Help me decide which E88CC tubes i should buy


Hey

I spent 2 days researching about tubes, from technicalities like measurements, what to look for when buying etc how they sound and which sound the best as a common consensus.

I only need a single driver tube for my Decware Taboo MK III, currently i am using a Siemens E88CC with silver shields, 2x Tungsram EL84 and 1x Svetlana rectifier.

Khadas tone board as DAC and Fostex X00 Purple Hearts as headphones. I really like how the Siemens sounds but i am not the first owner of the amp so i can't say how much use that tube has gotten already.

I've also tried the Philips SQ Heerlen '60, which are a bit cleaner/slightly less veiled than the Siemens, they were not new either around 66%/70% of NOS value. So it may not be a direct apple to apple comparison. They seem to boost the midrange quite a bit tho which is very noticable considering that my headphones have very recessed mids.

After testing back and forth i always end up back to the Siemens and don't feel the need to look back, but as soon as i try my Philips for more than 1 hour i start to miss the Siemens. But i don't think that the Siemens are objectively better than the Philips.

Anyway. I narrowed it down to:

Siemens E88CC. cca. Telefunken cca, Amperex 7038 or Amperex PQ US made, Reflector 1975 "holy grail".

They all score well above 100% except the Reflector which are like 95% of NOS spec and all costs around 80$, except the Siemens e88cc might find for a bit less.

Any suggestions?

I couldn't find much info on the Reflector seems a bit of a dark horse except that one head-fi thread where 17 tubes get compared. Really as good as they say or just one persons experience?

It would be interesting to hear your opinions and experiences, i haven't found any posts where these tubes get compared.

Best regards


D0d36ae5 4c1f 4e20 9794 a4ff6f242a37yoshimitsu
Having used the 6DJ8 family of tubes, in both the ARC SP9 and SP14(phono section, only) preamps; I’d already figured the Siemens CCa would be my favorite, when I bought a BAT VK-D5.      I did try rolling a number of other brands(Amperex, etc), from the upper crust of the family though, since I was now looking at buying six, of the salty, little boogers.      I never liked any, but the late Fifties to early Sixties, D or O-gettered, grey shield, external date coded CCa variety.       Regardless of application; they always sounded the most natural(least colored, most extended, top/bottom) while provided the best sound stage and imaging.      So glad, that I bought an extra, NOS sextet, before the prices went nuts!      Siemens did make some less expensive tubes, during those years, with the same internals and the gold pins.      They’d be well worth your time, to audition.        btw: A NOS, Mullard GZ34, from the Blackburn plant, will probably add another dimension, to your music enjoyment.      Happy listening!
I have 75 Reflektor silver shields in the output section of my Modwright Oppo 205. I had just rolled out 65 Telefunken 6dJ8 white tips when trying the Reflektors. The Reflektors are much more extended top to bottom, with an almost solid state quickness to it. No bloat or overhang in between notes whatsoever. They are very musical though not as warm as the Telefunkens, and produce a wide and deep layered sound-stage. They outperform the Tele’s in every way. Amazing tubes!

I have a brown base GEC U52 as the rectifier.
I think the U52 and 75 SS Reflektor are a very good match because it adds just a slight touch of warmth while exhibiting all the same attributes (speed, detail retrieval, sound-stage) that make the Reflektor so special.

Good luck! :)

" . . . and which sound the best as a common consensus."

Good luck with that.

To make it more confusing - and expensive, these 12AU7 to 6922 adapters open up even more possibilities for tube rolling. I modded the lid to my preamp to compensate for the extra height.
I like Seimens and Mullards the best.Amperex are more clean and transparent but never dry and sterile,so I use them sometimes just to change things up.Reflektors are warm with great bass.That's what I hear anyway:-)None sound bad really,it's just personal preference.
I modded the lid to my preamp to compensate for the extra height
Talk about overcomplicating things lol. 12ua7 run at half the voltage than 6922, how did you even do that and why?

The Reflektors are much more extended top to bottom, with an almost solid state quickness to it.
Sounds very promising, that’s exactly what i want! I
If they don’t sound as good to me, would you buy them off me?
I’ll make you a very (!!) favorable price!

Regardless of application; they always sounded the most natural(least colored, most extended, top/bottom) while provided the best sound stage and imaging.

They seem to extend more than the Philips aswell in my application. However, that might be a "placebo" effect because the Philips tend to boost what is very tuned down with the Siemens and tune down what’s very elevated with the Siemens. Guitar track becomes the dominant element. With the Siemens it’s usually the snare drum.

