Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphone Amps (full-size) › Dubstep Girl's Massive 5AR4/5R4/5U4G Rectifier Review/Comparison! (Rectifer Tube Rolling thread)
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Dubstep Girl's Massive 5AR4/5R4/5U4G Rectifier Review/Comparison! (Rectifer Tube Rolling thread) - Page 10

post #136 of 643
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gavtorn View Post
 

 

I was a bit hesitant at the upgrade given the cost of a used tube(!) I have borrowed some expensive EML 2a3's to try in the stratus which is currently running Sophia Princess tubes - I didn't like the EML's at all so for me, more expensive does not always equal better sq .  But I also figure that if I didn't like the GEC in my setup I can sell it for around what it's worth and try something else..

 

I have just done a quick comparison of the GEC vs. the RCA black base tube.  I have only had the GEC playing for an hour so it may still have some improving to do but I decided to do a quick swap to see if I could notice any changes in sq.

 

DSG - I think your impressions are on the money.  I can hear what you mean about a higher quality tube providing better layering to the sound.  The mid range is a lot more open / transparent and makes the RCA sound a bit congested and the soundstage a bit more closed in.

 

Compared to the stock 5U4g (shuguang?) that shipped with the stratus the RCA is a big upgrade.  The GEC is the same level of upgrade over the RCA again.

 

Thanks again for your comparisons, made this an easy upgrade :)

 

cheers,

 

gav.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigsecret View Post
 

Stratus owner here. I was about to purchase the EML 5U4G as you predicted (to go with 2a3 mesh plates and LCD3 phones). Then I saw your comparison in the nick of time…literally. I emailed Donald North about WE422A and he said it would work but would require re-wiring one of the pins. Instead I found a Marconi U52 at Tejas Tubes. 

 

I listened on and off all weekend and couldn't get enough. In the first minute of listening the sound was so smooth and full I thought it was smearing the detail. Then I realized I was actually hearing more detail and more of everything. All the good stuff tubes do but not overblown. I had no idea a rectifier tube could make such a difference. Expensive but, to my ears, a lot of musical bang for the buck. And quite a nice match to the Stratus.

 

 

thanks for the impressions guys! I am definitely keeping the U52 for when I decide to go for the Stratus. As far as 5U4G, if the DNA amp doesn't support 422A (or even if it did, its endgame as far as rectifiers go). Im sure with a super transparent amp like the Stratus, the U52 will definitely be able to show itself! 

post #137 of 643

Thank you Dubstep Girl for the work you did. When I get my income tax I'm going to get a WA6. Looking at tubes to get after I get it burned in. Rectifier as will as power. I hope you do a power tube comparison. Once again awesome work. Really helps a lot to a newbie like me. Hope you have happy holidays.

post #138 of 643
Merry Christmas all! Thanks Dubstep Girl, after reading this I finally decided to upgrade the rectifier in my WA6 and what a difference it has made! biggrin.gif managed to pick this up for next to nothing off a retired electronics repairer locally. Can anyone tell me if it's a re labeld Mullard? I didn't get a box with it and also don't know how much use it's had but it sounds heaps better than the stock one that was in it biggrin.gif

EDIT: photo didn't upload off my phone so here it is.


Edited by Josh05 - 12/24/13 at 3:27pm
post #139 of 643
Thread Starter 

hard to tell from the pic, not sure if its the mullard one or not but i think it is cause its philips branded.

post #140 of 643

Looks like single 'O' getter so mullard maybe? 

post #141 of 643
Dubstep Girl:

This is fantastic as it is prolific; much needed review here. I've been reading your stuff on here for a while and I like it a lot on the WA6-SE thread.

Can you tell me if the Western Electric 422A is your reference tube for the WA6-SE?

I've been looking at that one for a while and want to get my hands on one.

Thank you kindly.
post #142 of 643

I agree I have learned a lot reading what she has said. Hours of reading but it is worth it to learn something new. Really has been helpful. She is a smart person.

post #143 of 643
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SMBuscemi View Post

Dubstep Girl:

This is fantastic as it is prolific; much needed review here. I've been reading your stuff on here for a while and I like it a lot on the WA6-SE thread.

Can you tell me if the Western Electric 422A is your reference tube for the WA6-SE?

I've been looking at that one for a while and want to get my hands on one.

Thank you kindly.

 

i did not own the 422A when I had the WA6-SE, but I know that it probably would be. it worked wonders with the WA22 and I think it would be awesome with the WA6-SE as well. as of now, my reference for the WA6-SE is the 596. Im sure the U52, 422A, GZ37 fat, or the GZ34 metal base would be able to take its place.

post #144 of 643
Funny, I tried a NOS Mullards in my WA22 and could tell no difference from the stock tube. I never really got the WA22 to sound wholly satisfactory. In fact, the Eddie Current Super 7 with the stock new issue 6SN7s sounded better out of the box than the WA22 ever did with any combination of NOS tubes I tried with it, including Mullards ECC32s, TS BGRP 6F8Gs, Chatham 5998s, and Bendix 6080s. And the S7 is less expensive, even accounting for tube rolling experimentation. Lesson learned: "rolling" amps is generally more economical and effective than rolling exotic, expensive tubes in lesser amps. The ECP Audio L-2, the Super 7, and the new Apex Teton, in my experience, are simply much better amps than the WA22 and a number of others I have owned. If the amp doesn't sound great out of the box, in my experience it will never sound like a great amp no matter how much is plowed into exotic NOS tubes to use in it, regardless of what Head-Fi enthusiasts claim.

