TubeDAC-11 Tube Rolling

Discussion in 'Grant Fidelity' started by iGrant, Oct 12, 2011.

  1. Wolfbane

    Wolfbane What's going on?

    I've now got over 150 hours in with my DAC-11. More ECC88 and 6DJ8 tubes arrived here today so after I test all 6 new tubes on the tube tester I'll be rolling in some North American 6DJ8's (RCA, GE, Sylvania) and another flavour of a Holland made Amperex ECC88 as well as a Toshiba 6922 made in Japan on old Mullard equipment. Lastly I have an 1980's made Sovtek ECC88 to try.

  2. keithpgdrb

    keithpgdrb AK Subscriber Subscriber

    wolf, you are an impressive tube roller indeed.
  3. dolphyisgod

    dolphyisgod AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Totally. Can't wait to learn of the results.
  4. iGrant

    iGrant Grant Fidelity Forum Moderator

    I've been doing some rolling as well, what I have found out so far is that the stock tube is no slouch, it is a NOS Military grade 6N11 from the Bejing Tube Factory (that was all bought up by TJ) from the late 70's early 80's. I have a nice NOS Holland made RCA 6DJ8 that sounds almost identical (worth about $25), a little more meat on the dynamics and Wolfbane lent me a unbranded Mullard ECC88 (I think made in Germany) that is worth about $50 and this one makes a big difference, much more lower mid bite and a much softer top end, I like this tube, kind of reminds me of the 09 stock :) but better.

    If you are in Calgary, I have two TubeDAC-11's setup for quick tube A/B compares, you are more than welcome to bring in your tubes and do some experimenting, I might be busy, but will help get you started.

    Also looking froward to Wolfbane's ongoing roll reports

  5. Wolfbane

    Wolfbane What's going on?

    All six of my ECC88/6922/6DJ8 tubes have been tube tester tested with the first tube up being an RF internally shielded General Electric grey-glass 6DJ8 tube. I've got the first hour in with this tube and it is sounding pretty good so far. Sounds a little bit more laid back then any tube I've had in the DAC-11 so far. Tones down the original Chinese tube tendency for brightness in the DAC-11 nicely.

  6. iGrant

    iGrant Grant Fidelity Forum Moderator

  7. phheld

    phheld New Member

    Ian, Wolfbane:

    Where might someone get this tube? Thx
  8. Wolfbane

    Wolfbane What's going on?

    Best deal on the 1960's Mullards is to purchase RCA Labled tubes that also have "Made in Great Britain" on the label and cross seams on the top of the tube. They are cheaper then Mullard labled 6DJ8's/ECC88's and are the same tube. Look at Barter Town here if you are an AK member or on Ebay.

    I'm still running a GE 6DJ8 grey glass tube in my DAC-11 and this tube in this Dac, in my opinion, is a very nice fit with a full range and lots of detail. It is not as warm as a Mullard though. It is also available at pretty good prices when compared to the Mullards.

  9. Wolfbane

    Wolfbane What's going on?

    Okay the Grey Glass GE 6DJ8 is now out after 20 plus hours of critical listening. Someone looking for a more balanced, less warm tube in this DAC the GE brings a full spectrum sound to the table at a reasonable price (can be found for less then $20 online). :thmbsp:

    I've replaced it with a Amperex ECC88, white label, Made in Holland in 1966. Impression with just a couple hours in so far: warm, detailed, relaxed and very Philips like. :smoke:

  10. deville9

    deville9 New Member

    Have just under 100hrs on an Amperex USA 6922 gold pin HP label. Night and day compared to the stock tube. Like removing a blanket covering the speakers. Excellent imaging, airy open top end and lots of detail. Found it to be a bit harsh/grainy with some female voices, but turning down the volume on the DAC clears that up. It doesn't seem to like the same volume level as the DAC output if setting it up in that manner. Will try a Mullard made in Holland next.