But that’s what makes the Siemens interesting for me, not all the frequencies are equally loud. When listening to metal or rock, or any music with drums. The snare drum is always very dominant louder than everything else, while guitars are more in the backround. The highs are accentuated quite a bit, right on the limit.

Makes me think that the Siemens are very transparent because what i described (strong bass, weak mids, strong highs) is the signature V shape which Fostex headphones are known for.

Anyway seems to depend a lot on the amplifier itself.






jtcf891 posts02-28-2020 7:19pmReflektors are warm with great bass.That's what I hear anyway:-)
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Reflektors are not warm sounding tubes.

Musical, yes. Warm? Not in the sense of a Tele or any of the other warm sounding tubes. 75 silver shields are just to the musical side of the spectrum without sounding overly warm and lush. They are highly detailed and dynamic while also maintaining a great sense of musicality.

The bass is balanced, fast and controlled.
two thoughts, trying to fix headphones w tube sounds backwards to me, but hey we are where we are.

I would call Andy at Vintage Tube in Michigan. Only guy I really trust at the end of the test equipment needed to find a perfect tube. RAM tubes also, but Andy for what you seek...

have fun
Andy is a good guy but will sell you what he has in stock. The Tele 6dj8’s I bought were from Andy. The first set had a bad tube. The replacement set was mismatched, and while I was waiting for the 3rd set I ordered the Reflektors. With Zero hours on them the Reflectors were better than the Tele’s which by then had about 150 hours. I kept the Reflectors in my 205 and never looked back.

Andy is a good guy and apologized for the entire episode but he’s not anywhere near infallible.
Not trying to fix headphones, just an observation.

About Andy, i am not a big fan of selection processes like he does.

If a tube is NOS and unused, factory surplus etc the tube should work great.

Factories had quality control aswell back then.

Also his doing rather agressive marketing trying to cause distrust and sceptiscism towards competition. The prices are outrageous aswell, 200$ for a pair of EL84 is a scam.


Amperex JAN 7308 white label was my fave when I owned decware. 
@yoshimitsu- You specifically said your E88CC tube has the silver shields(and- undoubtedly: an internal date code).      Those are a distinctly different sounding tube, than the earlier, grey shield, CCa, as I described.      ie: https://www.tubemuseum.org/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=SH%2DCCA%2D1963      Never bought from this reference.      Just posted for the pics and your benefit.
btw: Don’t know if this seller(in Germany) has anything, that would interest you.      But- He’s been in the business for decades and I’ve found him very knowledgeable, honest and dependable.      https://www.ebay.com/sch/audiotubes_de/m.html?_nkw=&_armrs=1&_ipg=&_from=       Perhaps:   https://www.ebay.com/itm/1-tube-CCa-Siemens-Munich-grey-plate-6922-E88CC-201037/133305469704?hash=item1f09a00b08:g:-ZMAAOSwNlleH2ch
Another, "btw": It’s important, when reading tube comparisons, to pay close attention to the descriptions of the tube construction and dates of manufacture.      The presentations can vary(dramatically), between iterations/years, even of the same designation(ie: grey plate vs silver plate CCa).      Keep in mind; the really good sounding Reflektor 6N23p tubes, were from a very narrow production run.       It’s been my experience; they’re rare, in the extreme. https://www.head-fi.org/threads/6922-tube-review-17-top-6922-6n23p-e88cc-cca-7308-e188cc-tubes.761078/      Here's another highly regarded, honest and dependable seller:      http://www.audiotubes.com/6dj8.htm
Prices are just ludicrous, i can get the tubes this guy is selling for 400$ each for 80$.

Idk how audiophiles can get a long with that. It's a tube, shouldn't costs more than 40$ realistically. 

There is no engineering or manufacturing costs involved, don't even take up a lot of storage space.

Anyway

I don't have a CCa, i have a normal E88CC.

https://imgur.com/a/tEcacPO

I'll go with a Reflector and maybe a Siemens aswell if i can find one that doesn't cost an arm and a leg.

And maybe a french Mazda aswell.

Has anyone had experience with the Tungsram E88CC and italian tubes?




rodman999994,221 posts02-29-2020 6:52amAnother, "btw": It’s important, when reading tube comparisons, to pay close attention to the descriptions of the tube construction and dates of manufacture.     The presentations can vary(dramatically), between iterations/years, even of the same designation(ie: grey plate vs silver plate CCa).     Keep in mind; the really good sounding Reflektor 6N23p tubes, were from a very narrow production run.      It’s been my experience; they’re rare, in the extreme.
The production run you speak is the whole of the year 1975. Both silver and grey shields were produced. The silver shields are generally considered superior though some might find the grey shields which have a bit less detail retrieval but a more liquid and musical presentation more to their tastes.

