Best 100$ that I had spent on my Audio System

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by thomaskong, Oct 26, 2018.

  1. thomaskong

    thomaskong Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Washington State
    I had enjoyed my Line Magnetic 508 integrated to drive Lansche 4.1 speaker.

    Even with stock tube, LM 508 was better than retubed Rogue Cronus Magnum II with open and more dynamic sound.

    But I got bothered by somewhat bright presentation of LM 508 with stock tubes.



    When I had replaced stock SL7 tubes with 1944 RCS Nos SL7, sound got much more neutral.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-1944-RCA-JAN-6SL7GT-VT-229-Tube-Tests-Good/112606823278?ssPageName=...


    After few more tube rolling, I am using Sl7 Nos Brimar which I am happy with natural and transparent sound.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/True-NOS-Gain-Tested-Brimar-England-CV1985-6SL7GT-Vacuum-Tube-Brown-Base/12...




    I also had replaced stock SN7 with Amperex SN7(Bugle boy) the sound got more natural with more bloom and details.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/PAIR-OF-6SN7GTB-AMPEREX-TUBES-NEW-6SN7-NOS-NIB-Vacuum-Tubes-Bugle-Boy/26392...

    I had been happy with "Bugle Boy" for a while, this is a steal for the money.


    But after noticing right channel sounds slightly louder than left channel, I had decided to replace Bugle Boy with Bad Boy (1944 Sylvania VT-231 ) yesterday.


    Holy Cow!

    Sound got much more dynamic with wider soundstage.

    Also some siblance that I noticed after placing bells behind my speakers are gone.

    "Bad Boy" battered "Bugle Boy".


    Bugle Boy is a pretty good tube with nice details and overall balance but it could not match the dynamics and open sound of Bad Boy.

    As I like Bad Boy, I ordered one more tube as spare from the same source.


    This time he charged 125$.

    NOS SYLVANIA JAN CHS 6SN7GT (VT-231) chrome top Black 3 hole Tplates | eBay



    I had used Accuphase DG28 digital equalizer for room correction for 15 years.


    With Bad Boy in LM 508, the sound is so open and dynamic that it sounds more natural without room correction.


    Thus 100$ Bad Boy bumped Accuphase DG28 digital equalizer that I had paid 10K 15 years.


    100$ Bad Boy brought more than twice improvement over that brought by Synergistic 150$ Blue fuse.


    This is the best 100$ that I had spent on my audio system.

    100$ tube bumped 10K digital equalizer.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2018
    james and TarnishedEars like this.
  2. Otlset

    Otlset free-range audiophile

    Location:
    Temecula, CA
    This is one of the nice things about owning a tube amp. You can substitute vintage or other non-stock tubes to get improved (or different) sound, and sometimes a tube change will give a great "wow!" factor and an improvement you couldn't foresee or realize was possible!
     
    TarnishedEars likes this.
  3. thomaskong

    thomaskong Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Washington State
    I agree with you.

    Nos tube can bring drastic change to the sound.

    LM508 use Sl7, Sn7, 300B and 805.

    There are too many options of tube rolling.

    But is a great amplifier for the money.
     
  4. allied333

    allied333 TUBE AMPLIFIER REBUILDER - inquire

    Location:
    MI
    Auditioned a lot of 6BM8 tubes. I finally bought four new Siemens 6BM8 for $60. Huge difference. Only great sounding 6BM8 ever made. I have three spare sets. Very few NOS left on the planet now. No tube dealers have stock.
     
  5. Helom

    Helom Forum Resident

    Location:
    U.S.
    $125 for a single Sylvania 6sN7 GT. Ouch!
    Just a couple weeks ago I bought a matched pair of Sylvania GTAs from VTS, for $105 - included shipping.
     
    SandAndGlass likes this.
  6. Rolltide

    Rolltide Forum Resident

    Location:
    Vallejo, CA
    There aren't any "bad" 6SN7s, GTA's are great, but the WW2 era VT-231 are on another level.
     
    SandAndGlass likes this.
  7. thomaskong

    thomaskong Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Washington State
    125$ for matched pair for linked E-Bay

    I had tried to correct this error, but I can not.
     
    Helom likes this.
  8. allied333

    allied333 TUBE AMPLIFIER REBUILDER - inquire

    Location:
    MI
    IMO Sylvania 6SN7GTA best 6SN7 ever made.
     
  9. thomaskong

    thomaskong Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Washington State
    Good for you!

    I do not have amplifier to use 6BM8. I wish I have one.
     
  10. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    These aren't "Bad Boys". The so-called "Bad Boys" are 1952 Sylvania 6SN7. There's no GT, they don't have a chrome top, not from 1944, the base is different, plates are too, etc.

    This is what they look like. I own this specific pair.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2018
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  11. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    They might not be the best available, but I use Russian military surplus NOS 6SN7 tubes that I buy off of eBay for $18/pr.

    I have them in my Constellation preamp right now and I think they sound nice. Admittedly, they won't have that classic tube sound of WWII era tubes, but they are linear and have no obvious faults that I am aware of.

    [​IMG]

    This pair has been in here for 2-3 years so far, don't actually remember when. I leave the preamp on 24/7.

    I would recommending grabbing some of these to keep on hand, just in case...
     
  12. thomaskong

    thomaskong Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Washington State
    I heard some claim that 52 Sylvania is only real "Bad Boy" and 52 has more refined treble.

    But I also got the report that 44 tube has more dynamics and open sound.

    Next time I will compare between 44 an 52 versions.

    I do not have 52 version yet.

    But now I am happy with 44 versions.
     
