Soundstage so wide it seems unnatural on certain songs...

codycatalistcodycatalist Posts: 1,012
Once I put a Conn labeled RCA clear top 12AU7 into my tube amp the sound drastically changed from the stock 12AU7 I had in there. I was expecting this but this RCA is a trade off, it is a bit brighter (not a huge fan) but there is more detail in the highs (I do like). The soundstage is just so big with this tube that it sounds unnatural on certain songs...nauseating and disorienting wide.

Still on the fence about it but giving it a couple days to adjust.

Anyone ever had a tube or cans that had an unnaturally wide sound stage?

Comments

  • stones89stones89 Posts: 193
    Sounds whacky, I have rolled alot of tubes but never experienced that! Maybe the tube is bad or on the way out?
  • heiney9heiney9 Posts: 23,340
    There was one pair of tubes with a particular pre-amp that exhibited something similar, but it wasn't as awful as you describe, just a tad unnatural in it's presentation. Not a fan of the clear top RCA, but when I did run them I didn't notice anything unusual about the soundstage. They ended up being to "hot" on the top end for me.

    Must just be the interaction of the innards in the pre with that particular tube. I doubt it's as @stones89 suggests that it's a bad tube. Bad, on the way out tubes sound bad, usually diminished highs, muddy bass, lower output, static, compressed soundstage, etc. Not all these symptoms will be exhibited at once, but any one of them can signal a tube on it's way out (signal tubes).

    H9
  • heiney9heiney9 Posts: 23,340
    edited June 2
    I would try a different RCA clear top to verify its interaction with your electronics. That's what I love about tubes, the infinite variables and the quest/hunt to find the ones that float your boat.

    Mercy me..............when you do stumble onto that combination it can be an eargasm.

    H9
  • codycatalistcodycatalist Posts: 1,012
    stones89 wrote: »
    Sounds whacky, I have rolled alot of tubes but never experienced that! Maybe the tube is bad or on the way out?

    Well some songs sound fine, usually 50-70s era rock, jazz etc but it is newer songs. I wonder if it is just because how it is mastered.

    Tube seems alright, dead silent, no microphonics, gets warm etc.
  • codycatalistcodycatalist Posts: 1,012
    It was tested as well before sent to me and it passed there from what I am told by a forum member so I don't doubt them. Maybe i'm just not used to this kind of sound, all solid state before this.
  • codycatalistcodycatalist Posts: 1,012
    heiney9 wrote: »
    I would try a different RCA clear top to verify its interaction with your electronics. That's what I love about tubes, the infinite variables and the quest/hunt to find the ones that float your boat.

    Mercy me..............when you do stumble onto that combination it can be an eargasm.

    H9

    I do actually have another CONN labeled clear top and a side getter I believe too. I will try those RCAs. I was sent 4 tubes to mess around with.

    So far RCA has the most detail but like you said @heiney9 too hot on the top end for my headphones. I also tried a GE 12AU7 (Don't remember the type) but that was horrible sounding. Right now I am trying a Philips 5814A and I like it. Rolled off highs, good bass, sound stage isn't as big but the previous statements make up for it in my opinon.

    Rolling tubes is starting to make me itch...I think I may turn to cat scratch fever sooner than later.
  • heiney9heiney9 Posts: 23,340
    I can't listen to the Beatles stereo remasters on tubes or SDA's. Way too wacky for me and that's just a byproduct of that particular recording process.

    GE's didn't make the best tubes. The exceptions being the early black plates (1950's). When you say Philips, you mean a tube with a colored Philips label? Those are pretty plain jane average. Avoid if you can, not worth the time to roll. They are just "all right", but nothing special.

    If they are early 60's with the white Philips label then they could be very nice, depending on the codes.

    H9
  • codycatalistcodycatalist Posts: 1,012
    heiney9 wrote: »
    I can't listen to the Beatles stereo remasters on tubes or SDA's. Way too wacky for me and that's just a byproduct of that particular recording process.

    GE's didn't make the best tubes. The exceptions being the early black plates (1950's). When you say Philips, you mean a tube with a colored Philips label? Those are pretty plain jane average. Avoid if you can, not worth the time to roll. They are just "all right", but nothing special.

    If they are early 60's with the white Philips label then they could be very nice, depending on the codes.

    H9

    Colored, JAN labeled. Nothing special but better than my stock tube haha! I was thinking of picking up the Sylvania 5863 HP Labeled D getter that Snow is selling and recommended.
  • heiney9heiney9 Posts: 23,340
    edited June 2
    I'm guessing that's a typo and should be 5963. Early Sylvania's especially the black plates are very nice. Plus it's a computer tube so it was screened for low noise and matching triodes most likely.
  • It is baffling why some people experience a wider sound stage than others when listening to headphones. What often clears up this conundrum is taking cranial measurements. These measurements often reveal the the person in question has an additional 4 to 6 inches of width at the earlobe location as compared to the average bear. They also experience much better stereo imaging and separation than most.

    "Hey Yogi!"

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  • mrbigbluelightmrbigbluelight Posts: 7,022
    4 to 6 inches of width at the earlobe location ?
    Do they even make hats for heads that big ?
    Maybe you meant "4 to 6 cm" ?
  • txcoastal1txcoastal1 Posts: 7,397
    4 to 6 inches of width at the earlobe location ?
    Do they even make hats for heads that big ?
    Maybe you meant "4 to 6 cm" ?

    Don't look down
  • acmf74acmf74 Posts: 824
    I felt the RCA cleartops were also too bright in my preamp. I switched to the RCA Conn long black plates solved that. Great sounding tubes.
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