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ZBox's sweetest tube? (Read 5109 times)
Corey
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ZBox's sweetest tube?
10/01/16 at 05:13:51
 
Years ago Eddie Vaughn recommended the NOS RCA 12AV7 for the ZBox.

Anybody have a recommendation for the sweetest sounding choice for female vocals out of these without entering 70's syrupy 300b SET territory? :

http://www.thetubestore.com/Tubes/12AU7-ECC82-Tube-Types

Corey  :)

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effluviography
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Re: ZBox's sweetest tube?
Reply #1 - 11/25/16 at 09:31:47
 
I've been using a NOS Cifte (Mazda) french made 12AU7. Dynamic, with crips highs and just a touch of warmth.

Better than the RCA and Mullard tubes I had tried before.

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veryoldcat
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Re: ZBox's sweetest tube?
Reply #2 - 04/23/17 at 06:17:50
 
!2bh7...it's the best I could do...
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SE84CS (vcapped), CSP, zbox, Dec685, ZP 1.0, Sota tt/Well-Tempered Arm/V15XMR, Parker 98's, Parker Audio *Power Chords*, cat 6 wires, OSX; a garage sale of other stuff...
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Lon
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Re: ZBox's sweetest tube?
Reply #3 - 04/14/20 at 01:10:58
 
I have taken my ZBOX out of retirement and put it in use in my headphone only bedroom system.

This system has been sounding really really good with CD and DVR using the Audiolab cd transport, the PS Audio NuWave DAC and the PS Audio GCHA headphone amplifier which is really wonderful with the ZMF Ori, like they were made for each other, complementing each other's strengths and ameliorating each other's weaknesses.

But I am using a Pioneer Elite blu-ray/SACD player through its own outputs and it just doesn't sound as good. So I inserted the ZBOX between it and the GCHA and that has helped. I'm using an RCA 12BH7 right now which is a nice tube.
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HR-1,ZTPRE,ZBIT,ZROCK2,SE84UFO3-25th x2, CSP3-25th.Taboo Mk IV; Rega RP3 w/25th mods PS Audio: DMP+DSD,P15,NPC,PowerBases,AC-12 pwr cbls, Reference spkr cbls;Mapleshade:Samson V3; Oppo UDP-205; VooDoo:Cremona+Amati intrcncts, Iso-Pods;headphones:PM1,HD800S,ZMF Ori
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Lon
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Re: ZBox's sweetest tube?
Reply #4 - 05/18/20 at 13:34:32
 
Okay, I am really enjoying the ZBOX in this system, and I've ordered a ZROCK2 to be the icing on the cake. I find it really interesting that the PS Audio GCHA headphone amp works so very well with the ZMF Oris--the Oris sound better with this amp than any of the Decware amps I use (it's more powerful and the Oris really love the juice!)

I have rolled some tubes in the ZBOX. I am fixated lately on the 6085 tube but in the ZBOX it is just a bit "lean." I have rolled in a 6211 Amperex--the 6211 is really closer to a 12AT7 but man it's working really well in this ZBOX. I think that in months when I have a ZROCK2 in this system the 6805 will be an excellent fit for either of the components or both.

I have been rolling the 6085 in a lot and now have it in the ZROCK2-25 in my main system as well as the SE84UFO3-25 Monoblocks there, and in both the ZROCK2 and Taboo Mk IV-25 in my audio/video system. It's an excellent tube if you can use the ZROCK2 to dial in the right frequency balance.
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HR-1,ZTPRE,ZBIT,ZROCK2,SE84UFO3-25th x2, CSP3-25th.Taboo Mk IV; Rega RP3 w/25th mods PS Audio: DMP+DSD,P15,NPC,PowerBases,AC-12 pwr cbls, Reference spkr cbls;Mapleshade:Samson V3; Oppo UDP-205; VooDoo:Cremona+Amati intrcncts, Iso-Pods;headphones:PM1,HD800S,ZMF Ori
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DancingSea
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Re: ZBox's sweetest tube?
Reply #5 - 12/05/20 at 01:40:14
 
Hey Lon,

Did you ever try Brimar tubes with the ZBox or ZRock?  What was your impression?  How do they compare to Mullard?

