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AUDIO FORUMS >> Replacement Tubes >> Tesla PCC88 White Label 37
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Message started by JOMAN on 03/31/19 at 18:09:36

Title: Tesla PCC88 White Label 37
Post by JOMAN on 03/31/19 at 18:09:36

FYI...

Some time ago I picked up a pair of Tesla PCC88 white label, Factory Code 37, supposed to be the Trinec or Trencin Factory.  I was surprised at how good they were for $8.00 ea.  So I got another 6 for inventory and didnít give them a real try until now.

Iíve got one burning in my CSP3 signal position.  The more it burns in the more impressed I am.  Very close to the pricey Euro NOS tubes just a touch gentler.  

I tried the Tesla yellow label 32ís and I prefer the White label 37ís.  So if anyone is on a budget these are worth a try.  Even if your not on a budget you might want to give these a try.

Title: Re: Tesla PCC88 White Label 37
Post by piezoman on 03/24/20 at 20:40:19

Thanks John.

Certainly worth a try in my Taboo MK1V down the road.




Title: Re: Tesla PCC88 White Label 37
Post by piezoman on 03/30/20 at 20:47:04

Has anyone tried this tube?

Title: Re: Tesla PCC88 White Label 37
Post by Ace-Tone on 03/30/20 at 22:25:03

I have this tube and agree with Joman. Well worth the price!

Title: Re: Tesla PCC88 White Label 37
Post by safebelayer on 05/16/20 at 06:31:54

John,

Where did you buy your tubes? Seems like most of the dealers are eastern Europe or Ukraine.

Thank you

Title: Re: Tesla PCC88 White Label 37
Post by MrDerrick on 05/16/20 at 13:51:05

Definitely not a good time to order tubes from overseas.
I have 4 acquisitions that are not moving due to flight restrictions.

Title: Re: Tesla PCC88 White Label 37
Post by JOMAN on 05/16/20 at 19:51:45

Itís been a while but I think I bought mine from Ukraine.  Iím going to be selling a bunch of my tubes, just trying to find time to list them.  Included will be 3 or 4 of the the Tesla PCC88.  Iím keeping 3.

Title: Re: Tesla PCC88 White Label 37
Post by Radarek on 05/22/20 at 03:14:19

+1. Great budget tube, sleeper... got a set of 4 for 30 bucks shipped. Sounds better every day...

Title: Re: Tesla PCC88 White Label 37
Post by CAJames on 07/27/20 at 18:01:08

I'm a big fan of (original) Tesla tubes so this is very interesting to me. So is the conventional wisdom the white label 37 factory pcc88s sound better than the yellow label 32s?

Title: Re: Tesla PCC88 White Label 37
Post by JOMAN on 07/28/20 at 04:16:56

I started off with the yellow label Tesla when I had my SE84UFO2 because they were supposed to be the sought after tube.  I didnít like them.  I came across an ad for the white label 37.  In the ad it was claimed that the 37 white label were military grade and sought after.  At $8.00 ea., I gave them a try and found that I preferred the 37 white label by a long shot.

Now, after I got my UFO25, I use the PCC88 Tesla as back up in my CSP3 input.  Sometimes I put them in and I have a tendency to leave them in,  nice change of pace.  I consider the Tesla PCC88 37 white label as an excellent budget tube, not a giant killer, a bit of a sleeper.

So which is the Tesla sought after PCC88?  I have not come across a definitive, proven statement one way or the other.  For me, based on my experience, itís the 37 white.

Title: Re: Tesla PCC88 White Label 37
Post by CAJames on 07/28/20 at 16:32:59

I consider the Tesla PCC88 37 white label as an excellent budget tube, not a giant killer, a bit of a sleeper.

Thanks. They are indeed super cheap so I ordered 4 of them because, why not?

