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Tech Corner => Tubes => Topic started by: stevenvalve on May 11, 2012, 05:21:00 PM

Title: Valves. The best sounding varieties of all time, vintage and new production
Post by: stevenvalve on May 11, 2012, 05:21:00 PM
First here is an interesting article    http://www.nutshellhifi.com/library/tinyhistory1.html
Here is an exert.
Seventy years later, vacuum tubes, and especially triodes, continue to be the lowest distortion amplifying elements ever made. No germanium or silicon transistor, JFET, or MOSFET has ever approached the distortion performance of the direct-heated triodes, with indirect-heated triodes following closely behind. In addition to low distortion in the absolute sense, the distortion spectra of triodes is favorable, with a rapid fall-off of the upper harmonics. (This is less true for beam tetrodes, pentodes, or solid-state devices, which are intrinsically less linear and have higher-order distortion curves.)


If you ever want to put a solid-state designer on the spot, ask them which transistors were designed for high-fidelity audio applications ... and are they still on the market, ten or twenty years after they introduced? You can expect a long silence after this question - when a transistor model goes out of production, that's it. Don't expect to find stocks of obsolete transistors, and you can be very sure that nobody wants to collect them or use them in a vintage-sound product.

The sad fact is that solid-state devices have linearity well down on the list of design priorities, with feedback needed to clean up devices that were never primarily intended for audio. The automotive equivalent would be cars modified to use truck diesels ... OK for Soviet Russia maybe, but do you think you'd want to buy something like that if you had a choice? Yet this is the state of affairs in solid-state audio, with the electronic equivalent of an industrial diesel pressed into service in so-called "high-end" electronics.
Title: Re: Valves. The best sounding varieties of all time, vintage and new production
Post by: stevenvalve on May 11, 2012, 05:34:25 PM
We will list the greatest sounding valves and the brands for your tube components, and we will cover all valves types.  The ones to buy.
I will start with the EL34
Title: Re: Valves. The best sounding varieties of all time, vintage and new production
Post by: bhobba on May 12, 2012, 10:41:14 AM
The sad fact is that solid-state devices have linearity well down on the list of design priorities, with feedback needed to clean up devices that were never primarily intended for audio. The automotive equivalent would be cars modified to use truck diesels ... OK for Soviet Russia maybe, but do you think you'd want to buy something like that if you had a choice? Yet this is the state of affairs in solid-state audio, with the electronic equivalent of an industrial diesel pressed into service in so-called "high-end" electronics.

True - very true.

Thanks
Bill
Title: Re: Valves. The best sounding varieties of all time, vintage and new production
Post by: data on May 13, 2012, 02:45:59 PM
We will list the greatest sounding valves and the brands for your tube components, and we will cover all valves types.  The ones to buy.
I will start with the EL34
Very linear when run strapped, as I understand it.

That's why I like them :)
Title: Re: Valves. The best sounding varieties of all time, vintage and new production
Post by: vitavoxdude on May 13, 2012, 07:32:22 PM
We will list the greatest sounding valves and the brands for your tube components, and we will cover all valves types.  The ones to buy.
I will start with the EL34
:D I look forward to this with considerable interest.  I'd imagine that multiple setups will be required to cover even the most popular valves let alone DHT types  ;)
I am thinking EL34, KT66, KT88, 6L6, EL84,6080 for the usual suspects and 845, 211 etc for the more interesting SET's; there are lots more but that little lot will be a pretty large job requiring considerable dedication.  Driver valves, rectifer valves oh oh oh this looks like a lifetimes work Steve.
V
Title: Re: Valves. The best sounding varieties of all time, vintage and new production
Post by: stevenvalve on May 13, 2012, 08:00:03 PM
We will list the greatest sounding valves and the brands for your tube components, and we will cover all valves types.  The ones to buy.
I will start with the EL34
:D I look forward to this with considerable interest.  I'd imagine that multiple setups will be required to cover even the most popular valves let alone DHT types  ;)
I am thinking EL34, KT66, KT88, 6L6, EL84,6080 for the usual suspects and 845, 211 etc for the more interesting SET's; there are lots more but that little lot will be a pretty large job requiring considerable dedication.  Driver valves, rectifer valves oh oh oh this looks like a lifetimes work Steve.
V
Yes it will be full on, but needs to be done. We will also get into my favourites, like the 45s, 145 245s 345s 445s and 50s, 250 250 450, PX4 and PX25s globe and ST types, from the 1920- 30s, also 300B, all the tubes that matter and then some. To many people are buying junk out there, and we may be able to help.
Title: Re: Valves. The best sounding varieties of all time, vintage and new production
Post by: zenelectro on May 13, 2012, 09:45:37 PM
First here is an interesting article    http://www.nutshellhifi.com/library/tinyhistory1.html
Here is an exert.
Seventy years later, vacuum tubes, and especially triodes, continue to be the lowest distortion amplifying elements ever made. No germanium or silicon transistor, JFET, or MOSFET has ever approached the distortion performance of the direct-heated triodes, with indirect-heated triodes following closely behind. In addition to low distortion in the absolute sense, the distortion spectra of triodes is favorable, with a rapid fall-off of the upper harmonics. (This is less true for beam tetrodes, pentodes, or solid-state devices, which are intrinsically less linear and have higher-order distortion curves.)


If you ever want to put a solid-state designer on the spot, ask them which transistors were designed for high-fidelity audio applications ... and are they still on the market, ten or twenty years after they introduced? You can expect a long silence after this question - when a transistor model goes out of production, that's it. Don't expect to find stocks of obsolete transistors, and you can be very sure that nobody wants to collect them or use them in a vintage-sound product.

The sad fact is that solid-state devices have linearity well down on the list of design priorities, with feedback needed to clean up devices that were never primarily intended for audio. The automotive equivalent would be cars modified to use truck diesels ... OK for Soviet Russia maybe, but do you think you'd want to buy something like that if you had a choice? Yet this is the state of affairs in solid-state audio, with the electronic equivalent of an industrial diesel pressed into service in so-called "high-end" electronics.


Steven

That article is a good laugh! The writer should (and probably does) stick to tubes, not much depth of knowledge on SS there.

This gets floated around the net every now and then, stating the DHT as the most linear device and compare them to a single undegenerated solid state device. SS devices are -never- used in this fashion.
They need to be degenerated (used with a resistor) to allow them to work correctly. This is the simple explanation, there's a lot more to it.

Also comparing tubes to SS as a unity gain follower - generally SS will beat the tube - depending on how the circuit is done.

As an aside, the most linear (lowest distortion) tube measurement I have ever seen was actually a 12AX7 recently. The guy posted a measurement and
dared everyone to try and guess what tube it was. No one got it. Surprised me too. This was at just a few volts OP - I digress.

The real story of SS versus tubes is a lot more complex, involves many different very low level distortions and they are very dependent on
how the devices are used in the circuit.   

