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Tube rolling in SE84UFO25? (Read 3123 times)
Crowes
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Tube rolling in SE84UFO25?
09/07/19 at 14:13:02
 
Has anyone rolled the 7DJ8s or SV83s?  Any suggestions or tubes to avoid?  Thank you.
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Lon
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Re: Tube rolling in SE84UFO25?
Reply #1 - 09/07/19 at 14:48:07
 
In my Anniversary Monoblocks the output tubes that Steve tests and matches and supplies are clearly the best.

For input tubes I've settled on 7308s, Amperex, Holland made.
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HR-1,ZTPRE,ZBIT,ZROCK2,SE84UFO3-25th, CSP3-25th.Taboo Mk IVI;Rega RP3 w/25th mods PS Audio:DMP+DSD,P10,NPC,PowerBases,AC-12 pcs; Mapleshade:SamsonV2+V3,double helix Plus spkr cbl;Oppo UDP205;VooDoo:Cremona+Amati,Iso-Pods; headphones: PM1,HD800S,LCD-
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Crowes
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Re: Tube rolling in SE84UFO25?
Reply #2 - 09/07/19 at 15:49:01
 
Thank you. †I was looking at Matsushita and Telefunkens as an option for the 7DJ8. †I saw that EL84s did not sound good for outputs, so I wanted opinions on the input tube before I spent the $$$.  I love that Mr. Deckert takes the time to choose great sounding tubes.  Perhaps I won't bother ordering an input tube at all!
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JOMAN
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Re: Tube rolling in SE84UFO25?
Reply #3 - 09/07/19 at 21:02:24
 
Crowes,

I used the SV83 in my SE84UFO2 but in the UFO25 I found that the 6P15EV that are supplied are my preference hands down.  Last I talked to Steve, the NOS input tube that is supplied is a NOS National/Matsushita 7DJ8 and I would recommend getting it from Steve.

Iíve tried a number of different input tubes and gravitate to the 7DJ8/PCC88 types.  A real interesting one is the NOS Tesla PCC88 37 CODE, not the 32 CODE.  I picked up 8 of these for $8.00 ea. after trying one in my CSP3 but canít remember what these were like in the UFO25. In the UFO25 Iím using a Telefunken PCC189.

I have not tried the rectifier that is supplied and now have settled on a rather pricey one so I wonít belabour that but the Mullard GZ34 Fat Base Smooth Plates (not Notched Plates) is considerably less money than the one that I am using.  Still a little pricey but well worth the price of admission IMO. Of all the rectifiers that Iíve tried that one is my second choice.  

Iíd start with what Steve supplies, burn it in and then decide if you even need or want to do any tube rolling.
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Crowes
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Re: Tube rolling in SE84UFO25?
Reply #4 - 09/07/19 at 22:09:54
 
@JOMAN which tubes made the greatest difference?  The input, output or rectifier?
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JOMAN
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Re: Tube rolling in SE84UFO25?
Reply #5 - 09/07/19 at 23:10:50
 
Thatís a tough question to answer as all the tubes make a difference.  Really, the question is which one first?

Based on my experience I would say the rectifier, as the rectifier can effect all the other tubes far more than I realized when I first started and finally learned or realized this with the last rectifier that I tried.

Yes the input tube will make quite a difference but its performances will be limited or enhanced by the rectifier.  More to the point... when I tried the GZ34 Metal Base it made ALL the input tubes far, far, better, even ones that previously I had written off.  In fact, for me it was a sort of an epiphany.  Thatís when I realized the importance of the rectifier.

The other tubes that made a difference were the Voltage Regulator tubes, but I would probably do these last.  These are the cheapest and possibly the ones that I had the most fun with.

So if I were do do it all over again... The 6P15EV that come with the UFO25 are a no brainer, no need to roll these.  First start with the Rectifier, next the input and last the VR tubes.

If you want to see the difference that the input tube makes Iíll give you one of my NOS Tesla PCC88, I have far more than Iíll ever use.  These may not be to your liking but at least youíll see/hear the difference the input tube makes.

