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Bottlehead Kits => Crack => Topic started by: Dr. Toobz on April 29, 2010, 12:55:04 PM

Title: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Dr. Toobz on April 29, 2010, 12:55:04 PM
At the suggestion of Grainger49, let's compile a list of tubes that can be rolled in the Crack. I'll update this list periodically as more tubes are tested, and have separated the list into drop-in replacements vs. tubes that might need the heaters rewired or some other modification. Please PM me with any additions or corrections! Maybe we can eventually make this thread a sticky? (Last updated: 05/22/2010).

DROP-IN EQUIVALENTS

Input Tubes (Original: 12AU7)

12AU7(A)(WA)
ECC186
ECC82
ECC802(S)
E8025
E82CC
CV4003
CV4122
CV491
5814(A)
6189(W)(WA)
6680 (WL6680)
6067
7489
7316
5963 (computer version of 12AU7)

Sort-of-Drop-In (but not equivalent - for best results, replace plate resistors with Speedball boards)

E80CC
12BH7

Power/Output (Original: 6080)

6AS7G
6080
6H13C
5998
7236
6N13
NOT THE 6SN7!!!!!


SUBSTITUTIONS (circuit changes required)

n/a

FWIW, tube rolling can indeed make a difference in your Crack. I've had the chance to try out another power tube - a Russian 6H13C (6AS7). The amp sounds a bit warmer now, with a bigger soundstage, plenty of bass, and maybe a hair less vivid treble. A good investment at about $20 - I bought mine online from the TubeStore. This definitely sounds a little sweeter and more "tubey" than the 6080 in there before. YMMV, of course.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: ironbut on May 01, 2010, 06:50:08 PM
Well, I just couldn't resist any longer.
I replaced the Toshiba 5963 that was included in my kit with a mid 50's CBS Hytron 5814a BP, 2mica with the tilted square getter.  I still have the supplied RCA 6080 installed but I replaced the stock signal wire with Cardas 24awg shielded between the RCA's and the pot and 21awg solid silver (from M Percy) for the rest.
It's just been a couple of hours but I'm lovin' it! Great imaging, deep soundstage, fantastic bass, very nice snap, and the highs aren't nearly as forward as with the Toshiba. Very musical!
I almost don't have the heart to try the rest of my stash,.. I said almost.
I'll live with this set up for a while though,.. of course there's that new TKD pot staring me in the face too.
I just have no self control anymore!
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Jim R. on May 02, 2010, 12:27:56 AM
Steve,

Is that CBS Hytron the red label version?  If the braille on the tube box is correct, I think I just found one of those in my tube box.  I thought I had got rid of all my 12au7 variants, but I'm stil finding one or two here and there, and so far they have all been pretty nice.  I'll ask my wife to verify that it is indeed the 1955 red label.  Glad to hear it sounds so good in the Crack.

-- Jim
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: ironbut on May 02, 2010, 07:57:39 AM
Yup, that's the one. IIRC, it wasn't too expensive either.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: roger_s on May 02, 2010, 04:00:56 PM
I've so voided my warranty:  All of the signal path wire is multiple-strand silver-plated Teflon mil-spec, the RCA jacks feed the pot via Canare shielded quad, the pot's from DIY-HiFi (their Alps clone), the headphone jack is a Neutrik locking jack, the caps are those huge Axon films, and I've rolled in a RCA 6AS7.

What an amazing amp!  Dead quiet, the bass has incredible slam and definition.  Brushes against a drumhead are stunning. It does a better job with my HD-650's than my K-702's but not by much. Right now I'm feeding it Apple Lossless via a RWA modified iPod. Blows away my DarkVoice 336 and my Woo Wa3. In fact I just gave the DV to my son-in-law.

Dead simple to build and incredible sound. Doc, you guys rock!

 


Well, I just couldn't resist any longer.
I replaced the Toshiba 5963 that was included in my kit with a mid 50's CBS Hytron 5814a BP, 2mica with the tilted square getter.  I still have the supplied RCA 6080 installed but I replaced the stock signal wire with Cardas 24awg shielded between the RCA's and the pot and 21awg solid silver (from M Percy) for the rest.
It's just been a couple of hours but I'm lovin' it! Great imaging, deep soundstage, fantastic bass, very nice snap, and the highs are nearly as forward as with the Toshiba. Very musical!
I almost don't have the heart to try the rest of my stash,.. I said almost.
I'll live with this set up for a while though,.. of course there's that new TKD pot staring me in the face too.
I just have no self control anymore!
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Dr. Toobz on May 02, 2010, 04:21:13 PM
.... It does a better job with my HD-650's than my K-702's but not by much.

Just how good is it with the AKGs? A couple of us have been wondering if the impedance is too low on those. How about bass?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Jim R. on May 02, 2010, 04:34:17 PM
Roger,

How did you implement the Neutrik locking jack with the 2.49k resistors?  I have a couple of those jacks and they don't apppear to have any switched terminals.

Thanks,

Jim
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: roger_s on May 02, 2010, 04:53:37 PM
Overall they're quite good. Bass doesn't measure up to what the higher impedance Senns provides but the soundstage and imaging are on a par.  Bear in mind I don't have a lot of hours on the Crack and am still in the process of trying different phones--still need to plug in some Grados--expect some different impressions over time. However, I suspect that the Senns won't give up their lead.


.... It does a better job with my HD-650's than my K-702's but not by much.

Just how good is it with the AKGs? A couple of us have been wondering if the impedance is too low on those. How about bass?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: roger_s on May 02, 2010, 05:07:31 PM
Ran them from tip and ring to sleeve. It's not pretty, the holes are too small for wire+resistors. I ended up soldering the wires in place, placing the resistors on top and soldering them in place. It works but I'll likely re-doing it for a cleaner and more mechanically sound installation. 

Near as I can tell the switch function of the stock jack isn't being used.

Roger,

How did you implement the Neutrik locking jack with the 2.49k resistors?  I have a couple of those jacks and they don't apppear to have any switched terminals.

Thanks,

Jim

Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Jim R. on May 03, 2010, 02:51:11 AM
Roger,

Ok, I'll ring out the jack today as I thought those resistors were switched in when the headphone plug was removed, and for what I guessed to bleed down the coupling caps, but I guess they'd do the same thing and prevent power-up transient suppression if just soldered directly as you did.

-- Jim
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Jim R. on May 03, 2010, 05:25:44 AM
Ok figured out the TRS jack resistors.  Found the step that says to solder a ground wire between both inboard and outboard sleeve terminals (and which also goes to the volume pot.)  Easy enough.

-- Jim
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: roger_s on May 03, 2010, 08:02:10 AM
The jack should work just fine, Jim.  You might try soldering the resistors to the jack and using the resistor leads to connect the various wires.  Should be a much better installation--things get pretty crowded on the back of the jack.

Roger
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: levlhed on May 03, 2010, 06:12:41 PM
Could someone maybe list the different variants of the two tubes that can be used?
I'm familiar with some of the 12AU7 versions, but I guess I don't know all of them (5963? 5814a?) and I know nothing about the 6080/6AS7's.

Thanks!

And yes, I only just ordered my kit today and I'm already looking for tubes :)
All I have are 12AT7s in my speaker rig
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Birkeland on May 03, 2010, 07:32:59 PM
You can use the 6CG7 with the Crack also.  Just separate the jumper between pins 4 and 5, then run a wire from pin 9 to whicheven pin (4 or 5) has no wire running to it.  The E80CC is another decent choice. 

As for the 6080/6AS7 variants, you really need to stay within the heater current limits, that's the key.  Tubes like the 6336 will overtax the power transformer.  I will test the 6BL7 sometime this week with my Speedball Crack and see how it lines up with the stock operating points. 
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: ironbut on May 03, 2010, 07:36:42 PM
PJ did a list the other day regarding the 6080 type tubes in the thread "New Production 6AS7/6080 tubes".

There's a bunch of 12au7 subs that can be used in some gear. Here's a link to a tube sellers site with a good number of the more common subs. Like a lot of online tube shops, sometimes the info's good and sometime it's just self serving. Please don't take my link as being an endorsement of this seller.
But, if I'm heading into unknown territory tube wise, I always surf around to the seller sites that have some good info with their ads. You'll find a gazillion 12au7 threads on the Asylum too.

http://www.vacuumtubes.com/12au7.html
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Grainger49 on May 04, 2010, 04:46:54 AM
Could someone maybe list the different variants of the two tubes that can be used?
I'm familiar with some of the 12AU7 versions, but I guess I don't know all of them (5963? 5814a?) and I know nothing about the 6080/6AS7's.

Thanks!

And yes, I only just ordered my kit today and I'm already looking for tubes :)
All I have are 12AT7s in my speaker rig

Wouldn't a straight swap tube substitute list make a good sticky in each product area?

A list below that could be those that require pin changes and or circuit changes.  Certainly not instructions just a list.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: levlhed on May 04, 2010, 05:32:23 AM
agreed!
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: tdogzthmn on May 08, 2010, 04:25:11 PM
I would like to see a beginners guide to tube rolling.  I dont have a background in electronics so most of this is foreign to me. 
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Birkeland on May 08, 2010, 05:34:47 PM
Buy tube,remove old tube, plug new tube in, listen to tube. Rinse and repeat...
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: ironbut on May 08, 2010, 07:14:58 PM
Just like headphones, what's worth the money is in the eye of the beholder.
There's always plenty of folks who'll be happy to spend your money by stating that this tube or that tube is the only one to use in a particular amp and it's difficult when you're new at this to separate the wheat from the chaff.
My advice is to start by buying from a good dealer and avoid the auctions till you have a better idea what you're looking for. An established dealer has a stake in keeping his customers happy and well informed. They may be a little more money for a given tube, but they stand behind what they sell and do proper testing. Some even do some grading for low noise if you need some tubes for something like a phono preamp.
So, start small and don't be reluctant to buy used tubes from a trusted seller. When I start with a tube type that I'm unfamiliar with, I try not to spent top dollar on new old stock when there's a chance that that tube won't be the "holy grail" that other's seem to think it is (at least half the time, but that's just me). And if I do end up loving it, I can spend the money then. But there are lots of used, tested tubes that'll sound fantastic for years that you can get for a fraction of the cost of NOS.

Another thing to bear in mind is that current production tubes seem to be getting better and better. Some cost almost as much as fabled NOS tubes but don't overlook them just because they aren't as hip.

Finally, give tubes a chance to settle in. I know that it's hard to resist switching tubes after just a few hours, but I always give every tube at least 25 hours of burn in before I start to listen critically. Then I'll give it several days of regular listening with different sources and music genres. If I can't hear a difference without A/B'ing, the cheaper, easier to find tube wins.
Title: Tube Equivalents
Post by: Grainger49 on May 09, 2010, 05:32:57 AM
I would like to see a beginners guide to tube rolling.  I dont have a background in electronics so most of this is foreign to me.  

Paul Birkeland's explanation covers most of it.  If you buy a tube with the exact same tube number you are fine.  

This is a quote from the Product Page, "And of course you can tweak to your hearts content tube rolling different 12AU7 and 6080/6AS7 variants."  What Doc means is that there are "equivalent" tubes out there.  Some are a drop in replacement, like the CV4003 Mullard is exactly the same as a 12AU7 but sounds nicer.  Others are very similar but won't work for some reason or another.  In the case of the 6DJ8/6922/7308 that is used in the Seduction the Russian 6N1P is the same except it needs more current for the heater.  Using it in the Seduction will either blow the fuse, we hope, or burn out the heater winding in the transformer, we hope not.

Look two posts above yours, I suggest that usable tubes like the CV4007 be listed as a "Sticky" for each product.  That would take the guessing out of it.  And maybe I will start a thread that others can correct and add to and Doc can make it a Sticky.  

The OP, Dr Toobz could collect the equivalents for the crack and edit ("Modify") his first post for the Crack.

For the input tube, the 12AU7 I have a list of tubes that I believe are usable equivalents.  I do not know that all use the same or lower heater current, a common problem is higher current.  But this is a start for the 12AU7:

12AU7(A)(WA)
ECC186
ECC82
ECC802(S)
E8025
E82CC
CV4003
CV4122
CV491
5814(A)
6189(W)(WA)
6680 (WL6680)
6067
7489
7316

I will be happy to correct this list if anyone can help.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: tdogzthmn on May 09, 2010, 10:43:54 AM
Has anyone tried using a Western Electric 421A?  I saw some for sale but they are quite pricey. 
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Jim R. on May 22, 2010, 03:49:34 PM
How about the 5670/2c51?  Will this tube work in the amp if the front socket is rewired?  I don't have a pinout chart so I can't tell if it is the same as a 6cg7.  I also don't have access to the curves so I can't tell if any changes to bias would be needed at the 75v operating voltage.  I realize there will be 5 dB more gain, but is there anything else I should be considering?

Thanks,

Jim
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Birkeland on May 22, 2010, 06:43:04 PM
You could indeed use this tube, but it would be easier to do with the Speedball upgrade. If you're planning to go that route, I can post the R1 value for the driver C4S boards.

Honestly, I'd go for the 5687 instead.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: mrarroyo on May 23, 2010, 03:28:39 AM
A good site to find information on tubes and their equivalets is: http://tdsl.duncanamps.com/tubesearch.php
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Jim R. on May 23, 2010, 05:20:40 AM
Thanks, Paul.  If you can post the resistor value, that would be great as I may just give this a try at some point.  I only thought of the 5670 because I have a few of the super nice, 1950s Ericsson/simens gold pins and no 5687s in house, and no money to buy more tubes right now.  Any particular reason for one over the other?  The interelectrode capacitance values of the 5670 seem decent to me.

Marroyo, I do use that site, but I'm blind so the graphs and graphical pinouts are of no use to me, but the TDSKL page often gives me links to other html pages where the electrical data is published in text.  I still haven't found one that identifies pinouts though.

Thanks anyway,

Jim
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: ironbut on May 23, 2010, 06:09:18 AM
Hey Jim,
The pin assignments for the 5670 are;

1-heater
2-cathode (2)
3-grid (2)
4-plate (2)
5-shield
6-plate (1)
7-grid (1)
8-cathode (1)
9-heater

Heater-6.3V, 350mA

Class A
plate voltage 150V
cathode bias resistor 240 ohm
amplification factor 35
plate resistance 6400 ohm
transconductance 5500 micromho
plate current 8.2 milliamperes
grid current -8V (Ib=10 milliamperes)
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Dr. Toobz on May 23, 2010, 07:47:45 AM
Ok, here's a theoretical question, just out of curiosity: is the lowly 6AS7 and its many variants we're playing around with like a sort of indirectly-heated twin 2A3? I remember somebody claiming someplace else that a 6AS7 is similar to two 6B4's, or at least close. 6B4's are the octal version of the 6A3, which is a 6-volt heater version of the 2A3. Correct? So, might a 6AS7, the lowly regulator tube now finding use in many headphone and P-P amps, actually be an indirectly-heated cousin of the 2A3? This tube certainly sounds a lot better than it has a right to....

(One problem I found, though, is that the 2A3's mu is higher than the 6AS7, which I think is around 2, correct? So,maybe distant cousins....).
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Dr. Toobz on May 23, 2010, 08:05:36 AM
I've started to compile a list of tubes on the original post as a reference. Would you guys who actually know something about tubes double-check it for accuracy, and PM me with any additions/corrections? There's one input tube, for example, that I left off, the ECC80, as I don't know if it's a drop-in replacement or needs the heaters rewired (don't have specs handy ATM).
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Birkeland on May 23, 2010, 11:38:05 AM
Wow, the 5687 does indeed look like an interesting tube to try.  Of course, the pinout is different, so that has to be addressed first.  After that, I would change the R1 on the green PC boards to 52 ohms.  This will set the forward current to around 15ma, and should keep the plate voltage around 75 volts.  Of course, 150-75=75 volts across the CCS, then .017A*75v=1.275 watts, so use a small clip on heatsink for each transistor (it won't require anything significant). 

The 5687 has similar gain to the AU7, and the extra plate current should really sweaten the sound!  Based on the extra current drawn, I would go to a CLC power supply at the same time to ensure that the B+ rail stays up over 150v.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Jim R. on May 23, 2010, 11:56:31 AM
Steve, thanks very much for that information -- that helps a lot, but also tells me that a dpdt won't exactly work to switch between 12au7 and 5670 configurations.  Oh well, at least now I have the info for future reference.

-- Jim
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Jim R. on May 23, 2010, 12:02:57 PM
Hi Paul,

Now, that sounds tempting.  I still plan to try the stock config first, but I'm thinking the additional current drive would be nice with the 650s for a bit more detail...  perhaps.

Thanks again,

Jim
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Birkeland on May 23, 2010, 12:26:19 PM
Yeah, I think it really comes down to taste.  Doc loves his 12AU7's, and I totally understand that when we cue up tape and listen.  PJ is pretty into 6SN7's (as is Ed Fallon), and in PJ's case I think it's reflective of his preference for musicality.  In my case, I might go for a 6414 or something like that, except that gain is an issue, so wiring for 5687's or ECC99's seems like a good choice. 

Putting in a switch for the filaments seems easy enough and like a good plan.  With  the Speedball installed, you should be able to switch between 6CG7/6FQ7, 12AU7, and 12BH7 without tremendous voltage mismatch between the driver tube and the output tube.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Jim R. on May 23, 2010, 12:39:51 PM
Yes, it really does all come down to personal taste, and that's why I at least originally wanted to have the ability to use the 6cg7 (and because I have a few very nice examples of those on hand), but also because I too really like the musicality of the 6sn7 even though I do find that the ability to render dynamic contrasts to be high on my preferences list and the 6sn7 is really not the ideal tube for this.  On the other hand, (and I see you anticipated my next questions) is that with the direct coupling and no cap between driver and output, dynamic contrasts are much better than in cap coupled amps anyway.

So, all these unknowns and experiments to be done, but at least with my original plan to have a switchable filament arrangement, I can play with enough variations to keep me happy for a while and not worry about putting undue stress on the amp.

This is the kind of thing that makes BH kits so much fun!

-- Jim
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Dyna Saur on May 24, 2010, 11:25:15 AM
Quote
Hey Jim,
The pin assignments for the 5670 are;

1-heater
2-cathode (2)
3-grid (2)
4-plate (2)
5-shield
6-plate (1)
7-grid (1)
8-cathode (1)
9-heater

Heater-6.3V, 350mA

Class A
plate voltage 150V
cathode bias resistor 240 ohm
amplification factor 35
plate resistance 6400 ohm
transconductance 5500 micromho
plate current 8.2 milliamperes
grid current -8V (Ib=10 milliamperes)

If you are re-wiring the driver 9 pin socket for 5670, then it will also be compatible with 2C51 and the ever popular and lovely WE 396A.

If 12BH7s are to your liking, then the 6GU7 is the 6V filament near equivalent, just wire the filament power to pins 4 and 5 and leave 9 open. Same pinout as 6CG7 / 6FQ7.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: levlhed on June 03, 2010, 10:36:07 AM
With  the Speedball installed, you should be able to switch between 6CG7/6FQ7, 12AU7, and 12BH7 without tremendous voltage mismatch between the driver tube and the output tube.

12BH7's come highly recommended to me as suitable 12AU7 subs.  With Speedball you're saying there'll be no concerns?  Would a particular model of output tube be better suited for use w/ a 12BH7?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Birkeland on June 03, 2010, 10:50:53 AM
With the Speedball a 5-10v difference in driver plate voltage won't really affect the output tube.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Natural Sound on June 03, 2010, 12:15:29 PM
Yeah, I think it really comes down to taste.  Doc loves his 12AU7's, and I totally understand that when we cue up tape and listen.  PJ is pretty into 6SN7's (as is Ed Fallon), and in PJ's case I think it's reflective of his preference for musicality.  In my case, I might go for a 6414 or something like that, except that gain is an issue, so wiring for 5687's or ECC99's seems like a good choice. 

Putting in a switch for the filaments seems easy enough and like a good plan.  With  the Speedball installed, you should be able to switch between 6CG7/6FQ7, 12AU7, and 12BH7 without tremendous voltage mismatch between the driver tube and the output tube.

Sorry if this has been asked before. Isn't the 12SN7 the same as a 6SN7 with different heater voltages (12V vs 6V)? Wouldn't this make a more suitable replacement for the 12AU7 since the filament voltage is the same? 12SN7's tend to be a lot cheaper too.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Jim R. on June 03, 2010, 12:27:04 PM
The actual filament voltage in the Crack, as in the s.e.x. amp (same power transformer) is 6.3v and you can run some of the 12v tubes on this by running the heaters in a parallel, rather than serial configuration.

Hope this helps,

Jim
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Dyna Saur on June 04, 2010, 06:21:39 AM
12SN7 has a 12.6 volt (only) filament, it is not tapped like the 12AU7 or 12BH7 which allows those tubes to run on either 6.3 or 12.6V.      Crack would need a 6SN7 (and an enlarged chassis hole to accomodate the octal socket.  "Hole Shrinkers" in reverse, anybody ?  ;^)   Yah, they're called Greenlee Punches ;-)

FWIW, though it doesn't really mean anything useful  for "The Crack", there is also an 8SN7.    Like my erstwhile experiment with the 8CG7, it will work, but gain will be low, and sound "subdued" as the operating voltages will be skewed from the 8CG7's reduced emission.

/ed B
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Grainger49 on June 04, 2010, 06:30:33 AM
   .  .  .    Crack would need a 6SN7 (and an enlarged chassis hole to accomodate the octal socket.  "Hole Shrinkers" in reerse, anybody ?  ;^)

/ed B

Knockout, see this link:

Project Tools (http://www.bottlehead.com/smf/index.php/topic,173.0.html)

See the first post under More Advanced Tools, and the second post for a link to Harbor Freight where you can buy a set cheap!  I have used my set often.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Natural Sound on June 04, 2010, 02:25:12 PM
Hmmm... now you got me thinking. I still haven't started building my kit yet. Maybe I'll punch the hole out and call up BH for some hole shrinkers. That way I can build the amp stock, get familiar with the way it sounds and then maybe drop in an octal socket and try the 6SN7 later. Are there any other component changes if I go this route?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Birkeland on June 04, 2010, 02:32:14 PM
Go with the octal socket right off the bat and buy some 6SN7 to 12AU7 adapters online.  Getting in there to enlarge the hole later will be pretty hard.  When you enlarge the 9 pin hole, be sure the socket mounting hole closest to the cooling vents is still a socket mounting hole (so position your punch appropriately), otherwise the speedball upgrade will give you problems.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Natural Sound on June 07, 2010, 05:52:31 PM
Go with the octal socket right off the bat and buy some 6SN7 to 12AU7 adapters online.  Getting in there to enlarge the hole later will be pretty hard.  When you enlarge the 9 pin hole, be sure the socket mounting hole closest to the cooling vents is still a socket mounting hole (so position your punch appropriately), otherwise the speedball upgrade will give you problems.

Thanks! Are there any other component changes when going from the 12AU7 to the 6SN7?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Birkeland on June 07, 2010, 06:14:31 PM
Nope, no component changes, just the pinout/socket change.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: tdogzthmn on June 07, 2010, 07:42:28 PM
So I found a few tubes in an old radio I was pulling apart today.  The tube all look to be in good condition, no corrosion or cracks.  I dont think I have a way to test them but I though I would list what they are and someone might know if they are worth hanging on to.

1 - 12BA6 unbranded
1 - Sylvania 12AV6
1 - Sylvania 12BE6
1 - RCA 35C5

 
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: JC on June 07, 2010, 09:51:38 PM
If you Google the designations, chances are very good that you will find the data for these types, including what service they were manufactured for.  Remember that in the US designation system, that first number indicates the heater Voltage, so the 35C5 will require a 35 Volt heater supply to operate.

If you happen to live somewhere near a guitar shop that services vintage amps, chances are good that they will be able to test your tubes for you.  If there are any that you can't find on the web, post back; I have a few tube manual reprints that will have them.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Birkeland on June 08, 2010, 04:41:28 AM
So I found a few tubes in an old radio I was pulling apart today.  The tube all look to be in good condition, no corrosion or cracks.  I dont think I have a way to test them but I though I would list what they are and someone might know if they are worth hanging on to.

1 - 12BA6 unbranded
1 - Sylvania 12AV6
1 - Sylvania 12BE6
1 - RCA 35C5

 

I'm guessing it was missing a tube?  You can always go to a tube vendor and see what the prices are on these.  I wouldn't necessarily throw them away, but there isn't anything super useful in there.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Dyna Saur on June 13, 2010, 02:32:06 AM
The normal tube lineup for this kind of "All American Five"  AC/DC radio is 12BE6 (pentagrid converter)  12BA6  (IF amplifier) 12AT6 or 12AV6 (Detector, AVC and first audio)  50C5 (output stage) and 35W4 (rectifier).  
The filament voltages add up to approximately 121 VAC.  So you are missing the rectifier tube, and may have a wrong output tube, unless there is a dropping resistor in the series-conencted  filament string.

The only tube that has useful audio uses would be the 12AV6, it is essentially half of a 12AX7 and two detector  diodes.  FWIW, 12AT7 is equivalent to half  of a 5751 (plus the two diodes).  These also come in 6.3V filament versions, 6AV6 and 6AT6. Generally  at dirt-cheap "plinker" prices.

/ed B in NC
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Canuck57 on June 18, 2010, 02:16:39 PM

Rolling which tubes (input or power) have the most impact on the sound signature? Or do both equally impact the sound signature?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Birkeland on June 18, 2010, 05:07:45 PM
The general rule of thumb (IMO) is that the more gain, the more influence.

Since the 6080 is wired for unity gain, the 12AU7 should have a vastly greater influence on the sound, though there are some special 6080 variants that may suggest otherwise.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Canuck57 on June 19, 2010, 08:04:10 AM
Thanks Paul...I've ordered a few tubes for my Crack and haven't even rec'd it yet!

12AU7 - NOS Tung Sol, JJ Electronic ECC802-S gold pins and CIFTE (made in France)
7236 Sylvania
6AS7G British Tube CV2523
6AS7G Tung Sol
6as7G RCA
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Dyna Saur on June 24, 2010, 10:57:42 AM
Speedball arrived on Wednesday June 23rd, I stuffed and soldered the boards, and then did the "demolition" and SB installation Thursday AM June 24th.    Of course, I can never leave anything strictly "stock" so I ended up using 47K, 2W resistors in place of the series connected 22.1 K resistors (they will serve in a future  linestage build).  I also mounted the small red LEDs with the dome side facing away from the boards, as I like to see all ten of  them cheerily glowing when I take a look under the chassis ;-)   The  3K WW resistors still have sufficient remaining lead length, so they will also have a future life in some other project (never waste anything).  

One other minor "twist", due to the way that  I mounted the 100 uF output caps, was to flip them down  into the space vacated by the 3K WW resistors, and under the 6080 cathode SB PCB. There is still plenty of airflow, and the caps don't get too much extra heat. Also gives it a nice "clean" look under the chassis plate.

I also noticed the MJE350s didn't have a metal side, so I did a couple quick B to E and B to C "diode checks", in order to verify their proper lead  positioning.    Everything came up running with no problems,
Those ten little red LEDs  all light up nicely.

With the previously mentioned 6CG7 driver, I get 81V on the VA plates and 6080 grids, and 106V on the 6080 cathodes.  

I'm loath to use audio adjectives, but indeed, the sound is nicer! I'll leave the "flowery"  terminology  to those with more poetic license than I posess.  I'll just say, it sounds excellent with the Senn HD600s.

/ed B in NC

Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: tdogzthmn on July 05, 2010, 01:13:53 PM
I found a 12BE6 in an old radio.  Would this tube work in my amp with the speedball upgrade?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: JC on July 05, 2010, 02:59:20 PM
The 12BE6 is a single heptode.  Not really suitable for audio service; at least I can't think of any audio application for it.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Dyna Saur on July 06, 2010, 12:29:02 PM
12BE6 is a pentagrid converter, a seven pin miniature.   Has absolutely no possible use with a Crack, equipped with Speedball or not...    It won't even fit into the tube socket.

What a pentagrid converter does  in a tubed AM radio is to take the incoming signal, mix it against the radio's local oscillator which is tuned to operate 455 KHz above the received frequency, and that then gets amplified in the (you guessed it) 455 KHz Intermediate  (12BA6) amplifier, then on to the detector and first audio amplitier (12AV6 or 12AT6) then to to the single ended pentode power amplifier (generally 50B5 or 50C5). The fifth tube would be a 35W4 half wave rectifier.

/ed B
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Joppa on July 06, 2010, 07:35:08 PM
To add a bit, a pentagrid (five grids! A triode has only one...) converter is a single tube with a single plate, but which is an oscillator as well as a mixer. This was a very clever bit of high technology, some 70 years ago ...
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: tdogzthmn on July 07, 2010, 02:54:39 PM
Thank you so much for the info!  I think all that stuff is fascinating to learn about.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: tdogzthmn on July 12, 2010, 01:05:00 PM
I read somewhere that a Tung-sol 5687 would work.  Has anyone heard this tube?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Birkeland on July 13, 2010, 09:00:14 AM
I read somewhere that a Tung-sol 5687 would work.  Has anyone heard this tube?

The 5687 could be used with the Speedball, but it would require more than just changing R1 on the C4S boards.  The LED's would need to be removed, then replaced with resistors and bypass capacitors.  5ma and 3v under the cathode should give ~70v on the plates, so that means a cathode resistor of 600 ohms, which should be bypassed by something around 150uf (you could get away with the stock coupling caps).  R1 on the C4S boards should be set for 5ma, I don't have the value sitting her at the moment, but I'm sure PJ can chime in or someone with a C4S manual handy (or the formula handy).

The pinout of the 5687 is also different.

-PB
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: tdogzthmn on July 13, 2010, 05:18:39 PM
thanks for the response blackplate.  I'd rather not mess with the wiring as things sound great already.  The next tube on my list is the 5998 which seems to be the best all-rounder.  Possibly a 7236 if I find one at a decent price.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: grufti on July 13, 2010, 06:27:33 PM
I used a Sylvania 7236 for a couple of weeks and then switched to a Tung-Sol 5998. The 5998 wins hands down to my ears.

The 7236 was easier to find and cheaper than the 5998, apparently for a reason.


thanks for the response blackplate.  I'd rather not mess with the wiring as things sound great already.  The next tube on my list is the 5998 which seems to be the best all-rounder.  Possibly a 7236 if I find one at a decent price.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Spinifex on July 15, 2010, 03:30:25 PM
What modifications would be required to run a 12BH7 or a JJ ECC99 in a Speedball Crack?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: levlhed on October 06, 2010, 11:35:29 AM
no mod for 12BH7

I don't know about the JJ ECC99, anyone else know?
I see claims that it is the "same pin out" and can be used in some of the same circuits..

EDIT:  link to manuf. spec sheet http://www.jj-electronic.sk/pdf/ECC99.pdf
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Grainger49 on October 13, 2010, 12:23:24 AM
Shouldn't the 12BH7 be added in the list in the OP?  Or is it a drop in replacement?  I looked and it is not a drop in replacement for the 12AU7.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Dr. Toobz on October 13, 2010, 03:32:49 PM
Shouldn't the 12BH7 be added in the list in the OP?  Or is it a drop in replacement?  I looked and it is not a drop in replacement for the 12AU7.

I've just added it (and its similar, taller cousin, the E80CC) under a new section - basically, an "it works with the Speedball, but can't vouch for the standard circuit with plate resistors" category.

I think the main difference between the 12BH7 and 12AU7 is the doubling of heater current for the former; otherwise, the differences in Rp, mu, etc. seem to be slight enough as not to make a huge difference in volume or frequency balance (well, at least not with my Sennheiser HD650s). The power transformer seems happy as ever, even with the somewhat higher (+300mA?) total current draw. I'm sure the Speedball has a lot to do with the seemingly effortless change of tubes.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Grainger49 on October 14, 2010, 01:49:15 AM
That makes sense.  I added a section in the Eros tube list for works with tube socket rewiring.  There are 2 or 3 that have been discussed in that forum.  Paully is using an adapter that was custom made for him to change the socket pin assignments.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: jrihs on November 01, 2010, 10:48:49 AM
Hello all, I'm new and just ordered the Crack as well as an 57 Hamburg made bugle boy 12au7 d-getter longplate as well as sveral other notable 12au7's to try out.
Then I read this...
Many tube amplifiers use the common 12AU7 and various simular versions such as the 5814, 5963 and 6189 tubes. A lower distortion replacement is the E80CC with slightly different operating parameters and double the filament current requirements. Be careful regarding the installed height of this tube, about equal to a 6BQ5 & taller than 12AU7 tubes. Regarding the higher filament current, make sure your amplifier has the extra current capacity. Most amplifiers have plenty of reserve capacity. One way to view it is a 250va or say 250 watt power transformer will require an additional 1.9 watts per tube. That is a very small percentage increase in power demand on a 250 watt transformer. My example above with regard to power transformer additional loading is only a very rough guide. A small preamp without a power tube output section can overstress the power transformer filament with E80CC tubes. In this case, Brimar 13D5 or CBS Hytron or CBS 5814 or 5814A are your only option for best quality sonics and are far superior to the standard 12AU7. I also read Sylvania early 1950s tall black plate are of superior sonics, but never heard these tubes.
The Amperex E80CC also labeled at times as 6085. Many persons performing a search miss that 6085 only listing and buyers can get a super deal. Various labels of Amperex manufactured tubes are Valvo, Telefunken, Siemens, etc. Another brand is the Tungsram E80CC. Both are great performing tubes. The Amperex produces a warmer midrange and slightly darker high frequencies compared to the Tungsram manufacture. The Tungsram are brighter on the high frequencies and a little cooler regarding the midrange producing accurate sonics without being the least bit sterile sounding in my applications. I truely enjoy either manufacture.

Both brands of tubes are highly recommended and in most cases will greatly outperform the 12AU7 in home entertainment amplifiers. However, a few audiophiles do like the much high distortion of the 12AU7 for whatever reason. (Be advised my guide is more addressing home entertainment amplifiers vs guitar amplifiers for accurate & neutral playback sonics). The 5814 series was actually a redesigned by RCA 12AU7 due to a few complaints of the 12AU7 distortion figures when introduced in the late 1940s. The 12AU7 tube was not meeting some manufactures requirements such as Collins Radio now called Rockwell Collins


Sooo.. Is this right? was it a bad choice to spend big dollars on 12au7's before trying this type? What are the unheralded advantages to the 12au7's that the reviewer above does not define? Also BTW...What gauge hook-up wire in silver and/or copper do I need to order? THANKS
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Doc B. on November 01, 2010, 11:06:51 AM
That commentary doesn't consider circuit types, operating points, gain structures, etc., nor does he talk about tuning the tube sound to the rest of the gear in the system. There are other tubes to consider like the 12BH7. And a typical 5814 is not superior to the likes of Mullard CV4003 or Telefunken ECC82 to this old manufacturer's ears.

Just like your nose, when it comes to tubes you have to pick your own to get the utmost satisfaction.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Grainger49 on November 01, 2010, 11:12:14 AM
jrihs,

There is no thread here for the drop in equivalents for Crack.  I posted a list in the Legacy forum for the FP 1 and FP 2.  They use the 12AU7.  This is that thread:

http://www.bottlehead.com/smf/index.php/topic,1027.0.html

Of course Crack has a 6080 tube also.  I don't have one so I didn't post for it.  I think that most of the

In the FP 2 I have found the Mullard CV4003 to be top notch and really enjoy the Sylvania JAN 6189W/WA.  

But each tube might appeal to different tastes.

YMMV

Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: tdogzthmn on December 05, 2010, 07:41:15 PM
What would be a good tube configuration for lower impedance headphones?  I'm interested in buying some grados and would like them to sound their best on my Crack + speedball.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: ToolGuyFred on December 09, 2010, 02:11:43 AM
First post here - thought I'd share my tube rolling crack experience.

Original tubes supplied were a GE 12AS7G and what I assume is a 12AU7 (couldn't read the writing on the glass). The amp has the speedball upgrade and smaller output caps (220uF Black Gates) which seem OK with my old Sennheiser HD580s.

I had an irritating intermittent hum and low level buzz which sometimes went away when I tapped the chassis plate with a finger. Tapping the chassis plate was clearly audible through the cans so something was obviously very microphonic. Quick visual double check of build and voltages suggested all OK there so time to try different tubes.

First up was a NOS Mullard 6080. Not as pretty as the coke-bottle GE but what an improvement in sound! All microphonics gone, no buzz, no hum, quiet background. Images are more solid, sound is cleaner at all frequencies. A splendid purchase for ten quid (that's UK pounds).

Next in was a NOS Brimar 12BH7. Nothing like the improvement from the 6080 (which is counter-intuitive, I know) but worthwhile all the same. This was twice the price of the 6080.

I also have a second GE 12AS7G (but a parallel shaped envelope, not the coke-bottle style) which I haven't tried yet (once I got the above improvements, I settled down with the music...). Will post again when I've tried it.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Grainger49 on December 09, 2010, 04:06:30 AM
Since this is your first post I don't know if this is your first kit, so bear with me.  I am only trying to help with your problems with the Crack.

. . .   smaller output caps (220uF Black Gates) which seem OK with my old Sennheiser HD580s.

I don't have much experience with such high dollar caps.  I have used them once but it took weeks for them to break in.  I wondered if you had, or are having the same experience?

I had an irritating intermittent hum and low level buzz which sometimes went away when I tapped the chassis plate with a finger. Tapping the chassis plate was clearly audible through the cans so something was obviously very microphonic. Quick visual double check of build and voltages suggested all OK there so time to try different tubes.

This brings to mind an old vaudeville routine, "Doc, it hurts when I do this..."  So don't tap the top plate.  Microphonics are a tube problem.  You don't get the best quality tube with the kits, Doc et al leave that up to us to play with. 

The buzz being intermittent would normally point to a bad connection, cold solder joint.  Rewet as many solder joints as you can find.  If it is in one channel then it is after the power supply.  If in both it is most likely in the power supply.

Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: ToolGuyFred on December 09, 2010, 08:20:37 AM
Since this is your first post I don't know if this is your first kit, so bear with me.  I am only trying to help with your problems with the Crack.

Many thanks. Not my first kit (all suggestions welcome, though). Have been building S/S gear over 30 years. First tube kit was a (now much tweaked) parasex back in the 90's.

. . .   smaller output caps (220uF Black Gates) which seem OK with my old Sennheiser HD580s.

I don't have much experience with such high dollar caps.  I have used them once but it took weeks for them to break in.  I wondered if you had, or are having the same experience?
They do sound better after a few hundred hours but they sound good straight away and then get better. They don't like to be powered down for a long time though, so don't bother with them if you leave your gear switched off for weeks at a time (my stuff is used every day).

I had an irritating intermittent hum and low level buzz which sometimes went away when I tapped the chassis plate with a finger. Tapping the chassis plate was clearly audible through the cans so something was obviously very microphonic. Quick visual double check of build and voltages suggested all OK there so time to try different tubes.
This brings to mind an old vaudeville routine, "Doc, it hurts when I do this..."  So don't tap the top plate.  Microphonics are a tube problem.  You don't get the best quality tube with the kits, Doc et al leave that up to us to play with. 

The buzz being intermittent would normally point to a bad connection, cold solder joint.  Rewet as many solder joints as you can find.  If it is in one channel then it is after the power supply.  If in both it is most likely in the power supply.

One channel, all joints looked good. Still suspect the tube as it went away with the tube swap but time will tell...
Thanks again for your suggestions and interest.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Grainger49 on December 09, 2010, 09:45:21 AM
Ok!  You have been at it a long time, me too! 

Sounds like the tube swap may have made the difference. 

I have my Black Gates in a GainClone that doesn't have a power switch.  I'm burning in some Teflon Kommie Kaps on it right now.  But I do listen to it because the GC is my work room system.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: tdogzthmn on December 11, 2010, 08:00:26 AM
I got my 5998 yesterday and I have been running along with a 5814.  Its a good combo and the 5998 definitely has a positive impact on the sound.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: ToolGuyFred on December 12, 2010, 04:57:52 AM
... smaller output caps (220uF Black Gates) ...
Oops. Should read 22uF. This lightens the bass a bit but the 580s aren't short on bass.

Just tried the second example of the GE 6AS7GA, much better than the first one. No microphonics and very close to the sound of the Mullard 6080. The Mullard has a slight edge in solidity and detail resolution though.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: tdogzthmn on January 08, 2011, 03:30:58 PM
The E80CC looks appealing to me and I do have the speedball in my amp so I'm guessing its safe to try it out.  I use the 5998 mostly as a power tube so ideally the E80CC would work well in combination.  I really like the fast, detail oriented tubes that will run well with my 120ohm AKGs.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Dr. Toobz on January 19, 2011, 04:50:03 PM
Another driver tube experiment to report on, and a weird one at that: a Chatham 2399. This oddball tube doesn't appear to be that common in the literature, but from what I read, it's basically a re-badged Tung-Sol 5998. I've seen a few people question whether this is the case, or that the 2399 might be sort of "in between" a 6080 and 5998. From the 5998-type dotted plates to the noticeably lower output impedance the tube yields in the cathode follower arrangement (32 ohm phones that sounded like crap on the stock circuit sound much better and balanced with the 2399), it is obviously more like a 5998 than a 6080. In fact, I have no reason to believe it is not just a 5998 in different clothing.

I have found that the 2399 is a bit brighter (or more clinical?) than the 6N13S I was using before, so the driver tube was changed to temper the overall sound. The 12BH7 sounded much worse (sharp and dry, almost sold-state sounding) with the 2399 than a 5963/12AU7, so I went back to the former. Tube rolling seems to be all about balance - a dry sounding, bright power tube may have great synergy with a softer driver tube, and vice versa. Granted, I think this also has to do with the impedance that my 300 ohm HD-650's "like to see" - lower isn't necessarily better. In this case, I seem to like the 2399/5963 combo a bit better than the 6N13S/12BH7 one used before, so I'm going to stick with that setup for a while.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: hasafraker on January 23, 2011, 10:56:58 AM
question for anyone, I have a pinacle audio 12au7 that flashes (one filament only) when I power up the amp, none of my other 12au7's or variants do this. It seems to sound ok. Is this anything I should worry about?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: JC on January 23, 2011, 11:05:42 AM
Sounds like it might be of European heritage.  The flashing filaments were, for some years, part of their version of "controlled warm-up" for their heaters.  I've seen it most often in 12Axx series tubes, but they used it in others as well.

If this is the case, it is nothing to be concerned about.

Edit: I now see that Angela Instruments had some 12AU7s on E-Bay listed as "Pinnacle European Audio Tube", so I'd say the odds are better that you have a Euro-tube.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: hasafraker on January 23, 2011, 11:33:01 AM
JC, thanks for the info! Yes this is in fact one of Angela's ebay tubes. I've purchased lots of random items from them over the years and the tube was pretty reasonable, $10 shipped I think so not much of a risk to give one a try. It seems to sound pretty good, at least as good as the other 12au7's I have.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: JC on January 23, 2011, 01:40:37 PM
That certainly seems very reasonable, considering what new-manufacture ones go for retail.

As I've mentioned before, my first experience with this flashing phenomenon was in a vintage British guitar amp that just been purchased by the shop I was doing some repair work for.  We knew nothing about it at the time, so I think you can imagine the owner's face when four of those little flashes went off when he turned the amp on for the first time!  I don't think he could have got to that plug any faster on a bet!

Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: spear321 on January 27, 2011, 06:05:16 AM
Waiting for Crack to arrive, stuck in customs I think.

But have bought some 13D5 think these are 6.3V
Do I have to do any mods to the heater wiring, or will they just go straight in?

If have to mod, will a 12au7 work all right afterwards, don't want to have to keep swapping the wiring, I know you lot would put in a switch somehow, but I am afraid my buildings not up to that.

Thanks in advance for any help, did not think about this when I bought them, oh hum.

Cheers Paul
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Nocturnal on January 30, 2011, 06:40:35 AM

Is the 6528 a plug in replacement for the 6080 and usable in the stock Crack?   I don't see it listed at the start of this thread.

http://www.radiomuseum.org/tubes/tube_6528.html (http://www.radiomuseum.org/tubes/tube_6528.html)
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Doc B. on January 30, 2011, 06:51:15 AM
No, a 6528 won't work - draws twice the heater current.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Nocturnal on January 30, 2011, 06:55:26 AM
No, a 6528 won't work - draws twice the heater current.

Dang, it apparently helps to lower impedance.  Thought it'd be interesting to try it with my Grado headphones.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Doc B. on January 30, 2011, 07:26:05 AM
You can't lower the impedance of Crack close enough to the 32 ohm range to sound as good as it does with higher impedance headphones. IMO it will be nice, but not fantastic, even with a 5998 (which sounds great with Senns, Beyers, etc). However we are working on a new, different amp circuit that would specifically address 32 ohm headphones.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Nocturnal on January 30, 2011, 08:21:27 AM
You can't lower the impedance of Crack close enough to the 32 ohm range to sound as good as it does with higher impedance headphones. IMO it will be nice, but not fantastic, even with a 5998 (which sounds great with Senns, Beyers, etc). However we are working on a new, different amp circuit that would specifically address 32 ohm headphones.

  A modification to the Crack or a new product?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: hasafraker on January 30, 2011, 09:03:07 AM
ok Doc you've let the cat out of the bag...
Quote
However we are working on a new, different amp circuit that would specifically address 32 ohm headphones.
Any idea when this might arrive? care to share any details? :D
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Joppa on January 30, 2011, 11:48:16 AM
The hope is to have a prototype running for the March 5 HeadFi meeting at BHQ. At this point I don't know if it will happen that fast, or even if it does, whether the amp will be broken in. It certainly won't be refined yet - we usually screw around with the design and parts a bit before releasing a product.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: hasafraker on January 30, 2011, 04:03:20 PM
well that's awesome... my birthday is in march ;)  I look forward to hearing more as it develops, who knows maybe I'll have something to compare to the Crack soon :D
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: tdogzthmn on February 08, 2011, 06:29:13 PM
Sadly, my 5998 went out on me today.  I lost the right channel after I powered the amp on after switching the 12AU7 to a 5814.  I was scared at first but I pulled out the 5998 and put in an a 6AS7G and got both channels back.  Sounds good now but I find there to be a noticeable difference in quality with the 5998 being very dark and detailed.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: hasafraker on February 09, 2011, 01:40:42 AM
that's too bad :( at least it was the tube and not some other component but those 5998's are hard to come by unless you can afford what people are asking. I've been trying to get one off ebay but they're never cheap and always people wanting them... someday!
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: hasafraker on February 28, 2011, 08:55:06 AM
question, I saw in another thread PJ mentioned a tube I hadn't seen listed before 7802 as a sub for the 6080/6AS7, I happened a cross a NOS Tung-Sol 7802 pretty cheap so I picked it up, should this just drop in or will it need any changes, I've been looking for a 5998 to try and still haven't seen anything that didn't qualify as "stupid expensive" and I'm not going to spend the kind of money those tubes are going for, I figure if this guy is a drop in and I don't like the sound I won't have any trouble getting my money out of it, assuming it's fully serviceable.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: hasafraker on March 03, 2011, 03:01:10 PM
well according to the data sheet I couldn't see a reason the 7802 isn't a drop in sub so I plugged it in and it's got about 28hrs on it now and sounds great.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: deltaunit on April 27, 2011, 12:44:14 AM
You can add the CV2984 to the output tube alternative lists, it's a drop in replacement. I just picked a GEC one up to have as a spare. It seems good nothing really between it and my Mullard 6080 anyway.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: jrihs on April 28, 2011, 01:02:29 PM
Thanks! Isn't CV2984 just the euro designation for 6080 though? Or am I misunderstanding something?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: deltaunit on April 28, 2011, 01:16:38 PM
It's the uk military spec version of the 6080 which as far as I know is known as a 6080 here.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: MxT on April 28, 2011, 09:10:24 PM
Hi guys.

Im not jacked on tube's at all. So if I had to get a suggestion of a drop in tube to try what should I look at??

thanks!!
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: dubiousmike on April 30, 2011, 04:59:00 AM
Can anyone advise as to whether a Shuguang cv181-z is a safe 6sn7 alternative in the crack? 

I've read conflicting comments on the net - one site claiming the cv181-z is a safe 6sn7 replacement "in any circuit" (http://thetubestore.com/sh-cv181-z.html), while another gives it rave reviews while also emphasizing the heightened current draw from the heaters of the cv181-z (http://www.tnt-audio.com/accessories/shuguang_treasures_cv181_e.html).  Has anyone tried this tube in their crack, and is it okay to do so?

Thanks in advance for any comments any of your can offer!
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Joppa on April 30, 2011, 11:44:31 AM
Neither of the suggested web sites has much actual data, and I'm afraid the tnt-audio one has a fair amount of misinformation. (I am not questioning his listening report, just some of the technical aspects.) Do read his follow-up article. But Grant Fidelity has a spec sheet for the tube:

http://grantfidelity.com/site/files/shuguang%20treasure%20tube%20spec%20cv-181_0.pdf

From these specs, it is equivalent to a 6SN7-GTA, including the same 600mA heater current, the same mu of 20 and transconductance of 2.6mA/volt, and the same 450v maximum plate voltage. In fact the specs are so identical that it is clear they are copies of the 6SN7 specs. A couple of them are mis-labeled but the intention is clear. Not surprisingly, no information is available that I could find reporting how close to these specs the average tube might actually be.

A real CV181 (no -Z, not from Shuguang) is said to be equivalent to an ECC32, but the available information is small and inconsistent - I found one report of 600mA and another of 950mA heater current, for example. Why they would mark a tube with the designation of another is beyond me - unless they mean to indicate the size and shape of the envelope rather than the operating parameters. Kind of like a $20 "Rolex" watch, I guess.  :^)
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: dubiousmike on April 30, 2011, 05:22:40 PM
Much appreciated Paul!  Setting aside the needlessly confusing naming scheme, it sounds like they should at least be safe to try in the crack - at least based on the paper specs.  I've heard generally good things about the "treasures" on head-fi - although I believe most of the chatter was about their 300b variant.  

I just might give one a try.  If I do, I'll make sure to chime back in and let you all know how it worked out.

Thanks again for breaking this all down for me!  

Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: dubiousmike on May 02, 2011, 09:30:10 AM
To follow up on my last post, upon further reading, it looks like the verdict on head-fi is that Shuguang Treasures are just "alright" but nothing to write home about. 

If anyone else is interested in reading all or part of a 60 page thread devoted to 6sn7 tubes, here's the link: https://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/479031/6sn7-tube-addicts/735 (https://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/479031/6sn7-tube-addicts/735)
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Jim R. on May 02, 2011, 09:35:23 AM
Yes, after my initial enthusiasm for the 2a3z Treasures, they didn't live up to the hype for me -- very smooth sound, but not very good on the top end.

I really like the Russian military 6h8c 6sn7 equivalents (well, almost equivalents) -- the military version with the metal base -- the regular run of the mill ones are again, nothing to write home about.  Of course the real ones are hard to get and expensive.

-- Jim
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Joppa on May 02, 2011, 12:26:10 PM
This thread has gotten quite long, so I'm not sure where the crept in - but a 6SN7 is a viable substitute for the 12AU7 (with a socket adapter). It is NOT a substitute for the 6080/6AS7/etc! You can plug it in and you'll get some sound out - for a while - but it will throw the operating points way out and will increase distortion a lot.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: sbelyo on May 02, 2011, 01:01:32 PM
I have one of those adapters on the way and a box of red base 6sn7's Ken-Rad's etc.  I can't wait to tube roll.  I've promised my self to give it a week before I start rolling
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: tubeglow on May 02, 2011, 08:32:07 PM
What type of adapter does one need to use different tubes? Sorry for the uneducated question.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Billyk on May 02, 2011, 11:58:28 PM
I purchased an adapter from ebay :http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=320659633166&ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=320659633166&ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT). I am very happy with it. I think I have notice a very very small amount of hum but it could be the tube. Anyway for $14.00 USD you can't beat it, except to be warned it opens the gates to more options to spend money on tubes!!!
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: sbelyo on May 03, 2011, 04:43:58 AM
I just put in the JJ 12AU7 just to see if it was any better than the EH and I think it's more musical and I can hear better seperation in between the instruments.  For a ten dollar new production tube it's worth a roll. 

Next is the groove tubes 12au7 ( I think I saw one in my tube box).  I'm waiting for at least 24 hours of break in before I try my telefunken and clear top rca's
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: dubiousmike on May 03, 2011, 08:26:06 AM
This thread has gotten quite long, so I'm not sure where the crept in - but a 6SN7 is a viable substitute for the 12AU7 (with a socket adapter). It is NOT a substitute for the 6080/6AS7/etc! You can plug it in and you'll get some sound out - for a while - but it will throw the operating points way out and will increase distortion a lot.

Thanks for the further clarification Paul!  I had gotten the naming schemes mixed up in suggesting that I might use a Shuguang in place of my 5998.  I have edited my prior post accordingly to minimize the confusion.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: sbelyo on May 06, 2011, 04:56:46 AM
I couldn't resist....  After 15 - 20 Hrs. of break in I put in a 50's NOS Sylvania 6AS7G (black plates) and a Telefunken 12AU7.

All I have to say is holy crap!  That is the closest I've ever felt to "being there" while listening to my gear.  My Crack is totally stock and I did this on purpose this time so that I could see what changes made the biggest difference.

I can't wait until it breaks in!

My source is a heavily modified Philips DVD 963 SA.
http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/digital-source/19911-upgrading-philips-dvd-963-sa.html
The key mods were:
Replacing opamps in output stage with BB OPA627's
Coupling caps are Blackgate NX
Main PSU cap is a Blackgate VK (or STD, I can't remember )
Nichicon Muse KZ's in all the key locations
Seperate Bi Polar regulated supply for the output stage ( bumped up to 24V, if I remember )
Replaced DAC chip with next model up in the same line, and then stacked another one on top ( That was not for the faint at heart )
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: dubiousmike on May 20, 2011, 01:00:21 PM
Does anyone know if oxidized pins can result in hum?

I recently picked up 2 supposedly nos RCA 12bh7a's on the cheap on ebay.  Unfortunately, the black plate tube (1959), supposedly the better of the 2, produces a pretty noticeable hum when plugged into my crack. The grey plate tube (1963), by contrast, sounds quite good and is perfectly quiet.  For purposes of comparison, I wouldn't say that I clearly prefer the grey plate to the 12au7 bugle boy I was previously running, but I do like it better than the RCA "clear top" 12au7 I also have on hand.

The black plate tube definitely has dirtier pins than the others and was harder to slide into the socket.  Could this possibly relate to the hum I'm hearing.  Would it be worth my picking up some contact cleaner to see if this possibly improves the situation?  Alternatively, do brass or copper dampers like these (http://www.audiotubes.com/damper.htm ) actually help to reduce hum? 
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Doc B. on May 20, 2011, 01:40:01 PM
Just buffing the pins with fine steel wool can work wonders. If you want to get hardcore you can chuck a Q tip in a Dremel and polish the pins with something like Simichrome.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: dubiousmike on May 20, 2011, 01:54:29 PM
Thanks Doc! 
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Billyk on May 21, 2011, 02:03:06 AM
I used to use Caig de-Oxit and then some Pro Gold... I'll have to find it and try some out. I had forgotten about it.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: levlhed on June 09, 2011, 05:02:46 PM
What about the 6520 on the output?  Supposed to be a better version of a 6as7G?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: levlhed on June 17, 2011, 09:48:16 AM
I hosed one side of my precious 5998 by being too hasty with an input tube roll, I didn't give it nearly enough time to cool down before powering back up...I wanted to cry.
I did a little research and decided to try 7236, which is basically a souped-up computer-rated version of a 5998.  To my ears, I actually think it sounds a little better than a 5998!  It's at least as good.  I would have to highly recommend checking one out if you are having trouble getting your hands on a real 5998.  Yes, they aren't the sexy ST style bottle, but I think they still look pretty darn cool on the Crack.
Brendan @ tubeworld has a NOS pile of these right now for a very reasonable price.  I'm fortunate (my wallet says unfortunate) to be local to tubeworld.com HQ!
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Laudanum on June 18, 2011, 03:40:58 AM
I should probably ask this on the tube forum at the Asylum but I'll give it a shot here.  I was digging through my stash and found two tubes that I bought a decade ago off of ebay.  They were sold as Philips ECC82's.  Both tubes are completely wiped except for some etched codes near the bottoms.  One has the Herleen Delta followed by 2B3 and the other the Herleen Delta followed by 2B4.  Also, looking at the bottoms, each has a single letter etched inside the glass.  One with a capital  H and another with a capital E. 
I never used them because I was never 100% sure if they were 12AU7's or 12AX7's or one of the 9 pins with similiar internal construction.  I havent been able to correlate the code with a tube type, I think its just manufacturing plant and date code but I dont know much about code.    They have Halo getters and the half circle through one side of the plates and look like Amperex 12AU7 / ECC82's but I have 12AX7's that look the same.  They are flashers, but I think a lot of the Amperex and other euro 9 pins were flashers.  I tested them as 12AU7's and they test as such (relative to my known 12AU7's)  but it's just an old heathkit emissions tester that I use to give me a very general idea of whether the tube is strong (atleast out of circuit) and mainly to test for shorts.
 I didnt try testing a 12AX7 using 12AU7 settings (or vice versa) in the tester, I assume that I could try that without damaging the tester or the tube, but Im not positive.   If I plugged them into one of my hi-fi amps that uses a 12AX7 preamp tube, I suppose I would easily notice the lower gain in the decreased output from the amp if they are indeed 12AU7's, right?   I just dont want to roll one into Crack and do any damage if it's not a 12AU7/ECC82.

Any advice appreciated.  Thanks.
 
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: castelletti on June 24, 2011, 06:36:36 PM
Ive had fun rolling a few tubes through the Crack.  I have a friend who does Gov't work who is also a guitar amp builder and he comes across some nice tubes from time to time and had a pretty modest stash (compared to Doc anyways)  I rolled the following all NOS except the Mullard which tested very strong

RCA 12AU7 black plate
RCA 12AU7 grey plate
RCA 5814a black plate
Mullard 12AU7
Tung Sol 12BH7A black plate
Amperex 12AU7 orange globe
RCA 12BH7 black plate
EH 12AU7
GE 5814A grey plate

Havent had a chance to try anything other than the Raytheon 6080WA that came with it but I did manage to pick up a NOS GEC 6080 on ebay ...I have no idea what to expect but for $20 i figured its worth a roll....

Im really liking the Tungsol 12bh7a the best right now and the RCA 5814A is just slightly behind it.

Tube rolling is really fun

Anyone tried an Amperex 7316?

Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: dubiousmike on July 04, 2011, 07:41:53 AM
Just buffing the pins with fine steel wool can work wonders. If you want to get hardcore you can chuck a Q tip in a Dremel and polish the pins with something like Simichrome.

Happy to report that after taking some fine grain sandpaper to the pins, and then inserting, removing and reinserting the tube a half dozen or so times, my 1959 rca blackplate (12bh7a) is now singing beautifully in my crack without the slightest hum. 




Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: williaty on July 10, 2011, 10:36:55 PM
So I'm set for signal tubes for the near future (other than wanting to play with a 6SN7) but I'm having a devil of a time finding some alternative power tubes.

Specially, does anyone know where I could buy a 5998 (NOT 5998A)? Other than a pair on eBay, I can't find any to be bought at all.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Laudanum on July 11, 2011, 12:38:30 AM
I take it that you only want the ST shaped 5998 (Tungsol).  Not the straight glass which, I think are 5998A's (usually anyway).
There is one member here who may have one for sale but I'll have to let him speak for himself.  I'll PM him for you.  I picked one up from him.
Other than that, they will pop up on ebay fairly frequently.  You can also inquire in the tubes asylum at AA.  And check Audiogon.  But watch this thread or you Bottlehead PM, I may have a line on one for you.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: williaty on July 11, 2011, 10:08:51 AM
Thanks Laudanum.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Laudanum on July 11, 2011, 11:50:29 AM
My pleasure.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: dubiousmike on July 19, 2011, 07:40:12 AM

Im really liking the Tungsol 12bh7a the best right now and the RCA 5814A is just slightly behind it.


Thanks for recommending the TS 12bh7a!  I stumbled on a deal on one (nos from 1959) on ebay a week or so ago, and it arrived last night.  I am really enjoying what I'm hearing so far.  This may well be a new favorite for me. 

My early impression (via HD800's) is that the trebles have the same texture and timbre that I like so much from my 12au7 bugle boy but with the added fullness of sound (perhaps slightly elevated mids/mid-bass?) that seems typical of the difference between 12bh7a's and 12au7's.     
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: castelletti on July 19, 2011, 10:11:23 AM
thats what i was hearing too.  im not sure what the specs are on them...they could have more gain giving the illusion of that though.  whatever the case i really like them.  glad you are enjoying them too.  being relatively new to tube audio tube rolling is fun but i'd rather not throw good money after bad.                                                 
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: TonyMc on August 12, 2011, 06:01:12 AM
I just picked up a couple (RCA?) "JAN" 6AS7G. Yesterday. Hopefully they arrive sometime next week. I'm looking forward to doing a little rolling.
What seems to make the biggest difference in SQ with the Crack? Output tube or driver tube?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Lee Hankins on August 12, 2011, 02:20:24 PM
IMHO it is a waste of money to purchase any addition 6080 or 6AS7's for tube rolling over the stock tube, save your money and put it towards a 5998 or 2399, if one can not afford the 5998 then definitely try the 6AS7 over any 6080.  I have not heard the 421A, 5998A, or 7236, all variations in the 5998 family.

Tubes that I have rolled through my Crack (I had 17 6080/6AS7 tubes before purchasing the Crack, the 2399/5998 were the only tubes that I purchased):

6080WB: Raytheon, Sylvania, Tung-Sol, GE, and Chatham
6AS7G: RCA, Raytheon, and Tung-Sol
2399/5998: Chatham and Tung-Sol.  

Again IMHO in general the 6AS7 is better sounding than any 6080 tube.  The 6080 is an extremely rugged tube (really like the looks of this tubes internal structure), but just like the 5691/5692 tube in the 6SL7/6SN7 family, tubes build for long life and rugged uses are usually not the best sounding tube.

Driver Tube:  Way too many to list, but my preference is the 6SN7GT.  Tung-Sol round plate 6SN7GT, or RCA VT-231/6SN7GT, leaning towards the RCA in the Crack.

The 5998 is a large improvement over the 6080, not as big an improvement over the 6AS7 but still the better sounding tube.

I believe that the largest improvement in sound quality comes from the driver tube.  But, finding the best sounding driver tube for a 6080, does not mean that it would be the best sounding tube with the 6AS7 or 5998.  One must roll tubes for each individual Output tube to find the optimal sound.

Caution!!  The level of modification also greatly effects the quality of sound of any piece of equipment.  My Crack has the Speedball upgrade, 104 uf film OP Caps (parallel 52uf), last Power Supply cap is a 52uf film, and last PS resister replaced with a choke, and all PS and OP caps bypassed with .01 uf teflon caps.  If you have a stock Crack or have only the Speedball upgrade my recommendations may not apply, just a rough starting point.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Beefy on August 13, 2011, 04:35:51 PM
In my humble experience, switching the output tube to a 5998 yielded better gains than several different 12AU7's or a 12BH7 (although the 12BH7 is still very early listening).

*

On a semi-related note, one of the pins fell off one of the 12BH7's I bought. Huge shame, because it was a beautiful looking long-plate version :(
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: williaty on August 13, 2011, 04:37:59 PM
I'd agree that going from a 6080 to a 5998 was a much bigger change than messing around with different 12AU7s and 12BH7s. I have to wonder, though, if the primary reason for that is changing to the 5998 significantly lowers the output impedance. Even with high-impedance cans, that's still a good thing.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Beefy on August 13, 2011, 04:42:08 PM
I have to wonder, though, if the primary reason for that is changing to the 5998 significantly lowers the output impedance. Even with high-impedance cans, that's still a good thing.

As good an explanation as any!
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Laudanum on August 14, 2011, 02:07:27 AM
Lee knows his tubes and has helped me with some 6SN7 info (thanks again, Lee).
I think it's worth picking up a socket adapter and trying some of the 6SN7's.  Outside of the more expensive top 5 6SN7's the Sylvania Chrome Top/Dome 6SN7's (GTA, GTB) are pretty nice sounding tubes and can be found for not much money, especially re-branded (Baldwin, Silvertone etc).  I was able to pick up a Sylvania Jan CHS 6SN7GT / VT231 (bottom getter) which I think is one of the top 5's on most lists.  This is a really nice tube.  So is the brown base sylvania 6SN7WGTA that I picked up in a lot of several 6SN7's.   But I could be very happy with the Chrome Domes and, atleast to my non-golden ears, they arent that far behind.  Of course, YMMV.  I plan on building a FPIII with octal sockets for 6SN7's.

I also have a Tungsol 5998 (and rebranded spare) that I picked up mainly to try with my AKG 601's.  The 5998 was reportedly of particular benefit with the 601's leaner bass because of the lowered output imp. of Crack when using this tube.  I cannot say that the bass is increased in quantity over the 6AS7 but it is tightened up and the added gain is of benefit for less efficient phones.  I agree that most will probably find it to be the better sounding tube overall, which is the most important thing.  I dont know if I would jump to buy a 5998 if money was tight and one was happy with the 6AS7 which really are nice sounding tubes.  But definitely worth a buy and try if the budget allows.  Again, YMMV.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Beefy on August 14, 2011, 05:59:07 AM
The 5998 was reportedly of particular benefit with the 601's leaner bass because of the lowered output imp. of Crack when using this tube.

I may be wrong here, but it is my understanding that a lower output impedance will actually reduce the bass. When calculating the cutoff frequency, the output impedance is in series with the load - and lower impedance increases the cutoff. The benefit from a lower output impedance is an increase in the damping factor - so whatever bass is there should be tighter.

Its a careful balancing act between these opposing effects, and really comes down to personal taste.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Doc B. on August 14, 2011, 06:43:08 AM
I did some listening last week to try to better distinguish the differences between the Crack and the Smack with headphones of various impedances and it was clear that Crack does have nice tight bass, even on lower impedance headphones, apparently due in part to the OTL design (as long as the cans aren't power hungry like LCD-2s or K1000s). When headphones are matched with the output impedance switch on the Smack its output transformers give a sense of better (more, deeper) bass balance with low impedance cans, but the notes are a bit less sharply defined. The Smack excels in the mid and treble regions where a transformer shows an advantage over a cathode follower in terms of smoothness and resolution.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Laudanum on August 14, 2011, 07:32:44 AM
The 5998 was reportedly of particular benefit with the 601's leaner bass because of the lowered output imp. of Crack when using this tube.

I may be wrong here, but it is my understanding that a lower output impedance will actually reduce the bass. When calculating the cutoff frequency, the output impedance is in series with the load - and lower impedance increases the cutoff. The benefit from a lower output impedance is an increase in the damping factor - so whatever bass is there should be tighter.

Its a careful balancing act between these opposing effects, and really comes down to personal taste.

That should be right according to a related response by Paul J. to a question I had a while back.  I had forgotten about it.  The higher damping factor would explain my hearing the tightened bass.  That said, I dont think there was any real decrease in bass, not audible anyway.  But being a matter of cutoff frequency being raised, not actual reduction of the entire bass frequency range, it wouldnt necessarily translate to an audible decrease in bass anyway.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Joppa on August 15, 2011, 06:09:41 PM
I did some calculating, based on the published curves and specs, a while back. In the stock circuit, the output impedance of a 5998 is 80% of the 6AS7 impedance - quite a small difference, in spite of what the difference might be at the operating points cited in the data sheets. I doubt the impedance is the reason for the sonic difference.

I and a few others around here have heard these tubes as straight amplifiers (preamps) with the output taken from the anode. In this case, the 5998 has a higher output impedance than the 6AS7, and the broad consensus is that it still sounds superior.

I wish I knew why.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Noskipallwd on August 16, 2011, 04:05:56 AM
Hello,
I'm fond of the 5998 myself, it performed well in just about every amp I have heard one in. Folks try to tell me that the WE 421A is a better tube. They don't seem to appreciate it when I tell them that the 421As are all rebranded TS 5998s. Has anyone ever rolled an Amperex 7316 in this amp, or has anyone ever heard one in other equipment? I've heard raves about this tube but they are rare and cost half as much as the Crack. Probably won't ever buy one, just wonder if they sound as good as people say.

Cheers,

Shawn Prigmore
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Beefy on August 16, 2011, 04:17:57 AM
Folks try to tell me that the WE 421A is a better tube. They don't seem to appreciate it when I tell them that the 421As are all rebranded TS 5998s.

To be fair, I have heard a convincing argument that 421A tubes were 5998 tubes specifically hand-selected for high transconductance. Sure as hell doesn't justify their extra price to me though......
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Noskipallwd on August 16, 2011, 08:24:26 AM
Quote
To be fair, I have heard a convincing argument that 421A tubes were 5998 tubes specifically hand-selected for high transconductance. Sure as hell doesn't justify their extra price to me though......

That's interesting, I hadn't heard that. Sounds feasible though, I wonder how much variation in transconductance there can be amongst tubes made with the same manufacturing methods. Maybe someone with a little experience could enlighten me. I agree that the price difference is nuts. Of course supply and demand drives that, and somebody is willing to pay otherwise they couldn't charge that much. Same with the Amperex 7316 I asked about.

Cheers,

Shawn Prigmore
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Mr. Davis on August 18, 2011, 04:23:46 PM
My 5998 Tung-sol Chatham came in the mail today. I'm listening to the Scorpions at the moment.  Its sounds quite good.  I've never heard my HD600 sound this good.  

I also have a CBS 6AS7G.  It sounds almost as good as the 5998.  It has a little bit more bass.

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-hRgIfonKVME/Tk3XUbk7E_I/AAAAAAAAAow/uI-pjXKOqQI/s800/IMG_0271.JPG)
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: TonyMc on August 18, 2011, 05:33:51 PM
My 5998 Tung-sol Chatham came in the mail today. I'm listening to the Scorpions at the moment.  Its sounds quite good.  I've never heard my HD600 sound this good.  

I also have a CBS 6AS7G.  It sounds almost as good as the 5998.  It has a little bit more bass.


Nice. I just received a pair of RCA 6AS7G yesterday. Not a whole lot of difference in sound over the Tung-Sol 6080 that came with it, but it sure looks cool. Makes the Crack look like a beast.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Laudanum on August 19, 2011, 02:39:43 AM
My 5998 Tung-sol Chatham came in the mail today. I'm listening to the Scorpions at the moment.  Its sounds quite good.  I've never heard my HD600 sound this good.  

I also have a CBS 6AS7G.  It sounds almost as good as the 5998.  It has a little bit more bass.


I initially thought that the 6AS7 had a bit more bass than the 5998 as well (and it may).  But I wasnt so sure after listening for a while.  I heard subtleties in bass lines, for example, a little bit clearer with the 5998, skin attack on drums seems a little crisper and more defined.  Upper mids and treble seems a bit cleaner with a little more detail and treble maybe slightly more extended but smooth.  These were pretty subtle differences but noticeable.  With these differences in both the lower and upper ends of the frequency range I wasnt so sure that I was really hearing less bass but that it was a bit tighter. The 5998 has higher gain which is the most noticeable difference right off the bat.   But I did not play a wide range of music to compare and I didnt spend a huge amount of time analyzing the differences which isnt something Im good at anyway.  I'd rather just listen to the music and stick with a tube based on how the music "feels" rather than my actually thinking about how it sounds ... if that makes sense.
I was/am quite happy with the RCA 6AS7 and really wanted to try the 5998 more for my AKG K601's.  But the 601's reportedly have a long burn in and they really have changed from out of the box.  I put the 5998 aside to revisit after the 601's have had some good hours on them.  It will, in all probability, end up being the tube I use in Crack.  To me, it has a certain rightness to it's sound beyond the descriptions that I dont have the vocabulary to describe, assuming it's actually someting that could be put into words.  
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Mr. Davis on August 19, 2011, 01:36:15 PM
I think your description of the 5998 is pretty darn good.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Lar on September 19, 2011, 10:25:24 AM
Just a quick question from a newbie, I have built the Crack with Speedball, was wondering if by swapping out to different tubes, would that alter my voltage check numbers?  Thanks.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Doc B. on September 19, 2011, 10:48:15 AM
Yes, different tubes can change the voltages on pins A1, A6, B1, B3, B4 and B6 somewhat.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Lar on September 19, 2011, 11:52:35 AM
Thanks Doc, i figured they might.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: williaty on September 19, 2011, 04:48:35 PM
If the gain with the stock 6080 tube is around 15dB, what's the gain once you swap in a 5998?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: jrihs on November 14, 2011, 10:34:35 AM
HI all! Regarding soviet era tubes...I was wondering what, if any difference is between the 6H13 and 6N13. I just got a 6H5 ... not a great tube in this application imho.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Jim R. on November 14, 2011, 11:36:22 AM
Nothing more than a translation issue -- h and n being alternate western designations for the same cyrillic letter.  Likewise b and v.  Source is a good friend with a Ph.D. in Russian Literature who works mostly as a translator.

In other words, it should bwe the same tube.

-- Jim
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: jrihs on November 14, 2011, 02:01:58 PM
Sure that makes sense but funny that they would use both within slavic countries. Извини, пожалуйста!
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Bolivar on November 25, 2011, 08:23:20 AM
When looking at suitable alternative tubes, what are the main points that I should look for in the datasheet. For instance I have a 12AV7 (5965) tube. Could this work in place of the 12AU7?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Joppa on November 25, 2011, 10:33:06 AM
For a good match, you must match gain (mu), plate resistance (rp), and transconductance (gm). They are related, and a match of any two means the third will match as well. However, rp and gm are strong functions of plate current, so make sure the parameters are quoted at similar currents. Here is an example:

12AU7  at 10.5mA  mu=17, rp=7700, gm=2200
6CG7    at  9.0mA  mu=20, rp=7700, gm=2600

These are within less than 20%, indicating a close enough match for most purposes. Note that the 6CG7 needs twice as much heater current, fortunately Crack has enough current available to handle this requirement. You should always check this too, though!
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: stereo_eyes on November 25, 2011, 09:02:53 PM
While wandering through an electronics junk store while visiting my daughter for Thanksgiving I couldn't stop myself from buying a couple of tubes from their piles (literally) of tubes. I got an RCA 6ca7g that was just sitting in the bin (no box) that could be new (or not), and what appears to be a new in box GE 6ca7ga. The place (see below for those of you in the silicon valley area) had a simple pricing scheme: all tubes of a given type cost the same, independent of condition, with no testing and no guarantee!

So here's my real question: I now have two tubes that could be perfect or could have been sitting in that bin since somebody determined they didn't work 40 years ago and never got around to throwing them out.  Having experienced some rather interesting tube failures over the years, I'm a little nervous to just plug them into my shiny new crack and fire it up.  So nothing to worry about, just slam them in and look for fireworks in case I need to pull the plug? Or just write off this small impulse buy and get some tubes from somebody that has actually tested them before I put them in?



*http://www.yelp.com/biz/hsc-electronic-supply-santa-clara-2
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Jim R. on November 26, 2011, 02:56:11 AM
Well, the 6CA7 is a power pentode (el34 equivalent), so there's no place to use it in the Crack.  Both tubes in the Crack are dual triodes -- one small signal, one power.

HTH,

Jim
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: stereo_eyes on November 26, 2011, 06:27:20 AM
Okay, violated my "don't ever send email after midnight because bad things happen" rule.

The two tubes are, of course, really a 6AS7G and 6AS7GA. I guess I have 6CA7 seared into my brain after too many years of nursing a Dynaco Stereo 70 in my youth (showing my age!).
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Jim R. on November 26, 2011, 06:57:11 AM
Ah, well I'm sure we've all been there :-).

If it were me I'd probably start with the one in the factory box, do a visual inspection to make sure everyting looks ok internally, then make sure the filament is a low resistance and the other pins are very high -- ruling out any shorts between elements) and then give it a try.

This is assuming that you know the amp is working to begin with.

