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Decware MKIII Tube Suggestions (Tube-rolling) (Read 9990 times)
Chet
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Decware MKIII Tube Suggestions (Tube-rolling)
06/13/15 at 21:44:49
 
Hello People,


Need some insights from actual MK3 owners who have tube-rolled. I recently purchased (process of delivery) a Decware Taboo MKIII amp for my LCD3. I had heard the music from similar setup and couldn't get the experience out from my head. Lusted for it and finally made the plunge.

However, the setup had rectifier tubes that were not part of the original MkIII. I cannot remember the brand. I searched this thread for rectifier tube alternatives but there are may suggestions. Is there a 'sticky' thread somewhere in this forum that lists out all the options?

Alternatively, if someone can list out some good alternatives or point me in the right direction, I would appreciate it a lot. Any good suggestions on the output and signal tubes are also welcome Smiley

FYI, the type of tubes on the Decware MK3 are –

Rectification       5Y3GT / 5U4 / 5AR4 tube rectification

Output tubes       SV83 or EL84 / 6BQ5

Signal tube         6922 / 6N1P

Thanks….
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mark58
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Re: Decware MKIII Tube Suggestions (Tube-rolling)
Reply #1 - 06/13/15 at 22:46:01
 
Chet, I bought a taboo MK iii when they were first introduced but haven't used it much recently.  I have a pair of Audeze LCD 2.2s and it works very well with them.  The only tube that isn't stock is a  50s RCA 5u4g but the Valve Art 274B that came with it also worked well...the other tubes are the Russian tubes sent by Decware.  If you do a search here or on the headfi site you'll find lots of taboo MK III tube rollers. I think there is a specific "Decware taboo mk iii appreciation" thread at headfi  as well as more general threads on tube rolling. Hope this helps start you on your journey...don't go too far down the rabbit hole. Mark.
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"The man that hath no music in himself, nor is not moved with the concord of sweet sounds, is fit for treasons, deceptions, and spoils;
The motions of his spirit are dull as night and his affections dark as Hell. Let no such man be trusted." William Shakespeare
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Chet
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Re: Decware MKIII Tube Suggestions (Tube-rolling)
Reply #2 - 06/14/15 at 00:04:29
 
Thanks Mark... Will follow up on your feedback.
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Lon
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Re: Decware MKIII Tube Suggestions (Tube-rolling)
Reply #3 - 04/15/17 at 00:15:31
 
I've done some tube-rolling the last ten days in my Taboo Mk III. I ended up with a tube that was marked a 12AT7. . . which I thought was not a tube that worked in the III, but it does and it really works well with a bottle-shaped 5Y3 rectifier and the output tubes I have. I found in one of my boxes of tubes a pair of old Svetlana SV83s that I used in old Zen amp #27 (which I bought and then later had converted to Rev. A) and am now using these. The meters show that they are still full of life, I had feared they might be on their last legs.

This amp really shows you every tube change and the character of interconnects and power cords, isolation components, power treatment, headphone cables . . . wow. I even replaced the stock fuse with an aftermarket fuse that i had in another preamp and I could clearly hear that change. Looking forward to the Mk IV.

I'm playing around with Lucid Mode. I find that the original works well for some recordings. I'm listening to Gary Burton's Genuine Tong Funeral. The sound gets a bit brighter than I'd wish but the sound sits around my head very intriguingly. I can see that the adjustable New Lucid Mode in the Mk IV will be useful.
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HR-1,ZTPRE,ZBIT,ZROCK2,SE84UFO3-25th x2, CSP3-25th.Taboo Mk IV; Rega RP3 w all GrooveTracer mods PS Audio: PST+DSD,P15,NPC,PowerBases,AC-12 pwr cbls, Reference spkr cbls;Mapleshade:Samson V3;;VooDoo:Cremona+Amati intrcncts, Iso-Pods;headphones:PM1,HD800S,ZMF Ori
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Rivieraranch
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Re: Decware MKIII Tube Suggestions (Tube-rolling)
Reply #4 - 04/16/17 at 04:28:48
 
So let me understand: you are using a 12AT7 in a 6 watt circuit. Sort of like the ZStage that uses a 12 volt tube with a 6 watt circuit.

