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  1. #1

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    Default Questions about vacuum tubes

    recently I've been enjoying the sonic presentation of tubes. I have a lite audio dac 60(modified Pacific Valve) It uses 6922 tubes. My first question is in regard to NOS tubes.

    How much difference does it make if you buy tubes that are "matched"?
    What would be the problems if they are unmatched?

    I also bought a tube buffer for my secondary rig. It uses the (2) 6sn7 tubes.

    Could you guys give me you opinions on good tubes to try. I know that it is based on your musical taste, but I listen to Jazz, acoustic piano/guitar, some R&B, some Rock

    Thanks for your input

    Equipment is Rotel 991, Lite Dac60, Sony cx3--, LSi 7

    2nd rig Adcom 545, Musical Fid v-dac, (Chinese) 6sn7 buffer, Lsi 7

  2. #2
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    Matching tubes is important if the same output is required from each tube, or if a single tube is not doing the entire amplification process. I always suggest matched tubes expect when you have adjustable bias output tubes.

    NOS tubes can have great sound quality, but also tend to require great sums of money. My choice for an upgraded 6SN7 would be the Shuguang Treasure CV181-Z as I love the Treasure tubes in my amp. A good budget option would be the Electro-Harmonix 6SN7 Gold.


  3. #3

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    Matching tubes for input/driver tubes isn't as critical. Anything within 10-15% is unoticeable. The goal is always to find as closely matched tubes as possible but with used old stock tubes and wide variations in tube testers and user methods it's hard to find. I never worry about it unless there is a large discrepancy.

    With new production tubes from a reputable dealer you can pay extra for matched tubes and even matched triodes within those tubes, it's up to you but I have over 100 pairs of tubes (mostly NOS) and have never noticed when they didn't match exactly or within 10-20% for that matter.

    Fixed bias output tubes are a different story, they need to be closely matched for best performance.

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30; Eastern Electric Mini Max; Adcom GDA600; MIT S3/Z Pc; SDA 1C; Squeezebox; Tubes add soul!

  4. #4

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    I know many people will plug new production tubes as being as good as old production stock, but I don't feel that way for the few new production tubes I've used. I prefer NOS tubes by a pretty wide margin.

    6922 and 6SN7 tubes, the good ones, are going to be a little more expensive.

    H9

    P.s. For me personally I wouldn't choose the links in Zingo's post...........but that's just me.
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30; Eastern Electric Mini Max; Adcom GDA600; MIT S3/Z Pc; SDA 1C; Squeezebox; Tubes add soul!

  5. #5

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    Brock, you really need to try the Treasures.
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end."

  6. #6
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    Agreed. The Shuguang Treasure and Psvane tubes may not be a good as the best NOS, but they can also cost less, come with a warranty, exactly matched, etc.

    Shuguang Treasure CV181Z - vacuum tube: Head & Shoulders above the rest?
    Last edited by zingo; 12-16-2010 at 01:04 PM.

  7. #7

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    Guys, I admit I am gun shy when it comes to new production tubes, ESPECIALLY Chinese tubes. There isn't a single new prod. tube I've tried other than Winged C EL34's that has really come close to the best NOS tubes.

    Since you both have suggested it, I'll look into the Treasure's, but they will have some very tough competition.

    To the OP a couple suggestions for 6922 tubes would be the Valvo E88CC (herleen made) and Mazda E88CC (french made). I have a source for these NOS, matched for $150/pr plus shipping.

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30; Eastern Electric Mini Max; Adcom GDA600; MIT S3/Z Pc; SDA 1C; Squeezebox; Tubes add soul!

  8. #8

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    The Treasures don't come close, they exceed.

    Be forewarned, they have a painfully long burn in.
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end."

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by F1nut View Post
    The Treasures don't come close, they exceed.

    Be forewarned, they have a painfully long burn in.
    Jesse, I am about to pull the trigger on treasure KT88s. I hope they are as good as I have been reading.

    I have the vintage Tung Sol 6550s in my amp now.

    To the OP, I like the RCA (red base) or Hytron (brown base) 5692s for 6SN7s.

    I may have to give the 6SN7s Treasures a try as well.
    Speakers: SDA-1C (most all the goodies)
    Preamp: Joule Electra LA-150 MKII SE
    Amp: Wright WPA 50-50 EAT KT88s
    Analog: Marantz TT-15S1 MBS Glider SL| Wright WPP100C Amperex BB 6er5 and 7316 & WPM-100 SUT
    Digital: Mac mini 2.3GHz dual-core i5 8g RAM 1.5 TB HDD Music Server Amarra (memory play) - USB - W4S DAC 2
    Cables: Mits S3 IC and Spk cables| PS Audio PCs

    Ofc: Wright WLA12 preamp: Anthem Amp 1: Pio Elite DV-79AVI: Airport Express: CAL Sigma II DAC: PA LS90 sonicaps and mills

  10. #10

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    One of the best 6SN7's in the 1950's D-getter or Square getter Sylvania WGT's short black plates known as the "chrome dome's" because of the heavy chrome flashing. The later versions are great as well but not quite as nice as the 50's.

    H9
    Last edited by heiney9; 12-16-2010 at 01:55 PM.
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30; Eastern Electric Mini Max; Adcom GDA600; MIT S3/Z Pc; SDA 1C; Squeezebox; Tubes add soul!

  11. #11
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    I have also had success with NOS Hyton and Mazda tubes, and have been able to find them for a fair price on ebay (rarely).

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by thsmith View Post
    Jesse, I am about to pull the trigger on treasure KT88s. I hope they are as good as I have been reading.
    I can't speaker for their KT88 as I have not tried it, but I currently have the Treasure 300B, 6CA7 (EL34), and Psvane 12AX7, and they are all excellent tubes.

