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Crack;Bottlehead OTL - Page 186

post #2776 of 8126
My input tube is a CBS 5814A Black Plate

What I have found is that it's almost impossible to compare tubes because of the time it takes to swap them and let them warm up. But so far, with only a couple of hours of play/listening, I can't tell the difference between the GEC, my CBS Hytron 6AS7G, or the original 6080 that came with my Crack. I will say the GEC is significantly better than the 6080 in microphonics though (and equal to the CBS Hytron).

I'll give it more time, but my first impression is that either the GEC is highly over-rated or the CBS Hytron is an undiscovered gem.

BTW, today is the first day I have listened to music in over 2 weeks due to travel and ear fatigue. I've been listening to k.d. Lang "Ingenue" and man oh man thie Crack/HD800 sounds so sweet. One of the best combinations Ive ever heard. To be cliche, it really is just a musical, fun, organic sound quality. I really can't imagine the Speedball (or anything else) improving it.
post #2777 of 8126

Here are the GEC and CBS tubes side by side. It's hard to tell, but the CBS is almost 1/4" taller than the GEC and has a silver painted top. Im not sure what all that extra stuff in the top is...

 

And here is the CBS in action. I primarily bought the CBS Hytron just for looks...lol. It's a really good-looking tube! Here's a better look at the insides (especially the top section)...

 


Edited by palmfish - 9/30/13 at 6:46pm
post #2778 of 8126
Sorry to hear that, Palmfish. I hoped that you would enjoy it and would hear a difference. Perhaps someone else would like to take a near NOS GEC brown base off your hands.
post #2779 of 8126
Quote:
Originally Posted by palmfish View Post

My input tube is a CBS 5814A Black Plate

What I have found is that it's almost impossible to compare tubes because of the time it takes to swap them and let them warm up. But so far, with only a couple of hours of play/listening, I can't tell the difference between the GEC, my CBS Hytron 6AS7G, or the original 6080 that came with my Crack. I will say the GEC is significantly better than the 6080 in microphonics though (and equal to the CBS Hytron).

I'll give it more time, but my first impression is that either the GEC is highly over-rated or the CBS Hytron is an undiscovered gem.

BTW, today is the first day I have listened to music in over 2 weeks due to travel and ear fatigue. I've been listening to k.d. Lang "Ingenue" and man oh man thie Crack/HD800 sounds so sweet. One of the best combinations Ive ever heard. To be cliche, it really is just a musical, fun, organic sound quality. I really can't imagine the Speedball (or anything else) improving it.

 

Interesting.

 

I have no doubt that the GEC is better than the standard 6080s, but it's in the subtleties rather than an in-your-face difference like going from low-end headphones to hi-end headphones.

 

It'll be interesting if you can test the CBS vs GEC once you get used to the GEC. My preferred method (given the swap over delay you mentioned) is to cue up a good 2-3 song playlist and play it in full through one tube and then the other. After hearing the playlist on both tubes I just decide which renditions I preferred overall because it's all about enjoyment in the end.

 

I should add that I find it needs to be tracks I'm familiar with or I "discover" the songs with the first tube and am bored of them with the second tube. It gives an unfair advantage to whichever tube goes first.

post #2780 of 8126
Quote:
Originally Posted by W0lfd0g View Post

Sorry to hear that, Palmfish. I hoped that you would enjoy it and would hear a difference. Perhaps someone else would like to take a near NOS GEC brown base off your hands.

No need to feel that way W0lfd0g. I literally plugged it in only 2 hours ago. Let me give it some quality time with a variety of music and get to know it better before I come to a firm conclusion.

I must admit Im really curious about my CBS now...

Loquah, I hear what you're saying, but in my experience, audio memory is very fleeting. I can only concentrate on one thing at a time when Im listening (critically), and the subtleties are gone from my memory within a few fleeting moments - long before the tube is swapped and warmed up and the music cued up again. Your method just doesnt work for me.
post #2781 of 8126
Quote:
Originally Posted by palmfish View Post


Loquah, I hear what you're saying, but in my experience, audio memory is very fleeting. I can only concentrate on one thing at a time when Im listening (critically), and the subtleties are gone from my memory within a few fleeting moments - long before the tube is swapped and warmed up and the music cued up again. Your method just doesnt work for me.

 

Fair point. I may have been mixing my messages. When I spoke about the testing method, I wasn't talking about listening for specific differences because I agree with you that it can be really challenging. My point with the testing method was more a case of long term use of both tubes and then seeing which one you gravitate towards at the end of the testing period.

