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  1. #1

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    Default Any favorites for a rectifier tube?

    I'm replacing some 5ar4 and 5u4 tubes, any favorites? Currently using sovtecs.
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

    Avantgarde horns, 300b tubes, thats the kinda crap I want... :D

  2. #2

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    IMO Holland made (Phillips) with double D getters are the best GZ34/5AR4. Either metal base (uber pricey) or Black base with metal base innards. My Holland made Black base with metal base innards are branded Mullard. GB manufactured Mullard are fine too.

    Some I have used. Except the Ruby on right that was sent with a power supply upgrade; I just kept it for a spare. I had some linkage to 5AR4 history at home, have to check later and post them if still there/active.



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  3. #3

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    I used to own a few amps with 5AR4 rec tubes. IMO, if you can't find or don't want to spend a fortune on Mullard, the Sovtek is probably the next best thing. After using the Mullard, I used Sovtek for a few years.

    What type of 5U4 do you use? They have a standard, G, and GB. I've read very good things on the Shuguang 274B. Suppose to work as substitute on most units using 5U4 but you usually have to check with the manufacturer http://www.thetubestore.com/Tubes/5U...ries-274B-5U4G . Stay away from the =C=. They're leftover military stock and some are known to arc under normal operating specs. I read about it on Audio Asylum and it happened to mine as well.
    Last edited by organ; 03-01-2013 at 03:40 PM.
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  4. #4

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    "metal base (uber pricey)"

    I would call the pair of 5ar4s I found somewhat pricey... $1500!!! Thats way out of budget although I don't plan to be cheap.

    Right now I have the standard 5u4 sovtecs. One of them sparkles on top when I first power up.
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

    Avantgarde horns, 300b tubes, thats the kinda crap I want... :D

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by madmax View Post
    "metal base (uber pricey)"

    I would call the pair of 5ar4s I found somewhat pricey... $1500!!! Thats way out of budget although I don't plan to be cheap.

    Right now I have the standard 5u4 sovtecs. One of them sparkles on top when I first power up.
    They were in the few hundred dollar range so when I was looking a few years back. After doing some research I just got the black base instead.

    I recall ModWright had some issues like that with a batch of new Sovteks so he started using the Ruby's. I had a Sovtek that did that; a blown power supply fuse usually followed.
    Make yourself necessary to someone. Ralph Waldo Emerson

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  6. #6

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    I have an RCA tube that I bought from Brock with the norh and its very good, much better than the stock tube
    Main HT
    Magnepan 1.6QR fronts, POlk R15 surrounds, Pioneer SC-25, Parasound Halo A23, Oppo BDP-105, Panasonic TC-P60ZT60, Sony PS3, Apple TV

    Bedroom System
    Polk Blackstone TL3, Polk PSWi225 Wireless Sub, HK 3490 Integrated, Oppo BDP-103, Sharp Aquos 32" TV, Apple TV

    Office Rig
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  7. #7

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    To clarify, the tube I am using appears to be the third from left in the first photo above
    Main HT
    Magnepan 1.6QR fronts, POlk R15 surrounds, Pioneer SC-25, Parasound Halo A23, Oppo BDP-105, Panasonic TC-P60ZT60, Sony PS3, Apple TV

    Bedroom System
    Polk Blackstone TL3, Polk PSWi225 Wireless Sub, HK 3490 Integrated, Oppo BDP-103, Sharp Aquos 32" TV, Apple TV

    Office Rig
    27" iMac w/Amarra, AudioQuest Dragonfly 1.2, Focal XS Book, Schiit Valhalla, Cypher Labs Theorem 720, Philips Fidelio X1, Sennheiser HD600, HiFiMan HE-500, B&W P7, LG 47LM7600, Sony PS3, Apple TV

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by AsSiMiLaTeD View Post
    To clarify, the tube I am using appears to be the third from left in the first photo above
    It could be that one, or one of the two he got, IIRC.
    Make yourself necessary to someone. Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Salk SoundScape 8's
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    Heavy Plinth Lenco L75 Idler Drive
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    AT33PTG/II & Denon 103R
    Shunyata Hydra (Original)
    NHT B-12d subs
    GIK Acoustic Treatments


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  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by SCompRacer View Post
    It could be that one, or one of the two he got, IIRC.
    I'm not following you?
    Main HT
    Magnepan 1.6QR fronts, POlk R15 surrounds, Pioneer SC-25, Parasound Halo A23, Oppo BDP-105, Panasonic TC-P60ZT60, Sony PS3, Apple TV

