Originally Posted by jax
I'm reading this thread with some interest as I've got a WA6SE on the way from a fellow head-fier. Also, because many of the tubes your futzing about with are crossover to the output stage of my Modwright Transporter, which is very sensitive to tube rolling. Certainly there are a lot of crossover comments I see here..the EML 5U4G is the darling of the MWTP crowd besting almost all comers aside from perhaps the High Wycombe Mullard GZ37 fat bottle from the 40's. Both run around the same price. Dan Wright also had some xtra soldering to do when folks discovered just how good the EML made the MWTP sound, but at the same time tubes were having very short lives. Turns out there was a cap in the path that was of too low a value. The EML wants to see a very specific value there. I can't remember the specifics, but George over at TubesUSA should know (haven't seen this mentioned here - but may have missed it). Without that cap at the right value you may as well stand in a cold shower and rip up the dead presidents while you weep quitely and recite something profound like Rutger Hauer at the end of Blade Runner. We also do the 9-pin > Octal adapter thing because the octals sound better. You can also to to the 7n7 variant with yet another adapter (L-Octal) if you want to save money on tubes. Favorite up until recent was the very expensive 40's TungSol black plate military 6SN7. Theres a Greek dude (fellow named John who goes by Lowbander80 on both sites) on eBay an A'gon who seems to have the mother load and is living high on the retsina by selling them off pair by pair at $300-400 a pair! Damn fine tubes, but may have met their match. You may not like Chinese, but you'd be doing yourself a disservice to skip this tip - Try out the new Shuguang C181-Z Black Treasure tubes in place of your 6SN7's! Grant Fidelity up in Canada imports them. They've supposedly dethroaned the king TungSol and beaten him at his own game. The other one I think you may have already mentioned, is the NOS Russian variants with metal base and round perforations in the plates. There all pretty pricey for the demand. I've got my money on the Black Treasures as folks I know very well have told me the kind of things that brings the wallet out late at night with that zombie-like vacant stare of obedience. There's a long thread on the Modwright section of AudioCircle on tube rolling in the Transporter. It's stickied up to the top... I think it's over 100 pages now. There may be some useful crossover pointers in there for anyone interested. Yeah, I know, different circuit and YMMV, but there are certainly some basic strengths that do cross over. I'm going to hold off on using my EML 5u4G in the circuit (we like to call that one the John Holmes of rectifier tubes - if you've seen one up close and personal you'll know why)...I don't want him going flacid on me before his time. He sure makes that Transporter sing. I have a Princess on the way, a few alternative GZ32/37 and 5AR4 variants to try out too. Thanks for the thread Seamaster. I'm new to the headphone thing coming from my 30-year + chip as an audiophile. Still preferring the impact of my big rig, but the smaller one can certainly be compelling.
It is very nice to know Modwright already know EML 5U4G. Don't get me worng EML 5U4G are beautifull sounding tube. There are only weak spots are:
1. lack sense of impact in low range ONLY COMPARE to GZ34 type.
2. Sound has full body, which make them SEEMS less dynamic like Sophia 274B. This is not consider weak point to myself, but someone else may not like it in their system.
3 Too tall to fit on in the rack unless on the top. EML emailed me they are reducing glass size right now. Again I don't care how big they are as long as sound good.
If EML 5U4G has little more kick feel to them, they will be the perfect tube to me. The full body signature, I don't worry about it, since I am using HD650 right now, which are dark and thick anyway. I am going to get T1, should be nice match.
Shuguang C181-Z Black Treasure tubes, how much better thay are compare to NOS CV181? I am open minded, so I will look up. The 6F8G easily overcome any 6SN7 type tubes I have, I mean very easy. Also I am getting a special order pair of adapters for them with silver single crystal cryo hook-up wire and Mondrof solder.
GZ32 are very nice sounding tube better than CV378 I had. They are kind soft, just a bit. Either Sophia and EML will outperform them thought.
So far the black horse came out of no where and kick me in the butt for the money is 5Z3 type. For the price, you can't beat them.
The reason I type this thread up is: I want other people know what tube options are before dropping hard earned money. Too many broken hearts in this hobby!