HTH,

Jim
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: stereo_eyes on November 26, 2011, 08:16:16 PM
Thanks Jim, that sounds like good advice. It's been 25 years since I had tube technology in my system, and I've forgotten even the basics. I'll be home in a couple of days and give the tubes a try.  The recently finished crack is working just fine, but all of the discussion of tube rolling made me feel like I needed to play around as well. Besides, the crack will look a lot cooler if the ST bottle tube works ;-)
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: langendorf on December 14, 2011, 08:42:24 AM
Hi


Do any of you have som link for tubes om ebay?

I would like som tubes that give more lower end/bass
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: langendorf on December 14, 2011, 09:06:43 AM
http://www.ebay.de/itm/6H13C-Svetlana-Rohre-6AS7G-6080-NOS-Rohrenverstarker-Tube-amp-/390366303246?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_77&hash=item5ae3a5140e (http://www.ebay.de/itm/6H13C-Svetlana-Rohre-6AS7G-6080-NOS-Rohrenverstarker-Tube-amp-/390366303246?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_77&hash=item5ae3a5140e)

http://www.ebay.com/itm/6N5S-6H5C-6AS7G-C-SVETLANA-USSR-TUBE-NIB-60s-/250948155938?pt=Vintage_Electronics_R2&hash=item3a6dacfa22

Would they be any good?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Bolivar on December 14, 2011, 09:15:12 AM
I have one of those Svetlana 6N5S tubes, and yes the lower end is somewhat more pronounced than in a 6080.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Lee Hankins on December 14, 2011, 09:34:45 AM
langendorf, If I remember correctly the RCA 6080/6AS7 tube usually has more base.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: langendorf on December 15, 2011, 02:28:05 AM
Hi

I just orderet the 6H13C Svetlana. But i should i order the Svetlana 6N5S to?

If you have any suggestions on input tube. And links to ebay i would apriciate it

Thanks :)
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Bolivar on December 15, 2011, 03:10:36 AM
The 6N5S(6H5C) is a military version of the 6H13C. I'd guess sonic differences between the two would be very small.

As for the driver tube, I like a Philips 6189W with my 6N5S. But these are a matter of taste, really. And your choice headphone will make a big difference on tube matching aswell.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: langendorf on December 15, 2011, 03:48:53 AM
shure it
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: jrihs on December 15, 2011, 08:33:03 PM
Further back in the thread I wrote that the 6H5C was not as good as the 6H13C. After reading Bolivars comment above I went back to give it another try. It still seems more laid back (mushy bass?) but is seemingly improving so I guess it may need more break-in. I admit that my previous comment was probably premature.

The 6H13C seemed alot like my WE 421a and perhaps not as much bass as the "military version"! if that's possible. Still the 421a rules, but not by that much.

It can be expensive to be a beginner in this hobby. For instance, everyone says that mullard 12au7's are warm (sometimes they say too warm) which did not seem appealing to me given my tastes, so I went right for the german, french, and dutch tubes (love them all), anyways I got the ones I wanted. Time to try a mullard and got a good price on a used 57? long plate, halo getter and wow...warm is not the qualifier I would use, amazing body and depth yes but not mushy at all (which is what I had assumed warm would mean). Sooo, guess I will to try a square getter long-plate, then I'll want back-ups....then I'll discover something else! Not wild about the 12bh7 (yet) but the 6sn7's with the adapter I got on ebay are looking pretty good!...love it but its adding up $$$.

One thing about these russian tubes...the quality seems to vary (regardless of source) so far. I usually buy in pairs (3 pairs so far from ebay) and invariably either one is bad or has uneven getters (which doesn't seem to affect sound). Just fyi.

Cheers
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Laudanum on December 16, 2011, 12:57:14 AM
Juts curious ... Are the 6H13C and/or 6H5C higher gain tubes like the 5998 and, I assume, the WE 421?  Higher gain compared to the 6080 or 6AS7 that is.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: jrihs on December 16, 2011, 07:14:50 AM
Hey Bolivar! Regarding my last post, I believe I know why the 6H5C is not quite as nice sounding as my 6H13C's. It is in fact, the later that is the military version. This is evidenced by the boxes the two came in (13's are plain cardboard - military, the 5's are commercial packaging). This is also evidenced by the relative availability of the 13's, which are much more common I think...due to the soviet military industrial complex? Also, the 13's have a diamond mark denoting military...AND, I now remember reading somewhere that the 13's were in fact the military rugidized version...

Thank goodness for my senior moments...hmmm...but my ears are getting better.

I can recommend the 6H5C's now (reversing previous comments up a few posts), but not as much as the 13's, and those not as much as the 421a's
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: jrihs on December 16, 2011, 07:32:14 AM
Laudanum...not sure about the gain but I thought I saw something about this earlier...maybe...but I will look!
Anybody else know?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Laudanum on December 16, 2011, 11:59:20 AM
Thanks jrihs, I went ahead and looked up the 6H13C.   It appears to be a higher gain tube like the 5998 based on a couple datasheets I found.  Im not comparing sonics, just amplification factor.  Couldnt find anything of confidence on the 6H5C (6N5S).  I wonder if it could be a lower gain variant rather than just a non-military spec tube.

Anyway, someone with both can maybe chime in ...
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Doc B. on December 16, 2011, 12:38:25 PM
Bear in mind that in this application the output tube is operating as a cathode follower, the gain of a cathode follower stage will always be less than 1. That is to say, the 5998 doesn't really have more gain than the 6080 in this applications, it just loses less gain.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: jrihs on December 16, 2011, 12:57:16 PM
Thanks Doc, that,s good to know!
Laudanum, What you say about the 6H5C (6N5S) makes  allot of sence! I have to jack-up the vol. when that one goes in. Not so with the 13's or the 421a.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Bolivar on December 16, 2011, 06:28:55 PM
Alright, seems I've read some misleading info regarding these russian tubes somewhere. I'm by no means an expert.

Who'd guess the internet could be wrong about anything : )
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: jrihs on December 16, 2011, 07:58:16 PM
No worries man...I'm a rookie myself...Hey it got me to go back and check that 6H5C tube, gave it a second chance. Now I think I understand it better, and to trust my ears more ;>
Nostrovia! er, um cheers!
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Laudanum on December 17, 2011, 03:20:04 AM
Not really misleading Bolivar.  Both appear to be fine as direct substitutes so no problems.  I didnt check all the specs and I couldnt find much of anything on the 6H5C (6N5S) except for a Russian data sheet and another sheet that had partial spec comparison between the different US and Russian tubes based on the tube numbering.  If I remember, that one may have listed the 6H5C with lower amplification factor.  I think that sparked my wondering if the 6H5C would really be the 6AS7 "sub" in terms of gain and the 6H13C the higher gain version ... maybe even intended as the Russian 5998 "equivalent".  Of course, some of this is just a guess on my part.

Seeing how there is a sonic difference between the 6AS7 and the 5998 that goes beyond that of "gain", I am curious of your impressions, jrihs, regarding the sonic differences between the two Russian tubes.
A lot of detail isnt necessary, but if you get a chance, maybe a little more detail on the sonics of both tubes.   And dont worry about "audiophile" jargon, it's not my forte either and to be quite honest, I dont really aspire to become fluent in audiophile-ese. 

Thanks


Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: jrihs on December 17, 2011, 06:17:56 PM
I'll get on it! As a preliminary, both have more bass (than the 421a). which may or may not be a good thing. I say that because neither have really tight, clean bass (on the crack). and the 6H5C is flabbier than that of the 13 to my ears. Good overall body which pair up well with Telefunkens...and mullard 12au7's as well. The 6H5c does require higher volume to get things focused...which does happen. Both are nice in other areas though. More on that later....To busy this weekend!
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Laudanum on December 18, 2011, 03:42:13 AM
Seems more and more like the "5" is closer to a 6AS7 and the "13" closer to a 5998.   Maybe I'll pick some up down the road.  In the meantime, I'll stay tuned to this thread as always.  Thanks jrihs.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: jrihs on December 18, 2011, 04:40:00 AM
Yeah that's probably the case...
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Dr. Toobz on December 18, 2011, 10:04:39 AM
Interesting. I have a 6N13S/6H13C tube in my Crack and my perception has been that electrically, it appears identical to the 6AS7 and 6080 tubes I have, but certainly different than the 5998. I know this because when experimenting, it acted the same way into a low-impedance load (Grados) as the 6AS7 family of tubes, whereas plugging in the 5998 led to a pronounced difference in bass and upper-midrange frequencies, presumably due to the higher gain (which leads to a lower output impedance in the cathode follower). The 6N13S seems to be a warmer and less sharp-sounding tube than the 5998. I'm not sure if this is due simply to the fact that it seems to act like a 6AS7 and yield a higher output impedance, which may interact differently with my headphones, or the fact that some have stated the tube has uneven curves, which may suggest higher levels of second harmonic distortion compared to the 5998 or even a "proper" 6AS7.

In any case, I think these are a good deal, as they can be had rather cheaply compared to even a good NOS 6AS7, let alone the WE 421a.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: jrihs on December 18, 2011, 01:12:09 PM
They certainly are a good deal on ebay, even if quality is a 50/50 proposition. Avoid the guy from lithuania on ebay, his current stock is sketchy. The guy from bulgaria is fine though, I've had good luck with though he just has the 6H5C's...NOS,NIB
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Laudanum on December 19, 2011, 02:21:56 AM
Interesting. I have a 6N13S/6H13C tube in my Crack and my perception has been that electrically, it appears identical to the 6AS7 and 6080 tubes I have, but certainly different than the 5998. I know this because when experimenting, it acted the same way into a low-impedance load (Grados) as the 6AS7 family of tubes, whereas plugging in the 5998 led to a pronounced difference in bass and upper-midrange frequencies, presumably due to the higher gain (which leads to a lower output impedance in the cathode follower). The 6N13S seems to be a warmer and less sharp-sounding tube than the 5998. I'm not sure if this is due simply to the fact that it seems to act like a 6AS7 and yield a higher output impedance, which may interact differently with my headphones, or the fact that some have stated the tube has uneven curves, which may suggest higher levels of second harmonic distortion compared to the 5998 or even a "proper" 6AS7.

In any case, I think these are a good deal, as they can be had rather cheaply compared to even a good NOS 6AS7, let alone the WE 421a.

Not hearing either of the Russian tubes, I was comparing mainly the gain differences and, to a small degree, the description of the bass being apparently accentuated with the 6H5 compared to the 6H13.  However, if I recall properly, when discussing the differences in bass response related to lower output impedance of the 5998, Paul J mentioned  that the differences between the 6AS7 and 5998 were unlikely to do with the lower output impedance of the 5998 and rather due simply to the sonic difference between the tubes themselves.  THis discusssion should be a page or 2 or 3 back in this very thread.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: langendorf on January 03, 2012, 12:46:26 PM
Hi

Do any of you have experience with upscaleaudio? As far as i can see, they are cheaper and maybe a more reliable souce for tubes, than ebay? And I thougt that i may buy 2 really good tubes first, instead of buying many random tubes. I can properly not hold back anyways, but i can try ;) I know tubes are a matter of taste. But some tubes a generaly regarded better than others. As far as i have written they should be top notch. And i am a bit unsure if it is necessary to pick the highest grade or if it is beneficial to do so. I would assume that it depends on the amp. But any input on sound and general info is most welcome :)


Mullard CV4003  $30 to $50 depending on grade

http://www.upscaleaudio.com/products/Mullard-CV4003-%7B47%7D-12AU7-Vintage-New-Old-Stock.html



Mazda / Cifte 12AU7  $45 to $50

http://www.upscaleaudio.com/mazda-cifte-12au7/

And they can cryogenically treat them for 8$. That sounds cheap to.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: btrancho on January 03, 2012, 01:01:39 PM
I bought my CV4003 from them, and several years ago my PrimaLuna Prologue II.  Good service all around.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: mosshorn on January 03, 2012, 08:38:24 PM
Got my Telefunken 12AU7 in the other day. It seems to have tightened everything up over the Electro-Harmonix that came with my Crack. The bass response also seems a little bit punchier.


Have a Sylvania 6AS7G from the 40's on its way right now. Hopefully I'll enjoy it, and it will remove the buzz this 6080 gives :X
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Laudanum on January 04, 2012, 02:32:03 AM
Upsacle has been around a long time and had a very good reputation last time I checked, which was years ago.   I did buy a few tubes from them back then and all was fine.   That they are still around is probably a very positive sign. 
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: lextek on January 04, 2012, 02:34:42 AM
I've dealt with Upscale before and we will again.  Good company.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: jrihs on January 04, 2012, 05:28:03 PM
I'm a repeat offender at upscale. Will go back again! Try Brent Jesse as well...he knows his tubes and has a big selection...nothing cryo'd though.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Noskipallwd on January 04, 2012, 05:47:11 PM
Bought a few tubes from Upscale, good NOS selection, fast shipping. Picked up 2 CBS Hytron 5814a-BPs, per Ironbut's advice on pg. 1 of this thread. Sounds great in the Crack. I recently bought some tubes from TC tubes, really happy with this transaction.

Cheers,
Shawn P.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Laudanum on January 05, 2012, 03:51:46 AM
I like Tube World as well but Im selective (read: cheap).   I like to browse through his used tubes, he has some pretty good prices at times on tested, good, used tubes.  Got a couple 5998's from him a few months back for about 30 bucks each when ebay search kept coming up empty.  That's my pet peeve on tubes I think.  I gotta have spares of tubes I like and I gotta have them quick.  Just seeing where prices have gone on some of the rare and not in high supply tubes over the past decade, it's probably not a bad pet peeve to have.  But it tends to overstock me to the point of having more than I will ever use in several lifetimes when it comes to the less expensive tubes.  Oh well.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Grainger49 on January 05, 2012, 06:34:06 AM
I have used Upscale Audio and Tube World.  If you are looking for the right NOS tube for something special, Desmond/Laudanum hit the nail on the head, Tube World is great.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: jrihs on January 05, 2012, 09:51:43 AM
I always thought tube world was good as well (top dollar though). Shop around! Don't rule out ebay but know what the brick-and-mortar guys are charging before you start bidding. Also, I think Brent Jesse is a straight shooter despite an apparent smear campaign by some (or someone I think). I meant to post his link above...

http://www.audiotubes.com/

PS, guess I better order those tubes from Upscale (linked above) before they are all gone!

PSS. Audiogon is a great place to get used and NOS tubes...better than ebay

http://www.audiogon.com/
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Laudanum on January 05, 2012, 12:45:12 PM
I get most of my tubes from ebay.  Again, I find the deals and take the risk but have been ok on the vast majority.   I have bought from Brent Jesse before but he aint cheap either.  Tube World is top dollar on the highly sought stuff.  But he does have some good deals on some used tubes here and there.  I also got a couple old RCA OD3's from him for like 3 bucks each.  You can trust that he tests and how he tests used tubes moreso than most on ebay, that's for sure.  And he's great to deal with if there is a problem.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: jrihs on January 05, 2012, 02:51:06 PM
I have to say I get most of mine (90%) on ebay as well. It's so very fun and highly addicting to hunt/discover new things, anticipate a good price and compete, and get packages from all over the world! And as you say, for the most part, I've had good luck as well. I'm so addicted that I buy way more than I should, and should be sent to tubes anonymous. I suspect all collectors go through this ebay addiction. But who can turn down an opportunity to get a smooth-plate telefunken NOS-NIB from Hamburg for $20! or a triple mica nickle plate Mazda from the south of France for little more than shipping x 2!

I've bought most of my audio gear on audiogon though...mostly because I cannot pay full price (or even half) for all these cables, tweeks and components.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: jrihs on January 05, 2012, 03:33:28 PM
Does anyone have experience with CV4003's made by the English Electric Valve Co. Chelmsford? They look like the Mullard version. Do they sound as good though?

Thanks!!!
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: langendorf on January 05, 2012, 04:51:31 PM
Thank you all for the feedback.

I ordered the mullard and cifte tubes in platinum grade. But not with cryo threatment, i want to hear the original sound. May order some later to hear the difference

Know i just hope the crack will respond well to good tubes :)
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: mosshorn on January 05, 2012, 06:18:14 PM
Got my Sylvania 6AS7G in today, and I still hear some noise, could it perhaps be from the driver tube? I'll have an RCA soon to compare it to. Also, it was making a noise outside of my headphones when heating up, which I'm supposing is just it heating up, but I want to make sure :P
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Laudanum on January 06, 2012, 03:07:24 AM
If it's the same noise, then yes, very possibly the driver.  Are you sure that the external noise is originating from the tube and not the amp itself?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: mosshorn on January 06, 2012, 08:11:24 AM
Well, I went from annoying to bad. Looking under the hood, I found I didn't solder B7L or B8L, so I did. And now it won't power on -_- Back to the troubleshooting......


EDIT: Fixed it, and I swapped tubes again. The 6080 is significantly more noisy than this 6AS7, so I'll see if the RCA I have coming will remedy it.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: jrihs on January 06, 2012, 09:48:00 AM
Sorry to repeat but I got bumped and rather urgent...

Does anyone have experience with CV4003's made by the English Electric Valve Co. Chelmsford? They look like the Mullard version. Do they sound as good though?

Anyone have anything by the English Electric Valve Co.? Perhaps rebranded mullards?

Thanks again!!!
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: defenestration on January 09, 2012, 10:49:00 AM
just threw a cheapo perma-test 12bh7 off ebay in my crack, initial impression is of a markedly more restrained and less fatiguing presentation, heavily compressed electronic music recordings are now much more listenable through my 'phones

ear fatigue is a big thing for me so I'm liking this so far
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Herrfish on January 13, 2012, 02:10:24 PM
How about a 6520 in an non-speadball Crack? I don't see it on the list, but it appears to be an alternative.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Joppa on January 13, 2012, 03:33:50 PM
6520 is - supposedly - a well balanced 6AS7G. The only one I ever saw was not at all well balanced between sections, so caveat emptor, but it should be otherwise identical to a 6AS7G.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Herrfish on January 14, 2012, 01:35:39 AM
Thanks Paul. Sorry for the elementary question, but this imbalance translates to a stereo imbalance between the headphones drivers?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Joppa on January 14, 2012, 04:48:21 AM
Because the Crack output is a cathode follower, the gain difference will be much smaller than any difference in mu or gm (tube parameters). All tubes will have some difference in gain due to manufacturing variations, which though possibly audible are much much smaller than differences among solid-state devices. This is one of the things that makes it possible to forgo negative feedback in tube devices.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: jrihs on January 17, 2012, 06:23:49 PM
Hi! Anybody have any opinions on Valvo 12au7's...not so much the 30 degree getters, which I hear are similar to telefunkens.
Thanks in advance.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: jrihs on January 25, 2012, 05:40:31 PM
Hi all,

I am enjoying my E80CC very much. Juicy sounding, like an old english radio, and very detailed/clear. Percussion and wind Instruments are grand with this tube. Soundstage nearly as good...or maybe as good, as the Mullard CV4003...

Had a question though, I see the E80CC's advertised as both replacements for 12au7's and in yet other ads, as replacements for 12ax7's. Can the later be true? If so I'll try them in my phono stage as well...

Thanks in advance!
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Joppa on January 25, 2012, 07:23:54 PM
They are lying. E80CC takes twice the heater current of either 12AX7 or 12AU7, and has a gain of 27, not very close to 100 or 17 respectively. It will "work" in some circuits, that is sound will come out, but not the way the designer intended. In some cases it can do some damage. I think this has been covered in another thread ...
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: BNAL on January 26, 2012, 05:36:26 AM
Thank you all for the feedback.

I ordered the mullard and cifte tubes in platinum grade. But not with cryo threatment, i want to hear the original sound. May order some later to hear the difference

Know i just hope the crack will respond well to good tubes :)

Langendorf,

I did the same. I just put the Mullard in after listening to the CIFTE for a couple of weeks. I really like the CIFTE, becuase of its detailed sound and nice exstention. I have only listened to the Mullard for a couple of hours, but this is a very nice sounding tube as well. It seems to have a warmer sound. Not sure which I like better, but can say that this has been the biggest improvement in sound.

What do you think of the Mullard and CIFTE tubes?

Now I'm looking at what I want to try in place of the 6080.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: mosshorn on January 26, 2012, 06:24:13 PM
Have an NOS RCA 12BH7 on the way, got a decent deal on it so couldn't resist :) What would the negatives of running it in a stock Crack be as opposed to the Speedball? Wirewounds perhaps?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: jrihs on January 28, 2012, 06:08:14 PM
They are lying. E80CC takes twice the heater current of either 12AX7 or 12AU7, and has a gain of 27, not very close to 100 or 17 respectively. It will "work" in some circuits, that is sound will come out, but not the way the designer intended. In some cases it can do some damage. I think this has been covered in another thread ...

Thanks Paul, it sounds very different (better to my ears) with the speedball than it did before. Why is that? Please excuse if this was covered elsewhere...
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Joppa on January 28, 2012, 07:18:20 PM
Because of the cathode follower output, Crack is relatively tolerant of "similar" tubes - I really should have said something about that, I was just focused on the broader claim that you can use one tube in place of another when they are that different. A lot of tube sellers do this and it really bugs me. But I apologize for getting off the Crack topic.

When you change the tube parameters, the operating points (voltages and currents) will normally change.  The Speedball will eliminate the current differences, but the voltage differences may be larger. If you would post the voltages on the tubes, I can make some comments on why it might sound different - from a technical perspective of course. But there is more than simple technology at work in the way a tube sounds. If you hear a difference, there almost certainly is a difference!

What are you using for the output tube?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: jrihs on January 28, 2012, 09:07:38 PM
Thanks Paul, I can see now why u might be peeved at that. I've seen other outlandish claims on e-bay as well. Down right entertaining - u guys just starting out should be very wary of the tube museum guy, why he's still up I just don't understand. Hope I won't get in trouble for that comment. Just check it out, the audiogon forum has allot on him, and his listing that I last saw (was it last week?) is another head scratcher.

Anyways,

I usually run a power/output tube-WE 421a...but when the E80CC was in I was running a svetlana 6H13 (I think they are similar, except that you can get 15 svetlana's for the price of 421a). I'm keeping that in while I do some heavy input tube rotations/comparisons for consistency. I'm about through this round and will put the WE-421a back in and start over again! Good thing there are only 2 tubes on this puppy.

PS: Now I'm having trouble swapping-out the bugle boy 7316....another winner  <:-)
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Raksasa on January 31, 2012, 11:13:41 AM
Hi All,

Still loving my Speedballed Crack with my Beyer DT 880 600 ohm Manufaktur HPs (Meier Audio Corda StageDAC from PC).

Have been using an old CBA 7236 with a CBS 12BH7A. Decided to try some of my other tubes for a change.
Listening to a Mullard CV 4003 with a Russian Winged C (OTK) 6H13C. Very nice combination.

Does anyone know anything about "running in" tubes ? Is it fact or fallacy ?

All the best,

John T (from Downunder).
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Joppa on January 31, 2012, 03:58:13 PM
The known technical aspects of "running in" (we call it burning in - but then, we cal it "English" too!) have to do with the cathode.

The cathode is fairly complex and dynamic at a molecular level, and was only beginning to be understood when transistors supplanted tubes and research lost interest. Two things are known though:

1) the cathode must be formed. This is done in the factory, and consists of running some current through it; sometimes at slightly elevated temperature. It normally takes some 50-100 hours. Supposedly it brings or exposes individual barium and strontium atoms at the surface. Also, some trace elements of the substrate alloy diffuse into the coating. (In fact, a bit of silicon in the nickel substrate is known to speed the forming but shorten the working lfe of the cathode.)

2) many kinds of cathode will form a resistive layer between the substrate and the coating if they are operated for a long time with no current. This layer limits the emission, and adds noise. It is plausible that it can be reversed by running some current.

I am not aware of any studies of long-term storage, but since cathodes are known to be chemically active through their life it seems reasonable that the would require re-forming if they have sat idle for decades.

For what it's worth, I measured some of the earliest modern 300Bs (I think they were Sovteks, the first production run) a long time ago and found that their cathodes were not initially capable of providing their proper current. After 24 hours they were significantly improved, and after several days they met their specs easily, and I ran one pair of them for several years with no problem.

Also for what it's worth, remember that the getter, which traps ions to maintain the vacuum, only works when it's hot. A tube that has been idle for an extended period may have become slightly gassy, and operating at temperature would allow the getter to resolve the problem.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: jrihs on February 01, 2012, 03:12:20 AM
VERY informative Paul!!
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Raksasa on February 01, 2012, 03:32:38 PM
Thanks very much Paul. Good to see some technical explaination.

I had heard references to old tubes getting "gassy" previously.

Cheers,

John T.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: crackuser on February 03, 2012, 02:32:01 PM
Hi all, I just changed from a 5998 to a GEC 6AS7 brown base. The GEC sounds good, but I am satisfied with using either one of the tubes. They both sound great in there own way. Suggest either one.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: crackuser on February 03, 2012, 03:03:13 PM
The GEC is warming up now and sounding better all the time. It was NOS so it may take some time, the first post about it was only about 10 minutes in the amp. I have to do some direct comparisons, but the GEC 6AS7 Brown Base sounds like the one I keep in it. Nice sounding tube if you can find one. Took me months.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: jrihs on February 04, 2012, 08:16:06 PM
There are about 16 listed on ebay. Most (Pan Getters) well over $200! I'd be interested in hearing your impressions. Have you a 421a to compare with? is yours a pan or halo getter?
Thanks
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: ELBEBE1000 on February 05, 2012, 12:40:16 PM
Hi,

I quick question. What would be better on crack with speedball telefunken ECC82 or Mullard 12AU7?
Thank you.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: jrihs on February 06, 2012, 03:01:15 PM
That's a big question! Which mullard 12au7? The CV4003 is the most linear of the mullards with amazing staging and depth, though to my ears the lower midrange seems a tad muted sometimes. They are also resonably priced if you shop around (30-50 bucks). A mullard long-plate, D getter is fantastic in other ways...and my Mullard long-plate, double post halo getter is one of my favs.

The telefunken smooth plate is also a favorite. can seem somewhat "thin" compared to the mullard but has amazing hi-end sparkle, clarity air and detail, and great soundstage too. You really need to get both!!!! but if push came to shove...wow...I have 4 of each (cv4003 and smooth plate Teles)...do the Telefunkens first, then get a CV4003!?

PS...There are others out there (of coarse), like 50's bugle boys, siemens chrome plates, and amperex 7136's that you may like even more!!!
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: BNAL on February 06, 2012, 04:55:19 PM
I have been using the Mullard CV4003 and Mazda/Cifte 12AU7. I like the Mullard a lot nice full 3 dimensional sound, but I have been spending more time with the Mazda. I find the sound more linear and natural to my ears, but I could live with either. I think they are both great tubes.

Now I want to see about a different power triode.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: jrihs on February 06, 2012, 06:32:36 PM
I have been using the Mullard CV4003 and Mazda/Cifte 12AU7. I like the Mullard a lot nice full 3 dimensional sound, but I have been spending more time with the Mazda. I find the sound more linear and natural to my ears, but I could live with either. I think they are both great tubes.

Now I want to see about a different power triode.

I have a Cifte 12AU7 comming. Can't wait. What power triode are u using?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: BNAL on February 06, 2012, 06:41:49 PM
I'm still using the GE 6080 that came with the kit. Not sure what to try next. I have been looking at the RCA 6as7g black plate, but really want to get the 5998. I'm keeping my eyes open for a good deal on either.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Laudanum on February 07, 2012, 02:10:17 AM
Unless things have changed drastically in the last 8 or 9 months, the RCA 6AS7's should be pretty plentiful and inexpensive.  I picked up a couple NOS back then and I dont think they were more than $15, if that.  I also picked up a 2 or 3 more used under 10 bucks (GE Jan and RCA).  One used RCA was a bit weak but aside from that ...  they seemed pretty plentiful and were inexpensive.  All were from ebay where I dont mind buying and taking the chance if they dont cost much.   
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Joppa on February 07, 2012, 06:23:23 AM
For what it's worth, and based on the specs, the 6080-WA, WB, and WC are longer-life, vibration resistant, and better balanced between sections. I've seen specs from Raytheon and Tung-Sol but don't know who else might have made them.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: BNAL on February 07, 2012, 07:47:08 AM
I have a Mullard 6080 on the way. Can't wait.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: jrihs on February 07, 2012, 03:30:23 PM
Nice choice! Can't wait to hear your impressions, especially when compared with stock.

BTW, My crack came with a Bendix. It is one solid tank of a toob, and sounds solid and detailed (with my 57 Mullard 12au7).

But a little harsh and fatiguing on top at moderate to high volumes. Maybe a bit thin too...?

Anyone compare 6080's much? would love to hear what others might have heard when comparing the stock Bendix with a

6080WA JAN Tung Sol, nickel base vs. GB6080 Sylvania Gold Brand, ceramic base, or 6080 Genalex CV2984 military type, or any other

6080!
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Raksasa on February 10, 2012, 05:34:30 PM
Hiya All,

Have just tried a Philips Miniwatt 12AU7 (no idea how old it is, or what condition) with my Russian Winged C 6H13C (OTK 76).
The getter looks sorta like a small split keyring on an angle.

This Philips tube sounds great. Preferring it to my Mullard CV 4003.
It's very slightly brighter, but sounds more open and more "real" to my ears.
Seems to be more "real" detail in the sound of acoustic bass (ie texture is clearer).

Nice tube.

Cheers,

John T
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: jrihs on February 11, 2012, 05:31:26 AM
Hi, Is the getter at a 30 degree angle? Might be a Valvo in disguise ?? Which are highly regarded and similar sonics to telefunkens.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Raksasa on February 11, 2012, 06:28:28 AM
Hi, Is the getter at a 30 degree angle? Might be a Valvo in disguise ?? Which are highly regarded and similar sonics to telefunkens.

Hi John,

It looks like this:

(https://forum.bottlehead.com/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi204.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fbb272%2Fraksasajohn%2FaaaaPro%2FPhotos%2FHi%2520Fi%2FBH%2520CRACK%2FPhilips-Miniwatt-12AU7-001.jpg&hash=50e97dff9cd74a9da0fc872bd00a4c88)

I got it with a batch of other 12AU7s (Tungsrams, a GE, an EH & a Sylvania 12AU7A) from a guitarist mate who builds / restores valve guitar amps.
He got them off some old techo guy who didn't want them anymore. My mate is into old Fender circuits - they don't use 12AU7s so he gave them to me.
Also included an old Mullard, which was found to be stuffed when used in my Crack so it got tossed  (https://forum.bottlehead.com/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi204.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fbb272%2Fraksasajohn%2FSmilies%2Fcry_1.gif&hash=41e0ff60e9fe625db3de85d643d8f074).

Listening to these albums tonight (actually Sunday morning in Oz):

(https://forum.bottlehead.com/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi204.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fbb272%2Fraksasajohn%2FaaaaPro%2FPhotos%2FMUSIC%2FFolder-1.jpg&hash=63a3f7bd296a11d9134693537cb12c2b)  (https://forum.bottlehead.com/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi204.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fbb272%2Fraksasajohn%2FaaaaPro%2FPhotos%2FMUSIC%2FFolder.jpg&hash=0dd73bafc892d29972bf0c209f88e9a9)

The Mahler esp. sounds sublime. Very sweet on the strings, beautiful natural ambience bloom on the horns, and non-bright detail everywhere.

0 FLAC 44.1 -> FooBar WASAPI -> USB input of Meier Audio StageDAC -> BH Crack, via Blue Jeans top of the line Belden I/C -> Beyer DT 880 600 ohm Manufakturs.
Crack has TKD pot, Kimber input wire and upgraded RCAs.

Also just put a Mundorf .01 uf Supreme silver/gold/oil cap on the last PS electro in the Crack as a bypass.
Just coz I had it lyin' around (forgot what it was meant for).
No idea if it really does anything, but the amp is sounding great to me at the moment.

Cheers,

John
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: jrihs on February 11, 2012, 06:22:35 PM
Sweet! Looks like a 45 (not 30 degree, I meant 45) angle from here. I keep getting outbid on em at ebay. try try again!
A little off post but hows the mundorf workin out ? much effect?

PS, I'm envious of your picture posting abilities...
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Raksasa on February 11, 2012, 07:22:55 PM
Sweet! Looks like a 45 (not 30 degree, I meant 45) angle from here. I keep getting outbid on em at ebay. try try again!

Here's a better shot for working out angle - looks like 45 degrees to me:

(https://forum.bottlehead.com/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi204.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fbb272%2Fraksasajohn%2FaaaaPro%2FPhotos%2FHi%2520Fi%2FBH%2520CRACK%2FPhilips-Miniwatt-12AU7-002.jpg&hash=9b7db916e5f31e3013a1e313d58d9a1e)

A little off post but hows the mundorf workin out ? much effect?

TBH, I don't know if I'll ever know. All I know the amp is sounding great at present.  (https://forum.bottlehead.com/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi204.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fbb272%2Fraksasajohn%2FSmilies%2Fredface.gif&hash=cf5764fab11f8e1d03bef521f4a2e7ab)
I only did it coz I had the part lyin' around, and I thought it couldn't hurt as someone else tried a similar thing and thought it improved things.

PS, I'm envious of your picture posting abilities...

That's very kind of you to say so. I use Photobucket for image hosting.
The valve shots are mine, the album covers are just the folder images I got from an online DB that is used by my ripping S/W (dBPoweramp).
I just use a DSLR in Auto (coz I'm lazy). Also use graphics S/W for cropping, sharpening and adjusting.

Cheers,

John
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: lextek on February 12, 2012, 01:38:39 AM
Which tube the input or power tube make the most impact on sound?  I've played around with the input one.  Tried a Mullard, Amperex Bugle Boy, RCA and stock.  They all sound very, good.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: BNAL on February 14, 2012, 05:46:32 PM
Lextek,

I have not had much Chance to test a lot of different tubes with the amp, but it seems to me that the 12AU7 seems to make the biggest difference. My amp came with an EH 12AU7, which I believe is the standard tube and a Westinghouse 6080. These tubes produce a very nice sound that blows most headphone amps away. The first tube I changed was the EH 12AU7 since I have used it in my Foreplay III and found that it made a big difference using a good NOS tube. For the Crack I have tried the Mullard 4003 and CITFE 12AU7. Both are great tubes and sound great, but for some reason that I can't explain I've been using the CITFE. I think that I find it to be a little cleaner sounding. What I mean is that to my ears it does not seem to put any extra emphasis on the sound. It is a little flatter across the frequency spectrum that appeals to me. Don't get me Wrong I could live very easily with either of these tubes.

As for the 6080, I have only heard 2 6080s. The Westinghouse and now a Mullard. I like the Mullard a little better, but it is not by much, and could be that I just got it in and it is new. The one thing that I know for sure is that upgrading the EH 12AU7 is going to give you the biggest improvement.

That is my two cents so take it for what it is worth.

Brad
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: petercintn on February 18, 2012, 08:01:51 AM
I was looking around for tubes and came across this site http://www.vacuumtubes.com/12au7.html (http://www.vacuumtubes.com/12au7.html) and they say that a 7730 is a replacement for the 12au7 but after a quick search here I found nothing and it is not listed as a drop in on OP.  Is it or not? I'm just starting with tubes really and don't know how to judge if it (7730) will work in the Crack.  Thanks.

Peter
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Laudanum on February 18, 2012, 11:30:06 AM
I wouldnt swear on it but I believe that the 7730 is a sub.  This was a tube that I has some interest in about 10 years ago when I first built a couple components that used 12AU7's.  Based on the relatively few listening impressions I did find on these tubes, I decided not to chase them.  Doesnt meant they are poor, just didnt seem to be my cup of tea.  If I recall correctly, they were pretty hard to find back then, I imagine it's harder now.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Doc B. on February 18, 2012, 12:14:40 PM
  If I recall correctly, they were pretty hard to find back then, I imagine it's harder now.

Oh man, I don't even mention publicly what tubes I like anymore. Next thing I know they are unobtainium.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: crackuser on February 21, 2012, 07:35:58 PM
There are about 16 listed on ebay. Most (Pan Getters) well over $200! I'd be interested in hearing your impressions. Have you a 421a to compare with? is yours a pan or halo getter?
Thanks

   
GEC 6AS7 A1834, I think I should of said the tube was hard to find on an auction. I paid a lot less than the dealer prices, 60 dollars. Its a little cleaner(less distortion) to my ear and the sound stage sounds deeper, more 3d to me. It also still retains the punch of the 5998. I noticed that others like the Russian ones, sounded clear, but feeble, less punch, than the 5998's.  Sorry it took so long to answer.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: crackuser on February 21, 2012, 07:50:26 PM
I would like to thank Bottlehead for this amp. I have modified it quite a bit, but the kit gave me somewhere to start. The only reason I modified was because of the tubes I already have. A bunch of 12sn7's. Now that I have about 7-800  hours on it, it sounds great. I am not disappointed in the least. Also saved a bunch of money over what this would of cost from someone like Manley.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: BNAL on February 22, 2012, 08:20:16 AM
I just got some RCA 6AS7G black plates and on initial listening I find it to be a nice improvement over the 6080. I want to do some more listening, but for the price it seems like a no brainier.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Laudanum on February 23, 2012, 02:51:46 AM
I just got some RCA 6AS7G black plates and on initial listening I find it to be a nice improvement over the 6080. I want to do some more listening, but for the price it seems like a no brainier.

A Raytheon 6080 was included with my kit.  It's a nice sounding tube but I too immediately preferred the RCA 6AS7.  I also have a GE JAN labeled 6AS7 with copper shield (?) that sounds good too.  It's a smaller ST shaped bottle and that copper looks really cool/different.   But I thought that the RCA was a bit better.   Still running the 5998 though with a Sylvania 12BH7.  I think it's a nice combo.   I have a couple of the Russian 6H13's coming.  They were pretty cheap and I am curious as to how they sound.  Should have them in another week or so.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: BNAL on February 23, 2012, 05:12:28 AM
I'm running the 5998 with a Mullard 4003 and like the combo. I tried the 5998 with a CIFTE 12AU7 and did not care for it. The CIFTE worked well with the 6080 though. I would like to get a CBS 5814A or even a 12BH7.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Noskipallwd on February 23, 2012, 06:43:50 AM
Brad, I think you would be happy with the CBS Hytron 5814a, I have one in my crack and my Cornet2 phonostage. It mates well with the 5998. It seems to smooth out some of the rough edges from the 5998s extra gain. I ordered the Eros, it uses the 12BH7 as a regulator, my friends that build guitar amps all said their favorite  is the Sylvania 12BH7A from the 50s. While I am waiting on the Eros maybe I'll roll it into the Crack and give it a listen. If you go for the CBS make sure to get the red label version.

Cheers,
Shawn
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: BNAL on February 23, 2012, 11:02:09 AM
Brad, I think you would be happy with the CBS Hytron 5814a, I have one in my crack and my Cornet2 phonostage. It mates well with the 5998. It seems to smooth out some of the rough edges from the 5998s extra gain.

Shawn,

Now that you mention it, that is what I thing was happening with the CIFTE. The Mullard seems to tame the 5998. I will has to give the CBS 5814A and Sylvania 12BH7 a try.

By the way I put the RCA 6AS7G and CIFTE back in and they pair nicely together.

Brad
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Laudanum on February 24, 2012, 02:45:39 AM
Got two 6H13C's yesterday.  Grainy (maybe grungy is a better term) up top and mids are a bit recessed ... compared to 5998 which is clear as a bell.   Pretty decent bass though.   Both sound the same so it's not a bad tube.  These are NOS so they havent had any burn in.  Well, maybe 8 hours on one of them now.   Gave a quick listen again late last night and it's still about the same.  Tried a few different drivers 12AU7's and variants as well.   Im gonna give these a bit more time but Im pretty sure they arent my cup of tea.   I could happily live with any of the 6080's and 6AS7's that I have ... despite the 5998's being my favs.  And the few NOS that I have sounded good right out of the box.   These Russian tubes either need more burn-in or they are just kinda blah, atleast in my system.   Of course, YMMV.  
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: dwilli852 on February 24, 2012, 01:25:18 PM
Got a Phillips Mini Watt ECC 82 today. Very nice sounding tube. Seems the bottom end is a little tighter and a small amount of improvement on the top end compaired to the EH 12AU7. Have a NOS RCA 6AS7 and Tung Sol 5998 on the way.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Dr. Toobz on February 24, 2012, 02:52:53 PM
Got two 6H13C's yesterday.  Grainy (maybe grungy is a better term) up top and mids are a bit recessed ... compared to 5998 which is clear as a bell.   Pretty decent bass though.   Both sound the same so it's not a bad tube.  These are NOS so they havent had any burn in.  Well, maybe 8 hours on one of them now.   Gave a quick listen again late last night and it's still about the same.  Tried a few different drivers 12AU7's and variants as well.   Im gonna give these a bit more time but Im pretty sure they arent my cup of tea.   I could happily live with any of the 6080's and 6AS7's that I have ... despite the 5998's being my favs.  And the few NOS that I have sounded good right out of the box.   These Russian tubes either need more burn-in or they are just kinda blah, atleast in my system.   Of course, YMMV.  

I have one of those 6H13C's in my stash, and can confirm your observations: they sound much warmer and grungier than a 5998 or even the usual 6080 that came with the kit. It's perhaps a good tube to balance a driver with a hot top end (like some 12BH7's or the RCA clear-top 12AU7), but otherwise, I find it rather lackluster compared to the 5998. Too bad those are getting so expensive as of late, though.....
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Dr. Toobz on February 24, 2012, 02:56:30 PM
I should report that I now have an NOS Amperex (Holland) E80cc tube in the Crack at the moment. I like what I hear, but I can see where this tube might have its detractors: it's extended and very, very clean, almost to the point of sounding solid-state. When looking up THD figures on the internet for various 12AU7 variants, this seems to be verified by others as well: it's perhaps one of the lowest distortion small-signal triodes obtainable.

I will say that this tube has the best bass of any driver I've tried so far in the Crack.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: grufti on February 24, 2012, 08:59:56 PM
I posted Crack measurements eons ago and I can confirm that with the E80CC in the circuit "all" distortion disappeared. Not really, of course, but the difference was very significant. There is still a pleasant balance between the 2nd and all the higher harmonics in the distortion spectrum.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Dr. Toobz on February 25, 2012, 04:40:36 AM
I remember seeing those great graphs you posted, grufiti - seems my ears would agree with your measurements. What's interesting is that as the distortion has been lowered in my amp (through better tubes and the CCS boards), I've experienced a more "solid state" type of impression of the sound - dryness, for lack of a better term - but on the other hand, there's still a realism that has evaded any solid-state circuit I've used or built. My theory is that the lack of NFB is responsible for the more open sound, and that perhaps a little bit of second and third harmonic distortion (say, on the order of a tenth of one percent) is "just enough" to enrich certain frequencies and give them a bit of heft and extended transient decay. With a good tube in the driver seat, the Crack seems to hit that sweet spot really well!
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Doc B. on February 25, 2012, 06:53:29 AM
I'm inclined to agree that the proportion of 2nd to higher harmonics in an SE circuit with ZNFB could flesh out ( i.e. enhance) the tone of the original recording, but I don't see that it could be responsible for the higher resolution of the transient decay that gives one that sense of space and the venue acoustic that SE does so well. I think that is not an element related to harmonics but rather some very small signal temporal info that is somehow lost by the insertion of NFB. Of course others argue that it's simply microphony of the tubes that creates that sense of decay.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Dr. Toobz on February 25, 2012, 03:49:59 PM
I'm inclined to agree that the proportion of 2nd to higher harmonics in an SE circuit with ZNFB could flesh out ( i.e. enhance) the tone of the original recording, but I don't see that it could be responsible for the higher resolution of the transient decay that gives one that sense of space and the venue acoustic that SE does so well. I think that is not an element related to harmonics but rather some very small signal temporal info that is somehow lost by the insertion of NFB. Of course others argue that it's simply microphony of the tubes that creates that sense of decay.

I agree, but I still wonder about the role of harmonic content. NFB kills spatial cues, but it also reduces lower-order distortion, no?

For small, trailing-off sounds, like the last shimmers of a cymbal or high-hat, it would seem that boosting harmonic content (overtones) would raise the likelihood that the ear would still hear the sound where it otherwise would already have have disappeared under the noise floor or below the threshold of hearing. I've read somewhere that second and third harmonics are supposed to make things sound louder to the ear than the same pitch presented as a pure tone; some have claimed this is why SET amps sound louder and more dynamic than other topologies, watt for watt. The real test would be to see if a class-A solid-state amp with no NFB (like a single-ended MOSFET) produces the same effect, given the presence of a monotonically-decaying harmonic spectrum similar to that of open-loop triodes.

In any case, there seems to be no really solid explanation for why tubes sound so good! And the glow of the heaters just adds to the ambience....
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Joppa on February 25, 2012, 08:29:33 PM
You won't find a "class-A solid-state amp with no NFB" unless you make one yourself. Solid state devices have a current output, meaning high impedance, meaning no damping factor. The either use NFB explicitly, or they are emitter or source followers - lots of negative feebback, even though it's local and often enough not acknowledged. Just sayin' ...

Negative feedback actually increases higher order distortion, especially large amounts of it. Some think this is why is kills some of the life in music. (Yes I know that "life" is not a well-defined technical term!)
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: BNAL on February 26, 2012, 07:02:00 AM
I have been listening to the Crack with a 5998 and 4003 and it sounds very good. The only thing I don't like is that it does not use a lot of the volume control, maybe 10%. Even with the 6080 and 6AS7Gs I don't need a lot of increase in volume. Not sure if I should just leave it that way or add resistors to the input. I'm not a big on adding anything to the signal path though.

My source is a modded Squeezebox2, so it only puts out about 1v. Also, I'm using the stock potentiometer, but it seems to track well at the lowest volumes.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Laudanum on February 26, 2012, 09:57:18 AM
I have been listening to the Crack with a 5998 and 4003 and it sounds very good. The only thing I don't like is that it does not use a lot of the volume control, maybe 10%. Even with the 6080 and 6AS7Gs I don't need a lot of increase in volume. Not sure if I should just leave it that way or add resistors to the input. I'm not a big on adding anything to the signal path though.

My source is a modded Squeezebox2, so it only puts out about 1v. Also, I'm using the stock potentiometer, but it seems to track well at the lowest volumes.

Which headphones are you using? 

In case you decide to attenuate the input ... This is from the Goldpoint site for their stepped attenuators,  but would work with the pot just as well ...  http://www.goldpt.com/mods.html
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Beefy on February 26, 2012, 11:20:55 AM
I have been listening to the Crack with a 5998 and 4003 and it sounds very good. The only thing I don't like is that it does not use a lot of the volume control, maybe 10%. Even with the 6080 and 6AS7Gs I don't need a lot of increase in volume. Not sure if I should just leave it that way or add resistors to the input. I'm not a big on adding anything to the signal path though.

I don't see any issue whatsoever with something else in the signal path. A good quality metal film resistor will impart far less audible effect than even the best pot.

But it is not a good idea to just jack up the input impedance too far above the stock 100kohm. My solution was to use a 50kohm pot (TKD 2CP-2511) with a 50kohm resistor (PRP 1W) in series, giving the same 100kohm input impedance for the amp. This gives about 6dB of pre-attenuation.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: BNAL on February 26, 2012, 11:55:55 AM
I'm using HD-650s.

Thanks for the link. I have to take a look and see what good resisters I have to use.

Brad
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Laudanum on February 27, 2012, 03:09:35 AM
I'm using HD-650s.

Thanks for the link. I have to take a look and see what good resisters I have to use.

Brad

I just thought of something.  Probably just a shot in the dark here but ...  the stock pot, I believe is an Alpha pot.  Alpha makes both linear and log taper 100K dual pots.  If Im not mistaken (and I may be), a linear taper pot will get "loud" very quickly compared to a log/audio taper ...  most within the first 50% of it's range I think.   I dont know how sensitive the HD-650's are compared to my 250 ohm Beyers, I beleve that they are moreso.  But using a 5998 in my amp and Beyerdynamic 250 ohm phones, Im usually at or below 11 O'Clock (giver or take, depending)  but that is with a 3.5 volt source (the Tjoeb CD player).   11 O'Clock is much closer to 50% or the pots range than 10% that you are using.  So, Im wondering if it's possible that a linear taper pot was accidentally included with your Crack kit.  Again, just a shot in the dark.  But only having 10% of the knob to work with seems kinda extreme.    There may be an identifier on the pot casing.  Maybe something like "A" for audio or "L" for linear ???   Might be worth checking into just to make sure.  Maybe the experts here can chime in. 
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Doc B. on February 27, 2012, 05:10:13 AM
I can only comment that when this idea was first proposed we checked our 100K pot stock and they were all log taper. Not that few linears couldn't have gotten mixed in, but we couldn't find any.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Laudanum on February 27, 2012, 06:46:58 AM
Like I said, a shot in the dark  :-)
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Grainger49 on February 27, 2012, 07:18:52 AM
Longest thread, by number of posts, on the board. 

I think that shows the enthusiasm for the Crack, or the level of addiction.  Either way!
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: BNAL on February 27, 2012, 12:35:32 PM
I have a Ratshack Alps 100k stereo potentiometer that I could through in and see if it makes a difference. Everything sounds good I just want a little more adjustment. In the future I want to upgrade the pot, but want to wait.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Grainger49 on February 27, 2012, 01:17:41 PM
Brad,

If I am following you you need to get more turn from your volume pot.  It gets loud too early, right? 

If so then changing the pot, or the resistance of the pot will not make a difference in the range of travel or resolution in the volume control.  If you put in a nice $4 resistor before the existing pot it will make a difference.

For instance, if you had a 10k (audio taper) volume control at 9:00 you will have the same volume in your headsets as you do now with the 100k volume control. 

To make a difference you have to waste some of the incoming voltage with a series resistor.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: BNAL on February 27, 2012, 01:28:09 PM
Grainger,

I have room to change the volume to a listenable level, so I'm not that concerned. I was just wondering if others were experiencing the same thing. Now if the problem was that as soon as raised the volume it was too loud I would have a major issue.

If I do feel like I need to attenuate the volume I will probably use the Goldpoint solution that Desmond posted earlier.

Brad
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: s1 on March 02, 2012, 06:30:01 PM
Quote
By the way I put the RCA 6AS7G and CIFTE back in and they pair nicely together.
Thanks to Brad .  I too , am enjoying this pairing with a Bifrost and the HD650


Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: BNAL on March 03, 2012, 05:06:06 AM
s1,

Yes the CIFTE is a very nice driver, but I think that the Mullard 4003 box plate is a little better. It adds a little more to the mid range. I have to say that the drive seems to make the biggest difference in sound as compared to any of the power tubes I have tried, i.e. 6080, 6AS7G, or 5998. I want to try a couple of different drives and see what they sound like.

Brad
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: btrancho on March 03, 2012, 05:45:43 AM
s1,

Yes the CIFTE is a very nice driver, but I think that the Mullard 4003 box plate is a little better. It adds a little more to the mid range. I have to say that the drive seems to make the biggest difference in sound as compared to any of the power tubes I have tried, i.e. 6080, 6AS7G, or 5998. I want to try a couple of different drives and see what they sound like.

Brad

+1 on this.  I'm really enjoying my combination of the Speedball, RCA 6AS7G, Mullard 4003 & HD600s.  I'm still frequently breaking into a smile while listening to something I haven't played before through my Crack.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Dr. Toobz on March 03, 2012, 07:29:41 AM
Just to add to the many variants of the Crack out there, I'm now running a 7236 in the power socket, and an E80CC in the driver position, with 330uF low-ESR Panasonic electrolytics bypassed by some 1uF Solens I had laying around. This arrangement seems to work very well into my low-ish impedance AKG's (K702; 62 ohm). The sound is very clean and well-controlled, with low apparent distortion.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Noskipallwd on March 04, 2012, 03:35:29 AM
Angelo, so you like the E80CC as a driver in the Crack, what brand do you have? A friend offered a couple of phillips mini-watts, maybe I should take him up on that.

Cheers,
Shawn
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Dr. Toobz on March 04, 2012, 04:25:43 AM
Angelo, so you like the E80CC as a driver in the Crack, what brand do you have? A friend offered a couple of phillips mini-watts, maybe I should take him up on that.

Cheers,
Shawn

It's an Amperex tube, made in Holland, per the label. It also says "premium quality" and has gold-plated pins.

I recently swapped in a 1950's Sylvania 12BH7, a 2009 Electro-Harmonix 12BH7, a 1960's 5963, and a 1960's RCA clear-top 12AU7 to see if what I am hearing is just my imagination. It's not. The E80CC has, by far, the deepest bass, biggest soundstage, and most extended treble of all. Not a bad investment!
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: gh0st on March 04, 2012, 07:57:01 AM

It's an Amperex tube, made in Holland, per the label. It also says "premium quality" and has gold-plated pins.

I recently swapped in a 1950's Sylvania 12BH7, a 2009 Electro-Harmonix 12BH7, a 1960's 5963, and a 1960's RCA clear-top 12AU7 to see if what I am hearing is just my imagination. It's not. The E80CC has, by far, the deepest bass, biggest soundstage, and most extended treble of all. Not a bad investment!

According to the list on page 1, E80CC is 'sort-of-drop-in'. Does that mean with speedball installed it's good to go without any other circuit mods? I'm about to go 7236 powertube + cleartop 12AU7 driver, but this might be a nice alternative...
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Laudanum on March 04, 2012, 09:22:49 AM

According to the list on page 1, E80CC is 'sort-of-drop-in'. Does that mean with speedball installed it's good to go without any other circuit mods? I'm about to go 7236 powertube + cleartop 12AU7 driver, but this might be a nice alternative...

Check back on page 14 for starters, Paul J addresses the E80cc thereabouts.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: gh0st on March 04, 2012, 10:02:50 AM
I read Paul's comments, although that part of the thread seems to deviate away from being Crack-specific, or at least is inconclusive.

It sounds like a few people have used them with success, I'm just wondering if they modded their circuits to accommodate the spec differences of the E80CC or not.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: s1 on March 04, 2012, 03:18:34 PM
I read Paul's comments, although that part of the thread seems to deviate away from being Crack-specific, or at least is inconclusive.

It sounds like a few people have used them with success, I'm just wondering if they modded their circuits to accommodate the spec differences of the E80CC or not.

+1 I too would be interested to find out it there is any modification required .  I have the speedball upgrade.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: jrihs on March 06, 2012, 11:37:32 AM
re: E80CC ...I noticed impoved sound with the speedball installed using this tube...at least to me. It was juicier (tube-like?) and more detailed. I like it. But I still prefer most of the older euro, high dollar 12au7's...for the moment.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: petercintn on March 08, 2012, 05:47:18 AM
Since I've had this built I've been using the Sylvania 6080WC and an Electro-Harmonix ECC82 that doc sent me.  I had an RCA 6AS7G and a Tung-SOl 12AU7W that I didn't like as well.  I received a Rohre Siemens E82CC and I'm not sure but I think it is brand new, not NOS.  Could be wrong, don't know enough to really tell.  Still, it has brought out the bass to where the RCA now sounds great with this little wonder.  In fact now the RCA sounds better than the Sylvania.  I'm not impressed with the bass response with the Tung-Sol or the Elctro-Harmonix with the RCA so the 6080 sounds better to me with those two. 

But I am rocking to this Siemens E82CC and RCA 6AS7G sound.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: BNAL on March 08, 2012, 05:02:55 PM
I just got the CBS 5814A in and really like it with the 5998. I like it better then the Mullard 4003 so far. This seems to be the best combo with the 5998 that I have heard. I will have to give it a try with the 6AS7G and 6080s in have.

I think the next tube I want to try is the Sylvania 12BH7.

The amp has been so much fun.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: jrihs on March 09, 2012, 09:19:10 AM
I just got a sylvania 12bh7 and I like it ALLOT better than the RCA I have. Better in all respects, including price...
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: dwilli852 on March 12, 2012, 09:10:25 AM
Just rolled in a NOS RCA 12AU7 clear top. Good sounding tube with the RCA 6AS7G. Really brought out the treble and loss a little on the bottom end compaired to the EH and Phillips Mini watt. I'll give this one a little time but still think the Mini watt is my favorite so far. Want to try a 12BH7 and E80cc but keep getting out bid. Some of the prices are just crazy.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Noskipallwd on March 12, 2012, 08:07:36 PM
Received the Phillips Miniwatt SQ E80CC tubes from my bud today, really like this tube in the Crack. It mates well with the 5998. Produced a small increase in gain. Probably the largest change in sound of any variant I have tried, all the rest seem very similar with small changes evident. Although this tube has high detail and resolution I don't find it cold and analytical at all. The Crack has an easier time driving the AKG K702s with this tube installed, and the HD650s really sound great. Thanks to Dr. Toobz for the tip.

Cheers,
Shawn
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Laudanum on March 13, 2012, 02:35:11 AM
Just rolled in a NOS RCA 12AU7 clear top. Good sounding tube with the RCA 6AS7G. Really brought out the treble and loss a little on the bottom end compaired to the EH and Phillips Mini watt. I'll give this one a little time but still think the Mini watt is my favorite so far. Want to try a 12BH7 and E80cc but keep getting out bid. Some of the prices are just crazy.

Ive got a bunch of the Rca 12AU7 cleartops years ago.  I really liked them in one piece of gear and based on that, assumed they were great tubes so I stocked up (well maybe 10 or 12 stashed away).  That ended up being the only piece of gear I use them in.   Tried them in Crack but not my favs. with either 6AS7 or 5998 (although I thought better with the former).   They catch some heat now as way overrated (Joes tube lore pumped them up years ago)  but I still think they are a good tube in the right application and in Crack, would be dependent on the source and your phones and your ears, etc. etc. etc.

Only thing I would like to try is an E80CC but not so much as to pay the asking prices Ive seen so far.  But no rush, I am very happy with several of the driver tubes I have for Crack.  Plus, the relatively small fun-money budget has some wants other than small signal tubes right now  :-)
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: dwilli852 on March 13, 2012, 05:39:53 AM
I have a pair of Tungsram E80CC's coming out of the Ukraine. Don't know how they sound but the price was right. I'm too cheap to pay a $100.00 per tube. We had what I called the Junk Store with bins of old tubes your pick 2 for a buck. The hunt for a 12BH7 continues.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Laudanum on March 13, 2012, 08:55:23 AM
I have a pair of Tungsram E80CC's coming out of the Ukraine. Don't how they sound but the price was right. I'm too cheap to pay a $100.00 per tube. We had what I called the Junk Store with bins of old tubes your pick 2 for a buck. The hunt for a 12BH7 continues.

I guess it depends on what you want to pay, a bit of luck and even what risk is acceptable to you.   Liking the 12BH7's, I recently picked up a Hammond labeled tube as a spare.  Clearly Sylvania manufactured. Oval grey plates, O getter.  Probably 1960's.  All of 12 bucks shipped.   It was listed as a used, strong testing tube.  Good lettering.  Probably a pull and worth the risk for me at only 12 bucks.  Keep looking, you'll find one.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: gh0st on March 16, 2012, 11:55:19 AM
just took delivery of a '60s Sylvania 7236, Sylvania 12BH7A and cleartop RCA 12AU7A to help burn in my new beyer T1s... life is good ;)

One thing that's giving me a headache though is the high gain of the setup (especially the 12BH7s if I'm not mistaken). The T1s are 600ohm, but I guess they must be fairly sensitive with it. I replaced the stock volume pot with a TKD 100K stepped pot, and my DAC has a not-especially-hot output of 2.25V RMS, but with the T1s the loudness of the steps goes something like:

1: quiet
2: normal(ish)
3: loud
4: very loud
5-21: unusable

...somewhat short of ideal. Is it acceptable to put fixed resistors before the pot to bring down the input a bit? If so, does anyone know the particulars of doing this?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Laudanum on March 16, 2012, 12:31:45 PM
It should be the 7236 that is the source of the higher gain (or less loss of gain) compared to 6080 or 6AS7.  I believe the 12BH7 is about the same as the 12AU7 or close.

I dont have much experience with them but I never thought that stepped attenuators would be a great idea for heaphone amp unless they have a lot of steps.
Anyway,  this link from the Goldpoint site should take care of it ....  http://www.goldpt.com/mods.html
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: gh0st on March 16, 2012, 12:42:43 PM
It should be the 7236 that is the source of the higher gain (or less loss of gain) compared to 6080 or 6AS7.  I believe the 12BH7 is about the same as the 12AU7 or close.

I dont have much experience with them but I never thought that stepped attenuators would be a great idea for heaphone amp unless they have a lot of steps.
Anyway,  this link from the Goldpoint site should take care of it ....  http://www.goldpt.com/mods.html

good call, thanks ;)

I have a DACT stepper in my balanced beta22 which works a treat with 24 steps, but then the amp is configured for low gain, and the 'phones aren't super sensitive (LCD2). I believe the main advantage is balance and tracking across the 4 channels when using tight-tolerance SMD resistors. Less of an issue in a two-channel amp though, I just liked the look of the TKD when I was looking for a new one, I think the steps are mechanical anyway, someone might correct me, but I think it's a normal pot underneath.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Laudanum on March 16, 2012, 01:51:56 PM
You arent the only one using a stepped attenuator in Crack so it must work fine for those using them.   I would think that the pre-attenuation that I linked would take care of your touchy control, or atleast help.   I know that I am always just nudging that Crack volume knob, so I figured a stepped atten. wouldnt be a great choice for me personally.   I guess a lot of it would have to do with how hot your source is, how sensitive your phones are and how tweaky someone is when it comes to the volume.  And probably a handful of other things I missed. :-) 
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Grainger49 on March 16, 2012, 02:47:03 PM
Gh0st,

The problem with the volume control can be helped using a series resistor.  If you had posted before buying the TDK attenuator I would have suggested a 25k attenuator and either a 50k or 70k series resistor.  This allows you to shed the extra input voltage. 

Since this is not really a tube rolling issue you might start a separate thread.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: gh0st on March 16, 2012, 03:00:14 PM
thanks Grainger, I think I'll just hook up a couple of resistors by way of pre-attenuation (-10db should do the trick). The only inconvenience is the obscure values of the resistors needed to maintain the 100k input impedance, but I should be able to get hold of some.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Laudanum on March 16, 2012, 03:06:26 PM
gh0st, the resistor values dont have to be exact, just get them as close as available.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: gh0st on March 16, 2012, 03:11:27 PM
OCD for resistor values is an obscure condition, but that doesn't mean it's not real ;)
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: BNAL on March 16, 2012, 04:06:24 PM
I wrote a few pages back about the volume of the amp being high then I wanted to allow me to better adjust the volume. I'm not sure if I'm going to change the potentiometer to something with a lower resistance but my have to give it a try and see. I think I my have a 50 ohm alps that I can try and see if I get my flexibility with it.

By the way I'm really enjoying the CBS 5814A with the different power tubes I have. (T-S 5998, RCA 6AS7G, and Mullard 6080). I have a Sylvania 12BH7 on the way. If figured it was cheap enough at $15 to give it a try.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: BNAL on March 16, 2012, 08:19:48 PM
I through the Alps 50k pot in and it seems the I have more flexibility with the volume. I do have one problem and that is when I turn the volume all the way down I still have some sound coming out of the left channel. I will look at the wiring and make sure that there are no wires touching. Other wise it sounds good once I increase the volume past 10 to 15%.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Laudanum on March 17, 2012, 12:54:06 AM
OCD for resistor values is an obscure condition, but that doesn't mean it's not real ;)

Ok then, given that ... a quick browse of Mouser shows plenty of both 68.1K and 46.4K resistors.  So, assuming that both those values as available in  in the same brand and series, your OCD can be satisfied.  Now, if your OCD  requires that they be "boutique" resistors in the exact values, then, I dont know.  :-)
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Grainger49 on March 17, 2012, 01:14:42 AM
OCD for resistor values is an obscure condition, but that doesn't mean it's not real ;)

I was just saying I would keep the total to 100k.  With an active stage following the attenuator it shouldn't have noise problems.

In my first circuits course the teacher (he was the best educator I have ever experienced) pointed out that it didn't matter what resistance you calculated, you had to buy the standard values that were available.

As exacting as he was he wanted us to know that there were limitations beyond out control out there.  I think I said 50k ohms but the value is 51k.  You will find to your ears the differences make little difference.  

But getting a resistor in front of the attenuator will make quite a difference in how well a nice attenuator controls.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Laudanum on March 17, 2012, 01:57:06 AM
That "pre-attenuation"  that I linked on the Goldpoint side does just that, keeps the impedance the same as the pot value.  Different resistor values are chosen for different levels of attenuation based on the value of the pot.   The values I stated are those for -10db with a 100K pot or stepped attenuator.

Both from the Goldpoint site : 

http://www.goldpt.com/pre_ckt5.gif

http://www.goldpt.com/pre_rstrs3.gif
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: BNAL on March 17, 2012, 08:19:26 AM
I fixed the problem with the left channel. I like the fact that I have more control over the volume and it does not run out of steam. Not sure if there is a sonic disadvantage to using a 50k pot, if not I will be looking to upgrade it in the future. I still want to try it with the 5998, since that has more gain.

Since this thread is about tubes I feel an obligation to provide input on my observations with respect to combines that I have found work well together.

CIFTE 12AU7 and Mullard 6080 work very well together.
CBS 5814A and RCA 6AS7G is a nice combination.
CBS 5814A and T-S 5998 work very well.

I also have a.Mullard 4003 that is edged out by the CBS. Also, the only tube CIFTE works well with is the Mullard 6080. I feel that is missing something with the other power tubes.

I have a Sylvania 12BH7 coming. It sounds like a winner from what I have read.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: porcupunctis on March 17, 2012, 11:09:22 AM
I just replace my EH12au7 with the Mullard 40003 and I will have to say that the difference is very noticeable in a very positive way.  This is my first foray into really top notch NOS tubes.  I always thought they were too expensive for whatever improvement they might provide.  I now stand corrected.  I chose the Crack for this experiment since I would only need one tube and that would keep my cost down.  The Crack makes a nice testing ground for rolling tubes.

My crack has the speedball, Solen output caps and Khozmo attenuator installed.  I'm also using an RCA Blackplate 6AS7G. 

Brad, your post makes me want to try the CBS tube and I think I will keep that in mind for a future try.  You have definitely tried more combinations than I have at this point.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: BNAL on March 17, 2012, 11:35:26 AM
Randell,

The Mullard 4003 is a great sounding tube and is still at the top of my list. It works very well with the 6AS7G. I would say that to my ears the CBS seems to be a little more transparent without losing the warmth in the midrange. I find that the case with the CIFTE when using it with 6AS7G and 5998, but it pairs very well with the Mullard 6080. As a piont of reference the tubes that came with the amp EH 12AU7 and Sylvania 6080 sound very good, but the other tubes take the amp to a different level.

As far as trying different tubes, every few days or so I swap one of the tubes out to see what I think. It is easy for me to do this since the amp is in my bedroom and I like to spend 2 to 3 hours each night listening to music while I read a book. I can't think of any time where I was so disappointed that I had to change tubes.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: BNAL on March 24, 2012, 06:03:36 PM
I just got the 12BH7 and think it is a nice sounding tube. I really have not heard any tube that makes the Crack sound bad. There are just some tubes that make it sound great. The 12BH7 reminds me of a Sony TV in that it make it gives the sound a bloom with good separation. It does nothing wrong it is just that I like,not my ears the natural sound of the CBS 5814A tube. This has been my favorite tube so far, but will be spending more time with the Sylvania 12BH7.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: dwilli852 on March 27, 2012, 12:13:54 PM
Rolled in a NOS RCA 12bh7a and an Tungsram E80CC. The RCA is a great sounding tube maybe the best of those I've tried. The Tungsram E80CC not so great. It sounds a little harsh to me with HD650's. It lacks the warmth of the other tubes I've tried. I'll give it a little time before passing final judgement.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: BNAL on March 27, 2012, 04:51:00 PM
I bought a 12BH7 for $15 including shipping. I is a nice sounding tube and for the price hard to beat.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: dwilli852 on March 28, 2012, 02:48:50 AM
The last NOS RCA 12bh7a I purchased was $3.29 plus $5.00 shipping. So there are some deals out there if you can find them. I'll have to revise my opinion of the Tungsram E80CC. It just needed a little more time to burn in. Very nice sounding tube after all. Nice wide soundstage and very detailed mids. I'm running out of tubes to try and mods for the Crack. Must be time to build a different Bottlehead kit. Now which one?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: BNAL on March 28, 2012, 03:00:37 AM
Sounds like you got a better deal on the 12BH7. Where did you get the E80CC, because I would like to give them a try?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: dwilli852 on March 28, 2012, 03:29:22 AM
The E80CC come from the ebay seller Electrikua in Ukraine. Took a couple weeks to get here but no problems with the transaction. Ended up costing about $20.00 per tube with shipping.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: BNAL on March 28, 2012, 03:33:30 AM
That is a lot better then the $75 to $85 I have seen at other sellers. Will look on ebay for them. Thanks
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: jrihs on April 03, 2012, 12:17:29 PM
Hey all, This is a dumb question but I'm desparate....I got a 5998 that glows but no sound comes out. Again, it looks fine! Any chance it might be fixed with a some home remedy/vodoo. I'm totally bummed about this. $100 off ebay and it worked an hour. I turned on the crack, and before I got the headphones on I heard a load crackling sound...then nothing.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Doc B. on April 03, 2012, 12:32:57 PM
Presumably you have verified that the amp still works fine with the original tube. If that is the case, the only thing you can fix would be to clean the pins and check to see if the tube socket contacts are tight. If it's a problem inside the tube it's time to contact the seller.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: jrihs on April 03, 2012, 12:53:46 PM
Oh ya...still works great with my 421a...I was hoping to compare the two, but after an hour all I could say was that they were very similar.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Laudanum on April 04, 2012, 12:24:45 AM
Bummer John, they are hard to come by for any semblance of a reasonable price these days.  Hope it's a decent seller who will do right by you and refund the money.   I got 2 used from Brendan at TW a few months back.  Both were listed used, tests as new.  One had a white arc between plates at fire up and then intermittent arcing with static in one channel while it was occuring.  Brendan exchanged the tube for the last one he had.   Also a used, tests new.   I was fortunate to pay $35 and $32 for the two I have from him and both tubes look pretty close to NOS.   Those are my spares as Im using one that forum member Jim (Jrebman) was kind enough to let go of for a very fair price before I found those two.   

I look forward to your comparison with the 421A if you get another 5998.  One of my 5998's has the clear top (like the WE 421A) and I can tell you that I can hear no difference between it and the flashed top versions.  Not saying that a clear top 5998 is a 421.   I have read that all the slight internal variations of the Tung Sol 5998's sound the same, just confirming that with what my ears hear in case you come across one of the different versions.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: jrihs on April 04, 2012, 11:28:53 AM
Thanks. He said on the listing that no refunds were accepted...soooo, I asked if he would consider a partial refund and he said he could. It did become clear that he was not going to suggest anything as for amount, so I kicked it off by asking if he could do a 50$ refund, which he accepted once I sent it back (posted today). He did let me keep the original Tung-Sol box though! So, I got a box for 50$...more than u paid for your tube...sad. But hey, win-some-lose-some. He could have just blown me off though, then I'd have to give him a fairly low rating.

Let me know if you find more at that price!!
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: dwilli852 on April 04, 2012, 11:51:16 AM
Picked up a Sylvania 12BH7A with the thick halo getter angled at about 45 degrees. Very detailed and good sounding tube.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Noskipallwd on April 04, 2012, 04:09:28 PM
Hey guys, I rolled an e80cc into my crack about a month ago, and yes it was a little harsh an shrill at first. After 25-30 hours it began to smooth out, now I am loving it paired with a 5998. I also listen with HD650s. Plus it is a rather beautiful tube. So give it some time you might find you like it

Cheers,
Shawn
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: BNAL on April 04, 2012, 04:48:11 PM
Shawn,

What flavor of C80EE tube do you have in the crack?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Noskipallwd on April 05, 2012, 01:47:06 AM
Brad, I have two Phillips Miniwatt SQ E80CC, they can be expensive as heck. I traded tubes and cash with a friend. Not sure where he bought them but the tubes and the origiinal boxes look like they came off the assembly line yesterday. I also put one in my Hagerman CornetII phonostage and it made a significant difference in this amp as well. Finished my eros a couple of days ago though, and after listening for quite a few hours I don't think I will be listening to the Hagerman much anymore. I saw you posted you like the CBS Hytron, it is a great tube in thee Crack, plus as a side benefit it actually glows. It was my favorite driver to date but I think the E80CC might have supplanted it.

Cheers,
Shawn
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Laudanum on April 05, 2012, 01:54:44 AM
Thanks. He said on the listing that no refunds were accepted...soooo, I asked if he would consider a partial refund and he said he could. It did become clear that he was not going to suggest anything as for amount, so I kicked it off by asking if he could do a 50$ refund, which he accepted once I sent it back (posted today). He did let me keep the original Tung-Sol box though! So, I got a box for 50$...more than u paid for your tube...sad. But hey, win-some-lose-some. He could have just blown me off though, then I'd have to give him a fairly low rating.

Let me know if you find more at that price!!

50 bucks is better than nothing.  Ebay definitely can getcha.  In recent memory, had a very weak 6AS7 that was supposed to be strong, a dead 12BH7 and a 6SN7 that went dead within a few minutes.  They were all dirt cheap but it's still money down the drain.  But many more good finds than lemons so I keep rolling the dice.  I was a bit bummed on the 6SN7 because it was a relabeled Sylvania VT-231 for dirt cheap.  Win some, lose some.  

Will do on the 5998's.  
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: nick-seattle on April 24, 2012, 08:02:17 PM
Hello eveybody, I'm now on Crack like a lot of you :)

I tried many tubes in the amp, but unfortunately it only works well with 12au7 family and 6sn7. Also 12bh7 and 6gu7 appear to be working well. Now to the question, I want to try 12ax7 in the amp - I have a lot of them - Telefunken, Mazda and other European brands - US brands that sound just phenomenal. What should I do to make the rolling of the tubes adjustable - I'm planning to roll a lot of them :)
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Joppa on April 25, 2012, 07:55:15 AM
In a word, you can't.

Well, nothing is impossible, but to do so you must operate at extremely low plate current and at a bias uncomfortably close to Class A2. The low current means marginal drive at high frequencies (distortion and anemic treble) and the low bias means potential distortion as the grid current loads the volume control with a nonlinear impedance.

Starting point - replace the LED in the cathode with a silicon diode, to give around 0.7v bias. Use a small signal diode, not a rectifier diode. Then increase the plate load resistor from 22K to 220K - but experiment with that value to get ~70v on the plate. If you have the speedball, increase R1 to 1700 ohms to get 0.5mA current.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: nick-seattle on April 25, 2012, 12:42:58 PM
Thank, Paul. I will stay away from this kind of mod for now - need to roll all the 12au7, 6gu7 and 6sn7 tubes first :)

BTW, I'm posting results of rolling on www.tubemaze.info

First couple of 6as7 tubes for Crack:
http://tubemaze.info/svetlana-6as7-6%D0%BD13%D1%81/
http://tubemaze.info/raytheon-jan-6080/

Will also post review of Raytheon 5814 Windmill getter today - hope it sounds as good as advertised :)
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Laudanum on April 26, 2012, 01:34:34 AM
There is some discussion of the Russian 6H13C's here.  I have a pair or the 70's Svetlanas.  Not as enthusiastic about them as you are.  The bass is very good as you point out but I find the treble to be gritty for lack of a better word.  Not my cup of tea.  If you are up for tube rolling, try the RCA 6AS7.   You can find them, with some persistence and patience, below $15 on epay.  Actually, I found that they were easy to find on the cheap last summer.  Looking lately, not as easy.   
If you can find a 5998 for a fair price, you might even like those better still.   They may trade some bass impact for control with improvement everywhere else.  A bit higher gain as well (or less loss as I think Doc B. pointed out).   Not cheap, commonly going upwards of $100 and beyond lately, when you can find them.   Really nice sounding tube but as always, YMMV.   
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: nick-seattle on April 26, 2012, 07:34:39 AM
Thanks, Laudanum. I have a few RCA & Raytheon 6as7, but didn't find them to be as transparent as the other two tubes. I was able to score them for $20 for 11!!! the dude who was selling them couldn't check the tubes - on my tube tester only one came weak the rest test great! I found that tube rolling with Crack is not as exciting as I hoped :) It appears that since voltage amplification is not needed in the amp and the 12au7 is used as driver with 6as7 used as cathode follower, it limits the effects that tubes can have on the sound - so in general everything sounds quite good. I even put in dreaded GE short gray plates, which I have to test various systems. Even they sounded quite decent in Crack compared to my McIntosh or SET 300B based amps. I even put 12at7 into the amp and DARN! it didn't squeal :D 6sn7, which usually produces much bigger sound in other systems sounded the same as 12au7s. There is a very small variation in the sound coming from different tubes, but it could be completely psychological. The same issue is with tube rolling for Driver & Cathode follower in McIntosh - there is really no point in spending large amount of money on Telefunkens for these stages - the majority of other tubes produce the same transparency and sound-stage. The two stages that affect the sound significantly are phase inverter and preamp (voltage amplifier), there you can have a lot of fun :), but with Crack both stages are absent.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Beefy on April 26, 2012, 08:55:23 AM
It appears that since voltage amplification is not needed in the amp and the 12au7 is used as driver......

