Thank you. Yes, the sound delivered via tubes is at a whole different level. It is indeed transformative!
Where can I learn more about that arcane skill you call "roll different tubes to tailor to the sound to your liking"?
Tube rolling is optional of course, but it’s unique to tube gear and adds an element of fun and interest. Many/most (at least some) tube gear owners find that different brands of vacuum tubes...even those of the same type and similar specs, can sound different. The results can vary a lot depending on the particular circuit that’s in play, and the results are very subjective. Your system and your room will play a factor. Your system with the Maggies should be more revealing of the differences than most. You only need to please yourself, so no worries. Since you’re new to tubes, I’d spend some time with what you’ve got, get very familiar with the sound, and do some research in the process. Tubes have gotten a bit expensive since the Russian/Ukraine invasion, but there are good deals if you look.
It’s cheaper to start with the preamp and driver tubes of the amp vs the output tubes. It’s best to go in increments vs all at once so you can appreciate whatever differences there might be...it can be subtle. It’s also good to allow several hours for new tubes to burn in, so take your time with each move....it’ll give you lots of time to research and think about the next move.
There are some direct substitutions of type that are possible....just be sure to read up on which ones. Changing amplifier output tubes may require a bias adjustment, so read up on how the Carver handles the biasing....some amps have a user friendly potentiometer, others are auto biased, and some even require a resistor change, so you’ll want to check into that before changing output tubes. You may need a simple voltage meter for biasing. The preamp tubes and the driver stage tubes of the amp shouldn’t need any bias adjustments, which is another good reason to start there.
This is not an absolute definitive tube comparison, but there are some interesting comments and charts...it’s something, and can’t hurt to look, but don’t be afraid to go your own way.
Have fun! 😎
Congratulations. it only gets better from where you are. Enjoy.
A tubed preamp was my first step into the tubed arena about thirty years ago. Since then one component after another has become tubed. Each accompanied by an increase in musicality and overall sound quality (they were always upgrades as well as switch to tubes). It has resulted in my current very satisfying system.