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Little Dot Tube Amps: Vacuum Tube Rolling Guide - Page 86

post #1276 of 7658

Hi Mikeleap,

 

Thanks for the acknowledgment. Upon seeing all kinds of adapters by this high end outfit in Hong Kong, I asked them if they could make up what we need, and they answered in the affirmative.

Since these items are all handmade, and since they use gold plated pins and tube sockets, I am sure they can make up sockets that are color coordinated to the MKIV. Just be careful; their store lists $1000.00 tubes! (Did not know that they exist - still shopping in the 99c stores LOL.)
 

post #1277 of 7658

just bough 5 usaf  tunsol 6ah6wa for $5.00 a piece shipping included from California while im waiting for the sockets. And i am close to pulling the trigger on a pair of senns hd800 to go with the Conductor  waiting for more infos but pictures are really  nice 

post #1278 of 7658

Dear Gibosi,

 

I am trying to put together my impressions of the 5 different tubes I tried to audition. I have come to the conclusion that it is not a good idea to listen to two different tubes and A/B the channels using a good mono recording. The reasons are as follows:

 

a) If one tube plays louder than the other, psychologically you tend to give it preference. It is very hard to adjust the volume for the other channel to be equal as you switch from A to B.

b) If one tube is as day and one as night, meaning totally different, it is easy to pick a winner - "the difference is as day and night." But if the tubes are very similar, it becomes very difficult to pick the better one.

c) Some tubes are much better in the bass than others, others excel in the mid range, and others in the treble. How do you compare them to each other?

d) Even though the two channels in the Little Dot MKIII are completely independent, there may be a synergistic effect in playing two identical tubes. (In other words, the sum total is greater than the parts.) I have no scientific proof or sources for this, but nevertheless I think that this is the case.

 

So, with all these caveats, I am going to try to rank the five different tubes, but take these ratings with a grain of salt.

 

5) We will start with the loser: Tung Sol 6AV6 from the 50's-60's. Boomy bass, congested mid range, rolled off treble, lack of detail, dark. Maybe I got a bad sample; but I only have one tube. Anyhow, you remarked about these - at this stage I would not order them.

4) and 3) shared: Sylvania JAN 8532 from 1970. Detailed, powerful bass, goes lower than any other tube in this group. However, the sound is not full      bodied but thin sounding.

                           Sylvania 6AV6 old side getter style. Good overall presentation, detailed, neutral with strong bass.

2) Sylvania-Phillips 6AV6 late 70's early 80's tube with a little ring attached to the plate:  Very good and open presentation, bass not highly detailed but very good; rich treble, excellent overall.

1) The winner: RCA 6AV6; Lively, up front, open, detailed and airy presentation. The bass is not overly powerful and detailed, and the treble is too bright and has to be turned down, but this tube is very engaging and nice to listen to. Did I mention that it plays the loudest of this bunch?

 

Re the TS 6AH6WA tubes you ordered I think that you will be very pleased.

 

While I am writing this I am listening the a pair of RCA 6BY6 tubes which are cousins to the 6BE6. These are quite nice and very realistic.

 

Got some single tubes from a friend - 6DK6, 6BE6, 6AG5, 6AH6, 6AV6 and 6BY6. All are Sylvania except for the last one which is GE. Before I try these I am going to go back to my old favorites 6AH6 and 6AU6 and just enjoy the music - need a break from head ache inducing critical listening lol....

post #1279 of 7658
post #1280 of 7658

So awesome! I'm definitely going to order a set of the adapters!

Thank you for pushing this creation forward!

 

I'd love to come up with a design that would allow us to use a single jumper setting and use a switch or something on the side of the adapter to change which tube type you were adapting to.

post #1281 of 7658
Hello Mordy,
 
It's really too bad that your plan to A/B single tubes didn't work as well as you hoped. It seemed to be wonderfully efficient and elegant.... 
 
As for me, I still am not able to listen to my TS 6AH6/6485 or the GE 6AU6/8425, and I am feeling a bit lost as I don't really have any "reference" tubes.... Soon, I hope....
 
