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I am currently using a David Yee output transformerless single ended dual triode headphone amp, with an early 70's TOTL Bugle Boy 6DJ8, and an RCA grey-plate 6080. I also have an RCA black-plate 6AS7GA that I found fatiguing in the early stages of using this amp.
The sound of this setup is clean, neutral and balanced. But I am looking for a bigger, more powerful (but controlled) bass, full, natural and lifelike timber and harmonics (like a good DH SET), great soundstage and imaging, and (especially) zero fatigue!
My headphones are the somewhat bass-light, but otherwise completely neutral and transparent JVC HA-D990.
My sources are a Micro Seiki BL51, with a Grace 707 II tonearm, and a Signet TK7e cartridge feeding the world-class phonostage of my Accuphase E-202. A Philips Little Giant DAC + triple filtered LPS being fed by my Carver MV-5 which is serving as a transport.
All of my cables are neutral and transparent hi-end designs (pure copper).
It appears that the Bugle Boy is the root cause of my dissatisfaction. It sounds like an overly analytical microscope!
I just bought a very strong testing Mullard o-getter 6DJ8 (labeled for Knight). I will use it first with my black-plate RCA 6AS7GA.
Hopefully it will live up to its reputation.
Good problem solving skills!
Also try the BEL ECC88 gold pin...a bit more dynamic than the Mullard and better frequency extremes. I have them and Kevin Deal has them (I sold him a bunch).
Well, the Mullard is definitely not warm and cuddly as I have been led to believe. It sounds completely transparent in my circuit.
I am getting a good balanced sound from the Mullard. But I wonder if there is an affordable 6AS7/6080 that is warmer and smoother than my RCA Black Plate, but still transparent?
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