Your advisory is better than any in-car GPS unit - "Warning...accident up ahead...405 & 105 Freeways...LAX traffic please exit at..." Now, I can better invest time in chasing other tubes. Thanks, Xcalibur255.
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Wow, I don't think you could use 6AS7s with this 6E6. Not enough gain. I've got the volume past noon, I never have to do that.
Hope it needs to burn-in, because first impression is....... underwhelming. I have two tubes to try so it'll be a few days before I really say anything about these.
At least they look neat.
Oops upside my big box...Denon wearing...re-cabled D7000 head! Thought I was done and could focus on the Fivre synergy with the Russian tonight. Just opened the cabinet to find, I've still a few Sylvania's to try and another Fivre.
No worries, I am curious! Off cycling for now...
Back from a brisk and fantastic ride at sunset! Now, where were we...yes, I sailed through a few pairings with the Russian rec thinking I was done. And earlier today I found another six drive tubes.
After the amp warms and I luxuriate a bit, I'll get widit! Still to come:
Fivre 6SN7GT Italian Navy; TS-6SN7GT; Sylvania Short Base; 6SN7GTA; 6SN7GT; Baldwin 6SN7GTB. The Fivre Italian Navy tube is making noises when turned upside down; no idea. Something is loose and rattling. For those of you scoring at home, I opened up the box and removed the tube from an upside down position. When righted... but we're warming it up anyway (w/fingers crossed).
@ Clayton SF
Congrats on using the correct symbol for the Russian. I'm almost certain I've an international keyboard option somewhere.
Edited by Silent One - 8/5/12 at 10:10pm
In-session with Ronnie Laws...
Last night, I took the rig outta the driveway and down the street. Riding with me is the 5U8C, 5998's & Fivre Brown Base 6SN7GT. The 5U8C and the Fivre isn't really a good pairing. I had to stop a few times on this drive.
But, not because I was going to put one or both of them out on the street. It's because I thought I heard something. And I did. Despite this pairing suffering in this way and that, I noticed its ability to do something the other 6SN7's I evaluated overnight haven't done very well with the 5U8C, with the exception of the TS-BGRP.
Although, the 6SN7's tested did better with the '596,' my focus is on the 5U8C and potential synergy with the Fivre. And despite a poor showing, there's something about it that makes it worth listening to. And if I can put a finger on the quality in question, it could help in finding the right tube for the Russian.
I hope to put more words to this within the next 16 hours.
I figured it out! I figured out what the Russian is doing; what it's influences are. This is my second night blasting through drive tubes like a golfer in a rainstorm...and that's when it hit me!
However, there's good news and bad news. The good? My workout tonight will leave me energized for Monday. The bad?! Physically and mentally exhausted from said workout. This maybe for the best - sleeping on my audio suspicions and sharing my silent notes Monday evening.
Yes, a rejuvenated SO still to come...
Very brief update on the 6E6. I've pulled the CBS tube and am now running the Sylvania. The first word that came to mind when I gave the CBS 6E6 a final listen last night was....... awful. Maybe that's a bit harsh, but it sounds pretty bad. Totally dead from the mids on up, colored midrange that sounds like a cheap horn speaker, no transparency or clarity. It has bass, but the leading edge of bass notes are obfuscated in a hard to describe way. The soundstage and stereo image is completely flat and 2-dimensional.
If the Sylvania isn't a lot better than this then I'm not even going to bother with a full write up. I'll just post some eye candy because its the best part of the tube. The plate style is totally different so maybe there is some hope.
Edited by Xcalibur255 - 8/6/12 at 4:28pm
Silent notes made audible...and visible.
I finally figured out what the Russian 5Ц8C is doing. And why it's alluring.
(Post in progress...)
I've come to learn that, as the Dog Days of August are upon us, I no longer have Doggie hearing! BUT, I hear well enough. And if no one needs their hand held, I'll just get to the dirt. On second thought, the members here are fantastic and deserve respect, so... Disclaimer: my evaluations are operator, system and recording dependent. Your results may vary.
To date, this Russian double rectifier tube has got to be the most fascinating I've heard in either of my vacuum tube amps. The USAF "Mighty 596" remains my best sounding rectifier, but the Russian is the most fascinating and seems to have even greater potential. But it's simply not being fully realized. Can't Two-step this tube around Texas. You go down there talkin' 'bout this tube got potential, and they'll tell you "You mean it ain't done nuthin' yet!"
Back to the opening sentence, what the rectifier is doing and why it's alluring. It is inverting the sound stage. And has a strong emphasis on the mid range from the ground up (noise floor through mids). I found this out by playing vinyl rips and even a dbx undecoded cassette track, and the noise floor can be higher with this rec on some tracks like these. Other rectifiers and even drive and power tubes can influence the sound stage - size, spacing and what notes are more prominent over others. But they tend to be more subtle about it. The Russian? Obviously bold if not blatant. And turns the entire sound stage on its head!
