at 64 with KT88's.

Now, I have KT88, 6P3S-E (NOW OWN), Psvane EL34PH's and RFT EL34's to decide on........ . Or, two out of four/I can swing.

I can wait...Jeff, do let us know more of your impressions on the Psvane EL34PH's.....meant to be/you got um......for ZMA.

I know Jeff, you have TJ Full Music KT88's (and you're returning/receiving an defective one, back to China).

I'm considering the KT88's from Psvane:
http://psvanetube.com/wordpress/store/products/treasure-kt88-z-cb-cobalt-blue-bottle-super-tube-gf-select-quad/
these ship out of Canada....so can deal with them easier and customs vs. China......180 day warranty on these

....then we have the EL34 replica's....Jeff can comment on....
http://psvanetube.com/wordpress/store/products/psvane-philips-holland-metal-base-replica-el34ph-quad/

the RFT's in my sights...also on ebay....but no warranties
http://www.nosvacuumtubes.net/product/rft-el34/

Also....the PS KT88's are in the running:
http://www.thetubestore.com/Tubes/KT88-Tube-Types/Preferred-Series-KT88

Uncle Kevy too:
https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=preferred+series+KT88&view=detail&mid=CCBE1B8D2BA2334B97F7CCBE1B8D2BA2334B97F7&FORM=VIRE

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by NormD on 12/29/17 at 22:05:58

Gotta love Kevin.  'nuff said.

The Gold Lions are do-able at $60 each, but the RFT EL34's are most intriguing but at $95 each, I think I'll let others on this forum with more experience give them a whirl and then I will copy-cat.  For now, it will be hard to part with the 6P3S-E's.

Roll 'em!

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 12/29/17 at 22:08:21

Oh yeah, I'm digging what Kev said/if you watch the video, about the top air of the Lion KT88's (not to be confused with Gold Lion KT66's).

.....I'm a top air crazy person ;D

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 12/29/17 at 22:13:10

We have some great experience from Mark (I trust), about the RFT's
https://www.decware.com/cgi-bin/yabb22/YaBB.pl?num=1513011646/38#38

Jeff (I trust), pending about the EL34PH Psvane Replica's.

....and I might wing it on Cryo'd Gold Lion KT88's from Kev.
(well, I should not say wing it...I have 7 pair of Kevin's NOS Platinum 6922 tube variants for 2 years now....love them)
.....the 6N23P...put edge to the Tung-Sol KT66's....NOT my 6922 variants.

Oh and PS-if you grow a pair and are not thin skinned .....Kevin, whom I speak to on the phone direct....is pretty cool. I negotiated and bought my Acoustic Zen Adagio's from him. However, it was my doing of course to modify them and make them great.


Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by JD on 12/29/17 at 22:35:22

I would have to look but pretty sure I could lend out a mint nos quad of RFT el34's and or listened to quads of psvane el34 6ca7z and 6ca7t / 5881. I would just have to find them in my tube stash. Let me know.

JD

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 12/29/17 at 22:39:46

Sign me up JD! I would love to try a quad or both.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 12/30/17 at 04:33:44

PM sent JD, thanks!

Cryoset has the KT88 Gold Lions/cryo'd of course. Judging by the rock solid bias/MATCHING of the quad of 6P's and quality I just received...I'll  be getting these GL KT88's from Ron at Cryo and great price!

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 12/30/17 at 07:10:23

You betcha Stone!  I am getting some hours under my belt on these 6P's from Cryoset, but definitely plan to roll the PSvane EL34PH's in soon.  

Also, as mentioned in another thread, I have a matched quad of RFT EL34's landing on Tuesday.  

So, my work is cut out for me.  Get both the PSvanes, and RFT's in the ZMA for a test run and subsequent commentary.  As if this is really work...ha! :)

And yes, unfortunately my beloved TJ Full Music KT88's are back for replacement, but thank goodness for the LONG 1 year warranty!  I have plenty of other tubes to roll while those are replaced so won't be a painful wait by any stretch.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by HockessinKid on 12/30/17 at 10:40:09

I opted for a.quad of Cryoset Gold Lion KT66 tubes.  Received them yesterday from Ron, and started he burn in process earlier today.  Initial imprrssions - tubes are dead quiet and detail retrieval is amazing using Tidal streaming via my Lonely Raven PC and ZDAC2 DAC.

HK

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 12/30/17 at 15:26:31

Jeff & HK, just what I wanted to read.

JD, is to send/loan me a couple quads: RFT EL34's & Psvane EL34's!

Enjoying my 6P's and seasoning in. I look forward to getting these others from JD and will order the GL KT88's from Ron.

Jeff, I know right? ....this is not work....shear enjoyment + NOS input tube rolling!

Keep the updates coming in due time....as we get to compare notes.  

ZMA RULES.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by NormD on 12/30/17 at 15:36:43

I just put in a quad of Cryosat TAD KT66’s in place of my 6P3S’s. My first impression is the bass is much deeper and stronger. My wife noticed it immediately. The highs are good and clear with good air. But the midrange is not as clear or strong as the 6P3S’s. I’ll give them some time, but I may go back to the 6P3S’s, most certainly to listen again. If I never heard the 6P3S’s I’d be delighted with the TAD KT66’s.

I see several of you are using KT88’s, but they are not on Steve’s alternate list on the ZMA web page. I’m still a novice at tube rolling, so can someone educate me on how you figured these were compatible in the ZMA?

Looking to hear Jeff’s impressions of the RFT EL34’s as I am guessing they will be close to the 6P3S’s.

Norm

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lon on 12/30/17 at 15:42:26

I use TAD KT66 from cryoset in my Torii Mk III and I find that the midrange does open up with some use. These cyro'd tubes sometimes take longer to breakin than others. I have tried three different KT66: Tung-Sol, Gold Lion and TAD, all from cryoset.com. I definitely like the Tung-Sol the least, and the TAD the best. It's close between the TAD and the Gold Lion. I like the treble better with the TAD.

Of course this is the Torii Mk III and not the ZMA but the tube characteristics should reveal themselves very similarly. And with the ZROCK2 I can make any of the three tube sets I have on hand (TAD KT66, the coin-based Russkies, and the JJ 6CA7) work well. I prefer the JJ 6CA7 when I have a quad that behaves, but can live with either of the three happily.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 12/30/17 at 15:47:24

????
Norm, if you roll up in that thread connect I gave you....to connect with Mark58....you will learn about the KT88 and to bias at 64. You're welcome by the way.  8-)

I look forward to what you mention Lon....with the ZROCK2 adjustment to my output tube collection....that looks like it will grow to match my NOS Platinum input tube collection.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lon on 12/30/17 at 16:06:58

Yeah, you're going to have fun. My goal actually is not to rotate and adjust different complements of tubes but to find one set that I can anchor my system on. I've been doing the rotating just to explore what the ZROCK2 does to the system. Frankly it's a great partner to my ZTPRE in being the heartbeat of the system. The ZTPRE is the best preamp I've ever heard, bar none, and really is as Steve says: the preamp that really doesn't seem to be there only it makes the music sound better. (Ironically I may have found my way back to preferring the 6N1P in the ZTPRE and the Torii Mk III, these are now besting some pretty fine NOS tubes). The ZROCK2 is the opposite: it's there and you know it colors the sound subtly or broadly and you can then make adjustments almost as if you were a mastering engineer.  

I wish I could center the amplifier with the JJ 6CA7 as tonally that has the best balance intrinsically for my system and also great dynamics and detail. It's unfortunate that after I got centered on them I and others found many to be unreliable, failing way too early. My next set will probably be another set of TAD KT66. They have had shocking longevity and really good sound, and with the ZROCK2 I know I can bring out their best.

You're in for a treat with the ZROCK2. The three Z Amigos I've added to my system, the ZTPRE, ZBIT and ZROCK2 have all exceeded my expectations and really floored me.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by NormD on 12/30/17 at 16:24:33

Stone:

Thanks for the reminder. But I am still confused. Mark said “the KT88’s biased at 64”, but what does that mean for a ZMA where we can set the bias anywhere we want?  I have my KT66’s at 50 and I’m not as happy as I was with the 6P3S’s at 50.

I’m on the steep part of the learning curve, but having a blast.

Norm

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 12/30/17 at 16:43:28

Hi Norm,
Mark has a Torii. I have KT88's in my ZMA biased at 64ma.  That is the lowest biased setting I could get these KT88's to sit with the adjustment knobs, but these tubes are designed to handle higher power than KT66's, EL34's, etc.  

I know the ZMA manual suggests no higher than 50-60ma, but you will have no issues even going up to 70ma with these tubes in the ZMA, and you won't hurt the amp or the tubes.  These KT88's are designed to operate at up to 100ma, but not suggested for the ZMA due to the strain on the power supply transformers.  Steve runs these in his ZMA at times as well, and that is what he had in place during this year's Decfest.  I believe his won't bias under 70ma if I recall.  

They are not listed on the website or manual as an option for the ZMA outputs, but I assure you that you can run them in this ZMA - it is perfectly fine.  And they sound phenomenal!

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by NormD on 12/30/17 at 16:52:59

Jeff:

Thanks for the clarification and reply. Now I get it.

Hmm. Now I neeed to decide whether to spring for GL KT88’s or RFT EL34’s or be content with my 6P3s’s. Nice problem to have.

Norm

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 12/30/17 at 17:54:47

As far as biasing the ZMA high, a couple years ago Steve told me that he biased high, which pushed the output transformers hard.  However, since he owns the repair shop he wasn't worried if he burned something out.  At that time he didn't recommend high biasing generally,  He may have modified his position given time but I would monitor the temperature of the transformers when running high bias.

I ran a quad of Tung Sol EL34s in my ZMA and I found them similar to the 6P3Ss.  I went back to the 6P3Ss though.  My guess would be that the KT88s would give the most difference, if that's what you're after.

If the 6P3Ss are in fact bass shy (which I haven't noticed) the ZROCK2 should help.  Waiting ...   8-)

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 12/30/17 at 18:14:06

And listening habits matter as well, if you are running the ZMA a couple hours a day, 5 days a week, the strain on the transformers are much different that 6 hours a day, 7 days a week.  

In general, heat takes its toll.  I am comfy running these KT88s at 64ma.  Biasing can have a noticeable impact on sound.  For example, KT88s, like 6550s, are designed to handle high current.  I have read about other peoples' experience with these tubes where they run them at 100ma and noticed a difference with them turned down in he 80s range.  Of course this 100ma biasing was not with a Decware amp, but large current swings can/will change the voicing with certain tubes.  

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 12/30/17 at 19:54:22

This may have already been mentioned somewhere in this thread, but I just read in the ZMA manual that KT88s are listed as a tube substitute for the amp.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by NormD on 12/31/17 at 01:11:37

Archie:  You are absolutely correct. I just checked the ZMA manual myself and the KT88's are listed as alternatives; I missed that earlier. I asked Steve about using them and I just received this reply from the Zen Master himself when I asked him about using KT88's and biasing:

"As you go beyond 60 the heat increases a lot.  Also if it goes past 80 the amp will loose power.  Some KT88 will bias right around 60 but most won't.  I can modify the amp for KT88's instead of KT66 however, no problem."

As many on this forum have KT88's that bias at 64, it sound like they will certainly do fine. I'm not interested in getting my ZMA modified, but I may still try the GL KT88's with my stock configuration.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 12/31/17 at 01:22:50

That's interesting.  I guess if someone absolutely loved the KT88s it'd be worth having the amp biased that way.  I always default to what Steve thinks, so I'm with you in keeping my ZMA "stock."

When the ZMA was first introduced, Steve recommended biasing at 60ma.  (It is even shown at 60ma in the manual picture where he says to bias at 50ma.)  We had a discussion on the Forum regarding bias and transformer temperatures we were seeing.  I was worried that mine were running a little hot.  Around this time Steve set the recommended bias in the manual at 50ma.  I'm sure there is margin in all of this.  The highest transformer temperature that I measured was about 125 F while I think they are designed to run at 145 F.  I'm sure I'm a bit more conservative than I need to be.  I even installed a small fan behind my ZMA just to help with cooling.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 12/31/17 at 16:35:45

Alright gentlemen...  The PSvane EL-34PH's are in and warmin' up!!

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by NormD on 12/31/17 at 20:27:58

i'm wondering that since the KT88's maybe a bias challenge for the ZMA, should I get the GL KT66's or the GL KT77's?  Anyone with experience with the KT77's vs KT66's vs KT88's?

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 01/01/18 at 15:43:50

YES, definitely want to read about those PH's.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by NormD on 01/01/18 at 15:51:17

I have been going back and forth between my TAD KT66's and 6P3S's and I find that the KT66's have a much more punchy bass but the midrange seems a tad restrained.  The 6P3S's have plenty of bass and crystal-clear midrange (vocals, guitar, piano).  I'm sticking with the 6P3S's for everyday listening (for now..)

However, never being satisfied, I ordered some RFT EL34’s and should have them mid-month...

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 01/01/18 at 19:59:56

The 6P's are the best 60 bucks I have ever spent on Tubes. No want to yank them at all.

I'm springing for the GL KT88's from Ron and have no qualms about biasing at 64 or 70 where Steve had them at Decfest.

Look forward (no hurry) to reading more about the 88's from HK & Jeff on the 34PH's.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 01/02/18 at 00:12:22

Stone, I'm glad to hear that.  They really are a bargain.  I think there are plenty out there too.  I have a couple non-cryo'd quads from a Russian seller and they sound the same as Ron's to me.  That said, Ron's are one of the best deals on these tubes.

I'm looking forward to your impressions on the KT88s.  That's a tube I'm tempted to try other than the JJ 6CA7s (I think) that Lon likes in his Torii (other than the tube life problems they seem to have).

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 01/03/18 at 13:50:32

You bet Archie.

First up, before the GL KT88's:

Continue with the 6P's....wonderful blooming midrange with taunt bass too

JD SENT ME Psvane 34PH's & RFT 34's

....coming Friday (approx)!

My budget is shot for 2018, after the KT88's & potentially PH's or RFT's + my ZROCK2 balance.  Can I complain.....NO. Nor would I.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 01/05/18 at 13:54:08

I have my Ediswans in for inputs, Norm. These past 11 days, approx. 75 to 80 hours....I've been running my Mullard E188CC/7308's with the 6P output quad. Talk about blooming midrange to blooming midrange... . Edi's are warming up! .....Edi's as we know, are special in their own right...but more than just subtle/differences to my NOS Plat' Mull's.

JD sent me....might have today(?):

"I sent the psvane 5881, closer match to the 6sp3 you guys have been trying. Curious to see what you think.  I've had the RFT in for longer than the 5881's but was surprised at the nice sound the 5881's produced.

Enjoy.

JD"

Arch, .....my ZROCK2, is in Quality Control now! .....getting closer.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by NormD on 01/05/18 at 14:03:31

The 5881’s are incredibly cheap at $75/matched quad.
http://www.tube-sale.com/index.php/tubes/psvane-standard-tube/psvane-hifi-5881/

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 01/05/18 at 14:14:34

Nice! Now, that is a price I like!

Hope, their is a difference between them and the Reflector 6P's (for me)....and hear which ones I prefer or both. I know input wise...I could not be without my Mullard E188CC/7308 or the Ediswans (why I have two pair each of them).


....and I am running my ZMA direct from ZDSD with Platinum Ediswan pair (Cryo'd) CV2492/6922 ....as inputs.

My Audio Research Line Stage only goes in when I want very serious SLAM/DENSITY. The ZMA is a whole other beast with this FET Hybrid single tube Line Stage (I use my Mullard).

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 01/05/18 at 20:11:47

First with my Mullard's and now with my Ediswan's.....Nice PRaT and midrange, these 6PS3-E's.

I think they have a little more giddy-up in the PRaT department than the KT66 Tung-Sol's. I'm also enjoying some more output/volume knob on my Caintuck OB, relative to the KT66's as well, via the wonderful sensitivity of this 15" Driver..... .

Time to crack one....0 degree's outside.....68 on the inside!
http://bauhausbrewlabs.com/our-beer

.....having a Sky - Five! IPA.....with my Tunes.
All, have a great weekend.


Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 01/05/18 at 20:41:14

Ha!  Ill be right behind you there Stone on the "kick-off the weekend" brew.  A little toastier here at 73 degrees though  8-)  

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lon on 01/05/18 at 21:02:57

Have a nice weekend! I don't enjoy alcohol but just made myself a nice mug of organic Mexican medium roast coffee to enjoy after walking the brave Fiona in the 2 degree snowy weather.

Disc 2 of this favorite spinning now. . . .

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by JD on 01/05/18 at 21:35:36

Got 18 inches of snow and it's -10 windchill here but I'm not complaining...Why did I ever leave LA? In Minnesota I think they call this spring. Trying to listen to tunes but my amps are just not really cooperating at the moment. Not sure if it's a power issue, amp issue or speaker issue...tough to narrow down. I appreciate buying products from people that you can talk to and help you with trouble shooting, can't wait for all to be back to normal.
Having a Lagunitas Little Sumpin Sumpin and watching some FA cup to relax.
Lon, my favorite coffee in the world is from the state of Oaxaca, Mexico absolutely delicious!

Stay warm fellas

JD

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 01/05/18 at 23:17:42

Jeff, fire up that evening Beer!

Lon, I/you don't need to drink to have a good time. Most of my best Listening sessions are with coffee.

JD, YES, that is a MN Spring. You Sir, I thank you, the Tubes arrived amid all this weather chaos! I will get to a Quad tomorrow morning with a mug of Pikes Place. .....my son works in Boston.....later in the year .....he hopes Boston does not see those temps and storms for a few years ....even though being from MN.

.....all kidding aside JD.... Hope you find your system issue quick and you're experiencing a MN winter not MN Spring. Thanks again for loaning me these two Quads.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 01/05/18 at 23:39:07

Craft beverages and music are made for each other.  Whether it's coffee (woot woot!!), beer, wine, spirits, or anything else...  it's just enjoyable to sip while you listen.  

Speaking of that, Lon, Ill send you a PM.  I have an idea that might help pull some of my coffee customers over to view the FB page in some type of collaborative post.  

Right now, have a the PSvane EL-34-PH's warmed up, listening to a nice blues playlist on Qobuz (yeah, you read that right...  I used a work around to get it streaming despite being in the U.S.)  and the ZMA/Hegeman combo is in harmony.  I put the Hegeman's back in for a bit as I did some furniture shifting in the room and had to re-position them.  TGIF!  Cheers, ya'll!  

P.S.:  Damn, that first one went down easy :)

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by NormD on 01/06/18 at 01:51:11

Here is what I have and where I am headed:
Chinook Preamp       ECC189 Mullard. maybe Amperex 7308
ZTPre               7308 Amperex
ZMA Input               CV2492 Ediswan
ZMA Inverter       E88CC Telefunken
ZMA Power (In Order of Preference)      
     6P3S-E 6L6GC Reflector
     KT66 TAD Matched Quad from Cryosat
     KT66 TungSol Matched Quad (Stock)
     EL34 RFT Siemans NOS Quad (on order)
     PSVANE HIFI 5881: Matched Quad (on order)

Comments and reflections most welcome

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by JD on 01/06/18 at 15:11:15

Great that they arrived Stone, hope you enjoy them.

JD

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 01/06/18 at 16:31:29

Hey guys, I have never encountered this?

I cannot get the 8 pin RFT EL34's or the 6 pin Psvane 5881's into the sockets of my ZMA? I mean it is soooo tight....I'm not willing to force them in obviously....and even if I could get them down in....hell, I would not be able to get them out. ....of course, I have the grove slot in right....I use a light to see it.

I have had three quads of 7 pin KT66 (3) in and out of my ZMA....and the 6 pin 6PS3-E's, come in and out with no problem. I have tried two different ZMA sockets and a couple tubes each. All tubes and ZMA are at room temperature.....and sockets are fine (using an LED Flashlight to see down in them)....my 6P Reflectors are back in and warming up.

Once, again....the fit is so tight for the RFT EL34's....that the pins can't even go halfway in? ....the Psvane 5881's, make it 2/3rd's in....that is all....both types come to a dead STOP....don't force me mode??!  

I don't think any type of audio lubricant spray would help....these sockets are so tight?    I don't know what to do?

I don't need CAIG or TPC XLO....they are spotless clean sockets...but these might serve as a loosening lube?  .....but....I don't want loose socket inner tines?

Glad I have these on gracious loan from JD and I HAVE NOT ORDERED 8 PIN Gold Lion KT88's!

Possible solution? ....I do have an pair of Audio Art EL34's I can grab one to loosen up the inner gold tines of the sockets. I have this pair, because I had a Pair of Steve's EL34 mono-blocks in many years ago for audition...and one of the tubes he sent, went out. The only tube I have ever had go out...I was able to drive to a local audio store...that actually had these Audio Art EL34's to continue my audition...that same day!

..............................anyway, I digress.....would I really want to loosen the sockets up as I stated/in this manner?    

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 01/06/18 at 17:32:32

Stone,
That is really bizarre and I am at a loss here.  I received my RFT EL-34's earlier in the week and I just popped one in with no problem to see.   I have rolled in 3 different sets of EL-34's and all slid in easily.  The pattern of the pins is exactly the same between all of these tube types, just a different number of pins.  Can you see a physical difference in the circumference of the tube pins between your 6P's and the RFTs and 5881's?  I assume you don't have a micrometer?

All of this is so strange.  Before cramming anything it, I would run it by Steve.  It maybe be the sockets need good break-in with a little elbow grease with these new tube types, but I would get his advice first, just in case.  Especially since your 6P's are treating you so well at the moment.  No rush, right?  ;)

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by JD on 01/06/18 at 17:36:10

Stone,

I'd be careful and not force em as to not do any damage to the sockets. Odd though.

JD

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 01/06/18 at 17:40:03

Jeff, yes, the pins all line up and to the naked eye, sans micrometer, the circumference looks the same on the tube pins and distance between.

I think I need to just elbow grease/break these sockets in (as I mentioned in my possible solution above and your mention Jeff), with a disposable tube....my Audio Art EL34's....lucky I have on hand....from my story above.

I wanted to read if anyone encountered such a tight fit as to make you scratch your head in disbelief?!

I will enjoy my 6P's today...and get to breaking in the sockets as described in a day or two. I will work one socket methodically and see how it goes.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 01/06/18 at 17:41:13

Yes JD, ....and not to harm your Tubes in any manner.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 01/06/18 at 17:52:45


Quote:
..............................anyway, I digress.....would I really want to loosen the sockets up as I stated/in this manner?    


Remember the pin straightener a few months back?  Steve warned against bent pins loosening up the sockets.  I'd be very careful "breaking in" the sockets.  I'd want to know first if the issue is the extra friction caused by extra pins or if the pin diameter of the new tubes was larger than the ones you've been using.  As Jeff said, check pin diameter with calipers before going too far.  It's amazing what an extra thousandth or so, times 9 can do.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 01/06/18 at 17:57:03

If I cause any damage to the first socket (or any subsequent socket), using my crash test dummy Audio Art EL34, 8 pin socket loosening endeavor? ............

.....I will have to return my ZMA to the Mother Ship for repair and to add XLR inputs....while Steve is under the Hood.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 01/06/18 at 17:59:31

YES! Thank you Archie.....SO NO GO for me on loosening the sockets.

The tube pin diameter's might be bigger?  I will investigate further.

Jeff's first suggestion of that issue and now you mentioning the pin straightener warning...........I will heed.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 01/06/18 at 18:08:40

All of the tube sockets on my various Decware are snug and require some "rocking/wiggling" as opposed to just pushing straight in and pulling straight out.  Is this what you have or much tighter?  Occasionally I wonder at the strength of the tube bodies given the forces involved for the smaller, nine pin tubes..

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 01/06/18 at 18:24:24

Fair question to ask Archie, to qualify my situation. Like 9 pin input tubes and inverter's....in which, you know I roll like changing my socks... = a lot.....and always require that slight tilt and roll to pull in and out....never straight in or out and the same for the output tube sockets. The quality of Steve's socket choice is to be commended = Quality.

These two Quads in question, just plain flat out get stuck....and let you know you are DONE....and do not force.

Scratch my head disbelief?  

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 01/06/18 at 18:30:46

.....and I have triple checked...I don't have an micrometer, so, to the naked eye....the diameter of the pins and placement/distance of the pins to the slot grove (I call it) all check out .....once again to the eye only.

The slightly larger pin size, one can't tell to the eye...must be the culprit...from what I'm experiencing when trying to get them in.

I will be content with 9 pin tube rolling with my 6 pin 6P Reflectors & 7 pin Tung-Sol KT66's.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 01/06/18 at 18:34:25

While not ideal, do you get enough purchase for good electrical connection?

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by JD on 01/06/18 at 18:36:52

And it was my amp in question about the sockets so I would not try them. Geez never would have sent you those if I knew, glad you didn't force em in. Wonder if the RFT might not be up to snuff? I bought em from a guy in Germany...huh.

JD

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 01/06/18 at 18:38:02

Do they go far enough in to connect....are you asking?
Of course, without fitting flush down in ~ I would never turn my ZMA on.

Define....."enough purchase".....I have these on loan from JD.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 01/06/18 at 18:39:36

No worries, JD. You would have no way of knowing....what amp of yours did you have both of these quads in?

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by JD on 01/06/18 at 18:53:38

I had em in a Torii III. I used the RFT for a couple hundred hours as well.

JD

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 01/06/18 at 19:02:17

Whom would have guessed? I know it's not operator error (meaning me).

....and in no way, shape or form, am I messing with my/these sockets.

I thank you for sending them. I will get them back out to you on Monday and include a check for your postage paid.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 01/06/18 at 19:17:15

Stone,

If only you had some calipers ...

I measured several tubes' pin diameters:

Raytheon 12AU7:  0.040"
Raytheon 12AX7:  0.040"
New Mullard 12AX7:  0.039"
Steve's Russian ZMA power tubes:  0.040"

Tung-Sol EL34B:  0.093"+
Tung-Sol KT66:  0.093"
Gold Lion KT66: 0.093"
Russian 6Ps:  0.093"

So, good consistency across tubes and brands.  If your tubes are big pinned it would be unusual but that's the only thing that makes sense.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 01/06/18 at 19:32:22

I agree Archie, ....the only thing that makes sense/the culprit....is that they are big pinned/diameter of the slightest increase/micro.

These particular ZMA sockets tighter......... .

Well, I can live with 9 pin rolling....and I love my KT66's and these 6P's. I'm going to get another quad of each of these brands...I always make sure they work and bias ....and put them away.

I can't risk buying anything else.

I got lucky, .....I did not buy EL34's....5881's and/or KT88's!

Heck, they/these JD quads, might measure perfect/in diameter...maybe these particular ZMA sockets/slightly out of spec, are just plain flat out tighter....are the culprit......and one would have no way of knowing....because the KT66's / Tung-Sol that ship with these sockets, fit fine in the shop....and I got lucky on the 6P Reflectors!

Hey, $21/22 bucks round trip was a much smaller price to pay than otherwise.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 01/06/18 at 20:45:11

So, bottom line:

Tubes are slightly larger in diameter/pins

~ or ~

these particular ZMA tube sockets are slightly out of spec.....that are accommodating the tubes that ship with them/KT66, 7 pin and of course fit my subsequent KT66 Tung-Sol current production tube purchases/two other quads.  Plus, luck on the Reflector 6 pin quad 6PS3-E's....fitting.

Once again, I have ruled out operator error/ME. These two quads will not fit in my ZMA sockets:
RFT German EL34's/8 pin
&
PSVANE 5881/6 pin.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by NormD on 01/06/18 at 22:45:50

That is very disturbing. I have both the RFT EL34’s and the Psvane 5881’s on order. I’ll report back when they show up.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 01/06/18 at 23:51:15

Hard to say if tube pins or sockets.  My guess is sockets.  My RFT EL-34's slide in and seat with no problem.  Now, I am not sure the history of my "red capped" ZMA, which is the same run as Stone's, as I am the second owner.  It could be that the first owner did the deed and applied whatever pressure was necessary to get the sockets "opened up" enough to handle any tube.  But then there is Archie's post showing some rather impressive tube pin diameter consistency amongst various tube types.  Sooooo then what???

Man, this is a head scratcher for sure.  Time for a direct message to Steve as he may shed some light.  It would be a shame not to run whatever compatible tube you want Stone, but I don't blame you for backing off.  It simply is not worth the tube or socket damage at this point.  

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 01/07/18 at 00:30:45

If it's the sockets then all of the tubes should be tight.

I gotta believe Steve used the same sockets in our ZMAs.  Raven's, being the prototype, might be different.  Stone's is #1 and mine is #9, also red caps.  I don't remember ever having to force a tube in -- as if I were opening up the socket.  What we need, is someone with calipers to measure the offending tubes.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 01/07/18 at 00:47:27

Yeah, none of it makes any sense.  I don't believe the sockets used in ZMA and Torii are different.  So why did those tubes work fine in NormD's amp?  


Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by NormD on 01/07/18 at 01:31:05

A point of clarification:  I hav e5e RFT’S AND 5881’s on order.  I have ZMA #14. I’ll let you want I learn the tubes arrive.

