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    What's your favourite 6SN7 tube?

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    deepee99

    Posts : 1337
    Join date : 2012-05-23
    Location : Wallace, Idaho

    What's your favourite 6SN7 tube?

    Post by deepee99 on Mon Jul 20, 2015 7:19 am

    Now that I've gone all octal, both Troy-built preamp (SP-14) and octal drivers on the Holgerized M-125s, I'd appreciate some knowledge about 6SN7 toobs. Both driver holes on each amp use them, as do all four on the new SP-14. I've got just enough to fill things up, plus two spare NOS Nationals that might go in later.
    Not interested in paying a fortune; the New Era Tung-Sols are only $20 a pop and four are going into the preamp for now. Holger sent me some antique RCAs with the Big Boppers.
    If anybody has lived with 6SN7s for awhile and done some tube-rolling I'd appreciate your thoughts.
    Thanks,
    dave

    Frank111

    Posts : 84
    Join date : 2015-02-23
    Location : Minneapolis/StPaul Area

    Re: What's your favourite 6SN7 tube?

    Post by Frank111 on Mon Jul 20, 2015 10:16 am

    In my SP-14, I have two NOS Tung-Sol silver top tubes from about 1962, and two NOS RCA's that look like late 50's early 60's production. I think the sound quality is very good, and there is a difference between new production EH 6SN7 tubes and these NOS tubes that you can hear. That's about the only comparison I've done. I have the Tung-Sol tubes in the first position and the RCA's next.

    Guest
    Guest

    Re: What's your favourite 6SN7 tube?

    Post by Guest on Mon Jul 20, 2015 10:45 am

    for NOS, there are only two brands I generally use, RCA and GE. Of the two, RCA is in the #1 position.
    I have gone through a ton of the RCA 6SN7's, they are hard to beat for quality sound. Recently I tried some coin/wafer based RCA 6SN7's, they too are very very nice sounding tubes!
    With the GE's, I tend to find them a bit more hit and miss from a sound quality point, but the good ones are every bit as good as the RCA's.
    If you want to use new production units, say Tung Sol, get them from Shane!

    deepee99

    Posts : 1337
    Join date : 2012-05-23
    Location : Wallace, Idaho

    Re: What's your favourite 6SN7 tube?

    Post by deepee99 on Mon Jul 20, 2015 11:24 am

    I do like the RCA "house sound." Sumpin' about it ...
    Hearing NOS Tungsols in the amplifier slots would be very interesting.


    skriefal

    Posts : 118
    Join date : 2011-09-20
    Location : Utah, USA

    Re: What's your favourite 6SN7 tube?

    Post by skriefal on Mon Jul 20, 2015 11:24 pm

    I use Sylvania 6SN7GTBs in my Modwright LS-100.  Didn't much care for the stock "re-issue" Tung-Sols, but I can no longer remember why! Also have a few late '40s or early '50s National Union and Ken-Rad 6SN7s to try (eventually).

    I haven't heard the coveted vintage Tung-Sol "round plates", and don't plan to shell out the several hundred dollars per tube to do so!

    Frank111

    Posts : 84
    Join date : 2015-02-23
    Location : Minneapolis/StPaul Area

    Re: What's your favourite 6SN7 tube?

    Post by Frank111 on Tue Jul 21, 2015 7:54 am

    What is a 'round Plate' Tung-Sol?

    deepee99

    Posts : 1337
    Join date : 2012-05-23
    Location : Wallace, Idaho

    Re: What's your favourite 6SN7 tube?

    Post by deepee99 on Tue Jul 21, 2015 8:01 am

    Frank111 wrote:What is a 'round Plate' Tung-Sol?

    I've never beheld one, but apparently they are the Nirvana of the 6xx7s. The plate is round rather than squared-off, and they are supposed to deliver the most linear sound in all the cosmos. They fetch $300-$400 per each NOS but guys who have them say it's worth it. Too rich for my blood . . .

    Frank111

    Posts : 84
    Join date : 2015-02-23
    Location : Minneapolis/StPaul Area

    Re: What's your favourite 6SN7 tube?

    Post by Frank111 on Tue Jul 21, 2015 8:09 am

    Maybe someone can post a picture of one and show how to identify it. interesting.

    deepee99

    Posts : 1337
    Join date : 2012-05-23
    Location : Wallace, Idaho

    Re: What's your favourite 6SN7 tube?

    Post by deepee99 on Tue Jul 21, 2015 8:10 am

    Frank111 wrote:Maybe someone can post a picture of one and show how to identify it. interesting.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/CTL-TUNG-SOL-6SN7GT-B65-MATCHED-PAIR-NIB-AUDIO-TUBES-ROUND-PLATES-/171837443483?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item28024f4d9b

    Frank111

    Posts : 84
    Join date : 2015-02-23
    Location : Minneapolis/StPaul Area

    Re: What's your favourite 6SN7 tube?

