Modwright SWL9.0 SE Tube Rolling


I'm using TungSol 5687 tubes as supplied by Modwright in my SWL9.0SE. They are very linear and extended with deep bass, however they have little midrange bloom.

Has anyone rolled other tubes in the SWL9.0SE? If so, would you please describe their tonal characteristics?
tvad
I have the T-Sol 5687s, and they are very good tubes, but they are bit too edgy and SS-like for my tastes, and I always find myself rolling them out. But I've heard these work very well in other systems, however. Go figure!

The GE JAN 7044s have most of the qualities of the T-Sols, with the addition of a truly wonderful midrange, less graininess. These are very cheap (~$20/pr.) and some consider them the poor man's Bendix 6900s.

The Sylvania GB65687s work very well in the Modwright preamp. They are "tubier" sounding than the T-Sols or the 7044s, and have that nice tube bloom, but I wouldn't call them overly euphonic either. Again, midrange on these is warmer and more to my liking than the T-Sols. There may be a slight (and I mean slight) sacrifice at the bass extreme (tubier bass, perhaps) but to me it is worth it.

Hope this helps...ultimately your preferences and system will dictate what sounds best to you, but both tubes above are worth a listen. The nice thing about the 5687 family of tubes is that they are really good sounding tubes, and relatively cheap in the NOS world (well, except for the 6900s).
The following has been cut and pasted from another thread:

01-19-06: 1markr
Sure Grant, you asked for tubes that are tonally warmer than the T-Sols, so here they are, imho, of course.

I have the T-Sol 5687s, and they are very good tubes, but they are bit too edgy and SS-like for my tastes, and I always find myself rolling them out.

The GE JAN 7044s have most of the qualities of the T-Sols, with the addition of a truly wonderful midrange, less graininess. These are very cheap (~$20/pr.) and some consider them the poor man's Bendix 6900s.

The Sylvania GB65687s work very well in the Modwright preamp. They are "tubier" sounding than the T-Sols or the 7044s, and have that nice tube bloom, but I wouldn't call them overly euphonic either. Again, midrange on these is warmer and more to my liking than the T-Sols. There may be a slight (and I mean slight) sacrifice at the bass extreme (tubier bass, perhaps) but to me it is worth it.

Hope this helps...ultimately your preferences and system will dictate what sounds best to you, but both tubes above are worth a listen. The nice thing about the 5687 family of tubes is that they are really good sounding tubes, and relatively cheap in the NOS world (well, except for the 6900s).
So, does anyone know if Dan is cool with us using any of the 5687 variants, like 7119, or E182CC? What about the 5687WB or other versions of the 5687?
I'd be curious if these tube variants give a warmer presentation in Dan's tubed CDP's that also come with the JAN 5687?
Yes, they do Nzera. I have both, a Modwright 9000es and teh Modwright SWL 9.0SE preamp.
There is a list of recommended and non-recommended tubes in the Modwright owner's manual.

01-20-06: Cellorover
There is a list of recommended and non-recommended tubes in the Modwright owner's manual.
Indeed. The Modwright manual specifically mentions 6900 and 7119. Another source lists 7044 as a drop in for the 5687.

My question specifically requests users of tubes other than TungSol 5687 to describe the tonal characteristics of the tubes they have tried.

1markr, your comments have been insightful. Thank you.
my ideal tube would have both nice bloom but also very transparent. the tung sol feels balanced, but maybe a tad lean. think i'm goin to try some GEs and RCAs, yes?

do i hear a bit of a closed in or controlled sound from the tung sols?
Dennis, I tried the RCA 5687 bronze plates, not on the preamp, but on a Modwright 999ES cdp. They sounded veiled and lifeless compared to the ones above. Maybe it was the tubes?
Can anyone recommend a source/s for the GE JAN 7044s? I had a bit of a troll around and didn't find any readily available.

Thanks
thanks 1markr. So, is this the correct tube number for the Sylvania GB65687? just wanted to make sure that wasn't a typo. I'll keep my eye out for GE 7044. The GE's I'm hoping to try are the 5 star 5687.
Can anyone recommend a source/s for the GE JAN 7044s? I had a bit of a troll around and didn't find any readily available.

