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Headamp Blue Hawaii Special Edition - Page 194

post #2896 of 5759

Common knowledge is like common sense.

 

Both are likely to be wrong or rare.

post #2897 of 5759
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beefy View Post

*snicker* Asking for some kind of ABX or double blind test wouldn't do me much good against the weight of "common knowledge" would it?

You're absolutely correct - it won't do you much good asking for such things, because it ain't gonna happen any time soon smile.gif

post #2898 of 5759

After the success of my fuse tweak a few pages back, I'll now report on my new tubes: I eventually went for the Shuguang Treasure 6CA7 premiums, bought direct from China via Ebay. This has probably broken several  Mafia rules in one go, and yes I've read all the rumours and propaganda on the net. So I was taking some risk here, but I couldn't resist... because they just looked so cute:

Processed By eBay with ImageMagick, R1.1.1.M2a

 

I got these as much for the looks as the sound - with their curvy shape and black finish, I was hoping to enhance the "Darth Vader space station" feel of my all-black BHSE. At £185 for matched quads, the Treasures are twice the price of the Mafia favoured SED Winged C's. So, reassuringly expensive, but still massively less than the classic Mullard NOS models (from £500 to infinity and beyond). Anyway, the transaction was painless and the Treasures passed their first test: no DOAs and nothing exploded when inserted into the BHSE (bias settings were almost identical to the stock JJs).

 

But they only managed a draw on the looks test: Yes they gave the BHSE a more substantial, butch presence. But somehow the end result didn't quite integrate as well as I'd hoped. And they glow even less than the stock JJs, partly because of that dark grey (not black) coating. Here's the two tubes side by side. The treasures are bigger in every dimension.

 

 

So I was a bit disappointed by their looks, but was pleasantly surprised with their sound:  Subtly better across the board than stock, with more "body". Hard to be precise about this, as my Power Conditioner upgrade was burning in at much the same time. So it was only when I swapped the JJs back in after a few weeks that the most significant difference came to light:  The JJs added a slight "sheen" to the mid/upper frequencies, which thinned out female vocals, with a bit of edginess added to everything. As I'm allergic to this kind of brightness, this one effect is enough for me to never go back to the JJs. So if the Treasures do fail one day, I'll be looking for the Winged Cs as a minimum.

 

I'm pleased with both tweaks so far. They both made the sound a bit more natural, lifelike, with more "good" detail and less "bad" detail. The tube change was more obvious than the fuse, but at only £12 a pop, the AMR fuse remains  the best VFM of all time, ever. Next up will be the Power Conditioner, by far the most expensive tweak of these three. Will it be worth it? You'll have to wait and see. ..


Edited by TheAttorney - 1/20/13 at 10:29am
post #2899 of 5759

I was going to get a quad of Shuguang Treasure 6CA7's to use with my BHSE simply because of their looks, but ended up not bothering.

post #2900 of 5759

I really wasn't a fan of some of the Treasures I've heard. Nice to know they do actually make some good tubes. 

post #2901 of 5759
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheAttorney View Post

After the success of my fuse tweak a few pages back, I'll now report on my new tubes: I eventually went for the Shuguang Treasure 6CA7 premiums, bought direct from China via Ebay. This has probably broken several  Mafia rules in one go, and yes I've read all the rumours and propaganda on the net. So I was taking some risk here, but I couldn't resist... because they just looked so cute:

Processed By eBay with ImageMagick, R1.1.1.M2a

 

I got these as much for the looks as the sound - with their curvy shape and black finish, I was hoping to enhance the "Darth Vader space station" feel of my all-black BHSE. At £185 for matched quads, the Treasures are twice the price of the Mafia favoured SED Winged C's. So, reassuringly expensive, but still massively less than the classic Mullard NOS models (from £500 to infinity and beyond). Anyway, the transaction was painless and the Treasures passed their first test: no DOAs and nothing exploded when inserted into the BHSE (bias settings were almost identical to the stock JJs).

 

But they only managed a draw on the looks test: Yes they gave the BHSE a more substantial, butch presence. But somehow the end result didn't quite integrate as well as I'd hoped. And they glow even less than the stock JJs, partly because of that dark grey (not black) coating. Here's the two tubes side by side. The treasures are bigger in every dimension.

 

 

So I was a bit disappointed by their looks, but was pleasantly surprised with their sound:  Subtly better across the board than stock, with more "body". Hard to be precise about this, as my Power Conditioner upgrade was burning in at much the same time. So it was only when I swapped the JJs back in after a few weeks that the most significant difference came to light:  The JJs added a slight "sheen" to the mid/upper frequencies, which thinned out female vocals, with a bit of edginess added to everything. As I'm allergic to this kind of brightness, this one effect is enough for me to never go back to the JJs. So if the Treasures do fail one day, I'll be looking for the Winged Cs as a minimum.

