You have already purchased the Quicksilver mid mono amps. You need to let the amps break in along with the tubes. I would not worry about changing tubes until they are broken in and you get use to the overall sound of the amps. Learn to bias your amps and check the bias often as the new tubes break in.
Different brands of tubes will sound different but will not change the basic sound of the amp. No set of tubes will make a Conrad Johnson amp have a similar sound to say an Audio Research amp. You can use different tubes to fine tune the sound. Normally you choose an amp that you really like the sound of and that works well with the rest of your system. Then you can roll tubes to fine tune the sound.
In general El34 tubes will not produce quite as much power as the 6550/KT88/Kt90 type tubes.
The El34 type tubes will give you a different sound then the 6550/KT88/Kt90 tube types. Different brands of EL34 tubes will sound slightly different. The same is the case with the 6550/KT88/Kt90.
It is always good to have a set of spare tubes. I would not worry about selling tubes right now. Get to know your amps and make sure they are a good fit with the rest of your system
I have a Ayon tube amp, and regards KT-88 power tubes, here are the observations I have made... Genelec Gold Lion tubes are fairly unreliable (blow readily) while the Chinese tubes, those from Grant Fidelity (a fine company to deal with), the Psvane tubes (a bit more expensive than the Russian Genelecs) seem to be reliable. As for sound... the two tubes are, essentially, identical in terms of image size, image specificity, air, and fullness (palpable presence). The Russian tubes (Genelecs) have slightly tighter bass, are slightly more dynamic, and a tad more lively... but are more grainy sounding (harsher with digital recordings), not as smooth or relaxed, or natural sounding as the Psvanes. The Psvanes are more organic sounding, less fatiguing, and generally better. But like Lostbears says, changing out the tubes will not "redifine" the sound... though the differences in brands (at least Psvane vs. Genelec) does make a difference that is jnoticible. Over time, I find the Psvanes to be superior to the Genelecs... albeit, not by staggering amount... it is somewhat subtle, but meaningful and more than warrants the price difference. If you go the KT88 route, go Chinese rather than Russian.
Good advice from Lostbears.
But down the road when u want to sell used tubes, I have had success with Audiogon and Audio Asylum Trader. Provide as much info as possible such as total hours used and if u can provide test readings.
A few more details. The amps were bought used . 8 years old to be specific. The boxes for the tubes came with the sale . written on them is a date of 08' . They are winged c tubes .A tesla e88c is the driver tube.and a mullard for the input tube. . My dodd preamp is new and the tube is some 8 buck cheapo . That uses one tube . I am going to buy a replacement for that first . Any benefit from using the same one as the driver tube on the quicksilvers ?
Also is there any info you wish you had when first starting out with tube gear you wish someone had told you that you later learned . Thanks
Another source of knowledge are reputable tube sellers. First, and to my mind, most knowledgeable, is Andy Bowman at Vintage Tube Services. Second, Brent Jesse, third, Upscale Audio.
Any one of these can provide you with information about which tube work in which components.
Of course, there are a number of forum members that can provide very valuable knowledge as well.
Good Luck, enjoy,
"Also is there any info you wish you had when first starting out with tube gear you wish someone had told you that you later learned . Thanks"
Yes. I wish someone had told me I'd never be able to switch back to solid state. I've been trying and it's close to impossible. For me it's like the difference between a dry aged well marbled ribeye steak and the top round at a wedding reception.
In fairness to solid state I have a lot more to listen to. I'm sure it's out there somewhere.
Questions are : I plan on buying several sets of tubes for these amps by different manufacturers. When i have found the ones that i feel i like the best how do i sell the others that will have had an hours worth of use ?
Good question, and one that I've never really felt comfortable with. Since I only buy tubes from folks with tube testers and ratings, I've never felt comfortable enough to sell them after I have used them, since I don't have any calibrated testing equipment. Especially since you are taking someone else's word for their condition before you even used them. Now if you bought them from a reputable dealer, like Vintage Tube Services, Upscale Audio, etc., you may be able to report that they were from these guys, had an hour or two of use, and sell them.
However, if you bought them from a relatively unknown re-seller who happens to have a tube tester, you really don't know how accurate or calibrated their equipment is to start with.
Having never felt comfortable with this predicament is probably why I've never sold any tubes that I've purchased. I don't have enough tubes to bother going out and buying a calibrated tube tester, so I cannot verify the tubes condition, so I do not bother to sell.
They just pile up. :)
Jmcgrogan2... You bring up a good point; Who wants to buy some unknown used tubes?
I have no tester, so in my ads I did mention the dealer's name and the reason I was selling which was always "auditioned the tubes in my gear" and I will give the hours used...200 to 300 for auditioning. I will also draw attention to my positive feedback.
