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Is there much difference between the years of Mullards? The '80s go for less than the '50s/'60s.
For the CV4003 - from my reading here, I think most people (including me) have been successfully using the later 70s / early 80s ones with the dark grey "box" plates.
Keep us posted on what you decide and how you get on!
Next week saturday i will test TH900 with Toxic Cable Silver Poison on the WA7tp.
it will sound epic
i will try it with RCA Clear top and Mullard cv4003
Oh people forgot to report about Hugo as a DAC vs WA7 DAC
the only DAC i had which was able to give detail without sacrificing details/analogy of female vocal was this one, i also asked Jeb Listens to help me testing this theory on a certain track and indeed i was right and thanks again Jeb for helping
Matrix X-Sabre had less details and quality than Hugo Chord as a DAC, lost in every aspect, and ofc had the problem that the Hugo solved which i did mention above.
DAC wise i will never use anything else than the Hugo Chord so i don't lose the analogy/magic/warmth/sweetness of female vocals on some good recorded tracks, some people are fine with that but not me at least
yet most of the head-fiers don't know that because they didn't listen to the Musical Sound of the WA7's DAC which is 2nd to none, nothing i heard (musical wise) was able to produce the sound in such creamy and dreamy way, so when they use something like X-Sabre DAC, they don't know what they losing tell they compare it directly with WA7's DAC.
using the Hugo add details and dynamics to the sound, a very very huge plus, also act as a pre amp which is a very good aspect as well.
Good-stuff Shini. I'll look forward to your thoughts on the TH900 with the WA7/tp. Headphones i've been wanting to hear for a while now.
I was able to hear the Hugo recently (as a whole package DAC & Amp together) and thought it was very nice indeed. I can imagine that the WA7 + Hugo is extremely pleasing as well as being very easy on the eye! 2 very unique designs.
Thanks for the awesome review and details on all the tubes. I've only been a WA7+tp owner for just over a week and you have saved me a great deal of time zeroing on what sounds best to me. Based on your impressions I got the following:
Mullard CV4003 - I agree with your overall impression - it does everything well and can't go wrong with these. Most impressed with how it can be both smooth and so well defined in the upper mids and highs.
Philips ECC82 Herleen - Just got these today and the bass extension and impact are noticeable compared to the Mullards, but the Mullards have tighter punchier bass. I also hear some added warmth in the lower mids. However, I miss some definition in the upper mids that I had with the Mullards. It's most noticeable on acoustic guitar (metal strings) and piano. Relatively speaking, I feel all the differences I note are perhaps +/- 2-5%.
I am going to give the Philips tubes a proper burn in and also let my ears adjust. I will probably go with the Phillips because I feel it makes my T5P a truly an all purpose headphone. I wouldn't mind just a touch more high end on the Philips if burn it adds it. Considering that the price of the Philips is half that of Mullards I think it's a great choice.
Forgot to mention - Mullards didn't flash on power up, but the Philips did.
Hi there bflat - I'm glad it was of some use for the early stages of zeroing into your own preferences.
I think you make great points on the Mullard vs Philips Holland. After all my listening I also felt that the bass quantity boost with the Philips was noticeable and agree that overall the bass is a little "looser" than the Mullards. I think putting a positive spin on it, I might call it "liquid" or juicy rather than sloppy. I guess by that I just mean I like the way it sounds. I think in my review I called it "wibbly", which is a slight technical variation on "wobbly".
I think the bass does bleed into other areas somewhat which might mask a little of the detail you can hear with other tubes. Having said that - like you - these are the tubes I'm using at the moment. I'm totally with you when you say they are a nice all-purpose tube at a lower price - very smooth with everything you throw at them.
I'm not sure if there is wide variation in the philips holland sound, or if it really is very headphone dependent, but another member over on the review thread said he felt a real absence of bass when using them with Audeze EL-8s. So as ever it seems like YMMV.
Another one I can heartily recommend that you can sometimes acquire for under-Mullard prices is the Siemens silver/nickel -plates ECC82. They give a really nice boost to the soundstage and separation and have super definition right across the range. I think sometimes when something is described that way it can make it seem like it might be cold or sterile but I never once felt this about the Siemens and would not hesitate to call it a 'warm' tube with excellent depth to the bass. I really think this tube is unrivalled for pure sparkle & finesse out of all those I listened to, with quite a unique brand of sweetness to the sound. If somebody was looking for a little more detail and definition but didn't want to stray too far from the Euro/Mullard sound I think the Siemens would be very close to the top of the list for a recommendation.
As ever, though, it's hard to fault the Mullard CV4003 - super-all-rounder, if you've got the budget for it.
I really enjoy listening to the JANs... always found me with my feet tapping. Very full and musical just not as 'precise' and reference as the Mullards but they can bring a lot of enthusiasm into the music.
