Comments for Tube Maze Vacuum tubes & equipment reviews Thu, 11 Jan 2018 12:56:57 +0000 hourly 1 Comment on Rolling with McIntosh 275 by dwk1965 Thu, 11 Jan 2018 12:56:57 +0000 need to correct my message /misplaced tubes position in previous log
V1, V2 and V5 are Telefunken Smooth Plates 12AX7
V3, V6 are Mullard 12AT7
V4, V7 are Telefunken 12AT7

Comment on Rolling with McIntosh 275 by dwk1965 Wed, 10 Jan 2018 15:07:29 +0000 Hi, this is a relly good piece of knowledge about tube rolling for Mc275.
I have used this for first setup and then slightly modify for the best effect.
V1, V2 and V5 are Telefunken Smooth Plates 12AX7
V3, V4 are Mullard 12AT7
V6, V7 are Telefunken 12AT7
With Mullards on V3 and V4 noticed better bass and oveall more vinitage sound (bit smoother and deeper) comparing to Tele.
I will probably have a second MC275 next days so will use both in MONO mode.
Is there any additional suggestion for tubes in case of switching to MONO mode ?
Would be happy to hear your recommendations, if any
Darek (dwk1965)

Comment on RCA Victor 12au7/ECC82 Black Plates D-getter 1949 by samleung Sat, 09 Dec 2017 13:37:36 +0000 What is the price for a pair? I use it as driver tubes in power amp.
Best regards,
Sam Leung

Comment on Brimar 6922/E88CC Gold Pins by ball3901 Sun, 14 May 2017 05:31:02 +0000 NOOO!! Gosh.. it is INCREDIBLE the misinformation spread on these tube sites! Even worse when its the guy that runs it! Well, you are in good company, actually. Kevin Deal spews all kinds of historical and technical errors, Brent Jesse is even worse.

Ok, so you gotta STOP with the ‘British Marconi’ stuff. That is absolutely NOT what Brimar means, dude. Repeat after me

BRI-tish Made American Range.

Comment on Brimar 6sn7GT Gray Round Plates by ball3901 Sun, 14 May 2017 05:26:50 +0000 did you think you were clever when you so figured out that Brimar (erroneously) means ‘British Marconi”??? no and no and NO .

Not even close. Its BRItish Made American Range. NOTHING whatsoever to do with Marconi.

Comment on Amperex 6922 Pinched Waist D-getter by eicoeico Thu, 01 Sep 2016 19:48:45 +0000 Oops! Major “brain fade” today!

Substitute “DUTCH Amperex” whenever I say “Amperex USA”

I just happened to have sold a quad of late 1960 USA Amperex to a friend so they are very much still on my mind.

Sorry for the confusion; my comments in my above post from 9/1/16 refer to the DUTCH Amperex E88CC/6922, NOT the USA.

The USA Amperex is very nice, but my comments are about DUTCH Amperex above.

Comment on Amperex 6922 Pinched Waist D-getter by eicoeico Thu, 01 Sep 2016 19:41:08 +0000 You definitely point out a flaw in my initial post by highlighting the importance of individual taste and system matching & its influence on one’s opinion on the 6922 (or any other) tube type.
I also very much like MOST of the Siemens versions of the 6922/E88CC/CCa/6DJ8….
The best of them have better transparency and low level detail resolution than ANY other tube in this family. In THAT sense they are “the kings” of the 6922s.
Of Course…A few caveats:
(in my opinion) Siemens 6922 tubes had a very dramatic drop in sound quality in the late 1960s. I think Amperex USA maintained good quality up to the mid 1970s
I LOVE the very early Siemens Und Halske CCa and E88CC / 6922 tubes (all the same tube; the CCa was just subjected to better QC screening at the factory)…
The most desirable and highest-performing versions of what are often just called “Siemens” 6922 & CCas are the E88CC and CCa tubes that come in the famous blue and yellow boxes & retain the “Siemens Und Halske” name and were made before 1967.
The later versions, in particular the A Frame version (the getter is supported not by a metal bar or rod but by a structure resembling the outline of the letter A) made in the early 1970s are merely OK and IMHO not worth the prices they fetch.
The post-1977 Siemens 6922 tubes are not worthy of high-end systems IMHO. Again, just my opinion. To be fair, the Amperex USA 6922s made from 1979 onwards are also pretty useless IMHO.
Your point about system matching, individual sonic preferences (and, as I have found, musical tastes) is well taken. One man’s “ultimate” 6922 is another’s “very good” 6922.
So, yes, in some sonic qualities I agree that the best Siemens Und Halske 6922s are the best of all 6922s..
BUT… in all the various 6922 preamps I have owned since the mid 1980s, I have always found that even the earliest Siemens Und Halske 6922s and CCas… how to say it.. lack a certain “je ne sais quoi” that the Amperex USA family of 6922s have in spades.
The Siemens Und Halske CCa/6922 tubes always sound a little TOO refined; a bit too… clinical.. as compared to even late 1960s Amperex USA 6922s. To my ears.
The Amperex USA 6922 “house sound” simply (for me and many of my audiophile friends and correspondents) has more energy, more treble ambience and air…more BREATH than the Siemens Und Halski CCa/6922 tubes deliver. Even the earliest S&H 6922s ever made.
Of course, to paraphrase your fine post, opinions about “the best 6922” are like belly buttons: EVERYONE has one!
But for me, Amperex USA 6922s have an energy, vibrancy and musicality that is unmatched.
Just like 1950s-vintage square getter, long plate “MC 1” coded Mullard 12AX7 / ECC83 tubes just have “that certain magic” not found in any other 12AX7 variant.. so too does the Amperex USA 6922.
To my ears :0)
The early Siemens Und Halske 6922s ARE so good that I can easily understand the many audiophiles that regard them as superior to any other tube in the 6922 family.

Comment on Philips 12au7 Welded Plates 1956 by bboterham Thu, 18 Aug 2016 16:24:47 +0000 This tube is older than 1956. The k6 stands for the type (ecc82), the ‘A’ for the batch (produced between 1951 and 1953).

See this document to decode these early codes:

Comment on Amperex 6922 Pinched Waist D-getter by E283CC Sun, 01 May 2016 08:59:52 +0000 Amperex pinched waist 6922….yes it’s a very nice tube indeed and as Eico points out it’s prone to noise and microphonics but there are many other great 6922 / E88CC / etc out there that not only equal it but surpass it in some aspects.
As a tubeophile for the last thirty years I’ve tried most in a variety of associated components and it’s clear to me that the ‘perfect’ 6922 or any other tube type for that matter does not exist because the tube being used at the time needs to work with the existing kit/room/ears. A pinched waist Amperex 6922 WILL NOT be the ultimate tube in EVERY position in EVERY system for EVERY listener, it needs to part of the overall blend.
Scour the net and you’ll see various reviewers or sellers all with a different opinion of what in their eyes (or ears actually) is the ‘killer’ tube for any particular type, 6922, 12ax7, 12at7, 12au7 etc etc, views are NEVER identical and often the complete polar opposite. Obviously we have two different set ups and each set up benefits from a slightly different tonal blend of a particular tube.
Tonal blend apart there seems to be a ‘quality’ or ‘goodness’ element to a select few tubes that perform consistently well no matter what. The Amperex pinched waist falls well into this category but it’s not ‘the holy grail’ by any means.
Siemens CCa regularly takes the crown for me.
Siemens E88CC has several guises, they all sound different BUT they all sound exceptionally good and I can nearly always find one that ‘works’ in whatever position. To me these at the ‘holy grail’ tubes because they have something special to all ears and all systems, they are my ‘go to tubes’ for any new piece of kit and consistently produce great music.
Mullard E88CCs are another superb sounding variety but microphonics can be a problem with some so buy with caution if you’re using them in an early pre amp stage or phono.
If you like that silky soft smooth tone then plain old Mullard ECC88s are hard to beat.

Comment on TJ Full Music 6SN7 by tubemaze Thu, 18 Feb 2016 03:18:07 +0000 After using and selling these tubes for a while, practically all of them failed in one year – so a warning to all of you – STAY AWAY FROM THE TUBES. They sound great, but you will be looking for a replacement within a year. Quite a few of them didn’t even last 1 month.

Comment on Deciphering European tube date codes by ball3901 Tue, 16 Feb 2016 05:11:14 +0000 Bruxelles is not in France. It is in Belgium. You are confusing Mazdas. Mazda France isn’t the only Mazda in this game. You also have Mazda as sold by Ediswan/Brimar/Thorn in England. You also had Mazda/Adzam as sold/branded by M.B.L.E. of Bruxelles, which was bought out by Philips.

The ‘L’ code is for M.B.L.E., NOT for any of the French factories.

Comment on Favorite Tubes 12au7 by babak58 Sat, 26 Sep 2015 08:47:09 +0000 Hey
I have some kind of 12au7 that has not any lable.but has flash in I think it’s European ecc82 tube
How can I share its photos??

Comment on Favorite Tubes 12au7 by Robbie O'D Fri, 18 Sep 2015 00:07:28 +0000 I haven’t managed any of the super tubes in the list, but I do have a set of Raytheon 5814 double mica black plates and I think they are superb, very warm but still plenty of detail. My other fave is a set of Tesla ECC802s bought from tubemaze 🙂

Slightly similar tastes in 12ax7’s, current favorite 2 sets are tungsram ecc83’s and RCA 5751’s. Had some GB 5751’s but too forward for me and the RCA’s dialed that back a bit.

Now I’m also entering the 6922 section, but boy do they get expensive quick… Currently my best is a set of 66 bugle boy 6dj8 and a set of voshkod 6n23p’s – actually very similar in sonics

Comment on Favorite Tubes 12au7 by Paul Thu, 04 Jun 2015 01:50:14 +0000 Just curious, what did you listen to these in?