Also those Svetlana SV83's I thought had been recommended in the older versions of the Zen Amp. I am sure there are subtle differences between them and the 6P15P-EV that the current amps are voiced for.
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mark58
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Re: Decware MKIII Tube Suggestions (Tube-rolling)
Reply #5 - 04/16/17 at 10:13:45
 
I thought the SV83 were the Svetlana branded consumer version of that Russian tube...essentially the same tube...please correct me if I'm wrong.  I have the SV83s in my Monoblocks but they came with the Russian Military version when I bought them.  I have tons of spares of both versions.  Mark.
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"The man that hath no music in himself, nor is not moved with the concord of sweet sounds, is fit for treasons, deceptions, and spoils;
The motions of his spirit are dull as night and his affections dark as Hell. Let no such man be trusted." William Shakespeare
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Lon
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Re: Decware MKIII Tube Suggestions (Tube-rolling)
Reply #6 - 04/16/17 at 11:40:33
 
The same tube type, but this pair sounds subtly different than the other, which I am not sure are made by Svetlana? I don't know how different they are in construction, I remember in my Rev. A Zen amp that Sovtek EL84s sounded very different in the military and regular versions. Anyway, I'm enjoying them for a while, will probably put the TAD EL84 back in soon. Not going to be doing much listening today, off soon to lunch with my family (my sister is in town from Virginia and we all got together yesterday) and then helping my Dad with his afternoon Easter service at his assisted living home.
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HR-1,ZTPRE,ZBIT,ZROCK2,SE84UFO3-25th x2, CSP3-25th.Taboo Mk IV; Rega RP3 w all GrooveTracer mods PS Audio: PST+DSD,P15,NPC,PowerBases,AC-12 pwr cbls, Reference spkr cbls;Mapleshade:Samson V3;;VooDoo:Cremona+Amati intrcncts, Iso-Pods;headphones:PM1,HD800S,ZMF Ori
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Lon
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"Love without
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worthless!"
Philip K. Dick

Posts: 19510
Re: Decware MKIII Tube Suggestions (Tube-rolling)
Reply #7 - 04/16/17 at 11:47:30
 
Uncle Jim, yes, the Svetlana SV83 is the tube that was responsible for the "Revison A" mod of the original Zen amp back in '97 or so, before that the amp was supplied with EL84 and Rev. A allowed the use of SV83 as well. Then at some point this century there were bad batches of the Svetlana logo'd SV83s and Steve moved to the military version iirc.

Yes, I'm using a 12AT7 in the Taboo Mk III (which I thought had been reduced in output from the previous versions, just as the Mk IV is further reduced?) I thought the Mk III was changed to use the 6922 type, but this 12AT7 works fine. It was mixed in with my 6922 type tubes which is why it made it in there, and I liked the sound a lot with these SV83s so I've kept it so far.
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HR-1,ZTPRE,ZBIT,ZROCK2,SE84UFO3-25th x2, CSP3-25th.Taboo Mk IV; Rega RP3 w all GrooveTracer mods PS Audio: PST+DSD,P15,NPC,PowerBases,AC-12 pwr cbls, Reference spkr cbls;Mapleshade:Samson V3;;VooDoo:Cremona+Amati intrcncts, Iso-Pods;headphones:PM1,HD800S,ZMF Ori
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mark58
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Re: Decware MKIII Tube Suggestions (Tube-rolling)
Reply #8 - 04/16/17 at 12:49:55
 
FYI...from Steve in 2008...Re: SV83's......
Reply #2 - 04/20/08 at 17:01:14   There are 3 grades of this tube.  All are N.O.S. Russian tubes that were made until 1986.  When I started manufacturing the Zen amps there were confirmed at least 10,000 of these tubes available.  The highest grade is a mil spec tube with higher impact ratings and longer life.  The number of these tubes remains unknown.  They were never branded with the Svetlana brand.   The original Svetlana branded tubes are mostly owned by our customers leaving about 2000 of the original 10,000 still floating around.  Since New Sensor purchased the Svetlana name a few years back, the consistency of the original batch was lost so I stopped purchasing them.

We only buy the top grade mil spec 6P15P-EV aka 6n15n-EB tubes directly from Russia and Europe for all of our production amplifiers that use that tube.

