The Dynaco Tube Audio Forum

Dedicated to the restoration and preservation of all original Dynaco tube audio equipment - Customer support for Dynaco VTA tube amp kits, all Tubes4hifi.com products and all Dynakitparts.com products


    What's your favourite 6SN7 tube?

    Share

    deepee99

    Posts : 1333
    Join date : 2012-05-23
    Location : Wallace, Idaho

    Re: What's your favourite 6SN7 tube?

    Post by deepee99 on Tue Aug 04, 2015 11:03 pm

    Kentley wrote: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?

    Kentley, you're asking an amp maker to divulge trade secrets. Me, I'm on the hunt for 6F8G toobs with that big honkin' wire coming off the top for the grid power for the front holes on the Big Bopper M-125 iterations. They will give a nice Doc Frankenstein look to things. If you're going to embarrass yourself, why not go all the way?

    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 11:06 pm

    I envy your luck, MW. Not long ago, I bought two Old TungSols at that price, no idea what vintage. They sounded great for a month, then one died in its sleep - no drama. Upon removing its soul-mate from the socket to replace him with the NEW TungSol, the glass crumbled beneath my trembling fingers. Give me the code, Robert.

    deepee99

    Posts : 1333
    Join date : 2012-05-23
    Location : Wallace, Idaho

    Re: What's your favourite 6SN7 tube?

    Post by deepee99 on Tue Aug 04, 2015 11:09 pm

    Kentley wrote:I envy your luck, MW. Not long ago, I bought two Old TungSols at that price, no idea what vintage. They sounded great for a month, then one died in its sleep - no drama. Upon removing its soul-mate from the socket to replace him with the NEW TungSol, the glass crumbled beneath my trembling fingers. Give me the code, Robert.

    What was the frequency, Kenneth?

    MontanaWay

    Posts : 781
    Join date : 2014-02-06
    Age : 58
    Location : Brookings, Oregon

    Re: What's your favourite 6SN7 tube?

    Post by MontanaWay on Tue Aug 04, 2015 11:11 pm

    right now I have about 50 6SN7's on hand, and about 10 6SL7's. Last year I bought a 30 lot of 6SN7's from one guy, they have all been excellent, no dead ones, no noisy ones and most of them are still going strong!
    I generally do not really pay that much attention to seller's claims of readings on their tube testers etc., as the best test is in the amp!
    Deepee99, I got a bunch of 6F8G's, they do sound and look pretty nice!

    deepee99

    Posts : 1333
    Join date : 2012-05-23
    Location : Wallace, Idaho

    Re: What's your favourite 6SN7 tube?

    Post by deepee99 on Tue Aug 04, 2015 11:19 pm

    MontanaWay wrote:right now I have about 50 6SN7's on hand, and about 10 6SL7's. Last year I bought a 30 lot of 6SN7's from one guy, they have all been excellent, no dead ones, no noisy ones and most of them are still going strong!
    I generally do not really pay that much attention to seller's claims of readings on their tube testers etc., as the best test is in the amp!
    Deepee99, I got a bunch of 6F8G's, they do sound and look pretty nice!

    Well, hmmmm. I think a pair in the front holes of the BBs would look kinda cool. As they're grids on the top taps they don't carry enough juice for self-injury.

    skriefal

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

    Re: What's your favourite 6SN7 tube?

    Post by skriefal on Wed Aug 05, 2015 12:23 am

    MontanaWay wrote: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've also acquired most of mine from random eBay sellers. Most used, and on the cheap side of things. I have a Maxi-Preamp tester, so can verify tube condition with that.

    pmarcin

    Posts : 131
    Join date : 2009-01-20
    Age : 69

    Re: What's your favourite 6SN7 tube?

    Post by pmarcin on Thu Aug 06, 2015 7:57 am

    I don't care for 6SN7s at all; Ed Schilling of Hornshoppe shares my opinion. I essentially gave away a D Broskie Octal Aikido for this reason. Ergo, IMHO, the all leave something to be desired ( intentionally cryptic.) Just ask Ed.

    deepee99

    Posts : 1333
    Join date : 2012-05-23
    Location : Wallace, Idaho

    Re: What's your favourite 6SN7 tube?

    Post by deepee99 on Thu Aug 06, 2015 8:45 am

    pmarcin wrote:I don't care for 6SN7s at all; Ed Schilling of Hornshoppe shares my opinion. I essentially gave away a D Broskie Octal Aikido for this reason. Ergo, IMHO, the all leave something to be desired ( intentionally cryptic.) Just ask Ed.

    What's your pleasure, then?