  13. #13

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    I'm willing to give the Psvane 12AX7's a try. You really think they will sound better than the 1957 12AX7 RCA long black plates or the 1958 ECC83 Valvo Hamburg 45* slant getter tubes I already own? The RCA's were a lot cheaper slightly used and the Valvo's were only about 20% more slightly used.

    That's where I'm at right now these have the best attributes I love. You really think spending $80-90 on a pair of Psvane 12AX7's is really going to blow my socks off?

    Mazda tubes are excellent. Anything from the French Philips plants is excellent.

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30; Eastern Electric Mini Max; Adcom GDA600; MIT S3/Z Pc; SDA 1C; Squeezebox; Tubes add soul!

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by zingo View Post
    I can't speaker for their KT88 as I have not tried it, but I currently have the Treasure 300B, 6CA7 (EL34), and Psvane 12AX7, and they are all excellent tubes.
    I will let you know. I just ordered a quad of KT88 treasures $450 shipped grade a from Grantfidelity.

    Jesse has not steered me wrong yet.

    Thanks Zingo
    Speakers: SDA-1C (most all the goodies)
    Preamp: Joule Electra LA-150 MKII SE
    Amp: Wright WPA 50-50 EAT KT88s
    Analog: Marantz TT-15S1 MBS Glider SL| Wright WPP100C Amperex BB 6er5 and 7316 & WPM-100 SUT
    Digital: Mac mini 2.3GHz dual-core i5 8g RAM 1.5 TB HDD Music Server Amarra (memory play) - USB - W4S DAC 2
    Cables: Mits S3 IC and Spk cables| PS Audio PCs

    Ofc: Wright WLA12 preamp: Anthem Amp 1: Pio Elite DV-79AVI: Airport Express: CAL Sigma II DAC: PA LS90 sonicaps and mills

  15. #15
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    I'm currently doing testing between standard and Psvane Shuguang 12AX7 tubes, and I'll report back with a conclusion when they are all burned in and tested.

    I'm not sure I can claim that they Psvane tubes will be better than your favorite NOS tubes, but they are a great option for anyone who can't find NOS or would rather buy used. With the 12AX7 and similar tubes, there are a lot of good/great options out there. But for something like the 300B, NOS because of price and/or availability is not an option for many people, and the Treasure is probably the best option when combining price/performance/reliability/availability

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by zingo View Post

    That is pure pornography.
    Quote Originally Posted by Timothy Smith View Post
    WOW!

    That's like working your way through Katie Perry in order to get to Rosie O'Donnell.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by zingo View Post
    But for something like the 300B, NOS because of price and/or availability is not an option for many people, and the Treasure is probably the best option when combining price/performance/reliability/availability
    I totally agree!

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30; Eastern Electric Mini Max; Adcom GDA600; MIT S3/Z Pc; SDA 1C; Squeezebox; Tubes add soul!

  18. #18

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    I just stumbled across these on AA, not sure if they are still for sale though.

    http://trade.audioasylum.com/ca/list...New-quot/42735

    Quote Originally Posted by dhart86 View Post
    recently I've been enjoying the sonic presentation of tubes. I have a lite audio dac 60(modified Pacific Valve) It uses 6922 tubes. My first question is in regard to NOS tubes.

    How much difference does it make if you buy tubes that are "matched"?
    What would be the problems if they are unmatched?

    I also bought a tube buffer for my secondary rig. It uses the (2) 6sn7 tubes.

    Could you guys give me you opinions on good tubes to try. I know that it is based on your musical taste, but I listen to Jazz, acoustic piano/guitar, some R&B, some Rock

    Thanks for your input

    Equipment is Rotel 991, Lite Dac60, Sony cx3--, LSi 7

    2nd rig Adcom 545, Musical Fid v-dac, (Chinese) 6sn7 buffer, Lsi 7
    For Sale:
    Intel NIC Pro PT 1000
    Oyaide USB 5S .5m
    1.3m Discovery Essence DIN RCA cable
    (8) Herbies fat square dots
    (8) CF speaker pads

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by heiney9 View Post
    One of the best 6SN7's in the 1950's D-getter or Square getter Sylvania WGT's short black plates known as the "chrome dome's" because of the heavy chrome flashing. The later versions are great as well but not quite as nice as the 50's.

    H9
    Thanks Zingo & H9 for the info regarding "matched" tubes.
    I actually just purchased a pair of Sylvania WGT's (chromes) but haven't tried them yet. Is there a burn-in factor for NOS tubes?

    The Treasures look interesting, I'll look for more feedback. May try them.
    I know the Electro-Harmonix 6sn7 is new production (budget) tube, but do they sound decent. Is it worth the time and money?

    I really am looking to try the Red base RCA. Damn, this tube rolling......
    "they just keep callin me"

  20. #20

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    The red base RCA's are special I have 2 pairs of the 5691 (6SL7) variety. Go for it

    5691's are 6SL7 variants not 6SN7 those are 5692
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30; Eastern Electric Mini Max; Adcom GDA600; MIT S3/Z Pc; SDA 1C; Squeezebox; Tubes add soul!

  21. #21

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    I would like to know if tubes need time to burn-in. NOS ? New production?
    Thanks

  22. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by dhart86 View Post
    I would like to know if tubes need time to burn-in. NOS ? New production?
    Thanks
    Yes, absolutely some more than others. Plan on 50-300 hours with the avg being about 50-75 hours.

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30; Eastern Electric Mini Max; Adcom GDA600; MIT S3/Z Pc; SDA 1C; Squeezebox; Tubes add soul!

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