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Tubestore Preferred Series (Read 4375 times)
Hekowee
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Tubestore Preferred Series
06/29/18 at 18:11:58
 
Recently received a 20% off email from the Tubestore for their "Preferred" series which includes the EL34, and 274B tubes I use in my Torii Jr/CSP3. Has anyone used these before? Not a big fan of the blue base they use on the EL34's. Thoughts? Many thanks in advance.
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DrDave
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Re: Tubestore Preferred Series
Reply #1 - 08/06/18 at 06:01:49
 
Hi Hekowee

I am currently using a set of Preferred Series EL34s in my Torii Jnr.  I am VERY happy with the sound I am getting.  They sound very good - full and warm.  They came up to voltage (bias) steadily and barely fluctuate once set.  The image, depth, and 3D space is fantastic.  A very nice tube and much better than my well used Svetlana EL34s.  For the money, they definitely represent great value.   Smiley
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Hekowee
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Re: Tubestore Preferred Series
Reply #2 - 08/06/18 at 20:04:48
 
DrDave,
Thank you much for the vote of confidence in determining my next set of EL34 outputs. I missed the sale price, but they’re still priced well. I know it will be time to replace them soon, so I’ll order them this week, and give you my impression two, or three weeks from now. Again, many thanks.
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Zen Torii Jr
CSP3
ZRock2
Zen Monolith 947
Silver interconnects
Silver Teflon speaker cables
ZSB switch box
Emotiva CD player
Yamaha Tuner
Technics SL-1200 Mark II turntable
Centrance Hifi-M8/iPhone streaming Tidal lossless 1,411 kbps
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DrDave
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Posts: 13
Re: Tubestore Preferred Series
Reply #3 - 08/14/18 at 15:52:44
 
Great.  I look forward to hearing your impressions.

I'm pretty happy, particularly given the price.  Hope you are too.

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DrDave
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Re: Tubestore Preferred Series
Reply #4 - 08/19/18 at 09:16:24
 
Of course, like all tubes, they need a few hours (about 30) on them before they show themselves.  Mine went through all the usual changes until they started to settle.  I'm even happier now.  They sound very good.
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Hekowee
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Re: Tubestore Preferred Series
Reply #5 - 08/19/18 at 23:49:34
 
Yes, burn-in now in progress. I have about 17 hours on the EL34's, and the Rectifiers as well. Still a little tight, but very solid performance. Really impressed with the glass on the EL34's. I think the product info said they were 3x the normal thickness. Probably had guitar amps in mind, and lots of moving around (road), or maybe they designed them to reduce the vibration??? Whichever, really nice build quality, and the blue bases are much darker (good) than the website photos indicate. Will give them another 20-30 hours, and see what they sound like, as well as update you with my take- away. Thanks
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Zen Torii Jr
CSP3
ZRock2
Zen Monolith 947
Silver interconnects
Silver Teflon speaker cables
ZSB switch box
Emotiva CD player
Yamaha Tuner
Technics SL-1200 Mark II turntable
Centrance Hifi-M8/iPhone streaming Tidal lossless 1,411 kbps
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DrDave
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Posts: 13
Re: Tubestore Preferred Series
Reply #6 - 08/29/18 at 08:41:54
 
Sounds like you are having a similar experience to me.  Looking forward to hearing what you think as they burn in.

By the way, you are correct in saying the blue base is darker than the images suggest!!! (Phew!!!!)
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Hekowee
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Re: Tubestore Preferred Series
Reply #7 - 09/04/18 at 22:40:11
 
It's been slow going as I've not had a lot of listening time available the last few weeks, but I'm somewhere around 50 hours on these new tubes. I can hear a lot more opening up. That said, I couldn't resist the urge to not only replace my EL34's, but I also replaced the rectifiers in both the Torii Jr., and the CSP3, as well as the inputs on the Torii Jr.

Now I'm going to have to put it in reverse, and see which tubes, if any, are holding the system back (a little). I had some hot rod Telefunken PCC88 inputs with over 500 hours of use that I suspect are on a different level than the Tungsram PCC88's that I replaced them with. I'll switch back to those first for a more even handed comparison. That will also give me the opportunity to double check my bias.