Right now I am in bliss with my 6PS3’s.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 01/07/18 at 01:39:20

Sorry, my bad.  I meant to write "JD", not NormD.  He has a Torii and these tubes were not issue in his amp.  I am assuming the sockets are the same make/model, but I could be wrong.  

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Steve Deckert on 01/07/18 at 03:13:56

Thought I would jump in and mention that we are using the same sockets for 17 years.  People who tube roll a lot may  loosen some of the pin holders in the tube socket (it only takes one) which can cause intermittent results.  In most cases the sockets can be re-tensioned with the right dental pic style of tool and if not then the socket can be replaced by us.  So far we've replaced about 30 sockets in the past 20 years.  There are devices called "socket savers" that are excellent to use when rolling tubes.  Then when you finally make your choice, you can install the tube without the socket saver.

Another thing that helps is cleaning the tube pins with a pencil eraser, then give them a squirt of "DeoxIT D5" contact cleaner and insert the tube immediately while the pins are still wet.

Also it is important to know that the tube itself can have the exact same intermittent operation of one of it's pins that can not be seen with the naked eye or felt.  It will absolutely fool you into thinking you have a bad tube socket, or bad soldering of the tube socket.  

In the Decware amps, no circuit board is used and everything is carefully hand soldered with flexible wire, so the odds of the socket having a bad solder joint are very low.

Regarding output tube pin diameters and socket tightness... when Decware amps are new, the sockets are tight to extremely tight.  Ad to that the fact that most 8 pin output tubes have solder blobs on the tips of the pins that can make it almost impossible to insert the tube in the socket.  I know because I have filed off hundreds over the years as we tube up the amps during the QC process.

Steve


Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 01/07/18 at 03:32:25

Thanks for that Steve.  Very helpful/useful to know.  

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 01/07/18 at 04:27:41

Thanks Steve. As you mentioned when new; the sockets are tight to extremely tight. I have rolled plenty with my 9 pin and none with the output tubes/till now with the 6P's, etc... .... So those four sockets are still extremely tight.

I'm going to try again tomorrow. All sockets are functioning perfectly and a testament to their quality.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 01/07/18 at 04:30:10

Stone, time to greez 'em up!  May the Force be with you.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by JD on 01/07/18 at 12:46:53

Stone,

Feel free to shave em down a bit to make em work, all good with me.

JD

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 01/07/18 at 15:16:29

Thanks JD....I was going to ask you just that.

Thanks again Steve, now, inspecting the two quads in question....with an LED Flashlight and my geek magnified glasses (also visible to the naked eye when you look close and feel too-blobs on the tips of the 5881's for example)....some filing is in order and minimizing stress to my output sockets.

I will get to it later in the week and get back. This morning, I'm enjoying my Ediswan, Telefunken & 6PS3-E Reflector quad...... .

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 01/07/18 at 15:54:08

Furthermore, pardon me ignorance as well, to filing, eraser & D5 tips. It was time I finally got around to rolling output tubes and breaking in my tight output tube sockets...as I have done with my 9 pin sockets (always with Kid Gloves).

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 01/07/18 at 16:35:45

Filing, wiping clean and then wiping on/applying XLO TPC.

https://www.kosmasaudiovideo.gr/showprod.php?id=1961

TPC goes way back to over a decade ago....one of my favorties....and glad I still have a few sealed packs. Time to break it out again.

".....chemically-treated wipe neutralizes oxidation, protects against corrosion, and even - by soaking into and filing micropores
in plated contact surfaces - increases total effective contact area, for better signal transfer and reduced low-level information loss."

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 01/08/18 at 18:31:00

With further thought, I have decided not to file on these two quads; not being mine. Thanks again to JD. Either of us could not have predicted my very tight output sockets. I will get them on the road to JD tomorrow. I wanted to mention.....in case anyone was wondering down the road, why I never reported on them.

I am very pleased with my 6PS3-E's & KT66's, with my input NOS tube rotation. My constant inverter's are my Telefunkens. I will in the near future, buy a quad of KT88 GL's from Ron at Cyro. I will be comfortable filing on them/quad...if need be and clean with TPC.  

Right now? I am in wait for my ZROCK2 and look forward to spending late winter and Spring with it. I will review the great info in that Thread about rolling a few tubes with her.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by NormD on 01/12/18 at 00:56:29

I received my RFT ( SIEMENS ) - NOS - EL 34 from someone in Germany.  I had to problem inserting them into my ZMA sockets.  The sound very good and are giving my 6P3S's a good challenge but the latter seems to be the winner in overall dynamic range and air.  I'll leave the EL34's in for a week and see how they settle out.  

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 01/12/18 at 01:05:40

That's sort of my finding with Tungsol EL34 vs the 6P3Ss in my ZMA.  Except my EL34s went right in (and came out a couple weeks later).

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 01/12/18 at 02:02:47

My PSvane EL-34PH's smoked the Tung Sols in an A/B.  I haven't put the RFT's in yet to compare, but hope to do so within the next week or two.    

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 01/12/18 at 03:57:30

Yes guys I'm loving the 6P's. Dymanic's and air I will say too, Norm. Running with Edi's and the Tele's. The tighter and more articulate detail tone/bass in these has me sneering at my KT66's over on the shelf.

The rock solid bias and balance I have not needed to touch since day one and I'm on day 17. So, glad these came back to mention.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 01/12/18 at 05:28:23


Quote:
The rock solid bias and balance I have not needed to touch since day one and I'm on day 17. So, glad these came back to mention.


Right??  It is quite remarkable!

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 01/20/18 at 16:59:08

It is remarkable. This is the tube that in addition, to the 6C33C, is probably in Russian Mig's too. Unshakable!

The tonal balance neutrality of this quad with no edge, bolstering its neutrality with warmth that is not overly sweet....has me pinching myself with these. At the bottom of that tonal balance/rock solid bass....at the top they opened up with air and more air. No hyperbole. It takes a lot To impress me when you're running the input tube groups I'm running and inverter's to the output contenders. These are winners. 6P.....

I will eventually order KT88's from Ron. Right now though, I will not take these out.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by NormD on 01/20/18 at 17:05:19

Jeff:

So if you had to do it all over, would you pick the PSvane EL-34PH's or the 6P3S's?

Why do I have this feeling you will tell me you want both...

Norm

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lon on 01/20/18 at 17:07:00

They're very good tubes, glad they get talked up here on the board.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 01/20/18 at 17:10:01

6P’s for price, first and foremost.  And the beautiful mids.  However, there are things the PSv’s do better and I really enjoy having them in.  But considering the price difference....  Ive gotta go with the 6P’s.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 01/20/18 at 17:53:30

I have three quads of these, two from a Russian seller and one from Cryoset.  I'm always tempted to get another but honestly, I haven't come close to wearing out a quad yet.  It will be interesting to see what kind of life these are capable of.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 02/19/18 at 16:15:46

They are so rock solid in their Bias & Balance and their even handed rise on the Meter's. Archie, it will be interesting to see what kind of life these are capable of, for sure.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 02/19/18 at 16:41:01

Stone, here is another tube for you to try.  The Russian 6N5P that Steve is now using in the Torii Jr.  I have them in my CSP3 and ZMA.  At about $3/tube you can't go wrong.  I bought 8 to start from ebay and I have another 12 on the way.  This is the seller I just bought from.  The price is for a lot of 4 tubes but his shipping doesn't go up much when you buy more.   :)

https://www.ebay.com/itm/6N5P-Tubes-made-in-USS-Lot-of-4-pcs/202104226176?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 02/19/18 at 16:42:50

I popped my set back in last week after a long stint with my PSvane EL-34PH's.  Yep Stone, they rise evenly and got settled quick.  Had them re-biased in a matter of seconds.  And after checking a few times throughout the night, they were still sitting put where I left them.  Pretty incredible.  

I just get a feeling these are some pretty solid, and robust tubes.  Not based on anything scientific, just a gut feeling.  For our sake, I hope I am right!


Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by NormD on 02/20/18 at 02:37:01

So how do the Russian 6N5P's sound vs say the Telefunken's or Ediswan's. I get the price, but what about the sound?

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 02/20/18 at 02:56:42

Cool Archie, great price too.
Norm, I second that motion....sound comparison.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 02/20/18 at 17:54:08

Buy a set and try them.  If they don't work you can throw them away given the cost.  I like them as well or better than anything I've had in, including the Chinese tubes Steve liked before these.  I figure that if they are good enough for Steve to put in the Torii Jr., they were worth a try.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by NormD on 02/20/18 at 18:01:13

I ordered four last night  :)

It will be an interesting comparison.  

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lon on 02/20/18 at 18:42:29

I've had eight on order a week or two from Russia. Should be an interesting tube to play with.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 02/20/18 at 21:29:04

Looking forward to your impressions.  Hopefully yet another tube that performs inversely to price.   :)

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 02/20/18 at 22:20:47

I see some I can get from an Ukraine seller sovtube. Talk about the need for Steve's 9 pin tube straightener for those!  ;D

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by NormD on 02/20/18 at 22:25:31

My thoughts exactly. I ordered both myself yesterday. Those are new in boxes?

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 02/20/18 at 22:54:46

I'm being pig and just ordered 8 more from a Ukraine seller:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/8x-6N5P-Russian-Audiophile-Tubes-double-triode-tubes-Same-Date-8pcs/252794360189?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2055119.m1438.l2649

$22 delivered.  He has one lot of 8 tubes left.  There is an auction for 8 that is cheaper but They didn't specifically say they were Russian tubes, although I think they are:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/6N5P-double-triode-tubes-NOS-same-codes-8-pcs/122974704723?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2055119.m1438.l2649


I tacked on a pin straightener to my ZROCK2 order this morning.  It should be shipping this week!

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 02/27/18 at 16:52:57

I found my best combo's so far:

Ediswan's or Mullard's as inputs ...with, always the painfully expensive but worth it Telefunken's as inverter's and new stock KT66 Tung-Sol's. .....NOS RCA 0A3's.


My other combination is:

Mullard's ONLY as inputs ...with, always the painfully expensive but worth it Telefunken's as inverter's and Cryo 6P3S-E's. .....NOS RCA 0A3's.


Running straight from ZDSD output trannies.....attenuating input gain with ZMA. Pure and simple/puts me the closest to the Music and the differentiation of Tubes is/are all there.

I keep the original 6N23P's around as a harken back to their Sig....but they ain't my Gig, compared to the above compliments.

The two pair of Tungsrams are going to Audiogon and I'm staying pure with/from my source ZDSD and selling my ARC Line Stage too.



~ All NOS Platinum graded Tubes from Upscale Audio (except 6N23P's):

(Great Britain) Mullard 7308/E188CC ~  2 pair (both pair Cryogenic)
(Germany) Telefunken 6922/E88CC ~ 1 pair (painfully expensive/worth it)
(US/Great Britain) Ediswan CV2492/6922 ~ 2 pair (one pair Cryogenic)
(Hungary) Tungsram 6922/E88CC ~ 1 pair
(Hungary) Tungsram PCC88/7DJ8 ~ 1 pair

(Russia) 6N23P's ~ 2 pair/came with ZMA.  








Listening Room:



Room Treatments from Michael Green & my Home Brew


Sony as Transport (DVP-NS57P)
Illuminati D-60 Digital Coax IC ~.5 meter


Shunyata Research Zitron Alpha Digital Power Cord to ZDSD {Significant}


Decware ZDSD DAC / Recorder
***************************************************************
W/Steve's Output Transformer's/kicking to the Curb quite a few superb DAC'S
***************************************************************
(@ -20 Ref Level, 0.0 Input volume and @ 16/192)



WBT-0102Ag RCA Kimber Select KS1030 ~.75 meter


Decware Zen Mystery Amplifier
~BIASED at *56* mA~
NOS/Platinum/Mullard E188CC/7308's in my A12 an B12 Input positions Cryogenic~NOS/Platinum/Telefunken 6922/E88CC for Inverter Tubes~NOS RCA 0A3's & matched Quad/Tung-Sol KT66's or 6P3S-E's




***************************************************
Kimber Select KS6063 Speaker Cable 8ft WBT-0681-Ag Spades
***************************************************



Acoustic Zen Adagio - Black Pearl (Modified)
.....enjoying from 8 ohm ZMA Taps


Caintuck Audio Eminence Alpha 15" OB BASS Unit
at 43Hz, with my Velodyne CHT 130 watt plate amp and 0 degree phase.....at 1/8th volume on plate
Plate Amp....regen'd clean ~ plugged into P3
Auralex Subdude (a must)
(NOTE: Only needed when the recording calls for...Open Baffle Bass has been the best integration I have witnessed when needed and called on)







Acoustic Zen Adagio's x-over's Modified/Full Range with Mundorf MCap Supremes-single Cap to each Tweeter/4.5k cross
(Gutted: 3kHz/18dB/Octave, Linkwitz/Riley Crossovers....with all crappy parts = gone)


ZMA, updated with robust Western Electric Bias/Balance Meter's and new Resistor's ~ Feb/17

XLO Pro Power Cord to ZMA
Shunyata Research Zitron Alpha Digital Power Cord to ZDSD {Significant}
PS Audio P3 Power Plant / Pangea AC-9SE from wall to P3
(Transport and ZDSD, Regenerated/*120*~ Multiwave off...ZMA on High Current Output)
System configured on Floor ~ Townshend Audio CD Seismic Sink deployed & other Isolation devices.


   

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by NormD on 02/27/18 at 19:02:31

Would you care to compare the KT66’s to the 6P3S’s?  I found the KT66’s to be substantially stronger in bass but not as clear and crisp in the mids and highs. Maybe I need to give them more air time.  

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 02/28/18 at 15:28:37

Hi Norm, you being an Ediswan input and premium Telefunken inverter guy too..... .

As you know the KT66's with the Ediswan's have some stronger bass. However, when I use the Mullard's as inputs....more detail comes through the pushing out on the KT66's. I also, like the extended top end treble, the sparkle present with the Mullard/KT66 combo + midrange to die for that trumps the Ediswan's.
NOTE: My Adagio Tweeter's are capable of more clean/musical treble output....than the HiVi Swan Tweeter found in the Monolith's, ERRx and HR-1's.
Mr. Lee's in-house/California-USA made Tweeter is truly remarkable (+the German made under-hung woofer's made to his specifications and the extremely well executed Transmission Line).
However, the Ediswan's still have their place...and why I won't part with my two pair.

Now, Edi's with the 6P3S's are good...but the Mullard's with the 6P's....treasure trove so much detail that is laid back and so there....I won't use the the Ediswan's with these output tubes anymore.


~ All NOS Platinum graded Tubes from Upscale Audio (except 6N23P's):

(Great Britain) Mullard 7308/E188CC ~  2 pair (both pair Cryogenic)
(Germany) Telefunken 6922/E88CC ~ 1 pair (painfully expensive/worth it)
(US/Great Britain) Ediswan CV2492/6922 ~ 2 pair (one pair Cryogenic)
(Hungary) Tungsram 6922/E88CC ~ 1 pair
(Hungary) Tungsram PCC88/7DJ8 ~ 1 pair

(Russia) 6N23P's ~ 2 pair/came with ZMA.  

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lon on 02/28/18 at 19:06:07

Got my 6N5P lot of 8 tubes in today. Stuck one  in the Taboo Mk IV in place of a cryo'd 6N1P I have been using the past few days.

Very nice tube. Do I like it better than the cryo'd 5N1P? Not sure at the moment. . . will have to let it burn in a bit. But for the price these are great backups to have at the least.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 02/28/18 at 22:42:41

Lon, what date stamp is on your 6N5P tubes?  Most of mine are 71 or 72 but a couple are 80s.  I wonder if there's any difference?

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lon on 02/28/18 at 23:31:34

Darned if I know. . . I didn't notice any codes nor know how to read them! I stuck one in my Taboo MK III for now after a brief spell in my Mk IV and I have the others still wrapped in bubble wrap in the cabinet. :)

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by NormD on 03/01/18 at 02:09:38

OK, Stone, your reputation is on the line! I just ordered four Mullard 7308’s from Upscale. I already have the Tung-Sol KT66’s and a quad of TAD KT66’s to test. This never ends, does it?

My speakers are Focal 1038e’s and they have the crisp berkelium tweeters, so the Mullards should be a good match. The speakers also have plenty of bass and clear mids, so this will be interesting.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 03/01/18 at 03:35:35

I think you're going to like them Norm. Very nice Speakers!

With the KT66 & 6P.....for me, they just do everything so well.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 03/01/18 at 14:37:22

Norm, now with the matched four you bought..... .

I did not like using the Mull's as phase inverter's.

It was serendipity to find that the Telefunken, which I do not enjoy as an input tube....but found each time I tried something else as inverter's....I preferred the Telefunken's back in as phase splitter's to really make my input Mullard's shine and input Ediswan's.

Phase Inverter, also known as the Phase Splitter ~ its function is relatively simple: take a signal input, and create two outputs, one that is identical (e.g. in-phase) to the original, and another that is a mirror-image (phase-inverted or flipped phase).....feed output tube(s).

Relatively simple....maybe and maybe not....however, I have found....wow, probably the most important are the phase splitter's to RENDER THE BEST OUT OF YOUR INPUT PAIR feeding the splitter's and then to output tubes and then output trannies.

.....just my opinion and discovery.




Tubes we are talking about for reference:
https://www.upscaleaudio.com/collections/vacuum-tubes/products/telefunken-e88cc-6922
https://www.upscaleaudio.com/collections/vacuum-tubes/products/mullard-e188cc-7308
http://www.thetubestore.com/Tubes/6922-E88CC-Tube-Types/Mullard-E188CC-7308
Ediswan's .....no longer available ...but can be found.
https://www.bing.com/images/search?view=detailV2&ccid=M6Hx%2bQa8&id=E1D2FC6227B6C4C5FE991DD2BA7894F405F09C43&thid=OIP.M6Hx-Qa8q-1gkTelTURG2AEsDQ&mediaurl=http%3a%2f%2fimg.canuckaudiomart.com%2fuploads%2flarge%2f684857-telefunken_12ax7_and_ediswan_6922_matched_pairs.jpg&exph=710&expw=1024&q=ediswan+vacuum+tubes&simid=608033531480639321&selectedIndex=9&qpvt=ediswan+vacuum+tubes&ajaxhist=0

NOTE/DISCLAIMER: I run a high voltage/output transformer DAC (ZDSD), directly to my Amp (ZMA), adjusting input gain with the ZMA. I do not like Preamp's***. I have owned several....., to render the most out of my TUBES....and their incredible sonic differences/it needs to be direct from DAC as described....this is how I find my musical bliss.
I also run Kimber KS1030 & Kimber Select KS6063. Lamp cord is not going to match these musical conduit's.

See my System in post/reply #348 of this Thread. I keep my original signature below....from 17 years ago....never forget where you came from and started..... . Actually, I started 41 years ago at age 13...came to Decware in May of 2001.

*** I do not like Preamp's ~ true. However, I do own a Class A hybrid that I use on occasion....lots of fun.
How fun is it? It turns my ZMA into an Class AB1 BEAST 8-)....but, my Decware is about what I have made clear written above in Class A.
Make no mistake, the ZMA direct from ZDSD (sans Preamp), does not lack in dynamics-riding its Class A & AB1 wave.




For those out on the www. (as evidenced by the 42,000+ hits on this Tube Rolling Thread) ....for further reading of interest/if you're not already aware of the Zen Mystery Amp details:
https://www.decware.com/newsite/MYSTERY.html

Furthermore, of importance:
https://www.decware.com/cgi-bin/yabb22/YaBB.pl?num=1476981128

https://decware.wistia.com/medias/clex9z20t4

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by NormD on 03/02/18 at 15:44:29

Where did you get your KT66’s?  One tube in my original quad died, so I am using the TAD KT66’s which are sounding wonderful with the Ediswans as inputs and Telefunkens as inverters.

I found these Tung-Sol KT66’s and wondering if anyone had experience with them. https://m.ebay.com/itm/Brand-New-Tung-Sol-Reissue-KT66-Plate-Current-Matched-Quad-4-Vacuum-Tubes-/122912628153?_mwBanner=1

Norm

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 03/02/18 at 16:07:38

Hi Norm. My last quad I purchased from Tube Depot. My next quad of KT66 and/or KT88's.....will be from Cryoset.

I had the same thing happen to my most recent quad of KT66 Tung-Sol from Tube Depot. One tube went....they were only 10 months old. I pulled my original quad early out of my ZMA and shelved. So, I was able to grab one of those and match her in. Nice, having Bias & Balance Meter's....on the fly as we only do in the ZMA! ....and glad my theory of having a quad on the shelf with plenty of life left in them to accommodate one tube going out in a newer quad. Without the Meter's...no could do.

So, my next quads are from Sheldon at Cryoset/exclusively. The Rock Solid 6P's attest to that.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lon on 03/02/18 at 22:53:48


NormD wrote on 03/02/18 at 15:44:29:
Where did you get your KT66’s?  One tube in my original quad died, so I am using the TAD KT66’s which are sounding wonderful with the Ediswans as inputs and Telefunkens as inverters.

I found these Tung-Sol KT66’s and wondering if anyone had experience with them. https://m.ebay.com/itm/Brand-New-Tung-Sol-Reissue-KT66-Plate-Current-Matched-Quad-4-Vacuum-Tubes-/122912628153?_mwBanner=1

Norm

TAD KT66 are my favorite of the KT66 that I have tried in the Torii Mk III, and I liked the Tung-Sol the least. Larry, I've had JJ 6CA7 cryo'd from Ron Sheldon at cryoset.com that failed on me way early (few months of work) so I think it's the tube maker not the tube seller that is at fault, they probably both tested the tubes and yet they failed early.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by NormD on 03/02/18 at 23:53:03

How do the Mullard ECC189's compare to the Mullard E188CC for the ZMA inputs?

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 03/03/18 at 02:31:42


Quote:
So, my next quads are from Sheldon at Cryoset/exclusively. The Rock Solid 6P's attest to that.


That is for certain Stone!

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 03/03/18 at 15:07:32

No experience here Norm, with the 189. I look forward to what you think of the 7308/E188CC's as inputs with the stellar Telefunken's we use Norm for inverter's. I would try the 6P's with this config and then the KT66's...the Tung's or your other.

I will buy one pair from you if you don't like them. However, I think, as in our Ediswan's we won't part with....same will go for these Mullard's. I won't part with mine.

Yes, for certain Jeff, with Ron S. 8-)

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by NormD on 03/09/18 at 02:57:36

I put the Mullard E188CC's in the input position and I am in awe. The mids and highs are amazing - they really helped balance out the KT66's I have the Telefunken E88CC's in the inverter and TAD KT66's as the Power tubes. Awesome combination.  I think I will leave this for a while.  Well, maybe a week...

I will try the Tung-Sol KT66's some time in the future.

I just snagged a pair of Telefunken E88CC/6922 CCa's.  Any suggestions on where to try them, input or inverter?  How do you think they will sound?

Norm

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 03/09/18 at 13:30:31

The Mullard E188CC/7308, is pretty damn special. I'm glad they ain't cheap....keeps stock available pretty much..... . The tone and remarkable layers of harmonics.....takes the ZMA to an whole other level IMO, nough' said.

They do really balance out the KT66's. I believe they will for you when you try the Tung-Sols. The Tung-Sols with the stock 6n23p's.....no go for me. So you can imagine with the Edi's and the even better/stellar Mull's....I was in heaven to sideline the stock 6n23p's. Plus, the Catalyst ....that is the premium Telefunken in our phase splitter position.

The Mull's are stellar with the 6P output tubes too.

You scored CCa's.....very nice. I would try both positions for periods... .


PS~I'm going to get the Cryo TAD KT66's next/instead of Gold Lion KT88's. I will get the Cyro KT88's eventually, but want to hear the Cryogenic TAD's with my Cryo Plat Mull's & our premium Tele's I/you're running Norm. Glad you like the Mullard's. This ZMA of our's.....is pretty darn Special. It never ceases to impress me.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 03/16/18 at 17:41:41

Norm, when you get around to trying the Tung-Sol KT66's..... .

I switched to my Ediswan's for inverter's. The edge that is presented (by the KT66 Tung-Sol's) from some recordings, is taken care of by the Edi's.


Line-up for my ZMA (0A3 NOS RCA's):

Mull's inputs, Tele's inverter's to 6P's (absolutely Love)

Mull's inputs, Edi's inverter's to KT66 Tung-Sol's (down right heaven, now).

However, I must admit, I prefer the Mull's > Tele's > KT66's, the majority of the time. But, like I mentioned, some recordings dig the Edi's in the inverter position sourcing to the Tung-Sol's. I have the Edi's in as inverter's for a two week run.

The 6P's fed/sourced by the Tele's as inverter's and the Mull's as input's....are spot on, every time with its presentation of recording's.



~ All NOS Platinum graded Tubes from Upscale Audio (except 6N23P's):

(Great Britain) Mullard 7308/E188CC ~  2 pair (both pair Cryogenic)
(Germany) Telefunken 6922/E88CC ~ 1 pair (painfully expensive/worth it)
(US/Great Britain) Ediswan CV2492/6922 ~ 2 pair (one pair Cryogenic)
(Hungary) Tungsram 6922/E88CC ~ 1 pair
(Hungary) Tungsram PCC88/7DJ8 ~ 1 pair

(Russia) 6N23P's ~ 2 pair/came with ZMA.  

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by NormD on 03/17/18 at 02:43:25

Stone:

You must be wearing out your tube sockets!

My current experiment is bypassing the ZTPre and going directly from the OPPO Sonica DAC (modified) into the ZMA. the difference is small, but I believe there is more clarity and dynamic range - not a lot, but noticeable.

I'll run this for a while before I try the Tung-Sol KT66's in place of the TAD KT66's and maybe swap around the inverters and inputs as you have.  Right now I am very pleased.  The TAD KT66's are awesome and have incredible bass in addition to clear highs and awesome mids.

I ordered the Morrow Elite Grand Reference XLR cables as an upgrade to my Morrow MA6 XLR cables and I will try Steve's ZSTYX speaker cables as well as the Morrow Elite speaker cables since Morrow has a 60% off sale.  I love the MA6's in my system.

This never stops, does it?  When I retire this will have to come to a halt, so I am free to play for another year.


Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 03/17/18 at 15:21:49

Norm, yes, I am very careful on those sockets.

Yes, I love my ZMA without Pre.  

I need to get those TADS!  I have not done it in awhile....so over the next 2 or 3 months...I'm switching around inputs and inverter's again...and see if I'm hearing my previous conclusions.

Nice Cables Norm. I am considering bringing in the Morrow (solid copper w/silver surfaced). I went to all copper in my KS6063 from my KS3035 speaker cables.  I want to see what I think of copper predominately in an Interconnect vs. my Kimber all Silver KS1030.

Does it ever stop? I know right? It will stop for me too....just a few other tweaks and maybe the UFO3(25th's).....but, I'm not keen on that output tube anymore and its availability...so probably not and I'm done.
.........except for, if Jeff's power cap experiment works out and if Steve visits the ZMA for some form of a bypass cap enhancement. If not? The ZMA is mighty fine as is!  ....especially with the Speaker's and Cabling we are running........ . + NOS TUBES!

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 03/18/18 at 18:54:58

Does it ever stop?

......it might just have stopped for me.

The Mullard input > Telefunken inverter to the 6P's output/ZMA.....KS1030/KS6063 to Adagio's.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by NormD on 03/19/18 at 01:38:52

Interesting. I just swapped out my TAD KT66’s for the 6P3S’s and the latter seems a bit muddy on piano. I’ll swap back tomorrow.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 03/19/18 at 16:19:41


Quote:
I just swapped out my TAD KT66’s for the 6P3S’s and the latter seems a bit muddy on piano.


This caught my eye.  It's not what I experience with the 6P3Ss at all.  But they might be lusher (muddier?) than the KT66 which I don't care for as much.  To hazard a simile, would it be like, both are water but one is ice and the other liquid?  Since I live with cold winters I might prefer the liquid?   ;D

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by NormD on 03/19/18 at 16:31:52

I’m going back to the KT66 ‘s tonight to validate my original observation. Some recordings sounded better on the 6P3S’s.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lon on 03/19/18 at 16:33:57

I find with the output tubes in the Torii Mk III that the rest of the complement really influences the final output sound, and possibly that is similar with the ZMA. With the Torii Mk III I'm hearing more along the lines of what Archie is hearing, with my usual complement there is an appealing warmth to most recorded piano sound, as if the leading percussive edge were slightly smoothed over. But with other input tubes and/or regulator tubes I can find the same piano to have a tad brighter presentation and the piano attack more percussive.

The output tubes that really present the piano most realistically to me (and I have spent dozens of hours in piano practice rooms at UT Austin, I know a piano's sound) is the JJ 6CA7. Too bad those tubes are suspect in the dependability and reliability departments.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by NormD on 03/24/18 at 03:32:11

My current ZMA tube compliment favorite, to which I keep returning, is

Inputs: Telefunken 6922 CCa
Inverter: Telefunken E88CC
Power: TAD KT66

The Telefunken CCa’s really opened up the highs with nice clarity; a distinctive improvement over the Mullards. I hope they last me a long time. I like the TAD KT66’s over the TungSol because they seem to have a tad more extended bass and I love the midrange. I think I and done rolling for a while.


Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 03/28/18 at 15:39:10

........back from a week's vacation of sun & sand. ....was very much needed....I got off the frozen tundra for a bit!

Anyway, Norm, I do need to get the TAD KT66's from Ron/Cyro. I would be crazy not to try them. Glad you're digging the CCa Tele's to Tele E88CC's.....I love my Mullard's to the Tele E88CC's. Great, how we can voice Decware Amps! ...an understatement for sure..... .

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 04/09/18 at 17:34:54

Norm, my first time trying:

our Mullard's as inputs
our Ediswan's as inverter's

........with/6P...E's!

NOS RCA 0A3's

..........ABSOLUTELY, loving this combination!

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 04/09/18 at 21:37:38

As good as it is....the above combo.....

The Mull's as inputs to Tele E88CC's as inverter's, are impeccable!

I finally need to hit up B Jes.....for a couple pair ....hear if this can be beat.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 04/11/18 at 16:23:53

However, when I want to get away from the Mull's as inputs... . My Tungsram PCC88 / 7DJ8's, are stellar neutral powerful musical tubes, put forth to the Telefunken air E88CC's in the inverter stage!

https://www.upscaleaudio.com/products/tungsram-pcc88-7dj8?variant=21828951877
https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p2380057.m570.l1311.R1.TR1.TRC0.A0.H0.XTungsram+pcc.TRS0&_nkw=tungsram+pcc88&_sacat=0

https://www.upscaleaudio.com/collections/preamp-tubes/products/telefunken-e88cc-6922?variant=21828935365
https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_odkw=tungsram+pcc88&_osacat=0&_from=R40&_trksid=p2045573.m570.l1311.R8.TR12.TRC2.A0.H1.Xtelefunken+.TRS0&_nkw=telefunken+e88cc&_sacat=0

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 05/25/18 at 19:31:55

Let me tell you.  I'm in the smaller envelope camp for my output tubes. I dig the landscape of the KT88 and KT66's. However, the 6P's, I enjoy the tight bass and midrange to the highs a whole lot more! I also enjoy biasing them at 45 or 50mA....50 pulling on some more low end. The 6P's compress better too when putting them out of class A to AB1 (minor needle movement), with NO strident harshness or loss of composure/tonal balance. More headroom/understatement, than KT88's and KT66's.

I will certainly put some more hours on my Gold Lion Cyro KT88's (only 6 hours at a time...they run at 78mA).

But, I'm getting some Tung-Sol 5881 (for this stone of tone freak that I am), T-Sol 7581A (more headroom I love) & Tung-Sol 7027A's (for even more slam). I will spend the summer with these tubes and hear how it goes!

I must add my tube compliment. I tried the 6N23P's back in for inverter's. It became apparent that they can NOT DO what the Telefunken can do in the splitter slots! You want to hear what your 6P's can really do?! Get a pair of these in there (inverter's)!
https://www.upscaleaudio.com/collections/preamp-tubes/products/telefunken-e88cc-6922?variant=21828935365

Using:
Mullard E188CC/7308's for inputs NOS Platinum
Telefunken's (link) NOS Platinum inverter's
Reflector 6P's
0A3 RCA NOS.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 05/26/18 at 01:04:59

Stone, do you really have a pair of these at $500?

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 05/26/18 at 01:36:09

300 on the Tele's.....and the price has slowly crept up the last three years. Glad I bought them when I did. They allow the input tube to dictate its true character through the incredible Telefunken and then, dictate the true character dynamic's of the output tubes.
I treated myself to these back in 2015 and they should be good for 8 to 10,000 hours. They are incredible tubes.

I have two pair of the Mullard's and two pair of the Ediswan's as well (see reply #365 above) = 800

1100 well spent.

500+ for a pair now? To crazy.

I would sell all five pair of these tubes mentioned if they were not truly impressive and transformative. I also own a couple pair of Tungsram's that are pretty cool too. I would dump these two pair as well~if they did not provide Sonic's better than most.

God bless those that can't hear the difference. Unfortunately, I can!  
;D ;D

I can't afford a damn thing right now. Except, for the somewhat affordable T-Sol 7581A & Tung-Sol 7027A's.....to spend the summer with.


However, I have a couple more pair to get before they go the way of the Dodo Bird!

https://www.upscaleaudio.com/collections/preamp-tubes/products/amperex-7308-vintage-gold-pin?variant=21828913157

https://www.upscaleaudio.com/collections/preamp-tubes/products/philips-sq-e88cc-6922-made-in-holland?variant=21831147397

....if they are gone before I can get them? Oh well, I can find them used or switch to the SE84UFO3/25th Mono-blocks.....that will be stellar stock tubed (and I know, can and will drive my modified Adagio's). My ZMA? I'm to spoiled now...NOT to have all of the above tube compliment(s).   8-)  

I don't do boats, cabins, motorcycles, cars, jet ski's or Snowmobiles. I like good food & the best tubes in my Decware/Zen Mystery Amplifier!   :D :D

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 05/27/18 at 00:19:55

At that price I hope you at least got dinner and a back rub!   ;D

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 05/27/18 at 04:36:15

:D ;)

Nope, I'm hoping for that when I get the Amperex and Philips SQ.   ;D


Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 06/19/18 at 05:01:29

Ok, so the more music I push through the ZMA with these Phillips 7027a’s, the more I realize their capabilities.  When you roll a tube, there is a period of lull in which tube burn-in, and user familiarity needs to occur.  I feel they have burned in nicely as the sound is consistent and settled.  

The second facet of tube rolling is hearing what you need to hear to make a sound, educated decision.  Well, that process has been ongoing since I plugged these tubes in.  To much of my wallets dismay, I reached out to Derek at Watford Valves in England to inquire about their current inventory of these NOS, matched quads.  He indicated they were nearly sold out, but there was at least one matched quad I could order.  There may be a few others but I didnt ask.  I needed one set, and they could fulfill.  So, $400 later, I have my backup set of these tubes, which in my system and environment, cannot be beat.  

If you’ve got some extra coin, and own a ZMA, you may want to reach out to Watford.  I really enjoy my KT88’s - a lot!  But, in terms of midrange purity, non-fatiguing detailed highs, with a balance of output power, dynamics and tight bass, creating the most realistic preproduction, the 7027a’s are the reigning champs in my ZMA.  

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lonely Raven on 06/28/18 at 21:47:51


I got a lightly used quad, surprisingly well matched, of 7027a from an estate sale. They even threw in 3 random spares!

I have them in my ZMA, but haven't really given them much time since I've been working a lot, or working on the yard/lawn.

How do you have yours biased, Jeff?

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 06/29/18 at 06:37:09

When I first installed my Phillips 7027a's, I had them at 68ma.  Right now they are riding at 64ma.  No noticeable improvement at 68ma, so I'll let them sit here for a bit.  Things run a couple degrees cooler at 64 if nothing else.  

What brand of 7027a's did you pick up?

What I really like about these tubes is their ability to accommodate the significant improvements brought about by the power supply capacitor upgrade I performed.  Like BonnyA, I wired the Mundorf's originally as 2-pole and fairly recently had the wiring modified in the ZMA to accommodate the 4-pole wiring scheme these caps were designed for.  The 4-pole design intent is to improve filtering and eliminate modulation.  All I can say is the improvement was as subtle as stabbing my eyeball with a needle.  I really did not expect it to make that profound of an improvement.  Of course, I ditched the 47uf electrolytics at the same time for the TubeCaps so my gut feeling is these brought much of the same types of improvements a bypass network would bring.  The ESR/ESL is pretty phenomenal on those TubeCaps.  

With the wholesale improvement in sound quality these mods brought to my ZMA, these 7027a tubes are a match made in heaven - again for the way my amp is currently configured.  

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 07/03/18 at 22:30:15

Jeff, have you tried the Tung-Sol new production 7027A's.

How about the 5881 tube?

Is the 7581A, cool to use in our ZMA's?


All are found on this page:
https://www.thetubestore.com/power-tubes/6l6-5881-tube-types

7027A here:
https://www.thetubestore.com/tung-sol-7027a

I'm considering the Preferred Series 6L6GC too.


Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 07/04/18 at 00:09:02


Quote:
I'm considering the Preferred Series 6L6GC too.


I think I remember Lon posting that he had issues with the lifespan of the 6L6 tubes in his Torii III.  

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lon on 07/04/18 at 00:47:23

That's true, in my case it was two different sets and types of TAD 6L6. They sounded quite good but I only got about six months out of a quad.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 07/04/18 at 02:36:36

Stone,
I have not tried the Tung-Sol. The 7027a line is so scarce, I did as much research as I could which led me to the NOS Phillips ECGs that I purchased.  

I will eventually need to explore other options as the tubes I purchased will be no more at some point. I bought a back up set, but you never know.

They are amazing. The data I found match what I am experiencing with my ZMA. So, for now, I will stay put.

The 5881 tube type is identical to our 6P’s. The 5881 is the American designation as opposed the the Russian designstion.

I am typing on my phone at the moment so not sure about the 7581a tube you asked about. Ill have to get back on that one.

And LR, I would look into the 7027a’s you have. Like any other tube type, the make/mode matters.  These NOS Phillips ECGs are doing it for me. But again, my amp is definitely left of center when compared to a stock ZMA which very well could make a profound difference when it comes to tube influence.


Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 07/04/18 at 14:01:37

I'm going to do the ZMA enhancement upgrade. Forgo, a new DAC & ZBIT for now.

I will establish what new production output tubes sound like before and then after the upgrade:

T-Sol 7027A's (order tomorrow)
6P's cryo (own)
KT66's (own)
The awesome Gold Lion KT88 quad cryogenic (own).
No 6L6's, with Lon's bad experience.

Good to know and I thought I read about the 5881 being the same as the 6P.

7581A....will be good to know-if you dig up any info on that one..... .

I read you on the extinction of Tubes! I have ofter mentioned: "They are going the way of the Dodo bird."
Why I own the premium: Mullard's, Ediswan's (extinct) & Telefunken input tubes....that take the 6P's & at the other end of the spectrum, the Gold Lion KT88's to another level.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 07/04/18 at 14:12:58

As mentioned above, no 6L6's, with Lon's bad experience....in an Decware Amp.

I will buy/try the 7027A's new production because my cabling and speaker's MATTER + input tubes w/Telefunken inverter's. The shlock some are running for the just aforementioned - offer's no credibility....so need to hear for myself.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 07/04/18 at 17:05:09

Jonsin' for the 7581A's from Cryoset. Steve does not mention them in the ZMA compatibility. But, cool how Steve wired for the 7027's.

I'm thinking the 7581A's should be cool too. Cryoset page says if 6L6 can run so can these. Just should be sure.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 07/04/18 at 17:12:02

Stone,
The 7581A's are very similar to 6L6(GC) tubes, but with a higher plate dissipation rating of 35W, as opposed to 30W.  This is similar to the rating of the 7027A's which can handle more current than the 6L6's.  The 7581A's are pinned the same as 6L6's, which is not the case with the 7027A tube type.  

They are essentially a souped up 6L6.  I am surprised they are not listed in the ZMA manual as a viable alternative.  At $30 a pop, definitely worth a try in my opinion.  

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 07/04/18 at 17:17:07

My thoughts exactly on all you said!

90 for the Cryo quad of 7581A's ....ordered/no brainier.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 07/04/18 at 17:24:46

Nice!  Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on them.  $90 for a quad?  Priced like the 6P's.  

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 07/04/18 at 17:41:06

98.98 w/USPS....I bet I get them on Saturday...if not Friday!  Will do Jeff. Ron, processes orders like lightening...they will go out tomorrow.

I will get the T-Sol 7027A's in August...this way, I'm not tempted to put them in... .

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 07/07/18 at 16:20:52

7581A's are out for delivery! I will get them in tomorrow (Sun) morning with a cup a Joe.

I need to peruse through this thread back to January, when JD sent me tubes and refresh my memory in the "bias under 50", tube talk too, Thread.

I'm not going back to low power/SE. My System is to good! I'm even questioning having the ZMA upgrade done?! ...but probably will.

All of this is still in play (below)....to establish some nice combinations with my input & inverter tubes...PRE & then POST ZMA enhancement!

I'm considering the KT88's from Psvane:
http://psvanetube.com/wordpress/store/products/treasure-kt88-z-cb-cobalt-blue-bo...
these ship out of Canada....so can deal with them easier and customs vs. China......180 day warranty on these

....then we have the EL34 replica's....Jeff can comment on....
http://psvanetube.com/wordpress/store/products/psvane-philips-holland-metal-base...

the RFT's in my sights...also on ebay....but no warranties
http://www.nosvacuumtubes.net/product/rft-el34/


I have the mighty KT88 quad, from Cryoset....Cryo'd.
T-Sol 7027A's (order in August)
6P's cryo (own)
KT66's (own)

~ All NOS Platinum graded Tubes from Upscale Audio (except 6N23P's):

(Great Britain) Mullard 7308/E188CC ~  2 pair (both pair Cryogenic)
(Germany) Telefunken 6922/E88CC ~ 1 pair (painfully expensive/worth it)
(US/Great Britain) Ediswan CV2492/6922 ~ 2 pair (one pair Cryogenic)
(Hungary) Tungsram 6922/E88CC ~ 1 pair
(Hungary) Tungsram PCC88/7DJ8 ~ 1 pair

(Russia) 6N23P's ~ 2 pair/came with ZMA.  

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by mark58 on 07/07/18 at 16:47:53

OK Stone, I'm going to do you a solid.  The below links are to a ebay seller I bought a matched pair of NOS RFT/Siemens EL-34s from for $100 plus $6 shipping...it's a US seller. The write up states "Tested on a RoeTest professional computer testing system, the best tester available today. Matched using a Maxi Matcher 2."

I used the ones I bought for a short while before putting in some RCA 807s but they are nice unmarked tubes...the real deal. And the meters on my Rachael show them to be matched. I just bought a NOS quad for $200 plus $7 shipping...only one more quad left...You are welcome, Mark.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/183240557161

https://www.ebay.com/itm/NOS-SIEMENS-EL34-6CA7-Tubes-Valves-Dimple-Top-O-Getter-Matched-Pair/183155232170?_trkparms=aid%3D222007%26algo%3DSIM.MBE%26ao%3D2%26asc%3D44040%26meid%3Ddc53cf1da63e4a049745032863d7a98b%26pid%3D100005%26rk%3D6%26rkt%3D12%26sd%3D183240557161%26itm%3D183155232170&_trksid=p2047675.c100005.m1851

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 07/07/18 at 22:52:56

Mark, thanks for the heads up! Those are a great buy. I am so tempted. My budget is only allowing the 7581A's this month and maybe those beauties in August or 7027A's.

My 7581A's have landed and in prestine condition. In tomorrow morning.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by mark58 on 07/07/18 at 23:13:49

It's up to you, Stone, but if those are all they have, they'll be gone soon. There is a German seller who always has them for $279 per quad though.  Several years ago he was selling them for as low as $169 a Quad.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 07/08/18 at 15:18:49

Ahhh yes! Only two hours in on these headroom little monster's. I love the ZMA!

....50 hrs needed....of course/for full bloom....but what a steal & cryogenic too.

Running with:
https://www.upscaleaudio.com/collections/vacuum-tubes/products/mullard-e188cc-7308?variant=21828917381
input tubes
https://www.upscaleaudio.com/collections/vacuum-tubes/products/telefunken-e88cc-6922?variant=21828935365
inverter tubes

RCA NOS 0A3's.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by NormD on 07/08/18 at 15:27:42

Will the 7581A's work with a stock/unmodified ZMA?

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 07/08/18 at 15:31:06

Hi Norm.

Yup, The 7581A's are pinned the same as 6L6's.

I have them biased like the 6P's = 48~50 mA.

I will bring them up to 56 mA (after some hours on them)....they can do it/I will see/hear.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by NormD on 07/08/18 at 15:40:36

Where did you get them?

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 07/08/18 at 15:53:39

To heck with waiting to bring up the bias....these 7581A's wanted 55~56 mA in their initial rise on the bias/balance meter's. I just put them their at 83db SPL to 91db SPL peaks and they are loving it. (Yes, everyone should have an SPL meter).

Caveat Emptor though....:
the headroom up there....you need speaker's overall & tweeter's to handle it (to appreciate them=no rolled off full range and/or with tweeter's x-over, way to high) + cabling MATTER's.
...input & inverter's too  :-*


..........fun Sunday morning...then heading out....to nice to be inside!


Norm, from Cryoset. Ron is the best.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by NormD on 07/08/18 at 16:04:39

Ah.  New Tong-Sol's Correct?

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 07/08/18 at 16:13:41

You know it.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 07/08/18 at 16:44:09

"Ah.  New Tong-Sol's Correct?"

Always remember to go back a few posts/other page:
see reply #386....through present.  8-)

+I ordered them the morn' of July 4th...before heading out to party.
Received, in my locked mailbox yesterday (Sat) afternoon! I call Ron the lightening shipper from North CA to MN.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by NormD on 07/08/18 at 17:37:04

Thanks.  I did not go back far enough and the recommendations on this post change a lot....heh...

Note from Ron:  Sorry but I have only 1 pair of these available at this time.

Guess I am out of luck for now.  A guy on eBay has them so I may pursue that route.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 07/08/18 at 18:49:40

Ron say when he would get more in stock?

Initial impressions are: Very damn good...forward, but not in an aggressive way...very captivating! Treble/up there is excellent!

I look forward to the journey with these to 50 hrs. Plus, comparison to the 6P's (in which, we know are wonderful tubes).

The budget allows for the T-Sol 7027A's in August!  

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by NormD on 07/08/18 at 20:47:52

Ron said he should have more in a month. In the meantime, I ordered a matched quad on eBay.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 07/08/18 at 20:59:02

Cool Norm.

5 hours on these and the harmonics in tone are notable + detail. Pleased I purchased them. Oh yeah, midrange is sweet and bass is taunt.

I'm really a big believer in the cryogenic process for tubes too.

Look forward to your initial impressions Norm. Unfortunately, I won't be able to enjoy more hours of their journey until Thursday or Friday.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by NormD on 07/09/18 at 02:46:14

Stone:

Have you been able to compare similar tubes that have been cryogenically treated vs. untreated?  I have not, so I cannot comment on the effects, but I am leery about the cryo process impact on tube life and integrity. The pins are metal and the tube envelope is glass and they each have different coefficients of expansion and contraction. Just using tubes inherently tests this metal-to-glass interface as they heat up and cool. My thinking is that the cryo process has an even more dramatic impact on that interface due to the differences in expansion and contraction. My preference has been to avoid cryo tubes for that reason. Just my opinion.

Norm

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 07/09/18 at 21:38:14

It's a good opinion Norm. This cryo thing could be a bunch of whoooooey.
I have been pleased with my three quads so far from Ron. Whether, cryo has any effect and adds to tube longevity or does not, as you state....long as they perform as long as I think they should...works for me.

Norm, are you considering the enhancement to your ZMA? I don't call it an upgrade, because I enjoy my ZMA as is (four years and almost six months and counting).

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by NormD on 07/09/18 at 22:34:31

I will most likely do Steve’s 25th anniversary (or ZMA2) upgrade. What else are you thinking?

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 07/10/18 at 14:49:26

Yes, I like the ZMA2 (J of A/cool), being potentially coined, for the enhancement.

I will most likely do it too. No one else but Steve/Decware, is going to do it.

I am not going back to low power.....the ZMA is my Listening Room Amplifier  ~ period.

++, Steve does not BS about his Amps. If he says he took our ZMA to what he likes about the UFO25th.....I believe he did. I remember when I called him in Mar/April of 2001...and he told me what to expect from his SE84CS with no hyperbole....out of my original signature I still keep below....and guess what? .....he was spot on.... . The last 17 years of Decware are in the books...and counting!!

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 07/11/18 at 21:47:11

I had some time to enjoy more of the 7581A's yesterday. I am enjoying these tubes immensely. I don't think I'm changing my ZMA. I'm not, I bet.

I will look in, now and again.....to see what other stuff Steve might have cookin.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by NormD on 07/11/18 at 22:54:06

Are you still running them at 55-56mA?

I thought that mine came in today....but they sent me four Gold Lion KT77's instead.  Don't think I'm going to accept that...

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 07/14/18 at 00:31:03

Yes, I got them at 55-56 Norm. Great bass, in these too!

KT77's? It can happen. Did you try them?

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 07/14/18 at 00:41:33

I have a LOVE/HATE realationship with NOS tubes.  I absolutely love these Phillips ECG 7027A tubes.  With my current amp make-up, these have been the best sounding of all the tubes Ive rolled.  So why do I hate them so much you might ask?  Well, I’m only a few months into them and I already have a tube that won’t stay biased.  It may be a bit unfair to hate them for this as current production could fail in equal manner, but at $400 a set after shipping, it is hard not to be a little pissed off.  NOS categorically are the best of breed sound-wise and reliability, but damn  every time I tell myself, “no more NOS” for this very reason (i.e. price with no reprieve if a failure occurs) I go and buy not just one set, but two!!  I have a backup quad of this same tube but never imagined I would be placing them any sooner than a year, maybe two.   :-/

Se la vie!  Cracking a 16oz can of Left Coast Brewing “Simply Mosaic.”. Happy Friday folks!

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 07/14/18 at 01:14:03

I read ya Jeff. I own $1500 of input NOS plat' grade from uncle Kevy.... And all are in tip top shape for three years now. Knock on wood.

Putting in A QUIET PLACE movie right now on my big Polks.....with  a Surly cold one...

Happy Friday!

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 07/14/18 at 02:17:52

Just threw back in my PSvane EL34PH quad to give this set a some freedom to shine this weekend.  Its been awhile....

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 07/15/18 at 14:54:45

I read ya Jeff (those are the 34's I want). I only have 20 hours or so on my 7581A's...nice tubes. However, I glanced over at my Gold Lion KT88's cryo....put them in this morning...it has been awhile for these!

.....the big landscape picture man....like melted butter on lobster...with your best girl, that can't get enough of you!

Love my 6P's for what they do in detail, midrange/imaging and shimmer up top (and the 7581A's have potential).  The KT88's, though...a whole other ball game of MAJESTY.................  

...it is 9 am now....Sue know's...I have to enjoy this till 1 pm...then, we have the whole rest of this beautiful Sunday to get out there!

https://www.amazon.com/Dot-Com-Blues-Jimmy-Smith/dp/B000050J47
Jimmy Smith on that sweet tone of his....only done by a Decware Class A Amp!

...sticking with new production power tubes:
7027A quad in August
PSvane EL34PH quad in October.

NOS input tubes...still a few more pairs to get...  ;)


Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 07/15/18 at 18:54:20

Ain’t that the truth!  I’ve got a selection of tubes, all so different, and all absolutely worthy of time in the ZMA.  Such a blissful dilemma   ::)

The EL34PH’s are biased at 40ma right now.  They can reach about 44 but I like to leave a smidge of headroom for micro adjustments/balance.  These are awesome tubes.  Warmer than any of the others but still exhibit some impressive detail.  So pleasant, not even a remote element of fatigue.  As a matter of fact, their strongest suit is musicality and if there was such a thing as “negative fatigue,” this tube would be the poster child.
They are incredibly stable in the biased department.  I don’t have a ton of time on them but after they warm and settle for an hour, I made a micro adjustment a couple times and they have been solid ever since.  

I am glad the 7581A’s are doing it for you so far.  You’ll have to keep up posted as that relationship progresses!  

I think Ill throw back in my KT88’s later on this afternoon...   It is a gorgeous day today, high of 83, so in a hour ill be soaking up all of that glory   8-)

But now, enjoying a little Cowboy Junkies on the EL’s, continuing the burn-in on the new ZMA guts.  What a splendid amp!

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 07/21/18 at 13:07:03

Jeff, It is a blissful dilemma...having distinct differences in output tubes. + NOS Platinum, input tubes...my Mullard's are diff' from my Ediswans, 6n23p ....my two Pair of Tungsrams distinctly different too. I have not decided yet, which of the Tung's' I like best in my Audio Research LS-2B MK II.

.....the bad Ass Telefunken's as my inverter's, continue to amaze in their purity of getting out of the way!

Norm, did you keep the GL KT77's? I'm curious to someday try a quad of those too.

......grabing my 2nd mug of MAJOR DICKASON's BLEND....heading up to fire up ....my ZMA/KS6063/Acoustic Zen Adagio heaven....7:36 am CST....till Noon.... Then down to BAD WEATHER BREWING outside, for a Pint or two of HOPCROMANCER.........

This mornings tube compliment:

Gold Lion Cryoset KT88 Quad

https://www.upscaleaudio.com/collections/vacuum-tubes/products/mullard-e188cc-73...
input tubes
https://www.upscaleaudio.com/collections/vacuum-tubes/products/telefunken-e88cc-...
inverter tubes

RCA NOS 0A3's.

No Pre in-line.....today.

Tonight...9 to 1 am ....same above ~ except ~ :
T-Sol 7581A Quad will be in ...Cryoset.

INPUT VOLUME of ZDSD from Transport/Illuminati D-60:
0.0, -0.5 or -1.0 dB, only...wonderful TOOL
With Steve's output stage = indespensable.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 07/21/18 at 23:16:44

Got a jump on things early for tonight's session. Gold Lion KT88's are powerful beautiful sounding tubes. However, I wanted to get my 7581A Tung-Sols back in.

....back in they are, with only a little over 20 hrs on this quad...they are airy up top and some more subtle details, swirl out of them too! Midrange & bass are nothing to sneeze at either............ .

I am batting a 1000!
KT88 GL's cryo'd
6P Reflector's cryo'd
7581A Tung-Sol's cryo'd

.....ALL different and shine in the ZMA.

I would say Cheers...but I'm having a nice mug of coffee right now instead.  Have a great rest of your weekend, out there......... .

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by NormD on 07/22/18 at 02:06:23

Stone:

I did not try the KT77's as they were not mine but an error by the seller.  I am still wait for delivery of my 7581A Tung-Sol's.  But the TAD KT66's will be hard to beat.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 07/22/18 at 13:04:43

I doubt I will have KT66's in my ZMA again. The GL KT88 quad is so much better to me. I have them settled in at a 74 ~ 76 bias and love these tubes, when I want that big glorious envelope action coming out of my ZMA..... .

Glad to read you have the 7581A's coming. They really started to shine for me last night, as I described above. The bass coming in fuller and deep too. Biased at 52 is best for these.

I'm going to get a quad of Mullard EL34's from Ron for comparison to the PSvane PH EL34's I'm getting in October. I will still squeeze out getting the T-Sol 7027A's too.

Genalex KT77's will still be on the distant radar. Need to hear them for myself and flip them out of here if they don't fit in my repertoire....... .

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by NormD on 07/23/18 at 03:56:39

Stone:  The KT88’s sound intruiging. I am curious as to why such a high bias. Steve recommends no more than 60ma in the ZMA manual. Could you run them at 50ma? 60ma?

Anyone else with experience running KT88’s?  Want bias are you running?

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 07/23/18 at 04:31:08

KT88s won't bias lower although I bought a quad that do.  For all I know though, mine aren't true KT88s.  They were unlabeled and only claimed by the seller to be KT88s.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 07/23/18 at 21:39:37

https://www.decware.com/cgi-bin/yabb22/YaBB.pl?num=1524266800

Check this out Norm....the Thread dives right in on the subject J of A then Steve responding in reply #11.

I have no worries running GL KT88's! (6 or 7 hours max at a time).
Yeah, the bias of 74 to 76 mA is no worry either.  

I would not and will not be, without this KT88 QUAD! It is a whole other side of the ZMA. Then, back to 6P's & 7581A's + EL34's......doing their ZMA magic.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by NormD on 07/24/18 at 02:35:07

Stone: Thanks for the link. That certainly helps answer my questions. Unfortunately, I have left my ZMA on all night occasionally so the 4-6 hour “limit” is something to keep in mind. I would have to swap out tubes when we have a house sitter as once I came home to find the amp on for who knows how many days. I will give the GL KT88’s a try soon based on the recommendations from yourself and many others on these forums.

I just put in the TS 7851’s tonight and, wow, what a difference in clarity! I was not expecting such a difference, in fact I was skeptical because I liked the TAD KT66’s so much. The mids, guitars, voices and high end are crisp and clear. The bass is not as punchy as the KT66’s but is more than adequate and deeper. I now hear fingers on the guitar strings where I had not before. These are now my favorite power tubes. It is nice to have a system where you can hear the differences. Ani DiFranco just jumped into my listening room.

Thanks for the recommendations!

Norm

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 07/24/18 at 21:37:21

Yes! I did not want to over sell them. I am enjoying them very much too.

6P's, KT88's and now these 7581A's.

Hope my luck continue's with the 7027A's. Might be close to the 7581A's (or not)...but need to find out..... .

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by NormD on 07/26/18 at 13:26:06

I read on the Tube Depot site https://www.tubedepot.com/products/jj-7027a-power-vacuum-tube that the 7027a’’s are not 6L6 pin compatible. Am I missing something?

My KT88’s arrive tomorrow.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 07/27/18 at 02:21:50

The balsey 7027 Steve described it as.....somewhere in this thread or an other, is compatible. He wired this 8 pin tube to work. It is also listed ....tubes the ZMA can run ....in the ZMA site listing.

