E80cc comparison

Sablon Audio

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I have to admit a long love affair with the e80cc tube. It’s always been a fave of mine, comfortably outperforming superior 12au7 options in circuits where the extra current draw can be accommodated. One tube dealer describes it as being like a Telefunken ecc802s on steroids and I couldn’t have put it better myself - bigger / bolder / clearer etc.

In essence, not many know about this tube type and, when they do, the knowledge is largely restricted to the two ‘cooking’ versions from Philips Heelen and Tungsram in Budapest. A fair bit of relabelling goes on eg Siemens / Valvo / Mullard, however if it has gold pins then it comes from Philips. The Hungarian Tungsram tends to have rhodium plated pins and holes in the plates. And that is what I have used myself for the past 15 years, with a few examples stashed away.

I recently bought two new pieces of equipment using 12au7 (Lampi Baltic and Riviera AFC headamp) and thought I should dig deeper into the back catalogues for superior examples. Without further ado, from left to right on the photo….

1C0DAD13-AC19-49A2-98F1-EBBB9CD3211A.jpeg

1) Telefunken G73r - a selected ecc802s with rfi absorbing coating
2) Philips SQ e80cc, regular late production
3) Siemens labeled Tungsram e80cc, regular late production
4) Tungsram industrial selected red label e80cc
5) Tungsram 1960 D Foil getter, welded plates e80cc
6) Philips SQ 1955 WK4 D Foil getter, pinched waist, welded plates e80cc
7) Tungsram 1958 nickel smooth plate D foil getter pinched waist

The evaluation will be conducted in the Lampizator Baltic dac using EML 274B / Melz 1578 driven by Taiko’s Extreme and my best cabling options and I have been accompanied by the ever-perceptive @Blue58. Rather than dwell on the minutae between each tube, I’ll summarise the macro observations:

- performance runs from left to right, with big jumps at each end.
- the nickel Tram had an extraordinarily clear and structured presentation, resolution is a country mile ahead of all the others. My biggest dilemma with them is not the high price but the simple fact that they are already very rare but will be almost impossible to replace when they eventually wear out.
- thankfully, the cooking versions (3 & 4) are very satisfying as a daily listen and very cheap / plentiful. Big jump over the G73r
- The wk4 Philips has the most emotional connection and is a lovely listen.
- the Tak274b is too dense and homogenising to easily discern differences; the EML274 was more transparent
- talk of the 12au7 position on Baltic being unimportant is misplaced; significant deltas were observed.
 

DHT4ME

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I use the E80CC in my Audio Note DAC5 and it is unquestionably superior compared to the lot of 12au7 offerings with the Brimar 13d7 being the best of the usual suspects.
I have 5 different E80cc’s ranked in ascending order by my preference they are: a Siemen, Tunsgram, a Phillips non plated pin and a Phillips Miniwatt. I would be interested to see your findings.
 

Sablon Audio

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Hi @DHT4ME. I prefer Tungsram over Philips irrespective of the generation covered above. The post from JonL linked below correlates with my own impression - bigger, bolder, clearer. I also use the Siemens labelled ones as my daily go to as they sound excellent and can be replaced cheaply / easily unlike the nickel plates however they are simply relabelled late production Tungsram rather than a distinct model in their own right. The nickel plates come out for special occasions as their level of resolution is simply on a much higher level even though I haven’t yet burnt them in properly.

 
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DHT4ME

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Apr 12, 2021
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Hi @DHT4ME. I prefer Tungsram over Philips irrespective of the generation covered above. The post from JonL linked below correlates with my own impression - bigger, bolder, clearer. I also use the Siemens labelled ones as my daily go to as they sound excellent and can be replaced cheaply / easily unlike the nickel plates however they are simply relabelled late production Tungsram rather than a distinct model in their own right. The nickel plates come out for special occasions as their level of resolution is simply on a much higher level even though I haven’t yet burnt them in properly.