However, the rectifier can make the input and output tubes better or worse, and not just a little better or worse.  Itís like the anchor for the entire system.    

A word of caution here... once you start down this road it can be hard to get off of it.  Sometimes ignorance can be bliss, and this amp will be bliss as it comes.  So let it burn in and then decide if you want to do any tube rolling.
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Crowes
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Re: Tube rolling in SE84UFO25?
Reply #6 - 09/08/19 at 02:16:31
 
Thank you so much for the information.  My amp is not even being built yet, but I wanted to grab some NOS tubes as the prices are getting ridiculous.  I was considering the Phillips 5R4GRS.  I once purchased one of these for peanuts and gave it away with a preamp that I sold!  It is now selling for over $200, but it is considered a grail for some.  I will look at the one you recommended as well.  Thank you sincerely.
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JOMAN
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Re: Tube rolling in SE84UFO25?
Reply #7 - 09/08/19 at 02:40:54
 
Crowes,

The GZ34 Metal base has really escalated in price and even when you can get a ďreasonablyĒ priced one your looking at well over $400.00, usually, and I consider that to be a deal.  I managed to pay less. I now have one in my UFO25 and one in my CSP3.

A review worth reading is the Dubs Step Girls Massive Rectifier Review, itís very accurate.

A good alternative to the GZ34 Metal Base is the Mullard GZ34 Fat Base SMOOTH PLATE, not the notched plate.  That is my second choice.  Another one that I consider to be superior to the Philips 5R4GYS (I also had one) is the Sophia 274B Aqua.  I had a bad experience with two of those but others have not, perhaps it was just the two I had, but as a result I was put off new Chinese tubes and went back to NOS.

Be careful though with the NOS rectifiers as a number will only take input cap values of 16uF and that is very risky, 47uF is recommended although Iíve used ones that were slightly lower (40uF) than that as have others.

Otherwise enjoy!



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Lon
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Re: Tube rolling in SE84UFO25?
Reply #8 - 09/08/19 at 18:46:33
 
I would invite experimentation as I honestly believe that room, source, speakers, and cabling at the least all influence how tubes "sound" in a system and one man's "this is the one!" is not necessarily another's. And then there's the concept of "taste" and what one's idea of "natural" or "neutral" is. I've seen enough divergences there to know that is an issue.

There are a number of relatively inexpensive tubes to try and it can be quite educational to roll a number of different types for each position, and when you find a preference for a type, sample a few brands. I have done this over the years and have enjoyed the journey and also wound up in the right "place" for my system.
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JOMAN
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Re: Tube rolling in SE84UFO25?
Reply #9 - 09/13/19 at 03:31:01
 
I just tried a Valvo GZ32 in my UFO25 and my CSP3.  I did this not to compare with the GZ34 Metal Base but out of curiosity.  I happened  on this version of the GZ32 and compared it to the CV593/GZ32 and a Mullard pre 60ís GZ32.  Of those three the Valvo (made in France for the German Navy) and the Mullard CV593 were close and in many ways I preferred the Valvo.

Then I put the GZ34 Metal Base back in and the difference was so obvious that I had to post.  Not that the others were bad.  No, in fact I really liked what I heard with the Valvo GZ32 and for $80.00 ea., would be a keeper if I hadnít heard the GZ34 Metal Base.

Itís not about the highs, mids and lows.  The Valvo had good depth and layering.  But what was missing was the decay and liquidity and the details within those attributes that the Metal Base GZ34 produces.  The sound from the Metal Base comes across as a 3 dimensional field that combined with the dynamics, decay and liquidity give the impression of live as close as you can get or, possibly as close as very few tubes can.  Of all the rectifiers I have tried none so far are remotely close.

Everything else is in my amps is the same as with all the other rectifiers I have tried.  Yet none have produced what the GZ34 Metal Base has.

