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Feliks Audio Elise Tube Rolling Guide 6SN7/6AS7G/6080/5998

Discussion in 'Headphone Amps (full-size)' started by renderman, May 6, 2015.
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  1. gibosi
    My impressions mirror those in The Reference 6SN7 Thread. I find the 1940's gray-glass National Union to have a smooth and liquid tonality, with a somewhat sweet and lush midrange and very good bass and treble. It is a very musical tube and perfect for those times when I just want to chill out and enjoy the music.
    Renderman likes this.
  2. Renderman
    Smooth and liquid is right! Lush also comes to mind, the kind of warm sound I expect from a tube amplifier. So far I like these a lot and at $45 a pair these might be the the best price/performance tubes so far.
  3. gibosi
    Have begun to roll 6A6 today. First up is a tube labeled as a Tung-Sol, but as I have seen RCA's with the same construction, especially those cross-shaped mica spacers, it could be a rebrand. The 6A6 uses a medium 7-pin U7B base, also referred to as a UX7 base, instead of the more common octal base, so an adapter is necessary. This tube preceded the 6N7 and they are electrically identical. In fact, early 6N7G's appear to be nothing more than 6A6 bottles shoved into an octal base.
    It sounds pretty good, but it has been up and running for less than an hour, plus I have my "burn-kit" installed (a pair of mismatched RCA 6AS7's with different construction and a Sylvania 3DG4 regulator) so I can't say anymore at this time.
  4. Renderman
    Sounds promising! Keep us up to date on its progress... [​IMG]
  5. gibosi
    Next up, a Sylvania 6A6. And I am pleased to report that it too lights up and plays. :)
  6. Shaffer

    The important question is, of course, how is the light show?
    Renderman likes this.
  7. Shaffer

    Some of the small signal tubes I've been auditioning in the Elise. Should be ready to post something definite in a couple of weeks.

    Admittedly, the last few weeks have been taken up by the WA6. Getting the thing to sound good became a matter of personal pride. I read the Woo threads, tried some of the recommended tubes, and the thing still sounded like schiit. Getting a GZ34 was definitely a step in the right direction, but the amp was still sounding fairly mediocre. It came with 4 pairs of signal tubes and I picked up 3 more. Yea, the sound improved to a degree, but nothing dramatic.Not to the point where I was truly happy with the sound.

    As mentioned above, I tried some of the bottles recommended in the Woo threads, including the heavily recommended Brimar 5Z4GY rectifier. I'll spare you the story of its burnin, its base coming lose after ~5 hours of play and my daughter's clear nail hardener, and get to the meat of the matter - it has a very nice, perhaps even impressive, spacial presentation. No real highs, no real lows, no speed, little articulation, no weight. The audio equivalent of a feather boa.

    With that in mind, I decided to try the one signal tube less recommended by Woo owners. A 6CY7. To say that it completely transformed the sound of the amplifier would be an understatement. Music played by the WA6 no longer sounded like it was covered in fog. The amp actually had bass. Not the sort of bass you simply know is there, but the sort that rattles the scull. Still limited extension, and it's a sin of omission I can live with.

    Having found the signal tube, it was now the rectifier's turn. A story in itself that I'll continue in part-2 of Tales of the Woo.

    BTW, this was this evening's setup. Actually, still is:


    The DV loaded with a CBS 6SN7GT and a Tung Sol 6BL7GTA. Decided to try DT880/600 with the setup tonight. The 6BL7 responded very well, so I stuck with the cans.
  8. Renderman

    Speaking of light show, the Nanjing tubes finally arrived! Were these originally intended to be light bulbs? Will post pictures soon!
  9. Shaffer

    Excellent news. They sound pretty decent, too, after some burnin.

    Speaking of burnin, something I've been doing a lot of lately, what process do you guys use? Do you prefer to run the tube through multiple hot/cold cycles, or just let it cook? With a signal or without?

    I recall that gibosi burns in his tubes as he listens, not wanting to leave the amplifier unattended, so let's assume that one can be present 24/7.
  10. hpamdr
    I did not received my Elise yet to test one. But if you like "small and cheap" driver tubes, you should give a try the russian 6N6P tube ! Most of them were built by Nevz (Novosibirsk) until the nighties and some by Foton in the sixties (the best to my ear). But even the latest one with square getter sound gound and are very quiet !
  11. Shaffer

    Thank you for the tip. I actually have a pair of 6N6Pi. They hum in the Elise, at least with the 2 sets of adapters I've tried. Not a bad hum, but a hum, nonetheless. Unacceptable in my book.

    I also can't say that I like small, cheap tubes - though I do like inexpensive part - it's just that they represent a relatively unexplored option for the amp and one can try a whole lot for very little cash and just as little effort, and have a lot of fun in the process. Some of the tubes are quite good, some are less so. None are as resolving as 7N7/7AF7. but I'm getting ahead of myself.

    Congratulations on ordering the Elise. BTW! Any specific tubes in mind for it?

  12. hpamdr
    Tube in mind for the Elise....[​IMG]
    First i will do the burning with standard tube for at least 50/70 hours.
    I will try to find/characterize drivers switching the one I have (7N7, VT231, 6SN7G, ecc88, e188cc, 5814, 5963, 6189... 6N6P ).
    I will try to match some power tube i only have for now some 6080 and Russian 6H5C from the 60s..
    But I like to switch depending on my mood ,the music i listen and the cans i want to use. 
    (in this game some little gem can be found even if the "ultimate" for all purpose combination is never reached ) 
  13. Renderman

    I like to cycle the burn-in as, in my experience, this speeds up the process a lot.

    I usually burn-in while doing other things around the house like building speakers, making dinner and of course enjoying a nice piece of music! :blush:

    I let the Elise run for 30 to 60 minutes (Or longer, depending on what i'm doing) then Iet her cool down for about 15 to 30 minutes.

    This way burn in is much faster, I would say the sound changes as much in a day as it would in a week just leaving it on for 6 (or more) hours a day.

    I also had a pair of 6N8S Fotons, not bad at all! Although not the end all in detail and resolution, a nice somewhat laid back tube. Can be musical and enjoyable.Good price/performace ratio as I only paid $6 per tube.
  14. gibosi
    In terms of a light show, 6A6, 6N7G and ECC31 are all pretty pathetic. lol. However, even though the Sylvania 6A6 had only 6 hours of burn-in, last night, I decided to chill out and just listen, and was very pleasantly surprised. This is a very musical tube with holographic imaging and a wide and deep soundstage. The bass isn't up to the ECC31, but in that regard, the ECC31 is in a class of its own. Still, the Sylvania 6A6 is a very nice tube. And given that it was actually designed for use in audio, unlike 6SN7 and 6DJ8, maybe this shouldn't be a surprise.
  15. gibosi
    I don't actually listen to it the whole time. But I am reluctant to run the amp for long periods of time when I am not home or sleeping. But I concede that I am probably being overly cautious....
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