It is interesting how tubes can be so system specific. The Tungsram is my DAC has some extra bite that does not seem consonant with the music whereas the Miniwatt is coherent, bigger and detailed. The Seimens has a slightly cooler sound than the Tungsgrams but has a more coherent sound. We must remember that these are cascaded or multi stage circuits and there is always some distortion and harmonics cancellation in these circuits which makes certain combinations better than others.
 

rspyder

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Hi all. I just came across this string and hope that my comments aren't arriving too late. I thought I'd still add my concurrence. I have an Octave Jubilee Preamp, in which it is possible to use an E80CC tube in one of the 4 valve positions. In fact, Andreas Hofmann of Octave highly recommends it. I have used the Valvo E80CC "Red" Pinched Waist WK2 D-Foil Getter (Hamburg), Circa 1956. As outstanding as the Jubilee pre is out of the box, inserting that E80CC adds more blush on the rose. More authority, realism, and air. It's crazy how one tube can have such a palpable effect.
 

ceylon

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Aug 24, 2023
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Hi all. I just came across this string and hope that my comments aren't arriving too late. I thought I'd still add my concurrence. I have an Octave Jubilee Preamp, in which it is possible to use an E80CC tube in one of the 4 valve positions. In fact, Andreas Hofmann of Octave highly recommends it. I have used the Valvo E80CC "Red" Pinched Waist WK2 D-Foil Getter (Hamburg), Circa 1956. As outstanding as the Jubilee pre is out of the box, inserting that E80CC adds more blush on the rose. More authority, realism, and air. It's crazy how one tube can have such a palpable effect.
u sure thats a valvo hamburg E80CC? pretty sure only philips herleen/smperex USA and tungsram hungary made the E80CC, meaning labelled otherwise are just relabels. philips did the pinch waist variant.
 
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ceylon

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Aug 24, 2023
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It is interesting how tubes can be so system specific. The Tungsram is my DAC has some extra bite that does not seem consonant with the music whereas the Miniwatt is coherent, bigger and detailed. The Seimens has a slightly cooler sound than the Tungsgrams but has a more coherent sound. We must remember that these are cascaded or multi stage circuits and there is always some distortion and harmonics cancellation in these circuits which makes certain combinations better than others.
pretty sure siemens didnt make an E80CC, only philips holland/amperex USA and tungsram hungary, both of which made a few variants. i believe your siemens os either a tungsram or philips/amperex.

i got a pair of tungsram and bought a single pinched waist late 50s philips. one of my tavish phono amp a single 12AU7 for output, and the builder/designer said an E80CC would be fine. so i bought a single.

man theres some serious price gouging on those philips-made E80CC. he asking prices for pinched waist are out of conrol.

anyone come across a tungsram nickel/silver/chrome plate or two?
 
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rspyder

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I'll share with you what my research of the E80CC uncovered. The Valvo Red Label, O-Getter from the VB8series or WK6, was indeed made by Philips, Herleen. It too was the "pinched" waist type.

The Valvo E80CC with the Flat Foil D Getter, Pinched Waist, with the WK2 D61 codes etched on the stem (circa 1956) were made in the Valvo Hamburg plant. I have tried the WK6 and WK2 versions and I prefer the later. A bit more transparent and holographic. Both are very articulate.

Regards,

Ray
 

ceylon

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Aug 24, 2023
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I'll share with you what my research of the E80CC uncovered. The Valvo Red Label, O-Getter from the VB8series or WK6, was indeed made by Philips, Herleen. It too was the "pinched" waist type.

The Valvo E80CC with the Flat Foil D Getter, Pinched Waist, with the WK2 D61 codes etched on the stem (circa 1956) were made in the Valvo Hamburg plant. I have tried the WK6 and WK2 versions and I prefer the later. A bit more transparent and holographic. Both are very articulate.

Regards,

Ray
man, ill be damned. ive seen many valvo-labelled herleen coded E80CC, but ive yet to come across a valvo hamburg-made E80CC. pretty sure i never came across the ones made in new york. lots
and lots of deltas and much more tungsram. i been lookin like crazy thru any E80CC i come across.

i got a DAC that runs a pair lf E80CC and a phono amo that can use one in the output stage. i mailordered up a d-foil getter pinched waist for that. i dont have photos
ofmthe etchings, so…man i wonder. assumed it was dutch.

u comenacrlss anyone sellin valvo hamburg or tungsram nickel plate E80CC?
 

