Tube Rolling in a Mac 2102/2200

Hi all,
I looking for fellow A'goner's experiences with rolling tubes in the MAC2102 and MAC 2200. Other than the stock tubes, I've only tried Sylvania CCA-5751WA from 1959 in the MAC 2200 but am wonering what others have tried and which tubes in these units gives the most "bang for the buck". Thanks!

Okay, you have just asked someone who just arrived at McIntosh Nirvana, ala tube rolling.

First, on the 2102 the Svetlana KT 88s are just fine. They don't come 'matched' and this can be important but that is not what I am pointing you toward.

McIntosh has a bunch of Chinese 'little' tubes toward the front of the 2102 and they are much like putting Ripple in a bottle of that should be holding excellant wine.

I recently changed my 12AX7 tubes to NOS 1960's era Sylvania and my 12AT7 tubes to Mullards and, my G-O-O-D-N-E-S-S, the differance has been an epithany. I had no idea how much of an improvement this could make, especially in Bass.

Get rid of the Chinese stock tubes!

Oh, I have a vintage Fisher Tuner that I had restored and it uses Electroharmonix 12AX7 tubes and, just for fun I tried putting the Chinese tubes in it and it sounded awful!

The 2102 sounded almost as good with the electroharomnix 12AX7s and this would be fine to use, also.
Thanks for the reply UncleJeff.

Could you tell me a little bit more about the Mullard 12AT7's, vintage, country of origin, etc.

I really appreciate it.

I bought them from Kevin at

His shop is based in Southern California. You can get his phone number from the web page. He is knows a whole lot about tubes, McIntosh equipment and he understands the concept of 'suggestive sales'; where he will make suggestions and give opinions to get you where you want to be.

He most certainly set me right.
Also, if you click on my name and go to 'threads initiated' and click on the one titled "adventures of a novice tube roller' you might find more on this.
I also own the C2200.


NOS/NEW Telefunken:

ECC 801S/12AT7 ~1960's
ECC 81/12AT7
ECC 83/12AX7
ECC 803(coming soon)

NOS/NEW Mullard :

ECC 81 10M ~1960's
ECC 83 10M
ECC 83 10M gold pins

NOS/NEW Amperex:

same as above vintage 60's
in progress testing


The difference over the stock tubes is amazing. The Tele's are extremely nice, very clean, good bass and highly upfront soundstage. The Mullard's, my favorite so far, are very articulate, laid back, super bass, and very fast. Since I am using Thiel CS6's the Mullard's are a great choice to lay back the sounsdstage(my preference) put out by the Wadia 27i/270. My guess would be the Tele's over Mullards on B&W but only my thoughts. I am in progress of testing out the Amperex but doubt they can touch the 10M's in my tastes. I am using Mcintosh 2600's which are about to be replaced by 1201's for power.

Can't wait to start mixing brands after I get them all burned in.