    Bob Latino
    Admin

    Posts : 2411
    Join date : 2008-11-26
    Location : Massachusetts

    Re: What's your favourite 6SN7 tube?

    Post by Bob Latino on Thu Aug 06, 2015 8:51 am

    pmarcin wrote:I don't care for 6SN7s at all; Ed Schilling of Hornshoppe shares my opinion. I essentially gave away a D Broskie Octal Aikido for this reason. Ergo, IMHO, the all leave something to be desired ( intentionally cryptic.) Just ask Ed.

    I tend to agree with pmarcin and as such, the VTA amp kits are not offered with an octal driver board. First of all, everyone has their own opinions and has the freedom to express them here .. Some like octal driver tubes and some people don't. Some people feel that octal drivers "have better sound". I am not saying that amps with noval drivers are "better" but I don't feel that octal drivers have any particular better "sound quality advantage" over noval tubes. If they did, then all manufacturers would be using them. USA tube amp manufacturers McIntosh, Conrad Johnson and Rogue do not use octal driver tubes. If the octal drivers offered a real "sound quality advantage", don't you think that they would be using them? In about 2009 McIntosh designed what is now their statement monoblock tube amplifiers, the 300 watt per monoblock McIntosh MC2301 amplifiers. These amps have 8 KT88 output tubes per monoblock and the amps cost $22,000 USD per pair. What driver tubes did McIntosh choose as the basis for the driver circuit on their statement tube amp ? Two 12AT7 (noval) driver tubes.

    Remember also that a 12AU7 draws .3 amps vs. a 6SN7 tube which draws .6 amps. (double the amount of current) If you have 3 driver tubes then the amp will be drawing nearly 1 extra amp (.9 amps). The amp will run hotter and stress out the power transformer a little more ..

    Bob

    MontanaWay

    Posts : 781
    Join date : 2014-02-06
    Age : 58
    Location : Brookings, Oregon

    Re: What's your favourite 6SN7 tube?

    Post by MontanaWay on Thu Aug 06, 2015 9:45 am

    tubes are like sound, very subjective. I use a pair of 5751's driving KT88's in one of my power amp models, a perfect match!
    Personally I think the 6XX7's are under rated, but that's OK, more for me to choose from! Very Happy
    Just because some of the 'big' guys don't tend to use 6XX7's does not mean they are not suitable or good, like I said, comes down to personal choices, suitability of a given circuit as well as cost considerations.
    Especially with some of the 'big' guys, cost is everything..unfortunately...yes, 6XX7 draw more current = need a heftier power transformer = more cost = less bottom line and the 6XX7 tend to cost more than a lot of commonly used noval's.


    Last edited by MontanaWay on Thu Aug 06, 2015 10:13 am; edited 1 time in total

    Frank111

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

    Re: What's your favourite 6SN7 tube?

    Post by Frank111 on Thu Aug 06, 2015 9:49 am

    What is the difference between 6SN7 and 6SL7? I don't see as much use of the 6SL7 and am curious as to why....

    MontanaWay

    Posts : 781
    Join date : 2014-02-06
    Age : 58
    Location : Brookings, Oregon

    Re: What's your favourite 6SN7 tube?

    Post by MontanaWay on Thu Aug 06, 2015 10:03 am

    the 6SL7 has a higher amplification factor, it is 70, the 6SN7 is 20, plus some other minor difference. But the amp factor is the main difference.

    Frank111

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

    Re: What's your favourite 6SN7 tube?

    Post by Frank111 on Thu Aug 06, 2015 10:05 am

    Thanks for the info. That is a significant difference.

    TMadden

    Posts : 99
    Join date : 2011-12-22

    Re: What's your favourite 6SN7 tube?

