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Tube Rollin (Read 16707 times)
will
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Re: Tube Rollin
Reply #50 - 03/30/20 at 02:05:18
 
Hey Lon,

Thanks for the input on all counts, and your thoughts on the 6N6Ps. They sound interesting for sure.

It seems there are a lot of levels of digging into "the ultimate," but once a system is as good as yours, mine or John's, it seems possible to get really close with care like you have so deeply covered in front end, component matching, cable matching, vibration management, power, tubes, etc. Seems like since leaving Austin, your choices have steadily moved more toward "open" and "revealing" in tube choices. I figured that may have been a lot that your Austin room was a bass sucker, but your continuing foot and cable exploration, and your explanation of your use of the ZROCK seem to fit nicely with this...Pretty cool how the ZROCK allows you to tend a little lean and open with a tube if you choose, and then tune the bass right in with the ZROCK. Though I gather not the same, I use the ZBIT and CSP3 similarly, the ways I have them tuned with the Torii, being able to pretty easily tune dynamics, bass/treble balance, and signal power "on the fly," each album often set a little different from the baseline.

I am still using Ingress Audio feet under the HRs. Once I put them in, the way they work with my brick on sand floor is so clear and solid, I have not thought to look further. I am wondering how you use isocups...Do you put the balls in the spike holes for stability, or under the flat of the plinth?

I believe I am about done tuning my upgraded HR-1s to my tastes. Turned out to be a journey, with marigo resonance dots on the mid driver, and the full range top driver; more intense internal damping; careful plinth space tuning; faster/more revealing wires; crossover tuning with graduated cap values and cap blends I really like for musical transparency and balance; the mid driver caps followed by a duelund resistor to ground, reducing the level of the cap effect on the driver, and bringing up the articulation and spectral balance to meet well with the tweeter without a resistor; and finally, eliminating binding posts with a direct wire connection from teflon coated and teflon washered cable connectors...a UPOCC silver wire coil being all that makes electrical contact with the speaker cable spades...the short wire then going into teflon tubing through a small hole in the crossover plate...then the wire direct soldered to everything inside. After all the rest, that was a really big change toward free flow and pretty seamless resolution! These speakers are sounding unbelievably good to me...deep fast bass, more-or-less seamless spectral balance, pretty much without subtle smearing... great space, great soundstage... super fast and easy flow across the spectrum with beautiful fine detail bottom to top...amazing timbral representation really...

So why not play with isocups now!
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safebelayer
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Re: Tube Rollin
Reply #51 - 03/30/20 at 03:54:11
 
My CS pg3 arrived just moments ago. At this point, all looks well... Except the valve art 274 B tube. The base on it is a bit wobbly / loose. Common issue or throw away?

Here's a pic of the red tipped tubes,..6H1N-BN (The last N is upside down)
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Lon
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Re: Tube Rollin
Reply #52 - 03/30/20 at 03:55:25
 
Yes, with my Torii I used the ZBIT and CSP2+ to great effect and got great sound similar to what I can achieve with the ZROCK2. I really needed the ZROCK2 when I moved to the Taboo Mk IV and then the Monoblocks--though each improved with the Mods there just wasn't the bass that the Toriis can deliver, though there's so much more to love that I lived with a slightly leaner sound. . . til the ZROCK2 came along and I can have my cake and lick the plate as well.

And yes, rooms have improved, the P5 than P10 made a big difference to me, and I've learned a lot . . . the Monoblocks especially have been great teachers to me, drawing me into the sound deeply and showing me how each tube and cable and footer influences and contributes. Amazing involvement with these components.

I like the Ingress but they are just a hair too neutral when I need that last dollop of dark juice for the sound. That's what the Iso-Cup and the moss green quartz balls have brought. I have done them both ways--directly on the underside of the plinth and in the holes for the spikes--I don't hear much of a sonic difference but like the stability having them "perched" in the holes give, resisting accidental human or dachshund encounters. . . .
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will
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Re: Tube Rollin
Reply #53 - 03/30/20 at 06:35:42
 
Thanks Lon, sounds like things are really good with your systems. I don't think I need dark juice, but will try some isocups, perhaps with different stones than moss. I don't know if I have enough not in use just now, but I probably have enough other feet to cover for them...two new things to try from you in one day. Fun!


safebelayer,

Happy day!