 

I often use the same approach with IEM cables to work out what I enjoy more. I don't always understand why I prefer one over the other, but I almost always find a definite preference.

 

Of course, this method is very open to the influence of things like aesthetic preferences, but that's OK - if you like A better than B, then go with A regardless of why - so long as we find what makes us happy, that's all that matters. :gs1000smile:

post #2782 of 8126
Quote:
Originally Posted by Loquah View Post

Fair point. I may have been mixing my messages. When I spoke about the testing method, I wasn't talking about listening for specific differences because I agree with you that it can be really challenging. My point with the testing method was more a case of long term use of both tubes and then seeing which one you gravitate towards at the end of the testing period.

I often use the same approach with IEM cables to work out what I enjoy more. I don't always understand why I prefer one over the other, but I almost always find a definite preference.

Of course, this method is very open to the influence of things like aesthetic preferences, but that's OK - if you like A better than B, then go with A regardless of why - so long as we find what makes us happy, that's all that matters. gs1000.gif

I see your point.

Trouble is its also influenced by expectation bias and without volume matching, the louder one will sound better. And once you decide one sounds better, thats it...
post #2783 of 8126
Quote:
Originally Posted by palmfish View Post


I see your point.

Trouble is its also influenced by expectation bias and without volume matching, the louder one will sound better. And once you decide one sounds better, thats it...

 

Very true. It's an inexact science at best

post #2784 of 8126
Thats when I tell myself to relax and just enjoy the music biggrin.gif
post #2785 of 8126

You can measure a signal - You can't measure pleasure.  Enjoy!

post #2786 of 8126
I am Nathan!

Already got through Daft Punk. Now listening to Dishwalla.

I would say I love my Crack, but I could lose my job (not that Im getting paid anyways after today...rolleyes.gif)
post #2787 of 8126
Quote:
Originally Posted by palmfish View Post

What I have found is that it's almost impossible to compare tubes because of the time it takes to swap them and let them warm up. But so far, with only a couple of hours of play/listening, I can't tell the difference between the GEC, my CBS Hytron 6AS7G, or the original 6080 that came with my Crack. I will say the GEC is significantly better than the 6080 in microphonics though (and equal to the CBS Hytron).

I'll give it more time, but my first impression is that either the GEC is highly over-rated or the CBS Hytron is an undiscovered gem.

1. I agree about comparing tubes. For me it is virtually impossible, for the exact reasons you mentioned. Not to mention the need to let tubes COOL before removing them...

2. I agree about the GEC. I've basically stuck with mine because it is low noise and not microphonic, not because it reproduces tones in a way that is appreciably different from my other tubes.

3. Crack + HD800 is indeed amazing. But the Speedball does indeed improve things. And, in my case, I felt that upgrading the power supply caps also improved things, particularly the bass.

Best regards,
Adam
post #2788 of 8126
Quote:
Originally Posted by palmfish View Post

I am Nathan!

Already got through Daft Punk. Now listening to Dishwalla.

I would say I love my Crack, but I could lose my job (not that Im getting paid anyways after today...rolleyes.gif)

 

Let's see how I would feel about my upcoming GEC :D

post #2789 of 8126
Quote:
Originally Posted by amcananey View Post


1. I agree about comparing tubes. For me it is virtually impossible, for the exact reasons you mentioned. Not to mention the need to let tubes COOL before removing them...

2. I agree about the GEC. I've basically stuck with mine because it is low noise and not microphonic, not because it reproduces tones in a way that is appreciably different from my other tubes.

3. Crack + HD800 is indeed amazing. But the Speedball does indeed improve things. And, in my case, I felt that upgrading the power supply caps also improved things, particularly the bass.

Best regards,
Adam

I am assuming you would replace the existing caps with others of the same value. Question is how does that improve the sound, what does one cap (of the same value) do better than another?

post #2790 of 8126
Quote:
Originally Posted by amcananey View Post

1. I agree about comparing tubes. For me it is virtually impossible, for the exact reasons you mentioned. Not to mention the need to let tubes COOL before removing them...

2. I agree about the GEC. I've basically stuck with mine because it is low noise and not microphonic, not because it reproduces tones in a way that is appreciably different from my other tubes.

3. Crack + HD800 is indeed amazing. But the Speedball does indeed improve things. And, in my case, I felt that upgrading the power supply caps also improved things, particularly the bass.

Best regards,
Adam

Its reassuring to know that it isnt just me. Speedball is on my list for sure. Im a little hesitant to tackle SMC soldering though...
Edited by palmfish - 9/30/13 at 10:11pm
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