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  1. #1

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    Default "low" vs. "high" power tubes

    I've read a number of reviews on tubes and many people claim that the EL34's and EL84's sound more "musical" than their big brothers such as the 6550's/KT88's. Any truth to that?
    HT/2-channel Rig: Sony 50 LCD TV; Toshiba HD-A2 DVD player; Emotiva LMC-1 pre/pro; Rogue Audio M-120 monoblocks (modded); Placette RVC; Emotiva LPA-1 amp; Bada HD-22 tube CDP (modded); VMPS Tower II SE (fronts); DIY Clearwave Dynamic 4CC (center); Wharfedale Opus Tri-Surrounds (rear); and VMPS 215 sub

    "God grooves with tubes."

  2. #2

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    I heard the same thing but most people use the word 'romantic' to describe the EL34. IMO, the EL34 does sound very romantic. However, I can't say anything about the KT88, 6L6, etc. Never heard them. EL34 seems to be the most popular output tube.

    Maurice
    CD Player: Original CD-A8T
    Pre: Antique Sound Lab Passive T1-X DT
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    "I would rather have a cup of tone than an ocean of power" **Dr. Harvey Rosenberg**

  3. #3

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    The 6L6 family in general, are good music tubes. 6L6, 807, EL34, 7591, 7868 etc. The 6550 was built for audio, and it shows in the sound.

    All things equal, push pull, I'd say the more relevant factor is the Iron used, not the tubes.

    Cheers,
    Russ
    Check your lips at the door woman. Shake your hips like battleships. Yeah, all the white girls trip when I sing at Sunday service.

  4. #4

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    All things equal, push pull, I'd say the more relevant factor is the Iron used, not the tubes.
    Russ, are you referring to the transformers? Can you elaborate?
    HT/2-channel Rig: Sony 50 LCD TV; Toshiba HD-A2 DVD player; Emotiva LMC-1 pre/pro; Rogue Audio M-120 monoblocks (modded); Placette RVC; Emotiva LPA-1 amp; Bada HD-22 tube CDP (modded); VMPS Tower II SE (fronts); DIY Clearwave Dynamic 4CC (center); Wharfedale Opus Tri-Surrounds (rear); and VMPS 215 sub

    "God grooves with tubes."

  5. #5

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    I have both the 302A and 502A Jolida amps. The 302A (EL-34) sounds more romantic (specific frequency response) whereas the 502A (6550/KT-88) is more straight forward. I guess I could say the 502A sounds closer to SS in terms of frequency response but still has the high definition of tubes, obviously. At times I like one better than the other. I wont say which because it keeps changing. Just for the record I am using the KT-88's and can't really speak for the 6550's.
    madmax
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

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

  6. #6

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    The 302A (EL-34) sounds more romantic
    Max -- what does "romantic" sound like? Is it more laid back? More airy?
    HT/2-channel Rig: Sony 50 LCD TV; Toshiba HD-A2 DVD player; Emotiva LMC-1 pre/pro; Rogue Audio M-120 monoblocks (modded); Placette RVC; Emotiva LPA-1 amp; Bada HD-22 tube CDP (modded); VMPS Tower II SE (fronts); DIY Clearwave Dynamic 4CC (center); Wharfedale Opus Tri-Surrounds (rear); and VMPS 215 sub

    "God grooves with tubes."

  7. #7

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    Originally posted by Early B.
    Max -- what does "romantic" sound like? Is it more laid back? More airy?
    I like to use the word 'dreamy'. The sound makes you bat your eyes at your system and want to give it a big french kiss.

  8. #8

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    Originally posted by dragon1952
    I like to use the word 'dreamy'. The sound makes you bat your eyes at your system and want to give it a big french kiss.
    Folks, do not try this at home. At least unplug the mains first...


