LFP-V Edition Tube Rolling Thread

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Vinnie R.

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LFP-V Edition Tube Rolling Thread
« on: 20 Feb 2011, 10:43 pm »
All,

This thread is for all LFP-V Edition customers to share their experiences tube rolling with the LFP-V Tube Stage board:

http://www.redwineaudio.com/products/lfpv-edition

The LFP-V Tube Stage board is now used in all our products (except for the Black Lightning LFP battery power supplies) - so no matter if it is a Sig 30.2, 70.2, Isabellina, HPA, Ginevra, etc. - this will be the tread to post our findings.

This family of tube is used in many products, but I would like to keep this thread focused on experiences with tubes used in the LFP-V Edition products.  The same tube can sound quite different in different products (based on many variables such as bias current, plate voltage, other circuit parameters).

If you can, please mention the rest of your gear from source to speakers (including cables) - as tube rolling is a "synergy thing" with your entire system. 

Also mention the tube in as much detail as possible (country of manufacture, production year, etc.).

I'll be posting my findings soon enough - I've been playing with many in all RWA components  8)

Here are some tubes to add to the list (in no particular order, and I can edit this post and add to the list, and even index it to the post in this thread where there is feedback for the tube of interest  :hyper:):

Here are some of the popular ones to start the list:

- Amperex 6922 Pinch Waist
- Amperex 7308s
- Genalex Gold Lion Cryoset 6922
- Miniwatt Dario 7308
- Mullard 6922 / 7308
- Siemens 7308
- Siemens CCa's
- Telefunken 6922 / 7DJ8
- Tungsram 6922 / 7DJ8
- Valvo 7308

Thanks for all your feedback - this will be a great resource for Red Wine Audio LFP-V customers looking to get into tube rolling.  NOTE - it can be addictive!  :smoke:  :green:

Vinnie


pachku

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Re: LFP-V Edition Tube Rolling Thread
« Reply #1 on: 21 Feb 2011, 08:46 pm »
As everybody tells me that the Isabellina reacts similarly to different tubes as the Isabella, my input here :D  After about 150 hours of burn-in, changed the stock JJ for a 1959 Valvo CCa - absolutely incredible. Bigger stage, clearer, brighter, more bass, better definition... improvement in every aspect  :green:  If those tubes wouldn't cost an arm and a leg, a definite recommendation... 

Have a Mazda 7308 ready for testing, too, so we'll so which one wins  :green:

lovehertz

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Re: LFP-V Edition Tube Rolling Thread
« Reply #2 on: 26 Feb 2011, 09:42 pm »
Since upgrading from my 30.2i in October 2010, I have been enjoying my LFP-V 70.2's with the stock JJs.  Like some of you, after a while I become antsy and wonder what I am missing out on by not trying other tubes.  Has anyone found a particular tube for the 70.2's that provdes outstanding 3-dimensionality (especially with regards to soundfield depth) while maintaining top notch tonality and slam?

Thanks.

barbes

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Re: LFP-V Edition Tube Rolling Thread
« Reply #3 on: 27 Feb 2011, 05:49 pm »
Hello, everybody.  I'm a long-time reader and new member.  I have both a Signature 30 LFP-V and an Isabellina LFP-V, playing through Omega Super 5 XRS speakers, with an Omega subwoofer.  I got one of the earlier LFP-V Signatures, I think, and added the Isabellina some time later.  The Isabellina was a massive improvement over my previous DAC, an Arcam rDAC with a custom power supply - much fuller, more natural, and less/not at all "digital" sounding.

At Vinnie's suggestion, I've replaced, at separate times, the stock tube in each unit with an Amperex 7308 vintage gold pin.  Each change was completely for the better: more natural sounding, more detail, better separation, better extension on both ends, better soundstaging and imaging, more air.  I haven't seen any drawbacks at all.


The change in the amp took a while to really show itself - the new tube sounded better right away, but not a lot, and then came in over time.  The change in the Isabellina, though, was instant and massive: I was really shocked.  It continued to improve over time, too.

I can't compare any of this to other tube upgrades, but I can say that these are terrific.

Paganini Alfredo

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Re: LFP-V Edition Tube Rolling Thread
« Reply #4 on: 3 Mar 2011, 09:28 pm »
Hello all

I put in an order the other day for the Isabellina to compliment my LCD's (hope you received my order Vinnie, really looking forward to it showing up on my doorstep :D).

