Little Dot Tube Amps: Vacuum Tube Rolling Guide
Jan 19, 2017 at 1:41 PM Post #10,561 of 12,956

LugBug1

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  Morning Gents & Ladies.
 
I am the proud order of the beast that is the Little Dot MK1. As I have spent a long time looking into this amp, tubes, tube types and tube rolling it does feel for every hour gained, another 2 hours land back in its place! I of course do not mind this as I love to learn, especially about one of my few passions!
 
THe long and short is that from the excellent review, I sourced some matched Mullard 8100 tubes. I am based in the UK and am really interested in a variety of tubes to get a feel for any differences that may make themselves apparent. The reason why I say I am in the UK is that a UK source would be great, but no the end of the World! Also, there was mentioned in the review a back plate tube which leant more towards more bass.I would love to try this, amongst many others.
 
Any and all help, advice and guidance would be wholeheartedly appreciated with a source of where to buy the tubes at a reasonable price as many are rather pricey. Pricey is fine if they are worth it, are truly matched etc, but I do not have much faith in any suppliers. 
 
I am most certainly falling in love with this little amp! Last thing is if anyone has available tubes etc, and want to help a new tube user I would be over the moon and if required, I am happy to buy from any trusted source.
 
Thank you very much.

Congrats on the amp! Those Mullard tubes should do you nicely for starters :) Here's a few that I've tried with the LD1.
 
Mullard EF95 8100- Very popular. Big warm bass  - treble is nice but there are smoother options. Warmth can colour the sound and you do lose detail in the lower fr. 
Mullard EF92  8161 - Warm but much better controlled sound - more neutral. Very quiet. May be boring for some. (probs my favourite) 
Mullard EF91 8083 - Lifted in both the top and bottom fr compared to the EF92 and also not quite as refined. I really liked these and they are cheap as chips. 
Western Electric 408A - Similar balance to EF95 but with a little better control and refinement. Not worth the cost of shipping from US IMO.  
 
Jan 19, 2017 at 2:15 PM Post #10,562 of 12,956

Share2Care

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Thank you for the information ladies & gents.

Advice will be followed and will come back with my thoughts and feelings.

On another note, I am IN NEED of a Darkvoice 336SE. I missed the Massdrop but am looking for anyone who is selling. Please contact me for a rapid sale!

Much Appreciated
 
Jan 20, 2017 at 2:36 AM Post #10,566 of 12,956

OctavianH

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  Congrats on the amp! Those Mullard tubes should do you nicely for starters :) Here's a few that I've tried with the LD1.
 
Mullard EF95 8100- Very popular. Big warm bass  - treble is nice but there are smoother options. Warmth can colour the sound and you do lose detail in the lower fr. 
Mullard EF92  8161 - Warm but much better controlled sound - more neutral. Very quiet. May be boring for some. (probs my favourite) 
Mullard EF91 8083 - Lifted in both the top and bottom fr compared to the EF92 and also not quite as refined. I really liked these and they are cheap as chips. 
Western Electric 408A - Similar balance to EF95 but with a little better control and refinement. Not worth the cost of shipping from US IMO.  

 
So the most controlled and clear ones are the 8161? Better than 8083? I upgraded recently to russian ones (6ZH1P-EV) and I am quite pleased, but I am not 100% pleased with the detail, for example in the cymbal section. I still feel some distort or lack of detail.
For rock/fast/intense music which Mullard are you recommending from the 3 pairs you owned and described? Thanks in advance.
 
Jan 20, 2017 at 4:50 AM Post #10,567 of 12,956

LugBug1

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So the most controlled and clear ones are the 8161? Better than 8083? I upgraded recently to russian ones (6ZH1P-EV) and I am quite pleased, but I am not 100% pleased with the detail, for example in the cymbal section. I still feel some distort or lack of detail.
For rock/fast/intense music which Mullard are you recommending from the 3 pairs you owned and described? Thanks in advance.

Yes mate i'd recommend the ef92. Great control through out the frequencies and bcause of the very black background details seem to come through better. They're also quite smooth aswell so not aggressive in treble.
 
Jan 20, 2017 at 4:53 AM Post #10,568 of 12,956

OctavianH

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Yes mate i'd recommend the ef92. Great control through out the frequencies and bcause of the very black background details seem to come through better. They're also quite smooth aswell so not aggressive in treble.

 
OK, I will add them to my next "to buy" list. In the meantime I will change the iDAC2 to audio-gd NFB11 to see if the problem is not coming from the DAC side (iDAC2 to be to "warm" and distorted for my taste in conjunction with the Littledot and russian tubes). If this helps, I can use iDAC2 as a simple pre-amp for my A5X (current job of NFB11). But still, EF92 ones will remain on a "to buy" list.
 
