You need to get out more. Perhaps you should wear sun glasses :-}
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Many years ago I changed from Carver solid state to B&K solid state and was overjoyed. I can vividly relate to that memory. Many years later, I was equally astounded by the difference between NOS and current production vacuum tubes. I don't claim to be an expert, but I've yet to hear a current production tube better an NOS replacement. Enjoy the ride.
Lars, would you please tell me where I can get ( and what) NOS el34's for my mono's that are appropriate and high quality without being very expensive? These are Manley Snappers BTW.
I'm sure others would be interested too. Also I tried Telefunken 12at7's in my Stingray and they sounded horrible and then blew up on me. EI, EH and JJ sounded much more full and not as shrill.
Thank you for the NOS reccomendation. That's what I hoped lars would send. What is expensive in this hobby is kind of a joke eh? But I would say that Mullard el34's at tube depot for $4,000 an octet are to my eyes very expensive. Especially since I only paid a little over half that for the Snappers (used) that they would be going into (not).
Also the thing about NOS tubes is finding the "real deal".
I mean you have to look for brown plates or black plates, this getter or that getter, and for God's sake watch out for the ever present copies! It gets to where you have to check to see if they were made on the sunny side of the factory or if uncle Ivan who immagrated to Hungary was making Knockoffs and whether or not Uncle Ivan had a great time last night and a salami sandwhich or whatever. And once you have researched all of that, you find a dealer who turns out to have 2 matched tubes for $1500! Great help when you nedd 8 tubes. Still, in this hobby, you keep searching for the best and maybe tube rolling is a great way to enjoy that.
Problem is that I am old enough to remember going with my father to the drug store and using the tube tester and buying tubes for $5.00 each-$10.00 if they were "power tubes".
I am now rolling out my 12at7's in the front end for Mullard new stock cryo Black Sables over the JJ's that cost $10.00 each. The SAbles were $150 a matched pair from tube depot. I call that fair enough. Still giving them some break in time before I decide. They are very quiet and have opened up the high end. Maybe a little more then I would like in my very hard rooom. They still get another week of use before I decide but, I would definitely be open to NOS for the 2 front end tubes here. I have Winged C's coming for the eh 6ca7's I am using now, and will give them 2 weeks before reporting back.
Bottom line to your post, I thnik that the Siemens at $560 an octet are worth the buy if I am not satisfied with the Winged c's. I am only willing to spend so much on the Manley Snappers in tube rolling before an amp upgrade starts to make more sense.
One last thing to this windy response. I sure do miss my EL 84 tubes in the Stingray. Much sweeter sound and better sound stage imaging even with the JJ $10.00 dollar tubes. Sadly, 50 watts was great with my Eurpas and Calistos but just not enough for my new Calypsos.
It's time for room treatment!
My most satisfying NOS upgrade yet has been a quad of RCA EL 84s replacing the current production EH variety. I'm still trying to decide between an NOS RCA 12AX7A vs. a current Chinese tube used by Cary. Regarding larger power tubes, the current production EL 34s sold by Groove Tubes, made by Mullard, seem quite fine in my Cary V-12 R. As I've said previously, I'm not an expert, just a person enjoying the hobby.
One other advatage of the RAM Labs Siemens is that in my experience there is nobody better at matching and testing tubes than Roger Modjeski. When dealing with tube nuerosis, I feel comfortable that Roger has matched the tubes. Another fellow would by Jim McShane, bought my SED EL34s from him and they bias very closely as matched quartets.
Actually, I'm a total neophyte at this though I've loved listening to music for decades. I also do not have the disposable income to throw around for high end components.
The B&K I've bought has shown me two things. The Carver amp I had was way too old to pusn further. Secondly, the speakers I built a year ago are better than I though when the B&K was powering them.
What I am hearing from my system that I didn't before is alot of texture. Simple things like the rattling of a guitar string or cleanly hearing the distortion effect of a guitar. There is alot of detail I was missing before the B&K
Now, I admit, the improvement may be due to a newer piece of equipment. The Carver I had was 22 years old. Then again, perhaps the B&K is that much better as well.