    Post by Frank111 on Tue Jul 21, 2015 8:16 am

    Very non-descript looking tube. Well I better check my 6SN7's and see if there are any like that around. Good info!

    Guest
    Guest

    Re: What's your favourite 6SN7 tube?

    Post by Guest on Tue Jul 21, 2015 9:01 am

    Frank111 wrote:Very non-descript looking tube. Well I better check my 6SN7's and see if there are any like that around. Good info!

    not to mention that one has to have rocks in their head to pay that kind of money for tubes....let alone a pair of 6SN7's!!??!!??!!....sad thing is, there are wood ducks out there who will...tisk tisk...

    Kentley

    Posts : 335
    Join date : 2015-03-06
    Age : 64
    Location : Worcester, MA

    Re: What's your favourite 6SN7 tube?

    Post by Kentley on Tue Jul 21, 2015 9:59 am

    Here you go, Dave. Have I got a deal for you!!!

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Matched-Pair-of-MULLARD-ECC33-B65-CV1988-6SN7-Tube-NOS-NIB-code-5K3-B7D-271/291488617900?_trksid=p2047675.c100009.m1982&_trkparms=aid%3D777000%26algo%3DABA.MBE%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20131227121020%26meid%3D2c0f1c76650e4f9cab06debb8e7b0688%26pid%3D100009%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D1%26sd%3D171837443483

    Frank111

    Posts : 84
    Join date : 2015-02-23
    Location : Minneapolis/StPaul Area

    Re: What's your favourite 6SN7 tube?

    Post by Frank111 on Tue Jul 21, 2015 11:10 am

    Just speaking for myself, I don't think that I could really tell that much of a difference between some good NOS properly functioning USA 6SN7's and those that have been separated into a coveted class. Maybe if someone performed an A/B test for me, then I'd hear it. But I'm guessing that the difference isn't that great to justify the cost. When you really come down to it, a lot of this is one persons opinion vs another persons opinion. If you're satisfied, then it's good.

    Elrick

    Posts : 71
    Join date : 2012-09-02
    Location : Bellingham WA

    Re: What's your favourite 6SN7 tube?

    Post by Elrick on Wed Jul 22, 2015 11:43 am

    I populated my Mark III's with 1958 green labeled Slyvania 6SN7's pulled from a Baldwin organ. I have plenty to work through since it had about three dozen or so in the tone board.  They sound good to me. I wouldn't pay big bucks for "special" vintage tubes, just give what you have a try. There were so many good 6SN7's made it should be one of the easiest tubes to be happy with.






    deepee99

    Posts : 1337
    Join date : 2012-05-23
    Location : Wallace, Idaho

    Re: What's your favourite 6SN7 tube?

    Post by deepee99 on Thu Jul 23, 2015 10:30 am

    I'm getting a pair of the early "chrome top" Sylvanias from a guy I know in Ontario. Gotta try 'em out.
    http://www.canuckaudiomart.com/details/649066816-sylvania_6sn7_gta_heavy_chrometops_with_the_early_50s_3_hole_bad_boy_plates_monster_tubes/

    Frank111

    Posts : 84
    Join date : 2015-02-23
    Location : Minneapolis/StPaul Area

    Re: What's your favourite 6SN7 tube?

    Post by Frank111 on Thu Jul 23, 2015 10:51 am

    Just a thought. Get three pairs of tubes ready including the new ones. Set up a blind test. Have a friend stop over and change the sets of tubes. You write down which set you liked best and why. Then let us know!

    deepee99

    Posts : 1337
    Join date : 2012-05-23
    Location : Wallace, Idaho

    Re: What's your favourite 6SN7 tube?

    Post by deepee99 on Thu Jul 23, 2015 11:13 am

    Frank111 wrote:Just a thought. Get three pairs of tubes ready including the new ones. Set up a blind test. Have a friend stop over and change the sets of tubes. You write down which set you liked best and why. Then let us know!
    Actually, blind A:B testing on audio has proven to be utterly worthless. It's a psychosomatic thang. The brain worketh in mysterious ways.
    I go back to my mantra: All amps (and preamps and tubes and capacitors and resistors and wiring arrangements) distort.
    This applies to sand amps as well.
    It's a matter of finding the distortion you like best, and having your friends over for a beer or single-malt to enjoy.

    Frank111

    Posts : 84
    Join date : 2015-02-23
    Location : Minneapolis/StPaul Area

    Re: What's your favourite 6SN7 tube?

    Post by Frank111 on Thu Jul 23, 2015 11:17 am

    My thoughts these days sort of reflect what you've said. Once you get to a certain level of competency with the equipment, it then gets down to how you hear and what you prefer.

    Enjoy the new tubes!