Comment on Benz Micro Ruby 3 Phono Cartridge by tom_hankins Wed, 20 May 2015 04:25:49 +0000 Over the last several years I’ve owned and used three Benz cartridges. LP, Gullwing, and now I use the LP-Smr. During that time I have also had 2 Dynavectors, Koetsu, and 2 Lyras . I’m now down to one…Benz LP-S mr. Everthing else sold.

Comment on Thomson-CFS 6080WA France by tubemaze Fri, 08 May 2015 20:11:27 +0000 True to the character of a lot of French tubes, this tubes is very well balanced across audio spectrum. Bass is tight and strong, but not as weep as Mullard 6080. Top is transparent and airy and outperforms Mullard in this. Not as dynamic as Bendix 6080, but at the same time it is more liquid. Outside of Mullard and Bendix, this tube outperforms all other 6080 tubes in its quest to achieve life like performance.

Comment on Favorite Tubes 12au7 by jsch123 Fri, 08 May 2015 16:02:00 +0000 I haven’t…don’t know much about them. Any good? I’m just about off the 12au7 marry-go-round, and pretty much bounce back and forth from Amperex Long Plate Foil Getters and the Valvo’s (as they “fit” my system just right). Dipped into 6922’s, and feel Siemens CCa’s reign supreme (even over the Amperex Pinched Waist and Philips SQ 7308). For 12ax7, I’ve settled on the Tesla Frame Grid and Sylvania 5751 as my fav’s. The 12au7’s and ax7’s are in a VAC preamp.

Comment on Favorite Tubes 12au7 by vrao81 Fri, 08 May 2015 10:34:14 +0000 Have you ever tried early 1950’s Raytheon 5814 double mica black plate D getter?

Comment on Benz Micro Ruby 3 Phono Cartridge by tubemaze Sun, 26 Apr 2015 17:04:31 +0000 Benz Micro delivers an incredible example of neutrality with its high-end cartridges. The cartridge is much more musical than Lyra Helikon and ZYX 4D, but at the same time it can produce the width of the image of other cartridges. In practical terms, this translates that for vocal jazz this is an incredible cartridge, but for rock and large stage music – it’s great, but not as good as the other two cartridges it was compared to. Bass is very deep and strong, but is not as punchy as Zyx 4D.

Overall the cartridge is one of the best examples that I tried for music where warmth is important. Records from 1950-60s sound phenomenal with this cartridge – producing very smooth, warm and involving presentation.

Comment on RCA Victor 12au7/ECC82 Black Plates D-getter 1949 by tubemaze Sun, 26 Apr 2015 16:49:49 +0000 Wanted to share my latest find – RCA Victor, before they became just Victor. The tubes has been manufactured in 1949! The earliest production of 12au7 was in 1946, but out of 9,000-10,000 12au7 tubes that I sorted through, 1946 never came up.

Sound wise, this tube is a great example of sound from 1940s and early 1950. Very transparent, but rich at the same time. Something has changed at the end of 1950s and a lot of tubes lost their transparency – they remained rich, but lost their liveliness.

Comment on Tungsram E80CC by Tubehed Thu, 23 Apr 2015 21:54:25 +0000 The E80CC is my favorite small signal tube. In my system, which includes a Cayin TA-30 integrated and Legacy Classic speakers, the Tungsram’s sound more balanced and actually less fatiguing than the Philips gold pin E80CC’s I have. The Philips are known to have more midrange depth and presense. I can hear that compared to the Tungsram’s. But, I wouldn’t say that the Tungsrams are flat or clinical sounding, either. I suspect that it has something to do with my system already being fairly midrange-forward sounding to begin with. My CD player and phono stage are both tubed in addition to the the all tube Cayin integrated. The Philips E80CC’s might be tipping the scales since there is an upper midrange emphasis with those tubes installed that can become grating over time. I also really like the Tungsram 6922/E88CC tubes. Same sparkling, detailed and well balanced sound. I use them in both my Njoe Tjoeb CD4000 and Bottlehead Seduction phono stage.

Comment on Tungsram EL84/6BQ5 Hungary by hrtk Fri, 27 Mar 2015 15:12:50 +0000 Hi there, looking to try out a new EL84 for my amp. You think Tungsram or the Toshiba highly praised by you would be a better option. The price is the same for both. Also how do you rate the RCA smoked glass?


Comment on Lyra Helikon MC Cartridge by tubemaze Thu, 05 Mar 2015 19:19:22 +0000 I had this cartridge for quite a while now and it is fantastic, but not for everything.

Air, air and more air – this cartridge truly excels in that department. It produces the biggest sound stage of any other cartridge that I have. Life like performance – well, not completely, but close. Because of the sound stage that the cartridge produces, speakers disappear completely, but on the other hand, one of the biggest weaknesses of the cartridge is very light weight bass. I love to use it with vocal jazz and classical, but not when there are a lot of bass information is present – Unless you crank up you sub-woofer the cartridge produces sound of bass instruments that is not really natural.

Surface noise is definitely higher than with a lot of other cartridges that I have – so playing LPs that are not completely perfect is a bit of a challenge.

The cartridge is also not as smooth compared to more expensive cartridges like ZYX 4D or Benz Micro Ruby 3, but that is only evident in AB testing between the cartridges.

Because of the transparency and week bass, it’s a love/hate relationship with the cartridge, but since I have removable head shell on Pioneer PLC-590, this is not a problem, I just through it in when I feel that I need to listen to something light and transparent.

Comment on Ultrasonic Record LP cleaning by tubemaze Sat, 28 Feb 2015 23:12:42 +0000 I’ve been cleaning LPs using different methods for may years now.

I tried Nitty Gritty, manual machine – not bad, but huge PITA when cleaning a lot of LPs. I tried VPI 16.5 – petter than Nitty Gritty, records became quieter, but not all of them were restored to their original sound – even if there are no scratches. I build DIY Keith Monks machine based on Pioneer PL-600 – very good cleaning results, so I settled down with this solution for a few years.

Lately I’ve been reading a lot about Ultrasonic cleaning machines. They sounded fantastic, but I was not going to spend $3,000 – $4,000 on a record cleaning machine – it’s not wroth it to me. So I decided to do more research and go DIY route. After a bit of research, it looks like there is not need to do DIY – there is a great kit from Vinyl Stack. Their ULTRA Sonic Spin Kit saved me a lot of work and an ability to clean 4 records at the same time! Cost is reasonable: $290. Next was a choice of Ultrasonic bath. Vinyl Stack recommends 9L machine, but based on my measurements 6L machine would work great. So I grabbed this 200W ultrasonic cleaner for $142.

So all in all around $440 for everything I needed to do ultrasonic cleaning. I will figure out what to do with the remaining $3,500. 🙂

The results – It’s absolute magic, even disks that were cleaned with other methods, improved significantly. As one reviewer mentioned, the results of the ultrasonic cleaning is like buying a new phono cartridge that is 2-3 times more expensive. Results with my ZYX 4D were beyond description. It doesn’t fix scratches, but works beautifully on any dirt.

So if you love great sound and get it from LPs, this is a must now. If before to get into the game, you would need to spend thousands, now just $450 will give you the same results.

Comment on Psvane 12ax7-T Mark II by dillinger Thu, 12 Feb 2015 16:20:09 +0000 Hi Les,

I have a pair of Psvane in a Rogue Pharoah with 105 hours on them now, they have a very full lower midrange/bass and aren’t very articulate in this region. You mention they require a long time to settle in, how long did you find this period to be and does for lack of a better term midrange bloat disappear?

Comment on Audio-Technica AT237E Phono Cartridge by tubemaze Tue, 10 Feb 2015 23:19:27 +0000 I wasn’t sure if I wanted to review this cartridge at first – this is super rare revision of AT cartridges – to the point where I couldn’t find any info on it, except for what was included in a box.

What pushed me to write a review is the fact that this fairly inexpensive cartridge made me listen to some performances with more enjoyment than cartridges that cost over $3,000!!!

The main strength of this cartridge to create an intimate presentation of solo vocalist. I listen to a lot of those 🙂 Especially solo with a guitar sounds fantastic. The cartridge is very forward sounding, but what that does is that it brings the music in the room – not much sound-stage, but hey these are almost mono recordings – a guitar and a voice. This cartridge creates a feeling that the performer is in the room, with me, right there, where expensive MC cartridges put that performer on a stage with all the ambiance. So you can see why liked this cartridge a lot. In addition to very personal presentation.

Unlike many other AT cartridges I tried, this one one doesn’t sound bright – actually it’s on a warmer side of a presentation, great benefit for male vocals.

Comment on Grace F9E Ruby Phono Cartridge by tubemaze Tue, 10 Feb 2015 23:07:20 +0000 This is a legendary cartridge and I have to agree with a lot of reviewers on the web that this cartridge deserves its fame. Very smooth and musical – much more so than Ortofon 2M Black, but not for all types of music. Vocal Jazz sounds great with this cartridge, older jazz does as well, but when it comes to transparency and dynamics and bass impact, 2M Black outperformes Grace. It is definitely one of the best MM cartridges for a specific type of music, think slower, liquid, warm, but it really can’t compete with expensive MC cartridges. They just do so much more and much better, so for the cost, it’s superb, but don’t expect it to outperform MC cartridges at a few kilo buck level.

Comment on Ortofon 2M Black Phono Cartridge by tubemaze Tue, 30 Dec 2014 20:40:47 +0000 There has been a lot written about this cartridge. I want to add my 2 cents.

The cartridge is great, but not perfect. Bass is just fantastic – tight, strong, extended – but it’s a bit on a thin side – it’s all there, but it lucks a bit of body and texture. Top end is very extended due to Shibata stylus, but it can sound very strong even with minimal capacitance loading. A few records that I have that already have a lot of top end, are practically un-listenable with this cartridge. Mid-range is very transparent with a lot of air, but again on the thin side.

