I'm not the only one that has one of these am I? ;-)
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There is no substitute for the Russian 6C19P regulator(unfortunate, as the regulator of a tube pre-amp or power amp's power supply can yield much in the way of sonic improvement). The voltage reference tube(5651) can be found in a Raytheon, Sylvania, RCA, National, GE- but stick with the 5651 as it's voltage is 87 and the 5651A's(or WA) is 85.5. They are cheap enough($5 to $10 NOS) that you can try different ones to see if there's any difference in sound for fun. You might try a Mullard CV2573, and see if that lends a different flavor to the sound.
I'm not sure about that. Vladimir may select his tubes based on how he likes the component to sound, or he might select tubes based on availability. When I asked Lamm about retubing a L2 Reference, I was told most of the tube types were sourced from several different manufacturers (Sylvania, GE, RCA). Only the 6C19 Russian tube was limited to one manufacturer.
When I changed the stock tubes to Mullard Blackburns in my Lamm LL2 Deluxe, the sound and performance of the preamp improved substantially.
BTW, tubes for the L2 are incredibly inexpensive. I recently retubed a L2 Reference for less than $50 with brand new tubes purchased from E-Bay sellers. Lamm wanted about five times more for tubes purchased through them.
I bought a pair of Mullard NOS 12AX7's for my ML 2.1 (circa 1957). The sound was good but very mellow and laid back. Cymbals sounded like cymbals when I put back the chosen tubes by Vladimir. Trust me he knows how to voice his components and IMO tube rolling will produce different sound. What the listener needs to ask of himself is "Am I hearing something different or am I hearing something better?"
What the listener needs to ask of himself is "Am I hearing something different or am I hearing something better?"Excellent point.
In my case, I heard something preferable.
I have read on several occasions that Vladimir does not voice his components by listening, but that he designs by testing and measuring. This comment has been repeated in several reviews.
I rolled some RCA 12AX3 in place of the stock Sylvania 12AX3. I thought I detected a slightly more natural presentation with less grain, but I could be fantasizing. The difference was not profound by any means. Nothing like what I experienced when I installed Mullard tubes in the LL2 Deluxe in place of the stock tubes.
The thing is there is swapping signal tubes and swapping power supply tubes. The LL2 is a tubed pre with a tubed signal path. The L1 and L2 are solid state with tubed power supplies. So in a well designed circuit, there is less of a difference with swapping tubes in the ps.
But in my case with the L1, the difference was easy to identify albeit small.
I dont think you'll find much improvement tube rolling with the L2. The most important thing is to check the voltage output of the power supply as specified in the manual. Slight deviations, usually loss in power will make it sound dark and veiled. Unfortunately I found myself making this adjustment weekly and replacing the tube monthly making it too high maintenance for my taste.
Mr M- A handicapped female gorilla? LOL! They delivered a package to me once, and I wasn't home: The box was 10x10x10 and the space between my storm and front door is 7". I had to repair the storm door, because they forced it closed with the box between. Then they had the nerve to try and charge me extra for residential delivery after I paid shipping to the seller(they've tried that 4 times- never collected). I no longer deal with sellers that insist on shipping via DHL.
Sure. The sound with the stock tubes sounded a bit sterile and mechanical, with an emphasis in the treble (the bite). The sound with the RCA 12AX3 has less treble emphasis, and perhaps a bit of emphasis in the mids (more organic and less sterile).
The changes are subtle, but easier on my ears.
Anyhow, I like it better.