Valve learning question for a newbie ( Vincent SV-237MK)

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Andy Saunders, Dec 27, 2018.

  1. Andy Saunders

    Andy Saunders Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    England
    This is my first thread starter so please go easy on me.....:D, l have a few questions if l may, l recently purchased a Vincent SV- 237MK hybrid amplifier, l upgraded the valves (1 x 12AX7 and 2 x 6NIP-EV) to Harma STR (around £15each) the dealer told me " not to bother spending more" :tsk:even though he had expensive NOS valves available, any way there was a nice improvement in sound however can find virtually information zero about them on the interweb….. anyone know anything about them?

    Second question, the Gold Lion 12AX7 is supposed to be the valve to go for as the phase splitter- does anyone have experience of this in the Vincent.... or how does The Gold Lion compare to say the uber expensive NOS etc.

    Last question- phew!:righton: What is the best 6NIP-EV valve?

    l am aiming for a warm, MUSICAL sound with tight bass.... thanks for looking and have a Happy Holiday.:targettiphat:
     
    Echoes Myron likes this.
  2. G B Kuipers

    G B Kuipers Forum Resident

    Location:
    Netherlands
    I don't have experience with your Vincent, but in general yes it is very worthwhile to investigate affordable NOS options for 12ax7/ecc83.

    I have the new GL 12ax7 and they are good, but IMO not as good as modest NOS Philips or Siemens.
     
    Kiko1974 and SandAndGlass like this.
  3. Slippers-on

    Slippers-on Forum Resident

    Location:
    St.Louis Mo.
    I have a Vincent amp and preamp and have used Gold Lion tubes in the preamp. I like them....very nice. I dont have any experience with the Harma STR tubes. I think they are GE? The Gold Lion will be a warm tube for you. At one point I did have the SV-237MK (Very nice and under rated amp) and used a Mullard 12AX7. Also for the 6NIP-EV which is the same as 6922 check here. 6922 tube | eBay

    Personally I like the Gold Lion and Amperex in that tube. But I wouldn't go with Gold Lion in the 12ax7 spot but a more lively tube in the single slot like a Valvo 12AX7. Dont want to be to warm and go sleepy time. But the Valvo in the 12AX7 spot and a warmer tube like Gold Lion or Amperex in the 6922 spot will be a very nice pleasing sound thats slightly warm with lots of dynamic...and the Amperex will still be warm, but not as warm with a little more focus on whats happening in the mids.

    Good luck.
     
    G B Kuipers likes this.
  4. Andy Saunders

    Andy Saunders Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    England
    Thank you for the replies so far, just to say, the Vincent drives a pair of ProAc Tablette 10 and the sound is very musical and can say- lively.:righton:

    Another thing learnt that the 6NIp- EV was the same as 6922.:righton:
     
  5. Ezd

    Ezd Forum Resident

    Welcome to the forum...

    I would keep supporting the dealer who suggested those tubes, I have a lot of respect when someone does not attempt to "up-sale" products...
    It is good that you are getting suggestions from people who are familiar with the same brand of amplifier as yours.
     
  6. Andy Saunders

    Andy Saunders Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    England
    Being an Audiophile there is always that feeling of the grass is always greener on the other side....:D
     
    Ezd likes this.
  7. Slippers-on

    Slippers-on Forum Resident

    Location:
    St.Louis Mo.
  8. Andy Saunders

    Andy Saunders Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    England
  9. Andy Saunders

    Andy Saunders Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    England
    Just bit the bullet and ordered a Gold Lion 12AX7..... will report back.:D
     
    timind likes this.
  10. Mlle. Aurora

    Mlle. Aurora Hyperactive!

    Location:
    München
  11. Slippers-on

    Slippers-on Forum Resident

    Location:
    St.Louis Mo.
    Yep.
     
  12. Slippers-on

    Slippers-on Forum Resident

    Location:
    St.Louis Mo.
    You're welcome.
     
    Mlle. Aurora likes this.
  13. Andy Saunders

    Andy Saunders Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    England
    :righton:
     
  14. Just Walking

    Just Walking Forum Resident

    Location:
    Abingdon UK
    Be a bit careful with NOS valves(/tubes). A lot of them out there are factory seconds, and sometimes of questionable quality. In other words, noisier, microphonic etc. I'm not for one moment saying that they are all like that - just be careful. Using a valve tester will not reveal audio grade issues.
     
    Andy Saunders likes this.
  15. Andy Saunders

    Andy Saunders Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    England


    Thanks, l am a relative valve newbie so am sticking reputable dealers, however where l am purchasing the Gold Lion 12AX7 from they have a Mullard ECC83 for £145.:D
     
  16. Slippers-on

    Slippers-on Forum Resident

    Location:
    St.Louis Mo.
    Oh...I know all to well about what you say. I've had my share of bad tubes.....got one right now...a NOS Mazda 12u7 thats noise in my preamp....I'd be willing to give it to the first person who wants to try it in their system. The buddy I got it from said it was fine in his system.
     
  17. Andy Saunders

    Andy Saunders Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    England
    Well the Gold Lion 12AX7 arrived and is now playing B'Jeepers straight off the bat there is a Large increase in sound quality, improvements in every area, particularly in smoothness and cohesion of soundstage- oh and the bass:goodie: very nice upgrade indeed, well pleased- and it can only get better.
     
    bluemooze and ssmith3046 like this.
  18. jdsher

    jdsher Forum Resident

    Location:
    Plano, Texas, USA
    When you're ready for your next upgrade, consider sending an email to Brent Jessee for advice. I purchased from him several times and find his advice spot on.
    Jon
     
    bluemooze, apesfan and Andy Saunders like this.
  19. ScottInDallas

    ScottInDallas Forum Resident

    Location:
    Dallas
    Perfect timing for this thread, OP! I’m running the Vincent 701 pre and the sv-237. I’ve had them both for about 6 months and decided to start switching out the Chinese tubes that were installed from the factory. I just ordered the Mullard M8136 / 12AU7 Wrinkle from upscale for my 701. Once that settles in and assuming I’m pleased, I’ll move onto the 237. Please keep the suggestions coming. The sv-237 is pushing original RF-7’s with recently rebuilt crossovers from Dean G and the horn wrapped in sound deadening material.

