Feels like Christmas at the Stangman household! Focals and Rhumba are here!

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  • stangman67stangman67 Posts: 788
    I received the "conn" branded RCA clear top 12AU7's today and I could tell instantly that they were not a good match for my setup. They made my rig way too aggressive on top, almost to the point of being shrill at times. I was afraig that clear tops paired with the focals wouldn't be a great match so I am not surprised. I'm going to give them a few days to break in but I imagine they will not change enough, they are almost unlistenable as is IMO. The stock JJ's just work better with the focals. I am looking for a tube with good bottom end and is a little darker up top, anyone have any suggestions? I texted andy real quick and he recommended I try the PSVANE 12au7's next so I may go that route.
    2 Channel
    BlueSound Node 2 Streaming Tidal I Marantz SA8005 I Music Hall MMF7.3 I Lounge Audio LCR Mk III I Backert Labs Rhumba 1.1 I B&K Ref 200.2 I Focal Aria 926 I Wireworld Eclipse 7 IC's I Acoustic Zen Satori SC I Pangea AC14SE MkII/PS Audio AC-3 Power Cables

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  • DSkipDSkip Posts: 14,993
    I didn't think the clear tops would've been good for that system but didn't want to mention it.
    audiothesis.com/

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  • stangman67stangman67 Posts: 788
    I initially had that same feeling, but for the 25 bucks that they cost me a pair I am not worried about it. Andy even offered to purchase them from me since he made the recommendation. I’m gonna send them to him to have a listen to see if there are tube inconsistencies from the ones he has or just a compatibility problem as I suspect. I bought a set of the rca 5814wa black plates from upscale since they are less energetic up top. This tube rolling thing is fun! I have a couple other options in mind as well
    2 Channel
    BlueSound Node 2 Streaming Tidal I Marantz SA8005 I Music Hall MMF7.3 I Lounge Audio LCR Mk III I Backert Labs Rhumba 1.1 I B&K Ref 200.2 I Focal Aria 926 I Wireworld Eclipse 7 IC's I Acoustic Zen Satori SC I Pangea AC14SE MkII/PS Audio AC-3 Power Cables

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  • EndersShadowEndersShadow Posts: 16,074
    calling @heiney9.... calling @heiney9 ...... do you smell the burning sensation of the tubes....

    you need to help the young padawan in the way of the tubes....
    "....not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." William Bruce Cameron, Informal Sociology: A Casual Introduction to Sociological Thinking (1963)
  • Mike ReeterMike Reeter Posts: 3,306
    Very Sweet Looking setup, N'joy!
    SDA SRS 2.3TL's/SDA SRS 3.1TL's/SDA CRS+4.1TL's and some other stuff
  • stangman67stangman67 Posts: 788
    The honeymoon phase sure is nice. Got home from work at 5. Ate dinner and was listening by 6. Just finished and crawled in bed (over 5 hours later!) and I had to force myself to turn the CD player off instead of putting another cd in.

    There is something to be said about just sitting back and enjoying the music and drinking a few beers
    2 Channel
    BlueSound Node 2 Streaming Tidal I Marantz SA8005 I Music Hall MMF7.3 I Lounge Audio LCR Mk III I Backert Labs Rhumba 1.1 I B&K Ref 200.2 I Focal Aria 926 I Wireworld Eclipse 7 IC's I Acoustic Zen Satori SC I Pangea AC14SE MkII/PS Audio AC-3 Power Cables

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  • deronb1deronb1 Posts: 4,314
    Love em! The free bump to gloss black is awesome!
  • monepolkmonepolk Posts: 870
    Very nice setup, enjoy.
  • WLDockWLDock Posts: 2,207
    stangman67 wrote: »
    These speakers certainly don’t represent the reported Focal brightness. The tubes most certainly thinly help with that aspect though
    I spent little time with the Arias but the first word that came out of my mouth was organic! Very nice system there.

    Also, if the faceplate bugs you, see if they will sell you a black one. Or, when the warranty expires, have it anodized and re-silkscreened. As far as the B&K....I think you might have to spend some big bucks to go the next level up.....you might end up with it for awhile....!!!???

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  • heiney9heiney9 Posts: 23,879
    calling @heiney9.... calling @heiney9 ...... do you smell the burning sensation of the tubes....

    you need to help the young padawan in the way of the tubes....

    I do, but he purchased some before he even had the unit. Plus, I don't always agree with Kevin at Upscale. He recommends what he sells. What he sells are the supply he can get large quantities of. Large quantities can (not always) lead to the most common tubes and sometime there are better out there.

