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12AU7 Tube alternatives for Ray Samuels B-52-in position V1/V2

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

The purpose of this new thread.

I've recently bought a Ray Samuels B-52, 2nd hand from a previous owner in the UK.

There are no accompanying manuals/notes.

Like many before me,obtaining different tubes becomes a personal quest in order to achieve the ultimate sound possible?

I don't use the pre-out section of the Amp,so I'm not interested in possible replacements for the 12AX7s V3/V4.

It has come to my attention 12BH7s and E80CCs are possible replacements for the 12AU7s in position V1/V2.

I've emailed Ray and asked if these can be used.To date I've not received a reply!

I wish to find out if anybody is aware if these (or any others) can be used.

Any observations regarding sound would be welcome too but I'm most interested if these tubes are substitutes for technical reasons.

Thanks

David

post #2 of 15

some useful info here.

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/354857/list-your-rsa-b52-tubes

post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 

Hi 'vcoheda'

Thanks for that.I had read this forum.

When you actually read it ,it doesn't answer my question and parts of it do not answer the original.(these forum tend to get side tracked!!)

It mentions various makes of 12AU7 and 5687,both of which are the 'original'types to which this Amp is known to use.

On one occasion the 12BH7 is mentioned but posses the same problem which I ask,that is,can it be used??

I have actually had an exchange of emails with a person who can tell me all about technical aspects of various tubes but as he states,it's whether Ray Samuels recommends there use?

The 7062 is also mentioned but to my knowledge is  a sub for the 12AX7 position V3/V4?

Some,on these Forums have mentioned Ray's back up service-I have to say I haven't noticed it!!

As this is a question many would probably have asked before me,it makes you wonder why Ray does make known the variants that can be used.

I hope somebody may have spoken to Ray on this matter and have a definitive answer?

We'll see!!

post #4 of 15

The best thing I found with mine is to use Telefunken ECC802S tubes. They add more substance to the midrange and make the highs more liquid and,

last but not least, make the bass more controlled and integrated. They are expensive, so you can get a pair just for the headphones if you don't need the preamp part

(but they do a nice job there too).

Another big improvement is replacing the 5687 headphone driver tubes with Bendix 6900s. 

Doing both brings mine up a league, especially with LCD3 phones (a great high-impedance match for the B52 with AWESOME quality bass).

 

Ray likes Mullards for the 12AU7s, but that may be a mellowing for Sony R10s. He posted about the Mullards some time ago in response to one of my posts here.


Edited by rgs9200m - 10/31/12 at 11:21am
post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 

Hi rgs9200m

Thanks for your input.

The Tele.802Ss and Bendix 6900s are well known and accepted subs for the 12AU7/5687.

This is the 'high cost' route' and all reports are similar to yours.Maybe, someday I'll go there!?(would be interesting to note what you're comparing them to-but then that would be taking this thread somewhere else?)

It's the 'unusual' 12AU7 variants,compatibility with the B-52 that interests me.

Thanks

David

post #6 of 15

Sure, I just wanted to help you out with whatever I knew. I tried the Mullard equivalents and found them a little peaky in the upper mids and the bass soft.

I also have the Tele ECC82s and they are fine, close to the 802s actually, and these are my main reasonable-cost replacements (I use cryo-treated ones),

as they have the best balance of firm, transparent, tuneful bass and listenable highs.

 

Tung-sol 5687s (cryo'd)  were also fine before the Bendix tubes, but the Bendixes also had more easygoing highs that I liked.

post #7 of 15

Sorry for double post


Edited by Ray Samuels - 11/6/12 at 8:47am
post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by britneedadvice View Post

Hi 'vcoheda'

Thanks for that.I had read this forum.

When you actually read it ,it doesn't answer my question and parts of it do not answer the original.(these forum tend to get side tracked!!)

It mentions various makes of 12AU7 and 5687,both of which are the 'original'types to which this Amp is known to use.

On one occasion the 12BH7 is mentioned but posses the same problem which I ask,that is,can it be used??

I have actually had an exchange of emails with a person who can tell me all about technical aspects of various tubes but as he states,it's whether Ray Samuels recommends there use?

The 7062 is also mentioned but to my knowledge is  a sub for the 12AX7 position V3/V4?

Some,on these Forums have mentioned Ray's back up service-I have to say I haven't noticed it!!

As this is a question many would probably have asked before me,it makes you wonder why Ray does make known the variants that can be used.

I hope somebody may have spoken to Ray on this matter and have a definitive answer?

We'll see!!

 

 

The tube name is silk screened on the chassis. It is plug $ play no complication what so ever as long as you install the tubes correctly. Do some search on B-52 on head-fi.org you will get more info.
Cheers.
Ray Samuels
 
 
Sent: Thursday, September 13, 2012 3:01 AM
Subject: B-52
 
Hi Ray
I have recently purchased a 2nd hand B-52 here in England.
Absolutely "over the moon" with it.
I'm totally confused with tube choice!
The previous owner had installed Amperex 4x 7119 and 2x Full Music 12AU7 ,these sound great.I don't want to get into 'tube rolling' for it's own sake but would be grateful if you could help a little as to what to (and what not to) buy as a replacement stock?
....and any info on where to buy?
 