 

I'm pleased with both tweaks so far. They both made the sound a bit more natural, lifelike, with more "good" detail and less "bad" detail. The tube change was more obvious than the fuse, but at only £12 a pop, the AMR fuse remains  the best VFM of all time, ever. Next up will be the Power Conditioner, by far the most expensive tweak of these three. Will it be worth it? You'll have to wait and see. ..

I find tube rolling with the BHSE to be very difficult. I think the only real way your can get an accurate feeling for what the differences are is to have two BHSE going at the same time (comparisons are that close). Same when comparing amps like the LL and BHSE, you need two SR-009 (or SR-007, or whatever) going at the same time. Too much is lost going back and forth, plugging and unplugging everything.

I agree with your assessment of the Treasures having more body, don't really know how to describe it any better.

So far my ranking is the following:

1. Shuguang Treasure 6CA7 (they have a MKII now that's suppose to be better).

2. RFT

3. SED Winged 'C'

4. Stock Mullard

post #2902 of 5759
Quote:
Originally Posted by cat6man View Post

 

Bonjour Philippe,

 

I took my daughter along to a NJ headphone meet a few years ago by promising her a chinese buffet at a nearby restaurant.  She brought her ipod and earbuds with her.

She had mp3s at the time on her ipod  and a kind person, who was showing off his own tube based amplifier, got her to try listening to her ipod with her earphones but driven by his amp.............her eyes opened wide!

 

Since then, I've gotten her a used pair of Sennheiser that she absolutely loves................her smile when she first listened to them was priceless.  She also convinced her mother to "loan" her ipod Classic (160GB) since she no longer wants to listen to compressed music and ipods can't carry enough music................I must have done something right!

 

She doesn't know it, but I plan to get her an iDecco to take to college with her next year, which should be a good tabletop match to her sennheiser.......a sneaky way for me to get her something with tubes!

Hello Marty

 

What's up?

 

I don't know if new year greetings are important in the States, but in France they are absolutely mandatory! So here are my best wishes for 2013. Any chance to see you in Paris this year?

 

Philippe

post #2903 of 5759
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheAttorney View Post

After the success of my fuse tweak a few pages back, I'll now report on my new tubes: I eventually went for the Shuguang Treasure 6CA7 premiums, bought direct from China via Ebay. This has probably broken several  Mafia rules in one go, and yes I've read all the rumours and propaganda on the net. So I was taking some risk here, but I couldn't resist... because they just looked so cute:

Processed By eBay with ImageMagick, R1.1.1.M2a

 

I got these as much for the looks as the sound - with their curvy shape and black finish, I was hoping to enhance the "Darth Vader space station" feel of my all-black BHSE. At £185 for matched quads, the Treasures are twice the price of the Mafia favoured SED Winged C's. So, reassuringly expensive, but still massively less than the classic Mullard NOS models (from £500 to infinity and beyond). Anyway, the transaction was painless and the Treasures passed their first test: no DOAs and nothing exploded when inserted into the BHSE (bias settings were almost identical to the stock JJs).

 

But they only managed a draw on the looks test: Yes they gave the BHSE a more substantial, butch presence. But somehow the end result didn't quite integrate as well as I'd hoped. And they glow even less than the stock JJs, partly because of that dark grey (not black) coating. Here's the two tubes side by side. The treasures are bigger in every dimension.

 

 

So I was a bit disappointed by their looks, but was pleasantly surprised with their sound:  Subtly better across the board than stock, with more "body". Hard to be precise about this, as my Power Conditioner upgrade was burning in at much the same time. So it was only when I swapped the JJs back in after a few weeks that the most significant difference came to light:  The JJs added a slight "sheen" to the mid/upper frequencies, which thinned out female vocals, with a bit of edginess added to everything. As I'm allergic to this kind of brightness, this one effect is enough for me to never go back to the JJs. So if the Treasures do fail one day, I'll be looking for the Winged Cs as a minimum.

 

I'm pleased with both tweaks so far. They both made the sound a bit more natural, lifelike, with more "good" detail and less "bad" detail. The tube change was more obvious than the fuse, but at only £12 a pop, the AMR fuse remains  the best VFM of all time, ever. Next up will be the Power Conditioner, by far the most expensive tweak of these three. Will it be worth it? You'll have to wait and see. ..

Very interesting post, Attorney! But searching eBay for Shuguang Treasure 6CA7 (http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=shuguang+treasure+6ca7+z), I find many entries for quad-matched tubes, with prices expressed in $. Which ones did you order? How did you pay? Any customs fee concern? Are those Chinese tubes, tested as brand new on the BHSE, better sounding than the standard Mullards once broken in?

