Jump to content

Rolling tubes in a Project Tube Box S?


Recommended Posts

This is the first tube anything I have owned and am keen to try some different valves when funds allow. It has 2 x ECC83 (12AX7) in it as stock, not sure which brand. I've read there is much better out there but have no idea what I am looking for. So is the ECC83/12AX7 like the socket/tube type? What is the ECC83 part and what is the 12AX7 part? Is that the only type of tube that will fit/work in this device? I've read that Genalex Gold Lion are a decent option, is that a decent brand? This stuff really confuses me, any suggestions? 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

welcome to the fuzzy world of tubes:hyper:

unfortunately there is endless info about tubes on the net, i also read that Genalex Gold Lion are a great valve, after purchasing 2 and trying them, very disappointed, and have since sold them. Type best 12AX7 into search engine, happy reading, many threads apart from SNA to read about tubes

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, wen said:

i also read that Genalex Gold Lion are a great valve, after purchasing 2 and trying them, very disappointed, and have since sold them. Type best 12AX7 into search engine, happy reading, many threads apart from SNA to read about tubes

That's why I thought I'd try here, you can read good or bad reviews via search engine depending on what you type in. What to believe ? I'll give the goldies  a miss then....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Over the last year or so I did a bit of experimenting with 12AX7 tubes around the $50-70 each mark whether new or vintage.

 

Very happily back using Gold Lion gold pin 12AX7s and won't be rolling anymore.

 

Lucas Miles and Evatco have been good to deal with

 

Actually all my tubes are back to Gold Lion (KT88, 12AT7 and 12AX7).

Edited by Bunno77
addition
Link to comment
Share on other sites

@blakey72, have a look in the WTB section, thejt put an add on June 5 for an elekit 8200, doogie44 posted some info for him, worried it might overload his account,have a quick scroll, might give you an idea about varied opinions

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, blakey72 said:

What is the ECC83 part and what is the 12AX7 part?

In case no one has clarified yet they are referring to the exact same twin high impedance twin triode tube.

ECC83 is European designation for 12AX7 which is the US designation for ECC83 : )

ECC83 = 12AX7 

http://www.r-type.org/exhib/aaa0046.htm

 

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You've made the right choice with the start of your ubiquitous 9-pin miniature dual triode journey.

 

Just confirming the 12AX7 nomenclature is the US designation for the same tube that in Europe is known as the ECC83.

 

Sound signatures vary in valves made by different manufacturers both vintage and new. The critical question is what sound signature are you after, what genre of music do you like the most and in what role are the valves being used.

 

Just so you're aware the 12AX7 is also the most prolifically used valve in the world since its inception in 1947/8 by RCA. It remains the most widely used valve in many audio related applications that will be with us for at least 100 years to come.

 

One comment to share is that there is no best sounding valve - there are many and tinkering with a combo that best works for you will be the way to go.

 

Now with that upfront BS out of the way and to get started may I suggest a low noise valve for your application? A Siemens Munich triple mica E83CC 1960's or 1970's e-phi coded valve or a Raytheon 1960's windmill getter 5751 are a great start as are 977 or 3977 Brimar Rochester CV4004, CV492 or 6057 1950's or 1960's short box plate variants and 640 or 641 coded 1950's or 1960's Mullard Mitcham 6057 or 8137 valves - all great for phono stage applications from the vintage side. Others can chime in with the modern variants.

Edited by xlr8or
  • Like 1
  • Thanks 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, xlr8or said:

You've made the right choice with the start of your ubiquitous 9-pin miniature dual triode journey.

 

Just confirming the 12AX7 nomenclature is the US designation for the same tube that in Europe is known as the ECC83.

 

Sound signatures vary in valves made by different manufacturers both vintage and new. The critical question is what sound signature are you after, what genre of music do you like the most and in what role are the valves being used.

 

Just so you're aware the 12AX7 is also the most prolifically used valve in the world since its inception in 1947/8 by RCA. It remains the most widely used valve in many audio related applications that will be with us for at least 100 years to come.

 

One comment to share is that there is no best sounding valve - there are many and tinkering with a combo that best works for you will be the way to go.

 

Now with that upfront BS out of the way and to get started may I suggest a low noise valve for your application? A Siemens Munich triple mica E83CC 1960's or 1970's e-phi coded valve or a Raytheon 1960's windmill getter 5751 are a great start as are 977 or 3977 Brimar Rochester CV4004, CV492 or 6057 1950's or 1960's short box plate variants and 640 or 641 coded 1950's or 1960's Mullard Mitcham 6057 or 8137 valves - all great for phono stage applications from the vintage side. Others can chime in with the modern variants.

Just to ask a possibly very dumb question Kirk - Is it possible for 2 supposedly identical tubes which measure the same ("matched "), to actually sound individually different when used independently? Can these individual valve qualities reach beyond the numbers to provide audible variation within their species and even batch?

Link to comment
Share on other sites
57 minutes ago, Bisguittin said:

Is it possible for 2 supposedly identical tubes which measure the same ("matched "), to actually sound individually different when used independently?

Although I am not sure about 12AX7 specifically (the only small twin triode I have used is its cousin the 12AU7) in my experience of 12AU7 the answer is a definite yes.  I spent years comparing many hundreds of 12AU7 variants (of which there are an enormous number) in my Absolare preamps and I was surprised just how different some tubes from same factory, same production batch etc can sound.  The contrast is not major but it can be noticeable and I expect it will depend on application and capacity for your system to allow you to hear it. 