    Plus, He hasn't really asked for any advice on tube rolling.

    The early Military RCA 5814's aren't bad. I've never cared for the RCA clear tops as they are very clinical and lack body.

    I've run just about every 12AU7 and variant known. The real fun is when you start the tube rolling to find your sound. But if you are content with a couple pairs of good sounding tubes and don't care to chase the best sound, that's ok too.

    I can make some recommendations or I've made 100's of posts in the past maybe gleen some info from there.

    I also have been going through my stash lately and I bought a crap ton of tubes in the past 3-4 years. Doing some thinning.

    H9

    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30 | EE Avant Pre | EE Mini Max Plus DAC | MIT Shotgun S3 | MIT Z P/C's | updated SDA 1C| SQ Box Touch/Welbourne Labs P/S- Tubes add soul!
  • heiney9heiney9 Posts: 23,879
    edited January 30
    Yep2 wrote: »
    calling @heiney9.... calling @heiney9 ...... do you smell the burning sensation of the tubes....

    you need to help the young padawan in the way of the tubes....

    Its a personal preference...
    Brock might not like what you hear.

    It's not about not liking. I'll just tell what I hear, and I've heard a lot. I find most people aren't as enthusiastic as I am when it comes to rolling tubes. I am just as pumped about the chase and the hunt as I am about the sound. But I went cold turkey about 9 months ago as it was getting out of hand....lol. Haven't looked at buying single tube since last Spring. :)

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30 | EE Avant Pre | EE Mini Max Plus DAC | MIT Shotgun S3 | MIT Z P/C's | updated SDA 1C| SQ Box Touch/Welbourne Labs P/S- Tubes add soul!
  • heiney9heiney9 Posts: 23,879
    edited January 30
    Oh yeah, congrats Stangman on an awesome system you got in the works. :D
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30 | EE Avant Pre | EE Mini Max Plus DAC | MIT Shotgun S3 | MIT Z P/C's | updated SDA 1C| SQ Box Touch/Welbourne Labs P/S- Tubes add soul!
  • heiney9heiney9 Posts: 23,879
    edited January 30
    Also, no new stock tube will sound as good as the better/best old stock tubes. JJ's, Psvane, etc aren't even close to some of the better old stock tubes. The dealers will tell you they are, because that's the inventory they have to sell.

    You can do a lot better if you're willing to explore. If not, that's cool too.

    The tricky part is navigating the tube universe as you need to know exactly what you're buying since sellers aren't educated they may pass on erroneous information as fact. And a label on a tube means very little.

    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30 | EE Avant Pre | EE Mini Max Plus DAC | MIT Shotgun S3 | MIT Z P/C's | updated SDA 1C| SQ Box Touch/Welbourne Labs P/S- Tubes add soul!
  • stangman67stangman67 Posts: 788
    To be clear, I was getting recommendations from Andy, who is at Backert Labs, not taking recommendations from Kevin. I settled on the rca 5814wa’s based on a professional review of the Backert rhumba.

    I am certainly open to suggestions. For me this hobby has always been about the music, not necessarily chasing the best possible sound qualities. I’d like to find a nice week rounded tube and buy a few sets to hold me over for awhile. As much fun as tube rolling seems, I don’t have a bunch of money to throw at a whole bunch of different tubes. I am looking for something not so aggressive up top, with good bass presence.
    2 Channel
    BlueSound Node 2 Streaming Tidal I Marantz SA8005 I Music Hall MMF7.3 I Lounge Audio LCR Mk III I Backert Labs Rhumba 1.1 I B&K Ref 200.2 I Focal Aria 926 I Wireworld Eclipse 7 IC's I Acoustic Zen Satori SC I Pangea AC14SE MkII/PS Audio AC-3 Power Cables

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  • heiney9heiney9 Posts: 23,879
    Stangman, I hope my post didn't come off pissy. Because it wasn't meant that way. Do you know what year the RCA 5814's are? The 5814 doesn't usually exhibit an aggressive top end. I could see the JJ's being that way. I think JJ's is what they sent when we did the demo. I listened to the JJ's for a very short time before I swapped them out, they weren't great.

