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    Best place to buy new KT66's?

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    xlr8

    Posts : 68
    Join date : 2010-02-09

    Best place to buy new KT66's?

    Post by xlr8 on Wed May 05, 2010 8:33 am

    Hi all,

    I was just wondering where some of you are purchasing your tubes from, specifically the Genelex Gold Lion KT66. I need a reliable source at a good price. I'm ready to take the plunge and start rolling some tubes. Cool

    Thanks in advance!

    Bob Latino
    Admin

    Posts : 2374
    Join date : 2008-11-26
    Location : Massachusetts

    Re: Best place to buy new KT66's?

    Post by Bob Latino on Wed May 05, 2010 8:53 am

    xlr8 wrote:Hi all,

    I was just wondering where some of you are purchasing your tubes from, specifically the Genelex Gold Lion KT66. I need a reliable source at a good price. I'm ready to take the plunge and start rolling some tubes. Cool

    Thanks in advance!

    Hi xlr8,

    You used to be able to get the GL KT66's for about $145 for four but it appears that the prices have gone up slightly on these. About the best price I have seen on these recently is from "bnb_tubes" on Ebay > $150 + shipping for a matched quad. Link below ...

    GL KT66's on Ebay from bnb_tubes

    Disclaimer > I have no affiliation with bnb_tubes nor do I know this fellow but I have bought many tubes from him over the last few years. A very reliable seller ...

    Bob

    xlr8

    Posts : 68
    Join date : 2010-02-09

    Re: Best place to buy new KT66's?

    Post by xlr8 on Wed May 05, 2010 9:09 am

    Wonderful! I can't wait to hear what these sound like. I've seen matched quads for well over the price you mentioned. Thank you very much!

    xlr8

    Posts : 68
    Join date : 2010-02-09

    Re: Best place to buy new KT66's?

    Post by xlr8 on Wed May 05, 2010 9:30 am

    Sweet. 2 matched quads are on the way. BTW, what's the best bias setting for these in a VTA boarded 70 with the stock power transformer?

    Thanks again!

    Bob Latino
    Admin

    Posts : 2374
    Join date : 2008-11-26
    Location : Massachusetts

    Re: Best place to buy new KT66's?

    Post by Bob Latino on Wed May 05, 2010 9:46 am

    xlr8 wrote:Sweet. 2 matched quads are on the way. BTW, what's the best bias setting for these in a VTA boarded 70 with the stock power transformer?

    Thanks again!

    Hi,

    With your VTA boarded ST-70 amp, what I would do is try biasing them somewhere between .400 VDC per tube and .500 VDC. Start off at .400 and listen to the amp and gradually work your way up to .500 VDC. You may find a "sweet spot" somewhere in there. I would break them in for at least 20 hours at .400 VDC before experimenting with upping the bias. I would use the lowest setting that gives good sound. The higher you bias the tubes - the quicker they wear out.

    BTW - All those Gold Lion KT** reissue tubes are very well made and IMHO sound as good (or better) than NOS tubes from the '50's and '60's. That said - there will always be people who have a lot of $$$$ and will pay extraordinarily high prices on Ebay for NOS output tubes. Below is a good example ...

    Original Genalex Gold Lion KT66 tubes on Ebay

    Bob

    xlr8

    Posts : 68
    Join date : 2010-02-09

    Re: Best place to buy new KT66's?

    Post by xlr8 on Wed May 05, 2010 12:45 pm

    BTW - All those Gold Lion KT** reissue tubes are very well made and IMHO sound as good (or better) than NOS tubes from the '50's and '60's. That said - there will always be people who have a lot of $$$$ and will pay extraordinarily high prices on Ebay for NOS output tubes. Below is a good example ...

    I've never been able to fathom how the laws of diminishing returns did not apply there. Got to be a purely nostalgic thing. After hearing your amps, I certainly trust your opinions on tubes...

    Thanks

    wolverine

    Posts : 60
    Join date : 2010-02-20

    Re: Best place to buy new KT66's?

    Post by wolverine on Thu May 06, 2010 10:03 am

    I purchased my Gold Lion KT66's from BNB also....nothing but good to say....best price I could find was from BNB, well packed and quickly shipped. As for the tubes themselves, I purchased them on the advice of Bob and a couple others here, and they are the best sounding tubes I have personally used in my Dyanco ST-70's. They bias steady with no problems, I bias mine at 1.25vdc per side and the sound is sweet. I will certainly give my personal recommendation for the Gold Lion reissues and also for purchasing from BNB.

    wolverine

    xlr8

    Posts : 68
    Join date : 2010-02-09

    Re: Best place to buy new KT66's?