Now Steve was speaking of an NOS quad. However, I have high hopes for the TSOL 7027A's. TAD makes them too....but I'm going for the TSOL's.

JofA's running a NOS quad too.


Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by NormD on 07/27/18 at 02:41:56

Ah, I missed that on the ZMA page.  Thanks for clarifying.  Let me know how you like the TS  7027A.  The look affordable.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 07/28/18 at 18:20:52

Will do on the 7027A's Norm. I'm not getting those in here for another 2 or 3 weeks....but they will get in here!

Enjoying the clarity of tone and treble extension of the 7581A's right now....love these tubes! .....they might be my new favorites too..... .

What's the scoop on your KT88's? Which did you get? I might prefer the smaller envelope 7581A's & 6P's over the 88's. But, like I said previously, I would not be without what the KT88 Gold Lions bring to the ZMA, when I want it!

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 07/28/18 at 19:59:58


Quote:
Enjoying the clarity of tone and treble extension of the 7581A's right now....love these tubes! .....they might be my new favorites too..... .


Stone, you've got me curious about these tubes now.  Do you have the Tung-Sols?  I'm seeing matched quads for under $90.  Ron isn't listing cryo'd quads.  Do you think they have enough advantages over the 6Ps (which I love) to justify?

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 07/28/18 at 20:38:47

I am loving these tubes Archie! Yes, they are different than the 6P's. Does not make them better than the 6P/5881**. Let's just say I'm not taking these 7581A's out for awhile...as described. Awesome fair cost too.

**6P's, are a 5881 clone....very good...as we know...and will still make my rotation.

Strange....Ron's site, does not list as a quad....he usually does?

When I purchased mine...
the site and my receipt reads:
1 x Tung Sol 7581A Matched + Cryo Treated Quad  - 4
89.99 + 8.99 shipping.

This quad is like....(if we could see sound) I was a decent drawer with lead on a canvas. Then all the sudden I jumped to an exceptional canvas drawer....shading every detail in beauty and light unetched!
Ohhh, and the mid-bass & bass.......wow deep tone beauty....took 30+ hrs...but worth the wait!

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 07/29/18 at 00:51:25

I think I'll get a quad from eBay.  There are two sellers at about $90.  One says his are burned in for 24hrs.  That might be nice.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by NormD on 07/29/18 at 02:15:20

I bought both the Gold Lion KT88’s and the Tung Sol 7581’s from the guy guy on eBay who sells matched quads with 24-hour burn-in. I really love both, but I came back to the 7581’s and I going to stick there for a while. I cannot put my finger on it, but I think then 7581’s have more clarity in the midrange with a strong bass and incredible clarity in the highs. The KT88’s are also amazing, but I think the 7851’s are my favorite. Plus, a part of me like to bias within the ZMA recommended range which the 7851’s do and the KT88’s don’t. I just realized that I am considering buying a backup quad of the 7581’s but not the KT88’s. Interesting.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 07/29/18 at 02:22:46

I could not have said it better myself Norm in all you just said. The 7581A's ....hearing and enjoying the same. The KT88's....I agree....I put them in occasionally and only for 6 hour tops session. Don't want my Jup caps to melt!

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 07/29/18 at 13:15:25

Archie, cool, go for them. You have a couple opinions in Norm and I. I hope you like them.

I got the 6P's a few days after Christmas.
Then, my KT88's in May.
7581A Quad, three weeks ago.

Next month:
7027A Quad.
September:
EL34 Quad.

My sites on a couple pair of 6922 variants in Oct/November.
Then, bed down for the loooong winter's nap with the glow and warmth of my ZMA.  :)





.............I shut down the SS rig....and came up to the ZMA. This quad of TSol 7581A's....are something special. I will have all I can do to shut the ZMA down at Noon....and head outside on this beautiful summer day!

I have them biased/balanced @ 50mA...dead nuts....so in the pocket!

Norm, I think you're right! I need to shelve another quad of these too. Yeah, I'm to nice some saaaaay.......blabbing about these...cause it crosses on the www ....but, Karma is real man.....share!

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 07/29/18 at 17:41:01

Norm,

I feel the same way about the 6Ps.  I'm looking forward to the 7581As since it sounds like they have a similar signature.

I have a quad of Tung-Sol EL34s that I like but I prefer the 6Ps for some reason.  

What I really still can't get over though is what the ZROCK2 does to make everything SO MUCH BETTER!   :D    For Star Trek fans, it's like the Venus Drug.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 08/03/18 at 22:11:48

No little black boxes or preamp needed here Archie. I have owned the black box(s) yes, I have owned two of the boxes, Monolith 947's and a CSP3/Jup'd..............due to my cabling and quality of driver's and tweeter's & x-over modification..............not necessary for full dense music from my Listening Room.


Full credit too...to the ZMA and Steve's output stage from my ZDSD.... .


These T-Sol 7581A's are blowing my mind tonight!   Cheer's!







Listening Room:

Room Treatments from Michael Green & my Home Brew

Sony as Transport (DVP-NS57P)
Illuminati D-60 Digital Coax IC ~.5 meter

Shunyata Research Zitron Alpha Digital Power Cord to ZDSD {Significant}

Decware ZDSD DAC / Recorder
***************************************************************
W/Steve's Output Transformer's/kicking to the Curb quite a few superb DAC'S
***************************************************************
(@ -20 Ref Level ~ @ 16/192)
.....0.0, -0.5 or -1.0dB/Input Volume

WBT-0102Ag RCA Kimber Select KS1030 ~.75 meter

Decware Zen Mystery Amplifier
~BIASED at *56* mA~
NOS/Platinum/Mullard E188CC/7308's in my A12 an B12 Input positions Cryogenic~NOS/Platinum/Telefunken E88CC for Inverter Tubes~NOS RCA 0A3's & matched Quad/Tung-Sol Cryo'd 7581A's, Reflector Cryo'd 6P's or Gold Lion KT88's Cryo'd

***************************************************
Kimber Select KS6063 Speaker Cable 8ft WBT-0681-Ag Spades
***************************************************

Acoustic Zen Adagio - Black Pearl (Modified)
.....enjoying from 8 ohm ZMA Taps

Caintuck Audio Eminence Alpha 15" OB BASS Unit
Auralex Subdude



Acoustic Zen Adagio's x-over's Modified/Full Range with Mundorf MCap Supremes-single Cap to each Tweeter/4.5k cross
(Gutted: 3kHz/18dB/Octave, Linkwitz/Riley Crossovers....with all crappy parts = gone)


XLO Pro Power Cord to ZMA
PS Audio P3 Power Plant / Pangea AC-9SE from wall to P3
(Transport & ZDSD, Regenerated/*120*~ Multiwave off...ZMA on High Current Output)
System configured/on floor/Townshend CD Seismic Sink deployed & other isolation devices.


~NOS Platinum Tubes from Upscale Audio/Kevin:

(Great Britain) Mullard 7308/E188CC ~  2 pair (both pair Cryogenic)
(Germany) Telefunken 6922/E88CC ~ 1 pair (painfully expensive/worth it)
(US/Great Britain) Ediswan CV2492/6922 ~ 2 pair (one pair Cryogenic)
(Hungary) Tungsram 6922/E88CC ~ 1 pair
(Hungary) Tungsram PCC88/7DJ8 ~ 1 pair.


(Russia) 6N23P's ~ 2 pair/came with ZMA.    


Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 08/03/18 at 22:42:14

Stone, I know you didn't care for the ZR2 in your system.  You're quite the purist!

I'm running the 7581As and so far they are a winner.  To me they are very similar to the 6Ps.  So much so that I don't know if I'll get another quad or stick with the 6Ps.  Interestingly, I have dialed my ZR2 back a touch.  I won't know anything for sure until I go back to the 6Ps and find out if anything is missing.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 08/03/18 at 22:46:40

Good points Archie. The 6P's are special....and I need to compare the two, too...before I shelve the additional quad of 7581A's.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 08/04/18 at 03:13:15

Have my Cryo'd Ediswan's in for inputs. Wow, squeezing some beautiful dynamic's out of these 7581A's! I have biased down to 45mA/ZMA is loving it!

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by NormD on 08/04/18 at 03:29:46

For now I am settling on the following:
Sonica DAC (Ric Schultz upgrade) via XLR or ZP3/ZSTAGE into my
ZTPre with Russian 6N5P's into my
ZMA via XLR with Telefunken E88CC's in the Inputs and Inverter and the 7581's.  The entire spectrum of sound in incredible with transparent highs and strong fast bass.

I may go back to the Ediswan's on the ZMA inputs and try the 6P3S's, but I am so pleased with the current sound,I am going to stick to what I have and focus on cables. I am finding that some very inexpensive XLR cables are blowing away some very expensive ones. I have settled on the STYX speaker cables as being the fastest highs, most transparent mids and strongest bass, but I have a vendor who is trying to convince me his are better.

So for now I just want to listen...

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 08/04/18 at 15:49:21

"So for now I just want to listen..."

Same here, Norm....holding off on either getting the KT77 Gold Lion's or Tung-Sol 7027A's, until October.

...till then, Enjoy.



Buying some Music, the next couple of months!

Plenty of tube rolling enjoyment to be had, below........for the next 8 weeks.

Constants:
NOS/Platinum/Telefunken E88CC for Inverter Tubes
NOS RCA 0A3's.

Rotation:
Matched Quad/Tung-Sol Cryo'd 7581A's
Reflector Cryo'd 6P's
Gold Lion KT88's Cryo'd.

Rotation:
~NOS Platinum Tubes from Upscale Audio~

(Great Britain) Mullard 7308/E188CC ~  2 pair (both pair Cryogenic)
(Germany) Telefunken 6922/E88CC ~ 1 pair (painfully expensive/worth it)
(US/Great Britain) Ediswan CV2492/6922 ~ 2 pair (one pair Cryogenic)
(Hungary) Tungsram 6922/E88CC ~ 1 pair
(Hungary) Tungsram PCC88/7DJ8 ~ 1 pair.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 08/04/18 at 17:57:06

My 7581As are settling in nicely.  I am biasing at 52mA for no particular reason other than that's what I bias the 6Ps.  I think I'm getting more headroom as these break in.  Detail is fantastic and the tonal balance is great to my ears.

Thanks Stone for pioneering these tubes!   :)

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 08/04/18 at 20:47:26

You bet Archie.

I am enthralled by these 7581A's.

As you stated: The headroom, detail & tonal balance is impressive.

The Dynamic headroom I'm getting with so much clarity of tone on this rain filled Saturday afternoon ..... I'm so pleased... .

Have a great rest of your weekend!

PS~even though we all should take reviews with a grain of salt....I like what I'm reading about the GL KT77's.....they could be October's buy...from Ron.
https://www.upscaleaudio.com/products/gold-lion-kt77-el34#shopify-product-reviews

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 08/11/18 at 14:45:48

Enjoying this morning, these Tung-Sol 7581A's. I am in no hurry to tube roll my Reflec 6P's or GL KT88's back in......and those quads are stellar also!

Running my Ediswan CV2492/6922 pair for inputs & Telefunken 6922/E88CC for inverter's.....absolutely stunning with these 7581A's.



....holding off on getting the KT77 Gold Lion's & Tung-Sol 7027A's, until October (I plan on getting both, then).

RFT EL34's...still on my radar & Psvane EL34's too.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 08/11/18 at 17:26:02

Stone, is it my imagination or does headroom improve as these tubes break in?  I'm with you 100% and I think my next tube buy will be another quad of 7581As!

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 08/11/18 at 17:43:01

It is not your imagination Archie. I'm still in my Listening Room at 11:40 am here (I came in here at 6:25 am). My girl friend is going to be mad when she gets back that I have not shaved and showered to go yet!

These tubes/headroom are blowing my mind! No hyperbole, just joy!


PS ~ she loves music - but, down on the other Rig with my Debut Carbon TT. Her nephew transferred to the U of M.... He loves Vinyl and will be stopping by time to time, to get fed and nourish his soul from the big Polk 1.2's.....!   Eventually, I will see if he can wrap his brain around the ZMA. Some, can only stay in the Debut Carbon Polk 1.2 zone though. Which is okay....as long as they love music.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by NormD on 08/12/18 at 03:27:18

I’m on the same camp. I bought a second quad of the Tung Sol 7581’s as backup.  Not changing them any time soon.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 08/14/18 at 20:48:33

Ditto Norm & Arch.

I have a further note of appreciation of this tube quad?! I can Bias them between 45 mA & 58 mA....to great sonic's!!!!

45 mA for moderate to low level Listening with revealing no etch detail = I dare say Triode.....(not dare say - I am saying it).

However, at 58 mA.....I can really push the SPL's if wanted...and obtain beauty in power....of maintained tonal balance with goose bumps!

ONLY ON A ZMA ....with Balance adjustment to boot!

Yes, I was able to have the JOY of my ZMA today................ .

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 08/21/18 at 22:01:13

Okay, I know I said I was going to spring for both quads at once. However, I only want to bring in one quad at a time, as I have done with the other quads (...and I'm NOT waiting till October....cause I'm keeping my ZMA pure for now).

.......should I get the Gold Lion KT77's or Tung-Sol 7027A's next? Believe me, I could keep the T-Sol 7581A's in indefinitely ......but, Rolin' is about rollin'!

What should I get?



Constants:
NOS/Platinum/Telefunken 6922/E88CC for Inverter Tubes (yes/the painfully expensive ones, from Upscale Audio = worth it, yes)
NOS RCA 0A3's.

Rotation/Power Quads:
~Matched Quad's~

Tung-Sol Cryo'd 7581A's
Reflector Cryo'd 6P's
Gold Lion KT88's Cryo'd
PENDING PURCHASE ~ GL KT77'S or T-Sol 7027A's.


Rotation/Input Tubes:
~NOS Platinum Tubes from Upscale Audio~

(Great Britain) Mullard 7308/E188CC ~  2 pair (both pair Cryogenic)
(US/Great Britain) Ediswan CV2492/6922 ~ 2 pair (one pair Cryogenic)
(Hungary) Tungsram 6922/E88CC ~ 1 pair
(Hungary) Tungsram PCC88/7DJ8 ~ 1 pair

~Control/came with ZMA~
(Russia) 6N23P ~ 2 pair.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 08/21/18 at 23:19:22

I am casting my vote for the T.S. 7027A’s.  Plate dissipation is 35W vs. 25W on the KT77’s.  What I am finding is the ZMA responds better to tubes that can handle a higher bias, which a higher plate dissipation rating will allow.   You can bias the 7027A’s at 60-64mA based on the plate voltage of 390V on the ZMA, which puts them at the 68-70% range of max on these tubes - a very safe and prudent range to operate tubes when longevity is also desired.  Safe, but not boring.  I have my 7027A’s in now at 64mA and they are crankin’ both in overall output AND dynamics/mids/treble sparkle.  

As a matter of fact, I was originally running these tubes at 60mA, but then I measured the plate voltage at the tube socket and realized I could safely bump it to 64mA without overly stressing the tube or overheating the power transformers.  

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 08/21/18 at 23:53:33

Jeff, what is the bias window for those tubes?  Since I don't have a way to measure plate dissipation I'm looking for an idea of where you ended up in the overall range.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 08/22/18 at 01:16:13

Archie,
You can find the specifications of any tube type on the internet, but attached here is a list of the most common tubes and their respective plate dissipation ratings.

I was going to post on this in the general forum as I feel it could be useful to any Decware user.  

For the ZMA with a 35W tube, 70% of maximum is about 64mA on the bias.  That is where I set my 7027A's.  And as I mentioned earlier, using this method allowed me to comfortably raise the bias from 60mA where I had it prior, to 64mA.   Some believe even going as high as 75% of the tube's maximum is within reason.  That would bump the bias to 68mA.  


Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 08/22/18 at 02:10:12

So, if I understand correctly, if my bias window was 40mA to 60mA, I might want to bias around 55mA?  Or doesn't it work this way?

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 08/22/18 at 02:35:10

It depends on the tube of course, and your preference for sound, but if wanting to push it as far as you can for greatest dynamics/output for instance, while reducing the chance of premature failure, you would run them at 70% of their maximum.  A 35W tube on an amp with a plate voltage of 390 volts (ZMA), would yield a bias rating of about 63mA.  100% (maximum current) would be about 90mA.  So technically, the window would extend to 90mA (the tubes maximum rating based on the ZMA’s plate voltage), but of course you would not want to bias up to that point for tube and ZMA health reasons.  

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 08/22/18 at 15:56:48

I read your excellent biasing post in the other thread.  I doubt that I'll get that technical so I was wondering it there was a shortcut to the approximate end of 70% to 75% but I'm guessing the bias window and the % is not linear.  (Up till now, I use relatively cheap tubes so it's not a huge concern.)

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 08/23/18 at 17:08:58

The plate voltages across all ZMA’s should be consistent as long as the amp has not been modified with parts outside of the original specifications,  leading up to the output tubes cathode.  

So, you can use 386 volts in your calculations.  If using a KT66 (25W), you would then run the calculation,  25/386 X .7 = 45mA.   That would be if you biased it at 70% of maximum.  You can certainly go higher and not run the risk of damaging the amp, but then you are running the tubes harder and likely reducing its lifespan.  But if your tubes are available and cheap, that should not matter.  If you ran them at 75%, the bias setting would be 49mA.   In the ZMA, with its plate volatage, running the KT66 tubes at their maximum allowable current (100%), the bias setting would be 65mA.  

This methodology brings clarity to how light or hard you are running your tubes.  This will help you push harder, or pull back, when taking into consideration the bias range and impact on lifespan for a particular tube type.  The rest is up to your ears as to what sounds best in your amp, in your system.  With my 7027A’s, which are super expensive, using this methods I was actually able to comfortably push the bias up another 4mA, which I preferred over the 60mA setting I was using prior.  

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 08/23/18 at 17:17:19

Simple, thanks!

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 08/23/18 at 17:24:05

I've been running my Tung Sol 7851As (35W PD) at 52mA which by that calculation is very low.  I'm not sure they will bias up to the 70% or 75% level but when I get my ZMA back from Steve I'll have to play around with this.

Stone, how high can you bias your 7851As?

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 08/23/18 at 17:36:59

Jeff, do you know the plate dissipation of the 6P3S-E tubes?  I haven't had any luck finding it.  I bias those around 52mA too which I recall is near the high end of what the ZMA will bias those.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 08/23/18 at 19:45:20

Archie,
They are the same as 6L6GC’s, so 30W (edited) plate dissipation.  

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 08/23/18 at 22:12:48

Cool Jeff, I will have to plug my dissapations into your formula.

Yes, ...the 7027A's... . I will get them soon.

The 7581A's can bias from 42 up to 64 mA.....incredible
Quad of tubes! I run them at 50 mostly....but sometimes hammer on them at 60. Plus, I esoteric run them at 45....pretty impressive at lower vol...for the 45.

But love my 6P's too at 48 to 52 bias and my mighty Gold Lion Cryo'd KT88's..I run at 72 instead of 78 for obvious reasons/6 hour session max on my 88's.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 08/24/18 at 00:37:59

So, it looks like I run my 6Ps (although I'm seeing 30W for the 6L6GCs) on the high side and at 70% the 7851As would bias at the top of their limit in the ZMA.  I'll push mine higher than the 52mA I've been running.

I found this site which Seems pretty close to the same calc base on AB and a voltage of 400V.  Steve lists the ZMA as 410VDC if I read the specs right.

http://www.tedweber.com/webervst/tubes1/calcbias.htm

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 08/24/18 at 02:13:27

Archie,
You are correct, 6L6GC tubes have a 30W plate dissipation, not 25W.  That being said, it changes the 70% to 54mA and 75% to 58mA.

The only true way to know the plate voltage is to measure it directly at the tube socket, using a meter.  That being said, when I measured the plate voltages on my ZMA, I have gotten readings between 386-390 volts consistently.  But you can expect a few volts variation and that is fine.  For the purposes of getting in range, no need to go out of your way to take a reading on your ZMA as you will be close enough to the range that I measured.  And this isn't meant to be an exact science or to take the place of dialing in by listening.  But, it is a great tool to help understand the operating ranges of the tubes you own based on the operating environment of your amp.  This information is especially handy when you want to explore the "hotter" bias ranges without running them reckless.    

Yeah, the chart and calculator on that site is based on the same formula.  

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 08/24/18 at 15:56:59

This question of bias for a given tube has come up for years and I want to thank you for finally putting some sense to it.  Do you know if the 410VDC that Steve mentions in the ZMA specs list on the ZMA web page relates to the 386V to 390V that you measure?

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 08/24/18 at 16:59:40


Quote:
Do you know if the 410VDC that Steve mentions in the ZMA specs list on the ZMA web page relates to the 386V to 390V that you measure?


Archie, that is a great question and maybe Steve will see this and provide a definitive answer.  My assumption is the 410 volts is purely based on the specs of the parts in the power supply chain - what they should amount to in theory.  The 386-390 volts is reality, what it actually measures.  All electronics parts have a tolerance - some tighter than others.  These tolerances will by nature create variances which are normal and fine.  When they start to drift too far out of spec is when things start to get wonky and replacement of said part(s) becomes necessary.  

For the purpose of this biasing exercise, what measures at the cathode of the output tubes is what matters, but really, since this is a guideline to follow, the difference between 390 to 410 volts amounts to maybe one or two mA difference.  You could split the difference and assume 400 volts and be perfectly fine.  

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 08/25/18 at 17:12:04

I have the 6P's in and find them lush compared to the 7581A's. Not overly so....beautiful detail coming from an black velvet background...so the 6P's will always have their lane/place in my ZMA.

Love the distinct differences of my KT88's, 6P's & 7581A's. I hope to go 4 for 4 with the 7027A's!

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 08/25/18 at 17:35:39

....and decay end trails from the 6P's are goosebumps with a Cheshire Cat smile.

Another session where I have to carve myself away from my Decware, to move on with my Saturday here....!!
I will be almost glad when it's 10 below again and having absolutely no reason to head out on the weekend!

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 08/26/18 at 18:45:01

.....but as sweet as the 6P's are....I thought they would only last a day by comparison... .

....the 7581A's are back in. Oh boy, the Power is effortless and the grace of these...wow. Nough said.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 08/26/18 at 19:04:32

The bump up to the 35 watt plate dissipation in the T-Sol 7581A's, is so evident...it is not even funny.
...and how they destroy the T-Sol KT66... Is a thing to the ear to behold.

The brother of these guys at 35 WPD....7027A's......need to come in...but holding off for now.... These freakin 7581A's need to run a long time first!

This is not to say the sweet 23 WPD 6P's and the 25 WPD KT66's don't stay in the rotation, cause they will. Just that the 7581A's, after almost two months with them, will see more playing time...they are that good. The different animal, KT88's 35 WPD ...will of course see its safe fair share of play time too.

So, I have to complete the trifecta 35 WPD, with the T-Sol 7027A's.

Preferring my NOS PLAT gold pin Ediswan's for inputs over my NOS PLAT gold pin Mullard's with these 7581A's. I do need to try my couple of Tungsram's with them and the classic 6N23P's too. My constant is the NOS PLAT gold pin Telefunken for inverter's and NOS RCA 0A3's.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 08/30/18 at 22:20:10

Four day weekend begins NOW! Happy Labor Day weekend to all.

Well, I have to move my youngest into her Freshman Dorm tomorrow and then I have a new Oven coming in the afternoon at home. My aching back.

Saturday night I get to roll a couple pair of input NOS Tubes with the 7581A's. I look forward to that ....Cheers!

PS - Arch, you get your ZMA back yet?

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by NormD on 08/30/18 at 23:37:10

I just ordered a pair of JJ 7027a's and the spec sheet says 30W, so by my calculations that is 54ma at 70%.  My TS 7581a's are rated at 35w and I'm running them at 50ma, but by your calculations, I could bump them up to 63ma or so.  Did I get that right?  Question is, should I bump them up?

If I want two measure the B+ (plate) voltage on my amp, can I simply pull a tube up a bit and measure pin 3? Any suggestions on where to clip my ground?

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 08/31/18 at 01:46:06

I run the 7581A's at 45, 50, 55 & 60 from ear. The 6P, KT88 and my KT66 don't have this range. Just, one more thing I love about the 75's.

Cool you got the JJ 7027A's. I will try the T-SOL's.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 08/31/18 at 05:58:45


Quote:
My TS 7581a's are rated at 35w and I'm running them at 50ma, but by your calculations, I could bump them up to 63ma or so.  Did I get that right?  Question is, should I bump them up?


Absolutely Norm!  You have nothing to lose.  Try them TS’s at 64mA and see what you think.  If you don’t prefer that setting, step decrease the current until you find that sweet spot for you and your system.  

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 08/31/18 at 15:36:04

Still no word on my ZMA.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by NormD on 08/31/18 at 21:31:35

Archie: How long has Steve had it.  I’m thinking of sending in my ZMA after DecFest.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 08/31/18 at 21:38:25

He received it a week ago Wednesday.  I just talked to him today and he has it on his bench.  Devon said that there were a few that have come in.  I'm guessing you'd better be prepared for 2 to 3 weeks based on my experience this time.  For past repairs/upgrades, things happened faster.

BTW, I'm going with all of the upgrades despite already having the Red caps.  No stepped attenuator though as Steve didn't recommend it.  I'm also having my meters fixed/upgraded.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 09/05/18 at 21:37:30

Cool Arch....you should get her back soon. I'm going to wait until after the New Year/send mine in. With Decfest coming and post orders to that/a good thing! .... + Then, the Holidays....I won't be able to part with my ZMA till January. $1530 + shipping to and from....worth it.

ZMA is warmed up...nice being home from work at 3! But, I start at 6 am.

Anywho, ZMA time!  ....with a new found favorite: VELVELTEEN HABIT, IPA...from Ale Asylum.  HEAVEN, after a long day (with ZMA)!

https://www.beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/13837/152208/










Listening Room:


Room Treatments from Michael Green & my Home Brew

Sony as Transport (DVP-NS57P)
Illuminati D-60 Digital Coax IC ~.5 meter

Shunyata Research Zitron Alpha Digital Power Cord to ZDSD {Significant}

Decware ZDSD DAC / Recorder
***************************************************************
W/Steve's Output Transformer's/kicking to the Curb quite a few superb DAC'S
***************************************************************
(@ -20 Ref Level, @ 16/192)
.....0.0, -0.5 or -1.0dB/Input Volume

WBT-0102Ag RCA Kimber Select KS1030 ~.75 meter

Decware Zen Mystery Amplifier
~***********************~
NOS/Platinum/Mullard E188CC/7308's in my A12 an B12 Input positions Cryogenic~NOS/Platinum/Telefunken E88CC for Inverter Tubes~NOS RCA 0A3's & matched Quad/Tung-Sol Cryo'd 7581A's, Reflector Cryo'd 6P's or Gold Lion KT88's Cryo'd

***************************************************
Kimber Select KS6063 Speaker Cable 8ft WBT-0681-Ag Spades
***************************************************

Acoustic Zen Adagio - Black Pearl (Modified)
.....enjoying from 8 ohm ZMA Taps

Caintuck Audio Eminence Alpha 15" OB BASS Unit
Auralex Subdude




Acoustic Zen Adagio's x-over's Modified/Full Range with Mundorf MCap Supremes-single Cap to each Tweeter/4.5k cross
(Gutted: 3kHz/18dB/Octave, Linkwitz/Riley Crossovers....with all crappy parts = gone)


XLO Pro Power Cord to ZMA
PS Audio P3 Power Plant / Pangea AC-9SE from wall to P3
(Transport & ZDSD, Regenerated/*120*~ Multiwave off...ZMA on High Current Output)
System configured/on floor/Townshend CD Seismic Sink deployed & other isolation devices.





~Constants:
NOS/Platinum/Telefunken 6922/E88CC for Inverter Tubes (yes/the painfully expensive ones, from Upscale Audio = worth it, yes)
NOS RCA 0A3's.

Rotation/Power Quads:
~Matched Quad's~

Tung-Sol Cryo'd 7581A's
Reflector Cryo'd 6P's
Gold Lion KT88's Cryo'd
PENDING PURCHASE ~ GL KT77'S or T-Sol 7027A's.


Rotation/Input Tubes:
~NOS Platinum Tubes from Upscale Audio~

(Great Britain) Mullard 7308/E188CC ~  2 pair (both pair Cryogenic)
(US/Great Britain) Ediswan CV2492/6922 ~ 2 pair (one pair Cryogenic)
(Hungary) Tungsram 6922/E88CC ~ 1 pair
(Hungary) Tungsram PCC88/7DJ8 ~ 1 pair

~Control/came with ZMA~
(Russia) 6N23P ~ 2 pair.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by NormD on 09/06/18 at 01:32:31

Just sent my ZMA into the mothership. Hopefully , Steve will get to it before DecFest, but if not I am in the queue.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 09/06/18 at 11:16:03

Very nice Norm. I look forward to your and Archie's impressions in the coming weeks. I bet it will motivate me to send mine or drive it to Decware.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 09/08/18 at 15:23:49

I posted on the general forum, I can't let Archie & Norm have all the fun with their enhanced ZMA's next month!    ;D

Spend, when she comes back....seasoning back in....then resume tube rolling, ie-get the Tung-Sol 7027A's..... .

