Message started by P K on 08/06/17 at 18:38:37

Title: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by P K on 08/06/17 at 18:38:37

I have about 50 hours on my ZROCK2 and it is hitting its stride with a wider and deeper soundstage (than when it was brand new (three days ago).

The tube Steve supplied is a red tip 5963 made in U.S.A. and Steve told me he found some special NOS tubes for the ZROCK.

I am curious what is the make of the tube that Steve supplied (it is a short plate gray with two long ribs and three cross ribs (like a double pane window). The "Window Pane" is flanked by two small rectangle holes aligned with the center cross rib.

Photos to follow

I have enjoyed tube rolling in the past, does anyone have any suggestions or should I just enjoy the tube Steve supplied for the 10,000 hours


Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by P K on 08/06/17 at 19:15:59

My research says the 5963 U.S.A. gray plates is a RCA tube

Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by Lon on 08/06/17 at 20:11:55

Peter, thanks for weighing in. If you are enjoying the sound of that tube, keep using it for a while. It sounds as if it's a good one.

I'm interested in hearing more of your sonic impressions!

Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by P K on 08/06/17 at 21:06:43

I agree with the following that another member posted:

The ZROCK made a very noticeable improvement in density throughout the frequency range everything sounded richer, fuller with more detail and with an unexpected increase in the soundstage which surprised me.

I am really surprised by how much more information I am hearing now and how much wider and deeper the soundstage seems to be.

I was also concerned that I would have too much bass, you know the non musical fill in type bass, not the case at all, everything is very balanced tight and full.

Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by Lon on 08/06/17 at 21:11:03

Thanks. It's a long wait for mine!

Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by P K on 09/13/17 at 22:09:28

The RCA 12au7 Tube That Steve D uses seems to offer a fuller lush sound than The $80 Mazda 12au7 that I used for tube rolling.  Sometimes the RCA is a little too lush (syrupy), but the Mazda is a little boring, but more linear sound.

I keep going back and forth.

Any one else try tube rolling in a ZRock :-/ :-/

Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by P K on 09/14/17 at 00:29:03

Back To The Mazda, tighter bass and clarity but a little boring 8-)

Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by SonicSeeker on 09/14/17 at 19:08:48

I have tried RCA clear tops RCA grey plates Gold Lion re-issue and the one Steve provides. I ended up using the Gold Lion it seemed to give a good balance between nice tight bass and a fuller lush sound. I also like that it is a current production tube so I will be able to replace it when needed. I am sure curiosity will cause me to try some more of course, but I am happy for now.

Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by P K on 09/25/17 at 00:34:07

I found a RCA Command 5814A in my stash, it adds the bass punch that the Mazda was missing without the syrupy sound the supplied RCA 12au7,
a happy medium or blend between the two?

Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by P K on 09/25/17 at 00:35:30

I meant the red tip 5963 made in U.S.A. (RCA?) that came with the ZROCK

Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by Lon on 09/25/17 at 00:40:28

The last few components I have gotten from Steve have had red-tipped tubes, and NOT NOS so I believe Steve is red-tipping these tubes himself. . . .

Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by P K on 10/15/17 at 17:46:24

I am auditioning one last tube (or just till next time I get curious).

A 1970 CV429 Brimar (or maybe a Mullard) 15 mm Gray Plate, Made at the Blackburn Mullard Factory.  Use this tube for music, or

A RCA Command 5814A, shiny short backplate, for extra bass when watching movies or TV. it has a pushy bass that is great for video, buts gets a little muddy in the bass for some music.

The next tube may be a new production in Russia Gold Lion Reissue, does anyone think the Gold Lion will be in the same league.


Peter :D :D :D :D

Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by P K on 10/15/17 at 17:48:34

Correction the 5814A RCA Command has a punchy Bass for Video, (perky?, Dynamic?).

Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by Lon on 10/15/17 at 18:08:14

Interesting. I've read good things about the Gold Lion, worth checking out.

When I get my ZROCK2 (probably a few months from now) I am going to try an Amperex 6085 I have and an RCA 6189. I have the tubes. . . ready and able.

Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by Steve Deckert on 10/16/17 at 02:57:23

Yes, once I have selected an ideal tube I red tip it to distinguish it from other tubes. †

The first thing I do is match the sections so that we have perfect channel balance. †

Then I check the harmonic distortion of each section to be sure it not only matches in total % but then also matches in harmonics. †Occasionally a tube (or tubes) will have an unexplained difference in each section on the 3rd or 4th or 5th harmonic. †

The tube is then run in and cycled a couple times to ensure stability. †

This series of tests not even the best tube tester can accomplish, so without these tests there is a certain degree of "unknown" with any tube.

We just want to start you off with the absolute best tubes possible so that you have a solid reference to compare with when or if you roll tubes.


Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by P K on 10/22/17 at 13:34:17


I was able to secure a BRIMAR CV 4003 from the early sixties, this is an big upgrade in the Mid to Highs with tighter bass.

I have sent Back the CV429, the CV4003 in simply better, with a more 3D sound,.

I hope I am now finish in my recent tube rolling hobby.

It is time to just relax and listen to the music.

:D :D :D

Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by P K on 10/22/17 at 17:03:37


The tube I sent back was a 1970 BRIMAR CV491, not a CV429 I referred to in previous posts

Peter :'( :'( :'(

Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by P K on 11/06/17 at 13:09:11

Tungsram 12au7. Great low noise tube with a more neutral and smooth presentation, and great bass. A cheaper alternative to the Brimar, but in the same league, maybe a little tighter bass.

My system likes a more neutral mid range, but the Brimar 12au7 is also a special tube (System dependent for which tube, both are great).

Try it you will like it.


Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by P K on 11/06/17 at 13:10:51

Photo Of Brimar CV 4003/12au7

Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by Lon on 11/21/17 at 15:45:42

Thanks for the tube tips P K.

Steve sent me an excellent RCA tube with the ZROCK2, perhaps the same as he sent you. I like it a lot, but I had also purchased two pairs of tubes in anticipation of receiving the unit and have rolled those in.

One, the Amperex 6085 is a massive tube, as big as an EL84 or SV83, and has a very clear, open, big sound with no hint of warmth or lushness. It's great with hi-res material, but just a bit forward for me with Redbook (most of my listening). I have been popping it in for hi-res listening.

The other are RCA 6189 and at first I didn't care for this tube but it needed time to burn in and settle down and now it is very close to the RCA that Steve sent and is perhaps a bit more clear and dynamic with a touch less warmth or lushness. I'm leaving it in for now, it's doing a really good job with EQ A at adding a bit of heft and punch to lean recordings and taming a bit of harshness on brighter, edgy recordings.

The ZROCK2 is a formidable beast for taking charge of the system sound!

Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by calord on 11/21/17 at 17:45:48

My new ZROCK2 arrives some time today! Can't wait.

Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by Lon on 11/21/17 at 17:56:54

Awesome calord! Keep us posted.

Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by Tal on 11/22/17 at 20:29:36

colord - Nice! Mine is scheduled to arrive this coming Monday!!!!!

Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by calord on 11/22/17 at 21:55:22

Hi Lon, Tal.....  My new ZROCK2 did arrive yesterday/Tuesday.  I took my time unpacking and warming it up to extend the fun!  I patched it in between my pre and amps.....and began to listen.  First without EQ....sounded good. Played with the knob....then switched in EQ A and loud levels it did just what I hoped it would....unti I turned down the volume and the EQ up.....  ARGH!  Big hum! I did all diagnosis: swapped/rerouted cables, interchanged channels, reassured all connections, EQ A, EQ B, in/defeat/in/defeat.  I even ran it without the inputs cables connected.  Bottom line: Big Hum when either EQ is active and it increases directly with the knob from 12:00 o'clock to max EQ.  I immediately called Decware, got Josh who went to find Steve.  Steve was call back.  I called this morning/left message, and again this response yet.   :-[  I am sure Steve will make it right, but, I gotta admit to disappointment on the eve of thanksgiving.

Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by Lon on 11/22/17 at 22:39:15

Well, I've some hum too, just as I had hum with a CSP2+ for a long time, I can definitely hear it near the speaker but not at all at the listening position.

It took me a while with the CSP2+ but I finally found that paying attention to cable placement cleared up the hum for me. Now in this home and set up it is harder to get behind and reroute cables so I haven't yet done so, but I'm pretty sure in my case that would cure it. Even though I use shielded cables at some point hum comes in. . . .I'll separate power and interconnects as much as I can and I bet mine goes away. Hope it's as simple as that for you. (What I have now doesn't really effect the sound for me, and no hum at all when I use the ZROCK2 to feed the Taboo Mk IV, so it's cabling around the Torii is my guess.)

Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by Lon on 11/22/17 at 22:42:30

Tal, I saw your ZROCK2 was about to ship last time I was looking at the Build List. Just have to get through the holiday weekend! :) Happy Thanksgiving.

Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by calord on 11/22/17 at 23:42:45

Hi Lon.....  Yes, I tried the rerouting that you suggest, separating power and signal cables, different cables, etc.  My hum is in both channels and Very Audible from my listening position.  And, as mentioned, increases directly with the EQ increase.  It is virtually not there when the EQ is bypassed or turned below 12:00 o'clock.....and unchanged even with the inputs unplugged. Conclusion: it's coming from somewhere in the EQ circuitry.   :(

Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by Lon on 11/23/17 at 00:02:29

Possible conclusion, yes. Hopefully Steve will get in touch with you soon. Hum is annoying and tricky. Hopefully yours can be identified and remedied quickly.

Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by Lon on 12/01/17 at 21:31:06

Well, two weeks in and I'm back to using the tube that Steve supplied. It has a great balance of tonal fullness and a bit of lushness that no other tube I've rolled so far can match. I think it might become stuck in the ZROCK2. . . .

Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by Lon on 12/07/17 at 17:42:29

I can't help it, I keep experimenting. The ZROCK2 is just not happy sitting there unadjusted. It beguiles me into tube-rolling and playing with settings.

I've moved back to the 6085 tube. In its current state of "seasoning/undress" that the ZROCK2 is inhabiting the clarity that it brings and the pulse it seems to coax out of the system is sounding really good. With the set up I am using I can tailor the sound of my entire system with a tube and setting choice in the ZROCK2 and also by using the different settings on the PS Audio P10 and the Torii Mk III. There is a very different signature between a little twist of EQA and the P10's mode as "High Regulation" and the same twist of EQ and the P10 set to "Lowest Distortion." Also the same two combinations of settings sound different still when I move the speaker ohm switch on the Mk III from 4 to 8. For me the ZROCK2 is a different way to tweak and fine tune and play around with the sound, and I'm having fun with these new "windows."

Will, I think you might really enjoy the ZROCK2 but I hate to recommend it as it's a whole †nother black hole to strap yourself in and travel through . . . .

And Tom, as one bass-head to another, this is the stuff. Period.

With this little box I'm getting some of the best sound ever under my roof. . . . †

Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by SonicSeeker on 12/07/17 at 18:44:49

Just sent my original ZROCK to Steve yesterday to be updated to the New version and also add silver RCA's. Interested to see what the difference will be. He should have it there by Monday.

Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by Lon on 12/07/17 at 19:47:15

Here's hoping for a speedy return! I bet it comes back better than ever!

Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by Tal on 12/07/17 at 21:45:10


I haven't noticed any hum with the zrock. sorry to hear you are experiencing hum. I know Steve will get back to you to trouble shoot the problem as soon possible. Nonetheless, I know it is frustrating.


Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by HockessinKid on 12/23/18 at 18:43:20

Just picked up a pair of 1958 RCA 12AU7 clear tops that tested out as new. Got them cheap too!

Look forward to rolling these in my 25th Anniversary modified ZR2. Only a couple months to go.


Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by Lon on 12/25/18 at 15:00:58

Those can be some pretty darned good tubes. I used a Conn labeled version in my ZP3 for a while, and it is pretty nice in the ZROCK2 as well, though I can't keep Amperex out of the ZROCK2--I have a Bugle Boy Holland in right now. Just the right texture and tone for my system.

I too am waiting as patiently as I can for the fully modified ZROCK2 I ordered. Especially as in about 6 weeks I'll be setting up a second system and will want to use a ZROCK2 in that, and will have two when this new one arrives.

Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by HockessinKid on 07/15/19 at 15:20:44

Just ordered some early 1960's Raytheon 5814A tubes with windmill getters. I want to try these out in the ZRock2.

Right now I'm listening to a Amperex 12au7 tube. It hasn't completely burned in but initial listening results are positive. Not quite as dense as the Steve's Raytheon tube.


Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by Showme on 08/03/19 at 22:32:29

So HK, howíd the 5814Aís with the windmill getter sound. Iíve been thinking of buying that tube. Seems a little pricey for the ones iíve found.

Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by JOMAN on 08/07/19 at 22:33:33

Give the Raytheon 5814a W Getter LOTS of time to burn in.  At the 50 hour mark I thought that had burned in but it just kept getting better and better.   Yes they have become pricey.  I managed to pick up 5 while they were still very reasonable, way more that what Iíll need.  I plan to get one cryo treated to see what the difference that makes, but thatís been sidelined for now.

I have a Sylvania 5963 grey plate red tipped, GE5963 Grey plate red tipped and Steve also sent me a NU 5963 black plate.  I picked up a couple of RCA 5963 grey plate and an RCA 5963 black plate.  Some of the grey plates are long plate versions.

Prior to the A-Mods I had a Siemens ECC82 Nickel or silver plate as the go to, and I also tried a Siemens E80CC (long tube)

In my system The Raytheon 5814 W Getter bested all of the above in every way you could think and is now the tube for my ZR-2A.  Itís unfortunate the the price of these has gone up so much.

Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by Lon on 08/08/19 at 00:43:02

I haven't tried a "windmill getter" 5814A but I have tried a GE gray plate and an RCA black plate and they are excellent tubes for the ZROCK2. I like the RCA a bit more, just the right touch of warmth.

I really have two different complements of tubes that make two different wonderful amps out of my SE84UFO3 25th Anniversary mono blocks, and the difference is really voltage regulation tubes in the amps for the output tubes, and the tube in the ZROCK2. One great amp is using old RCA 0A3 in the amps and the Amperex 6085 in the ZROCK2, this is a showstopper combo--great recordings have all the audiophile qualities and really shine. But lesser recordings don't fare as well. The other amp that is kinder to most recordings and gets used more often as I listen more to mediocre recordings than fantastic ones is using a pair of Arcturus 0B3 in the amps and the RCA 5814A in the ZROCK2. This has a little touch of forgiveness and warmth that makes it my every day combo.

Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by Lon on 08/21/19 at 01:01:22

For a few days I've been experimenting with an Amperex 5814a tube in my ZROCK2. At first in comparison to the excellent RCA black plate it seemed a bit thick and boxed in, but with experimentation riding the gain between preamp and ZBIT and with moe hours the gap closed, and I swapped input tubes on the Monoblocks to Valvo E288CC on a hunch and this livelier tube (than the Amperex 7308 I have been using this month) is a good match. I'm especially noticing that dynamic contrasts are a bit more clearly delineated with this complement; I was playing a recording that utilizes shades of dynamics (Jimmy Smith "Prayer Meeting" on Blue Note) and tickled by the gentle and not-so-gentle swells.

There is so much you can do with these Decware components to tailor the sound and explore the different soundscapes possible. A wonderful and thrilling situation.

Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by Lon on 01/25/20 at 15:31:49

Lately I've reconfigured all the input tubes in my signal chain but the ZROCK2 to GE 5670W with converters. And I really enjoy the resulting sound--neutral, with more back to front depth than ever before. I rolled rectifiers and regulation tubes (for the output tubes, the regulation tubes for the input tubes are inside the amps and I haven't felt like taking them down and apart recently) and I keep coming back to the Sophia Electric Aqua 274B--they have a great synergy with the 5670Ws--and the oldest pair of Sylvania 0B3 I have found, which took a while to bloom but have become fine tubes.

So with all that squared away between ZTPRE and 25th Anniversary modded SE84UFO3 Monoblocks, it was time to experiment with tubes for the ZROCK2.

I really like an Amperex 5814A that I have had in the component for a while, but with the 5670W they are just a little too. . . clinical? that may be the best word. I tried a Raytheon 5814A with an angled D getter that is a very nice tube but the one I received is quite microphonic and when it settled in occasionally it goes into a hissy fit; I have another example of this same tube on the way to me. In the meantime I found I had a Brimar CV 4003 that PK mentions enjoying above. It gives a fullness to the instrumental imaging and brings my digital a step closer to an analog sound. It is hard to take out of right now! I did get in a trio of RCA Command 5814A to try but I've resisted trying one so far. I did put one in my original ZROCK2 in the audio/video system, and it sounds very good, replacing an Amperex 6085 there that also sounds very good. That system is in a bigger, great "sonically" room and also is using different preamp and amp (CSP3 and Taboo Mk IV, both with the Anniversary mods). I'll try to resist popping the RCAs in the ZROCK2 in the main system for a bit more, I'm so enjoying the sound with the Brimar!

Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by HockessinKid on 04/01/20 at 22:21:58

With my new Modwright 9.0 phono preamp feeding the ZROCK, the Raytheon 5814A tube was giving me a little too much richness & mid-range presence. I switched to the RCA cleartop and wham - greater clarity and dimensionality. Voices are sounding perfect!

Love the way tube rolling in Decware equipment lets you tailor the sound until it's just right to your ears.


Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by piezoman on 05/31/20 at 03:46:46

I'm curious as to why the 5963 tube is considered "special" , since this was originally developed for computer applications. Seems to me there are vastly superior options, many of which have been noted in this thread.

Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by Lon on 09/23/20 at 15:41:04

I think the lower plate voltage gives the 5963 a bit of a unique character and it is purportedly a longlife tube, never a bad thing that.

This week I've been breaking in a new Psvane tube, a Cossor (yeah, right) 12AU7. A review online made me seek one out. I have to admit it's more laid back than I thought it would be, a bit warm and yet quite clear and dynamic. I only have about 50 hours on it and it has made a few "swings" in sound but I think it will end up being a good contendor for many of my complements.

Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by Lon on 09/23/20 at 20:47:23

Been organizing my tubes as a project. Here is most of my "overflow" . . . .

Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by HockessinKid on 09/23/20 at 22:58:22


Your tubes floweth over 🤣😂🤣😂.


Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by Lon on 09/24/20 at 03:29:37

Yes, I have one more tackle box full and a few smaller boxes that I keep near the amps to roll. I have 20 pair of the output tubes for the amps. . . that's probably a lifetime supply, especially as for the Monoblocks I order pairs from Steve once a year or so!

Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by HockessinKid on 10/02/20 at 15:35:06

I've switched back to the Raytheon 5814A tube with a windmill getter. There is something really addictive with this tube in the ZRock 2. It's great to have options.


Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by Lon on 01/05/21 at 13:33:54

It's amazing what a tube change does in the ZROCK2. Three years in now and I'm pretty famiiar with this game-changing component, but it still surprises me sometimes.

In my main system I find the most "volatile" components as far as tube-rolling go to be the ZTPRE and the ZROCK2. I think it's just the way that the system is configured that makes them so prominent sonically. I have narrowed all my choices down lately to two sets of tubes for the ZTPRE and correspondingly two input tubes for the ZROCK2. I either use Amperex 6085 with converters to 6922 for the ZTPRE or a six pack of 6N5P. When I use the 6085 I get best results with a 6085 in the ZROCK2, and when I use the 6N5P in the ZROCK2 I use an Amperex (labeled Hewlett Packard) 12AU7 which like Goldilock's porrige is "just right."

I love the sound either of these set ups offer to the system; I think I'll leave the 6N5P in for a while and use the 6085 with converters in my audio/visual system downstairs when I set that back up next week (it's been out of use for two months due to repair and remodeling of the living room).

Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by Number9 on 01/07/21 at 06:03:20

I've seen with lots of tube gear people using the 12BH7 in lieu of a 12au7 and far preferring the former tube, mostly due to it being a more linear tube.

Has anyone tried a 12BH7 variant in a ZR2? For example, RCA long black plates? Sorry if covered elsewhere, but I did search and did not find any mention.

Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 01/07/21 at 06:37:42

I just purchased a NOS RCA 12BH7.  Ill let you know how it goes once my ZROCK2-25 returns from the mothership.  I will be comparing it to a NOS Siemens silver plate 12AU7.  

Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by Number9 on 01/07/21 at 07:06:29

Awesome. Black plates? I will be checking on news.

I have a small stash of Hytron's that sound awesome elsewhere. Am curious if they would work before pulling the trigger on ZR2 purchase.

Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by JOMAN on 02/09/21 at 20:12:40

I just got my ZR2 back.  It needed repairs to the power supply.  While there Steve also changed the by pass cap to a Mundorf.  It's too soon to be specific about the change that this made other than to say that this is now a different ZR2 than he one that I remember and not in any small way.  I'm still scratching my head trying to figure this out and I'm enjoying my system more than ever.

As far as tube rolling is concerned, I have Raytheon 5814A WM getter, GE JG5814WA, Siemens ECC82 shiny nickel plate or silver plate as some call them and others.  With this Mundorf bypass cap each one sounds way better so much so that its put a new spin on tube rolling in the ZR2.

I need to put a few hours on this "revision" and perhaps then I can be more specific but for now, I'm too busy enjoying the music.

I will say that I'm so glad that the ZR2 needed repairs!

Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by JOMAN on 02/11/21 at 04:07:49

Followup to my previous post...

It's been two days of living with my repaired ZR2 with the change to the Mundorf bypass cap.  Earlier I said that this was now a different ZR2 and it most certainly is.  I said that it was a head scratcher, so to speak.  Here's why:  I have lived with my ZR2 prior to the A25 mods and then with the A25 mods.  The difference between those two versions was obvious and easier to understand, one could make sense of the difference.

With the repairs and the Mundorf cap, the the difference does not make sense comparatively speaking and that's why I had to think about what I have been hearing until I was finally able to make sense of this and until I could explain it in a way that would make sense, and it finally dawned on me tonight.

The difference between the ZR2  and now the ZR2 with the Mundorf bypass cap is similar to if not the same as the difference that I experienced when I went from my SE84UFO2 to the UFO25.  The ZR2 with the Mundorf cap is in a different league now.

As far as I am concerned the UFO25 and the ZR2 with the Mundorf bypass cap were made for each other!

I did roll some of the tubes that I have, only to determine which I will leave in place until the repairs and cap burn in.  In the first version I settled on the Siemens ECC82 Silver Plate, with the 2nd version, the ZR2 version, I settled on the Raytheon 5814A Windmill Getter.  Right now I'm back with the Siemens ECC82 Silver Plate.  If you want to know what this is like look up Brent Jesse's summary of it.

Also I changed the signal tube in my CSP3 to a Siemens PCC188 SQ.  I'm going to be running this combination until the ZR2 burns in, at which point I will be able detail the results. In the meantime, now that I been able to put the changes into perspective, what I will say is... WOW!

Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by JOMAN on 02/11/21 at 04:11:12

I should read what I write more carefully... in the CSP3 signal position I have a PHILIPS PCC188 SQ not Siemens.  

Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by JOMAN on 02/13/21 at 00:01:13

Day 3 with the updated ZR2 with Mundorf bypass cap.  My CSP3 is going in for the A-25 mods with the Mundorf caps.  It's a no-brainer, the ZR2 is that good!

Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by JOMAN on 02/24/21 at 23:41:41

Thought I'd chime in on my recent experience with tube rolling in the ZR2.  I've put on about 30 hours since I got it back.  Then I sent my CSP3 in for the A-mods.  So I'm running it directly into my UFO2.  It seems that has allowed me to hear the character of the tubes better (I do miss my CSP3).

First I put in my Siemens 12AU7 Silver Plate, then I rolled a National 5963 black plate and it rivalled the Siemens!  So I had a close look at it and all the tubes that I have for the ZR2 and noticed something of interest.

The 5963 types can come with 'ladder' style plates OR the same plates as in a 5814a.  The 5963 National that I have I bought from Steve and it has the 5814a style black plates but with two mica support rods that curve back into the top mica.  When I looked I found that  that National, Sylvania and Raytheon used both types of plate structures in the 5963 and I did hear a difference.

Of the 5963 type the ones that I preferred and that were noticeably different are the Siemens 12AU7 Silver plate which has the 'ladder' type plates and then the National 5963 that has the 5814a type black plates WITH the mica support rods.  Typically I prefer the 5963s with the 5814a style plates the exception being the Siemens silver plate.

Next the Raytheon 5814a Windmill getter, grey plate, with 3 holes in the plates.  This is in a class of its own.  Larger scale and the best retrieval of details that convey nuance and emotion with the best bass.  At times it does seem a little 'hot' but listening carefully I'm quite sure it's the room and volume that I play at  :D.

I could easily live with any of the above, but the Raytheon is addictive.  So this got my curiosity going again (the cursed audiophile disease). I happened across a National 6189/12AU7WA triple mica, black plate, tightly matched sections with a getter that seems different from any I've seen so far... gotta check it out!

Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by Lon on 03/08/21 at 13:43:19

I bought another ZROCK2 from †the forum that had the Type 2 caps and the silver RCA and the 25th Anniversary Mods and the tube regulation (identical setup to the ZROCK2 in my main system) and so I was able to send the ZROCK2 in my main system in to to have the reversed channels in my bypass setting corrected, and I had the caps changed to Mundorf. Will probably be getting that back by the end of the week, looking forward to the return and not looking forward to the new break-in period, but oh well!

I was relieved to discover that the unit I bought sounds identical after warmup to the unit I sent back, so the channel reversal in bypass was not influencing the overall sound of the unit (which was exactly what Steve told me, but he did want to correct the issue).

I keep coming back to the 6085 in my ZROCK2, at the moment an Adzam ((though all my others are Amperex, and I think they are all basically the same though six that I have with red ink (in my ZTPRE right now with converter bases) sound a touch warmer than this Adzam and two Amperex I have with white ink--all are labeled PQ.)) The 5814A type I like but ultimately it's too thin and diffuse for me, and I do like the 5963 that Steve sends, and an Amperex 6211 and two Amperex 12AU7 I have. . . but there's something about the wide open sound and vivid textures of the 6085 that I keep returning to. Sigh. Why can't I love cheap tubes?

So when the ZROCK2 comes back from Steve and I decide I like the Mundorf caps I can play musical chairs with my ZROCK2 and upgrade each of the other two positions I put them--the "fully loaded" one I just bought will move to my audio-visual system, and the one currently there, which has the Type 2 caps, silver RCA connections, and no other mods, will go into my headphone only system. The ZROCK2 there, the newest I had built, which has standard caps and the tube regulation mod, will be the odd man out.

Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by JOMAN on 03/08/21 at 17:56:15

Lon, since you like expensive tubes...your in luck...

Asking only $7,500.00  [smiley=wink.gif]

Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by Lon on 03/08/21 at 18:54:29

Ha. Won't need more for some time--I have 8 Amperex,one Adzam, and 5 Tungsram. And one odd short National.

I have one Amperex with a pinched waist that sounds no different.

Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by DPC on 03/09/21 at 13:20:01

Big smile here!

I can see some well healed person out there buying the tube and puting into his $20,000. amp.  Then, secretly being pissed that there is not enough difference to the tube he replaced.

Then, he will go to his favorite forum and exclaim that he no longer needs the small blue pill to achieve Nervana.  This is to prime the next chump that he will sell it to.

Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by JOMAN on 03/09/21 at 23:42:02

Well, I received the National 6189/12AU7WA.  This is the one that my curiosity got the better of me because it has a very unusual internal structure.  It is NOS, National, made in the USA.