I think that = 6N1P-EV. My 6N5P has 6H5N on it.

On the Valve Art, it is not necessarily a functional problem to have a loose tube base. It happens to a lot of older tubes. On Steve's advice, I use Weldbond to glue them back. It is water soluble so easy to clean up and make a clean joint you can't see and seems to last. I have a number of rectifiers I have not gotten around to fixing, and if I want to try them, I am just really careful to put them in and out handling the base only, rather than the glass. If the tube still has a silver getter flash (not cloudy white on clear) and was last known as a good tube, it is probably fine to use.

Whenever I have had rectifiers blow, they blow the fuse in the IEC inlet, and have not damaged anything else. At least this is my experience blowing rectifiers many times over many years.

Remember to play with the volume pots near the small CSP3 tubes. Yours probably has two for each tube position, left and right. A lot of folks like 10 on the input and 5-8 or so on the output.

If using it for a pre stage, these days, I would start with 7-9 on the input tube, and 7-8 on the output. Perhaps a good place to start experimenting would be 8 on the inputs and 7 on the outputs. Then use the master to increase or decrease voltage intensity/volume. Turn it up and increase lucidity, weight, bass, dynamics with more voltage. And to lean/open the sound, turn the master down for less voltage.

It is fun, and very useful to "ride the gains," while keeping a chosen volume, to punch things up, subtly increasing CSP3 gain while decreasing amp gain. Or to lean it out at the same volume, turn down the CSP while you increase the amp gain.

Then playing with the pot balance can be fun for tuning, reducing the intensity of the CSP3 effect with more or less emphasis on each tube stage.
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safebelayer
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Re: Tube Rollin
Reply #54 - 03/30/20 at 07:40:09
 
Will,

Thank you. I'm not sure about its previous functionality. I may just order up a new rectifier and be ready for replacement. Steve seems to support always having a spare set of tubes.

Where would you (or Lon) consider the Valve Art to be on the warm/dry spectrum? What would you recommend as a replacement that is at least as warm or slightly warmer (the latter if the VA sits in the middle or to the dryer end of the spectrum)?

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Lon
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Re: Tube Rollin
Reply #55 - 03/30/20 at 17:35:36
 
safebelayer wrote on 03/30/20 at 07:40:09:
Where would you (or Lon) consider the Valve Art to be on the warm/dry spectrum? What would you recommend as a replacement that is at least as warm or slightly warmer (the latter if the VA sits in the middle or to the dryer end of the spectrum)?


I read your post when I woke up and I put a pair of Valve Art 274B into the Taboo Mk IV and the CSP3-25th in place of a pair of Sophia Audio Aqua 274B to do a direct comparison.

I'd say they are a bit less warm and dry than the Aqua and appear to be a bit less powerful, maybe 5% or so, I found I was turning the volume up a little. That said, run in since 7 a.m. they sound very good. Honestly they are warm enough and they have a nicely controlled treble, the lack of which is what used to have me scrambling for "warmth." The Aquas may have a teaspoon more bass and a slightly airier treble. Not as big a difference between them as the price tag though.

I think from memory NOS RCA 5U4G type and 5Y3G type are warmest of those I have, but also have a less controlled and detailed treble. The Valve Art or Aqua are very good compromises. In my other system the Valve Art works best with 0A3 regulators for the power tube, teh Aquas with 0B3 with my usual input and power tube complements.
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will
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Re: Tube Rollin
Reply #56 - 03/30/20 at 19:56:40
 
SB,

I really like having a lot of tubes, for replacements, but more for mixing and matching to create engaging tube sets.

My rudimentary view of rectifiers....It is a little tricky picking rectifiers, as the rectifier converts AC to DC power, effecting the sound via the qualities of the power it "creates." So you don't quite hear a rectifier, more hearing what it does via the qualities and quantities of the power it sends to tube stages, which in turn has a lot to do with the quality of the tube sound. I think of it as "in the neighborhood" of bypassing the power supply as Steve did with his anniversary modifications. By cleaning up and speeding up the power feeding the tube stages, the tube stages can be seriously improved. The signature of the caps used is clearly reflected in this, as are the rectifiers as they "create" power for other tubes, having a potentially powerful effect on how the amp sounds. On the other hand, the effect we experience is "hearing" the power supply rectifier, or cap, or wire, so our general way of describing them as being heard is real.

