I have been using the SED Winged "C" EL 34s in my Shanling SP-80 monoblocks for over a year and have enjoyed their musical presentation. One tube is starting to have an issue holding bias so I decided to try something slightly different. A review of other posts about the new EL34s reveal a wide number of individual opinions, as I would expect, so I decided to try something different. I purchased a quad of the Tung-Sols from the Tube Store and will be installing them this evening. The system is open, detailed and fast for a EL34 tube based system with the SED tubes. My musical taste lean heavily towards acoustic, female vocal, jazz, classic 70s, and large orchestra classical. Presently my system includes the SP-80s (with NOS RCA 5691 and 5692s), Monolithic Sound PA-1 pre, Shanling T-80 CDP, a TT with a Denon DL 160 cartridge and an AES PH1 (RCA 6SL7s and NOS Mullard 12au7) phono pre. ZU speaker cables, Choseal interconnects, and Aurum Cantus Leisure 3 SE Speakers .
Placed the Tung-Sols in service last evening. After adjusting the bias immediatly and after one hour I started to do some listening. Immediate thoughts are that they are very detailed, have a more forward presentation than the SED's, and the bottom end is slightly tighter. The mids are less accentuated compared to the SEDs they replaced providing a what seems to be a more linear presentation top to bottom. The forwardness is a little bright initially but not unpleasant. I have really enjoyed the mids from the SEDs over the past year and I hope these warm up just a little as they settle in. The sound stage is slightly narrower and not as deep. This could be attributed to the more forward presentation, and that most of my listening has been late at night a low volume so far. I will continue to report my thoughts and observations.
I have tried a few different ( new production ) versions and always come back to SED...If you want a touch more body and warmth you can also get the SED Cryo "Black Sable" quads at Tube Depot....Same tube just a touch different sound than the stock SED el34...Each version of the SED el34 is great,just depends on what sound your looking for........Very reliable tube..I have been using SED el34 Quads for 10 years and never had a tube go bad.........
After a week of listening and tweaking the Tung Sol tubes I replaced them with my SEDs. The difference is significant. The soundstage depth has returned and the air around individual instruments is again present. The bass of the Tung Sol was a little tighter but the air in the highs was lacking. I will be staying with the SEDs.
Drrsutliff -
Looking to upgrade some stock Chinese EL 34s, myself. Are you still using the SED "Winged Cs"? Improvements to air and soundstage are what I'm mainly looking for. Thanks in advance for your reply.