Errrrr, the 12AU7 is indeed a voltage amplifier in this amp.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: nick-seattle on April 26, 2012, 10:35:59 AM
Errrrr, the 12AU7 is indeed a voltage amplifier in this amp.

Hmm, that's very strange then - do you know what gain is in that phase? One explanation is that since I use the amp at a very low volume - it has enough power to drive HD650 at 25% of max, the stage doesn't have as much affect on the sound wave. I guess I will just enjoy the amp :) And use my Dared & McIntosh for the rolling fun.

Some of my experiences with MC rolling...
http://tubemaze.info/rolling-with-mcintosh-275/
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Joppa on April 26, 2012, 03:48:03 PM
The 12AU7 has a gain of 17 with the current source load; closer to 12 with the stock resistor. The 6080 cathode follower is around 2/3 - it's a very low-mu tube.

Probably what you are hearing is the small output voltage of the 12AU7 - since it's a tiny fraction of the maximum, the distortion is miniscule, and what there is is almost entirely second order. In a power amp, the driver usually has to put out nearly all the voltage it is capable of, and can dominate the distortion signature unless precautions are taken.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Laudanum on May 01, 2012, 03:22:21 AM
Thanks, Laudanum. I have a few RCA & Raytheon 6as7, but didn't find them to be as transparent as the other two tubes. I was able to score them for $20 for 11!!! the dude who was selling them couldn't check the tubes - on my tube tester only one came weak the rest test great! I found that tube rolling with Crack is not as exciting as I hoped :) It appears that since voltage amplification is not needed in the amp and the 12au7 is used as driver with 6as7 used as cathode follower, it limits the effects that tubes can have on the sound - so in general everything sounds quite good. I even put in dreaded GE short gray plates, which I have to test various systems. Even they sounded quite decent in Crack compared to my McIntosh or SET 300B based amps. I even put 12at7 into the amp and DARN! it didn't squeal :D 6sn7, which usually produces much bigger sound in other systems sounded the same as 12au7s. There is a very small variation in the sound coming from different tubes, but it could be completely psychological. The same issue is with tube rolling for Driver & Cathode follower in McIntosh - there is really no point in spending large amount of money on Telefunkens for these stages - the majority of other tubes produce the same transparency and sound-stage. The two stages that affect the sound significantly are phase inverter and preamp (voltage amplifier), there you can have a lot of fun :), but with Crack both stages are absent.

In my experience with Crack, some of the 12AU7 rolling has made for fairly subtle differences, some more distinct than others.  Going to a different tube like the 12BH7 or 6SN7 for example makes for a bigger change, less subtle than some of the changes between 12AU7's.   I dont have nearly as many 6080/6AS7's as I do 12AU7's but there are pretty distinct differences between all of them with one exception.  The difference between the RCA and GE 6AS7's that I have are pretty subtle.  But rolling between those 6AS7's or the Russian 6H13C, Raytheon 6080 or the TS 5998  all make for fairly distinct differences, not hard to discern.    BTW, glad you enjoy the 6H13C.  Affordable and available is always nice.  I really enjoy the 5998 but could be perfectly happy with the 6AS7's I mentioned.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: nick-seattle on May 01, 2012, 08:15:59 PM
Laudanum. Thanks for sharing your experience. Crack is very difficult to roll. It's great on one hand, but disappointing on the other. Great, because you can get great sound from many tubes. Disappointing, because some tubes provide a very unique sound. As you stated, 6sn7 produce fantastic sound. I changed my Crack to work with 6v family (6dj8, 6gu7), 12v family (12au7...), Octal Family (6sn7). and Yes I do have 3 sockets in my Crack  :) - in addition to the 6as7 socket.

Recently, I was able to find a tube that made Crack shine. It created a huge difference, not a small one - and it was 12au7!!! I was not expecting that. I got the tube cheap on Ebay to try it out - it was Mazda 12au7 - now I bought 8 more (more expensive, but well worth it)  ;D

Check out my review:
http://tubemaze.info/mazda-12au7-gray-plates/
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: BNAL on May 02, 2012, 02:24:23 AM
Nick,

What power tube are you using with the Mazda? In my Crack I like the Mazda with the Mullard 6080 best.

After reading your review I will have to give the Mazda another listen with some of my other power tubes.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Grainger49 on May 02, 2012, 02:32:23 AM
This is a man who found a way to get whatever tube he found into the Crack.  Congratulations are in order.

Laudanum. Thanks for sharing your experience. Crack is very difficult to roll. It's great on one hand, but disappointing on the other. Great, because you can get great sound from many tubes. Disappointing, because some tubes provide a very unique sound. As you stated, 6sn7 produce fantastic sound. I changed my Crack to work with 6v family (6dj8, 6gu7), 12v family (12au7...), Octal Family (6sn7). and Yes I do have 3 sockets in my Crack  :) - in addition to the 6as7 socket.

Recently, I was able to find a tube that made Crack shine. It created a huge difference, not a small one - and it was 12au7!!! I was not expecting that. I got the tube cheap on Ebay to try it out - it was Mazda 12au7 - now I bought 8 more (more expensive, but well worth it)  ;D

Check out my review:
http://tubemaze.info/mazda-12au7-gray-plates/

Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: nick-seattle on May 02, 2012, 06:28:58 AM
Nick,

What power tube are you using with the Mazda? In my Crack I like the Mazda with the Mullard 6080 best.

After reading your review I will have to give the Mazda another listen with some of my other power tubes.

I'm using Svetlanas. Really like the airiness they produce and mid base tightness, but at the same time maintain warmth. Or maybe because I'm from Russia and was born the same year they were born :D

I haven't tried many 6as7 tubes to be honest. Structurally the majority of them look similar, so why bother. However, WE, Mullard, Tung-sol are on my list to try. I haven't had much luck rolling power tubes - they produce practically no sonic difference, so my investment is in drivers :) - so many to try. If you go to tubemaze.info, you will find all my rolling experiences between 4 tube amps - about 60 tubes and counting. Submit your review of Mullard 6080 there - let's make it fun.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: nick-seattle on May 02, 2012, 06:39:08 AM
This is a man who found a way to get whatever tube he found into the Crack.  Congratulations are in order.

I wish that would be the case. The only tubes I can use in the amp are all limited by gain up to 60 work fine, but anything above doesn't work, so no 12ax7 or 5751 rolling (although Sylvania JAN 5751 worked, but JHS 5751 wouldn't  :o )
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Doc B. on May 02, 2012, 06:47:05 AM
Are you checking the voltages with each of these different tube types? The nature of the direct coupled circuit is such that the bias on some tubes might be less than optimal unless some other changes are made.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: nick-seattle on May 02, 2012, 07:17:59 AM
Are you checking the voltages with each of these different tube types? The nature of the direct coupled circuit is such that the bias on some tubes might be less than optimal unless some other changes are made.

Hi Doc, I'm in a monkey mode right now - I see and I do, but have no idea how to calculate things. It's been suggested to I should replace LED with Silicon Diode, but I have no idea what value that diode should be or if there are other changes I should make O_o
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Doc B. on May 02, 2012, 08:21:15 AM
In general I think one needs to be careful when publishing tube rolling reviews where you plug a tube in that was not intended to be used in the circuit. A 12AU7 and 12AX7 are not really interchangeable. Yes, they have the same pinout - you can put Vanagon wheels on an SLK, too -  but they are designed for different jobs. I'm not saying don't try it, and in most cases no harm will be done. But I think it is important to note in the review that a given tube might not be operating at it's best without some changes to the circuit (or that it might not really be the best choice for the job at hand) and thus it might not be getting the fairest representation.

With this in mind I'll suggest that with the proper changes to the tube socket and heater voltage and current requirements a 6SN7 will typically work in place of a 12AU7. A 12BH7 will too, if one makes sure there is enough additional heater current available. As one gets further away from the 12AU7 spec, for example 12AT7s, 12AV7s, 12AZ7s and 12AX7s, one may need to alter the circuit anywhere from mildly to fairly radically. Also be careful with 6DJ8s, they aren't designed for as much plate voltage as a 12A_7 family tube and thus they may be subjected to too high a plate to cathode potential in some circuits.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: nick-seattle on May 02, 2012, 08:40:18 AM
Understand - putting a tube that the amp is not designed for is not a fair test. Yah. I've been using my other 3 amps to do the rolling with 12at7 & 12ax7 (McIntosh 275) and 12at7 & 12au7 (300B based SET amp & my hybrid tube amp). Using Crack to roll only 12au7 family :)
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: nick-seattle on May 02, 2012, 07:39:26 PM
And after publicly stating that I don't use 12at7 in Crack... I just did :) Crack was the closes amp and I needed to try a new tube - it worked extremely well. I then double checked the results in other amps with very similar outcome.

Check it out - this one is out of this world:
http://tubemaze.info/sylvania-12at7-gray-plates-2-mica/

If you find it - buy it. If you don't, let me know and I'll buy it!
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Laudanum on May 03, 2012, 01:29:28 AM

I'm using Svetlanas. Really like the airiness they produce and mid base tightness, but at the same time maintain warmth. Or maybe because I'm from Russia and was born the same year they were born :D

I haven't tried many 6as7 tubes to be honest. Structurally the majority of them look similar, so why bother. However, WE, Mullard, Tung-sol are on my list to try. I haven't had much luck rolling power tubes - they produce practically no sonic difference, so my investment is in drivers :) - so many to try. If you go to tubemaze.info, you will find all my rolling experiences between 4 tube amps - about 60 tubes and counting. Submit your review of Mullard 6080 there - let's make it fun.

Im really surprised that you dont hear a difference between power tubes.  I dont have a whole lot of different ones and I agree on one point that I think I mentioned ... I cant hear much between the GE 6AS7 and the RCA 6AS7.  I have 3 or 4 of the RCA's and, I think 2 of the GE's one with copper shield, one without.  All ST shape tubes.  The GE's have a smaller bottle but the internals are very similiar.   There are subtle differences that I wouldnt swear on hearing and I highly doubt that I could I pick between these two in a blind test.   But that aside,  between those 6AS7's I mention and the Raytheon 6080's that I have as well as the Svetlana 6H13C and the Tungsol 5998 there are distinct differences between most of them.  Now to be fair, the 5998 and probably the 6H13C are slightly different specs wise.  But the differences between these tubes I find to be more distinct than between most of the different 12AU7's.  Give your drivers some longer listening time and then try a different one, I would be surprised if you couldnt hear differences.   It would only be 3 tubes but I'd bet I could pick between the 6H13C, RCA 6AS7 and TS 5998 in a blind test ... and probably the Raytheon 6080 as well.  I cant say the same for most of the 12au7's I have,  those are mostly a "feel" thing.  And I absolutely dont have golden ears.   Give it a try with the power tubes.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: nick-seattle on May 03, 2012, 07:39:48 AM
Im really surprised that you dont hear a difference between power tubes.  I dont have a whole lot of different ones and I agree on one point that I think I mentioned ... I cant hear much between the GE 6AS7 and the RCA 6AS7.  I have 3 or 4 of the RCA's and, I think 2 of the GE's one with copper shield, one without.  All ST shape tubes.  The GE's have a smaller bottle but the internals are very similiar.   There are subtle differences that I wouldnt swear on hearing and I highly doubt that I could I pick between these two in a blind test.   But that aside,  between those 6AS7's I mention and the Raytheon 6080's that I have as well as the Svetlana 6H13C and the Tungsol 5998 there are distinct differences between most of them.  Now to be fair, the 5998 and probably the 6H13C are slightly different specs wise.  But the differences between these tubes I find to be more distinct than between most of the different 12AU7's.  Give your drivers some longer listening time and then try a different one, I would be surprised if you couldnt hear differences.   It would only be 3 tubes but I'd bet I could pick between the 6H13C, RCA 6AS7 and TS 5998 in a blind test ... and probably the Raytheon 6080 as well.  I cant say the same for most of the 12au7's I have,  those are mostly a "feel" thing.  And I absolutely dont have golden ears.   Give it a try with the power tubes.


I definitely did hear a difference, but it's not as huge as input or driver tubes. they only one I didn't hear a difference are RCA & Raytheon 6as7 - I bet they were produced in the same place. Really want to get my hands on 5998, but it has to wait right now - they are going for at least $50 a tube for a low measuring tube. It looks like WE 421 & Tung-sol 5998 have the same plate structure, so I would assume that they sound the same - any comments?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: nick-seattle on May 03, 2012, 07:48:57 AM
Dan's warning about using other tube numbers that are not 12AU7s in Crack is for listening and proper performance.  But if you want to test a tube and it has the right heater arrangement you might find out if it makes sound.  I once used a 12AX7 in place of a 6DJ8 because I didn't have a spare when my 6DJ8 went out.  It didn't sound right but did OK for background music for a few hours.

Dan is warning that you will not get the intended performance, gain, output and distortion using different tubes. 


I do understand the physics that are involved in rolling different tubes - mechanical & electrical :D But 12at7 does work in Crack and works fairly well especially at low volume. If I'm not mistaken there should be enough bias to allow for a small voltage swings with 12at7. However, I tested the tube at full volume and it still sounded phenomenally - so no matter what physics mighty state, my ears state that this is one of the best tubes that I've ever rolled in Crack (and I have zero interest in it, just want to share my OPINION) and I've tried over 50 tubes (different brands and models of 12au7 & 5814 & 5963 & 6189 ... ) - I'm collecting unusual tubes, so I have all sorts of crazy tubes from the family.  ;D
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Doc B. on May 03, 2012, 07:54:52 AM
Did you measure the voltages?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Joppa on May 03, 2012, 01:00:00 PM
"If it sounds good, it IS good" remains true, and I can't argue with it.

But drawing conclusions is a different issue. For example, a 12AT7 will have a higher plate voltage, driving the 6AS7 to a higher cathode voltage, and (without the Speedball) higher current. Our experiments have shown that increasing the current in the 6AS7 improves the sound - so ascribing the improvement to the 12AT7 by itself would be inappropriate. (With Speedball the current is constant so this effect is less significant.)

The same arrangement would increase the dissipation of the cathode resistor beyond the design condition. With the Speedball, it's the transistor dissipation that would increase. Either way, the components may have a shorter lifetime.

Both of the above are caused by the direct coupled design - sounds good but it's just less robust than cap-coupled topologies.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Laudanum on May 04, 2012, 02:18:32 AM
The WE 421 is/is not a Tung-Sol 5998 debate will always rage on amongst very small groups of hobbyists.   Do a google search,  you will find tidbits of info from both sides of the debate.  I dont have a WE and have no plans to spend the money on one.  I'll just have to slum it with the 5998 and two spares that I do have.   By the way, from everything I have found, all of the 5998's are Tung-sol made, no matter what they are branded.   That's not the straight glass 5998A's (which are generally considered a lesser tube, sonically).  I dont know if the A's were made by more than one manufacturer, but the ST shaped 5998 was only made by Tung-sol ... again, as far as I know. 
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Dr. Toobz on May 04, 2012, 04:28:58 AM
For what it's worth, I did put a 12AT7 in the driver socket one time, just out of curiosity, as I was trying to wrap my mind around the electrical workings of a direct-coupled circuit. I don't have the voltages I measured handy, but I recall the plate voltage being definitely higher than usual, and that was with the standard LED biasing the cathode. I have the Speedball installed, so that probably put the brakes on any large changes. Needless to say, the resulting combination sounded like poo - very low volume and an anemic sound. I take it that the Speedball was doing its job by preventing large shifts in the circuit - so who knows what would happen with the standard resistive arrangement? However, I can't help but feel sticking a totally different tube in there isn't ideal. The furthest I've gone from the standard 12AU7 is an E80cc, and now a 12BH7, both of which are much closer in terms of plate impedance and mu when compared to something like a 12AT7 or 6922. I'm not even sure how the latter would work in this circuit! Wouldn't the high transconductance and low plate impedance result in altered behavior at the grid of the 6AS7?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: nick-seattle on May 04, 2012, 10:00:21 AM
I have the basic version of Crack (no upgrades whatsoever). 12at7 works and sounds on the level of 12au7 (with Sylvania 12at7wa, it killed the majority of 12au7s except maybe for Mazda - I couldn't hear any sonic differences between these two tubes), but with much more volume. I know it's not suppressed to sound good - but it does (in Crack, in McIntosh, in SET 300b) - and I have experience in what a good sound is supposed to be - I tried all major brands of 12at7, 12au7 & 12ax7 - from Telefunkens selects - at $200 a tube to GE gray plates at $1 a tube)

Not sure about voltages anywhere, but it's a tube, if it works - it will continue working :) - compared to transistors. I don't see myself upgrading to anything that would involve transistors in Crack - I understand that they might make things better, but it's a transistor :) I love my Creack - pure!

Tube rolling wise, here are my favorites in Crack: Mazda 12au7, Sylvania 12at7wa, RCA 5962 (red base), Sulvania JHS 5814, Amperex 12at7 france, Amperex 7062, Westinghouse 12au7, Amperex 12au7, Westinghouse 6gu7. Some produce incredible clarity and sound stage, some produce superb warmth - depending on the mood :)

Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Beefy on May 04, 2012, 11:07:10 AM
I don't see myself upgrading to anything that would involve transistors in Crack - I understand that they might make things better, but it's a transistor :) I love my Creack - pure!

I could not disagree more with this position. Tubes must have a load and in the vast majority of cases, including the Crack, a CCS provides a *much* better load on the tube than a simple resistor. You get better PSRR, lower distortion, higher gain...... and from every single report I have read (plus my own experience) the Speedball just plain sounds better.

How is it pure to ignore these benefits? Does it make you a "better" tube guy to forego better sound quality by deliberately avoiding transistors?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: nick-seattle on May 04, 2012, 11:24:53 AM
How is it pure to ignore these benefits? Does it make you a "better" tube guy to forego better sound quality by deliberately avoiding transistors?

This is absolutely just an OPINION I have. I have a hybrid headphone amp and it does sound very good - so I'm not a complete purist, but I have more PERSONAL fun by rolling tubes and discovering incredible sound than changing amp circuitry - to each its own. However, I do believe that tube amps without transistors sound perfectly . I went through many amps and still have to find something that sounds better than McIntosh 275 with Vienna Acoustics Beethoven (plus Genesys sub - so there are transistors involved :D) - at least to MY ears, this is a sonic paradise - with the right tubes.

No how about rolling one of these tubes in Crack? :D
http://www.stereomojo.com/KR%20Audio%20Kronzilla%20SX1%20Mk%20II%20Review/KRAudioKronzillaSX1MkIIAmplifierReview.htm
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: nick-seattle on May 04, 2012, 12:14:17 PM
So I've been rolling today :) I tried to put 6sn7 (RCA 5692 Red Base) against 12bh7 (Sylvania gray round plates) against 12au7 (Mazda). I would say these are the best of the best in each family.

Here are my findings:
6sn7 - great bass, good details, very well developed mid-range - very forward, not much air - it's all kind there in the music, but doesn't wrap you up in it.
12bh7 - great bass, great details, more air than 6sn7. mid-range is not as developed. Much more feeling of being there.
12au7 - bass is not as good as previous two, phenomenal air, superb mid-range. With this tube there is a spooky feeling of being there. It's like seating on a stage with the artist.

Did blind testing with my wife - the only thing she knows about tubes is that they take a lot of money and a lot of my time :) Out of the 3, she stated that she loved Mazda again because of the "being there" feeling.

One of the best performances for this are: Patric Bruel - L'appart - Seul Ou Presque.

Disclaimer: This is my personal OPINION. Your results may vary. 12bh7 is a great tube :)
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: BNAL on May 04, 2012, 01:46:24 PM
Nick,

You got my attention with your posts and switched out my personal favorites, CBS 5814A and 5998 for the Mazda 12AU7 and RCA 6AS7G. Listening to the later combo now and loving it. I'm not going to say witch I thinks is better, because I really don't know but really enjoying this combo.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Joppa on May 04, 2012, 02:14:58 PM
In spite of my technical remarks in this thread, I love it. Reminds me of the early days of the Foreplay, when people stuck pretty much anything with 9 pins into the sockets just to see what happens - hey, it's cheap fun and even if something blows up you can fix it, there aren't many parts and they are not expensive. I can gas on all day about optimal operating points, distortion, headroom, etc - but none of us would be here if it wasn't also FUN!
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: nick-seattle on May 04, 2012, 06:12:21 PM
In spite of my technical remarks in this thread, I love it. Reminds me of the early days of the Foreplay, when people stuck pretty much anything with 9 pins into the sockets just to see what happens - hey, it's cheap fun and even if something blows up you can fix it, there aren't many parts and they are not expensive. I can gas on all day about optimal operating points, distortion, headroom, etc - but none of us would be here if it wasn't also FUN!

Exactly!!! If you stick it and love it - "roll" with it!!!
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: nick-seattle on May 04, 2012, 06:33:44 PM
Nick,

You got my attention with your posts and switched out my personal favorites, CBS 5814A and 5998 for the Mazda 12AU7 and RCA 6AS7G. Listening to the later combo now and loving it. I'm not going to say witch I thinks is better, because I really don't know but really enjoying this combo.

I would love to hear your thoughts on the combo of Mazda and 5998. I was thinking about pulling the plug on 5998, but hesitate a bit. The darn thing sounds so good right now that I can't even imagine it sounding better ;) Try Svetlana, it costs very little to try (compared to 5998), it adds a bit of air compared to RCA.

Lately, I've been in love with with Mazda. Everything I try - starting from 12ax7 with silver plates (not in Crack) to 12at7 to 12au7 is absolutely phenomenal. I was impressed by the air that telefunkens can create, but telefunkens are not match to Mazda. I got a huge deal today on ebay. $100 for 5 Mazda 12au7 marked with GE brand!!! They guy wanted much more for it, but Ebay is like any other market - you can negotiate. This one is with the slit in the plate - that's the one I have right now - absolutely phenomenal. I couldn't understand what soundstage was to it's full extent until I got Mazda - I have no idea what French put in it, but darn  - C'est si bon. Oh no, I've been listening to french tubes tooooo long. :D Now I'm waiting for another set of 4 Mazda - this time it's military Cifte with a round hole in the plate. I will post my impressions as soon as I get them. Ebay is a gold mine if you are willing to negotiate :) I would love to compare this to the SELECT Telefunkens that I have, these bustards sell for $225 a tube, I got it with my McIntosh, but 12au7s perform poorly in MC (Yes I did put them in MC even if the spec said that I only should put 12ax7 - whatever).               
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: BNAL on May 05, 2012, 03:07:33 AM
Nick,

I think what you like about the Mazda and what makes it different from the rest of the tubes is that it has a cleaner sound and not the traditional tubie sound. That is one of the reasons I believe in your comparison a few post back that you found it did not have as much base as the other tubes.

The 6AS7G is a great tube and no brianer recommendation. The 5998 I believe takes you to that next level, but that is my opinion. From what you discribe about what you like with the sound I found that the 5998 did it for me.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Laudanum on May 06, 2012, 10:38:42 AM
Nick,

I think what you like about the Mazda and what makes it different from the rest of the tubes is that it has a cleaner sound and not the traditional tubie sound. That is one of the reasons I believe in your comparison a few post back that you found it did not have as much base as the other tubes.

The 6AS7G is a great tube and no brianer recommendation. The 5998 I believe takes you to that next level, but that is my opinion. From what you discribe about what you like with the sound I found that the 5998 did it for me.

Agreed, that what it sounds like to me as well.  I dont have a Mazda tube but Im catching a "drift" here so to speak.   Nick,  I think it would be worth trying the 5998 but you may need to again be prepared to roll the driver.   Also, dont completely dismiss the Speedball.  I believe it will give you exactly what you are trying to achieve with tube rolling.  You arent breaking any "rules" with it.  I was a bit resistant as well.  Take advantage of what technology has to offer.  You may save some money on buying all them tubes  :o
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: nick-seattle on May 06, 2012, 03:15:40 PM
I just got two 5998 on Ebay today for $30  :o. They are weak but in working condition as the seller claims - we will see - I hope they are at least not DOA.

I'm quite sure that I will try Speedball sometime in the future. Yesterday I added Triad Choke and quite impressed with absolute silence that the amp produces. I still hear hiss, but only at extreme volume levels - I can't use the amp at that level (with Mazda for example, which is superbly quiet, I have to max the amp out to hear a hiss) - I usually push the volume up on my PC and can reduce the amp volume to a fairly low level.

I also got recently Xonar Essence STX audio card for my PC and very impressed. No more interference from PC and absolute silence during pause. The card has -124 db SNR! Very impressive. It also has a built in headphone amp - not very impressive. A standard SS sound (although a good one) - good bass, but not much air, no feeling of presence - boring. But based on specs it kills Crack :D
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: nick-seattle on May 07, 2012, 08:47:30 PM
I broke up and change Crack to accept 12ax7 :) Now the amp works with 12au7, 12ax7 and 6sn7 families. What can I say - I love it. The sound is superb. It's not possible to find in 12au7, which has its own stars, tubes that sound like Sylvania GB 5751 or Raytheon 5751 Windmill.

Paul, thanks for you help in making the mod. The diode & resistor did the trick.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: nick-seattle on May 08, 2012, 02:30:06 PM
BTW, I got Bellari HA540 today to roll 12ax7 tubes... 30 minutes later I printed return shipment label and sent it on its happy way back to where it came from. Crack Rules!!! I don't even want to compare the two.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Joppa on May 08, 2012, 05:03:43 PM
Here's an old story about 12AX7s that you might not have heard - it goes back to the second (?) VSAC, somewhere in the late 90s (?).

My late friend Tim Lollar (brother of the excellent boutique guitar pickup maker Jason Lollar) built a preamp with sockets for something like ten different tubes, switch selectable. All of them were on all the time to eliminate warmup effect, and each was operated at its own optimal current, giving identical normalized operating points. So we could pretty much count on technically identical operation, leaving only tube and gain differences. We adjusted the gain for identical outputs.

We did a mass listening comparison at the show with a crowd of about 35 people, each filling out their own rating sheet. The tubes were not identified until the session was over, and I as speaker did not know in what order Time was switching them. As close to a double-blind comparison as we could manage. No discussion was permitted until we had gone through all the tubes - of course, a pretty lively discussion followed (and carried over to the bar after)!

The interesting thing was, in the discussion nobody liked the 12AX7, and hardly anyone even mentioned it. IIRC, 6SN7s and 01A's were highly regarded, with a smattering of several others. Several months later, I tried to make statistical sense of the ratings. First place was all over the map. BUT ... for a clear majority, the 12AX7 was their second-favorite. I guess it was a little too politically-incorrect among audiophiles at the time, probably because it's a guitar tube. But in blind listening, it was very popular. I never found any other statistically-meaningful result from the test, and we never published the results. But I do tell the story now and then...  :^)
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: nick-seattle on May 08, 2012, 05:29:31 PM
Here's an old story about 12AX7s that you might not have heard - it goes back to the second (?) VSAC, somewhere in the late 90s (?).

My late friend Tim Lollar (brother of the excellent boutique guitar pickup maker Jason Lollar) built a preamp with sockets for something like ten different tubes, switch selectable. All of them were on all the time to eliminate warmup effect, and each was operated at its own optimal current, giving identical normalized operating points. So we could pretty much count on technically identical operation, leaving only tube and gain differences. We adjusted the gain for identical outputs.

We did a mass listening comparison at the show with a crowd of about 35 people, each filling out their own rating sheet. The tubes were not identified until the session was over, and I as speaker did not know in what order Time was switching them. As close to a double-blind comparison as we could manage. No discussion was permitted until we had gone through all the tubes - of course, a pretty lively discussion followed (and carried over to the bar after)!

The interesting thing was, in the discussion nobody liked the 12AX7, and hardly anyone even mentioned it. IIRC, 6SN7s and 01A's were highly regarded, with a smattering of several others. Several months later, I tried to make statistical sense of the ratings. First place was all over the map. BUT ... for a clear majority, the 12AX7 was their second-favorite. I guess it was a little too politically-incorrect among audiophiles at the time, probably because it's a guitar tube. But in blind listening, it was very popular. I never found any other statistically-meaningful result from the test, and we never published the results. But I do tell the story now and then...  :^)

That is hilarious :) I love 12ax7 no matter what people are saying about them - they provide tremendous dynamic impact and superb clarity. Since it's one of the most popular tubes, I bet a lot of funds were invested in developing it. For some reason, I actually prefer the rare dark gray (kind of hazy) color 12ax7 tubes. I found them among Westinghouse and RCA brands - I bet other ones made them as well - so many tubes to try :) If I understand correctly these were created during the transition in from Black to Gray material.

To be honest, the goal of the transition was to convert the amp to support 5751 tubes. To my ears, these are one of the most incredible tubes created. I mean Sylvania 5814 GB is awesome, but the 5751 gray plates (not a big fan of black plates 5751) with 3 mica is magical. So now I have two favorites: 1) Sylvania 5751 GB - when I want to listen to something very personal - think Melody Gardot; 2) Mazda 12ax7 or 12au7 - when I'm listening to concerts or classical music.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Noskipallwd on May 09, 2012, 01:32:48 AM
This is for anyone with experience using the 12AX7. Any preferred brands? NOS or Current production? Just purchased a used Jolida FX tube Dac that I am modifying and is slated for my bedroom system. It uses 12AX7s in the output.

Cheers,
Shawn
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Beefy on May 09, 2012, 02:57:09 AM
This is for anyone with experience using the 12AX7. Any preferred brands? NOS or Current production? Just purchased a used Jolida FX tube Dac that I am modifying and is slated for my bedroom system. It uses 12AX7s in the output.

I know that the electrostatic headphone technophiles like the new production JJ. They have the very low noise and microphonics required for high gain applications.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: nick-seattle on May 09, 2012, 07:42:07 AM
This is for anyone with experience using the 12AX7. Any preferred brands? NOS or Current production? Just purchased a used Jolida FX tube Dac that I am modifying and is slated for my bedroom system. It uses 12AX7s in the output.

Cheers,
Shawn

Depends on what you want to get out of your sound: Amperex - balanced & sweet; RCA - warm & rich; Mazda - bright; Mullard - warm & relaxed; Telefunken - precise.

Here is a good write up:
http://www.watfordvalves.com/cgi-bin/documents/testreport_2.pdf

You also might want to try 5751 - there are some gems in the stack - but again depends on the sound you want to get.

I have a few of them next to my amp - and swap them depending on music I want to play.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Noskipallwd on May 09, 2012, 11:10:39 AM
Thanks guys, the 5751 has less gain than the 12AX7 IIRC.

Cheers,
Shawn
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: nick-seattle on May 09, 2012, 12:28:43 PM
Got 5998 tubes today. They tested quite good at 95%, but I have a very basic tester, but at least it tests as good as any other 6as7s that I got. Heats up quickly and doesn't have noise. So all is good.

Now, about the sound. All the "rumors" about SQ getting better with the tube are true :) It feels that another layer has been added to the sound. It sounds sweeter than Svetlana and more transparent and dynamic than the 6as7. If I can compare the 3 tubes to 12ax7: Svetlana is like Telefunken - clear etched sound, RCA is like... RCA :) warm and juicy, but not very transparent - also noisier than the other two; Tung-Sol is like Mullard - very transparent and dynamic, but relaxed.

BTW, if you are looking for a dark sounding tube with incredible warmth and juiciness that rivals even RCA, you should try Westinghouse 12au7 with carbon black plates. In the article below, I put a few steps how to ID the real WH compare to WH branded RCA tubes:
http://tubemaze.info/westinghouse-12au7-carbon-plates/

They pop up on Ebay once in a while.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: jrihs on May 10, 2012, 05:43:49 PM
Very informative and nicely articulated, thanks! Where did you find the 5998's (pm me please)? All I find on e-bay are questionable. Fact is I just won one for 50 bucks and am very skeptical...for one, nobody else bid! There are some from England but he wouldn't give values on single tubes when asked. Only that they all range from 80-100% Maybe I should gamble once more...

By the way...those westinghouse 12au7's in your link are on e-bay...same background, same toobs. http://www.ebay.com/itm/3ea-12AU7A-1ea-12AU7-Vintage-Westinghouse-Radio-Tube-/140665492681?pt=Vintage_Electronics_R2&hash=item20c05114c9
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: nick-seattle on May 11, 2012, 12:18:40 PM
Very informative and nicely articulated, thanks! Where did you find the 5998's (pm me please)? All I find on e-bay are questionable. Fact is I just won one for 50 bucks and am very skeptical...for one, nobody else bid! There are some from England but he wouldn't give values on single tubes when asked. Only that they all range from 80-100% Maybe I should gamble once more...

By the way...those westinghouse 12au7's in your link are on e-bay...same background, same toobs. http://www.ebay.com/itm/3ea-12AU7A-1ea-12AU7-Vintage-Westinghouse-Radio-Tube-/140665492681?pt=Vintage_Electronics_R2&hash=item20c05114c9

I got them from Ebay - I guess I got lucky :) I put the max bid of ~$35 and won O_o. The issue with the tubes is that it's very hard to measure them with any tube tester - so the numbers you see on Ebay - I wouldn't trust - the tube could be much more performant than they state - you need to have a reference NOS tube (to get performance) and then see how they warm up. If they warm up fast and show close to the NOS tube performance, it's all good and they will likely last for a long time (hopefully). There is no guaranty even with NOS.

The Westinghouse in your link appear to be gray plates - so it's likely a rebrand. Here is the real version (not responsible if they are gone by the time you look at them ;) )
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Westinghouse-12AU7A-Tube-Pair-82-and-92-/320904055498?pt=Vintage_Electronics_R2&hash=item4ab75f4aca

There is also a special military version of the WH tubes - marked as CWL (these sound the same as usual version, but they are selected & ruggedized):
http://www.ebay.com/itm/3-NOS-Westinghouse-by-Tung-Sol-Long-Black-Plate-FAT-D-Getter-JAN-CWL-12AU7-Tubes-/120911863648?pt=Vintage_Electronics_R2&hash=item1c26e89f60

They are getting kind of pricey and not because of my review ;)
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: nick-seattle on May 11, 2012, 07:33:46 PM
So here is another interesting finding - I already discovered it with the other amps, but rediscovered it with Crack :)

Tube rolling results are very dependent on the output tube (6as7). I had the same experience with Dared 300B & McIntosh 275 (even driver tubes and cathod followers prevented a tube to shine if they were not transparent enough). If I put output tubes that are not transparent enough, all rolling experience is screwed up. All tubes sound the same because output tubes affect sound so much, so the more transparent the output tubes the better.

Now, in one of my first thought stated that rolling with Crack is hard - I have to admit I was absolutely wrong. Rolling is only hard when Raytheon (6080) or Svetlana or RCA are used as output tubes. With 5998 it's a new world, the amp is so responsive to rolling (I don't have Speedball - I have prejudges against SAND) that each new tube is like new experience.

As I mentioned before I modified my Crack to work with 6SN7, 12au7, 12ax7 family. Check out the photo :D
(https://forum.bottlehead.com/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Ftubemaze.info%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2012%2F05%2FDSC03682-1-768x1024.jpg&hash=332462796d38bf3db29dc23500c54dbe)

There is a switch now that switches between anode voltage and bios of medium-mu (12au7 & 6sn7) and high-mu tubes (12ax7). WOW!!! New tubes that I rolled were just absolutely gorgeous. I try to post my experiences on www.tubemaze.info every day.

I understand that 12ax7 is not the best tube for headphones - whatever! There are some tubes in the family that can't be matched my any other tubes. For example, I was selling my Telefunken 12ax7 Smooth plates Selects on ebay because although they were for my MC, I couldn't hear a difference between regular smooth plates and Selects - speakers, as you know, are not the best media to communicate nuances of music. With the modification I finally understood why the freaking tube costs $200 (I didn't buy it, but inherited with the MC). Anyways, if you are into discovering new dimensions of music, 12ax7 & 5751 is a must. So make the mod!!! It's super easy.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: nick-seattle on May 11, 2012, 08:29:01 PM
You can hate me and say that Mazda doesn't have the real tube sound, but it doesn't sound like SS either - it has a unique sound to it and for some music I'm just absolutely in love with the tubes. JTake for example, Diana Panton - she has such an absolutely unique voice - imported from Canada :) - hard to get here CDs, but they pop up on Amazon & Ebay. Mazda makes her CDs sing like no other tubes, so... before you reject them, try them - you will be amazed, with the right music (Diana Panton for example ;). The freaking things could be expensive - but that's the beauty of Crack - it only takes one tube in preamp :)
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Beefy on May 12, 2012, 01:54:18 AM
I try to post my experiences......

You know, I probably wouldn't mind reading your great walls of text so much, if you didn't keep pimping you own personal website all the time. You may not be selling anything, but the PPV ad at the bottom doesn't really bode well.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: nick-seattle on May 12, 2012, 07:14:31 AM
:) I completely forgot about the ad. It was an experiment I did some time ago, but since it was all the way on the bottom, it completely slipped my mind. The ad is gone now.

The site is really designed with a single purpose in mind - to help others with tube selection. I think a claim that tubes sound different in different amp is somewhat misleading. There are great tubes that sound great everywhere. There are bad tubes that sound horrific everywhere. I went through the majority of the tubes through now 5 amps (building my 6th amp now) and the sonic results are quite the same. There are cases when circuitry doesn't allow the tube to shine, but it still sounds great. When I started with tubes, I was absolutely confused and lost - there are so many choices and the most obvious ones are very expensive, but there are superb tube for a reasonable price, but they are fairly unknown. So I invite everybody to contribute and help everybody else.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: nick-seattle on May 14, 2012, 01:37:55 PM
I'm in the Output tube rolling mode right now :) The first one I got was Bendix 6080WB (waiting for 7236 & Sylvania GB 6080). It looks like Crack was shipped with Bendix before, but then changed to other tube - not sure what the reason was. In general, I felt that this tube provided a better balance across the spectrum compared to 5998. Tung-sol does have more powerful bass, but it comes at an expense of overemphasizing LF and making things much darker than they should be in reality - you can balance it by using brighter tubes - RCA 12au7 Long Gray Plates - without loosing creaminess. On the other hand, I felt that Bendix provided more clarity in instruments - each instrument was much easier to separate compared to 5998. There was a significant improvement in clarity when playing Chantal, Marga Etoile(Sopran)-Lulle, Lullay And Lullabye. The sound is definitely thinner than 5998, but more balanced & dynamic. One negative, the darn thing is hard to roll - it gets extremely hot!!! but it's built like a tank,  the plate structure is very cool looking and a slit in the middle  plates - is like a window into a soul ;)

Had anybody else try the two tubes? Any impressions?

Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Laudanum on May 15, 2012, 11:09:25 AM
It's got to be a relative thing if you think that the 5998 overemphasizes the LF.  I dont have a Bendix to compare but dont find that to remotely be the case comparing the 5998 with any of the 6080's or 6AS7's that I do have, including the Svetlana 6H13C.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: nick-seattle on May 15, 2012, 09:40:03 PM
It's got to be a relative thing if you think that the 5998 overemphasizes the LF.  I dont have a Bendix to compare but dont find that to remotely be the case comparing the 5998 with any of the 6080's or 6AS7's that I do have, including the Svetlana 6H13C.

That's quite true. When I use 5998 or 6h12c and play Melody Gardot she sounds much older than she is. Also, low notes on the piano sound much lower than they would with a real piano - I asked my wire to play a piano passage for me - and then I run to listen to the same passage on with my amp :) the results - with Bendix came much closer to the real piano. This definitely depends on the input tube, but in both cases I used Mullard 12au7 Long Plates (BTW, this is a killer tube - quite dark, but the amount of nuances it can communicate!!!). My headphones are quite balanced (Sennheiser HD650), so they shouldn't lean towards LF. BTW, my goal is to get the amp as close to real sound as possible (SS can't produce natural sound as it would be in reality -way to sharp) - which is not exactly the vintage sound that a lot of people are buying tube amps for. I do enjoy vintage sound with some music, but definitely not all. I know how to get the vintage sound :) - Westinghouse 6SN7 or 12au7 get me right there. With natural sound... I'm still looking, but Bendix gets me a step closer.

I've been using Bendix for 2 days now. The amp gets much hotter than with other tubes. So far very pleased. Anybody needs 5998??? Just kidding - I'm planning to keep the tubes. On the other note, I've heard that 7236 is very close in sound to Bendix - Very dynamic tube. I should get it this week and will report on my findings. One is selling right now on ebay for $19. I bought from the same seller, but he puts them out one at a time.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Cetron-7236-Military-Vacuum-Tube-PN-3213999-/320906292086?pt=Vintage_Electronics_R2&hash=item4ab7816b76#ht_1254wt_1168

[/quote]
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Laudanum on May 16, 2012, 01:21:17 AM
7236 is supposedly a computer rated 5998A (not 5998).  The 5998 and 5998A are a bit different tube.   Quite a bit of info out there for both the 5998a and the 7236 and it's a mixed bag.  I havent had the interest to try either and the reviews havent swayed me.   But it's cool that you are trying everything that you can get your hands on.  Rolling is fun but I have to set my limit.   Money being spent elswhere lately on other things that, for the time being are getting seemingly scarcer (and expensive) that NOS vac tubes ... It is another Presidential election year and demand for items necessary for one of my other interests always skyrockets during election years.  I'll leave it at that  ;)
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Lee Hankins on May 16, 2012, 05:52:00 AM
I have been playing around with the 7236, 6336A, and 6528A lately.  Like the sound of the 6336A/6528A over the 7236, not really much difference here, if any at all.  The 6528A has become my tube of choice, but I really believe that it is because I like the looks of this extremely rugged tube over the other two (6528A is just slightly larger than the 6336A).  These tubes run extremely hot!!!
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: nick-seattle on May 16, 2012, 06:39:13 AM
I have been playing around with the 7236, 6336A, and 6528A lately.  Like the sound of the 6336A/6528A over the 7236, not really much difference here, if any at all.  The 6528A has become my tube of choice, but I really believe that it is because I like the looks of this extremely rugged tube over the other two (6528A is just slightly larger than the 6336A).  These tubes run extremely hot!!!

So this is interesting. 6528 * 6336 draw 5A of heater current, but structurally they looks similar to Bendix 6080 - that might explain why Bendix takes 15 seconds to start playing and gets everything hot. Although, it's very interesting that Bendix being marked as 6080 would draw more current. I would have to try 6528.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Laudanum on May 16, 2012, 12:03:18 PM
I thought the Crack transformer was only capable of 3.5 amps, max, for filament supply for both tubes .  Or is it 3 amps?   Or am I just nuts.  If it's what I think it is, it probably isnt much wonder why the amp is running hot.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Lee Hankins on May 16, 2012, 12:17:18 PM
Desmond, you are correct, I installed an additional 3A filament transformer..
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Joppa on May 16, 2012, 02:32:58 PM
Desmond, you are correct, I installed an additional 3A filament transformer..
I hope that's a misprint, if you're drawing over 5 amps!
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Laudanum on May 16, 2012, 03:34:47 PM
Desmond, you are correct, I installed an additional 3A filament transformer..

Got it.  I was wondering how in the heck it was running at all   ;D
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: nick-seattle on May 17, 2012, 07:22:52 PM
I got all the tubes in and did some rolling. Very short summary. All tubes are awesome and add their unique character to any music.

5998 - very relaxed, very deep. very smooth. The reference tube.
7236 - very close to 5998 at a fraction of the cost (~$20). It's not as relaxed, but at the same time more dynamic.
Sylvania Gold Brand 6080 - very liquid tube, you just want to continue listening. The price is unbelievable - $9 a tube!
Bendix 6080 - very dynamic, very detailed - superb performance during complex passages, separates instruments like no other - think Mozart Sym. 41. Very hard to find :(
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: dwilli852 on May 17, 2012, 10:08:50 PM
Picked up an Amperex/Valvo Bugle Boy 12AU7 made in 1957 at Hamburg according to the information I have about the date code. May be the best sounding 12au7 I've heard in the Crack with NOS RCA 6AS7 and HD 650s.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: dwilli852 on May 23, 2012, 11:39:47 AM
Got a couple RCA branded 6AS7 tubes from the mid 1950's. Both are black plates. Both are great sounding tubes.. At $9.95 for the pair plus $5.50 shipping a good bargain. Looking for a 5998 and WE 421a but not willing to pay the high prices.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: jrihs on May 24, 2012, 04:13:42 PM
This looks interesting!....

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1-RAREST-12AX7-TYPE-TUBE-EVER-MADE-ONLY-ONE-SAMPLE-CIRCUTTRON-OR-12AU7-NOS-NIB-/290717388630?pt=Vintage_Electronics_R2&hash=item43b01b4f56
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Laudanum on May 25, 2012, 03:07:07 AM
Got a couple RCA branded 6AS7 tubes from the mid 1950's. Both are black plates. Both are great sounding tubes.. At $9.95 for the pair plus $5.50 shipping a good bargain. Looking for a 5998 and WE 421a but not willing to pay the high prices.

Related to your other post as well  ... I have a few Amperex Holland (Herleen)  12AU7's and they are probably my favorite 12AU7's for Crack.  Maybe not exactly your Hamburg Amperex but I bet it shares similiar sonics so I think I understand your liking this tube.  And I agree, they sound great with the RCA 6AS7's ... or atleast my Herleen tubes do.  Also great with the 5998 so hopefully you can find one and see, or hear, for yourself.  Those 5998's were always a bit elusive from what I understand but really elusive lately.  I was fortunate to find the ones I have when I did.  All mine were purchased as used but 2 of the 3 that I have were tested as new and even look like they could have been NOS.  The 3rd had a bit of use but still tests very strong (emission tester anyway)  and sounds great.   They are all different ... same dimpled plates as all of them but different getter (top, bottom).  They all sound the same, regardless.  To my ear anyway.  Im sure you'll find one or two.  I got lucky when I found mine. 
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: jrihs on May 25, 2012, 05:08:41 AM
I've always had good luck with ebay 12au7's but I've just had my 3rd 5998 refunded for having a weak right channel. For all the trouble I wish I had just bought a 421a from a more reliable source. The two are very similar, but to my limited experience, the 421a is slightly more transparent while the 5998 has a slightly bigger presentation (perhaps more bass impact?). Hopefully I will be comparing again soon. 4th time a charmer I hope, as its on its way!
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Dr. Toobz on May 25, 2012, 05:34:08 AM
I've noticed that output tube rolling has tended to be more of a crapshoot than the driver. Case in point: I bought two NOS 6AS7G tubes on eBay and both hum and/or emit a high-order harmonic of 60Hz hum - one noticeably - and that was followed by a 7236 that had no cathode emission. The 5998 I owned before that was very microphonic. Turns out the quietest and most reliable tube I've found so far was the original, lowly 6080 supplied with the kit. It's dead quiet - but seems to be a bit bland or lacking in character compared to other tubes I've tried.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: nick-seattle on May 25, 2012, 07:55:45 AM
I actually had a fairly good experience with output tubes on Ebay. I got all the tubes mentioned before (about 10 in total) without any problems. I was about to return GB 6080 due to crackling noise in one of the channels, but after I contacted seller, I figured out that the noise was coming from driver tube - the seller was very relieved :). Even the 5998s that I got recently which were listed as weak are performing admirably and test quite well. Ebay is definitely a lottery, but with protection :)
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: nick-seattle on May 25, 2012, 10:34:00 AM
Here is an interesting tube that I recently found by accident. Sylvania JHS 12au7 Black Plates. It's the 12au7 version not the 5814 - 5814 has a different plate structure. I rolled that tube yesterday and compared this to JHS 5814 & JHS 6183 - all black plates. This tube won hand down. Very creamy and lushes sound with superb bass. I couldn't find info about that tube anywhere, so want to share my finding with the community. A very cool, cheap and unique tube. I rolled with along with CBS-Hytron 5814 from 1954 - and this one won :) Not just me, but I tried this with a few friends as well, all of them agreed in the blind testing that JHS 12au7 is more creamy and has more body.

If you are interested in the full review (it has a large picture) - you know where to find it :)
http://tubemaze.info/sylvania-jhs-12au7-black-plates/
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Joppa on May 25, 2012, 03:16:41 PM
A quick note here; many tubes are available as used, and are often tested for emission. Low emission would be a problem if you were pushing the limit on current. Specs are variable but I see 125mA for a 6080WA and 140mA for a 5998A. Crack only needs 30mA; even our experimental high-current Crack is running 60mA or less.

I'm not saying every weak tube will still sound good, just that it's always worth actually listening before making judgements.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: nick-seattle on May 25, 2012, 05:40:18 PM
A quick note here; many tubes are available as used, and are often tested for emission. Low emission would be a problem if you were pushing the limit on current. Specs are variable but I see 125mA for a 6080WA and 140mA for a 5998A. Crack only needs 30mA; even our experimental high-current Crack is running 60mA or less.

I'm not saying every weak tube will still sound good, just that it's always worth actually listening before making judgements.

Ahh. So that makes a lot of sense. Even more savings with Crack!!! What about Driver tube? How hard is it being pushed? I definitely see immediate issues with tubes with emission below 85%.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: nick-seattle on May 25, 2012, 06:37:36 PM
I finally got my hands on Amperex 7316 - the legend, the "holly grail", the ultimate tube, the ... Not to me. There are equal tubes and tubes that do a better job in some areas. See the full review: http://tubemaze.info/amprex-7316-short-plates

Note: This is my personal OPINION based on rolling over 110 tubes in Crack :)
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Bolivar on May 25, 2012, 11:39:15 PM
I finally got my hands on Amperex 7316 - the legend, the "holly grail", the ultimate tube, the ... Not to me. There are equal tubes and tubes that do a better job in some areas. See the full review: http://tubemaze.info/amprex-7316-short-plates

Note: This is my personal OPINION based on rolling over 110 tubes in Crack :)

I actually feel the same way, so much hype for this tube, but I don't think it's all that special. Overall too bright for my tastes, but then again I do use dt880s which are fairly bright phones to begin with.

Anyway, I only paid 5$ for my 7316, so no big loss there.  ;D
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: BNAL on May 26, 2012, 08:05:55 AM
Nick,

Have you tried the E80CC in the Crack? I have been thinking about getting it for mine, because there has been favorable talk on this post about it.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: BNAL on May 26, 2012, 09:18:50 AM
I decided to give the 12AU7 RCA clear tops a try since they are reasonably priced. From some of the reviews it seems like a good sounding tube.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: nick-seattle on May 26, 2012, 09:26:35 AM
Nick,

Have you tried the E80CC in the Crack? I have been thinking about getting it for mine, because there has been favorable talk on this post about it.

I have one coming from Ukraine in about a week or two. From what I've read Tangsram is even better than Phillips. Stay tuned. I will report as soon I as I get it and go through a burn in period.

I decided to give the 12AU7 RCA clear tops a try since they are reasonably priced. From some of the reviews it seems like a good sounding tube.

Let me know if you need some, I have quite a few of them (about 20!) - got carried away :) I can sell them for $20 for 2 including shipping.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: jrihs on May 26, 2012, 03:36:29 PM
I finally got my hands on Amperex 7316 - the legend, the "holly grail", the ultimate tube, the ... Not to me. There are equal tubes and tubes that do a better job in some areas. See the full review: http://tubemaze.info/amprex-7316-short-plates

Note: This is my personal OPINION based on rolling over 110 tubes in Crack :)
I'm with ya, this is a great tube but I prefer the late 50's amperex bb w/ long plates and foil...or the siemens chrome...
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: nick-seattle on May 26, 2012, 05:30:30 PM

I'm with ya, this is a great tube but I prefer the late 50's amperex bb w/ long plates and foil...or the siemens chrome...

So yesterday at around 2 am in the morning O_o, I was able to get my hands on a pair of the 50's Amperex 7316 BB Long Plates and foil !!! Can't wait to get that tube - that should be interesting... because 12au7 Amperex BB Long Plates and foil is absolutely my favorite tube. I haven't had a chance to get my hands on Siemens Chrome, but I've read a lot of very great reviews about the tube. the time will come for that tube as well :)
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: nick-seattle on May 29, 2012, 05:13:59 PM
Reporting back now that I had a chance to to listen to Amperex 7316 Long Plates with D-getter Foil, I have to say - DARN!!! that tube is the best thing that I've ever had a pleasure to listen to - just remember that I tried pretty much every tube type out there. I played for about 2 hours flipping between Amperex 12au7 BB Long Foil and that tube and at first it was not very obvious that 7316 was better, but the more I listened to that tube the less I wanted to listen to 12au7 (remember I was in love with 12au7 - love is such a flimsy thing :) So two hours later with my ears bleeding - wait - I meant my ears smiling with pleasure - it was hands down 7316. The amount of undertones that tube communicated was just phenomenal and the gentleness that it carried female voice with was just unbelievable - amount of details was also through the roof - there were passages in songs that I listened to for 200-300 times that I didn't hear before!!!! It appears that there is more air to the sound of 7316 and bass is more balanced than 12au7 (some of you might be disappointed by the fact, since the bass is not superbly pronounced - like it is in Mullard or RCA BP - it's lighter and IMHO is much more balanced). So there, if you come across a pair at 2 am in the morning for a great price, take it!!! This will be the last tube you will be rolling :)

Update: Interestingly enough, after the listening session, we did blind testing, between Mullard 12au7 LP, Amperex 12au7 LP and Amperex 7316 LP. It was extremely easy to separate both Amperexes and Mullard - proving that despite some opinions that 12au7 & 7316 from the same era (both tubes were from Harleen factory made in 1958) sound the same - they sound very differently.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: BNAL on June 01, 2012, 05:05:38 PM
Just got 12au7 RCA clear tops and really like them.  They let the music through.  It reminds me of the Mazda tube. I also got the Control 7236.  This is a nice sounding tube as well.  I had it paired with the Mullard 4003 and found it to be a little to tubie. The RCA works well with the 7236,  but I want to try the Mazda with it.  I'm thinkling this would also be a good combination.

I want to let people understand that I'm not analytical about my observations. In the past I would listen to the same tracks over and over to determine what I thought sounded better.  Now I want to see if I'm just enjoying the music. Maybe after 30 years of listening to the equipment I'm actually listening to the music.

I do so enjoy building these great bottlehead kits,  and now understand that the music and the building are to different enjoyments and passions.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: nick-seattle on June 01, 2012, 10:15:00 PM
Another interesting find for the amp - RCA 6189 3 mica black plates. Very open, inviting sound - the richness of black plates and superb amount of details - very low distortion. I've read somewhere that 6189 was an answer to e82cc from Europe. Can anybody confirm this?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Laudanum on June 02, 2012, 02:05:47 AM
I thought that the 6189 was basically a ruggedized 12AU7 ... a drop-in sub with, maybe, slightly different specs.  I have a few and I think most are JAN or JG tubes and/or have triple mica spacers.  I dont know how that relates to the ECC82.  I thought that the ECC82 was just the Euro designation for and equivalent of 12AU7.    But Im not a tube historian or even a tube buff.

Have you tried any of the "lowly" GE's?  Either the 12AU7's or the variants (6189, 5814).   Ive been largely disenchanted with the relatively small number of different GE tube types Ive tried in general but some of the GE 12AU7's and drop in subs I really like in Crack.   I dont think they would be your favorites based on what I think your sonic preferences are but just curious if you have tried any.  I have a couple 12AU7's (1950's I think)  and, I believe a couple GE BP 5814's that are really great.   They are right there with my favorites which are the Herleen made tubes.  I have 2 or 3 Amperex relabels and a couple tubes that I bought with no silk screen brand labels that were sold as Philips - Herleen tubes.  I believe they are labeled ECC82 (Herleen Delta code prefix is present).  I dont know exactly what they are but all of the relatively few Hollan made tubes that I have are among my favorites along with a few of those GE's I mention.   Im not a tube snob at all but it still surprises me that I am fond of these GE's because of my not being impressed with the brand in other gear in the past.   

All that said, Im still running and enjoying the 12BH7.
 
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Laudanum on June 02, 2012, 02:14:04 AM
I want to let people understand that I'm not analytical about my observations. In the past I would listen to the same tracks over and over to determine what I thought sounded better.  Now I want to see if I'm just enjoying the music. Maybe after 30 years of listening to the equipment I'm actually listening to the music.


That's the only way I choose tubes these days.  I'll do some pretty quick rolling at first to try and get a sense of the different tubes.  But after that, I just listen.  I dont listen for anything, I just listen to the music and the tube kinda chooses itself.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Joppa on June 02, 2012, 06:19:54 AM
I find data sheets on the web for 6189s by Philips, Mazda, Lorenz (=e82cc), Tung-Sol, and Telefunken (=ecc802s). Ruggedized (shock and vibration) and specified for many turn on/turn off cycles, but otherwise the same as a 12AU7.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: nick-seattle on June 02, 2012, 08:18:13 AM
I thought that the 6189 was basically a ruggedized 12AU7 ... a drop-in sub with, maybe, slightly different specs.  I have a few and I think most are JAN or JG tubes and/or have triple mica spacers.  I dont know how that relates to the ECC82.  I thought that the ECC82 was just the Euro designation for and equivalent of 12AU7.    But Im not a tube historian or even a tube buff.

Have you tried any of the "lowly" GE's?  Either the 12AU7's or the variants (6189, 5814).   Ive been largely disenchanted with the relatively small number of different GE tube types Ive tried in general but some of the GE 12AU7's and drop in subs I really like in Crack.   I dont think they would be your favorites based on what I think your sonic preferences are but just curious if you have tried any.  I have a couple 12AU7's (1950's I think)  and, I believe a couple GE BP 5814's that are really great.   They are right there with my favorites which are the Herleen made tubes.  I have 2 or 3 Amperex relabels and a couple tubes that I bought with no silk screen brand labels that were sold as Philips - Herleen tubes.  I believe they are labeled ECC82 (Herleen Delta code prefix is present).  I dont know exactly what they are but all of the relatively few Hollan made tubes that I have are among my favorites along with a few of those GE's I mention.   Im not a tube snob at all but it still surprises me that I am fond of these GE's because of my not being impressed with the brand in other gear in the past.   

All that said, Im still running and enjoying the 12BH7.
 

I tried about every conceivable variation on GE theme. I do like GE 5814 BP 3 mica. They sound very similar (practically the same) as RCA 5814 3 mica at a huge discount. Gray plates, definitely not my favorite - I find their sound sharp at the top, can't listen for long. GE 12au7 Gray Long Plates are not bad, but still the sharpness for me is there.

About 12BH7, a lot of people love the tubes, but I just can't stand them, they sound very glassy to me :( I sold every single one I had.

About 6189, I think it's like 5814 in relationship to 12au7 - the specs are the same, but more care and QA goes into selection of the tubes, so the final result is better. this is just my thought.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Dr. Toobz on June 03, 2012, 04:08:08 AM
Never to be one to leave well enough alone, I re-wired the noval socket to suit a handful of near-NOS 6CG7's I won on eBay for rather cheap. Since the black wire that was already there wasn't quite long enough to reach pin 4, I re-did the heater wiring with some Belden shielded cable, and took pin 9 (shield) to the chassis ground. The result? I have a new favorite. Great soundstage, warm mids, and really sweet HF that reminds me of my SEX amp. This makes sense, as the small triode on the 6DN7 is essentially half of a 6SN7, and the 6CG7 is just a 6SN7 in a different-sized bottle.

I was afraid these might sound more "tubey" than the 12BH7 or RCA clear-top 12AU7 I had been using lately, but that's not been the case. The three RCA tubes I acquired look to be from the 1950's or very early 1960's, before the "meatball" logo disappeared. The have huge, dark-colored plates and there is a shield between sections, which was taken to ground. My understanding is that the shields were added due to the sections being shoved so close together compared to the octal 6SN7, increasing the chances of crosstalk between channels.

I also stuck a 6922EH in there for kicks, since the operating point seems similar to that of the Seduction (e.g., Agilent HLMP-6000 LED bias (~1.56V) and about 75V on the plates). The sound was definitely more clinical and "modern," in addition to a smaller soundstage than the aforementioned 6CG7. Not a fan. I've found this to be the case anytime a higher-mu tube is added, such as the E80cc. The extra gain makes for a more forward (and I'd argue, fatiguing) presentation.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: nick-seattle on June 07, 2012, 04:09:10 PM
Well... reporting back on the E80CC I have one from Tungsram. A fantastic tube - there were reports that it's better than short plate 7316 by Amperex and I have to agree. It's not better than the long plate version, but it's not worst - it's just very different. Compared to short plate version, it's a more capable tube - you can feel that it can carry music with such an incredible authority and ease. Very balance sound. Powerful bass, great amount of details, very good separation of instruments. All is there. If you like dynamic sound with huge transparency, try it out, it's definitely worth it.

However, I've been completely distracted by the other shipment that I got recently - Tesla E83CC the replica of Telefunkens ECC803S. When I put it into my Crack (I have a version that takes 12ax7) and started to play my jaw dropped. This was completely unbelievable - there is no talk about transparency, details, etc. The tube brings the music, the singer, the band right into your house! I later tried it in McIntosh and I couldn't believe that my amp and speakers could produce this kind of sound. I'm completely blown away. Now I must try other S versions. My poor budget.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: BNAL on June 07, 2012, 05:04:25 PM
I've found a very nice sounding combination for my Crack in e RCA 12au7 clear top and RCA 6AS7G black plate. I tried the clear top with other power tubes and was not as engaged. This is a clear bag for
the buck combination. Both tubes can be had for a reasonable price and provide a dinamic clean detailed sound.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: dwilli852 on June 07, 2012, 05:45:55 PM
I agree with BNAL the clear top and black plate is a very good combination. One I keep going back too.

Has anyone ever seen a NOS Mullard made in America 6AS7G or this just a rebranded RCA tube? It's a bottom D getter.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Laudanum on June 08, 2012, 02:17:15 AM
I've got a bunch of the RCA Clear Top 12AU7's .  Not my favorites with Crack.  Not bad with the RCA or GE JAN labeled 6AS7 but definitely too much with the 5998.  Not my preference either way.  But I have one or two in use in the main systems.   But I find the Cleartops a little too hot up top in the heaphone system.  It could be the Beyerdynamics.  That said, I agree that they are nice tubes in the right system and a real good bang for the buck tube.  
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: nick-seattle on June 08, 2012, 10:16:37 PM
I've got a bunch of the RCA Clear Top 12AU7's .  Not my favorites with Crack.  Not bad with the RCA or GE JAN labeled 6AS7 but definitely too much with the 5998.  Not my preference either way.  But I have one or two in use in the main systems.   But I find the Cleartops a little too hot up top in the heaphone system.  It could be the Beyerdynamics.  That said, I agree that they are nice tubes in the right system and a real good bang for the buck tube.  

I agree. Clear Top compensates for early roll off in HF of RCA, so the combo is great, but with 5998, which already has great HF extension Cleat tops are just too much. 5998 asks for a much more balanced tube. The best combo that I found was with Amperes, either short or long plates. Mulllards are way too dark. ECC803S is phenomenal, but requires mods. E80CC or Raytheon 5814 Windmill is the middle ground and with 5998 provides incredible sound if you area looking for Dynamics. If you are into warmth, Westinghouse or RCA will give you that. If you are into feeling of presence- outside of Tele ECC803S (which cost like my first car) nothing compares to Mazda.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: dwilli852 on June 09, 2012, 11:15:38 AM
I agree with BNAL the clear top and black plate is a very good combination. One I keep going back too.

Has anyone ever seen a NOS Mullard made in America 6AS7G or this just a rebranded RCA tube? It's a bottom D getter.

Got this tube today. It's a strange one but sounds great. The box has Mullard and BVA (British Valve Assocation) on the end with Mullard made in USA on the tube base. I can't find anything on USA made Mullards. I know the Mullard name has been sold a couple times to IEC and another US company who currently owns it.

It doesn't look like any RCA's I've seen, more like a Tung Sol 5998 with the bottom D getters or WE 421a. Guess it really doesn't matter as long as it sounds good. It's a little cleaner than the RCA Black Plates with a brighter top end.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Laudanum on June 10, 2012, 02:00:37 AM
I agree with BNAL the clear top and black plate is a very good combination. One I keep going back too.

Has anyone ever seen a NOS Mullard made in America 6AS7G or this just a rebranded RCA tube? It's a bottom D getter.

Got this tube today. It's a strange one but sounds great. The box has Mullard and BVA (British Valve Assocation) on the end with Mullard made in USA on the tube base. I can't find anything on USA made Mullards. I know the Mullard name has been sold a couple times to IEC and another US company who currently owns it.

It doesn't look like any RCA's I've seen, more like a Tung Sol 5998 with the bottom D getters or WE 421a. Guess it really doesn't matter as long as it sounds good. It's a little cleaner than the RCA Black Plates with a brighter top end.


Can you post a pic?  I have a few 6AS7's I could compare with.   
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: dwilli852 on June 10, 2012, 10:59:16 AM
I'll try and get some pics of the Mullard made in USA 6AS7G up. In the mean time got a couple of NOS Tung Sol 5814a's. The box has a packaged date of 04/57. Another good sounding tube. At a fraction of the price of the Mullards, Bugle Boys, Valvo, Siemens......
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: nick-seattle on June 10, 2012, 11:15:48 AM
I'll try and get some pics of the Mullard made in USA 6AS7G up. In the mean time got a couple of NOS Tung Sol 5814a's. The box has a packaged date of 04/57. Another good sounding tube. At a fraction of the price of the Mullards, Bugle Boys, Valvo, Siemens......

Tung-sol 5814 as well as 5751 are superb tubes and grossly undervalued. They have a superbly liquid sound!
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: dwilli852 on June 10, 2012, 05:57:53 PM
Here's a pic of the tube.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Laudanum on June 11, 2012, 02:35:20 AM
Here's a pic of the tube.

Looks like a GE ... maybe.  I'll dig my 6AS7's out and look but first thought was GE.  I think I have two, both smaller bottles than the RCA's.

I've linked an ebay listing with a photo of a GE.  Looks similiar from quick glance.  Is it a smaller bottle than your RCA 6AS7's, if you have any?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/ONE-6AS7-G-GENERAL-ELECTRIC-TUBE-N-O-S-TESTED-/221043253392?pt=Vintage_Electronics_R2&hash=item3377346090
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: dwilli852 on June 11, 2012, 07:58:22 AM
Here's a pic of the tube.

Looks like a GE ... maybe.  I'll dig my 6AS7's out and look but first thought was GE.  I think I have two, both smaller bottles than the RCA's.

I've linked an ebay listing with a photo of a GE.  Looks similiar from quick glance.  Is it a smaller bottle than your RCA 6AS7's, if you have any?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/ONE-6AS7-G-GENERAL-ELECTRIC-TUBE-N-O-S-TESTED-/221043253392?pt=Vintage_Electronics_R2&hash=item3377346090

It's the same size as my RCA's. I compaired it to a Black Plate with a code date of 58-39.

It very well might be a GE tube. With all the rebranding and lack of information now days I might never know for sure.

It's still a fun hobby learning about the old tubes and searching for that great find.

Thanks for the help.

Here's a very close match
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Laudanum on June 11, 2012, 10:01:03 AM
Got one that looks just like it.  It is labeled GE but could be RCA manufactured.   Same size as my RCA labeled tubes except for one which has thin copper skirts/shield at the bottom and is a little bit taller.  Bottle looks a little wider as well but it may be an illusion.   Anyway, they all sound good and all have slight internal variations.  Havent spent enough time with them all to listen for differences that may make some signifigantly better than others.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: nick-seattle on June 11, 2012, 08:32:15 PM
Hmm. I discovered in my collection something that I didn't know exists :) Tung-sol 12au7 with Black Glass & Black Plates. So I compered the gray plates version with black plates - both black glass. I honestly like black plates more, could be just psychological :) It has more body and warmer sounding, but details remained the same! Very cool tube.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: jrihs on June 12, 2012, 06:54:44 PM
Hmm. I discovered in my collection something that I didn't know exists :) Tung-sol 12au7 with Black Glass & Black Plates. So I compered the gray plates version with black plates - both black glass. I honestly like black plates more, could be just psychological :) It has more body and warmer sounding, but details remained the same! Very cool tube.

Ok, so I'm wondering how you know its a black plate if its black glass!  ???please post a pic!!  ;)
gotta see this!
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: nick-seattle on June 12, 2012, 09:08:46 PM
Hmm. I discovered in my collection something that I didn't know exists :) Tung-sol 12au7 with Black Glass & Black Plates. So I compered the gray plates version with black plates - both black glass. I honestly like black plates more, could be just psychological :) It has more body and warmer sounding, but details remained the same! Very cool tube.

Ok, so I'm wondering how you know its a black plate if its black glass!  ???please post a pic!!  ;)
gotta see this!

Here you go, it's hard to see because of the black glass, but the difference is big - one is mate gray plates - the usual ones; second is SHINY black plates. Kind of cool. The 12ax7 Tung-sol with black plates has mate black plates. Anybody has any more info about the tube? I couldn't find anything.

http://tubemaze.info/tung-sol-12au7-black-plates-black-glass/dsc04220/
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Doc B. on June 13, 2012, 05:02:24 AM
Your picture shows a couple of tubes with either flashed barium gettering or aquadag interior coating, both of which Tung-Sol used. Too much of the tubes is cropped out of the picture to say for sure. There is no black glass in the picture.

Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: nick-seattle on June 13, 2012, 09:02:11 AM
Your picture shows a couple of tubes with either flashed barium gettering or aquadag interior coating, both of which Tung-Sol used. Too much of the tubes is cropped out of the picture to say for sure. There is no black glass in the picture.



I tried to focus on the area that shows plates :) Here is the full picture
http://tubemaze.info/tung-sol-12au7-black-plates-black-glass/tung-sol-12au7-black-plates-black-glass/

Both have []-getter and otherwise are indistinguishable from one another, except for the plates.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Doc B. on June 13, 2012, 10:43:39 AM
That is an internal coating. Tung Sol used it quite a bit, and you will see it on other brands as well, for example a lot of early 6V6s, 6SL7s etc have it. Appears to be Aquadag, though that was generally used as a screen rather than a getter AFAIK so I'm not sure if that's what it is.
.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: dwilli852 on June 14, 2012, 02:42:51 PM
Picked up some Tung Sol 5998's today. What a great sounding tube. They have a more open and detailed sound over the RCA black plates I've been using. Been swapping out 12au7 and 12BH7's to find the best sound. Hell, they all sound good. Haven't found a favorite yet.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: williaty on June 14, 2012, 02:45:30 PM
Where were you able to find some 5998s? I've been half-heartedly trying to find more of them as backups.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: dwilli852 on June 14, 2012, 03:07:38 PM
Where were you able to find some 5998s? I've been half-heartedly trying to find more of them as backups.

Picked up 3 from a seller on Ebay.

Took awhile to find some at the right price.

Still looking for a deal on some WE 421a's.

Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: nick-seattle on June 17, 2012, 09:14:25 PM
Another interesting find - GE 5963 Black Plates - I usually don't expect much from GE, but this was a very nice surprise. Great tube! Check out the review:
http://tubemaze.info/ge-5963-black-plates/
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: nick-seattle on June 19, 2012, 05:44:46 PM
Today I received two tubes that I've been hunting for a very long time. Mullard CV491 Long Plates and Tung-Sol 7236. WOW! The Mullard is the most dynamic and punchy tube that I've ever heard - the music is warm but is superbly fast an that is assisted by the speed of Tung-Sol... absolutely to die for combo.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: wullymc on July 05, 2012, 02:47:57 PM
A novice question,

when tube rolling is there a need or would it be good practice to verify the voltages again?....or just insert tube and listen?

I have a CV4003 and RCA 6AS7G on the way and am anxious to hear.


Thanks!
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Sh7eleven on July 05, 2012, 03:42:44 PM
ditto, I have the same combo on the way, Great choice Wullymc! (well, i guess i don't know if its a great choice just yet, find out early next week.)

First tube rolling experience - so I'm pretty curious! In addition, would it be wise to substitute in one and spend some time with it? I want to avoid making too many changes at once so I understand how the sound is affected. Any opinion on which one I should I roll first, power or driver?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: jrihs on July 05, 2012, 05:25:08 PM
HI!
Is the 2399 = to the 5998/421a?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: grufti on July 05, 2012, 07:41:25 PM
Correct, Chatham [and possibly some others] seem to have used 2399 instead of 5998, not sure why.

You can sometimes get a good deal on those ... and that could just be the reason why you ask. Good luck.




HI!
Is the 2399 = to the 5998/421a?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Noskipallwd on July 05, 2012, 08:03:19 PM
A novice question,

when tube rolling is there a need or would it be good practice to verify the voltages again?....or just insert tube and listen?

I have a CV4003 and RCA 6AS7G on the way and am anxious to hear.


Thanks!

I haven't worried too much about checking voltage levels after a tube substitution. The voltage readings will vary some from one tube type to another. I did look at the voltage readings after dropping in the 5998, just curious, and the levels were higher across the board. If you were to attempt to roll in a tube that is not considered a direct replacement for each tube type, it might be wise to check your operating points. I have found the CV4003 to be an excellent choice for the Crack, have not tried the 6AS7G so I can't comment on that one.

Cheers,
Shawn
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Laudanum on July 05, 2012, 11:23:42 PM
HI!
Is the 2399 = to the 5998/421a?

I have one.  2399 was supposedly an internal part number for the 5998.  It is the same, Tungsol tube despite there being a little bit of debate about it around the web.
The 5998 is probably not the exact same tube as the WE 421a based on web concensus.  There is more debate about that than 2399 = 5998   ;D
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: jrihs on July 06, 2012, 09:02:03 AM
Cool, How does it sound to you?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Laudanum on July 07, 2012, 03:49:54 AM
Cool, How does it sound to you?

It's a nice tube, sounds just like the 2 other 5998's I have.  There is some variation in the 5998's in terms of internal construction.  More specific, the getter.  Some are clear top, bottom getter.  Some are top getter.  I have each and they all sound the same to me.   Higher gain tube than 6AS7 and 6080.  There are descriptions within this thread, but basically it's just a bit cleaner and more detailed up top and possibly a little more extended.  Wonderful midrange and tight on the bottom end.  To my ear, the 6AS7 is a little warmer, maybe a little more bass impact.  But still not sure on the latter as the 5998 detail and extension up top may account for it.   I think it's a great tube and worth finding one if you can for a fair price.   You may end up seeking a spare or two, I did.   I could live very happily with the 6AS7 but think that the 5998 is a little bit nicer sounding tube.   That said, I wouldnt have one if I had to pay $100 for it.   I ended up paying a total of $115 for the 3 that I have.  They were all used but excellent.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: dwilli852 on July 07, 2012, 03:54:28 PM
The 5998's are good sounding tubes but hard to find. I picked up 3 for a hundred bucks plus shipping off Ebay.

The Western Electric 421a's are very hard to find and are selling for way to much IMO.

1950's RCA Black Plate 6AS7 or 6AS7G tubes are a good choice if you can't find any 5998s.

The 5998's have more gain than the 6AS7 tubes with a little cleaner sound, more detail and top end.

A good 6AS7 with a Bugle Boy, Mullard CV4003, Phillips Mini Watt or Siemens Silver Plate tube to drive it makes a great sounding setup.