Here are some of them:

Thermal distortions
- SS suffer from them. When the junction of a SS device heats up and cools down it has a resulting voltage shift or distortion.
This type of distortion is difficult to measure with sine waves, but is very prevalent with assymetrical or 'random' music signals. It doesn't sound very good at all
- Tubes don't have thermal distortion to my knowledge

Voltage modulated capacitance.
- SS suffer from it. When the device is swinging with voltage, all the capacitances are changing in relation to those voltages. This can also be a nasty one and it is
very dependent on the type of device, how much power supply voltage is on it and how the device is driven. It's a complex mechanism that most designers overlook
to a large degree. This is really common with opamps and one of their problems. With opamps it's called common mode distortion.

- Tubes also dont suffer from this distortion.


- There are others like beta (transistor gain) dynamic changes with current and voltage.
- You could say tubes do tho this with variation of their 'mu' or gain versus current and voltage. Some older and classic compressor designs use this
feature for controlled signal compression. The famous Fairchild 670 tube compressor was a 'variable u' design.

- What else - x over distortion, when SS is run in class AB and one OP device cuts off, they do it in a most non musical and harsh manner with a spray of harmonics.
- Conversely tubes do this much more gracefully.

So as you can see, there's a lot more to the story than a simple transfer function. Depending on how the circuit is set up, degenerated SS will generally beat tubes on transfer function.
They also generally beat tubes when configured as a follower but hidden story is all these other subtle distortions that combine to give SS the sound that most call 'cold' or 'hard' etc etc.

Then you have to factor in that most tube distortions actually sound good - it is part of their sound and warmth.

How much does all this mean in real life - if you use tubes not much.
If you use SS, it can be a real help knowing some of the hidden gremlins that lurk when you are trying to get something to sound 'less SS' without
using tubes - for whatever reason.       

OK big SS rant over - peace, love, tubes forever  :) :) :)

Maybe tubes just have more good vibe cosmic energy and they make us feel happier! How do I measure that?  ;D ;D ;D

Z
Title: Re: Valves. The best sounding varieties of all time, vintage and new production
Post by: zenelectro on May 13, 2012, 10:03:24 PM
We will list the greatest sounding valves and the brands for your tube components, and we will cover all valves types.  The ones to buy.
I will start with the EL34

For new, Winged C are hard to beat. I'm just getting a batch of the new Tungsol EL34B's (russian) to see if they come close.

For NOS, there are some decent buys out there if you cant afford real Mullards. I'm thinking the Siemens RFT but there are a few
different years of production and they supposedly vary quite a bit.

The other tube many like is the Sylvania 6CA7. But it's not really an EL34, being a Beam power tube as opposed to a Pentode.


I'd love to find a secret stockpile of EL34's, I go through truck loads of them! :)   

 
   
Title: Re: Valves. The best sounding varieties of all time, vintage and new production
Post by: rhlauranna on May 14, 2012, 12:21:17 AM
Steven,

thanks a ton for your fantastic new thread. Although personally not into valves, you make me very curious, and I very much admire your personal research results. Things like this have long been missing and I am very glad that you will fill especailly this gap.

Unfortunately I am not able to contribute here by own experience. But as we all are following the same aim "best music reproduction" you may please allow some hints and quotes...

so let me quote someone who is owner of a lot of world wide patents, when I first saw and read about his system, and that was not yesterday, but in 1976 (!), I immediately was struck in awe and felt tiny like a dwarf (I still know it as if it were yesterday, already having EMT15 pickup and player, heavily modified but still passive run Klipschorns, Crown DC300A power amp and one of the first Mark Levinson PreAmp at that time !) being only able to ride bicycle between floor and carpet... and I have to admit to a certain extent this feeling has remained to this very day...

anyway, there was (and still is) a lot of inspiration, although in certain areas we choose a different approach, but not without having tested the already reached results, for example

"Everyone who cares about sound needs tone controls." found here:
http://www.burwenaudio.com/index.html

we just went opposite, no control at all, we found out (for us) less is more, we further progressed according to Louis XIV: "Gouverner moins, c'est gouverner mieux", i.e. governing less is governing better, and we are feeling quite comfortable with it...

... but that's what lastly counts and makes real fun, i.e. has brought us further ahead in reaching our aim... not only seeing but personally tasting what is cooking in other people's boiling pot... why? just to get an own impression to not ever to depend on believing what is written elsewhere...

so, on this link there is so much written that I am not able to make it short and to sum it all up in one or two sentences... but those who are interested may scroll up and down and read fully on their own, it is a real pleasure and inspiration.. and where else are we able at all to follow more than 60 years of ongoing scientific research  a n d  results of one single individual?... one may not agree here and/or there and try out other, but everybody is able to make up his own mind...

out of this deep and endless sea of ideas and informations and inspirations and technical steps and, and, and... let me quote

http://www.burwenaudio.com/

and here the following:


"Stereo CDs ... exceed unprocessed SACDs and analog recordings." found here:

http://www.burwenaudio.com/index.html


and

"During my 60 years of designing circuits I designed a lot of vacuum tube, transistor, and switching power amplifiers and know how each performs.  In the 1950's I designed the lowest distortion vacuum tube amplifier ever, the Krohn-Hite UF-101.  It was rated at 50 Watts, 0.005% total harmonic distortion, 50 dB of negative feedback, and it sold in small quantities as a laboratory instrument for 20 years.  Today I wouldn't take a vacuum tube amplifier as a gift.  Why? What you are really buying is not quality amplification but a high distortion equalizer."

found here:

http://www.burwenaudio.com/Questions_and_Answers.html

and

"A vacuum tube amplifier should really be regarded as a nice piece of furniture with wires, that glows in the dark." found here:

http://www.burwenaudio.com/Questions_and_Answers.html


well, to make it absolutely clear: all these hints and quotes are only to be understood not as an attack, but in the sense of stimulating and enriching and inspiring and progressing of our all ongoing struggeling and research and discussion with the one and only aim to come closer to fullfill our all listening dream...

please enjoy reading (and looking)
Title: Re: Valves. The best sounding varieties of all time, vintage and new production
Post by: zenelectro on May 14, 2012, 12:34:24 AM
rhlauranna

Are you using the Burwen Bobcat software?

I'm interested to try this.


cheers

Title: Re: Valves. The best sounding varieties of all time, vintage and new production
Post by: rhlauranna on May 14, 2012, 02:45:44 AM
rhlauranna

Are you using the Burwen Bobcat software?