Plugged it and (I hate it when this happens)...  best way I can describe this is that it has all the best qualities of my Raytheon 5814a WM getter with all the best qualities of my Siemens ECC80/6085.  (Lons description of the 6085 is quite accurate.). Before I bought it I did try the Siemens once again and though "if only there is a tube that combines the Raytheon WM with the Siemens".  I've been listening for the past 3 hours and it's just getting better!  

There are other 6189 WA,s but no other has the same internal structure as this one, not one...hence the hate.


Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by Lon on 03/09/21 at 23:46:23

Interesting. The tube in the ZROCK2 is so important--it shapes the whole system, and it's amazing with the mods how transparent the ZROCK2 is and how each tube divulges its secret character.

I'm really looking forward to my ZROCK2 returning with all new capcitors--all the Jupiters were replaced with Mundorf. Break in will happen, but it should immediately sound fundamentally different.

Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by JOMAN on 03/10/21 at 02:54:08

Actually, this is causing me to revisit and re-evaluate the approach that I would take if I was starting over and if everything that is available now was available when I started with Decware. (hind sight is 20/20)

After receiving my repaired ZR2 (the entire power supply section was rebuilt and a Mundorf by pass cap installed) I was surprised at the difference that this made.  Next I sent my CSP3 in for the A-mods with cap changes.  It should be back late this week.

In the meantime I've been listening with the ZR2 directly into my UFO25.  My primary digital source is a ZDSD which enables me to work with gain structure.  As the repairs have been burning in it just keeps getting better and now with this National 6189/12AU7WA in the ZR2 I've come to an interesting conclusion if I was starting all over and the impact on the budget that I would set:

I would start with a good source, add the ZR2 and go directly to the UFO25.

Would I add the CSP3 once the budget allowed???  My guess is yes but I will answer conclusively once I get it back.  Steve did send me an Email detailing some of the work that was done in addition to the A-mods.  His comment was that listening to it "was hurting his face".  The bar has been set pretty high! I've yet to be disappointed!

In addition to the added performance that the CSP3, (I expect) will contribute it also gives a lot of versatility.  So let's see (hear) what happens.

Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by JOMAN on 03/11/21 at 04:09:37

For anyone to whom this might of interest...

The National Electronics tube that my curiosity caused me to buy is actually a rebranded GE tube.  However, that does not make it any easier to get.  I noticed that in addition to the red print identifying the tube as a 12AU7/6189WA also was etched on the glass 6189 with the typical GE dots that are the date code underneath.

So I'm quite sure that this is a circa mid 50's production military tube. Black 5814a type plates, three mica with a very large horseshoe getter that is very hard to see.  The top mica is supported by 4 rods extending from the middle mica through to the horseshoe getter.  All 4 rods support the getter and a small rectangular foil opposite the curved portion of the getter closes the gap.  This may not be new news to some but for me it was.

The performance of this tube easily rivals the Raytheon WM getter with a measure of the character of the ECC80/6085.  It's still burning in and until I get my CSP3 and it burns in I will not say much more, but I sure am liking it and I suspect that it will become my preferred choice for the ZR2.  It's beating out some stiff competition and still has a way to go before it settles in.

The rub is that I wasn't even remotely interested in getting a GE tube and had it not been labeled as a National Electronics tube I would not have bought it... the only redeeming aspect of this experience is that this is a NOS tube  8-).  So I got 2 more  ::).

Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by Lon on 03/11/21 at 13:57:46

A GE relabeled as National. Relabeling is an interesting phenoenum, really frequent. Glad you are enjoying the tube. Wonder if you will still prefer that tube when you get the CSP3 back--I prefer different tubes when using a preamp, using two preamps as I usually do, or just going directly from the ZROCK2.

I'm eager to get my ZROCK2 back which may be Friday or Monday. Invoice says:

Upgraded power supply  
MIFLEX Bypass Mod  

Going to be a breakin period once more. This ZROCK2 took a long long time to break in with the Jupiter caps and Anniversary mods.

Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by JOMAN on 03/11/21 at 18:03:52

I'm wondering the same thing.  Just have to wait until I get the CSP3.  It seems that the closer it is the farther away it seems.  Relativity... some scientist said something about that, I think???

Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by will on 03/12/21 at 16:37:30

Hey Lon,

Earlier I think you posted your Zrock would have the Mundorf cap change. And this invoice says Miflex. I wonder, is this a typo or bait? I wonder if Steve has started using Miflex, and if so, which one.

Though not digging very far into Duelunds, the highest cost Mundorfs, or VHAudio.... †I have tried lots of caps in more medium cost ranges, and found many are really good, and many not so good to me. Usually what gets my attention in negative ways are what I consider unsuccessful attempts at "warmth" and "musicality." Even the better attempts, where it appears it is all there, these caps can sound a little contrived to me. Having most of the right stuff, they can appear to sound quite good, but if not quite natural compared to music, sensitized to it, that shows for me. With many, it is subtle veils that give the appearances of "warm," but to me, they often tend a little toward dark/thick/veiled at the expense of space and fine detail.

A cool thing, in this mid cost area....using complimentary caps made by different companies, by mixing the best traits of each, when it works, I find I can "make" a cap that is notably more complex and "real" than either used singly.

But if I had to pick one cap company at this point, I would pick Miflex. And if I had to pick one cap, it would be Miflex Copper/Oils, though their Aluminum Oil is really good too in an aluminum clarity sort of way, as well as their even less costly copper/poly caps (KFPM), quite nice sounding to me. Miflex just seems good at how they arrive at fundamental and harmonic clarity and complexity, revealing and spacious, but a little sweet...musical...

Anyway, I look forward to your impressions whether you get Miflex or Mundorf Supreme.

Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by Lon on 03/12/21 at 18:17:08

Will, looking at the invoice I had thought that was perhaps a catalog number for a type of Mundorf cap. What transpired was Steve said he would do the Mundorf bypass cap, and I had written "I'll go for any further improvements you can make to the ZROCK2* as long as it didn't cost huge dollars as I'm not made of money." And I was sent that invoice, and your knowledge seems to indicate he gave me Miflex caps. . . . I'll be getting the component back Monday. I'm eager to hear the differences, and the good news is that I bought a used ZROCK2 from the forum with the same options as this one when I sent it back, so I'll have that original configuration to go back to if I prefer it. I think I may own about 2 or 3 percent of all ZROCK2 made. ;)

* The ZROCK2 has become the focal point of my systems, and any improvement made to it trickles down and through my systems and is worth exploring.

Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by will on 03/12/21 at 19:40:37

Exciting. Though I imagine your discernment and memory are exceptionally good, that is great you will have a point of direct comparison! I look forward to hearing your impressions!

Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by Lon on 03/18/21 at 19:56:54

As I wrote elsewhere on the forum I got the ZROCK2 with new power supply and all Miflex caps including in the Anniversary mods on Monday, exactly 72 hours ago. It's been plugged in my audio visual system all that time and listened to a lot of that time. It's gone through some changes--from a tart and tinily sibilant state to a fuller, deeper sound. I think it still has a ways to go before complete breakin but I definitely like the sound, it's as good as, and becoming better than the sound of the ZROCK2 wiht Jupiter Type 2 caps and no Anniversary mods it replaced. I'm hoping to leave it in this system another week or so before moving it into the main system. . . .

Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by JOMAN on 03/20/21 at 01:20:09

I must have 25 hours at least on the ZRock2 now and I've had a chance to compare 3 tubes, not extensively, but one stands out.

The Raytheon 5814a WM as good as it is, is no longer the preferred tube.  Its the 6189/AU27WA National/GE.

I compared the Raytheon, National/GE and the Siemens AU27 Silver Plate, my top three.  The National/GE and the Siemens are the first and second choice respectively.  In some ways they are very similar.  The key difference is focus, warmth, timing and dynamic drive.  In those specific areas the National/GE is the "clear" preference for me.  In fact it was my wife who said that the National/GE was "warmer" and she preferred it as well.

The bass is very focused and punchy with very good headroom.  Nothing competes it all harmonizes, very nice balance across the frequency spectrum.  If you try one be sure that you get one that is mid 50's with the inner construction as I described in my earlier post.

I can't help to reflect on the fact that if I saw it as a GE branded tube instead of the National Electronic brand I would not have bought it.  OK, so I'm a moron.

Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by Lon on 03/24/21 at 13:08:52

I've had the ZROCK2 with the Anniversary mods and new power supply and all Miflex caps in the component plugged in and in use for a full week plus now, over 200 hours, and it sounds really good in my audio-visual system. Compared to the previous ZROCK2 in that system, which only had the silver RCAs and the Type 2 caps as options, this one has a more open presentation and the bass has come in and I seem to be using it with just a bit less EQ dialed in. Loving the sound. I'm beginning to really wonder what it will sound like in the main system but am hoping to hold back til next week before swapping those out.

And I have my FOURTH ZROCK2 now sitting unplugged on top of a shipping box. I should put it up for sale soon. But it's hard. . . I have no need for a fourth one, but I love these components so much, it's hard to imagine parting with this one (stock caps, only option the tube regulation mod, which does make a nice difference.)_

Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by Lon on 03/29/21 at 19:12:29

Okay, this afternoon it has been over 330 hours the newly outfitted ZROCK2 with the new power supply, Anniversary mods with all Miflex caps has been in my audio/visual system, and I just took it out and put it into my main system.