  13. thomaskong

    thomaskong Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Washington State
    It is nice to have the tube.

    When I get 1952 version, I will compare between 1944 and 1952 version in my system.
     
  14. TarnishedEars

    TarnishedEars Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    I totally agree about tube rolling in general. It is possible to both make and break a system with the right or wrong choice of tubes.

    However where I will differ with you is that I have found that a some of modern tube offerings can add just the right type and amount of spice to get your system to really sing. And conversely, the wrong choice in NOS tubes can just as easily kill your sound.
     
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  15. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    That's correct. Only the ones from '52 are the "Bad Boys". The term was coined by a msg board member somewhere else who called them that because he was so satisfied with the sound.

    Architecturally, there are very few common traits between the Bad Boys and your tubes. They're two entirely different animals.

    Either get the Mullard ECC35 or the Tung-Sol 6SU7GTY for the 6SL7 slot. HUGE difference there as well.

    I have the same amp as you.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2018
  16. thomaskong

    thomaskong Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Washington State
    I agree with you in that not all NOS tube sounds fantastic. For example, RCA SL7 that I tried gave tubby and veiled sound although not bright.

    But most modern tubes sound analytical.

    I had ordered Shuguang Treasure CV181-Z based on some accolade and it arrived 2 hours ago.

    Shuguang Treasure CV181-Z Vacuum Tube Matched Pair Replace CV181 CV181-T 6SN7 | eBay

    I will try to compare it with Bad Boy.

    But the chance is high that it will not be better than Bad Boy.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2018
  17. thomaskong

    thomaskong Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Washington State

    I already had tried Tung-Sol Nos (made in USA). It seems to be better than Vintage RCA.

    But Brimar blew away Tung sol

    I have Mullard ECC35 in my storage.

    But I am so happy with Brimar now that I will try ECC 35 after 2 weeks or so.

    After I compare Brimar with ECC35, I will let everybody know the result.

    My speaker Lansch 4.1 has a plasma tweeter which is very sensitive to any change in upstream and thus excellent tool for reviewing the product.
     
  18. thomaskong

    thomaskong Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Washington State
    It looks neat. Good for you to get nice tube at steal price.

    How is the sound of Russian Nos?
     
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  19. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    As I said, what you bought are NOT Bad Boys. Stop calling them that. That is not what you bought.

    You bought 1944 Sylvania 6SN7GT tubes. They're commonly referred to as Chrome Tops.
     
    SandAndGlass likes this.
  20. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    They are a pleasant, linear sounding tube. If you are looking for a "vintage" old tube sound, these are not your tubes. If you are looking for an honest and reliable tube, these are your tubes.

    6N8S-6SN7-Russian-tubes-NOS-Same-Date-Codes-1983-Lot-of-4pcs - $12.00 + $10.00 shipping.

    [​IMG]

    8pcs 6N8S / 6SN7 / 1578 TUBES Double Triode NOS FOTON USSR 1960s RARE - $36 + $12 Shipping

    [​IMG]

    I bought mine a few years back, I bought enough so that I will have extras on hand.

    I didn't think that I could go wrong for the price?
     
  21. thomaskong

    thomaskong Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Washington State
    6SN7GT / G:
    This is the original version of this tube. It may be found in all three sizes of glass envelope. The Sylvania Tall Boy types have two triangular shaped plates facing each other mounted high in the tube, with either a top or bottom getter. Later GT versions were in a medium glass envelope with a green label and blackplates with bottom getter, sometimes called the "Bad Boy" 6SN7, and are sought after for their excellent sonics. The Bad Boy tubes are virtually identical to the military VT-231 from the early 1950s and are currently a less expensive alternative, but this could change as the Bad Boy fad catches on! A side note about Bad Boys, there were versions with 2 rivet holes in each plate, and versions with 3 holes. Both types sound identical. Don't fall for the bogus story that only the 3 rivet hole types are the true "Bad Boys"! You will miss out on some great sound from the 2 hole type, since the 3 hole versions are more difficult to find, more expensive elsewhere, and don't sound any different! I suspect the "3-hole only" story got started by my competition to justify charging a higher price for these tubes!

    Here is the URL:
    6SN7 TUBES IN STOCK

    I think "Bad Boy" is just an attempt to boost value of some batch of tube. It seems to be overpriced.

    I will keep using 1944 Sylvania

    It really blew my system with enormous dynamics and open sound..

    I am listening to "The Wall" by Pink Floyd.

    It sounds terrific.



    I do not think 1953 version will be as good as 1944, maybe just more refined treble.

    My youngest daughter is attending UT, I may go to Toronto again next spring to attend her graduation ceremoney.

    It was useful to have conversation with you..

    Thomas
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2018
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  22. freesole

    freesole Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    I'm only just getting into the world of tubes but the possibly of tubes having a material impact on the overall sound is very exciting to me. I got some great advice from @Strat-Mangler and will be on the lookout for the Tung-sol NOS 6NS7's but they are priced at a pretty penny. Part of me says just save up for those and another part says get something else in the meantime :D
     
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  23. thomaskong

    thomaskong Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Washington State
    I recommend you to go for 1944 Sylvania 6sn7

    That is mind blowing than any other replacement of tubes so far.
     
  24. Otlset

    Otlset free-range audiophile

    Location:
    Temecula, CA
    I suppose it would be a fool's errand to search for a matched quad of these babies. And IF I even found such a quad, I probably couldn't afford them. :confused: :shake: :realmad:…..:p :chill:
     
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  25. thomaskong

    thomaskong Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Washington State
    They are indeed very expensive. Nevertheless I would like to have a chance to compare this with 1944 Sylvania which blew up my mind.
     

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