1974 is considered a very good year for the Reflektor 6n23p as well, with the silver and grey shields having the same general differences between them as 1975.
The best(least colored) of the 6N23p’s were the 1975, silver shield, SWGP, from Reflektor.      I’d be interested in a well-matched, NOS pair of those, that didn’t cost an arm and a leg, just to see if they better the CCa, to my ears and in my own system(curiosity).      I’ve not seen any, in a few years.      In my mind; that’s, "rare".        Got a lead, for tubes from that year's production run?
@rodman99999 

The 75 silver shields cost much less than your CCA's. On that epic 6922 shootout  at HeadFi, the consensus is that the Reflektors better both the Siemens CCA's and Telefunken e188cc's. I've never heard either of those so I couldn't comment on the comparison.

I personally value detail, speed, and soundstage depth and layering over 'warmth", and the Reflektors do that in spades while still remaining incredibly musical.
Well; your tastes in sound seem to mirror my own.      As I asked: do you have a lead, on any genuine, NOS of the specific Reflektor tube, that topped that list?      At what price?      I haven’t seen any, in quite a while, for anything reasonable.      I HAVE been looking.
rodman999994,223 posts02-29-2020 4:49pmWell; your tastes in sound seem to mirror my own.     As I asked: do you have a lead, on any genuine, NOS of the specific Reflektor tube, that topped that list?     At what price?     I haven’t seen any, in quite a while, for anything reasonable.     I HAVE been looking.

You're not going to find them with any American dealers. The original sources are all in the former Soviet bloc countries. As the OP posted here you're going to have to go to E-Bay to find a nice pair.

The first matched pair I bought tested strong at approx 12.5 ma average each tube and sound amazing. I've since picked up better testing tubes but haven't popped them in because my first pair sound so good. I also have several pairs of 75 grey shields but haven't rolled them in for the same reason... lolz Grey shields are also called Voshkods because of the factory they are produced at.

74 Silver shields are also supposed to be quite good, and I've found they cost about 1/2 the price of the 75's. They are supposed to have the same sound signature with just a bit less detail and sound staging ability.


Regarding the EBay listings posted here...

Brandimix’s pair at $299 are way overpriced for what they test. They aren't even matched very well. I’ve found that matched 75 silver shields testing at 11-12 mA/V range are generally selling in the $150-$180 price range.
I posted 3 listings, there is a fourth one aswell for 145$. Which tested 95% NOS (14.2 mA) with well matched triodes.

It’s worth knowing that the Reflector are designed to run at 15 mA just like the ECC.

However there is a small caviat, the Siemens more often than not end up being over manufacturers specc in emission tets. I’ve seen Siemens measuring 22/23 mA that’s 150%. That’s not good either. Ideally they should be as close as possible to 15 mA. But more often than not they are above that around 16.5 mA.

The Reflectors are the opposite it’s very rare that they go up to 16 mA.

Anyway 12.5 mA isn’t strong, not even NOS, 17% lower than they should be. But of course, differences may or may not be audible.


I checked again and my current Siemens actually has a grey shield.

I would be curious to try out Tungsram E88CC, from what little i heard they sound very good but barely anyone uses them.

Has anyone experience with Siemens 6BQ5/El84?
Thanks for the above info.    The only reason I've purchased tubes, from the Germany based, eBay seller mentioned: I was dealing with him,  years before eBay was a thing and very confident of his expertise/honesty.     It's been my iron-clad rule, never to buy anything on the Bay, from anyone with less than a 100% feedback rating.      Not even an inner tube, for my Grandson's dirt bike.        There are a select few tube purveyors, this side of The Pond, in which I place my confidence.       None, on eBay.      Happy listening!
You can try a 5670 with an adapter from tube Depot for $14 for your input tube. Another popular rectifier in Decware is a globe 80 with a 4 pin adapter. You can also roll 5z3 and 83v rectifier tubes.  

You can always try 8bq5 power tubes or EL83 tubes.
What would the advantage/benefit be of using EL83 or 8BQ5 instead of EL84?

Has anyone experience with the black plates RCA and GE grey ovale plate from 1960? And Sylvania black plates?

I am using Tungsram EL84 now, not sure if the RCA or GE would be an upgrade.
Seems the Tele E88CC's are ~~The Holy Grails~~~ as prices are $$$$$...I'm not so sure about E88CC's beating out ECC88's. 
I have my doubts.
I am rolling Siemens, Tele, Philips (= Amperex). and can hardly say which is superior in my cayin CD17 player, running a  pair on the unbalnaced out.
Maybe its not the ideal unit to makea  shootout.
I am very interested in these E288CC's I'm been buying lately. 
 