    Post by TMadden on Fri Aug 07, 2015 12:40 pm

    This is a bit off topic because it relates more to 6SL7's than 6SN7's, but I wanted to share this. A few months back I built a SP9 octal, and the customer wanted NOS tubes in it. I found a seller who had a full case of  surplus WW2 JAN 6SL7/VT299's. I ended up purchasing 12 of them, and used 4 them in the SP9. I have built multiple noval SP9's using various new and NOS tubes, also multiple SP9 octals using various new and NOS tubes, but as soon as I listened to his preamp in my system I was immediately struck  by a whole new level of detail, imaging and life these tubes brought to the music. I ended up listening to it all night! Simply BY FAR the best sounding SP9 I have built, and one of the best preamps I have heard, bar none.
    Next day I bought 12 more for a total of 24. I still have 8 of them, they aren't for sale at any price! 4 are in my preamp, 4 for spares. The  new production 6SL7's I have tried don't even remotely compare to these tubes, the only other tube I was even half as impressed with in an SP9 was 1960's GE long plate 12AX7's in a standard SP9 which uses noval tubes. So I guess my point is tubes can make a HUGE difference in sound quality. I have two circuit boards for my SP9, one that uses 6SL7's, one that I modified to use 6SN7's. My favorite 6SN7 so far is the Sylvania "Bad Boy" . I was fortunate to find a quantity of them also. But having read many "glowing" reviews  of the legendary Tung-Sol round plate 6SN7, I'm going to try the next best thing IMHO, NOS WW2 JAN round plate National Union 6F8G's. About 1/10 the price of the Tung-Sols, but reportedly sound as good. They do require adapters. Fingers Crossed, cant wait until they get here!!! If they are as big a leap as the JAN 6SL7's were, I'm in for a treat! Here is what I thought was some very good info on 6SN7's, and tubes in general: http://www.hifi-tunes.com/the-evolution-of-a-constant-glow-in-high-fidelity/
    My experience parallels what they are reporting in the article.

    arledgsc

    Posts : 340
    Join date : 2012-11-30
    Location : SF Bay CA

    Re: What's your favourite 6SN7 tube?

    Post by arledgsc on Wed Aug 12, 2015 11:17 am

    Tube rolling is like a religious journey.  Everyone must go down the path of discovery to find what works best for them.  I have several old 6SN7s - bad boys, chrome domes, etc.  It is very hard these days of finding good quality examples of these fine, old tubes at reasonable prices.  But I keep going back to the new production Black Treasure CV-181 in the #1 position in the ST-120 amp.  These tubes are quiet, huge soundstage, great vocals, last a long time, and perfect frequency response for my system.  Psvane CV-181s are a close 2nd but have a touch more on top that I find a bit much but you may like.  Requires a 9-pin to 8-pin socket adapter in my case.

    deepee99

    Posts : 1333
    Join date : 2012-05-23
    Location : Wallace, Idaho

    Re: What's your favourite 6SN7 tube?

    Post by deepee99 on Wed Aug 12, 2015 12:22 pm

    Arledgsc,
    Tube-rolling is indeed a bit of a religious quest. I have climbed most of that mountain. But at some point, you realize this is ABOUT as good as it's gonna get and it's time to quit. I have shelves full of tubes I will never use because I like what I've got.
    The legendary Wall Street financier and presidential adviser Bernard Baruch famously said, Don't buy at the bottom or sell at the top (cuz you never know where they are). I think there's an audio corollary here.


    deepee99

    Posts : 1333
    Join date : 2012-05-23
    Location : Wallace, Idaho

    Sylvania chrome dome results

    Post by deepee99 on Fri Sep 25, 2015 7:05 pm

    Having "run in" the chrome tops for about 100 hours in the front driver holes, with some inexpensive Russian 6SN7 equivalents, I think I slightly favour the Sylvanias. Now it's time to put the RCAs back in there, see what happens. That's about the only way to A/B things for my little cranium; listen to one tube till you're completely used to it, then switch out to another type.
    A question: is it worth it to spend much on the splitter tubes in these amps and pre-amps? Or does the flavour all come from the voltage-amp tubes?

    tiguan

    Posts : 27
    Join date : 2014-07-23
    Location : Istanbul

    Re: What's your favourite 6SN7 tube?

    Post by tiguan on Wed Nov 04, 2015 8:56 am

    According my experince tube subject is a big sea and open for surprises.

    - even two tubes are same brand and model, which year produced shall be important. There can be sonic differences.
    - There are some not famous tube brands but produced for example at RCA factory. You can not know but can have good performance.
    - Expensive does not mean, that it is perfect. More related that is not found any more.

    I found my best match with Sylvania Vt231 (1943's) at voltage amp, and 6N8S Nevz (russian 1970's)

    WntrMute2

    Posts : 101
    Join date : 2010-11-21

    Re: What's your favourite 6SN7 tube?

    Post by WntrMute2 on Sun Nov 22, 2015 1:43 pm

    I have a Pre-amp that utilizes a pair of 6SN7s and I've done a bit of tube rolling. In this pre, I find that the RCAs have a touch more upper end "sparkle" than most of the others. The numerous Sylvania chrome-tops all sound the same to me, a slightly more muscular sound to them than the RCAs. A set of Ken-Rads or CBSs sound sort of in the middle. The "best" bang for the buck is the Baldwins, they sound exactly like the Sylvanias at 1/2 the cost. NOS ones are easily obtainable and many tube gurus claim they are rebranded Sylvania chrome-tops for the Baldwin Organ Co. I run the Sylvania or Baldwins as I like my sound a with a little more meat on it than the RCAs' more delicate touch. Just my 2 cents.

