What experience have you had with 5814a Tubes?


I've had a super positive experience with 1950s NOS 5814a tubes, triple MICA black plates.  I think they sound superb.
jbhiller
I prefer the 5814A tubes over standard 12AU7’s in most cases. I’ve used the RCA 5814A triple MICA black plates and they were more engaging and dynamic, plus they have the RCA warmth and extended low-end.

Are you using them in your PrimaLuna? In what preamp position are you using them?
Hi Lowrider!

Yes, I’m using them in my Primaluna. I bought a really nice matched NOS set of GE 5814a 5 Stars--I think they are 1953 vintage. The price was reasonable--not dirt cheap, but very fair.

Assuming they are truly NOS (and they look unused), I would expect they may be excited right out of the box. However, I really like them right out of the box. I’m about 10 hours in and all is great.

At this point, I have enough experience rolling to know if I’m being seduced by something different. I really like these. I was pleasantly surprised at the air on the top end because they replaced a pair of Cifte 12AU7s, which are really something on top but maybe a touch too much top to bottom.

I learned that I liked experimenting with different preamp tubes within the 6 required--i.e. 2 in the very front middle that have some top end air, 2 in the next slots that must be a solid tube, and then 2 in the outer slots that are a bit more generic. Right now I’m running a pair of organ pulls in the 2 outermost slots. I’ve liked them there with the last several rolls and I think it makes sense as opposed to putting in, say, 6 Mullards, 6 Ciftes, etc. across the board.

I really like the GE 5814a’s. I am still, pessimistically so, waiting for fatigue to set in yet it hasn’t!

By the way, without looking I want to say you were the good soul that recommend that I get my PSB Imagine T2s off the floor with Herbie’s rollers or similar. I did take your advice (assuming that was you), and you were bang on! Also, I’ve seen you around here and you always seem to offer nice, reasonable posts with helpful, non-critical information. I owe you a drink!
@jbhiller , so very glad to be be of help with the speaker recommendation, and thanks for the kind words. I'll bet that tweak opened up the bass and mids, (I had the older PSB Synchrony's).

Regarding preamp tube rolling, my findings where just like yours are; I mixed it up. I would use a primo NOS in the driver position for flavour, then a different brand or type as the cathode follower.

I know you made a good choice with the PrimaLuna. Enjoy !!

I use GE circa '63,'64 and '65 and find them outstanding!
You may also want to try a set of CBS or Hytron shiny black plate 5814s from the late 50's and early 60's. One of my all around favorite U.S. made 12AU7 variants.

I have used 5814s on occasion and find them to very well balanced in terms of frequency extension and having a clear strong voice (that's a good thing).  I know I tried several others but none were as good as the RCA.

My preference is still to use the Amperex 7316, which I was fortunate to collect before the price became ridiculous and so many counterfeits were on the market. Why the 7316 , it's a subjective thing really I just prefer the way they sound.

 





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