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Little Dot MKIII Tube Rolling - Page 173

post #2581 of 3268
Originally Posted by mordy View Post

The symbol is hard to see on the pictures usually, but if the tube says Mullard and Made in Gt Britain I would think it is the real thing. At the end of each listing bottom left you have a box to click on to ask questions. Just click on the box, go to questions other, and ask the seller.

In my experience most sellers will answer within a day or so and tell you the facts.

Hi all:


First post on this forum! I bought the EF95 CV4010 made by Amalgamated Australia and they are marked "SDA" ($8 shipped). I just tried them last night on my LD MKIII and the sound was immediately superior in every way to the stock driver tubes. I was listening to Diana Krall's "Girl in the other room" album in high-res (bought on HDTracks) and I could hear a fuller sound, more bass (slightly woolly perhaps for now), sweeter midrange and lovely highs. I used to think the stock tubes were great but these are sooo much better!


I can't explain why your experience is so different than mine. I use the LD as a pre-amp rather than as a headphone AMP. My setup includes a Wyred4Sound power amp and Dali Helicon 400s... I can't wait to burn these tubes in to see what happens (if anything)... If the real Mullards are better than these Amalgamated, wow!




Edited by audiophile noob - 11/30/11 at 11:14am
post #2582 of 3268

Hi Audiophile Noob and welcome to this forum!


The tubes you mention are identical to the ones I have. They are responsible for my odyssey to find the right tube for me, because at first I though that I have gotten a real bargain on the highly praised Mullard tubes. When I listened to them I did not really like them, but it took me a long time to understand that these are Mullard look-a- likes, down to the round plastic pin protectors. So I tried a lot of different tubes, and learned a little bit along the way. Here is my take on a comparison between the Amalgamated and two Mullard tubes:


I pulled out my Amalgamated CV4010/5654/6AK5W/6096 (they really covered all the bases!) RK-D-SDA and listened again. Here are my notes: Overall pretty good with good bass and treble extension, BUT: There is a harshness and tinny quality to the entire presentation. The mid range is not sweet, and the sound is not that detailed. The upper range overpowers the mid range and bass. Found these tubes irritating in the long run.


Mullard M8100/CV 4010: Beautiful and warm presentation with excellent bass and treble extension and very clear instrument separation; wide sound stage. Bass is very strong and tuneful; treble very good - excellent overall balance. Very pleasant and involving to listen to.


Mullard EF95/CV850: Very similar to the the M8100/CV4010, but the bass is a little less prominent and the treble a little more powerful. Both the Mullard variants are very sweet and tubey.


NOW, please be aware that everybody has different taste, and that the tubes sound different in different systems. What counts is what YOU like, what works for YOU. My grandson bought a set of expensive Dr Dre by Monster head phones. To me the bloated, exaggerated murky bass was awful, but to him they sound wonderful, and he really enjoys them, and that is what counts.


The main thing is to enjoy the music. Perhaps it is possible to come to a consensus that certain tubes are better than others, Each person has to experiment with choices from the good and excellent tubes and see what works best for them. It could be that my hearing at my age isn't the best any more, and my opinions may be off; at least I just try to describe honestly what I hear.


Would be interesting to hear if other people concur with my observations or not.







post #2583 of 3268


I spotted something interesting on Ebay - Brimar 6AK5 which had grooves in the side and looked uncannily like the Voskhod driver tubes... Price was relatively low so I could not resist and bought a couple of them (not matched or whatever).


I had the Voskhods in the MkIII at the time anyway... swapped to these Brimar... Sound the same I think - excellent!


Don't know if more of these are available but seemed a bargain to me. I have some other unmatched but very nice looking tubes on the way... Telefunkens masquerading as AEG, and some Jan Philips which seem to have gold metal deposit at the top rather than the usual silver colour. Hmmm.


I've drifted away from the Siemens for now as being maybe a bit too bright.


It's all marginal though...



post #2584 of 3268

I just have to add to the above post that my Brimar 6AK5 tubes are labelled "Foreign". I see that there are other Brimar 6AK5 for sale and they do *not* look the same - mine have blue writing, the box states "foreign" and the indents on the tube, the getter shape and the pointy pins all suggest Russian / Voskhod !!!


