Information for a newbie on tube rolling. 12AU7/EEC82 to be specific
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Amish

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lol yeah since we are both new at this I guess google is providing the same results.
 
Tubes I own at the moment:
 
(1) JJ 12au7 (came with my amp and actually sounds pretty good. Almost like my solid state amp and close to the Westinghouse but the Westinghouse has a cleaner sound. I find the JJ to be slightly grainy.)
(2) Westinghouse black plate 12au7 (bought a matched set)
(1) 1964 Amperex Holland Bugle Boy 12ax7
(1) Tungsol 12ax7
(1) Polytronics Lab 12ax7 (Amperex Holland)
(1) 1961 AMPEREX BUGLE BOY 12AX7
(1) 1960 Telefunken 12AT7
(1) 1968 SIEMENS ECC88 6DJ8
(1) Amperex BUGLEBOY HOLLAND 6DJ8 ECC88 LARGE D GETTER GOLD PIN
 
 
The bugle boy is the clear winner so far. Just so musical & open. I just hear so much more in my music. Just so very rich sounding. Much higher gain as well. The Westinghouse is a bit warmer and closed in a bit but still sounds great. I bought the Tunsol & Polytronic just to compare to the Bugle Boy. I've read that the Telefunken is a beautifully sounding tube that I really look forward to hearing.
 
I'm going to be buying some more bugle boys as I find good deals. The gain on these tubes are crazy. For example when using the bugle boy my volume is set to 9 O'clock. To get that same volume from any of my other tubes I have to set the volume to 12 o'clock or slightly higher.
 
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Coolmeadow Kid

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Well, the two tubes I bought on Saturday late am originally said they would be here Wed, 7/2.  That was quickly upgraded to Tues 7/1.  Colorado to Texas. Cool.  The single tube I went ahead got later Sat. said it would be here Sat. 7/5. Coming from PA.  Ok, gives me a couple days, including the 4th to listen to the other 2.  I opened my computer about 6:15 after getting home from work, and the USPS website said one package was delivered.  Wife didn't know anything about it.  Mail still in the mailbox...Imagine my surprise when I opened the box and it was the single tube ffrom PA!!!! It's the Sylvania long grey plate O getter.  I've listened to all of 3 songs and it sounds a lot like my Yamaha NS 1000 monitors, with just a little less bass.  But even that is getting clearer as it plays.  Hooked into my computer headphone out, just under 1/2 volume on the computer, and same on Real Player.  Bravo V2 just under 10:00 on the volume.  Not bad.  Now how am I going to pull myself off of this and try to do some training sessions for work?????
  Yeah, I think I'm hooked! Already thinking about doing the mods.  Hmmmmm. Jim.
 
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Amish

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hahaha good luck dude. I think you have the sickness now. I haven't really found a tube yet that helps my Audeze sound better than my Hsu MB1-mkII's but I can hope. My Audeze LCD-2 sound Fing amazing though. I think the 12AT7 will be the one to bring me to a higher level even though the bugle boy does an amazing job of it already.
 
Just scored a 1968 SIEMENS ECC88 6DJ8. I need to stop. money flowing too freely...
 
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Shadohead

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Is the aune t1 enough to notice the effects of a better tube?
 
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Coolmeadow Kid

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Other 2 tubes came in Tuesday.  The RCA is ok, but not as nice as the Sylvania.  The Raytheon sounds a lot the same as the Sylvania, but with maybe a little better bass.  I think it may be my stay in the amp tube.  May look for a similar Raytheon military spec tube to see if it adds anything, but for now, I'm good.  Thanks for the ideas and help along the way.  I'm sure I'll have more questions later on....especially if I decide to mod this thing!  Jim.
 
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Amish

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  Amish,
Have you played with any tubes yet?  If so, which ones do you like the best for you, and what are your reasons?  Thanks!  Jim.
 
First off I'm going to copy this post and place it in the Ember tube rolling thread. Second I am no audiophile. I'm just a guy that loves good sounding music. I'll do my best to describe my tubes.
 
 
Well I've had a week with some tubes, a few days with others and tonight for several more. Instead of talking about the brands I can add some input on the tube types I like the most. Keep in mind that I have not spent hours on end with all of these tubes except for the '64 Amperex 12ax7 (which sounds amazing)
 
So I tend to gravitate towards the 12ax7's the most. (I own several Amperex tubes in this category; all Bugle Boys except one Polytronics Lab branded Amperex and the Tungsol 12ax7).  
All of them have REALLY up front vocals, a ton of mid range punch with strong highs. Bass is good but doesn't stand out as much; but seems accurate which I prefer when listening to music. Great separation, (instruments). Due to the big gain on these tubes they can seem a little on the bright side. Not the tube I'd use with my Grado but work well with my LCD-2.
 