The presentation is different from the same configuration ZROCK2 with Type 2 Jupiter caps. Quite vivid and seemingly a bit louder probably stemming from an even blacker noise-reduced background. A bit more body to the instrumental images. No downside I can perceive so far. Different is not always better, but I have a feeling this will be my preferred ZROCK2 for the main system. I'm not sure I would change all my Type 2 caps in other components to Miflex, but this was a nice improvement. If I ever do send in my ZTPRE for the 25th Anniversary Mod I will get to experience another dollop of Miflex sound.

Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by Lon on 04/01/21 at 15:08:03

I've been doing some tube-rolling in the ZROCK2 now equipted with Miflex caps.

I really do like the tubes that Steve provides. A lot. And I put in an Amperex 12AU7 I am fond of, and a Marconi that discovered I had lying about.

But I've come back to one of my Amperex 6085. There's something about the dynamic presentation that is seducing. When a jazz drummer hits a snare emphasis it just posps and when the players relax and play a bit more softly you can feel it, sense it, without trying.

What great components these are--with one tube you can influence the whole system and almost all tubes provide a unique perspective.

Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by Lon on 04/02/21 at 20:36:38

Will's insightful post about his new ZROCK2 had me pull out the appropriate tacklebox and roll some tubes in the ZROCK2. An Amperex 6211 is very good but just a tad "dry" (I actually put that one in before I went to bed last night so it was well-warmed up. An Amperex 12AU7 that I hadn't tried for a while (orange globe writing) was really good. And one that I hadn't tried for some time is really impressing me in this Miflex equipped ZROCK2: a black plate RCA 6189 with triple Mica -- I think this one will stay in all weekend and start my listening week Monday.

Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by Lon on 04/19/21 at 17:26:25

Okay today the tube that is working so well is a GE 6829 triple mica 5 star. I am breaking in a pair of Westinghouse 0B3 that I REALLY like, may unseat the Arcturus that are my gold standard and this 6829 is being like Goldilock's pudding, just right.

Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by Lon on 04/24/21 at 19:33:24

Alright, inspired by Will's exploration of the 12AT7 type I have explored 7062, 6829 and 6414 types. They all have a similar character of solid, bold sound, and they don't push the sound as hard as some 12AT7s do.

The Amperex 7062 sound really good and their best in the ZROCK2 (only options Type 2 Jupiter caps and silver RCAs) in my headphone only system and I've kept them there.

A "Five Star" GE 6829 has a wonderful sound--clear, dynamic, neutral--in any of the three ZROCK2 and I have enjoyed it most in the ZROCK2 in my audio/visual system (this one has Type 2 caps and the 25th Anniversary by pass and tube regulation mods, and the Silver RCA).

But the winner for me is the GE 6414--it sounds very similar with just a hint of more lower end body which can seem like warmth when the source material is a bit lean. I am really really digging it, in my main system especially (which is like the ZROCK2 in my audio/visual system, but with Miflex, not Jupiter, caps). And. . . I got ten of these tubes in one purchase for less than four dollars a piece, a bargain!

All three of these types are quiet, don't at all seem microphonic, and very open and level sounding.

I think I'm done rolling for a bit and will leave the 6414 in place in the main system. . . may experiment in the other two after a while, as all three are interesting tube types and I have plenty on hand.

Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by Steve Deckert on 04/25/21 at 05:04:37

Tonight I have been evaluating the ZROCK2 with anniversary mods with an extra critical ear. †This is because I have it hooked up between the 25th Anniversary Zen Triode amplifier and a ZBIT that is being driven directly by a Holo Audio MAY DAC.

I'm not sure where to start...

OK, the beginning should work - short version - needed more focus. †The DAC by itself was better focused. †Hadn't heard that before, but then I've never had a DAC anywhere near this good either.

I thought if the tube had more gain, was faster, there would be more spank which would further tighten things up and at the same time focus things up.

Then I realized that since the input impedance of almost all Decware gear is 100KOhms it is no problem to run a 12AT7 in the ZROCK2.†This would not work well into a solid state load between 10K and 20K but I don't have that problem, so let's give it a try!


Problem solved and then some. †It's a completely new beast. With the growl in the bass from the ZF15M baffles, the difference seems like we just put a Zen Mystery Amp on and are listening at a higher volume even though the SPL has not changed.†Dynamics sure as hell did. All I can say is WOW.

Don't bother trying 12AX7's or anything from that family, it will through things too far off to sound right. †Most likely sound like shit.†But a 12AT7 is a different story. Falls in the middle of the two, and in this case amps things up by another 6 dB I'm guessing. It really hits.

I haven't bench tested it yet to see what the distortion signature is like, so don't get too excited, but you're welcome to try it and see what you hear.

On a side note, this combination has an INSANE synergy. What I find interesting is that in all these years I have never once heard the ZROCK2 have less focus than another component and I have never even considered trying a 12AT7 in one.  I think it speaks volumes for how good this DAC is.


Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by Lon on 04/25/21 at 09:25:53

That's interesting Steve as if you read above in the thread, and starting at post #40 in this thread: you will find that since I sold one of my ZROCK2 to Will he and I have both been exploring the 12AT7 types and found very similar results. I actually have been finding some real beauty with a 6414 tube as well as a 6829. For over a year before this I was fascinated with a 6085 which though not a 12AT7 variant has more gain than a 12AU7. These three are all taller tubes than the usual 12A types and I have to say I like big tubes and I cannot lie. I too am enjoying the focus and clarity of these tubes and my system likes the drive the gain provides. There's an intriguing change to vinyl playback in the system as well with these tubes in the ZROCK2.

I have a pretty darned good DAC too and so does Will and I think that led us into this same pathway you are now exploring. Life is good with a ZROCK2.

Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by will on 04/25/21 at 23:38:13

I appreciate your ongoing explorations with stronger tubes Lon. I have many of these and agree they can be really good, also liking milder, but more powerful feeling than 12AU7s, 12BH7s I had from my ZStage explorations.

Interesting observations Steve. Makes me feel better.

When I first got my ZRock2 from Lon, most posts here seemed to be talking about 12AU7 variants and I found with only the tube filter mod, I couldn't get sound I appreciated across the spectrum with them, especially bass speed and tone being softish and off balance by comparison to the faster mids and highs. At that point, 12AT7s solved that for me, powering up, clarifying and speeding things up with balanced tone across the spectrum.

Disconcerted that my system did not do so well with 12AU7s, I have been using them as I do modifications in the ZRock2, working toward getting similar balance and hit as 12AT7s, though with less boldness.

Step by step, first I put in an Audyn 0.33 true copper bypassed with a 0.01 Mallory M150 for signal. Then 0.1 Audyn coppers bypassing the top power supply caps, both nice improvements. But 12AU7s still sounded a little soft on bottom and overall still a little slow. I wanted a little more ability for them to enliven the signal more freely. So I replaced the main signal path cables with also warm, but faster more resolving wire blends. Freer flowing, this showed something still could be opened/sped up, so I played with different bypass configurations on the power supply electrolytic caps, adding a few smaller value Miflex poly/coppers until I found a balance that was not lightning fast, but fast enough to feel pretty good with the rest of my signal.

Again, increasing clarity and speed revealed a remaining minor veil that was bothering me, so I decided to try replacing the cables between the EQ board and tube, and that seemed to bring a nice balance to these particular explorations. Now, though I had really good bass and balance here before, this compelling component may well be becoming indispensable in my system like I had hoped it might. I knew when I bought it, having learned how good carefully balanced power supply bypassing and other modifications can be, I would enjoy exploring, and it has been rewarding.

Now I am giving it (and me) time to get used to the new balance before going further, and 12AU7s sound really good to me...still, averaging across recordings, it tends a touch soft on bottom for my tastes on some, in this system and room, but overall I find it well balanced tonally and able to produce nicely real sounding, complex and immediate feeling bass. I may end up still preferring stronger tubes overall, but not sure, a number of 12AU7 variants getting really good for me now...

I liked the ZRock2 with just the internal tube filter mod as long as I was using 12AT7s....and preferring the down/B setting then for its full bass hit and spaciousness with these tubes, bringing out a seductive clarity, complexity and speed. But even so, that was a little "flavored" for me personally, and I was not sure if it would hold the test of time here.

Whereas, now, not needing the punch and clarity of 12AT7s, and using 12AU7s and the A setting, it is close to my other gear in transparency, resolution, speed, and balance, but still adding its own tonal sweetness and complexity, while providing a nice bass hit with the gain adjusted to tastes. I find I am tending to use just enough gain to be a bit louder and more complex when turning the bypass switch on compared to off. Then I fine tune a little for a mild but notable tightish and fastish bass enhancement, and the rest of its tonal complexity comes along nicely with that gain.... not intense, and not understated. In the big picture I prefer this more resolving and fast incarnation, and look forward to going further, probably looking at the RCAs and the IEC input next.

The 12AU7 I am using now is a '52 Lansdale/Jan 12AU7 with black plates and those funny heavily angled horseshoe getters that connect on both sides, though it is hard for me to see on one side due to the flash. I find it nicely clear across the spectrum, but not hard, with good spectral balance.

Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by Lon on 04/25/21 at 23:53:33

There is something satisfying for me with the 12AT7 types in part because I can reduce the ZBIT voltage and I have always found that to give me a nice relaxed feel to the tonal spectrum. And using both the ZTPRE and the CSP3 wiht the Anniversary mods (ZBIT and ZROCK2 in between) may be a factor too--I have the gain UP on the ZTPRE and DOWN in the CSP3.

