Tube rolling for i34

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Tube rolling for i34
« on: 23 Feb 2011, 09:36 pm »
I have the i34 and I really really love it! I could not imagine I could get so much for such reasonable price!
Now, my E34L are dead... I spoke to Boris and he told me that he recommend the same JJ E34L, but the i34 can use almost any EL34 tubes. So, I am checking this...
Did anyone has any experiance with the Genalex - Gold Lion KT77?

Other option I read about is the Tung-Sol EL34B , but I did not find anyone who tried it with the i34...

Or any other recommendation for me? I love the sound of the original JJ, but it is somehow does not sound to me "equal" all along the frequencies... It could be my speakers, off course, but I am trying to find out if there are any other options.

To sum up - any suggestion for tube rolling / stay with current tubes type?



Re: Tube rolling for i34
« Reply #1 on: 1 Mar 2011, 12:12 pm »
Hello Jacob,

Welcome to AudioCircle!



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Re: Tube rolling for i34
« Reply #2 on: 1 Mar 2011, 01:37 pm »

The JJ's are great in that amp but I have found that with my speakers (Salk Songtowers) they
tend to be a bit forward sounding in the mids. I haven't tried the KT77's but have used the Tung-Sol
and the SED EL34's.

To me both these tubes are more relaxed than the JJ's. They both have pretty much the same
flavor with the SED slightly edging out the Tung-Sol's due to a little better "sparkle" on the highs.

Hope this helps,



Re: Tube rolling for i34
« Reply #3 on: 2 Mar 2011, 05:21 am »
I don't have your brand amp, but I have tried the JJ 34L in my amp, a custom rebuilt on a Jolida 302 platform, and vs. the GL KT77 I much prefer the latter. The sound of the GL is well balanced across the whole spectrum, unlike the JJ which I thought was too laid back and slightly rolled off at the top. I also tried the EH 6CA7 which is somewhat lean/sterile.  But we have two different brand amps so cannot vouch for you getting the same results.


Re: Tube rolling for i34
« Reply #4 on: 2 Mar 2011, 05:33 am »
Hello Yaki,

I really enjoy the i34 as well. Hell, one glance at my post history should give that away.   :lol:  So far, it's the only affordable tube piece I've encountered in my 8 years of travels that performs with and in some respects beyond super integrated amp's that weigh in the $8,000 USD + range.

Your concern about the i34 'not sounding equal' at all frequencies is interesting, as its a pretty damned linear (balanced sounding) integrated amp as far as tubes go. It could be the batch of JJ's you have, it could be the speakers, it could numerous things. That said,, I agree with Baumer...    SED EL34's and Tung Sol EL34's offer a healthy leap in performance over the stock JJ's.

Personally, I enjoy the Tung Sol's simply because they make me want to sit down and listen to music. Darn near everything about them is better, to include the things that I value most in any piece of hi-fi;  tone and realism.  Hope this helps! Meanwhile, enjoy the amp!


Re: Tube rolling for i34
« Reply #5 on: 16 Jul 2011, 11:58 am »
I know this thread is a little old, but here are my thoughts:

The Chinese (Sino) EL34B sound fantastic in this amp. They are cheap & pretty darn reliable despite what a lot of folks say.

The driver tubes - there isn't a whole lot of choice there, but as long as they are quiet, you are good.

The part that makes the most difference of all is rolling the op-amp. The first gain stage is an op amp, and an inexpensive one (NE5532). I removed mine, added a socket and tried a few, with the best results from the OPA2604.

Changing the volume pot to an Alps Blue Velvet helps a ton also.