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 09/08/18 at 17:28:04

Ha!  That a boy Stone!  You will not regret!  

With much needed influence from Wil and BonnyA, last week I decided to finish the enhancement project and move forward with power supply bypass caps.  I have the amazing 47uF Mundorf TubeCaps installed and wanted to follow Steve's lead and further bypass those caps.  I used the same values as BonnyA, .47uF and .1uF caps.  Due to the size of the TubeCaps, I wasn't sure I could find room for these bypass caps. It was close.  There was one space left on each side where they fit like a glove.  it took a little Tetrus skill but I found a great spot.  

The bypassing has further enhanced the high frequency detail and speed, as well as another slight step in lowering the noise floor.  These bypass caps made a noticeable improvement and they are not even close to burning in (the caps I used came with a 350 hour burn in recommendation).  

All in all, time and money well spent!  ...the icing on the cake  :)

Stone, I know it is a pain to send it in a be without, and it is not an insignificant expense, but the level of satisfaction I have with my ZMA post-enhancement is truly off the charts.  

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 09/09/18 at 00:34:32

You know it Jeff. Thanks for starting it all with the Exercise in speed Thread.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 09/09/18 at 02:38:16

For sure.  It has been a lot of fun!  I do adore this amplifier and it was never my intent to part with it.  So, I figured why not embark on this adventure after Steve had so much such in this area of the amplifier in his 25th Anniversary Zen.  

Honestly, I can't wait for you to get your amp back so I can read your impressions :)

This is no bigger fan of the ZMA on this forum than you!

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 09/09/18 at 13:20:46

Yes, I'm excited about receiving her back and even without the 4th mod/continuing with my red Mallory's, will be interesting to then put the Nichicon's in 6 or 7 months later. I can do it at work, however, this would be a good excuse to drive and see Steve and DeVon for completion.

No, I think you're a huge fan of this Amp too J of A. Great point, reading of the 25th UFO from Steve and you saying what if? ....for our ZMA's.

Plus, I want to acknowledge vyukyong, whom back in the summer of 2014' got me thinking what if? The Obbligato caps/and such.....I know you drew inspiration from too and went even further with your stellar Mundorf insertions. The single cap Mundorf's, totally recreated my Adagio Loud Speakers! Mr. Lee's, custom German made woofer's with under hung voice coils with his inhouse 1.75 inch ribbon tweeter's + his beautiful transmission lines/ Cabs/ function & form. ......with the nuts of the ZMA.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 09/09/18 at 16:06:25

I am just slam rocking my ZMA right now with some FUNK!
WAHOOOOOOOOOOO!
Damn, I do love this AMP!

Tube comp' Ediswan's/inputs
Telefunk's invert's (you know the ones....and if you don't - you  should)
T SOL 7581A's...................love them.

VIKINGS GAME AT NOON!
.....her brother has the opening tic's....Sue and I go to US Bank in mid October/Arizona game....season tic's in her family since 1964...we keep the tradition alive!  CTE will probably end the league in 15/by, 20 more years...but most of them say they would do it all over again....and current player's know the truth now.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 09/19/18 at 21:38:56

Over in the Developement Thread I posted about getting an Torii JR/25th.
I look forward to Steve's prose, applying the 25th mod's.

MY thoughts to buy an Torii JR/25th. Sure, it will cost me 16 or 1800 over the ZMA enhancements. However, it is a whole other Amp in chassis and leaves my ZMA intact for comparison.



Lets run wild with the scenarios........

I love the JR/25th so much - I need to 25th my ZMA

I love the JR/25th - but, my ZMA is still something Special with more power (or maybe not so much more power - the JR will do some serious peaks - I think 85 watts - Steve wrote in the JR Copy)......I just want to keep my ZMA as is.....great Special Animal - je ne sais quoi!

I love the JR/25th so much ......maybe I sell my ZMA! ....sacrilege.....

Or, maybe......with a good taste of the JR/25th mod's....ZMA is just fine and I sell the JR?

Or, the best scenerio....I keep both....cause I can't be without either.

I'm doing it!

PS ~ I know ~ I know ....this is a tube rolling Thread...I will get back on track and order the TSOL 7027A's soon.  ....to busy with the 7581A's right now.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 09/22/18 at 01:38:07

Well, I got my modified ZMA back two days ago and after suffering along for a month with an NAD SS amp, of course my sound is back to amazing!

There may be a lot of burn in required but I seem to be hearing an increase in "realism" and a tightness to the sound analogous to high performance steering in a car.  Since I went so long without my ZMA I am having a hard time deciding what's new about the sound given the upgrades.  I think with time, as I go through my vinyl collection, I'll be able to tell more as I'm sure I'll be hearing things I've never heard before (some of that already).

One interesting thing is that my transformers don't seem to get as hot or hot as fast since the upgrade despite my biasing at 68mA instead of 56mA for the 7851As.  I have no idea why this would be.

Along with the upgrades, Steve replaced my meters with back-lit Western Electric meters.  I had the original blue LED lights in my meters but the lights stopped working a couple years ago.  Although the blue lights looked pretty cool, these back-lit WE meters are vastly better and very practical since the meters are now easy to read in low/no light situations.  I would recommend that Steve make these the standard ZMA meter and failing that, anyone upgrading or starting new, ought to spring for them.  One more thing about these WE meters.  Im wondering if they are somehow more responsive than the old meters as I'm seeing the needles start to twitch at a lower sound level.  The amp still cranks with no distortion, that I can hear.

That's all for now other than to say that I am very glad I went ahead and upgraded and I'm looking forward to further listening as things season more and more.   :)

(Stone, I don't know what to tell you.  I know you've been on the fence about upgrading and if you were anyone else, I'd tell you to jump in!  But I wouldn't want to be responsible for any disappointment since you love your stock ZMA so much.)

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 09/22/18 at 15:17:43

Point well taken Archie. I am going to stick with my ZMA as is. I run it direct 90% of the time via Steve's ZDSD output stage. I would buy immediately an ZBIT if I change DACS (need Steve's voltage output to ZMA/to run direct). When I want to give my ZMA, a big swinging grown a pair.....I put my Audio Research Line Stage in (very good voltage output).

Cool, the power Tranny's run that cool with the bypass (?) maybe/portion of the mod.... Maybe Steve will read and chime in. Whether intentional or a byproduct of the mod....this bodes well to run KT88's longer or as long as you want. Steve did modify his ZMA to run KT88's....I do recall..... . I'm fine running KT88's/only 4 to 6 hour sessions. My love is with the 7581A's/power tubes and input NOS vintage rare tubes. 7027A's will come in as well...eventually.

I have the new backlit meter's too. The symmetry and beauty of this Amp is off the charts.

Question: I thought the math from J of A and you put the awesome 35w plate dissapation 7581A's at 64mA max? I love mine at 50! .....up to 58.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 09/22/18 at 15:50:44

Speaking of input NOS vintage rare tubes.

I am so jones-in to purchase the Mazda 7308/E188CC ultra premium 1960's France Large Halo getter gold pins!  (Pair)

....must stop....not pick up phone on Monday....block phone from Hoffman Estates.....block....I repeat block!   ;D ;D

Actually, after this tube purchase...I'm going to get a ZBIT. I need to hear by comparison to the inboard output stage. Dampening down the XLR output of the ZDSD via the ZBIT and riding the gain of the ZMA RCA input; I finally need to compare and HEAR!

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 09/22/18 at 16:50:39

Archie,
Glad to hear your ZMA is back!  There will be some burn-in time with the new caps and resistors for sure, but my bet is the aural improvements are already there, you just had the unfortunate circumstance of not being able to do more of an A/B comparison with the ZMA.  

As you stated, one of the big changes, at least for me was the increase in audible detail.  The information was always there but the lowering of the noise floor and increase in the amps response with the faster caps is bringing those micro-details to the forefront where you can hear them.  

As you run your reference library through the new ZMA, I have a strong feeling it is going to be all so evident the improvements these mods have brought about.  

How is the bass?  That was a very noticeable change for me.  

All in all, give it some time to settle.  In many ways it is like a brand new amp with all of the resistor and capacitor additions.  You should hear immediate differences but there is no double things will continue to improve over time.  

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 09/22/18 at 16:54:44

Stone, that is correct  regarding running the 7581A’s at 70%, which puts the bias at 63/64mA.  However, pushing them a tad bit more and running them at 75% max, put them at the 68mA mark which I think is fine.  In theory it may have a slight impact on overall tube life, but not sure a 5% change will amount to a significant overall lifespan difference.  Personally, I wouldn’t be afraid to push them up to 75% on something that is fairly replaceable and reasonably priced.  A rare and expensive NOS set?  Probably not.  

Stone, have you pushed your set up to the 64+ range yet?  

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 09/22/18 at 17:04:24

Nice/J of A, thanks for the clarification on this.

No, I have not put up to 64 to 68 yet. I will though....and post.

42 to 60 only so far....and absolutely love these 7581A's.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 09/22/18 at 18:07:02


Quote:
As you stated, one of the big changes, at least for me was the increase in audible detail.  The information was always there but the lowering of the noise floor and increase in the amps response with the faster caps is bringing those micro-details to the forefront where you can hear them.


I'm glad you mentioned this.  I am definitely hearing more detail -- song lyrics that I've heard right after 40 years!  I hesitated to mention this because it's becoming cliche for me with every upgrade.  I don't know what the limit is.  Maybe a truly live sounding performance?  That would take a different listening environment for me.  I have a grand piano in the same room and there has never been an "Is it live or is it Memorex?" moment for me between the two.

The bass is bigger and I've dialed back my ZR2 slightly.  I still like the ZR2 in the chain though.

Despite all of the enthusiastic talk of the Anniversary amps, the stock are still so good that the modifications haven't hit me in the face, so to speak.  Still, I'd never consider going back.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 09/23/18 at 18:29:24

Interesting...with my Ediswans's, I enjoy the 7581A's at 46 to 50 mA. I put my NOS Mullard's in this morning and after an 1.5 hour warm up....absolutely love the A's at 60 to 64mA. The bias window of the A's is quite nice.

Arch, good news on your 25th enhancements. My idea to get a JR 25th might leave me short. I'm going to pine further about doing my ZMA.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 09/23/18 at 19:24:29

Nice Stone!  The beautiful thing about this hobby...  endless opportunities to pull the levers and turn the knobs to get things just right for our listening pleasure.  

Glad to hear of this new discovery with you other tubes and higher bias setting.  

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 09/23/18 at 19:45:21

Stone, I think your master plan should be to buy a 2nd ZMA with the mods, see how you like it and if you do, modify your current ZMA and run the two as mono-blocks!   ;D

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 09/24/18 at 11:23:12

No doubt J of A! Fun.

Arch, .....yeah, I wish I could do that!  :)

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 09/26/18 at 14:57:38

Norm: you're 3 weeks in at Decware for your ZMA 25th'd. Hope to get your initial impressions. Here's hoping you get it back before the Fest and not after.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by NormD on 09/26/18 at 17:17:31

Steve started it last week and they said they would ship this week. Looking forward to it!

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 09/27/18 at 13:04:34

Nice. Knowing you sent yours on 9/6 and DeVon mentioned they shut down the week of the Fest (I spoke with her about sending mine in and decided to wait), and as busy as they are, very nice, Steve can get done and on the road to you this week.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 09/29/18 at 18:09:39

I don't know if this is related to the modifications but I am getting a "bloom" in volume and density when I push the volume to the point of getting the metters jumping 4 to 8mA.  If this isn't just imagination, could it be related to the ZMA going from Class A to Class A/B at that point?  I have yet to push things into distortion.  I'm not even sure where that point is -- way beyond the start of meter movement.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by HockessinKid on 10/10/18 at 22:45:41

BTW, I have ordered a quad of TungSol 7581a tubes for my ZMA.  I tried to place an order with Ron Sheldon @ Cryoset, but the website indicated that he is very ill and not filling orders at this time.  I wish Ron a speedy recovery, as he has been one of my main sources of tubes over the years.  

I should have the quad this weekend.  I'll report back on my listening impressions after I get 100 hours or so on the set.

HK

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 10/18/18 at 21:47:17

Yes, wishing Ron a speedy recovery. HK, hope you enjoy the 7581A's. I have
been very pleased with them.

Norm, how is your ZMA enhanced 25th going? Plus, want to read about your impressions of the JJ 7027A's you received. No hurry, knowing you only received your ZMA back, a week or 10 days ago.


I ordered a ZBIT (dual attenuation)...just hit the build sheet! When it's out for delivery many rotations of the earth from now....I will Lending Library my XLR choices:

https://www.thecableco.com/ks-1130.html
https://www.thecableco.com/stradivarius-amati-edition-interconnect-5421.html
https://www.thecableco.com/cables/interconnects/ks-1136-interconnect-pair.html

What makes Silver so successful for me (I'm a detail hound/micro feeding the macro).....is that it feeds Ray Kimber's genius of topology and alchemy of my KS6063 copper (solid core and stranded/double core's) Speaker Cables.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by NormD on 10/19/18 at 03:14:10

The 25th anniversary mod is awesome! Even when I am working off-axis from the listening chair it is amazing. I’m still running the 7581a’s and the 7027’s are still in the mailing box. I want to listen more to the mod and 7851’s before I make changes.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 10/19/18 at 11:18:07

Cool Norm. Sounds like a good plan.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by HockessinKid on 10/31/18 at 23:32:15

So I have had a quad of Tung-Sol 7581A tubes in my ZMA for about 3 weeks now.  Figure I have about 60-70 hours on them.  To make a long story short, they are now my favorite ZMA power tubes.

Extremely clean sounding with extended treble and bass.  They image extremely well, creating a realistic and wide soundstage. Acoustic and electronic instruments, voices and piano just sound real.

They do everything better, IMHO, than the stock Tung-Sol or Gold Lion reissue KT66 tubes.  The musical presentation is a bit more forward and the soundstage in not quite as deep as the GL KT66's. I have not tried any KT77 or KT88 tubes.

For less than $100 for a quad, these tubes are quite inexpensive.  I am buying two back up sets for future use.

HK

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 11/01/18 at 01:31:47

The Tung-Sol 7581As are my current favorite too.  What are you biasing?  I've been biasing at 68mA and with the Anniversary mods my trannies are running cooler than when I biased in the mid 50s pre-mod.  Anyone else having similar experience with their modded ZMA?

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by HockessinKid on 11/01/18 at 18:46:40

Archie,

I am biasing the 7581A's at ~54mA.  My ZMA is currently stock, but I plan to get the 25th Anniversary mods (Full Monty) once Steve receives the new Nichicon capacitors.  

Looking forward to the mod, as my CSP3-25 mods sound great.

HK

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 11/02/18 at 00:28:20

Have you tried higher bias?  At 54mA you might not be getting everything out of these tubes.  Even with the std ZMA higher bias won't overheat things from many hours.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by HockessinKid on 11/02/18 at 00:32:52

No, but I'll give them a whirl at a higher bias.

HK

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 11/02/18 at 01:32:15

I found this site after reading some of J of A's posts.  I think the 7581As dissipate 35W as do the kT88s so I use that tube in the calculation.  Jeff's ZMA was running about 380 volts or a little higher.  I think the Class AB is 70% capacity.  Gets you in the ballpark of what the tube can handle.

http://www.tedweber.com/webervst/tubes1/calcbias.htm

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 11/02/18 at 02:51:51

Yes, the tool Archie found basically takes the manual math away so you simply plug in the numbers.  I would use "7027" as the tube type for your 7581.  If you run the tube safely at 70%, you can bias it up to 62.8mA.  

I agree with Archie's recommendation.  I would incrementally run it up to 63mA and see what setting you ultimately prefer.  Ive been running my tubes at 70% - 75% on my ZMA and monitoring heat on the transformers.  No issues with overheating and based on the sound I am hearing, I will stay within this range with most of my tube sets.  EL34's are one of the exceptions.  I did not hear a marked difference at a higher bias with the two sets of EL34's I have.  

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 11/02/18 at 16:18:17

Jeff, what voltage are you using in the calculation?  With that link, I get the same bias setting for the KT88 and the 7027.  I think they might be using a slightly different formula?

I'll bet you run cool due to the modifications you did on you ZMA.  I'd like to hear what Steve thinks.  For me it's been a significant "side benefit" of the anniversary mods.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 11/02/18 at 18:16:06

Hey Arch,
I was using 390 volts.  I am able to measure my voltage directly at the plate and it hovers between 385-390 volts, generally.  

You are correct in that KT88's, 7027's and 7581's all have a 35W plate dissipation, so for that simple formula, they will all produce the same results.  

I concluded the same about the output transformer heat.  After the mods, my IR thermometer reads a good 5 degree F lower than before the mods.  

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 11/03/18 at 01:04:24

I'm pushing my bias a bit then.  Fortunately the tubes I'm using are cheap and things stay nice and cool.  I don't know exact temps but in the past, with mid 50s bias, I couldn't hold my hand on the transformers after a few hours.  Now at 68 I can still hold them after all day.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 11/03/18 at 01:24:20

The touch test is valid.  Many agree that if you can keep touching it for 8 seconds or more, you are good.  My background as a scientist, and my OCD forces me to measure with instruments but it sounds like yours are running within range.  

As far a 68mA, that is 76%.  70-75% is an acceptable range and I have run some of my tubes at 75% which is just shy of where you are at.  I don't think you have anything to be concerned about.  

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 11/03/18 at 01:37:55

I just haven't got around to getting an IR thermometer yet.   ;)  But it's good to know I won't be melting my beeswax caps.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by NormD on 11/03/18 at 02:13:49

I bumped my 7851’s to a smidge above 60ma using the ZMA meters with my 25th anniversary modded amp. I can’t say much about heat, but the music has certainly jumped into my room!  The bass is even more solid and low and the highs are crisp. The mids are is clear and the soundstage is wide. I’m not sure I want to spend time to evaluate the 7027’s I have sitting on the shelf because love this sound.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 11/03/18 at 22:45:23

I did it Norm! My ZMA is on her way to the Mothership!

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 11/03/18 at 22:58:55

Nice Stone!  I am excited for you.  I know you were wavering since the inception of the ZMA mods but I am confident that when the ZMA returns the only regret will be waiting so long to have gotten it done   :)

Exciting stuff!  And honestly, I would recommend just installing the large caps yourself to save shipping both ways as well as some labor cost.  Literally just (4) connection screws and loosening and retightening the clamps.  15 mins, start to finish.  Get the parts from Steve to ensure they are exactly the model he is using.  

Can't wait for you to get it back and hear your impressions!

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 11/04/18 at 02:59:36

Thanks Jeff! Excited indeed.

I will do that for the Caps/from Steve.

I assemble and test DC to AC Inverter's. Dimensions/Sensata. Pure sine.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Leigh on 11/04/18 at 15:06:29

So I've had the ZMA for 4 years now and have been running with the original KT66 tubes. I figured it was time for some new tubes and all this talk of the 7581A's got me to order a matched quad of new production Tung Sols.

It may have been that the KT66's were getting a bit tired, and eventually I will get a fresh set of those as well. But I have to say, the 7581A's have glued me to my listening spot in ways I've never experienced with audio ever before.

When the tubes first arrived I warmed them up with Rubber Soul (mono LP) from the boxed set. I like to listen first in mono to see if everything is balanced and how the soundstage presents itself. Everything sounded fine. So I began the "burn my ears in" (and maybe just maybe the tubes) phase. During the first couple of hours I actually began having regrets and that I had wasted my money on tubes that really weren't doing it for me. The sound was both too close and too far away at the same time - muddled is the best way to describe it.

It was about five songs into The Starseeds Parallel Life (trippy mellow ambient stuff) on Tidal (PCM) through my Schiit Bifrost multibit DAC (speakers are ProAc Anniversarys, with a separate SVS SS subwoofer run off the Van Alstine SS preamp) that something unsettling happened. This is the creepiest audio experience I've had recently. I mean, since we're all tube amp listeners here, I know we've all experienced sounds that seem to come from unexpected places, either because it was mixed that way or due to serendipity. Sometimes I swear I hear my wife calling out to me from the other room but it's just some vocal! Anyhow I'm sitting there passively listening while reading some stuff on my laptop where I get the creepy sensation that the leading edge a bubble of sound has just made its way past my ears...



...there is a sensation of eerie pressure and the very real feeling that a comically large, soft/fluffy pair of headphones is being gently lowered onto my head. Now, while I was chatting with mother nature earlier, we chat all the time and I can say that this wasn't about that... ;) ... so I remained glued in my spot for about 10 minutes while the music continued to play lest I lose this bit of magic... but what I discovered was that indeed this effect was persistent, and that I could modulate it by moving my head forward or backwards. I first moved about six inches forward in order to see if I could "swim in the opaque sphere of sound" and on some music this was a wonderful effect and with others it was just too much. Dead-center-mixed vocals and other midrange-prominent instruments can sometimes feel like they are coming from within my head, which is a nice parlor trick but not the most relaxing experience. On music where this effect was too much, moving backwards ameliorated it nicely, making the prominent midrange sound "out there" more.

Steve - have you done any serious listening to the stock ZMA with 7581A tubes? I'd like to hear your perspective on these since I very much trust your ears.

Tube amps have ruined my scientific certitude when it comes to some things audio (I am a working scientist). Psychoacoustics is a fascinating subject to me. As you can see above I have a dedicated listening room and I have put up room treatments. The room is large and opens to a larger room, effectively opening to an infinitely large space. So the bass is wonderful in this room, no more annoying nodes. But the imaging is insane, partly because tubes/Decware, partly because ProAc, and partly because of symmetry. I do ponder the fact that 99% of studio produced music is a complete utter fabrication of whatever the dude at the mixing desk decided to do when putting things together. Considering that some more maybe a lot of mixing consoles are running noisy and/or out of spec components and for a thousand other reasons, the idea that what we audio nuts hear on our awesome systems when we are in the sweet spot is what is actually intended is ludicrous to me. Once I came to the realization that hi-fi isn't about a straight wire with gain but more about a pleasing aural experience, I freed myself from worrying too much about measurements, or at least taking them with a large grain of salt. I believe what makes Decware amps (and other high quality tube amps) so great is largely due to simple circuits with short signal paths. Something gets bleached away with solid state amps, at least the in my experience, which is admittedly limited. Because I've found audio nirvana with the ZMA I'll likely stay here, maybe indefinitely.

In closing this somewhat rambling post I'll come back to tube rolling. I also have some nice NOS 6CA7 tubes that I will give a more serious listen than the first time when I gave up after a few hours, not liking the less lively sound than I heard through the KT66s. One of the reasons I got the ZMA was because it would run with different tube types. This is my first experience with a 6L6 type tube, it was EL34/6CA7/KT77 on a Dynaco ST70 before I got the ZMA, and KT66 since I got the ZMA. Putting in a different tube type makes it sound like a different amplifier - not necessarily better or worse, but different. I now "get" voicing... having sort of scoffed at it back in my more reflexively objective days.

I've also come to realize that some people just plain have better ears than I do, or at least know how to use them better than I. I do not trust my ears, as they say, in the least... but I do trust the ears of certain other people whose products make great music... all of my gear has been bought sight unseen and so far I have not regretted anything.

In summary, the stock ZMA rules, the 7581A tubes produce liquid honesty with just a small asterisk by honesty that says "beware that the 3D holographic soundstage may not have been what was intended on original recording."


Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 11/04/18 at 17:38:37

Yup, I have read your kind of post every year for 30 years + now ~ and it never gets old. Tubes, cables, cleaner power, room treatment, I could praddle on with more.....none of it should matter but it does.

I'm not an engineer....but know enough to be dangerous assembling Inverter's and Testing them. My engineering buddy at work, Mel....just realizes like me....the ear brain connection is really something special for all this.

Glad you like the 7581A's.....I like them too. ;)

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 11/04/18 at 18:02:46


Quote:
... but I do trust the ears of certain other people whose products make great music... all of my gear has been bought sight unseen and so far I have not regretted anything.


Leigh, exactly what I do and I couldn't be more pleased.  Now try the ZMA mods for a next level experience!   :)

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 11/04/18 at 18:44:39

Leigh, I'm glad to see your ProAc Tablets. Reminds the high sensitivity crowd the ZMA CAN RUN 89db Monitors, give or take. I have heard those guys at Audio Research when they came out.

I run modded Acoustic Zen Adagio's at 91/92db 1watt/1meter. Your stock ZMA is fine and does rule. I could have stayed put....But, I'm ready to Tweek her up and she is in transit to the Mothership.

Arch, post a signature. I keep my old one below for my ode to my 2001 new purchase enlightenment SE84CS.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 11/04/18 at 19:12:19

Stone, I made a list.   ;)

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 11/04/18 at 23:29:02

Awesome!

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Leigh on 11/04/18 at 23:45:33


Quote:
Yup, I have read your kind of post every year for 30 years + now ~ and it never gets old. Tubes, cables, cleaner power, room treatment, I could praddle on with more.....none of it should matter but it does.

I'm not an engineer....but know enough to be dangerous assembling Inverter's and Testing them. My engineering buddy at work, Mel....just realizes like me....the ear brain connection is really something special for all this.

Glad you like the 7581A's.....I like them too.

That tubes, cleaner power and room treatments matter does not surprise me. I am in the "cables don't matter so long as they aren't completely awful" crowd. So some things matter more than others, in my opinion.

I think we just all need to agree that good sound should be the goal, not numbers but also not woo-woo voodoo either. I will probably get the ZMA upgrade eventually but I still have a couple years to get used to the current amp and want to hear more of what others are experiencing with the upgrade first. I enjoy passionate audiophile hypberbole as much as the next guy (and engage in my own for sure) but I could seriously die happy with this being my last amp, sometimes really knowing that is valuable. I have found that delayed gratification is a worthwhile aspiration in this hobby.

Or, I just need to find a big stack of money somewhere and buy all the amps.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Leigh on 11/05/18 at 00:32:34


Quote:
Leigh, I'm glad to see your ProAc Tablets. Reminds the high sensitivity crowd the ZMA CAN RUN 89db Monitors, give or take. I have heard those guys at Audio Research when they came out.

Way back when I was in grad school in the 90s my PhD advisor loaned me his Tablettes (the first version of that speaker). I had a Harman Kardon integrated amp (still in service today). Those monitors definitely needed help in the bass department, so I added a sub and that's been my basic listening configuration ever since. The imaging of the ProAcs is just stunning and the tonal quality and speed are superb as well. The Anniversary's are like the 6th(?) iteration on the Tablette line and are definitely stronger in the bass department and much more refined in a good way. While I would love to hear something like the Zen + DNA2 speakers (maybe someday I'll make the 3 hr drive to Peoria to listen myself) I am satisfied with the nice solid state bass frequencies below 50 Hz or so (24 dB/octave slope). This is what is recommended and I carefully follow bass lines up and down through the crossover and it sounds pretty good with no huge holes or hills, not perfect, but even floor standers have their issues in this regard.

I have an even larger room with a pool table that could use some amplification, and I've actually been giving thought to very efficient horns plus a low powered tube amp as an option. But this is a long term goal and I may go the smaller solid state route, we'll see.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by will on 11/05/18 at 01:29:45

From Leigh "That tubes, cleaner power and room treatments matter does not surprise me. I am in the "cables don't matter so long as they aren't completely awful" crowd. So some things matter more than others, in my opinion.

I think we just all need to agree that good sound should be the goal, not numbers but also not woo-woo voodoo either."

I enjoyed reading your experience with your new, very revealing tubes Leigh! 6L6 are certainly a nice arena, and the Tungsol 7581A exceptionally revealing, so depending on all else, I can easily imagine how they could enhance your soundstage and immersion!

Speaking of wires and "voicing," I just changed 4 resistors/channel from the power tubes, to coupling caps, to ground in my Torii. Stock metal films, changed to other metal films (so far inexpensive PRPs).... dynamics, body, depth, textures, etc were improved. Revealing and warm, as they burn in, the integrative balancing is nice....

Several weeks ago I changed internal Mogami copper signal cables to Neotech silver/teflon, causing notably more beneficial effects. The general tonal values and range remained similar, but all aspects of the presentation sounded better to me, particularly the amount of information and speed increasing...The revealing aspects from this OCC silver, perhaps somewhat similar to what the 7581As did for your listening experience. This was maybe 3 feet of wire for both channels!

Usually having to dig for the right "voicing," synergy is the real thing, indicating again that different material and design interpretations can produce the same technical values but different sound.

The point of the story though...at this level, everything matters in my experience. I am not sure what your cables are, maybe nice...But judging from what you are hearing, I would be amazed if you did not hear differences in nice cables, some complimenting the system/room perhaps quite a bit more than others. Just thinking...after adapting to the "new" ZMA from this transformative tube change, if you get to where you feel like going to another level, objectively testing some nice ICs and speaker cables could be illuminating.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Leigh on 11/05/18 at 17:17:04


Quote:
I am not sure what your cables are, maybe nice...But judging from what you are hearing, I would be amazed if you did not hear differences in nice cables, some complimenting the system/room perhaps quite a bit more than others. Just thinking...after adapting to the "new" ZMA from this transformative tube change, if you get to where you feel like going to another level, objectively testing some nice ICs and speaker cables could be illuminating.


