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ALO The Pan Am - The tube rolling thread

Discussion in 'Headphone Amps (full-size)' started by vincentc, Mar 30, 2013.
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  1. BattousaiX26
    Can you clarify why telefunkens are more enjoyable? How are the telefunkens vs mullards? I will be getting one for myself soon :)
  2. koolas

    I'm pretty sure you would love to get all three of them, i.e. Sylvania, Mullard and Telefunken :)

    I can't really recommend Sylvania over Mullard because I realize there are some people who didn't like their tonal balance, which is very bright. I can't recommend Mullard, because for me both Sylvania and Telefunken sound nicer. Telefunken I could honestly recommend, but they are very hard to find them on the market. There is a bit of Voskhods on the market, and they are very enjoyable, though I don't like them for recessed detail. Yeah, Telefunken is definitely best compromise, but really hard to find.

    To answer your question: Telefunken are less detailed, but definitely more neutral than Mullards, which are coloring sound to be metallic.
  3. DoubleDutch
    Got my PanAm off of eBay, with a Passport and a Getaway, and a range of tubes: the stock chinese, Siemens, Telefunken, and Mullards. I complemented the bunch with Ciftes and RTCs. A pair of Alpha Dogs is my head gear of choice, and I love'm.
    Favorite tubes: Ciftés at #3, RTC at #2, and the Mullards at #1 (but very closely followed by the RTC's). It's all personal preference; I like the lush lows and warm mids of the Mullards, and the wide soundstage. The RTCs are a tad more neutral, and a little less bright than the Mullards (which I like), but really nicely balanced across, and with a nice soundstage. I use the Ciftés to reset my palate :wink:. The Germans sound too bright and clinical to me, and don't bother with the Chinese (I am referring to the tubes).
  4. TontonJoK
    You have almost all the best tubes but are missing the voshkod 6zh1p-ev, a comparison would be very interesting
  5. TontonJoK
    Can we put some EF92 cv131 in the pan am ???
  6. koolas
    ...and I'm back on Sylvanias Today...

    They are like heavy magnet - I simply can't resist them :)
  7. TonyNewman
    I have tried the RTCs, Mullards and the Voshkods. To me it's a tie between the Mullards and RTCs - I like the darker sound of the Mullards, but sometimes the brighter RTCs are good too. The Voshkods sacrifice too much detail for me to really enjoy them - a little muddy to my ears.
    Very impressed overally with the PanAm + Gateway / Passport sound. Matches very well with my SE535 IEMs. This is my office rig and it is easily transported to and from work each day.
    A number of folks have shown interest in the weird contraption on my desk and I explain that it is a valve headphone amp. I show folks the tiny valves and they are surprised that such things exist - if they have any IEMs I invite them to plug them in and give it a try. Response is very interesting - usually "wow, I have never heard ... blah blah ..." you all know the drill. This has prompted some of my colleagues to invest in entry level USB DAC/Amps and upgraded IEMs for the office.
    Sometimes I feel like a crack dealing giving budding audiophiles their first 'hit' [​IMG]
  8. JoeDoe
    If any Pan Am tube rollers is interested, I'll ship a pair of Sylvania 6ak5s to the first messenger for the price of priority shipping. They're quite capable but aren't going to get play while I've got the Mullards.
  9. TonyNewman
    I've tried several different tubes - nothing yet beats the Mullards for me. Perhaps the impossible to obtain Telefunkens might knock it off the top spot? If I could find some I could try.
    Second best for me are the French RTCs. Tried the RCAs - muffled and nasty compared to the Mullards/RTCs - had to pull them out. Sylvanias and Sovteks didn't beat the Mullards.
    Anyone tried anything that beats the Mullards as an all-round tube option?
  10. R Scott Ireland
    I like them all with one set of headphones/DAC or another, but I think the Telefunkens sound best (slightly!) to me. 
    You might also want to try the Cifte tubes if you haven't already.  They are quite reasonable and very good.
  11. TonyNewman
    Thank you - I'll hunt some down.
    if the Telefunkens are only a small step up from the Mullards then I might give up the search. They are hard to find and pricey.
  12. R Scott Ireland
    There are several of the Telefunkens currently listed on eBay for around $50 - $60 a pair.
    I didn't mean to imply that there is so little difference that it's not worth it.  Quite the contrary, the Telefunkens are well worth it (to me). What I meant was that almost all of the tubes I've tried with the Pan Am sound very good with one headphone/DAC combination or another.  The only ones I've not liked are the Sylvanias.  I could never get them to sound good with any setup.
    All the rest have been great with one setup or another!
    But to me, the Telefunkens are the best.
  13. TonyNewman
    Thanks - I'll give EBarf another try.
  14. TontonJoK

    Agree +1

    n°1 Telefunken and 2 :RTC or Russians
    R Scott Ireland likes this.
  15. TontonJoK
    The Telefunken and the Hd 800 great pairing, !
    R Scott Ireland likes this.
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