I'm interested to try this.


cheers



I have not tried it personally, but a friend of mine, the whole last year...

and there is still a lot to discover... to be a final judge of it from what I've heard would be unfair, but it sounded o.k. for me, especially when there is something "wrong" in a system or something that one doesn't like - for whatever reason...

from the very beginning we tried to do everything to avoid building something that afterwards needed adjustment, so our point is we are not confronted with the problem to "adjust" something, we always kept the sound "clean" and didn't alter it anyway, and that sounds (for us)...

and going parallel with Doede's multiple tower DACs confirmed us being "right", bringing the purest sound out of our sources, and that was not only an amelioration but simply a quantum leap...

those who are into digital stream have to face that the final music is the result of some more or less good mathematical algorithm... we know, that mathematics are perfect, but the question is: do we really get that or do we have still to be content with some sort of more or less big compromise? at least so far I have some serious doubts that we get it "perfect"...

at the given level of mathematical results to be heard, I would like to propose to use as less algorithms as possible, nevertheless I have to admit that obviously things are getting better as time goes by...

Title: Re: Valves. The best sounding varieties of all time, vintage and new production
Post by: rhlauranna on May 15, 2012, 09:25:44 AM
well, just in case it should not just be known, I am sure for some this might be some sort of heaven:

http://klangfilm.free.fr/index.php?lng=0&music=&type=0&frame=1&item=&title=&dir=&num=

click (for example) on pictures and then (for example) on amplifiers and then on the different types to open up the pictures...

enjoy...

Title: Re: Valves. The best sounding varieties of all time, vintage and new production
Post by: kajak12 on May 15, 2012, 09:16:30 PM
Steven,

thanks a ton for your fantastic new thread. Although personally not into valves, you make me very curious, and I very much admire your personal research results. Things like this have long been missing and I am very glad that you will fill especailly this gap.

Unfortunately I am not able to contribute here by own experience. But as we all are following the same aim "best music reproduction" you may please allow some hints and quotes...

so let me quote someone who is owner of a lot of world wide patents, when I first saw and read about his system, and that was not yesterday, but in 1976 (!), I immediately was struck in awe and felt tiny like a dwarf (I still know it as if it were yesterday, already having EMT15 pickup and player, heavily modified but still passive run Klipschorns, Crown DC300A power amp and one of the first Mark Levinson PreAmp at that time !) being only able to ride bicycle between floor and carpet... and I have to admit to a certain extent this feeling has remained to this very day...

anyway, there was (and still is) a lot of inspiration, although in certain areas we choose a different approach, but not without having tested the already reached results, for example

"Everyone who cares about sound needs tone controls." found here:
http://www.burwenaudio.com/index.html

we just went opposite, no control at all, we found out (for us) less is more, we further progressed according to Louis XIV: "Gouverner moins, c'est gouverner mieux", i.e. governing less is governing better, and we are feeling quite comfortable with it...

... but that's what lastly counts and makes real fun, i.e. has brought us further ahead in reaching our aim... not only seeing but personally tasting what is cooking in other people's boiling pot... why? just to get an own impression to not ever to depend on believing what is written elsewhere...

so, on this link there is so much written that I am not able to make it short and to sum it all up in one or two sentences... but those who are interested may scroll up and down and read fully on their own, it is a real pleasure and inspiration.. and where else are we able at all to follow more than 60 years of ongoing scientific research  a n d  results of one single individual?... one may not agree here and/or there and try out other, but everybody is able to make up his own mind...

out of this deep and endless sea of ideas and informations and inspirations and technical steps and, and, and... let me quote

http://www.burwenaudio.com/

and here the following:


"Stereo CDs ... exceed unprocessed SACDs and analog recordings." found here:

http://www.burwenaudio.com/index.html


and

"During my 60 years of designing circuits I designed a lot of vacuum tube, transistor, and switching power amplifiers and know how each performs.  In the 1950's I designed the lowest distortion vacuum tube amplifier ever, the Krohn-Hite UF-101.  It was rated at 50 Watts, 0.005% total harmonic distortion, 50 dB of negative feedback, and it sold in small quantities as a laboratory instrument for 20 years.  Today I wouldn't take a vacuum tube amplifier as a gift.  Why? What you are really buying is not quality amplification but a high distortion equalizer."

found here:

http://www.burwenaudio.com/Questions_and_Answers.html

and

"A vacuum tube amplifier should really be regarded as a nice piece of furniture with wires, that glows in the dark." found here:

http://www.burwenaudio.com/Questions_and_Answers.html


well, to make it absolutely clear: all these hints and quotes are only to be understood not as an attack, but in the sense of stimulating and enriching and inspiring and progressing of our all ongoing struggeling and discussion with the one and only aim to come closer to fullfill our all listening dream...

please enjoy reading (and looking)

If and when i hear a ss amp make music i will buy one as for all the links you posted are for people that have a different perception of music then i do or other tube/valve lovers.
Do you have  any recommendations for ss amps 100w ?
Title: Re: Valves. The best sounding varieties of all time, vintage and new production
Post by: kajak12 on May 15, 2012, 11:29:26 PM
We will list the greatest sounding valves and the brands for your tube components, and we will cover all valves types.  The ones to buy.
I will start with the EL34

For new, Winged C are hard to beat. I'm just getting a batch of the new Tungsol EL34B's (russian) to see if they come close.

For NOS, there are some decent buys out there if you cant afford real Mullards. I'm thinking the Siemens RFT but there are a few
different years of production and they supposedly vary quite a bit.

The other tube many like is the Sylvania 6CA7. But it's not really an EL34, being a Beam power tube as opposed to a Pentode.


I'd love to find a secret stockpile of EL34's, I go through truck loads of them! :)   

 
   
Winged c very good current production el34 they can stuff up earlier then expected but they don't take your credit card through the roof by doing so.EL34 DD GETTER  phillips miniwatt will last longer but your credit card and marriage are at risk the cream of el34's.
Title: Re: Valves. The best sounding varieties of all time, vintage and new production
Post by: zenelectro on May 16, 2012, 02:32:01 AM

If and when i hear a ss amp make music i will buy one as for all the links you posted are for people that have a different perception of music then i do or other tube/valve lovers.
Do you have  any recommendations for ss amps 100w ?


Yes - one with valves in it :)
Title: Re: Valves. The best sounding varieties of all time, vintage and new production
Post by: rhlauranna on May 16, 2012, 07:08:35 AM
hmmhh, just didn't want to initiate some sort of basic discussion on valves or not, I think we had that already somewhere, I am waiting primarily for Steven's long time research results, because it is that fantastic that he will let us all have part in his experiences... please, Steven, go on with your reports, you made me curious, don't take that really serious here...

but please, allow a few last words to make our position clear: I don't know if it is "music" that we listen to, it should be, yes, but is it? Really ? We only try to reproduce, to reproduce what is given within our sources - and that best way possible... but for reference we take what we hear live, not amplified, but all natural and totally pure: i.e. whistling, handclapping, thunder in a storm, shot of a rifle in two or three meters distance, but as well Anne Sophie Mutter's Stradivari from 1709 in some 7 or 10 meters, or some drums in one meter distance (to get an impression of what dynamic is in reality and what we all do  n o t  get on the sources that we use)...

and if and when you come in your reproduction - for yourself - to the conclusion, that for example the thunder on Andreas Vollenweider's Behind the gardens... sounds like a thunder, then all is o.k., no matter how and with what equipment you have reached your aim... and if you should have forgotten how a thunder sounds in nature, wait till the next one comes and have a new listen to possibly manage to come closer in your reproduction!

of course, everybody listens on his own, but nobody can talk an "original" "smaller" or "larger" or whatever, and this is our aim, to reproduce exactly that original, maybe sometimes it is music... so if you follow the aim of "reproducing" and not only listen to "music" then go and fetch a triangle and touch it, and then compare it with your reproduction, and then you will see, i.e. how far you are away from "your" original or "your" music, i.e. from what "you" have heard. That's why there is no "different perception" for us, because an original is and remains an original for everyone specifically, if you like it or not, although we know that everybody experiences it differently, so that everybody has its own reference of it - and this only changes while getting older... but that is completely different to that what we buy on vinyl, or CD, or DVD, Bluray... this is more or less limited, altered, compressed, manipulated, mixed up, for car pleasently made "crap" with only very few exceptions, as we all know more than we like...

