LampizatOr Horizon - Tube Rolling Paradise

Golum

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Jun 7, 2018
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BTW anybody tried Elrog 274b or 5u4g in H?
 

Sampajanna

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I hear good things about Elrog. I wonder who has tried EL34s?
 

christoph

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I hear good things about Elrog. I wonder who has tried EL34s?
I still have some EL34 from my TRP.
I hope I find a little time over the WE for some listening to different EL34
 

marty

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I've received several inquiries about EL34's and have sent this to several folks, so I thought it was worth posting here for all. The most informative "magnum opus" on EL34s was written by a fellow named Pasquale Russo who spent decades putting together a 400 page guide that is a treasure. Want to know the differences between Mullard Xf1, Xf2, Xf3, Xf4 and who made what, when and how they are identifiable? This is the definitive source as far as I know. You can obtain it for about $37 by emailing him directly at this email address:

pasqua49@libero.it

Here are 2 other sites on 6SN7 triodes that I have learned a great deal from. As usual, there is no "best" to discover here, but any of the numerous contenders mentioned might be the best fit in your system. Particularly attractive are some that are very highly rated but can be found for very reasonable prices with good availability. (i.e. National Union, 51 Hytron, RCA grey glass, Raytheon, etc). Giant killers? Try 'em and let us know!

 
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marty

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Quick comment follow up...
I asked Lukasz if the superb Mullard ECC32/31 (CV181) could be used in the Horizon without hurting the transformers since that tube has a higher current draw than a conventional 6SN7. He said no problem as his transformers are over-engineered and can take 4X the current of the CV181!! They do indeed sound excellent in the Horizon.

Also, beware of any Mullard ECC32 or ECC31 with black bases. They are most likely Russian made frauds. Genuine Mullard 32/31 have the classic micanol speckled brown bases characteristic of the Blackburn factory with date codes etched in the glass, and not painted on the tube. Authentic Blackburn Mullard CV181's may however be re-labeled with other brands (i.e., Amperex, Philips, QTL, others).
 

Sampajanna

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These Sylvania metal base 6SN7 are epic. They dont have the typically warm Sylvania sound. They are very, very well balanced. My KT170s are breaking in and the Frankie is solid as ever….
 

dminches

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These Sylvania metal base 6SN7 are epic. They dont have the typically warm Sylvania sound. They are very, very well balanced. My KT170s are breaking in and the Frankie is solid as ever….

In my experience Sylvanias do not have a warm sound. In fact, I have found the VT231s to be kind of thin sounding and bass light.
 

marty

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In my experience Sylvanias do not have a warm sound. In fact, I have found the VT231s to be kind of thin sounding and bass light.
That's interesting. I have found the bass to vary considerably among the Sylvania tubes. Some Sylvania listening notes:

1) Sylvania 6SN7W black base: superb mid/top. Bass is surprisingly weaker than the B65 (they are supposed to be the identical tube except for the base) or VT231 6SN7 GT. Is 3 days enough time for break-in? Hmmm...
2) Sylvania VT 231 6SN7 GT excellent bass, very powerful. Not quite as expansive a sound stage and finesse as the B65 but wonderful tone. But the bass is a wow, Reminds me very much of the bass from the RCA hanging filament rectifier. That combo would probably blow the doors off my room,.
3) Sylvania 6SN7W/B65 metal base: bass is tuneful and good but not as powerful as the the VT 231 6SN7 GT. Midrange and treble however is unlike anything else however, and is pure magic. I can see why it is revered.
4) Sylvania 6SN7WGTA not tried yet but hope to get to it shortly

I think what i'm learning is that the overall sound does not necessarily depend only on the triode (considered the most important of the tubes for overall SQ) but rather the combination of the tube (or tubes) it is paired wtih, particularly the rectifier. Currently, I think the B65 and the Tak 274 is a great combination that delivers very satisfying bass, whereas the VT231 6SN7GT with the Tak is just too much bass. The 6SN7W likewise pairs well with the Tak. However the Mullard ECC32 and the Tak has a huge bass profile whereas the ECC32 pairs extremely well with other rectis such as a Phiips/Amperex GZ34 which let's the magic of the ECC32 shine. I'm guessing the 6SN7/GT and the GZ34 would also be a great combination but haven't explored that yet. But not sure it will deliver the magic of the B65.

Bottom line...I have some more work to do. Fortunately I found some pairings that work beautifully to deliver wonderful sound, but there's plenty of exploring that lies ahead,
 
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dminches

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Quick comment follow up...
I asked Lukasz if the superb Mullard ECC32/31 (CV181) could be used in the Horizon without hurting the transformers since that tube has a higher current draw than a conventional 6SN7. He said no problem as his transformers are over-engineered and can take 4X the current of the CV181!! They do indeed sound excellent in the Horizon.

Also, beware of any Mullard ECC32 or ECC31 with black bases. They are most likely Russian made frauds. Genuine Mullard 32/31 have the classic micanol speckled brown bases characteristic of the Blackburn factory with date codes etched in the glass, and not painted on the tube. Authentic Blackburn Mullard CV181's may however be re-labeled with other brands (i.e., Amperex, Philips, QTL, others).

Are you saying these are Russian made? You are the first person I have heard make this claim.


2022-09-04 10.50.45.jpg
 
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Steve Williams

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In my little SET setup, the pairing of the Tak 274B with the TS 6SN7 GT VT231 produced the best bass I have ever heard in my system. These are all so system specific that one cannot talk in generalities. Then paired with the TS KT170 my bass is not only the best I’ve heard in my system but so also gets me very close to vinyl.
 