Way back in the 90's I had an Audio Research SP9 that used 2 6DJ8 tubes and guy on the very early internet was selling a box of lightly used "famous label" 6DJ8 types that he used for some kind of project, for like 50 bucks for 30 tubes. That was my introduction to tube rolling.

My two favorites were the Amperex 7308s and Tesla gold grid E88CCs. When I sold the SP9 I gave the buyer most of the tubes (they'd probably be worth more than the preamp today) but kept 4 Amperex and 2 Teslas. They have been sitting in their boxes over 20 years but when I ordered my UFOs I took them out, tested them and look forward to trying them in the amps along with the PCC88s and anything else I can come up with in the next couple months.

Based on reading these forums I've been looking at the PCC189 which seem very interesting, being able to get Telefunken for a reasonable price. I tell myself I can wait until I get the amps and listen to the tubes that I have before I buy something like that, but who am I kidding? Probably 80-20 I'll buy them before my amps are done.

Title: Re: Tesla PCC88 White Label 37
Post by JOMAN on 07/29/20 at 05:22:09

I am now using the TF PCC189 in the input section of my UFO25, and I have three spares.  The TF has been in the input position of my UFO25 for quite some time and I have no desire to change it.  It doesnít have the typical TF or German tube sound.  I bought a pair in much the same manner as the Tesla PCC88, the price was good especially for a genuine TF, so I thought ďwhy notĒ.  After getting it and spending some time with it I picked up two more.

I would like to add that itís not just one tube itís the synergy between all in the amp and the other components.  The CSP3, the ZROCK2 and the UFO25, all have to synergize.  The real game changer for me was the Miniwatt GZ34 Metal base.    It just seems to be the conductor that brought it all together.  But the Metal Base is not the point that Iím trying to make.  For others it may be another configuration.  Regardless, I believe itís about all the tubes getting along with each other without any one trying to dominate or be the superstar.    


Title: Re: Tesla PCC88 White Label 37
Post by CAJames on 07/29/20 at 16:27:34

Yes, agree 1000%. My headphone/preamp is a Woo Audio WA22, which was also my introduction to tube rectification. Even after reading the forums (Dubstep Girls massive rectifier tube review included a WA22) I was shocked at how much difference there was between power tube/rectifier tube combinations. Power tubes that are almost unlistenable with one type of rectifier sound great with another and vise versa. In my experience/my gear the input tubes are mostly just along for the ride in the sense that their characteristics don't change much if at all when changing rectifiers.

I envy you your metal base GZ34, unless I find them at a garage sale or something that's probably not anything may Scottish heritage is going to be comfortable buying, esp. since I'll need a pair. Closest I'm likely to get are Matsushita/Mullard GZ34s, which are nice enough in my gear, but nothing special. FWIW the tube I found that works best for me is a National Union JAN 5Z3 that cost less than a 5Z3 - 5U4 adapter, so you never know. I've accumulated a pretty good stock of rectifiers, and look forward to rolling through them when my UFOs (finally) arrive.

Title: Re: Tesla PCC88 White Label 37
Post by CAJames on 07/29/20 at 16:43:22

The TF has been in the input position of my UFO25 for quite some time and I have no desire to change it. †It doesnít have the typical TF or German tube sound.

Interesting, thanks for that info. I assume by "German sound" you mean something like detailed and transparent rather than lush and liquid. I tend to lean more towards the German, so this makes it easier to resist buying the TFKs.

Title: Re: Tesla PCC88 White Label 37
Post by JOMAN on 07/29/20 at 18:38:45

Itís in between.  Itís got the German sound transparent and detailed but a touch ďdenserď with really nice strong bass.  Often the German sound is considered lean by some.  The PCC189 is not what some may consider lean. It is liquid but not lush.    

I tend to lean (no pun intended) toward detailed and transparent but not harsh, liquid but not syrupy, dense not dark, organic, in the middle between warm and cool but not cold and fast, fast, fast.  The layering and decay on my system at this point can be mesmerizing and vocals can induce goose bumps.