The old rectifiers were the Phillips 5R4GYS's that Upscale Audio pushes, and are quite nice, so if there is not much of a change with the inputs, I'll go back to the Phillips rectifiers.

I hate to use the term soundstage sometimes, but holographic may be a better choice for the instrument separation on much of what I listen to, which is jazz. When I picked up my complete system at Decware about three years ago, Steve was burning in another Torii Jr. and we listened to some music on that for awhile. One observation that I made, was that the cymbal ride was so real, so there. Steve said that the cymbals were hard to get right. I was so awestruck that I forgot to ask from which end, producing (recording engineer) the music, or creating a system that re-produces the sound; maybe both. That's one thing (cymbals) that is not so jaw dropping with the new tubes....we'll see.

This sure got long, but it's been fun discussing it. More later as it develops.
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Zen Torii Jr
CSP3
ZRock2
Zen Monolith 947
Silver interconnects
Silver Teflon speaker cables
ZSB switch box
Emotiva CD player
Yamaha Tuner
Technics SL-1200 Mark II turntable
Centrance Hifi-M8/iPhone streaming Tidal lossless 1,411 kbps
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will
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Posts: 2111
Re: Tubestore Preferred Series
Reply #8 - 09/05/18 at 01:19:58
 
Hello Hekowee,

A few things occur to me. Whether your Telefunken PCC88s are made by Telefunken, or Siemens (the Siemens will have a straight copper wire riser up to the hallow getter), both are good at spacial and harmonic information, but especially the Siemens. With less "warmth" in the balance of the sound, it tends to be exceptionally clear and extended for the type. This will bring up the tube set if it is a little dark, muddled, lacking in shimmer, clarity, articulation...these things also positively effecting the soundstage saturation and placement. Also early Phillips PCC88s are inexpensive in general (often cheap!), and tend to be clear for the type, though not as extended and clear as Siemens.

If yours are Siemens made, you can often find pairs of them pretty inexpensively on Ebay, though not labelled Telefunken. I have bought them from European sellers who had excellent ratings without issues.

Tungsram PCC88's can be pretty nice tubes, but balance more toward warmth compared to many of the type, so in this case probably would need more clear tubes otherwise for you to really enjoy them. If clarity, harmonics and the like, things that contribute to "holographic" sound (and nice cymbals), are less than you would like,  I suspect these qualities could be brought up by changing any of your current tubes toward better space and fine detail. I have not heard Tubestore Preferred EL34s, but the Shuguang EL34s I have had (I think they were called EL34B having a fattish bottle), were nice and open sounding tubes. Of course that does not mean the Preferred will be as open and clear, but they may be from reports, so I might look elsewhere for now. Don't know about these, but I find many power tubes in particular can take quite a lot longer than 50 hours to come out fully.

In my experience the Phillips 5R4GYS or Shuguang 274Bs are OK at spacial information and clarity but not the best. The 5R4GY tends to be more articulate, punchy and spacious in general, and the Phillips fits this, though a little veiled to me.

Here is a link for a 5R4GY that is notably more open and clear, depending on everything else, perhaps enough to make the Tungsrams open up nicely in your setting. https://www.langrex.co.uk/products/5r4gycv717-fivre-nos/ The value of the pound pretty good for us now, I think it is a pretty nice value too. Also Phillips made GZ32s, though generally much more expensive, compared to the tubes you have used, will balance more toward clarity and dynamics, usually with a less pronounced bass in the balance, but nice and tight. If you like the dynamics and increased articulation and spaciousness of the Phillips 5R4 over the Preferred 274B, either of these might move you in the direction you want.