The Tungsol 12ax7 is the worst of the bunch. This is a replica Russian tube based off the vintage tubes and it just kinda blows. It's okay but not a tube that I'll use again. Compared to the vintage Amperex tubes it doesn't even compete.
 
Next we have the 12au7's. (JJ and Westinghouse with Westinghouse clearly winning.) These have a more mellow smooth sound to them. I guess a bit on the warmer side. the entire FR seems to be more neutral. Vocals are back with the rest of the band. I think these are good, not great and work well with my Grado though for the LCD-2 I prefer the 12ax7 or 12at7 or just about anything else I have. The JJ 12au7 is prettty good. Sounds kinda like my SS amp and is a little grainy. It's a decent tube but I'll not be using it again.
 
Next we have the 12at7 (Telefunken) Man where do I start? This one sounds amazing and I think this is the nicest sounding tube I own. Higher gain than the 12au7 but not as high as the 12ax7. Amazing separation, great clarity, not quite neutral but close, vocals are slightly forward, mids are very clean, If any tube was 3d it is this one. Bass has punch very much like the 12ax7; not super deep or anything but clean and realistic sounding to me. All in all this tube sounds beautiful. I like it a lot!!
 
Next we have the 6dj8 tubes. (I own two of these. A vintage Amperex bugle boy gold pin and a vintage Siemens (Zenith branded)) These believe it or not both sound different from one another. The bugle boy sounds a lot like the other Amperex 12ax7's but without the gain. So everything I said about the Amperex 12ax7's fits in with this tube but the gain is much lower. The Siemens is what is in my amp right now. Not as clean as the others and vocals are more 'back with the band' everything seems pushed back slightly in sound but good separation, pretty neutral sounding compared to the Amperex 6dj8 but good sounding and even though it's not quite as clean; it's still clean enough to sit back and enjoy. The Amperex really kicks it up a notch though.
 
 
So that's it. My take so far. I expect all of these tubes to get better with use and I have yet to run my amp in conjunction with my Oritek Audio OMZ dac V4.1 as I am waiting for my blue jeans cable to come in. So I'm using my Harman Kardon 3490 as a preamp. I expect once the Oritek is hooked up to the amp I will get even better sound out of each of these tubes. I might then
re-evaluate each of these tubes and update this.
 
Let me rank my tubes in the order of best to worst sounding (to my ears):
 
  • 1960 Telefunken 12AT7
  • 1964 Amperex Holland treble clef logo Bugle Boy 12ax7
  • 1961 AMPEREX BUGLE BOY 12AX7
  • Polytronics Lab 12ax7 (Amperex Holland)
  • Amperex Bugle Boy Holland 6DJ8 ECC88 Large D Getter GOLD PIN
  • 1968 SIEMENS ECC88 6DJ8
  • Westinghouse black plate 12au7
  • Westinghouse black plate 12au7
  • JJ 12au7
  • Tungsol 12ax7




 
 

 

 
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post-10687856
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Coolmeadow Kid

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Good information Amish.  Thanks!  Ran across this information at work today.  Thought I'd share just in case you haven't seen it.  http://oldstockaudio.blogspot.com/2011/08/12ax7-black-plate-review-usa-tubes-as.html  Hope you are having a good weekend!  Jim.
 
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plainbriny

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Two worthwhile upgrades for 12au7:
 
12bh7 and 6350
 
Both with heater currents two times (300mA) of 12au7 (150mA), thus not all amp can take them.
Also the pins for 6350 are different, thus an adapter is required when using 6350 as a substitute for 12au7.
 
However, from my own experience, both can significantly improve the dynamics and sound stage of the amp.
(If the design of the amp can work with them.)
 
Also, there are many special quality (SQ) 12au7 compatible tubes:
5814A, 5963, 6189 etc. The heater current of 5814A (175mA) is slightly higher than 12au7.
These are also very good alternative for 12au7.
They are drop-in replacements, no adapter or circuit modification required.
 
These are the tubes I have now (Left to right):
Gold Lion ECC82, Toshiba 5814A, Shuguang 12au7 (stock tube from xDuoo TA-01), and Toshiba 5963
Among them, I like 5814A most, but it is not a rival to 12BH7 and 6350.

 
Of course, my experiences are based on xDuoo TA-01, YMMV.
 
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