Being a beginning, going for a rectifier that does not cause too much "color," or "masking," weaken dynamics, or clutter up fine detail and space potential is important to me. The "better" the rectifier does its jobs in relation to the needs of the other tubes, the better the other tubes sound. But "better" depends a lot on everything else, including the room, wall power, the other tubes, cables, etc, as well as on tastes, so tricky.

I think Valve Art 274Bs are good tubes, and nicely inexpensive. I would call them warmish and smooth, with good dynamics, and nicely detailed and spacious...so I am guessing they likely fit at least to some degree into your theoretical criteria. As Lon said relative to Sophia 247Bs, the Valve Art can be improved upon (by a number of tubes, including the very nice Sophias), but it is quite a nice tube.

I think it a good start for learning your amp and finding out how you would like to spring off of the sound from a basis of the decent tubes you have. With my current setup, I find "pushing them" in the CSP3, with higher CSP3 master gain in relationship with the amp gain balance makes them sound better in general, more solid, lucid and spacious.

I have not tried them, but recall an old forum member who was a big Valve Art 274B fan when we first started hearing about them. I am thinking ("gopher" as I recall) thought the Shuguang Preferred series of the same tube was "better," and in theory, having gone through more rigorous testing, may well be.

If you are inclined to get another Valve Art for backup, the Shuguang could be worth a try for comparison with your Valve Art. If you try this, remember tubes take some time to settle in, so direct comparisons with your Valve Art that presumably has time on it might be best made after the Shuguang plays 20-50 hours.

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safebelayer
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Re: Tube Rollin
Reply #57 - 03/30/20 at 20:24:56
 
Thanks guys. Much appreciated. The csp3, per the manufacturing sticker on the bottom, is 2 years old Jan 2020 with the stepped attenuator and beeswax caps.

I hear your suggestion to listen to the unit before any attempted changes. I agree and will do so. But until my Torii mk iv shows up, I'd like to gather as much info as possible.

That said, besides the upgrades noted above, are there other upgrades worth considering? How so?

Thank you

Btw, are you aware of the status of an old forum member, tgarden (Mike in Seattle)? Last he communicated on a forum was 2014 I think. I've emailed him thru this site.
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Lon
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Re: Tube Rollin
Reply #58 - 03/30/20 at 21:07:45
 
Mike hasn't been heard from in some time, as you note probably five years plus. If you get a reply let us know what you learn, I'm hoping he is just fine.

The other upgrade to consider is the 25th Anniversary mods. Well worth getting, a definite improvement for the preamp (I got my CSP3 with the mods, but sent a CSP2+ back for the mods and it was a transformed machine.)
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safebelayer
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Re: Tube Rollin
Reply #59 - 03/30/20 at 21:37:41
 
I obviously meant Jan 2018 for the mfr date.

What would I be looking at cost wise for the remainder of the 25th mods? I'm not sure the details of these upgrapdes...what's being done?Which would you consider to be primary? How would it benefit the CSP3?

Thank you
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Lon
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Re: Tube Rollin
Reply #60 - 03/30/20 at 22:14:13
 
There's information here in the forum about this that you can investigate but the short of it is that the mods bypass the power supply with caps that are related to the caps that you have in the amp or preamp, that is in your case beeswax caps. It will look as if there is a tiny forest of intricately placed and soldered parts under the chassis. There's a price list also on the forum--though I admit that it would be nice if it were easier to find and if there were a FAQS sheet from Steve about these mods.

What improvements you receive I perceive as a deeper black background, which yields more detail woven into the fabric of the sound (not an etched detailed sound but detail organically within the sound), more body and "density" to the sound and more lithe dynamics. This is really true also when using these preamps as headphone amps--my CSP3-25 and CSP2+-25 are the very best headphone amplifiers I have ever had and I delight to listen to them.

