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pstrisik 10-04-2014 02:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Coltrane1 (Post 642129)
Regarding the VA 350B's, how much break in time have you given those tubes? I had some 40 hours on mine before they came to life....but again, they were used on an entirely different tube amp. Happy listening!

They probably have about 15-20 hours on them. I can run them for another part of a day or two and give them that chance. I did try them again last night after running them with background music for a few hours. Compared to the Popes (my current reference), my notes were: Very present, large soundstage though not as 3D, less bass, more punch.

Coltrane1 10-04-2014 03:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pstrisik (Post 642135)
They probably have about 15-20 hours on them. I can run them for another part of a day or two and give them that chance. I did try them again last night after running them with background music for a few hours. Compared to the Popes (my current reference), my notes were: Very present, large soundstage though not as 3D, less bass, more punch.

I found the VA 350B's very similar to most 300B tubes...they're all lacking in bass...I enjoy 300B's for their unique clarity.

Yesterday I acquired a pair of Sophia 274B rectifier's...I thought the price was very low, but I've not bought them before....what does that tube typically sell for?

They'll arrive Wednesday, so I'm looking forward to giving the FB88 it's first official tube swap....VA 350B's and the SE 274B rectifier's in both the amp and LP2 pre....thanks again for that referral!

pstrisik 10-04-2014 03:32 PM

The Sophia 274B Mesh Plates go for $160 directly from Sophia with the shorter of the warranty options. Not cheap at all. I've not seen them used, but you can figure what would be reasonable for a low hours pair. They do have two 274B's - one is mesh plate, the other solid. The mesh plate is more than the solid.

Didn't you already have a 274B mesh? I though you had taken a nice photo of it glowing a month or two ago.

Edit: My mistake. It was Beercan that posted that stunning photo of the Sophia. I think I got mixed up due to your stunning photography of your guitar!

Coltrane1 10-04-2014 04:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pstrisik (Post 642143)
The Sophia 274B Mesh Plates go for $160 directly from Sophia with the shorter of the warranty options. Not cheap at all. I've not seen them used, but you can figure what would be reasonable for a low hours pair. They do have two 274B's - one is mesh plate, the other solid. The mesh plate is more than the solid.

Didn't you already have a 274B mesh? I though you had taken a nice photo of it glowing a month or two ago.

Edit: My mistake. It was Beercan that posted that stunning photo of the Sophia. I think I got mixed up due to your stunning photography of your guitar!

Beercan apparently isn't on a beer budget? :D

I just acquired a new pair from a private seller on that bay place for $55 each, shipped....okay, I guess I scored....clean livin'?

pstrisik 10-04-2014 07:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Coltrane1 (Post 642146)
Beercan apparently isn't on a beer budget? :D

I just acquired a new pair from a private seller on that bay place for $55 each, shipped....okay, I guess I scored....clean livin'?

I hope not - that's no fun!

Seriously, good snag.

Coltrane1 10-08-2014 05:37 PM

My 350B's were well broken in as they were used in a former 300B amp....but even though the Sophia Electric 274B's are new, I'm liking this tube swap....alot!

Thanks again for the recommendation....I'd been needing a nudge....highly recm'd!

http://i1192.photobucket.com/albums/...ps9313bcf5.jpg

http://i1192.photobucket.com/albums/...psb9d69089.jpg

pstrisik 10-08-2014 06:42 PM

Nice. Glad you like 'em! You sure got a good deal. I'm surprised to hear they're new given you found them on ebay and at that price.

I found that they added transparency, I'm guessing by lowering the noise floor. Makes sense since it's in the power supply territory. More definition without a bit of added harshness.

Next up, besides the smorgasbord of 6V6 and EL34 I now have to try, are a couple of driver tubes on the way: Holland made Philips SQ E88CC/6922 (1971) & British made Mullard ECC88/6DJ8 (1969).

I'm winding down, really I am! The only other tempter at this point is a pair of NOS Tung-Sol 6550. Mark - are they worth it?