Which ever way you go have fun with a great sounding amp and watch the prices for a good deal.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Sh7eleven on July 08, 2012, 05:20:49 AM
is the extra gain from the 5998 a substantial amount? With the stock tubes, I feel like I already don't have a lot of the volume control to play with. 
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: dwilli852 on July 08, 2012, 06:05:26 AM
I'm not having that problem with mine running HD650 phones and Alps pot in my Crack.

My setup is PC with optical output to my DAC and RCA connections to the Crack.

Using Foobar with Wasapi (Windows Audio Session API) output for Flac files.

You could always pad the volume pot in the Crack with a resistor or I've used the volume control in Foobar to reduce the input to the DAC.

As there's no volume control on the DAC.

I've always heard it's better to control the volume on the analog side than the digital side.

Mine runs about 9 oclock on the Crack volume control with a 5998 tube and around 10 to 11 oclock with a 6AS7 RCA black plates.

Hope this helps.

Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Laudanum on July 08, 2012, 07:10:06 AM
is the extra gain from the 5998 a substantial amount? With the stock tubes, I feel like I already don't have a lot of the volume control to play with. 

It's enough that if you dont have much volume to play with now it will get even tighter.   But as suggested, sounds like it may help padding as it is now.  That would be the solution, if needed, with the 5998. 
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Sh7eleven on July 08, 2012, 09:09:05 AM
I am using:

hd-600 - crack - marantz sa8001= not a lot of volume to play with, I suspect the marantz has a high output.
hd-600 - crack - dac - mac optical out = a little bit more volume play, but not much.

I have no ability to control volume from the marantz and don't really want to control the volume from the digital side. Padding sounds like the way to go.

Is it possible to tame the impact of the extra gain with a complimentary driver tube? In addition to the 5998, I have a mullard cv4003 on the way.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: dwilli852 on July 08, 2012, 09:52:16 AM
Tubes are amplification devices. Tube design and application control the gain. 12Au7's are medium MU (gain) devices along with the other compatible tubes for the Crack. So there's not much you can do with the tubes. I've noticed the 12BH7 and E80CC tubes have a little more gain than a ECC82/12AU7 but that's not going to help you. I haven't tried padding the volume pot and I'm not sure if there are any negative impacts. Hopefully someone will chime in with more or better recommendations.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Sh7eleven on July 08, 2012, 10:52:14 AM
Yes, I understand that a tube is designed for amplification, and thanks for the input on the 12bh7 and E80CC. Having the extra gain, I would stay away from those until I pad the pot. I get to full volume at about 830-9 o'clock with the stock 6080 and 12au7 - (but I'll take my questions on padding to another thread).
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Laudanum on July 09, 2012, 02:46:34 AM
Im running a 12BH7 and I thought they were actually lower "gain" than 12AU7 (around 17 versus 20, from memory) although I cant recall noticing a whole lot of difference.   Maybe it's the way the drivers are used in the circuit.  One of my sources is a Tjoeb 99 CDP which supposedly has an output in the 3.5 volt range.  Im not so sure it's that high but it's definitely higher than my 2 volt digital source.   My main phones are Beyers though which have a lower sensitivity than the Senns.   My AKG 601's are lower still.  My Quarts are higher than the Beyers and dont get a ton of use but I have enough play in the pot with those as well.  I think most of the volume control range issues discussed on the forum have been with Senn phones.  I assume that's because their higher sensitivity but it could just be their popularity, or a combination of the two.  Then again, listening level has a major impact as well as, not just the source, but the source material.  My CD's and LP's can be all over the place.  But I tend to listen louder than I probably should at times  ;)

Anyway, below is a link to a pre-attenuation method on the Goldpoint site.  It is only 2 resistors and signal passes directly through only one of them.  I would have no problem with using it if needed.  Wouldnt cost an arm and a leg to implement using quality resistors.  Of course, you need 4 resistors, 2 per channel.  Anyway, resistor values listed are based on the value of the pot and desired amount of pre-attenuation/padding.  You could experiment with cheap resistors to find out how much you need and then swap in some better resistors.   Vishay RN's would probably be a good, budget concious choice but the sky is the limit just like anything audio  ;D

http://www.goldpt.com/mods.html
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Joppa on July 09, 2012, 06:32:52 PM
The output tube is used as a cathode follower, so the gain of that stage is always a bit less than 1.0. Into a high impedance, the 6AS7 might have a fain of 0.65, vs. 0.8 or so for a 5998. For lower impedance phones, it's a little more complicated but in all cases the difference in gain between tubes will be small, maybe 1 or 2 dB.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Sh7eleven on July 10, 2012, 05:25:27 PM
Thanks for the helpful link.  I was able to put in a 6as7g and I actually find it more tolerable at the same volume levels than the 6080.  We'll see about the 5998, I'm definitely interested in putting the pad as suggested. Since I read electric schematics at a first grade level (the lines are wires right?), I'll give it a shot, but will post to make sure my implementation is proper.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Laudanum on July 11, 2012, 01:53:11 AM
Thanks for the helpful link.  I was able to put in a 6as7g and I actually find it more tolerable at the same volume levels than the 6080.  We'll see about the 5998, I'm definitely interested in putting the pad as suggested. Since I read electric schematics at a first grade level (the lines are wires right?), I'll give it a shot, but will post to make sure my implementation is proper.

Me too, in terms of schematic reading skills.  This ones easy though.  Resitor 1 (RP1) just goes inline between the signal wire from the RCA input jack and the pots input.   Resistor 2 (RP2) would solder from the input of the pot to the pots ground (you can just twist one lead of each resistor together and that connects to the pot input ... it's the same, electrically, as connected those 2 leads seperately).  

For testing, you can actually just clip some inexpensive resistors in temporarily with some small alligator clips (Radio Shack) to determine the correct amount of attenuation.   You can twist one of the leads of resistor 1 to one lead of resistor 2 (maybe apply a small amount of solder to keep them together).  Clip the signal input wire on the free lead of resistor one.  Clip the two resistors twisted/soldered leads to input of the pot.  Then clip the free lead of resistor 2 to the pots ground.   Just do this for each channels input, left and right.    
  
This is what I did when I was experimenting with the attenuation just in case I needed it.   I did it with an unmounted pot and took measurments just to get an idea of how it worked.   You are attenuating the input signal some so you do lose some overall, maximum  "volume" compared to no attenuation.  But if you arent using anywhere near the full range of the pot, you will never miss it.   Also, you dont need to find the exact resistor values.  Just for a rough example, if you needed a 46.6 K resistor and could only find a 47K, that would be plenty close enough.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Sh7eleven on July 11, 2012, 06:15:18 PM
excellent, I hope to get to this in a day or two. The 5998 arrived and, as predicted, it did reduce the amount of volume i have to play with.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Laudanum on July 12, 2012, 02:15:19 AM
excellent, I hope to get to this in a day or two. The 5998 arrived and, as predicted, it did reduce the amount of volume i have to play with.

Yep, figured as much.   What are your initial impressions of the 5998?  Like it?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Sh7eleven on July 13, 2012, 03:56:59 AM
I only have an hour or two on it at this point but I did like what I heard. I immediately noticed the increased clarity that an acoustic guitar came through and the bass seemed very focused.  I had a cv4003 arrive yesterday. I'm eager to listen to the pair, but I don't want to make too many changes too fast. Otherwise I have a tough time sorting through how a new piece changes the sound.   
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Laudanum on July 14, 2012, 02:03:59 AM
I only have an hour or two on it at this point but I did like what I heard. I immediately noticed the increased clarity that an acoustic guitar came through and the bass seemed very focused.  I had a cv4003 arrive yesterday. I'm eager to listen to the pair, but I don't want to make too many changes too fast. Otherwise I have a tough time sorting through how a new piece changes the sound.   

Agreed, spend some time with the 5998 then add the CV4003.   I dont have great ears but the differences between 5998 and 6AS7 or 6080 are pretty easy to distingush.  For me, the differences between 12AU7's are more subtle.   I really have to spend a good amount of listening time with a particular 12AU7 before trying another one.  So you are definitely on the right track making slower changes.  Glad you like the 5998 so far.  Really nice tubes.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Lar on July 14, 2012, 05:20:02 PM
I also enjoy the 5998 and found it better sounding then the 6080. But the CV4003 was a disappointment for me, sounds rather flat and lifeless. So went back to the 5998/6SN7EH and am happy as a clam.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Dr. Toobz on July 23, 2012, 11:21:37 AM
Interesting observation to report.....tried out a 6922 with about 400 hours on it, and the sound is very different than the burnt-in 6CG7! I can't decide which one to keep. The 6922 apparently has extremely low distortion at that operating point, or at least compared to other tubes I've tried as drivers. The sound is very modern, crisp, clean, and has great decay and space around the notes. The only downside is a more forward soundstage. On the other hand, the 6CG7 sounds more like the "tube" stereotype. It has richer harmonics and is noticeably less clean and detailed, but wins in the depth department with a slightly larger soundstage.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Birkeland on July 23, 2012, 12:26:09 PM
What is the operating point for the 6922 that you're using?

Running properly, the 6H30Pi would be a fun one to try.  With a second speedball PCB, the 6BX7 is an interesting choice also, though you'd need to shove 20ma of current through it with 5v on the cathodes for it to work well. 
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Dr. Toobz on July 23, 2012, 12:46:54 PM
I'm using the regular operating point, wired for the different pinout. This seems to be the same one as used by the Seduction, or at least the plate voltage (75V) and use of LED bias (via Agilent HLMP-6000) are similar. I'm also using the Speedball C4S to load the driver tube.

Going back and forth, I still can't decide which to chose, as the sound is almost as different as solid state versus tube. One is clean and unveiled, the other is warm and lush. A happy medium may be keep the 6922 and slip the 6080 out of the cathode follower position in favor of a warmer-sounding tube, like the Russian 6N13S.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: fipple8 on July 28, 2012, 04:57:33 PM
I'm another Crack/Speedball user firmly in the Tung Sol 5998/WE 421A camp. As Laudanum pointed out, they are not the same tube. If the data sheets can be believed, the WE 421A's amplification factor is a bit higher than the Tung Sol 5998's, and so is its transconductance. They are close, however, and for many listeners both sound better than the 6AS7G/6080, no matter who manufactured the latter. These tubes' basic electrical and operating characteristics genuinely make a significant difference in the Crack's sound. I have Tung Sol and Cetron 7236s as well, and they fall pretty much in the middle: Better than the 6AS7/6080, not as good as the 5998 or 421A. And looking at the 7236's data sheet, its MU and transconductance are lower than the 5998/421A, but significantly higher than the 6AS7/6080. The 5998 and 421A definitely impress me as bringing out the most detail in a musically necessary, not analytical or dry, way. From what I've picked up in this forum and elsewhere, I believe it's probably the effect the 5998 and the 421A have on the Crack's output impedance. These tubes lower the circuit's stated 120 ohms enough to reap damping benefits, especially with the 600 ohm DT 880 phones that I use with my amp. It's a shame that a kind of modern "tulip mania" has made so many NOS tubes--the WE 421A, the Tung Sol 5998, and now even the 7236--so expensive.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: grufti on July 28, 2012, 05:39:54 PM
I am also firmly in the 5998/WE 421A camp and have not used anything else in a long time [Crack & Speedball with DC heated tubes]. I personally really disliked the 7236 in this configuration and with all headphones that I use.

Your mention of "tulip mania" now including the 7236 is great news for me. I have a quite a few and tube prices always seem to be depressed during the summer months. Late fall early winter might bring some windfall resale profits for me on those ... and for that matter make other people happy.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: fipple8 on July 28, 2012, 06:20:04 PM
Supply and demand, I guess, the 7236 gaining more and more attention as 421As disappear, 5998s become ever rarer and more expensive, and amps like the Crack become more popular. Seeing 7226s selling for between $40 and $60 apiece recently really impressed me with how fast tube price acceleration can happen: I bought a beautiful PAIR of NOS 7236s just a year ago for about $30. Five years ago, I bought NOS 421As for about $85 apiece, NOS 5998s for $25. Makes me wonder what's going to happen when the 421A and 5998 supply is effectively exhausted. I don't see anyone ever producing modern versions. Well, maybe SOMEBODY, but they'll cost $500/pr. (The boxes, however, will be really nice.  :D)
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Joppa on August 01, 2012, 02:33:45 PM
... Makes me wonder what's going to happen when the 421A and 5998 supply is effectively exhausted....
The demand will die down when they become unavailable or too overpriced; then a few years later the hoarders who missed the bubble will let them go for cheap because nobody wants them anymore. Seen it before. At least with tulip bulbs, you can eat them!
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: BNAL on August 02, 2012, 05:01:29 AM
Paul,

I had no idea you were that old.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: dwilli852 on September 14, 2012, 11:22:14 AM
Picked up a couple Valvo ECC 82's on the cheap.

Great sounding tubes.

Keeps getting harder to find a good deal on tubes.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Laudanum on September 16, 2012, 02:28:26 AM
I have a couple Amperex and Philips that sound really nice.  All from the Herleen plant.   Lately Ive had a GE JG 5814 triple mica in there.  I really like this tube as well.  I have a few of them, black and grey plates.  The GE in there now is actually a grey plate.   I had a Sylvania 12BH7 in there for a long time.  Like that tube very much as well.  Done buying 12AU7 types I think (I hope).  I dont have any that are especially rare, super expensive or incredibly hard to find.  But Im very happy with several types that I have and Im probably covered for life where 12AU7's and equivalents are concerned.  Not just for Crack but for everything I own that uses them.   
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: dwilli852 on September 16, 2012, 11:27:03 AM
I have a couple Amperex and Philips that sound really nice.  All from the Herleen plant.   Lately Ive had a GE JG 5814 triple mica in there.  I really like this tube as well.  I have a few of them, black and grey plates.  The GE in there now is actually a grey plate.   I had a Sylvania 12BH7 in there for a long time.  Like that tube very much as well.  Done buying 12AU7 types I think (I hope).  I dont have any that are especially rare, super expensive or incredibly hard to find.  But Im very happy with several types that I have and Im probably covered for life where 12AU7's and equivalents are concerned.  Not just for Crack but for everything I own that uses them.   

I'm about the same way on 12AU7's.

Still looking for a Siemens Silver Plate ECC82 and a WE421a just to see how they sound.

I picked up the Valvo's off Ebay for 5 bucks each.

Just threw a low bid out there a won them.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Laudanum on September 17, 2012, 01:06:49 AM
Yep, sometimes you get lucky on ebay.  Used to happen often for me, now it's more rare.   I have 2, pretty nice 6922's that I need to find mates for.  A Valvo and an Amperex.  I got them cheap on ebay a dozen years ago as singles with the intent of finding a mate for each at that time.  Never did back then and last I checked, one of them was pretty pricey and I never came close to coming across a "steal" when I was actively looking.  I may just sell them instead and get another pair or two of something else, probably some easier on the wallet Amperex.  Im quite happy with BB's or Orange Globes in two CDP's and also Seduction.  Couple more pairs should take care of me for the long haul.  Those CDP's especially are easy on tubes and a good pair or two will probably outlast both players.   
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Birkeland on September 30, 2012, 09:37:25 AM
I'd hang onto your nice 6922's for when you end up with an Eros.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Laudanum on October 01, 2012, 01:08:04 AM
 ;D  ...  I probably wont end up with an Eros.  Never say never, but Im happy with Seduction in this system and a Cornet in the other as far as phonos go.  Lots of folks chase better in this "hobby".  Ive had trouble curbing the audio obsession at times, like many of us, but Ive played very contently within the bang for buck category.   What I really want/need is to get to some remodeling Ive been wanting to do so that I can add an existing amp and speakers to this system.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Nick Tam on October 04, 2012, 05:40:48 AM
Has anyone tried an philips/mullard/valvo/tele e80cc or tungsram e80cc with the 5998? i wanted to alter between these two tube types to tune the crack to sound tubey or into a detail monster in combination with the 5998. not going to bother with the 421a... just too hard to strike a good deal on them. currently using the 5998 with the rare 12bh7a blackplates foil dimpled d getter, gave up looking for that red top sylvania grey plate with red top as i could never seem to distinguish or identify one amongst the rest. i heard that the e80cc is a universally better option than the 12bh7, but i can't think of other than a more open sound and dynamic range, how one of the best sounding 12bh7a is lesser. guess i need to pick one up to find out.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: dwilli852 on October 04, 2012, 07:21:52 AM
I have the Tungsram e80cc in now with a 5998. The e80cc does seem to be more detailed compaired to the Mullard 12au7 I normally use. The upper mid and high end are more forward than with the 12au7 and the low end is rolled off some. Good sounding combination just lacks a little in the low end.  For acoustic guitar and strings works very well. I'm using HD 650's for cans.

The NOS Tungsram tube I have really needed a long burn in before it started sounding good.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Laudanum on October 05, 2012, 03:00:19 AM
Ever try the E80cc with a 6AS7 (or 6080)?   Just guessing that it might be a bit warmer or fuller sounding combination based on your description.  Of course, you may not be looking for that.   I dont have any E80CC's so Im just being curious here.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Nick Tam on October 05, 2012, 05:11:22 AM
I was precisely thinking of the Tungsram and 5998 combo to compensate for the 650's lesser treble and heavier bass. Although I'm thinking if I were to use the same setup for a pair of HD700s it may be too much treble or a detail monster combination
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: julius on October 23, 2012, 04:07:42 AM
im currently using a westinghouse 6080 and an unknown 12au7a, any recommendations for both that would fit well with my sound preference type
-potent deep low end, slightly warm
-forward mids
-largest sound staging possible
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Nick Tam on October 23, 2012, 06:37:52 AM
im currently using a westinghouse 6080 and an unknown 12au7a, any recommendations for both that would fit well with my sound preference type
-potent deep low end, slightly warm
-forward mids
-largest sound staging possible

Potent low end ==> you can go for the 5998. the RCA 6AS7G are definitely more bassier but lacks the layering capabilities of the 5998. The stock 6080 you have is actually very good if you like punchy bass. It's often overlooked but if you did a comparison, you may find that straight bottle 6AS7 has punchier bass where 6AS7G types have more relaxed bass.

cleartop 12AU7 has good mid-topend if it isn't your stock tube already. I'm not much of a 12AU7 roller as i only have 12bh7 and e80cc tube types but you may want to try the e80cc as it is regarded as having much more air and larger sound than your average 12au7. i personally use a e80cc. however, 12bh7 and e80cc works best with speedball. If you're looking for good 12AU7s, the mullard cv4003 will give you very good warm bass. telefunken should be more linear and is more technically capable than most. someone maybe able to give you better insight of 12au7 tubes.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: nick-seattle on October 26, 2012, 08:07:02 AM
Hi all, recently I modded Crack to take 6N30P-DR :) (I know maybe I shouldn't etc, but who cares). It was an eye opening experience for me. The amp transformed into something that I can't even compare with any other amps I have - the sound was divine. Every single note, every single breath was carried through so well. Just wanted to share. Maybe somebody will try it as well.

I also compared Little Dot MKII (with 6N30P-DR as well)  and Crack. Crack completely destroyed the Little thing sound quality wise! There were not even in the same class. Way to go Bottlehead!!!
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Birkeland on October 26, 2012, 05:29:26 PM
The 6N30/6H30 is a sweet tube, what operating point did you use for it?  10mA/5v on the cathode? 
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: nick-seattle on October 26, 2012, 07:42:51 PM
I tried to run it at different operating points (bias at 1.5, 2.5, 3.5 & different anode load resistors). At the end I settled on 12au7 mode - so no changes in schematic, just rewiring socket for 6DJ8 (I have a switch that allows to select between 6DJ8 and 12au7). the tube sounded practically the same at all voltages.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Birkeland on October 26, 2012, 07:46:42 PM
What kind of plate voltage are you getting?  Having that deviate too much will wreck the operating point of the 6080.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: nick-seattle on October 28, 2012, 06:23:38 AM
So in 12au7 mode, plate voltage on 6080 is 180v
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Birkeland on October 28, 2012, 06:59:18 AM
No, the plate voltage of the 6080 will be reasonably consistent with driver tube changes, but the plate voltage of the driver tube and grid voltage of the 6080 will wander around.

For a hard core experimenter, the Crack could be modified with cap coupling to be more flexible towards driver tube swaps. 
Title: The 6080 tube guide
Post by: Nick Tam on October 28, 2012, 03:49:10 PM
Update 23/12/14: Fixed the the missing part of the post, most of these tubes have gone extinct by now so they're pretty much all rare :/ Updated prices for the Bendix 6080WB as it seems to be the only tube still available online. All the photos seems to be missing as well

The backstory:
We all know that the "best" 6080/6AS7 hands down are the Western Electric 421A and the GEC Curved Brown Base 6AS7G. These come up often on eBay, and bid prices often go for $120-$150 a NOS piece. However, there's always going to be one desperate nook that would drop their wallet to have it. Let's put this into perspective. The 421A NOS would fetch around $120+, $250 in factory box apiece. The GEC 6AS7G handily fetches $250 apiece as well. The next closest tube to these super tubes, the Tung Sol 5998, are reliably found for $75+ apiece, $110 if boxed. Personally, I would not pay more than $120 for a single tube, input or output. For me at least, it just doesn't make sense to run a tube that costs as much as the Crack itself. Tubes for sale on TaoBao will not be considered.

The aim of this guide is to narrow down the "best" affordable "premium" 6080/6AS7 tube type that isn't a 421A or A1834 which could reliably found for sale. Rare types will only be included as a reference. Any other tubes not listed here would not be considered as a "premium" tube. A few standard types have been included as a reference point.

The give you an idea of how each tube sounds, the Tung Sol 5998 will be used as a reference to demonstrate what the lesser tubes lack in sonic qualities. The stock generic 6080 that came with the kit will be used as reference to demonstrate what each "premium" tubes does better. "Generic 6080" refers to any other 6080 not listed here that are in the family of 6AS7/6AS7G/6AS7GA/6080/6080(WA/WB/WC)/5998A etc...

Disclaimer: Your experience and mileage with these tubes may vary. My Crack is modified which may affect the sound quality of each tube. (See Mods below)

THE LIST
I.a) GEC Curved Brown Base 6AS7G A1834 CV2523
I.b) Western Electric 421A
I.c) GEC Straight Brown Base 6AS7G A1834 CV2523

II.a.i) Tung Sol 5998
II.a.ii) Tung Sol 421A
II.a.iii) Cetron/Tung Sol 7236
II.b.i) Bendix 6080WB with slotted graphite cross columns
II.b.ii) Bendix 6080WB with solid graphite cross columns
II.b.iii) Bendix 6080WB with solid graphite columns
II.c) Bendix 6080WB
II.d) Mullard (Telefunken/Valvo/GEC) 6080WA CV2984
II.e) Sylvania 7236

III.a) Sylvania Gold Brand 6080
III.b) Tung Sol Chatham 6AS7G
III.c) RCA 6AS7G
III.d) Tung Sol 6080 or 6080WA

Tubes not included in this review:
6H13/ECC230 (Various labels: Philips/Amperex/Svetlana/Winged-C)
5998A
6AS7GA
Sylvania 6AS7G
Any other 6080WA/WB/WC variant not listed

Detailed review:
The ones underlined are tubes that I have or previously owned and are reviewed personally. Red indicates a reference quality tube and are one of the top tubes most sought after. Brown indicates a reference tube that do not cost big $$$ otherwise and are highly recommended. Green indicates a rare tube and are highly sought after.  Now, I've sorted the tubes into 3 tiers. It's not that their sound falls into 3 tiers, but their prices conveniently falls into 3 separate tiers entirely. Prices are based on tubemaze and other reliable eBay sellers or reputable online sellers as well as any known local retail prices.

(NIB: "New-in-box" New old stock with original factory box. NOS: New old stock, with tested NOS values. Prices for used tubes will not be listed as they are all over the place)

Reference stock tube: Stock American 6080 Tube (Labelled GE)
Nothing too special about these. Good quantity of bass and wide soundstage. Does not excel in any particular quality, as such it lacks the detail and refinement of the premium tubes. It is actually a fairly neutral tube but as a result, doesn't do musicality and is lacking in analog warmth.

Tier I
I.a) $250 (NIB) / $150 (NOS) GEC Curved Brown Base 6AS7G A1834 CV2523 (Also labelled Osram/MWT/STC) [Bottom cup/pan/halo getter]:
(https://forum.bottlehead.com/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi1050.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fs418%2FNubTAM94%2FVacuum%2520Tubes%2FGEC6AS7GCurvedBrownBaseA1834CV2523.jpg&hash=1cb343ab92e81c6f194b71bd682862e8)
The "Super Tube", the "Holy Grail" of all 6AS7Gs. The GEC 6AS7G is very balanced in each aspect, good micro detailing and extremely analytical. The soundstage is very spacious, and has lots of air. Layering is very good and is probably the best of all British tubes. The differences between the curved and straight base are near indiscernible, so there's no need to extra big bucks for the curved brown base in particular.

Keywords: Detailed, musical, European sound,expensive

I.b) $250 (NIB) / $100-$180 (NOS) Western Electric 421A [Dual Bottom D/Halo Getters] (Labelled "5998/421A" in earlier 50's production):

THIS IS NOT A RELABELED 5998 (See construction features below).
(See Tung Sol 5998 below) Contrary to popular belief, the 421A is not just a cherry picked 5998 for matched sections evident from the different construction. The 421A is basically an uber 5998 with better dynamics, more air, transparency and soundstage imaging and presentation. Whether the refinements over the 5998 are worth the premium ($75 at average) are up to you.

Closely matched sections with much higher tolerances than that of the 5998 means that this tube is guaranteed to have balanced channel levels when running an OTL amp with a single power tube. However, do note that a very well matched 5998 is nearly identical in sound to the 421A.

The 5998 and 421A are distinct to any other tubes in the 6AS7 family but are not identical. These are the construction features specific to the 421A:
-Always have dual bottom halos or D getters with spiral wound "pigtails" filament wiring >>> 5998 have straight filament wiring and cleartop 5998s are very rare.
-Electrical data: The 421A has slightly higher gain than the 5998 from published electrical datasheets
>> Grey plates are NOT exclusive to the 421A. Photos of various 421A and 5998 manufactured within the same period are identically black or grey plates respectively

The tubes listed below are often mistaken to be a 421A:
-Sylvania, Chatham, Svetlana 6AS7G have dual bottom getters. They do not have domino plates and are not the 421A.

Keywords: Detailed, neutral, expensive

I.c) $200 (NIB) GEC Straight Brown Base 6AS7G A1834 CV2523 (Also labelled Osram/MWT/STC) [Bottom cup/pan/halo getter]:

Slightly inferior in sound to the curved brown base ever so slightly that they are near indiscernible but otherwise identical in sound.

Keywords: Detailed, musical, European sound,expensive

Tier II
II.a) The 5998 sound
The tubes listed below belong to the 5998 family of tubes. Do note that the 5998A is NOT the Tung Sol 5998 and does not have any sonic resemblance with the exception of the 7236. 5998s are ST shaped and were only produced by Tung Sol.

II.a.i) $110 (NIB) / $75 (NOS) Tung Sol 5998 (Chatham 2399/Tung Sol 6520/IBM 5998/Cetron 5998) [Single or Dual Top D Getter (50-60s') or Bottom D getter "cleartop" (50s') or Bottom and Top Getters (60-70s')]:

The "reference" tube for all 6AS7 tube types, this tube is very linear, detailed and has very good bass. If I were to say, along with the "super tubes" up there, the biggest difference with the bog standard 6AS7G tube types is that there is an entire layer/dimension of music added that is missing from the standard ones.
-The 5998/421A are easily distinguished from their dimpled "Domino" Plates.
-Some of the 6520's have the standard plates. The equivalent Tung Sol 6520 are built with the 5998 domino plates.
-Tung Sol also made 6AS7Gs with cleartops. Do not confuse this with the 5998 and check that it has the domino plates.
-The 5998A is NOT the 5998. The 5998A could be labelled as any other American manufacturer and do not have the domino plates. The 5998 was only made by Tung Sol[/size]

Keywords: Detailed, Neutral

II.a.ii) [RARE] $80 (NOS) Tung Sol 421A [Dual D getter]:

Basically it's a Tung Sol 5998 labelled "421A" and has the black 5998 plates. Do not have one myself but pretty sure it's either the same tube as the 5998 with different getters or a 5998 with 421A specifications without the WE 421A construction differences.

II.a.iii) [RARE] $75 (NOS) Cetron/Tung Sol 7236 [Dual Halo Getters]:

The 7236 is a computer rated 5998A but should sonically sound similar to the 5998. This specific 7236 has zirconium coated grey box plates. Similar to the 5998 sound abeit more linear, tighter bass and more dynamic. Basically a "faster and controlled" 5998 but at the expense that the bass doesn't go as deep. This tube is glorious listening to vocals and is probably the most controlled and "best" mid-centric tube of the 5998 pack.

Keywords: Detailed, Neutral, Linear, Fast, Punchy, Dynamic

II.b) The Bendix 6080WB Graphite Plates
Unlike all other 6AS7 tube types, these had solid graphite COLUMNS and not plates and are very heavy duty. They have ruggedized construction features such as extra supports and copper posts not found on other 6080 tubes. Regardless of branding, these were all manufactured by Bendix. These are a really good buy and an excellent alternative to the 5998. These tubes are sonically similar to the 5998 and are superior to with a noticeably airier sound without being prone to sibilance.

Keywords: Detailed, Neutral, Fast, Punchy, Dynamic, Wide

II.b.i) $100 (NOS) (Bendix/Tung Sol label) 6080WB with slotted graphite cross columns [Dual D/halo getters]:

Very live sounding, dynamic and surreal. Instrument separation is superior to the 5998. However, paired with the E80CC I find that it separated the instruments too much leading to loss of coherence. Upon extended listening, I realized that this was a result of the soundstage going deeper than before. The bass was tight and puinchy . If there is any easier way to describe this tube, this tube takes the linearity of the Tung Sol 7236 and adds deeper and stronger bass much more air. Sonically superior to the 5998.

II.b.ii) $100 (NOS) (Bendix/Tung Sol label) 6080WB with solid graphite cross columns [Dual D/halo getters]:

Should be similar to the slotted columns but I can't say unless I have one myself.

II.b.iii) $100 (NOS) (Bendix/Chatham label) / $100 (NOS) (Tung Sol label) Bendix 6080WB with solid graphite columns [Dual D/halo getters]:

Nearly identical in sound to the slot cross columns as I find it strangely, to be slightly inferior. I do not know if it's my ears or this particular tube that I have but it sounds like this version isn't as fuller bodied as its more expensive brother. This was compensated well with a more musical tube though, I had a rare RCA 12BH7A with foil D getter paired with it and it sounds fantastic at the expensive of some air and soundstage depth. Unlike the slot cross columns, I find the sound wasn't as full leading to a loss of coherence for orchestrals and string quartets due to excessive separation. If there was a better way to describe this effect, it is the lack of that concert hall "reverb". I would gladly stock up extras of these but unfortunately, this is not the perfect tube and would prefer the fuller bodied 5998 or the cross columns 6080WB more. Couldn't expect too much for nearly half the cost.


II.c) [RARE] $50 (NOS) Bendix (Raytheon) 6080WB [Dual Halo Getters]:

This is a strange tube, because tubemaze classifies this as a "5998" tube even though it is not related to the 5998 at all. It features the same ruggedized construction design of the graphite variant 6080WB but otherwise looks identical to any other 6080. Closer inspection also reveals that the plates have dimples. I doubt if it sounds similar to it's graphite brothers though.

Keywords: Someone review this tube for me if you have one

II.d) $60 (NIB) Mullard (Also labelled as Telefunken, Valvo and GEC) CV2984 6080WA [Dual Halo Getters]:

Marketed as having the same sound as the GEC A1834/CV2523. For a fraction of the cost, this tube has 80% of the bigger brother's sonic qualities. Mainly the same sound but less micro detail and not as analytical and weaker instrumental separation. Do not be fooled, there is an eBay seller selling these for well over $250 a pair. They are not worth that much.

Keywords: Musical, European sound

II.e) [RARE] $50 (NOS) Sylvania (CEI) 7236 [Dual Halo Getters]:

Appears to be indifferent to the standard 6AS7. I believe this is the "7236" people are talking about that does not sound any different to the standard ones. It may be a relabelled Sylvania Gold Brand 6080 (See below). There are also some Sylvania metal base versions with a single halo getter, however that is rarely seen.

Keywords: No sound impressions available

Tier III
III.a) [RARE] $- (NIB) /$- (NOS) Sylvania Gold Brand 6080 [Dual Halo Getters]:

"Unlike other 6080 tubes that have very tight sound, this is more relaxed. Compared to other tubes in 6as7 family, this is the most liquid tube." - Nikolay Sokratov.
This tube does not deviate too much from the standard 6080, but has the liquid smoothness and musicality typical to any Sylvania manufactured tube. Does not have the detail of any of the exotic 6AS7 tubes but definitely excels in musicality. I would very much prefer this over the RCA 6AS7G as it does not have that thick bass but unfortunately these are very hard to get your hands on for a good price. Currently sells for $80 (NIB) for a single tube from an Italian seller on eBay which is IMO a complete ripoff. Shouldn't be paying for more than $20 apiece. Occasionally comes up as used tubes but still rare. I got lucky and scored a bunch of untested but NIB NOS by chance from eBay. You really shouldn't be paying more than $20 for these since they are quite literally just cherry picked standard 6080 tubes but they are rarer than the WE421A and TS5998 as of now.
This is perhaps the best poorman's 6080, yet these are one of the few tubes I'd stick to listening along with the TS5998. Do note that unlike the other Sylvania 6AS7GAs, these are actually labelled "Gold Brand 6080"

Keywords: Musical, fun, punchy, warm, fast

III.b) $30-40 (NOS) Tung Sol Chatham 6AS7G [Dual Top/Bottom D getter](Black Plates):

Compared to the Tung Sol 5998, the bass is not as thick and lacks the soundstage and air. Unlike the 5998 which is more linear, the Tung Sol 6AS7G is brighter sounding leading to a clearer and more focused sound in the higher frequencies. Not as warm sounding as the 5998 but is very sweet sounding with female vocals.

Keywords: Clear, mid-ccentric 

III.c) $20-40 (NIB) /$10 (NOS) RCA (and Various labels) 6AS7G [Top or Bottom D/Halo getter](Black Plates):

The bog standard 6AS7G. Very musical, has that signature RCA house sound that's warm and thick on the sounding bass. This is a very balanced combination with the cleartop RCA 12AU7A due to the early treble rolloff. However, as it is the "bog standard" tube, it doesn't stand up against anything more expensive and is missing the layer of sound and detail of the 5998. Tried pairing it with the Tungsram E80CC. Didn't help much though. Avoid using the grey plates version. The RCA 6AS7G is already as cheap as you could get.
Disclaimer: Many claim that this tube is noisy. My particular tube was dead quiet. Your experience may vary.

Keywords: Warm, slow, boomy, veiled

III.d) [RARE] $20 (NOS) Tung Sol 6080 or 6080WA (Westinghouse labeled):
In comparison to any other generic 6080 tube, the Tung Sol 6080 delivers far better bass punch and is thunderous when needed. Although it isn't much different to the generic 6080, somehow the Tung Sols just have "soul" and delivers musicality not present in the generic bunch.
This was once the stock kit tube. Reason why I listed it as "rare" is because you honestly can't buy it anywhere. If there's a tube out there for equal or less the same price as the standard straight bottle 6080's that's better, it's definitely the Tung Sol tubes. That is why these had disappeared as well.

Keywords: Musical, punchy

Hope this helps.


Test Setup:
Bottlehead Crack
Speedball Upgrade
-Mundorf TubeCap 100uF output caps w/Mundorf SGO 1uF coupling
-Mundorf TubeCap 220uF power cap w/Mundorf SUP8 2.2uF coupling
-Goldpoint 100K Mini-V Stepped Attenuator
-Mundorf SilverGold/DHC Nucleotide wires for signal paths
-Kimber TCSS for non signal paths
-Teflon Tube Sockets
-Vampire RCA Sockets

Input tubes used:
-Tungsram Steel pins E80CC: This is by far the most linear input tube abeit its bass rolloff. This increases the perceptibility of the bass characteristics of the output tube. This is my reference input tube for more objective listening.
-Russian 6N8S/6H8C Black Plates: One of my more affordable premium 6SN7, as I do not want to pull out my roundplates 6SN7 or hole plates 6N8S/1578 for the purposes of this review. Neutral sounding similar to that of the Tungsram Steel pins E80CC this is my more recent reference tubes as it offers slightly "more" and is less prone to that bass rolloff the E80CC exhibits.
-Sylvania VT-231: A good affordable 6SN7 being in the middle ground but comparatively musical sounding. Offers decent technicalities but notwithstanding compared to the roundplates 6SN7

Source:
HRT MusicStreamerII+

Headphones:
Sennheiser HD650 with J.A. Harmonic Quadraweave OCC Copper cabling
Title: Re: 6080/6AS7 rolling guide
Post by: Grainger49 on October 29, 2012, 01:18:02 AM
Nick,

Well written and informational.  I don't have a Crack but I will expect that those who do have one will really appreciate all the time you have put into this.
Title: Re: 6080/6AS7 rolling guide
Post by: bmwr75 on October 29, 2012, 04:49:44 AM
I have an Amperex 6AS7G.  It looks very similar in construction to a 421A.  You ever seen or heard one of these tubes?
Title: Re: 6080/6AS7 rolling guide
Post by: Nick Tam on October 29, 2012, 04:53:34 AM
Amperex 6AS7G is unfortunately a Russian rebrand.

The 421A is distinct to any other tubes in the 6AS7 family.
421A had spiral wound "pigtails" filament wiring and matte light grey (50's) or black (60's) dimpled "Domino" Plates, dual bottom halo/d getters

Here are photos of the 421A with halos, domino plates and a d getters variant.

Last photo is a picture of the 421A and 5998.
Title: Re: Multi 6080/6AS7 review
Post by: Laudanum on November 04, 2012, 01:42:22 AM
I have 3 5998's, two variations.   One is a grey plate, dual bottom D getter.  The other two are black plates, dual top D getter.  Sonically, they are the same.   I had another variation with both top and bottom getters that was noisy.    I have remained skeptical about any signifigant differences (sonic) between the 421A and the 5998 because of several reasons related mostly to internet "research".  But, I fully admit to never owning a 421A so I could very well be wrong.  But your photo of the Tungsol labeled 421A doesnt tend to change my thinking.   The biggest "issue" that I have is that Ive seen several of both the 5998 and 421A tubes with different internal contruction from one another, respectively.   The 5998's that I have/had that are different internally all sound essentially the same so it leaves me plenty skeptical enough to not have any desire to spend the money on a 421A.   Again though, I could be wrong and will probably never know for sure unless a 421A basically dropped in my lap.

Very nice post BTW.
Title: Re: Multi 6080/6AS7 review
Post by: Nick Tam on November 04, 2012, 02:17:45 AM
I admit even I don't have the 421A and I'm tired of trying to get my hands on one. The web consensus is that the 421A=5998 based on construction photos but people that claim this never really owned one so it's mostly a baseless assumption. But if people that have the 421A say so that there is a difference that is huge, then it probably explains the crazy dropping of wallets. Otherwise it just doesn't justify to pay big bucks for a step up from the 5998.

The 5998 has in fact, 4 variations including the Tung Sol 421A. Single top getter, dual top, dual bottom and top and bottom getters. The 421A however, always have dual bottom getters.
The "black" and "grey" plates however is very subjective, but I think I could firmly say that the 421A is easily distinguishable with it's matte grey plates whereas the 5998's plates give off a slight sheen. The early 5998 seems to have dark grey "black" plates whereas the later ones had a glossy black to it. I'm just skeptical if a well balanced 5998 sounds essentially the same as the 421A. EDIT: CONFIRMED THAT BOTH the 421A AND 5998 HAVE BLACK AND GREY PLATES

I've got a NOS 5998 for $60 off ebay some time ago and one new in factory box from local retails for $110. Does it sound different? Probably. Strangely I prefer the NOS one more and felt "burn in" in the sense that it sounds musical. On the other hand, the NIB one didn't sound as musical and sounded as if it had a deeper soundstage. I don't know if there really was a difference but I'm sure that both tubes were balanced. Subjective opinions anyways but I've stuck to the one I picked off ebay until now.
Title: Re: Multi 6080/6AS7 review
Post by: Nick Tam on November 04, 2012, 03:29:53 AM
I have 3 5998's, two variations.   One is a grey plate, dual bottom D getter.  The other two are black plates, dual top D getter.  

It appears that I was wrong about the plates: WE 421A had grey plates in the 50's and black plates in the 60's onwards. In other words, the 421A and 5998 are otherwise identical in plate construction as the 5998 was indifferent in the given production periods. See photo

Although we could now be sure that the Tung Sol 421A is otherwise just a rebranded 5998 with 421A specifications.

Title: Re: Multi 6080/6AS7 review
Post by: Paul Joppa on November 04, 2012, 06:28:43 AM
...
Although we could now be sure that the Tung Sol 421A is otherwise just a rebranded 5998.
Just noting here that "re-branding" might involve testing and selection as well - balanced sections,, tighter specs, lower noise, for instance. Or on the other hand, rejects from a quality-tested batch can show up under a different brand. The tube business has its dark side!
Title: Re: Multi 6080/6AS7 review
Post by: Laudanum on November 05, 2012, 01:14:06 AM
I agree with you Nick, without owning a 421A it's impossible to be certian if there is any signifigant sonic difference from the 5998.   Thats why all I can say is that I remain skeptical.  But I really appreciate you posting that Tungsol labeled 421A.  That kinda adds fuel to my own fire   ;D   I wish that top and bottom getter variation I had was a good tube.  I'd like to have 3 variations of them just to have them,  even though I couldnt hear any real differences.   

I have mentioned previously, what Paul has stated.   That maybe the WE 421A is a selected 5998 with some internal contruction differences.   Well, atleast for some of them, the Tungsol labeled 421A murkys the waters some more.   But the bottom O getters are the most obvious from your pictures and others I have seen.   Still, that doesnt necessarily make them signifigantly different, sonically.   I never really chased a WE, when I have seen them for sale it has been at too steep a price for me and it's likely to remain that way.   I know most of the folks who have one proclaim the WE is better but of course human nature has to be accounted for so I still remain skeptical.  But fact still remains that without one myself I will never know for sure.
Title: Re: Multi 6080/6AS7 review
Post by: Nick Tam on November 05, 2012, 03:40:49 AM
I know most of the folks who have one proclaim the WE is better but of course human nature has to be accounted for so I still remain skeptical.  But fact still remains that without one myself I will never know for sure.

Someone in the 421A camp bust this myth? I'm not willing to sponsor for the usage of your precious 421A and 5998 tube though!!!
Title: Re: Multi 6080/6AS7 review
Post by: Nick Tam on November 11, 2012, 02:05:56 AM
I bet a lot of people are kicking themselves for literally just throwing away their tubes now that there is a market where people will pay tons of money for such things.

I don't think anyone would do that... a little research on eBay is all you need to do if your dead tube is worth someone else' fortune. I was hunting for rare 421As and A1834s and the prices would always break the $150 barrier regardless... so I turned to hunting for rare 6SN7s for the input side instead. Turns out that, the average price of the "rare" 6SN7s like the Sylvania 6SN7W and British 6SN7s bunch aren't much better...

Well, I would throw out the stock 6AS7 anyways, unless it was the Tung Sol Westinghouse one.

Ultimately, we all have to draw a line for the $$$ barrier for the lone 6080/12AU7 combination we're using in the Crack though
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: m17xr2b on November 25, 2012, 08:07:11 AM
Would the SYLVANIA JHS 5814WA black plate tube work with the crack? I have found a pair of these for sale and I heard a lot of good things about them.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Laudanum on November 26, 2012, 03:38:19 AM
Yes, the 5814 is a direct sub.  Go for it, no problems at all.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: m17xr2b on December 06, 2012, 08:37:46 AM
Also will the 6AS7GA work with the crack? On the list I only see 6AS7G.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Birkeland on December 06, 2012, 02:23:04 PM
Also will the 6AS7GA work with the crack? On the list I only see 6AS7G.

The only difference between the two is the shape of the glass, so yes.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: blstrek on January 12, 2013, 10:01:01 AM
At the moment, I am running;
Amperex 6085-PQ and Chatham/Tung-Sol 5998.

Also in my arsenal of tubes to roll are the following;

Input;
EH 12AU7
Sylvania 12AU7
RCA 12AU7A Cleartop
Raytheon 12AU7 Long Blackplate
Mullard 12AU7
RCA 12BH7 Blackplate
Sylvania 12BH7 Curved Plate

Output;
RCA 6080
Mullard 6080
Cetron 7236
GE 6AS7G

Regards,
Dave
Title: heater voltage on the crack when using a E80CC tube
Post by: ualcap on April 03, 2013, 08:07:02 AM
Is there a need to increase the heater voltage on my Crack if I change from a 12AU7 to a E80CC ?
Title: Re: Multi 6080/6AS7 review
Post by: Grainger49 on April 03, 2013, 11:57:45 AM
ualcap,

They are not interchangeable equivalents.  See this thread:

http://www.bottlehead.com/smf/index.php/topic,1027.0.html
Title: Re: Multi 6080/6AS7 review
Post by: adamct on April 03, 2013, 03:19:43 PM
Not sure about that. There is another thread here that says they are OK to use. Based on that, I bought one, and it is what I currently use. No problems at all. Gain is higher, though.
Title: Re: Multi 6080/6AS7 review
Post by: Doc B. on April 03, 2013, 04:26:36 PM
Will they plug in and work? Yes. Is the circuit optimized for them? It certainly was not in mind when designed since the designer chose the 12AU7. So perhaps the tube could work even better than it does.
Title: Re: Multi 6080/6AS7 review
Post by: adamct on April 03, 2013, 08:10:28 PM
Fair enough.  ;) :P

Here is the thread I was referring to: http://www.bottlehead.com/smf/index.php/topic,3501.0.html (http://www.bottlehead.com/smf/index.php/topic,3501.0.html)
Title: Re: Multi 6080/6AS7 review
Post by: Nick Tam on April 04, 2013, 08:12:55 PM
Higher current draw but the total draw is still within the limits of the CT3 transformer. I'm currently using a 6SN7 and had no problems previously with the 12BH7 and E80CC (with speedball). I'm not an expert on the specifics of the circuit design of the Crack but I have done alot of research on the datasheets and the Bottlehead forums regarding the use of the 12BH7/E80CC/6SN7. The extra current draw is within the design limits on the transformer but whether the stock Crack would yield optimal results with the non 12AU7 family of tubes is something else that I could not confirm.
Title: Re: Multi 6080/6AS7 review
Post by: adamct on April 05, 2013, 03:51:56 AM
FWIW, I have a Speedball installed...
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: mikek200 on April 08, 2013, 03:01:56 PM
  Newbie Question:

Just got the 5998's today..Using the crack with speedball.
I;m using a pair of HD800's,& I prefer classical,light jazz,acoustic guitar,80's rock

Can anyone give me a few suggestions for a good match withe the 5998
I do have an old Mullard coming in:
Mullard 12AU7-Ecc82,Blackburn,1958--thought this might add some warmth to the 5998??

Any suggestions will be appreciated.
Tnx
Mike
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: orri on May 24, 2013, 09:30:29 PM
Has anyone tried the Tung-Sol Re-Issue 12AU7?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Laudanum on May 25, 2013, 12:29:09 AM
Tung-Sol 12AU7/6189 is discussed in this thread ...  http://www.bottlehead.com/smf/index.php/topic,3946.0.html
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: orri on May 25, 2013, 05:12:39 AM
Thank you Laudanum.

I'm a new Crack owner and new to tubes and just looking for some cheap but good ones to try out.

Could someone recommend me a cheap alternative to the stock output tube of the Crack?

Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Laudanum on May 25, 2013, 08:48:15 AM
RCA 6AS7G ...  should be inexpensive ($10 give or take a few), they are still plentiful.   But, some sellers do try and get too much money for them.   
Title: I prefer 6080 to 6AS7G... Anyone else?
Post by: StivVid on May 31, 2013, 04:26:57 AM
Hello, all.  Seems like there's a definite preference on this forum for the sound of 6AS7G tubes over the less glamorous looking 6080 tubes.  Granted, I only have an RCA 6AS7G and an Amperex (made by RCA).  Both of those tubes sound very loose on the bottom end and both have a very faint high pitched ringing in the right channel.  Most 6080's I've tried, on the other hand, have much tighter, controlled bass and are dead silent--not a hint of microphonics with most--especially military JAN versions.  I'm listening to the line output of my iPod Classic.  The best combo I've found so far, by a wide margin, is an RCA JAN CRC 6080WA paired with an RCA 5963.  Everything opens up with this combo.  Tight, controlled bass; very present and detailed midrange; a nice airy spaciousness to the treble.  I also have a Sylvania Gold Brand 6080, which is nearly as good but not quite; and a Sylvania JAN 6080WB which sounds slightly lifeless compared to the other two 6080's.

I don't have a 5998 and I know this tube is universally praised.  I'm just curious as to why most people seem to prefer the ST shaped tubes to the good ol' straight 6080?  To my ears, they don't sound better.  Anyone else?

Other 12AU7 tubes I've tried in my rig:

unknown brand 6189
Conn 12AU7A
RCA Cleartop 12AU7A
RCA Command 5814A
GE 5-Star 5814A
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Doc B. on May 31, 2013, 05:34:03 AM
I think we need to be careful when making judgments about a certain production of a tube based upon one sample. One sample might be microphonic, another might be not, and that could mean that if you heard a microphonic one you haven't heard the best example of that particular tube. Beyond that there is of course that fact that we use different headphones with different characteristics and we all put a little bit different emphasis on various aspects of the sound. So any thread about tube rolling is just a starting point.

We have been tryng different tubes in a new circuit we are working up (not a headphone amp). Based upon a lot of things I read I took a slight turn and we tried a slightly different tube that was reputed in quite a few forums to sound better that what we had started with. I didn't think that the sample we got sounded better, I thought it was worse. So we are getting some other samples of that tube to try as well. And if and when the kit comes out we will probably offer instructions for converting the circuit so one can make the comparison on their own.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: adamct on May 31, 2013, 06:18:24 AM
FWIW, my two favorite tubes so far are a Bendix 6080 with graphite plates and a GEC 6AS7G. I don't prefer either one because of their sound, but rather because they are very quiet. Other tubes may also be quiet, but of the many tubes I've tried, these are the best.

Adam
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: StivVid on May 31, 2013, 06:00:03 PM
I didn't mean to disparage any tubes in particular.  I'm only saying that I think I'm tending to favor 6080's over 6AS7G's and wonder if anyone else is too?

I guess I should have included a better description of my setup:

Stock Bottlehead Crack
Sennheiser HD600 headphones
Sendstation line-out dock
iPod Classic 120GB

I'm sure my preferences will change if and when I add a stand-alone DAC to the equation.  I'm thinking of trying the Pure I-20 iPod dock with built-in DAC.  Seems like good bang for buck, and that's what I'm all about.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Birkeland on May 31, 2013, 07:10:43 PM
It's pretty tough to tell on the 6AS7 vs. 6080 debate, as nearly all of the varieties of internal construction of one type can be found in the other (excluding the 5998, and some of the newer Soviet equivalents).

(I spend my money on AU7's.)
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: adamct on May 31, 2013, 07:13:52 PM
I consider the Pure i-20 (like the Crack) to be one of the best buys in audio. I own three of them. The built-in DAC is quite good, and you can always use it later to feed a stand-alone DAC through the optical or coaxial outputs. The only thing to beware of is that it isn't suitable for watching movies on an iPad, since the iPad assumes you are using the video out on the Pure and cuts the display on the iPad itself. But for listening to music, it is outstanding.

Best,
Adam
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Nick Tam on May 31, 2013, 09:08:40 PM
Hello, all.  Seems like there's a definite preference on this forum for the sound of 6AS7G tubes over the less glamorous looking 6080 tubes.  Granted, I only have an RCA 6AS7G and an Amperex (made by RCA).  Both of those tubes sound very loose on the bottom end and both have a very faint high pitched ringing in the right channel.  Most 6080's I've tried, on the other hand, have much tighter, controlled bass and are dead silent--not a hint of microphonics with most--especially military JAN versions.  I'm listening to the line output of my iPod Classic.  The best combo I've found so far, by a wide margin, is an RCA JAN CRC 6080WA paired with an RCA 5963.  Everything opens up with this combo.  Tight, controlled bass; very present and detailed midrange; a nice airy spaciousness to the treble.  I also have a Sylvania Gold Brand 6080, which is nearly as good but not quite; and a Sylvania JAN 6080WB which sounds slightly lifeless compared to the other two 6080's.

I don't have a 5998 and I know this tube is universally praised.  I'm just curious as to why most people seem to prefer the ST shaped tubes to the good ol' straight 6080?  To my ears, they don't sound better.  Anyone else?

Other 12AU7 tubes I've tried in my rig:

unknown brand 6189
Conn 12AU7A
RCA Cleartop 12AU7A
RCA Command 5814A
GE 5-Star 5814A

Rather than why people "prefer" the ST shaped 6AS7G over the 6AS7 is simply because of variety and the more definite change in sonic characteristics to the Crack and most probably, looks. The mass produced straight bottle 6AS7 from different brands are mostly sonically identical, with some claims that the Sylvania dual halo getters, sylvania 6080 gold brand, sylvania/cei 7236 and the Mullard/GEC/Valvo 6080 to be sonically superior or to some degree, "better". For one, the Sylvania 6080GB is one of the few straight bottle 6AS7 tubes that takes musicality of the Crack sound a notch further having owning one of these but is quite a rare find as of now. The premium Graphite series Bendix/Tung Sol 6080WB and the Cetron/Tung Sol 7236 come up more often on ebay than the low-end premiums but at a much higher cost, and are often compared and considered to be equally as good or even better than the 5998.

The RCA 6AS7G on the other hand is more "popular" due to being dirt cheap and easy to get your hands on, and makes a very obvious change to the Crack sound. It slows down the pace of the Crack and has good musicality and looser bass, giving the Crack a more vintage tube-ish sound. On the other hand, the premium 6AS7G types, the 5998/421a and GEC brown base are known to yield improvements and are relatively common on ebay despite their soaring prices.

I have done an extensive report on the 6AS7 tubes in case you have missed it: http://www.bottlehead.com/smf/index.php/topic,3453.html
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Laudanum on June 01, 2013, 01:01:32 AM
The ST shaped tubes obviously look "cooler" but it has nothing to do with my preference.   The RCA and some of the other inexpensive 6AS7G's just plain sound better to my ears than any of the 6080's that I happen to have.  Im not spending money on the high dollar 6080's, my biggest tube expenditure when to a 5998 and a couple spares.  That's what I normally run in crack and Im extremely pleased with the sound but the RCA gets rolled in too.   The RCA 6AS7 does have a bigger bottom but with Speedball and Film output caps I dont find it bloated or flabby except with one set of my cans and only then with limited source material.  In fact, I find that tube fun on a good deal of material.   I agree with Nick, it tends to sound more vintage tubey.   Our tastes all differ.  Mine isnt generally looking for that "proper" or dead accurate sound.  And again, I sure dont priortize with tube shape being at the top of the list.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: StivVid on June 02, 2013, 05:43:51 PM
Appreciate all your responses.  I'm really enjoying my crack.  Enjoyed building it too.  Think I might build another.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: ualcap on June 09, 2013, 01:03:12 PM
Back in 2010 Dr Toobz commented on  the Russian 6H13C tube. "sounds a little sweeter and more "tubey" than the 6080 in there before". I've rolled several different combinations of input tubes with this particular tube. I thank a great combo that gives you that sweet "tubey" sound is a RCA 12AU7A clear top/ 6H13C . This is an inexpensive way for new tube rollers to get that classic tube sound from your crack. Plus it has that ST shape so can go for the cool factor as well. Remember to give it some burn-in time.
Try them you may lke them.



Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: orri on June 10, 2013, 10:47:50 PM
ualcap; how are the microphonics on the 6H13C? Is it quiet?

In my local store they have two ECC82 tubes available. Does anyone have experience with these and how do they compare with the stock driver tubes?

ECC82 /12AU7WA   RTC FRANCE- VALVE= 12AU7   (29$)

ECC82-JJ   JJ TWIN TRIOCE ECC82/12AU7   (33$)
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: ffivaz on June 11, 2013, 12:00:30 AM
I tested a new JJ ECC82 and did not hear any real difference with the stock NOS 12au7a (RCA ?) shipped with my Crack.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Laudanum on June 11, 2013, 03:04:01 AM
Orri ...  the JJ ECC82 is kind of unique for the type, the plates are like the 6DJ8's.  But they shouldnt cost more than about $10 or $11 dollars.   JJ also has an ECC802 with has more of the standard, long flat plates like most 12AU7's.  These are more expensive, around $20.  I think they are marketed as a premium tube and have gold pins.  Premium being a relative term.  Anyway, point is that the JJ tube shouldnt cost anywhere near $33.    I have a couple of the JJ ECC82's.  I like them but with a good supply of NOS 12AU7's in my stash, there are others I prefer.

ffivaz ... I had an new production EH shipped with Crack, so you are lucky to get the NOS tube with the kit (depending on how one feels about the EH I guess).   You are also lucky in a way if you cannot hear any difference between 12AU7's.   New production tubes are easy to find and inexpensive   ;)
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: orri on June 11, 2013, 05:25:07 AM
Laudanum...I live in Iceland where we have only one tube dealer (you can laugh now). So that, along with high custom and shipping fees explains the price. The dealer also has the ECC802-JJ   JJ/ECC802/ A12AU7 GOLD PIN you mentioned at 41$.

How would you compare the sound of these tubes I mentioned compared to the stock ones? I'm curious since installing the speedball I find the Crack a bit too bright and I'm looking for a tube that could reduce the brightness a bit...
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: ffivaz on June 11, 2013, 05:38:01 AM
Laudanum, I said NOS, but it was maybe used :)

Orri, I read somewhere (can't remember) that the JJ was a quite bright sounding tube. But I may be mistaken.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Birkeland on June 11, 2013, 07:03:54 PM
The RTC is probably worth a shot, I wouldn't pay $5 for the JJ (unless it's more than 5 years old).

-PB
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Laudanum on June 12, 2013, 02:23:28 AM
Orri ...  I agree with Paul, for that type money I'd rather take a chance on the RTC but I dont have any to give you feedback on.    The JJ's I own are all from atleast 10 years ago.  I have heard of problems with the newer production JJ's.   

I may have missed it but I dont know what stock 12AU7 tube was included with your Crack kit.   If I were looking for a warmer sound and tube options were limited I may be inclined to focus on the output tube.   The RCA 6AS7 tends to have a bigger bottom and isnt what I would consider bright up top (or overly detailed either for that matter).   I always seem to be mentioning these tubes and I know some members complain of the bass being too fat or loose.  But it may warm things up and balance out the sound to better suit your tastes.  I'm not really biased in terms of this tube, I actually dont run it normally.  I normally am listening to a 5998.    Personally, Im not all that enthralled by the Russian 6H13C's.   I find the treble a bit brittle/harsh/hard.  But systems, headphones and ears all make a world of difference so YMMV.  There are some 12AU7's and subsititutes that I find a bit less bright.  Some of the RCA's (NOT the clear tops).  I have a couple nice sounding GE 6189's and also some of the Holland made Amperex tubes.   I got good deals on all of these, great deals on the Amperex (and some Philips and rebrands).  All bought on ebay which may be your best option based on your geography.   I have a bunch of 12AU7's and variants but I dont have any uber expensive tubes so those I mention are based only on the tubes that I have and on my mortal ears and my limited audio vocabulary.   
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: danosol on June 15, 2013, 01:36:02 PM
I have a question.  I'm currently running a 12BH7 and a 6AS7 tube setup in my Crack.  Even though the Speedball will allow the 12BH7 without mods,  will the 12BH7 have any adverse effects on the 6AS7, such as tube life?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: blstrek on June 15, 2013, 06:33:12 PM
So far I've run;

6080-Mullard and RCA
5998-Tung-Sol
7236-Cetron
6AS7G-GE, Raytheon, RCA

12AU7-Mullard, Telefunken ribbed plate, Raytheon black plate, RCA Cleartop
12BH7-RCA black plate, Sylvania Grey Plate, Sylvania Curved Black Plate
6085 (ECC80) -Amperex "PQ"

Input tubes;

1) 12BH7 Sylvania Curved black plate-Amazing tube!

2) 12BH7 RCA black plate-Also a great tube, just a little on the dark side.

3) The Amperex was extremely nice, very sharp imagery, yet smooth highs. Unfortunately, it died on me. Became very microphonic then lost a channel. Until then, it was vying for the top of the list. Oh, well.

Of the AU types the Telefunken is best, IMO. Little shy in the bass, but a great sounding tube. I also like the sound of the Mullard which is more full on the bottom but not quite as detailed.

But, I think I'm sticking with the taller BH type tubes. It's a more dynamic sound.

Power tubes;
1) Hands down the big RCA with the black plates. I like the 6AS7G tubes over the others else overall, it's just a great sounding design.

2) The Raytheon is also black plate and the sound is very close to the RCA.
 
3) Following at a close third is the TS 5998. Very nice, smooth tube, especially with Classical and Jazz.
 
4) The 6080s were alright, with the Mullard having a darker but more full bodied sound than the RCA.

5) The 7236 I don't care for at all. Sharp imagery, very quiet backround, but way too bright for my ears. Almost as fatiguing as solid state.

So, far the best combination is the RCA 6AS7G Black Plate driven by the Sylvania 12BH7 Curved Black Plate. Deep, tight, powerful bass and amazing imagery. Like having the band in your head.  Cymbals just totally shimmer.

Dave
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Birkeland on June 15, 2013, 08:17:31 PM
I have a question.  I'm currently running a 12BH7 and a 6AS7 tube setup in my Crack.  Even though the Speedball will allow the 12BH7 without mods,  will the 12BH7 have any adverse effects on the 6AS7, such as tube life?

The BH7 bumps the plate voltage of the driver stage down a little bit, which in turn also bumps the cathode voltage of the 6080 down a tad too.

The 6080 is run fairly lightly, so having more plate to cathode voltage with the same current will mean more dissipation, but still way below the threshold of doing any harm. 

I would mention, however, that there will be a decrease in heat generated by the TIP50C, and this may not be such a bad thing (though the heat through the MJE350's will go up a hair at the same time).

-PB
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: danosol on June 16, 2013, 09:26:09 AM
Dave

I'm running the same setup except I'm using the RCA 6AS7G with an RCA 12BH7.  Not a lot of time logged in yet, but I find this combination helps with the slight fogginess I get with the 6AS7G and really tightens things up without loosing that toobey goodness.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: blstrek on June 16, 2013, 10:56:48 PM
I have one of those with black plates layin' around here somewhere. Have to give it a try. I know it was very good with the 5998 and the GE 6AS7. The RCA has much longer plates, IIRC.

Dave
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Nick Tam on June 17, 2013, 05:10:53 AM
So far I've run;

6080-Mullard and RCA
5998-Tung-Sol
7236-Cetron
6AS7G-GE, Raytheon, RCA

12AU7-Mullard, Telefunken ribbed plate, Raytheon black plate, RCA Cleartop
12BH7-RCA black plate, Sylvania Grey Plate, Sylvania Curved Black Plate
6085 (ECC80) -Amperex "PQ"

Input tubes;

1) 12BH7 Sylvania Curved black plate-Amazing tube!

2) 12BH7 RCA black plate-Also a great tube, just a little on the dark side.

3) The Amperex was extremely nice, very sharp imagery, yet smooth highs. Unfortunately, it died on me. Became very microphonic then lost a channel. Until then, it was vying for the top of the list. Oh, well.

Of the AU types the Telefunken is best, IMO. Little shy in the bass, but a great sounding tube. I also like the sound of the Mullard which is more full on the bottom but not quite as detailed.

But, I think I'm sticking with the taller BH type tubes. It's a more dynamic sound.

Power tubes;
1) Hands down the big RCA with the black plates. I like the 6AS7G tubes over the others else overall, it's just a great sounding design.

2) The Raytheon is also black plate and the sound is very close to the RCA.
 
3) Following at a close third is the TS 5998. Very nice, smooth tube, especially with Classical and Jazz.
 
4) The 6080s were alright, with the Mullard having a darker but more full bodied sound than the RCA.

5) The 7236 I don't care for at all. Sharp imagery, very quiet backround, but way too bright for my ears. Almost as fatiguing as solid state.

So, far the best combination is the RCA 6AS7G Black Plate driven by the Sylvania 12BH7 Curved Black Plate. Deep, tight, powerful bass and amazing imagery. Like having the band in your head.  Cymbals just totally shimmer.

Dave

I've pretty much got the same 12BH7 and E80CC 6085 tubes you have there. been there, tried it, liked it, but then i discovered the 6SN7 lol
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: RGartner on June 21, 2013, 02:40:45 PM
So far I've run;

6080-Mullard and RCA
5998-Tung-Sol
7236-Cetron
6AS7G-GE, Raytheon, RCA

12AU7-Mullard, Telefunken ribbed plate, Raytheon black plate, RCA Cleartop
12BH7-RCA black plate, Sylvania Grey Plate, Sylvania Curved Black Plate
6085 (ECC80) -Amperex "PQ"

Input tubes;

1) 12BH7 Sylvania Curved black plate-Amazing tube!

2) 12BH7 RCA black plate-Also a great tube, just a little on the dark side.

3) The Amperex was extremely nice, very sharp imagery, yet smooth highs. Unfortunately, it died on me. Became very microphonic then lost a channel. Until then, it was vying for the top of the list. Oh, well.

Of the AU types the Telefunken is best, IMO. Little shy in the bass, but a great sounding tube. I also like the sound of the Mullard which is more full on the bottom but not quite as detailed.

But, I think I'm sticking with the taller BH type tubes. It's a more dynamic sound.

Power tubes;
1) Hands down the big RCA with the black plates. I like the 6AS7G tubes over the others else overall, it's just a great sounding design.

2) The Raytheon is also black plate and the sound is very close to the RCA.
 
3) Following at a close third is the TS 5998. Very nice, smooth tube, especially with Classical and Jazz.
 
4) The 6080s were alright, with the Mullard having a darker but more full bodied sound than the RCA.

5) The 7236 I don't care for at all. Sharp imagery, very quiet backround, but way too bright for my ears. Almost as fatiguing as solid state.

So, far the best combination is the RCA 6AS7G Black Plate driven by the Sylvania 12BH7 Curved Black Plate. Deep, tight, powerful bass and amazing imagery. Like having the band in your head.  Cymbals just totally shimmer.

Dave

When you are speaking about these tubes "RCA 6AS7G Black Plate driven by the Sylvania 12BH7 Curved Black Plate" are these compatible with the Crack without the speedball? I just completed the kit and while it sounds great I've been trying to get up to speed on all the tube rolling. Thanks for any info.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Nick Tam on June 21, 2013, 11:06:20 PM
So far I've run;

6080-Mullard and RCA
5998-Tung-Sol
7236-Cetron
6AS7G-GE, Raytheon, RCA

12AU7-Mullard, Telefunken ribbed plate, Raytheon black plate, RCA Cleartop
12BH7-RCA black plate, Sylvania Grey Plate, Sylvania Curved Black Plate
6085 (ECC80) -Amperex "PQ"

Input tubes;

1) 12BH7 Sylvania Curved black plate-Amazing tube!

2) 12BH7 RCA black plate-Also a great tube, just a little on the dark side.

3) The Amperex was extremely nice, very sharp imagery, yet smooth highs. Unfortunately, it died on me. Became very microphonic then lost a channel. Until then, it was vying for the top of the list. Oh, well.

Of the AU types the Telefunken is best, IMO. Little shy in the bass, but a great sounding tube. I also like the sound of the Mullard which is more full on the bottom but not quite as detailed.

But, I think I'm sticking with the taller BH type tubes. It's a more dynamic sound.

Power tubes;
1) Hands down the big RCA with the black plates. I like the 6AS7G tubes over the others else overall, it's just a great sounding design.

2) The Raytheon is also black plate and the sound is very close to the RCA.
 
3) Following at a close third is the TS 5998. Very nice, smooth tube, especially with Classical and Jazz.
 
4) The 6080s were alright, with the Mullard having a darker but more full bodied sound than the RCA.

5) The 7236 I don't care for at all. Sharp imagery, very quiet backround, but way too bright for my ears. Almost as fatiguing as solid state.

So, far the best combination is the RCA 6AS7G Black Plate driven by the Sylvania 12BH7 Curved Black Plate. Deep, tight, powerful bass and amazing imagery. Like having the band in your head.  Cymbals just totally shimmer.

Dave

When you are speaking about these tubes "RCA 6AS7G Black Plate driven by the Sylvania 12BH7 Curved Black Plate" are these compatible with the Crack without the speedball? I just completed the kit and while it sounds great I've been trying to get up to speed on all the tube rolling. Thanks for any info.

Yes but the results may or may not be optimal. but this has been discussed many times. The 12BH7 draws more current but is within the design limits of the PT-3 transformer, Doc mentioned that it is fine, perhaps you should dig through the Crack forum, because the 12BH7 has been brought up quite alot
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: RGartner on June 22, 2013, 07:22:14 AM
Thanks for the help Nick. I ordered a Mullard CV4003 from upscale audio. Ill start there, looking around for a Mullard 6080 to try as well. Ill get to the Speedball upgrade after I have some time messing around with the basic configuration. This is the first time I have listened to a tube amp,  it sounds awesome, just fun to play around with different sounds now.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Birkeland on June 22, 2013, 05:41:13 PM
The 12BH7 will function in the Crack circuit, though at a lower plate voltage than originally targeted.  This will lead to lower cathode voltages and a slightly different operating point on the 6080, but nothing that will lead to the destruction of the amplifier.  (It may actually run cooler with with 12BH7)

-PB
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: RGartner on June 23, 2013, 08:31:46 AM
Good info, thanks for that. I went with Mullard CV4003 and  Rca 6as7g 1951, just messing around for now. I think Ill probably grab the speedball here pretty soon and try out some other combos, gets addicting messing around with this amp :)

-r
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: blstrek on June 24, 2013, 01:49:02 PM

I've pretty much got the same 12BH7 and E80CC 6085 tubes you have there. been there, tried it, liked it, but then i discovered the 6SN7 lol
[/quote]

I have a pile of 6SN7s and an adapter on the way.

Dave
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: blstrek on June 24, 2013, 01:51:46 PM
When you are speaking about these tubes "RCA 6AS7G Black Plate driven by the Sylvania 12BH7 Curved Black Plate" are these compatible with the Crack without the speedball? I just completed the kit and while it sounds great I've been trying to get up to speed on all the tube rolling. Thanks for any info.
[/quote]

The 6AS7G is compatible with non-Speedball Crack. The 12BH you should run with Speedball, IMO.

Dave
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: drowningcactis on June 27, 2013, 05:46:03 PM
would a 6sn7 tube work in place of the 12au7 with an adapter? ive been reading they sound better than 12au7. i don't see why it wouldn't work but I haven't seen anyone do it with crack yet. is there a reason for that? I really want to try a tung sol 6sn7gtb.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Birkeland on June 27, 2013, 07:24:41 PM
would a 6sn7 tube work in place of the 12au7 with an adapter? ive been reading they sound better than 12au7. i don't see why it wouldn't work but I haven't seen anyone do it with crack yet. is there a reason for that? I really want to try a tung sol 6sn7gtb.

Yes, there is a thread titled "tube adapters" regarding using these.

Tube Adapters (http://www.bottlehead.com/smf/index.php/topic,4134.0.html)
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: drowningcactis on June 28, 2013, 04:14:58 AM
I feel dumb because I didn't even read the post above mine lol the irony. ordering a couple 6sn7s right now
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: drowningcactis on June 28, 2013, 04:16:24 AM
thanks paul
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: w0lfd0g on July 06, 2013, 02:39:03 AM
I have spent much of the past 48 hours rolling tubes. 

Output tube
Have tried the following:
1. Chatham 5998
2. Bendix 6080WB graphite
3. WE 421A
My favourite is the 421A and least favourite the Bendix

Driver tube
1. Mazda CIFTE 12AU7 1962
2. Brimar CV491 1971
3. Valvo ECC82
4. Tung Sol 12AU7A (1959 from memory) - Laddered grey plate
5. Telefunken ECC82 laddered grey plate
6. RCA 12AU7A clear top
7. Mullard ECC82 1962
8. Siemens laddered grey long plate

I can't hear a difference between the driver tubes, other than something very subtle, that is probably my imagination.

What's going on?  I can think of a few options:

1. My ears are too "unlearned" to hear a difference - I would be surprised if this is the case as I have tube in the Lyr before and was able to hear a vast difference in such aspects as balance, clarity and sound stage as a result of rolling.

2. The way I have modified my Crack removes any effect from rolling driver tube - I don't know enough about circuit design to determine with this is correct or not.  For what it's worth, i have the Speedball installed, Have 100 uF ES Clarity caps bypassed with 10 uF Mundorf Supreme as output caps, have replaced the final power cap with a 220 uF TC Clarity cap and have an Alps blue pot.

3. There is no difference in sound in this family of tubes in the Crack and the tube marketers have brainwashed us all

4. I didn't give the tubes enough time to burn in  (which would suggest that in their embryonic state, all of the driver tubes sound the same until having reached adolescence)

Can someone please help?  Do I persevere?  Do I sell all my expensive driver tubes and keep a couple of RCA cleartops? Do i try other families?  BTW - The amp sounds equally terrific with the various drivers.

FWIW - My tube rolling playlist consisted of Bach (portion of St Matthew Passion), Bjork, Mahler (portion of Kindertoten Lieder), Sarah McLachlan, Dire Straits, Rage Against the Machine and William Cornysh sung by the Tallis scholars (early sixteenth century sacred choral music).

Cheers!
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Birkeland on July 06, 2013, 08:23:20 AM
What sources are you feeding your Crack with? 
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: w0lfd0g on July 06, 2013, 08:34:24 AM
FLAC into Meier Audio StageDAC via optical

Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Joppa on July 06, 2013, 05:59:09 PM
For what it's worth ...

The 12AT7 is not a very linear tube, in "normal" applications; the 5670 is actually much more lnear. When we were developing the Paramount upgrade/soft-start/5670 driver, Ed made some detailed distortion measurements - measuring each harmonic individually. With the C4S plate load, the distortion spectrum of the amp was almost the same, apparently dominated by the extremely linear 300B output tube. The C4S plate load (i.e Speedball in this case) appears to linearize both drivers to the extent that the power tube distortion spectrum dominates.

Linearity is of course not the only audible difference between tube, but it's a major part of the difference (IMHO of course). This could possibly explain the difficulty of identifying a difference between drivers with the Speedball installed.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: w0lfd0g on July 06, 2013, 07:15:51 PM
Thanks Paul - Very helpful.

What other objective variables in the tube's physical makeup effect the listener's subjective audible perception apart from linearity?  Interested to know - All part of the learning experience for me (am relatively new to audiophile pursuits).

Many thanks

Nathan
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: dwilli852 on July 17, 2013, 01:13:21 PM
Picked up a early 60's Siemens ECC82 silver plate.

Great sounding tube with the 5998.

Lot's of detail.

Can't complain about anything with this one.

 Keb' Mo' never sounded better.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: STURMJ on July 17, 2013, 03:33:42 PM
keb' mo' fan here too.
Title: Best tubes
Post by: audiophileboss on August 07, 2013, 02:01:04 PM
What are the best most Hi fi 6080 and 12au7 tubes on the market and the cost?
Title: Re: Best tubes
Post by: adamct on August 07, 2013, 02:14:04 PM
What is the best beer, wine, painting, movie, book on the planet, and what does each of them cost?