They really ARE a marked improvement and I have never heard anyone disappointed in having them installed. Turnaround to have them added to a component is about 2 weeks. I have sent two components in for the mods and ordered Monoblocks and CSP3 and ZROCK2 with the mods from the start.
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safebelayer
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Re: Tube Rollin
Reply #61 - 03/31/20 at 01:54:02
 
I've posted a pic of my csp3. It looks noticeably different than the circuit on the website. The website doesn't show the fuses. Is this a change from the original csp3? Or some sort of mod?
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will
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Re: Tube Rollin
Reply #62 - 03/31/20 at 02:13:35
 
That CSP3 uses Jupiter HT beeswax coupling caps, what Steve calls type I believe, and has no anniversary mods.

I have found that modification price sheet a few times in the past, seems to me buried in one of the long anniversary or development threads, but can't find it now...It would certainly be good if it were somewhere easy to find.

I would just call Steve and ask about the modifications and prices safe belayer.

I have not heard Steve's modifications, but have done similar ones and more with my amps, starting what seems like just yesterday, but a long time ago now, in August of 2016. First I changed the gain pots, IEC inlets, and some of the RCAs in the CSP3 and the Torii, while starting a long progression of bypassing experiments for the power supply and coupling caps. Methodically, generally I did one part pair or quad at a time so I could adjust with the best improvements I could come up with for a given cap, wire, resistor, connector, etc, and also have time to really hear the effects. Once I found a distinct improvement I moved on. Somewhere along the line, when Steve started doing his mods, I was glad to have input from his take on similar objectives. And though his approach was a little different than the track I had established, I was able to glean some good ideas from his work I likely would not have discovered on my own. By maybe mid 2019, I had progressively upgraded almost everything in there, and found lots of very effective bypass caps, methods and effects. Since then doing only minor adjustments now and then, I guess I am more-or-less finished, but I keep coming up with ideas, and with all the past improvements in place, I can really hear new adjustments, so it is still quite fun.

I did not leave any changes that were not notable improvements, so can seriously attest to the efficacy of taking an already really good amp and making it better.

So though I don't have experience with Steve's modifications, judging from what similar ones did to my amps, I can see why people really like the mods and would definitely investigate getting them done.
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safebelayer
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Re: Tube Rollin
Reply #63 - 03/31/20 at 02:22:08
 
Thank you, Will.

Are the fuses in the center of the circuit also part of the upgrade that was done with the Jupiter Beeswax caps? Have you seen him put fuses in the circuit other than at the IEC?
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will
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Re: Tube Rollin
Reply #64 - 03/31/20 at 02:39:18
 
I noticed Steve using internal fuses with the Anniversary amps. Not sure when he started this. I can't tell for sure from this view, not being able to see the wiring clearly, but it looks to me like those fuses are part of the rectifier tube setup and I am guessing added protection from a blowing rectifier. Again, a guess, but I am thinking the proximity to the Jupiter caps is likely incidental.

I got the Jupiter caps in my CSP3. It was one of the first CSP3s and it does not have these fuses inside, but otherwise looked to be pretty much the same design.

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safebelayer
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Re: Tube Rollin
Reply #65 - 04/02/20 at 04:46:44
 
Rectifier and Power tube combinations

Has anyone tried using Sophia Electric EL34s with either the Valve Art or Sophia Aqua 274b? It looks like there would be very little space, if any, between the 34s and 274 tube.

Besides the space, how was the sound?

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safebelayer
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Re: Tube Rollin
Reply #66 - 04/03/20 at 04:31:40
 
Lon (or Will),

You noted that you were using the Sophia Electric 274b...did you use this in your Torii MK III? If so, I'm assuming it fit with the KT66 tubes. Looks like it would be a tight fit. Would there be any problem with the heat each tube puts out on to the other?

I'm also considering trying out the SE 274, but also trying there EL34 tubes. It will be a bit of an expense, but unless I hear of a negative experience it looks to be a winner.