Did you ever ask yourself why nobody claims for some valves and/or other analogue stuff being integrated into High Definition Television reproduction (I am waiting for that to come) ? Why is nobody any longer screaming for good/old analogue TV with valves? Or for superb analogue VHS recordings ? There is a reason. And the reason is, that the industry - at least so far - has not yet found it necessary to develop the suitable products to get the digital audio content reproduced that way  a n d  on that level as they have developed it for video/television. It is a pity. For years now. And that is the reason why we have begun do it for ourselves. Having once seen real HDTV nobody will really tell that this is better than analogue? Or anyone? The only thing is: most HiFi fans cannot/will not imagine that digital audio is on the same quality level than video, and this only because the technical machines are not there, i.e. not yet developped to the full potential, but, yes but, it is there...

we have proven that, but I am not a missionary murmering some mantras for myself, but just hinting, stimulating, indicating, not more, but also not less...

perhaps another quote from one of the most ambitious hard core analogue fans that I know of, TwoGoodEars, may stimulate your further thinking:

"...believe me... I guess Klaus reached the very peak of audio reproduction and, amazingly, being there with Doede's 60 TDA 1543's DAC and Bernd's PSU..." and that with no valves at all...

found here:

http://killerdac.com/forum/index.php?topic=60.720

and if you should like to follow his development in HiFi, please go here and have a look through the different pages:

http://twogoodears.blogspot.de/

and yes, I can recommend SS amps, the ones from Jean Hiraga, for example the ones Tuyen is just working on... things are getting better, right, but these are really good...


Title: Re: Valves. The best sounding varieties of all time, vintage and new production
Post by: Jehuty on May 16, 2012, 09:33:01 AM
EL34 DD GETTER  phillips miniwatt will last longer but your credit card and marriage are at risk the cream of el34's.

Things can get worse soon kajak12, Steve's got some metal base EL34!

Cheers,
William
Title: Re: Valves. The best sounding varieties of all time, vintage and new production
Post by: hedalfa on May 16, 2012, 07:55:24 PM
What about nos western electric 300Bs  :P :'( truckload of $$$$ :'(
Title: Re: Valves. The best sounding varieties of all time, vintage and new production
Post by: kajak12 on May 16, 2012, 08:29:50 PM
EL34 DD GETTER  phillips miniwatt will last longer but your credit card and marriage are at risk the cream of el34's.

Things can get worse soon kajak12, Steve's got some metal base EL34!

Cheers,
William
never tried them i am married with a V8 :P
Title: Re: Valves. The best sounding varieties of all time, vintage and new production
Post by: vitavoxdude on May 16, 2012, 10:06:07 PM
OK guys, may I suggest we have a basic rating system for the valve review using the usual parameters and a one to ten scaling?  This way it will enable rapid assimilation into the Borg, oops sorry, that is easy comparison for the best value for money etc.  ;D This could grow larger than Ben Hur............................well for Steve at least.  (Why do blokes called Steve - me included become obsessive compulsives with Audio?)!
V ;D
Title: Re: Valves. The best sounding varieties of all time, vintage and new production
Post by: stevenvalve on May 17, 2012, 03:11:13 PM
 I only usually deal with, and use the supposed vintage elite valves, so i will only comment on these, others can voice their thoughts on these and any other brand, especially do the new production valves come close, Why do vintage valves in general sound better than their modern counterparts. Why do vintage valves last a lot longer than the modern production valves . Do you know of any new production valves that can compete sound wise with the stuff of yesteryear. I will start with the sound of the usual EL34 vintage suspects I will list them in order of what is supposed to be the best. If i miss any, speak up

Mullard - Amperex- Telefunken, manufacturing dates 1950s  Metal base.

Amperex double D getter 1960s +

Mullard double 00 getter FX2 1960s +

Mullard single 0 getter FX4

  

 I have been listening to these EL34 valves in my second system a Radford STA15 amp with Quad 57s speakers

Remember Quads 57s are good but have limitations, as with all speakers
More on the sound of these EL34s soon.
Title: Re: Valves. The best sounding varieties of all time, vintage and new production
Post by: stevenvalve on November 12, 2012, 07:25:23 PM
I will start with 50 type tubes. These are usually ST shape 1940s. The in demand 1930 Globe types have the numbers, 150/Arcturus. UX250/RCA. UX350/Cunningham. 450/Deforest.

These are in my opinion the best sounding tube ever made of American design. The most naturally real sounding tube i have ever heard. You don't hear a tube, you hear music. So good, as to be on a planet of there own, old school design (like pre 1935) tubes.  These tubes where made for the expensive elite amps and radios of the day.  Some are just brilliant, others just great so you need to get the right ones. I have about 50 of these tubes.

They have a 7.5 filament voltage and will take 450V. Output is about 4.6 watts

I do not run them hard, 300v or less (around 3 watt). With this voltage they will last longer and sound better (and a big plus) will sound more relaxed. Rule is, run them only as hard as the watts needed.

Back in the 1930s there where many RCAs manufacturing plants and you can tell them by the getter type and its placement.

 

RCA 250 Globe hat getter. This tube type is sweet and airy,  the biggest sound-stage in the RCA range, can be a little brighter than the other RCAs with a little less timbre, good on classical.


 
RCA 250 Globe side foil getter. This tube type is a good all round performer

 

RCA 250 Globe small foil getter. This tube type is very good, it has it all in moderation, good timbre, good sound-stage and is not white or bright, great on classical

 


RCA 250 Globe large foil getter. This tube type is darker sounding, has tremendous timbre, so real, solid flesh on bone, but a smaller sound-stage than the others, Great on male vocals, guitar piano,  most important it is not white or bright at all. Maybe the best RCA 250 ever made,  rarer than most.

 

Cunningham UX350 Globe , This tube is exactly the same to look at as the RCAs, but is may as quite as good as the best RCA versions. More romantic less detail. But it it depends on the getter type. I believe they are made in the same factory as the RCA versions by RCA, so they will probably sound the same.

