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In Reply to: RE: Dog sh*t pinched waist E88CC posted by Mendel on April 02, 2014 at 14:47:16
I have found the various versions of the European (Philips and Valvo) E88CC "pinched waist" tube to be very good in the circuits that require them in my 2 channel stereo set up. I have had many examples of this pinched tube (including the American one) that have manufacturing dates from the earliest 7L0 version in 1956 (Eindhoven, Holland) through to the last 7L3 version made in 1958 in Heerlen, Holland. I purchased many of them years ago when they were not that expensive and have returned to them again and again after trying so many of the other variations and makes of the tube E88CC/ E188CC tube (including the American and European 7L4 and 7L5 versions that replaced the pinched waist). I have found after many years of careful listening that this very early version of the E88CC tube is the most transparent one for my system. I do believe there is something more than an irrational fetishization for this tube type gong on out there.
The early Siemens are nice, I have some '59 D getter E88CC that have beautiful delicacy to their sound but ultimately seem to lack the weight and substance of the early Philips stuff (in my setup anyways). The one early Siemens I have not been fortunate enough to try is the E188CC.
I'd like to know what you use them in.
I just dug out some stuff I had tucked away. I have some very early Siemens Halske E88CC that were made in 1962. They are the most stunning tube find I ever made...with the exception of the Telefunken E88CC I found recently. These Siemens showed that they didn't have it together first time around. You know what? I think I'll take a picture and post them.
I like the various Siemens E88CC and E188CC I have tried, they are good but in my SP14 they take a back seat to the early Amperex's/Phillips (especially the pinched waist) and the early 60s Telefunken E88CC. I have not tried the Siemen CCa.
In my rig, I find the Siemens just a little too clinical and dry in the midrange, lacking the bloom and warmth of the other two. Please note that this is only in comparison to the best of the best, compared to modern day tubes like the EH, the Siemens sounds wonderful. If your rig is a little warm or smooth, a early 60s Siemens might be just what you need.
I find the Tele E88CC to be a tad darker sounding in the midrange than the other two, but without obscuring detail and with a very detailed and airy top end. Perfect for jazz. The Amperex's are "sunnier" sounding in the middle, with a more energetic and forward sound, but with lots of bloom and air in the treble.
They are all great, the "big three" for 6DJ8/6922/E88CC IMO. One of the three will bring out the best in any system using them.
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