    Dreamy is a great description. In cold hard terms I would explain the sound as bubbly and loose at the bottom, light and airy at the top, slightly bloated around the lower to mid midrange and a little held back in the upper midrange. All in a good kinda way. Nothing like it.

    madmax


    Edit: One other thing. Although almost all listening is done at volume levels without distortion, the EL-34's can sometimes be very nice when they first start going into distortion. Such artists as Jimi Hendrix, some rap stuff and the Beach Boys come to mind when I think of this. It gives you the sense that the music has balls...
    Last edited by madmax; 06-29-2005 at 12:15 PM.
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

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

  9. #9

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    I'm gonna have to hear it for myself. Maybe I'll look for some other high end audio stores in the area that sell tube gear.

    Max -- is there a specific type of music you prefer on the 302 vs. the 502?
    HT/2-channel Rig: Sony 50 LCD TV; Toshiba HD-A2 DVD player; Emotiva LMC-1 pre/pro; Rogue Audio M-120 monoblocks (modded); Placette RVC; Emotiva LPA-1 amp; Bada HD-22 tube CDP (modded); VMPS Tower II SE (fronts); DIY Clearwave Dynamic 4CC (center); Wharfedale Opus Tri-Surrounds (rear); and VMPS 215 sub

    "God grooves with tubes."

  10. #10

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    Very dynamic stuff is better on the 502. Voice and acoustic or mellow stuff is better on the 302.
    madmax
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

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

  11. #11

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    Originally posted by Early B.
    I'm gonna have to hear it for myself.
    Well if you're not a romantic yourself maybe you wouldn't even recognize it :(

    Signs that you are not a romantic.

    1) Your idea of foreplay is to leaf though the latest issue of Playboy.
    2) Your wife asks you to whisper sweet nothings in her ear and you reply with 'Spread your legs b*tch!"
    3) You get your wife a new bowling ball for Valentines Day.

  12. #12

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    Don't you have the 502? I'm not sure but I thought there was a simple mod to change it to use EL-34's. Remove some resistor or something simple like that. Maybe something you could switch back and forth.
    madmax
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

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

  13. #13

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    Originally posted by madmax

    Dreamy is a great description. In cold hard terms I would explain the sound as bubbly and loose at the bottom, light and airy at the top, slightly bloated around the lower to mid midrange and a little held back in the upper midrange. All in a good kinda way. Nothing like it.

    madmax


    Edit: One other thing. Although almost all listening is done at volume levels without distortion, the EL-34's can sometimes be very nice when they first start going into distortion. Such artists as Jimi Hendrix, some rap stuff and the Beach Boys come to mind when I think of this. It gives you the sense that the music has balls...
    That's a great word to describe the sound. Just wondering, what EL34 are you using there, Madmax? I find the SED =C= to be the most 'dreamy' of all the EL34 tubes I've tried. I like EH for its lively presentation.

    Also, how do they sound when they start going into distortion? I don't think I ever heard mine do that. But I hear guitarists talk about 'crunch' or something like that. But hifi and guitar is different.

    Maurice
    CD Player: Original CD-A8T
    Pre: Antique Sound Lab Passive T1-X DT
    Amp: NAD C270
    Speakers: B&W DM6
    "I would rather have a cup of tone than an ocean of power" **Dr. Harvey Rosenberg**

  14. #14

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    Don't you have the 502? I'm not sure but I thought there was a simple mod to change it to use EL-34's.
    Max -- I've read on audioasylum that some people have done this mod, but it is not recommended. Has something to do with potentially overloading the transformers or something like that. My own mod guy suggested that I not do it.
    HT/2-channel Rig: Sony 50 LCD TV; Toshiba HD-A2 DVD player; Emotiva LMC-1 pre/pro; Rogue Audio M-120 monoblocks (modded); Placette RVC; Emotiva LPA-1 amp; Bada HD-22 tube CDP (modded); VMPS Tower II SE (fronts); DIY Clearwave Dynamic 4CC (center); Wharfedale Opus Tri-Surrounds (rear); and VMPS 215 sub

    "God grooves with tubes."

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