    Post by xlr8 on Mon May 10, 2010 11:03 am

    BNB had 2 matched quads to my house within 3 days. cheers $308.00 shipped.

    I installed them and biased to .400VDC like Bob said. I let the amps warm up for 1/2 an hour or so, checked the bias and it had risen slightly to .420-.430 per tube. They sit solidly in that range with the bias pots full clockwise. I've been playing music for about 30 hours straight now with no change.

    The difference in sound quality is night and day compared to EH EL34s. The EL34s sound thin and weak. I think I understand now why they are so cheap. They were a bargain to get my amps up and running, but I'm now hearing the full potential of what I've put together. Music sounds somehow more full bodied. The soundstage seems to be projected in front of the speakers as opposed to a seemingly recessed (behind the speaker) presention with EL34s. THe EL34s don't sound bad at all for the money, but the KT66s make the amps sound richer, fuller and overall more powerful. Instruments are much better defined and seem to sort of hang in their own space. Both male and female vocals sound much more natural and powerful. It's almost as if I put different amps in the chain as opposed to simply swapping tubes. What has really impressed me is distorted electric guitar. Heavier music has a lot more definition and cohesiveness to it now. With the EL34s, it was almost as if some artificial compression had been added to certain tracks, but that is almost completely gone with the KT66s. My system will absolutely rock with either tube set, but my friend commented last night that it now sounds loud without sounding loud? I beleive he's just hearing better definition overall. I guess we'll see what happens after a few hundred hours of play, but right off the bat, I am one happy camper. Very Happy I've never experienced this level of sound quality in my own home. Over the years, I've had the pleasure of playing with some VERY good demo equipment in a local shop. VTL, Rogue, Mac, Cary and the like driving all sorts of speakers. For the first time, I feel like I own a system that is at least on par with some of the combos I've heard that cost more than I could imagine paying.

    I dare anyone to take one of these VTA modded, GL KT66 tubed 70s home along with a Mac 240 or the like and play with both for a few weeks. I'd bet the Mac would soon be back at the store sitting on a shelf collecting dust.

    I'll tell you folks a little secret... Back in the mid 90's, I had the opportunity to meet Luke Manley of VTL at a little siminar in the above mentioned shop. He was touting the sonic benefits of tubed equipment in general, not just his stuff. He mentioned the st-70 and told us that it made for an excellent platform to build on if one wished. He was a very candid guy and basically told us that he undertood that not everyone was able to afford his gear and if we wanted to hear tubes at an affordable price, a modded 70 was the way to go. He was met with sneers and a little laughter from the " I have more money than God" crowd that was there, but he seemed like he was just trying to be honest. I think I see where he was coming from now...

    wolverine

    Posts : 60
    Join date : 2010-02-20

    Re: Best place to buy new KT66's?

    Post by wolverine on Mon May 10, 2010 12:23 pm

    On those bias pots xlr8, you can pickup two 25K pots, put those in place of the two 10k pots, change the values of the two 10k resistors in the bias section to two 4.7k's or so, and you will have the ability roll more tubes through the amp without running your 10K pots all the way up.

    wolverine

    kevco

    Posts : 70
    Join date : 2009-07-16
    Location : Aldan, PA, USA

    Re: Best place to buy new KT66's?

    Post by kevco on Sun Jun 06, 2010 7:40 am

    I have bought from BNB Tubes with nothing but great things to say, but would like to give a shout out to Doug's Tubes http://www.dougstubes.com/ Doug burns in all his tubes, even preamp tubes, before matching! His prices are competitive and I have found that power tubes matched after a burn in tend to be a tighter match than "factory matched" tubes. And yes I finally caved in and splurged on a quad of Gold Lion KT-66's...And yes, they beat Electro Harmonix EL-34's, Electro Harmonix 6CA7's, Ruby EL-34 STR's, and Russian military 6P3S-E's in my ST70, and by a pretty hefty margin. I'll spare the hyperbole, but these are great sounding tubes. I hope that they prove to be reliable because they're staying put!

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