I am also back to using 0A3 rather than 0B3 with the latest complement (RCA 0A3, Sophia Electric Aqua 274B, Steve's output tubes and gray glass RCA 6SN7 in the amps, GE 6414 in the ZROCK2). That was the final ingredient for these strong ZROCK2 tubes for me.

I'll also go back to 12AU7 types again  . . . probably sooner than I'd like as I am a tube-rolling man.

Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by will on 04/26/21 at 00:23:47

Yes it is all very interesting. Since you need some treble attenuation, I can see how reducing the ZBIT with more powerful tubes is a good solution. I have gone back to my NOS Tranquility DAC for now, and having RCA outs, the ZBIT is out. And I must admit, the relative simplicity of the ZRock2 and CSP3 is a bit of relief, and with the fairly high voltage Tranquility it sounds really good too. Regardless, I seem to need my CSP3 up pretty high, loving how it adds lucidity, bass depth and speed. And since I don't want treble attenuation, lately starting with the ZRock2 gain level not far above unity, and gain riding between it and the CSP3 for recordings is pretty nice.

Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by Lon on 04/26/21 at 00:26:46

That makes sense. I need a LOT of treble attenuation. And try as I might I just can't remove the ZTPRE. My sources are balanced and the ZTPRE does improve them, especially with the 6085 on converter bases I have been using. And there is a ton of gain that the ZTPRE can dish out with aplomb.

Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by Lon on 04/28/21 at 01:37:44

I keep saying I'm going to stop with the tube-rolling. . . but I have to face it, I'm a tube-rolling man.

Looking for another pair of 0A3 to try I discovered a pair of RCA 0D3 that I hadn't used yet, and really enjoyed what that did with the 6414 in the ZROCK2. I tried a handful of 0D3W, my prefered version of this type and the RCAs still sounded just a bit better, but one of them kept flashing and popping on start up so I put in the best 0D3W I have, a pair of Tung-Sol and in a day of use they are really coming into their own. The 0D3 type gives a very taut yet deep bass and a very open midrange with a sweet top end. Good inner detail as well.

And then the mail came and a tube I'd ordered weeks ago arrived: a foil D getter pinched waist Amperex 7062. I put that in and let it warm up and OMG it's the cat's meow today. More bass, more soundstage depth, instrumental textures that are palpable and natural sounding. The seller had five more, and I just ordered two more. Turns out these are rare tubes and probably should command more than he was asking for them.

I say this twice a week, but I'm going to try to leave this one in place in the main system . . . listening right now to a Van Gelder recording and it sounds splendid.

Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by Lon on 04/29/21 at 15:46:12

This foil D getter pinched waist Amperex 7062 is proving to be "da bomb" for my main system. In a week or so I'll be able to try it out in my other two ZROCK2s. Looking forward to that!

Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by Archie on 04/30/21 at 23:59:55

Based on the loving on the 12AT7 tubes here, I bought a couple on eBay. †I'll try them in my ZR2 but does anyone know if they can be used in the ZP3 and if so, in which position?

Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by Lon on 05/01/21 at 00:20:20

I'm pretty sure they will not work in the ZP3. I remember trying them when I had a ZP3 thinking they would not. . . and they didn't.

Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by Archie on 05/01/21 at 00:36:07

Oh well, I didn't pay a whole lot and they look like good tubes.  Maybe someone here might be interested if they don't work out in my ZROCK.

(GE GL 6201 Triple Mica Blk Plate Military 12AT7)

Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by will on 05/09/21 at 00:08:05

Hey Lon,

Your using different tubes elsewhere to better bring out ZRock2 tubes is always interesting. I like how you push balancing boundaries, like using a relatively powerful and warm tube in the ZRock2, and compensating with the least powerful OD3 voltage regulators, in your monos.

Having used OB3s forever in my Toriis, but using more powerful/fuller 6SN7s after years of Mullard E88CCs as CSP3 outputs, I switched to 40s Hytron OC3s in the Torii. This reduction of VR voltage counter-balanced the 6SN7 fullness and intensity enough to keep things open with good spectral balance. Then, adding signal intensity and density with the ZRock2, I went back to the E88CCs, the 6SN7s too strong for me then, but the milder OC3s remaining a nice balancer for the additional gain of the ZRock2 as a third pre stage.

Based on your telling me about OD3 revelations in another conversation, I have been trying some, first Darios. In my system they opened the inner detail and space beautifully, with a tight bass, but the detail complexity and presence was actually too strong with the tube compliment I was using, and the dynamics became a little too light. This was using a GE 3-mica JG-6829 in the ZRock2, contributing to musical dynamics, space, detail and bass before the OD3 Darios. So it made some sense that these refined and open OD3s went too far with fine detail and space even for me. Then on your suggestion, trying some warmer and smoother Tungsol OD3Ws and old RCA OD3s, the space/detail balance was good, while somehow also evening up the dynamics some...pointing once again to the context of the individual tubes used, and how they balance with others, being all important.

Related, looking at ZRock2 tubes only, I find them amazingly big players in warm/full versus an open/fine detailed equation. Since by-design the ZRock2 can have a strong effect on EQ and gain... potentially creating a very different tube sound from the same tube depending on the gain about wildcards for comparisons. So aside from the effects from mods or not, tube combinations, and all the other choices in a system, it seems particularly tricky to compare ZRock2 tubes without some pretty good context.

When you first mentioned OD3s in your monos helping, I think you had 6414s in the ZRock2. Similar in sound and gain as the 6829 I was using with my OD3 tests, I generally find 6414 a warmer/fuller, slightly more euphonic tube than the 6829s at the relatively low-key ZRock gains I use. So I am thinking just the different characters of these electronically and sonically similar ZRock2 tubes could cause a preference for OD3s over OC3s. Added to that, your ZRock2 gain preference being higher than mine (me wanting relative transparency with a slight bass boost, and you wanting more bass enhancement and a notable treble cut), gain preferences could also be enough to give us different preferences for OD3s (or other milder tubes) in our amps.

But the fundamentals of a given tube sound still hold for me, so I think recommendations are very useful, especially if we include comparative qualities of tubes in comparison to others, making it more possible to imagine the tube tendencies in our specific context. To me, OD3s are pretty extreme since I have already toned my tubes back over time. So your loving them implied (to me) something else was amping up and warming the signal, making the open VR a good balancer. Assumptions, but still some conceptual context for helping me utilize your system balancing and tube decisions here. But even with our tonal preferences being pretty different, we still often arrive at liking a lot of the same tubes. I wonder...does this indicate that we have both reached a relatively "neutral/accurate" balance, and though yours weighs toward full bass and away from treble, and mine away from bass fullness and into very fine detail and space, the same quality tubes might be doing very similar things in both settings even though the baseline balance is different???

A little confusing to both of us, knowing OA3s put more voltage to the tubes that follow, and OD3s the least (with OB3 and OC3 between), and with more voltage, the following tubes do all they do more, bass to highs..... your finding OD3s to have better bass than 0C3s didn't make sense to us. Conceptually, the OD3 putting out less voltage would create a leaner and more open sound throughout the spectrum than the OC3. And here, OC3s acting more as expected, bigger than OD3, this caused me to think of my years of EQ experiments used to fine-tune my system and rooms.

As I explored the sonic effects of EQ, it quickly became obvious that bass modes that create standing waves and associated thickness/muddiness, boom... are not necessarily the same in each room, being pretty specific depending on low frequency wave lengths in relation to room shape and dimensions. And I found if I could locate these unmusical frequencies, and bring them down just enough (with as narrow an EQ as would work), this lowered overall bass by reducing offensive frequencies only, but the bass feel and sound got deeper and tighter... stronger, not weaker. From attenuating muddling frequencies and leaving the rest more intact, the bass became more complete and fast, less masked by muddle, so more hit, more complex, and feeling more real.

These thoughts led me to think of VRs literally as EQ devices. And OD3's lower voltage output creating more bass presence than the more powerful OC3, it may be that the OD3s reduced the power of the tube they filter just enough more to help mitigate room modes??? I also wondered if it might be that OC3 and OD3 alter the balance of the specific tube they are filtering differently. Depending on the linearity (or not) of the input or power tube they filter/power, less or more voltage might influence some frequencies more than others with a given signal tube.

Just imagining out loud....

In the current state of my ZRock2 modifications....Steve's tube filter, upgraded and bypassed signal caps, bypassing all power caps (some with bypassed bypasses), more resolving and faster input and output cables as well as the signal cables out of the EQ board .... All in all, I am finding it pretty beautiful as things settle together. Interestingly, done last, in this relatively simple component, the internal cable changes seemed perhaps the biggest overall improvement for transparency, while also opening flow and speed nicely.....

These modifications done over a few weeks, I noticed more clearly that as things become faster and more resolving, not only do we hear everything with more nuance and clarity, I also hear more of everything! I noticed this happening as I modified the Torii, CSP3 and HR-1s, that about any part upgrade can speed up and make the signal more resolving, not least of which wires and connectors. And add a bunch together, the effects can be exponential.

A pointer to this phenomena while doing previous modifications (over several years), was that I progressively liked less forceful tubes. Then this quick ZRock2 modifications cycle clarified the developing notion that more resolution and speed lets more of what the tubes do through with more complexity, grace, and nuance, but also more signal power and flow... causing me to like milder tubes in the ZRock2 too....