Steve

And from 2009...There are 3 versions of the 6N1P. 2 of them have plated pins, 1 does not.  Avoid the ones that do not have plated pins.  Of the two that do, the 6P15P-EV is the military grade, long life tube that we sell.  This tube has been re-branded as Svetlana in the past.  All of them have the floating suppressor grid.
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"The man that hath no music in himself, nor is not moved with the concord of sweet sounds, is fit for treasons, deceptions, and spoils;
The motions of his spirit are dull as night and his affections dark as Hell. Let no such man be trusted." William Shakespeare
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Lon
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"Love without
guts is
worthless!"
Philip K. Dick

Posts: 19510
Re: Decware MKIII Tube Suggestions (Tube-rolling)
Reply #9 - 04/16/17 at 13:03:43
 
Okay, but just because a tube is not the top type etc. doesn't mean it can't sound GOOD or great! This pair was one of those I bought last century for the Rev. A amp before this "inconsistency from a few years back," and it's not shoddy or defective and I'm enjoying listening to them. It has risen from my tube stash. Ultimately all I trust is my own ears.

I actually really like the EL84 tube in the Zen amps and the Taboo Mk III. For some reason the Hazen Grid does not always improve things for me in these amps or the Torii, and the EL84 tube type is time-honored and a really nice tube.

Happy Easter everyone!
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HR-1,ZTPRE,ZBIT,ZROCK2,SE84UFO3-25th x2, CSP3-25th.Taboo Mk IV; Rega RP3 w all GrooveTracer mods PS Audio: PST+DSD,P15,NPC,PowerBases,AC-12 pwr cbls, Reference spkr cbls;Mapleshade:Samson V3;;VooDoo:Cremona+Amati intrcncts, Iso-Pods;headphones:PM1,HD800S,ZMF Ori
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mark58
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Re: Decware MKIII Tube Suggestions (Tube-rolling)
Reply #10 - 04/16/17 at 13:34:21
 
Lon, my comment wasn't directed to you...not sure if your's is to me.  I just thought I'd try to help with what seemed to be a bit of confusion on these tubes.  I also recall seeing on a site I can't recall at the moment, a blurb warning that the Svetlana in larger print on the tube isn't a good version and that the smaller print ones are the good ones...or maybe I have it backwards?  I'll look for it...pictures were included. Mark.

PS...my audio memory is horrible but I don't think I noticed much if any difference between my Svetlana SV83s and the Military type tubes that were in my Monos previously.  Both are great IMO.
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"The man that hath no music in himself, nor is not moved with the concord of sweet sounds, is fit for treasons, deceptions, and spoils;
The motions of his spirit are dull as night and his affections dark as Hell. Let no such man be trusted." William Shakespeare
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mark58
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Posts: 5647
Re: Decware MKIII Tube Suggestions (Tube-rolling)
Reply #11 - 04/16/17 at 14:04:06
 
Found it...or at least one place I saw it...it's on page 5 of the Decware SE84ZS Owner's Manual. https://www.decware.com/ZSmanual.pdf