So whatís the point?  Iím not saying that itís the perfect rectifier tube.  Iím not saying to run out and by one and not to experiment, after all these are stupid money now, at least the ones that are up for sale are IMO.  Am I saying that to get the stellar results from the UFO25 you have to have one...NO!

What I am saying is that the GZ34 Metal Base is different and unique.  That there are tubes out there that were special and may never be equaled.  Probably very few.  Maybe the Mullard U52 and Western Electric 422A are another couple that are in that ďspecialĒ bracket, also stupid expensive IMO.  Until you hear one you wonít be able fully understand the difference as these are only words.

I will also say that the the GZ34 Metal Base doesnít make the UFO25 special.  Itís special in itís own right.  If it werenít then the GZ34 Metal base would not be so obviously different.  Itís the UFO25 that shows what that tube is all about and it will do the same with any other tube you try.
 
So experiment if you have the urge to with something more reasonably priced.

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Crowes
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Re: Tube rolling in SE84UFO25?
Reply #10 - 09/13/19 at 12:23:47
 
@JOMAN @LON thank you for taking the time to respond.  My UFO25 is being built and you two are making me salivate already!  I was inquiring about tubes because I thought that I would buy a few to have on hand as the prices of NOS are going through the roof.  I will keep my eyes open for the GZ metal base.  I am surprised about the Phillips 5R4GYS as I have heard many people raving about them, but perhaps it is not the best for the UFO25.  I was also considering a Matsushida for the 7DJ8, but it sounds like this is already what comes in the UFO25.  There is a Telefunken I am considering as well, but it seems like Mr. Deckert carefully chooses these tubes and I may just hold off.  Very much looking forward to the UFO25!
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JOMAN
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Re: Tube rolling in SE84UFO25?
Reply #11 - 09/13/19 at 12:44:01
 
Crowes,

Let the amp burn in.  Donít be in a rush to roll.

The points that Lon makes are valid, factor personal taste into the equation and thatís something that you can only determine by experimenting.  Tube rolling can be an expensive education but it can be rewarding.

Not saying that the Philips 5R4GYS is not a good tube, but itís not the grail and at $200.00 per, thereís definitely better IMO.  The Rectifier review that I referred to is accurate.  Give it a read.  One of the tubes reviewed is the Philips 5R4GYS.
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Lon
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Re: Tube rolling in SE84UFO25?
Reply #12 - 09/13/19 at 14:34:26
 
I agree with John, definitely let the tubes that come with the amp play as the amp burns in. They'll be fine tubes and may end up even being your ultimate choice, as Fats Waller said, "One never knows, do one?"
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Tubecan
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Re: Tube rolling in SE84UFO25?
Reply #13 - 09/26/19 at 15:43:18
 
Don't forget the humble 5Z3 rectifiers..get yourself that silly expensive but worth every penny woo audio 5Z3-5U4 converter,"i'm working with 40% exchange rate and over oppressive taxes so my silly may not be your silly"then find some nos 5Z3' and 280-380 globesÖ$400 for a GZ34!!!Öa tube dealer i was talking with said someone from the US bought all his MULLARDS a "year back? for $30 a piece..he looked sad,so i didn't ask how many,but seemed like dozens.LOL.
Anyone grab their input tube? seems they only get barelywarm from the top,could hold with 3 fingers all day,the sides for 10 seconds before uncomfortableÖNormal? thermapened at 100 degrees top and 125-127 for the sides.The matsushita 7dj8 is all the input driver you'll ever need..rolled plentyÖand do get an extra pair or 2 of them russian 6p-15 ev sidearms.
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Tubecan
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Re: Tube rolling in SE84UFO25?
Reply #14 - 10/16/19 at 19:54:28
 
The psvane 5u4g is a good tubeÖtried OC3 VR105/30/SG3S and so far 3 out of 8 were dead on arrival,one popped while turning on..The OA3 VR75/30 SG2S are really really nice,most powerful so far,or maybe just seems that way?..still haven't figured out how 75 is more powerful than 105,130's.Also have a 1960 russian rectifier and 2 1961' and i have no opinion on these..Neutral?,maybe kind of boring.
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Lon
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Re: Tube rolling in SE84UFO25?
Reply #15 - 10/16/19 at 21:34:03
 
I have some nice OC3 that all arrived perfectly NOS but. .. I don't dig the sound in my 25th Anniversary Monoblocks. The sweet spot in the regulation tubes for the power tubes in my Monoblocks are the OB3. I'm using a pair of Arcturus that are rich and ride the line between revealing and natural sounding.

