Tubes for Cal Audio Labs Alpha Processor

I have a Cal Audio Labs Alpha tube analog processor. Was told certain tubes fail quickly in this unit. Any recommendations? Thank you Dan
I never had any trouble with my Sigma or Alpha being hard on tubes, but I was using 10kHr Telefunken ECC803S tubes. If you enjoy transparency and quiet background; they, or Siemens E83CC's(triple mica, from the 60's) are a very good bet(both very accurate, extended in highs and lows w/o glare or bloat, and faithful to the original signal). If you prefer a warmer coloration: Mullard long plates from the 50's are very popular. Either Brimar or Mullard CV4004's will cost less and still please you, if you like the Brit sound.
I've had an Alpha for a many years but upgraded to a Tri-Vista last year but I can't seem to part with it. All the years I used my Alpha I never had at 12AX7 quit and it was powered up 24/7 for years. I tried a bunch of tubes but the one I liked most at the end of the day was the Groove Tubes GT12AX7M reissue.

BTW it reacted well to changes in cabling.

Good Luck
I've had an Alpha for about 15 years - tube longevity has never been a problem for me. Tube selection has always been made based on ancillary equipment and speakers. I like a clear neutral tone, one that if it errs at all errs on the warm side. I'm presently using EI12AX7E (grey plates/steel pins).
I've also never had any problem with tubes in my Alpha.

For sound, the best I've encountered so far are Sylvania 5751's.

The tubes fail because people turn their units on and off, this being hard on the tubes. I've owned a Sigma II for almost fourteen years and ran it 24/7 until it went into a second system in a little-used second apartment six years ago. It just went back into my system last week to decode signal from a Wadia IPod dock - it sounded as good as ever - I had never changed the original tube - but I had some extra tubes laying around and an hour to kill, so I finally retubed it, if only for the hell of it.

Most people do not understand what gear should be left on 24/7 and what gear needs to be turned off when not in use. Generally speaking, turn off tube amps, Class-A biased solid-state amps, and maybe tube preamps with tube power supplies (depends on preamp). Leave everything else on 24/7, including any tube gear that uses small-signal tubes, like tube preamps with solid-state power supplies (that's 97% of them), tube DAC's and tubed CD players, and tubed tuners. If you insist upon turning off digital gear, sell your system and buy yourself a double-wide.
Mr N- I should have mentioned: You'll never appreciate what your Alpha ia capable of unless you try NOS tubes in it. Nothing currently manufactured can come close to the reproduction of the tubes I listed(except perhaps this one: ( You'll think you upgraded the DAC.
I also have never had a tube fail in My alpha and use a NOS Tesla ECC 803S a very nice tube but now use a NOS GE 5751 and think it sounds a little better. The GE tube is dated 1957 NOS 5751 a little less gain than a 12AX7 but the alpha has so much gain that I like the 5751 tube and it is a little sweet sounding a good thing with digital. Marc My alpha is about 11 years old with the 24/96 upgrade
Having my Alpha (non 24/96 version) for agood two years now, being bought used from Agon, and is a '93 model. I've never had it eat tubes yet, but will admit that a pair of unbranded, supposed Shuguang 12AX7 C-9 production Tubes went "fuzzy" in a hurry, and it didn't appear to be any fault of the Alpha, but rather cheap, junky tubes. BTW, they didn't fail, just sounded as i describe, raspy, and fuzzy, so out they came.

About a good year ago, I ordered a number of pairs from Kevin at Upscale Audio. NOS '60's GE 5751, NOS '50's RCA TM Black Plate 5751, and a pair of the Groove Tubes 12AX7M Mullard re-issue.

Then lastly, did buy about 6 12AX7 Sovtek Mullard Re-issues, and tried these as well.

In my experience, the '50's NOS RCA 5751 had the best sound of all, but surprisingly, the Groove Tube 12AX7M was very good as well. The New Sensor/Sovtek Mullard re-issue is a good tube, and bang for the buck, but I do like the GT Mullard Re-issue ever so slightly better, it is not quite as dark as the Sovtek. Both though are good tubes that won't break the bank.

The 60's NOS GE 5751 I got from Kevin were good as well, but just a little bit more forward in the mids, like the singer stepped up a bit closer to the Mic.

Virtually all who have owned the Alpha, and have gone through the trouble, and expense to do considerable tube rolling with this unit, will tell you the NOS Sylvania Triple Mica Black Plate 5751 is the absolute holy grail for the Alpha, as well as other applications, but there are downsides, being that you will pay horribly through the nose for a pair of the real deal, and it has been said by those who have experience with these Tubes, that they are a tube that does not possess a long life.

My best, bang for the dollar suggestion-advice, is try a pair of the matched, platinum graded GT 12AX7M from Kevin from Upscale Audio.

When I got the Alpha, the original owner had a pair of JAN/Phillips 5751 in place, and while they might've sounded fine in his system, they were so unbelieveably harsh, and thin-glassy in my system, it literally sounded like fingernails on a chaulkboard. No warmth, and poor Bass Response as well.

I also one a Sigma II, and in this DAC, the Sovtek 12AX7LPS has worked very well, and has been in there for quite many years with no issues. You may find in the Alpha, the LPS Tube may sound a bit thin-cold. Mark
I've got a Cal Audio Alpha and also like the GE 5751 tubes. I tried some Sovtek 12AX7LPS tubes several years ago. They sounded good but as soon as I turned the dac off and powered it up the next day, the left tube went dead. I tried another Sovtek 12AX7LPS and had the same results. I blamed this on the 12AX7LPS tube as I have had this dac for many years and rolled many different brands of tubes without ever having the Cal Audio blow out a tube.
I have this DAC and suffered through the same tube problems as described here. Some vendors were kind enough to replace the failed tubes but upon return found the "blown" tube worked just fine for them. On another forum I read about a fellow who had the same problem but after his Alpha had been modded the problem went away. Turns out there is an issue with the tube heater circuit on the left side that is a simple fix for someone who is aware of it and handy with a soldering iron. I'm not so I had my unit repaired by RHB Sound Dezign (302-723-7549) and it has been free of tube issues for many years. I am running the Sovtek LPS which would not work before the repair.