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Try the new make as a start.  But the vintage tubes are far superior to the newly made ones.  But that’s a rabbit hole. 
Result will depend on the quality of your amp and circuit.  Just ask the musicians, they prefer vintage for their guitar amps.  

I have tried many 12au7, at7 and ax7.  Like Aperalim said vintage tubes vary from year and factory of manufacture.  As a start maybe remember the names, Mullard, telefunken...brimar, philips.  These ecc and au-ax tubes are domain of British, German and Dutch speciality.  They may have different labels but the best largely come fr these countries...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great, thank you so much for the information. My music tastes vary from metal to jazz to 80's so a 'flexible' but warm sound is preferred. Is it better to buy two tubes that are marked 'matched' or doesn't it matter in this case? Also what are NOS valves?

Link to comment
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, blakey72 said:

Great, thank you so much for the information. My music tastes vary from metal to jazz to 80's so a 'flexible' but warm sound is preferred. Is it better to buy two tubes that are marked 'matched' or doesn't it matter in this case? Also what are NOS valves?

I had a ProJect Tubebox S2. I didn't lose it by choice.

 

It's one per channel so best matched or at least test close to get your channels the same as possible.

 

It is possible to stick 2 different manufacture tubes in as long as they are still the right tube type.

 

NOS is New Old Stock. Essentially old production that has never been used. Often costs more.

Link to comment
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Bisguittin said:

Just to ask a possibly very dumb question Kirk - Is it possible for 2 supposedly identical tubes which measure the same ("matched "), to actually sound individually different when used independently? Can these individual valve qualities reach beyond the numbers to provide audible variation within their species and even batch?

Yes - they can vary in sound signature if used in different circuit design, which uses different operating points and characteristics. However, for the same circuit design, I would not expect a variation in sound unless if one part of the circuit is operating incorrectly for that one tube or the tube has an inherent fault with its internal construction.

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

3 hours ago, blakey72 said:

Is it better to buy two tubes that are marked 'matched' or doesn't it matter in this case? Also what are NOS valves?

You will see the use of terms like 'NOS' tubes or 'NIB' tubes.

 

NOS = New Old Stock (literally 'unused' 'as new' but this is not an exact science and many tubes are described NOS by sellers when they are not exactly unused).

 

NIB = New In Box (literally brand new, unused in original packing carton from original date of manufacture/sale).  These are increasingly rare to find.

 

Both of the above must never be confused with meaning because they are 'NEW" unused that they will be perfectly "matched" (as in perfectly matched pairs where 2 valves are very close or identical in rare cases in their measured values) or "balanced" (as in twin triode tubes like 12Au7/12AX7 6SN7 that have two identical halves that can be measured as perfectly balanced or otherwise diverging in value).  NIB and NOS tubes unless poorly stored or damaged will generally still have their full life of use ahead of them.

 

In general terms, perfectly balanced twin triodes are optimal to sue but in practice are reasonably rare to find.

Add the NOS and NIB criteria and finding a perfectly matched NIB pair of perfectly balanced twin triode tubes is no mean feat and can therefore be quite costly.

 

For example some specialist manufactures like 1960s French defence contract manufacturer CSF-Thomson – who were principally supplied by French tube manufacturing giant La RadioTechnique (Philips owned) – only accepted 12AU7 tubes that had been rigorously tested multiple times and then screened further in their own testing facilities to select tubes with perfectly balanced and matched performance (that would be over-labelled) because they were destined for hyper-critical applications like missile guidance systems etc.   

 

Most of the tens of millions of tubes that were used in general practice 1950s–1970s were not screened for such critical use and therefore are not usually so well balanced as such.

 

Whether matched pairs are critical to optimise performance will depend on your application.

If two of the same tube are to used – one in left and one in the right channel for example – a matched pair is optimal.

 

All good fun...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

confused yet? you will be,

further to the balanced/matching of tubes, they, even as you can see from same place of manufacture, even batch, like a car engine, can perform differently; AND; this can alter (especially with power tubes) as they 'burn in' (equivalent of running in a car).  Your cartridges 'sonic signature' also needs to be taken account of. Some can be 'toppy', others smoother. Obviously a bright sounding tube, with a bright cartridge?? (Same for a smooth sound).

  If you fancy rolling tubes on the 'cheap', then a pair of  the basic JJ's, Psvane, Shuguang, Electro Harmonix, Sovtek tubes would give you an idea of the effect a different tube can have. At this point in time, I still find it 'viable' to buy NoS 'small tubes' rather than pay high cost for modern made 'boutique' type tubes. I've found 90% of the time they cost less (nos), or similar, and perform better. I would suggest NOT chasing 'holy grail' tubes until you are sure, or, own equipment 'worthy' of the outlay.  Like many 'valve' aficionado's I have a 'wee' collection, built up over time. I have some of the 'highly regarded' tubes but tbh, for 50% of the cost of the 'special' Mullard, Brimar, Telefunken etc, you can buy the standard tube and get 80% of the results. (yes the extra 20% is 'special').

  BEWARE buying new production Mullard, Golden Lion, etc, they are all now produced in Russia, by the same factory, and are NOT the same quality as the original, but there are some unscrupulous sellers who will try it on as 'NoS'.

Link to comment
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, wen said:

if my memory serves me, BATMAQN said in a post that he had a weston topaz for many years and never changed the tubes, must have matched well with his gear

Yeah it might be a costly exercise rolling too many tubes with so many involved. I think I'll trust Earles judgement at least for a while :) There is a choice of KT120 or KT150 output tubes which I must decide on.

Edited by blakey72
Link to comment
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.




×
×
  • Create New...
To Top