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Best tubes for Earmax Pro?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
New to this site, though a dedicated phone listener for years. Would love to hear recommendations for some excellent and not too costly tubes for my EMP. I've enjoyed the ones that came with it when new a few years ago, but ready to experiment a bit. I listen low-moderate volume directly fed from my bedside high-end CD player through Senn HD600s and Cardas cable and interconnect. Thanks in advance! Nice to discover I ain't alone in my love of how close to the music a good set-up can get you. I'm listening less and less to my speakers -- and they're darn good ones!
post #2 of 22
Welcome to Head-Fi!

I've just received the new Electro-Harmonix 12AT7 with gold pins today; it replaces the Sovtek 12AX7, and I like it slightly better. The output tubes are Electro-Harmonix 6922 with gold pins. This is my favored configuration so far which makes for a very clear and brilliant sound, not without any tubey smoothness, but with emphasis on transparency and resolution. That's why I'm an advocate of current-production tubes -- well, the best of them. I've spent a lot of money for NOS tubes before, and now that's where I've arrived. This with a relatively smooth, but nevertheless energetic sounding source (McCormack UDP-1) and the HD 650 with Zu Mobius cable (alternatingly Silver Dragon). -- Isn't the EMP a fine little amp?! (BTW, your profile is missing...)
post #3 of 22
Welcome to Head-Fi!

Among new tubes an excellent choice is Electro-Harmonix AT12AT7 (the single input tube) and 6922 for output tubes. In my opinion these are as good as NOS tubes or better.

For NOS tubes, you will find a lot of information by a search in the amplification forum.

I can also recommend Herbie's tubedampers with EMP with a little more detailed and focused sound although less "tubey".
post #4 of 22
Massive thread on this about a month ago. Try the search.

In the meantime, try the EH's all around
post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 

Thanks

Thanks to you all, and as soon as I can figure out how to enter a profile I would certainly like to do so. I have a MAD Purist ++ HD on the way as well for my office "main" system. To be honest, I think I had some fortuitous fortune in making the EMP my first real headphone amp. It sounds wonderful to me, especially at low volume where one's ears can hear all the subtle details. Great hobby. Long live two channel.
post #6 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by JaZZ
Welcome to Head-Fi!

I've just received the new Electro-Harmonix 12AT7 with gold pins today; it replaces the Sovtek 12AX7, and I like it slightly better. The output tubes are Electro-Harmonix 6922 with gold pins. This is my favored configuration so far which makes for a very clear and brilliant sound, not without any tubey smoothness, but with emphasis on transparency and resolution. That's why I'm an advocate of current-production tubes -- well, the best of them. I've spent a lot of money for NOS tubes before, and now that's where I've arrived. This with a relatively smooth, but nevertheless energetic sounding source (McCormack UDP-1) and the HD 650 with Zu Mobius cable (alternatingly Silver Dragon). -- Isn't the EMP a fine little amp?! (BTW, your profile is missing...)

Hehehehe...


Best!
Nicola
post #7 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nik
Hehehehe...
...and it came from Italy...
.
post #8 of 22
EHg are certainly great tubes. They have been highly recommended in some of the threads in this forum. I love them. I love the Tele's too.
post #9 of 22
i just did some tube swaps and i m very happy with both mullard and brimars.

i just swopped another 4 mullards onto my other amp and they sound much better, warmer & richer
post #10 of 22
Mullards are very warm and rich. The Telefunkens are clear and transparent, but just a bit thin for me. I really like the Electro Harmonix in all 3 positions as this provides a very clean, dynamic, and holographic sound in the EMP...and is my preferred setup. If you are concerned about that sounding just a bit too energetic and want it a bit more relaxed then a Mullard 12AT7 in the center position will do the trick.

I also let lan tube roll my EMP for a week and his favorite configuration was the EH 12AT7 in the center and a pair of the JJ ECC88 on the outside. This is also a nice sounding combo using all current production tubes (all for $30). It's warm and while not as dimensional as the all EH setup, doesn't seem to draw attention to any aspect of the sound...just very smooth and natural.

All the others have suggested the gold pin version of the EH, which is 2.5x the price of the regular. I have both the regular and the gold pin and I'm not quite ready to say the gold pin sounds better right now. But over time the gold pins are corrosion resistant and may sound better in the long run.
post #11 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by riffer
Massive thread on this about a month ago. Try the search.

In the meantime, try the EH's all around
Hi jdmeyers:

I believe the tread that riffer in post #4 above is referring to is titled EarMaxPro Tube amp information (maybe one for sale)--it's about eight pages long. A link to the tread is:
http://www6.head-fi.org/forums/showt...ghlight=earmax

Good Luck on your search!
–Nick
post #12 of 22
Nice to know another Nik... just with a "c" more !

Best!
Nicola
post #13 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by JaZZ
I've just received the new Electro-Harmonix 12AT7 with gold pins today; it replaces the Sovtek 12AX7, and I like it slightly better.
How to phrase it...

I have to withdraw this recommendation. Sorry, especially to Nicola! Just like the similar (and similar sounding) Electro-Harmonix 12AX7, the 12AT7 has lost its initial clarity and brilliance after a few hours of operation and now sounds too warm and dull to me. It's not that it sounds bad now, just not on the same level of clarity and transparency as the Sovtek 12AX7LPS, which for this reason remains my favorite center tube, together with the two Electro-Harmonix 6922. (In case the EH 12AT7 return to their initial performance -- which I doubt --, I'll post an update here.)

post #14 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by JaZZ
How to phrase it...

I have to withdraw this recommendation. Sorry, especially to Nicola! Just like the similar (and similar sounding) Electro-Harmonix 12AX7, the 12AT7 has lost its initial clarity and brilliance after a few hours of operation and now sounds too warm and dull to me. It's not that it sounds bad now, just not on the same level of clarity and transparency as the Sovtek 12AX7LPS, which for this reason remains my favorite center tube, together with the two Electro-Harmonix 6922. (In case the EH 12AT7 return to their initial performance -- which I doubt --, I'll post an update here.)

Give yourself more time to evaluate a set of tubes.
I have both the Sovtek 12AX7LPS and Electro-Harmonix 12AT7-G. The Electro-Harmonix 12AT7-G is softer, more detailed, sweeter, and more transparent than the Sovtek. Although Sovtek is faster, thicker, energic and has a bumping bass, it loss a musical and natural sounding. IMO, The EH 12AT7-G is great matching with its 6922-G, knock out combo, but I wont say it could match very well with my TFK E88CC and other tubes.
post #15 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by JaZZ
How to phrase it...

I have to withdraw this recommendation. Sorry, especially to Nicola! Just like the similar (and similar sounding) Electro-Harmonix 12AX7, the 12AT7 has lost its initial clarity and brilliance after a few hours of operation and now sounds too warm and dull to me. It's not that it sounds bad now, just not on the same level of clarity and transparency as the Sovtek 12AX7LPS, which for this reason remains my favorite center tube, together with the two Electro-Harmonix 6922. (In case the EH 12AT7 return to their initial performance -- which I doubt --, I'll post an update here.)

I have sold my EarMax AE amps and all my tubes so... I cannot replay, but I know you are a very expert man in tubes evaluation!

Best!
Nicola
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