I'm (somewhat) active on the Hoffman forums under the same moniker and have my "equipment profile" listed. My interconnects are all Blue Jeans. That is probably overkill for me, but a little overkill is fine in this hobby, I think!

I simply won't consider cable rolling or spending more than what I currently am on my current interconnects and speaker cables, which I see as scientifically defensible decent cables. To me, cable rolling would be as pointless as changing the color of the walls in my listening room as a tweak, or eating nothing but broccoli on my listening days. Yeah, I'll probably "hear a difference" but it would have nothing to do with changes in sound, only my perception of it. I can't get past LRC when it comes to cables. I have a theory where some super high priced audiophile cables really do sound different but it's because of some badness not goodness. But that's just my opinion, my mindset. My mind is open - to a point.

It's nice to just not consider a part of your system as being upgrade-worthy. It just keeps you from worrying about whether it will change the sound. Speakers, amps, sources, room treatments, I can deal with those. But not interconnects. Not for me! And don't get me started on power cables!! Let me close by saying I believe people when they say they hear a difference, I just choose to avoid this particular area of tweaks. Since this is a hobby there are no rules to follow as far as I'm concerned :)

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 11/06/18 at 00:57:34


Quote:
Yeah, I'll probably "hear a difference" but it would have nothing to do with changes in sound, only my perception of it.


I'm more in your court than not given that I went for Steve's silver ICs and delaired "good enough."  But I don't see how anyone can deny that cabling changes the sound.  Better or worse may be completely subjective but cabling as a tuning device seems to be well established.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 11/06/18 at 06:03:34


Quote:
I can't get past LRC when it comes to cables. I have a theory where some super high priced audiophile cables really do sound different but it's because of some badness not goodness. But that's just my opinion, my mindset. My mind is open - to a point.


Leigh, you don't have to go any further than Blue Jean Cables to see how that company has subscribed to the theory that cable design DOES matter, even at higher price points, by adopting Galen Gareis's Iconoclast line of cabling, which I would say falls into the price category you are not willing to explore - at least based on your post.  You did mention "science" in your post and while Blue Jean Cables does speak about LCR, the Iconoclast line from Galen that Blue Jean Cables has partnered with and is now the exclusive dealer, is accompanied by volumes more supportive evidence to justify its superior performance in the LCR category over any other cables Blue Jean (and other vendors) supplies - yet they are priced well above any other cables Blue Jean sells.  

At the end of the day, YOU decide what is best for YOUR system and that is the absolute best way to go about it.  You should receive no criticism for that.  It really matters nothing what others say or think.  It is your money and your decision and if you feel cabling is not worth the trouble and/or money required to vet, that is certainly fine.  I just thought it might be of interest to you that BJC (which you mentioned) is adopting the scientific-based design of the Iconoclast line and is admitting it is superior (LCR) to any cables they offer, which by default would include the ones you own.  Based on Bob's commentary on this very subject, I refuse to believe BJC has decided to sell-out or jump on the "snake oil" bandwagon.  I honestly believe that Bob truly believes in  Galen's design and that his Iconoclast cables outperform all of his typical cable inventory in the LCR categories.  And according to Bob and Galen, that can certainly lead to better sound quality.  But, every system has its own DNA which affects how a cable performs in a particular system.  Nobody can predict how it will perform so it must be auditioned in order to truly know.  

Out of curiosity and interest I have read much of Galen's material.  However, I don't own, nor have I heard any of the Iconoclast products so this is no attempt to "sell" you on  any particular cable or cable philosophy.  I am just pointing out that BJC, the manufacturer you trust (I assume),  is taking a much different opinion/position than what you have embraced in your post.  

Happy listening!

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 11/08/18 at 00:15:06

My ZMA has returned to the Ship today!

May Steve and the Orbs that visit Steve's incredible work, continue to be moved for sonic greatness.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lonely Raven on 11/08/18 at 17:42:13

As usual, I'm revisiting this thread a bit late.  :)

I'm glad it was clarified above that you guys are checking the plate voltage when throwing out what you're biasing your tubes at...I was worried reading the last page of posts and seeing ma thrown about but no reference to plate voltage! I'm glad Jeff is being the proper scientist and doing the maths.  LOL

Anyways, I've not verified this myself, but an inside track I have told me that the Tung Sol 7581A are the same innards as the Tung Sol KT66, just stuffed into the skinny bottle. And, they seem to sell for much less! So it's no wonder we're liking them. If someone has both sets handy, compare the innards and see how they look? I've also been told you need to be looking at Tung Sol made after 2014 as the earlier ones were different and not as good.

Same person also mentioned that TAD (Tube Amp Doctor) tubes are usually the more consistent ones as they demand a higher level of testing and matching, if you like the Chinese tubes.





I'm going to be doing some tube testing soon - I have NOS 7027, 7581, vintage milspec 807, and other NOS 6L6 variants with the Anode on the top like the 807....maybe including some British Made Marconi KT66 variants from the late 50s early 60s I may have scored from a warehouse in Europe.  I'm very excited about my experimentation, and hope to post my thoughts here...assuming I don't get distracted by silly things like work and paying bills and house projects. LOL

I'll probably be dumping all these tubes after I'm done, and just sticking with one or two sets I love and stocking up on them. So if anyone wants to play after me, I'll have some fun stuff up in the next month or so.

Oh crap! I still haven't sent Lon his damn tubes back! FML.



Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 11/08/18 at 22:04:09

Leigh, remember I said "I've heard them"....I never said the ProAc's were any good. Just kidding. I would not dig that suck out mid bass hump ~ no matter how you want to describe your slope...etc... .

Anyway, I have let Ray Kimber defend his Kables ....I don't need to! I just enjoy what the KS1030 and KS6063 do for my Decware.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 11/09/18 at 00:07:47


Quote:
... but an inside track I have told me that the Tung Sol 7581A are the same innards as the Tung Sol KT66, just stuffed into the skinny bottle. ...


My ears aren't the best but the 7581As don't sound anything like the KT66 in my opinion.  They are much closer to the 6Ps many of us like so much.  As a class, aren't the 7581As a 35W plate dissipation tube and the KT66s 25W or 30W?

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 11/09/18 at 00:14:25

Arch, I have to wonder if LR posted as what the heck. Exactly, way different sonic's.

Way closer to 6P's .... Very correct.

But, LR says sh__ about what he does not own and spent 500 + hours with, as us!?

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by NormD on 11/09/18 at 02:33:15

I’ve tried the KT66’s and 7581’s and there is a world of difference. The KT66 have strong, punchy bass but a average midrange and high end. The 7581’s have a deeper and fuller base mid ranges that are clean and clear and crisp highs. I’d be happy to part with my KT66 for a reasonable offer. I’m keeping my 7581’s.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lonely Raven on 11/09/18 at 02:59:49


Quote:
But, LR says shit about what he does not own and spent 500 + hours with, as us!?


Hey, all I did was pass on some information from an industry insider who actually toured the Russian and Slovac tube factories. Sorry if I stepped on your dick there and got you all bent out of shape! They could very well be completely different tubes. Or even the same tube with a minor tweak. (more below)


Quote:
As a class, aren't the 7581As a 35W plate dissipation tube and the KT66s 25W or 30W?


Sure, if you were talking about original manufacture spec. But we aren't talking about US made 6L6, or the "super" version called the 7581A made in the 60s, nor the British KT66 which was their version of a 6L6, and their "super" version with the KT names.

But there are only 3 real tube factories left in the world, the Slovakia plant, the Russian plant, and the Chinese plant. I'm sure there are some boutique tube shops around, but a lot of them are often purchasing from the 3 main tube factories with some specification tweaks and are only finishing the tubes in house.

So we're not talking 7581A from GE and KT66 from Osram, we're talking about a Russian plant that has purchased the name Tung-Sol and producing tubes that *look* like Osram KT66. FYI, Tung-Sol was an *American* company, and never even made a KT66 which is a British version of a 6L6. So the modern, Russian made Tung-Sol KT66 is a completely made up tube along the lines of a 6L6 using modern manufacturing techniques and material that *looks* like a British tube with it's fat glass and box cutouts.

Which do you think is more likely, that this Russian factory is painstaking recreating the exact materials and specs of each original manufacturer, even down to limiting their plate dissipation and output....or that they are using retooled 6P3S equipment and modern manufacturing techniques to produce a 6L6 "type" tube that can take 500v on the plate, 500v on the screen with 35 watts dissipation that happens to *look* somewhat like a famous extinct tube, and stuffing them into different glass envelopes and just marketing them differently? As long as the tube guts are 6L6 "type", and can handle the abuse a higher voltage amp would put them through, you could stuff it into anything from a 6V6 to KT66 envelop and send it out the door.

That said, I'm sure there are variants and tweaks to make the tubes sound different. It could be as simple as wider spacing on the grids or different halos, or fatter plate. (shrug) Or Vlad could have been enjoying his weekend and the specs were off...oh shit, these measure a bit on the weaker side because our grids aren't wound as tight, stuff these into the fat glass. These are analog devices that fall into a wide range of specs that could make some of them more suited for one type of 6L6 variant over the other.

Anyways, my point was just to share some neat and likely info. I also suggested that if you have the two tubes handy, look at them yourself and see what you think.

If you guys are hearing big differences, then I'm sure there is something going on there.

Anyways, I got some of my experimental tubes in.  These are definitely not Russian or Chinese.




Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by NormD on 11/09/18 at 03:10:19

I learn something new every day.  I'll pull the tubes and take a look one of these days.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 11/09/18 at 15:34:53

I looked at both my Tung Sol KT66s (2004)and 7581As (2012) and they look completely different inside.  Also the bias window for the 7581As is wide and goes into the 80s.  I don't remember the KT66s going that high but it's been years since I had them in.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 11/09/18 at 22:35:55

LR wrote:
"Sorry if I stepped on your d**k there and got you all bent out of shape"!

No need for sorry. I had that coming ~ touche'.

Very interesting info and appreciated.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lonely Raven on 11/10/18 at 07:18:13


Archie, cool, that's what I was trying to investigate. I think there is a difference with the newer tubes, but photos online aren't helping to prove or disprove this.

Does your 7581A innards look like this pic, or does it have 3 holes instead of 2 squares?




I know for a fact the older 7581A looked just like the KT66. I'm betting that now they look more like the KT88


Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 11/10/18 at 14:42:12

The bias window is enjoyable Arch. Thank goodness, they sound nothing like KT66's or my KT88's. Interesting though, the innards might be KT88 stuffed in the smaller envelope. Cool, if so. .....all about the sound and they are special in the ZMA. IMO.

I look forward to hearing the 7581A's with my ZMA 25th. Also, Archie, was it you whom mentioned with your 25th, KT88's are running the power trannies cooler too? Subjectively, to hand touch. I don't believe you said you measured the temp. If bypass is bringing 88's more in congruence .....all for that!
J of A, have you noticed this? I would like to not be reticent about the KT88's and really enjoy them. However, if I never put KT88's in my ZMA again. I can be happy with the other three quads I roll and will find a fourth quad I bet.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 11/10/18 at 17:44:25

LR,

My Tung-Sol KT66s from Steve look just like yours.  The 7581As have 3 holes but the grey thing (whatever it's called) is a completely different shape.  I don't have any Tung-Sol KT88s to compare with but given the high bias, maybe you are right?  Although plate dissipation should be the same between the KT88 and 7581A.



Stone,

I think the 7581As with bias set to 68mA are running cooler compared to other tubes with bias set mid 50s and pre-mods.  All purely subjective but J of A measured a 5 degree temperature drop, I think he posted.

I hope you get your ZMA back before you have to pull the trigger on the Rachael.  It might make you change your mind.   ;)

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 11/10/18 at 18:03:17

Hi Arch, Timeline on the Rach' bypassed would be next Sept/Oct for order. Right now the ZMA 25th'd and its enjoyment. ZBIT in February too, coming.
Plus, Steve's Power Conditioner 10 Amp.

Good news on the 7581A's running cooler. Should bode well when I get the 88's in. Yes, the high bias of the A's like a 88 could be 88 in there. The 88's like the 66's though, stay in a tight margin bias, as where the 7581A's have a beautiful swing Bias I love to utilize.
Even if the 88's don't run cooler trannies... still will use for 4 to 6 hour sessions. All day on my other quads of course.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lonely Raven on 11/10/18 at 22:43:33


I'll be digging out my IR Thermometer as well. I have some of the new 7581A on the way, and I'm listening to NOS GE 7027 right now. I'm hoping I like the new tubes as much as you guys do. The GE seem to be throwing a very large image compared to the stock KT66.

Beatles White Album (Super Deluxe 2018 Mix) spinning now.

I got some unusual preamp tubes on the way - I'll share what they are if they work well in the ZMA.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 11/11/18 at 17:33:30

LR, look forward to reading.

I'm suffering. My ZMA has been gone 8 days. I usually get a great Saturday morning and Sunday session in. Well, you guys suffered 3 to 4 weeks...so must I.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lon on 11/11/18 at 18:03:01

I totally understand that feeling Larry, I've been through it before. Be strong! You'll get through!

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 11/11/18 at 22:12:34

Hey Guys,
Sorry for the late reply..  been one of those weeks.

Yes, based on my random observations using my IR thermometer, I do believe my trannies are in the ballpark of 5 degrees F cooler after power supply mods.

Still have my Phillips ECG N.O.S. tubes in play and digging them tremendously. Even found a single for sale on Ebay to replace the one tube gone bad in one of the quads I purchased.  So, now I have a full backup set again.

LR, I can’t speak to the GE’s but this Phillips set of 7027A’s are my favorite tubes I have rolled thus far. I have not tried the 7581A’s though, to compare.  It seems there may be some similarities in SQ between the 7027As and 7581As based on Stones and Archie’s observations. The 1 and 6 pins of the 7581A’s and 7027A’s are unused, but unlike the 7581A’s, those pins on the 7027A’s are tied to the screen and control grids - therefore acting as heat sinks for improved heat dissipation.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 11/13/18 at 21:25:21

So true Lon, you've been thru it a few times.

J of A, cool! A little lower temp on my Cryo'd GL KT88's will be nice. +, the other quads.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lonely Raven on 11/18/18 at 00:25:29


How about some old Brimar KT8C tubes for the ZMA?

I got 12, randomly grabbed 4 and put them in the Mystery amp, and they were within 5% of each other!




Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 11/18/18 at 20:01:56

LR,  I saw your tube reply in the other thread but I figured this is a better place to continue.

Those Brimar KT8Cs are interesting.  What class of tube do they correspond to, if that makes sense?  There aren't many listed on ebay and they aren't cheap too!

Do you have a ZR2?  With a ZR2, I'm wondering if the other tube bass might catch up with the KT8C or if the KT8C bass might go through the roof!  (or floor)

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by will on 11/18/18 at 23:10:07

Archie,

These tubes LR pictured look like variations on British KT66 and Brimar 807s, Brimar 807s looking like some Russian 807s. When you read up on them, this makes some sense. Here is one explanation of the KT8C http://www.r-type.org/exhib/aab0080.htm

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 11/19/18 at 00:13:14

Cool, thanks.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lonely Raven on 11/19/18 at 21:12:23

Yes, what Will posted.  These set is supposedly the very last of the KT8C done to Milspec for the British Navy. The note that the seller found in the box of them said they are direct replacement for the Ceramic versions and to bias like KT66. They are ruggedized with ceramic standoffs in the structure and (obviously) the classic curvy "coke bottle" shape vs the larger KT66 shape. Milspec typically requires smaller, ruggedized versions of our audiophile tubes that bias up lower and are pre-matched in batches so once the equipment is biased, the radio tech can just swap out tubes quickly and get back to work.

I'm typically really skeptical of tubes that are "milspec" unless they come in large batches and are re-matched. So I was very pleasantly surprised when I grabbed four from the 12 I picked up and they were so closely matched I hardly had to tweak the ZMA. Usually I'm balancing each pair (on the ZMA) for 2-3 minutes as they warm up and tweaking the overall bias. With these, they warmed right up, settled, and were all within a half-space of each other on the gauges. I sat there gawking for a minute waiting for something to change, then laughed and went to listening.

I don't have a ZROCK, I tend to be a purest and go as direct as possible, so I'm XLR out of my DirectStream directly into the ZMA XLR. The DAC is at 100% and I use the attenuation on the ZMA which is typically at 85% all the time, though with these tubes I lowered it a couple times during my listening session! LOL

I do have some Milspec CV124 which are the earlier versions of these tubes that are much more like the 807 tube. These KT8C sound similar, but BIGGER. I'm listening to the CV124 as I type this in fact.

Later this week I'll have different adapters in hand, and I'll be trying out some 6BG6GA, some of which are supposed to have the same guts as the 7581A that Jeff likes.

Speaking of, here is a tip for those of you looking to try out the Phillips ECG but can't find nor afford the 7581A - look closely as these.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Lot-of-Eight-Heavy-Duty-JAN-6L6WGB-Tubes-By-Philips-USA-NIB/332790923467

These are the Phillips ECG 7581A guts stuffed into a smaller "ruggedized" envelope and relabeled as 6L6WGB for military use. I was told by some old timers that they might not get the full 35watts of dissipation due to smaller envelope, but they are basically the same tube as the 7581A. The link posted above is a rare find someone should jump on!

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lonely Raven on 11/19/18 at 21:55:22


Is there a secret magic password trick to getting these NOS boxes open without tearing the damn flap?  I've been taking a butter knife and carefully prying the flaps open and still tearing the bastards. Grrr.


Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lonely Raven on 11/22/18 at 19:38:05

The tubes burning currently are GE Blackplate 6BG6GA on 6L6 adapters.

This was like finding a nice smooth set of $250 GE Blackplates. Although this quad is poorly matched. I have 8 more to go through and might need to mix and match them for better balance. If the ZMA didn't have the bias balance and gauges, these would be difficult to use. But hey, GE blackplates for the cost of a nice dinner, cool!


Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lonely Raven on 11/26/18 at 21:31:45


I realized I had posted this in another thread when asked about the tubes, but didn't post it here, so this is me quoting myself on this thread I've apparently killed.   :P



Quote:
This weekend I swapped through Tung-Sol KT66, Tung-Sol 7581A, GE (NOS) 7027, 63PS-E coin base, and a well matched quad of '73 KT8C.

I wasn't super thorough and my room still isn't properly treated since installing the new hard floors yet, but my two favorites are the 7581A and KT8C.

The 7581A I biased at 50ma, then 60ma, and topped off at 64ma like Jeff mentioned earlier in this thread. They seemed the most even across the board and nice harmonics. Reminds me of the KT66 but on steroids.

The KT8C had bass that put all the others to shame in a big way, but the treble was a little etched. They only have 3 hours on them so I hope they will calm down with a few more hours. They bias up really low, and started sounding good at 40ma and *appear* to sound louder than even the 7581A...but I think it's just a trick of the huge bass and extended treble.

I forgot which set of tubes it was, I'll be going through them again once I get diffusers in the room, but one set had amazing upper bass that was tight and detailed and made everything pop more, but didn't have the huge, deep, tight bass of the KT8C.

I still have other tubes to try out, but they are in storage, and I'm waiting on more adapters to show up. Eventually I'll post a separate thread with my thoughts on all these.


Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 12/17/18 at 17:35:30

NORM! Help! ;D

Talk me out of some Mazda's & Amperex by noon 12/20. Brent's shuttin' down till the 14th of the new year!
http://www.audiotubes.com/

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by NormD on 12/17/18 at 19:02:34

Stone:
Which tubes are you considering?  I may get some myself!!

If you think I’m going to talk you out of getting tubes, you must be hallucinating. Heck, you started me down this rabbit hole! I still have the 7027’s staring at me every night asking when they will get tried in my ZMA.

Have a great Holiday!

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 12/18/18 at 16:11:54

;DNo doubt, I'm guilty, I did start you down this rabbit hole, didn't I?!

I'm going to hold off for now. I need to figure my budget after the new year. I have a couple Decware products on the build sheet, I need to factor in. However, I think I'm going to grab a matched pair of 6N5P's from Steve next month........... .

You too Norm, have a great Holiday!

If I did not buy/tweak with another thing.....I'm very happy with my Decware/Kimber Select/Acoustic Zen Adagio/System of bliss! The glass is more than half full.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by NormD on 12/18/18 at 16:15:15

I’m still enjoying my 7851’s but I have made some significant and noticeable upgrades in my sound lately. My first change was plugging my ZMA back into my P5 regenerator. The second was to replace my DHC-1 with a AC12 power cable as recommended by Lon; that upgrade was a shocker especially in the bass extension. The third was replacing the hard rubber hockey pucks back under my speakers. I moved them to reroute cables and decided to try without them - big mistake. My listening room is on the second floor of a 1890’s farm house with wood floors. The construction was not as solid as today’s. The hockey pucks seem to decouple the speakers from the floor resonance and my bass and clarity were restored. Cheap upgrade and I may try some under my ZMA and regenerator.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 12/21/18 at 01:00:38

7581A's are wonderful. In Ron's honor/tribute tonight, I have my Gold Lion cryogenic KT88's in. Absolutely magnificent with the ZMA mod's. Subjectively running cooler~no worries.

Shout out to Will. Thanks for getting me off the Pangea once again, from the wall to my P3. My Kimber PK 10 Palladian from wall to P3 is spot on with no thickness in the low end with my ZMA mod's topping off the cadence speed with dead nuts PRaT. I do not regen my ZMA, it runs off the HC outlet of my P3 with an XLO Pro Series Hubbell to ZMA. I do regen my Transport and ZDSD to perfection.

To top things off, I tried to dethrone my KS6063 again. Well, once again it didn't happen. Other Speaker cables have smear that the 6063 eliminates by design. .....nough said.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 12/22/18 at 14:56:36

Norm, it is amazing how cables matter. You know when it's right. You, with your AC12 (your Morrow cabling too=you know). Me, with running my Palladian from wall to P3 and then XLO to ZMA (more detail about it in my last post above). Plus, my Kimber Select and Shunyata.

Furthermore, hockey pucks under your Speakers. I just changed my Signature below, recently. In that sig, for years I used Vibrapods with Large Tiptoe Spikes, to good effect, under my Speakers! I need to try your hockey pucks. Do you have them under the Spikes to floor? If it render's more solidity for me, will hear? My girlfriends nephew has a bag of used ones I bet. State of Hockey here and all.

Eric, when you are ready, please give more about your tubes/output and input. Plus, LR, PLEASE DUST YOUR ZMA MAN. THE PICTURE ABOVE WHEN I ZOOM IN ON IT....WHOA! :o ;D :D I know it sat for a long while, cause you were playing your modified C. But, please! :)  I realize that pick must have been taken before the Mod's.... With that Adam's Family layer of dust on that one Tranny! :D Mortisha and Gomez would be proud. ....given' you sh- -! :)

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lonely Raven on 12/25/18 at 23:14:12


Actually that last pic is after Mods. I guess Steve didn't go over it with the paintbrush duster, and I haven't in a while. With all the projects/construction going on, this place is always dusty (shrug).

Still haven't settled on tubes yet - currently using KT8 output with some mix of input. the KT8 are the real stars.


Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by lazb on 12/26/18 at 00:28:40

I have never listened closely to a ZMA and understand where it sits in the DECWARE hierarchy but, with so much and frequent talk of tube rolling I am a little perplexed. Does Steve not put really great tubes in it from the beginning? It would seem completely out of character if he did not. Guess I have not been in the family long enough to understand.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lon on 12/26/18 at 02:00:55

Joe,
The tubes that Steve provides are generally new production tubes or plentiful tubes that have not been out of production too long, tubes he can obtain and resupply, and tubes that owners can find easily and for the most part cheaply. (In more recent models such as the ZROCK2 and the 25th Anniversary Zen Amp Steve has provided carefully selected new old stock input tubes that really work well in the units, a bit of an anomaly or a new trend with Decware).

The truth is that the Decware amplifier topologies are so well thought out and laid out and implemented with such quality wire and parts that the nature of a tube is truly revealed, and as a result these amps can be tailored to suit one's taste or room or source material by tube-rolling. It's certainly not neccessary but it can certainly be educational and fun and lead to some fantastic sound. Some of us who have really been into our Decware components for years have gravitated towards tube-rolling and a few have insisted on not tube-rolling.

It's a testament to the quality of these amps that many tube-roll and discover the many possible sounds these machines can usher into our listening worlds.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by NormD on 12/26/18 at 03:28:27

Stone:

I tried using spikes initially directly on my wood floors. Since I sanded and refinished them my self, I was not at all pleased with the divots in the floor. I then tried putting the speakers with the spikes on the hockey and directly on the hockey pucks and I can’t recall if I heard any difference but that was so many changes ago. I just use the pucks under my speakers without the spikes and I have no resonance that I can hear and I do have surprisingly deep bass now with the 25th Anniversary mods.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 12/27/18 at 20:38:39

I'm going to try the Pucks Norm, thanks. My last experience with the 28lb each Vibrapods x 3 under each speaker worked very well.

I played around with polarity with my speaker's the last couple of days. I swear when in the mood for some Rock; it's better or just different moving the driver's in reverse excursion.

Now, back to normal polarity and enjoying my NOS Tungsram 6922 input tubes today with my Gold Lion Cryo KT88's. THE NOS Telefunken's for inverter's. Yes, the Mod's are excellent and I'm running 3 out of 4 mod's/sans Nich'es.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lonely Raven on 01/02/19 at 22:24:46


Stone, do you feel that changing the Inverters makes a big sonic change?
I love Telefunks for the air they give the sound, but I didn't really feel like they had an impact in the PI position. Mine were well used hand-me-downs, and are long since burnt up - so I can't test them in the PI currently.

That said, I have discovered a stash of gold pin, milspec Mullard like the ones that you and I like and bought 7 of them! I'm expecting to keep 3 or possibly 5 and sell the rest (odd number because I like them in the likkle Zen amp too!). I've already got two I'm using now in the ZMA. I sure hope they are long life, because I can't afford these every year or two! LOL

How many hours do you think you have on the ZMA, post mod?  I've been listening to my Zen again, but am going to go back to putting hours on the ZMA now that the holidays are over and family is out of my house. LOL




Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by HockessinKid on 01/05/19 at 01:32:25

I am interested in what folks are using as preferred tube compliments for the 25th Anniversary modified Zen Mystery Amps. I realize there are only a few modified units out there right now, with many still "burning in".

I will be sending in for the "full monty" modification once Steve gets the new Nichicon capacitors and wanted to stock up on some additional tube sets during the wait.

So what's your favorite combination of:

Output (Power) Tubes -
Phase Inverter Tubes -
Input Tubes -
Voltage Regulator Tubes -

Thanks in advance for joining in the conversation. I currently use 6N5P triple mica inverter & input tubes, Sylvania JAN OA3 voltage regulator tubes. On the output power tube front, using New Sensor Gold Lion KT66 and more recently enjoying Tung-sol 7581A tubes. Wondering about picking up a quad of Gold Lion KT88's to take for a spin.

HK

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 01/05/19 at 14:57:44

LR, I have 168+ hours on my ZMA Mod's. Loving it.

The Telefunken's are my constant inverter's. The whole tube compliment shines with them as PI's, with all I have rolled.

New year and some recent discoveries and decisions I have made. Opening up my ZDSD, when she goes, I'm using the onboard output trannies for my next DAC. No need for a ZBIT that I would run wide open anyway.
(NOTE: If I did not have a form of the ZBIT to use in the future, I would be getting the ZBIT/yes it is that essential IMO).

Another discovery, ...my Kimber PK 10 Palladian from wall to P3 has been a revelation! "Kimber's engineers developed a special SWR (standing wave ratio) enhancement technology, which dampens electrical standing wave reflections. This proprietary technology has permitted the creation of an AC power cable of unmatched clarity, silence and freedom from grain."
Not B.S.
I now only regen my Transport. The Line Conditioning the PK 10 provides from the wall to P3, allows me to run the Line Conditioning Shunyata cord I run to my ZDSD off the P3 HC outlet with my ZMA being fed from an XLO Pro powercord from that same HC outlet! So, no need for the ZLC.
(NOTE: If I did not discover/create IMO, with my PK 10, as described and connected as above stated.....I'd be getting the ZLC).

This free's up 1400 or 1500 + 1000 for the XLR needed to the ZBIT + 400 saved....... the Red Mallory's are just fine with the other three ESSENTIAL Mod's......for.................................drum roll ;):
NOS TUBES!  When Brent's back open for business, I will be getting some from him + Kevin at UA too!  
I will report back in 2 or 3 months or so. The best NOS tubes money can buy are truly my passion now, with my System nailed down.

I just wish this all came to fruition for me before I slapped down two deposits equaling 150. But, those are the rules and I will stay in good standing for when I buy a pentode in triode from Steve in 2020 or 21. It will be an addition. My ZMA only leaves when I'm dead.

