Little Dot Tube Amps: Vacuum Tube Rolling Guide
Feb 2, 2021 at 3:00 PM Post #12,511 of 12,831

dtbach

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The guy having fun and sharing is findings like we all did at one point or another .Nothing wrong with that in my book .its being part of a group and trying stuff
I guess it shouldn't have been a reply vs a new post, so you are right. I guess I expected more of a difference between the various tubes. Apparently it is extremely subtle at least for me. I can easily discern differences in speakers and headphones, very slightly in mps vs flac, or in phono stylus. But none when it comes to cables, DACs or the tubes I got from the recommendations on the first couple of pages of this thread. I agree it is fun trying out the different tubes, just wish it were more apparent. I will hand it to you guys for being able to do it. Has anyone had a buddy change the tubes for you (blind test) and had you tell which ones they put in? Might be fun to see what happens.
 
Feb 2, 2021 at 3:48 PM Post #12,512 of 12,831

MIKELAP

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I guess it shouldn't have been a reply vs a new post, so you are right. I guess I expected more of a difference between the various tubes. Apparently it is extremely subtle at least for me. I can easily discern differences in speakers and headphones, very slightly in mps vs flac, or in phono stylus. But none when it comes to cables, DACs or the tubes I got from the recommendations on the first couple of pages of this thread. I agree it is fun trying out the different tubes, just wish it were more apparent. I will hand it to you guys for being able to do it. Has anyone had a buddy change the tubes for you (blind test) and had you tell which ones they put in? Might be fun to see what happens.
[/QUOTE
i guess its never been that important for most of us to be very critical about the tubes we tried its just a hobby and when you like your hobby its going to cost you mony some more than others lol.
 
Feb 2, 2021 at 4:00 PM Post #12,513 of 12,831

mordy

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I’ve had my little dot now for a couple of months and have tried mullards, voshkods, tung sol, GE, and others. I can’t tell any difference between any of them. The main reason is that there is no way to do good A/B comparisons. By the time you let the first tubes cool down, take them out, put different ones in, power on, let warm up you have at least 5-10 minutes of elapsed time. A/B comparisons need to b done in less than.2 seconds to be reliable. Have fun with tube rolling, I’ll spend my money on headphones.
Hi dtb,
You are lucky that all tubes sound the same to you - don't need to spend money on finding the best sounding ones, which for most of us doing it, is never ending....
I have come across other people saying the same thing - all tubes sound the same, so you are not alone. Regarding myself I can hear differences, but I have found long term listening more beneficial than A/Bing, especially if the differences (to me) are subtle.
A tube combination can sound great to begin with, but over time there could be a grating feeling that something isn't just right. Sometimes I can put my finger on it and describe to myself what I perceive is wrong (treble too bright as an example or voices don't sound natural) and sometimes it is just an uncomfortable feeling after prolonged listening.
It also takes me time to appreciate or dislike a tube. Some people claim that they can listen for a couple of minutes and already know how it sounds, but I can't do that.
However, since you say that you want to spend money on headphones it maybe means that different headphones sound different to you.
One thing that sets apart tubes/headphones is bass. It seems to me that if you play a familiar piece with strong bass presence you should be able to hear differences with different equipment. How are the lowest frequencies reproduced? How are dynamics, attack, slam?
It is also worth mentioning that tubes need burn in to sound their best. Usually 30-50 hours is enough, but some tubes require much more, f. ex. the Voskhods need upwards of 120 hours.
 
Feb 2, 2021 at 4:21 PM Post #12,514 of 12,831

dtbach

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Fair enough. I really haven't put the hours on any of these tubes so will let them burn in more. I have some different power tubes coming so will try them in combination with the drivers. The one set of tubes I feel have a nice sound for me are the Tung Sol. When I played Simon and Garfunkel "Only living boy in New York" it was magical with them. My first tube amp was the Schiit Vali 1 which is a great little amp, but nothing compared to the Little Dot. I'm in love with it and love the tube sound.
 
