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Thread: Holy Grail

  1. #181

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    "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

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  2. #182

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    Quote Originally Posted by Keiko View Post
    Congrats, bro. I've been digging my new GB 6201s for the past couple days. Nice tubes for the price. Thinking about snagging the RCA 6201s next payday.
    Thanks, Mike. I might have to look into some 6201's as well. Man, this is getting addicting. On the plus side, I shouldn't run out of tubes anytime soon!

    Quote Originally Posted by heiney9 View Post
    Nice snag!!! Those should be great sounding tubes. Not sure what type of sound you are looking for, but Valvo Hamburg are very neutral and have a huge soundstage in general. The highs sparkle a little bit too, bass is tight and not overdone. I refer to them as best combo of solid state and tubes.

    Let me know what you think of them if they are your first pair of Valvo Hamburg's.

    H9
    H9 - Yeah, these will be my first set of Valvo Hamburg's. Since you mentioned that you'd pay $60-$70 for a set, I was surprised that only one guy made a feeble attempt at outbidding me. Free shipping was just icing on the cake. Sometimes it just works out like that on Ebay though...

    Regarding what kind of sound I'm looking for, I'd say I'm looking for quick/tight/deep bass, detailed highs and a large soundstage, all from a tube that doesn't hum too much (or at all). That's not too much to ask, is it? I have a couple sets that sound great while playing, but between songs you can definitely hear the tubes humming. Other sets are dead quiet, but don't have the sparkle in the highs I'm looking for.

    I'll definitely let you guys know what I think of them after I receive them and get my ears on them for a week or so...

    Thanks again for the tip and info, H9!

  3. #183

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    Alan, that was a great price and I have gotten some sick deals on Ebay too. Valvo's in general are very quiet, long lasting tubes. Did you try cleaning the PIN's? I've gotten rid of all kinds of noise by using deoxit on the the PIN's of noisy tubes.

    As far as bass, I've noticed the most dramatic changes come with rectifier swapping. In general the German tubes (Valvo Hamburg, Seimens and true Telefunkens) are cleaner, more neutral and have a little tighter bottom end.

    You should enjoy them.

    As far as choice, it depends on associated gear and your room. Since moving and having a much livlier room (until I get a chance to do some room treatments) I've switched to a Blackburn (Mullard) made Valvo because the highs are a little rolled off and I need a tad fuller sound. It's great to have all kinds of "flavors" of tubes to choose from. Sometimes I just roll in a different tube just for a different sound.

    I will add that many of these differences I hear between different tubes are subtle, but there nonetheless.



    H9
    Last edited by heiney9; 06-13-2011 at 12:16 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

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  4. #184

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    H9 - I've been wanting to try some deoxit, but I haven't gotten around to buying a can yet. So far I have just been wiping the pins with a rag before I install them. Is this good enough? -->

    http://www.radioshack.com/product/in...ductId=2104746

    Or is there a particular brand you'd recommend?

    I know what you mean about "flavors". It's fun to hear your system a little different from time to time. I've noticed that good/high quality recordings definitely make it easier to say Tube X is better (or at least different) than Tube Y. I suppose that principle applies to all gear, and not just tubes though. It's hard to listen to the tightness of bass when a particular recording is muddy to begin with...

  5. #185

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    Quote Originally Posted by audio_alan View Post
    H9 - I've been wanting to try some deoxit, but I haven't gotten around to buying a can yet. So far I have just been wiping the pins with a rag before I install them. Is this good enough? -->

    http://www.radioshack.com/product/in...ductId=2104746

    Or is there a particular brand you'd recommend?

    I know what you mean about "flavors". It's fun to hear your system a little different from time to time. I've noticed that good/high quality recordings definitely make it easier to say Tube X is better (or at least different) than Tube Y. I suppose that principle applies to all gear, and not just tubes though. It's hard to listen to the tightness of bass when a particular recording is muddy to begin with...
    That's the stuff, it should help, if not then the tubes are probably on their way out.

    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

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  6. #186

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    Ok, I'll give it a shot. Do you spray it directly on the pins, or onto a rag and then wipe the pins?

  7. #187

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    Quote Originally Posted by audio_alan View Post
    Ok, I'll give it a shot. Do you spray it directly on the pins, or onto a rag and then wipe the pins?
    I use a Q-tip or small pipe cleaner. Q-tip works pretty good. You may have to remove some of the cotton to get it between the pins.

    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. #188

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    Sounds good. I'll try your Q-tip trick...

  9. #189

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    Quote Originally Posted by inspiredsports View Post
    . . . been on the lookout for these Telefunken 5965's for a while and probably paid too much, but now they're mine! . . . http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...253D&viewitem=. I'll update when they arrive.
    Finally have had a chance to properly audition these beauties.

    The best way to put it is the 5965's and variants I have are very nice, like good Lexus, but . . . .

    . . . these Telefunken E80CC/5965'ss (yes they cost 3-7 times as much as my best previous 5965's) are like a hybrid Ferrari/Lambo/Porsche.