You will hear that the cartridge has Hi-fi sound – which is true for quite a few new production cartridges. It doesn’t have the body and texturing in mid-range of some more expensive cartridges. Also, don’t expect it to sound even close to top end MC cartridges in details and delicacy – it’s just not even close.

For the price, the cartridge is very good, but for about 800-1000 dollars, I would recommend going for better used MC cartridge – you will get so much more.

Comment on Valvo ECC82/12au7 Long Plates 45-degree O-getter by tubemaze Tue, 30 Dec 2014 20:24:15 +0000 Tung-Sol 5998 will work very well with these tubes, but even better option would be Bendix Graphite plate 6080 to add a bit more dynamics to the sound.

Comment on Valvo ECC82/12au7 Long Plates 45-degree O-getter by scjarrett87 Mon, 29 Dec 2014 03:08:56 +0000 Hi tubemaze,

I’m about to purchase a Valvo 12au7 for my Bottlehead Crack. Could you recommend an output tube that would go along with it? I’m thinking of getting the Tung Sol 5998. The WE 421A is a bit too pricey for me. Looking for your thoughts on this. Thanks!

Comment on H.H Scott LC-21 Preamplifier by tubemaze Wed, 24 Dec 2014 00:25:33 +0000 Very fun and good looking preamp from 1960s. I acquired this preamp with my HH Scott LT-150 power amp and together they work great.

Now about the sound, the amp is just OK. The preamp was build during the days of low fidelity and because of that it has tones of circuitry that is not really needed nowadays. All the filters and all the switches just add more stuff to the signal path, making it more complicated, longer and muddier. How many of you would use Rumble or Scratch filters???

Circuitry itself is fine for the majority of uses, but:
* coupling capacitors are just mediocre – ceramic caps are used extensively in the signal path. Replacing the caps with PIO or Teflon helped a bit to increase transparency of the preamp.
* All the potentiometers are very noisy compared to modern equivalents.
* Who needs as central channel??? Although not used in the main signal path for Stereo playback
* Output impedance is quite high – making it a very poor match for SS amplifiers
* Output is using negative feedback to fight the output impedance.
* It has only MM phono stage, which is not a problem by itself, but using MM cartridges with output lower than 4 mV produced very weak bass.

All in all, warm sounding preamp that is not very detailed. There are numerous improvements that could be made to the preamp that would make it would more dynamic and more transparent (replacing capacitors with PIO or Teflon – Adding Shunt regulator to the power supply, etc), but at the end of the day – don’t expect anything close to the modern preamplifiers that focus on sound quality instead of features. This is a romantic sounding amp that was good for its days, but can’t match current requirements.

Comment on Ortofon 2M Red Phono Cartridge by tubemaze Mon, 22 Dec 2014 21:11:28 +0000 This cartridge ended up in my set up as part of Pro-Ject Debut Carbon purchase a few years ago. The cartridge for the price is one of the superb values out there – for some it will be the beginning of the road, for some it could be the end of it – and nothing wrong with that. The cartridge sounds very nice – good bass, very musical, transparent and tracks like a champ. It’s not the last word in any of the areas, but for $100 it’s hard to expect perfection.

Just to try it out in a different set up, I put it into much more expensive table – Pro-ject 9.2 Evolution – and the cartridge did not disappoint. 9.2 allowed the cartridge to shine even more than the Debut Carbon. More transparency and better bass immediately came through.

One downside of the cartridge is sibilance on poorly recorded LPs. One of the records of Patric Bruel is practically un-listenable. On well recorded LPs, this cartridge doesn’t exhibit this problem to the same extent. The cartridge would be great for Rock, Classical and Jazz, but I wouldn’t recommend it for vocal jazz.

Comment on RCA 211/VT-4-C USA by tubemaze Mon, 22 Dec 2014 19:10:30 +0000 As far as 211 tubes go, this is one of the kings of the hill. Beautiful rich sound with strong bass. Midrange could be too warm with these tubes in some set ups. Making vocals sound too rich though.

The only issue with these tubes is their price – they are going for ridiculous amount of money on Ebay and even then they are really hard to find – not surprising for tubes from 1940s (although they’ve been produced till 1970s). So save a bit and get the same results, I would recommend going with GE 211 tubes. Very similar sound, but a bit thinner on the bottom end, but GE has more delicate mid-range – to recreate richness of RCA with GE, you can easily use warmer tubes in the preamp or driver section – getting the same result with GE as with RCA and saving a bunch of money.

Comment on LP Gear AT-95SA Phono Cartridge Shibata by tubemaze Mon, 22 Dec 2014 05:47:01 +0000 Tried this cartridge in two turn tables – both results were unsuccessful. The tables were Pro-ject 9.2 Evolution and Technics SL-1200 MK3. The cartridge has Shibata stylus, but even that didn’t help much. The cartridge is very up front sounding – reminded me like I got back to CD instead of enjoying a beautiful sound of vinyl. Bass bass strong but not very well structured and the top was very bright. Another problem is that mid-range is very condensed and thin. Things didn’t improve even after 100 hours of burn in. Despite all the attempts to load the cartridge with low capacitance and very low capacitance cables (20pf), the cartridge was one of the worst that I tried in my system. At a price of $150, I expected much more. Another cartridge that I tried in the same set up Ortofon 2M Red sounded great.

Also be careful when you buy from LP Gear, they don’t stand behind the products that they offer and do not offer returns – quite a disappointment and my last purchase from them. So if the cartridge doesn’t work for you, you are stuck. Go to – much more pleasant company to work with.

Comment on FTP-Full Tube Preamplifier by luckyz Mon, 10 Nov 2014 07:43:26 +0000 You`re welcome Dule, I hope I will get some of your tube monoblocks one day.

Comment on FTP-Full Tube Preamplifier by Dulemml Sun, 09 Nov 2014 11:28:04 +0000 I want to thank you for review!

Comment on Raytheon 5751 Black Plates, Windmill by eicoeico Wed, 22 Oct 2014 08:51:30 +0000 The Raytheon “windmill getter” 5751 is by far the best 5751 ever made; in equipment that has simply too much tube bloom or artificially warm and mellow sonics, the Raytheon 5751 can “thin out” the mids a bit while remaining very dynamic and having killer bass.

I’m not normally in favor at all of using 5751s in place of 12AX7s in gear that was DESIGNED to use 12AX7s, but in my fully upgraded EAR 834P MM/MC phono stage, I use a 5751 in the V3 position, the cathode follower. Here the slightly better drive and punch of a great 5751 like the Raytheon can really have a synergistic effect.

Strangely, I don’t care at all for RCA 5751s. I am kind of unsure exactly HOW they were made to be such un-involving, flat, colorless tubes, but they just suck the life out of anything I try them in.

Another great 5751 is the long plate Tung Sol which has plates identical to their long plate 12AX7 tubes. While not as musical as the Raytheon windmill, they are really quite good tubes and work well as phase splitters, drivers and cathode followers. The Tung Sol is the perfect tube for the McIntosh MC30/MC60/MC225/MC240, both as the V1 input and especially the final drive position as part of the “bootstrapped driver” right before the output tubes. The Mac amps run this tube OVER max specification at around 340 VDC and also exceed the plate current limit so having a really tough tube like the TungSol 5751 there is a great choice.

Comment on Siemens 12ax7 Long Plates by eicoeico Wed, 22 Oct 2014 08:37:56 +0000 Even better than the 1960 Siemens ECC83 (which are pretty great themselves!) are the mid 1950s Siemens Und Halske ECC83s which have the date code printed on the bottom rather than etched on the side near the pins. The mid 1950s version, which was mentioned in a tube forum… the review got reposted and cross-posted and hence prices went from very reasonable for a 1950s long plate, that was made in limited numbers, to INSANE prices. I have seen used/good examples of 1956 S&H long plate ECC83s fetch over $200! They are nice, but not THAT nice…

These Siemens tubes have a very desirable sonic profile; they bridge the gap between the cage getter Mc1 Mullard ECC83 and the Telefunken ECC83. They have the neutrality, inner detail, and wide bandwidth of Telefunken ECC83s and add a measure of the midrange texture, depth, and harmonic richness that the Mullards have in spades. A great tube well worth trying out.

Comment on Sylvania 6SN7GTA Chrome Dome Mouse Ears by tubemaze Mon, 13 Oct 2014 18:56:51 +0000 This tube is as rare as they come. Check this out Sylvania with T-plates, Chrome Dome, Tall Bottle and Mouse Ears mica!!! I’m not sure whey they’ve been thinking when they created this tube, but it looks like they put everything they had into it 🙂

Sound is very nice – and very Sylvania like – practically the same as Bad Boys. Very musical, superbly transparent and airy – with nice tight bass (but not a lot of it). Love the tube for its rarity and its sound.

Comment on Tube Craze – Background by luckyz Sun, 12 Oct 2014 06:31:04 +0000 I am happy seeing one Russian tube box amongst the others! Also the Japanese…

Comment on Mullard EL34 Russia by luckyz Sun, 12 Oct 2014 06:24:05 +0000 Yeah, I have a quad for my P&K Audio Duet 34 integrated. They sound very good but I still use EH 6CA7 quad as the first choice, EHs simply sound more coherent, full-bodied and with more authority.

Comment on Mullard/RTC 5654/6AK5W black round hole plates by tubemaze Fri, 10 Oct 2014 18:19:18 +0000 Finally I was able to find a tube that I was hunting down for a long time. This tube is known as CV850 and M8100. The tube has easily identifiable plate structure with Black plate and a HUGE hole in the plate.

