I cannot speak for Upscale Audio but recently Wing C has had quality issues due to damage to their plant.
I bought a couple of hundred matched Wing C a few years ago and used them in my VTL amps. It provided the best sound and remains my favorite 6550 of all time, without exception.
Check with Upscale and see what's going on and what they suggest. Their testing procedures are excellent and they guarantee their tubes.
Kevin Deal is a pretty honest guy. If he declined to ship the Winged Cs, he had a good reason.
Kevin also sells the 6550 WE, which is the tube ARC is currently uses in the power supply of its Ref 5 SE linestage and other input products.
I was surprised that the Tong Sol 6550 sounded pretty good too.
go w/ these guys' advice. The REF5 SE is a very special piece of gear, you do not want to alter its sound/ability to deliver pure listening pleasure. Keep us posted on your tube selection. Happy Listening!
please update which route you went with the tubes.
I had the same experience as the OP. The email response from Upscale was:
"We received your order, but unfortunately we cannot fill it. The SED 6550C used to be the best tube for your application, however the last batch of tubes to come out of the SED factory before it was shut down, have had issues with a soft vacuum. In products like ARC, Rogue, VTL, and several others, this causes the tube to fail prematurely.
We recommend, as does Audio Research, the Sovtek 6550WE..."
I was lucky in that I have a few extras so was able to use one of those.
Veerapaneni ... I'm a coward. I bought 6550 WE tubes from ARC for my Ref 5 SE, Ref CD-8 and Phono PH-8 and they 'ain't' cheep. But even if Kevin Deal found a good batch of original "Winged C" tubes they 'ain't' cheap 'neither.'
If you have a hankering to try rolling, call Kevin Deal at Upscale Audio and ask his advice.
Having said that, I buy all of my 6H30s (platinum grade) from Kevin and never had a problem.
OTOH, I've had mixed results with Upscale's KT-120s. Just seems that when sourced from ARC, they bias much closer (within 1 or 2 mV between set tube and slave). It's been more hit or miss from Upscale. Dunno why??? Maybe he matches pairs using different specs than ARC.
Hi there,the other day ,I blew the 6550we in my pre.First one since ive
owned it.I bought a pair of cryoed off ebay.Hopefully that was the right
thing to do.Im happy with the sovtek sound.Not sure what do go for
next.These have got 1400 hours on them.
Hi,if I put in a winged c,in with the sovetek 6h30,would it change the sound of my pre amp for the better. Thanks
For anyone looking to step up from the stock Sovtek whilst keeping their Ref 5SE closer to ARC factory voicing than NOS Tung Sol's I would recommend NOS General Electric 6550.
Thanks,Ill have to try it.Have you tried the 6h30dr.?.The prices seem to be getting very expensive,on ebay.
Hi tsushima1.ive got a winged c and a ge 6550 on the way.It will be interesting to see the difference in sound.
@MisterN, hopefully you managed to source the GE testing to New spec? Should you contract the rolling bug I would also recomend an early 60's solid grey plate, Have Fun .
Excellent,Ill give it a try next year,thanks.They look cool.My new speaker cables arrive in the next few days,Hidiamond d8,Ive never herd them.Ive got a recommendation for you,I bought a revelation audio labs precept pc for my cd player.It was very good,i took it off and plugged it into the power supply distributor,which the cd player and pre,and phonostage are plugged into,now ive got all the good stuff,more dynamics,tone etc going into everything.I replaced the recpticles on the distributor with all furutech gtx rhodium.Im very happy.
FWIW, the GE6550A (now NOS) is not a good tube for the REF 5/SE or REF Phono 2/SE. ARC discourages its use in those applications. I tried the GE6550A in the Ref Phono 2 and compared to stock it was tad warm, soft, and not as spacious. A fine tube in earlier CJ amps such as Premier 11 & 12.
The 6H30 DR works well in the ARC RP2SE and 5SE, but the difference from stock is not, imo, so great to justify today's prices. Hard to believe 10 years ago these were ~$30, but the last of 'em were brought over from Russia some time back by Conus Audio. It is a nice tube with a long life. In the ARC unit I heard it offer a touch less grain and a bit more refinement and extension in the top end.