    They excel in all categories. The music just seems to reach out of the perfect wall of sound produced, grab you by both ears and pull you in. There are many times the sound these tubes deliver runs chills uip and down my spine - - - Best $140 upgrade I've purchased in 40 years of fooling with this stuff

    I've got to honestly say, "If you see 'em, buy 'em."


    P.S.: Kudos to Brock who said it best in his post #1 that started this whole thing . . . "I was blown away".
    Last edited by inspiredsports; 06-14-2011 at 02:39 PM.
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  10. #190

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    Congrats on the long plate Tele's, Inspired. I'll definitely keep my eyes peeled for a set. Until then, I'm looking forward to trying those Valvo's I just bought.

    A few minutes ago I just won an auction for a couple Brimar rectifiers for $26 (plus $8 shipping). I've got to start staying away from Ebay! lol

  11. #191

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    Quote Originally Posted by audio_alan View Post
    . . . I've got to start staying away from Ebay! lol
    I know the feeling.


    I have 2 nice quads of Valvo Hamburg ECC81/12AT7's (also at Brock's recommendation) for the signal tube slots in my VTL ST-50 amp that are stellar. They are only surpassed by my Telefunken ECC801S's currently in place.

    Valvo's are great tubes, and Brocks recommendations are as good as gold.
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  12. #192

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    Thanks for the kind words......just trying to pass on my enthusiasm as well as my impressions of the tubes I listen to.

    There is another pair of 5965's on Ebay and I was watching them, I don't want to bid against a Polkie so if someone is truly interested in them I'll step aside since I already have a pair. I'm not going to bid them up to high.

    Glad you are digging them Greg!! They are truly one of the best tubes I've heard in the Dared.............by far.

    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

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  13. #193

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    Inspired, which version of these did you get? Early or Late? see post #25.

    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. #194

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    Quote Originally Posted by heiney9 View Post
    Inspired, which version of these did you get? Early or Late? see post #25.

    H9
    You know, in my excitement to listen I installed before writing down all of the markings and taking photos. Here's one image that the seller took.

    I'm going to go back to my old favorite Westinghouse gold pin 5965's to A/B in a few days and I'll report back.
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  15. #195

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    Inspired, still diggin those TFK 5965's?

    I have to say as much as I love the late 40's Brimar 5Z4P rectifier (I bought 3 total to have back-ups) I am really loving the Bendix 6106 (5Y3 equivalent). It seems to have slightly tighter bass which in turn seems to give the music a tad more dynamics. It seems the 6106 and 5965 are a great combo.

    Dared states the SL2000A can use a 5Y3 rectifier as well so it should be safe. One thing with the Bendix 6106 is it's slow to heat up.........approx 30 seconds, it has a ceramic heater. This is great for preventing cathode stripping of the signal tubes. One thing I have noticed is it gets hotter than the 5Z4P, so the chassis gets a bit warmer too.

    I also have, but haven't tried yet, a 1950's Sylvania JAN CHY 5Y3WGTA rectifier which is triple mica, extra support rods and really thick plates. The PINS need to be slightly sanded because they don't quite fit in the tube socket on my piece.

    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

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  16. #196

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    just sell me one of your Brimars since you have cornered the market.
    JC approves....he told me so. (F-1 nut)

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    Quote Originally Posted by heiney9 View Post
    . . . Inspired, still diggin those TFK 5965's?
    They are stellar.

    I've been rolling in earnest for over a year and have purchased and auditioned pretty much every NOS tube I've wanted to hear in the 27 spots in my tube tuner, preamp and amp.

    The 5965's (1 each) are the final output tubes in both the phono and line stages in my Conrad Johnson PV-5 pre (upgraded and Auricaps in all signal positions). The 5965's seem to have the greatest sonic impact in the overall sound of the pre and the Telefunkens are the best I've heard in those spots. What what they do to the overall presentation is amazing.

    The other biggest sonic improvement I've made with tubes was a NOS matched quad of RCA 6L6GC power tubes behind a NOS quad of Telefunken ECC801S signal tubes in the VTL ST-50 amp (also upgraded and Auricaps in all signal positions). The RCA 6L6GC is another of those Holy Grail tubes in a league of its own.
    Last edited by inspiredsports; 06-16-2011 at 01:10 PM.
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  18. #198

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    George, that might be a possibility, but it takes a lot time for me to make sure the 6106 is all that with most of the signal tubes I listen to. I need more evaluation time, so far the 6106 is really, really good as are those Sylvania 5965's.

    Inspired, I feel the same way about the 6L6 little brother the 6V6. I have 50's RCA black plate, gray glass, double D getter 6V6's that are superb..........no other 6V6 really comes close. I want to grab a quad of Bendix 5992's one day but right now at approx $300-400 a quad, it's not a wise purchase. I missed out on 6 on Audiogon about a year ago that sold for $175.

    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

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  19. #199

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    Quote Originally Posted by heiney9 View Post
    Inspired, which version of these did you get? Early or Late? see post #25.

