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Posted (edited)

 

 

Three fine DACs in the Aqua line up. I own the Aqua La Scala Mk2 Optologic. This DAC has twin output ECC81 tubes in the output stage, ripe from rolling.

Owners first hand experiences with different tubes? I have tried the Raytheon 12AT7WA (pictured below),  Phillips Miniwatt, and other NOS tubes on the way.

There is also the discussion of aftermarket fuses, and owners experience on it's sonic signature?

 

 

 

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Edited by Silver Audiophile
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Posted (edited)

I am also an owner of the the La Scala. Yet to try a different tube in it. Looking forward to giving it a go based on recommendations and providing some feedback. 

My tubes are the Genalex installed in the factory. 

 

 

Edited by AlurkA
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20 minutes ago, AlurkA said:

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Interesting. My La Scala DAC arrived new in the box, without the separate Genalex tubes boxes as above. When I opened the unit, the two 12AT7 tubes had no branding label to indicate they are Genalex tubes. They had a simple printed label with some serial numbers. Otherwise, the tubes appeared to be generic new production Russian tubes.

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Short online description about the Raytheons..

 

Raytheon JAN 12AT7WA and JAN CRP 12AT7WA Triple Mica Black Plates

Made in USA and military spec. Two batches in stock, one from 1963, another from 1968. All tubes have triple mica, black plates and o-getters. All MINT like other tubes in our stock. One of the best American 12AT7s. These are quite strong and neutral, very quiet, with tight transparent bass. We consider this tube an "undiscovered" one with its sound similiar to the famous 5751 WMG.
 
My listening to the Raytheon JAN CRP 12AT7WA  (over stock tubes):
1) Fuller, warmer mids, and bass.
2) Lower background noise.
3) Vocals  just behind the speaker and more natural sounding (rather than very forward - between the listener and the speaker)
4) More natural timbre to stringed instruments. The natural warm visceral reverb of the Double bass is felt rather than just heard.
 
 
 
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The pics were the ones I have as a standby. Bought seperately but they match the ones I have in the DAC itself and look like....

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Posted (edited)

I vaguely recall when reading about the la Scala that they originally were released with a different tube set and moved to Genalex.  Am wondering if this is the difference. 
 

Edit...could be wrong the Genalex maybe the originals. Too many reviews...well..reviewed. 

Edited by AlurkA
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Posted (edited)

 

Interesting. The pics below are of the tubes that came with my new La Scala DAC. Clearly, they look different from the Genalex 12AT7 tubes (short grey plates with double getters). Genalex tube (above) has long plates, single getter.

 

 

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Edited by Silver Audiophile
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2 hours ago, AlurkA said:

This is the article I had read including the tube information. https://www.hifi-advice.com/blog/review/digital-reviews/spdif-dac-reviews/aqua-la-scala-mkii/
 

 

 

I think I've figured it out, below is my recent correspondence with Aqua in Italy via email, where the owner and designer answered my questions:

 

Currently, La Scala is fitted with a pair of specially selected Russian ECC81. Unfortunately, the new production Genalex no longer meet the HQ standards.

The left tube serves the RCA outputs while the tube on the right is for XLR. We recommend the selection for the 2 triodes for each tube.

Kind regards,

Cristian Anelli
aqua - acoustic quality
email: support@aquahifi.com
www.aquahifi.com

Makes sense now, the Genalex Gold lions must have been given the boot, and Cristian Anelli is now using the newer unlabled new Russian production tubes (my DAC is fairly new).

Either way, all new production Russian tubes come out of the Saratov Reflektor factory. I clearly hear a vast improvements with the NOS tubes still however.

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Excellent.  Thanks. Seems like this is the third tube type they have introduced into the La Scala. Interesting.... 

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This morning I popped open the fuse box.. custom ceramic fuse too! Seem Cristian Anelli is across the idea, fuses do make a difference!

 

 

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Posted (edited)

 

Tried these Phillips Miniwatt ECC81s in La Scala DAC.. photo from online seller in Europe.

 

Sound was:

1) Clean

2) Reduced noise floor

3) Lacking in emotion or x-factor

4) The background 'fill' was light

 

Nice, but not my cup of tea sound.

All in all.. proves how just rolling some tubes (for very little money), can make for a brand new sounding DAC.

 

 

 

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Edited by Silver Audiophile
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These arrived today. Time to figure out how to install them. First time tube rolling....

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Edited by AlurkA
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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, AlurkA said:

These arrived today. Time to figure out how to install them. First time tube rolling....

948241DC-7715-413B-8458-D6CA414A7C0C.jpeg

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👍

Only really necessary to roll the tube on the right if you're using XLR output (when the unit is viewed front on). Roll the tube that tested 5700/6000. This tube has a better triode balance and higher gain value.

Guess that answers the question.. does the NOS tube store exist and honest 😁

Below, how to roll tubes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vIKGN8hQazI

 

Edited by Silver Audiophile
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Many Thanks @Silver Audiophile  this is precidely the information I needed.  Were your Raytheons measured and if so in-line with the ones I received?

 

Cheers

Edited by AlurkA
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Just arrived today- Telos Quantum X2 fuses.. plugged it into the PS Audio P10 and Primaluna Evo400 pre amp this morning. Holy smokes!!

The soundstage, big sound, and lively.

Definate convert to fuse upgrades now!

 

https://recordclean.com.au/telos-quantum-x2-fuse-audiophile-grade-upgrade.html

 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Just received an email response from the designer of the La Scala DAC Cristian Anelli regarding the mains fuse specs, for replacing to higher grade fuse if desired:

 

FUSE: Ceramic 1A; 250VAC; 5x20mm; SLOW BLOW

Thanks for the attention,

Cristian Anelli
aqua - acoustic quality
email: support@aquahifi.com
www.aquahifi.com
Edited by Silver Audiophile
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