LFP-V Edition Tube Rolling Thread

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adamaley

Re: LFP-V Edition Tube Rolling Thread
« Reply #40 on: 18 Jul 2011, 04:31 am »
Thanks for the response, Profbratsch. I was wondering if the prices listed are for a pair or just one tube. Do you have experience with either one of them? From my time with the Isabella, I knew the Siemens to be considered the ultimate tube pairing.

jjoonnaass

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Re: LFP-V Edition Tube Rolling Thread
« Reply #41 on: 18 Jul 2011, 10:50 am »
[Edited 24 July 2011]
I'll leave the post below as is, but after a few more days worth of break in the sound of my system has changed quite a bit. I also found that my three year old daughter had managed to change the cross over frequency of my sub by 2Hz...
Tube rankings will be revised in an upcoming post but my findings at this point are actually quite different from what I reported earlier!
[/end edit]

I was going to wait with reporting my tube rolling experience with a Signature 30.2 LFP-V but since you asked I'll make a (very) short summary of my findings so far. I wanted to wait until the amp was fully broken in (which I'm not sure that it is yet...) but with that disclaimer what I've found is this:

I've tried the following tubes:
Amperex e188cc (heerlen) 1964(?)
Siemens e88cc (late 70's/early 80's)
Siemens e188cc (late 70's/early 80's)
Mullard e88cc (Mitcham) "wrinkle glass" 1959
Telefunken e88cc (Ulm) 1976

In my system the tube that stands head and shoulders above the rest is the Telefunken.

In my system the Amperex has slow and bloated bass losing the excellent PRAT that I always enjoyed with the pre LFP-V edition 30.2. The Amperex is also too hot on top (sounds like the glare reported earlier in this thread) making some albums unlistenable (I prefer a tube where I can enjoy as much of my record collection as possible).

The Siemens tubes are similar but with better (tighter) bass. Still with too much high end energy for my liking. Not sure which of the two I prefer but both are quite far behind the Telefunken.

The Mullard sounds odd; almost as if there's some phase shifting going on in the lower registers. Highs are rolled off - too much so for my liking. PRAT is not a forte of this tube...

The Telefunken then. The clear winner to my ears. With this tube in place the amp still sounds like the old 30.2 I loved but better in all aspects. Much better definition, better PRAT, more precise and larger sound stage. Exactly what I hoped for when I sent the amp for an upgrade and everything that Vinnie promised.

I'll write a more comprehensive review when things are properly broken in and I'll contrast the tubes I've tried against the stock JJ. I've also got a few more tubes lying around that I want to try out.

So, in summary, with the Telefunken I'm extremely happy with the upgrade. With any of the other tubes I actually preferred the old 30.2 in my system. Just goes to show that it's all about system synergy I suppose...
« Last Edit: 24 Jul 2011, 01:00 pm by jjoonnaass »

adamaley

Re: LFP-V Edition Tube Rolling Thread
« Reply #42 on: 21 Jul 2011, 01:23 am »
Thanks for the extensive list. I look forward to your final impressions on these. What else, if I may ask, makes up the rest of your system?

adamaley

Re: LFP-V Edition Tube Rolling Thread
« Reply #43 on: 22 Jul 2011, 12:38 am »
Vinnie,
I am on the verge of pulling the trigger on either one of the Miniwatt Darios or Amperex pinched waist tubes. From your description here on this thread, these two tubes share a lot of the same characteristics. They are both similar in price, so I'd like to know which one you would pick, given the choice. I eternally trust your ears.

Thanks

Vinnie R.

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Re: LFP-V Edition Tube Rolling Thread
« Reply #44 on: 22 Jul 2011, 02:29 pm »
Vinnie,
I am on the verge of pulling the trigger on either one of the Miniwatt Darios or Amperex pinched waist tubes. From your description here on this thread, these two tubes share a lot of the same characteristics. They are both similar in price, so I'd like to know which one you would pick, given the choice. I eternally trust your ears.

Thanks

Hi Adamaley,

Amperex Pinched Waist would be my first choice  8)

All,

Thank you for posting all your tube rolling experiences.

Hi jjoonnaass,

Is this the Telefunken you are using this one?
http://www.upscaleaudio.com/products/Telefunken-E88CC-%7B47%7D-6922.html

I'm surprised you found the Amperex to be hot up top.  I find the Bugle Boys to be like this, but haven't heard others like this. 

Hi barbes,

If you like dynamics, bass punch and grunt, and detail - that EAT CoolValve is really good.  It is not lush, but can be great for balancing out your system.


Again, that is whats great about tube rolling - it allows you to fine tune the sound to your other components, cables, speakers, room, and taste in sound in general.

