Get to upscaleaudio.com best tube site. Talk to Kevin, he is an expert on tubes, and he'll give you honest advice. I bought NOS Mazda's from and they are fab! cheers, Gerrym5
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Gedrrym5 gives good advice about Kevin. My experience with Kevin and the (French Mil) Mazda's is excellent as well. If you want the quietest and least expensive new tube, another option is the 12AX7 LP Sovtec. This is the ONLY Sovtec tube I like. It is a remarkable tube and a fraction of the cost of similar sounding NOS tubes. Other choices for an ultimate sounding 12AX7, is the Telefunken smooth plate. Be prepared to pay dearly for Telefunkens, as they are hard to find, and therefore expensive. Tele's are not necessarily the quietest tube around, but noise is more or less important, depending entirely on where it is used in a circuit. For instance, a Telefunken that would not be acceptable as a first stage gain tube in a phono circuit, could be the best tube available in a power supply, even if the noise numbers were not the best among the tubes you are testing.
The 12ax7s I am useing ARE Sovtek LPS which Albert recommended.Should I just forget upgrading.I called Kevin Deal,he said no guarentee his QUIETEST tube would lower the tube rush anymore. WHAT TO DO GUYS? IM fairly new to tubes so please advise. Thanfs Albert,I've read your replys elsewhere your cool!!
David, the Sovtek 12AX7 LPS is the spiral version of the LP, some people have reported that after as little as 60 days that particular tube begins the tube rush (noise) you report. The good news is that either version is very cheap (LP or LPS, maybe $7.00?) so you can afford to replace the pair three or four times a year (if absolutely necessary) for about the price of a good dinner. I know that this is not a wonderful piece of advice, but I have the same problem with my phono stage, and I use Sovtek 12AX7 LPS in the first stage, the Madza's in the second stage and Telefunken in the other stages. I find that the first tube (after the cartridge) effects the overall noise level more than stages after it. When I get the "rush" you describe, I can usually replace the first tubes and be back as quiet as possible without replacing the more expensive tubes. And, thank you for your kind words.
Albert, The LPS tubes had rush upon arrival of the Rogue 99 Why not get low noise or super low noise 12AX7s and can the LPs?? Can you help me with this also? I paid my dealer $!00.00 extra for NOS tubes for the 99 He told me Rogue sends some from the factory already equiped.Come to find out the sovteks arent NOS the other 12AX7 and 12AU7 are Philips are these NOS? The line stage has 4 penta Labs 6sn7 But they have a different number on them.I checked out their site and I think these tubes are new.Kevin D.told me they are probably Russian or Chinese.This dealer has always been the BEST in every way but I think he is assuming Im an idiot. If this were you what would you do? What tubes for 99 would you suggest? My sound is very good but the tube rush I wont tolerate.It is quite low but combined with groove rush one has to go. I just today got Prosilway MK2 for preamp to amp.They dont sound much better than my old PBJs but its only been an hour.Will they eventually trounce them? Thanks Albert!
Dave, you really need to talk to Mark O brian at Rogue Audio ,he could help with your tube noise,Also you didn`t say if you had any line conditioner on your system,I have a Rogue 66 that has the same noise you have and tried a Vanevers 85 line conditioner and the noise drop alot and these are stock tubes.The amp is a Rogue 88 with the new Pents lab kt 88 tubes ,they are just awesome,see if your dealer will let you use one of the line units to see if that helps. Albert was right as always , he a sharpe guy.he has been helpful to alot of people at this site, those tubes that Rogue sell are there NOS ,but you should talk to mark about it to get the scoop on what tubes are what. Greg
For one thing, Kevin at Upscale is not a terrific dealer guy. He may have a few buddies out there, but I know from personal experience that he doesn't know what he's talking about. David Lewis is the same way. AS FOR YOUR SILWAY MK-2: I've tried some extensively, comparing it to many others, and find that it lacks natural timbre in the upper midrange, and sounds laid back in that range; gives the music an artificially "crystalline" quality. Transient snap in the treble seems a little hyped also, however smooth it is. Bass is very dynamic. If that's what you need to get neutral sound for your system, then I doubt there's anything better out there anywhere near the price. But in my system, whether on headphones and a tube headphone amp, or on a solid state linestage with Krell power amp (and either from vinyl or CD), THE MIT 330 SHOTGUN HAS BEATEN EVERY INTERCONNECT I'VE TRIED UNDER $3000 PER METER...and this is only a $700 interconnect!! GOOD LUCK GETTING TUBES TO GO QUIETER. What solid state preamp convinced you to get into tubes? I'm open minded about tube preamps, but not all solid state ones are cut from the same cloth...All the best.