Jan 20, 2017 at 7:05 AM Post #10,569 of 12,956

bharat2580

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I feel the 92'lack the dynamics of the 95s. They are rolled off and dull. My LD mk iii lost its verginity to them.

Now i have the mk iv se with the mullards ef95 and the 6n6p-ir. The EH gold pins are sibilant and have too much treble energyfor me
 
Jan 20, 2017 at 7:27 AM Post #10,570 of 12,956

OctavianH

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I think I am going to try them. I am reluctant to 8100 for "extra bass" and V-shape. I had the same problem with HD650 vs HD600 and I kept the last one.
Regarding dynamics, I don't know what to say... 
 
Jan 20, 2017 at 9:52 AM Post #10,571 of 12,956

BoHan700

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​Hi Mike- I'm new to this forum. I have read quite a bit. You appear in many posts, and it appears that your advice is very good. I have a question for you. (I'm sure it's been answered 100 times within the 700+ pages of posts :)) but I'd like to get a direct answer from you on a recommendation. I have Sennheiser HD 700's. I am running Tidal off my PC. I have a Cambridge audio Dac Magic Plus running into my Little Dot III. From where I started a few months ago, This to me is a great sounding setup. Although I am starting to listen more and feel I am not getting everything available. I enjoy all sorts of music. From Classic Rock, Jazz Classics, and Classical Piano. Female Jazz Vocals Norah Jones and Diana Krall.
My question is this. Without having to re strap, change ,alter, rewire or do any beyond taking out the existing, and replacing them......What tubes would you reccomend I get to maximize the LDMk3 with my HD 700's.
 
Thanks
 
Jan 20, 2017 at 10:48 AM Post #10,572 of 12,956

OctavianH

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Question related to the power tubes:
 
I see in the main post of this thread:
 
 So here’s my short list: I would recommend the Voshkod 6ZH1P-EV as the best place to start as it is a clear upgrade from the stock tubes, followed by the Mullard M8083 for its impressive treble clarity and top-octave ‘air’ (provided you have matched power tubes).

 
M8083 need different power tubes than the others?
 
Any difference between "6H6PI/6H6N Novosibirsk NEVZ-Soyuz" and "6N6P NEVS, Novosibirsk"?
 
From what I knew, MKII uses the same power tubes for all EF91,EF92 and EF95 families, and 6H6PI or 6N6P are quite the same, no impact on sound or something else.
 
Jan 20, 2017 at 11:42 AM Post #10,573 of 12,956

LugBug1

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I feel the 92'lack the dynamics of the 95s. They are rolled off and dull. My LD mk iii lost its verginity to them.

Now i have the mk iv se with the mullards ef95 and the 6n6p-ir. The EH gold pins are sibilant and have too much treble energyfor me

Yes, like I said earlier I can understand some finding the EF92 boring. Suppose everything in the chain needs to be considered. I'm currently using the HD700 and LD MK2 at the mo and the bass was ruined with the EF95.. Really quite bloated and details were lost. The EF92 has tightened the bass up considerably and the freq's top to bottom seem flatter - more natural. I'm rebuying some HD600 so I'll see how they get on with both EF95 and EF92.  
 
Jan 20, 2017 at 2:27 PM Post #10,574 of 12,956

OctavianH

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I ordered some Mullard M8161 and some Siemens 5654W. I am too curious to try them. For me HD600 are somehow warm, coming from years of "beyer sound". But I like them because they are relaxing and decently clear. I think the most analitic sound is the Beyer one, incredible headphones for complex passages. I will see how M8161 will sound to me, it seems I am more one the neutral side than the others, who enjoy HD650 and consider HD600 neutral. We will see.
 
Jan 21, 2017 at 7:56 PM Post #10,575 of 12,956

BoHan700

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I'm new to this forum. I have read quite a bit. You appear in many posts, and it appears that your advice is very good. I have a question for you. (I'm sure it's been answered 100 times within the 700+ pages of posts :)) but I'd like to get a direct answer from you on a recommendation. I have Sennheiser HD 700's. I am running Tidal off my PC. I have a Cambridge audio Dac Magic Plus running into my Little Dot III. From where I started a few months ago, This to me is a great sounding setup. Although I am starting to listen more and feel I am not getting everything available. I enjoy all sorts of music. From Classic Rock, Jazz Classics, and Classical Piano. Female Jazz Vocals Norah Jones and Diana Krall.
My question is this. Without having to re strap, change ,alter, rewire or do any beyond taking out the existing, and replacing them......What tubes would you reccomend I get to maximize the LDMk3 with my HD 700's.
 

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