OK, sorry. It's subjective. But you can search the Crack forum for the tube rolling thread to hear various opinions.
Title: Re: Best tubes
Post by: Grainger49 on August 07, 2013, 02:45:47 PM
There is a thread of Tube Rolling In Crack.  The longest thread on the forum.

http://www.bottlehead.com/smf/index.php/topic,663.0.html
Title: Re: Best tubes
Post by: Doc B. on August 07, 2013, 03:39:11 PM
They don't really exist. But no worries, you can't afford them anyway.
Title: Re: Best tubes
Post by: earwaxxer on August 07, 2013, 03:57:31 PM
Aaah, common guys... Some good feedback is in order here... I say. and this is my opinion, one should buy as many "flavors" as you can, and sample them, then form an opinion. Come back here, express such opinion and you will then get some "constructive" feedback. No short cuts. Got to do your homework. Its a "give and take". Right?
Title: Re: Best tubes
Post by: Nick Tam on August 07, 2013, 04:45:33 PM
What are the best most Hi fi 6080 and 12au7 tubes on the market and the cost?

If I told you that the most expensive combination of possible tubes that you could put into the Crack cost as much as the Crack kit itself, would you still want to buy it? Or do you just mean a "6080" tube and a "12AU7" specifically?

The Comprehensive 6080/6AS7 Rolling Guide:
http://www.bottlehead.com/smf/index.php/topic,3453.0.html
Title: Re: Best tubes
Post by: Aeolus Kratos on August 07, 2013, 09:26:35 PM
If I told you that the most expensive combination of possible tubes that you could put into the Crack cost as much as the Crack kit itself, would you still want to buy it? Or do you just mean a "6080" tube and a "12AU7" specifically?

The Comprehensive 6080/6AS7 Rolling Guide:
http://www.bottlehead.com/smf/index.php/topic,3453.0.html

Hi Nick,

Can you give me some impressions on the G.E.C Brown Base 6AS7G and the Western Electric 421A? I'm using Tung-sol 5998 (actually it's Chatham 2399) and I'm tending to upgrade to the 421A or G.E.C. What are the differences between them? And are they worth the premium between the 5998s and 421A/G.E.Cs?

And of course I'm using Speedballed Crack for this.

Best regards,

Kratos.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: palmfish on August 08, 2013, 08:09:07 AM
I have been reading and learning all I can about tubes for the past few days. It's really been a lot of fun. A little head-spinning too though - these threads have been very, very helpful and i formative! Ive been crosschecking other websites as I learn about another tube and now Ive got a few stores bookmarked and my eBay watchlist is filled with multiple pages.

Yesterday, on a whim, I went ahead and bought a couple of tubes for my yet-to-be-completed Crack. I got a "NIB NOS" CBS Hytron 6AS7G and a CBS 5814A - not because I think they will sound better than the stock Chatham 6080 and unmarked 12AU7, but because they look really nice and Im a little OCD and I like the idea of the matching brand tubes with red CBS logos.

I better get this amp finished or else I spend a bunch of money on other things I probably don't need...  :D
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Doc B. on August 08, 2013, 08:29:44 AM
If I can throw just a little sanity in here -

1) There is no universal best
2) Your best probably isn't my best
3) Price has nothing to do with whether you will like a tube or not. The only person who will always find the most expensive component to sound best simply substitutes a need to show off for having an ear. "Only" is a little misleading here, there are very many of these people. Just go to CES to see large flocks of them.