Thank you
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will
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Re: Tube Rollin
Reply #67 - 04/03/20 at 08:18:50
 
Not being much of an EL34 fan, and cautious with expensive tubes, I have not tried Sophia EL34s. And not being able to find the specs, I can't say how they might fit in the Torii with 274Bs. But here is a pic of 807s with the 274Bs in my MKIV. I had to tilt both tubes a little in the sockets to fit them without touching...and the placement of the power tube socket in relation to the rectifier is the same in the front, so needed to tilt them a little too, but it works. Pics not great, but if you look carefully, you can see some space between tubes. If you can't work it out otherwise, and can get the measurements of the EL34, we could compare it to the 807.




Also, I have been going back and forth between Sophias and Valve Arts in the CSP3 all day, neither my regular rectifiers, but trying the Valve Arts the other day after years of not using them, I was intrigued. Something about the Sophias never really got me...something a little off that was hard to identify. But I have made some breakthrough changes in amps, cables and speaker modifications since I last tried them, making it easy to identify my problem with the tube. It was not as obvious in the CSP3 where I had been comparing them, so the other day after Lon's comparison, I basically agreed. I did not hear a notable volume change, but I found the Sophias a little more refined and richer in fine detail... finer resolution...and a touch deeper in bass. But I still did not want to keep them in.

Putting back in the Valve Art, things opened up, more spacious, and though less smoothly refined, livelier with more articulation and space. I was good with keeping them in for a while.

Today, to check the fit of the Sophia 274Bs with 807s, the 807s appearing to be at least close to the Sophia EL34s width, I heard quite easily what I didn't like about the Sophias. The way I have things set up they had a sort of "contrived" warmth and smoothness in the mids and low mids, sounding veiled by comparison, while subtly squeezing the dynamic qualities of the tube...like a slightly sluggish attack and decay, and flattening on the top of the arc of a dynamic hit. It sounded to me like a slight compression that is smoothing and darkening, but not "real" sounding. I didn't hear this as much upper-mids up, resolving smoothness generally sounding good there, the open spaciousness and fine detail nice. They sounded decent in my Torii...but overall, they were a little "intellectual"  and warm and smooth, but not quite naturally so to me. Putting the Valve Arts in their place, that "compression" thing pretty much disappeared, opening up the sound again.

Though I still had the Valve Art in the CSP3, a bit more forceful and less resolving than my usual tube types, I was already using a fairly open tube set in the Torii...75C1 input VRs, OB3 power tube VRs, Siemens ECC189s (open and detailed, slightly warm), Amperex 807s (to me one of the more transparent and neutral power tubes I have used in my Torii), and mesh plate AZ1s unlabeled, I think Tekade (Telefunkens that are probably closest to a Phillips GZ32 in sound, also quite revealing with a subtle warm/smooth musicality).

So to try and hear the Sophias, I replaced my 75C1 VRs (warmish but quite textured and revealing OC2 equivalent) to Tesla 11TA31s (warmish and nicely textured OA2 equivalent) pretty seriously calming push on the input tubes, opening the inputs up, and therefore the power tubes too...the Sophias became beautiful. Still warm, but more balanced... pleasantly smooth, relatively resolving, and a sweet euphonic quality replacing the veils and compression for the most part. I really enjoyed them in my late night session.

As to Jeff day's reviews on the Sophia EL34s page, the comments are effusive and sound good, but a little general for me to get a real feel of what to expect...especially knowing that with two Toriis (MKIII and MKIV) in different systems, some tubes that are great in one, move quite well between, and some not as well. And these Toriis are "family." Also, to me, Jeff's comparison tube, a Winged C, was one of my least favorite EL34s in my early MKIII system...it has been so long I can't recall exactly why, but "warm" to the point of thickness was part of it. And finally, I had become a little concerned about his reviews previously, agreeing with some things from my experience, and not at all with some others. What really threw me off was his love of the NOS WE 16 gauge wire for speaker cables, and ICs made with Beldon 8402 cable with Switchcraft ends, both brought by his Japanese audio designer friend who was seeking a "vintage" sound as I recall.

With glowing reviews, I tried both. In my system, the 16 gauge WE wire was compelling for sure, but far from neutral. The bass was seriously lacking, and the liveliness to me was due to a pretty serious textural upper-mid bump...seductive, but especially lacking bass in the balance for support, not ideal here. And when I tried to increase bass by adding more strands of the wire, the bass came up, but the mids got hard.

