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PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2017 2:29 pm 
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Lethargy wrote:
Just to complicate things, I now have about 30 or maybe 40 hours on the Shuguang Treasure KT-88s and I'm starting to like them more. Maybe it's psychological, but they seem more open in the upper mids. I'm a bit of a skeptic on burn-in, but I am genuinely convinced there has been an improvement.


In my experience, the Shuguang tubes require 50 - 100 hours to reach their full potential. I've found them to be a very musical tube! Burn them in for a little while longer before you make up your mind.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 6:11 pm 
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I also much rather use the 6CA7 in place of EL34 tubes. Beam power tubes tend to sound better in my view. No surprise that my favorite tubes are new manufacture by Electro-Harmonix.

I just had an amplifier on the bench that uses KT-88's. Sounded pretty nice to me.

-Chris


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 3:51 pm 
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Lethargy wrote:
Having decided that I prefer EL34s in my first tube amp (Musical Paradise MP-301) I'm considering making a small splurge. I'm not about to go nuts, but I'd like to see how good the amp can sound for a reasonable outlay. So far, I have a set of Tung-Sol EL34 B, which a couple of reviews touted as a good choice. I like them, but wonder if there's maybe a bit more sparkle or detail to be had.

The SED Winged C seem to be well regarded, but at $60 US apiece, they're going to be over $200 Canadian with taxes and shipping. For the same amount, or not much more, I could get a good set of used Mullards or Siemens off the bay. Is there anything to be gained by going for the more expensive stuff, or should I just stick with the Tung-Sols and JJs?

I would prefer to stick with actual EL34s. I bought a set of Shuguang Treasure KT-88s in a Black Friday sale and don't like them nearly as much as the EL34s. So, for now, only real pentodes please.



Try the new issue Mullard EL34's.
I like them.
Softer sound than the Tung-sol. Nice midrange.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 27, 2017 12:39 am 
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I really like the winged "C". You can get them from The Tube Store. But in higher end audio I found they have a nice top end sparkle however a much tighter and less "Run-away" bass response.

http://www.thetubestore.com/Tubes/EL34-6CA7-Tube-Types/Winged-C-SED-EL34


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 27, 2017 4:07 am 
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If you want delicate and open top end go for the Gold Lion KT-77. Otherwise, the consensus is to just go for NOS Mullard EL34 and be done with it.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 27, 2017 4:52 am 
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Well, since the New Sensor version of the Mullard tubes are direct copies, just buy the new versions.

Also, understand that tubes were a commodity item and that factories would sell tubes between them to meet demand. What that means is that you can hold a Mullard tube in your hands, but what is that NOS tube - really? You have to study the internals and get to know how to tell them all apart to know for sure.

I guess NOS tubes have that aura of being better (they aren't, recent manufacture is far better than the originals). I wouldn't make that claim.

-Chris


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 27, 2017 5:28 am 
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I actually did end up buying some NOS Mullards, with the "be done with it" rationale in mind. It didn't work. I still want to try other tubes. :lol:

The Mullards (XF2s) do sound nice, but I'm not sure they were worth the premium. Compared to the Tung-Sols, there is a bit more high end clarity, but maybe a bit less mid-range smoothness. On sound quality alone, I'd say they're only marginally better, for five times the price. The biggest difference is in the microphonics. The Tung-Sols start ringing with the least little provocation, whereas the old Mullards are almost impervious to vibration. I expect the Mullards will also last longer, as they still test at slightly better than the standard for "new" tubes, and they're supposedly better made. And, of course, there is the psychological advantage of having NOS Mullards.

I'm still liking the Shuguang Black Treasure KT-88s, now that they've had some more burn in time. I prefer them with the EF86s over the 6SJ7s in this amp. My wish list includes the Gold Lion KT77, the Black Treasure 6CA7 and the Tung-Sol 7581A. First, though, I'm thinking about building an Elekit TU-8200. The reviews on that amp are quite good, and all my existing power tubes will work with it.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 27, 2017 7:17 am 
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anatech wrote:
Well, since the New Sensor version of the Mullard tubes are direct copies, just buy the new versions.

Also, understand that tubes were a commodity item and that factories would sell tubes between them to meet demand. What that means is that you can hold a Mullard tube in your hands, but what is that NOS tube - really? You have to study the internals and get to know how to tell them all apart to know for sure.

I guess NOS tubes have that aura of being better (they aren't, recent manufacture is far better than the originals). I wouldn't make that claim.

-Chris


Your are entitled to your opinion.
It is not shared by the majority of tube users who have actual tried good NOS tubes in their amps.
Do you really believe the reissued "Mullards" currently made in Russia are "direct copies" of Mullards made in the Blackburn plant in England in the 1950s and 1960s?
You are very funny Sir. Enjoy your EH tubes.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 27, 2017 7:52 am 
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Lethargy wrote:
I'm thinking about building an Elekit TU-8200. The reviews on that amp are quite good, and all my existing power tubes will work with it.


