AUDIO FORUMS >> General Discussion and Support >> Anyone try Telefunken PCC88/7DJ8 in their Torii?

Message started by astro-chris on 04/11/17 at 13:32:41

Title: Anyone try Telefunken PCC88/7DJ8 in their Torii?
Post by astro-chris on 04/11/17 at 13:32:41

Just wondering if anyone has tried Telefunken PCC88/7DJ8 in place of 6922/6DJ8 as input tubes on their Torii Mk III, and if so, how they sound compared to other tube options.

Title: Re: Anyone try Telefunken PCC88/7DJ8 in their Torii?
Post by will on 04/11/17 at 19:53:21


There are two distinct varieties of Telefunken labelled PCC88s that I have, and I suspect more. Then there are the inevitable variations based on vintage. One of mine is early Siemens made (with a silver shield, grey plates, and straight wire getter the Telefunken labelled PCC88s upscale sells), and the other Telefunken made (with the diamond on the bottom glass and angled getter riser).

6922 and 6DJ8 types to me are generally two pretty different sounding tubes. The types have "family" qualities with lots of variations within each. The 6922s tend to be tighter, more articulate and extended, and 6DJ8s usually a bit mellower, less tight/more texture and shimmer, less forceful/more spacious, a little less bassy. Along with 7DJ8s, 6DJ8s tend toward a little more toward what I think of at upper mids in the balance, part of their "presence," and open/textured qualities.

7DJ8s seem to me to be sort of in between 6922 and 6DJ8s with good textures, space and shimmer, and in similarity to 6922s, a little more forceful/powerful/articulate/extended than many 6DJ8s, though not as much so as 6922s. But then....they are quite variable also, some 7DJ8s being very close to some 6DJ8/ECC88s and some closer to 6922/E88CCs! For example, 6N23Ps (which may be your stock tubes) are generally sort of in between 6922/E88CCs and 7DJ8/PCC88s, many 6N23Ps having good articulation, texture and space, and being a little less bass heavy than many 6922/E88CCs.

So it is tricky, but generally,  with 7DJ8s over 6922s, you will hear still excellent articulation with more openness, texture, and associated micro detail and ambient information, and a little less bass. And though some ECC88/6DJ8 can be very close to some 7DJ8/PCC88, ECC88s are often a little less open and spacious than 7DJ8s, also feeling a little less articulate in what they do give, including textures, "blackness" and other aspects of spaciousness. And lots of variation in each type!

Almost exclusively over the years, for my system/room and tastes, I have used 7DJ8/PCC88s or 6DJ8/ECC88s in my Toriis, generally finding 6922/ECC88s a little too balanced, articulate and hard. Even the nicely textured American Amperex 6922s and 7308s sound a little too articulate in their textures to me, and lack a little top that I like. In subtle comparison, good 7DJ8/PCC88 types have more fine detail, feathering edges more, even the edges of textures, and with good top extension. I love texture and space and associated ambience and fine detail though and am generally good with a little reduction in bass in my rooms.

The Telefunken made PCC88 I have, is on the smoother/darker side of the type. I think it is probably the "biggest/warmest" of the type I have, while still being very revealing, balanced, and extended. Like all Telefunken tubes I have, it is a very good sounding tube with a classical attention to balance and complexity. I have not used it a lot though, finding it sort of "too balanced and good" preferring more "characterful" tubes...ones that sound "right," but that shift the balance a little more toward "alive." But trying it today over the IEC/Mullard labelled ECC88 (I think a Siemens-made tube from the late 50s/early 60s I have used a lot over the last few years), it sounds great...big, balanced, gently open, warm textures.... My system is in transition though, working at the moment a lot on refining modifications of a new DAC. And all the modifications I have been making over the last months, on the Torii, CSP3, and this DAC, have lent themselves to all tubes sounding better individually and together...more flexible, so it does not surprise me that I like this tube more now than ever.

The Siemens made tube is similarly "German" in being very well made, extended, balanced and articulate. But even for a "characterful" 7DJ8 type, for me, I often prefer more characterful tubes...though this one is really good at what it does. Quite neutral and balanced feeling, it is quite articulate and clear, making it feel more powerful and less textured in general than most PCC88/7DJ8s. Its bass extension, like the Telefunken above, is more obvious than many, closer to 6922s. If there is a problem in a system, I suspect this tube could be too clean, especially showing in the upper mids. But in my present setup, it is a little warm with very nice clarity, space, fine detail, and articulation...sounds pretty the tube company, cables, other gear, room etc are as usual a big deal.