The TH900 was nice with the WA7tp, with the RCA Clear Top the sound was forward & in your face, crazy bass, punchy and fun, the sound stage was bigger than what it is on Hugo Alone or Solid State amps, and the mids wasn't thin at all, i really though that the mids won't be nice but with the RCA and TH900 combo, but i was super wrong,
anyway good bass texture as well, so for having Ultra Fun with the Bass and Treble going for RCA is good, but if i had to choose one tube only due budget it will be the Mullard cv4003, although i am the biggest fan of RCA.
The Mullard cv4003 made the sound cleaner and balanced, gave the mids a push, and changed the presentation of the sound, i am sure a lot of people will pick the Mullard / TH900 combo because its really nice, but having both tubes amps also not a bad idea,
the bass was tad less punchier but not falling behind, i though i would lose bass but i guess its the TH900 after all, which should sound bassy, the mids were really nice, not too forward or laid back, mixing the U shaped sound Sig TH900 with the Mullard, the mids and female vocal sounded transparent and warm, really creamy which again i didn't think that the TH900 would be able to sound like this in the mids.
So bottom line TH900 + Mullard cv4003 is a win win, it maintains the bass fun by really a super margin that will make you think if Mullard cv4003 was plugged or something else, it will make the mids sound right, and get rid of the weak points, the sound stage is bigger than RCA, fuller sound as well, and the Treble was excellent as well.
note the cable was Toxic Silver Poison and not the stock cable.
That's interesting because I tried my K10 and PM-3 with the Phillips and both sounded too bass heavy for my tastes. The K10s in particular already have a bass boost and with the Phillips it was really exaggerated. I saw that post you mentioned and purchased the tubes from the same seller by coincidence. In fact I bought another pair as backup. I would recommend anyone with a T5P and WA7 go with Phillips.
In comparison to stock and T5P, I compared my RWAK240 to stock WA7+tp and the sound was comparable with stock WA7 having just a touch more warmth in low mids. I made the following changes/upgrades since:
EH Gold tubes
Philips ECC82 tubes
AQ Columbia RCA cables to my Gungnir
Hi-Z and Furutech 1/8 to 1/4 in adapter
So going back and comparing to my RWAK240, it is night and day difference which for me is >10% overall improvement. RWAK with T5P sounds pretty flat and sterile in comparison which is funny because that's exactly what I thought comparing stock AK240 to RWAK and which is the reason why I upgraded to RWAK.
I state again - T5P and WA7+tp is a great combo and the effects of tube rolling are very noticeable and one can tune exactly to personal tastes. I had nearly given up on my T5P and was going to sell at a substantial loss, but very happy I met Jack and Mike at the SF Meet.
I've been looking high and low for the CBS-Hytron and Siemens but have not found a decent pair worth buying without paying ridiculous prices. BTW, the glow of the Philips looks closer to the glow of the EH gold so appears more symmetrical than other tubes I've tried. The EH just have that extra glow below the getter that's visible.
awesome - I'm all for tube glow symmetry! It seems like a lot of great tubes came out of that Heerlen factory. 7316 Amperex would also be nice to try if they weren't so expensive.
Nice recommendation on the T5p, i'll try and give it a demo if I can.
this is normal color right? not burned? XD hehhhe
Shini they look okay to me!
The main cause for concern would be if it was white in colour, which would indicate that the tube had lost its vacuum.
Hope they sound great!
not always, i feel like the bass on higher vol get slightly lose and muddy, but a little, and the Hugo's amp section feels way way cleaner,
i will do a test later when my new CIEM comes back this week
then i will see if i need a new RCA tubes set or not, not sure if these was like this from the start or not.
want another side photos? to see the internal side.
yet if it was burned, it shouldn't be working right? and it should sound noticeably bad, right?
check online, most of them have this burned like color (grey) on the shields
mine from tube world though
sometimes the sound get bad quality, cause maybe i keep the PC up for days, when i shut it down for few min, then start it for music, the sound be better,
didn't test in ages so i will update you next week when the CIEM is here.
will test on Hugo for while, then Mullard, then the last one will be RCA Clear top, so i notice any problem, if there was any.
Yes I think you would really know about it if the tube had properly blown!
When tubes that tested good to start with start to go bad you could normally expect some clearer symptoms like crackling, popping, volume changes and strange behaviour. If it's more subtle changes in the sound (and you're not totally sure if it has always been that way) then it may just be the tubes settling down and undergoing some changes.
Visually - It's normal for those getter flashes in perfectly healthy tubes to range from shiny silver to darker shades of brown/black.
You have a good plan - conduct further tests
it may be that the RCA clear-tops just distort a little at higher volumes.