My buddy built one of those and the modded MP-301 IMHO is all around better sounding. He brought it over for an ABX and I found it was noisier and had less space around the instruments when using the same tubes. I found it ran out of breath too easily and in my system it came across as a bit thin. To each their own but for the money a modded MP-301 is hard to beat. I promise I'm not on Garry's payroll either. :lol:

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 27, 2017 8:41 am 
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petersch wrote:
Lethargy wrote:
I'm thinking about building an Elekit TU-8200. The reviews on that amp are quite good, and all my existing power tubes will work with it.


My buddy built one of those and the modded MP-301 IMHO is all around better sounding. He brought it over for an ABX and I found it was noisier and had less space around the instruments when using the same tubes. I found it ran out of breath too easily and in my system it came across as a bit thin. To each their own but for the money a modded MP-301 is hard to beat. I promise I'm not on Garry's payroll either. :lol:


I appreciate your opinion on the Elekit, Peter. You may have saved me a grand. The TU-8200 does get good reviews including this one which compares it favourably to a stock MP-301. On the other hand, everything in there, particularly the transformers and caps, seems awfully small. I guess I'd better listen to one before I take the plunge. Thanks to your help, my MP-301 is sounding pretty good these days. :)

I've got myself a couple of books on tube amps and I'm trying to learn a bit more, so I'm looking for something else to do. Maybe a Tubelabs SE or Simple SE would be a better choice. Anyway, I'm getting close to derailing my own thread, so I better stop. :lol:


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 27, 2017 9:31 am 
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Why don't you try building one of Bob Latino's amplifiers? They are Push Pull and very easy to build. I have serviced a few of them and used his boards in my own pieces and they are brilliant sounding when done. I've driven Magnepan speakers with them and lots of B&W Matrix speakers, some KEF and Klipsch and his amps handle them all with aplomb. I might order up a set of his 120w Monoblocks (only I want 3 of them) for a fall project and it'll go well with my hot rodded ST-70 for rear channels in my HT.

http://www.tubes4hifi.com/bob.htm

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 27, 2017 10:50 am 
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Those do look interesting. I wasn't aware of those before. I had considered getting an old Dynaco and restoring/modding it, but these might be a lot less frustrating.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 27, 2017 12:16 pm 
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petersch wrote:
Why don't you try building one of Bob Latino's amplifiers? They are Push Pull and very easy to build. I have serviced a few of them and used his boards in my own pieces and they are brilliant sounding when done. I've driven Magnepan speakers with them and lots of B&W Matrix speakers, some KEF and Klipsch and his amps handle them all with aplomb. I might order up a set of his 120w Monoblocks (only I want 3 of them) for a fall project and it'll go well with my hot rodded ST-70 for rear channels in my HT.

http://www.tubes4hifi.com/bob.htm


Yup, a terrific sounding amplifier and an no-brainer for the money.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 28, 2017 5:46 pm 
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MENDEL24 wrote:
anatech wrote:
Well, since the New Sensor version of the Mullard tubes are direct copies, just buy the new versions.

Also, understand that tubes were a commodity item and that factories would sell tubes between them to meet demand. What that means is that you can hold a Mullard tube in your hands, but what is that NOS tube - really? You have to study the internals and get to know how to tell them all apart to know for sure.

I guess NOS tubes have that aura of being better (they aren't, recent manufacture is far better than the originals). I wouldn't make that claim.

-Chris


Your are entitled to your opinion.
It is not shared by the majority of tube users who have actual tried good NOS tubes in their amps.
Do you really believe the reissued "Mullards" currently made in Russia are "direct copies" of Mullards made in the Blackburn plant in England in the 1950s and 1960s?
You are very funny Sir. Enjoy your EH tubes.



The best part of having tube gear is trying different tubes for a different sound.

There is no right or wrong. It's what you prefer.

Enjoy......


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 29, 2017 4:12 am 
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Lethargy wrote:
The SED Winged C seem to be well regarded, but at $60 US apiece, they're going to be over $200 Canadian with taxes and shipping. For the same amount, or not much more, I could get a good set of used Mullards or Siemens off the bay. Is there anything to be gained by going for the more expensive stuff, or should I just stick with the Tung-Sols and JJs?

I would prefer to stick with actual EL34s. I bought a set of Shuguang Treasure KT-88s in a Black Friday sale and don't like them nearly as much as the EL34s. So, for now, only real pentodes please.


IMO, EL34's seem to have focus on the mid range, while 6L6's and KT88's have more of flat response.

I have yet to hear a Reflektor made tube that sounds reasonable.
Although, they have a reputation of being reliable.

Winged =C= SED's EL34's are excellent sounding tubes, however, vintage Mullards and Siemens do sound better.

1960's Mullards have that famous mid range warmth - while Siemens sound very neutral with low distortion.
But the price of a matched Quad of vintage EL34's gets quite pricey.
If you can live with a used matched pair on the L channel and different matched pair on the R channel
the price comes way down.
.


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