Russ, Detail and warmth are sort of competetitive - its tough to get both in any piece of equipment, including tubes, especially at any nominal expense. I'm not familar with your electronics, but I use 12ax7's in 2 of my DAC's and in one of my pre amps - I have found the cleanest new production tube available is the Yugo EI. The only caveat is that some can be noisy. The good news is they are very cheap so you can buy a few extra in case you get a noisy one or two. Just something to research further if the Sylvania's don't do it for you.
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Thanks Newbee. The Jolida is my first piece of tubed gear. I'm trying to do the HT/HiFi thing with more of a slant toward the HiFi. I have a B&K Ref 50, B&K 200.5 Amp, Philips DVD-963SA(unmodded), Klipsch Center and Sub for the HT, Spica TC-50's L/R and the Jolida. I'll take a look for the Yugo EI's. Being that I'm all SS except for the Jolida may have something to do with the atypical results I got from the GE 5751 triple micas.
I have tried several tubes in my Jolida. My conclusion is, that tubes, like every other component, are system dependent. You may need/want improvement in areas where I do not, or vice versa.
So heres my thoughts so far.....
Stock 12ax7s - Laid back, very warm, works well in an analytical system (like mine), acceptable bass, not the most leading edge detail (attack).
EI 12ax7s - once warmed up these have a much less forward sounding midrange, especially female vocals, extended highs, acceptable bass, nice attack. Might work well in a warmer sounding system.
EH 12ax7s - very well balanced tonally, acceptable bass, more highs than the stock, and more attack in the midrange, and less in the midbass, particularly with percussion. Deep and wide soundstage.
Sovtek 12ax7LPS - tonally balanced, deep authoritative bass, extended highs without too much aggression. Good soundstage. Good leading edge attack.
RCA Blackplate 5751s - Tonally balanced, nice attack, acceptable bass, a little grainy but plenty of inner detail.
GE JAN 5751s - Lots of bass, edgy and grainy. Not good for my system.
I am yet to try.....Sylvania Blackplate 5751s, Sovtek 12ax7WAs, and the Svetlana 12ax7s.
Currently I using the Sovtek LPSs, they are fairly new in the player. So far I am liking them in my system. The EH worked darned well too. The stock tubes, once warmed well, werent that bad either.
Here are a few links for new production tubes sales...
The Tube Store
Boi Audio Works
How does the Jolida compare to the Phillips? I am considering upgrading my Sony DVD/SACD player. The jolida kills my cheap sony with redbook FWIW.
Thanks Distortion for the descriptions. I think you're right about the system dependence - at least tubes are a lot cheaper than most of the other components to roll. :) I'll just save up all the tubes I roll to re-roll them when I change out other components.
As for the Jolida vs. the Philips, there is no comparison whatsoever. I was very excited as the Philips arrived, anticipating great redbook sounds to boot along with getting a good DVD/SACD - my last CDP is a Sony CDP-520ESII from the late 80's. I started playing various favorite CDs and was very disappointed. I actually found the sounds more pallatable with upsampling turned off, but not impressive. Then I played a burn-in disc for a few days with no great improvement. A few months earlier friend brought over his Rotel RCD1070 and that was an impressive improvement that I could hear from another room.
After this, I purchased a Channel Islands DAC and P/S. This was a noticeable improvement. I found tweaks for the CI that I could do, but found that by the time I was finished, I could buy another player. I started looking for a Ah Tjoeb that's when I saw all of the positive posts about the Jolida. Although the CI DAC sounds a lot better than the Philips, doing A/B comparisons between the Jolida DAC vs. the CI, there is no comparison. A lot of it is probably my new found love for the tube sound. I'm going to start tweaking the Philips now to improve the general performance to improve DVD and SACD performance, but don't anticipate the same sound although I'm sure improvements will occur. The two weeks that I've owned the Jolida, I've not listened to any SACD's if that says anything.
I'd better stop, I'm changing the focus of my own thread.
Sorry, didnt mean to get you off topic, you're the first person that I know that owns both. Thanks for the input. As far as tubes for the Jolida, check out my thread in the "misc" category, its titled "CDP-Tube Suggestions." Some great suggestions are there as well. I just updated it today, as promised when I tryed some more tubes.
FWIW, I bought a VD Power 3 Powercord for the Jolida and really liked it. The VD performed better than several low priced PCs that I have. I feel that this CDP really starts to shine with upgrades.
When I try the Sovtek 12ax7WA's I'll post them on my thread as well. I have been told that the WA's are a warm sounding tube.
I agree, tubes are cheap, and they satisfy my need to tweak.
Thanks, I'll check out the other thread. Did you buy your player upgraded or did you get it upgraded afterward? My player is stock, but I've been looking at doing the upgrades. If you did buy it stock, I'd be interested in hearing about the sonic changes after the changes and what changes you had done. Some of the changes look pretty easy to DIY, so I'll probably start there.
"Distortion", I am looking foward to your comments with the Sovtek 12AX7WA's. I have tried the EH and my summary opinion parallels yours. Same with the stock tubes. In regards to the Sovteks WA's, I find these to be overall smoother, more fluid and homogenous, slightly more depth to the soundstage, and reasonable attack. Perhaps slightly rolled off on the top compared to the others, though not to an amount that makes me think something is missing. Close but not quite. A very romantic sounding tube.
My only complaint on the WA's centers around a feeling that there is a very fine, though light, haze to the sound. It is difficult for me to describe or quantify. On a well recorded CD I struggle to notice it once I sit down and start listening critically. But, when I first sit down to listen or, just listen indirectly or in passing, I perceive this fine haze to the sound - most noticeable on vocals. When I switch to the stock or EH tubes, I do not notice this. So I don't think it is something in my system.
Anyway, your comments on these tubes will be interesting.
Sorry, for not posting earlier. I have been plowed under at work and home.
Russ, The Jolida was basically stock except for some damping sheets that Verastarr added. I added Cardas output jacks, slapped some Vibrapods underfoot, rolled a few tubes through (as noted above), and tried out a few powercords.
The output jacks had a minimal impact, maybe a smidge smoother.
The vibrapods seem to smooth out highs. I imagine they would have a more pronounced impact in other systems. You can see my less than optimal setup in my system photos. My CDP is on top of my DVD. I dont like this but it will have to do for now.
Powercords seem to have the greatest effect. This is the primary logic behind my previous statement about this unit improving with upgrades.
I too, am very interested in the Mods/upgrades. Although the basically stock unit performs well enough for now. As upgraditis hopefully moves my system upward, maybe its weaknesses will be manifest. At that time the CDP mods should be well ironed out.
Nealhood, thank you. Even though I am on the shallow end of the learning curve, I still want to share my experiences. I am really thankful for A'gon and its great community.
Truth be told, These LPS's sound pretty good. So they are going to stay in for a little while.
I know this may sound strange but, it seems that every time I unplug the CDP to change the tubes, it just doesnt sound "right" for a day or two. No matter what tube, even if I go back to ones I know I like.
I use Sylvania Gold Label triple mica blackplates, pricey and well worth it. Used the GE trips, too, but vastly prefer the Sylvanias. I also use a Chris VenHaus cryoed Flavor 1 power cord, which makes a wonderful improvement in the sound. Oh yeah, also use Hal-O tube dampers - I recommend getting rid of the stock covers.
Have fun tube rolling!