 

Deforest 450 Globe, This tube lush very romantic, A huge sound stage.  Some will say less accurate than the RCAs.


Most later 1940 ST 50  shape tubes are very good, more on these and others later.

Below is a pair of the large foil getter RCA UX 250. And the best sounding 250 ever made.  A new made in Holland Phillips PH250 globe 1920-30s
Title: Re: Valves. The best sounding varieties of all time, vintage and new production
Post by: stevenvalve on November 12, 2012, 08:56:32 PM
45 type tubes. These are usually ST shape 1940s. The more in demand 1930 Globe types have the numbers, 145/Arcturus. UX245 /RCA. UX345/ Cunningham. 445/Deforest.

These are in my opinion the next best sounding tube ever made of American design.  A Great Naturally real sounding tube. The best timbre of any tube worldwide. These tubes where made for the bread and butter radios of the day.

They have a 2.5 filament voltage and will take 275V. Output is about 2 watts

I do run them hard, 200-250v  (around 2 watts).

There are 2 that stand out.

 Rogers 245 long plate globe 1930s. Made in Canada. This valve is a very pretty sounding tube, clean clear and so sweet, smooth upper frequencies, can be bright if not carefull with tuning the System, does not have the timbre of the RCAs, they sound more like some 250 globes than a 45, very opposed (sound wise) to the 245 RCA version below. Great on classical.

RCA 245 Globe, This tube type is dark sounding. Can be a little rough and ragged in the upper frequencies, and is also not the cleanest 45 tube around, but it has the best timbre you will hear out of any tube, so real, so solid, real flesh on bone,  Great on male vocals, guitar,  not white or bright at all. . There are many 45 varieties, and you must get the right one. The black charcoal plate, circle plate globe (1930s) they have the inch long glass piece hanging from the filament support rods . The best 45 ever made along with the Rogers 45 long plate.  You can see in the picture, these are the right ones, The blacker the charcoal plate the better, like the one on the left, only buy RCA 245s that have this identical construction.


 Most later 1940 ST 45 shape tubes are very good, and cheap more on these and others later
Title: Re: Valves. The best sounding varieties of all time, vintage and new production
Post by: stevenvalve on November 15, 2012, 06:40:22 PM
2A3s. The supposed best in the 2A3s range are the monoplates. These 2a3s where made in the 1930-to 1933 as a elite audio or radio tube. Some say they stopped making them because of the cost of manufacture.

They use 2.5 filament voltage  and will take 250 Volts

Be careful, many RCA 2a3 monoplates are branded RCA but where made by Sylvania. these usually have a number under the base between the pins, like J39

I find 2A3s monoplates to be overrated sound-wise, very clean clear, big soundstage,  To me they sound somewhat sterile and harmonically threadbare. They sound more like a modern tube design, (Mid 1930s on) they are not as musical or involving as the 50 tubes.

Another good 2A3 monoplate is the FIVRE made in ITALY. Very nice tube, better that the genuine RCA monoplate. I have had many of these, including two that where the sort after earlier model with the side support rods (new in box).

The best ones i have ever heard are the Radiotron 2A3 mono plates, These tubes are very very good but imposable to find, i did have two mint ones a few years ago.

I like the National union 2A3 monoplates, they sound more like a 245 valve. Rich darker full, but a little ragged.

Of the 2a3 dual plates, the best is the black plate, 1940s with spring filament support.

Next is the RCA dual black plate without spring supports.

2A3s dual plates (grey or even black) generally are industrial or military, not really intended for audio use.

An exception to the rule, some people say the FIVRE dual plate is the best 2a3, (i have not heard these)









Pictured are 2 RCA 2A3 Monoplates.

 
Title: Re: Valves. The best sounding varieties of all time, vintage and new production
Post by: vitavoxdude on November 15, 2012, 08:05:10 PM
Fantastic Steve, just the sort of thing that makes this site worth being a member of.  :)
Can't wait for the next installment. :-*
V
Title: Re: Valves. The best sounding varieties of all time, vintage and new production
Post by: kajak12 on December 18, 2012, 09:21:04 PM
(http://i1129.photobucket.com/albums/m513/kajak12/RCA50Tubessmall_zpsbff7a517.jpg) Part of my stock of 1930 globe 250s (type 50) There is Sylvania, Rca, Sparton, Ratheon, ect. Stevenvalve.
Title: Re: Valves. The best sounding varieties of all time, vintage and new production
Post by: crazikid on December 18, 2012, 09:24:03 PM
holy crap
Title: Re: Valves. The best sounding varieties of all time, vintage and new production
Post by: Jehuty on December 18, 2012, 09:42:01 PM
(http://i1129.photobucket.com/albums/m513/kajak12/RCA50Tubessmall_zpsbff7a517.jpg)

Hmm, I can't see my favourite large foil getter there, where are they Steve?  ;D
Title: Re: Valves. The best sounding varieties of all time, vintage and new production
Post by: MrRogers on January 10, 2013, 01:58:24 PM


As an aside, the most linear (lowest distortion) tube measurement I have ever seen was actually a 12AX7 recently. The guy posted a measurement and
dared everyone to try and guess what tube it was. No one got it. Surprised me too. This was at just a few volts OP - I digress.




Do you know which brand and model 12AX7 that was?
Title: Re: Valves. The best sounding varieties of all time, vintage and new production
Post by: Erik van Voorst on February 20, 2013, 09:55:40 AM
Last sunday I fell in love with a for me new type of tube (new in my pre that is) the OA2.
It replaced two zeners and an elco.....man that was a no brainer....the musicality in spades  :o

i wanted to know more about it and brand characteristics...I use an RCA....mr. The Cat does not think much of them but he is just an opinion...as the endresult is my judgement...but not much to be read unfortunately.

I see that the Philips Amperex is the most expensive meaning often the one to get... :-X :-X

Any experience with OA2......would be appreciated :D
Title: Re: Valves. The best sounding varieties of all time, vintage and new production
Post by: tuyen on February 20, 2013, 10:09:31 AM
Hi Erik,

I have some experience with OA2 gas tubes on one of my old preamps.

