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EAR HP4 Tube Rolling Thread - Page 3

post #31 of 78
I've never changed the tubes in my HP4. Thanks for putting down all your experiences, I'm going to get some tubes and give this a try.

post #32 of 78

6SL7 - 5691

Hey that's a very interesting thread as I'm also using 6SL7 in my amp.
The stock Sovtek that I've got are really good, I've tried Philips ECG 6SL7WGT and I've found them far less good than the Sovtek, they are bright, no very musical, lack of harmonics...small sound if I can say.

Actually I very happy with the Sovtek but I would like to know I you Hirsch or someone else has ever tried the 5691 RED BASE, lots of tube site says it's a premium version of 6SL7.

Thanks.
post #33 of 78
Thread Starter 

Re: 6SL7 - 5691

Quote:
Originally posted by Mastergill
Actually I very happy with the Sovtek but I would like to know I you Hirsch or someone else has ever tried the 5691 RED BASE, lots of tube site says it's a premium version of 6SL7.
I think the 5691 has the same relationship to the 6SL7 that the 5692 has to the 6SN7. In some cases it can substitute, but it's definitely not the same tube. Amps that are specifically tailored to the 6SL7 may not work well with a 5691...or they might. It's all in the amp design. I know that for the HP4, Tim de Paravinici warns against using any tube but the 6SL7GT (and cautions that you can't improve over the stock Sovtek's, but he's wrong about that one).

I agree on the Philips tubes. The 6SL7WGT has a lot going for it superficially. However, the longer you listen to it, the more you realize that it's not passing the music. Ultimately almost all of the "WGT" tubes I've tried have a tendency to dryness, with a lack of air. In other words, they're boring...and equipment should never make music boring. That's the job of the recording industry
post #34 of 78
Thread Starter 
Current tubes in the HP4...a combo. I'm currently using a pair of GE short bottle tubes and a pair of Amperex short bottle 6SL7GT's. I believe that these are the same tube, at least judging by the construction and labelling. In any event, the longer I use these tubes, the better I like them. They've got the dynamics to make the R10 hop, and bring out its bass response. They've got a nice rich midrange. I recently auditioned a Cary CAD 300SEI, and was struck by the midrange lushness. However, when I came back to the HP4, I finally decided the Cary wouldn't give me anything I didn't already have (and the HP4 is miles ahead of the Cary in terms of detail and percussive impact). Best yet: I can use the original case if I want to
post #35 of 78
Thank you Hirsch for the answer,

Yeah you're totally right about the dryness of the "WGT" it's the word I was looking for, instead of "bright".

Meanwhile I've made some search and found that Nik had tried some5691 RED BASE in his EAR HP4 and was not very happy with the result, so i will stay with sovtek. Personally i think that NOS tubes are not so "the very best", there's maybe a hype around them; at least they make lots of people living if you look at how many dealers you can find on the web!.

Instead of buying quite expensive NOS tube i think sometime it's better to buy a bunch of new one and make our own selection, keeping the less microphonics one. But that's just my opinion.
post #36 of 78
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Mastergill
Instead of buying quite expensive NOS tube i think sometime it's better to buy a bunch of new one and make our own selection, keeping the less microphonics one. But that's just my opinion.
6SL7's are not very expensive usually. NOS tends to go for between $10 and $20 US per tube. The most I've ever paid was $80 for a quad of Sylvania VT-229's (and those hadn't been out of the box that was packed in 1945). There are much better sounding tubes than the Sovteks. Those have a tendency toward brightness, and don't sound particularly well-detailed in my amp.
post #37 of 78
I said expensive because i saw the RED BASE at $40-$50 instead of $8 max. for Sovtek...but i will take a look about the Sylvania VT-229.

Regards.
post #38 of 78
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Mastergill
I said expensive because i saw the RED BASE at $40-$50 instead of $8 max. for Sovtek...but i will take a look about the Sylvania VT-229.

Regards.
The red base tubes are more expensive than anything else, simply because they're pretty. I can't really think of another reason. Like any other tube, they will sound very good in some amps, and not so good in others. They won't always work in a 6SL7 circuit. There are many 6SL7's that are 100% compatible with a 6SL7 circuit and will sound very good indeed.
post #39 of 78

5691 RCA red base

Yes I remember very well the test with the 5691 RCA red base on the HP-4, these tubes are even expensive, but they sound "dark" IMO, and I think the excellent quality of the EAR is exctly his clarity in tubes headphone amp, in this sense I understand Tim De Paravici, may be he wants to preserve his amp by different sound caracteristics...

