Which tubes "rock", which tubes "are like a dirty window", and which tubes "sound dazed and confused"?
No disprespect, but your syntax is confusing.
FWIW, in my system neither tube had the negative characteristics you described. Maybe you procured a bad pair.
The Amperex sounds dazed and confused and the CCa makes the Amperex sound like a dirty window that needs to be cleaned. The CCa has much more clarity than the Amperex.
I don't think the Ampeerex is bad as it sounded great until the Siemens came along.
I have a pair of Amperex 7308 coming from Andy (going on a 30 day wait) that will be interesting to try out.
Thanks for explaining. That's what I thought you meant, but I wanted to be
In my system, the Amperex had a SLIGHTLY softer top end, and a SLIGHTLY
more diffuse midrange than the CCA, which in comparison had the precision
of surgical steel.
Now, everyone's interpretation of these differences varies, and what I
consider to be slight, you may consider to be extensive.
Also, to me what you describe seems possibly attributable to microphonic
Or, it could simply be due to differing perceptions.
I compared several tubes in this category in my Dodd battery preamp and found the Amperex 1960's white label and Seimens 1960's CCa's to be the two best. Between the two, I much prefer the CCa's.
In my system the CCa's have much better texture - just sound richer without giving up bass slam or top end. Dynamics are great, also.
I tried a couple pairs of both, so I got some diversity there. I do plan to keep a pair of the 7308's around to change things up once in while.
I heard the Amperex's in the Dodd and thought they were great. I use them and Siemens in my Art Audio Alana pre.
Have you tried switching left and right? With the Dodd only using half the triode in each tube, you might notice a difference if one of the sides is a little off. Cost = 0.
It does sound like it could be weak tubes though. I have an amp that was starting to sound a little flat. I changed the output tubes, no luck, changed rectifiers, no luck. It uses 6922's and 12bh7's in the driver/gain stage, replaced them, bingo. All the dynamics/transients were back and it was day and night, not audiophile split hairs different.
I think you'll like the 7308's when you get them.
My understanding is that a CCa is actually a production 6922 which tests and sounds special. Thus they are just highly selected. That said I agree that it is a scapel compared to a rip saw.
The comments on the 6SN7s are verging on inane. Of course those tubes rock and if you really want a tighter sound try Jan CHS WGTs or Black NU GT if you want bass use Ken Rad VT 231 GTs.
One of the few notable reasons for buying such prescious tubes like Ws and RPs is that they are very extended and very dynamic. Nonetheless their very high prices are now hard to justify.
There are tons of great 6SN7s with less prestige attached to them going at auction for peanuts. If you are an SN7 fan, the summer time slow selling days are a boon to people starting collections.
P.S. forget about fimding an NOS CCa or even a high quality 6922 for less than a kings ransom.
The Siemens CCa tubes are worth every penny of the +- $250 that they cost. I use them in both my Sonic Frontiers Line 3 SE+ preamp and in my Wolcott P220M amp and there is simply nothing else that comes even close.
Do an A/B comparison to anything else out there and you will change to them despite the price - they are that good.
That will depend on your love for the truth. The Siemens CCa(earlier than 1968)will allow whatever is fed it to pass with less added or subtracted(more transparently) than anything else out there. That is it's intrinsic value to me. Everyone doesn't appreciate that virtue. Some want their tubes to sound. By that I mean add something that they find attractive, ie: "warmth", "tubiness", microphonics, etc. Like interconnects and cables, some use tubes as tone controls to please the ubiquitous aural palate. As sound tech(over 30yrs now), I get to listen to an awful lot of live(unplugged and amplified music), in a lot of different venues. Whenever I find something in my system that I don't find when listening live: I target that for correction. Then to: I've found a number of things lacking(comparing the system to live). The CCa's simply brought more dynamics, sound stage, focus, liquidity and extension to the table than anything else I tried(Tele's, Mullards, etc.)as far as the 6922 family in past ARC pre-amps, DACs and my present CDP. I've got six in my VK-D5 and have not rued the $$ spend on them for an instant. I figure what I'm willing to spend on my RP's, W's, CCa's and whatever else brings me closer to the sound of live music(and all it's nuances) in my home, will be directly proportionate to my love of that sound. In the past month I spent $700.00 on a power supply upgrade to my pre-amp(greatly enhancing the system's dynamic range), and $80.00 on a pair of Hi-Fi Tuning fuses for the AC in on my Cary Monoblocks(actually made vocals more "organic" for one thing). I knew what I'd gain from the the power supply, but the fuses were a trial. I'll be ordering more fuses for my tube voltage and VK-D5 AC circuits this week. That's just my way of pursuing my musical pleasure. As long as you're enjoying your way.....Kewl! That's what it's all about!