I note there is no Manual with the Amp-which is no problem as it's up and running but could you tell me what the tubes actually do?
Thanks
David
 
You can remove them if you so wish.
The back 2 tubes on the right hand side, if you are facing the amp from the front.
Cheers.
Ray Samuels
 
 
Sent: Tuesday, September 18, 2012 3:34 AM
Subject: B-52
 
Hi Ray
I don't use the Pre-Amp on my B-52.
Do the preamp tubes need to stay in position or can I remove them?
Thanks
David
 
No, you can NOT use 6922 for 5687 you will blow the power supply.
The second question is you can do 12BH7 & ECC82 for 12AU7
Cheers.
Ray Samuels
 
Sent: Saturday, November 03, 2012 2:11 AM
Subject: 6922 in place of 5687
 
Hi Ray
Can you tell me if the 6922 can be used as a sub. for the 5687
and the 12BH7 and E80CC as a sub for the 12AU77
in the B-52
Thanks
David
 
 
David....I do not know why you accused me of not responding to your e-mails my friend. What do you gain from that?
Ray Samuels
 
 
 

Edited by Ray Samuels - 11/6/12 at 10:17am
post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 

Hi Ray

Thanks for that.

Re my last,Is the E80CC a sub,you didn't say?

Discretion prevents further comment!!

(I know nothing of Audio Engineering-until I do,I ask questions!! I've learnt very little from Head-Fi threads and will now probably not bother with it again-I wish I could cancel this thread!!-I would ask no others to contribute-Thank you)

post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by britneedadvice View Post

Hi Ray

Thanks for that.

Re my last,Is the E80CC a sub,you didn't say?

Discretion prevents further comment!!

(I know nothing of Audio Engineering-until I do,I ask questions!! I've learnt very little from Head-Fi threads and will now probably not bother with it again-I wish I could cancel this thread!!-I would ask no others to contribute-Thank you)

If you read the very last e-mail, I said the 12BH7 & the E80CC will be fine in place 12AU7. Sorry I had the misprint tube # in the last e-mail as the E80CC is fine it requires more heater current but B-52 is capable of supplying the current needed.

Ray Samuels


Edited by Ray Samuels - 11/6/12 at 1:09pm
post #11 of 15

I've had Ray's amps for more than 5 years now (I now have a B52, which, by the way, is THE amp for Audezes, especially in the bass, which is glorious in this combo,

and it gives them just the right amount of "life"),

and I just want to note that I have called Ray (and emailed him) often and he is always generous with his time and advice, so much so that I can't believe the head of this 

company takes so much time to do this personally.


Edited by rgs9200m - 11/6/12 at 3:01pm
post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 

Hi Ray 

Thanks for update.

Hi rgs9200m

I accept what you say, I now have the info. I need.

Since getttings into 'tubes' I've received some excellect advice(but not thro. Head-Fi!!)

Thank you

David

post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 

Hi rgs9200m

Further to my last,I was re-reading the thread again this morning.I appreciate the basis for your reply, which I noted.

Following on from that,I bought the B-52(although 'blind') having purchased the LCD3s.I was looking to see if I could further enhance the quality of sound from my previous LCD3/Amp set up.Interestingly,I now note,you have a Rudi Amp.I too had one prior to the B-52(although not the same as yours).Interestingly,I set up a thread on Head-fi asking for advice for a suitable amp(particularly for classical music) and didn't receive any useful replies.In fact,I think someone stated it wasn't a suitable partnership!

Anyway,I would be interested to hear your thoughts on the B-52/LCD3 vs. Rudi/LCD3,particularly if you listen to Classical,Also,did you have any thoughts on tube alternatives,for the 12au7s or for that matter, the 5687s.I read a very informative review of the 12BH7(pleasingly with the Bruch Violin Con.-one of my favourites)and have ordered some-not yet arrived.

Your thoughts would be most welcome.

Thanks

David

post #14 of 15

Well, I love the Rudistor with HE500s and TH900s, but I prefer tube amps with the Audezes (LCD2 or LCD3), on classical or popular music.

The tubes bring bloom to the instruments in the Audeze soundfield. I actually need to give the LCD3s another good try with my Rudistor and I'll report back.

 

I never did try any alternatives to the 12AU7s after talking to Ray, who never mentioned any alternatives other than 12AX7s, but the less gain the better is my preference,

especially with the Dact 23 step attenuator.

I tried Mullard and Tungsol 12au7s and always liked the tungsols better (more controlled bass and more lifelike mids).

 

I also was using tungsol 5687s for a while and liked those also, but finally settled on the Bendix replacements and having more authority at all frequencies.

Violin can be tricky, as you want vibrancy and speed without grain. And I always like good resonance with out strange overhang on Piano.

(I like Liszt myself, and Bartok and Strauss.)

post #15 of 15

I agree that Telefunken ECC802S are a superb match for the B52, they used to be my first choice until I got my hands on a pair of Genalex Gold Lion B749 (NOS, not the new production ones)...they have everything the Telefunkens have but presented in an even more natural, extended and effortless way. They won't leave my B52 till they'll die, that's sure. Then I'll have to worry about finding another pair, and should I find it, I'll have to mortgage my house I guess...well, I'll just have the Telefunkens at hand in case.

As for 5687, I had great results with Sylvania Gold Brand Gold Pins (which seem to have become quite rare nowadays) and TungSol Black Plates, with a tiny preference for the latter. But just a couple of days ago I got myself a (not exactly cheap) quad set of Bendix 6900 and I must concur these give the B52 another substantial boost. I'm rediscovering details in my music collection that I was unaware of, these tubes seem to be able to extract the very last bit from everything they are feeded with (the source must be accordingly revealing, that's a logical requirement).

In other words: the B52 is already an awesome amp in its stock configuration, but be prepared to upgrade your tubes or you'll just scratch its true potential.


Edited by Fafner - 8/1/13 at 7:54am
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