Sound wise, this tube is the best example of how 6ak5 should sound – rich tone, very powerful bass and beautiful midrange with an added bonus of a great transparency. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Comment on Tung-Sol 6SN7GT Round Black Plates by iSquirrel Sun, 21 Sep 2014 20:31:36 +0000 @ eicoeico Thank you! I have been having similar issues with my Tung Sol RP BG, could not understand it. I ended up doing as suggested and put them on a week of 24/7 burn in. To my delight they improved markedly. I compared 5 different 6SN7 varieties including the Ken Rad and the TS RP BG came out on top with the Ken Rad 2nd from the bottom.

Comment on Tesla EL34 Red Base Czechoslovakia by 1obywan2 Fri, 19 Sep 2014 19:53:49 +0000 Is this tube also called a “brown base”??

Comment on Tubes with Black and Gray plates by luckyz Wed, 20 Aug 2014 09:31:23 +0000 From my experience, black plate tubes usually sound more open and detailed with a huge soundstage. Grey ones usually have deeper bass response with a warmer presentation.

Comment on Deciphering European tube date codes by luckyz Wed, 20 Aug 2014 09:29:23 +0000 Excellent post Nikolay, congratulations!

Comment on Mullard M8100/6AK5 France by eicoeico Sat, 26 Jul 2014 06:27:47 +0000 These listening impressions of various 5654/6AK5/CV4010/EF95 tubes are made with one of my two headphone amps, a Little Dot MK IV. My two main headphone amps are the Bottlehead Crack and the Little Dot Mk IV. I use Sennheiser HD 600 and HD 650 headphones.

I got the Little Dot MK IV first, and went a bit overboard with “tube rolling”…. I got obsessed with “tuning” the sound and stopped listening to the Music, instead listening more to the Sound of each 5654 type. I’m in recovery now ;0). That said, I DID hear some radical differences with different members of the interesting EF95/5654/6AK5 family installed in the Little Dot. All tubes got at LEAST a 25 hour burn-in before serious evaluation. This is very important with true NOS vintage tubes– they need to “wake up” with some usage before they bloom.

I found the U.K. military Mullard CV4010/M8100 version of the 5654/6AK5 a great performer in nearly all areas. Vintage 1970s British Mullard CV 4010s are slightly warm sonically, very musical, and present great depth of soundstage with a wideband yet balanced frequency response. The British Mullard is not the last word in transparency, but their 3D imaging and midrange texture/inner detail are outstanding. The U.K. Mullard CV4010 has one minor flaw–a slight rise in the mid-bass region that is OK and even pleasing 9 times out of ten. However, on certain complex multi-track rock and pop LPs the U.K. Mullard CV4010 can at times sound slightly… bloated. This fault doesn’t come up often– I noticed it first on my black-ABC-label pressing of Steely Dan “Pretzel Logic” and again on my 1st pressing of The Talking Heads “Speaking In Tongues” LP. On the rare times it is there, this slight bass bloat is distracting. Still, this is a NEARLY perfect 5654/6AK5 type. I give the UK Mullard a solid 9 out of 10. Prices have been rising because the “SE” version of the Little Dot MK IV comes with U.K. Mullard CV4010s installed at the factory– the time to buy is now.

The GE JAN5654W (especially the 1963 JAN 5654W “Green Lettering” examples of the GEs I tried) is an affordable, common, and great-sounding tube. However, the GE JAN5654W is just a bit more clinical, or slightly “cooler” than the Mullard CV4010. The GE has a nicely balanced frequency response, nice detail level… but just doesn’t make as much MUSIC as the U.K. Mullard. Perhaps it is the GE’s slightly recessed lower midrange. Still, the GE earns an easy 8.5 for sonics; look for 1960’s production G.E.s with green lettering on the tubes.

The RTC/Mullard-France CV4010 is similar sonically to the UK Mullard CV4010 but the French-made tube has a slight rise in the treble response curve. This slight rise in the treble response gives a sense of detail and transparency which is great for older analog vinyl with high resolution as well as female vocal LPs, but was a BIT edgy with “Being There” by Wilco, and my German 1970s pressing of the “Animals” LP by Pink Floyd. Not harsh, just a bit of an edge. That said, with the French Mullard CV4010 I could “see” layers and layers of vocal overdubs and guitar tracking on The Beatles Abbey Road (UK 1st pressing) that is tremendously satisfying. The RTC/Mullard will not disappoint, especially with dense, atmospheric recordings that one wishes to snap into sharp focus.

I tried a number of other 5654/6AK5 variants with mixed results.

I was incredibly let down and disappointed by the Western Electric version of the 5654/6AK5—the W.E. 403a; with WECO’s incredible reputation (and high price) I thought it would be a “super-tube”. The actual sound was quite the opposite. The sound was rather flat, thin, and un-involving. I allowed plenty of time for the Western Elecs to break-in, but they barely improved. SOMEBODY must like these, or maybe like the “idea” of them… because of the high price and relative rarity… but I can’t imagine it. The 403a is clean and cold sonically; not a fun listening experience. Think early, bad digital and you have the Western Electric sound. I give a 6.5 out of 10 to the Western Electric 403a.

Many other 5654s, like the nickel plate Sylvania in the green boxes… the various RCAs, and many more are not really worthy of much discussion because they are “good but not great” Life is too short for “OK” vacuum tubes! Especially with the cheap, great, and widely available JAN GE5654W. The UK Mullard CV4010 is better than the GE JAN5654W by a small degree, mainly in warmth and inner detail, but the GE is a very, very good 5654/6AK5 type and costs much less than a Mullard CV4010 , if you are on a budget. Be certain to get the GE JAN 5654W or the FAA version; the standard white letter GE 5654 is mediocre while the “5 star”-labeled GE 5654 is better but not to the standard of the JAN 5654W version of the GE.

I saved my personal favorite type, and certainly the biggest surprise in the entire EF95/5654/6AK5 family for last. I expected nothing from this tube but was blown away!

This may be hard to believe, but much comparison and confirmation (and consultation with audiophile friends) makes me select the pre-1980s vintage Soviet-era Voskhod 6J1p-EB as my all-around FAVORITE 5654-type. I know, I know. “REALLY?” Really. The Voskhod “Rocket Logo” 6J1p-EB? The tube that smart shoppers can get for about $2-$3 EACH on eBay? O.K.– before I am dismissed as deaf.. or insane.. I have to explain.

I initially HATED my Voskhod 6J1p-EB tubes; they were even worse than the Western Electric 403a and the plain-jane “regular” white-letter G.E. 6AK5/5654. My first impressions of 6J1p-EB were of a tube that was cold, muffled, un-involving, flat…. almost lifeless. However, information abounds on the internet that to REALLY HEAR the Vohksod 6J1p-EB for the amazing tube it is, it needs at least 50-75 hours of break-in time, actually playing music… not just sitting in an amp that is powered on. I connected a CD player set on “repeat” to the inputs of the Little Dot, and in 6-8 hour “shifts” I began to give the Voskhods a lengthy burn-in.

I can’t stress this enough; it was “night and day” as far as sonics before and after proper burn-in time of 75+ hours for the Vohksods. Be certain to get the genuine Voskhod 6J1p-EB (they have the rocket logo); the Novosibirsk 6J1p is vastly inferior. The -EB suffix indicates a 5000 hour tube; the best of the best have a “rhombus” geometrical symbol on the glass indicating individual testing for true military acceptance.

When I re-connected my analog signal chain to the Little Dot MK IV at the 75 hour mark of burn-in for the 6J1p-EB tubes and sat down to spin some reference vinyl Lps, I couldn’t believe they were the same tubes I had heard just days earlier. I have never, ever heard such a dramatic change in ANY tube following burn-in.

The Voskhod 6J1P-EB quite simply gets everything right. Or maybe “The Voskhod does everything best of all the many 5654-family tubes I tried” is more apt. It is extremely detailed without ever being fatiguing– this tube shines a clean white light into the furthest corners of the soundstage of great recordings to reveal everything there. Voskhods resolve everything, miss nothing, and add nothing extra. Imaging is terrific with HUGE, cleanly-defined depth and width of soundstage… the headphones almost “disappear” in the flow of 3-D sonics ( It’s a cliche, but it’s true) The defining characteristics of the Voskhods are absolute transparency, inner resolution of fine detail and textures, 3-D imaging and stunning dynamics. Oh, and NEVER a sense of fatigue… ever.

Playing the opening tracks on my black label Reprise “Tonight’s The Night” LP by Neil Young was truly startling. This is an all-time reference recording that is SO demanding of every element in the signal chain. With the 6J1p-EBs in place, the piano in the right channel of “Speakin’ Out” practically physically pulses against the ear, and no other tube conveys the stark, black emotion of songs like “Borrowed Tune” and “Mellow My Mind”. When Neil Young’s voice heart-rendingly breaks during the latter, I heard details I have NEVER heard… namely a faint, raspy rustling of air passing over his vocal cords, and Young’s small movements closer and further away from the vocal mic as he switches from the vocals to his astounding harmonica. Delicate inner detail as well as a huge 3D soundstage– the Voskhods resolve everything.

The Voskhod presents such an ambient, extended, and detailed (but never fatiguing) treble response that it is easy to overlook its phenomenal bass response. Of all the 5654 types I listened to, only the 6J1P-EBs reproduce bass that is at extended and tonally neutral, but also extremely strong and punchy. The phrase I jotted down while listening was “bass has a real physical presence” My main complaint with all types of headphones is that they lack the realism of bass response that large monitor speakers can convey. While even the most amazing 5654 tube will not enable headphones to produce bass with a physical rumble, the 6J1p comes closest to presenting real bottom end on fine recordings. Add to this a layered, textured and always musical midrange, and one has near perfection; one has the Voskhod 6J1p-EB.
There is no doubt– pre 1980s Voskhods are a 10 out of 10. Seriously. 10.