However, considering the three tubes we have in common, the Sylvania 8532, the Sylvania 6AV6 with side getter, and the RCA 6AV6, I would agree with your general assessment. The 8532 is the least bright, the least lively and the least upfront of the three, while the RCA is very bright, lively and up front. If it is true that the 6AV6 is one half of a 12AX7, then I can completely understand why the RCAs are so popular in guitar amps. This is one very hot tube. However, as I do not have access to tone controls, it is simply too bright for me. Of these three, the Sylvania 6AV6 with side getter would get my recommendation.  But still, if someone prefers a more laid-back presentation, with great bass, the 8532 is a very solid tube, IMHO. And for the ultimiate treble head, the RCA is pretty amazing. :)
 
However, I have just finished burning in Mullard CV5311 (8532/6J4), Mullard 6AV6 and GE 6AV6 and now I need to take the time to compare these to the three above.
 
And presently, I am burning in GE 6BE6W/JG-5750 and next, RCA 6BY6/JRC-5915, perhaps similar to yours. And then, finally, I will try to sum up these, plus the 6 pairs of triodes! I hope I can survive such a "head-ache inducing critical-listening" marathon! lol
 
(I have set the Mullard 6AQ4 aside for now. I have two more pairs coming, and will wait until they arrive. Besides, I think I have already bitten off more than I can comfortably chew!)
post #1282 of 7658
Quote:

Wow they dont fool around.Now we wait.popcorn.gif


Edited by MIKELAP - 5/17/13 at 5:54am
post #1283 of 7658

You got to love how you can order metric tons of tubes over the course of a couple of weeks, not get a single package for like a month, and they suddenly all come at once... I woke up this morning to find out my package from the UK with 6 pairs of triodes, double diode-triodes and heptodes had arrived, so expect some reviews in the following days.

 

Right now, I have the Sylvania 8532W burning in. At first, they seemed extremely detailed (possibly the best upper end detail extraction I've heard, again the finger snaps in M. Jackson's Billie Jean are quite incredible), thinner sounding than my -reference- TS 6485, and with less strong and clear-cut bass (think same kind of balance as the CV4015 had, so quality bass, but dry and not exactly loud); so kind of a high quality polar opposite of the TS 6485 (or 6485 family for that matter).

 

After 10 or so hours of burn-in, I can say these are excellent tubes, clearly more treble and upper-mids oriented than my balanced-sounding TS 6485 -at least on my system), maybe ever-so-slightly cleaner -too clean perhaps- and clinically precise. Pinpoint imaging, larger soundstage than the 6485 (but just as 3D-like, high and wide, you just get treble detail and decaying instruments going farther from your ears than with the 6485, if that makes sense), drier and not as musical, though they are evolving by the minute, with noticeably improving bass and more wetness (echoing and decaying notes flying between your ears in a room). Basically, right now, it's TS 6485 for musical pleasure and eargasms, and Syl 8532W for clinical precision. The comparison between both is actually pretty interesting.

 

Next, out of my new 6 pairs are probably going to be my -beautiful to behold- Mullard UK mil-spec CV4070 (6AQ4/EC91 family, also known as M8099, mu=100 (!!); pure single triode, and also high transconductance, year 1972 so early; I just fail to see how these could be "bad"). Good luck finding those!

 

Good god this is getting fun again, I keep thinking we're reaching a limit but I keep finding new and better tubes; only my wallet is clearly weeping, a three digit number -in euros- spent on tubes in the last month is just not OK...

post #1284 of 7658

In light of AFB's glowing remarks regarding the Sylvania 8532W, I would like to further elaborate on my comments to Mordy regarding the Sylvania 8532W and the Sylvania 6AV6. The 8532Ws have been one of my go-to tubes since I first started listening to them over a month ago. However, I should note that my ears are very sensitive to high frequencies. I have a bit of tinnitus, and therefore, the slightest bit of peakiness, sibilance, or shrillness is quite uncomfortable. The thing I love about the 8532Ws is that their upper midrange and highs are very smooth, not a trace of sibilance or shrillness. And as AFB points out, the treble detail is superb. I have enjoyed many hours listening to these tubes. On the other hand, the Sylvania 6AV6 are just on the edge of being uncomfortably peaky for me, but I still quite enjoy them.