Ones I liked best were the Valvo OA2 mesh plate tubes. They synergised best with the rest of the preamp and system to give a more 'delicate' sound.  Plus they look the coolest too!
(http://i49.tinypic.com/34nsd38.jpg)
Title: Re: Valves. The best sounding varieties of all time, vintage and new production
Post by: stevenvalve on April 30, 2013, 11:42:38 PM
Worlds best sounding rectifier. That is a tough question (is there even a best)  In the last 40 years i have had, and heard almost all the rectifier tubes on this planet, here is a short list and they are all the best vintage makes, 5V4 5U4 5U4G GZ32 GZ34 5AR4 5R4GY GZ37 etc, including some in the metal base versions, and for you Western Electric fanatics the ridiculously expensive 1930s engraved base  274A- 274B rectifiers, $1800+ each NIB NOS.  Well in my opinion, there is a best, and here it is. The Genelex gold lion u52, They are a higher voltage 5U4G class tube, and will fit straight into the 5U4G slot, all the pieces i have where made in England in 1960. They have been manufactured for Audio and come with an included data test sheet, and only obtained from America. Why they where only sent to the USA in 1960, i do not know. They are amazing valves they can sound clean and clear, but also rich, and full with beautiful timbre, smooth and sophisticated, not whitish at all like the Mullards, not course like the RCAs. Price if you can find them, about $600 give or take. They are very similar to the GEC Osram U52s and have that house sound, only better. The best rectifier on the planet.
Title: Re: Valves. The best sounding varieties of all time, vintage and new production
Post by: onthebeach on May 04, 2013, 03:31:08 PM
Nice one.

Hopefully I can snag one of these babies one fine day and hear how it sounds in my system.
Title: Re: Valves. The best sounding varieties of all time, vintage and new production
Post by: hedalfa on May 04, 2013, 06:25:59 PM
Nice one.

Hopefully I can snag one of these babies one fine day and hear how it sounds in my system.

Once you snag one, you cant go back.  Ordinary valves just wont cut it any more...  :D
Title: Re: Valves. The best sounding varieties of all time, vintage and new production
Post by: matt200sr on May 04, 2013, 07:07:21 PM
How Does the Brimair U52 I acquired from William compare to the Genelex ???
Title: Re: Valves. The best sounding varieties of all time, vintage and new production
Post by: stevenvalve on May 04, 2013, 10:33:59 PM
How Does the Brimair U52 I acquired from William compare to the Genelex ???
Your tube is not a brimar U52, it was made by GEC and branded brimar. GEC are also Genalex, Osram, and Marconi. There is a lot of rebranding out there in vintage valve land.
Title: Re: Valves. The best sounding varieties of all time, vintage and new production
Post by: Jehuty on May 05, 2013, 10:21:19 AM
How Does the Brimair U52 I acquired from William compare to the Genelex ???

Hi Matt,

I did compare both as I had both of them in my possession before I sold you my Brimar. The Brimar was almost 90% good compared to the Gold Lion and for the money I sold to you, it's a bargain. I wouldn't have sold it if I had a job and income coming in.

I remember our senior member here who educated me about the law of diminishing returns discussed in the cable section and I quote:
Yup, it's the laws of diminishing returns  at play again.  Trying to get the last 10 or so % of performance unfortuneatley costs a lot.  There is no arguement from me regarding the price / performance of cat 5 /6 it delivers an OK sound for low bucks, but if you want the high resoloution 'musical' repro then CAT 5 will simply not do.  Mains cables are mostly about low resistance so plenty of CAT 5 cores will give this to you.  So I throw down the challenge, make up some CAT 5 interconnects and swap them for your shop bought 'dedicated interconects' and see which one's get consigned to the bin. ( Answers on the back of a 50 dollar bill to  xxxxxxxxx chez Vitavoxdude  ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D).
This is the same case with the U52 comparison. If you want to go for the ultimate/cost no object, the Gold Lion is the answer...bear in mind the additional cost of approximately $500, Steve was very lucky to get one sealed like that for $600. The previous one before that was sold for $700 if I recall correctly and it was USED!!

Cheers,
William
Title: Re: Valves. The best sounding varieties of all time, vintage and new production
Post by: matt200sr on May 05, 2013, 09:14:33 PM
How Does the Brimair U52 I acquired from William compare to the Genelex ???
Your tube is not a brimar U52, it was made by GEC and branded brimar. GEC are also Genalex, Osram, and Marconi. There is a lot of rebranding out there in vintage valve land.

Thanks for the clarification Steve
Title: Re: Valves. The best sounding varieties of all time, vintage and new production
Post by: matt200sr on May 05, 2013, 09:27:15 PM
How Does the Brimair U52 I acquired from William compare to the Genelex ???

Hi Matt,

I did compare both as I had both of them in my possession before I sold you my Brimar. The Brimar was almost 90% good compared to the Gold Lion and for the money I sold to you, it's a bargain. I wouldn't have sold it if I had a job and income coming in.

I remember our senior member here who educated me about the law of diminishing returns discussed in the cable section and I quote:
Yup, it's the laws of diminishing returns  at play again.  Trying to get the last 10 or so % of performance unfortuneatley costs a lot.  There is no arguement from me regarding the price / performance of cat 5 /6 it delivers an OK sound for low bucks, but if you want the high resoloution 'musical' repro then CAT 5 will simply not do.  Mains cables are mostly about low resistance so plenty of CAT 5 cores will give this to you.  So I throw down the challenge, make up some CAT 5 interconnects and swap them for your shop bought 'dedicated interconects' and see which one's get consigned to the bin. ( Answers on the back of a 50 dollar bill to  xxxxxxxxx chez Vitavoxdude  ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D).
This is the same case with the U52 comparison. If you want to go for the ultimate/cost no object, the Gold Lion is the answer...bear in mind the additional cost of approximately $500, Steve was very lucky to get one sealed like that for $600. The previous one before that was sold for $700 if I recall correctly and it was USED!!

Cheers,
William

Hi William

Thanks for your comments William they are much appreciated.

Craig has sent me the kdac and it's currently awaiting me at home  ;D ;D ;D however I'm currently away at work  :( :( :(

On the upside I am going home Wednesday and I'm changing employers and have about 6 weeks straight at home in which to spend with Kdac ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D

My wife being 20 weeks pregnant will require some of the attention of course  ::) ::) ::) Priorities and all.

I am looking forward to inserting the GEC and firing it all up.

Cheers
Matt

Title: Re: Valves. The best sounding varieties of all time, vintage and new production
Post by: kajak12 on May 05, 2013, 10:13:26 PM

[/quote]


On the upside I am going home Wednesday and I'm changing employers and have about 6 weeks straight at home in which to spend with Kdac ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D


Cheers
Matt


[/quote]

What!!!!   no more Rio Tinto
Title: Re: Valves. The best sounding varieties of all time, vintage and new production
Post by: Jehuty on May 06, 2013, 07:55:42 AM
Hi William

Thanks for your comments William they are much appreciated.

Craig has sent me the kdac and it's currently awaiting me at home  ;D ;D ;D however I'm currently away at work  :( :( :(

On the upside I am going home Wednesday and I'm changing employers and have about 6 weeks straight at home in which to spend with Kdac ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D

My wife being 20 weeks pregnant will require some of the attention of course  ::) ::) ::) Priorities and all.

I am looking forward to inserting the GEC and firing it all up.

