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Postby jadis » Wed Oct 06, 2004 9:58 am

mozilla,

Not yet. I will be on the watch for this type. I only have the ordinary Siemens
82 and it sounds quite neutral. Thanks for the info.
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Postby mozilla » Wed Oct 06, 2004 11:04 am

There are 2 pairs on ebay right now strating at $70/pr.
I wonder if they are really that good? A guy I emailed at AA speaks very highly of it.
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Postby marty_e » Wed Oct 06, 2004 11:31 am

Hello Mr Jadis, veering away from these exotic line stage tubes for the moment, may i ask your views on 6550 vs KT88 vs KT90 - all else being equal. I realize that the query seems broad. To narrow things down, I've tried all 3 in my amp and have my own impressions on the trade offs of each in soundstage, imaging, pace and midrange warmth. Which of the 3 do you personally prefer for your type of music, out of curiosity?

Which brands/types 6550's do you feel are real keepers and which offer great value? Many thanks and looking forward to your response.
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Postby jadis » Wed Oct 06, 2004 11:37 am

mozilla,

Not a bad price. As in most tubes, we have to hear it to believe. :)
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Postby jadis » Wed Oct 06, 2004 11:53 am

marty_e,

On my ARC D115 and Jadis 200 amps, the stock tubes were GE6550s. I feel the sound
of these tubes were punchy and a bit lacking in warmth. Highs are clean and fast, and
can tend to be a little hard on some bright softwares.

I had read MrDick Olsher of Stereophile say that he does not consider 6550s as 'audiophile'
tubes, but rather, one should use the KT88s instead. From that time on, I had been longing
to try KT88s. At that stage, only made in Shuguang KT88s were available at affordable
prices bec the Richardson ones were like 10,000 pesos each. But a friend told me the
China KT88s were terribly bright and thin sounding. So I lost interest.

My chance came when the SED KT88s went on the market, at about $40 each. And I
bought 8 for my ARC VS110 amps. The VS110 has stock 6550 tubes made by Electro
Harmonix, which are shaped like KT88s. And I must say that these tubes sound not
like the GE6550s in that these are now smoother, and not hard. And hi's are well
extended and not bright. When I replaced them with the SED KT88s, the overall
sound became more laid back, and also a bit soft and mellow. The word I can think of
is 'refined'. Everything seems to have more 'class'. Strings are sweeter and without
edge. Bass is less punchy and tight than the EH though. And the midband is where
these KT88s really sing. It makes good recordings sound even better. Overall, they
are excellent. On soundstage, both are evenly matched, though the KT88s seem to
project a slightly deeper stage. I like them. And sorry, I had never tried KT90s.

At this point, I am very happy with the SED KT88s. I wish I can
afford the GEC Gold Lions, but maybe I should buy one each year till
I hit 8 pcs. :)
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Postby marty_e » Wed Oct 06, 2004 12:20 pm

Many thanks for that quick and insightful response. I likewise had the opportunity to have a quad SED KT-88's on my amp for a short while. Coming from VA 6550's, i felt that the KT-88's had a warmer, more involving presentation all around. Unfortunately, they don't come cheap for my means.

VTV rated the following tubes in this order:

Genelex KT88 (1969)
Tungsol 6550 (1963,grey plate, no holes)
JJ KT88
Ei KT90
EH KT88
SED 6550
SED KT88
Sylvania 6550 (1970s) - Svetlana 6550 (tied)
Valve Art 6550
GE 6550A (1970s)

Of course, we have our own ears and pockets. I find it strange that GE is way down there though while the Ei KT-90 would best the 2 SED's. Anyhow, that's their view. My curiosity's aroused with the option of going with the EH KT-88's. Many thanks again.
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Postby jadis » Wed Oct 06, 2004 5:14 pm

marty_e,

My pleasure.

Well, I am surprised too that the GE would be way down there, but in my experience,
the Svet6550 is less hard than the GE. I had used that for a short while, I almost
forgot. I guess I would agree with a lot of KT88 fans that KT88s are really nice,
sweet, and 'tube' sounding.
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Postby rs241 » Wed Oct 06, 2004 6:54 pm

Jadis & Moz, I've got a couple of used Siemens ECC82s with silver plates but I haven't got a chance to listen to them yet and I think one didn't measure that well on my tube tester. If you guys are interested I can look around for these here in europe. I'll hand them over to you when I come home this Dec.

