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    A question of tubeage ref the VTA ST-120 drivers

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    deepee99

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    A question of tubeage ref the VTA ST-120 drivers

    Post by deepee99 on Sat Mar 31, 2018 5:09 pm

    Gentle people, a simple question about the ST-120 drivers. There are three of them. I have been told alternatively that the two on the side matter the most, OTOH that the one in the centre makes the larger difference in SQ. Please, no sound-staging or other imaginary BS. If you had a king's ransom, which hole(s) would you fill?

    nmchiefsfan

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    Re: A question of tubeage ref the VTA ST-120 drivers

    Post by nmchiefsfan on Sat Mar 31, 2018 6:22 pm

    The center tube is the will impact the sound quality the most.
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    CletusB

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    Re: A question of tubeage ref the VTA ST-120 drivers

    Post by CletusB on Sat Mar 31, 2018 8:58 pm

    Center tube! ...that's the voltage amplifier (like a pre-amp if you will)!  the other two are simply the phase-inverters.
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    corndog71

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    Re: A question of tubeage ref the VTA ST-120 drivers

    Post by corndog71 on Sat Mar 31, 2018 11:55 pm

    deepee99 wrote:Gentle people, a simple question about the ST-120 drivers. There are three of them. I have been told alternatively that the two on the side matter the most, OTOH that the one in the centre makes the larger difference in SQ. Please, no sound-staging or other imaginary BS. If you had a king's ransom, which hole(s) would you fill?

    Sound stages are imaginary? That’s news to me.
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    deepee99

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    Re: A question of tubeage ref the VTA ST-120 drivers

    Post by deepee99 on Sun Apr 01, 2018 5:05 am

    corndog71 wrote:
    deepee99 wrote:Gentle people, a simple question about the ST-120 drivers. There are three of them. I have been told alternatively that the two on the side matter the most, OTOH that the one in the centre makes the larger difference in SQ. Please, no sound-staging or other imaginary BS. If you had a king's ransom, which hole(s) would you fill?

    Sound stages are imaginary?  That’s news to me.
    Corndog, I was being a tad facetious.
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    kevinmi

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    Re: A question of tubeage ref the VTA ST-120 drivers

    Post by kevinmi on Sun Apr 01, 2018 8:37 am

    I'd stick with vintage tubes. I'm using RCA clear tops on the sides with a vintage Tung-Sol in the center. I had a RCA clear top in the center for a while, but the Tung-Sol has a bit more bass.

    Dale Stevens

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    Re: A question of tubeage ref the VTA ST-120 drivers

    Post by Dale Stevens on Sun Apr 01, 2018 11:17 am

    12BH7AEH (EH)
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    deepee99

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    Re: A question of tubeage ref the VTA ST-120 drivers

    Post by deepee99 on Sun Apr 01, 2018 11:20 am

    Dale Stevens wrote:12BH7AEH (EH)  
    Dale, I should have specified I've got the 8-holer driver board.
    Not a huge fan of EH tubes but maybe they have improved since I tried them.
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    kevinmi

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    Re: A question of tubeage ref the VTA ST-120 drivers

    Post by kevinmi on Sun Apr 01, 2018 12:37 pm

    Dale Stevens wrote:12BH7AEH (EH)  

    Just bought a pair of vintage Sylvania 12BH7 tubes to try out. Should be here in a week.
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    kevinmi

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    Re: A question of tubeage ref the VTA ST-120 drivers

    Post by kevinmi on Sun Apr 01, 2018 12:40 pm

    deepee99 wrote:
    Dale Stevens wrote:12BH7AEH (EH)  
    Dale, I should have specified I've got the 8-holer driver board.
    Not a huge fan of EH tubes but maybe they have improved since I tried them.
    For octal tubes, I'm running 1940's vintage Ken-Rad 6sn7's in my preamp(Cary SLP-98P) with great results.

    chefothefuture

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    Re: A question of tubeage ref the VTA ST-120 drivers

    Post by chefothefuture on Mon Apr 02, 2018 1:27 am

    Hi all- Noob to the forum but not to the Dyna/VTA ST120. Just built two. In one, using KT120s for outputs, I have three Northern Electric 6SN7s.
    In the other, with new production Genalex KT88s, the outer phase splitters are EH 6SN7 gold pin, and a Psvane UK 6SN7.
    Both amps sound great to me though OCD sets in and I await a Treasure CV181 to try...
    I also installed a VTA driver board in my Dyna ST70. For that I used Psvane UK 6SN7s for the splitters and an EH 6SN7 Gold Pin for the center. Nice too but certainly not as full as the VTA ST120s.