    Let me look over my notes and I'll make some recommendations.
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30 | EE Avant Pre | EE Mini Max Plus DAC | MIT Shotgun S3 | MIT Z P/C's | updated SDA 1C| SQ Box Touch/Welbourne Labs P/S- Tubes add soul!
  • stangman67stangman67 Posts: 788
    The 5814wa listing says just 1950’s, no specific year. I actually don’t mind the sound signature of the jj’s. The clear tops were super aggressive and sounded very harsh.

    Thanks for the help
    2 Channel
    BlueSound Node 2 Streaming Tidal I Marantz SA8005 I Music Hall MMF7.3 I Lounge Audio LCR Mk III I Backert Labs Rhumba 1.1 I B&K Ref 200.2 I Focal Aria 926 I Wireworld Eclipse 7 IC's I Acoustic Zen Satori SC I Pangea AC14SE MkII/PS Audio AC-3 Power Cables

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  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 4,793
    Hey @stangman67 did you have a chance to check out that demo track I told you about?
    Got Dayens?
  • stangman67stangman67 Posts: 788
    Clipdat wrote: »
    Hey @stangman67 did you have a chance to check out that demo track I told you about?

    I did just give it a listen, the music itself isn't my cup of tea but it was an enjoyable listen. Really sounded great, the presence of the strong acoustic guitar and a very front and center vocalist. I agree its a very good test track for imaging at least
    2 Channel
    BlueSound Node 2 Streaming Tidal I Marantz SA8005 I Music Hall MMF7.3 I Lounge Audio LCR Mk III I Backert Labs Rhumba 1.1 I B&K Ref 200.2 I Focal Aria 926 I Wireworld Eclipse 7 IC's I Acoustic Zen Satori SC I Pangea AC14SE MkII/PS Audio AC-3 Power Cables

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  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 4,793
    Nice man. Thanks for giving it a try even though it's not your genre of choice. It's not mine either, to be completely honest.

    Like you mentioned, I just like how front and center the vocals are! And, how the guitar seems to have a real texture to it! It seems minimally processed/mastered, like it wasn't heavily compressed, so it has a lot of dynamic range.

    Glad you are enjoying your Focals :)
    stangman67 wrote: »
    Clipdat wrote: »
    Hey @stangman67 did you have a chance to check out that demo track I told you about?

    I did just give it a listen, the music itself isn't my cup of tea but it was an enjoyable listen. Really sounded great, the presence of the strong acoustic guitar and a very front and center vocalist. I agree its a very good test track for imaging at least


    Got Dayens?
  • tonybtonyb Posts: 29,918
    Amperex 7316.....I've read another user liked it in his Rhumba, but take that with a grain of salt.
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  • stangman67stangman67 Posts: 788
    tonyb wrote: »
    Amperex 7316.....I've read another user liked it in his Rhumba, but take that with a grain of salt.

    I'll put em on the list :)
    2 Channel
    BlueSound Node 2 Streaming Tidal I Marantz SA8005 I Music Hall MMF7.3 I Lounge Audio LCR Mk III I Backert Labs Rhumba 1.1 I B&K Ref 200.2 I Focal Aria 926 I Wireworld Eclipse 7 IC's I Acoustic Zen Satori SC I Pangea AC14SE MkII/PS Audio AC-3 Power Cables

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  • heiney9heiney9 Posts: 23,879
    edited January 31
    The main thing to realize is you need to make sure what you are buying. Lots of tubes are marked with maker and designation, but in many cases it's not correct.

    The 7316 is a perfect example. It's a ruggedized 12AU7 that came in both long plate and short plate versions. They are fairly rare and most have come from precision equipment like computers, sensitive measuring devices or hospital equipment.

    There are so many "fake" 7316's out there. You have to look at the manufacturing codes to tell. It looks identical to a standard Holland ECC82/12AU7. 7316's were only made at the Heerlen plant in Holland. Build code of Ct0 - Ct6. Ct0-Ct2 is usually a long plate, Ct3-Ct6 is usually a short plate (going on memory).

    My personal opinion on them (especially the short plates) for what they cost over a "regular" Heerlen made ECC82 there is very little difference in sound, if any. Some swear they are a holy grail tube, I don't see it, as side by side with a standard LP Heerlen tube, they sound the same, which is superb.

    Get yourself a pair of long plate Holland ECC82's, if you want to pay double or triple for 7316's over the standard LP, knock yourself out.