 

I went to a local headfi meetup last weekend, and a fellow headfier, with considerably better gear and more experience than I, took an immediate interest in my LD and HE-300. I put the 8532W in first, and listening through the HE-300, he felt they were too dark. I then rolled in the Sylvania 6AV6 and he declared that these tubes were a perfect match for the HE-300. Then he switched to his headphones, a custom set of  Magnum v4 (in woodies with 5ft mogami quad cable and grado jumbo pads Sr80 Bowls) and immediately declared that the Sylvania 6AV6 were much too bright and sibilant. I then swapped the 8532W back in, and he was very pleased with what he heard. So in the end, it really does come down to different ears and different headphones/speakers....

 

So I try to be cognizant of my sensitivity to high frequencies and careful in my recommendations. From my experience at the last headfi meetup, I think I can safely recommend the Sylvania 6AV6, but my personal preference is the 8532W.

 

However, initial impressions of the Mullard CV5311 (8532/6J4) and the Mullard 6AQ4 leads me to think that the Sylvania 8532W just might have some stiff competition. And further, initial impressions of the Mullard and GE 6AV6 leads me to think that the Sylvania 6AV6 will not be my favorite 6AV6 much longer.

 

I will report back after I have been able to spend more time with these new treasures. :)


Edited by gibosi - 5/17/13 at 8:49am
post #1285 of 7658

Before changing the jumpers back from the the EF92 setting to the EF95 setting I decided to try two tubes that are just plug and play with this setting that I just got from a friend: Sylvania 6BE6 and Sylvania 6DK6.

 

These are quite nice right out of the box with the 6DK6 being brighter and louder. At least they are both Sylvanias....

 

I could go on with the galaxy swallowing sound stage, the shimmering endless decay highs, the book shelf rattling bass blah blah, but I think it is more prudent to wait for them to burn in...atsmile.gif
 

post #1286 of 7658
Quote:
Originally Posted by mordy View Post

Before changing the jumpers back from the the EF92 setting to the EF95 setting I decided to try two tubes that are just plug and play with this setting that I just got from a friend: Sylvania 6BE6 and Sylvania 6DK6.

 

These are quite nice right out of the box with the 6DK6 being brighter and louder. At least they are both Sylvanias....

 

I could go on with the galaxy swallowing sound stage, the shimmering endless decay highs, the book shelf rattling bass blah blah, but I think it is more prudent to wait for them to burn in...atsmile.gif
 

What eloquence im flooredwink.gif

post #1287 of 7658

Wow guys, loads of cool stuff our there. I am keenly waiting for your heptode impressions and probably gonna get a triode myself latest after this weekend. Fun. I will write a littlew up about the Syl 6AH6AW, which has been laying around a bit neglected while I had some fun trying different cables...

 

Gibosi, It is really great you took your setup to a local meet. It is just so much more rewarding if one has the own setup there. Yes, Hi-Fi is like teamplay, if all fits together you win =)

 

Mikaelap, Get that HD800. Lots of bucks. But it is amazing. Period.
 

Mordy, "I could go on with the galaxy swallowing sound stage, the shimmering endless decay highs, the book shelf rattling bass" Please keep your review in that style, you are showing serious writer skills =)


Edited by Acapella11 - 5/17/13 at 11:52am
post #1288 of 7658
Quote:
Originally Posted by gibosi View Post

In light of AFB's glowing remarks regarding the Sylvania 8532W, I would like to further elaborate on my comments to Mordy regarding the Sylvania 8532W and the Sylvania 6AV6. The 8532Ws have been one of my go-to tubes since I first started listening to them over a month ago. However, I should note that my ears are very sensitive to high frequencies. I have a bit of tinnitus, and therefore, the slightest bit of peakiness, sibilance, or shrillness is quite uncomfortable. The thing I love about the 8532Ws is that their upper midrange and highs are very smooth, not a trace of sibilance or shrillness. And as AFB points out, the treble detail is superb. I have enjoyed many hours listening to these tubes. On the other hand, the Sylvania 6AV6 are just on the edge of being uncomfortably peaky for me, but I still quite enjoy them.