Hence goes the statement that old stock tubes are very system dependent... Siemens gray plate CCA's are very detailed and can be bright in some applications. Amprex PQ,S less detailed more warmth will be less fatiguing in again some applications. Now a tube that gets very little notice due to lack of availability... is the over built Valvo 60's red and yellow label E88cc. This tube in many applications will out perform both the above with a greatly expanded soundstage and mids to die for.
Siemens gray plate CCA's are very detailed and can be bright in some applications. Amprex PQ,S less detailed more warmth will be less fatiguing in again some applications.
This mirrors my experience with these tubes.
I think the 300b amp may help the CCa not to be so bright and hard on the top end. With the Sylavina WM 6SN7 the CCa had it's toes over the line at times. With the TS RP it behaved itself . The Amperex works better with the Sylvania WM bringing out more of the top end.
I will hunt one down (Valvo) and see, hear what you are saying is true.
Thanks for the tip.
Siemens CCa's (pre 1968) are NOT the least bit strident, bright or glaring. Any system with a frequency imbalance/glare/sloppy bass/etc can make the very best tubes sound bad. That's just a fact of life. People that don't know any better will install a very transparent cable, interconnect or NOS tube in a system that isn't right to start with, and because the new component reveals a shortcoming in the system- blame the new component. I've watched those types chase their tails in this hobby for decades now. Of course- They're always right! Then again- SOME folks out there are teachable. Have fun!
Siemens CCa's (pre 1968) are NOT the least bit strident, bright or
They CAN be VERY close to being so. SOME
listeners might even perceive them as being bright.
I've heard it in a couple of systems that have been VERY carefully dialed-in.
The users decided to uninstall the CCa tubes.
Now, if CCa tubes are too high performance for many to to deal with, then
this should be a VERY strong caution signal for many potential buyers.
Ferraris are great cars, but they're not suited to most drivers.
I agree that the Siemens Cca( late 50's,early 60's) grey plates are very special tubes. In the right circuit in a resolving system, they are truly magical. Unfortunately, they are getting rarer and more expensive as time goes on.
Mr T- You are correct about the "taste" factor. That's why I always preface my recommendation of the CCa with a note about their clarity and transparency, and mention the fact that some might prefer a "warmer" tube. Another possibilty is badly recorded source material. I've had just a few discs over the years that were obviously mastered on monitors without tweeters(or by a deaf engineers), the highs were so exaggerated. I've got one right now that I really like the lyrics on, but won't play on my system because it's recorded so poorly. I only listen to it in the car, with the treble turned way down. Mr S- That's why they(and the E188CC/7308) are so stinking expensive and rare now: In an accurate, resolving system- they just get out of the way of the music. Obviouly there are a lot of us that enjoy that attribute. Happy listening!!
...would like to thank all who suggested the use of the s & h cca's..i replaced my tubes in my first sound pre with 2 of the 'cca's' i had laying around..1960's version.. and my system improved several notches in a number of ways...again..thanks for the post
Siemens CCa's, whether U-getter '50's or halo 60's, can sound...well, not bright, but I can understand someone using that word in the absence of another. I think I hear sometimes a certain tension, not a sterility by any means, but a subtle default to focus rather than harmonic complexity; or, a default towards replicating a clear space infinitely, but less towards harmonics decaying infinitely.
I know that doesn't make much sense...Its a great tube and if you lean towards wanting liquid clearness and focus, the this is the tube for you.
Just an opinion (although, radical subjectivist rantings aside, not all opinions are equal...)