Cheers
Matt

Congratz on all the good things happening in your life Matt. Great times ahead, enjoy!
Title: Re: Valves. The best sounding varieties of all time, vintage and new production
Post by: stevenvalve on August 12, 2013, 08:19:57 PM
Had a listen to a pair of new production 6SN7s, just to see if they have closed the gap (sound wise) on the great vintage stuff. The 6SN7 is branded Full music with a brass base ($185) this tube is not cheap and has a good reputation as an excellent sounding tube. Its opponent is a pair of brown base Mullard 1950s ECC32 ($800) considered the best sounding 6SN7 variant. To my surprise the full music does sound very good indeed, typical Chinese sounding, a little soft, polite, lacking leading edge, vague, Its sins are of omission rather than commission, and also on the plus side it was not dark, and most important, it is musical. Probably tuned for the modern typically hard analytical cd players that predominate the landscape, Have the newer tubes reached the level of the vintage tubes at this time.  Not yet, but they are getting closer.    
Title: Re: Valves. The best sounding varieties of all time, vintage and new production
Post by: Jehuty on August 12, 2013, 10:55:27 PM
Great stuff Steve. There's hope for new production valves after all. How do you like the Full Music compared to the red base RCA 5692 (or maybe 5691)? Because a pair of the red base go for almost the same money.

Thanks,
William
Title: Re: Valves. The best sounding varieties of all time, vintage and new production
Post by: kajak12 on August 14, 2013, 09:19:26 PM
http://psvanetube.com/wordpress/

el34 metal base current production makes me wonder
Title: Re: Valves. The best sounding varieties of all time, vintage and new production
Post by: qwerter on August 18, 2013, 05:49:18 PM
http://psvanetube.com/wordpress/

el34 metal base current production makes me wonder
They do look good. I might try them out. $400 quad shipped on ebay.
Title: Re: Valves. The best sounding varieties of all time, vintage and new production
Post by: kajak12 on August 18, 2013, 07:15:00 PM
http://psvanetube.com/wordpress/

el34 metal base current production makes me wonder
They do look good. I might try them out. $400 quad shipped on ebay.
I would try but i need 8 maybe next year i will take a punt
Title: Re: Valves. The best sounding varieties of all time, vintage and new production
Post by: Jehuty on August 19, 2013, 10:11:17 PM
http://psvanetube.com/wordpress/

el34 metal base current production makes me wonder
They do look good. I might try them out. $400 quad shipped on ebay.

Hi qverter,

Where are you located? Have you got EL34 double D getter? You could buy the D getter on eBay for the same amount of money and they last for a long time, I reckon they are much more reliable than the current production ones. If you're interested, I could bring some for comparison.

Cheers,
William
Title: Re: Valves. The best sounding varieties of all time, vintage and new production
Post by: stevenvalve on December 08, 2013, 06:56:37 PM
These are supposed to be very good, about time.

http://vinylsavor.blogspot.de/2013/05/211-and-845-triodes-made-in-germany.html
Title: Re: Valves. The best sounding varieties of all time, vintage and new production
Post by: gamve on December 08, 2013, 08:43:42 PM
If only they were 50, 45 ,2A3 etc. Quality of construction seems to be there?
Title: Re: Valves. The best sounding varieties of all time, vintage and new production
Post by: zenelectro on December 08, 2013, 09:31:06 PM
These are supposed to be very good, about time.

http://vinylsavor.blogspot.de/2013/05/211-and-845-triodes-made-in-germany.html

Awesome!

They even look the part - German business like - kind of un Chinese  :)

Now the painful question - $$?

Z
Title: Re: Valves. The best sounding varieties of all time, vintage and new production
Post by: stevenvalve on December 08, 2013, 09:41:09 PM
I believe the 211 is about $1500-$1800 pair. 845 more.
Title: Re: Valves. The best sounding varieties of all time, vintage and new production
Post by: Jehuty on December 08, 2013, 11:23:49 PM
See: http://www.acoustic-dimension.com/elrog/elrog-main-page.htm

Elrog 845: 1,239.65 (ex.VAT) matched pair
Elrog 211: 1,107.45 (ex.VAT) matched pair
Title: Re: Valves. The best sounding varieties of all time, vintage and new production
Post by: stevenvalve on August 08, 2014, 07:23:08 PM
Many valve heads consider these to be the best 45 tubes ever made, The Rogers Long plate 45, 1930, made in Canada. These where mine, but unfortunately I sold them last year, all measured like new. 
Title: Re: Valves. The best sounding varieties of all time, vintage and new production
Post by: Jehuty on August 08, 2014, 07:39:29 PM
Oh my...bloody hell Steve, they are as rare as rockin horse sh1t!

@hedalfa This IS the 45 to get....if you can find any....
Title: Re: Valves. The best sounding varieties of all time, vintage and new production
Post by: Jehuty on August 08, 2014, 08:38:21 PM
Another good 2A3 monoplate is the FIVRE made in ITALY. Very nice tube, better that the genuine RCA monoplate. I have had many of these, including two that where the sort after earlier model with the side support rods (new in box).

Found one: http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/2A3-Fivre-Monoplate-Aeronautica-Militare-TRIODE-1930-100-Emission-amp-GM-/331274326330
Went for A$490.80  :-\

Pics:
(http://s28.postimg.org/h5bv74989/nuove_aste_076.jpg) (http://postimg.org/image/h5bv74989/) (http://s30.postimg.org/993si32kt/nuove_aste_078.jpg) (http://postimg.org/image/993si32kt/) (http://s15.postimg.org/l61pz34fb/nuove_aste_080.jpg) (http://postimg.org/image/l61pz34fb/) (http://s8.postimg.org/lsb6gsjxt/nuove_aste_081.jpg) (http://postimg.org/image/lsb6gsjxt/) (http://s27.postimg.org/6sgdtib73/nuove_aste_083.jpg) (http://postimg.org/image/6sgdtib73/) (http://s27.postimg.org/papbrhicv/nuove_aste_085.jpg) (http://postimg.org/image/papbrhicv/) (http://s13.postimg.org/5yzdlmhvn/nuove_aste_087.jpg) (http://postimg.org/image/5yzdlmhvn/) (http://s16.postimg.org/eewxu7bf5/nuove_aste_088.jpg) (http://postimg.org/image/eewxu7bf5/)