JAN GE 7044

Hi Dennis,

The first "6" shouldn't be there. It should read Sylvania Gold Brand GB-5687. I have the gold pin versions. I also have a pair of the 5-star GE 5687s, but have not had a chance to try them yet.
Thanks Tvad
Having just listened to the SWL9.0SE with Sylvania GB-5687 and JAN GE 7044 tubes, I can say the Sylvania's have a profoundly positive affect on the musicality of the Modwright preamp in my system. No glare or hardness like I was experiencing with the TungSol 5687, while still maintaining outstanding detail and extension.
and the JAN GE 7044?
I thought the JAN GE 7044 were basically the same as the TungSol 5687. My SWL9.0SE still had hardness and glare in the upper mids with the JAN GE 7044.

Others believe the JAN GE 7044 are better than the TungSol. Associated gear probably plays a role.
tvad, where did you get the sylvanias? I have been unable to find a dealer who has them available. thanks
rudge
01-27-06: Rudge
tvad, where did you get the sylvanias? I have been unable to find a dealer who has them available. thanks
rudge
Wish I could tell you. I have not found a source, either. Mine were on loan from a friend.

That's the sound of the other shoe dropping...

finally dropped in the GE 7044, and these tubes absolutely added some flesh. i also removed the herbie tube dampers i had on my tubes, i think they were sapping some of the life out of the sound. i dont like boom or loose sound, but i also think some natural bloom is a must. anyway, i wonder why people are so enamored with the tungsols... they are definitely tighter and leaner. i guess it depends on the system, but i like the GE's better. now, off to try to find some sylvnias gb 5687. :)
Yup. It's stunning what Sylvania GB-5687 tubes do for the SWL 9.0SE. Other than being plentiful and inexpensive, I can't think of any other reason for the TungSol 5687 to be used so extensively in the Modwright preamp.
hey tvad... so, how much better are the sylvania's over the GEs? what would you say are their noticeable differences?
The Sylvanias have a sweeter top end than the GE 7044, with excellent extension, balance, and no hardness, etchiness or glare. IMO, the Sylvania GB-5687 tubes are a significant improvement over the GE 7044 in the SWL 9.0SE.
well, got a pair of Sylvania GB 5687, and in my system, they took a back seat to the GE 7044, which is so far my favorite. The Sylvanias and the TungSols sound too laid back, the GEs have are more forward and transparent in the midrange, which is key in my system. They are also a little lighter in the bass, and in my room, I've already got too much bass energy, so the GE's sound great. They don't sound closed in at all either, the Sylvania's felt reticent in comparison. Anyway, just goes to show, system matching takes precedence...
Hmm, thats interesting. After reading TVAD's posts I wasn't expecting much out of the 7044s. I wasn't going to post till I tried the Sylvanias (this weekend) but I have also found the 7044s to be a big improvement over the 5687s. I find the midrange to be alot meatier and I think the top end is a bit sweeter as well.

There definitely is a reduction in bass energy, still very tight and you can definitely hear it, just not quite as much slam. So that's a compromise but one I think I can live with.

Anyway, I'll let you know what I think of the Sylvanias next week.
So Mihilli, what are your impressions regarding the GE 7044/Sylvania GB-5687 comparison?
Personally, I liked the Bendix 6900's best.
Well, my intial impressions were that the GBs did some nice things tonally but seemed to have a negative impact on dynamics, leading edge and overall rhtyhm.

Now after listening to them a bit more I think they may be growing on me.

So, I'm going to leave them in for the rest of the week. Then Saturday I will do some side by side, listen, change back to the 7044s, listen to the same music again and try to come to a conclusion.

I think where I'm coming to is that they both sound much better then the stock 5687s but individually they each have some distinct qualities, so it's a matter of preferance. GB5687s more of a traditional tube sound, luscious midrange, sweeter highs. Jan 7044s more modern tube sound, better PRAT, more dynamic.

I'll let you know thoughts after the big shoot out on Saturday...............
I bought a Modwright sony 999ES and it came with an extra set of cryoed Phillips 7119/E182CC. I preffered them so much in the Sony that I tried them in my SWL 9.0. They are (in my system) not even in the same league as the originals or others I have rolled. The soundstage moved back and became much more defined and wider, while improving midrange bloom. Female vocals and individual instruments float so delicatly in the air betwen my speakers on soft passages, that with eyes closed I can feel thier presence in the room.

I have been following this thread and picked up a pair of Sylvania GB-5687 and even after 3 days of continous playing I couldn't sit and listen to them. Very etched on top. So much air around voices and instruments is sounded like snakes hissing, although they did settle down from when new, they over exaggerate the highs and midrange in both Modwright pieces in my system.