 

Sorry for all these questions, but when I was a schoolboy, I already asked the teacher about 10 questions per hour...

 

Philippe.

post #2904 of 5759

Philippe, you should be looking for these http://psvanetube.com/wordpress/store/products/6ca7-tii-aka-el34-quad-or-pair/. They are the replacement.

post #2905 of 5759

So nobody is going for the red and blue JJ's for looks?  tongue.gif

post #2906 of 5759

I had a cruel nightmare last night that Currawong sent me over his blue BHSE to my doorstep but without any tubes.

 

This hobby is really detrimental to my psychological well-being.

post #2907 of 5759
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil95 View Post

Hello Marty

What's up?

I don't know if new year greetings are important in the States, but in France they are absolutely mandatory! So here are my best wishes for 2013. Any chance to see you in Paris this year?

Philippe


Bonjour Philippe,

Bonne année!

I hope to get over there sometime this year but nothing is scheduled yet. My preference is for Paris in the spring (not in the snow).

Best,

Marty
post #2908 of 5759
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil95 View Post

Very interesting post, Attorney! But searching eBay for Shuguang Treasure 6CA7 (http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=shuguang+treasure+6ca7+z), I find many entries for quad-matched tubes, with prices expressed in $. Which ones did you order? How did you pay? Any customs fee concern? Are those Chinese tubes, tested as brand new on the BHSE, better sounding than the standard Mullards once broken in?

Yes there's loads of sellers. Judging by their descriptions, I suspect that some names end up in exactly the same place.

I ordered my Treasures from esquire1028.The eBay link is below. I chose this one primarily because they quoted the price in £, and I didn't want to be hit by a $/£ conversion charge.

 

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/1-Matched-Quad-ShuGuang-Premium-TREASURE-Tubes-6CA7-Z-IN-BLACK-LUXURY-GIFT-BOX-/320871221530?ssPageName=ADME:L:OU:GB:3160

 

I used my paypal account. I didn't pay any import duty because the stated value on the export form was very low (thank you, esquire). From memory, they shipped out the same day I ordered. These were the "Premium" grade version in a nice presentation box. The standard grades cost less, but allegedly aren't quite as well tolerenced and matched - I can't comment on that.

Even for the Premiums, the matching aspect is a bit suspect: Each tube has it's own piece of paper, but 4 of the measurements are pre-printed all identical, and only the plate current was written: all identical 35ma, which disappointingly is only marginally more than the stock's 33ma. Regarding quality, the black carbon coating was very unevenly finished along the bottom edge, but on the plus side, the Treasure's didn't ring at all when tapped, unlike the noisy JJs. 

 

I didn't go for the Psvanes because they are light grey with (yuck) gold bases. I don't mind the occasional bit of bling, but they had the potential of looking really weird on my all-black BHSE. Psvane is certainly doing all the running on the Treasure-like tubes these days. And maybe they are better, and maybe the employees are justified in having a grudge against their old company, but I was unimpressed by their amateurish propaganda.

 

Finally, I can't really say if a brand new Treasure sounds better than a broken-in JJ. At that point, I had too many variables. The "body" characteristic did come through at an early stage though. Some say that the Treasures need 300 hours to sound their best. If that's true, mine were roughly half way through that target when I swapped the JJs back. I'd class both the fuse and the tube changes as subtle-but-significant. Some people seem to notice such differences and others don't. As always,YMMV, but to me, both changes were more than worthwhile.

post #2909 of 5759

I'm curious if the volume output is better controlled from the BHSE or from the DAC?  My experience with the Violectric V200 is that a fixed attenuator setting at a high level sounds much better than lower settings.  The listening volume is thus better controlled from the DAC.  I have no idea if this is specific to the V200 or solid state amps in general, but the difference is very noticeable.  Has anyone experimented with this on the BHSE? 


Edited by Rico613 - 1/21/13 at 8:19pm
post #2910 of 5759
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rico613 View Post

I'm curious if the volume output is better controlled from the BHSE or from the DAC?  My experience with the Violectric V200 is that a fixed attenuator setting at a high level sounds much better than lower settings.  The listening volume is thus better controlled from the DAC.  I have no idea if this is specific to the V200 or solid state amps in general, but the difference is very noticeable.  Has anyone experimented with this on the BHSE? 

 

Both the DACT or RK50 are used in the Justin’s BHSE, both are vastly superior to the ALPS RK27 used in the Violectric V200.

All linear pots and stepped attenuators have increased resistance at lower the volumes and has nothing to do with SS or tube topologies.

I’m not surprised a DACs volume control would do a better job than the ALPS RK27 it really is a cheap pot and sounds like it. 


Edited by johnwmclean - 1/21/13 at 9:39pm
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