ALO The Pan Am - The tube rolling thread
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BattousaiX26

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Jan GE 5654 finally arrived! For those interested I will be giving impressions later :)
 
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post-11674852
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SoundApprentice

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I've gotten the best results with the French RTC tubes. Sometimes I like the Mullards, but RTC usually ends up in there. Good dynamics and clarity while maintaining decent impact.
 
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dmhenley

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Hey All,
I'm late to the Pan Am game - but found a minty one (Pan Am and Gateway) for sale. Got it today(!!) - maybe 100 hours on the amp in all. It came with the RTC and Siemens pairs, so am starting with the RTC. Looking at Mullards and Cifte for the inevitable roll.
 
As I have been primarily listening to my system with speakers, I don't have new headphones.
Am using AKG Q701s I've had for years. It'll be a bit before I can buy new ones.
 
As for a 2 channel speaker system - I prefer low powered tube amps and high sensitivity speakers.
So, with the headamp and 'phones I am wanting similar experiences.
 
If I have to choose - texture, tone and dynamics trump everything - that's what gets me there.
I like some air, and a balanced sound overall. Not a bass hog.
 
 
Questions:
What kind of burn in time did you experience with the amp in general?
   I know these tubes need some time to settle.
 
The dac is resolving (comp'd to my current dac) - lots of detail, so I am assuming I'll want the Mullard mid-range to balance it out - thoughts?
 
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TontonJoK

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The built in dac is ok but to me the only weaker point of the Pan Am

Rtc tubes are very good, Siemens better for classical
I prefer voshkod 6zh1p-ev or Telefunken (AEG) 6ak5W even 6HM5's have good references
For tubes burning in we can discuss hours about it IMO something like 10 hours is enough to get most modifications
 
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dmhenley

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Ok, cool. Thanks for the insight.
I'll need to look for a US seller for the Tele's and Mullards. I'd like to try both.
 
Not sure how much burn there is on these RTC tubes, but the Siemens currently sound better with my AKGs.
 
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TontonJoK

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Yes I can understand why you prefer Siemens on the AKG, Mullard's should be great too even better imo

If you plan on keeping the 701 don't get tubes that emphasis the highs too much :wink:
 
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TontonJoK

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Telefunken's are hard to find Mullard's easier

You don't necessarily need to order from US if it is over priced Get them from ebay UK

Something like 30 $ for a matched pair is not rare around
 
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dmhenley

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Yes!
I've been looking, and Ebay seems to be the best option for these - I found a Canadian seller for the Mullard 5654/6AK5W.
 
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dmhenley

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Still enjoying the Siemens with my Q701's. (Have a pair of Mullards on the way). I'm wondering if there's still some hours before these are at their prime.
 
The Pan Am dac is more harsh in the high freqs than I want with these 'phones and tubes.
I am now running my Parasound zdac into the Pan Am and it sounds great. Much more natural timbres and tone in comparison. I can also push the volume a bit more with this pairing, so am getting more touch and plenty of texture detail. 
 
Really jazzed with the Pan Am - great little desktop amp. 
 
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dmhenley

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Day 1 with the ALO Pan Am, AKG Q701 and Mullard 5654s.
 
Relationships are everything. Everything is connected. 
Everything matters.
 
I'll likely ramble - I have tons of notes I will not subject you to...
 
So, here's the thing: Speed, texture and tone are my first choice - me in a nutshell.
A forensic reproduction is not what gets me fired up. Details matter - dissection is destructive.  
My Q701's were always a bit of a let down, until now. 
 
Not once have these 'phones sounded so good. Granted, my headamp experience is limited, but they were never truly engaging. I assumed these tubes would be a good match, but this was based solely on Mullard's reputation. I have another tube amp but haven't used Mullard before now.
 
Oh, I know there's better (more costly) out there, and I will try to get there. But last night my Pan Am, Q701's, and Mullard 5654's had me up very late.
 
My chain:
AKG Q701/ALO Pan Am-Gateway/Parasound Zdac/PC/Fidelizer Pro/Tidal PC app
 
I've got a couple other sets on the way, and plan to do a comparison soon. This set is new and not broken in yet. I assume things will change over time. Also, I have a new Cullen Cable power cord in the Pan Am/Gateway. This may also be subtly affecting my experience. 
 
Here's what I heard:
The more forward, luscious mid's these tubes deliver, very enticingly counter the sometimes distant sound of the Q701's enormous stage. All styles of music were more tactile, textured and natural sounding. Details galore, mind you. Though the mids are in focus, this is not maple syrup...15 year bourbon vs. moonshine. Natural highs. No hash, or shout - of course the source dictates much of this. Slightly undefined lows and rolloff in ultra low end. Bass drums and guitars sounded solid, musical and they grounded the Q701's open presentation.
 
Dynamics! Tons of energy. I could not stop listening. Very intimate, engaging experience. 
 
 

 
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dmhenley

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I'd appreciate any help identifying the tubes here - CV4010, yes - though these are slightly different than the other cv4010 I've seen online. Any insight?
 

 
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BattousaiX26

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  I'd appreciate any help identifying the tubes here - CV4010, yes - though these are slightly different than the other cv4010 I've seen online. Any insight?
 
is it different from the mullard 5654?
 
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dmhenley

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Hi - not sure, I'm still listening to the 5654.
 
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dmhenley

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I plan to do a comparison of the Mullard 5654, the CV4010, Cifte 5654, and RTC tubes. I suspect there are only subtle differences.
Mostly for my own education/understanding, but can post some notes here if there's interest. 
I know I'm late to this Pan Am game.
 
I am finding my amp sounding better and better - very satisfied - though I have YFS data only usb cable on the way!
We'll see what that brings.
 
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Oskari

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  I'd appreciate any help identifying the tubes here - CV4010, yes - though these are slightly different than the other cv4010 I've seen online. Any insight?
 
Anything printed on the other side?
 
Any etched codes on them?
 
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