    Of note, I’ve had a constant hum since I introduced the 701 and 237 into my system. Finally decided to track it down and it was a simple fix... separate the power supply unit from the tube on the 701. Dead silent now.
     
  20. rockin_since_58

    rockin_since_58 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Simi Valley, CA
    I also have the SV-237MK I went with an Electro Harmonix 12AX7 and a pair of Voskhod 6N1p-EV's directly from Russia via eBay. The 6N1P-EV is not equivalent to the 6922 or 6DJ8 because it requires twice the filament current. Below is info on the 6N1P-EV from Wikipedia:

    The 6N1P has similar ratings to the 6DJ8 and in the past was sometimes rebranded as such, however differences between the two types (the 6N1P requires almost twice the filament current and has only one third the S value) mean they are not directly interchangeable. The S is about 4.35 ma/V, the 6DJ8/ECC88 has a S of 12.5 ma/V and a gain of 33 and a lower internal resistance. However, the 6N1P is typically more linear for a given load. It is therefore inaccurate to say that these two tubes are identical.

    The closest western equivalent to the 6N1P is the well known 6BQ7A. A ruggedized/extended ratings version of the tube is designated 6N1P-EV (Russian: 6Н1П-ЕВ). It has currently found a use as a driver tube in hi-fi tube amplifiers (such as Audio Research models VS55 and VS110) because of its excellent low distortion and low noise characteristics. The tube is manufactured by the "Voskhod" plant in Kaluga, Russia (see [1]) and is distributed in the West under the Sovtek and Svetlana brand names.
     
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  21. Andy Saunders

    Andy Saunders Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    England
    How were the Voshods for you?
     
  22. rockin_since_58

    rockin_since_58 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Simi Valley, CA
    Got a definite improvement from them. I actually had one of the stock tubes start to fail after about 6 weeks which prompted the change.
     
    Andy Saunders likes this.
  23. Andy Saunders

    Andy Saunders Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    England
    Well after more listening time l have to say this valve is getting even smoother and sounding really nice, music sounds more real and even more interesting.:D
     
    rockin_since_58 likes this.
  24. AlanR

    AlanR Member

    Location:
    New York
    I have the Vincent sv-237MK and I upgraded the 6nip-EV's with Gold pin/Gold grid 6N1P-EV OS Voskhod's and they sounded similar to the 6nip-ev, not a noticeable impact, so for budgets, leave the 6n1p's they're good tubes for that amp as is. My upgrade gave me very slight, if any, bit of air. The 6BQ7A/ 6BZ7 did not sound good at all, even after trying them for many hours..and is the only other compatible tube. 6922's are not correct and I spoke to Vincent they did not recommend replacing the 6n1p's with anything but a 6n1p. They said it's like putting diesel in your regular gas tank.

    So, If anyone put 6922's in the sv-237MK...let us know how that went.

    That said, I tried numerous tubes as I enjoy the tube rolling and have the budget. Keep in mind tubes sound better as they age. So ample usage time is good on a tube. If you're comparing the sound. To date, the best tubes I have are NOS. I tried Gold lions and they were tinny (bright) compared to NOS which was much warmer and fuller.

    My Favorites: Valvo tubes with BugleBoy logos. mc1 DXX. From the late 1950s 45 degree getters, halo and D getters sound the best in my system. Mullard 161 from the 1950s or earlier mc1's from the 50's square getters. Mullard 10M from the '70s. I don't buy that the 165 10M's will sound better than the 161's which was pre-10M. Also, my Valvo's are noticeably better than the 10M but not from the 161 or mc1 Mulards. Other nice British made tube is the Brimar Box Plate. Sounds on par with the 5's Mullards. RFT's Disk getters sound surprisingly nice and very full. Siemens mc6 is nice too. RCA black blates are nice, Teles did not sound good, neither did Bugle Boys made in Holland. Valvo MCP and mc2's did not sound as nice as the mc1's so going earlier or later made a difference. Brimar Box Plates also sounded very nice.

    All in all, so far my favorites are the Valvo Bugle Boys, RFT's, Brimar, Siemens. I roll every so often and find that some tubes sound better than expected each time so something I don't like today may be a fav next month. All my testing is without loudness or the tone buttons. My input is Sonos; Tidal and Apple Music, Apple Music is noticeably better in my system as well.

    I have Focal Aria 936 speakers with Blue Heaven cables, those made a difference from stock cables. Believe it or not lol. Keep in mind speakers and tubes can have their own synergies. What sounds great on Focals, may not be the same on your speakers.
     
  25. Andy Saunders

    Andy Saunders Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    England
    So you think Nos tubes better than a Gold Lion....which you found bright, mad this audio game as the Gold Lion l used smoothed the sound out considerably... l have Harma STR in the 6NIP-EV position and cannot find anything about them on the net, these did improve sound from the stock tubes... a few have mentioned the Voskhods…. also Tube Amp Doctor,looks like may have to try a NOS 12AX7 then...……:D

    Also. anyone use footers or isolation under their Vinny's?
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2019

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