rspyder

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This is the only one I have come across recently. It's used, but tests strong. It's being sold on Ebay by auction.https://www.ebay.ca/itm/204434249217?hash=item2f993b1601:g:MB8AAOSwgNZk35TR&amdata=enc%3AAQAIAAAA4MIHzg3ZaInwIpDvNUrCNZx2BjLoaheOAT86FlRAJC6SeVqDc1YkMOtqvUmKkPs6GQ3VfmaV7rNb0uDjjeF30T8NmCzXo4ZinH47UaVv1nRQILiz08MVXlF9unP1siah8xyYv0L3CI14feUSAoHNyYpZZ2gwJcfyu4GF4TMZy2k8Zd92qE4IFGCsI%2BM1xAeAr0FpphvMEuytK15pZntMkQJ5%2BLV0NWkXwfThJOxshZE68d%2FR%2FlASNlz4fuceiZ%2B0ZcW0g5SZ47NgP32nmGR06iBJX5QQ5x3j0Po37LblKpG%2B%7Ctkp%3ABk9SR6j5153GYg
 
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rspyder

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One further apparent factoid regarding E80CC production coding. The "D" stamped on the bottom is the symbol for the Hamburg factory. The number "4" is the code for the Philips Heerlen factory. If the tube bottom is also etched with "WK2", then it is early production (circa, pre -1960s) Apart from the one that is currently in my Jubilee, this is the only NOS/NIB WK2 "D" designated E80CC I have left. Happy hunting!
 

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cedreige

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I have also a few E80CC :) .
Kind regards , Alexander . e80cc3.jpg

e80cc1.jpg

e80cc2.jpg
 

rspyder

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Hi Alexander. That is quite the stash indeed. Do you have a NOS/NIB WK2 Valvo?

Regards,

Ray
 

JP Borglin

New Member
Sep 20, 2023
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I have to admit a long love affair with the e80cc tube. It’s always been a fave of mine, comfortably outperforming superior 12au7 options in circuits where the extra current draw can be accommodated. One tube dealer describes it as being like a Telefunken ecc802s on steroids and I couldn’t have put it better myself - bigger / bolder / clearer etc.

In essence, not many know about this tube type and, when they do, the knowledge is largely restricted to the two ‘cooking’ versions from Philips Heelen and Tungsram in Budapest. A fair bit of relabelling goes on eg Siemens / Valvo / Mullard, however if it has gold pins then it comes from Philips. The Hungarian Tungsram tends to have rhodium plated pins and holes in the plates. And that is what I have used myself for the past 15 years, with a few examples stashed away.

I recently bought two new pieces of equipment using 12au7 (Lampi Baltic and Riviera AFC headamp) and thought I should dig deeper into the back catalogues for superior examples. Without further ado, from left to right on the photo….

View attachment 93032

1) Telefunken G73r - a selected ecc802s with rfi absorbing coating
2) Philips SQ e80cc, regular late production
3) Siemens labeled Tungsram e80cc, regular late production
4) Tungsram industrial selected red label e80cc
5) Tungsram 1960 D Foil getter, welded plates e80cc
6) Philips SQ 1955 WK4 D Foil getter, pinched waist, welded plates e80cc
7) Tungsram 1958 nickel smooth plate D foil getter pinched waist

The evaluation will be conducted in the Lampizator Baltic dac using EML 274B / Melz 1578 driven by Taiko’s Extreme and my best cabling options and I have been accompanied by the ever-perceptive @Blue58. Rather than dwell on the minutae between each tube, I’ll summarise the macro observations:

- performance runs from left to right, with big jumps at each end.
- the nickel Tram had an extraordinarily clear and structured presentation, resolution is a country mile ahead of all the others. My biggest dilemma with them is not the high price but the simple fact that they are already very rare but will be almost impossible to replace when they eventually wear out.
- thankfully, the cooking versions (3 & 4) are very satisfying as a daily listen and very cheap / plentiful. Big jump over the G73r
- The wk4 Philips has the most emotional connection and is a lovely listen.
- the Tak274b is too dense and homogenising to easily discern differences; the EML274 was more transparent
- talk of the 12au7 position on Baltic being unimportant is misplaced; significant deltas were observed.
I have also a few E80CC :) .
Kind regards , Alexander . View attachment 115739

View attachment 115740

View attachment 115741
Any of them for sale?
 

JP Borglin

New Member
Sep 20, 2023
8
6
3
58
Sweden
I have to admit a long love affair with the e80cc tube. It’s always been a fave of mine, comfortably outperforming superior 12au7 options in circuits where the extra current draw can be accommodated. One tube dealer describes it as being like a Telefunken ecc802s on steroids and I couldn’t have put it better myself - bigger / bolder / clearer etc.