Hard to guess when it comes right down to the fine details of enjoyment and balance, all our systems different, but roughly speaking, comparative tube traits convey across Decware amps. At least a start. Anyway, the Fivre might be worth a look based on your comments and hopes for your system balancing at the moment.
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Power-PSA P5, Brickwall/Shunyata Defender+>RevolutionMacMini/Audirvana>Kitsune Singxer>Gustard x20pro DAC modified; Cables: Pi Audio PC, DIY: PCs, ICs, USB, Speaker; Decware- CSP3, Torii IV, HR1-all modified; DIY ZBIT; feet- Madscientist, Archie's, isocups, DIY +
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Hekowee
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Posts: 26
Re: Tubestore Preferred Series
Reply #9 - 09/06/18 at 22:38:40
 
Thank you much Will for the detailed analysis of my current setup. You nailed the Telefunken/Tungsram characteristics spot on, and I've gone back to the Telefunken PCC88's that are in fact Siemens built. I purchased them from Upscale Audio at $105.00, and they're the platinum grade which is double the cost for the Tungsrams.

I wondered about the EL34 burn-in time, and I bet things will open up even more. So now I'm pretty close to where I started from, and I'll sit on this arrangement for a few more weeks before rolling anything else.

In the meantime, I think purchasing a couple of the of the Fivre 5R4GY tubes from Langrex would be a wise thing to do. Two of the Fivres would cost the same as one of Uncle Kevies Phillips; even with the 12 pound Royal Post shipping, and pound/dollar conversion. Thank you again for all of your advice, and insight, it helps a lot.
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Zen Torii Jr
CSP3
ZRock2
Zen Monolith 947
Silver interconnects
Silver Teflon speaker cables
ZSB switch box
Emotiva CD player
Yamaha Tuner
Technics SL-1200 Mark II turntable
Centrance Hifi-M8/iPhone streaming Tidal lossless 1,411 kbps
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will
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Posts: 2111
Re: Tubestore Preferred Series
Reply #10 - 09/07/18 at 23:48:10
 
You're welcome Hekowee. I sold my Phillips 5R4GYSs, so can't do a direct comparison now, but did before, and I recall the Fivre not having the veils of the Phillips and being less dark, both to me improvements. But in some systems, with some tube sets, I suppose they could be a little too clear. As you have experienced, tube sets are a balancing act themselves, and also how they fit with everything else. This is why I am always reticent to recommend specific tubes without some background.

In my Torii MKIV I have been using Telefunken RGN1064 globe rectifiers for quite a long time now. They need special adapters to lower the voltage a little and make the pins work, but are very nice tubes, warmish but spacious and complex, and having good frequency balance. Trying the Fivre 5R4GYs after them, the Fivre were not quite as refined, but quite nice and compelling...powerful, fast, transparent, spacious, complex, revealing, showing more apparent micro detail. I could have left them in, but I am trying to avoid tube changes so that I can more easily track progressive amp modifications.

A Fivre in my CSP3, compared to the Philco type 80 globe (a nicely transparent type 80 I have used for a really long time that also needs an adapter) the Fivre is clearer there too, and also quite compelling. Relatively close in some ways, the Fivre, in company with 60s Mullard E88CCs w/parasol getters for outputs (a warm but also spacious and complex tube), and a BEL ECC88 for input (Mullard tooling, also on the rich/complex/balanced side of Mullard sound), the Fivre has less bias toward smoothness, but is richer in fine detail, space and speed. Also a really nice choice.

If after going back to the Siemens PCC88s and Philips 5R4YGS you still crave some opening up and fine detail, I think the Fivre would provide it. I think of the earlier Siemens PCC88s as a nice tube, but also pretty demanding, being clear and powerful in showing all its particular sonic traits. The Fivre might be great with them, and if not quite right, it may open doors to other nice inputs. I really like having a nice range of tubes for fine-tuning sets that are all beautiful, but in different ways. Have fun!

Will
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Power-PSA P5, Brickwall/Shunyata Defender+>RevolutionMacMini/Audirvana>Kitsune Singxer>Gustard x20pro DAC modified; Cables: Pi Audio PC, DIY: PCs, ICs, USB, Speaker; Decware- CSP3, Torii IV, HR1-all modified; DIY ZBIT; feet- Madscientist, Archie's, isocups, DIY +
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