So I seem to be noticing more that effective mods can not only make most tubes sound better, but by reducing more and more areas of impediment, the components can become more powerful in whatever they present... and this is clearly progressive multiplied by many modifications in many components. In time this got pretty pronounced here, describing a lot of why low level listening gets better and more complete with musical clarification, but also why we might start toning things down with tubes, etc without quite knowing why. For me, I was so enamored by power supply bypass effects, not least of which speed/dynamics, though finding limits all along the way and backing off, I think I was growing overly used to a more powerful/fast signal as I worked on several components at once. Then at some point, in retrospect, my system began to be a little too fast and dynamically intense, but sounding really great, with really nice apparent balances, this was difficult to discern. And now I think I realize that intuitively I was progressively toning back mainly on dynamics and warmth with tubes, while keeping or enhancing all the rest that comes with successful mods.

In fact, once I started getting a better handle on all this, the other day, in the Torii, I replaced some extra expressive Duelund signal caps with milder Miflex copper/oils, and strategically reduced power supply bypasses to better allow for the ZRock2 in its clarified state. These Duelunds and bypasses had definitely helped at the times they went in, but after finishing most modifications, I now think these same caps contributed to an excessively strong signal. Now, having taken out the Duelunds and making the power supply a little milder, it sounds plenty fast, and equally beautiful and complex to me, but a bit more relaxed, sweeter, and gentler on the ears.

Which leads me to an overall preference lately for milder tubes in the ZRock2. More stock, I preferred 12AT7 variants here, the bigger, more open, articulate and fast tube type causing the ZRock2 to better match the rest of my system. But after "finishing" mods, I often prefer the more relaxed 12AU7 variants more.... With pretty mellow/warmish/smooth RCA OD3s in the Torii, and an IEC/Mullard 12AU7 in the ZRock2, the sound is warm but beautifully spacious and resolving, while being more touching with its sweetly relaxed nature. Having realistic speed and fine detail complexity in notable space, it does not feel soft or weak, but is more sweet, more emotionally moving. Who knows where this will go since I sometimes like some milder 12AT7 types too, but an interesting trip so far!

Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by Lon on 05/09/21 at 07:40:49

Very intriguing Will. I'm hobbled by the fact that I have an odd shaped room for my main system, that I am limited to the modifications Steve makes, that I cannot "treat" this room, and there are significant differences in our systems in cabling and components.

My cabling has for some time been a bit of an issue in that the nature of all of the cabling is very revealing and in the past I have had issues holding the system back and can see each incremental change in stark relief. I'm now I think at a level where my cabling, like the Decware components and source components, are more in symbiosis than ever, but the cabling does dictate a certain tonal direction within this room.

Plus the ZTPRE is another very important (initial) gain stage and my seeming inability to take the 6085 (with converter bases) out of the component is another determining factor in gain and tube choices in the system. I've decided to keep them as "anchors," I've also decided on the RCA gray glass 6SN7 as anchors, and even have given my rectifier sockets a break by keeping to the choices I have in the CSP3 with Mods and the SE84UFO3 with mods. So I end up with mainly rolling the voltage regulation for the output tubes and the ZROCK2. I think the room, my gain structiure, and cabling are dictating my choices there. (And my choice of voltage regulation for the input tubes is an "anchor" as it's so inconvenient to remove the Monoblocks from the system, remove the chassis and roll those tubes).

I actually have come to like the various "larger" 12AT7 tubes and really find a great similarity to the character of 7206, 6414 and 6829 types, and even the 6085 in the ZROCK2 shares some characteristics. So rotating these has been instructive and I do prefer the Holland tubes of these types when I can find them, and the 7206 with the pinched waist do present a subtle refinement that I really do enjoy with the best recordings. I now am tending to listen to types of recordings in batches--a lot of early jazz recordings which are only excellent sounding in their own way for a while, then some well-mastered SACD of classic jazz or classical music, then some live recordings of a rather primitive nature from my trading circle days, then. . . . I may find the right ZROCK2 tube and/or regulation tube to suit this batch of recordings and roll when I move onto another batch of recordings.

I'm enjoying the 0D3 series a lot right now, after a long habit of 0B3 usage. I confess that 0C3 have immediately struck me as "not right" in my Toriis and now my Monoblocks--and I've never left them in long enough to really break in a pair nor have I gone methodically through the experimentation with other tubes in the complement or altering the gain structure significantly to try to integrate them. That should be a path of exploration for the near future. . . .

Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by GroovySauce on 05/09/21 at 15:15:07

Love reading titans of Decware tube rolling discussing tubes.

My Zrock2 is visiting the mothership for voltage change and the Miflex caps. I did pick up a TAD 12AT7 to try after I burn it in for a few weeks. Looking forward to the possibilities.

Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by will on 05/10/21 at 00:38:09


If this is your first tube change in the ZRock2, especially after your mods settle in, I think you will be amazed with how it shows different tubes. To me it makes it fun, but also a little challenging since many tubes can sound really good, but the choices seem pretty notable at the same time... With more tube influence, there are more subtle qualities to choose from!@#$%^& †But there are a lot of relatively low cost NOS variants of 12AU7s and 12AT7s out there from highly trusted Ebay endless opportunity and a lot of fun.


As usual, interesting thoughts and suggestions. And it is interesting that we do have different enough setups and balance preferences to create differences in ultimate sound-based choices... tubes, cables, components, settings, etc. What intrigues me is that even with these choices creating a notably different center point between bass and treble in our balances, we like a lot of the same tubes, and hear/describe them similarly from hearing them in our different systems.

Here, after so many years on a fairly consistent track, my system adjustments appear to be bringing me to a subtle emphasis shift, or refinement...not sure which yet. ....There are no longer any notable impediments to open space and detail complexity... no more notable masks that I hear... and no more notable holes in the spectral balance. Empty space and detail complexity contributing to natural sounding musicality, slight warmth and bass definition are enhanced with complexity.

As I mentioned, what I think was becoming an issue was being on the edge of the signal having a little too much power again, but this was hard to read because it is seriously complex and musical, so not the same as the focus that once made some recordings tend to harder notes (for me). This is something I have always worked on in my setup, to bring out detail complexity and space without hardness, or perhaps better put, resolving hardness.

So like OD3s "open the windows" leaving loads of very fine detail in empty space, similar spatial and complex qualities were part of my goals over the years.... at least with respect to open, unmasked sound. But I also need a neutral and extended spectral balance that is neither lean/bright or overly bassy/warm.... and a realistic balance of dynamics, micro and macro. So I gradually removed smears, distortions and slowness that mask the vast complexity of many recordings while refining balances throughout. But there is one area I imagine I am off a little.... I am seduced by bass hit and I have difficultly not trying to bring out just a little technicolor with bass when I can 8-)

Historically finding OD3s too opening, detailed, lean, and lacking in dynamics, I have only recently (based on your explorations) done serious comparisons. And since my system is more resolving and fast, and I have added gain elsewhere, OD3s are now in a nice range with my other tube choices. I think this is especially true due to the crazily high number of powered gain stages I am using to optimize speed, clarity, space, signal power, and bass.

But resolving hardness into unveiled complexity has always been an important exploration for me. So before having so many gain stages and doing so many modifications, I had been adjusting with room, cables, feet, power, etc, as well as finding milder, more complex and spacious tube combinations. The sound suited me in these ways before modifications but I wanted to take it further, so went inside to see what I could do. And to keep a consistent baseline for hearing modifications, I decided not to change tubes or cables, etc, unless tubes started to go...then replacing them with the same tube, and choosing ones with as close a sonic nature as I could find. The result was several years of very little tube or other system part rolling, sonic improvements satisfied with progressive modifications.

But eventually, even using milder tubes throughout the modification process, I seemed to be noticing an edge of over-intensity, that became clearer after lifting my moratorium on tube and cable rolling. Introducing another gain stage with the ZRock2, as well as playing with higher gain tubes like 6SN7s, my carefully arrived at balances were amped up, making subtle challenges that I think were developing as the system become more easy-flow and transparent more obvious. So I started using OC3s, and now playing with OD3s to help rebalance everything.

Relative to OC3 sound, beyond spectral balance expectations, I think I hear things that I can imagine might bother you without adjustments. OC3s here seem to occupy a sonic transition, where OA3 and OB3 tend to be more warm/full.... and OC3 and OD3 tend more toward emphasis on space and detail. So it occurs to me that OC3 and OD3 create a sort of a sub category here.... and more about space and clarity, the sound they facilitate has less softening/smoothing effects that can be felt and used as "forgiving."

And it seems OC3s being more powerful than OD3s, they cause the following tubes to express space and clarity more forcefully... giving focus and articulation to much of the detail. Whereas OD3s, more relaxed, allow detail that is less focussed, gentler, and accented by more space between increased finer detail... To me, they resolve the OC3 focus into a gentler complexity.

So I hear OC3s reduce power compared to OB3 as expected, but clarifying detail and space with more power behind the detail information than OD3s, they tend to more focussed articulation and macro detail, and that could be offensive without adjustments. Where OD3 tend to relax the power enough that the detail and articulation is relaxed also, opening concentrated detail into more complex detail and doing this with less force... With the right company, a seductive sound.

