Discussion in 'Headphone Amplifiers and Combo (DAC/Amp) Units' started by maxedfx, Oct 11, 2015.
Aren't those 75' Reflektors readily available on Ebay?
After having run the HD600 and HD650M on the Mjolnir 2 for awhile now I just acquired an HD800 (w/Charleston Cardas cable). Impressions with my previously mentioned tubes will take some time, mainly because it sounds so great with the LISST I'm not sure I can take them out! This came as a surprise to me because I found the LISST a bit sterile/brittle sounding with the HD600/HD650M, and fully expected the same case with the HD800 but reports to the contrary convinced me to give them a shot before selling them. Really glad I did.
As fun and immersive as tubes can be my sporadic listening schedule makes all the warm-up/turning off a pain. Much simpler to just leave it on during the day. Frequency response wise I find the LISST (w/Sonarworks) pretty spot on with the HD800, and there is a certain speed and immediacy to the sound that's a lot of fun (which I suspect will be lost once I give tubes a shot again).
That's all for now, back to listening
I wrote up some final impressions on Mjolnir 2 tubes specifically in regards to the HD800. Wasn't sure which thread fit best, so I'll just link here in case someone finds helpful
I liked my HD800 with the Amperex PQ tubes quite a bit in the Lyr 2. One fell and shattered before I got the Mjolnir 2 though
I really enjoy the Mjo2 and HD800S combo with Amperex Holland Orange Globes and vintage Teslas. I do find the OGs more texutred and layered with more microdetail than the Teslas.
The reflektors sound interesting...
Orange Globes are pretty decent cheap tubes in general. I find that they are somehow more detailed in the treble/upper mids, despite being darker than the LISST
I'm getting another pair of Amperex PQs soon, and in a few months I'm looking to get a pair of Telefunken 6922s for a more neutral reference tube so I don't have to deal with LISST at all.
If OGs are more detailed than the LISST, I can only imagine an actually detailed tube like Teles
Ideally I want a tube that adds nice warmth to the midrange without rolling off treble
Finally pulled the trigger on a NOS pair of 1963 Amperex USN-CEP (white label) 7308s and I'm loving this amp right now
More punch than OG with less bloat, more holographic midrange, and more air up top with less harshness. The tone is just much nicer while present more balance and more force
what was the purchase source and price for such a great NOS pair?
Please tell us TheBarnard, I am also extremely curious
I found that going to 2C51/5670//6CC42 solved my only remaining issue with Mjolnir2/HD800 (post @sorrodje HD800-mod); the weird soundstage that I think is too wide and that causes instruments to separate very very far apart. @philipmorgan has reported a similar experience. It's hard to describe but doesn't sound right.
I came from using Philips E188CC SQ and although the characteristics of these tubes is what I appreciate; musical, dynamic, fast, great slam, they stretch the soundstage too wide apart as described above.
Since then I've learned that the LM Ericssons 2C51 I found very cheap ($30) is in fact hard to find at a good price. I tried to purchase a second pair from a more...."known" dealer without set prices on his homepage, and got a very snarky reply about my offering barely covering packing them etc etc etc. (Needless to say I directed him to a warm place with bad ventilation.)
Anyway I wanted to see if there was cheaper options that would have similar effects as the LM Ericssons; keeping soundstage a bit more together, while keeping instrument separation delicate and precise.
I bought the russian equivalent 6N3P-DR (Reflektor factory) and initial impressions are that they're doing exactly the same as the LM Ericssons as far as soundstage goes, but for a much lower price. It's too early to say anything about characteristics yet, but so far I'm very happy. If the LM Ericssons die on me I have a 10000 hour spec pair ready.
@PoochZag does a fantastic job describing characteristics of tubes for the HD800 with Mjolnir2 with balance and thankfully without 100 adjectives for each set. Highly recommended.
(To that end, I just managed to buy a pair of E88CC SQ's for $20. Looking forward to try, but my tube rolling actions feels like they're over. Will post final impressions in a couple of months.)
Thanks. I really value your Phillips E188CC SQ observations above, as those are now my main tubes per that post. Soundstage width isn't something I was too concerned with, which is why I didn't really mention it and don't have a recommendation for you, but you've piqued my interest and if I get back to doing some swapping I'll look out for it in comparison with the others
I got them off a user named sojs from Audio Asylum, recommended to me by @Xecuter
I paid $190, which is a little bit less than equivalent PQ label
Thanks, I'll be revisiting the few tubepairs I have over the upcoming months as I've also gone down the Lynx aes path so I need to regroup and gather overall impressions. My impressions with the E188CCs were with USB so things might have changed.
But all together tube rolling for me seems to have the potential to give minor improvements overall which is why I will recommend a word of caution to spending too much money on tube pairs for MJ2.
Worth noting is that my rolling has been done with HD800 balanced stock cable.
I have a history of buying cables ( semi cable nervosa), but have realized cable value for money is...shit.
$20 is an absolute steal!...very jealous.
I'm thinking I might save for some tubes @TheBarnard mentioned. Some of these tubes are $300+ USD shipped for a matched pair, which equals $400 CDN. For tubes. Ugh.
Update: Well call me a liar. Found a pair of 63' & 64' white label 7308 PQ for $137USD shipped so said fuck it LOL
WE396a are the tubes @philipmorgan and I found to improve soundstage (particularly depth). They are typically $100/pr, so not super cheap. A cheaper option with similarly good soundstage and decentish technicalities that I heard (albeit briefly) in the Mjo2 was Valvo Hamburg PCC88 d-getter. Might be able to find a pair for around $60, though supply is a bit thin.
If you are willing to take a bit more risk in search of good soundstage, JAN 5670W might also deliver some improvements in soundstage depth at a lower price (I got some for ~$30USD/pair shipped). But if you want something that for sure will enhance soundstage depth go for the 396A's like @Garns said. IMO they're worth saving a bit for because of how nicely they compensate for the Mjo2's one big weaknesses of flat soundstage.
Anybody tried the iFi NOS 5670?
@Garns & @philipmorgan Thanks both of you, very helpful replies
I do think that the LM Ericssons offer similar treats as the 396a's but I'll keep my eyes open for a good deal anyway.
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