Everyone welcome to chime in..
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Lon
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Re: ZBox's sweetest tube?
Reply #6 - 12/05/20 at 02:06:08
 
I have tried one Brimar in the ZBOX and a Mullard or two. I'm not really a big fan of the British tube sound, I can be impressed at first but I grow fatigued or bored with them longer term. I actually have a Sylvania 5963 in the ZBOX for a while now and also in the ZROCK2 in that system, and really like that combo.
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HR-1,ZTPRE,ZBIT,ZROCK2,SE84UFO3-25th x2, CSP3-25th.Taboo Mk IV; Rega RP3 w/25th mods PS Audio: DMP+DSD,P15,NPC,PowerBases,AC-12 pwr cbls, Reference spkr cbls;Mapleshade:Samson V3; Oppo UDP-205; VooDoo:Cremona+Amati intrcncts, Iso-Pods;headphones:PM1,HD800S,ZMF Ori
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DancingSea
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Re: ZBox's sweetest tube?
Reply #7 - 12/05/20 at 03:18:19
 
Interesting. What is the British tube sound that you donít like?  How is the Sylvania sound different?
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Lon
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Re: ZBox's sweetest tube?
Reply #8 - 12/05/20 at 06:58:46
 
I hesitate to describe as I've found tube sounds to be very different in different components and rooms etc. and a lot has to do with taste and preferences.

For my main system the "British sound" just seems "super-natural" rather than "natural." There is something about the high and mids that just makes me think now and then that I am listening to a system rather than listening to music, I am tethered more to the equipment than just flowing along. This may be slightly less so in the system with the ZBOX but I prefer other tubes there--the Sylvanias mentioned, Tungram 6085 and a few others.

In the system I have with the ZBOX the only tubed equipment is the ZBOX and a ZROCK2--the other equipment are solid state sources and a solid state headphone amplifier. The Sylvania complements the sources well, there is a "beefiness" to the mids sound and imaging that mitigates the solid state presentation, and the high frequencies of all the tubes I've tried is most controlled--these just give me the best tonal signature and a full sound as far as stage and instrumental presence. One of the tubes came from Steve. The same tube in both components compounds the "rightness."
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HR-1,ZTPRE,ZBIT,ZROCK2,SE84UFO3-25th x2, CSP3-25th.Taboo Mk IV; Rega RP3 w/25th mods PS Audio: DMP+DSD,P15,NPC,PowerBases,AC-12 pwr cbls, Reference spkr cbls;Mapleshade:Samson V3; Oppo UDP-205; VooDoo:Cremona+Amati intrcncts, Iso-Pods;headphones:PM1,HD800S,ZMF Ori
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DancingSea
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Re: ZBox's sweetest tube?
Reply #9 - 12/05/20 at 07:05:22
 
Cool, thanks for the thoughtful reply.  What precise Sylvania do you love and where did you get it?  Beefiness is what Iím looking for.
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Lon
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Re: ZBox's sweetest tube?
Reply #10 - 12/05/20 at 08:31:04
 
Nothing fancy about this Sylvania, it's just a green inked Sylvania, made in USA. I got matched pairs from eBay after getting one of Steve's carefully tested and selected one with a ZROCK2.
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HR-1,ZTPRE,ZBIT,ZROCK2,SE84UFO3-25th x2, CSP3-25th.Taboo Mk IV; Rega RP3 w/25th mods PS Audio: DMP+DSD,P15,NPC,PowerBases,AC-12 pwr cbls, Reference spkr cbls;Mapleshade:Samson V3; Oppo UDP-205; VooDoo:Cremona+Amati intrcncts, Iso-Pods;headphones:PM1,HD800S,ZMF Ori
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DancingSea
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Re: ZBox's sweetest tube?
Reply #11 - 01/02/21 at 18:08:26
 
Whatís the story on 12AU7 vs 12AT7 vs 12AX7?

Both in terms of Sonics and technical things like impedance matching?  My Hegel solid state integrated has an input impedance of only 10K.

Iíve been focusing on 12AU7ís, but wonder if thereís any reason to not try the others?
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Lon
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Re: ZBox's sweetest tube?
Reply #12 - 01/02/21 at 18:17:08
 
The biggest difference is the gain of each tube type: 12AU7 is quite low, 12AT7 is considerabley higher and 12AX7 is higher still.

Steve designed the ZBOX around the 12AU7 so it has the most linear response without distortion I would imagine. I have used 12AT7 in the ZBOX and in general the sound is bolder and perhaps a bit "harder" and the usable gain adjustment is a bit different. I think in the past I used a 12AX7 experimentally with little success--distortion comes on early and easily.

An internet search will reveal a few interesting articles about these types and their sonic differences--most seem geared toward musical instrument (guitar mostly) amplification where distortion is less of an issue--some distortion is sought, rarelh "too much". . . whereas in audio use distortion is a bad thing!
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HR-1,ZTPRE,ZBIT,ZROCK2,SE84UFO3-25th x2, CSP3-25th.Taboo Mk IV; Rega RP3 w/25th mods PS Audio: DMP+DSD,P15,NPC,PowerBases,AC-12 pwr cbls, Reference spkr cbls;Mapleshade:Samson V3; Oppo UDP-205; VooDoo:Cremona+Amati intrcncts, Iso-Pods;headphones:PM1,HD800S,ZMF Ori
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