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ASL MG Head DT/OTL MKIII Tube Rolling Experience

post #1 of 101
Thread Starter 
I have found myself with the day off. How should I kill the hours?

Why, let's tube roll!

I'm starting this thread to document my experience with tube rolling the Antique Sound Lab MG Head DT/OTL MKIII. I welcome anyone and everyone to contribute past and current experiences, as well as any thoughts and suggestions.

Just for the sake of clarity, my experiences will be documented with the following:

Source: Jolida JD100A with a pair of Ei 12AX7 on the output
Cans: Sennheiser HD600 with stock cable
Cables: Acoustic Zen WOW interconnects and Acoustic Zen El Nino Power Cables
Tunes: Steely Dan - Gaucho MoFi, Steely Dan - Aja MoFi, Stevie Ray Vaughan - The Sky is Crying, MoFi

I won't be rolling the tubes in my Jolida at the moment. I'm very comfortable with how the player performs with its current tubes. I will be keeping the amp in OTL. The volume difference is too great to A/B OTL and Transformer. Also, I don't have a camera for photos. I'm sorry, I wish that I did. I love photos!

Starting things off....

Stock Tubes: Electro-Harmonix 12AX7EH - Pair of Chinese EL84

First off, I must say that the stock tubes are in no way a negative experience. They really weren't that bad at all, but they were just, well, thin. This is from the lack of bottom end. This doesn't surprise me considering the Chinese power tubes. Also, bass wasn't controlled very well. When softer passages allowed the bass to brought more up front it could become muddy and very rolled off in the lower frequencies.

The highs, for the most part, weren't rolled off and very present and detailed. There was just quite a few moments of harshness. The big plus was how beautifully cymbals were represented. Attack and decay was very nice with a sparkle that gave a lot of life.

The midrange had its moments, but really proved nothing "special" with the stock tubes. The impact was just not there. But like I said, there were some moments. Female vocals were very nice. Smooth, warm and really engaging. Michael McDonald's harmonies on "Peg" from Aja were OUTSTANDING! As well as "Life by the Drop". You really seem to get drawn in on this track.

Overall, not bad. Complicated passages = Could be much better. Softer, less involved passages = Warm and fuzzy, but still thin.

Next up...rolling the power tubes for a pair of Electro-Harmonix EL84's.
post #2 of 101
Thread Starter 
Okay, so I have all spots filled with and Electro-Harmonix right now.

I don't have any real thoughts yet. I've just been enjoying what I'm hearing.

This is one VERY DECENT new production solution. I think I have a gold pin 12AX7EH that I might try to find.

I'll have thoughts once I'm done jammin'.
post #3 of 101
Using ASL ...........MkIII to power dt880/600, Alessandro MS Pro, and Joe Grado HP-2
I started with stock/Electro-Harmonix - no cigar........then went to GE 5751 and pair of Sylvania blackplate 6BQ5 - nope
next replaced GE 5751 with a Raytheon 5751 - a huge step up.
switched out the Sylvania pair for Siemens EL84 - better

Finally, TADA - put pair of Amperex (re-branded for Hammond Organ) EL84 w/"D" getter, together with the Raytheon 5751.......this combo works for me and easily surpasses what has gone before.

someone previously suggested Amperex 7189 w/"D" getters.....but, I've yet to score a pair
post #4 of 101
I have only used my MkIII with orginal tubes.... I might have to play with it a little bit to see how good I can get it to go. I really do like that little sucker. It looks kind of funny and scared next to the Woo WA5.....

Keep up the rolling and posting.

Cheers,
post #5 of 101
Thread Starter 
I can say that filling all three spots with Electro-Harmonix provides a nice thick and warm sound.

I found the combination very, very good with Stevie Ray Vaughan. Had a kind of "crunch" that suits the record and mood of the music.

The Electro-Harmonix EL84's really tightened up the bass and brought it out. Better control and a much stronger decay over stock chinese tubes.

I was also impressed with the midrange present with the EH's. It had a good deal of warmth and detail.

A very good combo without the NOS prices.

But, I think I'm going NOS next and throwing in a Siemens 12AX7 to pair with the EH EL84's.

Off to music land.
post #6 of 101
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeymad View Post
It looks kind of funny and scared next to the Woo WA5.....

The ASL is a little dog....but a nice big mean bark!
post #7 of 101
Thread Starter 
I really like this Siemens. Brings out vocals and provides beautiful space. This is very noticeable in harmonies.

Less, but better and tigher bottom end.

Real warm....I like it.
post #8 of 101
I'm having a flashback to the tube rolling package. I miss my Head.
post #9 of 101
Thread Starter 
Last night I tried JJ power tubes with a JJ 803S gold pin.

For new production tubes, I was impressed. Clear voicing, dynamics were very nice. Upper range was very airy.

I found the JJ power tubes to have a bit of noise. I'd say the EH were a better choice.

The combo was VERY warm. This is either good or bad. I love a very warm sound, but it is definitely warm enough to turn someone running if it just isn't their thing.

I'm short on power tubes. Any recommendations for NOS? I'm looking to pick up some.

I think that I'll go back to the EH power tubes and play around with my nice little stash of 12's and 5751's.
post #10 of 101
Thread Starter 
I've found an excellent combo that I'll be settling down with until I get my hands on some NOS power tubes.

JJ EL84
Amperex Bugle Boy 12AX7

I am pleased with how balanced frequency response is with this combo. Not too shabby.
post #11 of 101
My favorite tube combo for the ASL amp was the Amperex Bugle Boy 12AX7 *and* the Bugle Boy EL84. Great combo.
post #12 of 101

How big a difference?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skylab View Post
My favorite tube combo for the ASL amp was the Amperex Bugle Boy 12AX7 *and* the Bugle Boy EL84. Great combo.
Have either of you guys heard the DV332 and if so how does it compare with the ASL MG Head? Thanks for any help here. I'm still waiting to buy one or the other of these two amps for about the same price.
post #13 of 101
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skylab View Post
My favorite tube combo for the ASL amp was the Amperex Bugle Boy 12AX7 *and* the Bugle Boy EL84. Great combo.
Good deal. I actually have my eyes on a matched pair right now.
post #14 of 101
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hellenback View Post
Have either of you guys heard the DV332 and if so how does it compare with the ASL MG Head? Thanks for any help here. I'm still waiting to buy one or the other of these two amps for about the same price.
Sorry, I haven't personally heard the DV332. I can offer that if you want a very warm and tubey sound, the ASL won't disappoint. Very sensitive to tube rolling and matches with Senn HD600's unbelievably well.

I don't think that you could go wrong with either amp though.
post #15 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skylab View Post
My favorite tube combo for the ASL amp was the Amperex Bugle Boy 12AX7 *and* the Bugle Boy EL84. Great combo.
I have same amp/phones (i'll post my results after some more rolling).

Is the Amperex Bugle Boy 12AX7 / ecc83 (ecc88?) the one i'm looking for?Attachment 2675
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