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DasguteOhr

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Sep 26, 2013
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These Sylvania metal base 6SN7 are epic. They dont have the typically warm Sylvania sound. They are very, very well balanced. My KT170s are breaking in and the Frankie is solid as ever….
When you like sylvania , use the 7n7 tube you need only loktal to oktal adapter. I think its your favorite after;)
Adapter3-large.jpg
 
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Tuckia

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Jun 4, 2019
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Are you saying these are Russian made? You are the first person I have heard make this claim.


View attachment 97549
Yes, I read on the internet that all black base are Russian fakes. I’ll give you $5 for them;)
I will then proceed to destroy them over a 5-10 year period, saving the masses from this scourge.

Brent Jesse promotes this myth on his website. I asked Brendan from Tube World, who has been selling tubes for 30 years. I have known him longer. See my post #557. He then proceeded to send me many photos of Mullard ECC32 with black bases which he has sold. Unfortunately he doesn’t have any left to sell, otherwise I would have bought all of them. LOL.
 

marty

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Are you saying these are Russian made? You are the first person I have heard make this claim.


D View attachment 97549
David, I have no idea. I can't read the date codes but I don't see a prominent "B"which indicates the Blackburn factory. Nor can I tell if the date codes are painted or etched. But the internet is filled with reports of Russian Mullard tubes being sold as genuine Blackburn Mullards. A simple Google search for "Fake Mullard Russian Tubes" turns up nearly a dozen threads from AudioAsylum, Gear Head and many others spanning nearly 2 decades and for many varieties of tubes, the CV181 included. I do know that folks that have been doing this for decades such as Brent Jesse states that the risk of fraud is high with black bases for EL34's and he will not carry them for that reason. Also, take a look at some of the Ebay listings.

5 Mullard ECC31s (w black bases) for $500? The old saying is that if it looks too good to be true, it probably is. Some of these listings don't have the same smoked glass appearance as the authentic Blackburn Mullards CV181s, but I am no expert. I'm just reporting information that many others have found. My preference is to play it safe and purchase the Mullard 32 or 31 only if they have the brown speckled bases. For all I know, you may have perfectly fine tubes in any case. If they sound good, and you're happy, isn't that all that matters? But for other looking for Mullards, genuine ECC31s seem to be going for about $600/pair and the ECC32 for about $1200 a pair although hanoitubes has listed some for $2200 a pair! Caveat Emptor!! FYI for those interested, the ECC31 is identical to the ECC32 but it has a common cathode grid and therefore requires an inexpensive adapter (ebay) to use in the Horizon. Both have Lukasz' approval.

David, may I ask, have you found the Tak to be a good match with your black base ECC32's? I'm still exploring the best fit recti for those and would appreciate your guidance. Have you tried any GEC U52s with them? (Or with your TS's?)

Regarding black bases, I would add that there are indeed some legitimate black base Mullard EL34's according to Pasquale Russo, but these were limited to the 5th variation of the xf3s made from 1973-1975 and the 6th version of xf4's made from 1976-1980. (Honestly if you have any interest in the EL34's I can't see how you can be without Pasquale's "bible" ). But if you see any listings for black base EL34 xf1 or xf2s, run, don;t walk away from those offerings.

 
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Sampajanna

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Anyone try NOS Genelex KT88s?
Also, how would you describe KT88 vs KT170 sounds?
 

christoph

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Anyone try NOS Genelex KT88s?
Also, how would you describe KT88 vs KT170 sounds?
I tried the NOS GEC KT66.
They are quite nice but a bit rolled off.
Unfortunately I don't have KT170 to compare.
 

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
Anyone try NOS Genelex KT88s?
Also, how would you describe KT88 vs KT170 sounds?
I did. IMO and in my system, there is no comparison.The TS KT 170 takes my system far beyond what I heard with the KT88. In fact my KT 88 will soon be for sale.I also have Genalex KT 77 which also didn't pass muster with respect to the KT 170.But again I believe all of these vary from system to system. I looked for the best sound in my system which was the KT 170 rather than the KT 88
 

Tuckia

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I have both KT170 and KR KT88, and use both.

The KT88 is more midrange centric. The KT170 energize the top end.

The KT170 with csf 5687 triodes tended to scream at me, becoming unbearable after a while.
The KT170 with TS VT-99 or ECC32 work just fine, with the VT-99 being the most mellow.

The KT88 and csf 5687 balanced decently.
The KT88 with TS VT-99 or ECC32 can be ok at best, but a little lifeless compared to the KT170 combinations.

I've tried some other 6sn7 variants that weren't worth recommending (Bad Boys, Blue Balls). (Who names these things?)

Tak 274b as rectifier.

The best all around combination is Tak 274b, KT170, Mullard ECC32

My system, which is too easily overwhelmed with HF, never with LF. YMMV.
 

Golum

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Jun 7, 2018
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Bad Boys, Blue Balls. Who names these things?

The best all around combination is Tak 274b, KT170, Mullard ECC32
1.) Sexually frustrated ;)
2.) Thank You - we are aligned (except Taka)
 

Tuckia

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Jun 4, 2019
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Too true. Just can't get past that connotation. Doomed to failure.
Maybe it has something to do with being close to the KT170's;)
 

marty

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Apr 20, 2010
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I continue to listen to various tubes in my Horizon and came upon this post which I found highly illuminating.
No recommendations to make based on this, but I learned a lot from this post (differences and rationale for direct vs indirect heater rectifiers, why I like GZ 34's (lower voltage drop), and other oddities that are mostly meaningless!
No need to look at this unless you are a real dork o_O

 

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