Yes, examples would be helpful. Let's take a track - not a specific one just yet - and give it lead vocals, background vocals, lead guitar, rhythm guitar, bass, drums, congas, piano-electric piano-synthesizer. And the track is mastered so the placement of all these sounds are balanced both side to side and front to rear creating a sound stage if you would. Again, this is just for example purposes.
Foreground: vocals; guitar; some keyboards
Background: background vocals; rhythm guitar; some keyboards; bass; drums; congas; micro-dynamic low level information from synthesizers; sound effects; movement in studio ect.
The Russian rectifier is moving some of the voices and instrumentation from the foreground of the sound stage and making them less prominent. And emphasizing some of the background material with more prominence. It isn't done with every single sound or note but most of them most of the time. Can't tell you how many tracks I sampled (lots!) and found this to be the case each and every time. Regardless of mastering or genre.
I will add that mastering, as well as the other tubes will determine the severity or gentleness this is done. But it is always done. And this is the reason why the rectifier returns an alluring presentation. One that is big, wide and open. Because inside this new found openness and expansion, we're hearing details like never before. Micro-dynamic, low lever detail and once background information has moved forward. This aspect alone is down right delicious! I'm hearing low level detail at normal listening levels. Like singers shuffling song notes on the podium. Musicians moving their feet. People whispering, dropping things on to the floor, breathing, coughing...just stuff in the room that ain't normally heard!
A few moons ago, I use to learn songs by recording tracks inside an associate musician's 24-track home studio. I'd pick a fav track and make 8 different copies - one with bass only. Another with bass and drums. And perhaps, the remaining six tracks each with different combos of 4 out of 24 tracks selected to better focus on the better presentation. Once learned, every time I'd hear the song in the club or the stereo system, I'd hear that micro-detail clear as a bell! And got use to disassembling and reassembling sound stages.
This Russian rectifier is a data retrieval hound like no other I've heard. Initially, this is fun and exciting. But, there are trade offs - no free lunch. Lower mid-range, bass and sub bass notes suffer; loss of control even at low to moderate volume. The presentation also lacks drive, impact, energy, focus, clarity and definition at times, especially when turned up some. Many songs still have bass in terms of loudness, but it rings hollow, no density. Nothing is really lost. It's all there! It's just that the rectifier has re-prioritized things with new emphasis. The results do not sound natural or accurate.
But, did I mention this rectifier has got potential?!
This inverted presentation isn't correctable by EQ either. The vocals a good deal of the time (again, it's mastering dependent) will suffer from being reduced, squeezed and tonally wrong. Even sounds veiled at times, yet detailed. How is that possible? you ask. Think of your listening room say, the living room with properly placed speakers...and your seat has a sweet spot. In the middle of a track, you get up and walk to the adjacent kitchen (to get some ice-cream?). The presentation complete with detail can still be heard, but now that you're outside the sweet spot and ears no longer at direct mid-range & tweeter level, it sounds a bit off (understatement). But sounds fine as background music.
I keep thinking that maybe, since I do not know this powerful rectifier, that more time might do it some good...I am hopeful. There's a lot to like in this rectifier. I'm still amazed that it could drop me into a bigger room yet, return more low level detail. You'd think the bigger the sound that micro-dynamics would get lost or obscured.
So, having had this experience, now what to do? I will shoot for additional hours. But in the event nothing changes, I'm willing to bet a solution could come electronically at the adapter level. Just being hopeful...at least I know what I'm now up against.
Edited by Silent One - 8/7/12 at 4:03am
It's great to see your spirits up after going down. It's fast approaching 0130 hours on the West coast and I just finished a very late dinner, dessert and kitchen duty. I'm running some 8 hours behind schedule due to urgent matters earlier in the day.
Time to jump in and finish sharing my notes...
Update: finished notes; look above.
Edited by Silent One - 8/7/12 at 3:26am
This was exactly the sort of impression I always got when going from a low V drop tube like the GZ33 to a high V drop tube like the 5U4G, the sense that foreground and background elements had traded places to a certain extent. Since the rectifier affects the electrical operating parameters of both of the other tubes it continues to be my suspicion that what we're hearing is the result of some sort of electrical phase shift which affects musical information in the time domain. i.e. *when* we hear what has an effect on how we hear, right down to the microsecond. In the end the music is being carried by electrical current so what is going on electrically in the tubes is what causes these changes. If this amp could run a 274B without blowing it up you might find this effect to be even more pronounced than what you are hearing now, is my theory.
A great write up btw, your perspective helps me to frame my own.
It would be interesting to see what an additional run of 300-500 hours brings to the rec. We're gonna find out one way or another and should know something by mid to late autumn. I'd also like to hear what Glenn hears in his own amp of a different design with this rec. And I really wanna hear this rec with the incoming 13D1!
There appears to be a lot of audio goodness locked up inside this bottle. Extracting more of it or all of it makes for a very entertaining thought over here.
It looks like my wish has been granted. Next week, I'll be receiving the voltage quadrupler and Brimar 13D1 tube to play with.
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