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  1. #1
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    I'm ready to ROLL!! (?)

    Tube aficionados, I hope you're with me now. My Sonic Frontiers Line 1 preamp arrived yesterday. I installed the six, standard, Sovtek 6922 tubes, and hooked it up. It's working just fine. This a sweet unit functionally: full-function; remote control; fully balanced outputs; and fairly handsome to look at, see below

    How does it sound? Well, a wee bit better after a few minutes warm up. Other than that, this is super neutral preamp: it sounds very like my Adcom GFP-750 in passive mode -- nothing taken away, nothing added. Perhaps its a tiny bit purer on the highs, e.g. violins, and maybe even an even tinnier bit warmer in the upper bass. Great, but am I entirely satisfied??

    Perhaps what I was really hoping for a bit more of that tauted tube warmth. But I'm not really getting it. Ok, maybe very slightly smoother highs but that's about it. What can I do? How about swapping, (i.e. "rolling" in quaint insider terminology), some tubes? The Line 1 has six 6922's: two input, two gain, two cathode follower (?). I've been advised that the gain, followed by the input, are the most important and most likely to be improved by rolling. On impuse I bought a match pair of new-old-stock Siemens E88CC tubes on eBay which have yet to arrive.

    I want your suggestions. What's a course to a slightly warmer but no less resolved sound?
    ...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails I'm ready to ROLL!! (?)-sonicfrontiersl1-700.jpg  

  2. #2
    Do What? jrhymeammo's Avatar
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    "NO RFI, NO RFI, NO RFI" (crossing my fingers).........YES!!!

    Hey Bill,
    That's one great looking gear you got there. I hope you'll have fun rollin'

    There are crap loads of tube-nuts in AA and they'll all tell you different sound characterics of each tubes.

    Of all the tubes that I've tried EH produced "tube sound" that I've always imagined. Other tubes such as Tung-Sol (12AX7), and JJ Tesla (6DJ8) had produced more cleaner/neutral sound in my system. JJ TESLA E88CC are cheap enough for you to swap all 6. Maybe they'll work great for ya. I'm just not too sure about getting NOS and having them matched, since the NOS INV is usually low to begin with.

    Now Glowing:

    Four ElectroHarmonix KT88
    Two JJ/Tesla 6DJ8
    Two Shuguang 6N6-T
    Two EH 12AX7
    One Ei 12AX7
    One RB(?) 12AT7

  3. #3
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Good info!

    Quote Originally Posted by jrhymeammo
    "NO RFI, NO RFI, NO RFI" (crossing my fingers).........YES!!!

    Hey Bill,
    That's one great looking gear you got there. I hope you'll have fun rollin'

    There are crap loads of tube-nuts in AA and they'll all tell you different sound characterics of each tubes.

    Of all the tubes that I've tried EH produced "tube sound" that I've always imagined. Other tubes such as Tung-Sol (12AX7), and JJ Tesla (6DJ8) had produced more cleaner/neutral sound in my system. JJ TESLA E88CC are cheap enough for you to swap all 6. Maybe they'll work great for ya. I'm just not too sure about getting NOS and having them matched, since the NOS INV is usually low to begin with.

    ...
    Thank, Hiro. As for RFI, I have the Line 1 plugged into my Pure AV its own filter bank, attached by a PS Audio 'Punch' shielded cable, so here's hoping. Also, I have set of Bright Star Isonode anti-vibration feet I'm going to attach. And I'm mulling a set of Pearl Tube Coolers -- any insight there?

    Thanks for the Electro Harmonix suggest for a tubier sound, and for the JJ suggestion. The Parts Connexion honcho and former Sonic Frontiers president, Chris Johnson, recommend a full set of Reflektor NOS 6H23P-EB's which would run $140 plus shipping, etc; I don't think I'm going to jump for that right away.

    Glad you're enjoying your stull too. Still looking for an integrated, maybe the Stingray?

  4. #4
    Forum Regular royphil345's Avatar
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    Wow... Nice!!!

    Congrats Feanor!!!

  5. #5
    Do What? jrhymeammo's Avatar
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    Pearl Tube Coolers would be fun to try. I think I'll try'em in my phono pre and hear what happens. $6 a piece? Not bad at all.

    Dont think I would try'em for my integrated amp though, cuz I love the looks of glowing tubes. Yet another reason why I'm not an audiophile.

    Where can you get 3 pairs of NOS Reflektors for around $150? I wouldnt mind getting them if I can get a pair for $50. I've been looking at some Mullard 6922 as well from the UpScaleAudio.