I also tried them in my sony with the same results so went back to the JAN5687 in the sony.

I have another pair of the cryoed Phillips 7119/E182CC on order to see if pairing them in both pieces is too much or an improvement.

Just my 2 cents

Russ
I have been following this thread and picked up a pair of Sylvania GB-5687 and even after 3 days of continous playing I couldn't sit and listen to them. Very etched on top. So much air around voices and instruments is sounded like snakes hissing, although they did settle down from when new, they over exaggerate the highs and midrange in both Modwright pieces in my system.

That's really interesting. My experience with the Sylvania GB-5687, and the experience of two other local Modwright owners is exactly the opposite.

Just goes to prove the axiom that "Your Mileage May Vary".

Thanks to everyone for contributing to this thread. It's a great resource for Modwright owners.
Leatherneck:
How does the Modwright 999ES work with the Modwright 9.0SE? I have an unmodified 999ES playing through a 9.0SE. Thinking about the Sig Truth mod for the 999ES. But I wonder if it is a case of diminishing returns.
I ran the Modwright 999ES with my Modwright preamp, and now I run a Modwright 9000ES with the Modwright preamp. Is this too much of a good thing, or overkill? Absolutely NO WAY! They synergize very well together and get to the essence of music. Very musical, very enjoyable.

The stock Sony players have no sonic resemblences to the Modwright-modded ones, can't even compare the two.
From what I heard at RMAF last fall it works great. Excellent synergy between those two components and Dan did a great job on the tube output stage of the player.
Tantra,

I bought my modded 999ES on here used so I can't compare to the stock unit. The unit I bought has the basic signature truth mods with the Revelation Audio Umbilical Upgrade, it does not have the AC and Slipstream Bybee filter mods, so again I can't speak to that unit. All I can say is I now have far and away the best sounding system I have ever had and the 2 Modwright pieces are what got me there. These two pieces are voiced to go together and the music is intoxicating.
Leatherneck,I must agree with you on this one! I am not one who rolls tubes in and out of my system on a regular basis but have found that the Philips Cryo'd 7119 is the ticket for me and thanks for answering my email.

I purchased a Modwright Sony999ES with Platinum Truth Mods with the Revelation Audio Cyro'd umbilical here two weeks ago (thanks Frank a wonderful guy)and I am currently waiting for my Modwright SWL 9.0 SE to be completed and shipped.My contribution to this thread is if you can find some Cryo'd Phillips 7119s (Tubeman had some but is currently out of them)....don't hesitate and let us know if they compare to everone's favorite or surpasses it.My Sony arrived with two sets of tubes from Frank.One set was the TungSols which were Cyro'd and the Philips which were also Cryo'd and both sets were new I am told.The TungSols were placed in the Sony999ES "first" and I listened with them installed for appx.a week.Now,maybe the TungSols took a little longer to burn in I don't know and I hope that enough time was alloted for them to at least burn in but they never provided the sound I hoped for.Sound wise everything sounded congested and closed in. Basically not thrilled with the TungSols at this point,

I inserted the Philips 7119s and played them daily and on the third day the transformation of the Sony was revelatory. I could not believe how glorious and incredible my system exploded and came alive with extension at both extremes.The bass became solidified like never before.The soundstage expanded well beyound the frames of my Soundlabs and detail and timbre exceed what was expected.I became worst than a kid in a candy store. I have never heard them sound this way in my home and have had them for six years.By far,the Modwright Sony 999ES with the 7119s Cryo'd is a major factor.Also,it must be said that I am using the Sony999ES directly into my amp which has volumne controls on the rear and it appears that this is without any "lost" in dynamics.

I must say a word of THANKS to Dan Wright because he has been instrumental in me achieving what I am getting now and he answered "all" my emails regarding his products.In my experience never have I corresponded with such a gracious and wonderful person in all of audiodom. I can't wait until the Modwright SWL 9.0 SE arrives.It should be the star of the show!

Chuckie
I found the Sylvania GB5687 to be harsh on the top end also, but mine are quite new and unused. Does the high end tame down after a break-in period? If so, how long would it take?
To answer my own question, the Sylvania relaxed quite a bit over a week. The harshness diminished and the tight 'tubiness' became more loose (if that makes any sense) resulting in some fantastic spatiality. For me the tubes ended up quite nice but still too forward in the upper midrange, lower treble for my system.