Tubes

masluck
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Tube Rolling

Post by masluck » Tue Dec 21, 2010 4:46 pm

Hi Nikki,

I have a modded BC21 preamp that uses IMHO, the venerable 6SN7 and I roll tubes when I want to change the sound up a bit. I have had great success with NOS versions like the Sylvania 6SN7W's - note to BC21 owners - those are the bomb in my sees dump. I also like the JAN 6SN7WGTA brown bases as well (in there now for a bit of a change). When Gil But modded my BC21, he used the EH 6SN7's to calibrate the power supplies - he said he can't trust the NOS tubes for calibration purposes, but I never liked the tubes it came with originally, so that is why I roll in/out the various NOS varieties. Sure they can be a little expensive, but that is the cool thing about tubes - I find I can get what I want at any given time without spending the kind of mun lay you would for a new source, cables, etc.

Mark :D

nikki
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Post by nikki » Thu Dec 23, 2010 8:20 am

Thanks Mark.

Was wondering if you or anybody else has tried the Genalex Gold Lion in their gear? Seems a lot of people raving about these as being the "best" production 6922.

masluck
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Post by masluck » Thu Dec 23, 2010 8:52 am

Hi,

As for the Genelex Gold Lion, I have not used that brand before. I really like this site (below) because he "attempts" to describe the sound of the various models and I tend to buy my NOS tubes there - honest and no BS (just like Gil But) :lol:

http://www.audiotubes.com/6dj8.htm

I hope that helps. BTW, you have a very cool rig my man!!

Mark

nikki
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Post by nikki » Fri Dec 24, 2010 7:30 am

Hey Mark,

Thanks again for the link - it is a good overall generalization. I don't think I would want to be replacing NOS tubes every 6 months like I do now :!: :shock:

I may give the Genalex a try and they won't break the bank. The general concensus is that they are well built for current production tubes - I had an EH fail on me and it was not a nice experience. My living room system could use an injection of warmth.

facten
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Tubes

Post by facten » Fri Dec 31, 2010 1:00 pm

nikki,

Realize you are not talking about KT88s but I have Genelex Gold Lion KT 88s in my Ayon Spirit 2 integrated, haven't had any issues with them, and they are the best sounding, to my ears, new production KT88s.

I roll my signal tubes and have had no issues with buying reasonably priced, good quality, and good sounding tubes from the TubeDepot and Brent Jesse (audiotubes.com). Below is the link page for Brent's web page that has 6922 tubes ; even if you don't find a tube you might like, it may give you some helpful information relative to different tubes (PS I am not affliated, only a customer)

http://www.audiotubes.com/6dj8.htm

facten
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Tubes

Post by facten » Fri Dec 31, 2010 1:01 pm

Sorry I didn't see that another member had previously supplied Brent's link

Ice Man
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Post by Ice Man » Sat Jan 01, 2011 6:05 pm

Over the years, I've seen several posts come up regarding tube rolling. I thought I'd share my reasons why I don't tube roll now.

I tried it about ten years ago when I had a tube preamp. It used two 6SN7s and I read all the the major forums regarding what was "the best." Since I only needed two, even if I bought "the expensive ones", it wouldn't be too bad. I ended up buying two different sets and so I had a total of three different brands of tubes. Yes, I could hear differences, but it seemed that each had trade-offs. A little sweeter midrange here would cost me a little something elsewhere....The idea of constantly searching, buying and asking myself, "Is this The One?" started to drive me nuts. I had to trust who I was buying from, was it going to work properly and was I getting a used pair? How was I to know even if he seemed "reputable?" Can they match the pairs? Who knows if they really did....I wouldn't know unless things became real bad. All the while, I never found "The One." I had to stop because I wasn't enjoying the music nor was I happy with my "entertainment system"; it became anything but entertaining.....

I found Blue Circle and Gilbert; damn smart and as straightforward as anyone I know. I immediately loved the sound. Asked him once about whether he tube rolled himself and he said he didn't. With all my trust concerns and G warning people to be careful about tube rolling, like he did here again, that completely ended my curiosity with tube rolling.