    Kentley

    Posts : 335
    Join date : 2015-03-06
    Age : 64
    Location : Worcester, MA

    Re: What's your favourite 6SN7 tube?

    Post by Kentley on Thu Jul 23, 2015 11:21 am

    deepee99 wrote:
    Frank111 wrote:Just a thought. Get three pairs of tubes ready including the new ones. Set up a blind test. Have a friend stop over and change the sets of tubes. You write down which set you liked best and why. Then let us know!
    Actually, blind A:B testing on audio has proven to be utterly worthless. It's a psychosomatic thang. The brain worketh in mysterious ways.
    I go back to my mantra: All amps (and preamps and tubes and capacitors and resistors and wiring arrangements) distort.  
    This applies to sand amps as well.
    It's a matter of finding the distortion you like best, and having your friends over for a beer or single-malt to enjoy.

    YES YES YES.  We all love, for mysterious reasons unknown to gods or men or engineers, our own particular brand of poison.


    Last edited by Kentley on Thu Jul 23, 2015 11:22 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : additional puffery.)

    Elrick

    Posts : 71
    Join date : 2012-09-02
    Location : Bellingham WA

    Re: What's your favourite 6SN7 tube?

    Post by Elrick on Thu Jul 23, 2015 5:46 pm

    deepee99 wrote:I'm getting a pair of the early "chrome top" Sylvanias from a guy I know in Ontario. Gotta try 'em out.
    http://www.canuckaudiomart.com/details/649066816-sylvania_6sn7_gta_heavy_chrometops_with_the_early_50s_3_hole_bad_boy_plates_monster_tubes/

    Deep, I took a look at the pictures posted on canuckasudio mart, I believe mine may also be the so called three hole plate types but the bottom mica spacer on mine is circular, fitting up with the envelope. A few of those on your link have a rectangular bottom mica spacer. Seems to me a circular mica would make a tighter assembly. Anyway, I think the 6SN7 tube is winner because it can be found on numerous communication, hi-fi, test equipment, musical instruments, and ham gear manufactured throughout the tube golden years. There are so many to find at cheap prices, sometimes for only low price of the unit it originally came with. I'm against paying extravagant prices for the 6SN7.

    deepee99

    Posts : 1337
    Join date : 2012-05-23
    Location : Wallace, Idaho

    Re: What's your favourite 6SN7 tube?

    Post by deepee99 on Tue Aug 04, 2015 12:04 pm

    Well, at the end of the week I'll have four pairs of 6SN7s in reasonably NOS condition, gonna find the best two for the SP-14 pre-amp, and second best for the front holes on the M-125 a/k/a Big Bopper amps. I've also got Andy Bowman on a scavenger hunt for 6F8Gs which he thinks he has, and they're inexpensive but need a socket adaptor.  FWIW, Andy's got a few NOS and ANOS Tungsol 6550s matched up and for sale. Spendy at $220 a pop, but if you've never heard a genuine TS 6550 you dunno what you're missing, and they last forever.
    Phlegm at 11 on the 6SN7s. I'm done chasing pricey tubes for now. I think . . I think...


    Last edited by deepee99 on Tue Aug 04, 2015 12:08 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : To give Holger credit)

    Kentley

    Posts : 335
    Join date : 2015-03-06
    Age : 64
    Location : Worcester, MA

    Re: What's your favourite 6SN7 tube?

    Post by Kentley on Tue Aug 04, 2015 1:08 pm

    We wish you The Rapture of the Deep-ee, Sir!

    Guest
    Guest

    Re: What's your favourite 6SN7 tube?

    Post by Guest on Tue Aug 04, 2015 10:42 pm

    recently I got hold of a bunch of whats generally called coin bottom/base RCA 6SN7GTB. They sound really really nice in my model Fats Domino, and I like the looks of them...kinda bare...just how I like my women! Twisted Evil What a Face cyclops pig

    Kentley

    Posts : 335
    Join date : 2015-03-06
    Age : 64
    Location : Worcester, MA

    Re: What's your favourite 6SN7 tube?

    Post by Kentley on Tue Aug 04, 2015 10:50 pm

    You are categorically shut off, MW. Turn in yer badge and punch out.
    Seriously, I'm currently on a quest for the Final Solution on the 6SN7 Frontier, having conquered, with deepee's help, the 12BH7 mountain. Would you divulge, either publicly or privately, the source of this 6SN7/RCA Magick?

    Guest
    Guest

    Re: What's your favourite 6SN7 tube?

    Post by Guest on Tue Aug 04, 2015 10:58 pm

    well some will scorn on this...but I buy all my 6SN7's from eBay. I've had really good luck. Of all the 6XX7's I have bought over the past 2 years, maybe a 5% reject, which is not a lot considering the amount I have and still buy.
    I stay away from ones that are way too cheap, my average price from eBay is $15.00 per tube.

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