Smooth plates are just a bit richer. Maybe a bit more "tubey" than the ribbed plates. I am exagerating here to make an example. The differences are not huge, but there. Both excellent. Do you know what a Bugle Boy sounds like? Well the ribbed plate is more like that as opposed to something like a Mullard.
You have to take your equipment into consideration also.The same tube can sound totally different in another amp.Just my 2 cents worth.
Thanks guys, I'm currently using a long plate Bugle Boy that's a little too soft for me overall with my current equipment, although I'm warming to it. A friend loaned me his smooth plate Telefunkens which I thought were a little more suitable with a wider variety of music. I'm using these in a 300b amp that doesn't need any extra softening up. I'm looking for dynamics, detail and PRAT but nothing unnatural. Another tube that looks interesting is the Mazda which somebody described to me as being a punchier Telefunken.
Hi Phaelon, take a look at my Gon review on the Mazda 12AU7 for details why you might love this tube in the context of your system.
FYI. . .Telefunken had TWO plants. One of them was in EAST Germany ("made in Germany") and had literally no access to fine metalurgy and so production was largely junk. LOTS of junk was produced. All say "Telefunken", all say "made in Germany", and all have a diamond logo on the bottom, and all have nearly the same packaging as the West German plant. True West German Telefunkens typically (this varies) have rather poor logo printing on the tubes. It is so confusing that I often prefer used "pulls" from McIntosh, Fisher, Eico, and Dynaco gear from the sixties. True West German Telefunkens typically last a lot longer than other tube brands (this depends on the circuit they are in), so if they test good, they usually are good. Neuteral in tone, detailed, and not at all rounded speaks for the sonic character. Be careful so as to not spend gobs of cash for the gobs of junky East German tubes that flood the market. Happy listening.
...are you sure about the Est German Telefunken's?They had factories just at Ulm and Berlin for the tubes....
if you've reached the point where you care about and can hear the fine points of such tubes, only listening in your own system can answer your questions.
Thanks Teajay, terrific review. Brent Jessee is a local guy so I'll definitely try to get a pair for audition alongside the Telefunkins.
Mcfarland, Thanks for the heads-up. I'm not sure how, but I'll try to determine which plant if possible.
Generally the East German tubes have thinner pins. A reputable dealer (such as Brent Jesse, Vintage Tube Services, etc.) will not, or should not, steer you wrong. See if you can find some good testing used pulls from old equipment. You can then use those to compare such things as the pins.
Well, as it turns out, while I was seeking consensus on this forum, the particular Telefunkens that I was eyeballing were sold to a gentleman in Hong Kong (the quick and the dead). In lengthy conversation with Brent, we decided to start with a pair of 1953 Siemens ECC83 long plates. If they're not everything I'm looking for, I'll try the Mazda's. Thank you everyone; your help was more appreciated than you know.
I highly recommend NOS TESLA E83CC or like been stated above, truely Teles with Made in West Germany and dimond logo on bottom.
The Siemens have been breaking in for about 50 hours now and seem to be the ticket in my system. They are very detailed without being dry or bright. Definition, dynamics and accuracy of timbre have all been elevated to a level that now comes much closer to placing me before the artists. The bandwidth is astounding and perfect for my broad bandwidth amp. The soundstage is expansive. Most importantly, my attention is given entirely to the music.
One caveat: While it's all good here so far, I can imagine them seeming a little too thin in the wrong system. But still, I can't resist making the generalization that by pairing these with 300b's in push-pull, one has put together a dream team.
I have a pair of Raytheon 5751 black Plate with Windmill Getter. I upgraded from a Telefunken 12AX7 smooth plate and this one blew me away for its extremely low noise floor and ultra detailing, yet retaining a very liquid smooth sound. I have never looked back since then. I know someone who might have a pair, let me know if you want them.