Trying the Belden ICs was initially pretty nice too, big, warmish, and full, but it did not take long to hear serious veils in my system. When I changed the ends to Eichmann Copper, some parts of fine detail veils lifted, but some remained. I prefer resolving transparency with spectral neutrality and slight musical warmth, without off-balancing darkening and veils. So to me, these were both interesting, but too colored and off balance for my needs. There were a lot who liked them both, but I found them impediments in my system and room.

And I totally trust Jeff Day really liked these things in the setup(s) he used them in at the time, just pointing to how different our priorities can be, and to how much different systems and rooms can absorb the same things differently.

It all brings me back to cautioning against spending a lot on tubes without having heard how your new components mix in your system and room. You may well want to end up with these two Sophia tubes and love them, but it would be a drag to spend 6-700 on great tubes if the way they sound with your setup is not so great....or...if with a calculated approach, you could find something equally great with sonic characters that better fit your system/room/tastes.

OK, sorry for being a broken record here...last time I will say this...Best of luck!

Will
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Lon
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Re: Tube Rollin
Reply #68 - 04/03/20 at 12:03:00
 
SB, I'm glad Will was able to address your question. I wasn't using the Aquas when I had my Torii amps, and had never used the Sophia Electric EL34.

Will, interesting results with the Sophia. I'll note that I have been using those Tesla regulator tubes for years now and am relieved that you got better results with those, explains part of why I really love those Aquas.
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Re: Tube Rollin
Reply #69 - 04/03/20 at 16:31:31
 
Thank you, Will. I don't mind the reminder to do some listening before rolling tubes... That's my plan as well. I like to do as much research beforehand as I can, to be prepared for whatever I find.

Have either of you used the Decware power cord (vhc?)? My csp3 came with it. I'll be experimenting with it as well as the Grover Huffman pc I have.


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Re: Tube Rollin
Reply #70 - 04/03/20 at 16:36:52
 
I've used them in the past. Very good value for the money, a nice power cord for sure. I climbed another ladder and use in my main systems the PS Audio top power cords and really really like them. Bought many of them discounted or used, but even so, several times more expensive than the Decware cords.
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Re: Tube Rollin
Reply #71 - 04/03/20 at 17:01:38
 
Hey SB,

I have not used Decware power cables, but conceptually get how they could be notably more complete sounding than stock. Nice you have one to try in your new amps.

Sorry about my misunderstanding, I read your last post as saying you would try both Sophias unless you heard negative comments on them.

from safebelayer: "I'm also considering trying out the SE 274, but also trying there EL34 tubes. It will be a bit of an expense, but unless I hear of a negative experience it looks to be a winner."

The "considering trying" part, to me got modified/overpowered by the "it will be an expense, but" part that followed...confused me...

My mistake...Will
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Re: Tube Rollin
Reply #72 - 04/03/20 at 17:24:08
 
No worries. My forum grammar isn't what it could be. More importantly, I know you and Lon are providing wisdom...much appreciated. Thanks, brother.

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Re: Tube Rollin
Reply #73 - 04/03/20 at 20:26:23
 
You are surely welcome.

I have been reading up more on the Sofia EL34s, and they do sound like an interesting tube. Though not totally extensive searches, reading a fair bit, I still couldn't find but a little on actual sonic behaviors as compared with other tubes, more generalized superlatives... But the Sophia design concept, trying to make an truly optimal EL34 that goes beyond, borrowing design attributes from KT66s, 350s, old EL34s, etc, is compelling...Listening to the Sophia dude, it would seem it might possibly be a tube all its own.

But then, my favorite 807's trait's could be described similarly, and could have some similar superlatives applied to them if I thought about it. But who knows, these EL34s could be really good. And of course, how the power tube sounds depends on all the rest, so this tube may be able to be tuned in even if off a preferred balance in a given setting to begin with.

Would love to hear them, but not willing to take the risk myself based on what I have read so far. For me the the spectral balance is so important, as well as bass articulation without bloat, mid richness, and fine detail in space across the spectrum...a tube this costly needs to be just so! It sounds like they could be, but if they weigh too heavily toward bass in the balance, something lots of "audiophiles" seem to love, and if I could not tune that into what I hear as a natural bass sound in a good room, they would not work for me. And don't get me wrong, I really like deep, impactful bass. But I really do not like it when it is slow and thick...separated from a gradual shift from mids to deep bass...losing speed, details aligned with bass notes, and nuance...and/or adding excess darkness into the mids ....things I have often identified with excess bass in the balance and/or poor definition low down.

