TJ Full Music 12AX7 listening impressions

Discussion in 'Grant Fidelity' started by ruffian, Jan 14, 2010.

  1. ruffian

    ruffian Super Member

    Messages:
    3,039
    Location:
    Northern NJ
    I listened to these in a Marantz 7. The Marantz takes a 6 pack of 12AX7s, 3 in the phono section and 3 in the line section so you are using 1 1/2 tube per channel in each section. I used the pass around tubes in the line section, along with a Sovtek LPS in the position that was split by channel. I left it there there, even though I have full complememnts of the other tubes that I compared the TJs with to try to get a fair comparison. The TJs also spent an evening being the driver tubes on another AKer's Magnavox 175. I primarily listen to records. My signature lists the equipment they were used with.

    They went up against well used Mullard 10M, current production Mullard and well used Teles.

    These tubes brought an all round life to my amp that others have been unable to. It was apparent immediately on the first song as I turned up the volume knob. Across the entire sound spectrum there was more body and more presence to the music. They bring it right out, everything opened right up. With other tube rolls it is often just a part of the sound is obvious or makes a real tangible change. Like the bass was this or the maids were that or the cymbals were.....with these tubes it was the whole thing.

    On the Maggie it was the same. It was obvious when we put these in. He had a pair of Maggie labeled 12AX7. We also used both of my Mullards and the Teles in his amp. We heard the same things with his amp as it was on mine. The Mullards brought something to lower end, the Teles brought some shine to the highs, after comparing them to the TJs, I would say a bit too much. The TJ tubes just open it up everywhere.

    I'm sold, I liked them so much I bought three for the line section of my amp.

    Now having enough tubes to populate the entire line section I have rolled the odd Sovtek LPS with the TJ. The difference is much less perceptable, nowhere near what the difference was when rolling the first two tubes. I'm even having a hard time quantifing it. The odd postiton is last on this amp, I assume it has less impact on the sound than on an amp where the shared tube comes first. The odd TJ also has only about 25 hours on it at this point. I suppose I could drive myself crazy rolling the odd tube, seeing if I can come up with an even more perfect combination, but for now I will be content to just sit back and listen to the full compliment of TJs.
     

     

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  2. iGrant

    iGrant Grant Fidelity Forum Moderator

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    Nice to have some more comfirmation about how I sum them up. Assuming I didn't yap with you about them :) I say the new Chinese tubes I am representing sound like a component upgrade, across the board improvements for any audiophile buzzword, where NOS rolls you have tradeoffs. A lot of this is due to the competition going on between Shuguang and TJ FullMusic to capture their share of the huge Chinese audiophile tube market that has some spare change now for more expensive tubes.

    I will do a post about what I have learn't about Chinese tubes over the past few years especially after meeting the two 75 yr. old tube designers who are making these amazing tubes.

    Thanks ruffian for your review, PM received.

    Cheers,
    Ian
     
  3. Soonergolf

    Soonergolf New Member

    Messages:
    24
    TJ's & Black Treasures

    Hi Ian,

    I probably 'gave up' on the TJ Full Music 12AX7's too quickly; the person that ended up with them absolutely loves 'em after a good 100-150 additional hours----I just had way too many NOS treasures to try:D.

    Any news on the Black Treasure 5U4G tube that we hoped might come to market?
     
  4. ehoove

    ehoove Old & New - Carpe Diem Staff Member Super Mod Subscriber

    Messages:
    18,384
    Location:
    Mid-Maryland
    I concur they need some hours to really shine. The TJ and the Mullard Reissue have around the same hours (125-135) at this point and the TJ is more open with a more articulate top end that is not fatiguing at all. Great tube!
    Regards,
    Jim
     
  5. ruffian

    ruffian Super Member

    Messages:
    3,039
    Location:
    Northern NJ
    Seems that they do need some hours. I pulled the pass around pair from my amp yesterday and put in the set that I bought. Now I have three TJs with about 25 hours on them vs. the pair with a Sovtek. For now I would say they are a bit dull and rather narrow compared to what the other pair sounded like. The magic has yet to arrive on this set. My rig runs about 3-4 hours a day, so it wont take too long to get them into shape.
     
  6. dtb300

    dtb300 Active Member

    Messages:
    114
    In my rig, "most" tubes seem to take around 100 hours before showing their stuff.

    I have used the following 12AX7's in my ARC Pre: JJ (ARC Supplied), Mullard (New Release), Matsushita (NOS), Sylvania (NOS), and the TJ Full Music.

    In my setup I found the TJ and Sylvania to be close with the TJ having better defined frequency extensions. Both presented a wide and deep sound stage.

    The Mats are also nice sounding, but with less top end and a sound stage not quite as vast as the TJ and Sylvania.

    The Mullard and JJ sound more on the same plane as the speakers - almost flat sounding compared to the TJ and Sylvania. High end is more extended and musical (less edge) with TJ compared to these.

    For "New" tubes, instead of having to search endlessly for NOS, they are a great tube to consider in a rig. But like any other tube, it is really system and synergy dependent on the each persons results and try to give them 100 hours (only 4 days if you leave them on all the time) before finally deciding on them.

    Overall the TJ Full Music 12AX7 is a great find for new production tubes.
     

     

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  7. dt_in_av

    dt_in_av New Member

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    Where did you get the TJ Fullmusic 12AX7? Do you have a preferred vendor?
     
  8. iGrant

    iGrant Grant Fidelity Forum Moderator

    Messages:
    1,123
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    Likely from us, Grant Fidelity. We did a pass around trial, that I just haven't had time to continue with, some lucky guy has a free pair :)

    http://grantfidelity.com/site/catalog/57/vacuum_tubes

    Cheers,
    Ian
     

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