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Let's roll some tubes

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Anyone else out there an avid tube listener?If so, do you do much "tuberolling "( swapping of tubes to alter the sound characteristics of audio equipment)?I use solid state gear as well but I love the sound of tubes, especially in a headphone amp.Ever listen to an all tube tuner?A few friends have a small group in Chicago that trades tubes and get together to listen to the results.I say a few friends because we usually meet at the last minute when we find out someone has something tasty.Just curious.
post #2 of 11
I use an old Eico HFT-90 FM tuner,not even stereo but mono !
Yeah,I could easily whip together a mpx adapter but then the output would no longer be a tube stage but solid state so i leave it as is and use it with a "Y" adapter.The parts have been upgraded and the entire thing restored plus professionall aligned.The main problem with this baby is BUTT UGLY !!!
So I painted it,changed the knobs and added a wood cabinet.
Other tube gear floating around is an HH Scott 299B integrated amp for my computer sound and a Dyna MKll amp for my main system center channel and a couple of amps ripped from old consoles for aux amps
No real tube rolling,mostly svetlana
post #3 of 11
Hey Tuberoller...

So you've got a Njoe Tjoeb too, eh? I've been looking into tube gear and trying to find some good dealers in the Chicago area (I live in the suburbs) so I could listen to some stuff. Lately, I've been wondering what the fuss is about over those SET, flea-power tube amps so I've been thinking about shelling out the green and building one.

If you've got any tips or advice, I'd really like to hear it...
post #4 of 11
Fellow Chicagoans,

Will you be attending the Head-fiers meet at the Etymotics lab on Saturday, December 2? See the party/get-together forum for details

I found this tube shop on the web and they are in Chicago:

http://store.yahoo.com/triodeel/index.html

I bought some tubes for my MG Head earlier this year. My favorite combo is a pair of Ei (Yugos) el484 and a Mullard CV4004. More bass than the stock tubes.

Regards - reynman
post #5 of 11
reynman -

what time is that meet supposed to start?
post #6 of 11
yage,

Nothing has been confirmed regarding a start time. Just keep an eye out on the meetings, party forum for more details.

Regards - reynman
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hi guys,
sorry I took so long to answer posts.Lots of really cool stuff going on.My brother bought back an Audio Note tube tuner from London last week.We just got it converted to US voltage(a real pain) but it sounds beautiful.I am going to A/B test it against the Jolida he is using now and post a review.

I use JJ tesla EL 84m in my MG head along with a Telefunken ECC83.After rolling a bunch of tubes at this amp this is what I like best.The teslas give a nice neutral sound.The highs are not too bright even when using Grados with the impedance switched low.These have nice controlled bass that is not too "thumpy".The sovteks that came in it sound pretty good too but I would stay far away from the Jan/Phillips.These made this amp sound way too dark,kind of like it sounds before it gets warm.The Telefunken seems to match best with the teslas.


I use Seimens ECC833 in the AH! njoe tjoe 4000.these are the best.I actually have only tried three different tubes in this player so far,but the sound was so awesome with the seimens I just have been enjoying it too much to roll them out.


In my Fisher 400,believe it or not I still have the original 7868s.I have changed all the 12ax7s over to Sovtek 12ax7lps which sound really good in this old reciever.I am actually listening to WBEZ's Jazz show on 91.5 fm right now and this thing sounds great.these old tube recievers are the forgotten gems of HIFI.This thing has a tube tuner,tube dual phono stage,tube powered headphone output(which I must say sounds much better than the Musical Fidelity XCAN V2 which I have for sale on ebay)and of course,a 28 watt per channel tube stereo amplifier.I have the lights down low,I'm sitting here on my laptop at 3:45 am Chicago time watching the warm glow of the tubes.

There are several tube stores in Chicago and some good dealers and show rooms as well.I will post tomorrow with the names of people I deal with at the places I frequent.


fred
post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally posted by Tuberoller
Hi guys,
sorry I took so long to answer posts.Lots of really cool stuff going on.My brother bought back an Audio Note tube tuner from London last week.We just got it converted to US voltage(a real pain) but it sounds beautiful.I am going to A/B test it against the Jolida he is using now and post a review.

I use Seimens ECC833 in the AH! njoe tjoe 4000.these are the best.I actually have only tried three different tubes in this player so far,but the sound was so awesome with the seimens I just have been enjoying it too much to roll them out.
fred

Great, I'd like to see your impressions on both amps.

What changes did the Seimens ECC833 bring over the stock tubes?
post #9 of 11
Hmm... did you get the Siemens tubes from Upscale Audio? I haven't rolled out the tubes in my njoe tjoeb - the player sounds fine to me with the stock tubes. What's your impression of the Siemens vs. the JAN/Philips? Is it that everything sounds 'better' or is it something in particular?

I tried a JoLida 302B the other day and all I can say is that I think the stock tubes aren't that great. Up close to the speakers, I could hear a lot of hum. I'm not sure whether it was a defective tube, something else in the audio chain, or if all JoLida amps are that way. So, back it went.

I also managed to listen to a modded Dynaco ST70 with new Svetlana EL34s.... what a damn fine amp. The salesperson showed it off with a Rogue preamp, a pair of Snell speakers, and a Music Hall turntable spinning "Buena Vista Social Club". The setup really boogied....
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hi,
Yage.
To answer your question abot the njoe tjoe.yes Kevin Deal at Upscale strongly suggested I try these.I'm glad he did.The difference is in a word"BASS".Everything that the stock tubes lack here the siemens make up for.This is one of the few times when my wife could actually here the difference between tubes,and honestly one a the few times where the sonic changes did'nt improve greatly in one area and suffer in another.this tube seems to maintain that nice open soundstage but pick up the bass that you know belongs there.To clarify,I don't mean that the bass is louder or greater but that there is a better seperation and better detail in instuments like an upright bass and drums.Before, these sounds all sounded the same.Now they can each be clearly distinguished.

The Audio Note and the Jolida are both nice tuners,But I will tell you, the Audio Note is such a nice looking,well built piece of equipment.It is a shame that these are not imported.Sound wise a comparison is still in the works.

I really like Jolidas entire line.They have very good sounding equipment and at very reasonable prices.I think they suffer some from people's price vs. performance perceptions.I had some dissapointments with the 603a cd player.the transport was awful,but the player sounded sweet and tuberolling brought about significant changes.


As far as dealers go in Chicago and the suburbs I like Saturday Audio Exchange in Chicago and Holm audio in Woodridge.Randy at Saturday audio is a Guru and does not try to upsell eveything and offers good useful suggestions.This place carries all the high-value lines such as Jolida,Nad,PSB,AMC,Creek,Musichall,KEF and others.Web address is Saturdayaudio.com.Albert at Holm audio is the man,He knows that Antique soundlabs has nice,low cost stuff and is not afraid to admit it,even though he sells Cary and VTL equipment too.His store carries the real high-end stuff and he is very proud of that,but he is a down to earth guy.he knows everyone can't afford that stuff and tries his best to offer suggestions.He steered me away from buying a very expensive turntable he knew I would'nt like, to a Musichall at another dealer. Albert is also a fellow tube roller and stocks all the good tube brands.His web address is Holmaudio.com.I hate Promusica on clark street.this place is full of audio snobs,you do not matter there.

Fred
post #11 of 11
Don't really spend too much time on finding and trying tubes, but I am currently using RCA grey plate 6BQ5's and a Mullard 12AX7 grey plate. Sometimes the front end is a JAN 5751WA. Depends on what I stuck in there last.
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