    12AU7 is the American designation for Europe's ECC82.
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30 | EE Avant Pre | EE Mini Max Plus DAC | MIT Shotgun S3 | MIT Z P/C's | updated SDA 1C| SQ Box Touch/Welbourne Labs P/S- Tubes add soul!
  • stangman67stangman67 Posts: 788
    Great, just what I was after! So something like this? https://www.upscaleaudio.com/products/amperex-medical-12au7-ecc82-made-in-holland

    I am assuming I can find much better deals elsewhere. I will see what the 5814wa's do for me and I will go from there
    2 Channel
    BlueSound Node 2 Streaming Tidal I Marantz SA8005 I Music Hall MMF7.3 I Lounge Audio LCR Mk III I Backert Labs Rhumba 1.1 I B&K Ref 200.2 I Focal Aria 926 I Wireworld Eclipse 7 IC's I Acoustic Zen Satori SC I Pangea AC14SE MkII/PS Audio AC-3 Power Cables

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  • heiney9heiney9 Posts: 23,879
    edited January 31
    The short plate Holland tube is nice. The long plate is sublime. Yes, you can find a better price. But a dealer will stand behind the product, probably already screened them and they might be better matched electrically. That's why they charge more. I personally have so few issues buying from individuals I don't pay dealer prices.

    But it comes down to your comfort level. Also you'll notice every tube they sell is great in their marketing spiel. I don't always agree with their assessment of certain tubes. Remember they are trying to move merchandise. Not that they will sell you junk, just that some of those tubes aren't all they say they are.

    Just my personal opinion.

    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30 | EE Avant Pre | EE Mini Max Plus DAC | MIT Shotgun S3 | MIT Z P/C's | updated SDA 1C| SQ Box Touch/Welbourne Labs P/S- Tubes add soul!
  • heiney9heiney9 Posts: 23,879
    Dealers also make a big deal about matching. I defy anyone to listen to a pair of signal tubes that are 5% matched vs. 20% matched. I have never been able to hear a difference. Power tubes a mismatch like that could be an issue. Talking small signal tubes.

    You will pay extra for close matching signal tubes and I don't think it's worth the extra cost. Again just a personal opinion based on listening to a LOT of tubes in the past 10 years.
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30 | EE Avant Pre | EE Mini Max Plus DAC | MIT Shotgun S3 | MIT Z P/C's | updated SDA 1C| SQ Box Touch/Welbourne Labs P/S- Tubes add soul!
  • heiney9heiney9 Posts: 23,879
    The 5814 is the American ruggedized version of the 12AU7 and the construction differs. The early 50's CBS 5814 is superb and sounds superb in the Rhumba. True CBS 5814's are hard to find these days. Later CBS 5814's were made by Raytheon or RCA and just labeled CBS. Different tube, different sound, same label. Again, one of the pitfalls of tube hunting/rolling.
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30 | EE Avant Pre | EE Mini Max Plus DAC | MIT Shotgun S3 | MIT Z P/C's | updated SDA 1C| SQ Box Touch/Welbourne Labs P/S- Tubes add soul!
  • stangman67stangman67 Posts: 788
    Thanks for the info. The ones I bought are labeled RCA, I hope they do at least fairly well. I got the suggestion for these (RCA triple mica 5814) from a professional reviewer of the Rhumba. If not I will hunt for some decent priced Aperexes. I am learning a ton already, thanks a bunch for the insight
    2 Channel
    BlueSound Node 2 Streaming Tidal I Marantz SA8005 I Music Hall MMF7.3 I Lounge Audio LCR Mk III I Backert Labs Rhumba 1.1 I B&K Ref 200.2 I Focal Aria 926 I Wireworld Eclipse 7 IC's I Acoustic Zen Satori SC I Pangea AC14SE MkII/PS Audio AC-3 Power Cables

    Living Room HT
    Sony XBR65X930E I Marantz NR-1608 I Q Acoustics 2020i I Q Acoustics 3090c I FXI-A4's I DIY 15" Dayton SW

  • heiney9heiney9 Posts: 23,879
    edited January 31
    On the short plates you want to look for the large halo getter on the Heerlen ones. It appears based on the codes I can see in the photos and the size of the ring getter that those are early short plate Holland tubes, 1960 for the one shown in the photo. I would ask if they are all the same as the photo before you buy.

    The large halo seem to sound closer to the long plates than the later small halo tubes. Those would be a good choice. (the ones you linked). Those are not the 7316 critical application tubes, they are just screened for medical use.
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30 | EE Avant Pre | EE Mini Max Plus DAC | MIT Shotgun S3 | MIT Z P/C's | updated SDA 1C| SQ Box Touch/Welbourne Labs P/S- Tubes add soul!
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