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Little Dot MKIII Tube Rolling - Page 181

post #2701 of 2868

I haven't added anything to this thread in a while, but my favorite tubes right now are (at least they are parked in my amp for the past 6 months)

 

Amperex 6AM6 EF91

 

I wonder if these are the same as the famed Bugle Boys?  I mainly like them for the extra soundstage (EF91 are all wide) and neutral presentation which works well with the HD650s. 

 

I just search for these tubes on e-bay.  I'm not sure where I got them but i surely did not pay more than 12 bucks for one of these tubes.  Unless you have no problem spending lots of money (then why would you buy this amp?) then don't buy a tube advertised for the Little Dot.  These are all standard tubes and there should still be thousands available out in the wild - but some are getting rarer, like the Amperex.  However, there are lots of rebranded tubes (British tubes for the US) for cheap and you may get lucky.


Edited by Max F - 7/8/12 at 6:30pm
post #2702 of 2868

Ninjames, 

 

To get an idea what tubes to get, you can use Infinity650's impressions and look at the first page of:

http://www.head-fi.org/t/563884/little-dot-tube-amps-vacuum-tube-rolling-guide

to make up your mind.

 

That should do for a start.

post #2703 of 2868

Just picked up a Little Dot MK3 with a pair of Mullard M8100's and a pair of CV4010's.

 

Just wondering, can I use the M8100 and the CV4010's together, or do I have to always have the same driver tube? i.e - M8100 + M8100 or CV4010 + CV4010.

 

Would it damage the amp if I did a M8100 + CV4010 combo? Or are they essentially the same tube, so it would render this combo useless anyway?

 

I also got a pair of Voshkod 6ZH1P-EV's with them too, but I actually prefer the Mullards. The darker tone and added bass really compliments my DT880's.

 

I'm also guessing you wouldn't be able to mix a Voshkod with a Mullard? It's a shame, because I think the high clarity of the Voshkod with the deeper low tones of the Mullard would work excellently together.


Edited by tigersinacage - 7/21/12 at 1:59pm
post #2704 of 2868

You don't want to mix tubes.  Its like if you used a different padding or wire for the left headphone versus the right.  One controls the left and one controls the right. 

post #2705 of 2868
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max F View Post

You don't want to mix tubes.  Its like if you used a different padding or wire for the left headphone versus the right.  One controls the left and one controls the right. 

 

Gotcha. Thanks for the reply smily_headphones1.gif Been playing around trying all the tubes out tonight, and it seems that the CV4010's are coming out on top for me. The Voshkod's are just a little too bright for the headphones I'm using (DT880's)

 

Same with the M8100's, they also seem a little too bright. Love that tonal quality of the CV4010's though, the bass is excellent. Compliments my headphones perfectly.

post #2706 of 2868

Hi Tigersinacage,

 

Some time back I asked David Zhe Zhe (manufacturer) the question if you can mix tubes in the Little Dot MkIII. He answered me that since each channel is completely separate it can definitively be done.

 

My personal experience has been that if the tubes are similar in sound it works fine, but if they are very different in their presentation it becomes distracting in listening. Possibly there is also a synergistic factor in that the sound is better with the same tubes than mixed ones, but I have no proof of such a synergistic effect.

 

At one time I wanted to put in two different tubes and A/B them using a good mono recording and playing each channel through both my speakers and switching using a balance R-L control, but I could not figure out how to wire it.

post #2707 of 2868
Quote:
Originally Posted by mordy View Post

Hi Tigersinacage,

 

Some time back I asked David Zhe Zhe (manufacturer) the question if you can mix tubes in the Little Dot MkIII. He answered me that since each channel is completely separate it can definitively be done.

 

My personal experience has been that if the tubes are similar in sound it works fine, but if they are very different in their presentation it becomes distracting in listening. Possibly there is also a synergistic factor in that the sound is better with the same tubes than mixed ones, but I have no proof of such a synergistic effect.

 

At one time I wanted to put in two different tubes and A/B them using a good mono recording and playing each channel through both my speakers and switching using a balance R-L control, but I could not figure out how to wire it.

