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Project Sunrise/PS2 Tube Rolling Thread (and maybe even Project Horizon and Project Ember)

post #1 of 362
Thread Starter 

I don't know if there are enough people who own a Garage1217 amp to keep this going but I figure it's worth a try.

 

I'm looking to roll some tubes with my project sunrise. Has anyone tried other tubes? Results? Any recommendations?

 

As a note here's a list of tubes usable in the Project Sunrise Amp: (which I think should be identical to those usable in the Project Horizon)

 

 

6V TUBES:
6922 - 7308 - 8223 - 6AQ8 - 6DJ8 - 6H23
6H23N - 6L12 - 6N11 - 6N23 - B719 - Cca
CV2492 - CV2493 - CV5358 - E88CC - E89CC
E188CC - E189CC - E288CC - ECC85 - ECC88
ECC89 - ECC188 - ECC189 - ECC288 - ECC289
JAN 7308 - 6GM8 - 6N27P - ECC86
 
12V TUBES:
5751 - 5814 - 5814A - 5963 - 6189
6201 - 6681 - 7025 - 7058 - 7729
6L13 - 12AD7 - 12AT7 - 12AU7 - 12AX7
12DF7 - 12DM7 - 12DT7 - A2900 - B152
B309 - B329 - B339 - B749 - CV0455
CV0491 - CV0492 - CV4024 - E81CC - E82CC
E83CC - E181CC - E182CC - E183CC - E283CC
E811CC - E812CC - E813CC - E2157 - E2163
E2164 - ECC81 - ECC82 - ECC83 - ECC181
ECC182 - ECC182 - ECC801 - ECC803 - ECC803S
post #2 of 362
I have Project Horizon amp (extremely happy with it and don't feel a desire to upgrade my amp anymore). I use a Tung Sol 12AX7 Gold Pin that's been Cryoed. It was well reviewed somewhere and was only $30 on eBay. I don't have a lot to compare it to really. Other than the Project Horizon's included tube, I bought a NOS tube for $40. It was well like in another review and sounded good to my ears but I sold it. Sorry, the name escapes my memory. While the other 2 tubes were good, the Tung Sol seemed to have a little extra shimmer and detail in the top end, without being harsh or forward, at least to my ears.
post #3 of 362

I've tried the following non-stock, vintage tubes in my PSII:

 

1. Telefunken 12AU7

2. Amperex 'A frame' 6DJ8

3. Raytheon black plate triple mica 12AT7

 

They all sound crisper, punchier, and more spacious than the stock tube, but they all have their individual quirks. I go back and forth between the Telefunken and the Amperex as my favorite, though the two actually sound quite different. The Amperex has great detail and separation, nice, punchy bass, warm, but defined mids, and crisp, but not harsh highs. It's a great sounding tube with a more immediate, forward sound and a narrower soundstage than the Telefunken. The Telefunken is a little warmer/mellower and has slightly less punch in the bass, but has lots of air/space and a wider soundstage; it provides a much less fatiguing listening experience. The Raytheon is also very nice and definitely a step up from the stock tube. It has the most assertive, punchy sound of all three, which is simultaneously its greatest strength and weakness; it's too forward and narrow a sound for my taste and I find it considerably more fatiguing than either the Telenfunken or the Amperex. Lately, I've been sticking to the Telefunken because the Amperex actually produces some noise in the left channel that I find irritating. Apparently, this is a common problem with 6DJ8 tubes. I'd definitely like to try out an Amperex 12AU7 in the future, but I'd like to try a Mullard out next. 


Edited by OckhamsRazor - 12/23/12 at 3:50pm
post #4 of 362

I built my Sunrise II a couple of days ago and I really love it.  I was on the web about 6 hours yesterday reading about favorite tubes and then checking eBay for availability and price.  I ended up initially buying a CBS Hytron 5814.  Although many are not overly impressed by it, others say it is clearly the best tube and without equal.  We'll see in a few days. 
 