On the other hand, BC is known for filtering to the extreme. I have both the Music Ring and a BC 6000. I have put my money in BC filtering devices because to my ears they clearly work and always make me smile and dance even more. Recently, I added the Silly Cone Filters. I think a lot of us underestimate how much AC filtering we need. Despite having the MR and BC 6000, I could clearly hear improvements. My system sounds "amazingly right." For the price of a Silly Cone Filter, $250-$260 USD, you could probably get 3-5 NOS small signal tubes (power tubes can be even more). But, that will only last you for a year? And, you would have to trust that they were in perfect and new condition. Most importantly, you are taking a chance on whether you will be happy with the sound. For me, every time I add a new piece of BC equipment, my system ALWAYS sounds better. Usually, a lot better.

So, if you want to spend just a little money hoping for a good return, try the Silly Cone filters. Maybe even two or other AC filtering devices. I think they are incredible investments, and you'll realize like me, G picked the EH 6922s for a good reason. Just another opinion on how to build a system.

stew
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Post by stew » Sat Jan 01, 2011 7:48 pm

I have a BC21.1, which takes 6922 tube types. I experimented for a short while years ago with tube rolling (I don't anymore). I tried just a few types, like JAN-Philips and a few others that I don't recall now.

I finally settled on JJ Electronic E88CC gold pins. I buy balanced, high gain pairs. They are pretty reasonably priced, and you can find them on the popular tube store websites.

I like them because, in my rig and to my ears, they present a slightly tighter, faster, and more tuneful bass than the stock tubes. YMMV.

A question for the forum: assuming I have my gear on every day for at least a couple of hours (all day on weekends, mostly with music playing, if only in the background), how often is it recommended to change to a fresh pair?

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esoxhntr
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Post by esoxhntr » Sat Jan 01, 2011 8:52 pm

Hey Stew,

I usually leave my main system on all the time, and change tubes once a year on average. I have only had one tube actually fail on me, and it had been in my preamp for almost two years (I occasionally forget to change the tubes). Your tubes will likely last you quite a long time, but I'd still change them once a year, just so you'll always know how old they are.

stew
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Post by stew » Sat Jan 01, 2011 9:59 pm

Thanks for the response esoxhntr. Your recommendation feels about right to me.

nikki
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Post by nikki » Sun Jan 02, 2011 8:46 am

Thanks for all the replies. I have ordered a set of Genalex 6922 and will let you know how it goes.

stew
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Post by stew » Sun Jan 02, 2011 6:10 pm

Please let us know how they sound! I feel tweakitis itching around the edges.

facten
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Tubes

Post by facten » Mon Jan 03, 2011 9:18 pm

Stew, Ibelieve that generally the signal tubes are expected to last in the vicinity of 10,000 hours

nikki
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Post by nikki » Fri Jan 07, 2011 9:54 am

I ordered a set of EH and Genalex Gold Lion 6922 from thetubestore.com and they arrived the following business day. As usual, these guys are great to deal with.

I have put about 12 hours on both sets in my BC208, but right from the get go, you could immediately hear the differences in these tubes.

The Genalex betters the EH in every aspect IMHO. There is a much greater sense of ease and refinement. I was a little worried about the Genalex as many people describe their sound as warm, but now I understand it is warm in the positive sense. It is richer, more textured with greater detail and clarity. Bass is tighter, fuller with better control. Soundstage has greater dimensionality, depth and space ... quite a bit more actually. The EH sounds flat, anaemic and glassy in comparison.

The Genalex cost over 3x the price for the EH, but it is no where near the price of NOS tubes. At the price of NOS tubes these days, I'm not sure I really want to go there, but the Genalex are keepers for sure.

Thanks to everyone who helped convince me to give it a try ... and of course, YMMV :-).

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Double D
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Post by Double D » Tue Jan 11, 2011 3:09 pm

Nikki... the Genalex sound really interesting..

I gave up on experimenting with tubes and just stuck with the stock EH's that Gilbert got for me.. after no end of grief with some EH Gold Pins from thetubestore.com :roll: I gave up... I ended up returning 2 sets of (supposedly) MATCHED tubes from them, they were hissy and noisier than the ones I pulled out ! :shock:

At least you had luck :wink:

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