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New to this tube rolling , just bought my ember and wanting any recommendations on tubes if any.
You could probably ask 20 people and get 20 different answers as to what is best, but here's a short list of what my go-to tubes are in the Ember:
Russian 6N30P - The Electro Harmonix that Jeremy sells is a great starting point. You could probably just put this tube in the Ember and never feel a need to change it. I've got some old Foton 6N30P's that I bought from a Russian seller on ebay (electric.brilliance) and I wouldn't trade them for anything. This guy has legit tubes, but many Russian sellers are pretty shady, so buyer beware.
Amperex made NOS 12AT7 / ECC81 - not as noisy as 12AX7 (less gain) and I think they sound better too. And they're cheap, always a bonus.
Buy a 6SN7 adapter from Jeremy at garage1217 and expose yourself to these tubes with the Ember. They sound wonderful in it, with low noise. I'm usually running a 6SN7 in my Ember. I've got a Raytheon 6SN7GT in it right now.
- my recommendation would be to start with an inexpensive NOS Raytheon (thin plates) or Tung-Sol (mouse-ear or equivalent) 6SN7GT tube from the 50s-60s. These tubes are considered quite good and won't cost a fortune and may become your reference which you base other 6SN7s off of. If you can find an old Russian Foton 6N8P (6SN7 equivalent) from the 50s-60s for a good price, you won't be disappointed. If you want to stick with current production, I'd probably go with the Tung-Sol or one of the Sovtek's.
Basically, do this:
Email Jeremy and get a 6N30P, 6SN7 adapter, and a couple 6SN7 tubes. Enjoy musical happiness.
I agree we all hear different things, but thanks for the selection to try and advice it's much appreciated. Do you rate any mullard tubes or
6DJ8 Amperex Bugle Boy Holland / Amperex orange globe ?
I have a few Mullard tubes, but I really don't like any of them that much. Sound is too mushy for me. Every time I listen to a Mullard, I get the sensation of listening to Bob Dylan singing while putting a pillow over my head to try and drown it out.
If you can get an Amperex 6DJ8 or 6922 (ECC88 or E88CC) without getting ripped off, do it. I have several and they're all excellent. I didn't mention them because they're usually overpriced. Strangely enough, the "newer" A-frame from the 70s sounds quite good and is usually a bit cheaper.
Unless there's any glaring issue that you cannot stand with the stock tube, I would suggest spending some time to get familiar with it first, before trying other tubes if you're new to tube rolling.
Makes it easier to appreciate the differences and perhaps highlight to you what type of sonic changes you might want to look for.
True I need to test drive this tube for a while and get used to the signature it offers, just wanting a few opinions on other tubes that seem to grab most people's attention and keep an eye out for a bargain.
My quick suggestion, get a 6sn7 and adaptor from Jeremy and don't look back. I've spent hundreds of dollars on the smaller 9 pin tubes, some of them NOS, and although they do sound good, the 6sn7 tube I got from Jeremy has a permanent home in my Ember.
Seems like a plan, thanks !
You can't really fully appreciate the tube rolling capabilities and chameleon nature of Ember without listening to Octals (such as 6SN7) as well as Noval 9 pins.
In general I find Octals more euphonic than most Novals but that's just my ears with my equipment.
I usually stay away from 6JD8/6922 tubes only because many had some channel imbalance in them but its not noticeable when used in my Lyr2. A few other tubes you might want to look at but might be over priced are Telefunken, Reflektor and Siemens. Agree with @Astral Abyss that Mullards can be too warm and mushy but the new production ones are not bad for the price.
Thanks to all for your input its much appreciated.
If your curious about 6sn7 I really like the Electro harmoinx New Production tube, the Black base one. I have both the Gold and the Black as well, I got a matched triod pair of the Black and I liked it a little more than the Gold pin verision,
Settled on the 6N30P and the 6SN7 tubes to start with.
Which 6SN7 did you go with?
Melz 6SN7GT and a Northern Electric one.