On the music side of things, I've been moving through some early Herbie Hancock. His earliest albums are good solid straight ahead bebop. With Maiden Voyage (1965) there's the beginnings of some floating, psychedelic stuff going (last night). Soon I'll be at Headhunters (1973). I used to have some difficulty with that. We'll see how it sounds these days. It's interesting and helpful to listen to some tracks chronologically. Really get a sense of an artist's evolution.

Coltrane1 10-09-2014 02:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pstrisik (Post 642941)
Nice. Glad you like 'em! You sure got a good deal. I'm surprised to hear they're new given you found them on ebay and at that price.

I found that they added transparency, I'm guessing by lowering the noise floor. Makes sense since it's in the power supply territory. More definition without a bit of added harshness.

Next up, besides the smorgasbord of 6V6 and EL34 I now have to try, are a couple of driver tubes on the way: Holland made Philips SQ E88CC/6922 (1971) & British made Mullard ECC88/6DJ8 (1969).

I'm winding down, really I am! The only other tempter at this point is a pair of NOS Tung-Sol 6550. Mark - are they worth it?

On the music side of things, I've been moving through some early Herbie Hancock. His earliest albums are good solid straight ahead bebop. With Maiden Voyage (1965) there's the beginnings of some floating, psychedelic stuff going (last night). Soon I'll be at Headhunters (1973). I used to have some difficulty with that. We'll see how it sounds these days. It's interesting and helpful to listen to some tracks chronologically. Really get a sense of an artist's evolution.

The Sophia's were an estate clearance. Perhaps the owner passed before getting around to use them...I don't know.

That's some tube collection you've acquired. That should keep you busy through an Alaskan winter....isn't it great having such a ridiculously versatile amp!

I've always enjoyed Herbie's music....Recently observed a PBS broadcast where he played Gershwin's Rhapsody In Blue w/ full orchestra....amazing musician. Yep, Herbie's fusion owned the mid 70's...at the time I remember digging the 1976 'man child' album....those were the daze. Enjoy!

Aercool 10-09-2014 07:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Coltrane1 (Post 642930)
My 350B's were well broken in as they were used in a former 300B amp....but even though the Sophia Electric 274B's are new, I'm liking this tube swap....alot!

Thanks again for the recommendation....I'd been needing a nudge....highly recm'd!

Thanks for the cool pictures! You're a better photographer than I. My iPhone 5S pics always seem to come out so grainy. Probably a lighting issue?

Your 274B's appear to be the rigid plate, right? They have the mesh plate (can see filament through the plate) and the rigid plate version. The rigid plate version is more affordable than the mesh.

Aercool 10-09-2014 07:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pstrisik (Post 642941)

I'm winding down, really I am! The only other tempter at this point is a pair of NOS Tung-Sol 6550. Mark - are they worth it?

I *really* like mine. They seem to go an octave lower in bass than with the 6V6GT, any Chinese/Russian KT-xx I've tried, 6V6G's (least bass of all, probably, but super sweet mids).

They're tough to find in good condition matching pairs where the getters don't look like a dried up water spot. Finding shiny thick mirror-clear getters on these big old tubes is a challenge. The bigger the tube the more difficult to seal and prevent air from getting in, at least that's my guess. I offered $300 for a pair on eBay (big gamble) for a pair he'd offered a BuyItNow at $399. I was a little surprised he came down that much. Mine are branded as GE, which might have a little less cache than a Type I (no holes in the plate) branded as TungSol, but it's essentially the same tube otherwise. Mine are probably 70's vintage. What I liked was that they were matching cosmetically and those minimalistic tests that sellers offer. How would we challenge the results? I doubt there's a tube tester within 100 miles of me! Peter could probably beat that diameter by a wide margin! So, no buyer's remorse for me. They have a powerful sound, deep rich bass that just lays on the ground like fog. My Zu Omens are rated for 35-25kHz frequency range, fwiw.

Got a new 1964 Amperex 6DJ8 in the mail today - in it goes to listen to Bill Frisell's new release tonight which also happened to come in the mail today.


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