Following even more reading this morning, I ordered a couple of new tubes from China: a TJ Full Music 12AU7 ($31) and a couple of less expensive Shuguang 12AU7s ($17 for two). I believe I'm also about to order an RCA cleartop 12AU7 CONN organ pull ($8). All of these tubes get great reviews somewhere although there is not much written about the Shuguangs.  Apparently TJ Full Music and Shuguang are the largest tube manufacturers in China and are competing for the growing chinese audio tube market.  Shuguang makes the high-end Psvane audio tubes and I have read that their standard tubes have gotten good reviews. 

 

The problem with a lot of the reviews is that they can be based on listening to various types of equipment including guitar amps, amplifiers, preamps, and headphone amps and generally its impossible to determine the frame of reference of the writer who says they're great.

 

I'll report when I have anything to report....at least first impressions because it will take me a long time to burn-in these tubes and Shuguang recommends 90-100 hours of burn in.

post #5 of 362

Interesting you mentioned Psvane tubes, chinook9. That's the next brand of tube I'm planning to get for my Project Horizon. I read a review that said they sound better than my TungSol tube so now I'm curious. Just bought some interconnects so will have to wait to purchase but the reviews sound promising. They only come in pairs but I suppose I could sell one. BTW, Is anyone else using Beyerdynamic's with there Garage1217 amps? Using DT880 600 ohm's the synergy couldn't be more perfect IMO.

post #6 of 362

I ordered a Mullard 12AU7 yesterday. I'll post my thoughts once I've listened to it a little.

post #7 of 362

I thought I'd post a note on my tube rolling....mainly because one of them has got me so excited and I wanted to share the find.

 

I received the CBS Hytron a few days ago and after burning it in for 30 hours I can say I like it but I wouldn't say I like it more than the stock 6N23P. 

 

Last night, I recieved the TJ Full Music 12AU7 ($31 direct from China).  I heated it up for about 20 minutes and sat down to listen.  Frankly, I couldn't believe how good it is from top to bottom.  One example of how good this is on the top end is that on a couple of cuts I could now clearly hear the drum brushes on the symbals. Previously, I hadn't even known what instrument I was listening to.

 

As I listened more, I thought about the tube manufacturing process and the differences between manufacturing in the 50-60s (I'm 67) and today.  The tubes designed and manufactured today should blow away the old stuff,... and I expect it probably does. 

 

If you've got the itch to try a new tube, to do some research on the TJ Full Music tubes.  

 

I will get my inexpensive $8.50 Shuguang 12AU7s in a couple of days.  These reportedly require 100 hours of burn in but I'll report after 30 hours.  I can't wait.
 

post #8 of 362

Thanks for sharing your findings Chinook9! Just ordered a single TJ Full Music 12AU7 off eBay. Can't wait to hear it!

post #9 of 362

Built my PSII

 

Here are my findings.  I have tried both 6 volts and a 12 volt tube.

 

6v:

Telefunken 7dj8:  Echo or Reverb like bass, runs cooler than a 6dj8.  

JAN Philips 6922:  Good all around, better bass than the Gees

Tesla 1960s 6DJ8: Very nice highly recommended at 30-40 bucks a pair, got these from Tubemonger

Russian NOS 6922 from Schiit:  To my ear these have no bass-end, i don't even have the patience to burn them in more.

GE 6922 NOS:  Good all around, maybe a tad brighter than the JAN Philips, but the Tesla is superior

 

12v:

Well on a hunch that the Sunrise would be a tad better with a 12v tube, i went ahead and got a

50 bucks shipped, Valvo/Amperex PQ 6201 (12At7) Made in Germany, Gold pins.

 

Wow this is a great tube, in fact with blind tests amongst the family and friends the PSII with this tube

beats the Schiit Lyr with any of the 6v tubes I have.