Typically I do not recommend tubes just let others know what I have experienced as it may be of value.  In your case though, taking into consideration your preferences of ďdetailed and transparentĒ save up for at least one GZ34 Metal Base.  With youíre heritage saving up should be no problem  ;).  Spending it may take some effort  :'(.  Itíll be worth it.

Title: Re: Tesla PCC88 White Label 37
Post by CAJames on 07/29/20 at 19:38:22

Thanks, appreciate the advice.  :)

Title: Re: Tesla PCC88 White Label 37
Post by spyder1 on 07/30/20 at 03:23:08

Philips-Holland, Siemens, Tungsram, Hitachi-Japan made PCC189 vacuum tubes.

Title: Re: Tesla PCC88 White Label 37
Post by Lon on 07/30/20 at 14:35:42

My 25th Anniversary modded components have really shown me another level of tube-rolling processes. Like John, I have come to realize that an entire tube complement is the sound and each tube matters.

With the myriad of tube types and brands to play with there are so so many "sounds" (or as I think of them "amplifiers") possible. I've gone through many in the last two years and there are many to enjoy.

I find I need to have an anchor or two or I fly wildly through the sonic universes potentially there. I have one voltage regulator for the input tube I consistently use as to roll these I need to take the amp chassis off the amp case, not an 'on the fly' task. And I have never found a better power tube to use than Steve's carefully tested and matched and so that is another anchor. And in general I use a particular pair of Arcturus 0B3 as the voltuage regulator for the power tubes--they just give me a super quiet and a tad romantic sound I can't seem to do without.

Then what I do next depends on the rectifier. Lately I shifted to using the excellent Sophia Electric 274B Aquas again in the SE84UFO3s with the 25th mods and a Cunningham Type 80 Globe in the CSP3-25th modded. And with these rectifiers I have decided that Steve's carefully selected, tested and matched 6N5P just have the right stuff for almost all the material I listen to. I have these in the ZTPRE, the CSP3 and the Monoblocks. That complete chain has a certain magic to it!

The final icing on the sonic cake is the tube in the ZROCK2. I have been alternating between an Amperez 12AU7 and a National 5963 that Steve sent me with this ZROCK2. †Both are different windows into the sound and bothI really love and so I seem to pop one in and out every week or so.

And then there's gain riding. FInding just the right levels between the ZTPRE, the ZBIT, the ZROCK2, the CSP3, and the Monoblocks is fun and instructive to how the complements work.

I will never be able to be bored with thise components. Adding in the different settings and modes of my PS Audio P15 power regenerator. . . there is so much to tinker with. . .and be fascinated with the resulting sounds. And the music. . . comes alive.

Title: Re: Tesla PCC88 White Label 37
Post by CAJames on 07/30/20 at 16:46:56

I wonder how much the voltage regulator tubes factor into one's preferred rectifier vs amps without the 25th anniversary mods. On paper I'd think they would make the sound (much) less dependent on the choice of rectifier because they insulate the input and power tubes from voltage sag and the other factors that distinguish one rectifier from another. But that doesn't seem to be the case.

Title: Re: Tesla PCC88 White Label 37
Post by Lon on 07/30/20 at 16:59:49

Perhaps they do effect the rectifiers in that manner and then allow the rectifier to reveal other characteristics?

It's just one of those things that lead me to toss out a lot of preconceptions or "institutional knowledge" about audio. For instance power cords. One would think if you have a great balanced isolation transformer or a power regenerator then a cord to the amp wouldn't make much difference, the noise is reduced, the power cleaned. But my experience is that cable characteristics are even more pronounced after the conditioner or regenerator, and also the contitioner or regenerator is more than subtly influenced by the cable between it and the wall.

The one thing I have come to know with certainty is: Decware products allow you to hear so much. The 25th Anniversary mods give that much a little boost. You often find yourself inspired to reach the next audio plateau. . . .

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