Thanks for the heads up on this. What’s your opinion of the TS 7581A over a typical EL34? In other words what’s the 34 not doing as well as the 7581A? Thanks!
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But I should note I like tubes like I like women. All are beautiful in their own right. Some just do it for me more than others. :)
I will compare my notes and make an update with more details.
I sgoujd akso note note the Gold Lion kt77 is the only one I really need to try so I can’t comment. I hear from others it’s super. I don’t think you can go wrong with anything gold lion. I love my GL 300bs and others.
Gold Lion KT77s are fabulous tubes. I'll have a pair of 7581As in a day or two (coming from Viva/Only Glass in Easthampton MA about an hour from my house) and will pop them into my little Dennis Had SE amp (only takes 2 power tubes) to see if they can compete with the GL KT77s that I currently prefer. I've used KT150s, KT120s, a couple of KT88 variations, JJ KT77s which sucked (surprisingly), and have stuck with the GL 77s only because they sound astonishingly good relative to all those I just mentioned. If the 7581s don't cut it, jbhiller will be held personally responsible and I will require a heart felt sincere apology from him. It's only fair.
Wolf, if you do not like them I could buy them off you. But seeing as they are $30 a pop not a huge loss, which is why folks should try them out. I love KT150s but at over $100 a pop they are a bigger risk for folks.
And Wolf you are making me want to try the Gold Lion KT77. I need an octet though so it's going to be a bit of dough.
I've played with pretty much every new/reissue tube and own all NOS EL34s available. There is only one king: Amperex EL34. Nothing even comes close. Old Mullards are nice, but the Amperex EL34s are simply the best, kind of like the original Genalex KT88s (still own two NOS matched quads). Then of course there are the new KT150s, which in the right amp, I feel just give the best of what NOS tubes had, plus total grip of woofers that no EL34 or KT88 can give. I'm keeping my collection for when I get back into two way bookshelf speakers again.
The new 5581As arrived and they sound pretty damn good already. Giving the 77s some competition around here. Nice friggin' tube....the sound seems slightly Spanish with a hint of "Jet Age" Old European potato farmer. They imply but don't overstate an extended 2nd harmonic enhancement with flamboyantly reticent outer detail that could possibly inhibit mold growth.
Yes, I do really like these tubes. Many times I'm not so sure or as passionate because there are many fine tubes that don't stand out in any meaningful way for me. These stand out.
I've isolated my findings to the power tubes. Even when I roll preamp tubes of different ilk, it is these power tubes that stand out across preamp tubes that I've used with other power tubes.
I also like them because they are such a good value in the crazy tube market. With NOS power tubes so scarce and expensive, these are solid value.
One thing of big note. One power tube I haven't tried is the GL KT77, which is a shame. I hope to do that soon.
I meant 7581As in my last post, lest anyone be reading this stuff. The Gold Lion KT77s really are a great tube and until now have been my reference (meaning I left them in my amp as they sounded better than other options) for a year or so...beautiful looking tube, and I recently bought a new set as one tube stopped working...hmm...now that the 7581As are breaking-in (as far as that goes with tubes), they’re already a seriously great sounding tube...wide ranging effortless tone monsters with a cool looking blue glow at the plates...I like that...they’re gonna be around for a while as I bask in the damn things, and at 50 bucks a pair new and tested, there’s simply nothing not to like.
The 120s sounded great in a Jolida 502p push-pull amp that I used them in primarily, and only swapped 'em out when they got weak....wound up using Gold Lion KT88s mostly. In the amp I now use (Dennis Had Inspire Firebottle HO 12wpc...4 tubes total in this thing) I can put pretty much any power tube in there (with a rectifier tube change when needed for "sag" avoidance or encouragement...or something) and the amp itself seems simply more revealing of tube differences. I might put the 120s back in sometime just for some tonal mischief, and because I feel bad for all of the lonely tubes that dwell in the darkness of my tube drawer.
arch2....I've been running the 7581a now for several days after replacing the Gold Lion KT77. In my PrimaLuna I like the 75s better.....much more tone, the sound staging and the detail is comparable to the Gold Lion....both tubes are wonderful, I prefer the Tung-Sol because the tone is stronger and the bass deeper and more fleshed out.
jb...LOL so true!
willmacc....I have a set of TS EL34Bs so I’ll let you know how they compare. They do have the typical 34 shortcomings, in that they can be a tad bright on top and the bass is not well defined. But the mids are exceptional. Really lush and involving, trumpets are unreal. For like $22 each an amazing mid-range and a very nice tube.
I’ve rolled a number of the popular reissues, and I’m thinking I simply like the TS sound more than the GLs (though I do have GL KT77s arriving today). I am trying GL KT88s now, going to sell them. They have a nasty glare on top I just can’t rid of (on many different recordings), and after 100 hours I don’t think they will change nearly enough with more hours.
I do like the TS KT120s (shy in the mids but vintage Mullards in the pre helped a lot). They have a reputation for glare, but I don’t hear it. Might just be someone mentioning it in forums and it’s become folk lore. More of a SS sound, but a really good tube, esp. if KT150s aren’t an option for your amp.
Hope me this is helpful, will get back about the 7581A compare.
The OP made comparison of the TS 7581 tubes to, among other tubes, the KT88's in his first sentence. So far as I know, few tube amps can swap between EL 34's and KT88's. I am super happy with the pricey Shaguang KT-88-t tubes in my Don Sachs power amp. They are much better than the Gold Lion KT88's, which are also very good.
I’ve been listening to the TS 7581A’s this weekend in my Primaluna Dialogue Premium HP amp. I agree with a number of comments particularly in regards to being more revealing. I was quite surprised by that. So revealing in some instances it was like hearing a slightly different version of a song I may have heard a hundred times before. Bass is tight and extended in comparison to the stock EL34’s, but, I think I prefer the roundness of the bass and the midrange flow with the EL34’s. They seem bigger sounding and fuller in my setup. I only have 10 or 15 hours on the 7581A’s so I’ll give them a good baking before coming to any final conclusions. I consider myself a “jet age, old European potato farmer” kind of guy so I’m keeping my fingers crossed.
Just just ordered a quad of these today from Viva $92.00 with shipping Hoping to hear those intrinsic organic overtones and supple extended high frequencies associated with these tubes. All kidding around aside the VIva website lists these as KT 66 Variants. Looking forward to hearing them as I haven’t listened to my tube amps for almost two years