Just for reference, the 7236 has a completely different internal construction than the 5998. The plate structure is totally different. In my experience it was quite different sounding from the 5998 - the 7236 being more "solid state" sounding.
Also, the 5998 was only made by Tung-Sol, regardless of brand, and this includes the completely identically-made WE 421A, which is nothing more than a rebranded 5998 (which is what makes spending a lot of money on the utterly ridiculous).
Yup, that's what I'm saying, Skylab...I don't get how sites say that the 7236 is the "computer rated version of the 5998", when they are completely different...very different construction, totally different shape, etc. And the ONLY difference between the 421A and the 5998 is that the 421A has black plates, and the 5998s have grey. I seriously doubt they sound that much different, no matter what any site selling 421As would have you believe. I'm pretty sure a Tung-Sol 5998 and a Western Electric 421A from the same year will sound identical. I guess it's just the limited amount of 421As and hype that have driven the prices so high. You can get matched pairs of 5998s for around $100, and SINGLE 421As for $350 or so. That's just stupid, lol...
Originally Posted by Golden Monkey /img/forum/go_quote.gif Yup, that's what I'm saying, Skylab...I don't get how sites say that the 7236 is the "computer rated version of the 5998", when they are completely different...very different construction, totally different shape, etc. And the ONLY difference between the 421A and the 5998 is that the 421A has black plates, and the 5998s have grey. I seriously doubt they sound that much different, no matter what any site selling 421As would have you believe. I'm pretty sure a Tung-Sol 5998 and a Western Electric 421A from the same year will sound identical. I guess it's just the limited amount of 421As and hype that have driven the prices so high. You can get matched pairs of 5998s for around $100, and SINGLE 421As for $350 or so. That's just stupid, lol...
Agree with all that, put just one point - I have some grey-plate 5998's, and some black-plates. There were both. I have not heard a difference myself. Construction is the same.
In my Extreme I use an ECC32 for the driver tube, and a pair of GEC 6AS7G's for the power tubes. The British GEC tubes have a quite different plate structure from the US 6AS7G's - they have the detail and bass power of the 5998, but with the warmth and liquidity of the RCA 6AS7G. They are my favorite 6AS7 type. Unfortunately, they tend to be hard to find.
Can you tube gurus help me with something? I'm not sure if what I'm about to describe is valid, in my head, something I never noticed, accurate, or makes sense but in regards to the 5998 and 7236:
I was listening for a while last night to the 7308/5998 combo, and was trying specifically to identify the characteristics of the 5998's affect on the sound. I hadn't listened to anything for a few days, but I had left the amp on and playing music all day, so it was warmed up and ready to go. I put on a regular few selections of music I usually use for "test purposes", and these were my impressions of the 5998 in comparison to the 7236 (since I hadn't listened to anything for a while my sense memory was a clean slate, so I have no idea if these observations are correct).
I've always felt the 7236 delivered powerful and deep bass, with lots of impact. Off the bat, I was very pleased with the 5998 however. The bass seemed very ample, and my impression was that there was even MORE of it than the 7236 for the rock I was listening to at the time. There was a very palpable and solid feel to it, and something that I had not noticed before regarding the "sound" of bass...I was able to distinguish bass from guitars, drums, and bass clearly and seperately from each other, each had its own tone and flavor and location in the image, and had different "feels" to them. To clarify what I'm saying, I could tell the difference of individual bass notes, as opposed to an overall "bassy" feel...like, before, I could kind of "quantify" the bass and tell if it was clean and articulate, but this seemed to be more holographic. Overall, the bass was weighty and musical, very clean and detailed, and was less of a "boom bang bash" effect. The feel of the bass was very apparent, without muddiness or smearing.
My initial impression was that there was more bass than the 7236, with greater articulation. When I switched music to stuff that I always knew had more slammy bass (some techno and some rap stuff), my impressions changed. It seemed that although the 5998 presented a very articulate and distinct bass character, and hit every bit as deeply, it seemed that there was just "less" of it in terms of slam and impact. I could hear the notes I was expecting, they just didn't hit as hard. It was like listenting to a full size speaker rig with really nice full range speakers without a subwoofer. Still, I kind of preferred the sound overall to the more slammy sound I remembered. It was a very musical and toe tappy experience, and I could hear a lot more subtleties and nuances in the music that was getting drowned out by bass in the past.
The things I described about the 5998 and hearing distinct bass notes from different instruments may be present in other tubes that i have tried, I just never noticed it or thought to isten for it, so it may be just as present in the 7236. Since I hadn't heard the 7236 for a while, these observations of comparing the two are somewhat invalid, but I'm wondering if what I'm describing fits others' impression of these two tubes...
I agree with that. I think the 5998 has outstanding bass articulation for an output tube - among the very best, and better than most 6AS7G varieties. I confess at least for the moment I prefer the slightly fuller- warmer sound of my better 6AS7G's, but i may go back to the 5998 someday - it is an amazing tube.
Well, for the time being the Tung-Sol 5998 has become my favored power tube over the 7236. I love the sound and articulation of this tube, and coupled with the 7308 I'm getting detail and pinpoint imaging and surreal soundstage like never before. Bass isn't as impactful as with the 7236, but what I lose in hitting power I make up in detail and naturalness. It's not like the 5998 lacks bass at all...it's just more in harmony with everything else, and presents everything "unbiased" - everything sounds just right.
I've mostly been listening to rock stuff, and some really structurally intricate stuff like Mike Oldfield (dunno what you'd classify this as) and Nightwish (symphonic metal). So far, it doesn't matter what type of music I'm playing, it all sounds fantastic. Overall, a lot of older CDs I have that don't have the best mastering in the world are still easily enjoyable, unlike they were with my old MKV amp (VERY source dependant - GIGO in action, lol). In fact, I've probably heard The Cult - Love at least 200 times, and for the first time I was picking up on new things...subtle reflections, a sense of space that wasn't present before, nuances in the guitars that were hidden by the sheer wall of sound...one of my all time fave discs felt new and fresh all over again.