+ moving to the Rio Grande Valley in 5 months. No more snow/cold/mosquito's/tornado's.  Maybe just a hurricane! You get warning for these....so I can grab my ZMA and financials and run further inland to Austin. :D

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 01/05/19 at 17:40:31

I put my 6P3S-Es back in and I have to say, they really are my favorite.  I also just bought a new quad from an ebay seller.  I don't have them yet but they were a real bargain.  Here's the link if anyone want to try these tubes and not spend much money - or get a backup quad(s).

https://www.ebay.com/itm/MATCHED-QUAD-6P3S-E-6-3-E-5881-6L6GC-TUBE-ROHRE-VALVE-REFLEKTOR-NOS-80S/183384260373

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 01/05/19 at 18:23:33

Love the 6P's Arch. I have my KT88's in today. Four different Amps with 88, 6P, 7581A's or 66's.

I have NOT tried 7027A, KT77 or EL34's yet. Before, DOING these I'm going on my input tube penchant. Expensive NOS, BUT they will disappear ....so word to the wise. Supply.......
Or I should say, the NEW New Old Stock will disappear. JUNK, with 3000 to 5500 hours already on them can always be found on eBay. Their are new tubes on eBay ....just NOT NEW NOS....at their best.

Don't even waste your time (or $) with NEW New Old Stock Input Tubes/if you're not:
In a room acoustically treated @ 12 x 13 by 9' high
You need to run your source direct to Decware/ZMA with needed and appropriate output voltage
NO SMEAR Cables....KS6063 do not Smear
+ Underhung Driver's & one of the best Tweeter's in the world doesn't hurt either.....Modified, single capped.

Okay, the above is pretentious. However, I don't want to stir anyone the wrong way into NEW NOS input tubes. IMO, I like to get close to their signature with minimum in the chain. .....have been known to put a Pre in the chain from time to time though. :)

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lon on 01/05/19 at 18:28:23

I learned to like those too. Sold my Torii Mk III this last week so I have a few sets of these that I'll probably post for sale soon as I no longer have an amp using the big bottles (I've fallen HARD again for the sweet petite tubes the Zen amps use!)

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by NormD on 01/06/19 at 15:37:46

HK:

In my 25th Anniversary Mod ZMA I am running:

Power tubes:  7581's are the winners so far and I have not taken them out for quite a while.  I tried the KT66's and KT88's and the bass was very strong but the midranges and highs were not as clear and crisp as the 7581's. I also have tried the 6P3S's but I prefer the 7581's in my system. I have a quad of 7027a'a that I have yet to try after I settle down with my cabling and power regenerator.

Inputs:  Telefunken E88CC's but I will roll in my USN 7308 Amperex's some time in the near future.  I also have Ediswan CV2492/6922 which I like a lot.

Inverters: Telefunken E88CC's, but I may roll them out with something else and save them since this position is less impactful than the inputs.

What has made a tremendous, and surprisingly so, difference is upgrading my power cables to PS Audio AC12's and replacing my PS Audio P5 regenerator with a P15. Both have made a huge improvement that I am going to enjoy for a while before I roll any more tubes.

Norm

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by HockessinKid on 01/06/19 at 16:31:39

Thanks Norm. Interesting that the PS Audio P15 and power cord made such a beneficial contribution. I directly plug a top of the line Furutech PC (ZenWave Audio) into a Furutech GTX receptacle at this point. Happy listening to your system.

HK

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 01/06/19 at 18:00:57

I'm on a tube rolling quest Norm!
You're chilling with your P15/AC12 for awhile - that is cool.

Starting this week, when I have some time to pick up the phone to B Jessee Recordings.

I'm starting with:
Cca (ultra premium 6DJ8/6922) Siemens, made in Germany, 1970's, most with A-frame getter, gold pins.MATCHED PAIR
The Cca is one of the "Holy Grail" tubes in the 6922/7308 family, and Hear what a real German vintage Cca you have been reading about sounds like, at a very attractive price compared to the older versions. Very nicely matched pairs, supplied with test data.probably the best audiophile 6DJ8 type ever made, at any time.

I have been pleased with the Mulls, Telefunken's, Ediswan's and Tungsram's I own!  Hope I can continue batting a 1000. If not...a kick in the shorts losing 35 cents (on average) on the dollar occurs in selling them.

and/or the

7308/E188CC (ultra premium 6DJ8/7308) 1970-1972 Mazda France made for RTC and R/T, DIMPLE DISC GETTER, gold pins, rare.MATCHED PAIR
Gold pins, RTC or R/T label, very low noise, sweet like the Amperex with better dynamics. Made for exacting ORTF French Broadcasting requirements, many marked ORTF. These have the best price on a genuine NOS Philips-Owned factory made 7308 pair. These are VERY scarce in the USA, and are an excellent value when you compare this price to the prices of the Cca tubes. Very nicely matched pairs, supplied with test data.


Next month I'll take a look at what uncle Kevy has left. Man, did you see he went nuts on the Telefunken's ......glad we got them at 300/pr and tested Platinum. ....not....tested good on eBay  ;D

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by NormD on 01/07/19 at 00:19:48

Hey guys, I finally put in my 7027a’s into my 25 Anniversary ZMA biased at 60ma and they are now my favorite tube. The dynamic range and clarity seems to be tad greater than the 7581’s.

https://www.vivatubes.com/new-current-matched-quad-4-jj-electronic-7027a-7027-vacuum-tubes/

Norm

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 01/07/19 at 00:36:36

Okay Stone, you're up!   ;)

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by HockessinKid on 01/07/19 at 00:43:49

Looks like a quad of 7027a's are in my future😊. Tung-sol or JJ's? I recall the JJ's seem to have quality/reliablilty issues. I think TAD also makes a heavy duty 7027a tube.

HK


Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by NormD on 01/07/19 at 00:52:29

I have the JJ’s as in the link above. I’ll look at TAD as I have always been happy with them.  

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 01/07/19 at 02:29:15


Quote:
Hey guys, I finally put in my 7027a’s into my 25 Anniversary ZMA biased at 60ma and they are now my favorite tube. The dynamic range and clarity seems to be tad greater than the 7581’s.


The 7027A's have, and continue to reign supreme in my system.  Mine are the NOS Jan Phillips.  Pricey, but worth every penny.  Can't speak to the other new production iterations as I have not had them in my system but it seems they are carrying the torch quite well!

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 01/07/19 at 14:59:17

Batter up Batter up!  ...to funny Arch ;D

Okay, okay, peer pressure...I'm ordering the Tung-Sol 7027A's from the tube store. 35 watt dissipation on the A's = we got to love it. I'm holding off on my Brent Jessee tubes for awhile. Sticker shock and all... . I have a nice bevy of NOS input tubes to keep me busy (still), with the: 6P's, 88's, 66's, 7581A'a and soon the 7027A's.

Plus, reconsidered my ZBIT and ZLC.....getting them. I'm just to curious of both not to keep on order/dink around with them for 6 months or so and see if they are staying in the Listening Room. I should have my ZBIT next month and the ZLC late March/early April.
My Kimber PK 10 Palladian from wall to P3 has been a revelation. Look forward to running it from wall to ZLC. ;)

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 01/07/19 at 15:36:34

Ordered: 7027A's Tung-Sol.

I'm sticking with the T-Sol family with these = hardy.  JJ's scare me/only have read horror stories about them and some little positives.



Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 01/07/19 at 17:09:36

Stone, I thought you had a set but hadn't put them in.  I might have been thinking of Norm.  I'm with you on the Tung-Sol.  The 7581As are so nice that I'll bet the same for the 7027As.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 01/07/19 at 19:54:19

Yes, that was Norm. I've been dragging my feet about them for some time.
FedEx ground.....I should have them by Thursday or Friday and put a good seasoning start on them.

Have T-Sol 7581A's in with Tungsram inputs. I love these inputs because they are the 180 of my Mullard's and Ediswan's. When I want that...I got it. Sweet and extended they are. The price of these went up too since I got mine. So it is....half dozen of one and 6 of the other. :D
https://www.upscaleaudio.com/collections/preamp-tubes/products/tungsram-6922?variant=21828941253

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 01/08/19 at 15:12:56

Hamilton, ON to me....supposed to be out for delivery tomr, latest 8pm. I love FedEx for 9.95!  
Always, a kid in a candy store, when new tubes are coming. :)

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by NormD on 01/08/19 at 15:43:08

From whom did you order your TungSol 7027’s?

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 01/08/19 at 19:22:57

Hi Norm, I purchased from:

https://www.thetubestore.com/

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 01/09/19 at 15:46:37

Out for delivery....and FedEx usually deliver's sooner than later here!

Tubes! I love tubes............... .

https://www.thetubestore.com/tung-sol-7027a

I am so impressed with these seasoned in bad ass mofo's!
https://www.upscaleaudio.com/collections/vacuum-tubes/products/tungsram-6922?variant=21828941317
I will be burning in the 7027A's with them.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 01/09/19 at 18:09:27

GOT um', ......I will get them in Friday night or Saturday morning!

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by HockessinKid on 01/10/19 at 12:18:27

Just popped in a quad of Tube Amplifier Doctor (TAD) 7027a's into the ZMA. It's my first set of TAD tubes. Giving them a try given Lon's positive experience with TAD KT66's in his Torii amp. I've been listening to Tung-sol 7581's recently.

I'll post listening observations after they settle in.

HK

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lon on 01/10/19 at 12:20:24

Cool! I hope you dig them. I've had great experience with their EL84, 6V6 and KT-66 tubes, very reliable and long-lived and sound great. I've never tried any of the tube type you are now using, and I no longer have any amps that would use that type.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 01/12/19 at 03:20:13

Tung-Sol 7027A quad in today for 4 hours. Knee jerk impression is I like the bass and let the seasoning roll!

Might have my 5th ZMA Amp with these.

Two 6 pin quads
Two 7 pin quads
One 8 pin quad

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 01/12/19 at 15:08:19

I have the Tung-Sol 7027A's lit up again for the day before Football at 3:30 central.

Very much enjoy my Tungsram 6922's with my GL Cryogenic KT88 & T-Sol Cryogenic 7581A's.

Even though I only have 4 hours on the 7027A's....I put my Cryogenic Mullard's back in on these/inputs/this morning.....ahhh, 6.5 hours and counting .....very nice with the Mull's in.  Of course, 50 to 75 hours I'll put my Tungsram's back in and see if they will hang.

https://www.upscaleaudio.com/collections/vacuum-tubes/products/mullard-e188cc-7308?variant=21828917317

https://www.upscaleaudio.com/collections/vacuum-tubes/products/tungsram-6922?variant=21828941317

Note: What I love about the 7581A's and also apparent with the 7027A's, is the swing bias that can be applied. 50mA to 62mA. The KT66's & KT88's have their very tight parameter of 60 and 74-78 respectively. ...which is fine...the KT66's have taken on new life for me with the mod's and the KT88's....whoa....very nice too.

I have my 7027A's at 52mA right now.....all so good!

Sorry, non ZMA owner's.....bias & balance on the fly, are so important. I can't go back to fixed.  
Plus, being able to maximize your power tubes lifespan/longevity, with bias & balance is unparalleled IMO.

Steve = Genius.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 01/18/19 at 19:27:39

I typically use russian 6N5P or 6N1P-EV tubes in my ZMA and CSP3 and always liked them equally well.  However, I switched to the 6N5Ps a few days ago and just didn't care for them.  Besides an obvious loss of volume there just seemed to be a lifelessness with them.  I left them in for a few days but finally swapped them out for the 6N1P-EVs.  Immediately things came back to life.  For some reason, post Anniversary mods, the 6N5Ps just don't work for me anymore.  Which is a bummer since I have a ton of them!   :P

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by will on 01/18/19 at 20:02:21

Hey Archie. Wow, that is interesting. Here, without and with mods, 6N5P seem closer in clarity and volume to many 6922, 7DJ8, and 6DJ8s, where 6N1P, quieter and tending to more veiled. I wonder if the 6N5Ps you tried are weak? For lack of use, I got rid of most of the 6N1Ps that came with amps, but a 3 mica pair I still have fit past impressions of less fine detail and quieter, so much so I could not comfortably use 6N1P in my Torii due to early distortion.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 01/18/19 at 21:01:54

Hi will & Arch.

Arch you just beat me to it. I can't say my Mull's are not still great with the Mod's, but NOW....my Tungsram NOS 6922/E88CC's are so so good! The Mull's can sit on the shelf, indefinitely.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 01/18/19 at 23:47:13

Will, I bought NOS from Russia.  The tubes are inexpensive and nothing fancy but they don't have many hours on them and they are the same ones I liked before.  As you know, I'm not good with tube nuance but I go with my gut when I'm just not happy with a tube change.

The only reason I tried the 6N5Ps in the first place was because Steve liked them so much.  I think the 6N1P-EVs are what he shipped my ZMA with (but not the same ones I'm using now).

Either my tastes changed or the Anniversary modifications change things enough that tube choices need review.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by will on 01/19/19 at 01:45:29

Hey Archie.

Interesting. I can't explain it. A lot of Russian tubes can be variable, and ones from different factories and vintages can vary a fair bit also, but it seems pretty indisputable, the actual tubes being the same pairs you liked before. Trusting the gut is a good thing alright, but I thought your description of what you heard seemed like things you would like or not like in a tube too!

;)

I think you can trust your perception perhaps more than you think you can.

I commented since I couldn't quite feature how Steve's mods could make the 6N1P and 6N5P perform opposite to how I have experienced them, or why the mods would cause the 6N5P to sound less lively or quieter. I guess what you described sounded to me like the labels on the tubes had mysteriously traded places.

With my modifications, I stayed mainly with the same tube sets for reference, but occasionally did some tube and cable rolling to assure myself I was not getting off track in some odd way. Not all inclusive by any means (I have lots and lots of tubes), but so far, the tubes I try sound better than before, doing whatever they did more completely. Also it seems the mods narrowed the differences between tubes by making some less refined tubes (in my system) sound more complete, and those I thought truly excelled, still excel, but the gap is narrower. This is all relative though, and not all tubes. I still can easily prefer one over another, but it seems less obvious. This experience contributed to my being tripped up when you felt like the ZMA mods made the 6N5P quieter and duller than a 6N1P.

Anyway, sorry your old fav is not working as well for you now, but glad your older fav is! With luck, changes in tubes, more burn in, or other things might bring the stash of 6N5P back into play!

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by NormD on 01/19/19 at 15:07:04

I was also wondering if the 25th Anniversary mods might make tube rolling less impactful. So to test that I rolled out my Telefunken ECC88/6DJ8's (CCa's in the inputs) and replaced them with Amperex 7308's and the highs seemed muddied, but it was close, but something was missing - might have been the wine. So considering the cost of NOS ECC88's, I am trying Telefunken E88CC-TK/6922's (new tubes made in the JJ factory) in the inverter and my ECC88 CCa's back in the inputs and the magic is back. I'm going to save my other NOS Telefunken ECC88's for the inputs when I have to replace the CCA's and I can readily and cheaply replace the TK's in the inverters any time. I'm still using my 7027a's as the Power Tubes.



Now I am wondering about testing the ECC88-TK's in my ZTPRE in place of my Amperex's.

Norm

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lon on 01/19/19 at 15:38:56

Hey Norm, I have a pair of those JJ Telefunkens in my Magnum Dynalab 90T SE tuner (came with them). I liked them, but rolled in some Amperex 7308s which I thought were a bit nicer--warmer and "deeper"--but then I was never a fan of the original Telefunken sound as much as Amperex.

I took out the Amperex 7308s to get three pairs to put in my ZTPRE. I really like the 7308s in the ZTPRE, and I have the JJ Telefunkens back in the tuner. . . . The difference in the tuner is subtle, but I think the Amperex are "heartier" and add a bit of heft to the sound. Still the Tuner is my least listened to source and the JJ are doing well there, I probably won't get more Amperex 7308 to take their place. But I'm not tempted to get four more of the JJ and try them out in the ZTPRE, the Amperex there edge out the 6N5P as best tubes I've heard in the ZTPRE and I'm not messing with that "bliss."

I do think the 25th Anniversary Mods (in my case in the Monoblocks and the CSP3-25 and soon in a ZROCK2) are significant enough that tube choices should be revisited and some choices may change. I also find that addressing the whole complement of input, output, regulation and rectifier (if you have them in your component) tubes offer so many great combinations that there are several prime choices for each position that will blend well with prime choices for the others--many splendid complements of tubes are possible, lots and lots of good listening.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 01/19/19 at 17:34:01

Great to read guys and yeah with these mod's I've noticed how my Tungsrams have stole the show. My Mull's & Ediswans could end up in the Audiogon tube section this summer.

I have my other Tungsrams to check out yet as inputs and move the Telefunken's to input too now with these Mod's. I will check it out. Plus, the TK/6922.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by HockessinKid on 01/19/19 at 17:57:21

I've got to say these 7027a tubes sound absolutely gorgeous. Even more resolving than the 7581 tubes and with a realistic 3D soundstage. I've only found one online dealer that sells the Tube Amplifier Doctor (TAD) 7027a's. Here's a link to StewMac in case your want to try a matched quad. I haven't tried the Tung-Sol offerings, so I'm not sure how they compare.

https://www.stewmac.com/Pickups_and_Electronics/Amp_Kits_and_Parts/Tubes/Tube_Amp_Doctor_7027A_Power_Tube.html

HK

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by will on 01/19/19 at 19:02:53

After having ZMAs fully burnt in, and carefully tuned, new parts, especially good caps, I think it can be a little tricky. As has been mentioned, being used to burnt in amps in revealing systems, burnin is for real again after mods. Though ±100 hours seem to take care of most resistors, I find better caps pretty slow. I guess this may be part of odd experiences with some tubes. The way I hear it, relative to many others, Jupiter caps do sound pretty good pre-burnin, but they still move around through phases of less balanced, more muddled, to more balanced, complex, and clear.

I am using Miflex coppers for coupling caps in my Torii IV now, but below are my notes on Jupiter Coppers when I replaced Jupiter HT couplings with them. This was in late summer 2016. Luckily I have notes, but this fits my memory of other burnin cycles. My burnin helper, a Frybaby2, was newish then. Since, I have learned to use it better for pre-burnin, it is on incessantly. It helps me get a clear read on modifications quicker, allowing me to move on with relative confidence to the next experiment.

This exploration has verified the FryBaby2 is good indeed for getting through the rougher parts of burnin. From my notes:

"Jupiter Copper coupling caps replacing Jupiter HT’s:

I ran them on my FryBaby2 for a couple weeks which really helped, but I still continue to hear subtle changes 6 weeks later. The way I listen now, that is about 300-350 hours of amp time, and after over 300 on the burnin unit. I don’t know how the FryBaby relates hour-for-hour compared to amp time with caps, but I know it helps solve the hard parts of burnin with everything I have tried it on. I feel like the caps are pretty settled now but may possibly have a bit to go to reach their consistent potential.

To me, they sound more natural and real in every way than the HT’s in the MKIV. They have a greater sense of resolution...like there are more “particles” making the sound than the HT’s."


Music without an effective burnin rig, I have noticed 350 hours, give or take, for good caps to even up and start showing steadiness as they continue to improve. Then, there will likely be subtler shifts again in the ±600 range as they head into deeper refinement. Without that much time, there are likely still burnin oddities confusing the experience.  

Now I use the Frybaby at least 3 weeks on more recalcitrant caps, then music. Even difficult Russian Teflon and Silver/Mica caps, after several weeks on the unit, tend to resolve after a week or so of fairly heavy music play. And less difficult caps start sounding pretty right within a several days of 6-8 hours of music/day, and pretty pain free along the way! ...a lot better for me than 300-600 of listening time!

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 01/19/19 at 20:20:06

I almost hate to hear that the 7027As are so good.  Now I have a quad of those to my list.  Stone, how do you like the TungSol 7027A compared to the 7581As?

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by HockessinKid on 01/19/19 at 20:37:15

I hear you Archie. The 7027a quad is my 6th set of power tubes for the ZMA. Plenty of back up options,, but I'll probably pick up another quad of TAD 7027a tubes, just in case🤗.

HK

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 01/19/19 at 23:16:19

I like them Arch. Great slam and articulate. I am especially enjoying them with Tungsram 6922 inputs. The Mod's are pushing this Amp to new places for the better, too.

I have not compared them (Tung-Sol 7027A's), to my Tung-Sol Cryo 7581A's yet ....they are very different quads though and should be. I might end up enjoying one quad over the other, will see. But, once again, enjoying their differences is what I enjoy. As are my Reflector Cryo 6P's, Tung-Sol KT66's and Gold Lion Cryo KT88's, different from each.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 01/20/19 at 00:04:46

I'm still looking for the one tube to rule them all!   ;D

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 01/20/19 at 13:37:01

I don't know if you really want to have that Archie? I'm being redundant, but I enjoy the differences of my five quads mentioned above, to much not to roll them.

Plus now, with the Mod's, I switched my Telefunkens to input and so very good! My Tungsram's have come in to play now too. The Mullard's and Ediswan's have been shelved!

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 01/20/19 at 16:47:28

I know it seems crazy, but I prefer the Telefunken in the inverter's. They define the input tubes character like no tomorrow.

I agree with HK, the 3D soundstage from these guys (7027A's), albeit different brands is to make one leave them alone. It will be awhile for the other quads to rotate in.

.....going to be very hard to walk out of here for Football at 2.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 01/20/19 at 18:47:16

I'm the personality type that likes "closed solutions" in math and HiFi!   ;)

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 01/21/19 at 15:34:37

You're in the wrong hobby then. ;D

Tube Amp's are of the subjectivity/qualitative; is very far from quantitative.
This includes of course, Cabling too. I could never go back from my KS6063 being fed from KS1030. My ZMA is at a whole other level.

Oh sure, we can measure what we can measure and Kimber has those number's. However, it's the ear brain connection, period that matters.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 01/21/19 at 17:58:03

Ha ha, ALL my hobbies are wrong!   ;D

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 01/21/19 at 18:38:49

I read you on this and mine are all wrong too. ;D

Glad we have our pastimes to keep us busy/happy to the end.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by stone_of_tone on 01/21/19 at 22:24:53

I'm off today Arch, so I had to put the 7581A's back in. They have more sparkle extended treble over the 7027A's. The 27's are more akin but not the same mind you, to my KT88's, and run cooler of course.

However, I do owe the 7027A's more hours and they will get it. Right now though as I write I'm in bliss with the 7581A's that might give up some in soundstage.....but all so good and extended up top that I love with my Adagio's.

Well, 31.5 hours to get in at work the next 3 days ....then off Friday and back to power tube rolling!

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 01/21/19 at 22:45:54

I've got my 7581As back in too.  They are magical!

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Geno on 01/25/19 at 16:44:18

Hey Archie.  If you are looking to get rid of some of your 6N5P's, I've been wanting to try them.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lon on 01/25/19 at 17:24:52

Geno, my two cents. . . I've bought a number of 6N5P from various sources and none compared to the tested and selected ones I got from Steve. If you want to try 6N5P I recommend ordering them from Steve.  I just ordered output tubes from him and they arrived in less than two weeks.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 01/25/19 at 17:30:25

While I'm sure Lon is right, these are NOS tubes at a pretty low price per each.  I'll PM you.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Geno on 01/25/19 at 20:03:26

Sounds good, Archie.

Thank you for the info, Lon. I will bear that in mind.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by NormD on 01/29/19 at 03:32:48

I just put in Tungsram E88CC’s in my ZMA inputs and, as Stone said, they are magical. They opened up my high end more than I expected. Almost too much, so I’ll run them for a while and try my Telefunken E88CCa’s again. Or maybe not. I still running the E88CC-TK’s in the inverters and the 7027’s.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by HockessinKid on 02/11/19 at 21:29:58

Ah, a new set of 6n5p tubes from Decware arrived. Popped them into the ZMA. There we go, the magic is back.

HK

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lonely Raven on 02/13/19 at 19:07:55


Quote:
Ah, a new set of 6n5p tubes from Decware arrived. Popped them into the ZMA. There we go, the magic is back.


Steve has mentioned something about matching distortion parameters on a scope or something when he tests his tubes. I really need to ask if this is something he can show me how to do, because his "red tipped" (e.g.  tested and sorted) tubes are for sure the cream of the crop. While these NOS Russian tubes are inexpensive and easy to get, I'm at the point where I'd rather pay him sort the best of the best, than have me buy several and poke through them by ear.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by HockessinKid on 02/13/19 at 19:30:56

LR,

My last quad was an eBay purchase from Russia. They started crackling on amp start up and getting noisy after ~1700 hours in the ZMA. Steve's set is carefully matched and dead quiet.

I hope they'll last longer, don't mind paying more for the quality control and testing Decware employs - peace of mind.

HK

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by HockessinKid on 02/13/19 at 19:42:38

BTW,

I'm super impressed with the Tube Amplifier Doctor (TAD) 7027a quad in the ZMA. Great tone, excellent frequency response, and so clean sounding when paired with the 6n5p tubes. Heavy duty construction.😎

StewMac is having a 10% off sale, so I just picked up a back up quad. They're a little bit more $ than the TungSol 7027a quad, but I really like these.

HK

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lonely Raven on 02/15/19 at 20:44:38


Quote:
My last quad was an eBay purchase from Russia. They started crackling on amp start up and getting noisy after ~1700 hours in the ZMA. Steve's set is carefully matched and dead quiet.


That sounds like my experience as well.


Re: TAD tubes are typically the same Russian and Chinese tubes you get under other name brands, but they run them through thorough testing and burn in - so like Steve's they tend to be the cream of the crop.  

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 02/15/19 at 23:33:21

I don't use my russian 6N5Ps anymore but I've had great luck with the Russian 6N1P-EVs.  I've been getting them at about $2.50/tube.  I'm sure Steve's are fantastic but that's an awful big price difference.  If a few go bad early I'm not too concerned.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lon on 02/15/19 at 23:38:15

Archie . .  yeah, all these Russian tubes can be had pretty cheap. I've been playing around with some cheap 6N6P right now off and on.

But . . . I've a lot of 6N1P I have bought over the years, some cryo'd, some from eBay via Russia, etc. And I have red-tipped Steve chosen/matched/tested. The difference in sound between the others is interesting, they do vary in sound. . . but Steve's are head and shoulders above the others. The time that Steve puts into his process and his process itself pays off. From now on I won't buy 6N1P and 6N5P from anyone else. . . .

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 02/16/19 at 00:30:39

It might be a case of "ignorance is bliss!"  I'm using 7 6N1P-EVs right now and I'd have a hard time with the extra cost so I sort of don't want to know.   ;D

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by orangecrush on 02/27/19 at 17:33:41

Thanks to this thread, I am running the Tung Sol 7581A's in my Torri MK3 with excellent results. Really linear and transparent.  The only thing they could improve on, and this is being really picky, is I would like some additional midrange bloom. Especially with vocals. Do they change much after 25 hrs?

I love the mid range of the Gold Lion KT66 but the bass lacks control and the highs are lacking. But these 7581A’s are so good even with just a few hours on them.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 03/01/19 at 06:09:07


Quote:
The only thing they could improve on, and this is being really picky, is I would like some additional midrange bloom. Especially with vocals.


That is where my JAN Philips 7027a output tubes absolutely CRUSH IT.  

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by NormD on 03/01/19 at 12:42:22

I just installed NOS Tungsram PCC88/7DJ8‘a in my input and inverter positions and the mid ranges are stellar. The soundstage significantly improved as well as the midrange clarity while the highs are clean and
clear with full, strong bass. I’m running 7027a’s from TAD as well. Very pleased.

https://www.partsconnexion.com/cgi-bin/sc/productsearch.cgi?storeid=*20b7b4534d0a875b77f1157d6bb78322a865&search_field=NOS+Tungsram+PCC88%2F7DJ8

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Steve Deckert on 03/02/19 at 04:06:37


Tube rolling makes me wonder...  when we adjust the hot water in the shower every morning, do we get the temperature exactly the same each time?  

It truly is the magic and the beauty of tube amps... being able to voice them and explore your music from different angles!  

Think of different tubes as different focal lengths on a telescope and space as the recording you wish to explore.

-Steve

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 04/14/19 at 00:16:30

Any consensus in preference between the 7581A and the 7027A in the ZMA?  I'm back to the 7581As after a stint with my 6Ps.  I'm less fond of the 6Ps with 100% anniversary mods and lots of breakin.  I'm not sure whether to try a quad of 7027As or stick with the 7581As.  (Just affordable new production tubes!   8-))

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 04/14/19 at 16:15:38


Quote:
Just affordable new production tubes!   Cool


There is something to be said about the ease, convenience, and affordability of this approach.  Fortunately and unfortunately, my best experiences have been with NOS tubes, but that has as much to do with variety in options as it does in design/build quality, in my option.  There were a lot more in the tube making game back in the days compared to the few making tubes today.  

I have not found a better output tube than my JAN Phillips ECG 7027A's.  I bought 8 of them for about $1000.  I have had them in for just under 2 years I believe?  Maybe a year and a half.  Two have failed, so I am down to only two more spares.  I  dread the day I have to pull them and put something else in.  Ill keep looking to see if I can pick up another matched pair or quad.  

I still have not tried the 7581A'S which I intend to do at some point.  Although not the same tube as 7027A's, there are enough similarities in their specs that I imagine they will sound good in my system - based on what others have reported here.  

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 04/14/19 at 18:37:07

Jeff, have you tried any of the new production 7027As or 7581As versus your NOS tubes?  I appreciate how some vintage tubes can be superior but I doubt I'll ever be able to spend for them.