My DAC has a new operating system I'm adapting to and I rolled through a half a dozen rectifiers again this week and landed back with the Sophia Electric Aqua 274Bs. They just seem. . .just right.
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Tubecan
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Re: Tube rolling in SE84UFO25?
Reply #16 - 10/21/19 at 23:02:17
 
I have around 40 regulators,some singles I use up front.at 3-$5 per tube at my junk store I grab what they put out..went to an audio show thinking of listening to some omega speakers and the room was closed,a no show,klipsch had a pair of klipschorns in the middle of the room,also in the moon audio room a pair of lascalas that my p3ís would embarrass in the bass,harbeth had my p3Ēs upside down,really they were UPSIDE DOWN..i came home disappointed,popped in a type 80 and played some real music.
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JOMAN
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Re: Tube rolling in SE84UFO25?
Reply #17 - 11/04/19 at 20:06:32
 
Iíve lost track of the hours but enough time has passed by for the GZ34 Metal Base to settle in and for me to get a longer term handle on this tube.  I have one in my UFO25 and my CSP3.  So Iíve been able to see/hear what effect these have had on both.

The Philips Miniwatt GZ34 Metal base has some very unique properties and does what no other rectifier has been able to that I have tried including an AZ1 Valvo Branded TF mesh plate.  Took a risk, it worked and I just had to compare.

In fact it does what no other GZ34 non metal base can do.  Including the Mullard GZ34 Fat Base Smooth Plate, although if I had to that would be my second choice.

I am not saying that itís the perfect tube just that itís strong attributes set it apart:

1. Decay, liquidity, bass and density across the spectrum,
2. Vocals - to die for
3. Harmonizes with all other associated tubes and really elevates them

With respect to point 3; I have rolled different input tubes in the CSP3, including ones that I wrote off.  With the GZ34 Metal Base I have appreciated all of the input tubes including the National/Matsushita 7DJ8.  I do have preferences but non that I did not like or appreciate.  Makes it really easy to ďtuneĒ the system to ones likes.

As for the over all performance - jaw dropping, no matter how many times I play the same pieces.  Itís cured me of the tube rolling disease.


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jslateiv
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Re: Tube rolling in SE84UFO25?
Reply #18 - 11/05/19 at 14:02:24
 
Good to hear Joman!   I'm keeping my eyes open for a metal base that doesn't go for crazy $$.   I did manage to find and score a F31 Fat base smooth plate that you mention.  Grabbed it for $100 and it tests better than new.   Have been running it for about a month now.  Really like it alot.  All the talk of the metal base though has really caught my attention.
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JOMAN
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Re: Tube rolling in SE84UFO25?
Reply #19 - 11/05/19 at 20:10:43
 
That is a really nice tube jslateive, and a great deal imo.  Definitely my second choice and only in comparison to the Metal Base otherwise it would be my first.

I really hope that you find a Metal Base at a reasonable price, there were a couple of auctions recently but I didnít bother to see what they eventually went for.  If you do find one and it doesnít work out Iím sure that you could re sell it no problem, although I think that would not be likely.
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Tubecan
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Re: Tube rolling in SE84UFO25?
Reply #20 - 11/06/19 at 23:28:18
 
Iím back with the supplied tubes,Sylvania OA3í in back,Raytheon OD3 front,one of my 3 donít matter which exquisite 280 globes,Matsushibainusonicpani 7dj8,ev15í.Done..This amp is on a different level.