 

I went to a local headfi meetup last weekend, and a fellow headfier, with considerably better gear and more experience than I, took an immediate interest in my LD and HE-300. I put the 8532W in first, and listening through the HE-300, he felt they were too dark. I then rolled in the Sylvania 6AV6 and he declared that these tubes were a perfect match for the HE-300. Then he switched to his headphones, a custom set of  Magnum v4 (in woodies with 5ft mogami quad cable and grado jumbo pads Sr80 Bowls) and immediately declared that the Sylvania 6AV6 were much too bright and sibilant. I then swapped the 8532W back in, and he was very pleased with what he heard. So in the end, it really does come down to different ears and different headphones/speakers....

 

So I try to be cognizant of my sensitivity to high frequencies and careful in my recommendations. From my experience at the last headfi meetup, I think I can safely recommend the Sylvania 6AV6, but my personal preference is the 8532W.

 

However, initial impressions of the Mullard CV5311 (8532/6J4) and the Mullard 6AQ4 leads me to think that the Sylvania 8532W just might have some stiff competition. And further, initial impressions of the Mullard and GE 6AV6 leads me to think that the Sylvania 6AV6 will not be my favorite 6AV6 much longer.

 

I will report back after I have been able to spend more time with these new treasures. :)

 

Just one remark about the Syl 8532W, despite what I said about the treble detail. Like gibosi says, they have shown absolutely no sign of sibilance or shrillness, and that from the second I plugged them in. I may have younger ears, but shrillness, or any kind of harsh emphasis on high frequencies, just slowly kills me... It's the reason why I switched from the HE-400 to 500, and why I couldn't truly like the old Mullard EF91 mil spec types (CV4014 and CV5377).

 

So, yeah, try some triodes, it's easy and fun, and a good yardstick to pinpoint where your preferences lie.

 

Gibosi, now you've gotten me even more excited about trying my new Mullard CV4070 (6AQ4) tubes; I'm just etching to rip out the 8532W before they finish burn-in and try some new trans-tubed triodes... But I won't quite yet, since they're very interesting and unusual tubes too.

post #1289 of 7658
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acapella11 View Post

Mikelap, Don't worry. Great we agree =)

Amazing, you got that socket sorted! beerchug.gif

Yes, the pin 5-6 pin disconnect socket adapter and even an adapter for EF91/92 compatibility would be useful ("pesky jumpers") and then maybe later one for 12BH7 power tubes =)

 

 

Vic2vic, Haven't tried them yet and I will update the table on page 77 accordingly. Thanks for the info.

 

 

Zedmeco,

duncan1 explained the mod required to operate in post on page 75, post 1125. I have posted the pin layout and the 6N6P layout in comparison above duncan1 on the same page and down here. Here is duncan1's post, I have highlighted the practical bit:

I was about to consider this an easy mod: Connect 4-5: fine, then connect to 9: fine, AFTER you remove the earth connection to it: Hmm, how do I remove the earth connection from 9?

 

Nic Rhodes, welcome to the thread. Thanks for pointing to the 7543 tubes, I will update the table on page 77 with this info as well. A quick ebay search brought only one tube from this type. Do you happen to have a good source for these?


 I bought mine years ago from Billingtons, probably 50p but that shows how long I have been rolling now.  They were a common tube however and a search will reveal test subjects I am sure. Patience!

post #1290 of 7658

Off-topic: Audiofanboy, At the last London Head-fi meet, I compared HE-400 and HE-500 and I know what you mean. Both sound similar in a way but the HE-500 sounds more refined, that's the best summarizing word I could come up with at the moment. It is apparent in a "rounder", not as harsh and more detailed sound. You trade in some bass but overall for me the HE-500 sounded clearly superior.

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