The list goes on, E188CC
PCC88
Ecc**
E88CC's, a  EU seller I've been buying from, maybe Bulgaria, says he perfers the E88CC's over all. 
again, I'm not so sure there is a  ~~significant~~ sonic dif in any of the above mentioned. 
I was surprised the E288"s ~~~failed~~ in shooting out all /every 6922 variety. 
Still , all in all, I'm hanging with the E288CC as it 's a  cool looking tube, and its a  ~~done deal~~..
Tele ECC88 just arri9ved today and again, did not hear any significant gain.
All sound ~~spectacular~~~.
I am not even going to attemp winning the Tele E88CC's on ebay,,although i am in the bid war,,I'm going to hold at $100,,and figure they'll fetch $160 winning bid. 
I am not going to chase the ~~Holy Grails~~ I think its all ~~snakeoil~~~.
I have a  pair of Tele's E288CC's, made by Siemens, NOS/NIB up on ebay, if anyone is interested,. also have Siemens 6DJ8/ECC88/pair/NOS/NIB +Philips Miniwatt PCC88/qaud/Test strong. + alot of other E200CC;s, amperex, Tele, Siemens, all NOS/most NIB. + I havea  pair of rare Dario Miniwatt E288's(but have to find them)), NOS.
As I say, all 6922's variations seem so close, its more inportant what caps in the unit.
I have new M SGO caps, which was a  huge gain. IOW a  new cap mod will mod the sonics far superior to any ~~Holy grail~~ Tele;'s. 
Just my 2 cents. 


I am not even going to attemp winning the Tele E88CC's on ebay,,although i am in the bid war,,I'm going to hold at $100,,and figure they'll fetch $160 winning bid.
I know a guy that has been selling tubes for 60 years he is on Ebay aswell, very trustworthy and honest, he has a pair of Telefunken E88CC for sale in NOS condition for 117$.

If you want i can send you the link.

E88CC's, a EU seller I've been buying from, maybe Bulgaria, says he perfers the E88CC's over all.

Can you link me his website?


I am rolling Siemens, Tele, Philips (= Amperex). and can hardly say which is superior in my cayin CD17 player, running a pair on the unbalnaced out.

Those are all mighty fine tubes, probably all equally good just different.

I have dutch Philips aswell and the they differ from the Siemens because the guitars in rock and metal are the loudest with the most emphasis. It's as if someone said during recording "hey bro lets crank those guitars up" can be fun for metal/rock and other music feautirng guitars but kinda dull for electronic.


Hi
Yes in my Cd player application , all 6922 variants sound very close,,even the big boys the 288's sound exactly like their smaller brothers.
which surprised me, i was expecting a  hugev  gain with the 288's. ,,,,they are about 1/2 inch taller, so should equate in longer life,,,i just like the looks of the taller tube and tahts the one i plan to keep, all others will be sold off.
Yes the Philips 12AX7 is a  great guitar tube, not so much much hifi, the Tele's beats all other contenders,,,very close to the Siemens.
Tele AX is the best AX.
AU's i hate, Next to the E80 the AU's are crapo.
Not sure why audiophiles are so stubborn and hang with the AU, when they could esaily go with a  Big Bang E80CC.
The E80 is a  drop in for any AU. 
IMHO the E80 will be the next and final Holy Grail. 
All E80's are equal, as all were made IDENTICAL construction. 
well should say very close construction,,I perfer copper posts. 
Tele E80's are Siemens, Tele never made the E80.
I havea  very nice stash of E80's some up on ebay..and will buy more , only at bargain prices,,as I say, they are NOT selling, as old school audiophiles just keep kicking the same AU can down the road.
You know how audiophiles are, Not me, I like to reserach and experiment.
The E80 has already been discovered as a  easy drop in for the AU, but still, its not popular. 
The E80 is the biggest gain in any AU socket, far superior mod in my sound vs the Tele AX's. 
The E80  magified the gain easily 2X' factor,,where as the TEle AX gave a  small nudge. over the Siemens AX. 
My 2 cents.
Mullard, Tele, Siemens, Philips, Tungstrun ,valvo, all built nearly and sound nearly identical..Thats said, I perfer the Valvo by a  thin hair. ,,,but that tube roll needs more time.
valvo Red, valvo white label, both the same as all other E80's. = E80= E80.
BTW, I am not a  believer in this snakeoil pinched waist, getter, dif color shields,  thats all bunk and pure 100% snakeoil. 
Yet folks love to pay $$$$ for ~~~pinched waist~~~ snakeoil