Looking forward to your impressions once you get your new amp and pre in play and tuned to your system and room!


Will
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Re: Tube Rollin
Reply #74 - 04/03/20 at 21:24:50
 
Lon,

Thanks for the reminder that you have used the little Tesla 11TA31 regulators so long, a baseline it sounds like. Having everything in my gear set at least a bit toward clarity and space, I usually found the tube a little too lean, though doing it very nicely, with some warmth and textures. And taking my already open setting, already a ways outside Steve's design choices/parameters, I guess I tend to try to work from my already pretty adjusted standard as a basis and not go further "out" in tube choices. But if "extreme" departures allow good tubes to be better, why not?

Wink
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Re: Tube Rollin
Reply #75 - 04/07/20 at 04:40:13
 
I think I've read this somewhere recently, but I can't remember the answer. Can the MK IV work with the 6CA7 tubes?

Thank you,

Jon
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Re: Tube Rollin
Reply #76 - 04/07/20 at 05:14:51
 
I'm also wondering if anyone has tried the Svetlana =C= EL34 NOS tubes from the pre-New Sensor days?
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Re: Tube Rollin
Reply #77 - 04/07/20 at 18:03:21
 
6CA7s have been used in the Torii by a lot of folks. Trouble was, JJs, relatively inexpensive, and liked by many, had reliability issues.
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Re: Tube Rollin
Reply #78 - 04/08/20 at 02:37:24
 
Will, Thank you.

I'm looking at a quad of NOS Raytheon 6ca7. Seemingly a good deal. I figure the NOS tubes won't be as unreliable... Best laid plans and all.

Will, did you try the Genelex kt77 reissues? Thoughts?
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Re: Tube Rollin
Reply #79 - 04/08/20 at 02:53:41
 
A lot of new power tubes are fairly reliable. I used the Genalex KT77 in  my SE34 amp, now so long ago, hard to recall with detail. Though detail and space were quite good! Wink

To me, KT77 are a punchy well balanced tube, with good extension, open and articulate, and nice tight bass relatively speaking...much tighter than most EL34s, and to me, tighter than Tungsol KT66. Some will likely find KT77 too punchy, but exciting. I was testing some JJ KT77s somewhat recently, tubes I got with a Blue Torii. I thought it was a really good sounding tube. Less lucid than the Genalex as I recall, warmer, yet still fast, relatively articulate, open and with nice textures, conceptually perhaps better suited to your idea of wanting warmth.
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Re: Tube Rollin
Reply #80 - 12/13/20 at 20:53:23
 
Lots of great information in this thread! Thanks for sharing everyone!
I saw that Steve said you can also use KT88's in the Torii, has anyone those tried and would that result in >25W output?
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Re: Tube Rollin kt88
Reply #81 - 12/14/20 at 18:11:13
 
Stefan,

Where did you see that Steve Deckert said kt88s work in Torii MK IV? If so, I'd also be curious to anyone's experience with them.
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Re: Tube Rollin
Reply #82 - 12/15/20 at 00:59:17
 
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Re: Tube Rollin
Reply #83 - 12/15/20 at 03:51:53
 
I've read that before...I'm getting old. I used to have VAC mono amps that used kt88s. Never was my type of tube sound. That said, those were very good amps. They did not offer the tube rolling Decware amps do. KT88 was it. I am curious how they're sound in the Zen Torii MK IV.

Maybe after I try the kt77 and nos Mullard el34s (both in stock) I'll give them a try.
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Re: Tube Rollin
Reply #84 - 01/24/21 at 04:53:04
 
Gold Lion kt66 reissue:

I just rolled in the kt66 tubes today. They join rca 6sn7gt vt 231 (input), rca 5u4gb (rectifier), Sylvania JAN oa3 (vr) and Mullard CV4080 (vr).