Add to the great sound the fact that NOS, Individually boxed, 1970s Soviet production premium 6J1p-EB vacuum tubes with nickle-molybdenum pins and gold/platinum alloy grid wire costs a crazy-cheap $2 to $3 each on eBay, and it becomes harder still to believe greatness the Voskhod 6J1p-EB. From eBay seller el-rayder I received TEN NOS 6J1P-EB tubes for just $15 plus $10 shipping. $2.50 each…shipped. With a lifespan of 5000 hours, that’s about 1 penny for a long session with the Voskhod 6J1p-EB. You cannot afford to NOT give them a try at this price.

Comment on GE 211/VT-4-C USA by tubemaze Sat, 21 Jun 2014 01:20:59 +0000 Absolutely fantastic tube – delivers what 211 tube promises. Fantastic sound stage, gorgeous midrange (it’s so palpable, you can feel it), and tight controlled bass.

This tube takes the whole system to another level compared to the majority of new production tubes (although I haven’t tried Elrog). Also, compared to so said “GE 211 killers”, this tubes still could be had for a reasonable amount (around $300 for a pair). Elrog is over $1,000 for 2 and Psvane WE replica is about 2x more than GE. So you be the judge :). Based on my experience with the best new production tubes – they have a different sound. They are more transparent, but that comes at a cost of delicacy and openness. Just not my cup of tea. I would love to try RCA 211, but the asking price just doesn’t justify the cost.

So back to GE, the tubes are military/industrial production tubes that are designed to last 10,000 hours, with controlled heater timing, the tubes are reported to last 20,000 hours!!!! Sure, some preamp tubes like 6111W can last as long as 100,000 hours, but for power tubes, this tube is yours for a very, very long time. On average KT88 tubes last 3,000 – more robust SED Winged C 6550 can last 5,000 hours, but that still half of what 211 can do!

The majority of these tubes found on different sites, come from “golden age” of tube production – 1940s-1950s.

So if you need 211 tube, hunt ge 211 down – your ears and your heart will thank you. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Comment on Shuguang 211 tube China by tubemaze Sat, 21 Jun 2014 00:44:51 +0000 Recently purchased 211 amp – it came as expected with Shuguang 211 tubes. The positive thing about this tube is that – yes, it is a tube and yes it will work in 211 amplifier without any problems.

Now about the other stuff, 211 amplifiers are known for absolutely beautiful midrange and delicacy. Unfortunately this tube delivers none of that. The tube has strong bass, but midrange is mediocre at best and top is the major problem with the tube – it is just very harsh and brittle.

So if you have a choice, stay away from the tube. Go for something more classy, after all 211/885 amps deserve that.

Comment on Leaf/Dovk Audio 348/32 XMOS DAC – China by tubemaze Sat, 14 Jun 2014 21:52:28 +0000 I decided to give a chance to chinese DACs. What the hell, around $100 is not a huge investment and maybe somebody can benefit from my experience.

I went for 384kHz 32Bit version with 0.1 ppm clocks. The DAC can decode any files you throw at it (44.1 to 384K) – nothing to complain about here. Has a good chip PCM5102 and WIMA capacitors. It’s compared to Meridian DAC. So far everything looks good.

The DAC does process all the specified bit rates without any problems. I tried a lot of formats from CD rips at 44.1 kHz and 16 to DXD files play at 352.8 kHz and 24 bit. The problems started when I decided to actually listen to music 🙂

USB powered connection was unusable, but the dac is quite flexible and can take external power supply from 5 to 9V. So I plugged in of the best power supplies I had and tried to enjoy the music. Unfortunately I couldn’t.

The music is incredibly sharp and in your face that after a minute or two of listening I became fatigued. Your can forget about attack and decay, air and texture. It was all right there, in your face and very 2 dimensional to the point that I had to turn off the sound. I decided that oh well maybe my SE amp is just not a good match for it, so I connected the amp to McIntosh 275 and Vienna Acoustics speakers. Nothing improved. It was there like a splash of cold water in my face. Tubes couldn’t help to rectify the sharpness.

All in all, despite the specs and the clock and PCM5102, the DAC should be avoided. Everything from internet radio to DXD tracks sounded bad. The DAC sounds great on paper, but not in reality.

Comment on Tungsram EL84/6BQ5 Hungary by tubemaze Fri, 23 May 2014 04:05:01 +0000 Tungsram is not well known, but receives more and more praise as time goes, but unfortunately tubes from that manufacturer are disappearing even faster. If you are looking for musical, yet dynamic tube with great transparency – it’s hard to beat Tungsram.

EL84 delivers the same fantastic quality as other Tungsram tubes. Very punchy and revealing tube competes head to head with giants like Mullard and Amperex.

These EL84 have a very different plate structure compared to other EL84 tubes making them easy to spot. First, the plates are oval with 2 round holes on each side of the plate. Second, silvery residue on glass – result of the manufacturing process. Could be easily confused with burn marks (on the picture they look gray, but actually they are silvery).

These tubes can take a lot of punishment, I ran these at 500 V and pushed them really hard. These only other El84 tube that could handle this kind of abuse is Reflector 6P16P-EV and ER.

Overall a fantastic tube one of the best in EL84 family. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Comment on Svetlana SED Winged C 6550C Russia by tubemaze Sun, 18 May 2014 19:01:21 +0000 When I think about KT88/6550 two main tubes come to mind – Genalex KT88 the original and reissue – but the original is becoming crazy expensive and hard to find.

The other tubes in the same “I LOVE IT” category is Svetlana SED Winged C 6550C. The tubes is amazing. Brilliant performance across the whole range, with strong bass, solid sound body, openness, and sparkle on the top. Another huge benefit of the tube compared to new production tubes is it’s midrange – it adds fantastic amount of warmth and texture to sound that brings performers much closer to the listeners. I really like GE 6550A, but it’s thin sounding tube compared to SED. Also, compared the all KT88, the tubes has openness that makes it incredibly desirable for any kind vocals.

The only issue with that tube is that it’s no longer produced. Last year of production was 2011. The factory since has been re-purposed to produce military GPS components – more lucrative I guess, but a huge loss for all tube enthusiasts.

Comment on Amperex 6922 Pinched Waist D-getter by jsch123 Sun, 04 May 2014 04:27:50 +0000 …depending on the price 😉

Comment on Amperex 6922 Pinched Waist D-getter by jsch123 Sun, 04 May 2014 04:21:22 +0000 i’ll buy a pair

Comment on Dario Miniwatt 18ECC/E180CC Pinched Waist D-getter by tubemaze Sun, 27 Apr 2014 23:11:41 +0000 Wow, what a wonderful tube. Came across it by pure accident. The tube is from 1956 with pinched waist and D-getter. There is so little information about this tube – not even pin out, but a bit of research and experimentation and tada! The tube is a direct replacement for E180CC/7062 tubes – although I’m not sure about life span of this tube. E180CC has 10,000 hours for lifespan, but this tube might not be as durable. It also could be used in place of 12at7/ECC81 in the majority of cases. Like e180CC this tubes is about 1/2 inch taller than 12at7 and take a bit more current (0.3 mA). Gain of this tube is around 40 mu, so it could be used in place of 12au7/ECC82 tubes with fantastic results.

The sound of this tube is what impressed me the most. This is cream of the crop of triode tubes – incredibly smooth, superbly delicate and wonderfully rich. The tube takes a lot of my favorite performances to a new level. Pure joy!!! Very musical with notes just going on and on. It’s incredible that this tube is not very well known and is still available. I think I’m in love 🙂 HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Comment on Mullard 12ax7/CV4004 Short Plates Russia by Les Lammers Wed, 23 Apr 2014 16:51:17 +0000 I ordered a pair and will post my impression after they settle in. I have a pair of the old Groove Tube 12AX7-M and Blackburn Mullard’s too.

Comment on Psvane 12ax7-T Mark II by Les Lammers Wed, 23 Apr 2014 16:48:45 +0000 As always opinions of tubes differ. I have been quite happy with the Psvane 12AT& tubes as preamp tubes in my Decware Mini Torii. They do require a long time to settle in. I’ll have to try the Shuguang 7025 and perhaps the TJ 12AX7. FWIW I never cared for Telefunkens. I have a pair of the Shuguang Nature or Natural series 12AX7’s and they are fine in my single ended TRK3488 amp. Are these better than the best, to my ear in my gear, old production? No, but so many variations of those tubes were produced and there are some duds there too. It is still good for all of that we have some decent new production tubes available.