    Maintarget

    Posts : 209
    Join date : 2013-02-10

    Re: What's your favourite 6SN7 tube?

    Post by Maintarget on Tue Nov 24, 2015 12:05 am

    I had been using some GE 6SN7GTB with side horse shoe getter's in my SP-14 for a few Months sounded great to me tonight decided it was time to install some RCA JAN CRC-6SN7-GT VT-231 smoked glass tubes I've had for a while, I could not believe how noisy these tubes were warming up I could hear what sounded like the metal plates as they warmed but after about 15 minutes they quieted down,
    WOW very impressive sound stage widen significantly and the clarity of each instrument is as close to realistic as I have ever heard, For now I'm keeping this combo.

    Dogstar

    Posts : 90
    Join date : 2014-06-23

    Octal driver board question

    Post by Dogstar on Wed Mar 16, 2016 12:16 am

    I don't mean to hijack this thread but since the is 6SN7 tubes I'm hoping someone can tell me if there is a significant difference in sound between the amps with 12AU7's and 6SN7's? I really do like my VTA ST-120 but I'm looking for something different. Would an octal driver board ST-120 be significantly different?

    Bob Latino
    Admin

    Posts : 2411
    Join date : 2008-11-26
    Location : Massachusetts

    Re: What's your favourite 6SN7 tube?

    Post by Bob Latino on Wed Mar 16, 2016 8:12 am

    Read post # 34 above ...

    Bob

    deepee99

    Posts : 1333
    Join date : 2012-05-23
    Location : Wallace, Idaho

    Re: What's your favourite 6SN7 tube?

    Post by deepee99 on Wed Mar 16, 2016 12:38 pm

    Bob Latino wrote:Read post # 34 above ...

    Bob

    Bob, you're overlooking the fact that those big, fat, tall octals look way cooler at night with the lights off than them wimpy little novals.

    peterh

    Posts : 679
    Join date : 2012-12-25
    Location : gothenburg, sweden

    Re: What's your favourite 6SN7 tube?

    Post by peterh on Wed Mar 16, 2016 12:44 pm

    deepee99 wrote:
    Bob Latino wrote:Read post # 34 above ...

    Bob

    Bob, you're overlooking the fact that those big, fat, tall octals look way cooler at night with the lights off than them wimpy little novals.
    Even better : prepare a back-lighted photo of an impressing transmittor tube and
    mount it in front of your amp.
    One don't have to burn electricity just to have eyecandy, keep that backlighted
    picture up and running even when you don't listen to music.

    Other people ( like me ) don't give a sh-t about the looks, i find the music that comes out of the speakers the only reason to engage in hifi.

    deepee99

    Posts : 1333
    Join date : 2012-05-23
    Location : Wallace, Idaho

    Re: What's your favourite 6SN7 tube?

    Post by deepee99 on Wed Mar 16, 2016 1:09 pm

    peterh wrote:
    deepee99 wrote:
    Bob Latino wrote:Read post # 34 above ...

    Bob

    Bob, you're overlooking the fact that those big, fat, tall octals look way cooler at night with the lights off than them wimpy little novals.
    Even better : prepare a back-lighted photo of an impressing transmittor tube and
    mount it in front of your amp.
    One don't have to burn electricity just to have eyecandy, keep that backlighted
    picture up and running even when you don't listen to music.

    Other people ( like me ) don't give a sh-t about the looks, i find the music that comes out of the speakers the only reason to engage in hifi.

    Peterh, I hope you know I was being facetious. To me, it's a Ford vs. Chevy kind of argument -- whatever turns your crank. I "think" I hear the difference between 6SN7s and 6CG7s, but that's just me, and the better old-stock RCA 6CG7s will blow the doors off just about anything, 8- or 9-pin. HRH Latino's case that the octals draw more filament current than the novals and are thus rougher on the iron is probably the most compelling argument for novals -- although with four octals in the driver holes of my Big Bopper M-125s I don't detect any hand-scorching heat, after 5 hours' running.
    I'll give that back-lit photo a shot. I understand my iPhone has a camera in it, and there must be some kid in the neighbourhood knows how to take a picture with it.

    Sponsored content

    Re: What's your favourite 6SN7 tube?

    Post by Sponsored content Today at 6:10 am


      Current date/time is Tue Dec 06, 2016 6:10 am