My 6Ps were sounding kind of lifeless despite biasing closely as a quad.  If NOS makes as big a difference as the new production Tung-Sol 7581As did compared to the 6Ps, I'm in trouble.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by NormD on 04/14/19 at 23:55:50

I'm running 7027a's from TAD and I'm not thinking go rolling anything else at this point. Too much to do and too little time. And I retire in two weeks!

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 04/15/19 at 00:37:12

Norm, have you tried a 7581A?

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by NormD on 04/15/19 at 03:02:15

I have tried the 7081a's and I like the 7027 better - they seem to have a more balanced range, whatever that means.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lon on 04/15/19 at 03:36:45


NormD wrote on 04/14/19 at 23:55:50:
IAnd I retire in two weeks!

Congrats on the retirement! You're going to love it! Like me you may miss making a bit more money, but you won[t miss the necessary grind.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 04/15/19 at 17:07:05

Thanks Norm.  I guess a quad of 7027As is in my future!  I'm also looking at some NOS Tungsram for my ZMA and CSP3 based on your recommendation -- assuming you still like them.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 04/15/19 at 19:16:12

Well, I'm sort of side-stepping into more expensive NOS tubes.  I just bought 8 Tungsram PCC88 NOS tubes for $17/ea, delivered.  They will cover my ZMA and CSP3 with one spare.  I could have had matched quads but for a lot more $.  I've had good luck with other tubes by the each so hopefully I will with these as well.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by NormD on 04/15/19 at 20:08:48

I’m still running the Tungstam PCC88’s in my ZMA. I also have them in my ZTPRE and haven’t decided between these and my Amperex.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lon on 04/15/19 at 21:09:10

I just put a six pack of 6N6P in my ZTPRE in place of the Amperex 7308. Enjoying the change, a less focused, more relaxed sound.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 04/15/19 at 21:23:08

Going further in, I just bought a used quad of RCA 7027As.  Seller claims 95% of new and matched.  From the late 1960s.  Should be fun!

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lon on 04/15/19 at 23:16:16


Lon wrote on 04/15/19 at 21:09:10:
I just put a six pack of 6N6P in my ZTPRE in place of the Amperex 7308. Enjoying the change, a less focused, more relaxed sound.

And just as quickly they are out. . . too diffuse and indistinct. I put the Sixpack of red-tipped 6N5P I got from Steve, these are sounding excellent right now.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 04/15/19 at 23:23:39

Lon, that's interesting.  What was the difference between the two six packs?  Not in sound but in tube.  Was it just that Steve hand picked great tubes?

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lon on 04/15/19 at 23:29:07

Steve thoroughly tests and matches tubes, and tests for factors many other testers DON'T. The 6N6P were just a batch I bought from eBay, not tested and matched. The 6N5P were little jewels from Steve. I've determined if he carries a tube type and brand you want or use, the best examples are from him.

And these are two different (compatible) tube types: the 6N6P are larger in size, slightly different electrically.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 04/15/19 at 23:30:41

Oh, I didn't catch that they were 6N6Ps. I read them as 6N5P.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 04/17/19 at 16:24:06

Tube update:

I found a matched quad of late '60s RCA 7027As for a reasonable price that I should have in a few days.  I'll get to see if they do for me what they are doing for everyone else.   :)

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 04/23/19 at 00:24:30

I have the RCA 7027As in and while they sound quite nice, one seems to be weak.  I've had to swing the bias adjust all the way right to match two of the tubes.  I'll be contacting the seller and likely be sending the tubes back.  I don't trust that I'll get the life out of them that would justify the price.  The three good tubes are stronger than any tube I've had in with the meters ranging from 70s to an estimated 110mA+.  I've biased toward the low end at 76mA.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 04/23/19 at 00:57:13

Hey Arch,
Sorry to hear that man.  I was really hoping they would work out.  Good thing is you are covered well with purchasing on eBay, even if the seller gives you hassle.  Still, the reason you purchased them in the first place was to get a solid set of 7027A's in your system.  It is worth the journey so keep trying to find that quad that will deliver the goods.

I am also concerned that the lowest they would bias is 76mA.  That seems too high for the minimum.  I generally bias around 64 but can go below 60 if I wanted.  I don't because the strength of that tube type is its ability to handle higher bias settings.  

Send it back and keep looking.  

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 04/23/19 at 01:13:07

I'm a bit confused by what my meters are telling me.  I swapped the weak tube to the other side and I can equalize with a little bit of margin, maybe 2 to 4 mA.  On that side my bias window is from 52 mA to 80 mA while on the other side with the tubes balancing well, my bias window is 68 mA to 96 mA.  Using the controls to "test" tube strength, the weak tube is measuring far below the other three with a much lower high and low reading.  I don't really know how to use the meters as tube testers but clearly one tube has different readings despite being well matched according to the seller's test results.  I'm biasing at 72 mA right now.  These do seem to have a nice clarity.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by NormD on 04/23/19 at 02:29:07

I have my TAD 7027a's biased a 50ma.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 04/23/19 at 15:53:06

Norm, that seems pretty low for that tube.  The 35W plate dissipation lends itself to higher biasing, no?  I realize it's a different tube but I bias my 7581As at 64mA.  Heat is not an issue, especially with the anniversary mods.

Since these RCAs are 99% likely to go back, I'm considering a quad of Tung-sol 7027As.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by NormD on 04/23/19 at 16:05:29

Archie:

I forget how to figure the right biasing, so I may be low. Will you please refresh my memory?

If you want to test drive a set of 7027a’s, PM me - I have a set of JJ’s.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 04/23/19 at 16:20:21

This link has a calculator.  Jeff posted his ZMA voltage a while back.  I think it was under 400V.  The A and AB are for 90% and 70% capacity.  Even with my faulty memory, 60mA+ is easily handled.

http://www.tedweber.com/webervst/tubes1/calcbias.htm


Edit:  Check out some of Jeff's posts on page 10 of this thread.  His plate voltage was 390V.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by NormD on 04/23/19 at 16:37:53

Thanks for the reminder and link. I’ll move my bias up this evening.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by NormD on 04/24/19 at 15:24:31

VIVA tubes has a sale. Here is a link to 7027a’s.

https://www.vivatubes.com/search.php?search_query=7027a&section=product

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 04/25/19 at 01:08:05

That's a good price on the Tung-Sols.  I might jump on a quad of those.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 04/25/19 at 08:07:05

Norm,
Archie is right.  Get the bias up on your 7027A's.  It's a great tube type match with the ZMA and its design is robust, handling higher bias settings with ease.  Not only does it handle the higher bias, it excels with a setting of 60mA+  

64mA is where I currently have my JAN Phillips ECG 7027A's set.  They can handle more, but I have found this setting best with this specific make/model tube.  Be sure to experiment with a range of settings with your tubes and let your ears be the judge.  I would not hesitate to bias then anywhere under 70mA without an infrared thermometer to check your power transformer temps.  

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 04/27/19 at 18:28:34

I sent those RCA 7027A tubes back and I bought a quad of the Tung-Sol.  This seller has a great price and 24 hr burn in.  I bought my Tung-Sol 7581As from him and have been very satisfied.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/QUAD-FOUR-Tung-Sol-FACTORY-PLATINUM-MATCHED-7027A-7027-tubes-24hr-Burn-in/161407827241?hash=item2594a7fd29:g:bLcAAOSwrehcwPYO

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 05/02/19 at 01:16:42

I received the eight NOS Tungsram PCC88s that I bought from an ebay seller in Serbia.  I'm either easy to please or these tubes are fantastic.  I have them in my CSP3 and ZMA.  I'm using them with the Tung-Sol 7581As.  An added benefit of these tubes is that my IERC shields fit on them.  The 6N1P tubes are slightly too fat.

I think I'll buy another eight as backups.  I doubt they will get cheaper with time and he gave me a decent deal.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 05/04/19 at 17:15:34

I have the new Tung-Sol 7027As in now and they are sounding quite good but not different than the 7581As.  I have them biased at 72mA right now.  I'll see how much heat is generated by the transformers but so far at 68mA and post anniversary mods and ZLC, the transformers run very cool even after 12 hours.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 05/05/19 at 18:20:02

As the tubes settle in, things are sounding spectacular.  I don't know if it's the Tungsram PC88s, the 7027As or the combination of both.  I had some Kate Wolf live playing and she sounded more pure and there than I've heard before.  Seems to be an overall tightening and focus.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by HockessinKid on 05/05/19 at 18:47:11

Congrats Archie. Sounds like a great tube combination in the ZMA. You can really adjust the sound and tone of the ZMA through tube rolling. It's almost like having multiple amplifiers.  Great adaptability if you end up changing speakers sometime in the future.

HK

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by will on 05/05/19 at 23:38:35

Archie, sounds like you have gotten to a great place! Your explanation makes sense to me as I imagine how those tubes could compliment one another. Both 7027As and PCC88s are similar, tending to a comparatively big spacious sound with a nice open balance...dynamic, and with good detail.

Seems the Tungsol 7027A has a particularly big, dynamic and focussed sound, bigger and more focused than many, but nicely articulate and open. Compared to its 807 sibling, my preference for some years now... American made 807s are close kin sonically, but tend to be less forceful, more complex and airy, at least in my setup...So when I use 7027s, I like to tone back the focus and power a bit.

I find the Tungsram PCC88s are one of the warmer PCC88s, while still having good fine detail and textures. Not quite as clear as some PCC88s, but having beautiful PCC88 traits in a little subtler and warmer way.... I can imagine how the Tungsrams could balance with the 7027s really nicely. The bigness and focus of the Tungsols supported by Tungsram's textures, and toned back a touch with their warmish complexity. Whatever, it sounds like you found a beauty spot!

All the adjustments you have been making with mods are probably coming to fruition too! After all my amp experiments, now about done, all tubes I try sound better. I would imagine this to be the case with the modifications Steve did for you, especially once the caps are nicely burnt in.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by NormD on 12/09/19 at 15:30:59

This group seems very quiet lately.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 12/09/19 at 23:05:27

I'm still in a good place with my ZMA tubes and the Big Betsy with the F15 driver really took my focus off of tubes!

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 02/02/20 at 20:43:19

Thought I'd post in this old thread.  My Tung Sol 2027As seem to be getting long in the tooth.  I had one on each side get weak (according to my meters).  I put the two weak tubes together.  I can still balance fine but I'm seeing that it takes a long time to really stabilize, maybe an hour.  I think the quad is about done.  By the calendar I got 9 months out of these.  I've biased at 68mA, which is on the high side.  I think I'll put my Tung Sol 7581As, which are barely broken in, back in.  As I recall, they were pretty similar and I haven't heard them since I went with the F15s in the large baffles.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 02/03/20 at 05:33:33

Hi Archie,
The 7020A's are still my favorite output tube type on the ZMA - mine are the ECG Philips/Sylvanias.

I have had a couple go south on me in what I would consider too short a time.  Philips ECG 7027A's are pricey, so to have a couple go as they did was very disappointing  Lucking I purchased several extra (a complete quad) as a back up so I was able to get right back in the game.  

And like yours, mine became inconsistent with regard to holding bias.  The suspect tube would wonder which caused me to have to fiddle too much with the adjustment dials.  I eventually replaced that bad tubes that was behaving in this fashion.  This happened twice  The PhilipsECGs are the military version of the consumer counterpart, but that doesn't seem to do much for robustness and longevity.  But, they still are the best sounding tubes I ever rolled.  

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 02/03/20 at 16:19:32

This is the first quad that I really used "cradle to grave."  For $105/qd I'm not concerned but it sure can get expensive for your tubes.  I'm sure a couple are still good but it was easiest to just swap for a new quad.

These 7581As are sounding just fine too.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Delta 77 on 02/05/20 at 00:29:40

Just installed some new Sophia Electric KT88’s in my ZMA..
They want to Bias very high around (80) is that normal/right..??
Is that too high for the amp, will it hurt anything running the the bias that high..??

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 02/05/20 at 00:41:51

You have to be cautious with KT88's.  They can be run safely on the ZMA but the bias of the tubes has a direct influence on the load imparted on the output transformers.  80 is on the high side but what is most important is monitoring the temperature of the Hammond output transformers.  

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Delta 77 on 02/05/20 at 01:12:28

Oh, Thanks..
Didn’t realize KT88 were kinda off limits..!

I turned the bias all the way down,  now running around (66) ..
I will definitely keep an eye on the temperature of the transformers, then..


Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 02/05/20 at 01:13:48

Jeff, about the high bias, I've wondered about adjusting the bias down when the amp is idling for a while.  Will the KT88s allow a low enough bias to take the stress off when not listening?  I've never biased in the 80s but high 60s don't create an issue.


Delta, I don't get too hot at a bias of 68mA.  I think running off of a ZLC helped lower temperatures too.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 02/05/20 at 05:52:16

Honestly, I feel the Hammond 372FX output transformers are a bit more robust than we give credit.  After all, the maximum operating temperature is 221F.  When I was measuring the external temp with my infrared thermometer, I was getting readings between 130-145F.  Keep in mind the external casing will be a few degrees cooler than the internal temperature of the Hammonds.  That said, I was no where close to stressing these output tranny's.

I suppose you could bias on the fly to keep them idling low when not listening but based on the manufacturer's specs, I don't feel it is necessary.  Bias them by ear to what sounds best...  measure the temperature.... then decide if it is worthy of concern.  If 221F is max operating temperature, then make sure you don't hit anything higher than 180F on the external temperature with the IR thermometer.  In reality, as long as you are not pushing the 221F limit, the transformers should be fine.  Again, this is based on Hammond's data.  They are the manufacturer of the output transformers that Steve uses on the ZMA amplifier.  

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 02/05/20 at 16:58:58

One possible caveat to what you say though.  How much heat can the beeswax caps take before they melt?   :P

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 02/05/20 at 17:12:38

Very good point. The latest rendition of Beeswax caps Steve uses are the HT or high temperature version. According to Jupiter, the "Operating Temperature” is 158F. Not sure if that is maximum allowable, but assume so.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 02/05/20 at 17:19:44

That's reassuring.  Regardless of the transformers, my ZMA gets quite hot just from the tubes.  I run a computer fan over it since it's in a bit of a stagnant corner.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Delta 77 on 02/05/20 at 20:48:05

Thanks Guys.
Feeling like I can use them(KT-88),  but it would be running the ZMA at or near it's temperature limit..

Making me concerned for the Bees wax Caps, and slightly concerned for the output transformers..

This amp is too expensive to just not be concerned/worried.
Maybe run them for a few more days just try and see if it will run cool enough to not be worried..

Other wise they will go up for sell (my mistake your gain)..
Most likely with a $100-$200 lose for me to learn from..

I have a friend in Tracy area with some Quicksilver 60 mono's that take KT-88's , he will might be interested in these..

They sound GREAT, a much more robust presentation , and stronger bass..

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Delta 77 on 02/05/20 at 22:31:10

Say Jeff,

what is your Canary Audio Grand Reference..??
is it a preamp, how do you like it...

I've had to pull my CSP3(25th) out of the system do to a vale it seemed to bring to the table..
The Modwright/OPPO 205 is doing the preamp duties very nicly, but unable to connect my Turntable to the system..

Been looking at ARIC AUDIO's equipment page (Drool) , He has a couple of preamps I thinking of purchasing..!!

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 02/05/20 at 23:53:51

Delta,

A couple years ago Steve told me that he ran KT88s in his ZMA and admitted that it might shorten some component life but that he'd take the chance (since he IS the factory).  I don't think you're looking at anything catastrophic.  If you are careful and don't leave the amp on all day you'll likely be just fine.  Get an IR thermometer and monitor the transformers.  If you can keep you hand on them for a few seconds they should be well within the OK range.  It typically takes hours for things to really heat up.

If you look at the original ZMA development thread, Steve spec'd the bias at 60mA.  He then dropped it to 50mA to be absolutely safe.  That's where I started but I'm up to 68mA all day with no heat problem.  The ZMA is a tank and can take a little experimenting.

It's good to be aware of the pitfalls but I think you can navigate them easily.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by will on 02/06/20 at 00:50:54

Hey Delta,

I guess you are using transparent cables to and from the CSP3-25? Then, I am wondering what tubes you are using. My modified CSP3 has a sonic character, but one I like, and that I would not call veiled. But I cable roll power and ICs on occasion to support musical transparency, as well as vibration mitigation, and tubes! With this all balanced, along with CSP gain settings being pretty tuned, I can go from warm and full, to leaner and open pretty easily depending on tubes, and with excellent micro information.

Besides tubes, one thing I always notice with my Decware, is that once all is really balanced to transparent and open, it is sensitive to voltage (higher=denser/thicker, lower=more open/spacious). Also, we know cable materials and design/geometry can make notable differences, but also cable/wire gauge can really matter with similar effects to voltage changes. Along with these design and material influences effecting the sense of transparency or lack thereof, if the sound is thickish and darkish enough to feel veiled, I can change that with a good sounding lighter gauge power cable...and/or less heavy ICs of the same design and materials can open things up.

Anyway, I, and others here, have tried loads of tubes and if you are interested, if we knew what you were using, we may be able to help.?.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Delta 77 on 02/06/20 at 02:08:44

Hi Will,
I have a few sets of RCA ICs Decware (2),Cullencable (2)..Not very high end..
Just bought a set of Zenwave 3.5 IC (1) seems to sound better than the latter, but still trying to upgrade my all my RCAs to match each other.. I still  need to buy one more Zenwave 3.5 to go with my ZROC2 (on the build list) then another if/when I replace the CSP3...

The CSP3 was my first Decware product, introduced to me through the ZMF headphone website.. My ZMFs are very nice especially when paired with the CSP3, love them both as a set..

I need a remote volume control somewhere in the system and,
I would like to keep the DAC set at maximum..
Leaving the CSP3 off the table for the main system..

Decware’s ZTPRE has had my eye for a long time $3,000 seems within budget, but by the time I add the RCA input , Remote volume control, caps, 25th mods I’m in around $5,500.. All I really wanted was a remote, and to return  the Turntable to the system..

But honestly since getting the DAC modded it seems to sound better going directly to the amp without the preamp in the way..

Tubes Currently in the CSP3 are
6DJ8 “bugleboy”  (vintage tube service), 1 socket
Stock red top 6N1P tubes in the , 2-3 sockets
SE - 274B and RCA -CRC 5R4 GY (vintage tube service) 4 socket










Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by will on 02/06/20 at 02:49:40

Sounds like dropping the CSP3 is a forgone conclusion so I won't go too far in, but will touch on tubes. Based on those you mentioned, the tube that would contribute most to a veil would be the 6N1Ps. They can sound pretty good in that position, but to me, sheer transparency is not what they are about...more about warmth, and "forgiveness" without being too dense and dark. And "forgiveness" often = veils if your system is revealing of fine detail and space. Of the others, I find the SE 274B weighted a little toward bass/warmth which could shift the balance to thicker, more veiled depending on all else. Though I prefer others here, if its spectral balance is not a problem, I think it is a nice revealing tube. RCA 5R4GYs vary some, but tend to be pretty fast, open and transparent, even too open/clear in some tube sets and systems. Does using it help the veil?

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 02/06/20 at 05:34:48


Quote:
Say Jeff,

what is your Canary Audio Grand Reference..??
is it a preamp, how do you like it...


Hey Delta,
The Canary Audio Grand Reference are 300B based mono block power amps.  They are the successor to the Reference Two model.  The Grand Reference amps aren't even listed on the website yet.  

There are a lot of really nice pre-amps out there.  Tough part is knowing which one will be best suited for your system.  I am using a Purity Audio Design Reference II pre-amp in front of my Grand Reference's and it is a beautiful match.  Bill Baker is know for his pre-amp prowess.  But, the Purity line is no longer produced.  

BTW, I love ZMF headphones.  It is what brought me to Decware back in the day.  

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 02/06/20 at 05:36:23


Quote:
Delta,

A couple years ago Steve told me that he ran KT88s in his ZMA and admitted that it might shorten some component life but that he'd take the chance (since he IS the factory).  I don't think you're looking at anything catastrophic.  If you are careful and don't leave the amp on all day you'll likely be just fine.  Get an IR thermometer and monitor the transformers.  If you can keep you hand on them for a few seconds they should be well within the OK range.  It typically takes hours for things to really heat up.

If you look at the original ZMA development thread, Steve spec'd the bias at 60mA.  He then dropped it to 50mA to be absolutely safe.  That's where I started but I'm up to 68mA all day with no heat problem.  The ZMA is a tank and can take a little experimenting.

It's good to be aware of the pitfalls but I think you can navigate them easily.


Well stated sir!

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by HockessinKid on 02/09/20 at 14:25:05

Started to get some tube crackling noises in both channels last week. After some amp & preamp tube swapping I determined it was my ZMA power tubes. So after ~2,400 hours I swapped in my spare set of Tube Amp Doctor (TAD) 7027a tubes and the noise is gone.

These TAD tubes have exceptional tonality and soundstage depth. With the new set the music seems even more powerful, clear, and seductive. A noticable difference from the "tired set." I have them biased at 62mA - rock solid.

I highly recommend the TAD's. The TungSol 7027a''s are also excellent, but the TAD's tubes just really suck me into the music. Matched quads are available from StewMac. The only U.S. based online retailer I have found. They're running a 10% off sale now, $149.99 for a matched quad.

HK

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 02/09/20 at 17:50:58

Hock,

What's the story on the TAD tubes?  Are they rebranded tubes?  If so, do you know who makes them?  At some point I'll get another quad of the 7027As.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by HockessinKid on 02/09/20 at 18:26:45

Archie,

They are German designed, built in China. Beefier than the TungSol tubes, the TAD Premium Select are well tested and higher quality. They have tighter tolerances with better matching of sets.

Here's a link, check out the description for more information:

https://www.tubeampdoctor.com/en/7027a-tad-tubes-tad-premium-matched

HK

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Lon on 02/09/20 at 19:03:29

As far as I have been able to determine TAD (Tube Amp Doctor) is a German company that designs tubes that are manufactured in China and sells them. I have had great luck with TAD power tubes and input tubes both sonically and with dependability.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 02/15/20 at 19:04:39

Hock,  I was locked out of the Decware sites for the past week.  Maybe Steve's Audio Gods know why?   :-/

Is there a coupon code for that TAD 10% off?  I notice that I save the 19% VAT which might be an extra enhancement.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by HockessinKid on 02/15/20 at 23:54:22

Archie,

Just checked the StewMac website. Looks like this sale is over. You might consider signing up for their updates. The tubes go on sale 3-4 times a year.

HK

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 02/16/20 at 18:41:50

Will do.  The shipping to the US is pretty steep.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by HockessinKid on 07/25/20 at 14:09:54

Argh, 2nd set of Tube Amp Doctor 7027a power tubes started failing after ~1100 hours. Moving on to a set of TungSol's. I hope I get more life out of these. BTW, biased these at 52mA.

Oh well, time to order another back up set. I've only got six various quads left😁.

HK

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 07/25/20 at 17:21:49

Good to know about the TADs.  I've resisted them due to price so I think I'll go with more Tung Sols.  BTW, last time I looked there were a couple affordable NOS and slightly used quads of RCA and GE on ebay.  (I bias much higher, 64 to 68 mA.)

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 07/25/20 at 19:07:43

Hock, I just bought 2 quads of the Tung Sol 7027A from the same guy who sells on ebay but direct from his site.  I saved on both the tubes and the tax!

https://vacuumtubevalues.com/product/tung-sol-factory-platinum-matched-quad-four-7027a-power-tubes/

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by HockessinKid on 07/25/20 at 19:26:37

Thanks Archie, looks very good.

HK

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 08/01/20 at 19:40:45

I got my 2 quads of Tung-Sol 7027As from Vacuum Tube Values.  These seem to be very closely matched and are supposed to have been burned in for 24 hrs prior to matching.

These are by far my favorite ZMA power tubes.  These, in conjunction with Tungsram PC88s in the ZMA and lead place in the CSP3 give me the clearest and most realistic sound so far.

I'm biasing at 68mA which is below the midpoint of where these tubes will bias on my amp.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by mastertrash on 08/31/20 at 12:33:15

I'm expecting to get my ZMA today!  SUPER exciting.  I also have some NOS tubes to play around with.  I figure I should listen to it as voiced by Steve for a while before playing around at all, but knowing me I should ask this question sooner rather than later anyway...

Does everyone really wait 8 hours with the ZMA unplugged before rolling tubes as suggested in the manual?  The way it's written up makes it sound essential for the OA3 tubes, and maybe just like a good idea for the input / inverter / power tubes...

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by HockessinKid on 08/31/20 at 13:26:54

Give the ZMA 3-4 weeks of daily play before doing any tube rolling. This will give it time to settle in and give you a sense of it's capabilities and best way to tweak the sound in your system. Be patient and enjoy it.

HK

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by will on 08/31/20 at 15:52:43

Didn't you get a used ZMA mastertrash?

Have you found out from the seller about how many hours are on it. Not sure, but just imagining HKs idea is more intended for a new amp that needs time to burn in to better hear its fuller potential.



Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 08/31/20 at 16:00:14

I just turn off my ZMA while playing and when the meters go to "0" I change the input and/or output tubes.  I think the capacitor discharge issue happens only with the OA3 tubes, although I've never experienced it.  I suspect it can happen when no inputs/outputs are connected.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by mastertrash on 08/31/20 at 20:51:32

Thanks for the suggestions guys.  Seems like this advice is really about the OA3 voltage regulators.  I didn't like the idea of having to go 8 hours between swapping in and out tubes.  It would obviously make comparisons a little harder to do...

Will, yes, I did pick up the used ZMA from the classifieds last week.  I've got it sitting here, warming up and hooked into my system.  In two words, HOLY CRAP!  I know I need to let it settle in and everything first, but it's wholly remarkable cold and right out of the box.  WOW!

I did set it up with the original tube compliment for starters.  I will wrap my brain around it as Steve intend for a while before experimenting.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by will on 08/31/20 at 21:49:41

Sounds fun! ;)

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by HockessinKid on 08/31/20 at 22:54:25

Enjoy your ZMA. Such a great amplifier. Now you can start stocking up on spare tubes. A stash is essential ☺️.

HK

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by mastertrash on 09/01/20 at 13:51:20

Indeed.  eBay here I come...

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by NormD on 09/01/20 at 14:26:46

There are other great places to get tubes.

VIVA Tubes. https://www.vivatubes.com

Tube Amp Doctor (now The Tube Store)  https://www.thetubestore.com

I got my KT66's for my ZMA from TAD and I am very pleased.

Norm

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 09/01/20 at 16:23:34

My favorite ZMA tubes and I've bought 3 quads from this guy.

https://vacuumtubevalues.com/product/tung-sol-factory-platinum-matched-quad-four-7027a-power-tubes/

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by mastertrash on 09/02/20 at 18:26:50

Well the price is sure right on the Tung-Sol 7027A's.  I went ahead and ordered a pair from Vacuum Tube Valves as you suggested, Archie.

Cool!

Does anyone run KT88's with the Anniversary Mods?  I gather I'd want to watch the heat on the transformers, but am curious to try them...  Would add some power to the amp, right?

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 09/02/20 at 23:42:06

I think the 7027As run like a KT88 both having the same plate dissipation of 35W.  Watch your output transformer heat but I run mine at a 68mV bias with no issues.

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 10/06/20 at 17:35:20

Mastertrash, how do you like the 7027As?

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by mastertrash on 10/10/20 at 15:39:13

Hey Archie,

I kind of picked up more sets of tubes than I have had time to use just yet.  At first blush the 7027A's seemed good.  They were well matched and biased super easily.  (I love how easy this is on the ZMA!).

I did pop the 7027A's in last month.  After a few hours though, I couldn't help myself and wound up swapping in the NOS quad of Amperex 6922's the previous owner included as well.  This kind of broke my rule about not changing too many things at once.  

With my setup, the whole thing seemed a little hot in the treble and little softer on the bass versus the stock tubes but I couldn't say really the relative contributions of input and power tube changes, but I would guess the bigger changes came from the input tubes.  After a week or so kind of grinning and bearing it, I went back to the stock tubes and all was right with the world again.  Of course, those were well broken in while the others weren't.  

After a couple weeks with the stock tubes back in place, I'm now back to tube rolling again, but haven't been able to listen as much as I'd like lately.  

The one other crazy thing I did was to pick up a set of PSVANE KT88's with the gold bases and grey glass.  They look hot!  I have been letting them break in and will check back when I have a chance with an update.

Cheers!

Title: Re: Anyone Tube Roll with the ZMA yet?
Post by Archie on 10/10/20 at 18:08:26

In a general way, that tracks with what I hear too.  In my case the mids and highs are so much better with the 7027A (and type) than with the KT66 that I don't miss any loss in lower end.  Although I don't really hear a loss in the lows but more of an accentuated mid to high.  Changing the 9 pin tubes hasn't changed this perception overall.  

I find there seem to be two camps with the ZMA.  I think Steve has a preference for the KT66 but he's never posted on ZMA tubes much.

The only KT88 I've tried were JJ tubes that sounded like KT66s.  (They also biased like KT66 which makes me wonder about them in general.)

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