I actually didn't have an amp with ECC82s up until just recently. I just acquired a used Eastern Electric Minimax preamp which uses a pair of ECC82s. The Minimax was designed by Alan Yeung (I think) of the HK Tube/Audio Club and has gotten rave reviews - also known as the Hovland HP100 killer. I have not personally listened to the Hovland but I was quite impressed with the Minimax. In many respects it was better than the Marantz 7 re-issue and the Luxman CL35 III that I'm currently using.
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Postby mozilla » Wed Oct 06, 2004 7:38 pm

RS241,
I've heard about the Minimax. Pls PM me if you find a pair of silver plates & how much. No need to go out of your way tho.. TIA
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Postby jadis » Wed Oct 06, 2004 8:13 pm

rs241,

Hi. If it's not too much of a trouble, could you pls post a pic of the silver plates Siemens?
If they are smooth and silky, they are my cup of tea. My Jadis JPL line stage uses a
single 12AU7 specially for the CD input and so far the TeleECC82 fits my taste best for
this application. Thnx for the offer. :)
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Postby jadis » Wed Oct 06, 2004 8:27 pm

Tale of the Tips

I first learned of the practice of old tube hands in grading low
noise tubes back in the mid 90s from the brochure of Vintage Tube
Services. Andy color codes his tubes in Red tips for low noise line
stage, Red-Green (yes, the guy actually divides the tip into red and
green paint-half and half-which is quite a great skill in itself ) for
ultra low noise line stage, Green tip for MM stage, and Blue tip for
the MC stage. Here are some pics:

Red tip <> 12AX7

Image

Red tip <> 12AU7

Image

Green tip <> ECC88

Image
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Postby rs241 » Wed Oct 06, 2004 10:15 pm

Jadis, interesting info. I've always wondered what those coloured tips were meant for. Thanks. Here are photos of the silver siemens (not the ones I have but they look exactly like these):

Image
[img][img]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v343/rs241/86_3.jpg[/img]
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Postby vintage_dog » Wed Oct 06, 2004 10:54 pm

hmmm, those siemens look very similar to the mazda "nickel-plated" tubes i got years ago. folks refer to those shiny plates more as nickel-plated than silver...oh well, am not sure actually what they really are. ;-)

the mazdas i got then were one of the worst sounding 12au7 in my lot. they were thin sounding, and tend to be microphonic. i returned them to the us dealer for a full refund.

how do the siemens sound?
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Postby mozilla » Thu Oct 07, 2004 7:43 am

Guys,

More info on them rare German tubes here.........
http://www.tube-classics.de/TC/Tubes/Si ... /ECC82.htm
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Postby jadis » Thu Oct 07, 2004 5:07 pm

mozilla,


That's a great site. Very many pics and info about dates and codes.
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Postby mozilla » Thu Oct 07, 2004 7:31 pm

Yes it is indeed an interesting site. Now we have more tubes to look for! :D
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Postby rs241 » Thu Oct 07, 2004 7:57 pm

vintage_dog wrote:hmmm, those siemens look very similar to the mazda "nickel-plated" tubes i got years ago. folks refer to those shiny plates more as nickel-plated than silver...oh well, am not sure actually what they really are. ;-)


I agree, the plates don't look silver to me - more like nickel as you've mentioned. Most people seem to refer to them as silver so I'm just going with the flow...

the mazdas i got then were one of the worst sounding 12au7 in my lot. they were thin sounding, and tend to be microphonic. i returned them to the us dealer for a full refund.

how do the siemens sound?


Well, I've just listened to the Minimax with one of these nickel plates on and I must say it sounded quite good. In fact, it's hard to tell the difference between it and TFK ECC802S I was using. Well, I've only spent about a couple of hours listening though.

Those tube folks in HK regard this as one of the best ECC82s - they call it Siemens chrome plate. Check this out: http://hktubeaudio.homestead.com/files/ ... _12AU7.htm
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Postby vintage_dog » Thu Oct 07, 2004 10:49 pm

i think the mazda's are probably different from the siemens. my comments were on the mazdas and not the siemens :-)
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Postby audiophileman2002 » Mon Oct 11, 2004 10:37 am

Hey Jadis,
Wow!!! I'm impressed. You can send your kid to college even in the good 'ole US of A with your stash of Telefunkens. Of the 12AX7 variety, the 803S is 'creme de la creme'. Last time it was selling at $600.00 each @ tubeworld.com. You also have the 6922, CCa, and even the EL34. Telefunkens are the most neutral of all tubes, no microphonics and last a lot of hours. I have only the 803S (24 pcs.) which I've stashed since the early '80s and only a quad left of the 7189 and EL84 and only a couple left of the E802S and the 6922 variety. Whatever you decide to do with them, all the best,
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Postby jadis » Mon Oct 11, 2004 12:21 pm

audiophileman2002,

Hehe, and with you're stash of <>803s, we can all go to Harvard Business School. :)

I've sold some, and some are from my friend's stash. Just posting all the good ones
I know to share. Thanks again for sharing.
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