David, I don't know if I can help, the comments from Drumsgreg are correct in that you should seek advice from Rogue. They know about their product much better than I. As far as Kevin, his advice is excellent, and he is probably not keen on promising a quieter set of tubes for your unit, when every factor is not under his control (or knowledge). I have found him to be accurate on sound of tubes, and totally honest in presenting product that is exactly what he says it is. The Penta people purchase tubes out in the market and resell them, exactly what Kevin does. The big difference is that Kevin tells you what you are buying, and Penta does not. It is difficult to choose (and later replace) tubes if you are not certain about what you got in the first place. My choice for NOS tubes as a replacement for the Penta 6SN7 would be the RCA black plate (same number) or if you can afford it the 5692 Red base RCA military tube. The 5692 is quieter, more linear and less prone to microphonics (Kevin can discuss with you). As far as the Phillips, I am not impressed with them. For the 12AU7, call Antique or Kevin and try the Amperex 7316, or Telefunken 12AU7. Both of these sound different from each other, both are great tubes, but you must listen. On the noise issue in general, ask Rogue if we are missing something here, is this an issue with many owners? What can they suggest as an approach to help you? I would not be afraid to call them and state your case. They may even offer you tubes to see if they can help you resolve this issue. One thing, the Sovtek 12AX7 tubes are generally very quiet, HOWEVER they do vary, unless someone has selected them for quiet, you could get a dog. I would ask the factory for a set that they are sure is "perfect" and if the problem persists, ask them why. If the issue becomes one of sound quality, the other tubes I have named are all better than what you have by a mile.
I purchased tubes from Ned at Triode as far back as five or six years ago. Yes, Ned does indeed know what he is talking about, but at last discussion, he was unable to provide some of the REALLY rare and hard to find tubes I was purchasing. IE: Telefunken 6922, Genelex KT66, Telefunken 6DJ8. All of these are EXTREMELY hard to find as brand new old stock. In fact, Kevin is the only person I have ever found to have NOS Telefunken 6922 that are the genuine article. If you do not need these tubes, my remarks are a moot point, however my respect for Kevin is in the fact that he has been able to deliver ALL the tubes I want, and at the absolute best quality available.
I'm sorry,I should have made an update a while ago.I bought a Tungsram 12AX7 super low noise.It quieted the phono to better than acceptable levels.Well,this got my mouth watering.After consulting with Albert and Kevin Deal I replaced all the tubes in my phono section.The Tungs went back to Audio Advisor.Kevin sent me 2 Telefunkin 12AX7 and 2 Radiotechnique 12AU7.These are very similar to Bugle Boys.The line stage has G.E.s which are fine.My mouth was still watering so I bought 4 Svetlana EL-34 for my Dyna.I replaced some very boring Sovtek EL-34 Gs.My Phono is almost as quiet now as my old Lehmann Black Cube was and sounds absolutely awesome!!!
I like old Telefunkens with the diamond bottom. The Tesla or EI (basically new telefunken flat plates-factory was blown up by Nato last year) are nice too, for new tubes. In my opinion the Sovteks are dark, too high in gain and boring. The telefunkens seem to be the most balanced across the frequency range and let the music shine-rather than displaying frequency aberrations
The best AND quietest us Telefunfen 12Ax7 smooth plate. I tried philips,mullard,rca,ge,brimar,torvac,mazda,amperex(german,american and dutch).There may be a few that I forgot to mention.The telefunken is also silent in a pre-preamp.Do not substitue a 12Ax7 with a 12AT7 or 12AU7.The gain charecteristics are different and might cause the phono section to ascillate.