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I agree the RFT is not my fav sound wise. But they hold up. I would tell you that you either go with the cheapest tubes you can and swap them after they go microphonic or go with something really nice. About 15% of the Mullard CV4003 will hang together in that preamp. They have to be perfect going in.....then they seem to make it. From our standpoint as a dealer of gear and tubes it has been a bit frustrating.
I dont know what the frustration is considering you sold a friend of mine tubes for his pv11 and he has been perfectly happy with them. As with any other tube preamp if you hear a whistling or tube rush if you turn the preamp on and off it usualy eliminates the problem (very much like rebooting a computer).
i use for a long time the cj original tube and then
made some change with the pv-11.
-i install an iec plug
-i install an master coupler synergistic research
-then i put some nos mullard and wow it is magic
i would really like to compare my pv-11 with other
preamp from cj like the premier 14 and premier 17ls