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Can the wrong tube turn your ZP3 into sub-par pre (Read 3683 times)
back2vinyl
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Can the wrong tube turn your ZP3 into sub-par pre
01/29/18 at 15:45:49
 
Not speaking of malfunctioning tubes, just the characteristics of certain tubes. By tube rolling can you actually make your ZP3 sound like a 100 dollar SS amp?

And do $$$ tubes necessarily mean better? I want to have some tubes for back up. Folks here recommended a company/guy here and the recommendations  were 90 dollars plus per tube. I ask because Decware's  tubes are 22 a piece.

Here is my quote:

12AX7 matched pair: for accuracy, detail, and a brush of tube warmth, the Telefunken made Ribbed Plates, $175.00 per matched pair.  For sweetness and air, the Amperex Bugle Boy Holland tubes, $210.00 per matched pair.  For rich, warm, and liquid, the Mullard UK made at $199.00 per matched pair.

12AU7 I would recommend the totally linear and accurate Telefunken smooth plate.  $95.00 each.

For the 5U4G rectifier I suggest the military type VT244, $90.00 each.
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Lon
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Re: Can the wrong tube turn your ZP3 into sub-par pre
Reply #1 - 01/29/18 at 15:50:28
 
Do you want to make your ZP3 sound like a 100 dollar amplifier?

Dollar amounts don't necessarily mean "better sound" but can indicate rarity of a tube type and/or brand in excellent condition. Decware is generally selling new production tubes I believe in ample supply. There are other sellers selling "New Old Stock" tubes that have not been manufactured in decades and are sought after and in limited supply, often but not always heavily tested for "longevity" remaining and various technical specifications.
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JD
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Re: Can the wrong tube turn your ZP3 into sub-par pre
Reply #2 - 01/29/18 at 16:23:41
 
Like all research time expended usually equates to knowledge gained so it's not a short trip. You most definitely do not have to spend that type of money to make your ZP3 sing. Also recognize you can buy used tubes for a fraction of the cost if the seller is honest about ratings, matching etc. Also a great way to try out different tubes.

Check out Brent Jessee's website audiotubes.com. Plenty of reading and research there. Listening is very subjective but I respect Brent's opinion.

JD
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back2vinyl
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Re: Can the wrong tube turn your ZP3 into sub-par pre
Reply #3 - 01/29/18 at 20:23:51
 
No I don't want my ZP3 to sound like a 100 dollar pre, that was the purpose of spending the money on the ZP3 and the reason for my question…..Hoping it sounds better than my Parks Audio Budgie pre that cost $399..
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Syd
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Re: Can the wrong tube turn your ZP3 into sub-par pre
Reply #4 - 01/30/18 at 11:30:07
 
The two 12ax7`s dont have to be the same manufacturer and can be wildly different as to year of manufacture. Researching can be a trip down memory lane, other peoples memory lane, full of euthemisms and ending in `holy grail` tubes with price tags to match. Scarcity value, supply and demand, pushes up prices and, I sometimes think, the euthemisms to go with them. There are many NOS and lightly used tubes out there from the likes of Sylvania, Tesla, RCA, Mullard, Phillips that are reasonable and wont dissapoint. I`ve just ordered a NOS Tungstram 12au7, 60`s, Hungarian, for £13 inc postage. I havent got a clue what it`ll sound like but it will make for a slightly different presentation.
Ah, eagle eyed readers of the forums will think `I saw a post mentioning that 12au7 elsewhere`. Guilty as charged your Honour   :) just another form of research and cross reference.
Good hunting !
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back2vinyl
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Re: Can the wrong tube turn your ZP3 into sub-par pre
Reply #5 - 01/30/18 at 15:33:57
 
And the burn in time for the zp3 or any tube gear would be the time music is running through it correct? Meaning just leaving the device on does not equal burn in time?
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Archie
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Re: Can the wrong tube turn your ZP3 into sub-par pre
Reply #6 - 01/30/18 at 16:56:49
 
Correct.  Steve recommends that music be used to burn in devices.  While more of an amp issue then for the ZP3, he says that it's important to train the caps for whatever you want them to play.  If you like listening to test tones then use a "burn-in cd!"     Wink

I didn't pay attention to burn in on any of my Decware.  I just played music and enjoyed.  You'll naturally put plenty of time on them in no time!
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back2vinyl
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Re: Can the wrong tube turn your ZP3 into sub-par pre
Reply #7 - 01/30/18 at 17:34:58
 
Me either, I just play the hell out of my stuff and if it gets better it does. My ears wouldn't hear the minimal difference  anyway.
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mark58
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Re: Can the wrong tube turn your ZP3 into sub-par pre
Reply #8 - 01/30/18 at 17:38:00
 
Yes Syd...there are deals to be had.  I picked up two Amperex 6085s to try not to mention 9 Amperex 7308s in the last week.  I need to cool it Smiley...
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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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back2vinyl
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Re: Can the wrong tube turn your ZP3 into sub-par pre
Reply #9 - 01/31/18 at 01:36:21
 
From where?
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Archie
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Re: Can the wrong tube turn your ZP3 into sub-par pre
Reply #10 - 01/31/18 at 17:38:37
 
I buy tubes on ebay.  Steve once suggested that you can buy a box of 'who knows what' for cheap and go through trying them.  Just because a tube has a no name label and might be used doesn't mean it cant be a spectacular tube.  It could be crap too, but if it's cheap, it's not much of a risk.  

I often use Steve's tube prices as a guide.  Since his tubes will always sound good, I try not paying more for a tube than that.  Most times I save a lot in comparison.

He sometimes posts about Chinese and Russian tubes that are available very cheap.
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Technics 1200G TT w/ Ortofon Jubilee MC cart
ZMC1
ZP3 (25th A Mods)
ZR2 (25th A Mods)
CSP3 (25th A mods)
ZMA (25th A mods)
ZLC
Homemade Big Betsy Speakers
Silver Cabling
DIY Isolation platforms under amps & TT.
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