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 Post subject: Help with preamp tubes
PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2017 4:21 pm 
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I have been very happy with my Yaqin MC100B, but......
I have tube rolled the power tubes, KT88's 2 brands and 6550's new and old, and have not really heard much difference to be honest.
I have rolled budget preamp tubes EC8s's and 12ax7's and am currently using new issue Mullard 12ax7's
My question is, before I spend oodles of $$'s of my very hard earned, can I realistically expect to have a hallelujah moment by trying an expensive pair of vintage preamp tubes - many seem to be anywhere from $500 to $2000+ a pair or should i stick around $100-$150 a pair?
Your thoughts are welcome

Oh, I drive either KEF 104/2's or KEF 103/2's


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2017 4:37 pm 
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Hi Magman...
I am currently running a Canary Audio 601 mkll preamp and am using Amperex Orange Globe 6922's aprox. 100$
I am quite satisfied even though the sky's the limit.
There is only so much you can expect from your Yaqin unless you mod it out.
My Pre has silver solder point to point wiring with teflon coated silver wiring.
I know your Yaqin is good but i dont think you will really see the full potential of say 1000$ tubes. YMMV

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2017 4:39 pm 
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I suspect you will indeed experience much better sound using better tubes...what brands have you used and what brands are you considering?

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2017 4:43 pm 
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magman888 wrote:
I have rolled budget preamp tubes EC8s's and 12ax7's and am currently using new issue Mullard 12ax7's
My question is, before I spend oodles of $$'s of my very hard earned, can I realistically expect to have a hallelujah moment by trying an expensive pair of vintage preamp tubes - many seem to be anywhere from $500 to $2000+ a pair or should i stick around $100-$150 a pair?
Your thoughts are welcome


Many Amperex 12ax7's were inked with electrohome and used in electronic organs.
You can tell they were made by Amperex because delta codes were
etched near the bottom of the glass.
Would definitely recommend you find a set of these for your preamp.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2017 4:46 pm 
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I owned a Grant Fidelity tube phono pre, appears the same design as the Yaquin 12B, and swapped the stock tubes for a pair of Amperex Bugle Boy 7316 and Telefunken 12ax7's. The difference was that eureka moment you describe. Improved clarity and detail. I purchased these from a local member for $350 total.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2017 5:33 pm 
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Chipmunk1957 wrote:
Hi Magman...
I am currently running a Canary Audio 601 mkll preamp and am using Amperex Orange Globe 6922's aprox. 100$
I am quite satisfied even though the sky's the limit.
There is only so much you can expect from your Yaqin unless you mod it out.
My Pre has silver solder point to point wiring with teflon coated silver wiring.
I know your Yaqin is good but i dont think you will really see the full potential of say 1000$ tubes. YMMV

Thanks Chip, that is pretty much what i thought
Voodoo Funk wrote:
I suspect you will indeed experience much better sound using better tubes...what brands have you used and what brands are you considering?

Only Chinese and some modern Russian tubes so far 50-$100 a pair - there is not anything I have set my mind on yet but there seems to be a few good ones to try here in the replies Thanks all


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2017 5:36 pm 
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The only Chinese tubes I would consider are Psvane...

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2017 5:38 pm 
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mpublicover wrote:
I owned a Grant Fidelity tube phono pre, appears the same design as the Yaquin 12B, and swapped the stock tubes for a pair of Amperex Bugle Boy 7316 and Telefunken 12ax7's. The difference was that eureka moment you describe. Improved clarity and detail. I purchased these from a local member for $350 total.

Are the Telefunkens smooth or ribbed plates ?

-- 14 Dec 2017 18:40 --

Voodoo Funk wrote:
The only Chinese tubes I would consider are Psvane...

My KT88's were Psvanes ( not the exotic ones) but I marginally prefer the Russian 6550's I'm currently using


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2017 5:48 pm 
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The new Mullards you used are a very good tube.
Nice full rounded sound and great detail.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2017 5:51 pm 
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magman888 wrote:
mpublicover wrote:
I owned a Grant Fidelity tube phono pre, appears the same design as the Yaquin 12B, and swapped the stock tubes for a pair of Amperex Bugle Boy 7316 and Telefunken 12ax7's. The difference was that eureka moment you describe. Improved clarity and detail. I purchased these from a local member for $350 total.

Are the Telefunkens smooth or ribbed plates ?

-- 14 Dec 2017 18:40 --

Voodoo Funk wrote:
The only Chinese tubes I would consider are Psvane...

My KT88's were Psvanes ( not the exotic ones) but I marginally prefer the Russian 6550's I'm currently using

Huge difference by upgrading to the premium Psvanes!!! 8)

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2017 5:54 pm 
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A $300 pair of tubes in a $1000 amp, IMO and personal experience, no.

Have you tried any vintage pre tubes?

If you look, for roughly $50/ pair try some used sylvanias or matsushitas or consider some used organ pulls....

Thinking anything will better those reissue mullards.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2017 5:55 pm 
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Try some of Brent Jesse's "butt Ugly" tubes at a reduced price.They have visual defects that don't effect sound quality.
Last time I looked he had Amperex and Telefunken available.For a minimal charge you can get them screened for noise as well.More important if you're running analog than digital...I've tried many 12ax7s but would be leery giving advice as I have know idea how your gear sounds or what you are looking for...Every brand has their own sonic signature...
Amperex is a good starting point as they seem to be a user friendly recommendation...

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2017 5:58 pm 
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BinkyTheCat wrote:
A $300 pair of tubes in a $1000 amp, IMO and personal experience, no.

Have you tried any vintage pre tubes?

If you look, for roughly $50/ pair try some used sylvanias or matsushitas or consider some used organ pulls....

Thinking anything will better those reissue mullards.


Why not...especially if it dramatically improves the sound...?

I agree about the reissue Mullards...can you say Muddards??? :lol:

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2017 6:13 pm 
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Voodoo Funk wrote:
BinkyTheCat wrote:
A $300 pair of tubes in a $1000 amp, IMO and personal experience, no.

Have you tried any vintage pre tubes?

If you look, for roughly $50/ pair try some used sylvanias or matsushitas or consider some used organ pulls....

Thinking anything will better those reissue mullards.


Why not...especially if it dramatically improves the sound...?

I agree about the reissue Mullards...can you say Muddards??? :lol:



Because it won’t “dramatically” improve the sound....or perhaps my definition of dramatically is more exaggerated than others.

What’s the op ran for driver tubes? What’s he liked? Disliked? Why?

Be nice to have a baseline before we dive off the 10m board...

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2017 6:17 pm 
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BinkyTheCat wrote:
Voodoo Funk wrote:
BinkyTheCat wrote:
A $300 pair of tubes in a $1000 amp, IMO and personal experience, no.

Have you tried any vintage pre tubes?

If you look, for roughly $50/ pair try some used sylvanias or matsushitas or consider some used organ pulls....

Thinking anything will better those reissue mullards.


Why not...especially if it dramatically improves the sound...?

I agree about the reissue Mullards...can you say Muddards??? :lol:



Because it won’t “dramatically” improve the sound....or perhaps my definition of dramatically is more exaggerated than others.

What’s the op ran for driver tubes? What’s he liked? Disliked? Why?

Be nice to have a baseline before we dive off the 10m board...


I've had experience with Yaqin and Grant Fidelity products...geez...even the lowly DAC-09 sound improved with a Western Electric replacement!!! ;-)

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