Comment on Psvane 12ax7-T Mark II by eicoeico Sun, 20 Apr 2014 08:07:00 +0000 You are 100% accurate in your evaluation of the Psvane 12AX7T. It is very un-involving, very flat and SO DRY; the Psvane does not resolve subtle ambience cues in fine recordings and completely fails to deliver the EMOTION content of music. The Psvane sound never “moved me” in any way. It really has that “transistor in a glass bottle” sound… the Psvane 12AX7Ts made both my modified EAR 834P MM/MC phono-stage and my vintage Audio Research SP8 MK II sound flat, dull, lifeless…. like an Adcom GFA 535! Except because I needed TWO PAIR of Psvane 12AX7T for the Audio Research, I spent more on these Psvane 12AX7 tubes than an Adcom preamp would ever cost on the used market. I heard NO improvement over the basic China-produced $25/PAIR Shuguang 12AX7B when compared to these $80/Pair Psvanes! The real issue for me is that strong-to-NOS testing vintage Telefunken ECC83 tubes with smudged logos or Fisher and Dynaco logos , can be purchased for around $45 each on eBay, and they are superior in EVERY WAY to the Psvane. (BTW: Smart Shoppers– look for Telefunken/Mullard?Amperex/RCA tubes with a smudged logo but is still a great tube! One cannot listen to a LOGO.. or a tube box for that matter so one should not get too obsessive about logos and boxes!) An Ei ECC83 is another great NOS alternative. If you desire a better modern 12AX7 tube, I can personally recommend the Tianjin Full Music 12AX7. They really are great in my gear; they look quite similar to the legendary Mullard M8137/CV4004. These tubes are about the same price as the Psvane 12AX7T, but are really quite good, with excellent 3-D soundstaging and decent low level detail resolution. The Tianjins seem especially well-suited for phono-stage use. Another alternative is the Shuguang 7025. These are only about $14.50 on eBay when sold as “Shuguang 7025” and are absolutely a different tube from the Shuguang 12AX7B. If you need selected, low noise tubes, the Shuguang 7025 is sold by Tube Amp Doctor and also by the Tube Store in premium selected form; the Tube Store sells them as their “Preferred Series 7025” for around $25… for that price they are screened for low noise and low microphonics; for $5 more, they will sell one with low noise AND balanced sections. Tube Amp Doctor marks this tube up considerably more– they want around $40 for the EXACT same tube. This 7025 tube is an improved version of the “Mullard ECC83 Copy” made in China and sold by Groove Tube a few years ago. The new version has great sound AND great reliability. Either the Tianjin ECC83 or any of the China 7025 tubes is preferable to the Psvane… and the Tube Store “Preferred Series 7025” is a GREAT tube for only $25; I prefer it by far to the modern New Sensor Mullard re-issue 12AX7 by a huge margin and even favor it over the expensive Gold Lion 12AX7 reissue tubes in certain applications. Yes– it’s THAT GOOD!

Comment on Amperex 6922 Pinched Waist D-getter by goodieguys Tue, 15 Apr 2014 05:39:03 +0000 i have 4 new in a box

Comment on Mullard GZ34/5AR5 Russia by tubemaze Tue, 11 Mar 2014 18:21:39 +0000 Another tube from New Sensor, not exactly new – it’s been a few months, so it’s new-ish.

From New Sensor:
“This is a copy of the most popular rectifier valve ever built by Mullard. It has a low internal voltage drop and a controlled heater warm up time which helps extend the life of the other valves in the amplifier by allowing them to heat up before plate voltage is applied. ”

Sound wise, this tube is the same as Genalex GZ34, but has a different look. They also cost practically the same, so the choice here is more about esthetics.

It is definitely a great replacement for disappearing original Mullard GZ34 tubes.

Comment on Mullard 6L6GC Russia by tubemaze Sat, 08 Mar 2014 21:04:47 +0000 Another new tube from New Sensor. A message from them:
“6L6GC Mullard is a rugged reliable replacement for any 6L6 or 5881 type. Perfect replacement for the output valves used in the reissue Marshall JTM-45 head and Bluesbreaker Combo amplifiers.”

Original Mullard has never produced 6L6GC tubes, so this is not really a reissue, but a new tube all together.

Very nice sounding tube. So much so that even when put against RCA 6L6GC Black Plates, the tube performed admirably. The presentation was a bit more forward than RCA, but as for the rest of the sound, Transparent, 6L6 sparkly on the top and very strong tight bass. it kicked ass. I used it in McIntosh 240. Compared to Tung-Sol 6L6GC, the tube have that missing warmth that makes it great for Hi-Fi use and as New Sensor stated, if you want Marshall sound in your guitar gear, this tube is superb.

Comment on Mullard M8136/12au7 Box plates England by tubemaze Sat, 08 Mar 2014 20:55:43 +0000 This tube is a sister tube of M8137. It exhibits the same sonic characteristics – transparent, dynamic, with awesome bass. Fantastic tube if you are looking for a modern sound. Not much coloring of a sound, but still great sound state with a touch of warmth.

Comment on Mullard KT88 Russia by tubemaze Sat, 01 Mar 2014 01:07:45 +0000 New Sensor is on a roll, another tube this month – Mullard KT88.

From New Sensor:
“KT88 Mullard is an exact copy of the KT88 valves that were manufactured by Marconi-Osram for Marshall in the late 1960s and 1970s. Excellent replacement output valve for the Marshall Major to retain the original sound.”

This tubes looks exactly as Genalex KT88 and sounds practically the same – a bit warmer in mid-range, a bit stronger in bass. It looks like plate material looks a bit different, but nothing major. The major difference is that Genalex uses Copper rods for both grids and Mullard uses regular metal or aluminum rods. Considering that copper has higher thermal conductivity (about 2x of other metals) that should help in dissipating heat through grid fins on the top.

Overall very positive first impression of the tube. Considering that it’s a bit cheaper than Genalex, it’s definitely a fantastic tube.

Comment on Mullard 12ax7/CV4004 Short Plates Russia by tubemaze Sat, 01 Mar 2014 00:14:55 +0000 New Sensor just released a new 12ax7 tube – They called it Mullard CV4004/12ax7. Compared to the original Mullard reissue 12ax7 tube, this one has short plates.

From New Sensor:
“CV4004/12AX7 Mullard is a high gain, low noise valve with a short plate structure for reduced microphonics. Excellent for use in high gain Marshall pre-amplifier circuits where noise and microphonics can be a problem. ”

New Sensor is promoting this as a great tube for guitar gear and long plates version for hi-fi.

Our initial tests showed that the tubes have similar sound to long plates versions – very nice and warm. Very low noise in the range of -83-86 dB, where long plate version is much noisier and has to be screened carefully. But that comes at a price of gain. Long plates version usually has gain of 95-105, where this tubes measures around 90-94. Very low microphonics – the tube is dead quiet.

We we continue using and testing the tubes, we will provide more information.

Comment on Deciphering European tube date codes by tubemaze Thu, 27 Feb 2014 21:13:00 +0000 There are some European manufacturers that didn’t follow the same date code scheme.

Tesla – date codes are printed in large letters on glass:
Tesla Date Codes

Tungsram – date code is located on aluminum foil that’s inside a tube – general understanding is that the higher the tag is located, the later is production date of a tube.
Tungsram Date Codes

Comment on 50,000 visitors and counting by Newforever Thu, 27 Feb 2014 07:31:22 +0000 Congrats! Thanks you for all the info. I just started with tube gear. Got McIntosh 275 V. Tubes rule! Now need to get a good record player 🙂

Comment on Tube Craze – Background by Newforever Thu, 27 Feb 2014 07:19:28 +0000 Cool background!

Comment on TJ Full Music 6SN7 by tubemaze Sat, 22 Feb 2014 22:42:06 +0000 And another tube from Full Music. This is a beautiful looking tube – kind of kills old 6SN7GT tubes from the early days, but then again, we don’t buy tube equipment just because of its looks 🙂

I started using this tube and it sounded very bright, but manufacturer required 100 hours of burn in time before the tube opens up fully. So there it went for 24 hours into my burning machine. After that, I put the tube back in and things improved significantly. Things smoothed out, sharpness went away and the soundstage opened up. After that I continued burning in tubes while in the amp.

This tube has a very characteristic Full Music sound – 3D sound stage, very strong and tight bass, and extended, airy highs. And as it with FM tubes, if the system is already very bright, it will not work well – brightness and air will be just too much. The best application of this tube was in Single Ended amps in Triode mode. The tube brought out details and added transparency to music that was just fantastic. I wanted to remove the tubes. but for some reason kept listening to it – music was very natural with the tubes.

All in all, in the right equipment, the tube would be truly fantastic – a pleasure to know that this is coming from a new production tube and from China of all places!

Comment on Siemens 12au7 Silver Plates by jsch123 Thu, 20 Feb 2014 05:44:04 +0000 quick update: switched things around and put the 7316’s in the 1st position and these in the 2nd and getting an incredibly interesting sonic signature….smooth, yet vibrant with all of the instruments perfectly behaved and sounding sweet; sounds are emerging from more of a “white background” (but not from noise or excessive air) – just really nice to listen to

Comment on Siemens 12au7 Silver Plates by jsch123 Tue, 18 Feb 2014 21:34:20 +0000 I was giving the Amperex 7316 LP’s a rest (while giving the Valvo LPs another chance) when these showed up in the mail. Slightly used, but test NOS levels and fully balanced, so they were already broken in nicely. Put them in and the first word out of my mouth was “yes!”. Great dynamics, soundstage cohesion that moves with force, very detailed and clear (with good air). Seemingly “neutral”. So I was enjoying them with electronic music. Really, really enjoying them.

Then I put in my favorite live acoustic session and the first word out of my mouth was “no.” Compared to 7316’s, tthe vocals have a slight annoying twang, don’t transport you to the venue with a deep black background, and aren’t as smooth. Not harsh at all, just not smooth like Amperex. So I mixed them with the 7316’s. Sounded fine, but didn’t quite do the trick.

Amazing tubes for certain music. I guess same theme as described above.

Comment on Valvo ECC82/12au7 Long Plates D-getter by tubemaze Fri, 14 Feb 2014 05:12:28 +0000 That shouldn’t happened. It’s likely that the tube is just weak – that is one of the indicator of a dying tube. Otherwise, you would have great bass with “refinement and delicacy part.” 🙂

Comment on Valvo ECC82/12au7 Long Plates D-getter by jsch123 Thu, 13 Feb 2014 21:42:25 +0000 curious whether these took a while to break in for you. I put them in today and only listened for an hour or so, but seemed a bit thin and lacking in bass. People across the board pretty much love these, so I wonder if it’s something with the actual tubes I received, or I should just be patient. I do see the refinement and delicacy part.

