Tubes for Antique Sound Labs 805 DT Mono Block Amp


I have just purchased the Antique Sound Labs 805 DT Mono Block Power Amplifiers, and I was hoping to get some advice on tube rolling. Specifically, I would like to find some NOS 805 tubes? 6L6 tubes? 12ax7 tubes. Where is a good place to buy these tubes. Thanks in advance.



P.S. Great amps!
I've had a pair for a few months and LOVE them. I've modified one--caps and resistors, mostly--and will be comparing it with the stock unit soon.

12AX7s are 'thick on the ground' as my back-East friend says. Pick one or many and try them. I've used GrooveTube 12AX7Ms, Ei Elite Golds, EHs--they all sound very close to me...but I'm no GEA, either.

I've tried many 6L6s in my amps and they, too, all sound fine. They too are quite common; look on eBay or try The Tube Depot. My dealer, Chris Kipp of The Audio Gallery in Sacramento, CA, loves the quite-expensive-now XF2-coded Mullard EL34s in that position. I've tried the NP Mullared EL34s; they didn't allow the 805s to bias correctly, while ALL the 6L6s I have work correctly.

805s...ah yes... Chris loves the RCAs. I have a bunch of those including a pair of NOSs I got from Chris. I have several United Electronics, and I have a pair of National Unions that someone told me are made by Amperex. (The Cetrons I tried wouldn't bias correctly.) One can spend a LOT of money for these, but I strongly urge you to buy used ones for only $50 each from Leeds in Brooklyn. He has sold me several RCAs and several Uniteds; they all work and sound fine. (I bought the Cetrons from him; he replaced them quickly and happily, with RCAs.)

Are yours the newest versions with 5 transformers and a platecap for the 805?

See for pics of my speakers, amps, and tubes.
Hi Jeff,

I have the stock version, but would love to hear your comparisons between the modified version to the stock version. Please let me know!

It just so happens that I had a pair of NOS Mullard 12AX7 tubes from a previous amp. The Explorer 805 came with a pair of JJ 12AX7's, but they don't compare to the Mullards. Right now, I have the stock Antique Sound Labs 6L6 tubes in the Explorer 805. What do you think is the best sounding 6L6 tube in this unit?

According to Jeff's Sound Values this is the newest version. The Explorer 805 does have the five transformers, but not the platecap. I would love to try the RCA 805 tubes, but wouldn't I have to have the platecap modification? Thanks much for your response.
I'm pretty sure the version I have, with the plate cap, is the very latest one; I also believe the the nice folk at JSV believe what they told you. (BTW I bought my used Quad 989s from them--drove from Phoenix to get them; they're very nice people and treated me very well.) If you don't have a platecap, I think you're stuck with the Chinese capless 805s. Ask Divergent Tech., the distributor (in Canada; ); they may have the platecap cables, instructions, etc.

I have 5 different types/brands of 6L6s. The Philips and Sylvania 6L6WGBs appear to be identical in construction but for base color; they have smaller bottles than the metals or Peavys. The obviously old RCA and Ken-Rad metal versions have identical exteriors. The Peavy (guitar-amp) 6L6GCs have larger bottles. All I know about these is that they operate correctly in my amps; I simply have not taken the time to compare them carefully, and remember--I'm no GEA so I can't hear subtle differences quickly...or sometimes ever. Just buy some on eBay; they're NOT expensive.

In another lifetime (25 years ago) as a vinylite, I had an ARC SP-6B preamp and compared lots of 'X7s. At the time, I fell in love with the overall rightness of the sound of Telefunken smoothplate ECC83s, but I haven't gone crazy enough to try to buy any recently. I suppose I'll just stick with the GT 'Ms' and the Eis.

Do pursue this platecap issue; it'll allow you to use all the old 805s that are still floating around and are not yet too expensive.
Let me say some words about this cris Kipp from Sacramento.

After we had agreed with Kipp (the representative of Audio Gallery from Sacramento)I transferred to his account over 5000 USD as a payment for the Audio Research REF 2 MKII preamp advwrised on Audiogon. As a result I received neither equipment nor my money back. The Audiogon’s staff was strongly engaged trying help me to get either the money back or have the ordered equipment I paid for. Due to Kipp's attitude the case have not been solved – Audiogon had surrendered and I lost my money. I have every evidence of the case (correspondence, wire copies from my bank, and Audiogon’s opinions). The only punishment the seller got was exclusion from Audiogon’s community.
Beware of him!!
Even though I don't know the intimate details of your claim, how can you prove what you say is true? Last year you gave me some erroneous negative FB(To the tune of $5300) which caused me problems. To this day, I can't get it erased because the dispute process has to be followed even though you've printed a retraction. Kipp has spent years building his business. Prove your case.
The worst I can say about Chris is that sometimes he's too busy to respond quickly to e-mails and that he seems a bit disorganized often--perhaps the result to being too busy and now with a very pregnant wife/partner. He's done everthing he said he would.

Gruk, I hope you get your issue resolved.
To show you how busy he is, he'll travel from Sac all the way down to San Diego to deliver and do an installation...alone.
Jmorey, I finally compared the 2 amps, one stock and one modified.

The modified amp is less edgy/grainy/gritty sounding when reproducing the sounds of instruments with a lot of high-frequency harmonics, such as massed violins. Also, the modded amp retains spacial and instrumental decay better/longer, so I expect the soundstage will be larger in stereo. Definitely an improvement, even to this tin-eared audiofool.

Have finally found some suitable high-voltage caps--ASC oil-filled 'propylenes from Michael Percy--to replace half of the PS 'lytics with. (Have already replaced all the 'lytic decouplers with composite 'propylenes.)