Check out Vintage Tube Services. Andy can provide some excellent recommendations. Great service. Reasonably priced.
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I owned that preamp and it was fun to roll tubes in it.
First decide what type of timbre you are looking for in your system. NOS tubes will sound better than new production tubes, but they are priced higher according to availability.
RCA Blackplates have a very open classic tube sound. I also liked Amperex (Holland) which produce an extremely wide and deep 3D image; however, they will reveal the flaws in a poorly mastered CD.
TCTUBES is a great company, but also check out the Brent Jessee website. It has lots of info on tube types and their particular sonic signatures; plus he has a large inventory of tubes.
Thanks all for the responses. I will check into the suggested suppliers.
As an addendum, I am currently running a Bryston DAC-1 with Audiophileo 2 w/PurePower into the Fusion (Lowrider, I believe you also use the AP/PP converter ) The pre drives a BEL 1001 MK5 which in turn feeds a pair of Esoteric MG10s. My system resides in a tuned dedicated room 12x15x8.5. I am very happy with the musical experience this system provides. However, as I never owned tube gear I have never had the opportunity to explore the benefits tube rolling provides. Therefore, I think I would like to find a set of tubes that most sonically contrast the Tung-Sol tubes that were supplied with the pre. Looking as much for the learning experience as an upgrade.
Thanks again to all.
My 2 cents as a tube roller is to recommend buying from a dealer with a good return policy (thetubestore.com is a fave) as I've had NOS tubes fail...nice when they're replaced free of charge, and for me a key is buying NOS and not simply OS (old stock) as I really can't trust used tubes unless I'm the one who used them, although maybe I'm paranoid. A fave currently are the NOS Mullard 12AT7s in the phase splitter role in my amp because they explode on start up (what's not to like about that?), and I just ordered a pair of new Gold Lion matched and balanced premium gluten free all natural organic 12AX7s just to see what all the fuss is about (they do look cool after all), and because they're on sale! BLACK FRIDAY man...
Wolf is correct and not paranoid... the dealer must have a return policy.
NOS can mean New Old Stock or it can also mean the tube was used in a
medical or military component in the 1950s for a short time and then was
put on the market for sale as new. The dealer would be unaware and test
the tube and it may still test as new.
I submitted a further response on Friday which has yet not been posted. Yes Lowrider I had mistaken you for another, sorry. Anyway as an update I have decided on the following route:
I have searched the web sites of TCtube, thetubestore, and Brent Jesse and will likely do business with them. The Brent Jesse site was most helpful in describing tube build, nomenclature, and sonics.
Given the possibilities are vast and the price range wide, I have decided that I will call the Jolida preamp person and get his opinion. Barring the result doesnt influence me otherwise, I am leaning towards purchasing from Brent Jesse a set of GE blackplate triple mica tubes for about $200 a set (all 4 required tubes).
I will update everyone as to purchases and impressions. Thanks again for the advise.
Wolf, cant believe the gluten free tubes are the fave throughout the Great Plains states.
Well, I ordered a set of Mullard tubes. CV 4024 (at7) and CV 4004 (ax7) platinum grade from Upscale Audio. Was looking to warm up the upper mids and lower treble and was advised they would do that. I will get back to everyone after a comparative listening session. It is likely that these will not be the only tubes I purchase, just my 1st foray into tube rolling. Thanks again.
Gold Lion 12AX7 are what I've been using for the past 4 years in my preamp. Excellent performance across the entire frequency range, and won't break the bank.
They also make 12AT7 and 12AU7 versions of the tube.
Well I have installed the new tubes and am quite pleased. After a couple extended listening sessions have concluded that the upper mids and treble are more refined and the imageing has improved.
Just for the education, after I have gotten more familiar with the new sound my plan is to reinstall the original tubes to get a better handle on the differences. After which, I have no doubt the Mullards will remain.
Jeenam, I considered the Gold Lions. May try a set of these one day
Thanks to all!