Comment on Amperex 7316 Long Plates Foil Getter by jsch123 Wed, 12 Feb 2014 23:40:36 +0000 I was listening to the “Bugle Boy 12au7 Long Plate D Getter w/ Foil Strip” fora bout a week before swapping the 7316 long plates in. The first thing that grabbed me really was they sounded more agile, more musical, and a quieter background. Then as I sat for a while, started to notice the increase in air and detail, as well as a taller soundstage. The inner detail, and the ability for images fade in and out beautifully, adds to magic.

I think they’re king of the 12au7 tube type. The way voices extend and soar all the way through to the very end without a single negative characteristic is a thing of beauty. Not only do they soar out into the room, they do so with body and thickness (not thin and airy like some of the better known german tubes).

I have the Mazda Chrome Plate and the Siemens (the good ones) on the way. Not expecting them to beat these out. Might mix them in for something interesting, but we’ll see.

Comment on Boonton 102A/Type 45 Black Plates by tubemaze Tue, 11 Feb 2014 18:14:25 +0000 Very rare tube and not well known. What adds to confusion is that there is also Western Electric 102A tube – which is completely different. This is special selected type 45 tube that was used on Boonton’s Q meters. Very little information is available about it.

Sound wise, it’s very similar to the sound of regular type 45 tubes – warm, transparent & relaxed. Not as good as Globe type, but one of the best ST types. Definitely worth hunting down.

Comment on Telefunken ECC803S Germany by tubemaze Sun, 09 Feb 2014 01:18:31 +0000 Well, finally – the king of the tubes – at least based on the price. Not as high as Western Electric 300b, but for 12ax7 tube it’s really high. I put it against Tesla E83CC, which is exact copy and the results, well… they sound the same. This is a wonderful tube, the best of the best and one of my very favorite, but the cost is crazy! Think about it $600-700 for Telefunken vs $70-100 for Tesla. If sound is what you are looking for, go for Tesla, if brand is what you are looking for go for Teles.

Other than that read our reviews of Tesla – they are the same.
Tesla E83CC Gold Pins
Kings of the hill – 3 best 12ax7

Comment on Brimar 5Z4G Hole Plates O-getter by tubemaze Sun, 09 Feb 2014 00:58:29 +0000 Very cool looking rectifier tube. This tube is low voltage drop of 5Y3G tube. If 5Y3 drops voltage by huge 60 volts, this beauty drops voltage only by 20 volts. Other than that, other specs are very similar 125 mA and 350 vots Max. This makes it usable in many systems. This tube is like 5ar4 vs 5u4 compared to 5y3. So if your amp takes 5Y3, this is the tube to get. Sound wise, this tube is superb. Great bass and transparency. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Comment on Mullard CV491 Long Plates Cage Getter (Mid 50’s) by jsch123 Sat, 08 Feb 2014 05:37:14 +0000 I actually mixed these with the Tesla’s not too long ago…very entertaining. The mix of “thickness, speed, dynamics, and inner detail” in the midrange was just mesmerizing.

Comment on CBS-Hytron 5814A Black Plates by jsch123 Sat, 08 Feb 2014 05:32:22 +0000 Listening to these with Tesla’s in the first position of the preamp, CBS in the second. It sounds really, really good. I”m getting sold on these CBS tubes in a big way. Yes, balance….great dynamics…nice and smooth. , now I’m hearing it (and seeing it). Ironically I just took the sylvania 5814’s out before this because I was starting to think the combo with the Tesla’s was a bit bright (still really amazing, but was looking for a bit more midrange).

Probably worth noting, I’ve recent led upgraded my CD source and am playing nicely recorded live jazz at the moment. Tubes across the board are sounding much better, and some that I didn’t quite enjoy in the past are really starting to shine. Plus the combination with he Teslas doesn’t hurt 🙂 I really natural, balanced and enjoyable experience with this.

Comment on TJ Full Music 12ax7/ECC83 Box Plates Gold Pins by tubemaze Sun, 02 Feb 2014 02:09:03 +0000 After trying Psvane 12ax7 tubes, I sound have learned and shouldn’t have tried another Chinese tubes, but… I’m grad that I did.

The tubes didn’t work well with everything – again as with Full Music 300B tubes, if you give it garbage as source, you will receive garbage out of your speakers, more so than with other tubes – transparency of this tube transfers everything.

Sound characteristics of this tube remind me of good old Ei 12ax7 tubes – very transparent, dynamic with great sound body and incredible sound stage – which is one of my biggest complaints with new production tubes. This tube solved the issue and created tube that rivals Telefunken in transparency and sound stage. And yes, it does flash when energized – the same as Telefunken and Amperex.

When it comes to bass and top end extension, this tube excels in both areas. Mid-range is definitely analytical, so if you are looking for warmth of RCA, you will not be able to find it with this tube.

Now about tests of these tubes – all tested spot on right out of the gate. Plates were balanced between each other. This is not a very high gain tube – tested at around 85-89 mu on average, which is not bad considering average Telefunken gain around 87-90 mu. Noise was ultra low – measuring around 86 dB, which would make it a great tube for phono stages. I tried it in mine and it performed very well. Due to construction of the tubes, microphonics are not an issue either.

In conclusion, if you are after Telefunkens, which are getting very, very expensive – give this tube a try, you will be very pleasantly surprised. RECOMMENDED.

Comment on TJ Full Music 300B/N Mesh Plate by tubemaze Fri, 31 Jan 2014 02:33:40 +0000 And now… Presenting… Wait, I can’t stop listening 🙂

I first got interested in Full Music after having a chance to try Sophia Royal Prices 300B in my system – that is produced by Full Music and re-branded by Sophia Electric.

This is a very special tube, if matched with other tubes correctly. The tubes is transparent that all you bad recordings will be obvious. I used to listen to some music with my Genalex 300B tubes, but after acquiring these tubes, I just have to move away from that music and start using high definition FLAC & DSD files. It will revel every single not every single deficiency of a recording – it could be a good or a bad thing – really depends on what you have content wise.

There is a lot of air and huge, 3 dimensional sound stage although the sound on a dryer, analytical side. Bass is strong and well controlled, but not superbly tight.

The sound is all about size and air – just think Telefunken style. This appeals to a lot of people. This kind of sound is fantastic for instrumental music or for jazz including vocal jazz.

At the same time, good matching with a rectifier and preamp & driver tubes is SUPER IMPORTANT. There is such a thing as too much of a good thing. So be careful. This tube needs tubes that are warmer. that will make the sound balanced and will still allow to carry a lot of details through. I paired these tubes for best results with RCA 5R4GY and Sylvania VT-99, as an example – the sound was glorious.

So, if you want to hear all expressions of your music, get the tube and truly enjoy the music. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Comment on Mullard M8137/12ax7 Box Plates England by tubemaze Wed, 29 Jan 2014 08:27:41 +0000 These tubes are getting harder and harder to find since they were not produced in huge quantities as so many other tubes. This is military 12ax7 with great looking toast plates which are quite unique to Mullard and only now are being replicated by Full Music.

Sound of this tubes is not what you topically expect from Mullard, it’s not warm, but more like the later production 10M tubes with very dynamic sound, fantastic details and great bass. Not a tube for everybody – if you like rock or any music with a lot of punch, the tubes is one of the best available, but if you are looking for warmth and relaxed sound, this is not the first choice in the 12ax7 family.

Because of the structure of the tubes, it’s has ultra low microphonics and very low noise floor – I measured it at -88dB!!! This is unheard of in 12ax7 family.

Comment on Golden Dragon 4-300B LX by tubemaze Wed, 29 Jan 2014 02:27:31 +0000 Recently I had a chance to try these tubes out in my amp. They had around 1,000 hours one them and very well burned in. The tubes has a solid construction and titanium anode, which didn’t really help in this case. This is one of those tubes that really didn’t work for me. The sound was thin, transparency just OK, bass was not superb and it was too bright. It was a relief to switch to my default Genalex tubes. Kind of disappointed after reading some good reviews of the tube.

Comment on TJ Full Music 274B by tubemaze Tue, 28 Jan 2014 08:36:00 +0000 First of all, I have to say that the tube is freaking gorgeous! This picture doesn’t do it justice. It’s huge and burns on the top like no other tube I’ve seen. Now about the sound. I compared this tube to 2 of my favorite rectifiers RCA 5R4GY and NOS Mullard GZ34. All tubes performed admirably, but with different results.

Full Music 274B just sounded superbly transparent and was able to through a sound stage and air that was unmatched by another other rectifier that I tried. Bass was very strong and tight, but not as tight as in Mullard, but Mullard couldn’t come even close in transparency and air. RCA was much, much warmer sounding. So all in all, a fantastic looking tube with superb sound. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Comment on Tung-Sol 6188/6SL7 black plates Triple Mica by tubemaze Sun, 19 Jan 2014 01:24:15 +0000 Definetely one of the best 6sl7 tubes. 6188 tube is very rare, but still possible to find. It’s a military selected tube of 6SU7, which itself is a low noise version of 6SL7 🙂 So selected of a selected – it’s gets into category of super selected 🙂

Sound wise – well, it’s 50th Tung-sol, so the sound is transparent and airy, although compared to 6SL7 Round plates from the same company, it’s not as rich. Great tube for warm sounding amps. Life like performance is a guarantee.

Comment on Sylvania GB-6201 Gold Brand Black Plates by luckyz Fri, 17 Jan 2014 07:59:51 +0000 I have recently bought a pair of these and wanted to try it in my EL34 amp asap. Well, compared to Sylvania 12AT7WA triple mica black plates (my favourite), this one has slightly wider sounstage with stronger and better defined mid-bass frequencies. All in all it sounds more complete with a very powerful yet not muddy and very clear presentation. Recommended indeed!