As usual with new sound choices, it is a lot: what does your balance need...If these things sound interesting, it could be worth checking out some of these 7DJ8s.

Finally, if you want to try one, and have been looking at Upscale, you can often get really good deals from eBay sellers with excellent ratings and that are careful at tube testing. Just search Siemens PCC88 7DJ8, and at least at the moment, there is a beautiful looking/testing quad of Telefunken labelled Siemens for a low price as well as other really good prices for singles and pairs of Siemens branded tubes.

Title: Re: Anyone try Telefunken PCC88/7DJ8 in their Torii?
Post by astro-chris on 04/11/17 at 20:09:24

Hi Will,

Wow!  Thanks, as always, for such a detailed and informative response!  Sounds like they may be worth a listen :-)

So would these be one of the ones on eBay to which you were referring?

Thanks so much again,

Title: Re: Anyone try Telefunken PCC88/7DJ8 in their Torii?
Post by will on 04/12/17 at 07:32:36

You are welcome Chris.

Those tubes look like beauties... They are the Siemens I am talking about. They look like they have darker red/copper getter risers than mine. And they look pristine!

These links were the ones I ran across at prices more like I look for:

Four here, but I think two of them look like they could be the same date codes as those you linked, and a nice price!

For the second link, I would ask about test scores and matching them for pairs, construction and labelling. But they look/sound to be NOS and have the same date codes, so could be a nice deal.

I just put in the other pair I have of this particular Siemens, and it shows the variation I talked about above. The construction looks the same to me as those I wrote about earlier, with a little less red getter riser being the only difference I can see. And it is a little warmer and more even, and a little less forceful than the other. I love the subtle shifts in character created presumably by slight variations in materials, time and process...

Title: Re: Anyone try Telefunken PCC88/7DJ8 in their Torii?
Post by mark58 on 04/12/17 at 12:57:54

Went to look at Will's links...all gone...SOLD.  Someone here buy some? At these prices, I might try some.  Mark.

Title: Re: Anyone try Telefunken PCC88/7DJ8 in their Torii?
Post by will on 04/12/17 at 14:14:13

Mark. My thinking is that the only tube you really like is American Amperex 6922/7308s, right? Synergy and balance, room/system dependent and all, but I am thinking these could well be too clear for you in the upper ranges...

Title: Re: Anyone try Telefunken PCC88/7DJ8 in their Torii?
Post by mark58 on 04/12/17 at 14:27:30

Will, you're probably right.  Do you spin Vinyl?  I need to look for a relatively inexpensive MM phono Cartridge for the Pioneer PL-540 in my second system.  I think that is the biggest limiting factor there.  Mark.

Title: Re: Anyone try Telefunken PCC88/7DJ8 in their Torii?
Post by will on 04/12/17 at 14:29:51

Sorry, all digital here Mark.

Title: Re: Anyone try Telefunken PCC88/7DJ8 in their Torii?
Post by JOMAN on 04/13/17 at 13:48:31

I've bought 3 sets of quads recently from Ebay.  I don't know if they are the same as the ones that Will linked, I know one set is not.  I want to get first hand experience with these and at the prices it was worth doing, a starting point if you will (no pun intended, although there's some truth to that).  I've followed a lot of posts from different members and all of the insights have been very helpful.

I've been rolling in a CSP3 and will soon have a quality control as I write.

The quads: E88CC Siemens/Halske grey plate - $99.00, PCC/7DJ8 Telefunken/Siemens - $100.00 and PCC/7DJ8 Valvo/Hamburg $46.00 (won an auction)
All test as NOS or are NOS.  I have a pair of Valvo/Hamburg PCC88 "D" getter that I won for $36.00.  These always seem to end up in the driver position on the CSP3 with a very close second being a Mullard 6DJ8.

The current combination in the CSP3, after some rolling is Mullard CV593/GZ32, 6N11 output positions (under rated IMO) and Valvo/Hamburg input position.

My end goal is to have a combination that will work with speakers and headphones.  What I can state with a good degree of certainty is that as important as the individual tube is to the end result, the combination is even more so.  I think that Steve commented that it's not about the sound of a tube but the voicing of the amp or preamp, something to that effect.

E.g. as much as I like the Mullard rectifier (still my 1st choice), with other combos I preferred a Soviet 5AQ4/GZ32

So by having a variety to work with I can experiment with combinations.  Once I finalize a combination I will stock up and price won't be as much of a factor.  But I'm a long ways off from that point.  

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