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To see if it’s the Calypso, why not turn on the system except the Rhea and unmute it. Any tube rush would be coming from the Calypso. I owned a Rhea and suspect that it’s the culprit since it’s fairly picky about tubes. The other thing to try is to flip the right and left channel tubes one at a time. The process is a bit tedious but you’ll find the bad one.
Getting V1 & V2 in the Rhea quiet enough is tough. I got tubes for those two positions for both my Rhea and IO from Andy at Vintage Tube Services. I can’t recommend him enough and he’s very familiar with Aesthetix products. My preference for tubes in the Rhea is vintage EI’s in V1 & V2 positions with Telefunken’s for V3-V5.
The key tube to get good sound out of the Rhea is the 6DJ8/6922 which if I remember correctly is V5. When I first got my Rhea, I rolled in Tele’s, Mullards and Bugle Boys in the 12AX7 positions with fairly poor results. I had left the stock Russian 6922 in place while I was doing this. On a whim, I put in a Tele 6DJ8 in place of the Sovtek 6922. Wow – what a difference that made. I was ready to sell the Rhea and write it off before I switched the 6DJ8 but ended up keeping it until I found an IO on the used market.
What I’m referring to when I say EI are pre-war tubes made in Yugoslavia. The factory was founded in the 50’s using Telefunken equipment. I find that they have more body than Tele’s but are slightly less transparent. The combination of EI’s and Tele’s balances body with transparency nicely and should work well with your Lyra. The friend that I sold my Rhea to auditioned it using a Dynavector 17D2. That tube combination also worked well with my ZYX Airy3. The other added benefit of the EI’s that they are reasonably priced.
RWD, Do yourself a favor and just call Andy at Vintage Tube Services. He is the only NOS tube supplier that is endorsed by Aesthetix.
I have an Aesthetix Calypso and Rhea, both running NOS tubes provided by Andy at Vintage Tube Services. I am very happy with the product and the advice provided by Andy.
If you want new production tubes you might want to work with a different supplier as I think Andy only deals in vintage NOS tubes.
The lowest price is not always the best deal. NOS tubes are not all equal. Testing and matching are critical in the Rhea.
RWD, you don't need to spend $1,000 for good NOS tubes for your Rhea, and all of the 12ax7 tubes don't have to be as low noise as the V1 and V2 positions, which are the most critical.
Another option would be selected modern tubes from Aesthetix or Jim McShane, although Jim has a waiting list for a Rhea tube set right now.
"has anyone bought tubes for the Rhea (or anything else) from Upscale Audio???"
Yes, this past fall I bought 5 Telefunken E88CCs for my Symphonic Line pre from "Uncle Kevin." He was extremely informative about what the various 6922 family tube flavors would provide when I spoke with him about options.
And when one tube died within the 90-day warranty period, he replaced it without issue. So count me as a happy camper.
Well it’s been approx. 3 days (9-12 hrs. ) of listening . It’s amazing how new tubes could make such a significant difference. The top end on my RS 1-B’s is more delicate and shimmering and yet the mid-range and bass has much more meat on the bone then before. Enjoying the new tubes and a big endorsement to Andy Bowman of Vintage Tube Service. Now I need to think of re-tubing my Aesthetic Calypso!!