Only one tube is needed for an LFP-V Edition component, and finding that perfect tube is worth every penny IMHO.  Our tube stage is very gentile on the tubes (soft start, 45-second warm up before applying the grid voltage, fed via clean LiFePO4 battery, etc.) - so you can expect it to last a very long time.

Happy listening, always,

Vinnie
 





adamaley

Re: LFP-V Edition Tube Rolling Thread
« Reply #45 on: 23 Jul 2011, 07:45 am »
Hi Vinnie,
I guessed I lucked out. Yesterday I pulled the trigger on the Amperex pinched waist that profbratsch linked me to on audiogon. I was impatient and didn't want to risk missing out on that particular sale. I'm glad I picked the one you would prefer. It should be here next week and I will do well to post my impressions.

Profbratsch

Re: LFP-V Edition Tube Rolling Thread
« Reply #46 on: 23 Jul 2011, 04:30 pm »
adamaley,

Congratulations on your purchase!

If you have a little extra cash and want to take the Amperex tubes to another level you might consider sending them to Ridge Street Audio Design and have them croyed.  I think they still offer the service.  When I had my tubes done the fee was more than reasonable. :thumb:

adamaley

Re: LFP-V Edition Tube Rolling Thread
« Reply #47 on: 23 Jul 2011, 04:35 pm »
Thanks for the advice. I'll look into it.

Vinnie R.

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Re: LFP-V Edition Tube Rolling Thread
« Reply #48 on: 27 Jul 2011, 03:43 pm »
Hi Vinnie,
I guessed I lucked out. Yesterday I pulled the trigger on the Amperex pinched waist that profbratsch linked me to on audiogon. I was impatient and didn't want to risk missing out on that particular sale. I'm glad I picked the one you would prefer. It should be here next week and I will do well to post my impressions.

Hi Adamaley,

How are they sounding?  8)

Vinnie

adamaley

Re: LFP-V Edition Tube Rolling Thread
« Reply #49 on: 29 Jul 2011, 03:33 am »
What can I say, Vinnie? The JJs are good, but these make muuuuuuuuuusic. Jazz is immaculate. One thing I noticed off the bat was how much easier it was to decipher sounds that were positioned behind others in the soundstage. Especially behind the voice in the center foreground. Like you pointed out Vinnie, the soundstage widened significantly and there is added body, guts, skin, breath and air to instruments. So much so that it gets scary at times. I'm officially in love with the Isabellina-LCD-2 combo. I'm planning on recabling my LCD-2s and then, who knows, perhaps balanced....hmmmmm. Great job, Vinnie. I'm as in love with this as I was with the Isabellina-Isabella-30.2 (all SLA combo). I can imagine the LFP-V technology is what pushes the Isabellina HPA to this level. I'm afraid to think about what it will do to an Isabella.

Travisg

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Re: LFP-V Edition Tube Rolling Thread
« Reply #50 on: 17 Aug 2011, 04:46 pm »
I have a pinch waist Amperex Holland 6922 if anyone is interested.
Travisontech@gmail.com

Vinnie R.

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Re: LFP-V Edition Tube Rolling Thread
« Reply #51 on: 17 Aug 2011, 08:30 pm »
All,

I just bought a pair of 6GM8 (ECC86) MiniWatt Darios from a seller on Audiogon.  I will post my impressions on them soon, and how they compare to the E188CC (7308) MiniWatt Darios I posted about earlier in this thread.

Hi Travis,

Email me  8)

Best regards,

Vinnie

Travisg

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Re: LFP-V Edition Tube Rolling Thread
« Reply #52 on: 18 Aug 2011, 12:54 pm »
Pinched waist is now sold.

David C.

Re: LFP-V Edition Tube Rolling Thread
« Reply #53 on: 1 Oct 2011, 11:19 pm »
Hi Vinnie,

Right now I have just one tubed component in my system, which consists of an LFP-V Isabellina feeding either a Sig 30.2 amp, or a pair of Sig 70.2s.

I’ve been doing a bit of tube rolling, and I find that I very much prefer the sweet sound of the Miniwatt Dario 7308/E188CC to the Genalex Gold Lion E88CC/6922 or the stock JJ tube.

I’ve ordered a Sig 15 to replace the Sig 30.2, so soon I’ll have two tubed components in the chain. Would it be a good idea to roll another Miniwatt Dario into the Sig 15, or would that be too much of a good thing? Would I end up with an overly-sweet, flabby sound?

