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Project Sunrise/PS2 Tube Rolling Thread (and maybe even Project Horizon and Project Ember)

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  1. stupidmop
      I'm partial to ken rad 5814. They're kinda hard to find but delicious. I have a quad put back of these if that says anything. $80 retail got 1 pair for $65. The siemens 6922 gold pins can't be beat but again I scored it cheap at auction. I've got the raytheon blackplate windmill getter but it's 12au7. Nice tube but haven't burned it in yet(it was actual NOS) 5751 was a mil spec or some variant, maybe even a 12ax7 variant I'm not sure. Really like rca blackplates, full deep extension on the bass, real smooth. 12ax7 is best but they're getting pricey too. Mullard e88cc is really nice, well balanced with a slightly forward midrange. They work nice with my beyers.
      But honestly for value per dollar I'd go rca blackplate 12au7 or variant. I've got a lot of these from organ pulls. Got 8 Rca labeled hammonds for $30. Only one isn't usable. Clear tops are cool also. Lot of those can be had for $10. Even cheaper from organ pulls. Hope this helped.
  2. chinook9
    Thank you Mop!
    I'll have to take a look and see whats out there. Money is not really a restraint but I hate to buy a $100 tube unless I have pretty good reason to believe it will be really nice. 
    I just scored a couple of used RCA triple mica, black plates, angled square getter,  the other day for $15, one a 12au7 and the other a 5814A.  I haven't listened to them yet but I surely will later today.  I also bought a NOS 1957 Tung-Sol 12AU7 for $20 that sound really really nice but I haven't burned it in all the way yet. I have an RCA cleartop which just seems to be a classic that works on every system. 
    I'm presently checking out a bunch of tubes from a friend and if I can every articulate my perceptions of all these tubes I will post some information on here. 
    I'm hoping that others will post more information about there experiences in tube rolling the Sunrise II, and brethren,  so that newer purchasers will have a little bit more guidance to assist them.
    Thanks again,
  3. stupidmop
      I hear ya. Hard to drop that kinda dough before listening. If we lived closer I'd tell ya we'd get together and you could try everything I got. Not many head fiers in my area. I spent close to $2000 on tubes but hey they ain't going down in value (at least that's what I keep telling myself[​IMG]
      Nice score on the blackplates, triple micas are the best, they are real nice. Cleartops work great with my darker headphones. Bidding on a lot right now. Hoping this thread stays alive too, ordred a horizon kit last night.
      I'm about half way through my 12au7s, but I'm not the best at describing sound, however I plan on posting it here any way. If nothing else maybe it'll kickstart the tube conversation again [​IMG]
      I'm now collecting 6922, 12ax7 and their variants so I'm taking notes on those too. If you wanna start on these I did with an amperex a frame dimples disc. Very nice, unique tube. Happy tube rolling Brian! [​IMG] 
  4. chinook9
    I'll be interested in reading your reports.
    I just put in one of the RCA blackplate, triple mica, 5814A (turns out they're both 5814A).  I let the tube warm up, adjusted the bias and listened to short pieces of a few tracks that I listen to all the time.  The tube sounded amazing, and right now I can't say that I've heard anything better, however, one of my problems is that almost everything I listen to sounds amazing on the Sunrise II.
    I have listened to 16+ tubes in the last week, and although I have made some notes, its hard to do a good evaluation with using a systematic approach.   I'm not sure I have the time to do a good job, however, I plan to spend the next few days listening to the 5 or 6 tubes I believe are the best, see if I can differentiate between them, and describe some of those differences with some level of confidence.  If I feel O.K. about my evaluation, I will post the results in this thread.
    Looking forward to your posts.
  5. chinook9
    This may not be the ideal place to post this, but I think it may be very helpful in tube rolling, interpreting posts, and possibly describing sounds.  It was written by many contributors to assist in mastering recordings.