Actually (I bought the Jatinder's Hp-4 for my brother) the EAR are equipped with Sylvania brown base and the sound is very good.
I loved a lot that amp, the only thing that I do not understand is why so low cost (quality) components inside... but certanly the EAR is the best for quality/price performance!

About NOS tubes if the tubes is very, very old the performance would be not prfect: air inside the glass... and more is hard to find perfect coupled pairs. The designer of my Angstrom prefers the Sovtek 6C45 to the WE437A (very rare and expensive triode).

Nicola
post #40 of 78
Thread Starter 

Re: 5691 RCA red base

Quote:
Originally posted by Nik

Actually (I bought the Jatinder's Hp-4 for my brother) the EAR are equipped with Sylvania brown base and the sound is very good.
I loved a lot that amp, the only thing that I do not understand is why so low cost (quality) components inside... but certanly the EAR is the best for quality/price performance!
Hi Nik,

The Sylvania Brown base are the 6SL7WGT. I've got a bunch of these. These are a very fast and clean tube, but in my HP4 the sound was too dry for me. Dynamics were there, as was bass, but there simply wasn't enough "air". In the end, it didn't sound like music.

The problem with the HP4 is the size of the case. Most of the tubes that sound good with it don't fit in the standard case. I finally found a short-bottle GE/Amperex set that I'm happy with (for now).

The purpose of the getter is to chemically preserve the vacuum by absorbing gasses that might build up over time. I have a pretty good tube tester that I use to check performance, and to make sure my tubes are properly matched. Most NOS tubes will work perfectly if they have been stored properly...but it doesn't hurt to check.

Some newer tubes do indeed sound good. I'm really pleased with the EI Elite 12AX7EG and the Sovtek 12AX7LPS (the better old 12AX7's are getting very expensive). So, any judgement about NOS or new stock really needs to be done on a tube by tube basis. Some new tubes will indeed sound as good as NOS. Unfortunately, they are the exception rather than the rule.
post #41 of 78

Sylvania brown base

Hi Hirsch,

I confess to you, yes I love incredibly a "dry" sound, but this is only my taste... I totally agree with your impression of the valves!

But Hirsch, are you still using the HP-4 with your R-10? What about your OTL?

Best!
Nicola
post #42 of 78

12AX7

Hi Hirsch,

Did you tried the Electro-Harmonix EH 12AX7, you know Manley use them in their pro mics preamps, they should be good. I like EH a lot, i've bought a pair of EL84 for a friend's Mesa-Boogie guitar amp and his very happy with the sound. I think they're from the best out of Sovtek. ( yeah but you know that!)
In fact i'm waiting for a EH 6SL7GT.

As for my experience these Russian tubes factory have made great improvment in quality over the last years. 10 years ago i was avoiding them at any cost.

The problem with NOS tube is that you have to be sure the seller make a got selection and do not send you microphonics ones. Even if they are in mint condition there's always more or less microphonics ones in the whole stock.
So buying more than you need to make yourself this selection could be more expensive with NOS than with new. Because you know not only the Philips "WGT" was bad sounding but they where a lot more microphonics than the stock Sovtek, that mean also that Manley did a good selection!!.

Regards.
post #43 of 78

Mastergill

Hi Mastergill,

speaking in tubes rolling I'm remembering the NOS stock I bought for my Manley 300B (a very expensive set). What kind of tubes have you in your Manley?

Best!
Nicola
post #44 of 78
Thread Starter 

Re: Sylvania brown base

Quote:
Originally posted by Nik
Hi Hirsch,

I confess to you, yes I love incredibly a "dry" sound, but this is only my taste... I totally agree with your impression of the valves!

But Hirsch, are you still using the HP-4 with your R-10? What about your OTL?
Hi Nicola,

I'm using the R10 with both the EAR HP4 and Singlepower Supra (OTL). However, I'm using my Grado HP-1 with the Supra a lot. The Supra brings the HP-1 to a fantastic level of performance. The tubes I use for the R10 are usually not the same ones I use for the HP-1. So, between the HP4 and the Supra, I keep one amp with the best tubes for the R10, and the other amp with the best tubes for the HP-1.
post #45 of 78
Hi Nik,

Actually it's all stock tubes. I just plan to change the 300B, but later, i wanna try the WE and after the VAIC. Just need to save again and again, as you know the Manley is expensive in Europe, that killed my wallet!!!!.
Na i recover slowly don't worry but first i absolutely need a Cardas golden ref. as IC, and again it's like 900 euros vs. $670 !!!!.

Regards.
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