Of course ARC wouldn't recomend the use of Vintage Valves in their equipment, they don't retail them !
I am rather surprised at your findings with regard to GE6550!!! Which I have never yet found applicable to the several GE's that I have rolled as the regulator in a Ref5se, and for my part leave the stock Sovtek sounding a tad etched and sterile in comparison.That said I have no experience of the same comparison in a Phono 2.
Are you certain that you tried an 100%, or close to, emissions example?
Jtimothya..thanks for letting know your point of view.Ill have a little play with the 6550 just to know.
Hi,Tsushima1,the ge and the winged c sound good thanks.They seem smoother on my older recordings ,which is nice.Have you tried the tungsol black plate.1950s
Where did you get winged c ? . I want to try them on my system.
Hi,Tube Maze.They are very good to deal with,$70 was the price for one.
Hi veerapaneni,In my system the GE 6550a sounds the best.On excellent recordings,the sovetek is great,but can sound thin on some music.The winged c is a good tube,i can understand why some people like this tube.On older cds,the GE comes into its own with,tone,good bass,air,soundstage,etc.After xmas,ill have to try a tung sol black plate.
After xmas,ill have to try a tung sol black plate.http://app.audiogon.com/listings/tubes-tung-sol-matched-quad-6550-black-plate-from-1960-2014-11-23-accessories-07022-fairview-nj
Looks like the seller dropped his price. Great tube. My only concern if you would be interested in these would be are they black or grey plates. The date code indicates grey plates. There are 3 versions of the black plate. The oldest had a 3 getters on the top. Most common are the ones that have a single getter on top and 2 getters on 1 side. The last had a single top getter and a single getter on each side like the ones in the picture. I had all 3 types. The picture looks like black plates but pictures can be deceiving. I found a pair on ebay the seller said were grey plates and the plates looked grey but they were the most common black plates due to the getter arrangement. The sound difference between the black and grey plate is very close with the black plate being slightly warmer sounding.
You're welcome Misternice. Something I did find is when I owned Dynaudio C1 and C1 Sig's the TS 6550 black plate sounded fantastic. The *EAT KT88 and TS KT120 sounded horrible. But when I upgraded to Raidho the TS are too warm sounding and the KT150's are better but far from my favorite. Right now with the Raidho's D1 or D2 the Ei KT90 is my favorite. May need to try the EAT KT88 again.
* With my amp the Octave V70SE and now the V110 I have had horrible luck with the EAT tubes. I've been told the EAT was designed with a 450V plate voltage (although rated at 600V) and the Octave is 540V for the V70SE and low power for the V110. Out of a quad and pair I lost 3 within 60 hrs. Out of a quad of KR Audio KT88 (really EAT) I lost 1 in less than 20 hrs and still have 6 left. But that said I did buy the tubes used from a great reliable seller. The EAT KT88's were the most linear/detailed/clearest sounding tube for the short time I could listen to them.
The issue isn't with the Preamp, it's with the Winged C 6550. Don't use them! The last of those tubes that came from the factory before the plant burned down were awful tubes. Use a 6550WE. That is what ARC is using now.
Yes,I know what youre saying,different combinations.I have a different flavoured pc and sc,to play with,to fine tune things.The GE works best for me now.I would like to get the record player going next year,that may change things again.One tube,cheap upgrade really.I haven't explored the kt tube yet,maybe next year.
I bought Winged C from Ebay from Earyly 2000 Production. Hope they will work fine.
Hi..im new to this power tube thing in the pre.I think the worst that can happen is you blow that tube..I could be wrong.Im happy to experiment with them.I only did cause the sovtek blew.All my music is good now.
Hi, does anyone know if the Winged C (vacuum?) problem was just with the 6550 or all the tubes? I just ordered a quad of EL34s from Antique Electron Supply for use in a Dynaco ST-70.
From memory..There was a batch of seconds ..The most part..they are good I believe.Someone else may know for sure.Nos has always proven to be the best in my experience