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Ming DA MC 84C07 tube recommendations - Page 2

post #16 of 67
Thread Starter 

Hey Skylab - thanks for the suggestions. I was just reading the other Ming Da thread when I bounced back to mine and I just realized that you replied. I thought I was just talking only to hodgjy the entire time on this thread (and I was referring to you in the third person... LOL).


post #17 of 67
Thread Starter 


So anyway, I actually already went ahead and bought Sovtek 12AX7LPS from Ebay based on the Pacific Valve recommendation for Mullard EL84s and the Sovteks. I wish I saw Skylab's firm recommendation to stick with NOS tubes. Will go look for NOS EL84/6BQ5 tubes now (not necesarilly Mullards though -- again, quite hard to find and very pricey).


Thanks again!

post #18 of 67

Nice tubes really does take that amp to another level. The cheap chinese tubes that comes with it sounded a little harsh. The sound stage was small and the bass was boomy. It sounds much nicer with the right tubes.

post #19 of 67

I think that can be said about every amp.  My Woo amp sounded quite anemic with the stock tubes.  Now, with better tubes, the thing just sings.

Originally Posted by moodyrn View Post

Nice tubes really does take that amp to another level. The cheap chinese tubes that comes with it sounded a little harsh. The sound stage was small and the bass was boomy. It sounds much nicer with the right tubes.

post #20 of 67

You can get a pair of Gold Lion EL84s for about $60 + shipping.  That is what I'm running in my Ming Da for power tubes.  Jim McShane does a good job of screening them.

post #21 of 67
Thread Starter 

Hi moodryn - Thanks. Can you tell me what your set-up is for the Ming Da?


Thanks BmWr75. Will check it out.

post #22 of 67

I no longer have it. I do miss it though. But when I owned it, It used rca tripple mica black plates for the input tubes and rca 6bq5s for the output tubes. That was a very good combo, and a much cheaper alternative to some of the crazy expensive nos tubes out there.

post #23 of 67
Thread Starter 

Thanks moodryn!

post #24 of 67

Has anyone considered using tube socket adaptors to attempt to get Mullard EL84 performance using NOS Mullard EL822 tubes?  Does anyone have experience with the EL822?  Here is a description off ebay:


Nice 70's vintage NOS Mullard EL822 output tubes in the original boxes. All are British made (have Mullard R code indicating they were made in Mitcham, England) and guaranteed.  EL822 is a pentode output tube that can match well to output transformers designed for EL84 or 6V6 tubes. For more information, see data sheet : http://www.mif.pg.gda.pl/homepages/frank/sheets/129/e/EL822.pdf 

Please note that to use these to replace EL84 tubes, connections must be changed on the socket, these are not "plug in" replacements for EL84 - (the screen on EL822 is connected to pin 9 instead of pin 8, and pin 8 is the suppressor, which must be grounded or connected to pin 3)


Also, does anybody know whether there is a replacement recitifier tube that doesn't use the blue cats eye function?  I use this as a bedroom amp, and could do without the extra light.  I've found that the rectifier can make a big difference in sound, so I'd like to hear if anyone has looked into this.


Overall, I hope to make the amp sound a little richer in the midrange and tighter in the bass.  It's likely my speakers (Omega Super 3R's ) but I find them to sound a bit thin in the vocals.

post #25 of 67

On further thought, is the cats eye tube even needed at all?  A web search seems to suggest that it is just used as tuning indicator and level meter.  Thanks, Peter

post #26 of 67
I can't say for sure that the 6HU6 is used as a rectifier, although thats what Pacific Valve claims.  I did notice that it does impact the sound when rolled. The UK made 6HU6's are very nice.
post #27 of 67
Thread Starter 

Hi guys,


Just a small update to describe the direction I'm taking. I'm waiting for my Sovtek 12AX7LPS, as it was late when I saw Skylab's recommendations for vendors (I already clicked the Buy it Now on Ebay. I did speak to the vendor over the phone to make the payment though and he sounded like a good guy and the Sovteks were a fair price compared to other vendors I've seen online).


I also spoke to one of the owners of vacuumtubes.net and one other store. One common recommendation are the Sylvanias for 6BQ5/EL84. So my next step might be to roll in Sylvania 6BQ black plates (I don't know if the gray plates are any different though, and I was told it may be preference.)


After doing my homework, I also found that Sylvania 12AX7s seem to be highly-regarded also. (I did read good things about the Sovteks I'm getting as well -- they're supposedly very neutral, which I think is a good starting point).


So currently, it's JJ Tesla's EL84's + stock Chinese 12AX7'S. Part 2 will be the JJ's again + the Sovtek 12AX7LPS tubes. Part 3 will likely be Sylvania 6B5Q NOS black plates (if they're available) + the Sovteks again. And if I'm still not happy, I'll try an all-Sylvania line-up.


The tubes recommended here that didn't come up in conversations are the Genalex. GE and RCA tubes also came up but not as much as Sylvanias. So I'm really just sort of following up on what I hear and read.


One store owner guy, I forgot which, did tell me to not bother with Mullards or even NOS tubes, since I probably will not be able to tell the difference.



NOW, about my continuing Ming Da MC 84C07 vs Matrix M-Stage comparison:


This morning I spent just a good 30 minutes or so listening to the same songs jumping back and forth from the Ming Da to the M-Stage, and now, I actually prefer the Ming Da over the Matrix. I think it might be on a mood-to-mood basis. When I listened to the Ming Da, it changed my K701s to something warmer and more soothing. It was so relaxing that I

almost fell asleep. :)


The M-Stage is still very rousing, and with my current Ming Da set-up, the M-Stage seems more detailed and neutral. I think the M-Stage doesn't change the K701's sound signature at all, only it seems to just bring out the K701's potential (like it's on steroids). I heard sounds in the background that I didn't hear on the Ming Da.


For just pure listening, though, I think the Ming Da is a keeper and I think I'll have fun with some not-so-crazy tube rolling. Both amps are keepers. I also use the M-Stage for my other cans as well (ER-4P w/ 75ohm adapter, Grados, M50s...) as it seems to work well for everything including cans I was perfectly happy with un-amped. 

post #28 of 67

Mood and fatigue are very important when it comes to listening enjoyment.  For example, if I spend some time listening to my iPod because I'm outside, my ears sometimes get fatigued and when I try listening to my "good" setup, I can't do it.  Once listening fatigue sets in, I have to wait until the next day to try again.  No amp will sound pleasing at that point.

post #29 of 67
Thread Starter 

Thanks hodgjy. Hmm, that actually makes sense based on my own experience...

post #30 of 67
Thread Starter 

Now that I continued reading that other thread, will look for RCA 12AX7s or 5751's also [sigh]. Some Ming Da users seem to find the Sovteks harsh or noisy, though I wonder why Pacific Valve have them in their package for a tube upgrade (along with Mullard EL84's -- reissues, I assume, and not NOS).


Question -- is $84 (plus shipping) an ok price for a matched pair of Sylvania EL84/6BQ5 or too much? Thanks.

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