    Dogstar

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    Re: A question of tubeage ref the VTA ST-120 drivers

    Post by Dogstar on Mon Apr 02, 2018 7:04 am

    For the most part as much as everyone would like to hear phenomally improved acoustic characteristics when a set of kings ransom priced magic tubes are installed at best there are only subtle differences that can at best be described as better based only on personal preference. Sure there might be a defective tube that does make the sound significantly different (and bad). But once the tubes are installed and biased correctly and listened to for a while there is no way someone is going to be able to say they distinctly heard a tube they listened to hours ago sounds better than the tube they are currenltly using. Of course I know I'm being blasphemous and a bad man (inser vulgarity here) but if someone says that they are full of themselves.

    chefothefuture

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    Re: A question of tubeage ref the VTA ST-120 drivers

    Post by chefothefuture on Mon Apr 02, 2018 1:02 pm

    Dogstar wrote:For the most part as much as everyone would like to hear phenomally improved acoustic characteristics when a set of kings ransom priced magic tubes are installed at best there are only subtle differences that can at best be described as better based only on personal preference. Sure there might be a defective tube that does make the sound significantly different (and bad). But once the tubes are installed and biased correctly and listened to for a while there is no way someone is going to be able to say they distinctly heard a tube they listened to hours ago sounds better than the tube they are currenltly using. Of course I know I'm being blasphemous and a bad man (inser vulgarity here) but if someone says that they are full of themselves.

    Hahahaha! You could be right, though I did notice a subtle difference here and there. The biggest difference came when I went from a GZ34 rectifier to a GZ37, but that's a different topic all together.
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    Peter W.

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    Re: A question of tubeage ref the VTA ST-120 drivers

    Post by Peter W. on Mon Apr 02, 2018 3:21 pm

    Let's get down to those proverbial brass tacks:

    a) Generally, tubes, like democracy, are a wretched way to make music, or run a government. Except for everything else.
    b) Given that all tubes are bad, it may be stated with confidence that all *some* pre-blight tube will be better than *all* present production tubes.
    c) As to "big" or "small" driver tubes, de gustibus et coloribus non est disputandum. Jut mind the filament load, if applicable. For instance, a very good (and they are few) pair of Sylvania 7199 tubes will blow the socks off of any present-production 6SN7 array. ->OPINION<-


    heeheehee
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    sKiZo

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    Re: A question of tubeage ref the VTA ST-120 drivers

    Post by sKiZo on Mon Apr 02, 2018 6:15 pm

    kevinmi wrote:
    Dale Stevens wrote:12BH7AEH (EH)  

    Just bought a pair of vintage Sylvania 12BH7 tubes to try out. Should be here in a week.

    All Sylvania here now ... 12BH7's (circa '62) and an early '50's VT231 center.



    Then again, check back next week ... clown

    PS - I'd mention the exemplary sound stage with this set if there was such a thing. Razz
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    deepee99

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    Re: A question of tubeage ref the VTA ST-120 drivers

    Post by deepee99 on Tue Apr 03, 2018 1:54 pm

    Peter W. wrote:Let's get down to those proverbial brass tacks:

    a) Generally, tubes, like democracy, are a wretched way to make music, or run a government. Except for everything else.
    b) Given that all tubes are bad, it may be stated with confidence that all *some* pre-blight tube will be better than *all* present production tubes.
    c) As to "big" or "small" driver tubes, de gustibus et coloribus non est disputandum. Jut mind the filament load, if applicable. For instance, a very good (and they are few) pair of Sylvania 7199 tubes will blow the socks off of any present-production 6SN7 array. ->OPINION<-


    heeheehee

    Peter, glad you qualified that with "present production." Late 1940s Sylvania VT231/6SN7s are pretty hard to beat if you're running an 8-holer. Andy Bowman says the 7199s are crap.


    Last edited by deepee99 on Tue Apr 03, 2018 2:03 pm; edited 1 time in total
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    Peter W.

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    Re: A question of tubeage ref the VTA ST-120 drivers

    Post by Peter W. on Tue Apr 03, 2018 2:00 pm

    [quote="deepee99"]
    Peter W. wrote:Let's get down to those proverbial brass tacks:

    Peter, glad you qualified that with "present production." Late 1940s Sylvania VT231/6SN7s  are pretty hard to beat if you're running an 8-holer.

    The varieties and range-of-options using pre-blight tubes is considerable, and 7199s are quite problematic as these things go. So, yes. That "Present Production" is an important distinction.
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    peterh

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    Re: A question of tubeage ref the VTA ST-120 drivers

    Post by peterh on Tue Apr 03, 2018 2:59 pm

    One can always mount the 7199 in a noval-to-octal converter :-)

    chefothefuture

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    Re: A question of tubeage ref the VTA ST-120 drivers

    Post by chefothefuture on Tue Apr 03, 2018 3:02 pm

    Quite true, but I thought the purpose of the VTA board was to get away from the 7199s...