When the urge to buy the flavor of the week boutique item next strikes my suggestion is to stand back and look at why you decided to DIY. Wasn't it to learn enough to control yourself how your system sounds? Buy a bunch of cheap tubes and learn what kind of differences you can hear. Then form a judgment about what you like and don't care for, and focus your effort on getting there. Try other changes too, and see how much impact they have relative to tube changes. There might be other things that make a lot more difference. Unfortunately this doesn't apply to cans, but I think most of our customers would be better served by learning how to make their listening room sound better than by buying a new boutique capacitor. I also see a lot of guys with expensive headphones and rather mediocre sources. One needs to learn to balance all of these things rather than obsess about one.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: btrancho on August 08, 2013, 09:03:25 AM
If I can throw just a little sanity in here -

````````````
 One needs to learn to balance all of these things rather than obsess about one.
+100

I often think that the current crazy prices of some FOTM tubes is a kin to the great Tulip Mania of 1637  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tulip_mania).
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: earwaxxer on August 08, 2013, 09:28:25 AM
Yea.... I remember that..
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: adamct on August 08, 2013, 09:33:37 AM
Well...here is my take:

1. I find tube rolling has a surprisingly small effect on sound. I have a GEC 6AS7G brown base. In fact, I have two of them. Do I think they sound significantly different or better than the other 6AS7Gs, 6080s, 5998s, etc. that I've tried? Not really. They happen to be among the quietest tubes I've used, but I think that is just luck of the draw and specific to these particular tubes, not something that is inherent in the GEC design. I would expect there to be numerous "cheap" tubes that are just as quiet, if you can find the right one. And you can probably find any number of GEC 6AS7Gs that are very noisy. My basic position is this: I wouldn't bother "upgrading" the tubes in the Crack. Frankly, every tube I've tried has sounded excellent, and differences between tubes have been small to non-existent.

2. The drive to upgrade tubes and caps primarily stems from one source: insecurity. Something else might be better, and I'm worried that I don't have the best, so I might as well spend a bunch of money to be on the safe side. Feel free to disagree if you want, but I know that is how it works with me. It isn't that I feel a need to show off (my wife and daughters have zero interest in this stuff), it's just that I want to listen to the best possible sound. In the absence of first-hand knowledge about what sounds best, it is easiest to just spend money. That doesn't necessarily mean that what I wind up with ACTUALLY sounds the best, but it calms my anxiety. [Look, I'm wierd, OK? At least I know this about myself.]

3. I'm not yet convinced that upgrading the caps to film caps makes a huge difference, or that there are enormous differences between film caps. There may be, but the challenges in trying to rigorously test and identify those differences strike me as insurmountable. Caps may make a bigger difference in speaker crossovers, and maybe that is why we expect them to make a big difference, but I don't know if they actually do. Yet I still "upgrade" caps because I am a small, insecure and weak man.

4. This is a hobby. If upgrading caps or tubes or whatever floats your boat, then go for it. Notwithstanding my weak-willed ways, I don't see how silver wire is or could possible be better than copper wire, given that copper wire is usually thicker than silver wire, therefore more than compensating for the small advantage in silver's conductivity. But, if people want to blow money on silver wire, that's no skin off my back. I find installing film caps, and trying to figure out how to fit them, is kind of fun, so I do it.

5. It is virtually impossible to make an informed decision on how to change your system's sound. Suppose you find that your Crack is lacking in bass, or that the treble is a bit hot. Or the dynamics are lacking...whatever it is that you want to improve upon. Now, how will you go about figuring out which tube or cap to install? Pick any tube or cap, and to the extent that you can find any reviews at all, they will be reviews in someone else's system, using different components. Reviewer A will tell you that tube X has great bass punch. Reviewer B will tell you that the bass punch of tube X is sorely lacking when compared to tube Y. But Reviewer A has a separate review where he says tube Y has the worst bass he's ever heard. So, will tube X give you more or less bass? The same thing applies to caps. Reviews are all over the place, highly subjective, and basicaly worth a hill of beans. So you wind up buying something random, sticking it in, and seeing if your system still makes music that is vaguely acceptable.

6. If you want to make an immediate, obvious, objective and significant change to the sound of your system, then buy new headphones. I like to say that on a 10 point scale, the magnitude of the change in sound is 9 if changing your headphones, it is generally 2 when switching between amps using the same basic technology (e.g. among solid state amps, WOT tube amps, or OTL tube amps), it is maybe a 4 when switching between amps using different technology (e.g. switching between a solid state amp and an OTL amp), maybe a 1 when changing caps or tubes, and, I personally believe, something like a 0 when switching between DACs that cost more than $100, after equalizing for the strength of their output signal (I'm not a big believer in differences between DACs, but that didn't stop me from buying one for $1,000 that sounds just like all my other DACs...).

Best regards,
Adam
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Doc B. on August 08, 2013, 10:26:38 AM
I agree except for #5. One can make an informed decision if one is methodical and takes the time to build a set of concepts that works for them. For example, after doing several rooms and learning what I can from some well informed friends I can go into a room with a pretty good idea of how I would treat it - kill early reflections, get a certain number of sones of absorption into the room, find the bass problems and work around them, etc. On the component level I can go into a design development with a pretty good idea of how I want the power supply and regulation done based upon having done it a lot of different ways and from those experiments refining the way that has floated to the top for my hearing.

Like anything else it's a matter of building experience. The buzz on the internet about mods is a great place to start, but tailoring the particular idea to your taste is where the real satisfaction enters the picture.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: earwaxxer on August 08, 2013, 10:51:01 AM
True.... Actually the sad truth is that EVERYTHING makes a difference. To what extent - is what is in question. The variables are daunting. It's unsolved, and will continue to be. All we can do is, like playing chess, make the best possible moves we can, given the information and skills etc. at our disposal. It's probably unwise to move your king out early, as it may be unwise spending too much money on component "X".
Title: Re: Best tubes
Post by: w0lfd0g on August 08, 2013, 09:46:55 PM
If I told you that the most expensive combination of possible tubes that you could put into the Crack cost as much as the Crack kit itself, would you still want to buy it? Or do you just mean a "6080" tube and a "12AU7" specifically?

The Comprehensive 6080/6AS7 Rolling Guide:
http://www.bottlehead.com/smf/index.php/topic,3453.0.html

Hi Nick,

Can you give me some impressions on the G.E.C Brown Base 6AS7G and the Western Electric 421A? I'm using Tung-sol 5998 (actually it's Chatham 2399) and I'm tending to upgrade to the 421A or G.E.C. What are the differences between them? And are they worth the premium between the 5998s and 421A/G.E.Cs?

And of course I'm using Speedballed Crack for this.

Best regards,

Kratos.

Hi Kratos

There is a NOS GEC 6AS7G going cheap on eBay international atm (auction with one day to go) - The best option, as the others have said, is to experiment and decide.   The beauty of tubes is that you can sell them on if they don't suit you.

Cheers
Title: Re: Best tubes
Post by: Nick Tam on August 09, 2013, 05:20:32 AM
They'll probably go for 150+ by the end of the day.

Also the problem with buying tubes is that I find that they have lesser resell value if you bought them and you don't have a tester to affirm that they are worth what you bought them for... because recently I found out that a NOS NIB TS5998 that I had sitting around tests lower than the used TS5998 that I have in my Crack this whole time after spending some time and investing on a tube tester. And don't trust that tubes are NOS just because they're boxed... some time ago there was an auction for a bunch of Sylvania Gold Brand 6080 tubes. I've got 17 of these which are, all boxed and "NOS" as seller claims without any testing. Since I had no projects going on after finishing my Crack modding, I went onto buying and restoring a Hickok 799 and 2 B&K 667 testers. None of the tubes pegged 100% nominal Gm on the Hickok and 100+ emissions on the B&K. Morale of story? Tube sellers calibrate their testers so that their readings are higher OR tubes that have been sitting around for 20+ years simply could not have nominal GM OR my testers all suck.


If I told you that the most expensive combination of possible tubes that you could put into the Crack cost as much as the Crack kit itself, would you still want to buy it? Or do you just mean a "6080" tube and a "12AU7" specifically?

The Comprehensive 6080/6AS7 Rolling Guide:
http://www.bottlehead.com/smf/index.php/topic,3453.0.html

Hi Nick,

Can you give me some impressions on the G.E.C Brown Base 6AS7G and the Western Electric 421A? I'm using Tung-sol 5998 (actually it's Chatham 2399) and I'm tending to upgrade to the 421A or G.E.C. What are the differences between them? And are they worth the premium between the 5998s and 421A/G.E.Cs?

And of course I'm using Speedballed Crack for this.

Best regards,

Kratos.

Hi Kratos

There is a NOS GEC 6AS7G going cheap on eBay international atm (auction with one day to go) - The best option, as the others have said, is to experiment and decide.   The beauty of tubes is that you can sell them on if they don't suit you.

Cheers
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: w0lfd0g on August 09, 2013, 11:22:09 AM
^

Yep - A dead tube can still come with a box

Yep - It is possible for NOS tubes to have less than nominal new 100% emissions

Is this always the case?  No
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: 2wo on August 09, 2013, 12:51:38 PM
NOS tube misrepresented on eBay? Shocked! Shocked I tell you...John
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: w0lfd0g on August 09, 2013, 01:39:14 PM
^

ROFL
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: adamct on August 09, 2013, 07:07:04 PM
OK, someone help me out. In January I bought one of those 6SN7 --> 12AU7 adapters on eBay. I got the one that appeared to be high-quality, with a nice ceramic socket and gold-plated pin holes. I think several others here have the same adapter. I made sure I got the 6.3V version. When it arrived, I tried it out with a couple of 6SN7s, but they all seemed noisy, although they were quiet in other amps. I chalked it up to some sort of bad "synergy" between the tubes and the Crack (w/ Speedball). I put the adapter to the side for a few months, until I got a couple more 6SN7s. Again, I pulled the adapter out and tried them with the Crack. Still noisy. Then I decided it must be the adapter. I contacted the seller, and although I was outside the complaint period, they gracefully sent me a new one at no charge (fast shipping from China, too, which is unusual). Tonight I try out the new adapter and...same problem.

Here is the exact situation: the noise is stronger in the left channel than the right. Much stronger. At low volume levels, the noise changes with the volume pot, but quickly hits maximum noise levels and stays constant after that. The tube plays music just fine - no cracking or popping or anything, just noise when I hit pause. My Crack is literally DEAD SILENT when I use it with my other input tubes, without an adapter. The noise doesn't change when I jiggle the RCA inputs. There shouldn't be any interference from other devices, as there aren't any nearby, and (again) the amp is quiet with other tubes. And the noise is the same no matter which 6SN7 tubes I use.

Anyone else have a similar experience? If so, how did you solve it? I know some people like 6SN7s with the Crack, but I can't imagine anyone would find this level of noise acceptable, so what I have must not be normal. Suggestions? What could be causing these problems?

Best regards,
Adam
Title: Re: Best tubes
Post by: Aeolus Kratos on August 10, 2013, 06:26:54 AM
If I told you that the most expensive combination of possible tubes that you could put into the Crack cost as much as the Crack kit itself, would you still want to buy it? Or do you just mean a "6080" tube and a "12AU7" specifically?

The Comprehensive 6080/6AS7 Rolling Guide:
http://www.bottlehead.com/smf/index.php/topic,3453.0.html

Hi Nick,

Can you give me some impressions on the G.E.C Brown Base 6AS7G and the Western Electric 421A? I'm using Tung-sol 5998 (actually it's Chatham 2399) and I'm tending to upgrade to the 421A or G.E.C. What are the differences between them? And are they worth the premium between the 5998s and 421A/G.E.Cs?

And of course I'm using Speedballed Crack for this.

Best regards,

Kratos.

Hi Kratos

There is a NOS GEC 6AS7G going cheap on eBay international atm (auction with one day to go) - The best option, as the others have said, is to experiment and decide.   The beauty of tubes is that you can sell them on if they don't suit you.

Cheers

Hi w0lfd0g,

Thanks for your suggestion, but I've just searched on Ebay and I could not find it. These GECs are all well over $170, or even > $300 for a piece. I found them somewhat ridiculous 'cause I'm not planning to buy just a power tube which costs nearly as much as my Speedballed Crack :)

Unfortunately, I'm not living in the USA, so it would be much more difficult for me to sell tubes if they don't suit me. And I have no chance to listen to a tube it before I buy it to make sure it is a good and quite tube :(

I have sometimes try to blind buy some stuff that I like, because I can not have a chance to try them: the Little Dot MK3 and the Darkvoice 336SE, but all of them disappointed me. But now I'm very happy with my latest blind-buy purchase. The Crack is simply one of the best amps I've heard with my beloved HD650, I've tried HD650 with various amps, including B22 4 boards and Burson Audio HA-160 :)

Best regards,
Kratos.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Nick Tam on August 10, 2013, 03:31:12 PM
^

It went for $120

http://www.ebay.com/itm/NOS-NIB-GEC-6AS7G-Round-Brown-Base-Audio-Tube-Valve-MOV-/221264941851?pt=AU_Electronics_Vintage_Electronics&hash=item33846b131b&nma=true&si=P4B3rkMXoHIMlrywmXQuPe858Is%253D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: chavac on August 10, 2013, 05:05:41 PM
Quick question for you guys. I just finished my crack the other day and let it burn in for about 8 hours with no problems. Went to use it the next day and noticed the power tube was not lighting up. It will come on if I wiggle it, but eventually fades back out after 5-10 seconds. I suspected maybe it was a problem with the pin prongs in the socket making contact, but they're pretty unremarkable and not really amenable to tightening. Just wanted to check if this could be a wonky tube? And if so can anyone float me a recommendation for a solid <100$ tube? I've been looking at the 6SN7+adapter but wasn't sure they work without a speedball.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: adamct on August 10, 2013, 05:09:55 PM
Sounds like it is more likely a cold solder joint on the underside of the tube socket, such that you are only getting intermittent contact...

See my post above regarding my experience with using 6SN7 tubes via adapters. I've heard the same thing from at least two others. My advice is to stay away...
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: w0lfd0g on August 11, 2013, 02:28:15 AM
Finally!

I have spent a bucket load of money on tubes in search of that enigmatic "perfect sound".  I have now found the sound that is perfect for me (for now).

Thought that tube rolling was a waste of time and money in the Crack, but have stumbled upon a combination that works for me:

Driver tube: Mullard E80CC (Philips made)
Output tube: GEC 6AS7G Brown Base

Has anyone else tried this combination?

Only a matter of hours ago I described tube rolling as "Emperor's New Clothes" syndrome to a fellow forum member.  I have stuck with the combination noted above for perhaps fifty hours - Maybe I didn't give tubes long enough to burn in.  Maybe I am a victim of the "mass psychosis". 

In any case, I am hearing clarity, bass extension and speed without the sacrifice of warmth or treble roll off to a degree I have never heard before in this system or any other.   

The context?  BH Crack with Speed Ball, cap upgrades, 100K Blue Alps pot, driven by a Meier Audio Stage DAC playing FLAC files.  Headphones are Beyer T90s.

My Nirvana... until the urge to tinker strikes again. 
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Aeolus Kratos on August 11, 2013, 04:56:45 AM
Finally!

I have spent a bucket load of money on tubes in search of that enigmatic "perfect sound".  I have now found the sound that is perfect for me (for now).

Thought that tube rolling was a waste of time and money in the Crack, but have stumbled upon a combination that works for me:

Driver tube: Mullard E80CC (Philips made)
Output tube: GEC 6AS7G Brown Base

Has anyone else tried this combination?

Only a matter of hours ago I described tube rolling as "Emperor's New Clothes" syndrome to a fellow forum member.  I have stuck with the combination noted above for perhaps fifty hours - Maybe I didn't give tubes long enough to burn in.  Maybe I am a victim of the "mass psychosis". 

In any case, I am hearing clarity, bass extension and speed without the sacrifice of warmth or treble roll off to a degree I have never heard before in this system or any other.   

The context?  BH Crack with Speed Ball, cap upgrades, 100K Blue Alps pot, driven by a Meier Audio Stage DAC playing FLAC files.  Headphones are Beyer T90s.

My Nirvana... until the urge to tinker strikes again.

Congrats! I have never heard the GECs, I'm currently using the Tungsram E80CC as my input tube and the Tung-sol 5998 for power tube and I really enjoyed it. Have you ever heard the 5998s? If so, can you give me some impressions on how they sound compared with the GECs? I'm planning to upgrade to the GEC 6AS7G but I'm not to sure if the differences are worth the premium or not :(

Best Regards,
Kratos.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: w0lfd0g on August 11, 2013, 10:46:34 PM
Hi Kratos

Do you have the Speedball installed?  My experience in rolling with the Crack has only been + SB.

The 5998 was my second favourite output tube after the WE 421A (some would argue that the two are one and the same tube, but my samples varied in sound quality).  Unfortunately I sold the 5998 before I could do a side by side comparison with the GEC 6AS7G.  I don't trust my memory enough to be direct in my comparisons and I never tried it with the Mullard E80CC as a driver. 

That said, I would be very happy with the 5998 as an output tube.  Heck, I am happy with any tube in the Crack (+ SB). 

My previous listening experience was that the driver tube made no difference to sound quality but there was a subtle difference in sound produced using various output tubes.  I have since revised this as per the post you quoted.

However, let my experiences be a cautionary tale.  I have spent over $4,000.00 in tube rolling the Crack.  It took me this much money and an awful lot of time to determine that:

A. If you roll tubes in the Crack + SB, you will only get very subtle variations in sound quality
B. What works for one person may not necessarily work for another (variables such as personal preferences in sound quality and other components in the system come into play here)
C. Tube rolling can still be a lot of fun and is very addictive

I don't regret my experiences, but consider that money may have been better spent investing in some different headphones - "Rolling" headphones will get greater variation at less expense. 
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Aeolus Kratos on August 12, 2013, 05:24:32 AM
Hi Kratos

Do you have the Speedball installed?  My experience in rolling with the Crack has only been + SB.

The 5998 was my second favourite output tube after the WE 421A (some would argue that the two are one and the same tube, but my samples varied in sound quality).  Unfortunately I sold the 5998 before I could do a side by side comparison with the GEC 6AS7G.  I don't trust my memory enough to be direct in my comparisons and I never tried it with the Mullard E80CC as a driver. 

That said, I would be very happy with the 5998 as an output tube.  Heck, I am happy with any tube in the Crack (+ SB). 

My previous listening experience was that the driver tube made no difference to sound quality but there was a subtle difference in sound produced using various output tubes.  I have since revised this as per the post you quoted.

However, let my experiences be a cautionary tale.  I have spent over $4,000.00 in tube rolling the Crack.  It took me this much money and an awful lot of time to determine that:

A. If you roll tubes in the Crack + SB, you will only get very subtle variations in sound quality
B. What works for one person may not necessarily work for another (variables such as personal preferences in sound quality and other components in the system come into play here)
C. Tube rolling can still be a lot of fun and is very addictive

I don't regret my experiences, but consider that money may have been better spent investing in some different headphones - "Rolling" headphones will get greater variation at less expense.

Hi Nathan,

Yes, I do have the Speedball installed on my Crack.

You said that the 5998 was your second favourite output tube after the WE 421A, so where is the GEC? You don't prefer it to the 5998 and 421A? :P

Thank you for your experience, I totally agree with you. I've rolled some 12AU7s and one E80CC so far, and I've noticed that the difference in sound quality when changing the input tubes is not as noticeable as changing the output tubes.

To be honest, I bought my Crack JUST for my beloved HD650. So I'm not planning to change headphones, partly because the Cracks are OTL amps, and they are not designed to drive low impedance headphone.

Best regards,
Kratos.

Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: w0lfd0g on August 12, 2013, 04:16:17 PM
Sorry Kratos

Should have clarified that - the GEC 6AS7G is my favourite tube now and the WE 421A was my favourite tube previously.  BTW, I am using the straight base version of the GEC.

Cheers!
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Aeolus Kratos on August 12, 2013, 04:37:38 PM
Sorry Kratos

Should have clarified that - the GEC 6AS7G is my favourite tube now and the WE 421A was my favourite tube previously.  BTW, I am using the straight base version of the GEC.

Cheers!
Hi Nathan,

Thanks for clarifying. I've read that there is a slight difference in sound quality between the round base and straight base version of the GECs.

Have a good day and enjoy the lovely music!
Kratos.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: dubiousmike on August 13, 2013, 09:56:32 AM
Kratos,

I've spent a fair amount of time with a GEC 6as7g straight brown base (driving HD800's) - and my view, at present, is that this tube is a bit over-hyped.  No doubt they are nice tubes, with a unique internal structure, but 5998's and frankly many 6080's also sound great in my crack (with speedball and other easy mods) and can be had for a lot less money. 
 
My GEC tube sounds like a very refined, premium, noise free 6080.  In terms of comparing sonics, through my setup w/ hd800's, 5998's sound slightly brighter, livelier and more holographic.  The GEC and 6080's are slightly more laid back and have a bit more mid-bass - particularly around 100hz where the hd800's have a significant spike in their impedance curve.  This all makes sense given that 5998's/7236's lower your output impedance (considered a good thing by many) but also raise the gain, which may or may not be a good thing in your setup.  (See also page 2 of http://www.pmillett.com/Wheatfield/rolling.pdf - similarly describing the sonic differences between these tubes.) 

At approximately equal volume, if I throw on bass heavy tracks (e.g. 2pac's "u can't see me"), I perceive that the bass hits harder and fuller if I'm running my GEC 6as7g (or, for that matter, my other 6080's), when compared to any of my handful of 5998's.  In the 6as7 thread on head-fi, folks with different amps and headphones have claimed just the opposite - that 5998's have more bass, which may be the case with the headphones they are using.  As I understand it, the impedance curve of the headphone is going to impact the effect of the change in output impedance.  Check out, for example, this thread on hd800's and high output impedance amps: http://www.changstar.com/index.php?topic=90.0. 
 
All in all, I certainly would not drop the 2 bills ebay sellers are currently charging for GEC tubes.  I paid $100 for mine, and I doubt I would be inclined to pay that much again.  I like the tube, but I would say that I find myself reaching for my 5998's just as often.  In fact, for the last couple of weeks, I've been experimenting with a number of dirt cheap JAN 6080's that have me second guessing whether it makes any sense at all to pay for "premium" 6as7 equivalents.  I paid $15 for a pair of Chatham's on ebay that are dead quiet, not even remotely microphonic, and which had me listening to fournier's rendition of bach's cello concertos until the wee hours the night before last.  If I manage to take my own good advice, I'll stop collecting surplus tubes and save my pennies for the bh dac. 

My favorite a-socket tube is still a tung sol 12bh7.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: adamct on August 13, 2013, 10:12:58 AM
I have HD800s, two GEC brown-base (straight) 6AS7Gs, five 5998s, a Bendix 6080 with graphite plates, and any number of other 6AS7Gs and 6080s.

I pretty much agree with everything dubiousmike wrote below (except that I paid waaaaaaaaaay more than he did for my GEC 6AS7Gs). A few further notes:

1. I like my GEC because it is quiet, not because it sounds better.
2. The GECs are not the only quiet tubes out there. In particular, I find the 6080s of all brands and prices tend to be quite quiet.
3. I don't notice any differences in bass compared to my 5998s one way or the other, but I frankly haven't tried to compare that and don't plan to. Any differences much be tiny, so I'm not surprised that people fall on both sides of that fence.
4. I wouldn't bother replacing the output tube unless it is somehow broken. Every tube I've tried sounds good... Well, except for the first tube I got, which went kablooey the first time I fired up my Crack (the tube was bad, the amp was fine).
5. I'm using a Mullard 12BH7, but just about every driver tube I've tried has sounded good, too.

Tube rolling just doesn't seem like a wise use of money to me. If you want to tweak the sound of your rig, your money is much, much better spent on headphones (Sennheisers in particular are outstanding with the Crack).

Regards,
Adam
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Aeolus Kratos on August 13, 2013, 06:58:55 PM
Kratos,

My GEC tube sounds like a very refined, premium, noise free 6080.  In terms of comparing sonics, through my setup w/ hd800's, 5998's sound slightly brighter, livelier and more holographic.  The GEC and 6080's are slightly more laid back and have a bit more mid-bass - particularly around 100hz where the hd800's have a significant spike in their impedance curve.  This all makes sense given that 5998's/7236's lower your output impedance (considered a good thing by many) but also raise the gain, which may or may not be a good thing in your setup.  (See also page 2 of http://www.pmillett.com/Wheatfield/rolling.pdf - similarly describing the sonic differences between these tubes.) 

At approximately equal volume, if I throw on bass heavy tracks (e.g. 2pac's "u can't see me"), I perceive that the bass hits harder and fuller if I'm running my GEC 6as7g (or, for that matter, my other 6080's), when compared to any of my handful of 5998's.  In the 6as7 thread on head-fi, folks with different amps and headphones have claimed just the opposite - that 5998's have more bass, which may be the case with the headphones they are using.  As I understand it, the impedance curve of the headphone is going to impact the effect of the change in output impedance.  Check out, for example, this thread on hd800's and high output impedance amps: http://www.changstar.com/index.php?topic=90.0. 
 
All in all, I certainly would not drop the 2 bills ebay sellers are currently charging for GEC tubes.  I paid $100 for mine, and I doubt I would be inclined to pay that much again.  I like the tube, but I would say that I find myself reaching for my 5998's just as often. If I manage to take my own good advice, I'll stop collecting surplus tubes and save my pennies for the bh dac. 

My favorite a-socket tube is still a tung sol 12bh7.

Hi dubiousmike,

First of all, thank you very much for your superb detailed and helpful advice!

As far as I know and thanks to what you said, I assume that the HD650's ( or 'dark', slow and 'veiled' headphones ) are more suitable to the 5998's as their sound is bright, fast and detailed; whereas the GEC 6AS7G's are for the bright, fast, detailed headphones like the HD800's to give them more mid-bass and 'tubey' sound. Am I right?

And yes, I would definitely save my money for the coming BH DAC. I bet it is gonna be great when paired with the Cracks :D :D

All the best,
Kratos.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: adamct on August 13, 2013, 07:01:12 PM
Honestly, just don't worry about tubes. I don't know how much more plainly to say it.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Aeolus Kratos on August 13, 2013, 07:07:59 PM

I pretty much agree with everything dubiousmike wrote below (except that I paid waaaaaaaaaay more than he did for my GEC 6AS7Gs). A few further notes:

1. I like my GEC because it is quiet, not because it sounds better.
2. The GECs are not the only quiet tubes out there. In particular, I find the 6080s of all brands and prices tend to be quite quiet.
3. I don't notice any differences in bass compared to my 5998s one way or the other, but I frankly haven't tried to compare that and don't plan to. Any differences much be tiny, so I'm not surprised that people fall on both sides of that fence.
4. I wouldn't bother replacing the output tube unless it is somehow broken. Every tube I've tried sounds good... Well, except for the first tube I got, which went kablooey the first time I fired up my Crack (the tube was bad, the amp was fine).
5. I'm using a Mullard 12BH7, but just about every driver tube I've tried has sounded good, too.

Tube rolling just doesn't seem like a wise use of money to me. If you want to tweak the sound of your rig, your money is much, much better spent on headphones (Sennheisers in particular are outstanding with the Crack).

Regards,
Adam
Hi Adam,

Haha, sorry to hear about what you paid for your GEC 6AS7Gs, they have been crazy expensive these day :P

Now I think I would stop collecting premium tubes and wait for the BH DAC, do you know when it will be released and its expected price?

Best,
Kratos.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: adamct on August 13, 2013, 07:28:33 PM
Nope. Nobody does. But I expect it to be at least 2 months away from availability, and probably longer. The design of the digital section isn't finalized. Then Doc needs to handle the analog sections. Then they need to finalize parts. Then write the manual and take pictures. Then they need to source parts and receive them. Then they need to pack and ship. They are working on it, but this won't be done in the next week or four.

I'm sure the Bottlehead team will jump in if I am disseminating misinformation.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: w0lfd0g on August 13, 2013, 10:02:36 PM
Honestly, just don't worry about tubes. I don't know how much more plainly to say it.

 :'(

If only I had heard these words from Adam two months ago.  But, fwiw, I can hear a difference between output tubes in my system.  There is just a disproportionate relationship between the money spent to experience the difference and the magnitude of the differences. 
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Doc B. on August 14, 2013, 06:15:59 AM
I think our design philosophy has probably not been discussed as much as it should lately. Basically, we feel that the sonic impact of the circuit design itself outweighs all of the parts swapping. So the tube rolling and cap swapping that seems to positively consume some builders, while it does certainly have a sonic impact, is just the final tuning step and not a thing that "fixes" a problem. Changing a tube is more like your short brunette girlfriend changed her hairstyle than like you got a new tall blonde one. Some of us wouldn't even notice if Norah Jones got a haircut, but no one is gonna miss the difference between Norah Jones and Charlize Theron.

Everyone should pursue a hobby in such a manner that it gives them maximum satisfaction. I imagine that if some tube and cap rollers spent an equal amount of energy learning as much as possible about how the circuits that they are rolling parts thru work they would find the hobby even more rewarding.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: adamct on August 14, 2013, 07:42:56 AM
I think our design philosophy has probably not been discussed as much as it should lately. Basically, we feel that the sonic impact of the circuit design itself outweighs all of the parts swapping. So the tube rolling and cap swapping that seems to positively consume some builders, while it does certainly have a sonic impact, is just the final tuning step and not a thing that "fixes" a problem. Changing a tube is more like your short brunette girlfriend changed her hairstyle than like you got a new tall blonde one. Some of us wouldn't even notice if Norah Jones got a haircut, but no one is gonna miss the difference between Norah Jones and Charlize Theron.

Everyone should pursue a hobby in such a manner that it gives them maximum satisfaction. I imagine that if some tube and cap rollers spent an equal amount of energy learning as much as possible about how the circuits that they are rolling parts thru work they would find the hobby even more rewarding.

I am, admittedly, a frequent offender. That said, this should be added as a sticky in every product forum.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: earwaxxer on August 14, 2013, 03:05:25 PM
There ideally should be some sort of 'zen' about the whole process. That, of course, is ideal in most, if not all, situations in life, depending one ones philosophy etc. Doc makes some good points. Mindless lust for "better" sound is a "fools errand"... (god I love that pirate shit!) - but what CAN be a positive is getting to know these various parts, relative to how they sound in kit "A" vs speaker crossover "B", vs. whatever. Parts definitely make a "difference". Rolling tubes makes a difference. Its all part of the game. We only have so many years on this earth. Thats why people spend thousands of buccaneers on caps/tubes/yourcurrentobsession
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Mike B on August 14, 2013, 03:45:57 PM
I always roll.  With Bottlehead gear I roll before the stuff even gets here.  Lead time ya know.

I like it, I call it the "research" period.

For Crack, I have a couple of Solen 100 uf poly films 'cause everyone knows that anything is better than electrolytic for coupling caps.

And I got some Sylvania triple mica 6080's and some RCA side getter clear tops.

Why?  Cause Doc said that was what he was going to put in with the first 6 "special deal" orders and I knew I was not in the "6"

Yeah, you talk about how good stock is, but then you ply us with "special" tube offers.

The only valve gear I have that I never rolled tubes in is the K12G kit that started me down this glass path.  It still has the original 10GV8's in it.
Title: My favorite 12au7 for Crack
Post by: John EH on August 16, 2013, 02:36:53 PM
I have built two of these Crack's with Speedball now.  Both amps SHINE with Mullard Box Plate CV4003's.  Best tube in my amps far and above anything else and I have them all I think.

John
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Mike B on August 16, 2013, 03:46:40 PM
I bought one on your rec.

I'm done.  I am getting close to the line.

Never spend more on accessories than you spent on the item to be accessorized.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: w0lfd0g on August 16, 2013, 04:50:54 PM

Never spend more on accessories than you spent on the item to be accessorized.

Spend to whatever level you like, provided:

1. It is within your means
2. It brings you enjoyment

The line is different for everyone, gentlemen. 
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Mike B on August 16, 2013, 05:13:05 PM
Oh, I don't care what anybody else spends, just me.

I figure if I spent more on accessories that I did on the original item, I would have been better off just buying something better in the first place.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: w0lfd0g on August 16, 2013, 05:30:14 PM
That sounds logical to me!   :)

I'm just very happy with the amp I have and its fit with the rest of my system.  I don't mind spending a bit more on optimising it!
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: earwaxxer on August 16, 2013, 05:45:00 PM
I think Nathan has expressed a "truism"  that hits us modders in the gut. We are much more inclined to experiment with kit that was affordable to obtain. I felt that way with the Quickie and my Maggie MMG's. I just went crazy on them. Why not? A great experience that I would have never had with high priced kit. IMO.....
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: palmfish on August 16, 2013, 07:18:52 PM
I got home from a business trip today and my new tubes were waiting for me! CBS 6AS7G and CBS 5814A. I can't tell any difference in sound quality from the stock tubes, but microphonics are much improved. And they look so good!

(https://www.head-fi.org/image/id/4930890/width/900/height/900/flags/LL)

Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Pepper on August 19, 2013, 10:39:32 AM
I ordered a Tung Sol 5998 tube, and so I'm hoping to try that out soon. I hear there is a very noticeable improvement, especially because it is a different design (or something?).

However, I am wondering if replacing the small tube makes a big difference. If so, what type of tubes could I be looking at if I'm going to be working with a Tung Sol 5998 for the big tube?

Thanks!
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: adamct on August 19, 2013, 10:51:27 AM
Read through the last couple of pages in this thread. As far as I'm concerned, the benefits of rolling either tube are quite limited, particularly if you have installed the Speedball. And if you haven't installed the Speedball, then you are far better off installing the Speedball than spending money on tubes. None of the tubes I have tried has been a reliable, significant and cost-effective improvement over the stock tubes, which could very well wind up being less microphonic and noisy than whatever you replace them with, regardless of cost. And note that I say that without evening knowing what stock tubes you received. Why? Because it ultimately doesn't matter what you got with your kit.

Still, some people enjoy rolling tubes, so you won't get any arguments here if you decide to try for yourself. But if you are on the fence and money is tight, you can be secure that you aren't missing out on anything at all. And if you do decide to roll tubes, don't set your expectations too high, or you are likely to be disappointed.

Best regards,
Adam
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: w0lfd0g on August 19, 2013, 11:51:02 PM
Read through the last couple of pages in this thread. As far as I'm concerned, the benefits of rolling either tube are quite limited, particularly if you have installed the Speedball. And if you haven't installed the Speedball, then you are far better off installing the Speedball than spending money on tubes. None of the tubes I have tried has been a reliable, significant and cost-effective improvement over the stock tubes, which could very well wind up being less microphonic and noisy than whatever you replace them with, regardless of cost. And note that I say that without evening knowing what stock tubes you received. Why? Because it ultimately doesn't matter what you got with your kit.

Still, some people enjoy rolling tubes, so you won't get any arguments here if you decide to try for yourself. But if you are on the fence and money is tight, you can be secure that you aren't missing out on anything at all. And if you do decide to roll tubes, don't set your expectations too high, or you are likely to be disappointed.

Best regards,
Adam

+1
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Pepper on August 20, 2013, 06:51:08 PM
Hey guys,

I've done some research, and there's glowing praise for the 12BH7A as a replacement for the 12AU7 in the Bottlehead Crack. I read one post which said there had to be a circuit modification.

Can anyone confirm if the 12BH7A needs any sort of circuit modification to work in the Bottlehead Crack + Speedball upgrade?

Also, having a 12BH7A and a Tung Sol 5998 would work, right? Or is there some circuitry/electronics reason why the two might not work together?

Thank you so much.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Birkeland on August 20, 2013, 07:07:35 PM
With the Speedball, the 12BH7 will function in the circuit, but it changes the operating point of the 6080 pretty dramatically.

I'd remove the red LED's on the 9 pin socket and replace them with 1.2K resistors (1/8W is plenty) to bump up the bias a bit, and bring the plate voltage up to ~90V (with the Speedball).

-PB
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Pepper on August 20, 2013, 07:41:56 PM
With the Speedball, the 12BH7 will function in the circuit, but it changes the operating point of the 6080 pretty dramatically.

I'd remove the red LED's on the 9 pin socket and replace them with 1.2K resistors (1/8W is plenty) to bump up the bias a bit, and bring the plate voltage up to ~90V (with the Speedball).

-PB

Thanks for the great info! You mentioned that it'll change the operating point of the 6080, but if I have a Tung Sol 5998 in, would I still be advised to make the modifications you mentioned?

Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Birkeland on August 21, 2013, 06:36:31 AM
Yes.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Kris on August 21, 2013, 03:26:58 PM
PB,

You said "with the Speedball", do you suggest to do similar mod to stock Crack if I want to try 12BH7 tube?
How about 6SN7 that I'm currently using to drive  Chatham 2399 with my stock crack? Does 6SN7 change the operating point of the 2399 as well or is it going to after I install Speedball?

Please respond.

Thanks,
Kris
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Aeolus Kratos on August 22, 2013, 06:02:41 PM
PB,

You said "with the Speedball", do you suggest to do similar mod to stock Crack if I want to try 12BH7 tube?
How about 6SN7 that I'm currently using to drive  Chatham 2399 with my stock crack? Does 6SN7 change the operating point of the 2399 as well or is it going to after I install Speedball?

Please respond.

Thanks,
Kris

I would like to know this too, I'm using 2399 in my speedballed crack as well. Does 6SN7's change the operating point of the 2399?

Thanks,
Kratos.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Kris on August 23, 2013, 05:40:00 AM
Kratos,
I think PB is on vacation right now, so it may take him a while to respond.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Pepper on August 23, 2013, 08:01:50 PM
I'm thinking of putting a VT-231/6SN7 to replace the 12AU7 using a 6SN7 to 12AU7 adapter. I heard there does not have to be circuit modifications for the stock Crack, but I'm wondering if I need any circuit modifications if I have the Speedball installed?

Thanks!
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: adamct on August 23, 2013, 08:23:40 PM
No.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: w0lfd0g on August 23, 2013, 11:59:23 PM
I have discovered another tube combo that I am digging at the moment:

Output: Tung Sol 7236
Driver: Siemens & Halske ECC82 silver plate

I find it to be more aggressive (and less warm) than my GEC 6AS7G + Mullard ECC80 combo, but tight, clear and an awesome sound stage. 

Does anyone know if I need to make any alterations to the circuit to optimise the Crack for the 7236?  I can't imagine it sounding much better than it does atm. 

If alterations are required for this combo, I am considering building another kit just for kicks and giggles.  One for each of my favourite tube combos.

Cheers

Nathan
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Aeolus Kratos on August 24, 2013, 01:41:00 AM
I'm thinking of putting a VT-231/6SN7 to replace the 12AU7 using a 6SN7 to 12AU7 adapter. I heard there does not have to be circuit modifications for the stock Crack, but I'm wondering if I need any circuit modifications if I have the Speedball installed?

Thanks!

Hi Pepper,

No, you won't have to do any mods if you want to use a 6SN7 in your Crack.

You can check my review here:
http://www.bottlehead.com/smf/index.php/topic,4679.15.html

Best,
Kratos.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: lior.amsalem on August 27, 2013, 10:35:25 AM
Hi all  :)
Finally pulled the trigger on 5998 today (ordered from http://www.vacuumtubes.net/), hope to feel the excitement again like all the past upgrades (sb, output caps, dac upgrade, etc...)

wish me luck  ;)

Lior
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Aeolus Kratos on August 28, 2013, 01:35:06 AM
Hi all  :)
Finally pulled the trigger on 5998 today (ordered from http://www.vacuumtubes.net/), hope to feel the excitement again like all the past upgrades (sb, output caps, dac upgrade, etc...)

wish me luck  ;)

Lior

Hi Lior,

Nice! I bought my Chatham 2399 from vacuumtubes.net too. My Chatham has some bits of glass inside, but it works perfectly fine so it does not bother me very much. The 5998 is absolutely great, although I still think it's a little bit expensive.

Good luck with your purchase and happy listening!

Kratos.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Birkeland on August 29, 2013, 08:21:01 AM
Hello Gents,

Yes, I was out in the middle of nowhere (Wyoming/Montana).

With the stock Crack and the 12BH7, I would recommend:

2.5V bias
5mA current
75V plate

The 2.5V of bias and 5mA of current means a pair of 500 Ohm cathode resistors in place of the LED's.
Getting 75V on the plates from the raw power supply means the 22K plate load resistors should become 17K, with a 2W rating.

-PB
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Kris on August 29, 2013, 09:08:52 AM
Many thanks Paul for explanation.
Also, can you please post your answer to second part of my original question about 6SN7 tube? Does the 6SN7 change operating point of the 2399 or maybe it's going to after I install Speedball?

Thanks in advance,
Kris
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Birkeland on August 29, 2013, 09:35:00 AM
The 6SN7 will function with the stock parts.

-PB
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: lior.amsalem on August 29, 2013, 10:36:27 AM
While waiting for my 5998, I'm really enjoying my new Mullard set (6as7g with 12au7) :)
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Kris on August 29, 2013, 10:37:36 AM
Thank you PB.
Title: I know its been said many times before, but Holy Cow!
Post by: Downhome Upstate on September 18, 2013, 08:58:19 AM
I stopped playing around with bypassing the Dayton film caps in the Crack, and rolled in a 'platinum' NOS Mullard CV4003 from Upscale. More prominent (and fuller) mids, more air around instruments for sure, deeper bass, but there was still something missing.

Got a vintage RCA 6080 from Jim McShane, replaced the stock Sylvania 6080 with the RCA tube and, Whoa, Nelly!!  I'm just about not believing what I'm hearing thru the HD600s with this combination.

Why did it take me so long to discover this? I wasted several thousand dollars looking for what I could have had for closer to $750.

A Crack and a pair of high impedance 'phones ought to be mandatory continuing auditory education before folks go spending big bucks on audio gear chasing 'the absolute sound'.
Title: Re: I know its been said many times before, but Holy Cow!
Post by: Mike B on September 18, 2013, 09:56:14 AM
I got excellent results with the "incentive" tubes Dan offered to the first "lucky 6"

An NOS Sylvania triple mica 6080 and an NOS RCA clear top side getter.

Both bought off ebay for about $12 each
Title: Re: I know its been said many times before, but Holy Cow!
Post by: John EH on September 18, 2013, 06:38:16 PM
I got excellent results with the "incentive" tubes Dan offered to the first "lucky 6"

An NOS Sylvania triple mica 6080 and an NOS RCA clear top side getter.

Both bought off ebay for about $12 each

I've got some JAN Phillips triple mica 6080's which are probably the same rebranded tube that are the best of the 6080's I've heard.

Still the best 12au7 in my cracks are the CV4003 Mullard box plates.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Mike B on September 19, 2013, 07:27:01 AM
I did get one of those box plates and it does sound the best.  A little richer in the mids I would say.

And I do mean a little.  It cost $85.  I would much rather have 6 RCA clear tops.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Birkeland on September 19, 2013, 07:27:37 AM
I did get one of those box plates and it does sound the best.  A little richer in the mids I would say.

And I do mean a little.  It cost $85.  I would much rather have 6 RCA clear tops.

Ouch, I just snagged a pair for $20 :(
Title: New Tube Chatham 5998
Post by: John EH on September 29, 2013, 09:43:12 PM
Finally pulled the trigger on a Chatham Tung-Sol 5998 and WOW! much better than the 6080 in my opinion.  Tighter bass. Much more clarity. 

Crack is even more amazing!

John
Title: Re: New Tube Chatham 5998
Post by: Loquah on September 29, 2013, 11:14:40 PM
Have you ever hear a GEC 6AS7G brown base, John? I love mine, but I've never heard a 5998 to compare it with.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: John EH on October 04, 2013, 01:50:57 PM
Never heard one.

This Chatham Tung-Sol 5998 is where its at.  Best 6080 variant I've heard to date.

I'm streaming MOG now listening to Dylan and I'm blown away.  The 5998 is a bit expensive but worth the money if you ask me.

Looks cooler too.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: w0lfd0g on October 04, 2013, 01:55:44 PM
Having my farewell session with the Crack atm.  Tung Sol 7236 + 1959 Amperex 7316 with D Getter - Heaven. 

But tube rolling has been too addictive for me.  Going SS for a while.  Selling my Crack, all my tubes and my tube tester.

So long and thanks for all the fish.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Natural Sound on October 04, 2013, 02:25:25 PM
Having my farewell session with the Crack atm.  Tung Sol 7236 + 1959 Amperex 7316 with D Getter - Heaven. 

But tube rolling has been too addictive for me.  Going SS for a while.  Selling my Crack, all my tubes and my tube tester.

So long and thanks for all the fish.

You'll be back.  ;)
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: John EH on October 04, 2013, 04:21:36 PM
Having my farewell session with the Crack atm.  Tung Sol 7236 + 1959 Amperex 7316 with D Getter - Heaven. 

But tube rolling has been too addictive for me.  Going SS for a while.  Selling my Crack, all my tubes and my tube tester.

So long and thanks for all the fish.

What kind of tube tester do you have?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: w0lfd0g on October 04, 2013, 04:53:52 PM
Hi John

It's just a emissions tester, but quite a nice one: Precision Apparatus 612 (with manual, tube test data and updates).  Hardwired for Australian voltage and digitally modified to reduce warm up time (I'm quoting the person I bought it from).

Cheers
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Birkeland on October 05, 2013, 08:07:45 AM
I have a 612 as well.  It tends to be uncommon to find a tester with all the old jumbo sockets - this one was just the ticket!
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: JamieMcC on October 11, 2013, 11:02:02 PM
Hi I am after a little help.

I note the Brimar 13D5 tube is not listed in post 1 "drop in equivalents" list but have seen it listed as a 12UA7 direct replacement I am a bit wary of taking "direct replacement" comments as gospel?

Has anyone used or are using a in their Crack if so could you please share your views on it.

Cheers

Edit I just finished reading all 40 odd pages of this thread over the last week its been quiet educational for a newbie and given me plenty of ideas of what tubes to look out for and different combinations to try when my Crack gets delivered so thanks guys. 
Title: 6080 tube
Post by: audiophileboss on October 12, 2013, 03:46:56 PM
What other soze tubes can I use other than 6080?
Title: Re: 6080 tube
Post by: fullheadofnothing on October 12, 2013, 03:58:43 PM
http://www.bottlehead.com/smf/index.php/topic,663.0.html
Title: Re: 6080 tube
Post by: JamieMcC on October 12, 2013, 10:21:59 PM
I have just finished reading through all the posts on the tube rolling thread and found it very worth while to do so lots of info.

This one is full of info also.

http://www.bottlehead.com/smf/index.php?topic=3453.0
Title: Re: 6080 tube
Post by: Nick Tam on October 24, 2013, 01:10:25 AM
I have just finished reading through all the posts on the tube rolling thread and found it very worth while to do so lots of info.

This one is full of info also.

http://www.bottlehead.com/smf/index.php?topic=3453.0

Surprise is, ever since I wrote that article the only tube I've been using is the GB6080 from Sylvania. If it weren't so rare I'd happily recommend it over the 5998 any day for affordable tube rolling
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: m17xr2b on October 24, 2013, 01:41:36 AM
Let me share my tube experience with the crack:
Sylvania 6080GB - Like Nick Tam said in his review it's the most liquid tube. I prefer it for it's musicality over the 5998.
Bendix 6080 - Most detail tube for the crack hands down. It beats the 5998, more microdetail, larger soundstage, deeper bass.
Tung Sol 5998 Very good all round tube
I also have other 6080 tubes like Sylvania, RCA, Raytheon and do a fine job but nothing special.
CBS 5814WA/A - Holy grail for Crack in my opinion. Others tubes in the 5814/12AU7 family sound muffled in my opinion compared to these. The combination with Bendix 6080 takes my HD700 to a whole different level. I read a review on some tube and there was a comment that the Best 12AU7 are 6SN7. The way how he described the 6SN7 tubes compared to the 12AU7/5814 family is exactly the same way I found the CBS tubes. Very detailed, excellent synergy with TungSol/Bendix/Sylvania GB. They are so good that I bought three just to have some backups.
Sylvania 5814A. Good allround tube, not quite at the level of the CBS.

I loved my tube rolling experience but sadly everything has to go since I am considering a Mainline. 

Bottlehead Crack + Speedball + Mundorf Output caps.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Grainger49 on October 24, 2013, 01:50:16 AM
When you decide to unload, check with Dan first, and then post your auctions here.  Always give Bottleheads a first dibs.

I have been giving away LPs for a couple of years (I get postage) here.  And that will pick up again now I have the newly bought ones cleaned.

Dan, if I am out of line, I'll delete this post.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Zia Warrior Princess on December 02, 2013, 01:01:05 PM
Hey y'all,

I'm looking for an input tube that would pair well with my new TS5998. I'm looking for something that will bring the mids a little more forward and bring some more punch down low. My current headphone is the Senn HD650. I'm almost there guys; I can feel myself getting closer to audio nirvana.

(https://forum.bottlehead.com/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi.imgur.com%2Fr9FJe.gif&hash=71a031c5b84c9e0eafe79c8468363051)

Thanks,
Zia Warrior Princess
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: serpent68 on December 03, 2013, 01:32:31 AM
I use the Amperex 7316 with the TS 5998 in my crack.  Really wonderful pairing.. the mids are fleshed out, both ends are extended and the soundstage is huge.  I did try the Siemens silver plate 12au7 but found it a bit too lean for my taste.  Btw, I'm using the Beyer T90.

I've ordered a Philips E80CC which should be arriving in a week's time. I was told its even better than the 7316.. we'll see. :)
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Aeolus Kratos on December 03, 2013, 04:48:35 AM
I use the Amperex 7316 with the TS 5998 in my crack.  Really wonderful pairing.. the mids are fleshed out, both ends are extended and the soundstage is huge.  I did try the Siemens silver plate 12au7 but found it a bit too lean for my taste.  Btw, I'm using the Beyer T90.

I've ordered a Philips E80CC which should be arriving in a week's time. I was told its even better than the 7316.. we'll see. :)
I have a Philips E80CC and Tungsram E80CC, which is told to be even better than the Philips. And they are all wonderful, but unfortunately I did not have any chance to listen to the 7316. Please post your impressions as soon as you receive your tubes. Because I deciding to get a 7316 :)

Thanks in advance,
Kratos.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Ritchie on December 04, 2013, 01:21:40 AM
I really like the Mullard cv4003 box plate with the TS 5998. When using a 6080 I like the RCA clear top. The previous is my first choice though.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: JamieMcC on December 04, 2013, 09:47:03 AM
I really like the Mullard cv4003 box plate with the TS 5998. When using a 6080 I like the RCA clear top. The previous is my first choice though.

What type of headphones are using with that combination?

I have what I think is a Mullard cv4003 box plate but have been reluctant to try it due to the fact there are no markings remaining on the glass which seems quiet thick and has what appears on the inside of the glass to be a very fine textured surface. It was in with some other tubes marked 12au7 which have all been ok

I am thinking its probable to old to be any good but would like to give it a try if it is a 12au7 but I don't want to risk damaging the amp if its not suitable.

[(https://forum.bottlehead.com/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fcdn.head-fi.org%2F4%2F4a%2F200x200px-ZC-4a71d0c3_003.jpeg&hash=8b819e780e0f3023b2dff9dbb4c5efff)
(https://forum.bottlehead.com/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fcdn.head-fi.org%2F2%2F25%2F200x200px-ZC-254cb23e_004.jpeg&hash=749bf8be94003ba2cc05b7bd5241e8d4)
(https://forum.bottlehead.com/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fcdn.head-fi.org%2F0%2F03%2F200x200px-ZC-03c6cf20_008.jpeg&hash=12fdf1575757f1ae99b11047ca25378f)
(https://forum.bottlehead.com/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fcdn.head-fi.org%2F3%2F31%2F200x200px-ZC-31a723bd_011.jpeg&hash=2a8b7a3937fbca75bcf61f976f9c5ce4)
(https://forum.bottlehead.com/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fcdn.head-fi.org%2F0%2F05%2F200x200px-ZC-05f00e56_009.jpeg&hash=3ba31a8b35b0c5896d3e00ccb380eb66)
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Zia Warrior Princess on December 04, 2013, 05:54:02 PM
Hey y'all,

I got a good deal on an Amperex bugle boy E82CC. I'll also be looking into finding the others recommended. I'll be back with my impressions when I get it. I ordered it to my brother's place in Chicago (I live in Toronto) but he wont be back until christmas.  :'( 
Title: Question Re: Raytheon 6080WB?
Post by: ryhaigh on December 04, 2013, 06:14:00 PM
I have seen some 6080WB tubes on the forums that are recommended when labelled Bendix/Tung-Sol. I have very little knowledge and I am trying to learn more about tube-rolling. I have a possibility of buying a Raytheon 6080WB from the 70's.  Does the listed company and the year matter?

If not, how aurally disparate would the difference be? (if possible to even predict)

Thanks!

Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Ritchie on December 05, 2013, 02:48:15 AM
That sure looks like a Mullard box plate, if you have access to a tube tester that would help identify it. Maybe some of the experts on here could give you more ideas to determine if it is a 12au7. I am using the crack as a preamp in my audio system not as a headphone amp, so tube selection could be different.
Try a few combinations until you find your preferred sound.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Birkeland on December 05, 2013, 03:51:51 AM
You can run that Mullard in the Crack with no 6080, then measure the voltages at T1 and T5.  If they are 70-90V, you have a 12AU7.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: JamieMcC on December 05, 2013, 07:27:31 AM
You can run that Mullard in the Crack with no 6080, then measure the voltages at T1 and T5.  If they are 70-90V, you have a 12AU7.

Thanks Paul  that's a useful thing to know. It checked out and sounds ok at low/average levels but starts to distort quickly when the volumes turned up a bit. Listening to some Simon and Garfunkel live from New York city 1967 with it at the mo its not bad with the vocals and with the acoustic guitars. But its probably seen better days.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: JamieMcC on December 05, 2013, 07:56:56 AM
I really like the Mullard cv4003 box plate with the TS 5998. When using a 6080 I like the RCA clear top. The previous is my first choice though.

+1 

5998 RCA clear top is a nice combo with the HD650 but is a touch tinny with the T1's I tend to match these with a Mullard ECC82.

I do have a Tung-Sol JTL 12AU7 early 1950's which pairs well with the 5998 and works well with both headphones above it still has that higher definition of the clear top that works well with the HD650 but doesn't sound tinny or over the top with the T1's .

I would like to try one of those Tung sol 12au7 black glass tubes. They seem to have good write ups and I am curious to how a more premium 12au7 tube will compare to the E80cc's which quiet a few like here.
 

Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: serpent68 on December 12, 2013, 01:17:28 AM
I recently bought a nice pair of Sylvania 12BH7 from ebay to try out in place of the Amperex 7316.  When I installed it, there was a loud buzzing sound on both channels.  Same buzzing sound with the other tube in the pair.  When I put back the Amperex 7316, everything was back to normal (thankfully!).

Anyone can help explain why there is a buzzing sound?  Is the 12BH7 not a drop in replacement in the crack? Or could both the Sylvania 12BH7 be faulty? By the way, I have the speedball upgrade and running a TS 5998.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Grainger49 on December 12, 2013, 02:25:30 AM
This thread has 12AU7 equivalents in it.  It also applies to Crack.  The parameters on a 12BH7 is not the same as a 12AU7.  The 12BH7 is used as a regulator in the Eros.  Has someone suggested the 12BH7 in this thread?  Did it work for them?

http://www.bottlehead.com/smf/index.php/topic,1027.0.html

I see now that Caucasian Blackplate (Paul) recommends changes to the circuit if you use a 12BH7. 

Here: http://www.bottlehead.com/smf/index.php/topic,663.msg45798/topicseen.html#msg45798
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: serpent68 on December 12, 2013, 03:17:42 AM
Thanks Grainger.  I've read the post from PB, and I also remembered reading about not needing the mod if the speedball is installed.

In any case, I was expecting that the worst case scenario would be a loss of sound quality.  Did not expect such a dramatic loud buzzing sound  :o.  Still wondering if the 12BH7 tubes are defective.

I also have a pair of Philips E80CC coming my way from Ukraine to try out as the driver tube.  Any advice on compatibility issues with the E80CC, and do I need to make any mod to the stock crack + speedball to accomodate it? 
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Doc B. on December 12, 2013, 06:06:24 AM
Buzzing means there was a bad ground connection. It was probably bad contact of one or more of the tube pins in the tube socket. It's not because it was a 12BH7, more likely corroded tube pins or just a bad tube.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: serpent68 on December 12, 2013, 02:22:41 PM
Thanks Doc.  I checked the pins on both the 12BH7 and they look fine.  Its strange that both tubes had such a loud buzzing sound, even with the volume turned off.  The 7316 tube is totally silent, so I do not think its the crack.

Is there any way to check out the tube without plugging into the amp?  I don't have a tube tester and I'm reluctant to plug the 12BH7 back into the crack again for fear of damaging it... I'm totally in love with my crack and any damage to it would devastate me.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Birkeland on December 12, 2013, 04:39:48 PM
Buy a different 12BH7.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: onelivewire on December 12, 2013, 06:51:59 PM
Hey everyone, I'm the lucky new owner of a crack+speedball kit, and I need some advice! I'll be using the crack to replace my schiit valhalla, which I run along with some beyerdynamic t1s. Good recordings sound great thru the valhalla, but there is no forgiveness for poorly mixed treble, and darker tubes seem to fix this for the t1s (at least, on my roomie's darkvoice). I was wondering what tubes you guys might recommend for bringing out a bit of bass in the t1s, and especially curbing the treble. I've read through some of the posts here, and saw the Mullard ECC82 recommended for the t1s, along with the standard 5998. Is this a good start for the t1s? Are there other respected pairings for the t1s? Thanks much in advance, I am new to the forum, so I hope I'm not breaking any rules! :P
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Birkeland on December 12, 2013, 07:59:11 PM
For less treble, the newer Russian 12AU7's should help out a bit. Also, not using a digital source is potentially more helpful than any tube rolling.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: serpent68 on December 12, 2013, 09:42:02 PM
I have the Beyer T90 running with crack + speedball.  Currently using the TS 5998 with Amperex 7316.  Very nice and balanced combo, the T90 does not sound harsh at all.  The mids are full bodied and the highs are sweet, not shrill.  I've also tried the Siemens 12AU7 silver plates, but it tilted the T90 to the bright side a bit.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: JamieMcC on December 13, 2013, 12:31:13 AM
I've read through some of the posts here, and saw the Mullard ECC82 recommended for the t1s, along with the standard 5998. Is this a good start for the t1s? Are there other respected pairings for the t1s? Thanks much in advance, I am new to the forum, so I hope I'm not breaking any rules! :P

I think its a great place to start and will be very good as a reference for future rolling. Let us know how you get on.

I am running the T1 Crack + Speedball with 5998 at the moment and had started taking a few notes to use as a base line for future choices, its in rather raw form at the moment as it
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: onelivewire on December 14, 2013, 11:23:02 PM
Thanks for all the replies guys! From what everyone's saying, it sounds like I'll be looking into those 5998s with the Mullard ECC82s for my first new set. As far as source goes, I always prefer to listen to vinyl when it's available, and generally there's no treble issue. However, most unsigned, independent artists don't have the money for pressing records :( so an enjoyable digital source is pretty necessary for me and my eclectic music tastes :P

Thanks again everyone!
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: JamieMcC on December 21, 2013, 11:32:14 PM
Can anybody help with identifying which variant or age of Mullard 6080 this is? I am positive its a Mullard as the older style edge and bottom of the shield logo is faintly discernible as are the 8 & 0. It has triple spiky mica and double halo getters each off of its own set of goalposts.

In the gap between the second and third mica there is some black plates shielding? It would be nice to know the correct name for this metal plate also.

(https://www.head-fi.org/image/id/5460695/width/900/height/900/flags/LL)

(https://forum.bottlehead.com/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fcdn.head-fi.org%2Fa%2Fa0%2F900x900px-LL-a053f8a2_036.jpeg&hash=d09260bd96c601d51078aa7c9b85caac)

(https://www.head-fi.org/image/id/5460640/width/900/height/900/flags/LL)

(https://www.head-fi.org/image/id/5460641/width/900/height/900/flags/LL)

Thanks if anyone can help.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Chris65 on December 22, 2013, 12:55:45 AM
I recently picked up a NOS Mullard 6080, it has similarities to your photos. The date code on it is 'AJ1 R0F4' which I think dates it to June 1970, Mitchum factory.
Only top 2 mica are 'spiky' & single halo getter with no shield at the top like yours. Likely yours is earlier?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: ffivaz on December 22, 2013, 04:25:51 AM
I have a RCA 6080, quite "recent", that has the exact same construction, especially with the metal base. I use it in my Crack since the beginning. It's dead silent, non microphonic. It tried a bunch of 6as7g and always came back to the 6080.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: JamieMcC on December 22, 2013, 08:02:49 AM
I am really liking  the Mullard 6080 and its giving my 5998's a real run for the money at a fraction of the price. I wouldn't like to do a blind test and I nearly didn't even try it!

It was in a box of three mixed 6080 I picked up for a few pounds brought really just as spares in case of problem with the build, 1xrca  1xtung sol  (which I dropped and broke) and the Mullard which was just ignored as at the time as I could not make out the markings which were left on the tube at all.  Then the 5998's and GEC brown base arrived and I never got round to plugging it in. I was having a round up of a few tubes to move on and pulled it out had a look with the magnifying glass identified it plugged it in and suddenly hmm its got me questioning the need and cost of the 5998's.  It even sounds good with some of my cheapie 12au7s.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: serpent68 on December 30, 2013, 09:56:43 PM
Buy a different 12BH7.

I finally received a pair of Philips E80CC and a pair of Tungsram E80CC from Ukraine after 1 month of shipping time.  When I plug the E80CC, the same (very) loud buzzing sound was heard through the headphone.  Similar result with the Sylvania 12BH7 and Tungsram E80CC.

I replaced the TS 5998 with a Bendix 6080WB.  No buzzing sound at start up, and the music is fine.  Swapped in my second (spare) TS5998, and the same loud buzzing sound is back.

Could it be a compatibility issue between the TS 5998 and 12BH7/E80CC?

The TS 5998 works with 12AU7, 7316, and 6SN7 (with adapter).  Extremely loud buzzing sound with 12BH7 and E80CC, even with the volume turned down.

Anyone with similar experience?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Birkeland on December 31, 2013, 09:06:19 AM
What're the voltages at terminals 1, 5, 7, and 9 with the BH7 and 5998?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: bdr529 on December 31, 2013, 10:40:28 AM
I get a loud buzzing on my 5998 too, at least for the first minute as the tubes warm up. After that it becomes completely silent. I checked the voltages and everything was within 10-15%, so I don't know.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Birkeland on December 31, 2013, 11:15:44 AM
Can you post what they are?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: bdr529 on December 31, 2013, 11:38:15 AM
I can get them Friday when I go back to work after the holiday. I was using the equipment there today to measure it, but I didn't write anything down as I checked it. I remember the high voltages were about 5-10% above the ones in the manual. Is the buzzing a bad sign?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: bdr529 on December 31, 2013, 01:16:05 PM
Okay, new discovery. The buzzing is only present if the volume is at 0. As soon as I move it away from zero the amp goes silent. That is interesting.

Sorry to bring this into the rolling thread, I had already mentioned this in another thread, but i just saw that someone else had a similar problem...
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: serpent68 on December 31, 2013, 03:17:47 PM
Thanks for the input.  Unfortunately, I'm not able to verify the voltages right now because I just loaned out the 5998 to a good mate for a couple of weeks to try out in his amp.  Really strange phenomena, I am suspecting if there is something wrong with my pair of 5998.

My initial voltage check was near perfect, but it was done with the stock GE 6080 + 12AU7 tubes.  Would a different type of tube pose a different set of voltage readings?

Running in the Bendix 6080 + Philips E80CC right now.  Sound is very similar to the 5998 + 7316, and I may like this new combo a bit better because it is a shade more dynamic and has better bass slam.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: bdr529 on January 04, 2014, 07:46:07 PM
I wasn't able to measure the voltages Friday, but pretty sure it is just a bad tube. My other tubes work fine.


With the Speedball, the 12BH7 will function in the circuit, but it changes the operating point of the 6080 pretty dramatically.

I'd remove the red LED's on the 9 pin socket and replace them with 1.2K resistors (1/8W is plenty) to bump up the bias a bit, and bring the plate voltage up to ~90V (with the Speedball).

-PB

With this change is the circuit still suitable for 12AU7 tubes?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Birkeland on January 04, 2014, 07:53:12 PM
I wasn't able to measure the voltages Friday, but pretty sure it is just a bad tube. My other tubes work fine.


With the Speedball, the 12BH7 will function in the circuit, but it changes the operating point of the 6080 pretty dramatically.

I'd remove the red LED's on the 9 pin socket and replace them with 1.2K resistors (1/8W is plenty) to bump up the bias a bit, and bring the plate voltage up to ~90V (with the Speedball).

-PB

With this change is the circuit still suitable for 12AU7 tubes?

Not particularly, no.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: bdr529 on January 04, 2014, 09:32:22 PM
Is it worse than running a 12BH7 without the mod? Or should I really just pick one or the other and stick with it?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: NightFlight on January 05, 2014, 07:09:24 AM
I can't seem to beat the stock tubes.
I got an RCA WA6080 and a some USA made white labelled 5814A, but all white silk screen has been mostly rubbed off.

I've tried:

I'm pretty happy with my stock input tube. I'm fairly certain its a halo getter GE 1960-61 5814A seen here:
(https://www.tubeworld.com/5814ap1.jpg)

In both cases of the input and driver tube I keep going back to the stock tubes for a sublime listening experience.  My original complaint with the RCA 6080WA is that it was too intimate and muddy. The speedball seems to have cleared up the mud - but it remains a hair intimate for my liking. In retrospect I also slightly preferred the stock Crack over the speedball - it seemed slightly more honest.

I'm picky, I know. 

Is there a output cap thread? I'm looking to retrieve a little more detail from the crack. I'm on a budget for the next year or so otherwise I would be building a mainline by now. What mods can I make? I'm thinking the component upgrades. What are the best suggestions - or is this a thread on its own?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Birkeland on January 05, 2014, 07:59:07 AM
Or should I really just pick one or the other and stick with it?

Yes
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: serpent68 on January 05, 2014, 08:46:24 PM
Is it worse than running a 12BH7 without the mod? Or should I really just pick one or the other and stick with it?

I've given up trying to figure out the cause of the buzzing sound at start-up.  I pair the TS 5998 exclusively with the Amperex 7316, and the Bendix 6080WB with the Philips E80CC.  Both combinations sound excellent.

Has anyone tried the Svetlana Winged C 6H13C?  These are relatively cheap on ebay, I wonder if they are any good in the Crack. 
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: ashneel on January 05, 2014, 10:29:10 PM
Is it worse than running a 12BH7 without the mod? Or should I really just pick one or the other and stick with it?

I've given up trying to figure out the cause of the buzzing sound at start-up.  I pair the TS 5998 exclusively with the Amperex 7316, and the Bendix 6080WB with the Philips E80CC.  Both combinations sound excellent.

Has anyone tried the Svetlana Winged C 6H13C?  These are relatively cheap on ebay, I wonder if they are any good in the Crack.

Dude where did you get the Bendix? I want to them out. I have a couple of TS5998 and paired with a Mullard ECC82, I love the sound. I'll be curious to see if it can get any better with the Bendix
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: serpent68 on January 06, 2014, 04:03:37 AM
Is it worse than running a 12BH7 without the mod? Or should I really just pick one or the other and stick with it?

I've given up trying to figure out the cause of the buzzing sound at start-up.  I pair the TS 5998 exclusively with the Amperex 7316, and the Bendix 6080WB with the Philips E80CC.  Both combinations sound excellent.

Has anyone tried the Svetlana Winged C 6H13C?  These are relatively cheap on ebay, I wonder if they are any good in the Crack.

Dude where did you get the Bendix? I want to them out. I have a couple of TS5998 and paired with a Mullard ECC82, I love the sound. I'll be curious to see if it can get any better with the Bendix

I got the Bendix off a seller from the HeadFi forum.  Its a really hard tube to find, I'm also looking out for another one as  a spare.

The Bendix has better dynamics and bass slam compared to the TS 5998.  It also sounds more linear and clean as well.  On the other hand, the TS 5998 has a fuller mid range and is airier and more transparent at the top.  Much like triode vs ultra-linear modes in an amp.  I'm perfectly happy with either one, both are excellent tubes in their own rights.
 
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: bdr529 on January 08, 2014, 03:17:08 PM
What're the voltages at terminals 1, 5, 7, and 9 with the BH7 and 5998?

Okay got voltages. This is with the 1.2K resistor mod. Speedball is installed.

With the BH7 and 6080. No problems.
1 - 108
5 - 105
7 - 130 no change with volume
9 - 125 no change with volume

With the BH7 and 5998. Buzzing at 0 volume.
1 - 105
5 - 105
7 - 114  volume > 0
7-  109 volume = 0
9 - 112 volume > 0
9 - 100 volume = 0

Thanks
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: NightFlight on January 08, 2014, 03:26:18 PM
Oh, I don't care what anybody else spends, just me.

I figure if I spent more on accessories that I did on the original item, I would have been better off just buying something better in the first place.

Sorry, to dredge this up but I came across it as a result of a search.

I couldn't disagree more. I believe tweaking existing circuits can bring about sonic improvements that are not otherwise possible with design changes. You can have the best circuit design in the world, but if you use crappy parts, your going to muddy the water and you'll never realize the full potential. It's a cumulative effect. Alternately, one bad part in the signal path can impact the whole circuit.

Good design with good parts is the way to go.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Birkeland on January 08, 2014, 03:36:03 PM
Oh, I don't care what anybody else spends, just me.

I figure if I spent more on accessories that I did on the original item, I would have been better off just buying something better in the first place.

Sorry, to dredge this up but I came across it as a result of a search.

I couldn't disagree more. I believe tweaking existing circuits can bring about sonic improvements that are not otherwise possible with design changes. You can have the best circuit design in the world, but if you use crappy parts, your going to muddy the water and you'll never realize the full potential. It's a cumulative effect. Alternately, one bad part in the signal path can impact the whole circuit.

Good design with good parts is the way to go.

I'd say the opposite. You can spend $1200 on tweaks to the Quickie, and it won't sound as good as a stock BeePre. You'd be amazed at how many Sterophile class A components use inexpensive parts.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: galyons on January 08, 2014, 04:20:04 PM
You'd be amazed at how many Sterophile class A components use inexpensive parts.

Which is why most of us are, likely, here.  Every product is built to a price point.  Many time parts are substituted that are not necessarily the best design spec, but are in inventory and cheaper because of the quantity purchased.  From a manufacturing/inventory control aspect, it is usually not good business to purchase and stock the "perfect" component for each use.  But, as a DIY'er, I probably can, to my budget and taste.  Big difference!

Cheers,
Geary
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Birkeland on January 08, 2014, 08:16:19 PM
Yeah, on the other end, there are the guys who buy poorly designed single ended amps from overseas, then expect replacing some capacitors to take the performance of such an amplifier well beyond what it could ever be. 

Throwing money at boutique parts won't fix a design issue, but a different design will. 

Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: galyons on January 08, 2014, 08:31:20 PM
Yeah, on the other end, there are the guys who buy poorly designed single ended amps from overseas, then expect replacing some capacitors to take the performance of such an amplifier well beyond what it could ever be. 

Throwing money at boutique parts won't fix a design issue, but a different design will.

Totally agree.  A good design can be made to sound better, or perhaps more accurately, to one's taste, with some well chosen quality parts.  (Please note that $$$ cost or boutique labels are no guarantee of quality!)  Nothing helps a bad design other than starting over with a clean breadboard!

Cheers,
Geary
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: bdr529 on January 09, 2014, 02:43:16 AM
Caucasian Blackplate, any thoughts on the voltages you asked for?

http://www.bottlehead.com/smf/index.php/topic,663.msg53263.html#msg53263

Thanks

Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Birkeland on January 09, 2014, 07:08:59 AM
Caucasian Blackplate, any thoughts on the voltages you asked for?

http://www.bottlehead.com/smf/index.php/topic,663.msg53263.html#msg53263

Thanks

I don't see anything in there that would explain any buzzing.

-PB
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: NightFlight on January 09, 2014, 05:00:45 PM
Weird, I've been listening to the 5814/6808WA combo very happily for the last couple weeks. Now a couple drinks and relaxed evening - totally called for the RCA clear top. The 5814 sounded completely rolled off to me tonight, but it never has before. The detail in the top end of the RCA is just great.

Is it the Alcohol?  :o
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: ashneel on January 09, 2014, 06:41:05 PM
Weird, I've been listening to the 5814/6808WA combo very happily for the last couple weeks. Now a couple drinks and relaxed evening - totally called for the RCA clear top. The 5814 sounded completely rolled off to me tonight, but it never has before. The detail in the top end of the RCA is just great.

Is it the Alcohol?  :o
Booze just makes everything look and sound better  ;D
The clear tops always sounded piercing to me...even with RCA 6AS7Gs + HD650
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: SNSDluv on January 10, 2014, 10:07:27 AM
Hey guys,

I am looking to replace my output tube as it appears to be producing humming sound in the background. I am currently running it with Modi from Schiit and HD700. I am wondering what is a good tube. I am looking for something that is warm, more prompt bass and less treble? Thanks!
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Natural Sound on January 10, 2014, 11:25:06 AM
Hey guys,

I am looking to replace my output tube as it appears to be producing humming sound in the background. I am currently running it with Modi from Schiit and HD700. I am wondering what is a good tube. I am looking for something that is warm, more prompt bass and less treble? Thanks!
Welcome to the forum!

A while back I bought a quantity of used 6080/6AS7 on E-Bay (untested and cheap). It helps to have a tester but isnt entirely necessary. I had to cull out a couple of duds but in general I wound up with a nice collection to roll through. I found that I always came back to a 6AS7G Chatham from the late 1940's. Good thing too because there were a couple of them in the lot I bought.

Sometimes you can pick up a mixed lot for about the same price as a single new or NOS tube. That way you can do some rolling of your own. You might just find one that is extra special in your system.

Aside from my experiences there are 45 pages of discussion in this thread. I'd recommend, if you haven't done so already, spending a little time reading through them. 

Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: JamieMcC on January 10, 2014, 11:28:32 AM
Hey guys,

I am looking to replace my output tube as it appears to be producing humming sound in the background. I am currently running it with Modi from Schiit and HD700. I am wondering what is a good tube. I am looking for something that is warm, more prompt bass and less treble? Thanks!

Something like these perhaps a mix of 6as7g and 6080 keep any you like sell the rest

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Lot-of-4-tubes-6AS7G-6AS7GA-6080WA-tested-/281240887187?pt=Vintage_Electronics_R2&hash=item417b435f93
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: dimitris on January 15, 2014, 08:51:13 PM
Hi guys,

Just joining the forum as I have bought a crack with speedball. I am really liking this amp but I am a complete noob when it comes to tubes. I was able to find a Tung-Sol 5998 for the output tube and I have been wondering whether I could use a few spare 6CG7 or 6922 in the input socket that I have left from my speaker amp.

Thanks!
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: ffivaz on January 16, 2014, 02:03:43 AM
6922 and 6cg7 are not direct replacements of the 12au7 tube. I would not try them in the Crack.

The 5998 is an excellent tube, many people here rave about it.

Best wishes
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Grainger49 on January 18, 2014, 04:56:16 AM
Look at the first post.  The drop in equivalent list has been gone over well and should be correct.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: NightFlight on January 24, 2014, 03:19:10 AM
Yeah, on the other end, there are the guys who buy poorly designed single ended amps from overseas, then expect replacing some capacitors to take the performance of such an amplifier well beyond what it could ever be. 

Throwing money at boutique parts won't fix a design issue, but a different design will.

True. But that wasn't what I was saying. I'm saying that well designed circuits are frequently subject to oversight. Obviously, I'm not saying BH products are subject to this.  What I have had pointed out to me is a lot of 'high-end' designs with simple mistakes with component selection and implementation.  By implementation I don't necessarily mean the overall circuit, I just mean simple things - like placement.  When those oversights are fixed a old piece of equipment can gain new life it would have never previously expected.

But yea, boutique parts as a solution on its own? No. That isn't going to work.  Also, 'Boutique' parts become such because of recognition. At one point they were all just good selections with a par cost.  I think the internet as exacerbated this. It's a growing problem...

Anyhow.. back to tubes.... :)
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: JamieMcC on January 26, 2014, 11:50:24 AM
Can anybody shed some light on a "A2599" tube it was in with some 12au7 that I had for rolling its 9 pin and the same general size/shape as 12au7. Might it work in the Crack with out causing any damage?

TIA Jamie
 
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Birkeland on January 26, 2014, 12:42:39 PM
It looks like an obscure single RF triode, though there's not much data available for it.

It would not work in the Crack.
Title: Crack Tube Selection help!
Post by: SNSDluv on January 28, 2014, 02:43:58 PM
Hi guys,

I am pairing my Crack+Speedball with HD700 (with Schiit Modi), I am looking for a power tube that is warm, provides good bass, recessed treble, good sound stage and detailed. People have suggested me Bendix 6080, Tung-Sol 6080WA, and Western Electric 421A.. well, the first two I cannot find anywhere, and the last one is wayyy out of my budget. I am looking for something that is under, say, $50, that will do the job. Any idea will help, thanks! :D
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: JamieMcC on January 28, 2014, 09:56:04 PM
Thanks Paul

Hi guys,

I am pairing my Crack+Speedball with HD700 (with Schiit Modi), I am looking for a power tube that is warm, provides good bass, recessed treble, good sound stage and detailed. People have suggested me Bendix 6080, Tung-Sol 6080WA, and Western Electric 421A.. well, the first two I cannot find anywhere, and the last one is wayyy out of my budget. I am looking for something that is under, say, $50, that will do the job. Any idea will help, thanks! :D


Chatham 6AS7G sounds nice and should tick all your box's
Also 6AS7G from RCA or Sylvania the earlier 1950-60's ones.
The Mullard 6080 is also a nice sounding tube but harder to find.

It would also be worth considering the Tung-sol 5998 if you can stretch a little further these can be found nos from dealers for $75 and for $50-60 nos or as tested strong on ebay and would be are a great choice if you can stretch for the extra.


Good hunting
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: SNSDluv on January 29, 2014, 04:32:33 AM
Thanks Paul

Hi guys,

I am pairing my Crack+Speedball with HD700 (with Schiit Modi), I am looking for a power tube that is warm, provides good bass, recessed treble, good sound stage and detailed. People have suggested me Bendix 6080, Tung-Sol 6080WA, and Western Electric 421A.. well, the first two I cannot find anywhere, and the last one is wayyy out of my budget. I am looking for something that is under, say, $50, that will do the job. Any idea will help, thanks! :D


Chatham 6AS7G sounds nice and should tick all your box's
Also 6AS7G from RCA or Sylvania the earlier 1950-60's ones.
The Mullard 6080 is also a nice sounding tube but harder to find.

It would also be worth considering the Tung-sol 5998 if you can stretch a little further these can be found nos from dealers for $75 and for $50-60 nos or as tested strong on ebay and would be are a great choice if you can stretch for the extra.


Good hunting

Mhm thanks for the response!
But I can't find the Tung-sol 5998 anywhere for that price... :(
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Kris on January 29, 2014, 05:57:02 AM
SNSDluv,

Looks like you didn't read thru the topic... C'mon, do your homework... It's only 46 pages.
Just kidding ;)
Tung-sol 5998 is quite rare tube now days, especially if you are looking for NOS, but you can find equivalent of that tube which is Chatham 2399. Just click the link: http://www.vacuumtubes.net/RES%20Audio%20pages/5998.html. $85+S&H.
Got one from them and IMO it will definitely meet your expectations.

Kris

P.S. to admin: I hope I didn't break the forum rules by pasting link to tube vendor's website. If I did, please feel free to delete the post.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: JamieMcC on January 29, 2014, 06:19:27 AM
Mhm thanks for the response!
But I can't find the Tung-sol 5998 anywhere for that price... :(

Good things come to those who wait!  Be patient and keep checking they do come up reasonably regularly.   I brought two NOS 5998's for $96 the pair delivered last month. The ebay seller must have listed at least 20 NOS 5998's over a week, they were going like hot cakes.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: STURMJ on January 29, 2014, 07:38:36 AM
I got some RCA 6AS7Gs and other tubes yesterday.  I wasn't home when the Fedex truck came, and it has been really cold here.  Does leaving them out in the Minnesota cold for several hours mean they are now cryo-ed? (just kidding)  The RCAs are very nice, but I also got some JJ ecc802s (copies of the telefunkin ecc802s) these too are fantastic.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: SNSDluv on January 29, 2014, 10:57:40 AM
SNSDluv,

Looks like you didn't read thru the topic... C'mon, do your homework... It's only 46 pages.
Just kidding ;)
Tung-sol 5998 is quite rare tube now days, especially if you are looking for NOS, but you can find equivalent of that tube which is Chatham 2399. Just click the link: http://www.vacuumtubes.net/RES%20Audio%20pages/5998.html. $85+S&H.
Got one from them and IMO it will definitely meet your expectations.

Kris

P.S. to admin: I hope I didn't break the forum rules by pasting link to tube vendor's website. If I did, please feel free to delete the post.

Haha, I am really really new to this tube rolling is reading the forum through are just more confusing... Especially with all the different getters, different position of the getters, different plates, different columns, different COLOR of the label, different... :( you get the idea.. :( $85 is quite high for me, any other suggestions that will fit my description?

Mhm thanks for the response!
But I can't find the Tung-sol 5998 anywhere for that price... :(

Good things come to those who wait!  Be patient and keep checking they do come up reasonably regularly.   I brought two NOS 5998's for $96 the pair delivered last month. The ebay seller must have listed at least 20 NOS 5998's over a week, they were going like hot cakes.

Is it possible for you to send me some of the sites, besides eBay of course, that I should check regularly so that I can hunt them down? :P

Again, thanks for the help you guys! Really appreciated.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: SNSDluv on January 29, 2014, 06:27:32 PM
Also, I have a question about Tung-Sol 6080WA, is there is huge difference between Westinghouse branded and not? What about Chatham 6080WA?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Birkeland on January 29, 2014, 07:02:54 PM
Also, I have a question about Tung-Sol 6080WA, is there is huge difference between Westinghouse branded and not? What about Chatham 6080WA?

There's a very, very, very good chance that you could buy one of each of these tubes and discover that they were all made by Tung-Sol.  IIRC, Westinghouse would've bought these from someone else and had them rebranded. 
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: SNSDluv on January 30, 2014, 05:56:37 AM
Anyone know if this one is a good MWT A1834 tube? :O It is black based not brown based, does it make a huge difference?.. :/
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: punit on February 02, 2014, 07:17:22 AM
I want to buy a 6SN7 to 12AU7  adapter & there are 2 options available : 6.3 V & 12.6 V . Which one do I choose ?

Thanks
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Chris65 on February 02, 2014, 09:24:51 AM
6.3V
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: onelivewire on February 14, 2014, 10:33:05 PM
Just wanted to drop in and share some experience. I recently was able to get my hands on a ts 5998 at a reasonable price, and paired with the Mullard ECC82, the crack boasts a wonderful signature for my t1s - the highs are pulled back into equilibrium, the bass is much more present, but still tight, and the mids balance detail and warmth wonderfully. These tubes really allowed me to hone in on the sound I wanted for my t1s, and I would highly recommend some rolling to anyone interested in tweaking their amp/phones synergy. Just my 2 cents!
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: MattTCG on February 16, 2014, 09:45:51 AM
The 5998 is one of my favorites for sure. In fact I haven't tried many tubes that I though sounded very bad. But the 5998 is just insanely good IMO.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: JamieMcC on February 16, 2014, 10:28:46 AM
The 5998 is also my daily drive paired with a Mullard ECC82 or Siemens E80cc.

I am eagerly looking forward to trying the 5998 with a Mullard CV4003 box plate later in the week.

 
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: serpent68 on February 16, 2014, 01:20:29 PM
The 5998 is also my daily drive paired with a Mullard ECC82 or Siemens E80cc.

I am eagerly looking forward to trying the 5998 with a Mullard CV4003 box plate later in the week.

Jamie, is your Siemens E80CC with rhodium or gold pins?  I'm curious to know what the difference is between the 2 variety.  The gold pins look similar to the Philips E80CC while the rhodium pins hahve smooth plates.

Anyone have experience with both?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: JamieMcC on February 16, 2014, 10:36:27 PM
This is my E80cc

(https://forum.bottlehead.com/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi.ebayimg.com%2Ft%2FSIEMENS-E80CC-Alt-Vacuum-Doppel-Triode-Rohr-Universal-Guter-Test-%2F00%2Fs%2FMTIwMFgxNjAw%2Fz%2FNNYAAOxygPtS0Y6o%2F%24_58.JPG&hash=2930b3896ffacc8c72f5f1a2000d731a)
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: serpent68 on February 17, 2014, 01:39:51 AM
Jamie, your Siemens look very similar to a Tungsram E80CC - smooth plates with 2 holes on the sides.  That is a really nice tube, very dynamic and revealing.

On the other hand, the gold pins Siemens E80CC looks just like a Philips E80CC - ladder plates with no holes on the sides.

Can anyone verify this?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: JamieMcC on February 17, 2014, 01:59:01 AM
Thanks for the interesting tube info  "dynamic and revealing" sits well with my own impressions of the tube. It makes for a nice match listening with the Beyer T1's listening to simple music like Eva Cassidy, vocal + acoustic guitar it is simply beguiling. Revealing lots of little nuances of texture in her vocals and guitar. Its seriously good and very addictive.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: serpent68 on February 17, 2014, 02:10:11 AM
I enjoy the E80CC with not-so-simple British alternative rock music - Radiohead, Kasabian, Franz Ferdinand... Very very enjoyable cos it conveys the energy and essence of the music :)
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Mordicai on February 17, 2014, 01:32:02 PM
Thanks for the interesting tube info  "dynamic and revealing" sits well with my own impressions of the tube. It makes for a nice match listening with the Beyer T1's listening to simple music like Eva Cassidy, vocal + acoustic guitar it is simply beguiling. Revealing lots of little nuances of texture in her vocals and guitar. Its seriously good and very addictive.

Jamie, It's rare that I ever hear anyone mention Eva Cassidy. "Live at Blues Alley" is probably my all time favorite album. So sad that such a remarkable talent passed away at such a young age. She sounds great on my Crack with 5998 and a Ken Rad 5814 ( 1948).
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: serpent68 on February 17, 2014, 10:09:57 PM
Thanks for the interesting tube info  "dynamic and revealing" sits well with my own impressions of the tube. It makes for a nice match listening with the Beyer T1's listening to simple music like Eva Cassidy, vocal + acoustic guitar it is simply beguiling. Revealing lots of little nuances of texture in her vocals and guitar. Its seriously good and very addictive.

Jamie, It's rare that I ever hear anyone mention Eva Cassidy. "Live at Blues Alley" is probably my all time favorite album. So sad that such a remarkable talent passed away at such a young age. She sounds great on my Crack with 5998 and a Ken Rad 5814 ( 1948).

Eva Cassidy is a super rare talent indeed.. "Live at Blues Alley" is an excellent album, very well recorded too.

I have to agree that the Crack with TS 5998 is perfect for this type of music.
Title: Re: Multi 6080/6AS7 review
Post by: krystalnx on February 23, 2014, 02:15:20 PM
The original (complete) post :

http://the-key.enix.org/~krystal/review-tube-bottlehead.html
Title: Re: Multi 6080/6AS7 review
Post by: JamieMcC on February 23, 2014, 10:20:36 PM
The original (complete) post :

http://the-key.enix.org/~krystal/review-tube-bottlehead.html


Hopefully the incomplete posts will get sorted out later in the week I have noticed a few. Thanks for the link.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: JamieMcC on February 27, 2014, 11:48:40 AM
Managed to get a great deal on a Mullard CV4003 it is certainly a very nice sounding tube and pairs very well with both the 5998 and GEC 6as7g, I am very much torn between it and the E80cc for the number one spot.
 



 


Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: serpent68 on February 27, 2014, 01:49:47 PM
Jamie, what is the main difference in sound signature between the CV4003 and the E80CC?  Does the CV4003 add a bit more bass quantity and is warmer?

I've been deliberating on purchasing a CV4003 for some time now.  I'm torn between the 5998 and the Bendix 6080WB.  The 5998 has incredible mids and highs, but the lows are a bit weak and lacks quantity for my taste.  The Bendix on the other hand has incredible drive at the low end but does not have the magical mids-highs of the 5998.

I've paired many input tubes with the 5998 to squeeze more low end out of it, but so far nothing has worked.  Have tried Amperex 7316, Siemens 12AU7 chrome plates, Philips E80CC, Tungsram E80CC, Sylvania 12BH7.

Mullard remains the only popular input tube I've not tried.  I do not like warm, wooly, bloated sound and prefer clarity and transparency.  Hopefully the Mullard is not too rolled off in the highs.

I also read about a long plate Mullard 12AU7.  Anyone with experience comparing it to the CV4003?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: JamieMcC on February 28, 2014, 11:58:02 AM
Siemens E80CC and Mullard 4003 differences ohh thats rather hard especially as I find them they both very similar sounding and the differences are subtle but I will give it a go.

E80CC is slightly more edgy with a wider sound stage, slightly better top end extension feels more open, the edge on resolution & dynamics and a tighter bass.

Mullard 4003 is slightly darker but has a better way of conveying the textures in timbres and tone making for rich mids and vocals that can be mesmerizing with the right sort of music it also does a better job at creating ambience.

I look at what I have written and find it is somewhat odd and contradictory to say one has better resolution but that resolution doesn't convey the same detail in tones and timbre. 

They are both great sounding tubes and I doubt I would be able to blind test between them.

I have been very fortunate in the tube department of late as I picked up Tung-sol 12au7 black glass for $1.50 from a guitar shop who just had it listed as a 12au7 and it is another super sounding tube, very similar to a 1950's Tung-sol JTL in the top end but is richer sounding and like the E80cc and 4003 really nice vocals.

I would say all three tubes are very much on a par with one another though each has its own unique style of presentation.

(https://www.head-fi.org/image/id/5748644/width/900/height/900/flags/LL)
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: serpent68 on February 28, 2014, 02:03:02 PM
Thanks for sharing your impression, Jamie.  I think I'll get myself a Mullard 4003 to try out.  I've also just ordered a CBS Hytron 5814A yesterday after reading some favourable reviews about it.
Title: Potentiometer & Tube questions
Post by: smallmany on March 08, 2014, 03:16:46 PM
For the potentiometer, which should i get to replace my stock pot, linear or logarithmic?
I noticed some pots do not have those holes to place my wire in to solder, can I still use those?

And for the tubes, as long as it is a 6080 power tube and 12au7 input tube, any variants of those tubes are ok to use in the amp?


Thanks
Title: Re: Potentiometer & Tube questions
Post by: Grainger49 on March 08, 2014, 03:47:21 PM
Log, or audio taper.  Linear will drive you nuts and won't work well at all.
Title: Re: Potentiometer & Tube questions
Post by: Chris65 on March 08, 2014, 04:52:51 PM
As for the tubes, plenty of reading here: http://www.bottlehead.com/smf/index.php/topic,663.0.html (http://www.bottlehead.com/smf/index.php/topic,663.0.html)
Title: Tube direct substitute.
Post by: Guy 13 on March 18, 2014, 05:39:22 PM
Hi all.
Can I do a direct substitute (No modifications) of the 12AU7 of my Crack
with the following tubes:
12AT7, 12AX7 and 6922.
(I have some spares of those)

Guy 13
Title: Re: Tube direct substitute.
Post by: Mike B on March 18, 2014, 05:46:53 PM
No.
Title: Re: Tube direct substitute.
Post by: galyons on March 18, 2014, 05:52:54 PM
No, as our our overly verbose MikeB stated above.  ;D
Look here:
http://bottlehead.com/smf/index.php/topic,4295.msg39600.html#msg39600 (http://bottlehead.com/smf/index.php/topic,4295.msg39600.html#msg39600)

Then here:
http://www.bottlehead.com/smf/index.php/topic,663.0.html

Cheers,
Geary
Title: Re: Tube direct substitute.
Post by: Guy 13 on March 18, 2014, 06:18:44 PM
No, as our our overly verbose MikeB stated above.  ;D
Look here:
http://bottlehead.com/smf/index.php/topic,4295.msg39600.html#msg39600 (http://bottlehead.com/smf/index.php/topic,4295.msg39600.html#msg39600)

Then here:
http://www.bottlehead.com/smf/index.php/topic,663.0.html

Cheers,
Geary
Hi Geary.
Thanks for the links.
I saw before the second one, but was still wondering about what would happen,
then the first link answered my question.

Guy 13
Title: Re: Tube direct substitute.
Post by: Guy 13 on March 18, 2014, 06:21:27 PM
No.

Hi Mike B
Thanks for your NO.
With an answer like that,
you will be in the Guinness world record book under the topic
of the shortest answer ever posted on the Bottlehead forum.
 ;D

Thanks again.

Guy 13
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: xcoolhandx on March 19, 2014, 04:59:57 AM
Angelo, so you like the E80CC as a driver in the Crack, what brand do you have? A friend offered a couple of phillips mini-watts, maybe I should take him up on that.

Cheers,
Shawn

It's an Amperex tube, made in Holland, per the label. It also says "premium quality" and has gold-plated pins.

I recently swapped in a 1950's Sylvania 12BH7, a 2009 Electro-Harmonix 12BH7, a 1960's 5963, and a 1960's RCA clear-top 12AU7 to see if what I am hearing is just my imagination. It's not. The E80CC has, by far, the deepest bass, biggest soundstage, and most extended treble of all. Not a bad investment!

I recently purchased very similar pair of Amperex ..hopefully it works

Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Klots on April 01, 2014, 07:57:07 AM
Hi! Looking for both tubes for my Crack. I use Sennheiser HD700 headphones and Schiit Modi dac. I want something warmer and I dont have a fortune to spend on tubes, so something around 70$ for both tubes. I read somewhere (maybe this thread here) that 6AS7G/6AS7GA are superior to 6080, is that correct?

Because I live in Europe it would be nice to get them from europe. I searched in ebay and found:


 http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/6AS7GA-GE-6080-NOS-VALVE-TUBE-1-PC-/370622241591?pt=UK_Sound_Vision_Valves_Vacuum_Tubes&hash=item564ace9b37
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/RCA-6AS7G-Tube-two-tubes-/121303602008?pt=UK_Sound_Vision_Valves_Vacuum_Tubes&hash=item1c3e421358
http://www.ebay.de/itm/6AS7GA-6080-Sylvania-OO-Getter-Black-Plates-NOS-NIB-3752-/221095820243?pt=DE_TV_Video_Audio_Elektronenr%C3%B6hren_Valves&hash=item337a567bd3

Is there any difference between 6AS7G and 6AS7GA besides the shape of the glass?


What brand 12AU7 to look for?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Birkeland on April 01, 2014, 08:13:29 AM
$70 is kind of a fortune to spend on that particular pair of tubes if you stay with used tubes. 

The 6AS7GA and 6AS7G are nearly identical to a 6080.

I'd spend money on a nice 12AU7 and not worry about the 6080.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Klots on April 01, 2014, 08:27:21 AM
$70 is kind of a fortune to spend on that particular pair of tubes if you stay with used tubes. 

The 6AS7GA and 6AS7G are nearly identical to a 6080.

I'd spend money on a nice 12AU7 and not worry about the 6080.

Mullard CV4003 (12AU7?) would be ok? ~80$ from UK

That GE 6AS7GA would be a bad choice?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: JamieMcC on April 01, 2014, 08:53:06 AM

Mullard CV4003 (12AU7?) would be ok? ~80$ from UK

That GE 6AS7GA would be a bad choice?

The cv4003 is nice and often can be found for a lot less I regularly see them go for around $30 here in the UK.

The Chatham 6AS7G is a nice sounding tube for the money $19 below, I prefer it to my rca ones that's for sure.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Chatham-6AS7G-JAN-Black-Plates-Test-Strong-/251488832521?pt=Vintage_Electronics_R2&hash=item3a8de70c09

http://www.vacuumtubes.net/  have a couple of hundred nos 5998's at $85 each while stocks last

You should be able to find a nice 1950's Tung-sol 12au7 jtl for around $15 one of the best sounding input tubes I have used in my Crack its very similar sounding to the Tung-sol 12u7 Black glass which goes for a lot more. They are both nearly on par with the Mullard CV4003, just a touch brighter/leaner imo. Either would make a really first class input tube.

Just be patient they turn up quiet regularly.

Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Klots on April 01, 2014, 09:20:45 AM

Mullard CV4003 (12AU7?) would be ok? ~80$ from UK

That GE 6AS7GA would be a bad choice?

The cv4003 is nice and often can be found for a lot less I regularly see them go for around $30 here in the UK.

The Chatham 6AS7G is a nice sounding tube for the money $19 below, I prefer it to my rca ones that's for sure.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Chatham-6AS7G-JAN-Black-Plates-Test-Strong-/251488832521?pt=Vintage_Electronics_R2&hash=item3a8de70c09

http://www.vacuumtubes.net/  have a couple of hundred nos 5998's at $85 each while stocks last

You should be able to find a nice 1950's Tung-sol 12au7 jtl for around $15 one of the best sounding input tubes I have used in my Crack its very similar sounding to the Tung-sol 12u7 Black glass which goes for a lot more. They are both nearly on par with the Mullard CV4003, just a touch brighter/leaner imo. Either would make a really first class input tube.

Just be patient they turn up quiet regularly.

That Chatham 6as7g seems good. Great price (no customs..)...I will wait till next week and then see what there is to buy. I bookmarked that Chatham tube. That crack in the base is no big thing?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Birkeland on April 01, 2014, 09:25:15 AM
Nothing a little super glue can't handle!
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Klots on April 01, 2014, 09:27:53 AM
Nothing a little super glue can't handle!

I have 50ml of that, so no prob!  :D
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Klots on April 02, 2014, 03:04:28 AM
Anyone uses Brimar 12AU7 or Brimar CV4003 or maybe a Brimar 13D5 (supposed to be direct replacement for 12au7) with their Crack? Wondering how they sound, because they are better priced than a Mullard 12AU7/CV4003.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: xcoolhandx on April 02, 2014, 11:57:45 AM
I have one 13D5 and when I came back from work today I found two NOS 13D4s was waiting ,listening to 13D4 as I type,..long story short 13D4 supposed to be predecessor of 13D5
Quote
Appears that 13D4 preceded 13D5. These have the old style STC logos with BVA stamp. Etched tube type 1571 - one of the 12AU7 codes that was also used for Brimar ECC82
types like CV4003, 12AU7, CV4034 etc. From what we know, Brimar made 3 industrial ECC82 types, 13D4, 13D5 and later 13D8.


13D5 sounds really good ..solid soundstage ,airy and sweet mids,clear top
This tubes are really interesting since micas are see-through ,the samples I received are super quite ,you won't hear a thing by tapping on the tube
http://www.ebay.com/itm/160808127350?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1497.l2649
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Klots on April 02, 2014, 11:27:00 PM
Which one is a better deal for the money?

1. http://www.ebay.nl/itm/Vintage-JHY-CBS-5814-A-D-Getter-Black-Plate-Stereo-Tube-1959-V-Strong-Bal-341-/400679067882?pt=Vintage_Electronics_R2&hash=item5d4a5560ea&_uhb=1

2. http://www.ebay.com/itm/1-new-Tube-Brimar-UK-made-ECC82-12AU7-402067-/380857748925?pt=Vintage_Electronics_R2&hash=item58ace40dbd
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: ashneel on April 03, 2014, 12:20:20 AM
Does anyone know where can I get the Bendix 6080wb tube? Seems to be pretty rare nowadays, I was always curious to how it'll sound with some Mullards ECC82
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: xcoolhandx on April 03, 2014, 03:15:49 PM
@klots
this will probably be your best bet for the money
http://www.ebay.nl/itm/THE-ULTIMATE-NOS-Tesla-ECC802S-12au7-ECC82-tube-Ships-from-US-/171253161671?pt=Vintage_Electronics_R2&hash=item27df7bdec7&_uhb=1

Does anyone know where can I get the Bendix 6080wb tube? Seems to be pretty rare nowadays, I was always curious to how it'll sound with some Mullards ECC82

Bendix were easy to get few years ago but as of late you might end up waiting for months to find one on ebay and most likely you will have to pay around $150 here in US to get one (I recently purchased one ) ,this tube don't like Crack much ,I have try all types of driver tube to pair it with on Crack and it still doesn't sound right ,this is night and day when running on my DV366SE (just epic)