Anyhoo, lead time according to Vinnie is 3-4 weeks so I have some time to consider purchasing some replacement tube(s). Speaking of that, the Isabellina DOES only take one tube right? I'm thinking of getting a couple of tubes around the 45$'ish range and seeing what they have to offer and what I can then look for in perhaps a better tube. I was thinking Amperex, Sylvania or Genalex-Gold Lion. I'll probably be perfectly happy with those but who knows, my pockets just may develop holes...

I'm currently using a Headroom Ultra Desktop Amp for my LCDs and while the sound is great, I really have nothing to compare it to until I plugged in a cheap turntable and really liked the sound coming from it even though it was lowfi. So I went and searched for something more "analog" and the RW seems a good alternative.

Do you guys have any experience with HR's amps and feel that the upsampling DAC will be an improvement? I'm looking for a more musical, cohesive, relaxing type of sound presentation I guess. I hate it when people throw around terms to describe sound but sometime that's all we can manage!

Thanks

Vinnie R.

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Re: LFP-V Edition Tube Rolling Thread
« Reply #5 on: 6 Mar 2011, 09:45 pm »
Hi Guys,

Welcome to Audiocircle and the RWA forum!  Thanks for your posts.

Hi pachku,

Glad you are enjoying the Valvo Cca!  Never heard the Mazda 7308.  Please keep us posted!


Hi lovehertz,

I'd look into the Amperex 7308s.  Definitely more spacious and richer tone than the JJ. 


Hi barbes,

Thanks for your feedback!  Sounds like you have a really sweet sounding combo in place.


Hi Paganini Alfredo,

Yes, I received your order and you are doing to love the Isabellina HPA with your LCD-2s!  8)
Yes, all the LFP-V Edition products (except for the Isabella preamplifier) use one tube.
Your idea on trying a few different tubes is a great way to start - it'll get you into tube rolling without spending a fortune, and sometimes you find yourself preferring a tube that is less expensive or exotic than another.  There is no best tube - it is all about what sounds best to you.

Quote
I'm looking for a more musical, cohesive, relaxing type of sound presentation I guess.

The Isabellina HPA LFP-V is what you are looking for - you'll know it with the first song you play.  :singing:

Looking forward to hearing your impressions - and I'll let you know when it ships.

All the best,

Vinnie

Alwayswantmore

Re: LFP-V Edition Tube Rolling Thread
« Reply #6 on: 11 Mar 2011, 03:20 am »
Hi Paganini,

Off topic, but to your Q. I have Isabellina HPA LFP and Sig 30.2 LFP. I took one round with hi-rez, and purchased a Wavelength Cosecant V3 Price similar to Isbellina HPA. No doubt it was good, but there were tradeoffs with Redbook, so when LFPs came out I sold the Cosecant. Don't miss it.

Paganini Alfredo

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Re: LFP-V Edition Tube Rolling Thread
« Reply #7 on: 12 Mar 2011, 01:25 pm »
Huh... I hadn't even considered that unit.

I ordered an Amperex gold pin 7308 to start off my tube rolling, the supplier says it's from the year 1964. Pretty cool!

At any rate my amp might be done next week, can't wait to compare it to my Ultra Desktop  :D

Vinnie R.

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Re: LFP-V Edition Tube Rolling Thread
« Reply #8 on: 16 Mar 2011, 01:46 pm »
Here is another one to add to the list. 

http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=92526.0

I'll need to order one and see what it can do  8)

Anyone try it?

sporter

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Re: LFP-V Edition Tube Rolling Thread
« Reply #9 on: 19 Mar 2011, 05:59 am »

Miniwatt Dario's are 'da bomb'.   :-)   

At least for my ears, good balance of warmth and detail.   I have them in all of my LFP's -- Isabella and 70.2's...


pachku

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Re: LFP-V Edition Tube Rolling Thread
« Reply #10 on: 20 Mar 2011, 08:55 pm »
Miniwatt would very probably be a Phillips tube, I'm running a quad of those EL34 in my BHSE, manufactured by Mullard for Phillips. I have a 1964 Mazda 7308 (Phillips' Brussels factory) for my Isabellina which is very, very nice indeed. But having more than enough warmth in my LCD-2, I prefer my 1959 Valvo CCa for those headphones. The Mazda sounds better with the HD800 or the HD650, though.