I have had sold a few sets of very expensive NOS tubes for about half price; I'm talking about $200+ tubes. There was a high demand for these tubes and I believe that is why they sold.
I am planning on using either Tubemonger or The tubestore . Or any of the top hits from a google search . Do i need to be leary of not getting what i am paying for or as these websites describe the tubes ? New condition is what i was planning . Is it wise to buy the small tubes that last alot longer used ?
I would buy NOS tubes (preamp or power) from reputable sources like the ones you listed. I've also had a good experience with buying from Jim McShane as well as Brent Jesse. For new reissue tubes I've had good experience with Doug's Tubes. These sellers do a better job of testing and matching etc. Buying used can be a bit of a slippery slope. If you are lucky you save some money but if you aren't you may end up spending more money than if you just went to tubemonger etc at first. I've been burned buying used tubes from non reputable sources. Most of the time they were noisy or microphonic.
In my experience, I find a broader choice of high quality NOS (new old stock) from the likes of Vintage Tube Services, Brent Jesse, Upscale, etc.
I've found NOS tubes gerally sound better, and should last longer, but they are more expensive. Try a few, and see.
You're making it way too complicated and doing it too much too quickly. The responses to your question are good, but they are encouraging your over complication. You are new to tubes and you've just secured two new tubed components. Spend the next 4 to 6 months enjoying what you have and acclimating yourself to their sound. It's a cliche, but rediscover your music collection. Once you get over the newness of the sound you'll be in better position to judge what you want to change, if anything.
BTW, what loudspeaker are you using with the Quicksilvers?
I am running a pair of King Sound King electrostats. I was told by Gary Dodd whose preamp i bought that he just throws in a cheap russian tube because he expects owners will choose their own tube . I do not want to listen to that tube for very long.
If you want to be successful and minimize your costs in finding the best tubes for your amp and pre-amp ity is recommended that you do nothing until you can answer the question "What sonically do you want to change about your system with your tube change'.
When you can answer that question you have a good chance of success. If you can't then your just going to be wasting a lot of time and effort. Remember, even the best and smartest tube vendor cannot tell you what tubes to use in your system without this information. But they will and do. And if you know what you want to change you will find there are a lot of tube folks on forums what have a broad knowledge of the generic sound of different tube types and brands and how to best use them.
The question regarding using the same tube driver tube in the amps as in the pre is my main concern right now . It is the same value in both the amp and pre . It seems like it would be a good idea to use the same manufacturer ?
Start with getting new powercords. I put 5 Nordost Blue Heavens in my system and they made more of a difference than tube rolling my amp and preamp. Just try to get matching tubes then keep a back up(full) set plus one or two more tubes handy in case one or two fail. Best of luck.
There is no reason to use the same brand 6dj8 tube in the preamp as in the power amps. It just doesn't work that way with different manufacturers using different circuit designs.
You can spend from $20 to $250 on a good 6dj8/6922 tube. Let us know what you end up with.
You've asked good questions, but now it's time to listen to your system's synergy. Forget about that Russian tube; you've first got to hear the new preamp and amps with your speakers, cables, and source; then keep listening thruout the burn-in period. It should be an exciting and enjoyable experience. I'll bet it will continue to sound better each day.
Well, FWIW, while your assumption sounds logical, in practice it is meaningless, in your case especially.
The Quicksilver uses two small tubes, one 12AX7, and one 6922. The Dodd uses two 6922's (or 6h30's). So what you can conclude from that is that the Quicksilver will have a tone that is to some extent a composite of the two different tubes and how they interact, sonically, with the power tubes. Not so with the Dodd, which require two identical tubes.
Depending on how the Quicksilver tubes are used, one type will contribute the tone more than the other, they serve different purposes. Do you know which? In any event it will be a composite tone, not be the same tone as two 6922's in the Dodd, so what purpose would be served in making the 6922's identical?
FWIW, decisions about tube choice must be made on the sound they will produce. To see how complex this can become consider, the sound from any given tube unit, amp or pre-amp, or both combined, is the sum of the different component's tubes and the unit's design and the implementation of the tubes in the design.
It really isn't simple! Especially if you really have high expectations. It's fun to tune your own system to find the sound you want, but it ain't a walk in the park with your dog on a Sunday afternoon. Its a real commitment which requires both knowledge and patience.
But how you proceed is your choice. Good luck.
Lots of good advice so far!You really do need to let the system settle in for a while.Then after a lot of Googling about specific tubes and their sounds,change one type in one component at a time.Run the system 3 to 5 hrs. on then let it rest for 3/5 hrs.when you get to 30 hrs. any grain or glare should be gone.If you like the change,move on to the next tube type.By mixing brands you can get the perfect combo for your system and tastes.It takes much patience but will be worth it.Brent Jesse is great,the Tube Store,Grant Fidelity.
Best of luck.