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  #21  
Old 05-24-2014, 11:56 PM
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Charles.......I am not surprised to hear the Mullard's are more to your liking than the Amperex tubes. I have had good experiences with Mullard tubes, although like all things electronic, how a tube sounds is dependent on the circuit design as much as the tube design, construction quality and materials.

What is the actual tube number on the Mullard tubes? I am assuming you purchased them from TubeDepot.
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  #22  
Old 05-25-2014, 06:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdandy View Post
Charles.......I am not surprised to hear the Mullard's are more to your liking than the Amperex tubes. I have had good experiences with Mullard tubes, although like all things electronic, how a tube sounds is dependent on the circuit design as much as the tube design, construction quality and materials.

What is the actual tube number on the Mullard tubes? I am assuming you purchased them from TubeDepot.
Yes, from Tube Depot, as are all the tubes so far except the Amperexes, which came from Lyric HiFi (where I got the 2300). The Mullards are new production 12AX7 ECC83 tubes. In addition, these triode numbers are from off the boxes:

gm Triode 1 – 110, gm Triode 2 – 105
gm Triode 1 – 105, gm Triode 2 – 110

gm Triode 1 – 105, gm Triode 2 – 100
gm Triode 1 – 100, gm Triode 2 – 105

I just noticed that the second pair listed is marked "high gain" on the box. Truth be told, I don't remember specifying that when I ordered them, only for matched pairs, which is what the invoice says. They're in the line stage. The previous pair of Mullards doesn't say "matched" on the invoice, nor was I charged for it (they're in the MM section). And on one pair of the Gold Lions, the boxes are marked "high gain" and "balanced"; I didn't request that (I wasn't charged for it either).

Since tubes are new to me, I don't know if there will be much of a difference. I did like what I heard last night very much, and am looking forward to what else comes as the tubes get more hours on them. I think that "matched" means the above numbers should be within 10% or less of one another; whether there's any benefit depends more upon the particular equipment the tubes are in. You or another tube expert could correct me on that if needed.
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  #23  
Old 05-28-2014, 04:13 PM
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More listening with the Mullards via CD, tuner and DVD over the weekend. They have about 11:40 on them now.

As I listened I noted some diffrences between the Mullards and the JJs I started with. First, the Mullards aren't quite as warm as the JJs. This was evident when playing Santana's Sacred Fire: Live in Mexico DVD. The guitar was more piercing than with the JJs, though just short of bright-sounding; it was smoother with the JJs. The Mullards' higher gain again helped out, and it felt and sounded a little more like a live concert than a DVD. I've seen Santana live, and Carlos' guitar can be piercing, even a bit strident depending upon the auditorium.

The bottom ends are about the same, with perhaps a slight edge to the Mullards, but again, they're higher gain tubes so that may be a factor. I'd have to put the JJs back in to double check that.

On CD, Fanfare for the Common Man (Atlanta Symphony/Lane) was appropriately powerful, as was Night on Bald Mountain/Pictures at an Exhibition (Cleveland Orchestra/Szell). Brass had a bit more bite to it, which made the music seem more lively.

Still haven't played any LPs yet. I have the Tedeschi/Trucks Band's latest waiting, Made up Mind. I need to be able to give LPs full attention, and that can be tough to do the way my schedule and responsibilities work.
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  #24  
Old 05-30-2014, 12:53 PM
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I can see tube comparisons becoming an obsession...
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  #25  
Old 05-30-2014, 05:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Linus View Post
I can see tube comparisons becoming an obsession...
Hello Linus.

Well, I started this, so I figured I would note any differences I heard for anyone who might look at this thread. Maybe some would find a semi-hobbyist, rank tube amateur's observations interesting. I, too, can see where it could become an obsession, but I have only four tube brands plus the stock ones that came with the C2300, with no intentions of buying any additional brands. I'm not a serious tube guy, so I'm not inclined to buy bunches of brands for the sake of experiments. I believe those I have will suffice.

As I say, I want to give the Mullards at least a month, and go from there. Maybe curiosity will get me to try the Gold Lions I have, or maybe I'll be content with the Mullards and the GLs can be replacements for them if any fail, or vice versa. That's what I expect will happen, but it would mean I'd have to try the GLs at some point; I could just buy more Mullards, too. The JJs were good as well, so that's another option. Plenty of options, even with a limited number of brands to choose from.
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  #26  
Old 05-31-2014, 05:24 AM
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By the way, following up on an earlier threat, I did turn down the bass last night while viewing two DVDs, Marcus Miller in Concert and Jeff Beck: Rock 'n' Roll Party Honoring Les Paul. It was set to +3; I flattened it (0) with not much, if any, effect. The low frequencies still had power. But those two DVDs have strong low frequencies anyway, so I'll have to try it with material that's light on low frequencies as well. Plus, I am not listening critically, I'm listening regularly. But again, so far it's yay, Mullards!
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  #27  
Old 06-17-2014, 04:24 PM
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Update: I have passed 30 hours with the Mullards and they have smoothed out some, but still have that powerful bottom end, and have enough crispness on top that I really have to consider these are the tubes for long-term. I still have GLs here, but I'm liking the Mullards plenty, and may not want to take them out. As said before, things sound more like a live performance with the Mullards in my system than with their predecessors. I like them, officially.

I've read that the GLs are a bit more relaxed than other tubes of the 12AX7 type, according to one review. Since I have an all-in-one system, I don't necessarily want "relaxed" with some movies or concert DVDs. Of course, one person's "relaxed" may not be mine. But, the GLs are still here, and I'm leaning toward not installing them after a month automatically, as if by ritual. I will have to be moved to do so naturally, I think; curiosity or dissatisfaction will have to be the prime mover.

And I still haven't played vinyl yet.
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  #28  
Old 06-30-2014, 07:48 AM
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During that first 30 hours I got a Mosaic box set, The Complete Atlantic Studio Recordings of the Modern Jazz Quartet 1956–64. I believe that vibes are a good test instrument to try with tubes. On the initial tracks the vibes sounded close to milk bottles, a bit hard. After 4 of the 7 CDs, the sound of the vibes began to smooth out a bit, and were more tuneful. Good stuff. I must get around to the other 3 CDs.

Some have thought MJQ wasn't really jazz. But it's good music, easy to listen to and especially so if i want music to mellow out with. I find MJQ and Antonio Carlos Jobim at the head of my list for such things.
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  #29  
Old 07-21-2014, 01:47 PM
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Has anyone ever done a comparison between the new production Mullards and Gold Lions?
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  #30  
Old 07-23-2014, 08:35 PM
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I'm trying to in the near future... If I can just get some matched at7's for my c2200. They seem harder to find than the ax7's. Then I'll throw in some input. I really want to try the Mullards or Tung-sol in the preamp.
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