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!

Showing 4 responses by jeffreybehr

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.
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.
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.
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.)