It could be a simple case that the new rectifier tube is just a better fit with your dac and has nothing to do with the previous tube being worn down.
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Rectifier tubes I have seen old 50s Mullard 5ar4 rectifier still operating well
after 10 + years. The Type and quality of the rectifier has a lot to do with it ,as well as how hard they are run.if it a well thought out design it is around 35% of its potential . That is what my Lampizator dac
runs the rectifier at, which I had changed from a 6x5 to a 5u4Gwith a new 5 volt transformer. This 5v rectifier puts out 3 Amps vs 1.2, which gives a ton of control , and operates at under 40% potential .This 5u4G 1950coke bottle type which is excellent and much less $$ then the most popular 5ar4 rectifier tube.
Yeah, my 'rectification tube' isn't as 'responsive' as it used to be...*sigh*
Not replaceable, sadly...but fortunately there's *ah* certain 'work-arounds' that seem to induce agreeable response...
@jpwarren58....I hear you...the main valve in my on-board amp turned out to be a mutant from delivery. The new one was slipped in without major disassembly (fortunately). They later updated me with a new time/correction circuit with a reboot app....
It's even Bluetoothed! *L*
I be Borg now. ;) We will All be assimilated..
No AI for this rig, though.....