    H9
    I just rolled in 2 of my old favorite 5965's to compare sound so I can get a good look at the Telefunkens.

    They are the later 60's version with three crimps on the plate, and two small holes in the chrome strip on the side of each plate.
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  20. #200

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    You guys and your "holy Grail" tubes are killing me,,I just got a pair of Bendix 6106's coming my way,,I'll pop one in the Hagerman that I got from Carl,,built by Rich(I'm really fortunate here)I thought I kne a little about tubes,,but you guys put me to shame.
    JC approves....he told me so. (F-1 nut)

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    I'll tell you one thing George, the combination if those Sylvania 5965's and the 6106 is pretty sweet and for not a lot of dough. You should really enjoy that combo. Not sure how far down the rabbit hole you want to go with the Dared as I know you like to spend some time with certain pieces and move on.

    A pair of true Bugle Boys or Valvo Hamburg is a really nice combo too. The Telefunken 5965's are really about the best I've heard.

    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

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    The Dared is gonna be here awhile,got the Sylvania's in her right now--I'll pop a Bendix in,, chill for awhile and then most likely replace the output coupling caps--per your suggestion(Obligatto's).This thing really does perform way above it's pricepoint,,now I'm a Dodd fan,,having owned the ELP and MLP,,given their scarcity,,I believe the Dared in just hard to beat and with the right mix of tubes it'll run with the ELP easily,,in fact I think it has a better "tone",,just my .02. YMMV.
    JC approves....he told me so. (F-1 nut)

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    I hope a Polkie got these because they went for a very readonable price . . . http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...m=260799676315
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    Quote Originally Posted by inspiredsports View Post
    I hope a Polkie got these because they went for a very readonable price . . . http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...m=260799676315
    I don't think so. I was going to bid on them, but I have too many iron's in the fire with the new house and other expenses that I really didn't need them. I thought they'd go a lot higher anyway.

    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

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    Quote Originally Posted by heiney9 View Post
    I don't think so. I was going to bid on them, but I have too many iron's in the fire with the new house and other expenses that I really didn't need them. I thought they'd go a lot higher anyway.

    H9
    Ditto. I'm starting a basement finishing project which is going to chew up a lot of money. I should probably try to avoid auctions for a while...

    I'm surprised they went so cheap as well. You'd be lucky to buy one for that price, let alone a pair!

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    I received a pair of Preamp UltraSonic 9 tube dampers in the mail a couple days ago. (Super fast shipping from Herbie's, btw.) I bought them because I had a set of 5965's that started to howl. I thought it went away, but it happened a couple more times so I'm glad I ordered them. It was like the tubes finally broke-in, and then the microphonics started...

    Anyway, I installed the dampers and I haven't had any microphonic problems since then. I think the dampers also improved the imaging to a small degree (with any signal tubes that I put in there). If I recall correctly, Mike was the one to suggest them, so thanks Mike! If they continue to prevent the problems, they are definitely worth the $30 for insurance against microphonic tubes.

    I also revisited the Valvo's again with the Ultrasonic 9's. Those really are some nice tubes! I have other tubes that are just about as good, but the Valvos hit it on all levels - bass extension, clarity, separation, imaging, sound stage... and what really puts them over the top is their lower noise floor. I thought the 5965 tubes were supposed to be low noise, but these Valvo's beat them hands down. Great suggestion, H9!

    Still waiting on my black plate 5965 Sylvania's and a couple more Brimar rectifiers for backups...

    P.S. I've also started cleaning my tube pins with deoxit. I sometimes feel like a mad scientist with my white gloves on, carefully handling the tubes and cleaning the pins. Other people would probably think I'm nuts, but the sound from my SDA-SRS's would say otherwise!

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    Many people swear by tube dampers even if they aren't having microphonic issues. I use them occasionally. The Valvo Hamburg are awesome tubes and have all the characteristics I like and they are a very neutral tube but you still get all the benefits of that wonderful "soul" tubes add.

    The Sylvania's will be different than the Valvo's, but different in a good way. It's nice to mix things up once in awhile.

    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!

  28. #208

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    Alan, your next tube to try should be an ECC81/12AT7 1960's Amperex Bugle Boy made in France. As good or better, as well as less expensive than the 1960's Amperex Bugle Boy made in Holland. If you keep an eye out you can find very good used pairs for less than $50.

    I also recommend the Bendix 6106 rectifier is a 5Y3 equivalent and it's also a very nice tube. A little different than the Brimar, a little tighter bass and little more dynamic.

    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!

  29. #209

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    These would be another Holy Grail tube. I have a pair and they are on par with the best 12AT7/ECC81 I've heard. I do like the Tele 5965 a little better, however. My preferences are very slight between the two tubes.

    Tube rolling is an absolute blast............I hate to even say which is best.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/TELEFUNKEN-ECC80...item35b32302a1

    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!

  30. #210

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    damn,, those folks made some fine toobs.
    JC approves....he told me so. (F-1 nut)

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