Interesting, thanks! Before I knew any of this, I actually tried out the CV4010 + M8100 combo, and to me, they blended perfectly. The CV4010's are just that little bit darker, and they seemed to work really nicely together. Definitely didn't hear any channel imbalance.

 

Looks like I've got some more experimenting to do!

 

EDIT - Listening back, I think overall the CV4010 + CV4010 sounds best. Bass is so good.


Edited by tigersinacage - 7/22/12 at 4:44am
post #2708 of 2868

These are the two different Mullards I have:

 

1000

 

 

1000

 

 

Voshkods:

 

1000

 

 

1000

 

 

1000

post #2709 of 2868

The CV4010 tube (CV = civilian version) is supposed to be the same as the M8100 tube (M = military) when made by Mullard, so there is really no surprise that they sound almost the same. The difference in sound could perhaps be attributed to different batches and production tolerances.

 

I do want to point out that there is a Mullard CV4010 look alike clone, including the plastic pin protector, made in Sydney, Australia. (One giveaway is that it is very cheap compared to the real ones.) This tube is sometimes advertised as a Mullard tube on the Internet, but it was made by a different company and does not have anywhere near the beautiful sound of the genuine Mullards. If the tube has the letters SDA on it, it means that it was made in Australia, using the Mullard coding system.

 

Actually, this tube is responsible for my long odyssey looking for the best driver tube for my MkIII amp. Everybody raved about the Mullard, and I could not understand why the (fake Mullard) Australian tube did not sound good. I tried many of the different brands and types, and also, in the spirit of a $194 amp, I restricted my buying to not more than $8 per tube, and preferably a pair for $8. It is possible if you are patient and if you stay away from the tube sharks who charge you $85 for a pair instead of $4.

 

Anyhow, tube rolling is fun and very interesting as well....
 

post #2710 of 2868

Thanks for the info, pretty interesting stuff. Don't have SDA written on them anywhere, so I'm pretty certain they're Mullards. Although, I keep reading conflicting views on which model are military and which are civilian.

 

MULLARD made a military version of the M8100 for the British Aviation Ministry: it was given the designation CV4010, "CV" standing for Common Valve, the British military prefix for all their valves.

 

Also, the person I bought the tubes from (and my little dot MK3) mentioned that CV4010 = Military and M8100 = Civiian. I thought it was a bit strange at the time, as CV, you would instantly associate with civilian. I just figured he had got the sentence mixed up (He's Russian)

 

Hmmm... 


Edited by tigersinacage - 7/22/12 at 10:01am
post #2711 of 2868

Seems very odd to mix tubes - they don't work together....  one is left and one is right!

 

Mullards are superb tubes alright but in the end I've concluded that the Russkies are the best all-rounders and I'm also super happy with my JAN Philips tubes for maximum bass groove.

 

Everything else sounds good - but not as good as Russian / JAN Phillips / Mullard. With one exception... Siemens 6AK5W - which have a special crispy quality.

 

Little dot. What a lot of fun!

post #2712 of 2868

eljustinoid, sounds you got your driver tubes pinned down. Which power tubes do you have and did you roll them?
 

post #2713 of 2868

woah, RCA 5654 black plates make my HD650 sound like the HD600 and I wanted to sell the HD650. Now they sound more balanced!

post #2714 of 2868

Do you guys know if $35 is good for 2 Mullard 8100s or can you usually get them for cheaper?

post #2715 of 2868

These http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/M8100-CV4010-6AK5W-MULLARD-NOS-MATCHED-PAIR-/310282214423?pt=UK_Sound_Vision_Valves_Vacuum_Tubes&hash=item483e42dc17

would be $26-ish incl.delivery

 

those http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/M8100-MULLARD-6AK5-EF95-E-MATCH-PAIR-NEW-VALVE-TUBE-/390429216735?pt=UK_Sound_Vision_Valves_Vacuum_Tubes&hash=item5ae7650fdf

would be $29-ish incl delivery

 

Both matched pairs. Both are great. The first ones are more seducing signature with a little rolled off treble, the second sparkles more with treble (my fav).

 

I suppose, you could get M8100 tubes cheaper if you find the right auction. I wouldn't know an average price these days.

 

If you are a real Mullard fan, check this out ;): http://www.tubedepot.com/sw-ts-003.html
 

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