All I know is having listened for an evening they sound fabulous.



post #2585 of 3268

Guys what RCA interconnect cables do you use from your music source to the MKIII?

What set of cables is the best?


post #2586 of 3268

Just wanted to report on a tube I haven't heard much talk about in this thread; I recently picked up a pair of Ken-Rad tubes of mid '40s vintage off ebay.  I couldn't find much info on them, besides the fact that Ken-Rad got bought out by GE either during, or a little bit after the production date of these tubes.


I can only compare them to the stock tubes.  As much as I love the stock tubes, I found that vocals, especially female vocals where very forward and almost cutting at times... far too seperated from the instruments.  The Ken-Rad tubes really mellowed out the vocals without muddying them.  Overall the tubes are very warm and mellow, with nice tight bass, just as good if not better detail than stock.  A very enjoyable sound that doesn't fatigue the ears.

post #2587 of 3268
post #2588 of 3268

Here is a brief history of Ken-Rad:



Basically this company was bought by GE in 1945, and GE took over the manufacturing plants for vacuum tubes and built more plants. The tube EIA code 188 stands for GE's Owensboro plant which originally was Ken-Rad (Kentucky Radio). All the GE tubes for LD MkIII that I have found have this code.

post #2589 of 3268

Thanks, I'll have to check out my tubes when I get home to see if they have the GE EIA code... I don't *think* they do, but I can't remember

post #2590 of 3268

Here is a short list of EIA manufacturing codes. Looks like GE took over Ken-Rad's code of 188.




post #2591 of 3268


My Jan Philips 5654W just arrived. Definitely more/deeper bass than other tubes, and I'm liking them. Might be best tubes I've heard but will hang on before passing firm judgement.


There's a chap on Ebay right now selling sets of 4x Hytrons for just under $20, and given what people here say about them I have ordered a set. 


That's where all this madness has to stop for now though folks.


What I bought is still for sale as Ebay item 200687857949 - mine did not have the gold top :-| but since they sound great I'm cool!


Could these be the same though - at $10 for 5 units? Ebay item 140666068831





post #2592 of 3268


Hytrons have arrived folks. Four of them for the price of two typical Ebay NOS tubes, but not tested or "matched". Cardboard packaging old and discoloured, a film of dust on the tubes. Definitely old stock! Tested in 1953 according to pack.


I've been using Jan Philips for a week now - and the Jan Philips are real foot-tapping bass monsters - superb for dance music.


The Hytrons immediately have a noticeable "openness" and improved soundstage/clarity feel to them (not burned in or anything yet), but definitely less "groove" than the Jan Philips.


Very interesting to have such a difference in character.


Special tubes that I can tell you about therefore are...

- Brimar Foreign 5654 (these look the same as Voskhod, with the 3 grooves in the tube) - superb all-rounder, as is the Voskhod

- Jan Philips 5654 - Bass monsters yummm

- Hytron 6AK5 - liquid crystalline crispy clear sound, if that's what you like


Based on my musical tastes I think the Jan Philips will remain in the Little Dot for the moment!


If you have headphones with TONS of bass, the Hytrons will probably fill you with joy by adding clarity and letting your headphones take care of the bottom end.



post #2593 of 3268

Hi everyone!


I'm about to buy one of these Little Dot MKIII, and obviously I want to do some tube rolling. From what I've read so far, I'll start rolling with the Mullard M8100/CV4010 for driver tubes, but what about the power tubes? Which ones do you guys think are the best option for power tubes, with the best price/performance ratio? I read something about using 6H30pi power tubes would be the best, but I found many variants of those on eBay, at very different prices... rolleyes.gif




post #2594 of 3268


i currently sell my superb Mullard M8083 (very rare) and Voshod 6ZH1P-EV here in the forum fo a price lower than all auctions on ebay. That's your chancebeyersmile.png


post #2595 of 3268



I've been enjoying my Mullard tubes for quite a while now, but recently the left channel has been affected by some sort of faint hissing/static noise. I was wondering if anyone else had previously encountered the problem and more importantly what the source of the problem may be. I suspect it is either the tube itself, something at the connector pins, or worse case scenario my headphone driver!


Any help would be appreciated :)

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