Originally Posted by htr2d2
Received my '79s Voskhods and breaking them in. They are quieter than my GEC 6BZ7s, but sound fine. No noise or other oddities.
Does anyone have suggestions on how to compare tubes. I suspect there is a guide, but I would love suggestions or direction to a guide. Last few google hunts regarding tubes resulted in a couple hours filtering through the google crud.
I've said this before. I've got several pieces of tube gear. The fact there are only 2 matched tubes make it much easier than one of my integrated amps.
As your ears listen to a set of tubes, your mind becomes used to them and unless they are really bad, you need to break them in to get accustomed to a set.
They way I compare tubes is to get at least 50 hours on them. That gives you time to get accustomed to the sound. After the 50 hours, put the other set of tubes in. It works best when both have been broken in. When you put the second pair in you'll notice right away what the differences are. The first pair will probably sound best unless there is something specific you are listening for. To be fair, I usually repeat the process again with the second pair first.
It may seem time consuming. But just listening to a couple of songs before the tubes are fully broken in will be different then listening to them after break in. I like to have a set of tubes that I use as my reference pair. I've got a nice set of Telefunken that I use as my reference. I let the new tubes break in for 59 hours or so then replace them with my reference set. You'll know right away what the difference is between the tubes.
This might sound excessive, but you need to give a set of tubes time to break in before you compare them. I haven't run across a set yet that sounds the same out if the box vs broken in. Some tubes take even more time.
Before you start running out and buying tubes, take some time to read about the different tubes on Brent Jesses web site. That will give you a good indication of the differences between different tubes. He helped me out a lot when I was setting up my last integrated amp. Not only do you have to determine how a pair sounds, you have to know how the other tubes interact with each other. It can be a long painful process. I bought most of the tubes from him. You can find then cheaper on eBay, but that can be a crapshoot at times.