In essence, not many know about this tube type and, when they do, the knowledge is largely restricted to the two ‘cooking’ versions from Philips Heelen and Tungsram in Budapest. A fair bit of relabelling goes on eg Siemens / Valvo / Mullard, however if it has gold pins then it comes from Philips. The Hungarian Tungsram tends to have rhodium plated pins and holes in the plates. And that is what I have used myself for the past 15 years, with a few examples stashed away.

I recently bought two new pieces of equipment using 12au7 (Lampi Baltic and Riviera AFC headamp) and thought I should dig deeper into the back catalogues for superior examples. Without further ado, from left to right on the photo….

View attachment 93032

1) Telefunken G73r - a selected ecc802s with rfi absorbing coating
2) Philips SQ e80cc, regular late production
3) Siemens labeled Tungsram e80cc, regular late production
4) Tungsram industrial selected red label e80cc
5) Tungsram 1960 D Foil getter, welded plates e80cc
6) Philips SQ 1955 WK4 D Foil getter, pinched waist, welded plates e80cc
7) Tungsram 1958 nickel smooth plate D foil getter pinched waist

The evaluation will be conducted in the Lampizator Baltic dac using EML 274B / Melz 1578 driven by Taiko’s Extreme and my best cabling options and I have been accompanied by the ever-perceptive @Blue58. Rather than dwell on the minutae between each tube, I’ll summarise the macro observations:

- performance runs from left to right, with big jumps at each end.
- the nickel Tram had an extraordinarily clear and structured presentation, resolution is a country mile ahead of all the others. My biggest dilemma with them is not the high price but the simple fact that they are already very rare but will be almost impossible to replace when they eventually wear out.
- thankfully, the cooking versions (3 & 4) are very satisfying as a daily listen and very cheap / plentiful. Big jump over the G73r
- The wk4 Philips has the most emotional connection and is a lovely listen.
- the Tak274b is too dense and homogenising to easily discern differences; the EML274 was more transparent
- talk of the 12au7 position on Baltic being unimportant is misplaced; significant deltas were observed.
I bought a pair of E80CC from Voices in my head and they are doing a great job in my Baltic 4. Would love to try some of the ones you're listing in the post. Can you share som more information regarding the tubes making it easier for me to find equals? Would very much appreciate it! JP
 

Sablon Audio

Industry Expert, VIP Donor
May 22, 2015
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I bought a pair of E80CC from Voices in my head and they are doing a great job in my Baltic 4. Would love to try some of the ones you're listing in the post. Can you share som more information regarding the tubes making it easier for me to find equals? Would very much appreciate it! JP
If those were Siemens, then they originally came from me! I'm not sure I can add much to what I have already written, but I will tell you that the nickel plates Tungsram are very expensive (eur1400 for my last pair) and pretty much unobtainable. If you speak to Rikard again, he is also having good results from 1950's ecc40 and they can be found quite cost-effectively. Sonically that one lands somewhere between the megabucks Philips and nickel Tungsrams.
 
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ceylon

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Aug 24, 2023
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One further apparent factoid regarding E80CC production coding. The "D" stamped on the bottom is the symbol for the Hamburg factory. The number "4" is the code for the Philips Heerlen factory. If the tube bottom is also etched with "WK2", then it is early production (circa, pre -1960s) Apart from the one that is currently in my Jubilee, this is the only NOS/NIB WK2 "D" designated E80CC I have left. Happy hunting!
thats all 2-line euro tube manufacturing codes for manufacturers in the greater philips family. D is always hamburg, delta (not 4--thats a venezuelan company) is herleen, B is mullard blackburn. sideways H AKA = with vertical slash is munich, F is in suresnes, france, R is mullard mitcham ...

for 2-line codes, the first line IDs the tube itself, and the second line IDs place and date of manufacture.

the 2-line codes can be very shortm just 2 characters per code, and there are also 3-line codes. these two types are more common on the manufacture tags mounted inside the siemens E88CC of the 60s and 70s. cant remember of the 50s have em.


many manufacturers outiside this family mark/marked their tube codes with a similar style of acid etchings.
 
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cedreige

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