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Thread: Sovtek 6550WE

  1. #1

    Sovtek 6550WE

    Anyone having any experience and/or using these may comment? I gave up with my SED 6550 winged C after recent tube replacement which cost me 2-3 tube failures and bias issues.
    Analog: Acoustic Solid Royal / Ikeda 407, Graham Elite / Ikeda Kai, ZYX Universe Premium / ARC Ref Phono 10
    Digital: DCS Vivaldi Transport, DAC, Clock
    Preamp:
    Amps: Constellation Hercules II Monos
    Speakers: Magico M Project
    Cables: Transparent Magnum Opus IC & SC, Ref MM2 phono, Ref XL AES/EBU & clock
    Power: Shunyata Triton V2, Typhon / Stage III Leviathan (x2), Kraken (x7)
    Racks: SRA Scuttle (x3), Ohio XL+^2 (x4)

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by number95 View Post
    Anyone having any experience and/or using these may comment? I gave up with my SED 6550 winged C after recent tube replacement which cost me 2-3 tube failures and bias issues.
    Ok. I ordered replacement tubes from ARC ie Sovtek 6550we. First, no issues with bias, all tubes closer to 65ma. Second, initial performance is better than I thought. 6550we is faster, stronger compared to 6550 wc. There are definitely more details and better control. Bass is tighter while perhaps 6550wc had gradually more decay with a tad slower response. There is more midrange energy with 6550we which enhances vividness and better control and speed improving on the realism further. Highs may be slightly a bit rolled off which I am not quite sure. Overall I am very pleased with what I hear. I am surprised as winged c is more expensive and even hard to find as NOS.
    Analog: Acoustic Solid Royal / Ikeda 407, Graham Elite / Ikeda Kai, ZYX Universe Premium / ARC Ref Phono 10
    Digital: DCS Vivaldi Transport, DAC, Clock
    Preamp:
    Amps: Constellation Hercules II Monos
    Speakers: Magico M Project
    Cables: Transparent Magnum Opus IC & SC, Ref MM2 phono, Ref XL AES/EBU & clock
    Power: Shunyata Triton V2, Typhon / Stage III Leviathan (x2), Kraken (x7)
    Racks: SRA Scuttle (x3), Ohio XL+^2 (x4)

  3. #3
    Member Sponsor Addicted to Best! dmnc02's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by number95 View Post
    Ok. I ordered replacement tubes from ARC ie Sovtek 6550we. First, no issues with bias, all tubes closer to 65ma. Second, initial performance is better than I thought. 6550we is faster, stronger compared to 6550 wc. There are definitely more details and better control. Bass is tighter while perhaps 6550wc had gradually more decay with a tad slower response. There is more midrange energy with 6550we which enhances vividness and better control and speed improving on the realism further. Highs may be slightly a bit rolled off which I am not quite sure. Overall I am very pleased with what I hear. I am surprised as winged c is more expensive and even hard to find as NOS.
    You are probably comparing good new samples of 6550WE to 6550C that are either old or subpar (there were apparently plenty of these subpar 6550C that reached the market once the factory shut down). Otherwise, even people at ARC I have spoken with consider the 6550C the better tube.
    Analog: TechDas Air Force One, Graham Phantom Elite, Lyra Atlas; Digital: MacMini, RWA Black Lightning PSU, EMM Labs DAC2X; Amplification: ARC REF Phono 10, REF 10, REF 250; Speakers: Vandersteen 7; Cables: Nordost Odin Phono, Kimber Select ICs & SCs, Shunyata Alpha & Ξtron PCs, Synergistic Active SE USB & Ethernet; Tweaks: Equi=Tech 10WQ, Shunyata Cyclops, HRS M3X, Stillpoints Ultra, Entreq Silver Tellus, Synergistic ART, HFT, RED, XOT, Tranquility Bases & Transporter Ultra SE

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by dmnc02 View Post
    You are probably comparing good new samples of 6550WE to 6550C that are either old or subpar (there were apparently plenty of these subpar 6550C that reached the market once the factory shut down). Otherwise, even people at ARC I have spoken with consider the 6550C the better tube.
    Hello dmnc02,

    Yes 6550WE are the latest samples. I used 6550 winged C on my Ref 610T monos since 2007 so I am very well aware of how they sound. That is why I am surprised after hearing 6550WE.
    Analog: Acoustic Solid Royal / Ikeda 407, Graham Elite / Ikeda Kai, ZYX Universe Premium / ARC Ref Phono 10
    Digital: DCS Vivaldi Transport, DAC, Clock
    Preamp:
    Amps: Constellation Hercules II Monos
    Speakers: Magico M Project
    Cables: Transparent Magnum Opus IC & SC, Ref MM2 phono, Ref XL AES/EBU & clock
    Power: Shunyata Triton V2, Typhon / Stage III Leviathan (x2), Kraken (x7)
    Racks: SRA Scuttle (x3), Ohio XL+^2 (x4)

  5. #5
    Addicted to Best! Bobvin's Avatar
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    Help... I mean oops, one of the power tubes in my ARC REF10 preamp was glowing a little odd so I ordered up some replacements from Upscale Audio. I looked only at the manual for my REF10 pre and it said the power supply used 2ea 6550c tubes. But I ordered Svetlana 6550c (not winged c). When I removed the cover the original tubes are Sovtek 6550we.