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Klots on April 03, 2014, 07:03:10 PM
@xcoolhandx

I should try it out then  :) If that tube gives me nice soundstage, great mids and is musical and not trebleheavy, then I should be happy.

How does that compare to Tesla http://www.ebay.com/itm/E82CC-ECC802s-Siemens-100-electrical-new-4837-/221213056403?pt=DE_TV_Video_Audio_Elektronenr%C3%B6hren_Valves&hash=item3381535d93 ?


And there is that JJ ecc802S which also gets great reviews. It is not easy to choose as I thought it would be  :D

Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: serpent68 on April 03, 2014, 11:02:09 PM
Which one is a better deal for the money?

1. http://www.ebay.nl/itm/Vintage-JHY-CBS-5814-A-D-Getter-Black-Plate-Stereo-Tube-1959-V-Strong-Bal-341-/400679067882?pt=Vintage_Electronics_R2&hash=item5d4a5560ea&_uhb=1

2. http://www.ebay.com/itm/1-new-Tube-Brimar-UK-made-ECC82-12AU7-402067-/380857748925?pt=Vintage_Electronics_R2&hash=item58ace40dbd

The CBS Hytron 5814 is a glorious tube.  Very detailed and transparent, yet it has a nice warmth.  The bass has a lot of drive (slam).

This is my input tube of choice to pair with the TS 5998.  I was using an Amperex 7316 before, and I slightly prefer the CBS Hytron 5814 because it has better dynamics in the bass.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Klots on April 04, 2014, 03:09:05 AM
Which one is a better deal for the money?

1. http://www.ebay.nl/itm/Vintage-JHY-CBS-5814-A-D-Getter-Black-Plate-Stereo-Tube-1959-V-Strong-Bal-341-/400679067882?pt=Vintage_Electronics_R2&hash=item5d4a5560ea&_uhb=1

2. http://www.ebay.com/itm/1-new-Tube-Brimar-UK-made-ECC82-12AU7-402067-/380857748925?pt=Vintage_Electronics_R2&hash=item58ace40dbd

The CBS Hytron 5814 is a glorious tube.  Very detailed and transparent, yet it has a nice warmth.  The bass has a lot of drive (slam).

This is my input tube of choice to pair with the TS 5998.  I was using an Amperex 7316 before, and I slightly prefer the CBS Hytron 5814 because it has better dynamics in the bass.

I have the rca 6080wa and ge 6as7ga output tubes. I dont know about the pairing between rca/ge and 5814a, but I have read many positive comments about 5814a. Because I use HD700 headphones I do not want a drive tube with lots of treble. Drive tube witch is detailed and musical with nice mids and not sluggish bass would be perfect.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: STURMJ on April 04, 2014, 07:51:39 PM
I have this Siemens
http://www.partsconnexion.com/NOS-76087.html
and the JJ ecc802s
both are very nice, different from each other, but either of these two are my faves in my system.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: tyj on April 08, 2014, 01:25:04 AM
Iv recently tried genalex gold lion ecc82(new reproduction) with a tung sol 5998 best combo iv so far :D Very detailed neutral sound very happy with the combo
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: kscwuzhere on April 08, 2014, 11:53:16 AM
Iv recently tried genalex gold lion ecc82(new reproduction) with a tung sol 5998 best combo iv so far :D Very detailed neutral sound very happy with the combo

Which cans are you using them with?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: tyj on April 08, 2014, 05:20:18 PM
Iv recently tried genalex gold lion ecc82(new reproduction) with a tung sol 5998 best combo iv so far :D Very detailed neutral sound very happy with the combo

Which cans are you using them with?
880dt  (250ohm)
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: xcoolhandx on April 09, 2014, 01:45:52 PM
Anyone tried  E182CC,will it work ??

Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Birkeland on April 10, 2014, 05:07:27 AM
The photos have been lost, but it was done here:

http://bottlehead.com/smf/index.php/topic,2587.msg21017.html#msg21017 (http://bottlehead.com/smf/index.php/topic,2587.msg21017.html#msg21017)

The C4S current had to be increased, and the LED's biasing the cathodes were switched to blue LED's for more bias voltage. 
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: xcoolhandx on April 10, 2014, 12:37:00 PM
Thank you Caucasian
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: ashneel on April 11, 2014, 06:36:02 AM
@klots
this will probably be your best bet for the money
http://www.ebay.nl/itm/THE-ULTIMATE-NOS-Tesla-ECC802S-12au7-ECC82-tube-Ships-from-US-/171253161671?pt=Vintage_Electronics_R2&hash=item27df7bdec7&_uhb=1

Does anyone know where can I get the Bendix 6080wb tube? Seems to be pretty rare nowadays, I was always curious to how it'll sound with some Mullards ECC82

Bendix were easy to get few years ago but as of late you might end up waiting for months to find one on ebay and most likely you will have to pay around $150 here in US to get one (I recently purchased one ) ,this tube don't like Crack much ,I have try all types of driver tube to pair it with on Crack and it still doesn't sound right ,this is night and day when running on my DV366SE (just epic)

I got those Bendix for $80 from Turkey..Its not a Bargain, but I'm going to try these with my HD650. If it's not to my taste, I can always sell it
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: JamieMcC on April 11, 2014, 10:43:41 AM
My postman dropped off a little brown package this morning inside a Tung-sol/Bendix 6080wb  :) I had been curious to try a graphite tube for a while now.

Based only on couple of hours so far its almost like a cross between a 5998 and the Mullard 6080wa. It has a big, bold, fast sound which is punchy and dynamic.

Its darker weightier and more tubey sounding than a 5998 while keeping some of its refinement but not quiet with the same levels of resolution and finesse as the 5998. There is more slam and punch to the bass!

Sound stage reminds me of the Mullard its got that detached holographic surreal-ness to it with lots of air and separation. Its certainly stands out as being different to the tubes I have tried so far.

(https://www.head-fi.org/content/type/61/id/1082569/width/350/height/700/flags/LL)

(https://www.head-fi.org/content/type/61/id/1082570/width/350/height/700/flags/LL)
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: serpent68 on April 11, 2014, 11:59:54 AM
Jamie, your observations on the Bendix 6080WB are similar to mine.  I'm constantly torn between the 6080WB and the 5998... for certain music such as rock and electronic music, the 6080WB is clearly superior with its more dynamic sound and punchy bass.  With Jazz and vocals, the 5998 trumps it convincingly.

My favourite 2 combinations (using a Beyer T90):
1. TS 5998 + CBS Hytron 5814A for jazz, vocals, acoustic music
2. Bendix 6080WB + Philips E80CC for rock, electronic music.

I am curious to try the Genalex 6AS7G, but the price is prohibitive.  How would you describe the Genalex relative to the TS5998 and the Bendix 6080WB?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: xcoolhandx on April 11, 2014, 01:17:02 PM
^^^ try to pair it with 6SN7 guys
EDIT ;some power tubes prefer larger driver tubes ;
GEC A1834-6AS7G+ 6SN7=win
GEC A1834-6AS7G+12AU7=not that great
5998+6SN7 =not that great
Bendix red bank +6SN7 =win
Bendix+12AU7/E80CC=suck
TS 7236+12AU7=win

Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: JamieMcC on April 11, 2014, 01:48:53 PM
Jamie, your observations on the Bendix 6080WB are similar to mine.  I'm constantly torn between the 6080WB and the 5998... for certain music such as rock and electronic music, the 6080WB is clearly superior with its more dynamic sound and punchy bass.  With Jazz and vocals, the 5998 trumps it convincingly.

My favourite 2 combinations (using a Beyer T90):
1. TS 5998 + CBS Hytron 5814A for jazz, vocals, acoustic music
2. Bendix 6080WB + Philips E80CC for rock, electronic music.

I am curious to try the Genalex 6AS7G, but the price is prohibitive.  How would you describe the Genalex relative to the TS5998 and the Bendix 6080WB?

The Glenalex I had to look it up and found its another name for the CEC/OSRAM/MOV tube A1834 CV2523.

If I could keep only one tube it would be Genalex/GEC

Nick Tam did a ranking of the 6as7g's the full piece from the old site is linked below

This is what he has to say on the GEC

"The "Super Tube", the "Holy Grail" of all 6AS7Gs. The GEC 6AS7G is very balanced in each aspect, good micro detailing and extremely analytical. The soundstage is very spacious, and has lots of air. Layering is very good and is probably the best of all British tubes. The differences between the curved and straight base are near indiscernible, so there’s no need to extra big bucks for the curved brown base in particular."

----------------------------------------

The micro detailing is the thing I find most appealing the layering and clarity or the resolution reveals subtle nuances in tone and texture that I find beguiling. The cravat is you need to be in the zone free from distractions and singly focus on the music. With that in mind it only gets plugged in for such occasions rather than general listening. Such occasions often also include a large scotch.

If I am working on the pc then really any of the 6080's I find enjoyable for background listening. The 5998 is close but just not quiet in the same league and I prefer it for general leisure listening. I would say if your using HD650's then stick with the 5998 as the GEC''s finer qualities are rather lost on my HD650's they are just are not resolving enough. Plug in the T1's and its different story.

link

http://the-key.enix.org/~krystal/review-tube-bottlehead.html
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: serpent68 on April 11, 2014, 01:59:27 PM
Jamie, your observations on the Bendix 6080WB are similar to mine.  I'm constantly torn between the 6080WB and the 5998... for certain music such as rock and electronic music, the 6080WB is clearly superior with its more dynamic sound and punchy bass.  With Jazz and vocals, the 5998 trumps it convincingly.

My favourite 2 combinations (using a Beyer T90):
1. TS 5998 + CBS Hytron 5814A for jazz, vocals, acoustic music
2. Bendix 6080WB + Philips E80CC for rock, electronic music.

I am curious to try the Genalex 6AS7G, but the price is prohibitive.  How would you describe the Genalex relative to the TS5998 and the Bendix 6080WB?

The Glenalex I had to look it up and found its another name for the CEC/OSRAM/MOV tube A1834 CV2523.

If I could keep only one tube it would be Genalex/GEC

Nick Tam did a ranking of the 6as7g's the full piece from the old site is linked below

This is what he has to say on the GEC

"The "Super Tube", the "Holy Grail" of all 6AS7Gs. The GEC 6AS7G is very balanced in each aspect, good micro detailing and extremely analytical. The soundstage is very spacious, and has lots of air. Layering is very good and is probably the best of all British tubes. The differences between the curved and straight base are near indiscernible, so there’s no need to extra big bucks for the curved brown base in particular."

----------------------------------------

The micro detailing is the thing I find most appealing the layering and clarity or the resolution reveals subtle nuances in tone and texture that I find beguiling. The cravat is you need to be in the zone free from distractions and singly focus on the music. With that in mind it only gets plugged in for such occasions rather than general listening. Such occasions often also include a large scotch.

If I am working on the pc then really any of the 6080's I find enjoyable for background listening. The 5998 is close but just not quiet in the same league and I prefer it for general leisure listening. I would say if your using HD650's then stick with the 5998 as the GEC''s finer qualities are rather lost on my HD650's they are just are not resolving enough. Plug in the T1's and its different story.

link

http://the-key.enix.org/~krystal/review-tube-bottlehead.html
Thanks for your impression, Jamie.  I meant to say GEC 6AS7G in my previous post, but somehow mixed it up by saying Genalex.

What do you pair the GEC with?  I'm very tempted now after hearing your good impressions, and even more so when you are using a Beyer like me (though your T1 is clearly better than the T90 I have).

Btw, a nice dose of the old single malt scotch never fails to increase the enjoyment factor for me :)

Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: xcoolhandx on April 11, 2014, 01:59:50 PM
Quote
The differences between the curved and straight base are near indiscernible
..this could be true if you comparing same brand,year ,etc  ,I have both and I would say that the Haltron GEC/MOV/Hammersmith/ A1834/6AS7G which is the real "..grail"sounds better  that the tube you referring to,just my 2C

 
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: serpent68 on April 11, 2014, 02:03:04 PM
^^^ try to pair it with 6SN7 guys
EDIT ;some power tubes prefer larger driver tubes ;
GEC A1834-6AS7G+ 6SN7=win
GEC A1834-6AS7G+12AU7=not that great
5998+6SN7 =not that great
Bendix red bank +6SN7 =win
Bendix+12AU7/E80CC=suck
TS 7236+12AU7=win
Which 6SN7 tube did you pair with the Bendix?  I've tried a Sylvania VT231 with the TS 5998 and was underwhelmed by it.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: JamieMcC on April 11, 2014, 02:12:50 PM
I have narrowed my input tubes down to only four now

Siemens/Tungsram  E80cc
Mullard cv4003 (box plate)
Tung Sol 12au7 Black Glass 
Tung Sol 12au7 JTL

I find they work well so have just stuck with them.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: xcoolhandx on April 11, 2014, 02:13:30 PM
^^^ try to pair it with 6SN7 guys
EDIT ;some power tubes prefer larger driver tubes ;
GEC A1834-6AS7G+ 6SN7=win
GEC A1834-6AS7G+12AU7=not that great
5998+6SN7 =not that great
Bendix red bank +6SN7 =win
Bendix+12AU7/E80CC=suck
TS 7236+12AU7=win
Which 6SN7 tube did you pair with the Bendix?  I've tried a Sylvania VT231 with the TS 5998 and was underwhelmed by it.

best two -which will bring out the sparkle ,detail ,voice and make it very balanced are
RCA JAN 6SN7-GT/VT-231 U.S. NAVY
smoke glass 1940s
TS CTL 6SN7GT Black glass U.S. NAVY 1942

P.S. here is a wealth of information ,characteristics and great read on tubes in general

http://vinylsavor.blogspot.com/search/label/6SN7

EDIT; here is a cheapo that also works well

http://www.ebay.com/itm/321355025737?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1497.l2649
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: ashneel on April 14, 2014, 10:18:29 PM
What are your favourite 6sn7 tubes?? Anyone has used some Kenrad (vt231) black glass tubes?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Kris on April 15, 2014, 02:53:56 AM
Try Raytheon VT-231, it's my favorite 6SN7 tube...just my 2 cents :)
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Joshewah on April 18, 2014, 04:22:48 AM
Well, I admit I was wrong about tube rolling.

Up until yesterday I've only had 4 tubes for my Crack; Ratheon 6080, Sino 6AS7G, Electro Harmonix 12AU7, and JJ 12AU7.

I had tried the 4 combinations I could do with these tubes, all of which sounded relatively similar, so I kind of ruled tube rolling as being audiophile BS and wishful thinking.

On a whim I looked into RCA clear top 12AU7s and found a good deal for a strong tube for only $10. I figured why not try it? This is the tube that always seems to be described as an affordable jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none.

I have to say this tube fixed some issues that I had noticed that I didn't realize were being caused by (or at least emphasized by) the new production 12AU7s I had. The RCA tube smoothed out this weird distortion I was hearing in the upper mids or lower treble that sounded like static or a glassy grating sound. The RCA also sort of bumped and rounded the bass a bit. Enjoying my Beyer DT880s even more now.

I wouldn't say the sound has drastically changed like you read on other forums where people go on a long tangent peppered with pretty words about how the sound could save the lives of starving children in Africa, it's not that drastic of a change, but its enough be noticeable and improve the listening experience and I'm all about that.

Pretty cool!  ;)

Just thought I'd share the moment I had my tube epiphany.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: ashneel on April 18, 2014, 04:30:44 AM
Well, I admit I was wrong about tube rolling.

Up until yesterday I've only had 4 tubes for my Crack; Ratheon 6080, Sino 6AS7G, Electro Harmonix 12AU7, and JJ 12AU7.

I had tried the 4 combinations I could do with these tubes, all of which sounded relatively similar, so I kind of ruled tube rolling as being audiophile BS and wishful thinking.

On a whim I looked into RCA clear top 12AU7s and found a good deal for a strong tube for only $10. I figured why not try it? This is the tube that always seems to be described as an affordable jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none.

I have to say this tube fixed some issues that I had noticed that I didn't realize were being caused by (or at least emphasized by) the new production 12AU7s I had. The RCA tube smoothed out this weird distortion I was hearing in the upper mids or lower treble that sounded like static or a glassy grating sound. The RCA also sort of bumped and rounded the bass a bit. Enjoying my Beyer DT880s even more now.

I wouldn't say the sound has drastically changed like you read on other forums where people go on a long tangent peppered with pretty words about how the sound could save the lives of starving children in Africa, it's not drastic of a change, but its enough be noticeable and improve the listening experience and I'm all about that.

Pretty cool!  ;)

Just thought I'd share the moment I had my tube epiphany.
Why not try the RCA 6AS7G too? It can be bought for around $20, and to me its darn good. Apparetly combined with the clear tops, its a great sounding combination..
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Doc B. on April 18, 2014, 04:38:36 AM
Quote
I wouldn't say the sound has drastically changed like you read on other forums where people go on a long tangent peppered with pretty words about how the sound could save the lives of starving children in Africa, it's not that drastic of a change, but its enough be noticeable and improve the listening experience and I'm all about that.

Post of the week!
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Joshewah on April 18, 2014, 04:39:42 AM
Why not try the RCA 6AS7G too? It can be bought for around $20, and to me its darn good. Apparetly combined with the clear tops, its a great sounding combination..

Oh, believe me, I've unleashed a monster with this epiphany and have like 8 tubes headed my way in the mail. RCA 6AS7G is on my short list.

Any input on grey plate vs black plate regarding the RCA 6AS7G?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: JamieMcC on April 18, 2014, 05:06:00 AM
I will admit to wrongly righting of the RCA 6as7g early on in with my experiments with rolling. In retrospect I don't think I could have paired it very well at the time. When I tried it the other day I was presently surprise my memory was of a rather flat and recessed sound and that was not what I was hearing this time round.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Joshewah on April 18, 2014, 11:59:20 AM
Just had a Svetlana "flying C" arrive in the mail today. Can't say I notice too much difference between any of my 3 power tubes. Seems the gain/driver tube is the one responsible for most of the flavor between tubes, yes?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: serpent68 on April 18, 2014, 01:12:28 PM
Just had a Svetlana "flying C" arrive in the mail today. Can't say I notice too much difference between any of my 3 power tubes. Seems the gain/driver tube is the one responsible for most of the flavor between tubes, yes?
I've tried the Svetlana winged-C, and I was not too impressed by it.  Sounds average, and a bit flat and un-involving... but that's comparing it to the Tungsol 5998.  The 5998 does bring a big step up in performance, more so than the various input tubes I've tried.  Unfortunately the cost has gone insane recently.

My favorite input tube now is the CBS Hytron 5814A.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: krystalnx on April 18, 2014, 02:49:52 PM
For all (newb, like me) reader, something have to be said ; the stock choice I've got on my crack were *very* good.

I've tryed to roll both input and output tube, with popular (in forum) but reasonnably priced alternative (10-40$ each, ~200$ total), and right now my preferred setup is still what got shipped with my crack (especially for the input tube, which I'm not sure be seems to be a RCA 12AU7 blackplate).

I'm not saying the listening can't be improved, but I think you should see that as a way to tune your crack to the sound you prefer, not as an absolute upgrade, as you *may* prefer the "stock" sound after spending money :)
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Joshewah on April 19, 2014, 04:08:44 AM
I'm not saying the listening can't be improved, but I think you should see that as a way to tune your crack to the sound you prefer, not as an absolute upgrade, as you *may* prefer the "stock" sound after spending money :)

Also as a newbie, I agree. It's very easy to get carried away tube rolling.

I have to say though, the RCA I replaced my new production tubes with really smoothed out the rough edges I was hearing. I hate describing sound with text but that the best way I can describe it

 Sounds like you started out stock with a strong tube!
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Guy 13 on April 19, 2014, 08:36:20 PM
Hi all.
I've tried with my Crack the Raytheon 6080, the RCA 6080 and the RCA 6AS7G and if there is a difference between those three, I am not sure I have heard a difference. I'm not saying that there is not difference, but to my ears if there is one , in minimal.
Same thing goes for the 12AU7 (NOS) of different manufacturers
(RCA. Sylvania....)
With the stock tubes, the Crack sounds pretty good
and I will stop spending my hard earned money on tubes that makes
very little difference, to my ears anyway.
If there a tube that is a lot better sounding
and I mean a lot better for less than 50 USD,
then share you finding with us
and I might buy it.

Guy 13

By the way,
is the Chatham 5998 really better sounding than the rest of the crowd ?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: JamieMcC on April 19, 2014, 09:20:01 PM
Hi all.
I've tried with my Crack the Raytheon 6080, the RCA 6080 and the RCA 6AS7G and if there is a difference between those three, I am not sure I have heard a difference. I'm not saying that there is not difference, but to my ears if there is one , in minimal.
Same thing goes for the 12AU7 (NOS) of different manufacturers
(RCA. Sylvania....)
With the stock tubes, the Crack sounds pretty good
and I will stop spending my hard earned money on tubes that makes
very little difference, to my ears anyway.
If there a tube that is a lot better sounding
and I mean a lot better for less than 50 USD,
then share you finding with us
and I might buy it.

Guy 13

By the way,
is the Chatham 5998 really better sounding than the rest of the crowd ?

Guy re the 5998 short answer yes its a very good tube, if your patient they can be found $75-$85 nos from dealers or less for used off of classifieds.

The Mullard 6080 is one of my favourite tubes $25-$35 I use it more than my 5998.
Also the Chatham 6as7g is worth a try if you like female vocals around $15



 

Mullard 6080 is one of my favourites   
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: ashneel on April 20, 2014, 07:53:31 PM
Why not try the RCA 6AS7G too? It can be bought for around $20, and to me its darn good. Apparetly combined with the clear tops, its a great sounding combination..

Oh, believe me, I've unleashed a monster with this epiphany and have like 8 tubes headed my way in the mail. RCA 6AS7G is on my short list.

Any input on grey plate vs black plate regarding the RCA 6AS7G?
I have both the black and grey plates. People say the black ones sound better, but to me they sounded the same..and they cost pretty much the same too
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: w0lfd0g on April 21, 2014, 06:39:08 PM
Just picked up a NIB pair of Tung Sol 7802WB tubes.  Can't wait for my kit to arrive so the tubes have a home.

Fun times ahead.  Fun times.  Haven't felt the cruel delight of anticipation so deeply for a very long time.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: JamieMcC on April 22, 2014, 02:00:51 AM
Nathan I have one of those on the way also.

Heres the thing I was swapping some tubes round this morning and whoops my Siemens e80cc one of my favourite tubes decided to roll off the table and is now toast.

 (https://forum.bottlehead.com/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.freesmileys.org%2Fsmileys%2Fsmiley-sad055.gif&hash=e5910cc3416f5b144818f92be505547d)

A short while after the postman arrived with a little package from Bulgaria! I had been waiting a few weeks for it to arrive and  wasn't exactly sure about what I had brought because the lighting on the sellers pic was not clear but knew at the very least it was a pair of Tungsram E80cc.

Once opened I had a big grin they where what I was hoping they would be a pair of uber rare Tungsram E80cc with silver plates (chrome?) and D foil getters! I had heard of these mythical tubes but had not even managed to find a pic. Defiantly long term keepers. 

(https://forum.bottlehead.com/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.freesmileys.org%2Fsmileys%2Fsmiley-happy093.gif&hash=ab02a0c40f4f95d55f4858716b7b08ba)

The best part is they came with test readings and sound absolutely superb.

(https://www.head-fi.org/image/id/5954681/width/900/height/900/flags/LL)

(https://www.head-fi.org/image/id/5954682/width/900/height/900/flags/LL)

(https://www.head-fi.org/image/id/5954683/width/900/height/900/flags/LL)

(https://www.head-fi.org/image/id/5954684/width/900/height/900/flags/LL)









Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: serpent68 on April 22, 2014, 02:18:11 AM
Jamie, how does the Tungsram silver plates sound compared with your Siemens E80CC? Is there a significant improvement?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: JamieMcC on April 22, 2014, 02:53:59 AM
Jamie, how does the Tungsram silver plates sound compared with your Siemens E80CC? Is there a significant improvement?

Yes  I believe so, generally its very much of a similar flavour but has a certain something I cant put quiet put my finger on at the moment. Once I have a little more listening time it might become more obvious to me.

Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: serpent68 on April 22, 2014, 03:43:09 AM
Good for you, Jamie.  Those are really desirable looking tubes!  I don't believe I've ever seen one up for sale... are these older variety of the usual red label Tungsram with O-getter?

Enjoy the tunes, and do post your impression later on.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: JamieMcC on April 22, 2014, 04:46:09 AM
Good for you, Jamie.  Those are really desirable looking tubes!  I don't believe I've ever seen one up for sale... are these older variety of the usual red label Tungsram with O-getter?

Enjoy the tunes, and do post your impression later on.

I really don't know there seems to be very little info online about them.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: kxanthop on April 28, 2014, 02:01:36 PM
I have somehow managed to loose the stock tubes that came with my crack kit (I took them out of the box to protect them and now I cannot find them). Where should I begin? I wouldn't like to spend too much and living in Greece, I would really appreciate any suggestions on where to buy these tubes (preferably Europe). Many thanks!
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Birkeland on April 28, 2014, 06:37:41 PM
I would really appreciate any suggestions on where to buy these tubes (preferably Europe). Many thanks!

You'll probably be able to find better 12AU7 variants in Europe, but the 6080 may be tougher.  You'll find lots of good choices on eBay!
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: kxanthop on April 29, 2014, 09:48:04 AM
Thanks for the reply. Fortunately I found the stock tubes. However I spotted a Telefunken 6080 at a reasonable price and having heard of the glorious input tubes Telefunken used to make I was very curious about their 6080. Has anyone heard it?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Loon on April 29, 2014, 10:58:53 AM
I bought a Telefunken 6080 once from eBay.  It was just a rebranded GE and worth about $10.  I paid $50.  Be careful.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: JamieMcC on April 29, 2014, 11:11:30 AM
The Mullard 6080 mitchum is my favourite of that type it bats well above its cost I might even prefer it over the 5998 and its roughly about a quarter or less of the 5998s price
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Mak33 on May 03, 2014, 06:08:00 PM
Can anyone recommend a decent input tube to go along with a Tung Sol 6080 or RCA 6AS7G?

I have a couple of 12AU7 clear tops, but the treble is too harsh for my ears.  The clear tops are also harsh with the Tung Sol 6080 I received with the kit, but better than than with the RCA 6AS7G.

Thanks in advance.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Loon on May 03, 2014, 09:11:59 PM
Budget?  Sonic preferences?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Mak33 on May 04, 2014, 03:33:58 AM
Reasonably priced. Under $30 for the one tube. Just want something warmer and not as harsh in the highs.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Loon on May 04, 2014, 04:22:31 AM
Keep your eye open for a used Mullard or Brimar (there are lots of types, but they are generally warm). 
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: JamieMcC on May 04, 2014, 07:56:22 AM
Can anyone recommend a decent input tube to go along with a Tung Sol 6080 or RCA 6AS7G?

I have a couple of 12AU7 clear tops, but the treble is too harsh for my ears.  The clear tops are also harsh with the Tung Sol 6080 I received with the kit, but better than than with the RCA 6AS7G.

Thanks in advance.

As an alternative and if you have the speedball fitted the E80cc would be a good choice. After rolling lots of 12au7 the E80cc it is my go to tube now.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Joshewah on May 04, 2014, 12:57:18 PM
Didn't you need to change the voltage going to the driver tube to accommodate the E80CC though?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: JamieMcC on May 04, 2014, 01:07:23 PM
No you don't need to but if you do it does help get the best from the tube.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: serpent68 on May 04, 2014, 01:32:10 PM
Anyone with knowledge on the Telefunken E80CC?  Saw it on ebay, but it looks structurally similar to a Tungsram (which is an excellent tube).

http://www.ebay.com/itm/261454459992?_trksid=p2055119.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: JamieMcC on May 04, 2014, 02:05:09 PM
Anyone with knowledge on the Telefunken E80CC?  Saw it on ebay, but it looks structurally similar to a Tungsram (which is an excellent tube).

http://www.ebay.com/itm/261454459992?_trksid=p2055119.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

I have not tried the Telefunken but have had several tubes from the same seller
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: serpent68 on May 05, 2014, 04:26:40 AM
Not much is written about the E80CC tubes.  There are a few brands out there - Philips, Tungsram, Siemens, Telefunken.  But from the pics, I see only 2 different types structurally - Philips (with gold pins) and Tungsram (with silvery pins).  Anyone with knowledge of the E80CC can shed some light on this?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Hornet900 on May 05, 2014, 04:33:56 AM
please say there's a difference  ;D
I just bought 2 x Telefunken  E80CC a few days ago and could got  tungsram much cheaper  :-[ 
I just searched google min ago and someone on a forum says  no difference with alot of these tubes
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: serpent68 on May 05, 2014, 04:46:49 AM
Yeah, I was tempted to buy the Telefunken E80CC, but it looks very similar to the Tungsram, that's why I'm asking.

Philips, Amperex, some Siemens look similar (with gold pins)
Tungsram, Telefunken, some Siemens look similar (with silver pins)

Someone on ebay posted a pair of Valvo E80CC from Hamburg plant, pinched waist... for a very nice price of $395.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Hornet900 on May 05, 2014, 04:59:18 AM
Yeah you  really have to do your research don't you  ;)   ...Same what I read serpent. and  $385 !
Jamie saved me once on buying a load of dodgy 5998 tubes  ;)
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: JamieMcC on May 05, 2014, 05:00:36 AM
There is a some info on the different E80CC from what I have read the Tungsrams/Siemens with the nickel/steel pins are meant to be a touch more neautral and linear and the gold pin Philips/Valvo are said to be more coloured. I have only used the Tungsrams & Siemens E80cc but that seams to match what I am hearing.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Hornet900 on May 05, 2014, 05:10:10 AM
 >:(
(https://forum.bottlehead.com/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fs5.postimg.org%2Ff9ehcnbpf%2F2014_05_02_20_00_06.jpg&hash=2c30cb8d9a06521901db452a55fcf57a) (http://postimg.org/image/f9ehcnbpf/)
(https://forum.bottlehead.com/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fs5.postimg.org%2Flbm43505f%2F2014_05_02_20_00_26.jpg&hash=c70e4837bc1797ae3a7145997dd3db7d) (http://postimg.org/image/lbm43505f/)
(https://forum.bottlehead.com/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fs5.postimg.org%2Fz2lzrlzpf%2F2014_05_02_19_58_55.jpg&hash=52441bbce866cd7f86e8353aa9ff50b6) (http://postimg.org/image/z2lzrlzpf/)
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: JamieMcC on May 05, 2014, 06:06:22 AM
Are those the ones from the 0 feed back ebay guy they look to be in great condition? Just listening to mine at the mo with a cuppa my reward for mowing the lawn (jungle) for first time this year.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Hornet900 on May 05, 2014, 06:19:17 AM
Yes they are Jamie  :) Thanks.  Will have another chatham 5998 Wednesday and thats me finished with the 5998 ................I'd  liked to try the GEC tube next.
The relisted ones the guy re added on ebay have just sold for $100  2 tubes.


he who dares rodney ...he who dares  ;D
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: serpent68 on May 05, 2014, 03:31:00 PM
I can't see anything wrong with the 5998 tubes in Hornet's pics.  Is there something that I should be looking out for?

The next tube I really want to try is also the GEC A1834.  Somehow, the prices on these are way too high.  I wonder if the GEC 6080WA is a close enough compromise.  Jamie speaks highly of the Mullard 6080, is that the same tube as the GEC6080?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: jboehle on May 05, 2014, 03:35:11 PM
I got a Chatham 2399 from vacuumtubes.net.  Unfortunately it is extremely microphonic, I guess I will be sending it back.  From reading online it seems this is common with the ones from vacuumtubes.net, I guess I should've done some more research before ordering.  It really sucks that the 5998 is so expensive on eBay.

I got a standard RCA 6080 with my kit, and I picked up a Chatham 6080WA on eBay for cheap.  So far I like the Chatham 6080WA better.  The bass seems a little more controlled with it.

Right now I just have a stock Crack.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Birkeland on May 05, 2014, 03:43:54 PM
A microphonic tube in a headphone amp usually isn't an issue.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: jboehle on May 05, 2014, 04:21:24 PM
I can hear it ring(?) sometimes when I reach over and grab and turn the volume control, even when music is playing.  It only rings for a second or two, but it's kind of annoying.  I don't have this problem with either of the 6080 tubes I have.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Birkeland on May 05, 2014, 06:24:26 PM
Yeah, that isn't particularly abnormal. 
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: jboehle on May 05, 2014, 06:42:56 PM
Alright, my ignorance and this being my first tube amp is showing through :)  I defer to the great Bottleheads and will give it another chance :)
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: JamieMcC on May 05, 2014, 08:53:16 PM
I can hear it ring(?) sometimes when I reach over and grab and turn the volume control, even when music is playing.  It only rings for a second or two, but it's kind of annoying.  I don't have this problem with either of the 6080 tubes I have.

This is par for the course and the  GEC's are a little more sensitive than others. I don't normally need to change the volume once set so its not a problem and am happy to live with a few idiosyncrasies with these tubes for the results they give.
Title: The real McCoy?
Post by: Strikkflypilot on May 07, 2014, 11:27:08 AM
Hey guys, just bought this tube off the bay.
Supposedly a military GEC CV 2523.
Title: Re: The real McCoy?
Post by: JamieMcC on May 07, 2014, 12:05:09 PM
I have one just like it  ;D

I took a stab at looking up the codes this is what I think they refer to
 
CV is the common valve name/type

The broad arrow is the UK Government issue mark,

I think the letter codes on the side under the arrow are date of manufacture July 1965

X denotes Director of Electronics Research and Development (DERAD) AIR approval.

Z denotes place of manufacture MO Valve Company, Hammersmith

Title: Re: The real McCoy?
Post by: Loon on May 07, 2014, 12:11:56 PM
Bought these a few days ago.
Title: Re: The real McCoy?
Post by: JamieMcC on May 07, 2014, 12:18:35 PM
Are they the ones Skylab (headfi) had listed?
Title: Re: The real McCoy?
Post by: Loon on May 07, 2014, 12:33:00 PM
Yep.  Also got a nice pair of 5998s from him
Title: Re: The real McCoy?
Post by: Strikkflypilot on May 07, 2014, 01:40:42 PM
Thanks, guys, I guess Im in for a treat:)
Will post images when I get them!

Good Job on deciphering the markings, Jamie.
MO is Marconi, right?
Title: Tube Rolling
Post by: rlyach on May 07, 2014, 01:52:26 PM
By the way... I hope I didn't waste my money but I purchased this Mullard 6AS7G. I wanted stay pretty close to the original design and I liked the look of this NOS NIB tube. I won't have much to compare it to but I like the getter at the bottom rather than the top. I have not figured out what the extra wide ring is at the top. Anyone know?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling
Post by: Chris65 on May 07, 2014, 05:38:29 PM
At least the seller listed it as Russian, which is probably what it is. Don't think Mullard themselves made a 6AS7 as that an American designation.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling
Post by: mcandmar on May 07, 2014, 05:47:46 PM
They did re-brand tubes, i have a pair of Mullard 6DN7's which they obviously didn't manufacture, but curiously they don't have any country of manufacture written on them.

I would lay money on them being Sylvania tubes, so i assume they were made in the US.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling
Post by: Paul Birkeland on May 07, 2014, 05:59:42 PM
Yeah, that Mullard 6AS7 looks identical to your average RCA 6AS7G.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling
Post by: rlyach on May 08, 2014, 07:20:27 PM
I received the Mullard 6AS7 in the mail today. Here it is next to a classic RCA 6AS7. The Mullard bottle is larger, the cooling fins are different, and the getters are different. The actual plates look the same however.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling
Post by: ffivaz on May 08, 2014, 10:44:32 PM
Your Mullard really looks like a rebranded Svetlana. I have one that states "Made in West Germany" (no other brand). If I'm not mistaken, I would say they were all made in Russia. IMHO, the big (at least bigger than my RCA 6AS7Gs) metallic deposit at the bottom of the tube is a good indication of Svetlana.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling
Post by: rlyach on May 09, 2014, 06:37:07 AM
Fabien,

I believe you are correct. Here is a Svetlana tube. Looks identical. I hope it sounds good.
Title: GEC 6AS7G brown base
Post by: lordnikon on May 09, 2014, 10:38:10 PM
Does anyone know where I can buy GEC 6AS7G online? I know they're hard to find and there aren't any on eBay either.

I've only managed to find an NOS GEC 6080W selling for $75US. Reasonable?
Title: Re: GEC 6AS7G brown base
Post by: JamieMcC on May 10, 2014, 01:01:22 AM
There are 4 or 5 on ebay at the moment search for A1834 or CV2523 instead they can come branded as GEC, Osram, MARCONI, MOV & Genalex they are all essentially the same 6AS7G tube from the same factory and can be identified by the silver saucer shaped cup getter at the base of the tube. You will also find unbranded government issue ones with just the identification numbers on them. Some of the early MOV ones have black bases but the tube structure is the same.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: ffivaz on May 14, 2014, 09:31:41 AM
I had good experiences with Langrex in the UK (Ebay or langrex.co.uk). They have some GE 6AS7GA for 12 £. I never heard of the this tube before but I just ordered one, the bottle is something between a 6AS7G and a 6080 :)
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Bamboo5354 on May 15, 2014, 05:09:36 PM
Can anyone tell me if this is the same as the GEC Brown Base 6AS7G A1834 CV2523? About to pull the trigger.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/6AS7G-A1834-CV2523-TUBE-GEC-OSRAM-MOV-BROWN-BASE-/121325981859?pt=UK_Sound_Vision_Valves_Vacuum_Tubes&hash=item1c3f9790a3
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Loon on May 15, 2014, 06:07:27 PM
Yep.  Jamie on the forums here has listed this one.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Loon on May 15, 2014, 07:16:24 PM
Anyone tried a 13D3 in input position?  Looks like a higher gain version of 12AU7, just as ECC32 is a higher gain version of 6SN7.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Birkeland on May 15, 2014, 07:20:54 PM
The 13D3 will give higher than desirable grid bias on the 6080, so not the greatest idea without modifications.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Loon on May 15, 2014, 07:30:25 PM
Thanks Paul.

Don't mind modding to get a good op.  Experimenting is half the fun! 

I guess I draw a load line on the data sheet, find the 75 V Plate voltage and either use Ohm's law to determine the necessary plate load and/or change the tube's grid voltage using a different LED to set bias.  Do I have it right?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Birkeland on May 15, 2014, 07:41:33 PM
Draw a dot at about 75V and 1.5V of cathode voltage.  If you have the Speedball, you slide over to the "Y" axis and look at what current this is, then set R1 appropriately.

If you want to use resistive plate loads, add a dot at maximum voltage (power supply is about 200V, so use that), then connect the dots, drawing your line till it hits the Y axis. The slope of this line will be the plate load that should yield 75V.  Do note that this doesn't assure good performance in terms of distortion, just that you get the voltage you need. 
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Loon on May 15, 2014, 07:48:44 PM
Cathode voltage?  Do you mean grid voltage?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Birkeland on May 15, 2014, 07:50:00 PM
It is grid to cathode voltage, so 1.5V on the cathode is considered -1.5V on the grid (provided the grid is grounded of course).
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Loon on May 15, 2014, 07:56:58 PM
Awesome.  Thanks for clearing that up. 

Is there any reason to suspect distortion!  Can I predict this in advance from the data sheets?

Thanks
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Birkeland on May 15, 2014, 08:04:28 PM
Yeah, you can read up about interpreting load lines.  The lowest distortion for a triode will be a load line of infinite impedance (C4S), while acceptable performance generally starts at around 3x plate impedance.  You can also look at the load line you've drawn and examine each chunk of the load line that has been sliced up by the curves on the graph.  If the segments are pretty equal in length, especially close to your quiescent operating point, then you'll probably be OK.  If the segments get really short on one end and really long on the other, you will hear that. 
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: xcoolhandx on May 24, 2014, 04:44:25 PM
6GU7 is a NO-GO,someone mention running "6GU7"on crack along with E80CC...all em I getting is some "hum"..waist of time
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Loon on May 24, 2014, 05:44:52 PM
Pin assignment is different
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: xcoolhandx on May 25, 2014, 01:22:13 AM
Pin assignment is different
thanks,hope this helps
http://www.ebay.com/itm/201083377532
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Loon on May 25, 2014, 02:09:58 AM
Looks promising.  Keep us updated.
Title: Tube Differences
Post by: rlyach on May 28, 2014, 01:37:39 PM
I just received my Tung Sol / Chatham 5998 and couldn't believe the difference from either the RCA or Svetlana 6AS7G. I then looked closely at the cage structure of each tube and noted a very significant difference. In the 5998 the plate is much longer than the cathode and grid, which will collect electrons that are even emitted on the sides of the cathode. Further, the 5998 topology will also shield one triode from the other, reducing cross talk. The 6AS7Gs I had have the cathode and grid about the same length as the plate. I assume this was to facilitate uniform electron travel, but this also allows some (probably small but also probably not insignificant) cross talk between the triodes. Is this correct? I guess I was struck at the significant difference between the tubes. I have drawn a representation of the two tubes for reference. I hope I got it right. Anyway, this difference may help explain why the 5998 sounds so much better than the RCA 6AS7G configuration.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Birkeland on May 28, 2014, 06:55:28 PM
You could play a strong 60Hz tone into the left channel of your Crack and measure the 60Hz output on the right channel with the 6080 and 6AS7 to get a feel for whether or not there is any crosstalk difference between the two. 

FWIW, the spacing is pretty tight between all the elements in one half of a 6080 compared to the distance between the two structures themselves. 
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: rlyach on May 29, 2014, 06:39:52 AM
PB,

I used audacity to create a 60 hz tone on the right channel and played it through my DAC which has the capability to reach +4dbu (pro audio 0VU). Then I sent it to the amp and listened with a pair of headphones. I definitely heard the tone on the quite channel. I then used tape to isolate the ring (right channel) on the TRS plug to hear just the cross talk. The signal was quite a bit louder with the RCA 6AS7G than the 5998, although it was still present with the 5998. I am not sure where the cross talk is coming from but in order to hear it you have to have the amp up at 80% volume with with a +4dbu signal. At -10dbV I can't hear anything with either tube. That is where the amp is spec'ed to run. Now I will look for an oscilloscope to actually do some more measurements. One more thing, I noticed that the 5998 was stronger then the 6AS7G that I have. All in all I like my current combination of the 1958 French RT 12AU7 long plate (balanced) and the 5998. I am really enjoying this amp.

P.S. You are correct on the spacing. The plate separation on the 6AS7G is about 2.5mm for each triode, and about 6mm between the triodes.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Birkeland on May 29, 2014, 09:41:07 AM
You should be able to get an AC voltage reading with your meter for the channel that's supposed to have the 60Hz and the channel that isn't.  This should give you a good starting point for actually measuring the crosstalk.

Using the scope will let you use something like a 1Khz tone, which will be quite distinct from 60Hz noise introduced through the mains.  (IE better accuracy)
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: rlyach on May 29, 2014, 01:27:33 PM
I don't have my multimeter here in my office so I can't do the measurements yet, but I do need to make a correction. I traced down the cross talk to the signal source and not the amp. When I generated the tone on a stereo channel I left the other channel with no data. That was a big mistake. I repeated my initial testing by generating a 60 hz tone on the right channel and silence on the left channel. Now I get no audible crosstalk with either tube even with the volume all the way up. My Tesla T1s have an SPL of 102db so it appears that if there is any crosstalk difference between the tubes because of their respective topologies, it is moot. This seems more reasonable to me.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: junkimchi on May 30, 2014, 06:28:38 AM
What is the proper procedure to follow when rolling a tube? Really don't want some of my tubes to be blown out.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Doc B. on May 30, 2014, 07:31:58 AM
Pretty simple, just be sure the amp is off when you swap tubes, and stay with the types that are recommended for the circuit.
Title: Tube To Reduce Sibilance
Post by: Exaliftin on June 01, 2014, 03:36:06 PM
I am sensitive to sibilance on a lot of recordings and was wondering if there are any tubes that can help smooth out any harsh sounds. I have the crack speedball with modi dac. Thanks
Title: Re: Tube To Reduce Sibilance
Post by: JamieMcC on June 01, 2014, 08:43:19 PM
I am sensitive to sibilance on a lot of recordings and was wondering if there are any tubes that can help smooth out any harsh sounds. I have the crack speedball with modi dac. Thanks

Mullards in either one or both tubes positions would be worth a try. Both are nice sounding tube also  ;D
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Joshewah on June 04, 2014, 12:02:23 PM
I found that the RCA clear top was smooth and less silibant than the new production tube my kit came with. It's an affordable tube too, can usually be found lightly used for about $10 online.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: lordnikon on June 05, 2014, 04:21:10 PM
I purchased an RCA Black plate 6AS7G (probably dated 1950/60s) and it sounded like crap imo.  I'm not sure if I got a defective tube (though it was tested prior to purchasing) it sounded muddy compared with the Philips JAN 6080WC tube that came with my Crack kit. The difference was astonishing. The analytics were gone and sounded "ordinary", nothing magical about it.

The driver tube I'm using is a Telefunken 12AU7 ribbed plate. (Fantastic btw)
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: JamieMcC on June 06, 2014, 06:01:39 AM
Early 1950's Tung-sol 5998 Clear top!

I am actually quiet chuffed with this find, it was in with a bunch of various different untested tubes so took a bit of a gamble with it. First try it didn't work no sound no glow on the heaters  :'(

I pulled it out and had a look to see if I could see any internal damage then retried it ah ha heaters are now glowing and sound but slightly muffled and occasionally dropping out and in on one channel.  ???

Pulled it out to check the pins and they were totally black with some kind of hard carbon or oxidation type of residue. Ten minutes of pin scraping with a xacto knife and a little buff with scotch brite pad later gleaming pins reinsert deep breath and a sigh of relief tubes now working perfectly and its a beautiful sounding tube what a result!  :)

(https://www.head-fi.org/content/type/61/id/1123319/width/350/height/700/flags/LL)

(https://www.head-fi.org/content/type/61/id/1123314/width/350/height/700/flags/LL)



 
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: kscwuzhere on June 06, 2014, 03:53:06 PM
Retrofitted my crack to run the 5687 on 2 toggle switches and all I can say is WOW! I currently have the Raytheon JRP 5687WA and it has done wonders for my set up. Before the mod, the two tubes I found myself using the most were my Telefunken e80cc and my RCA long black plate 12bh7a D getter.

The Telefunken e80cc really brings out the highs for the hd650s (removing all veil) and has a quite impressive overall soundstage. Instruments are full but blend into each other a little bit (compared to the 12bh7a and the 5687). The overall sound signature is balanced with the hd650s and the bass is tight yet lush (missing from the 5687).

The RCA black plate 12bh7a is one of my favorite tubes because of its wide soundstage and its overall lushness. The bass is lush like the e80cc but isn't quite as tight as it feels looser making it "tubier". The 12bh7a makes the beyerdynamic T1s extremely balanced but doesnt quite have the same extension in the highs that the e80cc and the 5687 has that the hd650s need.

Finally, the Raytheon military spec JRP 5687WA. This is the most 3 dimensional sounding tube I've ever heard. The hd650s sound incredibly large and as a result instrument separation has become pretty incredible too. The one downside of this tube is its lack of bass presence. The hd650s are a generally bassy pair of headphones and the raytheons recess it quite noticeably. While still being incredibly tight and fast, its lack of wholebodiness (in the bass) is a little disappointing. Besides the slightly recessed bass the tube is incredibly extended and balanced and I'm going to roll my crack with some other 5687s/equivalent to hopefully bring that bass back to life.
Title: Sonic Bliss. Nirvana. Western Electric 421A
Post by: John EH on June 12, 2014, 03:26:32 PM
Got my 421A in the mail today.  Looks beautiful, sounds better, tests good.

Happy man today.

Title: Re: Sonic Bliss. Nirvana. Western Electric 421A
Post by: Paully on June 12, 2014, 05:34:10 PM
I imagine that should bring you a nice decade or so of musical enjoyment.  Nice!
Title: Re: Sonic Bliss. Nirvana. Western Electric 421A
Post by: John EH on June 12, 2014, 05:54:57 PM
Might last longer than that.  My TV7 says the Triodes test 60/63 where 40 is the minimum acceptable value.   This is a mighty fine tube and it's real well balanced and it makes beautiful treble that I just wasn't quite satisfied with before.

Of course it literally cost more than a stock Crack does but who cares?  This sounds AMAZING!
Title: Re: Sonic Bliss. Nirvana. Western Electric 421A
Post by: Paully on June 12, 2014, 06:23:17 PM
If it makes you happy, I have no problem spending more on the tubes than the amp.  I mean I can't actually do it myself, but as a concept it sounds fine to me!
Title: Re: Sonic Bliss. Nirvana. Western Electric 421A
Post by: John EH on June 13, 2014, 01:55:52 AM
Not sure why this excites me but it does.

Title: Re: Sonic Bliss. Nirvana. Western Electric 421A
Post by: Paully on June 13, 2014, 02:23:38 AM
Lol, so many comments, so little time!
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: mcandmar on June 13, 2014, 04:20:25 AM
I want your tube tester, proper bit of kit!

...nice tube too by the way ;)
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: kscwuzhere on June 13, 2014, 03:27:50 PM
So after retrofitting for the 5687 I decided to roll the 7119 equivalent as it seems to be a very well regarded tube (Doc B. loves it). The Amperex 7119 is so far the best tube for my hd650s. The sound signature is brighter than the raytheon 5687, the bass is more extended and significantly airer but not quite as tight as the 5687, and the mids are lusher. Overall the tone is extremely enjoyable as it really gives the hd650s some treble energy with absolutely beautiful separation and imaging. Each instrument demands its own area and instruments dont bleed into each other at all. I tried this tube with the onelivewire's beyerdynamic T1's and even though it definitely sounded impressive, it wasn't as good as a match as the raytheon as the tube was too bright for my liking.
Title: Re: Sonic Bliss. Nirvana. Western Electric 421A
Post by: lordnikon on June 13, 2014, 04:09:17 PM
Got my 421A in the mail today.  Looks beautiful, sounds better, tests good.

Where did you buy it? I've been looking all over for them.
Title: Re: Sonic Bliss. Nirvana. Western Electric 421A
Post by: John EH on June 14, 2014, 01:28:02 PM
Where did you buy it? I've been looking all over for them.

eBay.  I literally have been trying to get one for years.  I usually bid $200 or $225 and lose every single time.  There are some on eBay that I believe to be quite questionable regarding authenticity.   Anyway i found this one and threw caution to the wind and bid $275  as it started creeping up there I thought for sure somebody else would get it but it ended exactly at $275.  So by my estimation I overpaid for it but I can't get the Sennheiser HD650's off my head since I got it.

Oddly enough I have some pretty epic 12AU7's and I think the best match for this tube is the cheap RCA clear top.  With other 6080's a Mullurd box plate CV 4003 was best.  For whatever reason I don't care for Telefunken tubes in the crack.  WE421A with orange label Clear Top = Best.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: John EH on June 14, 2014, 01:31:58 PM
I want your tube tester, proper bit of kit!

...nice tube too by the way ;)

I work for the government.  Few years ago I was at a repair / overhaul facility in North Island San Diego doing a project on an Aircraft Visual Landing Aid.  There it sat.  I asked the boss about it and he told me they had actually just stopped using it because the last piece of gear with a tube in it, a ships gyro, had just been transitioned out.  It had just been overhauled and calibrated as well.   They told me I could have it.
Title: Re: Sonic Bliss. Nirvana. Western Electric 421A
Post by: NightFlight on June 16, 2014, 06:09:39 PM
eBay.  I literally have been trying to get one for years.  I usually bid $200 or $225 and lose every single time.  There are some on eBay that I believe to be quite questionable regarding authenticity.   Anyway i found this one and threw caution to the wind and bid $275  as it started creeping up there I thought for sure somebody else would get it but it ended exactly at $275.  So by my estimation I overpaid for it but I can't get the Sennheiser HD650's off my head since I got it.

Oddly enough I have some pretty epic 12AU7's and I think the best match for this tube is the cheap RCA clear top.  With other 6080's a Mullurd box plate CV 4003 was best.  For whatever reason I don't care for Telefunken tubes in the crack.  WE421A with orange label Clear Top = Best.

Bah. I went back and forth on the 421A and settled on my TS 1959 5998.  Then I went for a month on the WE41A, then back to the 5998 and the soundstage came back. The glare and noise in the treble went away. 

I bought my 421A for $150, sold for $190 is all I got on ebay. Buyer seems to be happy with it. I put around 100hrs on it only. Ebay had dried up that week. I was really happy when I got it, but after listening, I found the 'airy' treble to be false.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: NightFlight on June 16, 2014, 06:12:13 PM
Oh, you like clear tops!  ::) That explains your taste for 'air'. Oy! Makes my teeth grind. Can't imagine the 421 with a cleartop.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: John EH on June 17, 2014, 11:51:07 AM
Oh, you like clear tops!  ::) That explains your taste for 'air'. Oy! Makes my teeth grind. Can't imagine the 421 with a cleartop.

I'm generally NOT a fan of the Clear Top however I'm telling you in this rig with the 421A it's the best to my ears.  I've run through my collection as well.  The only thing I have not tried yet is my 7316 tubes.  I have two and while both test okay on my TV-7 tester one of them blows stuff up.  I wasn't smart enough to mark it and am scared to play 50/50.  Or who knows maybe both were okay and there was some other factor at play.  I should pop a cheap 6080 in and try them both.

Anyway I have 5 clear tops and only the orange label one sounds awesome to my ears.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: kscwuzhere on June 18, 2014, 10:39:57 AM
Received a 5687 Tungsol cryo treated with black plates from the 1950's and the results are extremely holographic. Comparing to my amperex 7119 PQ, the bass tones are not quite as tight but as a result it has a lot of air. Overall data/detail retrieval between the two tubes are pretty comparable and so is the soundstage size and instrument separation. The tung-sol definitely matched the beyerdynamic T1's better than the hd650s but it was still a tad bright (with the t1s) for my liking. I think I'll be sticking with my 7119s!
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: i luvmusic 2 on June 21, 2014, 01:45:41 AM
 Hi,I just ordered my Crack kit with SB few days ago and i'am looking for any reasonable price upgrade tubes.These are the Tubes i have RCA 6AS7G's,Raytheon 6AS7G's,Sylvania 6AS7G's,Chatham 6AS7G's,RCA,Sylvania,GE 6080's,JJ,EH,Rogers 12AU7's and Various makers of 6SN7's.Can i use the 6SN7 with the Crack?Thank You!
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Lar on June 21, 2014, 01:40:43 PM
Yes you can with adaptor.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: i luvmusic 2 on June 21, 2014, 03:32:24 PM
Yes you can with adaptor.
Thank You!No problem for the adapter i can make those actually i already made some for my other amps that i can used with the crack.The tube heater power is powered by desktop power supply.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Strikkflypilot on June 22, 2014, 10:03:16 AM
Anyone got an opinion as to what is the best input tube to match the GEC 6AS7G/ CV2523 brown base?

I find it hard to express what I want except I want the LIVE/ being there experience as close as it gets.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: JamieMcC on June 22, 2014, 10:10:38 AM
I normally pair my GEC with either a Tungsram or Siemens E80cc   ;)
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: kscwuzhere on June 22, 2014, 11:31:44 AM
Anyone got an opinion as to what is the best input tube to match the GEC 6AS7G/ CV2523 brown base?

I find it hard to express what I want except I want the LIVE/ being there experience as close as it gets.

For darker headphones like the hd650s I'd recommend going with the telefunken or tungsram e80cc. For brighter headphones like the T1s I'd recommend the 12bh7a.

If you want a holographic and concert like experience I recommend retrofitting for the 5687/7119!
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Strikkflypilot on June 22, 2014, 08:36:36 PM
Thanks guys. Siemens E80cc ordered
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: kscwuzhere on June 23, 2014, 06:52:37 AM
Thanks guys. Siemens E80cc ordered

Now that you have your e80cc's, I highly recommend this mod to run it at the correct voltage:

http://bottlehead.com/smf/index.php/topic,5989.30.html

I noticed significant sound improvements when running the tubes at the correct voltages and it also will increase the life of your tube!
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Strikkflypilot on June 23, 2014, 10:39:35 AM
Thanks, I though it was a drop in replacement when the speedball is installed, ref first post.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: JamieMcC on June 23, 2014, 10:54:03 AM
Thanks, I though it was a drop in replacement when the speedball is installed, ref first post.

It basically is and I used mine that way for six months before doing the above mod which tweaks the circuit to a better operating point for the tube so it performs a little better. The mod is easy enough and can be done for well under $10 and well worth the short time it takes to do.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Strikkflypilot on June 23, 2014, 08:51:31 PM
Sweet. Why stop modding now:)
By the way, it seems Your resistors are in parallell for E80CC mod and not in series.
Cool way of doing it! I probably would have found a switch between a 237 and 470ohms resistor that alternates between them.

Would this do as a switch? http://www.farnell.com/datasheets/1633279.pdf
Planning on superglueing the base to each of the small speedball boards.

Oh, and these are the Resistors I am getting: http://no.farnell.com/multicomp/mf12-470r/resistor-0-125w-1-470r/dp/9343245
Those are metal film. Anyone prefer carbon composition?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Joppa on June 24, 2014, 05:01:26 AM
Don't use carbon comp - they are noisy when DC current flows, and they drift in value. Metal film or bulk metal foil ($$) were recommended by the original designer, John Camille.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Strikkflypilot on June 24, 2014, 07:34:00 AM
Thanks Paul, I thought I had read something like that around here.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Strikkflypilot on June 25, 2014, 10:15:17 PM
I am asking the tech experts here, the switches that have been applied, and the one I have bought myself are very large.

What are the specs they need to fulfill in order to switch from one 470ohm to two 470ohms in parallell in terms of heat tolerance, voltage and current?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Birkeland on June 26, 2014, 07:54:21 AM
What are the specs they need to fulfill in order to switch from one 470ohm to two 470ohms in parallell in terms of heat tolerance, voltage and current?

Almost nothing.  3V, 5mA.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Strikkflypilot on June 26, 2014, 11:16:35 AM
Thank You so much:) That should reduce size and weight a bit!
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: pduk on June 28, 2014, 06:55:16 AM
I got a nice TS 5998 a few weeks ago when a bunch popped up on ebay and have been busy listening and trying to match up 12au7s to it for a while now. I had a bit of an epiphany yesterday... I got a really cheap deal on some tung-sol 6080s (just plain 6080) a while back being the only bidder on an auction from Germany, had installed one and really liked it, but then started with the 5998.

I went back to the 6080 yesterday and... I prefer the sound over the 5998. It's got much more heft on the bottom end, the stereo imagery seems more "wide" somehow, and the top end is less fatiguing. I received two 1964 GE 5814A's today (this ebay habit is getting ridiculous but I couldn't resist trying a valve made one year before I was born, and they were only £13 each) and the match is wonderful, to my ears.

I do know I have a preference for low/mid and don't like too much piercing treble. Perhaps this combination happens to suit my ears, or maybe my 5998 is lacking somehow... or is it a case of the Emperors new clothes with some of the pricier valves? I was wondering whether anyone else ended up settling on something else having tried the 5998 or am I the only one?

Paul.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: JamieMcC on June 28, 2014, 07:46:44 AM

I do know I have a preference for low/mid and don't like too much piercing treble. Perhaps this combination happens to suit my ears, or maybe my 5998 is lacking somehow... or is it a case of the Emperors new clothes with some of the pricier valves? I was wondering whether anyone else ended up settling on something else having tried the 5998 or am I the only one?

Paul.

Paul I don't think your alone here I will often listen to a Mullard or GEC 6080 in preference to the 5998 both cost a quarter of the price and can often still be found for under $15. While the 5998 is the more competent all round tube sometimes depending on the genre listened to certain 6080's can be just glorious with a particular track or album.


Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Joppa on June 28, 2014, 01:16:06 PM
I think one of the problems is that a tube in high demand will more likely have gone through several hands before you get it, and the good ones have been weeded out of the pool of available ones.

I also suspect (but can't prove) that an important parameter is the trace chemistry of the oxide coating, which will vary between individual tubes - the tube type and/or manufacturer is correlated but not an infallible indicator. Since it's all proprietary secrets, there are no specs to go by.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: kscwuzhere on July 02, 2014, 09:22:03 AM
I just got an awesome deal on a WE421A yellow/orange label, clear top and this thing is fantastic! I found that compared to my Chatham 5998 the we421a has a slightly smoother and extended top end as well as more perceived timbre in each instrument. I also found mid-highs to sound a little more detailed as I can tell each notes transients better. One hell of a tube!!


Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: i luvmusic 2 on July 02, 2014, 12:19:52 PM
 Is it possible to run 6AS7G/6080 as input tube with a external power supply for the tube heater and what are the necessary MOD to run this tube for the CRACK?THANK YOU!
Title: Correct tube for Crack?
Post by: hardisondan on July 03, 2014, 01:06:15 AM
Is this the right tube for my Crack? In all the photos I've seen of people's completed kits, I don't think I've seen this one..

I like the look of it.. looks a bit like the 300B (in my limited experience), but I hope I've been shipped the right one.

Dan
Title: Re: Correct tube for Crack?
Post by: John EH on July 03, 2014, 02:23:26 AM
What are the markings on the box or tube say.  Probably a Sovtek 6AS7G.  If so that will work fine.
Title: Re: Correct tube for Crack?
Post by: hardisondan on July 03, 2014, 03:23:10 AM
Yes, the box has 6AS7 on it.

Thanks
Title: Re: Correct tube for Crack?
Post by: Joshewah on July 03, 2014, 03:39:26 AM
That's the right tube. It's just the (sexier) ST bottle shape versus the ruggedized shorter bottle of the militarized 6AS7
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Birkeland on July 03, 2014, 04:53:21 AM
Is it possible to run 6AS7G/6080 as input tube with a external power supply for the tube heater and what are the necessary MOD to run this tube for the CRACK?THANK YOU!

This won't work all that well, as the overall gain of the circuit will drop drastically, to maybe something like 5dB with Speedball and maybe 1-2dB without Speedball.  You would also need two of the large Speedball boards to facilitate this.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: i luvmusic 2 on July 03, 2014, 12:10:34 PM
I thought it would but that's ok, THANK YOU!
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: skyfail on July 07, 2014, 07:06:33 AM
Hey so I am building the BH Crack.I needed some help with which tubes to buy.I was hoping if you guys could help me get started.Just shoot out some names of both input and output tubes.Nothing too expensive for starters.Some cheap-bang-for-buck.
I am looking for following sound signature :-
1.Pure analytical sound with insane instrument separation and detail.
2.Pure musical sound with smooth juicy mids and large soundstage,etc.
 
Headphones :- hd650, dt880/250 pros
Dac : -  ODAC.
 
Let me know.
 
Thanks.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: JamieMcC on July 07, 2014, 11:07:54 AM
Hi a popular input tube choice for the HD650 is the RCA 12AU7 clear top it is both widely available and inexpensive and a good place to start.

For the driver tube a good bang for your buck one would be something like a Chatham 6as7g. The Philco 6as7g I tried was also nice and from what I can gather where apparently manufactured by Amperex.

RCA 12au7 clear tops are easy to find on ebay and are often branded Conn just search ebay "12au7 clear top". 

The Chathams turn up regularly and you might see some change from $20 for both tubes on ebay.

http://www.vacuumtubes.net/prices.htm have the Chathams 6as7g's for $20 each by the way

You will find that at the budget end having both 1 & 2 on your list will be challenging its not to hard to have either 1 or 2 on a budget, but not both at the same time so one or of them will be a slight compromise at the budget end.

Have a read of Nick Tams superb Multi 6080/6as7g post to get a handle on tube options for the Crack. It was original posted on the old BHF and in the move to the new website became truncated and a lot of the info was lost. But this link should show original post in full.


http://the-key.enix.org/~krystal/review-tube-bottlehead.html








 






 
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: lordnikon on July 07, 2014, 02:04:13 PM
Are the Chathams 6AS7 similar to the Tung-Sol 5998?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: JamieMcC on July 07, 2014, 10:06:46 PM
Are the Chathams 6AS7 similar to the Tung-Sol 5998?

Read the review in the link posted above it offers a accurate description of the different tubes. 
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Birkeland on July 08, 2014, 02:19:21 PM
You could possibly get a clear top with your kit, so you may want to wait until it arrives.

-PB
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: lordnikon on July 08, 2014, 02:32:28 PM
I received a clear top RCA 12AU7 from my kit. Installed it and there's no sound from the right channel. There's also a lot of buzzing noise.

Replaced it with another tube and the problem went away.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Birkeland on July 08, 2014, 02:42:18 PM
You can always return it to us for a replacement.

-PB
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Kanae707 on July 30, 2014, 04:20:04 PM
Hello, I read the entire 60 pages of the tube rolling thread and searched T1 on the forum.
Still could not really find a clear answer so I thought I would come out and ask.

I currently have a stock Crack + Speedball - no modifications other then aesthetics.
They would be used with a Beyer T1 and a  5998 tube. (Possibly a 7236 as well)
What would pair well with the 5998 tube, or does it even matter?
I read on the forum that 12BH7A are good for T1's because (and I agree) they are quite bright.
I also read that E80CC but am worried about the modifications needed. (I am also confused if you actually need to modify it for an E80CC)

Does anyone have any recommendations for this headphone? Thank you in advanced!
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: kscwuzhere on July 30, 2014, 04:34:53 PM
Hello, I read the entire 60 pages of the tube rolling thread and searched T1 on the forum.
Still could not really find a clear answer so I thought I would come out and ask.

I currently have a stock Crack + Speedball - no modifications other then aesthetics.
They would be used with a Beyer T1 and a  5998 tube. (Possibly a 7236 as well)
What would pair well with the 5998 tube, or does it even matter?
I read on the forum that 12BH7A are good for T1's because (and I agree) they are quite bright.
I also read that E80CC but am worried about the modifications needed. (I am also confused if you actually need to modify it for an E80CC)

Does anyone have any recommendations for this headphone? Thank you in advanced!

I found that the Sylvania 12bh7a's were a fantastic pair with the T1's. However, I would still recommend implementing the resistor mod to run the tube at the optimal plate voltage as it is very simple and can be done for well under $10!

The e80cc is also quite nice with the T1's as it has a superior detail retrieval compared to the 12au7 but is definitely brighter than the 12bh7a's (which are also great for data retrieval). If you decide to get a e80cc I would implement the resistor mod too!

If you're in a modding kind of mood I would highly recommend retrofitting the crack to run the 5687 tube as the T1's match the Sylvania GB5687 better than any other tube I've tried the T1's with! In fact I run my HD800's with a 5687 tube (RCA's) too! It's quite the project (still very cheap) but the results are fantastic!
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: JamieMcC on July 30, 2014, 08:29:58 PM
Hello, I read the entire 60 pages of the tube rolling thread and searched T1 on the forum.
Still could not really find a clear answer so I thought I would come out and ask.

I currently have a stock Crack + Speedball - no modifications other then aesthetics.
They would be used with a Beyer T1 and a  5998 tube. (Possibly a 7236 as well)
What would pair well with the 5998 tube, or does it even matter?
I read on the forum that 12BH7A are good for T1's because (and I agree) they are quite bright.
I also read that E80CC but am worried about the modifications needed. (I am also confused if you actually need to modify it for an E80CC)

Does anyone have any recommendations for this headphone? Thank you in advanced!

I would agree with the above post and also add with the T1's you will be in for nice surprise if you ever get the urge to swap out those electrolytic coupling caps for film ones and change standard volume pot for a stepped attenuator.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: wullymc on July 30, 2014, 11:28:51 PM
Without going to much into modding your Crack I would use the combo of a 5998 and a Mullard CV4003.  It is a 12AU7.  I have DT880 600ohm which like the T1 are pretty bright.  This combination really helped with that.

Also, with the above posts, was is so nice with the Crack is the almost endless things you can do with it!  Good luck!...Dave
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: JamieMcC on August 02, 2014, 10:56:30 PM
I know its the tube thread but if your running with the T1 I would really recommend later trying the standard mods of volume pot and film output caps bypassed with a inexpensive Russian Teflon they really help refine the top end of the phones and takes the T1's to a whole different level.

Everyone raves about how good a match the Crack is with HD650.  But with a few mods the Crack can be a epic a match with the T1's as well.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: kscwuzhere on August 06, 2014, 09:29:11 AM
I just got a pair of Bendix 6080wb slotted graphite plates and I'm absolutely blown away! The bendix is the most articulate tube I've heard on my set up yet (I've heard a couple of new things on an album I've listened to a million times)! They beat all the tungsol 5998, tungsol 7236, the we421a, and the gec 6as7g in terms of speed and accuracy and really jive with my hd800s. I also really do enjoy the warm sound it provides but I wish there was a tad bit more bass presence (like the GECs). As it stands, the Bendix is my go to tube for all music besides those that are brighter in nature (usually rock albums) and those that are recorded poorer; in those cases my GEC is the tube on my crack.

I highly recommend this tube as it is truly unbeatable in it's price range!
Title: Experience with RCA 12AU7 clear top?
Post by: Nathan on August 21, 2014, 04:47:06 PM
I just picked up a NOS 12AU7 RCA clear top which cost 1/5 what I spent on a NOS Mullard 12AU7

I'm thinking this RCA is a very nice tube

Anyone have any meaningful experience with the RCA 12AU7 clear top they would like to share?

I listen through HD600 cans with Cardas wires

My output tube is a 5998- makes me wonder if there's any $20 output tube that's also very, very nice

Title: Re: Experience with RCA 12AU7 clear top?
Post by: Paul Joppa on August 21, 2014, 05:55:18 PM
Back in the day of the Foreplay preamp, the RCA cleartop was consistently highly regarded.

There's a thing I've observed over the years, which is often nobody will agree on their favorite tube but most will agree on their second favorite. The RCA cleartop often occupied that "everybody's second best" spot.  :^)
Title: Re: Experience with RCA 12AU7 clear top?
Post by: mcandmar on August 21, 2014, 06:04:42 PM
That is an interesting observation. Its also nice to see a highly regarded tube that doesn't cost big bucks, not often that happens.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: JamieMcC on August 21, 2014, 10:11:32 PM
That RCA 12au7 clear top is a nice input tube especially in combination with using the HD650's
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Nathan on August 23, 2014, 09:20:48 AM
The RCA 12AU7 clear top cost me a whopping $12 delivered to me door.

I like there observation- everyone's 2nd favorite tube. The clear top is certainly a very good tube!

I have a NOS GE 6AS7GA on its way in. That was under $20. I'm hoping that's another good and inexpensive find.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Nathan on August 26, 2014, 07:23:18 PM
So I got my GE nos 6as7ga. Total investment of that and the RCA 12au7 clear top under $35. A very small bit bright, and not as layered as my Mullard 12au7 and Tung Sol 5998 combo, but damn, great results for less than$35. It's an easy to live with combination
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Adamaley on August 26, 2014, 09:21:54 PM
I have had the Mullard CV4003 paired with my TS 5998 for the last week and I must say that my search for a 12AU7 is over.  Its combination of smoothness and transparency can't be beat, IMO. It doesn't take away from all the things the 5998 brings to the table, but rather enhances them. It rounds the edges off the 5998, which sometimes could be bright paired with other tubes. It is a surprisingly quiet tube as well, and allows you to hear through to the recessed layers of tracks. Lovely.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: ashneel on August 26, 2014, 11:47:01 PM
I have had the Mullard CV4003 paired with my TS 5998 for the last week and I must say that my search for a 12AU7 is over.  Its combination of smoothness and transparency can't be beat, IMO. It doesn't take away from all the things the 5998 brings to the table, but rather enhances them. It rounds the edges off the 5998, which sometimes could be bright paired with other tubes. It is a surprisingly quiet tube as well, and allows you to hear through to the recessed layers of tracks. Lovely.
It's one of my favourite combinations as well together with the Bendox6080+RCA 5814A
For Jazz and similar music..the 5998 and Mullards are sublime
Title: 6080 alternatives
Post by: Maynard on August 31, 2014, 03:32:50 PM
Hi all, wondering what a not expensive alternative for the 6080 tube on the unmodified crack would be??
Title: Re: 6080 alternatives
Post by: JamieMcC on August 31, 2014, 09:19:30 PM
Hi all, wondering what a not expensive alternative for the 6080 tube on the unmodified crack would be??

Have a look at the 6as7g types or the Russian Svetlana Winged C 6H13C the latter can often be found as new old stock for under $10 on ebay don't be put off by its low price or that its Russian made as its just capable as tubes costing twice as much.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Maynard on September 04, 2014, 12:15:06 AM
Can anyone let me know if theNorthern Electric 6SL7 would work well in the crack? 
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Birkeland on September 04, 2014, 05:43:53 AM
Can anyone let me know if theNorthern Electric 6SL7 would work well in the crack?
The 6SL7 would be an equally poor choice for replacing both the 6080 and the 12AU7.
Title: Re: 6080 alternatives
Post by: Natural Sound on September 04, 2014, 06:25:20 AM
Have a look at the 6as7g types or the Russian Svetlana Winged C 6H13C the latter can often be found as new old stock for under $10 on ebay don't be put off by its low price or that its Russian made as its just capable as tubes costing twice as much.

I took a gamble a few years back on an "untested" mixed lot of 12 6AS7's on eBay. I paid something like $25 with shipping. I tested them on my B&K 707 when they arrived. All tested at 77 percent or better. A few tested NOS although they were used. I should have enough replacement tubes to last my lifetime. ;D
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: MrPotatoSalad on September 04, 2014, 10:17:27 AM
What is a good pair of tubes for psychedelic/blues rock, classical, jazz, and the likes. I have an HD600 and will have SB soon. About $90 for both curved power tube and preamp.

Cheers
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: JamieMcC on September 04, 2014, 11:17:52 AM
What is a good pair of tubes for psychedelic/blues rock, classical, jazz, and the likes. I have an HD600 and will have SB soon. About $90 for both curved power tube and preamp.

Cheers

$90 should see you with a Tung-sol 5998 driver and a E80cc input this would give a very noticeable difference to the stock 6080 or the budget 6as7g's

Title: valve suggestions?
Post by: Maynard on September 07, 2014, 07:43:03 PM
Hey all,

So what would the two tube upgrades that first spring to mind when upgrading the stock crack tubes be? Oh, that wouldn't be too expensive btw! The most bang for the buck, or the next step up.
thanks
Title: Re: valve suggestions?
Post by: JamieMcC on September 07, 2014, 11:08:30 PM
Hey all,

So what would the two tube upgrades that first spring to mind when upgrading the stock crack tubes be? Oh, that wouldn't be too expensive btw! The most bang for the buck, or the next step up.
thanks

On the bang for the buck front

For the driver consider a Chatham 6as7g or perhaps a Philco 6as7g the Philco are is said to be made by Amperex and the same as heir own branded 6as7g which sell for four times the price I thought they both sounded better than the RCA and Sylvania 6as7g.   I found the Chatham more too my own liking. The Russian Svetlana Winged C 6H13C can often be found as new old stock for under $10 on ebay don't be put off by its low price or that its Russian made as its just capable as tubes costing twice as much.

Input wise the 12au7 RCA clear top is a favourite with many especially if your using HD650's its also inexpensive and is commonly found branded as Conn. Just search on ebay for "12au7 clear top" and you will be spoilt for choice.

By the way there is a dedicated thread for tube rolling with the Crack lots of info on what types works well with different cans and genera's of music its a long thread but worth a read through and the best place to post questions like yours.

 http://bottlehead.com/smf/index.php?topic=663.900

Title: Re: valve suggestions?
Post by: Maynard on September 07, 2014, 11:30:11 PM
That's great something to explore!
Title: Re: Noise, Heat, and Sparks: Oh My!
Post by: MrPotatoSalad on September 14, 2014, 10:15:37 AM
I got a 12AU7 Bugle Boy and there was a deep hum in the right earpiece with stock Crack. I was going to return it since neither my stock RCA or cleartop RCA 12AU7s made this noise. Is the Bugle Boy a bad tube or is it on my end, most likely?

Secondly, anyone have issues with the RCA 6AS7G background noise? Mine sounds like a quiet power line. Does it go away with burn in usually? Not a big issue but it is noticeable when I first put the headphone on.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: hwaitung on September 15, 2014, 02:39:52 PM
(https://forum.bottlehead.com/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fgd1.alicdn.com%2Fimgextra%2Fi1%2F585846110%2FT2z.B6XzRXXXXXXXXX_%21%21585846110.jpg&hash=53dda5d6f87a37a587cfb3539664e3b4)

Saw this on a China website. It converts two 2C22 to 6SN7, I wonder if it can be done on Crack ;) (since people are using 6SN7 on Crack already) Regardless of the sound, it does have an intimidating look.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: mcandmar on September 15, 2014, 03:01:40 PM
I have  questions about tube but it's not for the CRACK so pardon me.
Do i need a match pair of  tube for the S.E.X.?
Is it important to match the  tubes for S.E.X.?
 
THANK YOU!

You dont "need" matched pairs but it is preferable.   Its also very difficult to do as there are two sections per tube so finding a pair that measure the same for each section is rare.  Even with half a dozen tubes you will end up making compromises to try and get a fairly even pair so i wouldn't worry about it personally.



Saw this on a China website. It converts two 2C22 to 6SN7, I wonder if it can be done on Crack ;) (since people are using 6SN7 on Crack already) Regardless of the sound, it does have an intimidating look.

Thats a bit fugly looking.  Go buy a 6F8G and converter instead, its pretty much an identical tube to a 6SN7, but in a far prettier package.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: i luvmusic 2 on September 16, 2014, 10:48:28 AM
THANK YOU!
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: FairDinkum on September 30, 2014, 01:28:42 PM
Crack with Speedball and HD650 here. I've purchased some Conn 12AU7 clear top. Any suggestions for power tubes? I mainly listen to soundtracks, classical and vocals. In the mean time I'll be going through all 61 pages of this thread lol.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: i luvmusic 2 on September 30, 2014, 01:55:08 PM
Chatham 6AS7G,TUNG-SOL 6080(not those graphite plates i can't afford it:) and 6H13C these are my fav.......
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Colin on October 03, 2014, 12:56:32 PM
Well, I just couldn't resist any longer.
I replaced the Toshiba 5963 that was included in my kit with a mid 50's CBS Hytron 5814a BP, 2mica with the tilted square getter.  I still have the supplied RCA 6080 installed but I replaced the stock signal wire with Cardas 24awg shielded between the RCA's and the pot and 21awg solid silver (from M Percy) for the rest.
It's just been a couple of hours but I'm lovin' it! Great imaging, deep soundstage, fantastic bass, very nice snap, and the highs aren't nearly as forward as with the Toshiba. Very musical!
I almost don't have the heart to try the rest of my stash,.. I said almost.
I'll live with this set up for a while though,.. of course there's that new TKD pot staring me in the face too.
I just have no self control anymore!
I'm a newbie in diy. Just finished build my first diy, crack. After reading this topic, i impress & want to try make some upgrade/changed with yours. So what do you mean by 'stock signal wire'? Is that the red wire? Changed it from rca terminal to potentiometer pot(only)? And 'the rest' is mean the white wire from rca terminal to poteniometer pot? Please help. Thank you
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Colin on October 03, 2014, 01:00:21 PM
I've so voided my warranty:  All of the signal path wire is multiple-strand silver-plated Teflon mil-spec, the RCA jacks feed the pot via Canare shielded quad, the pot's from DIY-HiFi (their Alps clone), the headphone jack is a Neutrik locking jack, the caps are those huge Axon films, and I've rolled in a RCA 6AS7.

What an amazing amp!  Dead quiet, the bass has incredible slam and definition.  Brushes against a drumhead are stunning. It does a better job with my HD-650's than my K-702's but not by much. Right now I'm feeding it Apple Lossless via a RWA modified iPod. Blows away my DarkVoice 336 and my Woo Wa3. In fact I just gave the DV to my son-in-law.

Dead simple to build and incredible sound. Doc, you guys rock!
So impresive to hear your modification and its results. Want to try changed the headphone jack, but miss understanding the way you're done. Could you please to help me post a picture. Thank you very much
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: tjessen on October 09, 2014, 04:44:57 PM
I'm running my Crack with a Tung sol 5998 but the stock driver tube. Has anyone have any good suggestions? I'm looking at the 12au7 clear top but was curious about other sound signatures.

Thanks  :)
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: JamieMcC on October 09, 2014, 09:32:37 PM
I'm running my Crack with a Tung sol 5998 but the stock driver tube. Has anyone have any good suggestions? I'm looking at the 12au7 clear top but was curious about other sound signatures.

Thanks  :)

The RCA clear top will work well if your using the HD650 but might not suit if your listening with cans that already have a bright signature or a trebly top tend.

What cans are you using?  Perhaps we can suggest a few 12au7 options for you to look into further. 
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: tjessen on October 10, 2014, 04:34:35 AM
HD650 Jamie, however I'm looking for a brighter and not so bright tube :)
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: JamieMcC on October 10, 2014, 10:59:13 AM
HD650 Jamie, however I'm looking for a brighter and not so bright tube :)

So RCA clear top, easy to find and cheap if you go for the CONN branded ones.

For a not so bright tube with the 650's look for a Tung-sol JTL 12au7 the earlier the better, one from the 1950's is ideal these are very similar to the Tung-sol 12au7 black glass but less expensive and are nice sounding tubes but still have a slightly brighter presentation which the helps the 650's.

If your running the speedball then the a E80cc is a must try.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: nate craig on October 14, 2014, 07:41:29 PM
Hi guys, I just noticed that my tube has crack on it, don't know how it came, so I'm looking to replace it with another tube.
Currently I'm running 6080 stock with 12AU7A clear top, Senn 650 and mostly listening to Jazz & Acoustic.
Any recommendation?

Sorry, I'm a dummy, but what does "Test Result" (on eBay) mean?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Maynard on October 17, 2014, 03:25:16 PM
Hey.
Anyone have experience with the rca 6as7g black plate clear tops with a mazda 12au7?? Also looking forward to trying my svetlana 6h13c with the rca 12au7 clear top after a recommendation from a previous post!!
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: skyfail on November 05, 2014, 03:50:27 AM
Guys I am using a 12au7. Brand cant figure out.
Maybe a Slyvania JAN CHS 12AU7
So the issue is the tube is working fine when music is on.
But when the music is off,the tube is making grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr noise on the left channel.
Any tips ?

Let me know.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: mcandmar on November 05, 2014, 04:46:53 PM
Guys I am using a 12au7. Brand cant figure out.
Maybe a Slyvania JAN CHS 12AU7
So the issue is the tube is working fine when music is on.
But when the music is off,the tube is making grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr noise on the left channel.
Any tips ?

Let me know.

Make sure the tube pins are nice and clean, remove any oxidization etc.  It may just be a noisy tube.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: mcandmar on November 05, 2014, 05:04:56 PM
I found a few 12au7 variants that dont break the bank and might be of interest to Crack owners,

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/310139224510?_trksid=p2059210.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT (http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/310139224510?_trksid=p2059210.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT) RFT from what i have read were made in East Germany, odd looking plates in them but they are astounding good little tubes, nice deep low end extension too.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/271159045585?_trksid=p2059210.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT (http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/271159045585?_trksid=p2059210.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT) Seller claims they are Brimars which i can believe as i always liked the Brimar ECC82. 13D5A was some weird UK military spec, its a bit like a 5963 or 5814.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/5963-12AU7-ECC82-SYLVANIA-SQUARE-GETTER-NOS-TUBE-VALVE-/271428375357?pt=UK_Sound_Vision_Valves_Vacuum_Tubes&hash=item3f3264533d (http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/5963-12AU7-ECC82-SYLVANIA-SQUARE-GETTER-NOS-TUBE-VALVE-/271428375357?pt=UK_Sound_Vision_Valves_Vacuum_Tubes&hash=item3f3264533d) My favorite of the murican tubes, i have a few with "US Army" written on them in Gold text, very clean sounding.  A close 2nd to them would be the RCA Clear tops.

The same seller also sells Brimar, Mullard, and Telefunken 6211's for as much as those three together.  Personally i prefer clean and clear sounding tubes, i actually really dislike the Mullard ECC82 as i find it dull and muddy sounding which the same seller lists at £42. Buy these three instead :)
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: pduk on November 09, 2014, 06:12:25 AM
I'm listening to Tori Amos "Unrepentant Geraldines" right now on the RFT valve (yes, I couldn't resist) having swapped out my RCA clear top. The power valve is the standard tung sol 6080. Well... the kick drum is really kicking, the bass is throbbing, and it still sounds pleasantly bright which was one of the reasons for using the RCA, to lift the top end a bit on the 650 headphones. So, a good call so far, thank you. 12 quid well spent :)

Paul.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: danw on November 20, 2014, 10:08:05 AM
Hello,

I'm new in to the tubes and Crack world. What do you guys think about this tube?

h ttp://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Vintage-Western-Electric-421A-5998-STEREO-TUBE-Shorted-/400802730381?pt=Vintage_Electronics_R2&hash=item5d51b4518d

Is this the same tube as a Western Electric 421A???

Is this a good choice? Thanks.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Chris65 on November 20, 2014, 10:55:02 AM
Avoid. Says it is shorted, so will not work. He's only selling it as a display piece, otherwise it would cost a heck of a lot more.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: danw on November 20, 2014, 03:04:50 PM
Thanks for warning me.

Title: Re: Has anyone tried the Koss PRO4AA with Crack?
Post by: JamieMcC on November 29, 2014, 12:42:37 PM
Those GEC's are exceptionally nice sounding tubes.
Title: Re: Re: Has anyone tried the Koss PRO4AA with Crack?
Post by: Adrian on November 29, 2014, 01:21:07 PM
Correct JamieMcC on the GEC 6AS7G.
When I replaced the Mullard 6080WA (rebranded Philips - made in Mullard Mitcham plant) the HD600s came alive and the 4AAs got markedly better.
The combination of the 6AS7G and the Cleartop work well with both of these cans.
If I had a brighter headphone, say a Beyerdynamic, I would probably have to go back to the 6080 or most likely just replace the Cleartop with a Mullard CV4003 to cut back on the top end sparkle of these cans.
Title: Re: Re: Has anyone tried the Koss PRO4AA with Crack?
Post by: JamieMcC on November 29, 2014, 09:15:48 PM
Correct JamieMcC on the GEC 6AS7G.
When I replaced the Mullard 6080WA (rebranded Philips - made in Mullard Mitcham plant) the HD600s came alive and the 4AAs got markedly better.
The combination of the 6AS7G and the Cleartop work well with both of these cans.
If I had a brighter headphone, say a Beyerdynamic, I would probably have to go back to the 6080 or most likely just replace the Cleartop with a Mullard CV4003 to cut back on the top end sparkle of these cans.

I ran the GEC with the Mullard cv4003 for some time its one of my three favourite tubes and a very nice combination with the GEC and my Beyerdynamics. The others being the Tungsram E80cc with the speedball switchable resistor modification and a black glass National Union 6sn7 gtb with a adapter.
Title: Re: Re: Has anyone tried the Koss PRO4AA with Crack?
Post by: John EH on November 30, 2014, 10:31:34 AM
Correct JamieMcC on the GEC 6AS7G.
When I replaced the Mullard 6080WA (rebranded Philips - made in Mullard Mitcham plant) the HD600s came alive and the 4AAs got markedly better.
The combination of the 6AS7G and the Cleartop work well with both of these cans.
If I had a brighter headphone, say a Beyerdynamic, I would probably have to go back to the 6080 or most likely just replace the Cleartop with a Mullard CV4003 to cut back on the top end sparkle of these cans.

It's funny you mention the Cleartop because I have all manner of 12AU7 and always found the clear tops to be not so great in other audio gear, however they are exceptional in the Crack.  I am currently running the CV4003 though.  But my other Crack has a clear top in it.  It a fine synergistic match for some reason or another.  Again, not so in other gear.
Title: does bottlehead sell stock replacement tubes?
Post by: howzz1854 on December 02, 2014, 04:15:33 PM
i am just wondering, since i am using the crack A LOT now. i'd like to stock up on some stock replacement tubes.

does bottlehead sell them? if not, where are some of the best places to get stock crack tubes.
Title: Re: does bottlehead sell stock replacement tubes?
Post by: JamieMcC on December 02, 2014, 08:54:52 PM
For many of us ebay is a endless source of tubes for every budget, just search for "6080 tube" or "6as7g" for the driver tube and "12au7" for the input tube.

Have fun.
Title: Re: does bottlehead sell stock replacement tubes?
Post by: Nathan on December 03, 2014, 12:50:49 AM
I'll 2nd the eBay suggestion. Tons of tubes on eBay. I have a spare set of tubes and I think I paid between $30 and $35 for both tubes with shipping. My spare input is an RCA clear top and my spare driver is a GE 6 as7g.

But as always, it's buyer beware. One tube I bought for $9 was DOA.
Title: Re: does bottlehead sell stock replacement tubes?
Post by: borism on December 03, 2014, 04:42:49 AM
Another option is to get tubes from a reputable supplier like Brent Jessee (audiotubes dot com). Those are tested and guaranteed not to be DOA. You would be surprised how reasonable the cost is.
Title: Re: does bottlehead sell stock replacement tubes?
Post by: JamieMcC on December 03, 2014, 08:30:59 AM
A lot of the dealers also have ebay outlets by the way. Generally I don't buy from anyone with under a 99% feed back rating and I normally check to see what negative feed back was given for.



 
Title: Valvo
Post by: Maynard on December 03, 2014, 10:33:51 AM
Hi there anyone know how a valvo ecc88 will go in the crack replacing a rca cleartop? A TYP : ECC82 12AU7 18mm long Plates 45° D Getter valvo to be precise! Thanks in advance:) oh an ill be using with a svetlana 6h13c btw.
Title: Re: Valvo
Post by: mcandmar on December 03, 2014, 11:13:54 AM
ECC88 or 82?   two very different tubes.
Title: Re: Valvo
Post by: galyons on December 03, 2014, 11:20:10 AM
If you actually mean ECC82, then yes.  If you actually mean ECC88 then....Generally, even though the two tubes have a similar base and pin-out arrangements, they are not considered a direct substitutes for each other.  The ECC88 heater current is 20% higher, the transconductance nearly 400% higher and the amplification factor is 50% higher, (mu of 33 v. 20).  That being said it will probably play without harming the circuit. 

PB is the designer and, IMO, best qualified to give a definitive response, since the circuit was not designed for the 6DJ8/6922/ECC88 tubes.

Cheers,
Geary
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Maynard on December 03, 2014, 03:10:27 PM
Eec 82 sorry yes this won't work in the crack
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: mcandmar on December 03, 2014, 03:19:47 PM
ECC82 is euro speak for 12AU7 so it will work fine.
Title: Re: Schiit Bifrost + Crack = good combo
Post by: howzz1854 on December 03, 2014, 04:29:36 PM
Concur.  I have a Bifrost that I use with my Crack. Stunning sound.   Now get you a Western Electric 421A if you want to push it further.

what sort of improvement will i see with a WE 421ZA?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: denti alligator on December 03, 2014, 05:27:32 PM
I've got a Crack on order. What tubes will sound best with the HD600s?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: JamieMcC on December 03, 2014, 10:04:32 PM
I've got a Crack on order. What tubes will sound best with the HD600s?

I would see how you like the stock ones first, then if you want to tweak the presentation we could off suggestions. The stock tubes you receive with kit are a bit of a lucky dip.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: skyfail on December 04, 2014, 12:56:11 AM
Guys I just scored some Amperex bugleboys on ebay.Can you please check them out and tell me if these are the same "much talked" about 12au7 bugleboys. I was just fooling around ebay and placed a cheeky bid on one of them and the seller accepted . Now I am in a dilemma of whether it will be worth it to buy them.
 
Current tubes :-
Sylvania JAN-CHS 12au7
Westinghouse 12au7 no: 337
BEL 12au7 [indian tube]
Tungsol black bottle/glass
 
 
Links of the Amperex bugleboys  :-
//http://www.ebay.in/itm/AMPEREX-ECC82-BUGLE-BOY-HOLLAND-12AU7-PERFECT-BALANCE-SMALL-LOGO-VINTAGE-1959-/331395728784?ssPageName=ADME:L:COSI:IN:1123
 
///http://www.ebay.in/itm/AMPEREX-ECC82-HOLLAND-12AU7-K64-FOIL-GETR-LONG-PLATE-VINTAGE-1958-BUGLE-BOY-/331397907294?ssPageName=ADME:L:COSI:IN:1123
 
Do check the above links and let me know if I should go ahead with the deal.
 
Cheers.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: denti alligator on December 04, 2014, 03:50:43 AM
I would see how you like the stock ones first, then if you want to tweak the presentation we could off suggestions. The stock tubes you receive with kit are a bit of a lucky dip.

Really? So the kits can come with different tubes, depending on what's in stock?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Birkeland on December 04, 2014, 07:16:01 AM
Yes, some kits have even shipped with Amperex and Mullard 12AU7's.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Klots on December 04, 2014, 10:09:47 AM
Hi! Few quick question.

I know that there has been many talk about mod to use E80CC tube in crack, but I ordered a E80CC tube and a speedball few days a go. Tube will arrive next week and speedball will arrive in January I guess, so my question is. Can I use E80CC tube in my un-modified crack (5998 as output tube) until my speedball arrives or just to test it for a evening? I just dont want to ruin anything in my crack, but my CBS5814A broke to pieces yesterday and this rca 12au7 that came with my crack is very microphonic and it is not nice to use it.

And my 5998 tube is making some high pitch squeal/whistle. When I tap on the tube, it goes away. All voltages etc are correct. I resoldered every joint and nothing changed. This sound appears about 30min after turning amp on. Is it common with tubes that they can produce such a high pitch sound and can it mess something up in my Crack? Can anything else cause this high pitch sound?

Thanks!


EDIT: Made a video about the squeal with my phone. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jp7yqqHaapk&list=UUWtiH_7yoxsoY6E6k1UKMpQ 
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Birkeland on December 04, 2014, 10:18:38 AM
Yes, the E80CC will work in the stock circuit, it just isn't optimized for that particular tube.

-PB
Title: Re: Re: Schiit Bifrost + Crack = good combo
Post by: John EH on December 04, 2014, 01:36:06 PM
what sort of improvement will i see with a WE 421ZA?

It's considered to be the Cadillac of the 6080 types.  Some folks prefer the Chatham 5998.  I have both and prefer the WE421A although I have to say this and I may be crazy but one of my Cracks has a JAN 6080 that looks like it went through a war and it may be the best sounding one I have.
Title: Tube question
Post by: Maynard on December 05, 2014, 09:04:15 PM
Hi does anyone know anything about this tube? ECC82 12AU7 18mm long Plates 45° D Getter, and how it would sound in the crack?
Title: Re: Tube question
Post by: Paul Birkeland on December 06, 2014, 03:30:59 AM
Hi does anyone know anything about this tube? ECC82 12AU7 18mm long Plates 45° D Getter, and how it would sound in the crack?

That could probably be anything.  Is there any acid etching on the glass?  Can you post a couple photos of the tube?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Maynard on December 06, 2014, 05:26:31 AM
It's a valvo on eBay at the moment
Title: 6h13c talk
Post by: Maynard on December 07, 2014, 12:50:38 AM
Can anyone tell me the sound characteristics of the svetlana 6h13c? Just started using on over the stock 6080 in conjunction with an rca cleartop and the sound seems warmer and fuller.

Title: Re: 6h13c talk
Post by: JamieMcC on December 07, 2014, 08:40:40 AM
Can anyone tell me the sound characteristics of the svetlana 6h13c? Just started using on over the stock 6080 in conjunction with an rca cleartop and the sound seems warmer and fuller.

Shhh or every one will want one and soon you wont be able to find them under $10 each NOS try it paired with a E80cc up front  ;)



Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Maynard on December 07, 2014, 09:49:49 AM
Hehehe...ok mums the word👼👼👼
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Maynard on December 07, 2014, 11:23:53 AM
Actually would this e80 cc work in the crack I've read somewhere that it's not advisable to use. Too much heat generation?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: JamieMcC on December 07, 2014, 11:35:34 AM
Actually would this e80 cc work in the crack I've read somewhere that it's not advisable to use. Too much heat generation?

From the horses mouth

Yes, the E80CC will work in the stock circuit, it just isn't optimized for that particular tube.

-PB

Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: mcandmar on December 09, 2014, 06:25:48 AM
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/5-x-CV491-ECC82-Electron-tubes-high-spec-Unusual-with-blue-print-/151506812480?ssPageName=ADME:B:SS:IE:3160 (http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/5-x-CV491-ECC82-Electron-tubes-high-spec-Unusual-with-blue-print-/151506812480?ssPageName=ADME:B:SS:IE:3160)

Another source for RFT tubes, this time in a military guise.  I believe the CV491 designation was for tubes that were subject to stringent testing. I already bought a set of these and they all tested exactly the same.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: MattTCG on December 14, 2014, 06:15:20 AM
Hey guys, I'm struggling to find the right driver tube to complement my hd800. Currently using the ts5998 which I love. The stock drive tube was noisy. Then I tried some RCA and Conn clear tops. They didn't do much for me. I'm looking for a lusher sound and a little more bass.

Suggestions are appreciated.

thanks...
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: wullymc on December 14, 2014, 06:18:12 AM
I have DT880's which are considered bright.

Right now I am using a 2399 (basically a 5998) and a Mullard CV4002 which is the equivalent to a 12au7.  Mullards are known to tone down the bright.  Might be worth a shot!

Take care...DAve
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Klots on December 14, 2014, 09:24:36 AM
Hi! Few quick question.

I know that there has been many talk about mod to use E80CC tube in crack, but I ordered a E80CC tube and a speedball few days a go. Tube will arrive next week and speedball will arrive in January I guess, so my question is. Can I use E80CC tube in my un-modified crack (5998 as output tube) until my speedball arrives or just to test it for a evening? I just dont want to ruin anything in my crack, but my CBS5814A broke to pieces yesterday and this rca 12au7 that came with my crack is very microphonic and it is not nice to use it.

And my 5998 tube is making some high pitch squeal/whistle. When I tap on the tube, it goes away. All voltages etc are correct. I resoldered every joint and nothing changed. This sound appears about 30min after turning amp on. Is it common with tubes that they can produce such a high pitch sound and can it mess something up in my Crack? Can anything else cause this high pitch sound?

Thanks!


EDIT: Made a video about the squeal with my phone. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jp7yqqHaapk&list=UUWtiH_7yoxsoY6E6k1UKMpQ

A little update: It is not the tube. I put my GE 6AS7GA tube in again and have been listening for a few hours. It makes the noise too, slightly different from 5998 but still. If I tap on the tube then it goes silent and then starts again. This mystery sound is only heard in left channel. What component in Crack could make the output tube to sqeal? All ideas welcome. Thanks!
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: borism on December 14, 2014, 09:42:58 AM
Since it is responsive to tapping on the tube but is not specific to a tube I would wonder about the solder on the tube socket and reflow all the pin connectors.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Klots on December 14, 2014, 09:59:55 AM
Since it is responsive to tapping on the tube but is not specific to a tube I would wonder about the solder on the tube socket and reflow all the pin connectors.

I will resolder all pin connectors tomorrow. I bought two new sockets (same that comes with crack) and I will replace the tube socket when they arrive. Just to see if that changes anything. New clean solderjoints to all pins.

Small update: If I unplug headphones and plug them in again, it goes quiet and then in some time it starts again. That headphones out and in works everytime.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Nick Tam on December 22, 2014, 10:35:15 PM
Hey guys, I'm struggling to find the right driver tube to complement my hd800. Currently using the ts5998 which I love. The stock drive tube was noisy. Then I tried some RCA and Conn clear tops. They didn't do much for me. I'm looking for a lusher sound and a little more bass.

Suggestions are appreciated.

thanks...

How bout a less resolving tube that's orientated towards warmth? I found the TS5998 to be sibilant at times with a wrong combination of input tube and headphones so less high end, less resolving, more bass does the trick. Problem is there aren't many tubes that fit your  bill other than the Sylvania GB6080 and the Bendix 6080WB

If you can get a Bendix tube it might just do the trick. It's a superior tube to the 5998 with tighter bass and faster pace overall
Title: Re: The 6080 tube guide
Post by: Nick Tam on December 23, 2014, 02:24:52 AM
2 years later, all them tubes are extinct or prices just inflated real bad...
Title: Re: The 6080 tube guide
Post by: mcandmar on December 23, 2014, 03:28:03 AM
They still come up on ebay from time to time.  The tier 1 tubes are silly money, and over rated IMO.  Buy a Sylvania Gold brand or Valvo 6080, or a Russian 6H13C and your 90% there for $20.
Title: Re: The 6080 tube guide
Post by: Doc B. on December 23, 2014, 05:31:27 AM
2 years later, all them tubes are extinct or prices just inflated real bad...

Welcome to my world. Before you talk something up on the Internet make sure you own most of them. When we started Tape Project a Technics RS1500 was worth about $250. A year later you could sell them all day long for $1200. I wasn't smart enough to buy every one I could find before we started.
Title: Re: The 6080 tube guide
Post by: JamieMcC on December 23, 2014, 08:06:43 AM
Compared to many hobbies a tube here and there really isn't to bad. Finding a 60 year old tube that still works and sounds great is also lot of fun for relatively small beer.

I don't want to think about how much the other half spends getting her hair done!
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Jimb0 on December 26, 2014, 06:18:47 PM
Hi guys,

How does the Chatham 6AS7G sound with the Crack? Also, thinking about getting the Mullard ECC82 Re-issue from Tube Store dot com or the Valvo ECC82 on eBay. Do these two tubes go well together? Your thoughts are much appreciated. Thanks

Jimb0
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: remedy on December 29, 2014, 09:35:49 AM
picked up pair of Bendix 6080WB's, one of them has an audible "tick" sound inside of it that happens every 2-5 seconds (keeps ticking until it cools off after i take it out too) and it's driving me nuts. is it a bad tube? anything that can be done?