Ohh my buddy was over listening and his mouth fell open...I said it took 8 years for them p3ís to break in,about 30 thousand hours..lol.
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jslateiv
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Re: Tube rolling in SE84UFO25?
Reply #21 - 11/13/19 at 22:13:47
 
GZ34 Metal showed up today.  Thanks to John for the tip-off about one on ebay!  Tests 98% on both plates (my tester),..  Haven't listened critically for more than a few songs just now but have had it playing as bckgrd music while I worked this afternoon.

Very, very nice addition!  Gotta get in alot more listening and some back to back comparisons with other rectifiers but early indication points to all of John's hype on the tube.  Very exciting.  May be a long evening.   Wink
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JOMAN
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Re: Tube rolling in SE84UFO25?
Reply #22 - 11/15/19 at 01:34:46
 
I just rolled the input tube in my CSP3.  Came across a Amprex BB 6DJ8, perfectly matched sections that I forgot I had.  I couldnít get it to work with the SE84UFO2 or the UFO25 even though I really liked it with my previous set up.  In fact I tried to sell it at one point.

Well, with the GZ34 Metal Base itís nothing short of stunning.  Gives those nice Amprex mids, fabulous bass with sweet highs.  Itís back in my KEEP  group.

So, now depending on my mood Iíll either roll the Valvo PCC88 D getter or the Amprex 6DJ8.  Right now Iím definitely in the Amprex mood.
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Lon
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Re: Tube rolling in SE84UFO25?
Reply #23 - 11/15/19 at 01:43:32
 
Yes, I'm running an all Amperex signal path in my main system now--six 7308s in the ZTPRE, and a 6085 in the ZROCK2 and a pair of 6085 in the 25th Anniversary Monoblocks. Just a wonderful 3 dimensional sound with body and texture and the right frequency balance. Works so well with the Sophia Electric Aquas and my one excellent pair of Arcturus 0B3 in the Monoblocks. I keep coming back to this complement--the new OS for my DAC had me rolling others for a while but with settling in and speaker placement and gain riding I'm back to this great complement.

I have four nice Amperex 6DJ8 in the closet. Was using three in the CSP3-25 for a while, but in my second system the Mullard ECC189 works very well in the three positions in the CSP3-25 and in the Taboo MK IV-25, been really enjoying these in that system.
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Tubecan
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Re: Tube rolling in SE84UFO25?
Reply #24 - 11/28/19 at 19:20:37
 
Just when I thought I was out.....been listening to one of my unbalanced amperexí going on 2weeks..2-3 days and I replaced globe with a sylvania straight bottle 5u4g and pow!..spooky good.

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Tubecan
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Re: Tube rolling in SE84UFO25?
Reply #25 - 01/09/20 at 19:28:28
 
1965 Telefunken EL-83ís do not work in the 25th amp?Put in a pair and the voltage regulators refuse to turn on.
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Lon
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Re: Tube rolling in SE84UFO25?
Reply #26 - 01/09/20 at 20:56:25
 
EL83 are not compatible with the Zen amps. EL84, yes, EL83, no.
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Tubecan
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Re: Tube rolling in SE84UFO25?
Reply #27 - 01/09/20 at 21:26:10
 
Oh great!...4 pairs..=8.. 5 came in a cool sleeve..ha!
Have an amazing Raytheon huge lil potato masher rectifier and 4 0B3 sylvania,purple with blue rings.
Ohh and that pair of Omega monitor 3iís the ebony ones from the Omega store..sweeeeet.
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Tubecan
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Re: Tube rolling in SE84UFO25?
Reply #28 - 01/13/20 at 17:58:08
 
Voltage drops for the VR tubes,theyíre holding back voltage,so my 75í are more powerful than my 150í,have some nos 7308,6692.Also using this amp as a quick tube tester under load,buddy thinks he has noís tubes,not when I test them.lol.every day I fall deeper for this amp.
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