    Bedroom System
    Polk Blackstone TL3, Polk PSWi225 Wireless Sub, HK 3490 Integrated, Oppo BDP-103, Sharp Aquos 32" TV, Apple TV

    Office Rig
    27" iMac w/Amarra, AudioQuest Dragonfly 1.2, Focal XS Book, Schiit Valhalla, Cypher Labs Theorem 720, Philips Fidelio X1, Sennheiser HD600, HiFiMan HE-500, B&W P7, LG 47LM7600, Sony PS3, Apple TV

  10. #10

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    So why would a 5ar4 tube bring such a high dollar value, that one pair was as much as some really good nos 300Bs. I saw several pairs in the 100 to 400 range, that is where I'm looking. I need 4 of the 5u4 so I'm looking to spend less on them. Manley says they design their equipment to work best the cheaper production tubes and changing to more expensive nos tubes is not required, may even hurt the sound. However, I've found that every tube I replace with something really good has provided a noticeable improvement.
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

    Avantgarde horns, 300b tubes, thats the kinda crap I want... :D

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by AsSiMiLaTeD View Post
    I'm not following you?
    Tuberaider raided my stash one day...pretty sure he got a pair of those from me. ;)
    Make yourself necessary to someone. Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Salk SoundScape 8's
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    Twisted Pear Buffalo III Dual Mono ESS Sabre32 DAC
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    AA MG-1 Linear Air Bearing Arm
    AT33PTG/II & Denon 103R
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  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by madmax View Post
    So why would a 5ar4 tube bring such a high dollar value...
    Scarce....kewl looking, desireable....hype if you don't believe? Bendix 6900 tubes are another example of where I took the low road. MU Engineering bought Bendix Red Bank Division. They rebranded old stock and continued to manufacture on Bendix tooling. $800 for Bendix 6900 or $200 for MU6900. Had both, sounded the same, sold the Bendix. Now MU pulls higher prices.
    Make yourself necessary to someone. Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Salk SoundScape 8's
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    Twisted Pear Buffalo III Dual Mono ESS Sabre32 DAC
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  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by madmax View Post
    I'm replacing some 5ar4 and 5u4 tubes, any favorites? Currently using sovtecs.
    Hands down Holland made GZ34/5AR4. Not cheap but awesome sounding and will last forever. As Rich said the metal base version is the one most coveted and you've seen the price already. Any mid 60's Holland made GZ34 is far better (IMHO) than the Sovteks. I've run both and the difference was very real.

    Here's a primer on what to look for. Other branded tubes are a bit cheaper than one that has a Mullard label on it.

    http://www.tube-classics.de/TC/Tubes...0GZ34/GZ34.htm

    H9
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    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 SCompRacer View Post
    Tuberaider raided my stash one day...pretty sure he got a pair of those from me. ;)
    Yep and I still have 2 left and they probably aren't going anywhere anytime soon. I couldn't sell Assimilated the Norh amp w/o a great rectifier to go with it, that would have been a huge disservice.
    "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!

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by madmax View Post
    Manley says they design their equipment to work best the cheaper production tubes and changing to more expensive nos tubes is not required, may even hurt the sound.
    Pure marketing bunk as NOS tubes are too scarce for manufacturers to use them as original tubes, so to "save face" they try and represent current cheaper tubes as being just fine. When in fact you and I know that's not really the case.

    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!

  16. #16

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    Here is another site for tubes, 5AR4/GZ34 on this page.

    http://natubes.com/index.php?page=pr...08&parentid=61
    Last edited by SCompRacer; 03-02-2013 at 06:07 PM.
    Make yourself necessary to someone. Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Salk SoundScape 8's
    Krell KRC-HR Class A Pre w/ Reference Phono
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    Twisted Pear Buffalo III Dual Mono ESS Sabre32 DAC
    Sennheiser HD650
    Heavy Plinth Lenco L75 Idler Drive
    AA MG-1 Linear Air Bearing Arm
    AT33PTG/II & Denon 103R
    Shunyata Hydra (Original)
    NHT B-12d subs
    GIK Acoustic Treatments


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  17. #17

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    Their is a Phillips MiniWatt made in Holland GZ34 tube NOS on Canada's Canuck Audio Mart for $139 with clean white print. Also a GE Blackburn Mullard for $100. Not sure if these are good prices but thought I would mention it anyway. They are supposed to be new tubes.
    Last edited by larry777; 03-03-2013 at 02:22 PM.
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  18. #18

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    +1 on the Mullard

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