http://prntscr.com/ex2m40

OUTPUT TUBE WARNING
The SE84ZS is designed to use either EL84
output tubes or SV83 output tubes. No adjustments
are needed when switching from one to
the other. Of the type SV83 tubes carrying the
Svetlana name there is one batch known to be
questionable and ARE NOT RECOMMENDED for
use in this amplifier.
The tube on the left is an acceptable SV83
output tube for use in this amplifier. The tube
on the right with the smaller logo is NOT acceptable
for use in this amplifier.
OTHER OUTPUT TUBE INFORMATION
This amp ships with the milspec version of the SV83
output tubes.
This ultra high quality tube features a 5000 hour rating,
and is known only by its REAL Russian numbers
of:
◊ 6P15P-EV or 6n15n-EB
If there is no extension of -EV or -EB it is not high
grade version and likely a standard SV83.
The number SV83 came from an American marketing
company who purchased a large stock of the nonmilitary
grade of these tubes and then made up the
trademark of Svetlana and the “S” logo visible in the
picture above.
These tubes whether milspec or non-milspec are
because of their small size and intended use in
video applications are superior sonically to the popular
300B, 2A3, 45’s because they lack the heavy
signature and are considerably faster. The bandwidth
of these tubes is far greater then that specified
for audio tubes.
The SV83’s and the 6P15P-EV tubes all came from
a single tube factory in Russia and were manufactured
in the 1980’s.
Decware was introduced to these tubes in 1995 by
Svetlana’s Eric Barbour who was convinced they
would make a nice alternative to the EL84’s.
Steve Deckert, owner of Decware and designer of
this amplifier was the only one in the industry
smart enough and with the foresight to purchase
and use these tubes. To date we are the only
manufacture to use this Vacuum Tube in production
high fidelity amplifiers.
Now that the company Svetlana is gone, Decware
purchases these tubes directly from Russia and
with only original factory markings on the glass.
Always buy 6P15P-EV replacement tubes directly
from Decware. You may also enjoy EL84/6BQ5
tubes of which there is a huge variety of, from any
reputable tube supplier.
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"The man that hath no music in himself, nor is not moved with the concord of sweet sounds, is fit for treasons, deceptions, and spoils;
The motions of his spirit are dull as night and his affections dark as Hell. Let no such man be trusted." William Shakespeare
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Lon
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"Love without
guts is
worthless!"
Philip K. Dick

Posts: 19510
Re: Decware MKIII Tube Suggestions (Tube-rolling)
Reply #12 - 04/16/17 at 14:30:50
 
Just for the record then the SV83 I am using is the "acceptable" ones to the left, and may even be a pair that I received from Steve, I  have never seen the ones with the other screening.

I think I'll probably put the TAD EL84 in next and build a complement around them. They were cryo from cryoset.com and once broken in sound really good: a touch of old school tube sound, yet really clear and dynamic.
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HR-1,ZTPRE,ZBIT,ZROCK2,SE84UFO3-25th x2, CSP3-25th.Taboo Mk IV; Rega RP3 w all GrooveTracer mods PS Audio: PST+DSD,P15,NPC,PowerBases,AC-12 pwr cbls, Reference spkr cbls;Mapleshade:Samson V3;;VooDoo:Cremona+Amati intrcncts, Iso-Pods;headphones:PM1,HD800S,ZMF Ori
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mark58
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Re: Decware MKIII Tube Suggestions (Tube-rolling)
Reply #13 - 04/16/17 at 14:38:01
 
Very good, Lon.  Off topic...I'm listening to one of the "Stereo Lab" albums you have posted recently via Spotify.  It's unlikely to be played again as you suspected but I have to say the addition of this little Audioquest Dragonfly Red DAC to my laptop is giving me fantastic sound quality.  Amazing in fact.  Mark.
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"The man that hath no music in himself, nor is not moved with the concord of sweet sounds, is fit for treasons, deceptions, and spoils;
The motions of his spirit are dull as night and his affections dark as Hell. Let no such man be trusted." William Shakespeare
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Lon
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"Love without
guts is
worthless!"
Philip K. Dick

Posts: 19510
Re: Decware MKIII Tube Suggestions (Tube-rolling)
Reply #14 - 04/16/17 at 15:42:50
 
I figured that you wouldn't be too into Stereolab. I've about five of their earlier works now and I do like them. In part because the French singer reminds me so much both in the sound of her voice and the way she sings of the first singer in the first band I played drums in in the mid-eighties. . . Hanni Hagen. She was a very nice gal and dropped out of music to be a Mom. She had a similar beautiful tone to Laetitia Sadier of Stereolab, as soon as I heard Sadier's voice Hagen's came right back to me. One of those great moments of memory and audio fun.

Glad you are digging the Dragonfly, it has gotten good reviews. I would get one if I needed or wanted sound from a laptop.
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HR-1,ZTPRE,ZBIT,ZROCK2,SE84UFO3-25th x2, CSP3-25th.Taboo Mk IV; Rega RP3 w all GrooveTracer mods PS Audio: PST+DSD,P15,NPC,PowerBases,AC-12 pwr cbls, Reference spkr cbls;Mapleshade:Samson V3;;VooDoo:Cremona+Amati intrcncts, Iso-Pods;headphones:PM1,HD800S,ZMF Ori
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