    I realized my previous comment was in error. Forget the topic referred to all driver types. Many apologies.

    chefothefuture

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    Re: A question of tubeage ref the VTA ST-120 drivers

    Post by chefothefuture on Tue Apr 03, 2018 3:36 pm

    Peter W. wrote:Let's get down to those proverbial brass tacks:

    a) Generally, tubes, like democracy, are a wretched way to make music, or run a government. Except for everything else.
    b) Given that all tubes are bad, it may be stated with confidence that all *some* pre-blight tube will be better than *all* present production tubes.
    c) As to "big" or "small" driver tubes, de gustibus et coloribus non est disputandum. Jut mind the filament load, if applicable. For instance, a very good (and they are few) pair of Sylvania 7199 tubes will blow the socks off of any present-production 6SN7 array. ->OPINION<-


    heeheehee

    Given the hoopla and superfluous hyperbole surrounding many tubes I wouldn’t rule out placebo effect. Similar to the ongoing debate as to whether vinyl sounds better than CD...
    Perhaps it mostly boils down to what the individual perceives and enjoys.
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    Peter W.

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    Re: A question of tubeage ref the VTA ST-120 drivers

    Post by Peter W. on Tue Apr 03, 2018 3:50 pm

    [quote="chefothefuture"]
    Peter W. wrote:Let's get down to those proverbial brass tacks:

    Given the hoopla and superfluous hyperbole surrounding many tubes I wouldn’t rule out placebo effect. Similar to the ongoing debate as to whether vinyl sounds better than CD...
    Perhaps it mostly boils down to what the individual perceives and enjoys.

    That would be a giant BINGO!!
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    deepee99

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    Re: A question of tubeage ref the VTA ST-120 drivers

    Post by deepee99 on Tue Apr 03, 2018 3:57 pm

    chefothefuture wrote:
    Peter W. wrote:Let's get down to those proverbial brass tacks:

    a) Generally, tubes, like democracy, are a wretched way to make music, or run a government. Except for everything else.
    b) Given that all tubes are bad, it may be stated with confidence that all *some* pre-blight tube will be better than *all* present production tubes.
    c) As to "big" or "small" driver tubes, de gustibus et coloribus non est disputandum. Jut mind the filament load, if applicable. For instance, a very good (and they are few) pair of Sylvania 7199 tubes will blow the socks off of any present-production 6SN7 array. ->OPINION<-


    heeheehee

    Given the hoopla and superfluous hyperbole surrounding many tubes I wouldn’t rule out placebo effect. Similar to the ongoing debate as to whether vinyl sounds better than CD...
    Perhaps it mostly boils down to what the individual perceives and enjoys.
    Yep. I am always informed by "The Billionaires' Vinegar" when it comes to tubeage. A great read, BTW.
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    Bob Latino
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    Re: A question of tubeage ref the VTA ST-120 drivers

    Post by Bob Latino on Tue Apr 03, 2018 5:51 pm

    chefothefuture wrote:Quite true, but I thought the purpose of the VTA board was to get away from the 7199s...

    I realized my previous comment was in error. Forget the topic referred to all driver types. Many apologies.

    Yes > Why use a driver board using driver tubes (7199) that are not made anymore ? The price of the remaining crop of 7199's keeps getting higher and higher each year. Right now the average price of an NOS 7199 is maybe $35 or $40. Also there is no other driver tube that you can substitute for a 7199 with a direct plug in ? Sure - You can use a 6GH8A as a replacement driver tube with a suitable adapter but the adapters are $10 and up per tube.

    Bob
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    10-E-C

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    Re: A question of tubeage ref the VTA ST-120 drivers

    Post by 10-E-C on Tue Apr 03, 2018 9:04 pm

    Bob Latino wrote:
    chefothefuture wrote:Quite true, but I thought the purpose of the VTA board was to get away from the 7199s...

    I realized my previous comment was in error. Forget the topic referred to all driver types. Many apologies.

    Yes > Why use a driver board using driver tubes (7199) that are not made anymore ? The price of the remaining crop of 7199's keeps getting higher and higher each year. Right now the average price of an NOS 7199 is maybe $35 or $40. Also there is no other driver tube that you can substitute for a 7199 with a direct plug in ? Sure - You can use a 6GH8A as a replacement driver tube with a suitable adapter but the adapters are $10 and up per tube.

    Bob


    I found two RCA 7199 at an estate sale for 1 dollar, mint old stock.

    chefothefuture

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    Re: A question of tubeage ref the VTA ST-120 drivers

    Post by chefothefuture on Tue Apr 03, 2018 9:25 pm

    Since the original question was about preferred driver tubes in a VTA ST120, will 7199s even work in one?

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