Paganini Alfredo

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Re: LFP-V Edition Tube Rolling Thread
« Reply #11 on: 27 Mar 2011, 12:29 am »
Here is another one to add to the list. 

http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=92526.0

I'll need to order one and see what it can do  8)

Anyone try it?
Ouch that thing's expensive. And why are they saying that cause it's rated at 10,000 hrs it's a good buy? I could buy several for that and have like 20,000+ hrs!  :flame:


vincent28

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Re: LFP-V Edition Tube Rolling Thread
« Reply #12 on: 31 Mar 2011, 04:56 pm »
bros, i was changing my ic on red wine LFP preamp onto power amp when i heard a loud sound on speakers. The LFP-V preamp is off but power amp is on.

could i have damaged the tubes? cos after dat, i been hearing hum on my system as and when i switch on my modem. Could the tube in LFP-V be picking up the RF or emi? how do u know if the tube is having issue? sorry for coming into this thread. pls advise

Vinnie R.

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Re: LFP-V Edition Tube Rolling Thread
« Reply #13 on: 31 Mar 2011, 09:36 pm »
Hi vincent28,

Please email me: vinnie@redwineaudio.com

We'll figure this out and get it resolved...

Vinnie

Vinnie R.

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TUBES
« Reply #14 on: 31 Mar 2011, 09:54 pm »
All,

I'll be doing some serious listening to the various tubes I have in my collection and will be posting about my findings, starting with this post.  These are just my findings and please do not take them
as a formal review.  I also hope to hear the opinion of others using these tubes (and others I have not tried) in their LFP-V Edition Red Wine Audio component(s).  Thank you for your posts!

System: Macbook connected to Isabellina HPA LFP-V Edition dac/headphone amp (via USB) to Audez'e LCD-2 headphones.  I decided I wanted to use only one RWA LFP-V component and headphones (to eliminate room variables and the other components) for doing these tube evaluations.  So the Isabellina HPA LFP-V was the best choice, and the LCD-2s are definitely one the very best headphones I've listened to on the HPA...

Lets start with the EAT Cool Valve ECC88:

It does fit in the LFP-V Edition tube stage board (but cannot be used in the Isabella preamp because the diameter is too large due to the heatsink).

The Sound

- Very tight and punchy bass, with plenty of weight
- Excellent dynamics.  Very lively and exciting!
- A more forward midrange
- A clean top end (not bright or edgy, but not what I would call "sweet").  Plenty of detail.

Other Comments

Not what I would call a seductive sound, if that is what you are looking for.  But if
you need a very dynamic and clear sound, without the grain, this is a great choice. 
Not quite what I would call  "neutral" as the mid-range is a little forward and the the bass has a little extra weight - but I can see this working well where the listener is looking for more "boogie factor" to the sound!  :hyper:

More to follow....

low.pfile

Re: LFP-V Edition Tube Rolling Thread
« Reply #15 on: 31 Mar 2011, 10:40 pm »
@Vinnie,

this EAT Cool Valve?
http://www.musicdirect.com/product/73404
it's $225US

a favor.... Roller's let us (less familiar with valves) know the price/value, vintage or freshly minted. thank ya.

I can't wait for until monday when USPS hands off my LFP-V!

-Ed

Vinnie R.

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Re: LFP-V Edition Tube Rolling Thread
« Reply #16 on: 1 Apr 2011, 01:11 am »
Hi Ed,

Yes - that's the one, and good suggestions.  Will do!

This is going to be a fun thread!  8)

Vinnie

Vinnie R.

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Re: LFP-V Edition Tube Rolling Thread
« Reply #17 on: 3 Apr 2011, 01:45 am »
Amperex 7308 (1960's vintage, Made in USA, gold pins)

The Sound

- Full sounding bass
- Big soundstage
- Sweet, fleshed-out midrange
- Rich tone
- Ever so slightly relaxed in the top-end.

Other Comments

This is a more musical sounding tube that is three-dimensional and offers nice tone
and sweet top end.  It does trade-in some dynamics for a more seductive presentation.
Its a sweet sounding tube for sure.  I like it a lot!  :singing:

Vinnie


rediazvh

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Re: LFP-V Edition Tube Rolling Thread
« Reply #18 on: 3 Apr 2011, 09:16 am »
hi vinnie

is this Amperex is what u mentioned?

http://www.upscaleaudio.com/tubes/6922/amp-7308.html


Vinnie R.

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Re: LFP-V Edition Tube Rolling Thread
« Reply #19 on: 3 Apr 2011, 12:31 pm »
Hi Rediazvh,

Yes, that's it!  IMHO, it's a very good value.  As I will post soon, there are other tubes that I think are even better (miniwatt dario, Amperex 6922 pinched waist), but they are even more rare and more expensive...

So what have you all been using?  Impressions?

Thanks!

Vinnie