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I am a kind of guy who loves juicy syrupy sound of tube amplifiers (or whatever goes with the general consensus of waht "tube sound" should be) with soft highs and lush, musical presentation.

In my search for ultimate tube configuration on my ppx3, I found out I vastly preferred Sylvania tube in the driver position than any other including RCA cleartops, GE, electro harmonix. Havnt tried Ei yet, maybe I should do some more experimenting with the driver tube in the near future.

Prior to comparison, I gave all tubes about 3-5 minutes of warmup. Then I selected two tracks of different nature that I am most familiar with for comparison, chaging the tubes with brief listen of the two for about 30-40 seconds each. For less obvious cases like Ei's vs greenlabels, I went back and forth a few times to make sure I am not influenced too heavily by prejudice. I am not a believer of ABX testing (not that it is a plausible methodology for this setup either), since my brain is on a tad slower side and needs time to register noticeable differences. After all, I am not tuberolling so I can pick apart the difference; rather, I am looking for something that sounds more pleasing to my ears.


track 1: Still I Love You~みつめるよりは幸せ~


track 2: ぼくらの時間


With the driver position firmly occupied by the Sylvania tube, I have tried everything in my possesion to end up with the following observation

1)Ei's - these were my current FOTW and i was trying to see if there is anything that could dethrone it.
-Good extension in highs, borderline edgy at times but not that bad
-Mids have a magical "warmth factor", juicy and liquidy
-Bass is just right to me, might be not punchy enough for some

2)JAN (GE) with white label
-Definitely rolled off compared to Ei's
-Still under control, but stronger bass than the Ei's
-Soft, coherent and recessed sound
-Not as engaging but non-fatiguing

3)RCA Cleartops
-A lot more air than JAN's, or less "veil"
-Clean sound with more prominent highs
-Kinda grainy compared to Ei's
-Some bass bloat

4)Military GE with green label
-Similar to Cleartops
-Gone is graininess and bass bloat

5)Electro Harmonix
-Harsh, edgy compared to all others
-Has weird tonality that I really hated
-Least musical or refined of all

So at the end, it was a tough call between Ei's and GE green label; Ei's got the final nod, however - there is something about them that draws you into music like no other. Balance is definitely there without any glaring shortcomings, making it my tube of choice for now. Hopefully I could score some Tung Sols for further comparison in my quest for ultimate 6cg7 Then again, I would probably get SLAM upgrade anyway... Talk about a whole new can of worms!