    20 Hz and below - impossible to detect, remove as it only adds unnecessary energy to the total sound, thereby most probably holding down the overall volume of the track
    60 Hz and below - sub bass (feel only)
    80(-100) Hz - feel AND hear bass
    100-120 Hz - the "club sound system punch" resides here
    200 Hz and below - bottom
    250 Hz - notch filter here can add thump to a kick drum
    150-400 Hz - boxiness
    200 Hz-1.5 KHz - punch, fatness, impact
    800 Hz-4 KHz - edge, clarity, harshness, defines timbre
    4500 Hz - exteremly tiring to the ears, add a slight notch here
    5-7 KHz - de-essing is done here
    4-9 KHz - brightness, presence, definition, sibilance, high frequency distortion
    6-15 KHz - air and presence
    9-15 KHz - adding will give sparkle, shimmer, bring out details - cutting will smooth out harshness and darken the mix
  6. bluemonkeyflyer
    This is related and Interactive. Go to this ---->  LINK
  7. chinook9
    Keith, That is really slick!....and I thought I had found something of interest.
  8. stupidmop
      Ya I get so scatterbrained about it, the tubes start running together lol. Hope to see your thoughts here soon.
    This is related and Interactive. Go to this ---->  LINK 
      That link's really cool! I can't figure out this whole "quote" thing obviously...sorry
  9. adani
    I have a somehow general question related to using tubes. Say I listen to music about 4 hours a day - usually in the office. When I come to work I just turn my amp on and leave it running until I go home. That is, it can be on with no music playing for quite prolonged periods, say several hours. Should I turn amp off when I don't need it? When I had solid-state one, I never bothered with this, but now am wondering which mode is preferred - having in mind I want tubes to live as long as possible.
    And also, how do I know when it is time to replace them?
    As for the tubes rolling - how long should I burn-in 6N1P-EV?
  10. chinook9
    Tubes use a lot more energy than transistors and consequently produce quite a bit of heat. I would turn the amp off if I was not going to use it for a while. I don't know if the additional heating/cooling cycles would shorten the life of the tube or not. With most tubes I figure 30 hours of running to get them pretty close to their potential, however, I don't have a lot of experience burning in tubes beyond that point.
  11. adani
    Thanks, chinook9. You are right indeed. I emailed Frans from garage1217 and this it what he replied (btw, he and Jeremy reply within a few minutes; such a nice support):
  12. stupidmop
    Check out this thread http://www.head-fi.org/t/633555/tubes-for-project-sunrise-ii   
    DefQon in second post gives a great explanation of a few varieties.
    I'm stuck on my siemens E88cc gold pin. No other tube can compare. It's aggressive yet smooth and buttery. Amazing detail and soundstage. Bass has great impact and extension, mids are clear and perfect, and the highs are to die for. Not to harsh, just right[​IMG] Even my mullard e88cc gold pin just can't compare. It's amazing for a few situations tho.
  13. chinook9
    I was recently given the opportunity to try 14 tubes in my Sunrise II so I thought I would post these notes.   I started off with the ones I thought I would like the most and then once I found the one I thought I liked the most , 
    I did more listening to confirm the conclusion and make some notes.   
    I completed all my listening, playing flac files, USB into a Musical Fidelity VDAC , into the Sunrise II , using Fostex
    T50RP DBV#3 mods.  I used V shaped equalization from 1000HZ up in both directions.  I am 67 years old and my ears
    are not what they once were.  Also, I start to evaluate tubes by listening to the higher frequencies and hunting for 
    sounds and spaciousnous I have not previously heard in recordings.  I focus less on the rest of the frequency spectrum.
    Telefunken PCC88
    This is clearly my number one choice.  It is detailed and smooth.  It does not provide a great sense of space and air 
    around the vocals but it is very good. The sound is clean and clear with a crispness to sharply struck piano keys and 
    possibly a slightly laid back bass mid bass but not much.  Some might not consider this tube musical but I strive for 
    accuracy in a tube and often when I'm listening consider how the recording was miked and mixed. This Telefunken 
    is excellent throughout freq range.
    To me, the next three tubes were very close in performance,  I am sure I could differentiate between them but it 
    would take more time than I was able to commit.
    Siemens PCC88
    This tube is very close to the TF.  It might not have quite the clarity and detail but it was very clean.  Extremely low 
    bass stands out on this one although it may be a touch bright. The bass was tight and the piano notes were clean 
    and clear.  This one is a clear winner, especially for the price.  