oh good and the other one i can't even type on my keyboard without getting microphonics through the right channel.

gotta love ebay.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: JamieMcC on December 29, 2014, 01:33:37 PM
picked up pair of Bendix 6080WB's, one of them has an audible "tick" sound inside of it that happens every 2-5 seconds (keeps ticking until it cools off after i take it out too) and it's driving me nuts. is it a bad tube? anything that can be done?

oh good and the other one i can't even type on my keyboard without getting microphonics through the right channel.

gotta love ebay.

I have had a brought a few nos graphite plate tubes in the past most have suffered from pops and ticks. I left mine running for a couple of days straight with a old pair of phones I use for testing and they have settle down with running in. I also brought a bunch of used ones from equipment pulls they all tested at nos level and all of them ran nice and quiet.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Birkeland on December 30, 2014, 06:31:56 AM
The ticking sound could be the glass heating up.  On tubes with very thick glass, this can take a long time (an hour or so on 6C33' in my experience).
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Jimb0 on December 30, 2014, 09:46:00 AM
Can anyone confirm if this is the Mullard CV 4003 Box Plate?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/MULLARD-NOS-NIB-CV4003-12AU7A-TUBES-/400784606401?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item5d509fc4c1
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Birkeland on December 30, 2014, 10:42:58 AM
Yes, it is.  That is a pretty reasonable price as well.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Jimb0 on December 30, 2014, 10:19:02 PM
Yes, it is.  That is a pretty reasonable price as well.

Thanks Paul,

Also,

I've read up on 12BH7's as being superior to 12AU7's. I'd like to try them both to compare the two tubes. Can anyone recommend a good 12BH7 tube? I'm looking at the Vintage CBS 12BH7 Black Plates on eBay right now for around $30. Is this a good deal?

Btw, I have Crack+Speedball and running on HD650's.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Doc B. on December 31, 2014, 06:06:45 AM
Yes, it is.  That is a pretty reasonable price as well.



Man, I am out of touch. I remember when they were more like $15. Of course I also remember when guys used to drive to my house with truckloads of tubes and ask me to take them.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Birkeland on December 31, 2014, 09:03:15 AM
I've read up on 12BH7's as being superior to 12AU7's. I'd like to try them both to compare the two tubes.
It appears that the 12BH7 will need to run more current than a 12AU7 to properly bias the output stage in the Crack. 

-PB
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: John EH on January 01, 2015, 08:10:36 PM
Just bought some Svetlana Winged C 6h13c tubes from Russia on eBay and I'm stunned and amazed.  I have the Chatham 5998 and Western Electric 421A and I think I've just struck gold and at $10 a pop I just don't think anyone can go wrong.  They are a tad brighter than 5598 Chatham and WE421A but I like bright.

I'm buying a stash of these things.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: John EH on January 02, 2015, 11:45:30 AM
Just bought some Svetlana Winged C 6h13c tubes from Russia on eBay and I'm stunned and amazed.  I have the Chatham 5998 and Western Electric 421A and I think I've just struck gold and at $10 a pop I just don't think anyone can go wrong.  They are a tad brighter than 5598 Chatham and WE421A but I like bright.

I'm buying a stash of these things.

I'm going to somewhat retract this statement.  Left the Crack on all night and started listening again and it sounds flat now. A good tube but not a great tube.  Lots of things are bright and airy when new and then settle in.  This settled in a lot.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: stupidmop on January 03, 2015, 02:54:30 PM
 Hi all, had the crack over a year but new to forum(s). I've read this whole thread, very informative, but none of the links work about modding to use a 6dj8 or 12ax7 or whatever. Supposedly can be done and have a toggle switch? sounds yummy as I have a bunch of 6922 and equivalents.  Should I start a new topic? Seems a lot of good modding posts have been lost. Sorry if this is out of place and thanks for any help.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Chris65 on January 03, 2015, 03:14:02 PM
From the Crack FAQ:

Can I use a 12AX7, 12AT7, 6922, 12AV7, etc. in my Crack in place of the 12AU7?

Interestingly enough, the original 3-4 Cracks used higher gain tubes like these, but they are far too sensitive for this circuit, and you may only end up being able to use a small portion of the volume control's rotation before you attain maximum output power of the amplifier (referred to as "hair trigger" level control).

Maybe you were looking for something like this:
http://bottlehead.com/smf/index.php?topic=5989.0 (http://bottlehead.com/smf/index.php?topic=5989.0)
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: stupidmop on January 03, 2015, 03:42:13 PM
 Thanks for the quick response but no I'm wanting to have the one 9 pin socket and use it for the different types. I have a project sunrise and all I have to do is change a jumper and I can use virtually any 6 and 12 volt 9 pin tubes, bias adjustment necessary of course. Nikolay from tubemaze told me his crack is modded in this fashion but I can't get anything on the search. Just don't want to start a new thread if I shouldn't. Like I said I'm new to this forum stuff.
 Edit: should prob note that my crack is stock and I plan to keep it that way, no speedball for me. I have alot of tubes and enjoy rolling. I've heard speedball makes these changes less apparent. I'll keep looking....
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Birkeland on January 04, 2015, 08:05:10 AM
As is mentioned in the FAQ, you'll need to switch a lot more to use higher gain tubes.  With something like a 12AX7, assuming you have the Speedball and have modified it for the 12AX7, you would want 30dB of padding at the input of the Crack. 

Without the Speedball, you can't get enough loading resistance to use something like a 12AX7 or 12AT7.  You might be able to switch the heaters around to use a 6922, which should bias up around 70V on the plate with the stock circuit, and I believe the 6CG7 would work at that point too. 

Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: stupidmop on January 04, 2015, 03:52:33 PM
 Yes, the 6922 is my main concern. I have some 68 teles that I wanna put in the crack, among others.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Joppa on January 04, 2015, 04:06:52 PM
If you re-wire the heater for 6922 and leave pin 9 unused, you can sub a 6AU7 with no changes. Nobody wants a 6AU7, they all want the 12AU7, but it's the same tube except for heater voltage. Just a thought.  :^)
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Birkeland on January 05, 2015, 06:53:57 AM
Yes, the 6922 is my main concern. I have some 68 teles that I wanna put in the crack, among others.
If you do this, be aware that they have roughly twice the voltage gain of the 12AU7.  You will certainly have the hair trigger volume control issue with the 6922 unless a lot of padding is used.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: stupidmop on January 05, 2015, 12:28:25 PM
 Bummer. Don't think me skills are up to that. Thanks for the info. Just have to keep the sunrise around ;)
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: danw on January 07, 2015, 08:10:54 PM
Hi.
Is this the same tube as Tung-sol 5998? If not how does it sound compared to TS5998? Thank you.

h ttp://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/1-Tung-Sol-6520-Tube-USA-5998-type-/141533110716?pt=Vintage_Electronics_R2&hash=item20f407e1bc
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: JamieMcC on January 07, 2015, 09:03:22 PM
Unfortunately it is not the same tube the 5998 types have a domino pattern on their plates.

It looks like a regular Tung-sol 6as7g which are often found branded as Chatham they are nice sounding tubes they normally go for $20 for a strong testing. I would pass on this one due to the low test results.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: mcandmar on January 08, 2015, 03:37:00 AM
I looked into 6520's before and couldn't find any datasheets, seems to be an obscurity like the 2399.  I've read suggestions they are just another tightly matched/tested 6AS7G but i have found what looks like 5998's labelled as 6520's so that contradicts that theory.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: borism on January 08, 2015, 04:30:27 AM
I bought a TS 5998 from vacuumtubes.net in Florida about a month ago and received a Chatham branded 2399. The plates have the domino pattern and while I don't have a TS labeled 5998 for comparison, I prefer the sound of this tube to the Russian military 6AS7 winged "C".
Clearly, the seller seems to think that the 2399 is equivalent to a 5998. According to a report on tube maze the difference is that the 2399 has copper grid rods but the sound is identical.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Birkeland on January 08, 2015, 10:57:23 AM
I looked into 6520's before and couldn't find any datasheets, seems to be an obscurity like the 2399.  I've read suggestions they are just another tightly matched/tested 6AS7G
This is exactly what the datasheet specifies.  They also have much higher heater to cathode insulation ratings, which are already much higher than the Crack requires.

-PB
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: mcandmar on January 09, 2015, 04:12:15 AM
A ha so it does.  Don't know why i couldn't find that datasheet before.   Attached is a pic of the 6520 that got my curiosity, is it an uber spec 5998, or a 6AS7G using the 5998 plate structure?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: JamieMcC on January 09, 2015, 10:09:05 AM
I wonder if it might be similar to a WE422a looking at the structure it doesn't look so?

(https://forum.bottlehead.com/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.che.ncku.edu.tw%2FFacultyWeb%2FChengCY%2FZatu%2FWE274422.jpg&hash=68de1fdb771ced0ffd1f716b5b4450c2)


http://www.the-planet.org/pdf/WE422A.pdf
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Joppa on January 09, 2015, 03:10:27 PM
6520 is a 6AS7 with matched sections and high reliability.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: InXcesS on January 10, 2015, 10:14:30 AM
What do you guys think about the Tesla 12AU7?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: John EH on January 11, 2015, 08:16:35 AM
Still messing around with these Svetlana Winged C 6H13C.  Usually I just give up on a tube when I don't like it's sound.  One thing I noticed was my 12AU7 installed was a clear top. I replaced it with a Mullard Box Plate CV4003 and then just left the amp on for a couple days.

Things are much improved.  Thinking about just leaving this tube in to save my highly overpriced Western Electric 421A. Recently lost a metal base 5AR4 on another amp that would cost a bundle to replace.  I really need to get used to listening to newer production tubes and quit playing around spending money on uber tubes.

This Winged C is good enough with burn in and a good companion 12AU7 tube.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: borism on January 11, 2015, 09:55:18 AM
That's interesting John. I also put the Svetlana Winged C back in replacing the Chatham 2399. It is paired with a Mullard CV4003 and find it is sounding more mellow but still very pleasing.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: JamieMcC on January 11, 2015, 11:42:35 AM
If you have the E80cc its a nice pairing with the Svetlana Winged C 6H13C
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: borism on January 11, 2015, 12:04:09 PM
I don't have any E80cc but have some Mazda/Cifte and Radiotechnique 12AU7s. Given the more mellow presentation of the Svetlana Winged C it may be a nice combo since I find those 12AU7s livelier than the Mullard. I'll have to try.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: russell_janab on January 12, 2015, 12:11:36 PM
I just finished my amp build about week go and recently added Speedball. I am simply blown away by the performance of my 650's

Obviously now I have an appetite to experiment further! my kit originally comes with the 6080

can anyone comment on their experience with replacing the 6080 with any of the ones below:

6AS7G
6H13C
5998
7236
6N13

All comments welcome and thank you in advance!
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Nathan on January 12, 2015, 04:35:13 PM
I have the stock 6080 plus a 6as7ga and a 5998. I listen mostly via the 5998.
Title: Now that I installed the Speedball- what are your favorite tubes?
Post by: Nathan on January 13, 2015, 01:11:48 PM
I am wondering about my tubes. Pre Speedball I ran Tung Sol 5998 and Mullard 12au7. By all accounts fine NOS tubes.

Now with the speedball, the bass is clearly better. Yet I'm also thinking that the overall presentation got a touch brighter too-

I substituted the 5998 with a nos GE 6as7ga I have and in fact the slight brightness I not on the crack/speedball/5998 isn't their. And the 5998 is a lovely tube- maybe it's the Mullard I'm hearing? I have an RCA clear top but that tube is a touch bright to start with so I wasn't going to throw that into the mix.

Pre Speedball, the 5998/12au7 combo was superb. What do people use with the speedball?

By the way, I have perhaps 1 hour of listening time on the speedball, so maybe it's still pretty green.

Thanks all!
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Jimb0 on January 13, 2015, 03:01:49 PM
Hi Nathan,

I'm using the Tung Sol 5998 as well with Amperex Bugle Boys 12au7's and CBS Hytron 5814's. I've been very happy with both so far. I cannot comment no the Mullard's as I have not heard them.

Have you considered retrofitting the input tube so you can use other tubes like the 12BH7/5687/7119's. A few Crack users here say it is a far better sounding tube than the 12au7's. I'm looking into modding mine for those specific tubes.

EDIT: Btw, I've never had any problems with the brightness on both Amperex BB's and the CBS Hytron's.

Jim
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Nathan on January 13, 2015, 04:30:54 PM
I'm considering a 12bh7, particularly since with the Speedball, it's a straight swap
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Strikkflypilot on January 13, 2015, 09:09:18 PM
I do not believe it is a straight swap, as the plate voltage would be low(terminals 1 and 5), there is a thread on retrofitting for the 12bh7, E80CC...
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Jimb0 on January 14, 2015, 08:26:21 AM
I'm considering a 12bh7, particularly since with the Speedball, it's a straight swap

Yes, you'll need to do some modding in order for the 12BH7 to run at the proper voltages.

Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Rocketman248 on January 15, 2015, 12:38:35 AM
Built the Crack about two weeks ago.  Went shopping in Tokyo today, and picked up a few goodies.  My first foray into tube rolling.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Jimb0 on January 15, 2015, 12:32:18 PM
Built the Crack about two weeks ago.  Went shopping in Tokyo today, and picked up a few goodies.  My first foray into tube rolling.

Very nice Rocketman! Welcome to the club! Hope you are enjoying your music :)

Jim
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Adelz on January 15, 2015, 01:01:49 PM
I recently finished my Crack and want to try out some other tubes. What are the most reliable places to buy tubes online? Also, would something like a 5814A and 5998A be a good start? Having no experience with tube amps other than the Crack, I feel a little in the dark regarding how much of a difference I can expect from different tubes and what a reasonable amount to spend on a tube is (there appears to be a huge price range for seemingly similar tubes).
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Nathan on January 15, 2015, 01:10:44 PM
Built the Crack about two weeks ago.  Went shopping in Tokyo today, and picked up a few goodies.  My first foray into tube rolling.

I have a 6as7ga- it's a very good tube!
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: wullymc on January 15, 2015, 03:16:55 PM
I recently finished my Crack and want to try out some other tubes. What are the most reliable places to buy tubes online? Also, would something like a 5814A and 5998A be a good start? Having no experience with tube amps other than the Crack, I feel a little in the dark regarding how much of a difference I can expect from different tubes and what a reasonable amount to spend on a tube is (there appears to be a huge price range for seemingly similar tubes).

I have purchased tubes from vacuumtubes.net and would recommend them.  i believe they currently have the 5998 for $85.  it might sound expensive but look at the prices of 300Bs!  You might receive a 2399 instead of a 5998 but they are the same.    I have other tubes and would recommend not to buy a lot to try instead put the money towards a 5998.  As for the 12au7 tubes it depends on what you like and the type of headphones you will be using!

Enjoy the process.  It is extremely fun and satisfying!....Dave
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: borism on January 15, 2015, 03:58:12 PM
The 12au7s I like the most so far in my crack/SB are the Mullard (CV4003 - military version) and the Radiotechnique (French military version) that I obtained from Upscale Audio. I have found Upscale to be a very reliable tube seller.
I also use the 5998 (actually 2399) and the Russian "winged C" 6H13C.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: russell_janab on January 15, 2015, 07:54:37 PM
Just got my russian winged C 6H13C and Gold Lion ECC82 ...man what can I say. The sound stage feels much wider, the base tighter and it is extremely neutral with an added clarity.
I added a dedicated DAC (Schiit Modi) instead of the Fiio E10 I was using and I have to say it feels cleaner. Only problem is prying myself away from the music :)

Thinking about ordering the 5998 from vacuumtubes.net

I highly recommend thetubestore.com, they are Canadian. Tubes arrived 2 days after I ordered them.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: russell_janab on January 15, 2015, 08:24:24 PM
Built the Crack about two weeks ago.  Went shopping in Tokyo today, and picked up a few goodies.  My first foray into tube rolling.

Love that modi in the background ;)
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Jimb0 on January 15, 2015, 08:29:31 PM
I recently finished my Crack and want to try out some other tubes. What are the most reliable places to buy tubes online? Also, would something like a 5814A and 5998A be a good start? Having no experience with tube amps other than the Crack, I feel a little in the dark regarding how much of a difference I can expect from different tubes and what a reasonable amount to spend on a tube is (there appears to be a huge price range for seemingly similar tubes).

Hi Adelz,

Yes those are actually some great tubes. Try the Tung Sol 5998's from vacuumtubes.net for $85 (Cheapest price online) and the CBS "JHY" Hytron 5814a. You will be wowed by the combination.

I actually have a question to you CBS Hytron 5814a owners. Is there a difference between the newer JHY version and the vintage one?

Here are two links to the new one and the old one.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/PAIR-CBS-HYTRON-JHY-5814a-BEST-12AU7-Made-Blk-Plt-D-Getter-Vacuum-Tubes-8-V54-/231451459914?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item35e395014a

http://www.ebay.com/itm/RARE-CBS-Hytron-JHY-5814-12au7-ECC82-BLACK-plates-tube-Test-NOS-/171631998987?pt=Vintage_Electronics_R2&hash=item27f610780b

I'm curious to know if they will provide a different sound as they look very similar with flat black plates and "D" getter.

Thanks!
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Jimb0 on January 15, 2015, 08:32:15 PM
Just got my russian winged C 6H13C and Gold Lion ECC82 ...man what can I say. The sound stage feels much wider, the base tighter and it is extremely neutral with an added clarity.
I added a dedicated DAC (Schiit Modi) instead of the Fiio E10 I was using and I have to say it feels cleaner. Only problem is prying myself away from the music :)

Thinking about ordering the 5998 from vacuumtubes.net

I highly recommend thetubestore.com, they are Canadian. Tubes arrived 2 days after I ordered them.

Those are two tubes I've never heard about. How can you compare them with the more mainstream ones like the Mullard, Bugle Boys 12au7's or the CBS/Hytron's 5814a's?

I know that feeling. The Crack made my cans sound so good I am rooted to them for good :D

Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: russell_janab on January 16, 2015, 07:25:38 AM
Hey Jimbo,
The combination is great. I highly recommend the Gold Lion ECC82, it is a bit pricey ($43) but the base seems very clean and tight, the stage much wider,  the sound feels more immersing with more neutrality and detail. I listen to Jazz, blues and progressive trance. I am excited to try it with 5998
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Rocketman248 on January 16, 2015, 11:24:59 AM
So, I'm not going to lie.  I honestly thought that tube rolling was going to be a whole lot of smoke, mirrors, and snake oil.  I didn't think that there would be an appreciable difference in sound, especially to my untrained, non-audiophile ears.  I'm happy to report that I was wrong.  First thing I did when I got back from buying those tubes was listen to the stock tubes for about an hour, listening to a variety of genres.  Then I let it cool down and popped in the RCA 5814A.  There was an immediate boost in the bass, and a nice boost in the overall body of the sound.  I spent another hour listening to the same genres, and I was loving what I was hearing.  Then I put the GE 6AS7GA in and it tamed some of the boominess, and tightened everything up.  All of this was initial improvements.  Now I'll have to see if the whole burn-in thing exists.  :)
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Adrian on January 16, 2015, 12:30:05 PM
I got a wonderfully sounding Mullard CV4003 from Upscale Audio:
http://www.upscaleaudio.com/all-products/ (http://www.upscaleaudio.com/all-products/)
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Adelz on January 16, 2015, 02:42:18 PM
Hey, thanks for all of the advice. I think I'm going to go with the Tung Sol 5998 available on vacuumtubes.net and either the CBS Hytron 5814A or Mullard CV4003. How do those two input tubes compare?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: denti alligator on January 17, 2015, 03:55:06 PM
Alright, so my Crack isn't even fully built yet, but I'm curious about cheap options for tube rolling. I have HD600s with Cardas cable. My kit came with RCA 6080 and a 12AU7 I can't identify (it has a sticker with 97/97 on it). I can't spend much, but would like to know what's out there in the budget price range that would complement my HD600s. I listen to all genres.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: wullymc on January 18, 2015, 01:53:54 AM
I would go with a 5998 tube for $85.....or if that is too much an RCA 6AS7G but the 5998 is much better.

A lot of people go with an RCA Clear Top 12AU7 that have the HD 600 AND hd650 to lift the veil.

try a bunch and see what you think.

...Dave
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: InXcesS on January 18, 2015, 11:33:41 AM
Has anyone ever bought from vacuumtubes.net? I filled in an order form for a 5998 but it just leads to a confirmation page but nothing else, they didn't take payment details or send an email to confirm, should I be waiting for something?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: borism on January 18, 2015, 02:28:16 PM
I bought my 5998 from them but I ordered by phone. They shipped quickly and the tube is great. So, I'd give them a call.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Jimb0 on January 18, 2015, 06:47:15 PM
Has anyone ever bought from vacuumtubes.net? I filled in an order form for a 5998 but it just leads to a confirmation page but nothing else, they didn't take payment details or send an email to confirm, should I be waiting for something?

I ordered the 5998 Tung Sol's using their form. They're very legit and I got the Tube less than a week later. You will receive the confirmation e-mail either the same day or the next. They're not quite up to date on the instant confirmation e-mail receipt yet. They are 100% legit though and probably one of the best sellers for tubes online.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: wullymc on January 19, 2015, 01:04:27 AM
I 2nd  jimbo's post.  Vacuumtubes.net are great.  In Canada I recevied my tubes 6 or 7 business days later.

Take care...Dave
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: denti alligator on January 19, 2015, 04:07:43 AM
Alright, seems the 5998s are universally liked.

One vote for the RCA Clear Top 12AU7 for HD600s. Any others?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: russell_janab on January 19, 2015, 05:59:03 AM
vaccumtubes.net are great! I spoke with them on the phone. Once you get a confirmation page, it does take them 48 hours to send you a bill or charge you. Reason being is that they verify they have the tube on hand and extensively test it so there are no issues once you receive it. Their prices are also among the best on the net.

Simply a pleasure to deal with
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: John EH on January 19, 2015, 10:29:38 AM
Alright, seems the 5998s are universally liked.

One vote for the RCA Clear Top 12AU7 for HD600s. Any others?

I have a Chatham 5998 and I for the life of me don't like it anymore. Although I do concur with you that for some reason the relatively low end RCA Clear Top is a perfect fit in the Crack circuit.  That and the Mullard CV4003. 

I put my 5998 in yesterday and tried to listen and I couldn't stand it.  My Winged C Svetlana sounds better to my ears.  My 5998 tests strong as well on my TV-7 tester.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: denti alligator on January 19, 2015, 11:25:53 AM
The Winged C Svetlana seem to be much cheaper, too. There's a pair going for $30 on ebay right now. Anyone want to split that with me?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Jimb0 on January 19, 2015, 07:15:10 PM
I have a Chatham 5998 and I for the life of me don't like it anymore. Although I do concur with you that for some reason the relatively low end RCA Clear Top is a perfect fit in the Crack circuit.  That and the Mullard CV4003. 

I put my 5998 in yesterday and tried to listen and I couldn't stand it.  My Winged C Svetlana sounds better to my ears.  My 5998 tests strong as well on my TV-7 tester.

What do you have in the input with the 5998's? The Winged C Svetlana sounds interesting. How can you compare them to the 5998's?

Jim
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: John EH on January 19, 2015, 08:22:15 PM
What do you have in the input with the 5998's? The Winged C Svetlana sounds interesting. How can you compare them to the 5998's?

Jim

Mullard CV4003.  I got two Winged C's on eBay for $20 recently.  I really don't like the sound of the 5998, however I LOVE the sound of my Western Electric 421A.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Jimb0 on January 20, 2015, 10:23:32 AM
Mullard CV4003.  I got two Winged C's on eBay for $20 recently.  I really don't like the sound of the 5998, however I LOVE the sound of my Western Electric 421A.

Never heard the CV4003's before. Have you tried pairing them with a different input tube? The 5998 sound wonderful with CBS Hytron 5814a's.

What sound qualities did you dislike about the 5998 that the Winged C provides?

I hope you LOVE the WE 421A! If I were to spend that much on a tube I hope to fall head over heels on them  ;D

Jim
Title: Mullard CV4003
Post by: Nathan on January 21, 2015, 11:10:07 AM
This tube gets a double thumbs up!

So, to date- here's the whole deal

HD600's with Cardas cable
Crack with Speedball
Padded down volume control
Teflon caps to bypass audio caps
Last power supply cap bypassed with Mundorf film cap
Diy power cable- Belden 19364 with Wattgate male plug and Schurter right angle iec
Cardas input jacks

Tubes are the CV4003 and a 5998
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: JamieMcC on January 21, 2015, 12:51:14 PM
The Mullard CV4003 is one of the few 12au7 I have kept. Its a nice tube
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Thebb on January 23, 2015, 09:24:15 AM
Can someone with experience with tubes comment on which would be a better tube paired with a 5998:
- 12au7 RCA Clear Top
-12au7 Mullard

Thanks.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Birkeland on January 23, 2015, 12:01:17 PM
Can someone with experience with tubes comment on which would be a better tube paired with a 5998:
- 12au7 RCA Clear Top
-12au7 Mullard

Which Mullard?  There are several variants.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Thebb on January 23, 2015, 02:19:02 PM
Which Mullard?  There are several variants.

12au7 Mullard B Code
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Nathan on January 24, 2015, 03:05:34 PM
Can someone with experience with tubes comment on which would be a better tube paired with a 5998:
- 12au7 RCA Clear Top
-12au7 Mullard

Thanks.

Mullard- but if I couldn't get a Mullard an RCA clear top is my 2nd choice. The best Mullard imo is a CV4003 which is a military version of a 12au7. Clear tops are available inexpensively.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: i luvmusic 2 on January 28, 2015, 12:47:38 PM
Another tube that works  with the CRACK is the C3g.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Jimb0 on January 28, 2015, 03:59:38 PM
How would you compare them to lets say the 5998?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Birkeland on January 28, 2015, 05:34:54 PM
Another tube that works  with the CRACK is the C3g.
No.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Adrian on January 28, 2015, 11:38:58 PM
Here are a couple valve combinations I've found enjoyable:

Mullard 6080 (rebranded Phillips - Mitcham Plant) with Mullard CV4003 (military) - very good with Beyerdynamic HPs.

GEC 6as7G with RCA 12AU7 Cleartop - excellent with HD600s (the Cleartop adds a little "sparkle" to the top end).
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Jimb0 on January 29, 2015, 11:06:02 AM
Very nice tubes Adrian. Been dreaming about owning the GEC 6AS7G one day.

I wonder how those would sound with the 7119's. I can only imagine. :)

Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: i luvmusic 2 on January 29, 2015, 11:20:33 AM
How would you compare them to lets say the 5998?

I don't think if that is possible i used the C3g to replaced the 12AU7.
Sorry!
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: i luvmusic 2 on January 29, 2015, 11:35:49 AM
Hi Paul,
  Since i don't understand much  about electronics i can't explain why the C3g's are working well with the CRACK.
I used it to replaced the 12AU7.I really like the sound of these tubes,Someone mention that the C3g have more gain than the 12AU7 Is there any MOD i can do to run the C3g efficient?

THANKS!

(https://www.head-fi.org/image/id/6965638/width/900/height/900/flags/LL)
(https://www.head-fi.org/image/id/6965650/width/900/height/900/flags/LL)
(https://forum.bottlehead.com/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fcdn.head-fi.org%2F1%2F16%2F900x900px-LL-16d4d0bd_DSC_3897.jpeg&hash=b834f0e2214b1be2b6f32a255f583fea)
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Birkeland on January 29, 2015, 12:08:44 PM
The C3G is a pentode in a different base.  To adapt one for use in a Crack, you would have to build that adapter and triode strap the tube.  Adapters are notorious for being noisy and unreliable, and when you have loose wires going into pins, somewhat dangerous. 

In the Crack circuit, two C3G's in place of the 12AU7 will not hit the target plate voltage, and will lead to excessive dissipation in the output stage's loading devices.

-PB
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: i luvmusic 2 on January 29, 2015, 12:34:37 PM
The C3G is a pentode in a different base.  To adapt one for use in a Crack, you would have to build that adapter and triode strap the tube.  Adapters are notorious for being noisy and unreliable, and when you have loose wires going into pins, somewhat dangerous. 

In the Crack circuit, two C3G's in place of the 12AU7 will not hit the target plate voltage, and will lead to excessive dissipation in the output stage's loading devices.

-PB
Hi,
  Thanks for your reply!Both tubes are strapped and so far they are quiet no hum at all.Is there anything i can do to hit the target plate voltage?


Thanks!
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: PLZ7 on February 01, 2015, 05:19:54 PM
So I finished building my BH Crack 3 weeks ago and I'm going to install the Speedball soon as well as interested in upgrading the stock tubes.

I don't really want to change any circuitry either to accommodate new tubes...unless its absolutely worth it cause I WILL be attaching the speedball anyway so I could do it at the same time.

I have HD650's and mostly listen to harder rock (ambient music and classical are up there also)

In the limited research I've done I've seen the NOS RCA 12AU7 Clear Top, Tung Sol 5998 and CV4003 Mullard mentioned a decent amount.

Recommendations anyone? Thanks.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Jimb0 on February 02, 2015, 07:54:34 AM
All of those are good tubes and what most people would recommend. I would check out the JHY-CBS Hytron 5814a's as well. They are a variant of the 12AU7 and you do not need to modify anything to use them. One of the best I've heard paired with the Tung Sol 5998. Great separation of instruments, warmth, good sound stage, and clarity. The JHY-CBS Hytron 5814 are also much cheaper than the Mullard's (I can't compare the two because I haven't heard the Mullard's although I've heard they sound better than them). Make sure you get the one with flat black plates as those sound the best. These are the ones listed on eBay.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/HYTRON-JHY5814-12AU7-ECC82-6189-NOS-1950-BLACK-PLATE-TUBE-D-GETTER-/161549676801?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item259d1c7101
http://www.ebay.com/itm/PAIR-CBS-HYTRON-JHY-5814a-BEST-12AU7-Made-Blk-Plt-D-Getter-Vacuum-Tubes-8-V54-/231451459914?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item35e395014a

There's also this vintage one which is more expensive but I'm not sure if you'll get a better sound. All have flat black plates.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/RARE-CBS-Hytron-JHY-5814-12au7-ECC82-BLACK-plates-tube-Test-NOS-/171631998987?pt=Vintage_Electronics_R2&hash=item27f610780b

The other 12AU7 I tried were the Amperex Bugle Boys (very sweet, vintage sound) which also sounds great with the Tung Sol 5998 but the CBS Hytron 5814a's takes the cake.

James
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Birkeland on February 02, 2015, 05:57:19 PM
$50 for the CBS 5814 is insane.  We shipped many of that exact tube in Crack kits last year.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Jimb0 on February 03, 2015, 08:02:16 AM
I know Paul. Most of highly sought after tubes are marked up so high these days.  :-\
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Joppa on February 03, 2015, 08:14:43 AM
Like Uber's "surge pricing"... fashion has its costs!
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Doc B. on February 03, 2015, 01:04:20 PM
Like with a lot of things the people who are ignorant about how this stuff works are paying the stupid money. There are lots of good sounding tubes out there and the "best" ones are seldom 10-100X better than the next one down the ranks. I could have taken advantage many, many times over on this front. But it kind of grates to see guys jack prices for tubes that weren't worth shit before we or someone else made an amp that uses them.

We have conversations every so often that go something like "lets buy all of the 6whateverKs in the world for 50 cents each, and make a $99 amp that can only use four of them and no other tube will work. Then we sell 'select polytonic transgender lofi upgrade tubes from the Stechner-Weissen radar and lawnmower factory (palladium pins, rhombic deuterium plates, 13.5 micas, kanji getters)' for $250 each."

My advice is listen to a tube before you pay big money. Some of the higher priced stuff is good, and some is just not worth it.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: 2wo on February 04, 2015, 11:49:46 AM
Man I have been looking for those Kanji getters forever, sure you wont sell me a pair?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Guy 13 on February 09, 2015, 04:22:45 PM
Hi all,
many times I did tube rolling with different makes and models of tubes for my Crack
and all times I was wondering if my soon to be 67 years old ears
where responsible for not been able to ear big differences
between different makes - models of tubes.
With my Crack (6AS7G-6080/12AU7), Decware SE84C+ (5AR4-5U4/6922/EL84)
and Bellari VP-129 (12AX7) I never pay more than 35 USD each and most of the time,
the price I pay for one tube is 15 - 24 USD.
I will never pay more than 50 USD for a tube,
regardless of what the reviews by customers says.
Paying 250 USD for a (Rare or not) tubes is good, yes, it's good,
if you don't know what to do with your money or if you think it's worth,
until you find out  it was not worth...
It's my opinion and you don't have to agree with it. ;D

Guy 13

 
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Adelz on February 19, 2015, 02:24:53 PM
Hey, I'm finally getting around to buying some new tubes for my Crack. Before I buy, I was wondering if this listing on Ebay would be a wise purchase; how do I get the ability to post links in this forum? Thanks!
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Grainger49 on February 19, 2015, 02:50:48 PM
You can post links by cutting from the browser and pasting in your post.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Adelz on February 19, 2015, 05:09:56 PM
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Mullard-12AU7-double-triode-Vacuum-Tube-CV4003-ECC83-/271757525740 Here is the link. Upon having it in my post earlier an error popped up saying that I did not have permission to post links.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Blkout on February 20, 2015, 02:31:42 PM
Question regarding the Tung Sol 5998.

I read that the Tung Sol 5998 is a great tube and often recommended but also read somewhere, maybe it was Doc B on another forum that the specs are slightly different but still works fine in the Crack. What difference if any does the 5998 make in the Crack and is it because the specs are slightly different that causes the change in sound?

I am able to get my hands on a 1957 Tung Sol 5998 right now but it's around $100 so I was wondering if its even worth bothering with since it seems input tubes seem to make the most difference based on most user opinions.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Birkeland on February 20, 2015, 02:38:42 PM
What difference if any does the 5998 make in the Crack and is it because the specs are slightly different that causes the change in sound?
The 5998 generally speaking has more transconductance than the 6080.  In the Crack circuit, you'll get slightly lower output impedance.  On the other hand, the insulation of the 5998 between heater and cathode is not anywhere close to as robust as the 6080, and this is pushed to the limit in the Crack design.

-PB
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Blkout on February 20, 2015, 02:47:03 PM
The 5998 generally speaking has more transconductance than the 6080.  In the Crack circuit, you'll get slightly lower output impedance.  On the other hand, the insulation of the 5998 between heater and cathode is not anywhere close to as robust as the 6080, and this is pushed to the limit in the Crack design.

-PB

So technically speaking, the 5998 will very likely not last as long as the stock 6080, and with the lower output impedance I should get slightly better damping if I was using low impedance cans, which I'm not so it sounds like a moot point to use one in the Crack for my application. Sound about right?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Joppa on February 20, 2015, 04:53:04 PM
At least some 5998s seem to have a better sound - nobody knows why, though I suspect better (quieter) cathodes because it's a premium tube. Or maybe it's just Western Electric brand-name stardust from the WE421 prototype. Be aware that there were never that many made, so a disproportionate percentage of what's available are samples that have been rejected before for one reason or another.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Adelz on February 20, 2015, 05:27:22 PM
I'm also leaning toward purchasing a 5998 tube. Would it perform well coupled with a Mullard CV4003? (also, would this listing be a good buy? http://www.ebay.com/itm/Mullard-12AU7-double-triode-Vacuum-Tube-CV4003-ECC83-/271757525740)?

Edit: Other than ebay, where would be the best place to get a Mullard CV4003 at a reasonable price? Upscale Audio has them for $95 while Mullard's site carries a matched pair for $125. There are also multiple listings on Tube World. Should I just go with the lowest price for a NOS tube or is it worth paying extra for top-notch tubes?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: orson on February 25, 2015, 08:43:30 PM
I purchased a Brimar 12AU7 on ebay and got it today.
It has a metallic area on the glass that no other of my 12AU7s has.
Does anybody know what caused this?
Should I try that in the Crack or is it dead?

Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Adrian on February 25, 2015, 11:22:33 PM
orson:
Perhaps this Brimar 12AU7 was constructed with a "side getter" and what you are seeing is the remnants of that.  If so, then based on the apparent color of the "stain" on the glass,  the tube should be fine.  Many 6DN7s have this characteristic.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: fullheadofnothing on February 26, 2015, 04:52:08 AM
Maybe someday the avid tube rollers will come up with a term to describe tubes that are transparent at their apex. Until then, listen and enjoy.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: borism on February 26, 2015, 05:02:16 AM
Isn't the designation "clear-top" as in 12au7 clear-top used for this purpose?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Doc B. on February 26, 2015, 05:26:20 AM
I'd say it's safe to assume Josh was being facetious.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: orson on February 26, 2015, 05:46:02 AM
Thanks for the Infos. I will test it this evening.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Birkeland on February 26, 2015, 11:13:48 AM

It has a metallic area on the glass that no other of my 12AU7s has.

All of your 12AU7's should have this, but it's usually at the top of the glass.

If they don't have this, or if its white, then the tube is suspect.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: orson on February 26, 2015, 01:21:34 PM
Noob as I am it took a time to understand.
Quite embarassing.
But now I know for life what a "topgetter" and a "sidegetter" is.
Hope I entertained you a bit with that question.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: orson on February 27, 2015, 04:25:15 AM
And to add something useful: I listened the whole evening to the Brimar and must say I like it even a tad more than the Mullard in my setup (non-speedballed Crack with JAN CAHG 5998). Sounds a tiny little bit softer and therefore more organic and alive.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: pnooud on February 27, 2015, 09:00:56 AM
Hi,

Ive just bough a new tube to replace the tube which came with my amp which had a fault.

(https://forum.bottlehead.com/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi76.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fj23%2Fpnooud%2F74F43C88-9D47-4BAA-95C0-47FB613893E4_zpsstx7s9sa.jpg&hash=05f32d39cd5edfeaca223f7dd29fb53c) (http://s76.photobucket.com/user/pnooud/media/74F43C88-9D47-4BAA-95C0-47FB613893E4_zpsstx7s9sa.jpg.html)

I just wanted a cheap tube to check if mine was faulty, so ordered one cheap off eBay that was in the uk, so would be delivered quick, The I ordered a brimar 12au7, but I got a tube that has the brand ZaeuX (or maybe ZaeriX) on it, the guy also gave me a second tube as a free gift which is just labeled 12AU7A, with no other branding.

With the Zaeux tube, there is a little more treble and you notice listening to a track with a busy drum section, the drums seem to have a bit more texture.

The non branded tube was a bit smoother sounding and sounded a bit cleaner, but its not got the same energy.

I prefer the sound of the Zaeux personally.

It would be good to know if it sounds better or worse than the original tube that came with the crack; I seem to remember the original sounding better, but that could have been the glass of single malt I had :)

Where should I go from here do you think, I am wondering will I get much more detailed sound etc spending a bit more?




Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Birkeland on February 27, 2015, 09:49:37 AM
The Zaerix looks to be of European manufacture, it's probably not a Brimar, but rather an Amperex or something of the like.  It's a very nice tube!
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: pnooud on February 27, 2015, 10:40:33 AM
The Zaerix looks to be of European manufacture, it's probably not a Brimar, but rather an Amperex or something of the like.  It's a very nice tube!

Thanks Caucasian, Thats good to hear.



Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Maxhawk on February 27, 2015, 01:12:10 PM
the guy also gave me a second tube as a free gift which is just labeled 12AU7A, with no other branding.

Several of my Westinghouse tubes have the part number printed at the top like that with the rectangular octagon around it and they also have the flat sides on the spacer too, so my guess is Westinghouse.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Birkeland on February 27, 2015, 04:55:30 PM
(The octagon means RCA)
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Maxhawk on March 01, 2015, 06:33:03 AM
(The octagon means RCA)

Does that mean my Westinghouse tubes with the octagon around the tube number are actually made by RCA? They do have the 337 printed on them which I read somewhere is code for Westinghouse. *shrug*
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Birkeland on March 01, 2015, 08:03:57 AM
Yes, if there's an octagon around the label, it's an RCA.

If there are a bunch of dots under the label, it's a GE.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: blackeyeliner on March 16, 2015, 11:57:48 PM
Any recommendations on tube rolling with my crack? I run kit tubes at the moment, and I have a couple of tubes in stock ready to roll: Tung-Sol 5998 which microphones a lot, RCA 6AS7 with a broken getter as power tubes, and a Mullard Box Plate as an input one.

Currently with stock tubes the amp is REALLY bassy, and as much as I appreciate dark sound, it's really darkest thing I've heard. The bass can be tiresome. So what I'd want to do is achieve a more mellow, sweet sound with less accent on the bass.

Where do I go?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Hornet900 on March 18, 2015, 01:26:58 PM
Hello  :-*
I took a gamble on ebay with two old worn looking  mullard 12au7 tubes and won them  for  £11 delieved.... work really good and sound  nice ... good tubes ...I'm happy   :-*

still haven't heard the gec tube yet :-[


Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Maxhawk on March 19, 2015, 04:39:17 AM
Any recommendations on tube rolling with my crack? I run kit tubes at the moment, and I have a couple of tubes in stock ready to roll: Tung-Sol 5998 which microphones a lot, RCA 6AS7 with a broken getter as power tubes, and a Mullard Box Plate as an input one.

Currently with stock tubes the amp is REALLY bassy, and as much as I appreciate dark sound, it's really darkest thing I've heard. The bass can be tiresome. So what I'd want to do is achieve a more mellow, sweet sound with less accent on the bass.

Where do I go?

I've purchased a ridiculous amount of tubes in a short time. Depending on how the rest of the spectrum sounds, you could try an RCA 12AU7 clear top to bring up the top end, which may subjectively lessen the bass peak.

Or, use your 5998. I understand yours is microphonic, but it should be fine as long as it's quiet if you don't bump your amp or table? For me, the 5998 tightens up the bass and leans it out a little. My CV2984 output tube also tames the bass compared to my stock GE 6080.

What's interesting is the more I listened to the Crack, the more I liked the warm low end. The GE output tube doesn't sound as bloaty as it did before, but of course that's also with different input tubes. Latest iteration is 5687 which requires the Speedball upgrade as well as wiring mods since the pin-out is different. (See other thread about modifications for different tubes).

Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: hdtv00 on March 23, 2015, 11:33:10 AM
I wonder if this was ok purchase. I paid $30 shipped for

1 5998 TUNG-SOL 1950's Hi Fi Amplifier Tube Date Code 322451-3

Tube Tested on a TV-7D/U Tester

40 is Minimum

Tube Tests 54-52

There are a few small pieces of loose glass inside of the tube, but this does not effect the performance.

 

I figured it could be a back up for my current one I use now even though it tests lowish it would be an ok backup for $30. Another strange thing is its look. 5998 is on the glass not the base. Have a look at this pic. It's on right side of tube to see what I mean.
(https://www.flickr.com/photos/hdtv00/16909778835/in/photostream/lightbox/)
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: audiomaniac on March 23, 2015, 11:44:14 AM
I just received a SED-6AS7G Winged "C" 6H13C from the Tube Store. It was within my budget and my 1st tube roll! I'm using it with the stock input tube I received with my Crack amp. Sounds really good! Maybe a little more laid back from the stock 6080, but nice full sound! It's very quiet and I have no complains. Man, I'm loving this amp! ;D
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Chris65 on March 23, 2015, 01:24:59 PM
Another strange thing is its look. 5998 is on the glass not the base. Have a look at this pic. It's on right side of tube to see what I mean.

Quite normal, some tubes were labelled on the base & some on the glass itself.

Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Maxhawk on March 23, 2015, 04:32:57 PM
Quite normal, some tubes were labelled on the base & some on the glass itself.

Dimpled plates are a good indicator that it's a 5998 and not a 6AS7G.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: hdtv00 on March 23, 2015, 05:18:28 PM
Thanks for the replies guys. I've only had my crack for short few days and not entirely familiar with tubes for it. Reading through this thread still. The person wanted $50 for it but I offered $22.50 and they accepted it. Now my only concern then is the test rating. 40 being min for good and it testing at 54-52. Any insight into how long a tube can last at its Min point. Or how long it might take it to go from 54-52 to its 40 min.

I've read lots of stuff on the 6922 for my Aune T1 but I don't remember seeing lots of take about how the tubes rating relates to how much longer it might last. Course it's based on usage but any general idea. I guess it doesn't matter to much being it was $30 and it's the real deal. It last however long it lasts I guess. Now to hope its silent when it gets here Thursday.

I did get a Amperex Orange Globe 12au7a because I loved them in my Aune T1 which feeds my crack. And I think it sounds just great to me. As much as the Telefunken ribbed plate 12au7 that was part of my purchase deal for the crack. I also bought another rib plate Telefunken as a back up for it because I loved it's sound.

I don't like the 6080 tube that it came with it's not as clean sounding to me. Not as crisp and detailed.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: hdtv00 on March 24, 2015, 12:56:40 PM
If a tube tests 54/50  min being 40 how long do you guys think it might last in normal use. Few years, months? Any idea's anyone.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Chris65 on March 24, 2015, 01:52:46 PM
There are too many variables to say how long a tube will last. They have a 'rated' life but manufacturing tolerances, what circuit it is used in, how hard it is 'worked', use, etc....Brand new tubes can fail, old tubes can go for years & years.
Just use & enjoy!
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Koop on March 24, 2015, 05:05:59 PM
Hey guys, new guy here  :)
I scored a used Crack with Speedball last week to go with my HD650's and I'm really diggin it!! So far I have replaced the stock 12AU7 with a Gold Lion ECC82, I didn't know where to start with NOS and I heard the gold lion was a good tube so I thought I'd try it out. Compared to the stock tube, the gold lion really brought the mids forward and added a significant amount of detail/texture to the music.
I still have the stock 6080 though and I'm thinking about replacing it.. to me it's tad bass heavy/bloated and tricks my ear into thinking there's a lack of treble in the mix, but there really isn't. I listen to a lot of drum-heavy progressive metal and it's hard to distinguish the cymbals at moderate volumes. Any recommendations on a tube that would open up the sound with a bit less bass but still pack a punch?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: ZacharyP on March 24, 2015, 11:44:07 PM
Just acquired two Tungsram ECC82 for $15 shipped, and according to the tester they tested well and at that price there isn't much risk.  :)
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Grainger49 on March 25, 2015, 12:36:51 AM
Zachary,

At that price even if they tested low you would have hours of a good tube.  Nice deal!
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: hdtv00 on March 26, 2015, 11:19:05 AM
Did I just score an unmarked Western Electric 421a. I'm pretty sure I just did for $175. What do ya guys think. Does that mean my tube search is over now. Anything in the test results to worry about?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Maxhawk on March 26, 2015, 11:22:19 AM
I've seen  discussion arguing whether a 421A is really just a hand-picked/special 5998. Hold it side by side with your 5998. Is it identical or are there differences?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: JamieMcC on March 26, 2015, 01:38:06 PM
I've seen  discussion arguing whether a 421A is really just a hand-picked/special 5998. Hold it side by side with your 5998. Is it identical or are there differences?

Mine are different but  I have noticed several variations in 5998 construction the closest I have is a early  5998 clear top later ones are silver topped which is one of the most noticeable differences. I did have three differing 5998's at one point and might still have but would have to check if that's still the case as have sold a couple recently.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: ZacharyP on March 26, 2015, 11:41:53 PM
Zachary,

At that price even if they tested low you would have hours of a good tube.  Nice deal!


Yes I am one happy camper!  :)
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: hdtv00 on March 27, 2015, 09:15:50 AM
This is what vacuumtubes.net had to say when I asked how they can tell its a 421a and not just a 5998.

"Tung-Sol (and their subsidiary brand Chatham) was the only company to ever produce the 5998 (both the top and bottom getter variants).  You'll see them branded with GE, Sylvania, RCA and every other smaller name out there- but they are all Tung-Sol.

The WE421a is rather similar to the TS bottom-getter 5998.  They sound similar, they look alike, and they have rather close operating specs.  However, the 421a is a vastly superior tube, but considering it's scarcity most people end up with 5998s because collecting a quad of matched 421a is somewhere between unlikely and impossible, and the 'close enough' factor applies."

There was more about history of Western Electric and what not. He didn't answer directly I guess the question but seems to know what they're talking about I guess. I said go ahead and invoice me for it. Time will tell I guess.

They emailed back and explained much further and in detail.
" I'm glad that our reputation proceeds us, but I still like to make sure that we're always known to be on the level.  There is one easy way to identify the 421a over the 5998.  The top mica and support column has three evenly spaced separators in a triangle.
 
(((Sorry for the poor photo.  We really need a better camera in the office...)))
 
The 5998 just has 2.  Beyond etching, printing, boxes and labels- the internal construction can't be faked.  Most of the "421a" tubes on eBay are actually bottom getter 5998s (or sometimes they're even trying to pass top getter variants!).  Ask them for a photo of the top of the tube and most of them just don't answer.
 
The 421a comes with two types of printing:
The first is the well-known heavy yellow paint.  It was an early form of thermographics, and the lettering is raised.  Not just raised a little- but often enough to tell what the characters are without looking at the tube.
The other is blank.  These were left unbranded for commercial sales to radio and industrial manufacturers.  Not flat printing, not printing on the glass, not white lettering on the top of the glass...  they were heavy yellow or blank.  Everything else is rolled on after production.
 
  When you're looking at audio tubes, and especially expensive tubes, you have more than a right to ask about its authenticity.  If it is a tube I can't prove I'll give you my reasoning as to why I feel one way or another, and we can compare notes and research.  We would rather pass on a sale of an iffy than risk that hard-built reputation."
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: JamieMcC on March 27, 2015, 01:10:29 PM
Nice reply from them thanks for posting it
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: JamieMcC on March 28, 2015, 07:15:56 AM
This is what vacuumtubes.net had to say when I asked how they can tell its a 421a and not just a 5998.

"Tung-Sol (and their subsidiary brand Chatham) was the only company to ever produce the 5998 (both the top and bottom getter variants).  You'll see them branded with GE, Sylvania, RCA and every other smaller name out there- but they are all Tung-Sol.

The WE421a is rather similar to the TS bottom-getter 5998.  They sound similar, they look alike, and they have rather close operating specs.  However, the 421a is a vastly superior tube, but considering it's scarcity most people end up with 5998s because collecting a quad of matched 421a is somewhere between unlikely and impossible, and the 'close enough' factor applies."

There was more about history of Western Electric and what not. He didn't answer directly I guess the question but seems to know what they're talking about I guess. I said go ahead and invoice me for it. Time will tell I guess.

They emailed back and explained much further and in detail.
" I'm glad that our reputation proceeds us, but I still like to make sure that we're always known to be on the level.  There is one easy way to identify the 421a over the 5998.  The top mica and support column has three evenly spaced separators in a triangle.
 
(((Sorry for the poor photo.  We really need a better camera in the office...)))
 
The 5998 just has 2.  Beyond etching, printing, boxes and labels- the internal construction can't be faked.  Most of the "421a" tubes on eBay are actually bottom getter 5998s (or sometimes they're even trying to pass top getter variants!).  Ask them for a photo of the top of the tube and most of them just don't answer.
 
The 421a comes with two types of printing:
The first is the well-known heavy yellow paint.  It was an early form of thermographics, and the lettering is raised.  Not just raised a little- but often enough to tell what the characters are without looking at the tube.
The other is blank.  These were left unbranded for commercial sales to radio and industrial manufacturers.  Not flat printing, not printing on the glass, not white lettering on the top of the glass...  they were heavy yellow or blank.  Everything else is rolled on after production.
 
  When you're looking at audio tubes, and especially expensive tubes, you have more than a right to ask about its authenticity.  If it is a tube I can't prove I'll give you my reasoning as to why I feel one way or another, and we can compare notes and research.  We would rather pass on a sale of an iffy than risk that hard-built reputation."

Nice reply from them thanks for posting it

After taking a look at my WE421a and my 5998 clear tops which are branded Chatham and not Tung-sol there are some differences which I thought would be useful for you to see for comparison to yours.

So for comparison a couple of NOS WE421a and a pair of used Chatham clear tops branded 5998 essentially the construction is near identical the clear top 5998 also have the triangle micas orientated in a triangle at the top but they are a different shape to those on the WE

I suspect these tubes where manufactured some 20 or so years apart so I would be very surprised if there where not some differences in construction over that time.

I do definitely have a preference for the the older 5998 clear tops.


WE 421a

(https://forum.bottlehead.com/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fcdn.head-fi.org%2F9%2F92%2F900x900px-LL-92dda0ca_005.jpeg&hash=df45dbdc0d7e2d857b3d48275d0cf6bb)

Chatham 5998

(https://www.head-fi.org/image/id/7175791/width/900/height/900/flags/LL)

5998 triangle orientation note shape of top mica and support column has three evenly spaced separators in a triangle.


(https://www.head-fi.org/image/id/7175792/width/900/height/900/flags/LL)

View of top mica shape on the WE

(https://www.head-fi.org/image/id/7175793/width/900/height/900/flags/LL)

The bottom getters on my WE421a are also round and different to the 5998 clear top

(https://www.head-fi.org/image/id/7175794/width/900/height/900/flags/LL)

Oblong getters on the 5998 branded tube

(https://www.head-fi.org/image/id/7175795/width/900/height/900/flags/LL)

Lastly the domino holes in the plates look slightly larger on the WE

(https://www.head-fi.org/image/id/7175796/width/900/height/900/flags/LL)







 
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Hornet900 on March 28, 2015, 10:01:04 AM
jamie you have such a nice collection of tubes :)  nice pictures good information

I'm looking forward to you thoughts on the mainline,  as you have so much experience with the crack
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: hdtv00 on March 28, 2015, 10:08:26 AM
Thanks for taking the time and effort appreciated. Well now I look EVERY ebay listed 421a has the curved micas just like your photos. The one they're trying to sell me does NOT look like any pic from ebay or yours shape wise, the one they're selling is shaped just like your 5998.

See the 421a they're selling me(the top attachment) is shape of your 5998. But I found another pic of Western Electric but it's labeled BOTH 5998/421a(bottom attachment) and looks totally legit but it does has same 5998 shape. So maybe it's more like a 5998 than true 421a. I haven't got the tube yet I just paid for it they haven't shipped it yet. Man this is way harder than it should be , thanks for all your help. I honestly really don't know what to do.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: JamieMcC on March 28, 2015, 10:31:27 AM
Thanks for taking the time and effort appreciated. Well now I look EVERY ebay listed 421a has the curved micas just like your photos. The one they're trying to sell me does NOT look like any pic from ebay or yours shape wise, the one they're selling is shaped just like your 5998.

See the 421a they're selling me(the top attachment) is shape of your 5998. But I found another pic of Western Electric but it's labeled BOTH 5998/421a(bottom attachment) and looks totally legit but it does has same 5998 shape. So maybe it's more like a 5998 than true 421a. I haven't got the tube yet I just paid for it they haven't shipped it yet. Man this is way harder than it should be , thanks for all your help. I honestly really don't know what to do.

You could ask if the seller would provide a letter of authenticity perhaps or that on your receipt it will be clearly described as a WE421a.

Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: mcandmar on March 28, 2015, 11:18:23 AM
Personally i wouldn't pay that kind of money on speculation. It might be a Tung-Sol 421a, or a 5998, or a 2399, or a 6520, there is no way to know for sure.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: ZacharyP on March 28, 2015, 02:16:16 PM
I've always preferred sniping eBay listings for good tubes at fair prices.  We're bottlehead, not financial speculators!

This reminds me of when I was the highest bidder on a GEC brown base, with a bid of $7.99 and just 1 hour left.  Once it hit the 15 min remaining mark the bidding soared to $135.  One day I'll get the Brown base or WE421A for a sniper's price ;)
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: hdtv00 on March 28, 2015, 07:03:16 PM
Yep right paying that much on speculation plus the facts don't add up for me. What they have is unlabeled and it looks EXACTLY like that Catham 5998. It has same rectangle mica's it has same rectangle bottom getter at is too. But every 421A labeled clearly or partial that you showed and every single one on ebay the Mica was Oblong on each and every one. Plus I see that round getter like shown by JamieMcC. So thanks for input I think that's enough proof right there it's not a true 421A or at least its some crazy hybrid like that one I've seen before labeled Western Electric 5998/421A it looks legit but it doesn't look like the normal 421A's.

EDIT I did find some with non round getters that have legit full labels. So that's ok but still every single one I have found has oblong mica's, which is about 8 or more total I've seen.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Hornet900 on March 29, 2015, 01:00:45 AM
these have just come on ebay uk  from a tube dealer,  they  look very old gec 
very high prices but I just might  buy one for my collection...yes I'm mad!
I''ve not heard the gec  before  and just saved myself £300 buying a different sound bar for my tv  :)
http://stores.ebay.co.uk/COLOMOR-VALVES-TUBES-COMPONENTS/_i.html?_nkw=GEC+6AS7G&submit=Search&_sid=18843948

is there a difference in the pan getters and retangular getters  ? with sound ,, don't suppose anyone knows?

also how do I know whats best with the test readings? ...I can never understand it , would the lowest numbers in the test be the ones to go for with this guys testing method?  best buy and closest match of numbers 

the other week a german seller was selling 6 tubes starting at 99p..... 4 of them were gec curved bases nos , he didn;t even know the value till I ask to buy one and told him.
they sold for under £400 

Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Hornet900 on March 29, 2015, 01:18:51 AM
well I couldnt wait  ;D  I bought this one

A1834 6AS7G GEC PAN GETTER BROWN CURVED BASE NEW OLD STOCK VALVE TUBE



http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/371292862779?ru=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.co.uk%2Fsch%2Fi.html%3F_from%3DR40%26_sacat%3D0%26_nkw%3D371292862779%26_rdc%3D1
A1834 6AS7  GEC

PAN   GETTER

CURVED BROWN BASE

BLACK PLATE

DATE CODE:

HG

NEW  OLD STOCK
ELECTRONIC VALVE / TUBE

FULLY TESTED

IA:50 GM:5.2 @-31VG

IA:50 GM:5.3 @-32 VG

£210 smackeroonies   :o



Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: hdtv00 on March 29, 2015, 10:56:34 AM
"he didn;t even know the value till I ask to buy one and told him."..............sigh
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Hornet900 on March 29, 2015, 11:18:26 AM
 :D  the ad , went for £430
after i told the guy he updated the pictures with the tubes out the boxes  :-*  im too honest
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/9-x-AS7G-Rohre-Tubes-GEC-RCA-unbenutzt-NOS-448-/201306570607?nma=true&si=omxC%252BKI%252BrWrUmJLowpQ6upLwbVI%253D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557

I get a prize for the most expensive gec tube then ?   :o    have to get a 421a now
if I really like the gec I'll buy another one and keep this for my collection ...the madness
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: mcandmar on March 29, 2015, 11:29:20 AM
"9 x AS7G"  ::)   If he listed them properly they would have sold for a lot more.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: JamieMcC on March 29, 2015, 01:31:30 PM
:D  the ad , went for £430
after i told the guy he updated the pictures with the tubes out the boxes  :-*  im too honest
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/9-x-AS7G-Rohre-Tubes-GEC-RCA-unbenutzt-NOS-448-/201306570607?nma=true&si=omxC%252BKI%252BrWrUmJLowpQ6upLwbVI%253D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557

I get a prize for the most expensive gec tube then ?   :o    have to get a 421a now
if I really like the gec I'll buy another one and keep this for my collection ...the madness

I've had to much Sex of late so dug out my GEC today and am chilling out with a little Crack usage and the GEC is hitting the spot.. its got me wondering about the midrange on the Mainline which is rumoured to be a bit special...

I've been deliberately avoiding looking at the delivery status page.



Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: hdtv00 on April 01, 2015, 05:41:00 PM
Well excited as usual I'll bring some life into this thread haha. Just won auction for a Western Electric 421A that does have it's writing clear enough to tell it's legit. Described as
"This may be the ugliest Western Electric tube I have ever had.  The base is dirty and most of the writing is gone - I have not cleaned it for fear of removing what writing is there.  This is a 421A Dual Triode in excellent working condition.  I cannot read the date code.  It is a black plate version.

My Hickok tester decided to completely stop working recently,  so I tested this on a B&K that give your percentage of mutual conductance spec.  Both triodes on this one test identical at 120% of spec when tested as a 6AS7.  No gas, no shorts.

I will guarantee this tube to be good,  but will leave it to the new owner to clean it up.  This is a good way to get an excellent sounding tube a a very good price."

Got it for $197.50 shipped. That's at least decent yeah? Any thoughts or worries anyone.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Birkeland on April 01, 2015, 05:50:29 PM
Any thoughts
The seller was very honest!
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: hdtv00 on April 01, 2015, 06:25:22 PM
I know right , how ugly is that thing haha. But long as it's good and test ok when I get it. I'll be happy at $197.50. If I can't hear any difference between my 5998's I'll just resell it on ebay for same amount and call it a day. But this way I'll at least figure I'll know first hand. That's what I been about lately first hand knowing. Got a real amp with the crack, got real tubes letting it all go. And if in the end I don't feel it's something special I'll sell it all for little loss and pass it on to the next guy.

I'm just getting older and feel I had to know....you all feel me.
Title: broken tube, need replacement :-(
Post by: AllanMarcus on April 04, 2015, 10:45:45 AM
Got my unassembled (used) crack today, and I learned my first lesson the hard way. When unpacking I managed to let the power tube slip out, and boom crash, no more tube. :-(

Anyone have an extra 6080 they are willing to sell? Or a pointer to an inexpensive purchase?

Also, what do all the letters and numbers the tube mean? There's:

U.S.N.
CRC-6080-WA
57-30

If I want to search for a replacement tube, which of these digits is relevant? Is there a good web page that explains the lettering/numbering on tubes?

Many thanks,

Allan
Title: Re: broken tube, need replacement :-(
Post by: mcandmar on April 04, 2015, 11:04:06 AM
6080 is only part you need to worry about, the model designation of the tube.  You can also use a 6AS7G in place.

FYI the U.S.N. is the marking for US Navy, CRC is the designation for RCA, and the -WA signifies the tube is a ruggedized version, or tested to military spec.  Finally the 57-30 is a production code or date of manufacture. I assume 30th week of 1957.
Title: Re: broken tube, need replacement :-(
Post by: Rocketman248 on April 04, 2015, 11:18:51 AM
I've had good experiences with buying tubes on ebay.  You can find 6080 tubes for pretty cheap.  And as an added bonus, now is a perfect time to start looking at tube rolling!
Title: Re: broken tube, need replacement :-(
Post by: AllanMarcus on April 04, 2015, 01:24:39 PM
I've had good experiences with buying tubes on ebay.  You can find 6080 tubes for pretty cheap.  And as an added bonus, now is a perfect time to start looking at tube rolling!

My first experience with tube rolling wasn't good. The tube rolled right off the table!
Title: Re: broken tube, need replacement :-(
Post by: Rocketman248 on April 04, 2015, 01:38:00 PM
My first experience with tube rolling wasn't good. The tube rolled right off the table!

Ha!  Well played, sir.
Title: Re: broken tube, need replacement :-(
Post by: hdtv00 on April 04, 2015, 02:08:25 PM
I was thinking of getting this one to try out for myself but since you're had issues I'll let you get it. Watch out tube watching on ebay is addictive as the great sound of the crack with right tubes.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/261807233997?_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

I thought about this one too just cause they're basically giving it away at that price.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/231188557398?_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649&var=530402754716&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

Thought about these too just cause I'm curious.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/171730026130?_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

Anyway there ya go some options from my own watchlist. I didn't link any high cost ones. There are probably even cheapers ones on ebay just search 6080 and you'll see lots.
Title: Re: broken tube, need replacement :-(
Post by: mcandmar on April 04, 2015, 02:32:21 PM
Some nice options there, both the 1st and last options are good deals.  The 2nd one isnt anything special so i would pass on that one, though its a shame the Sylvania Gold brand is sold (#6) as it was a nice tube, especially at that price.  The seller is a nice guy too (Walt), he favors sales volume over markup so his prices are always very reasonable, and always more than happy to test/match tubes if you ask him too.

Title: Re: broken tube, need replacement :-(
Post by: AllanMarcus on April 04, 2015, 02:35:13 PM
thanks for the advice. I will probably get the cheap one just until I get the amp working and can establish a baseline. Stupid gravity.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: hdtv00 on April 07, 2015, 10:42:14 AM
Ok so I think I better calm down. But do you guys think I did good deal wise on what I gathered so far? As much as I've gotten carried away I at least hope I got good deals. I tried to do good and not do something stupid. I read this read entirely and tried to make good right choices for fair prices. The prices listed is for that group of tubes.

1 Tung Sol came with my crack when I bought it on head fi
-----------------------------------------------------------------
2 Mullard CV4003 cryo treated $240
1 Telefunken rib plate
1 Telefunken smooth plate
1 Mullard 12AU7 1950 blackburn factory

--------------------------------------------------------------------------
2 Tung Sol 5998 (1961)  $120
1 Sylvania 6080WB
1 FAA? 6AS7G
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Western Electric 421A  $197.50
Both triodes on this one test identical at 120% of spec
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Tung Sol 5998 322451-3  $30.00
40 is Minimum
Tube Tests 54-52
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Telefunken rib plate  $41.50
  Min good is 56.  NOS is 88 tested 102/107 
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1968 Amperex Orange Globe 12AU7A Tube; Min good is 56. NOS is 88 tested 95/93   $28.50
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: JamieMcC on April 07, 2015, 10:54:28 AM
Ok so I think I better calm down. But do you guys think I did good deal wise on what I gathered so far? As much as I've gotten carried away I at least hope I got good deals. I tried to do good and not do something stupid. I read this read entirely and tried to make good right choices for fair prices. The prices listed is for that group of tubes.

1 Tung Sol came with my crack when I bought it on head fi
-----------------------------------------------------------------
2 Mullard CV4003 cryo treated $240
1 Telefunken rib plate
1 Telefunken smooth plate
1 Mullard 12AU7 1950 blackburn factory

--------------------------------------------------------------------------
2 Tung Sol 5998 (1961)  $120
1 Sylvania 6080WB
1 FAA? 6AS7G
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Western Electric 421A  $197.50
Both triodes on this one test identical at 120% of spec
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Tung Sol 5998 322451-3  $30.00
40 is Minimum
Tube Tests 54-52
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Telefunken rib plate  $41.50
  Min good is 56.  NOS is 88 tested 102/107 
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1968 Amperex Orange Globe 12AU7A Tube; Min good is 56. NOS is 88 tested 95/93   $28.50

You certainly went to town with such a collection I suspect you will be able to easily narrow down what suits your personal preferences weeding out and recouping some of your costs selling those that don't.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: hjc on April 09, 2015, 05:46:07 PM
Genalex Gold Lion 12AU7 (current production from Russia)

I couldn't find anyone else mentioning this tube so I thought I'd write a few words about it. (edit - I only searched for Genalex, but I see Koop likes this tube also). This is the first tube I've rolled into my new Crack with Speedball. Here in Australia the Genalex costs almost twice as much as other current production 12AU7s but is still a cheap and as it turns out, very worthwhile upgrade.

Initially I build the Crack as we are supposed to, without the speedball. I was quite happy with the RCA clear-top that came with my kit but I commented to a fellow Crack owner that while I loved the sound it lacked the detail and resolution of my WA6 (with 6DR7s or 6SN7s), he assured me the Speedball would change that. He was right, although I felt the WA6 still edged out the Crack slightly for detail, while the Crack won with midrange and bass.

The Genalex 12AU7 had a huge impact on the Crack's sound, it slightly tightened the bass and added much more resolution. I'm used to 'detail and resolution' often equating to 'reduced bass' but that's not the case with this tube. It feels well rounded in every area. In the past I've had to do the usual burn-in with different tubes but the Genalex sounded great from the start, and slightly improved after about 10 hours of use.

The Crack is my main amp now and stays at home while the Woo is relegated to the office desk. Don't get me wrong, the WA6 is a fine amp - and I know people keep saying this but I'll join in - I can't believe how good the Crack-Speedball sounds. Something I built has no right to sound this good! I'm so happy with the new Genalex I probably won't think about another tube for at least a week ;)

To keep things in perspective, headphones are T1s and source is a Schiit Gungnir, I listen to all sorts of music but mostly Classical and acoustic Jazz.

cheers Howard
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Maxhawk on April 13, 2015, 05:18:31 AM
Something that would have been cool when I started is a set of tubes that could be passed around for auditioning. I don't mind paying for something that I like the sound of, but it gets expensive to tube roll when the desirable tubes demand a premium. I've spent at least $500 so far on tubes over the last 2 months and now have my favorites which total about $200 (5998, GB6080, 6080WB graphite, T-S 5687, Syl 12BH7, CBS-Hytron 5814WA).

Extra tubes that I'm no longer listening to: RCA clear top, RCA long black plate, CV4003, Sylvania 12AU7, Westinghouse 12AU7, RCA12BH7, Tungsram E80CC, GE 5814, CV2984, GE 6080, RCA 6AS7G.

I wouldn't be adverse to sending out my unused tubes knowing that they will come back. One way to guarantee their return would be to take a deposit which would be refunded upon return of the tubes. One risk I'd have to deal with is tube failure when not in my possession.

Thoughts on this?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: fullheadofnothing on April 13, 2015, 08:28:39 AM
Please take this opportunity to re-familiarize yourself with the rules of this forum:

http://bottlehead.com/smf/index.php?topic=3.0 (http://bottlehead.com/smf/index.php?topic=3.0)
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: networkn on April 20, 2015, 11:03:14 PM
Hi There!

I finally got my Crack Finished and fixed up. I know the forums rules suggest no "what's best" type questions, but I am unsure how to clarify beyond asking what next if I was wanting a reasonable upgrade to the stock tubes for ~100. I'd need to be able to buy them from somewhere that ships internationally. Tube rolling seems to be the logical next step as I am concerned about my lack of electronics understanding to put better capacitors in them or different other components or what voltage check results would then be without an idiot guide.

I listen to pop, soft rock, mostly vocal or easy listening stuff.

I love the experience of trying a track I've listened to many times and get the hair on my arms up.

I have a HD650 and T1 as HP's and a BiFrost DAC
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Doc B. on April 21, 2015, 09:31:38 AM
Surely with 78 pages in this thread called Tube Rolling w/Crack there might be some info useful to you?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: ohshitgorillas on April 22, 2015, 10:30:20 AM
While the 5998 seems to be everyone's favorite power tube, I'm wondering what is the most natural sounding input tube in most people's opinions? The consensus from my own notes seems to be the Amperex Bugle Boy, but I thought I'd ask. My headphones are HD6x0 and my preferred sound is natural and realistic. Is there another power tube that other people think sounds more natural than the 5998?

Edit: I ended up going with a HP-branded Amperex ECC88. Gonna have to wait a while on the 5998.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Birkeland on April 24, 2015, 09:57:03 AM


Edit: I ended up going with a HP-branded Amperex ECC88.
An ECC88 will not work in the Crack.

-PB
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: ohshitgorillas on April 26, 2015, 07:53:10 AM
An ECC88 will not work in the Crack.

D'oh! I thought the 12AU7 was an equivalent. Welp, I guess I'll have to sell it as I don't really have any other use for it.

I ended up going with a Genalex Gold Lion and an RCA Clear Top. Will probably end up buying a 5998, the only other cheaper power tube which seemed to get consistently good reviews is the Svetlana "Winged C" which I'm researching more.

Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: John EH on April 27, 2015, 12:47:37 AM
D'oh! I thought the 12AU7 was an equivalent. Welp, I guess I'll have to sell it as I don't really have any other use for it.

I ended up going with a Genalex Gold Lion and an RCA Clear Top. Will probably end up buying a 5998, the only other cheaper power tube which seemed to get consistently good reviews is the Svetlana "Winged C" which I'm researching more.

I personally hate my 5998 and prefer the stock 6080 or Western Electric 421A.  99% of the time I run the Winged C tube now.  I think it is an excellent bang for the buck and "good" enough. Don't underestimate the 6080.  I have two cracks built more or less identically and one of them seems to have a sweet spot for a particular JAN 6080 tube and that's what I run in that Crack.

Look for the Mullard Box Plate CV4003 for your 12AU7, personally my favorite.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Rocketman248 on April 27, 2015, 01:08:09 AM
I loved my 5998.  Unfortunately, it died on me the other day.  I was switching out the 12AU7, and I didn't let it cool down long enough.  Turned it back on, and I get very little output.  Now I'm running a Bendix 6080WB graphite plate.  It's not as pretty as the 5998, but it does sound great.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: ZacharyP on April 27, 2015, 06:48:09 AM
I loved my 5998.  Unfortunately, it died on me the other day.  I was switching out the 12AU7, and I didn't let it cool down long enough.  Turned it back on, and I get very little output.  Now I'm running a Bendix 6080WB graphite plate.  It's not as pretty as the 5998, but it does sound great.

Are there any consensus great 6080 variants besides the Bendix 6080wb graphite plate, the 5998, Brown base 6as7g and 421a?

While those are all great tubes finding something comprable without as high of a price would be very nice for the long term (I can stock up on them).
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: JamieMcC on April 27, 2015, 08:31:45 AM
Are there any consensus great 6080 variants besides the Bendix 6080wb graphite plate, the 5998, Brown base 6as7g and 421a?

While those are all great tubes finding something comprable without as high of a price would be very nice for the long term (I can stock up on them).

Try GEC or Mullard 6080  ;)
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Maxhawk on April 27, 2015, 09:00:31 AM
Are there any consensus great 6080 variants besides the Bendix 6080wb graphite plate, the 5998, Brown base 6as7g and 421a?

While those are all great tubes finding something comprable without as high of a price would be very nice for the long term (I can stock up on them).

Sylvania Gold Brand GB6080 is in my regular rotation, along with the 5998 and graphite plate 6080.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: ZacharyP on April 27, 2015, 11:25:41 AM
Try GEC or Mullard 6080  ;)

The GEC 6080 looks interesting, as does the Telefunken 6080 but I can't find much information on the latter.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: serpent68 on April 28, 2015, 01:54:38 AM
Try GEC or Mullard 6080  ;)

Jamie, is the GEC 6080 and Mullard 6080 the same tube?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: JamieMcC on April 28, 2015, 06:22:13 AM
Jamie, is the GEC 6080 and Mullard 6080 the same tube?

No the GEC 6080 was only made as far as I am aware at the Marconi/GEC Brook Green Works, Hammersmith the same factory as the GEC 6as7g brown base and it looks like they both have the same plate structure but the 6AS7G version has the cup getters at the bottom while 6080 has halo getters at the top.

While the Mullard 6080 was manufactured at perhaps four or five location both in the UK and Europe.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: ohshitgorillas on May 04, 2015, 07:41:52 PM
I loved my 5998.  Unfortunately, it died on me the other day.  I was switching out the 12AU7, and I didn't let it cool down long enough.  Turned it back on, and I get very little output.  Now I'm running a Bendix 6080WB graphite plate.  It's not as pretty as the 5998, but it does sound great.

Could you elaborate more on what it is you did that ruined your tube? How long should one let the amp cool down before pulling a tube?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: ohshitgorillas on May 04, 2015, 07:53:38 PM
Also, I recently got my hands on a 5998 in good condition as well as a clear top RCA and a Gold Lion.

Some quick notes (using HD600):

The 5998 is more linear than the stock tube and with significantly better separation, although I think I still prefer the stock tube for some music for its fuller bass and low mids.
The Genalex Gold Lion is my favorite thing so far. Bass is tight and clean and hits hard, mids are rich and full, vocals are smooth and real, and soundstage is very good.
The RCA clear top has really pretty treble, but I felt that the combo of the RCA and 5998 was a little bass light. I have yet to experiment with the stock tube and the clear top but I suspect it'll be quite good.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Mucker on May 09, 2015, 08:44:20 AM
Hi guys,

I've done a few upgrades to my Crack+Speedball.

I added the big Dayton caps and they seem to be excellent.

Tubes I've settled on for now are an ordinary Chatham 6AS7G and an RCA VT-231 6SN7G smokey. This adapter has worked great, the noise floor has been more than acceptable.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=320659633166&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT#ht_1080wt_793

Strictly listening to vinyl with a custom Technics SL-1210 and Beyer T90, T1, and Senn HD800. Results are spectacular for my needs.

The Technics is perfectly setup (Jelco SA-750D and Denon DL-301MK2) and the Crack noise floor is far below the groove noise from the vinyl which is minimal. I couldn't be happier with the result. Incredibly immersive.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: i luvmusic 2 on May 19, 2015, 10:36:20 AM
Anybody tried 6N6Pi for the CRACK will it work?

Thanks!
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Grainger49 on May 19, 2015, 11:18:40 AM
The 6N1P is a variant of the 6DJ8 that requires more heater current, not a lot more.  So it can't just drop in. The plate and cathode will need modifying.

But it is a fine sounding tube.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: i luvmusic 2 on May 19, 2015, 11:40:24 AM
 I wish i have that tube so i can try it out but what i found in my shoe box are 8 Pcs of 6N6Pi anyway i will give it a try.
Hopefully no magic smoke.

Thanks!
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Doc B. on May 19, 2015, 11:52:42 AM
cross reference is ECC99. Here are PJ's thoughts on its use.

http://bottlehead.com/smf/index.php?topic=1112.msg8246#msg8246 (http://bottlehead.com/smf/index.php?topic=1112.msg8246#msg8246)
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: i luvmusic 2 on May 19, 2015, 12:07:41 PM
 The 6N6Pi works but not a plug n play,When i first plug it in this tube did not light up luckily i have a Desktop PS with a regulator set it to 6.3V and Voila it works surprisingly it's DEAD SILENT and sound nice too at least to my ears.

Thanks for all the reply.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Birkeland on May 20, 2015, 07:02:22 AM
The 6N1P has about twice the amplification factor of the 12AU7, which makes it pretty unsuitable for the Crack.  It also has a different pinout, so you'd have to move some wires around to get it to even glow.  Without the Speedball and some fiddling, getting the plate voltage under 100V is going to come with a fair number of compromises. 

Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Clmntbnr on May 24, 2015, 11:59:29 AM
Hi !

I'm got my Crack recently, and I'm using it with a HD800.
Coming from a Violectric V100, this Crack is incredible ! Big thanks to Bottlehead for this wonderful product btw.
I'm totally new to tube rolling, and looking for tubes would show me how much sound change you can get out of it. I'm opened to any kind of sound signature, as I listen to Classical music, Progressive rock and Electro, and I find different requirements for different album mixes. A tube I really need right now though is one that would give more bottom end, and roll of some treble for quite agressive mixes and bass focused music.
Any suggestions ?
Also how come TS&C5998 goes for like 150$ on eBay and only 85$ on vacuumtubes.net ? (are they also used ?)
At last what is the difference between the RCA 5814 grey plate and black plate ?

Thanks a lot.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: i luvmusic 2 on May 24, 2015, 01:32:34 PM
 What are you guys thoughts about these 12AU7 new production tubes  from JJ and EH?

Thanks!

JJ ECC802-S / 12AU7 Gold
(https://forum.bottlehead.com/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.thetubestore.com%2FJJ-ECC802S-Gold-Audio-Vacuum-Tube.jpg&hash=7edb267041035f39b94f485840050bc8)

Electro-Harmonix 12AU7A / ECC82EH Gold
(https://forum.bottlehead.com/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.thetubestore.com%2FElectro-Harmonix-12AU7-ECC82-Gold-Tube.jpg&hash=0ec48111c750b8c2a71c49a451733ee0)
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Birkeland on May 24, 2015, 05:27:41 PM
What are you guys thoughts about these 12AU7 new production tubes  from JJ and EH?
The old stock tubes provided with the Crack are likely to sound a bit better.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Chris65 on May 24, 2015, 05:35:41 PM
The old stock tubes provided with the Crack are likely to sound a bit better.

I got an Electro Harmonix with my kit? :-\
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: daltonljj on May 25, 2015, 04:17:20 AM
The old stock tubes provided with the Crack are likely to sound a bit better.

True that i bought the Genalex gold lion just for fun to try it out ... now its sitting in my closet ... lol the stock does sound better
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Doc B. on May 25, 2015, 05:55:07 AM
I got an Electro Harmonix with my kit? :-\

That's because sometimes we can't get old stock tubes in fast enough to keep up with demand for the Crack.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Birkeland on May 25, 2015, 06:11:33 AM
I got an Electro Harmonix with my kit? :-\
They do sneak in from time to time. 
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: i luvmusic 2 on May 25, 2015, 09:14:01 AM
Thank you guys!

Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: ohshitgorillas on May 26, 2015, 11:04:51 AM
Listening to the HD600 and with a 5998, I've actually had a really hard time deciding whether the Genalex Gold Lion or the Hewlett-Packard branded Amperex (made in Holland) I got sounds better. I really love the Gold Lion, personally. It was the most unimpressive at first, but once it opens up it's really holographic and has great mids and bass, it has a somewhat rich sound in the mids that reminds me in a way of the LCD2 and is a tinge mid forward. The Amperex is just starting to open up after a few nights of burn-in and the clarity and extension in the treble are really impressive, beautiful mids, everything sounds natural through and through. I still like the bass and soundstage of the Gold Lions better though.

I have to say that the Clear Top doesn't impress me as much with the HD600, the bass is too lean. Reminds me of the Etymotic HF5. On the HD650, however, it's a different story: wow wow wow, what a combo. I almost want to keep my HD650 and Clear Top just because it sounded so freaking good.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Colin on May 29, 2015, 08:09:17 PM
Is telefunken 6211 can be switch with 12au7 tube? What's the different between ecc82, ecc802s & 6211?
Iam a newbie with this all. But enjoy it very much
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Birkeland on May 30, 2015, 10:32:13 AM
Is telefunken 6211 can be switch with 12au7 tube?
No, a 6211 is not a substitute for a 12AU7.
What's the different between ecc82, ecc802s & 6211?
Two are 12AU7 equivalents, the 6211 is its own type.  (Despite what the guys on eBay are saying, they are just trying to sell a tube that isn't in serious demand)
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Costes on June 02, 2015, 07:12:58 AM
Does anybody know how to reduce the start current on the heater filament?
I replaced the stock 12au7 by a mullard blackburn, and when i turn on the amp, the heaters glow quite bright for 1 sec and than go back to normal.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: jdm on June 02, 2015, 07:24:04 AM
Costes

That is normal behaviour for many European manufactured nine pin tubes.

Jim
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Birkeland on June 02, 2015, 08:05:10 AM
Does anybody know how to reduce the start current on the heater filament?
I replaced the stock 12au7 by a mullard blackburn, and when i turn on the amp, the heaters glow quite bright for 1 sec and than go back to normal.

Google "Mullard Flash"

Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Costes on June 02, 2015, 08:28:51 AM
Thanks for the useful info! Appreciate the help :)
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Xeian on June 17, 2015, 03:04:27 PM
I must say that im very pleased with the following setup...

Crack + Speedball upgrade
HD 650
Cardas microtwins 300b interconnects
ODAC

Tubes :

Tung Sol5998
Genalex Gold lion ECC82

Wow, the sound stage.

I will also run those tubes and give my comment soon :

RCA Clear top 12AU7
Amperex globe 12AU7/ECC82 grey plate top halo  (orange)

Im 100% happy with the bottlehead products, god damn its good to hear music from this...
I was running the o2 amplifier before and the difference is stunning.
Downloading all the FLAC music i can get now!
Thanks to bottlehead for their amazing product.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Colin on June 28, 2015, 12:45:56 PM
You can use the 6CG7 with the Crack also.  Just separate the jumper between pins 4 and 5, then run a wire from pin 9 to whicheven pin (4 or 5) has no wire running to it.  The E80CC is another decent choice. 

As for the 6080/6AS7 variants, you really need to stay within the heater current limits, that's the key.  Tubes like the 6336 will overtax the power transformer.  I will test the 6BL7 sometime this week with my Speedball Crack and see how it lines up with the stock operating points.

So, all the wire connect to 4 & 5 must disconnect it then run a single wire from 9 to them(4vor 5), is this what you mean? Thank you
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: bocosb on June 29, 2015, 12:54:06 AM
Hi, can anybody help me with some info on this tubes?.. the one on the right is clearly a 6080wa but there's no mention of the manufacturer, and the one on the left is physically smaller, no visible markings, has copper rods and that weird wire surrounding the base with a little spring attached - never saw one of those. (i can take more detailed pictures if needed, these are taken with the cellphone)

The marked 6080wa is in my crack right now and to my ears sounds as good as the stock RCA, maybe a little less bass, will let it in for a couple days to get burned in

(https://forum.bottlehead.com/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi.imgur.com%2Fgpwm5ax.jpg&hash=599f123453f161d0e009995a1b21a9fb)
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Birkeland on June 29, 2015, 07:12:54 AM
Hi, can anybody help me with some info on this tubes?
Are there any other markings on the glass or bases?

The wire and spring can probably be popped off.

-PB
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: bocosb on June 29, 2015, 10:09:36 AM
No markings at all except that 6080WA..  maybe they are some russian tubes? They came as a package deal with the Crack,  and there was another 6H5C and 6H13C tubes in the box, anyway i'll keep digging.

Do you think i could cause some damage if i plug the one on the left in the Crack? (this sounds wrong.. ;D )
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Paul Birkeland on June 29, 2015, 02:46:07 PM
No markings at all except that 6080WA..  maybe they are some russian tubes? They came as a package deal with the Crack,  and there was another 6H5C and 6H13C tubes in the box, anyway i'll keep digging.

Do you think i could cause some damage if i plug the one on the left in the Crack? (this sounds wrong.. ;D )
The both look like pretty normal RCA/GE 6080's.  They aren't Russian.

Why would the one on the left be an issue?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Aeolus Kratos on June 29, 2015, 11:35:10 PM
Hi guys,

I bought my Crack along with a Tung-sol 5998 last year. Unfortunately, my 5998 got some microphonics ("ting ting" sound) as I typed or touched the Crack and I didn't have a decent DAC/source back then, so I couldn't have any critical judgement on the sound of Tung-sol 5998. Then I was fortunate and bought a Bendix 6080WB slotted graphite plate power tube and the Bendix was totally dead silent. I sold my 5998 right after that (just because of the microphonics).

Time goes by, I've upgraded the DAC/source and my cable and still been using the Bendix since I first bought it. I'm very happy with the Bendix, but the curiosity has grown up in me and the fact that the 5998s have got excellent feedback really make me want to try a Tung-sol 5998 again.

But the thing is, in my country, there are not many audiophiles so I can't sell either the Bendix and 5998 easily if I don't like them. And my budget can only allow me to keep one premium power tube for my Crack, if I order a 5998, I have to sell my Bendix, not to mention it'll take a decent time. So I have to think and choose carefully.

Has anyone had a chance to own both the 5998 and the Bendix and could directly compare or had a A/B testing them? If so, how would you compare the two tubes?

I'm using HD650, but planning to get a HD800 in the near future. My DAC is NAD M51, fed by Audio GD DI-2014. My favorite genres are mainly vocals, jazz, instrumental and country (slow music), I hardly listen to strong or fast music.

Sorry for any grammar mistakes or misleading. English is not my native language and I'm not so good at English so I just tried my best to describe my situation.

Thank you very much. I'm really looking forward to your feedback. All the helps will be greatly appreciated.

Cheers,
Kratos.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: bocosb on July 01, 2015, 04:07:45 AM
The both look like pretty normal RCA/GE 6080's.  They aren't Russian.

Why would the one on the left be an issue?

Well, i thought maybe there are similar looking tubes out there but with different specs, i'm new in this whole tube  business still reading abut different tubes and the names and codes are confusing. Anyway, i plugged it in and it sound good too so no problems there :)  Still the stock RCA 6080 is my favorite so far
Title: Power Tube Identification?
Post by: adydula on July 06, 2015, 09:46:52 AM
Hello,

Just completed my crack and its working well!

The tubes that were in the kit work very well....

On the small tube there is a very faint 12AU7 but no manufacturer id that can be actually read etc..

The power tube is a really big fat bottle type of old RCA tube. But I dont see anything on it that would tell me what it really is.

Is there anyway to tell from the pictures or the order what this tube is?

Thanks in advance!

Please note I am very happy with them!!!! Just wanted to know what they are for future ordering and tube hunting! (lol).

Title: Re: Power Tube Identification?
Post by: Strikkflypilot on July 06, 2015, 11:00:51 AM
RCA 6AS7G
Title: Re: Power Tube Identification?
Post by: adydula on July 06, 2015, 11:31:22 AM
Thanks!! for that 6AS7G.....awesome...I like its "shape" better than the straight bottles and I was indeed suprised when I saw it in the kit!! I hope I can find these somewhere!

Thanks Again!!

It is appreciated!
Alex
Title: Re: Power Tube Identification?
Post by: mcandmar on July 06, 2015, 12:01:01 PM
Holy crap Adydula bought a valve amp!   Welcome to the dark side :)

If you want to get all anorak about it you can look up the date codes on that tube too, http://pax-comm.com/rcadates.pdf (http://pax-comm.com/rcadates.pdf)  If i'm not mistaken BM = April 1967

If you post up some clear pics of the 12au7 somebody may be able to tell you exactly what that is too..
Title: Re: Power Tube Identification?
Post by: adydula on July 06, 2015, 02:09:47 PM
Hello!

Ha! Dark Side.... seeing how I just turned a young 66yrs old, I grew up with tubes and all there worst and went thru several tube amps in the last few years and none of them really stood out to me compared to other SS amps.

I guess I got bored and wanted to build something and the Beyer T90s have many people recommending this particular amp for their pairing.

Well sir I am really amazed at how good this amp works with my T90's....I have not heard anything better so far..its really a pleasure to listen and I am finding myself spending way too much time listening once again!

I found several 6AS7G tubes in EBay etc for approx.$25 - $50 etc....

Today I put the first coat of minwax on the case.....

I also experienced one of those tube worts... listening today I kept hearing a low high pitched hum / squeal and it was the power tube doing a resonance dance, a slight tap on the bottle and it went away.... and I am sure it will come and go... just one of the things I love about tubes!!! LOL.

Even with these minor idiosynchrocies....this amp is worth the end result.... just absolutely wonderful music!!

Even my old crappy bright Chicago cd's sound wonderful... Eva Cassidy is like unreal....

Nice to see you here!

Alex

 
Title: Re: Power Tube Identification?
Post by: Strikkflypilot on July 06, 2015, 08:01:15 PM
Youre welcome:)
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Colin on July 09, 2015, 11:03:18 AM
Is 6520 the same tube with 5998? And how about Russian 6N13S/6H13C tube? Who know about this tube(6N13S/6H13C) sounding?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: mcandmar on July 09, 2015, 12:04:59 PM
6520 is a 6AS7G variant with better specs, you can of course use them.  Some of them even have the same plate structure as a 5998.

6H13S is a very nice tube too, probably the best bang for your buck of them all.
Title: RCA 6as7g
Post by: Nathan on July 10, 2015, 02:17:49 PM
Just got one- pretty inexpensive and in great shape. While I like the Tung Sol 5998 better, this is an easy tube to live with too-
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: adydula on July 13, 2015, 11:05:58 AM
I am a fairly new Crack builder/owner and have gone thru many amps, both SS and tubes..... the Crack is indeed a very special amp that really plays very well for me with a set of Beyer T90's. 250 Ohms.

I can't tell what the stock 12AU7 is, there aren't any discernible markings on it but it sounds really great to me. The power tube is the coke bottle RCA and I believe its a 6AS7G.

I bought a $12 12AU7 JJ Electronics from www.boiaudioworks.com this is a place I have bought several tubes from great to deal with and great shipping and the tubes have always come to me well packed and fast, I think there in Tempe AZ. (note I have NO vested interest in them just an FYI and another source for tubes).

I have only listened for a few hours with the JJ but its absolutely a stellar performer, I have a Salk Demo CD that has some really extreme and well mastered flacs and they sound just marvelous...

I would NOT hesitate to use a JJ 12AU7, only $12 for a matched triode tube!

Waiting on my speedball upgrade!

All the best
Alex
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: adydula on July 14, 2015, 06:06:08 AM
I looked at the 12AU7 that came with the crack, its has a 12AU7 in a octagon shaped label/box. Don't see any dots or anything else on the tube. On the bottom of the tube where the pins come out in the middle of the bottom glass inside the circular pins is the letter "N".

Does this mean anything, I assume this is a RCA tube, its not a clear top.

Alex
Title: Re: Power Tube Identification?
Post by: adydula on July 14, 2015, 07:23:30 AM
I just got a RCA 6AS7G tube with Made in USA and the number "352" any idea on how to tell the date from this?

Alex
Title: Re: Power Tube Identification?
Post by: mcandmar on July 14, 2015, 08:05:59 AM
With a lot of american tubes that have 3digit codes, the first digit is the year, the following two digits are the week number which would imply 52nd week of 1953. But i may be wrong about that...
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: mcandmar on July 14, 2015, 08:08:30 AM
An octagon shape around the part number is usually an indication of RCA.
Title: Re: Power Tube Identification?
Post by: adydula on July 14, 2015, 08:41:54 AM
I think your correct. I got the orignal box it came it and it has a R-CB 16 and (1-49) on the top flap of the box where you open it up. This looks like the timeframe the carton was most likely made. It even smells like a 1950's box!!

I have an old Knight tube tester and it tested very well.

Been playing it for an hour seems ok fine for a good price compared to all the other high dollar stuff thats out there!

Alex
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: adydula on July 14, 2015, 08:43:17 AM
Thanks...that sounds good to me...compared to the recent "new" JJ 12AU7 they sound pretty much the same to me.

Alex
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: adydula on July 20, 2015, 08:14:49 AM
One of my 6AS7G tubes is very sensitive and emits a low buzz that I can detect easily. It goes thru several buzz's and wierd sounds while heating up...after 20-40 mins it seem to get better but any real movement or tapping on it you can hear the buzzing sound, its definitely in the tube....even tapping or moving my pc mouse around the amp causes it to hiccup at times!

I had the vendor send a replacement that is a 1948 JAN 6A7SG, that arrived today and I am listening to it at the moment and its like night and day stable and its perfectly quiet!!! Absolutley stunning!!

I called the vendor to see if they had anymore of the JAN tubes...for $15 its a real deal!

Alex
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Dawid on July 21, 2015, 12:18:51 AM
Hello all,

This is a bit of a stupid question that I am sure has been answered before many times.
Is it fine to drop a Tung-sol 5998 tube straight into a stock Bottlehead crack?
I am not sure if the first post covers the Crack without the Speed-ball upgrade.
Sorry for the stupid question, but I would appreciate a reply.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Grainger49 on July 21, 2015, 12:40:32 AM
Check the first post of this thread.  It lists all drop in equivalents.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: adydula on July 21, 2015, 08:43:19 AM
I just got a Thompson - CSF 6080WA made in france  from, parts connexion in Canada...

$11 with shipping to my door!! A great deal...

Is very solid and stable no bad tendenacies at all.

Not microphonic, no buzzing or wierd noises in the background...

It sounds like the other tubes to me.....no real difference.

Alex


Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Chris65 on July 21, 2015, 11:47:09 AM
Check the first post of this thread.  It lists all drop in equivalents.

Not quite, it's missing 13D5 & 2399 (maybe others?)
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Grainger49 on July 21, 2015, 12:17:46 PM
Ok but it is up to the OP to update it.  Or, maybe you could get a moderator to update it.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Aeolus Kratos on July 22, 2015, 11:20:41 PM
hi guys,

I'm planning to get a CBS/Hytron 5814A tube for my Crack after reading many positive feedback on this tube. I've searched for a few days on Ebay and all I found was this:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/5814A-CBS-Hytron-12AU7A-Tube-NOS-Tube-Black-Curved-Ladder-Plates-D-Getter-50s-/201367997999?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_2&hash=item2ee277ce2f

Is this tube the famous CBS/Hytron 5814A that everyone has been mentioning?

Cheers,
Kratos.
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: ohshitgorillas on July 24, 2015, 08:40:08 AM
(headphones: HD600) I recently got a Winged C tube in and paired with the RCA Clear Top 12AU7, it's blowing my mind compared to the 5998. The soundstage is significantly improved, and I feel like it's much much more musical compared to the 5998's linearity. The 5998 is more dynamic and detailed in general, but the Winged C is so much more enjoyable. It also responds to the input tube completely differently...
 
Listening with the 5998, my take on my 12AU7 tubes are:
 
RCA Clear Top: bright and revealing with a good timbre but lacking bass entirely, so meh (worth noting that the 5998/RCA combo with HD650 was absolutely jaw dropping)
Genalex Gold Lion: Awesome soundstage, great bass slam, rich mids, slightly recessed treble, spectacular for rock and metal
Amperex made-in-Holland: Totally natural through and through, sweet sound, the only choice for classical/jazz/anything well produced
 
Now with the Winged C, it's become:
 
RCA Clear Top: amazingly clear and revealing and dynamic, incredible timbre and soundstage I didn't know HD600 were capable of, no lack of bass at all
Genalex Gold Lion: meh, a little too mid-centric IMO
Amperex made-in-Holland: warm, smooth, and sweet... still need more time for more
 
The range of sound available from the Crack-HD600 combination is incredible! Not to mention that the Winged C/RCA combo is so absolutely one of the best and most lifelike things I've ever heard. I was finding it hard to get work done last night because I was just so breathless from how good everything sounded. Definitely too revealing for poorly produced music, although I'd swear the 5998/Gold Lion combo can make bad recordings sound like good recordings.
 
Still keeping my eye out for a good price on a Tung Sol 7236 then I swear I'm done buying (power) tubes for this thing and it's on to 6SN7 input tubes... when does it end?!
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Timbeh on August 03, 2015, 08:55:12 AM
Hello good people. I built my Crack with couple of years ago, upgraded it later with speedball. I had some problems after speedball, and just dusted and repaired it with a friend (thanks to bottlehead for quick delivery of led´s!) about a week ago after it sitting for 1,5 years. I also purchased second hand HD 600 with Cardas smurf blue cable.

I had a problem with low hum in the right channel, but the amp went dead silent after i switched the original 12AU7 with Philips ECC82 i had lying around. But after listening it for some, i have a little urge to get more body or punchiness to the sound. What would be a good budget upgrade to the tubes, to achieve that?
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Maxhawk on August 03, 2015, 05:21:26 PM
Is this tube the famous CBS/Hytron 5814A that everyone has been mentioning?

While that one might be made by Hytron, the ones that folks talk about have red lettering with angled square/D getters that point about 30-45 degrees upwards. The black plates seem to be more well regarded.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Lot-Of-2-NOS-CBS-Hytron-JHY-5814-12AU7-Black-Plate-Same-DC-Tubes-TV7-Tested-/381351365861?hash=item58ca500ce5
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: dusk on August 05, 2015, 06:22:36 AM
hello! Can I use mullard NOS e88cc / cv 2492 tubes in the input stage for the crack? :)
Title: Re: Tube Rolling w/Crack
Post by: Natural Sound on August 05, 2015, 09:01:10 AM
hello! Can I use mullard N