After about 5 hours of continuous play I started getting some very noticeable transformer hum.  Would there be any reason the kt66 tubes, in the current configuration, would cause the hum?

The previous SED winged c EL34 tubes never elicited this level of hum.

Thoughts?

Thank you,

Jon
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Re: Tube Rollin
Reply #85 - 01/24/21 at 12:14:48
 
I do not know if this is solely a Gold Lion related issue, but I had a quad of Gold Lion 6sn7's that caused my Atmasphere M60s to hum.

The first thing that was asked me when I called into for support was, do you have Gold Lions in the gain stage?

I have read that there are some amplifier designs ( DHT? ) that actually have "hum adjustment pots" built in to adjust hum sensitivity.

I have no idea what tube parameter the pot would be adjusting, maybe filament voltage?
I do notice that the VR tube for the input tube in my SE85UFO25, along with the bias switch, can affect the level of output hum with certain input tubes.

If I am recalling correctly, I believe that I had an input tube that needed as high a voltage as possible ( VR75? ) to drop the hum to its lowest level.
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Re: Tube Rollin
Reply #86 - 01/24/21 at 16:16:18
 
I used Gold Lion KT66s, Valve Art KT66 and Tungsol KT66 each for a while in my earlier version Torii IV. I did have more transformer hum back then that I could hear when nearer the amp, so I may have missed subtle changes. Also, not sure how the design might have changed with newer Toriis like yours, but here, I don't recall notable transformer hum changes with the GL KT66.

I did have one of the Gold Lion quad I originally got go bad but over a longer period, maybe 200-300 hours? It was pretty easy to narrow down though as one tube started to create subtle distortion. Once I got a replacement tube, all was well.

Causes me to wonder though... since the hum with GLs got worse with more time, and if you rolled back in other power tubes without hum, could it be a defective GL might be starting to show up???

Also, 6SN7s in my Torii created enough sound change to imply an overall electronic/signal shift that might effect the power tubes behavior. No increased hum here, but I have done some modifications to reduce hum overall in the Torii since I used KT66s, so another wild card. But the 6SN7 being a recent change for your setup, to help verify if the culprit is solely the GL KT66s, I wonder if you have tried your 7308s or other 9 pin inputs you know well with the Gold Lions?
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Re: Tube Rollin
Reply #87 - 01/24/21 at 17:08:03
 
safebelayer, If you hold the transformer does it get quieter? If so, try grabbing the transformer and gently pulling it to one side, give it a light shake as you are doing it. When I turned on the ZMA today one of the transformers was buzzing a little. If I stuck my finger between the two transformers the buzz would go away. a light pull and jiggle and the buzz stopped.

Might need to try 4 directions.
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Re: Tube Rollin
Reply #88 - 01/29/21 at 21:41:27
 
I think I found the culprit. Not tubes at all. Another appliance nearby. Once it's off, hum doesn't return.
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Re: Tube Rollin
Reply #89 - 01/29/21 at 23:14:02
 
Appliances, HVAC, and dimmer switches can cause problems especially when you don't have dedicated lines run for your stereo system. They can be a real PITA to troubleshoot.

HK
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Re: Tube Rollin
Reply #90 - 01/29/21 at 23:50:42
 
WiFi = BAD
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Re: Tube Rollin
Reply #91 - 02/13/21 at 21:13:37
 
Couple of questions and a comment for the forum.

Has anyone tried kt88 or 6550 tubes in the Torii MK IV? If so, how was the experience? What specific tubes were used?

I've tried 4 different power tubes in this amp: Gold Lion kt66, reissue Svetlana EL34, Raytheon 6ca7, and nos Svetlana (Winged C, St. Petersburg) EL34. Hands down the nos Winged C had the most dynamic and tonally pleasant sound. I did not like the kt66 or stock reissue Svetlana tubes. The latter are best described as vanilla in my system. KT66 just didn't do anything I'd call notable. Probably good plug and play tubes if money is an issue...better than the reissue Svetlana. The Raytheon tubes are musical ... probably similar to the KT66. I probably liked them better because they were the replacements for the reissues. The KT66 tubes are compared directly against the nos Winged C.

I really am curious about the 6550s in the Torii.

Peace,

Jon
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