My very brief experience with the KT120s in my Rogue M180s in triode mode found them to be the antithesis of tubes that could be described as possessing "open, airy, natural detail." I went back to the Gold Lion KT88s quickly.
Thank you for the reply! I appreciate it. I was thinking 120s may give me a little more power in triode mode, but won't do it if it means sacrifice to overall sound. Thanks again!
You are quite welcome. Please be aware that a lot of folks here on Audiogon love the KT120s and seem to swear by them. I seem to be in the minority on this forum with regard to that tube, but everyone I know around town that has tried them didn't like them either. As always, your ears and their synergy with your system should be the final deciding factor, all I can say is that I didn't like them nor do I personally know anyone who has tried them and liked them.
Interesting, I also own m180s, and the kt 120 bested every kt88 I have tried, including the gold lions (which blew up on me by the way ) I am itching to try the kt150s.
I also own the gold lion kt77 tubes, and the kt120 sound way better than those on my speakers btw (revel f32)
In the current Stereophile (Feb), Art Dudley reviews the new Primaluna Dialogue Premium ($3,200). Dudley preferred the Tung-Sol Kt120 in Triode mode. Dudley also rated this amp one of the best regardless of price, if I am remembering correctly. Dudley is a Shindo/Leben/Audio Note fan.
The KT-120 sounds different in each manufacturers amp. If the amp was voiced with the KT-77 then it would sound better with the KT-77. ARC amps that are designed to use KT-120's sound better with that tube.
I've been keeping track of negative reviews of the KT120 tube, and it's now up to 4. Maybe 5. I'm not doing a good job at this, but so far my totals are:
Positive KT120 opinions: 15,628.
Negative: 4. Or maybe 5.
Hold on Wolf. Let's not rush to judgment. Your count totals are not accurate. First, add me to the "positives," so that number should be 15,629.
Also, John mentioned that "everyone [he] know[s] around town that has tried them didn't like them either." We need to count those people too. LOL :)
I have driven through a few towns where you stop for gas or roadside surgery and sure enough, the topic always comes around to KT120s. One farmer brought it up when I was negotiating a fair price for his daughter, saying, "huh?"...which is a response I find hard to catagorize. I simply bought some teflon motorcycle chain lube and rode on.
Thanks to everyone who responded, and in every manner - lol - Mikirob, I did read the Dudley Stereophile article on the 120s in Triode mode and thought it very interesting. Only one way to find out for myself I guess is buy a quad and try em. Of course, now I am thinking about SED Winged C 6550Cs and what they would sound like in Triode mode.
I hope you do try them in your own system and settle this for yourself. Most people seem really impressed with their sound. I've found myself at odds with majority consensus regarding audio products more than a few times, your ears will sort it out.
I agree with Charles and wouldn't hesitate to suggest that you try them out for yourself and see if they work with your system. At the time I tried them I was using some capacitors in my speaker crossover that I had found to be very sensitive to the other components in the system. I had been surprised at how much they distinguished between the ribbed plate and smooth plate Telefunkens in my Rogue M180s. But there's other guys that come into the shop here with whom I've talked and they didn't like them either, and our systems are completely different. Then again, Chissain liked them in his M180 amps, and we can't discount Wolf's 15,000+ tally of KT120 success stories. I can only relate what I heard through my system, and it was the consensus of my three guests who were with me. What we heard was that the system went from being holographic to where the sound could be definitely identified as emanating from the speakers... I guess the proper term would be that the soundstage collapsed. Turning up the volume resulted in the bass overpowering the balance of my system. The tubes seemed more grainy than the GL KT88's, and with less high frequency extension.
This was their synergy with my system, or I should properly say, their lack thereof. But there's certainly too many people out there that really like them for you to not audition them based on my comments, they just didn't provide a sound through my system that I enjoyed. The issue with these tubes has since become moot for me as I have moved on to an amplifier that doesn't accept KT120s.
So that's 6? Wait...I think I double counted...
Charles1Dad and Reynolds853, thanks to both of you gentlemen, and you both have very nice systems!! I truly appreciate the advice. Thanks again.
Moofoo thank you for your kind comment.
Thank you too for your kind comments. Regardless of how you end up configuring your system I hope it brings you many hours of happy listening.