 

Good deep bass, excellent soundstage and very clean nice high-end.

post #10 of 362
Quote:
Originally Posted by OckhamsRazor View Post

I've tried the following non-stock, vintage tubes in my PSII:

1. Telefunken 12AU7
2. Amperex 'A frame' 6DJ8
3. Raytheon black plate triple mica 12AT7

They all sound crisper, punchier, and more spacious than the stock tube, but they all have their individual quirks. I go back and forth between the Telefunken and the Amperex as my favorite, though the two actually sound quite different. The Amperex has great detail and separation, nice, punchy bass, warm, but defined mids, and crisp, but not harsh highs. It's a great sounding tube with a more immediate, forward sound and a narrower soundstage than the Telefunken. The Telefunken is a little warmer/mellower and has slightly less punch in the bass, but has lots of air/space and a wider soundstage; it provides a much less fatiguing listening experience. The Raytheon is also very nice and definitely a step up from the stock tube. It has the most assertive, punchy sound of all three, which is simultaneously its greatest strength and weakness; it's too forward and narrow a sound for my taste and I find it considerably more fatiguing than either the Telenfunken or the Amperex. Lately, I've been sticking to the Telefunken because the Amperex actually produces some noise in the left channel that I find irritating. Apparently, this is a common problem with 6DJ8 tubes. I'd definitely like to try out an Amperex 12AU7 in the future, but I'd like to try a Mullard out next. 

I have both a bugle boy 6dj8 and a 12au7 with my psii and I can't decide which is best!

Edit: yeah, definitely the amperex 12au7. It is light, airy, and has some kickin bass. It almost has an ethereal sound.
Edited by dpmalito - 1/1/13 at 8:01pm
post #11 of 362

i would also recommend NOS or ANOS Raytheon 5751 with windmill getter & if you have truly deep pockets, grab a handful of tfk ecc803s  eek.gif.

it would also be interesting to compare amperex 12au7 vs rca/conn cleartop 12au7 which are cheap & plentiful.

 

noise can be a serious issue with many of the tubes in the 6-v family; look for tubes with lower gain to help ameliorate/reduce this affliction --> 12au7/5751 family & with triple mica to help contain microphonics.

 

the notion that today's tech should produce superior tubes than what was available in the '50s, 60's and '70s is but wishful thinking.  if this were truly so, then we would all be happy with the current sino/soviet/east european offerings on hand.  the sad truth is that most of these are truly average and only a few are worthy of inclusion (in my list, imo).  tube manufacturing in the '50s and '60s was at its zenith; the artisans and companies took pride in their work and the bottom line had yet to work its way into the mainstream consciousness.  many of these tubes were also produced for the military and they demanded the highest quality/reliability.  by the time the '70s rolled around, lots of cost cutting measures came into force.  as for  the '80s, '90s ...  tubes from these eras aren't exactly in hot demand ... that should tell you something as to their overall performance for hi-end audio.

 

buying chinese tubes directly from china/hong kong can be risky ... no guarantee as to quality.  eg it is possible to get psvane in various grades even tho externally they may look exactly alike. 

 

hth,
 


Edited by geetarman49 - 1/2/13 at 8:50am
post #12 of 362

Just wanted to say that this thread is super interesting as I just recently got my PS2 and probably will join in tube rolling in a couple of months.

post #13 of 362

what sites are you guys using to get tubes? looking for something in the U.S thats not ebay. Just recieved my PSII and would like to start trying out some new stuff
 

post #14 of 362
Quote:
Originally Posted by dpmalito View Post


I have both a bugle boy 6dj8 and a 12au7 with my psii and I can't decide which is best!
Edit: yeah, definitely the amperex 12au7. It is light, airy, and has some kickin bass. It almost has an ethereal sound.

I definitely have to try out an Amperex 12au7. I've been using a Mullard 12au7 for the past few days and it's really amazing. It has a weighty and warm, yet detailed sound and is noticeably more 3D sounding than the other tubes I've tried. I'm really enjoying it!

post #15 of 362
Quote:
Originally Posted by Micaiah View Post

Thanks for sharing your findings Chinook9! Just ordered a single TJ Full Music 12AU7 off eBay. Can't wait to hear it!

 

Please let us know what you think. I can't believe how good it is....I may go ahead and order another for spare.
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