David

CSI

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Re: LFP-V Edition Tube Rolling Thread
« Reply #54 on: 4 Oct 2011, 03:23 am »
Fascinating question. I'm very interested in Vinnie's answer. I, too have an Isabellina and started my tube rolling with the Genelex Gold Lion. I found it slightly superior to the stock JJ but not completely satisfying. Then I tried the Dario and stopped cold. This was clearly the answer. Later this week I will take delivery of my Signature 30.2 LFP-V. My inclination is to roll in another Dario - after lots of break in time of course - and never look back. Something tells me that it will just be more of a good thing and not too much, but I'll wait for word from Vinnie.

Vinnie R.

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Re: LFP-V Edition Tube Rolling Thread
« Reply #55 on: 4 Oct 2011, 11:15 pm »
Hey guys,

Thanks for your posts.

I've tried installing the same tube (e.g. the MiniWatt Dario 7308s) in both my Isabella preamp and 30.2 power amp, and did NOT find it to be "too much of a good thing" and it indeed was "more of a good thing" if you like the sound of that tube. 

The sound did not get flabby or overly-sweet. 

Having said that, it's also fun to mix with your favorite tubes (e.g. MW Darios and a Pinched Waist) that are not identical sounding, but each one doing something that you like that the other one doesn't do as well.  It tends to give you even more of what you are looking for.  But if one tube is your favorite and does everything you like, then that should be all that is needed.

I hope this helps!

BTW - another tube I have and need to post about (after RMAF) is the Mullard CV2492.  It can be rolled in without any mods to the tube stage.  Skylab of headfi brought it to my attention when he was reviewing the RWA Audeze Edition headphone amp/dac. 

Also check out the MiniWatt ECC86s (a 6GM8 version) of the E188CC MiniWatt Dario...

Vinnie

CSI

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Re: LFP-V Edition Tube Rolling Thread
« Reply #56 on: 5 Oct 2011, 12:39 am »

Thanks Vinnie. It looks like experimentation will be the order of the day (as usual).

Oh, and thanks for shipping my Signature 30.2 today. I just got the notice.

Have a great time at RMAF this year. I won't be visiting. I'll be spending all my spare time breaking in my new amp and pricing tubes.

Cheers,

Bill (CSI)

Vinnie R.

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Re: LFP-V Edition Tube Rolling Thread
« Reply #57 on: 16 Jan 2012, 03:22 pm »
All,

Soon I'll be receiving an Amperex PQ 8416.  This is a rare version that has a 12V heater, but otherwise shares the same pin-out and is a replacement for a 7308 (so it will involve a minor modification to allow for the 12V heater. 

I heard this tube has the potential to be up there with the best - we'll see.  I'll report more soon!

Vinnie

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Re: LFP-V Edition Tube Rolling Thread
« Reply #58 on: 17 Jan 2012, 03:20 pm »
A note here re a couple of tubes mentioned above:

I started out with the Amperex 7308 in my new Corvina (balanced), skipping the stock JJs, and even before things were fully burned in I was quite pleased; the tube was everything that Vinnie said it would be: nice bass, relaxed treble and very musical to my admittedly inexpert ears. After getting the amp and some new cables burned in, the Amperex 7308 continued to impress me, but I just couldn't help myself when I had the chance to pick up a Miniwatt Dario.

I dropped the MD in the other day not expecting all that much difference because as I said I was quite pleased with the Amperex. In fact I wondered whether I would hear any true improvement at all, telling myself to listen carefully and not to allow any prior expectation based on other's reviews to color my judgment.

And the Miniwatt Dario promptly blew my mind. It was a true "WOW" moment.

The Amperex 7308 is nice. To me the Miniwatt Dario is not just a little bit better but markedly so in all areas: bass reaches deeper while at the same time sounding tighter, mids were sweeter, and treble managed to add what I would call accuracy without assaulting my hearing-- Vinnie called it sweet and airy and I guess that's it but it still doesn't completely convey how nice this tube sounds. Soundstage is spacious without sounding too "disparate" if that's the correct word; as I mentioned, I'm no expert.

YMMV & etc., but to me the Miniwatt Dario is a clear winner as compared to the Amperex 7308, which is not to say that the latter sounds bad at all, it's just a reflection of how good the former sounds to me.

Artmindes

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Re: LFP-V Edition Tube Rolling Thread
« Reply #59 on: 21 Jan 2012, 01:11 am »
...Miniwatt Dario is a clear winner as compared to the Amperex 7308, which is not to say that the latter sounds bad at all, it's just a reflection of how good the former sounds to me.

So the Miniwatt Dario sounds great! Does it also increase speed and liveliness of sound?

I sometimes find Isabellina too polite sounding with heavier rock/electronic music and I am looking for a more aggressive and faster sound.

Which will be better for speed and dynamics - the Miniwatt Dario or Amperex 6922 Pinched Waist?
« Last Edit: 21 Jan 2012, 07:10 pm by Artmindes »