    Should I return them for the Sovtek "we" variant? Has anyone rolled these tubes using the Svetlana?
    óBob Vineyard, aka bobvin

    My system: Benz LPS, Einstein Turntables' Choice phono-pre (dual mono version), AMG v12 turntable, dCS Rossini DAC, Audio Research Ref10 pre, Audio Research Ref75 amp w.KT150 tubes, Wilson Alexia speakers. Transparent Ref MM2 & Gen5 signal cables, Shunyata Zitron Sigma, AlphaNR, Python, Anaconda, Cobra power cables. Shunyata Hydra Triton v3. Stillpoints. HRS. Acoustic environment optimized by Dr. Bonnie Schnitta of SoundSense.


  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Bobvin View Post
    Help... I mean oops, one of the power tubes in my ARC REF10 preamp was glowing a little odd so I ordered up some replacements from Upscale Audio. I looked only at the manual for my REF10 pre and it said the power supply used 2ea 6550c tubes. But I ordered Svetlana 6550c (not winged c). When I removed the cover the original tubes are Sovtek 6550we.

    Should I return them for the Sovtek "we" variant? Has anyone rolled these tubes using the Svetlana?
    I believe Sovtek WE is the current production 6550 which ARC uses in their 6550 based models. 6550c Svetlana is out of production, the tubes left at market stocks are said to be vary in terms of quality. 2 years ago I specifically looked to get 6550c to roll for my Ref 610Ts, the performance was very poor (faulty tubes and bias problems) given also the cost of those. I then replaced them with WE from ARC and no issues remained.
    Analog: Acoustic Solid Royal / Ikeda 407, Graham Elite / Ikeda Kai, ZYX Universe Premium / ARC Ref Phono 10
    Digital: DCS Vivaldi Transport, DAC, Clock
    Preamp:
    Amps: Constellation Hercules II Monos
    Speakers: Magico M Project
    Cables: Transparent Magnum Opus IC & SC, Ref MM2 phono, Ref XL AES/EBU & clock
    Power: Shunyata Triton V2, Typhon / Stage III Leviathan (x2), Kraken (x7)
    Racks: SRA Scuttle (x3), Ohio XL+^2 (x4)

  7. #7
    Addicted to Best! Bobvin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by number95 View Post
    I believe Sovtek WE is the current production 6550 which ARC uses in their 6550 based models. 6550c Svetlana is out of production, the tubes left at market stocks are said to be vary in terms of quality. 2 years ago I specifically looked to get 6550c to roll for my Ref 610Ts, the performance was very poor (faulty tubes and bias problems) given also the cost of those. I then replaced them with WE from ARC and no issues remained.
    Yes Num, I understand... winged C no longer in production, new Svetlana (from a different factory) 6550c does not have the =C= designation and appears to be reliable. Sovtec 6550we is what ARC is using. My error was having used Svetlana in the past in ARC amps, and the manual not stating "we" variant, only 6550c. Had I pulled the cover before ordering I'd have gone with the Sovtec, so now looking for any comparisons between the two, particularly in the power supply of a REF10 preamp.
    óBob Vineyard, aka bobvin

    My system: Benz LPS, Einstein Turntables' Choice phono-pre (dual mono version), AMG v12 turntable, dCS Rossini DAC, Audio Research Ref10 pre, Audio Research Ref75 amp w.KT150 tubes, Wilson Alexia speakers. Transparent Ref MM2 & Gen5 signal cables, Shunyata Zitron Sigma, AlphaNR, Python, Anaconda, Cobra power cables. Shunyata Hydra Triton v3. Stillpoints. HRS. Acoustic environment optimized by Dr. Bonnie Schnitta of SoundSense.


  8. #8
    Addicted to Best! DaveyF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobvin View Post
    Yes Num, I understand... winged C no longer in production, new Svetlana (from a different factory) 6550c does not have the =C= designation and appears to be reliable. Sovtec 6550we is what ARC is using. My error was having used Svetlana in the past in ARC amps, and the manual not stating "we" variant, only 6550c. Had I pulled the cover before ordering I'd have gone with the Sovtec, so now looking for any comparisons between the two, particularly in the power supply of a REF10 preamp.
    As stated above, the original winged 'c' 6550's are excellent tubes. I use them in my ARC amp and they sound great. The newer Svet's are a different beast.
    Bob, i wonder if it would be worth while trying to source original GE 6550's ( pricey though). IME, these are the very best 6550's ever made. Somewhat unobtanium right now, but may be an option for you. Might be worth a conversation with Uncle Kevin about.

  9. #9
    Addicted to Best! Bobvin's Avatar
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    I've tried the GE tubes. Different, not necessarily better IMHO. Not worth the $$, to me.
    óBob Vineyard, aka bobvin

    My system: Benz LPS, Einstein Turntables' Choice phono-pre (dual mono version), AMG v12 turntable, dCS Rossini DAC, Audio Research Ref10 pre, Audio Research Ref75 amp w.KT150 tubes, Wilson Alexia speakers. Transparent Ref MM2 & Gen5 signal cables, Shunyata Zitron Sigma, AlphaNR, Python, Anaconda, Cobra power cables. Shunyata Hydra Triton v3. Stillpoints. HRS. Acoustic environment optimized by Dr. Bonnie Schnitta of SoundSense.


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