    Tesla E88CC (Crossed Swords)
    I listened to this tube quite a bit but didn't take many notes.  The vocals on this one seemed a little more spacious 
    than the TF .  It lacks the sub bass of the TF but It is musical and very pleasant to listen to.  Those who find the TF too
    clinical may take to this one.  I shopped around for one of these for a while but could not find a crossed swords version 
    at a reasonable price.
    Sophia 12AU7 
    Most tubes seem to improve once heated up and that goes in spades for this one.  Not quite as detailed and clean as the
    TF in the high end and the voices seemed a tad recessed, however, I have noticed that the slightest change in volume can 
    cause this perception. The very top end may be rolled off.  Some may appreciate this because it will not sound as clinical as.  
    Bass is well controlled. This tube does everything well but doesn’t stand out in any one area.
    Valvo E88CC  75L Delta PO Red Label
    Not quite as dynamic and crystal clear as the previous three but close. I didn't consider this tube to be the most clinically 
    clean and detailed but at the same time it is not the most musical because its a little too revealing for that.  Some would
    find this a pleasant tube listen to all day.  I felt this one was very similar to the Tesla E88CC (Crossed Swords) but a slight 
    step below it in performance.   
    Tesla E88CC
    The poor mans TF PCC88.  As you might expect this tube is like the little brother of the crossed swords version.  Its 
    performance is very similar and just a slight step below .  The performance is so close that many listeners would not be 
    able to tell the difference. Like many of these tube it may get even better with more burn-in. 
    Psvane 12AX7
    I didn't listen to this tube for long but I was surprised that I liked it significantly more than the 12AU7 version.  I didn't 
    like it as much as the previously described tubes, but it was better than I thought it would be.  Both of the Psvanes 
    seemed a little bright and somewhat strident.     
    Psvane 12AU7
    Like the 12AX7 version of this tube, it sounded detailed but not clean and smooth. I attributed this to the slight brightness 
    I perceived.  Clearly struck piano keys sounded wonderful but violins were a little bright. This is not an open, airy, and 
    musical tube. It sounds like a Telefunken copy that has been done very well but hasn't quite gotten it right.
    Mullard 12AU7
    As you would expect, this is a very musical tube.  Female vocals sound wonderful and there are no harsh tones in the 
    instruments.  This tube sounded very much like an Amperex 6201 PQ that I have.  Everything sounds so very nice and
    pleasant with good detail, but you can't hear everything you can hear with the best vintage tubes...not quite as crisp.  
    This tube has the detail of the Psvane 12AX7 but somehow more interesting and a touch less strident.
    Voshkod 6N1P 
    This tube had not been burned in much but it surprised me, especially for the price.  Didn't listen to it for long but what 
    I heard was clean, detailedand very musical.  This tube could be a real winner after more burn-in.
    Novosibirsk 6N1P EV
    This tube hand only been burned in 6-7 hours when I listened to it.  I wasn't impressed and didn't think much of it, but 
    upon checking the bias adjustment I found that this one had changed a lot after it heated up.  After the bias adjustment 
    it sound much cleaner and smoother.  It was still somewhat dark but promises to be an extremely good value.
    Just as I completed trying out these tubes, I received a 50s Sylvania 5751, black plate, triple mica, rectangular getter.  Its hard to judge tubes, based on memory, but I believe the Sylvania surpasses all of the above. Of course, at $110+, I was hoping it would and I wasn't let down.  I haven't evaluated it for lower frequencies, but on well-recorded cuts, the vocals are astounding.  I am hearing an air and soundstage on Pink Floyd cuts that I had never heard before.  Now I'm wondering what the 50s Raytheon 5751, black plate, triple mica tubes are like.    
  14. stupidmop
    Very nice write up! I've been on the fence about a telefunken but maybe I'll have to go for it now. Like your description of sound. Thanks!
  15. Micaiah
    Thanks for the excellent comparisons chinook9, that was a lot of tubes! I know it can be quite tiring listening critically rather than to simply relax! Sharing your experience is much appreciated though.
    At one point you said that the CBS Hytron 5814 you had seemed promising. Can you say how it compares to the tubes you just heard?
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