Feb 2, 2021 at 6:14 PM Post #12,515 of 12,831

triod750

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I don't mind having my experiences challenged. They are all in my head since we hear with our brains and remember with our brains. Everyones experience is unique.
I bought my Little Dot second hand with a whole assortment of input tubes. Even if I sometimes could hear a slight difference in sound between them none of them helped me in my quest for the natural tone of acoustical instruments that I have appreciated since my early childhood. Thus I share the experience of not being able to hear significant differences between different tubes.

If I had to compare and choose tubes listening to rock music or other 'electrical music' I would have extreme difficulties because of lack of reference how it should sound. The only question I might be able to answer would be 'do I like how this sounds'? Myself, I mostly listen to acoustical music ever since I was about four years old. Acoustical instruments, especially string instruments, are instrumental for me to enjoy my music. How my audio equipment can reproduce that is what dictates my decisions. I listen to other music as well but I rarely get that 'grating feeling' Mordy speaks of doing this, that something 'isn't right' because I don't know how it is supposed to sound. I can get listening fatigue because of a bad production; oh yes, but that is something else. When string instruments, and other instruments that I have a mental picture of, don't sound right to me, well, it isn't music to me - it is sound. I can't enjoy it.

But I am talking of synergy. Your headphones are a vital part of that, and your source, and yourself and your mood. Everything works together to give you your musical experience. Or not.

I like to experiment with tubes to find those who have the best synergy with the rest of my chain to give me my music in a way I can appreciate. I don't expect anyone to follow suit, making the same decisions I have made or coming to the same conclusions. On the contrary, trust your ears and find your own way to enjoy your music.
 
Feb 3, 2021 at 10:48 AM Post #12,516 of 12,831

TrollDragon

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Exactly! It's all about the joy of rolling tubes and finding out what sounds great for you.
Tube Life.png
 
Feb 3, 2021 at 10:50 AM Post #12,517 of 12,831

TrollDragon

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I’ve had my little dot now for a couple of months and have tried mullards, voshkods, tung sol, GE, and others. I can’t tell any difference between any of them. The main reason is that there is no way to do good A/B comparisons. By the time you let the first tubes cool down, take them out, put different ones in, power on, let warm up you have at least 5-10 minutes of elapsed time. A/B comparisons need to b done in less than.2 seconds to be reliable. Have fun with tube rolling, I’ll spend my money on headphones.
You could pick up a silicon tube puller from PS audio to remove the tubes while they are hot, but any thick piece of silicon would work.
https://www.psaudio.com/products/tube-puller/#tab-description
 
Feb 3, 2021 at 1:01 PM Post #12,518 of 12,831

triod750

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The reason for me to try other tubes than those included when I bought my pre-owned Dotty was that I didn't like the way those tubes presented the music. Especially some Mullard input tubes in combination with Electro Harmonix (?) 6N30P made the music sound 'beautified' and brittle in comparison to how the instruments sound live. A violin, for example, can be very harsh sometimes and aggressive. I don't want my amp to polish this.

I don't do A/B comparisons. But if our memory is so short as stated, our amps should sound differently all the time. Every time you turn it on it is new. And how can we recognize voices on the phone? (To be honest, I don't trust my memory anymore. Neither does my wife).

I dont compare tubes, I try to hear if the piano sounds right, or other instruments and voices. Right now I listen to Grayson Capps; 'If you knew my mind'. (His wife Trina Shoemaker got a Grammy award as audio engineer, but not for that record). It sounds good but I don't know if it sounds right. And I don't care, as long as I can enjoy it. When trying to find a tube combination that works to my liking (yes, you could say that I compare tubes) I listen to a few well known tunes many times. When I like what I hear, I listen to other tunes and recordings to 'see' if they sound good too. Often they do, but not always.

My conclusion is: var och en blir salig på sin fason!
 