Comment on Raytheon 6F8G/VT-99 Black T-Plates by tubemaze Sat, 11 Jan 2014 02:40:03 +0000 I’m staring to get a new appreciation for Raytheon tubes. Although I’m not crazy about them in 12ax7 family in Hi-fi use, in guitar amps, they proved to be one of the best overall tubes. This time I came across Raytheon VT-99 and let me tell you – it you want as natural/un-colored sound as possible – Raytheon is the recipe. There is warmth, details and fantastic life like presentation – combine this with huge sound stage and you will feel like being there, all has started with CRP 64C (I will write review later) and now for instrumental music, I just can’t go back. This tube is not for everybody, if you like highly musical sound of Sylvania and warmth and richness of RCA, Raytheon might not be for you. But if you are after sound that puts you in the middle of a presentation, go for Raytheon.

Comment on Western Electric 421A by tubemaze Sat, 11 Jan 2014 02:23:18 +0000 Tried to do a blind rolling of the WE 421A vs Tung-Sol 5998 with my friends and the winner was, with everybody agreeing, WA 421A. The delicacy and the details of the tube took everybody aback. It passed in quality practically any tubes in 300B tube amp that we tried after that, as well. Nobody cared about 300B after experiencing 421A

Comment on Genalex 6AS7G/A8134 Cup getter England by tubemaze Sat, 11 Jan 2014 02:12:49 +0000 Well, let’s talk Genalex now. This is considered to be the best of the best 6AS7G tubes, and it sure it, but…

The tube sounds very nice – sound signature is very similar to Mullard 6080, but a bit more air, a bit more details, but that is at the cost of warmth and lusciousness. As Nick stated in his review above – it’s clinical. I personally like warmth of Mullards and to me the tubes sounded great, but not my favorite. I compared it to Tung-Sol 5998 and WE 421A. Western Electric was a clear winner.

Still a lovely tube that is disappearing fast and will soon be a thing of the past. 🙁

Comment on Where art thou, Perfect 300B tube by mike-e Tue, 07 Jan 2014 08:14:10 +0000 Here are a few more from Enjoy Music

Comment on Where art thou, Perfect 300B tube by tubemaze Mon, 06 Jan 2014 06:55:31 +0000 And here is another one from HI-Fi World DIY Supplement. Read NOW

Comment on Genalex Gold Lion 12ax7 Standard Pins China by tubemaze Sun, 05 Jan 2014 20:23:16 +0000 BTW, the tube has some crazy gain numbers – in area of 108-110! The majority of 12ax7 tubes come to 90-95. I was concerned that this would come at a price of noise, but it showed very respectable noise number of -83-86 dB.

Comment on Genalex Gold Lion 12ax7 Standard Pins China by tubemaze Sun, 05 Jan 2014 20:15:47 +0000 This tube completely surprised be in multiple ways. First of all, New Sensor just started manufacturing them, but to my surprise, the tube was made in China – not Russia as usually. Second surprise came when I listened to it. The tube is musical and warm – actually quite pleasant to listen to. There is not usual harshness of the tubes made in China and cheaper versions of Russian tubes. It’s smooth. The more I listened to it, the more I liked it. Great bass. Very nice middle range and good top end extension. Kind of reminds me of vintage Sylvania sound – a bit flatter around mid-range.

Here are some comments that I received about the tube:
“This standard genalex is my answer to the overly brite egnater rebel 20 amp,i put a NOS Mullard in v1 and the genalex in v2 and fantastic is the result. I have the gain at 7.5 and chords hold together and all the notes come thru even though its breaking up ! This tube has to be pushed hard to over-drive ! great tube. Effects loop may be good there also.
My friend luvs it in his Fender blues jr.”

“Hi just letting you know this tube has the warmest harmonic lows ever made in china as i have many of there 12ax7-5751 tubes. If you have a brite harsh guitar amp this is a instant fix.”

Comment on Psvane 12ax7-T Mark II by tubemaze Fri, 03 Jan 2014 08:41:06 +0000 I was very intrigued by information about Psvane 12ax7 tubes and decided to give them a go. I tried their 300B, KT88 and 12au7, 12at7 – some where nice, some where just mediocre. I got myself a set!

Tube tubes came in a great looking box with serial number on the tube and test results sheet for each of the tubes with matching serial number!!! I was impressed – since I usually find great tubes in dusty boxes 🙂 It was definitely much more pleasant to handle these tubes. But then…

I’m not sure what they used to test the tubes, but I had them tested on 3 tube testers and one was within specified test results, which were 1.9 GM, BTW. The other tube didn’t do so well, instead of specified 1.9 GM, it tested on one side 1.2 and 0.6 GM on the other side!!! 2 of my amplifiers decided to reject the second tube all together. Couldn’t amplify with such a low GM, so there they went to a tester – and gain showed 10, I started to look where the other 90 points went. One of the issues with some new production tubes is that materials that are used in a tube are not clean and that could cause the tubes to show low results. OK. 24 hours in a tube warmer (it’s a device to burn in tubes :). The tube came to life, but now I had a big question, if the material were contaminated, how did they do testing??? And why would this contamination happen on PREMIUM tubes??? Not cool. Another thing that I’ve noticed is that compared to NOS tubes or even new production Genalex tubes, this one has very thin pins. They are gold and all, but thin – could created problems in some system.

After it all settled down, I retested the tubes and as expected, the tubes were no longer matched – 1.9/1.9 for one tube and 2.3/1.9 for the other tube 🙁 I mean, I don’t really care if the tubes are matched, but they have been sold as matched.

Then 24 hours later (more burning in – and now at 48 hours), I tried the tubes in my multiple amplifiers. From pure SE Triode to SE Ultra-Linear and then P&P Pentode. All had different plate voltage and even biasing schemes.

And the results, no miracle here. the tube is not a NOS killer – far from it. The tubes has pluses – great bass, large sound stage, very transparent (but without smoothness like Telefunken), dynamic. But then the body of the sound very flat – it took me back to solid state days 🙁 There is not texture to vocals and instruments (details is not texture, Ladies and Gentlemen), no nuances. And the sound is not smooth, quite sharp – very tiring.

So all in all, this is not a bad tube, good step forward, but still a lot of work ahead before I can say with clear consciences that this tube is great.

I will give these tubes more burn in time and will report if anything will change – I don’t keep my hopes up.

Comment on Raytheon 2C50 Black Plates by tubemaze Thu, 26 Dec 2013 21:18:20 +0000 This is one cool looking tube. Plate structure inside is awesome! This tube is similar to 12sn7 tubes (with lower gain), but could be used in place of 6SN7 – with very long warm up time. But as a result, the tube will last practically forever. The tube has been created for aircraft control systems and has been created to the highest military standards. As a result, the sound is great. There is not a lot of warmth (standard Raytheon trademark) to the sound, but transparency, details and air are fantastic. The tubes is quite musical, which makes the whole experience very enjoyable. Also bass, kicks but in this tube. It reminds sound of Soviet 1578 tubes. Both have been created for military – no cheating there 🙂

Comment on Reissue vs. Vintage Power Tubes by plowboy Tue, 24 Dec 2013 22:39:28 +0000 for 300B its hard to beat old stock. i know there are some good, but very expensive new production tubes like Full Music, but I haven’t tried them. Genalex, EH, Shuguang just can’t compare to WE.

Comment on Sylvania CHS 6SN7W Metal Base by plowboy Tue, 24 Dec 2013 22:35:16 +0000 I love and hate this tube. It has incredible sound, but very poor reliability. I went through 3 of them now. they just fail after a while. at the asking price I cry when it fails, but have to get more.

Comment on Fivre 6C5G Round Black Plate Italy by tubemaze Tue, 24 Dec 2013 22:26:07 +0000 How about these beauties? The tubes are gorgeous! Not a very well known type – 6C5, but it’s a drop in replacement of 6J5, which in itself is a 1/2 of 6SN7 tube. Great thing about these tubes is that some incredibly sounding tubes are still available and not at a very high price of 6SN7 tubes.

The tube have black round plates, that is surrounded by silver mesh shield to reduce noise and other unwanted interferences.

Sound is very similar to 6J5GT tube from Fivre. It’s a bit more transparent, but a bit less musical. Very cool tube!

Comment on Arcturus Type 80 Rectifier Blue Glass by tubemaze Tue, 24 Dec 2013 19:50:52 +0000 This is one good looking and good sounding rectifier. Very musical and transparent. They are impossible to find these days since very few of them have been produced. Arcturus was adding cobalt to their glass to make them look cool – there is not information about technical benefits of that approach, but look cool they do!

If you don’t know much about Arcturus – here is a quick read about their short history

Comment on Sylvania CHS 6SN7W Metal Base by tubemaze Thu, 19 Dec 2013 08:45:05 +0000 Legendary 6sn7 tube. The only other tube is as revered is Tung-Sol round plates. Soooo, how about the sound? Well. This is a very different sounding tube compared to a lot of Sylvania 6SN7 tubes from 50s and 60s. A lot of them sound very romantic and liquid, this tube is not that, it sounds very transparent and dynamic with great bass. A lot of people think that Sylvania’s bass is just OK – not with this tube – it kicks bass into a high gear. It’s very deep, strong and structured. Top is very extended as well. And then comes soundstage – where-did-my-speakers-go kind of sound stage 🙂 Actually, sound of this tube reminds me of great tubes like type 27 or 6J5 from the same years of production – 1940s. So it might rock your worlds or it might leave you unimpressed. Personally I found the tube tube sound amazing in my system – it just brought the best in music without being overly anything.

Comment on Triad 12au7/ECC82 Black plates O-getter Taiwan by tubemaze Thu, 19 Dec 2013 06:52:13 +0000 Cool and rate tube. Plates on the tube are very similar to color of early RCA 12au7. I’m not sure who this tube was made for since there is practically no information about the tube. Sound is quite good, rich and balanced. Very solid bass with a lot of punch.