Originally Posted by gibosi
I have a pair of Bugle Boys, 1960, and A-frame Orange Globes, 1970, and to my ears the Bugle Boys sound better. Based on the reviews of others and my experience, Amperex with halo getters from the early sixties through the late sixties do seem to be better than the later A-frame versions.
And speaking of going for the best, I found a pair of white label Amperex 6922 / E88CC, relabeled as Beckman, with gold pins, made in the US, for $83.00, including shipping. I have seen these for upwards of $200 a pair, especially if they carry the Amperex label. However, as we have seen many times, the label on a tube is not all that important. Gold pins and the Philips tube codes tell us everything we need to know: In this instance "7L9 *4J" 7L= 6922 / E88CC, 9 = change code, * = Amperex, New York, 4 = 1964, J = October.
This is definitely getting to be a more and more expensive hobby... Less tubes but 5-10 times more expensive than the previous types! It's not that bad though: I ended up getting free international shipping on my Amperex tube, so I paid $37/28€, which is the price of a few beers in town where I live...
Seller is http://www.ebay.com/usr/mercedesman6572 . Very good seller imo (and I've seen people on the Lyr thread say the same), just communicate and he should be able to get you virtually any single 6DJ8 you want -for a price of course, this isn't Grandpa's attic lol.
People say that the early to mid 60s Holland-made Amperex tubes -Bugle Boys- are some of the most musical you can find, but, while very nice, aren't the last word in terms of microdetail and both upper and lower frequency extension (despite a slight upper bass "hump", or so I've read). That's probably what makes them so musical and euphonic though.
Late 60s -Orange Globes- with a halo getter are supposed to have better extension, and much better "precision" or focus, at the expense of some degree of musicality (still quite musical though).
70s A-frame getter Amperex are a bit more forward (vocals are anyway), with more emphasis on highs, and maybe more "perceived" detail as the tubes above, with a bit less focus. Some people prefer the A-frame Orange Globes to the halo getter late 60s ones, but most people either prefer the late 60s version or the more musical Bugle Boys. Speaking from my own limited experience with Philips group ECC88 tubes (my EI Yugo ECC88 with an A-frame getter, very very close to Holland production), I do find that the later A-frame tubes are too forward and a little spiky for my tastes. I've read that EI version is even more forward than the original Philips/Amperex, but the treble emphasis is exactly like what I read about those 70s A-frame Amp'ex tubes.
Nice catch on the US Amp'ex tube, gobosi. I'm going to wait until I get my late 60s Orange Globes before I decide whether or not it's worth forking out more money for ECC88 tubes in my amp (either as opposed to 12AX7 tubes, or as opposed to just being happy with what I have!). Right now, I still can't believe how good my anonymous looking EI ECC83 with smooth Telefunken plates sound. I'm finally taking pleasure from listening to music again, instead of the old burn-in -> swap tubes -> burn-in -> swap tubes -> burn-in cycle of hell where nothing ends up sounding good after a while...