Feb 3, 2021 at 4:35 PM Post #12,519 of 12,831

mordy

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Feb 3, 2021 at 4:41 PM Post #12,520 of 12,831

mordy

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The reason for me to try other tubes than those included when I bought my pre-owned Dotty was that I didn't like the way those tubes presented the music. Especially some Mullard input tubes in combination with Electro Harmonix (?) 6N30P made the music sound 'beautified' and brittle in comparison to how the instruments sound live. A violin, for example, can be very harsh sometimes and aggressive. I don't want my amp to polish this.

I don't do A/B comparisons. But if our memory is so short as stated, our amps should sound differently all the time. Every time you turn it on it is new. And how can we recognize voices on the phone? (To be honest, I don't trust my memory anymore. Neither does my wife).

I dont compare tubes, I try to hear if the piano sounds right, or other instruments and voices. Right now I listen to Grayson Capps; 'If you knew my mind'. (His wife Trina Shoemaker got a Grammy award as audio engineer, but not for that record). It sounds good but I don't know if it sounds right. And I don't care, as long as I can enjoy it. When trying to find a tube combination that works to my liking (yes, you could say that I compare tubes) I listen to a few well known tunes many times. When I like what I hear, I listen to other tunes and recordings to 'see' if they sound good too. Often they do, but not always.

My conclusion is: var och en blir salig på sin fason!
Here is the translation from Swahili:

Var och en blir salig på sin fason! Everyone gets blissful in their own way!
 
Feb 5, 2021 at 6:14 AM Post #12,521 of 12,831

marusanek52

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Hey guys, I picked up the LD MkII and a few days ago and love them, but as I've read it can be improved with better tubes. I use it with hd650s, what should I start with? Can tube selection help make them a little brighter (or lift the "veil") and widen the soundstage? Would the JAN5654W be a good choice?
 
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Feb 5, 2021 at 12:18 PM Post #12,522 of 12,831

RockstarRmgddn

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@marusanek52 They seem like a good pair of tubes. I'm thinking of buying a pair myself.

So guys I'm in the same boat as the guy above. I've recently bought a Little Dot MK II second hand to pair with my HD600. The guy I got them from gave me a decent number of tubes along with the unit and recommended to use them with the mullard 8161. Now thing is, while they sound good with the mullard I've tried the 6ZH1P-EV and they sound much better with that. Better bass, better mids, more holographic soundstage. Apart from one fact. The highs make them unbearable. I've heard the 6ZH1P-EV need burn-in, mine are basically unused. You guys have any experience if the highs mellow out a little after burn-in?

I also have some 6J1P-EV I haven't tried yet.
 
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Feb 5, 2021 at 4:10 PM Post #12,523 of 12,831

MIKELAP

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Hey guys, I picked up the LD MkII and a few days ago and love them, but as I've read it can be improved with better tubes. I use it with hd650s, what should I start with? Can tube selection help make them a little brighter (or lift the "veil") and widen the soundstage? Would the JAN5654W be a good choice?
I would try Electro harmonix 6H30Pi as power tubes and a pair of Russian Voskhod 6ZHiP-EV should clear things up . EH.PNGCapture.PNG
 
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Feb 7, 2021 at 2:43 AM Post #12,524 of 12,831

mothbhai

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Hi I recently got a Little Dot MkII and this guide has been super helpful. I can't say that I have read all 835 pages, but have scanned a few. I replaced my stock driver tubes with the GE JAN 5654W and the Voshkod 6ZH1P-EV. To my ears, the GEs have sounded a lot more engaging, airy and easy to listen. The Voshkods sounded a bit recessed, with the mids and highs slightly muddy, but with stronger bass. I got the GE ones from Riverstone Audio via Amazon and the Voshkods from ebay here. I am wondering I got the right Voshkods. These have the rocket logo, so from the Voshkod factory. Labled OTK1, and have the numbers 11-80 under the EB - indicating that these are from Nov 1980 - which should be during the good years still. I have run them in for about 48 hours so far - some say 100+ is needed, so will run some more. Any advice would be great. Given how many people say the Voshkods are fantastic, I am wondering if I am missing something. Meanwhile enjoying the GE JANs a LOT!
 
Feb 7, 2021 at 11:14 AM Post #12,525 of 12,831

marusanek52

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