  6. #6
    Crackhead Extraordinaire Dusty Chalk's Avatar
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    Uh...the 12AX7 is a different family of tube from the 6922, be careful and only get tubes from the same family of tubes. Here, download this, and plug in 6922, and use only the tubes that show up as equivalent.

    My current favourite 6922/6DJ8 is a CCa, but I just bought the remaining stock of the ones I knew of, so I'm set for life. And no, you can't have any.
    Eschew fascism.
    Truth Will Out.
    Quote Originally Posted by stevef22
    you guys are crackheads.
    I remain,
    Peter aka Dusty Chalk

  7. #7
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Parts Connexion

    Quote Originally Posted by jrhymeammo
    Pearl Tube Coolers would be fun to try. I think I'll try'em in my phono pre and hear what happens. $6 a piece? Not bad at all.

    Dont think I would try'em for my integrated amp though, cuz I love the looks of glowing tubes. Yet another reason why I'm not an audiophile.

    Where can you get 3 pairs of NOS Reflektors for around $150? I wouldnt mind getting them if I can get a pair for $50. I've been looking at some Mullard 6922 as well from the UpScaleAudio.
    Part ConneXion has the Reflektors for US$44.95 per matched pair. Check it out here, (look for the tabs at the bottom or the page) ...
    http://www.partsconnexion.com/catalog/NOSTubes.html

    I would get Pearl Coolers from pcX too. They also modded my Asseblage DAC. It helps me that they are located in Canada.

  8. #8
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Thanks, Dusty

    Quote Originally Posted by Dusty Chalk
    Uh...the 12AX7 is a different family of tube from the 6922, be careful and only get tubes from the same family of tubes. Here, download this, and plug in 6922, and use only the tubes that show up as equivalent.

    My current favourite 6922/6DJ8 is a CCa, but I just bought the remaining stock of the ones I knew of, so I'm set for life. And no, you can't have any.
    Nice reference, thanks.

    The CCa's are pretty pricey, I believe. Luck for you you cornered the market!

  9. #9
    Do What? jrhymeammo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dusty Chalk
    Uh...the 12AX7 is a different family of tube from the 6922, .
    I was only stating that I've tried EH 12AX7 that produced tubie sound.

    You can't just plug in any tubes. Sorry....shoulda....stated....mmmmmm clearly.

  10. #10
    Man of the People Forums Moderator bobsticks's Avatar
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    Nice gears, Bill Bailey, nice gears. I'd second (or third) the notion of checking out A-gon for some info on tube rolling. While not my area on which to comment, those guys seem to be pretty experimental. Good luck in the search for that last, elusive 5%. Looking forward to reading your exploits...

  11. #11
    If you can't run-walk. Bernd's Avatar
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    Congrats Bill on the new member. I take it it all went smooth. As Dusty said just try tubes from the same family. Some good reading and lists of tubes from the same family here:

    www.machmat.com

    I have used them several times and been very pleased everytime.

    Bill have you seen the light? First a TT and now Tubes. What next?

    Have fun and let it roll.

    Peace

    Bernd
    "Let The Earth Bear Witness."

  12. #12
    Crackhead Extraordinaire Dusty Chalk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor
    The CCa's are pretty pricey, I believe. Luck for you you cornered the market!
    Actually, if you're looking for warmer tubes, I wouldn't recommend CCa's. If you want to try smoother, my favorite current production tubes are Ei Elites (gold pin, if that's an option). They require more burn-in than NOS tubes, for some reason, but at least you're not paying NOS prices. Although they're a little bit pricier than most current production tubes.
    Eschew fascism.
    Truth Will Out.
    Quote Originally Posted by stevef22
    you guys are crackheads.
    I remain,
    Peter aka Dusty Chalk

  13. #13
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Dusty, Bernd, and others, thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernd
    Congrats Bill on the new member. I take it it all went smooth. As Dusty said just try tubes from the same family. Some good reading and lists of tubes from the same family here:

    www.machmat.com

    I have used them several times and been very pleased everytime.

    Bill have you seen the light? First a TT and now Tubes. What next?

    Have fun and let it roll.

    Peace

    Bernd
    I'm not exactly going head over heels for tubes, much less for vinyl. But, like I said in my earlier post, since I wasn't entirely satisfied with my Adcom preamp and was looking for something else, I decided to give tubes a whirl. Never let it be said that I'm close-minded. Heehee.

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