  11. iGrant

    iGrant Grant Fidelity Forum Moderator

    Trying a Made in Japan branded RCA 6DJ8, supposedly made by Mitsubishi on Amperex machinery, think they are about $20. Initial impression is more romantic than stock 6N11, deeper bass and more gain than the 6N11, like the top end on the 6N11 on this initial listening sessions. A really nice tube that needs some time on it to open up. Once some time on it will put it up against the RCA branded Mullard ECC88 and the Made in Holland RCA 6DJ8

    TubeDAC-11 USB Input, GF PC-1.5 power cable. Sennheizer HD540 on the tube outs. I'm running two TubeDAC-11's so can swap between stock and the rolled 11 in about 20 seconds :)

    Deville, how many hours on the Amperex USA 6922?, the harsh/grainy on the female vox might be just a tube that needs some time, even if used a tube that has sat for more than a year needs to break in again.

  12. deville9

    deville9 New Member

    Ian, has around 100 hrs. I will be giving it more time as the tube over all has spooky imaging and a 3D effect with the Totem Forest. Will be doing some more tweaking with my system too to dial everything in. Did get the made in Holland Mullard 6922. Will give it a try soon.

  13. iGrant

    iGrant Grant Fidelity Forum Moderator

    Getting emails on who to buy tubes from for the TubeDAC-11, we don't sell them. I get mine either from 'wolfbane' who posts here or our tech Greg 'The Radio Guy' . They both seem to have a decent but limited supply, wolfbane does this for fun, but as you can tell from his posts knows what is sounding good in the TubeDAC-11.

    There are lots of reputable NOS/UOS tube sellers out there, if you see them dumping on Chinese tubes, then I suggest they don't have a clue/ears/experience etc :) and move on. We see lots of these tubes that customers have brought in for testing, generally they test as described, but not always.

    Personally I'll only spend pocket change for a tube on eBay and have had good results that way, looking for used 'lots' can also be fun as you get a variety to choose from, but hey don't bid too much, I might be bidding on it too :)

    Feel welcome to post links in this thread to where you got your TubeDAC-11 6922, 6DJ8, ECC88, CCa, 6N23 tubes from and if it was a good experience or not, if not please don't dump, just say not recommended.

  14. mickster1972

    mickster1972 New Member

    Reading this thread with great interest. I am still burning in my Dac-11 and enjoying headphones for now (tube output), but curious to know if anyone has tried Electro-Harmonix tubes before and, if so, what their impression might be? Seems like they get positive reviews over on the PE website. For $15, might be worth a try...
  15. Catcher10

    Catcher10 Prog-tastic! Subscriber

    I have a DAC 11 on order, but also purchased a JJ Electronics E88CC Gold.....Both should arrive at the same time.
    This thread will become very important as time goes on.
  16. hamilton02

    hamilton02 Active Member

    Hey guys. Have been following this thread from the start and after many hours with the stock tube I am interested in trying something new. Perhaps a JAN Phillips 6922? I have to agree with Ian that the stock is no slouch.
    As Ian is also very familiar with Yaqin amps (maybe he could chime in too), would I notice more of a difference in swapping out the stock power EL34s in the Yaqin 10L or a change in the DAC 11?
  17. Wolfbane

    Wolfbane What's going on?

    The Amperex ECC88, white label,tube is out. Nice warm, detailed tube, another step up from the stock tube but not as full sounding and rich a tube as the Amperex pinched waist tube which is my reference tube in this DAC.

    On to a NIB NOS National labled 6922/ECC88 made by Philips.

  18. etocynned

    etocynned Active Member

    Hey Wolf, about how long does it take you to form these impressions?

    Do you go back to the stock tube in between to refresh your memory?

    Awesome work btw.
  19. Wolfbane

    Wolfbane What's going on?

    Minimum of 20 hours is for tubes that already have hours on them (i.e. before I put them in the DAC). Running 20 - 30 hours on NIB tubes. To my ears, unlike power tubes, the small signal tubes do not need a multitude of hours to reach their potential. Yes, I go back to the Amperex pinched waist tube from time to time to compare some of the tubes I've tried out or just hear my favourite ECC88.

  20. 2string1

    2string1 Super Member

    Trying a Sylvania 6922 in my DAC-11 and my goodness this tube sounds great. The highs are beautiful. My ears can't take high harness and this tube has none. It is a well balanced tube. I've always leaned toward the German tubes but I got say this USA tube is brilliant. Oh and it's cheap.

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