post #646 of 780
3/13/07 at 4:38pm
Recently I had the good fortune to give the 2c51 Tung Sol tube a try in my MPX3 SinglePower amp. I used it to sample the following recordings with the Senn 600 headphones:
Diana Krall – Only Trust Your Heart
Miles Davis – Miles Ahead
Harnoncourt / COE – Beethoven 5th Symphony
Klemperer – Bruckner 6th Symphony
Elvis Costello – My Aim Is True
Led Zeppelin – At The BBC
While the 2c51 sounds nice, it doesn’t displace any of my favorite tubes from the “nine pin family”. I compared it to the 12au7 RCA “Clear Top”, which I've always liked, on the above recordings. What I learned is even further appreciation and respect of the “Clear Top”. The RCA tube was better in most everyway. I especially found this true in the area of the mid range, which was richer & fuller.
The 2c51 has gained an enthusiastic following recently which peaked my interest in it. As always I’m hoping that the newest un-tried tube will take me to that next level of audio nirvana. In this case, for me the search continues. As it stands now, excluding my favorite Octal & Loktal tubes, the tubes I prefer are; the 12az7, 6414 & the 12au7 RCA “Clear Top”.
A few more thoughts on the 2c51. One area that I felt that they excelled was in it's treble presentation. To my mind that is a short coming of many of the "nine pin" family of tubes. The 2c51 has nicely controlled treble, that is smooth and a pleasure to listen to. However, for overall performance I still prefer the tubes cited above.