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In Reply to: RE: Need to know your equipment posted by waterfall on June 13, 2017 at 03:08:46
You sure are inquisitive :) I hope you don't want a review of all that equipment :) I will say however if you like sweet colored euphoric music. The setup I had that worked the best was VAC CLA1 MKII ( which had a triode switch inside ) Quicksilver M60, just about any source you want, and Vandersteen Sig 3a. Incredibly smooth, but the M60's had a soft bottom end.
I listen to Jazz-Blues. Hank Crawford, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Grady Gaines, John Lee Hooker mostly. Some vocals, and violin, harp, and flute.
Most of my records are gone now. But as I stated I had a Rega Planar 25 turntable.
I renumber what the Consonance was now. It was the Cyber Sig 100 ( not the 15th anniversary )I liked the sound of it, just didn't like how they setup the bias. I was running Tung-sol Reissue 6550 when I sold it.
I think we can agree on some fundamental sounds like analytic vs warm or euphonic. There are certain tubes like the 6DJ8/6922 family that do indeed try their best to sound SS in our view, but perhaps transparent and correct in another's view. The 12A-7 tubes you discuss can be only be roughly divided but very roughly, mostly by gain .
I can think of 12AX7s made by Mullard in the 1950s that are 'sweeter' than 12AU7s made by Telefunken in the late 60s. So I disagree that brand and year of manufacture are not as important in determining the sound of those tubes. BTW I think of the 12AT7 as having the most protean character of them, allowing them to sound like any number of things, or virtually nothing at all.
The joy of tube rolling continues to be hearing the differences I found among these tubes, some obvious and some subtle. It cost me a lot of money. Now I am contemplating selling a lot of my collection, but I just can't get myself to do it. I would wonder where I could get some of these tubes today. I would want to buy my own tubes back. ( I really do have a silly number of Sylvania Ws though.)
Yes the gear has a lot to do with it. ARC sounds like ARC, and ARC does not sound anything like CJ. Beyond that using more closely aprroximated gear things get interesting.
You bring up some interesting points. To be sure. There are exceptions to the rule regarding my assessments of tubes. The same as the CJ Premier 11 sounded more like a SS amp, than it did a tube amp to some listeners. I have encountered one or two 6922 tubes that seemed a bit euphoric to me. But for the most part, 6922 is the nearest to SS, or as you say " transparent and correct "
Being a technician for years, and working with circuit boards. I can freely say, what employed caps, diodes, resistors, etc make a huge difference in audio, visual, and performance. The tube I used as a driver in one amp, may not produce the same desired affect in another amp. Yet the tube will still have most of it's " tonal signature " in either amp. The tube hasn't changed, the amp has. This was a tube assessment overall, not an equipment assessment.
As far as the 12A tube having the most protean character. I still think it is due to the different gains, and how the tube needed to be constructed to make that gain. Taking an audio visual technical approach. We had a saying " More gain equals more noise " The 12AX7 which is the highest gain of them all, tends to have more noise. There are exceptions. However the 12AT7 is by far the quietest ( noise wise ) of the 12A. For the most part the 12AT7 ( to my ear ) is still the smoothest sounding of the 12A in any application.
What materials that were available, and what application for the tube that was needed for could have determined what metal, and construction a company manufactured a tube back then. Perhaps that is the reason for a certain 12AX sounding sweeter than a 12AU. But for the most part 12AU is sweeter, yet smoother.
Who knows? Maybe if they manufactured a 6922, 6922A, and 6922BX, all with different gains. We would have more fun things to talk about.
I too have quite a tube collection. I decided to hold onto them, and then maybe donate them to some lucky soul at AA :)
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