(In support of this contention, notice how many Head-Fiers seem to lead the charge in various tube rolling threads like this one, singing the praises of one tube over others who ultimately sell the relevant amp to move on to another amp entirely, suggesting they eventually found something more satisfying. DG Girl, in fact, started this thread and a few weeks later put up for sale most of the tubes described in it...Not exactly a ringing endorsement of the benefits of tube rolling.)

My advice, having been involved in this hobby now for eight years and having owned nine amps at this point, is this: If an amp is not mind-blowing with the stock tubes, cut your losses and just move on until that initial condition is met. The same applies to tube preamps and power amps, as I have also owned another half dozen of those in my speaker system. Buying used or getting loaners from a builder limit the cost of doing this.
post #145 of 643
Quote:
Originally Posted by minimus View Post

Funny, I tried a NOS Mullards in my WA22 and could tell no difference from the stock tube. I never really got the WA22 to sound wholly satisfactory. In fact, the Eddie Current Super 7 with the stock new issue 6SN7s sounded better out of the box than the WA22 ever did with any combination of NOS tubes I tried with it, including Mullards ECC32s, TS BGRP 6F8Gs, Chatham 5998s, and Bendix 6080s. And the S7 is less expensive, even accounting for tube rolling experimentation. Lesson learned: "rolling" amps is generally more economical and effective than rolling exotic, expensive tubes in lesser amps. The ECP Audio L-2, the Super 7, and the new Apex Teton, in my experience, are simply much better amps than the WA22 and a number of others I have owned. If the amp doesn't sound great out of the box, in my experience it will never sound like a great amp no matter how much is plowed into exotic NOS tubes to use in it, regardless of what Head-Fi enthusiasts claim.

(In support of this contention, notice how many Head-Fiers seem to lead the charge in various tube rolling threads like this one, singing the praises of one tube over others who ultimately sell the relevant amp to move on to another amp entirely, suggesting they eventually found something more satisfying. DG Girl, in fact, started this thread and a few weeks later put up for sale most of the tubes described in it...Not exactly a ringing endorsement of the benefits of tube rolling.)

My advice, having been involved in this hobby now for eight years and having owned nine amps at this point, is this: If an amp is not mind-blowing with the stock tubes, cut your losses and just move on until that initial condition is met. The same applies to tube preamps and power amps, as I have also owned another half dozen of those in my speaker system. Buying used or getting loaners from a builder limit the cost of doing this.

 

Seems you didn't list any rectifiers :p?  


Edited by ardilla - 12/27/13 at 7:04am
post #146 of 643
Yes, I really only tried two rectifiers, the stock one and a NOS Mullard 5AR4 that came highly recommended in one of the WA22 tube rolling threads. So maybe I missed out on turning the amp into something magical. I went down the tube rolling rabbit hole with the DNA Sonett, following owners' advice, and it was an unsatisfactory endeavor --the amp never sounded any good and I lost money when I resold the tubes.

Does this thread seem fishy to anyone else? It strikes me as a bit unethical that Dubstep Girl posted this review of her rectifier collection two weeks before putting the same collection up for sale. Nowhere does she say that she is about to sell the same expensive tubes that she is praising. In the world of finance, that's called "pump em and dump em".
post #147 of 643

Perhaps, if you read the previous page...

:popcorn:

post #148 of 643
She has been mentioned selling the tubes to finance a new ride for a long while, way before posting the impression.
post #149 of 643

I found the review very useful.  I'm very happy with my amp and the tubes which came with it.  That said, with fluctuating tube supplies and pricing I wanted to buy some backups for the future.  Instead of going with more new off the shelf Chinese tubes I went NOS.  The guide allowed me to choose based on someone's experiences.  I did double check DG's experiences with others on this site and the web.  I found them to be consistent if not more conservative in rating sound quality.  Has my sound quality changed drastically in one direction or the other - no.  Did I expect that it would, no. Just as in the differences between relatively equally priced DACS, Cords, isolation devices, headphones and moon rock needles, the differences are subtle.  The question of where in the sound supply chain you best put your dollars is valid.  The review and comparison of tubes as part of the sound supply chain is a huge service to us all, and I for one am very thankful for it.

 

Back to the sweet sounds of the 596

post #150 of 643

An on-topic post, which is actually WHY i came to this thread. This arrived yesterday. Not sure if it is or will be any improvement in the Studio Six, but I'll find out.

 

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Headphone Amps (full-size)
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphone Amps (full-size) › Dubstep Girl's Massive 5AR4/5R4/5U4G Rectifier Review/Comparison! (Rectifer Tube Rolling thread)