Is it the right one Steve?
Title: Re: Valves. The best sounding varieties of all time, vintage and new production
Post by: stevenvalve on August 08, 2014, 11:47:22 PM
These are the cream 1930 2A3 monoplate FIVRE made in ITALY. These are the earlier Monoplate with the metal pins instead or the mica.  I sold these 2 New in Box for around $1800.
Title: Re: Valves. The best sounding varieties of all time, vintage and new production
Post by: stevenvalve on August 08, 2014, 11:57:03 PM
These are also cream, 1930, RCA 2A3 monoplate, made in USA. I sold these 3 New in Box
Title: Re: Valves. The best sounding varieties of all time, vintage and new production
Post by: stevenvalve on August 09, 2014, 12:08:05 AM
 1930, 2A3 monoplate FIVRE made in ITALY. These are a little different with ceramic bases and mica.
Title: Re: Valves. The best sounding varieties of all time, vintage and new production
Post by: stevenvalve on August 09, 2014, 12:10:25 AM
These are nice, 1930s National Union 2A3 monoplate,
Title: Re: Valves. The best sounding varieties of all time, vintage and new production
Post by: stevenvalve on August 09, 2014, 12:14:15 AM
Kenrad 2A3 1930s monoplate nice tube.
Title: Re: Valves. The best sounding varieties of all time, vintage and new production
Post by: stevenvalve on August 09, 2014, 12:32:31 AM
They only made the 2A3 monoplates from 1930 to 1933, for audio use, The word is they where expensive, and hard to make, and where subsequently dropped from production.  I have owned them all, and feel they are overrated, but they are a great sounding vintage tube, and still considered the holy grail of power tubes. If you are wondering about the hand around that pair of 2A3s... well,,,, it's the hand of God.
Title: Re: Valves. The best sounding varieties of all time, vintage and new production
Post by: Tuyen on August 09, 2014, 12:39:23 AM
So many beautiful tubes.

I can see why you call yourself stevenvalve now!   :o
Title: Re: Valves. The best sounding varieties of all time, vintage and new production
Post by: stevenvalve on July 26, 2017, 12:03:16 AM
Time for 12AX7- ECC83 valves,  i will do a little each night. Lets start with the cream valves in this class, The best i have heard and remember it is still so system dependent. The number one 12ax7.

The Mullard ECC83  MC1, 17 mm long plates, Goal post getter, with copper rods, made in Blackburn England, from 1955 to 1958. Great valve in every way, excellent weighty bass, with clean full pretty midrange, lovely sound a Great tube. They will have a etched MC1 followed underneath by the B, meaning Blackburn followed by year then month. Here are some pictures of the holly grail valve. Look at the second picture you can see the etched MC1 and the factory dates B7 meaning Blackburn 1957,Look at the getter you can see the goal post one on top of the other, also the copper rods plus the plates are 17mm instead of the later 14mm. The evacuation mark usually only covers half of the top part of the glass, they can also have wrinkled glass. The only problem with these is they go for a bit of money, and finding new ones is extremely hard.

Title: Re: Valves. The best sounding varieties of all time, vintage and new production
Post by: hedalfa2 on July 26, 2017, 06:33:17 AM
They only made the 2A3 monoplates from 1930 to 1933, for audio use, The word is they where expensive, and hard to make, and where subsequently dropped from production.  I have owned them all, and feel they are overrated, but they are a great sounding vintage tube, and still considered the holy grail of power tubes. If you are wondering about the hand around that pair of 2A3s... well,,,, it's the hand of God.

Yes the God of tubes. :o :o :o
Title: Re: Valves. The best sounding varieties of all time, vintage and new production
Post by: stevenvalve on July 26, 2017, 11:24:13 PM
Mullard 17mm Long Plate, copper rod, Dual Post, Ring getter, F91, around 1958-59, Nice valve full fat with lots of liquidity and big soundstage, great for a CD based system, really different sounding to the MC1 but has that house sound. If you are lucky you can find a goal post getter F91 made between change over from MC1 to F91 and they sound exactly like the famous MC1 and for about half the price. In the picture you can see the F91 Followed underneath by B8 and then month. The F92 1959-60 long plate is similar in sound to the standard F91. Next will be the Mullard 14mm short plate 1960+.
Title: Re: Valves. The best sounding varieties of all time, vintage and new production
Post by: stevenvalve on August 14, 2017, 07:12:17 PM
Let's talk about a mullard 12ax7, 14mm short plate 1960s plus, these are very good sounding valves, and the one to get has copper rods, they are much harder to find than the non copper variety. These 12AX7s usually sell for half the price (or less) than the long plate versions. Again look for the Mullard Blackburn code on the glass and as you can see in the 3rd picture these 2 non copper versions are dated Blackburn 1969, These mullards copper and non copper are a very good all round 12ax7 and well worth the money.
Title: Re: Valves. The best sounding varieties of all time, vintage and new production
Post by: kajak12 on August 14, 2017, 07:39:13 PM
Let's talk about a mullard 12ax7, 14mm short plate 1960s plus, these are very good sounding valves, and the one to get has copper rods, they are much harder to find than the non copper variety. These 12AX7s usually sell for half the price (or less) than the long plate versions. Again look for the Mullard Blackburn code on the glass and as you can see in the 3rd picture these 2 non copper versions are dated Blackburn 1969, These mullards copper and non copper are a very good all round 12ax7 and well worth the money.
i must look in my shed i think i have some  8)
Title: Re: Valves. The best sounding varieties of all time, vintage and new production
Post by: stevenvalve on August 16, 2017, 08:36:55 PM
Telefunken 12AX7.  They have a reputation and the price to match, but i find in general these valves overrated, the smooth plates 12AX7 have the typical telefunken house sound, pretty, sweet,  light, clean, and airy, and in the right place beautiful, but lacking a little in body and warmth and most importantly timbre, apparently they say the rib plate is fuller with more body than the smooth plate, and they sell a little cheaper. Because they have a very distinctive sound they can be very handy in tuning a system. I found they worked brilliantly in my old Convergent audio technology (CAT) mark 2 preamp, just by putting in a single smooth plate 12AX7 in one of the CATs 10 valve positions, without it the preamp was ordinary, that valve just had the correct flavor in the CAT. The rule is you cannot use a full house of telefunkens in any superbly tuned system as with all valve brands, it's always a mix and match scenario. I own telefunken 12AX7s because they are important in my tuning arsenal but generally keep away from buying too many, problem is you must own them to understand them, and that is the key to use them in the right place. Picture of a smooth, then a rib plate Telefunken 12AX7. Always look for the diamond logo between the pins before buying.
Title: Re: Valves. The best sounding varieties of all time, vintage and new production
Post by: stevenvalve on December 29, 2017, 03:53:51 PM
Been looking through my Stash of PX/4 - UX250 - UX245 and there was more, i could not fit them all int this cabinet. Going to sell most of these.
Title: Re: Valves. The best sounding varieties of all time, vintage and new production
Post by: stevenvalve on April 11, 2018, 02:10:29 AM
These are supposed to be the end game in valves, and certainly the most expensive. Yes its the world famous Western Electric 300B engraved base made in the 1930s. Not the later variants. These two are new and mint in the box. What do they sell for. I have seen these on eBay for as much as US$26000 a pair. I am going to sell them, but not for that idiot money. Any takers. Why do people pay such silly money even if they are incredible, who knows
Title: Re: Valves. The best sounding varieties of all time, vintage and new production
Post by: stevenvalve on June 02, 2018, 06:37:44 PM
More tubes from my collection all 250 Globes, many brands, Many sounds.
Title: Re: Valves. The best sounding varieties of all time, vintage and new production
Post by: hedalfa2 on June 06, 2018, 07:56:36 PM
That's  a serious stash.