That said, I have used OC3 Hytrons off and on for years, but mostly off until we started playing with 6SN7s, and I added a ZRock2. And I think this long emphasis on detail complexity in system development is probably a lot of why I did not have to adjust other tubes with the change from OB3s to OC3s, my system already having pretty complete fine detail, so the OC3s did not bring out excess focus.

But even with them, it seems by progressively improving signal clarity, signal intensity subtly reared its head again. And gain adjustments often solved this for the most part, but I was feeling the zones where gains are set for the most complete and lucid musicality, that my average signal intensity was getting a little strong. This may be close to solved now by pulling some small power supply bypass caps in the Torii...we will see. But thanks to your stimulation, OD3s have helped this enough to give me time to sort it out, while bringing out a different flavor of a really good sound!

Today, I finally have been trying a Heerlen Amperex E180CC/7062 SQ in the ZRock2, having taken a long time to come from Bulgaria. First impressions, it has the classic hallmarks of a seriously well made tube, and reflects that seductive big tube quality with a notable but pleasant and resolving warm and relatively relaxed balance. Interestingly, it is so solid and complete, with smooth but complete detail complexity inside its relatively notable warmth, I don't find it too intense in my current setting. I have to give it time to get realistic impressions, but perhaps a little touch warm/smooth/slow for me without burnin and other adjustments, or perhaps not! First impressions it sounds compelling and beautiful and it is barely warmed up...

I have also been playing this tube's cousin off and on, the Holland made 7062 pinch waste you recommended... more dynamic, articulate and open, I love its sweet spatial accent, lending a subtle euphonic feel especially to the midrange ambience. More in my usual preference range, this too sounds like a very solid tube across the spectrum, expressing a special quality and beauty I look forward to hearing more now that I am a full blown tube explorer again! But at this point, though both are better in their own ways, I might be preferring the more sophisticated and lower key E180CC SQ. At this point.......

Thanks for the tips! This is a lot of fun.

Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by Lon on 05/10/21 at 01:34:43

It sure can be fun. I am having fun experiencing you exploring these tube types. I think you may find that the Herleen 7062 will open up a bit more with less warmth as this has been my experience with those.

What you hypothesize about the 0C3 is likely truly at the heart of my reactions. I have a firmware change in my DAC to get through in the next few weeks and experience tells me this will take some time to dial in and acclimate to. After that I'll explore the 0C3 again--I have a few good ones to play about with.

I have recently been spending about an equal amount of time with my audio/visual system in the much larger space. Though the CSP2+ and Taboo Mk IV there, both with the Anniversary Mods, can take on the components in the main system and finish with honor, the PPP and ZLC there are no P15 and the Oppo UDP-205 is no DSD DAC. But by the same token the larger space allows for a bloom in sound and I find that though tube differences are less pronounced there STILL are distinct choices to make. I'm really enjoying a 4 star GE 6829 in the ZROCK2 there right now and want to try others. . . but also don't want to take it out!

The ZROCK2 is a real blessing. One tube can reveal so much!

Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by GroovySauce on 05/10/21 at 13:01:59

Iíve rolled a few tubes in the Zrock2-25th mods bees wax caps. I mostly stick to current production. I ended up on the Northern Electric 12AU7 from I found it to give the most ďonly eqĒ sound change, compared to bypassed. I found that I was flipping the bypass album to album so this neutrality of sound was perfect for my system.

I did get an Amperex 6085 due to Lon having such fondness for it. The one I got was very noisy so I didnít give it much listening time, I procured another so once the caps have settled in Iíll  try as well.

I wouldnít consider myself a tube roller. I do find it fascinating the changes different tubes bring to the mix. Dialing in the system with tubes is quite rewarding.

Now that my system is more finalized Iím considering dipping my toe into the NOS more.

Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by Lon on 05/10/21 at 18:50:30

Oh boy. Find a seat belt and buckle in. So much to explore!

Seriously, NOS tubes are great to experiment with. And the ZROCK2 really shows the character of any tube inserted.

Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by Archie on 05/16/21 at 18:59:47

I finally got around to trying the GE 12AT7 tubes (GE GL 6201 Triple Mica Blk Plate Military 12AT7) I recently bought and I must say, I like having my ZROCK2 in the chain again. †This is with only a single album played and a relatively cool ZR2. †I don't know if it's my variable taste or the tube but it wasn't really close. †I had been using the Raytheon 12AU7 that Steve sent with the ZR2 originally. †Also, so far, I'm not hearing the veil in the Bypass mode that I was hearing before. †Could be me or the tube I pulled. †I'm glad I didn't sell my ZR2!

Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by Dominick on 05/27/21 at 03:01:11

Just wanted to comment on a tube that was recommended to me by Will whom I believe was offered up by Lon. †Itís the Amperex E180CC HOLLAND D-FOIL GETTER 7062 PINCHED WAIST 12AT7 tube. †

While I donít have a ZRock2 yet, Iím going to order it on the Black Friday Sale. †I finally got around to putting the Amperex 12AT7 in my ZSTAGE which replaced the stock 12AU7.

I immediately noticed the tube to be more lively, crisp, and articulate. †The keystrokes on a piano were more detailed and open. †Itís a higher gain tube than the 12AU7, and I am able to pickup some finer detail than I was before. †Keep in mind, I am still running the stock tube compliment the Torii MKIV.  This tube is quiet, and Iím running it in the relaxed position on the ZSTAGE. †

I would have posted this in the ZSTAGE forum, but since you guys have been talking about this tube on the ZROCK forum, I figured I would post it here. †I already ordered 2 more tubes so I can save them for when I get the ZROCK. 😀

So to Will and Lon...thanks for your recommendation. †Iíll report back as th tube settles in, and I play a variety of music for evaluating. Tomorrow Iíll probably listen to the guitar, harp, and then move to some classical and rock music. †


Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by Lon on 05/27/21 at 16:41:45

Dom, I'm really glad you are enjoying that tube type. I find that the slightly lower gain in this tube type makes it "just right" in my ZROCK2 and in my ZBOX. I have one in the ZROCK2 in my main system, as well as one in the ZBOX and ZROCK2 in my headphone only system. There's a clarity to this tube with just a splash of warmth that suits my systems. I would put one in the ZROCK2 in my audio/visual system but there's a GE 5 Star 6829 in there that sounds so good I don't want to disrupt that synergy. Like the 7062, 6085 and 6414 they are large size nine pin input tubes, and I find I really like the sound of these "big" tubes and the 7062, 6829 and 6414 all share important characteristics of openness and dynamics, with just subtle differences between them. I learned of these tubes via Brent Jesse's pages and I'm glad to have experimented with them.

Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by Dominick on 05/28/21 at 14:35:52 hit the nail on the head. †The lower gain on this tube hits the sweet spot. †I figured that the gain factor on a regular 12AT7 may have been too much in the ZSTAGE, so this tube finds a nice balance and works great in either bias position. †At 50 bucks a tube, it doesnít break the bank, and the 10,000 hour on the heater is a bonus. †Will had sent me the link to the Brent Jesse website and it was an invaluable source of information. †I may just start to hoard this tube for the ZSTAGE and my future ZROCK. †

I had also bought a ďKevinís StashĒ GE Military Stock 12AU7/6189 from Upscale audio, so once I roll that tube, Iíll see which one Iím going to like better. This tube has really good ratings, and since this tube is supposedly really quite, it piqued my interest. †Hereís the link to the GE tube....


Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by Lon on 05/28/21 at 16:21:01

That may be a great tube, 6189 can be quite nice. But. . . I like big tubes and I cannot lie! I have enough of the 6829, 6414 and 7206 to keep my components filled probably the rest of my life! (Doesn't mean I won't get the itch to experiment in the future).

Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by Lon on 06/16/21 at 15:50:07

Well, I can't take the Amperex pinched waist 7062 out of the ZROCK2 in the main system. It has blossomed into just the right tube!

I've been experimenting with. 0C3 tube types and by readjusting my entire gain structure I have gotten a very good sound, and finally bass with this tube type. I found a pair of Raytheon OC3W that are very very nice if just a TAD lean. I find that I really like the "W" type in these regulation tubes and just ordered another pair to try, a Marshall branded one, and am thinking of getting a Chatham as well. I could use just a tiny dab of warmth to make my current tube complements "complete."

Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by Lon on 06/16/21 at 19:26:54

Also an improving factor for me is a change in my loudspeaker isolation. I made the mistake of trying out VooDoo Cable IsoPods from my audio/visual system under the HR-1 in my main system. OMG. Better than the Ingress Engineering rollerblocks, better than the Herbie's Audio Lab Iso-Cups, just a great upgrade that allows more detail and a more solid imaging and a great tonal balance. Luckily VooDoo Cable has a special on these and the Cable Company even has some used ones available. . . I was able to put four under each of my HR-1 and pur the others back in the audio/video system under components--they make a significant difference there. (I know in time I'll wrangle two more sets to put under the HR-1 in my audio/video system; I am using the Herbie Audio Lab Iso-Cups there to very good effect).

I now have these IsoPods under all the components in my main system except the turntable--there I have MapleShade Audio Mega feet with triple point--massive feet that really work well under my low mass Rega turntable.

Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by Zork on 03/06/22 at 21:09:14

Is there a great source for purchasing Amperex 7062?

Title: Re: ZROCK Tube Rolling
Post by Lon on 03/06/22 at 23:32:11

I have had excellent results via eBay.

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