Tube Rolling the H3000

Bill Hart

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May 11, 2012
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Not that I wanted to, but one of the E810F tubes (there are four) went microphonic to the point where i could hear it through the system. I isolated it to one pair (originally on the left channel) and when I switched that pair with those on the right, the tube noise switched sides. (I didn't have the patience to continue the process, nor at that point, any extra tubes of this type to figure out which tube of the pair was the culprit). Mr. Park, of Allnic, sent me a new pair. These were not Mullards, but Siemens, marked AEG, appeared to be NIB NOS.
Rather than have one channel of the 'stock' Mullards that were good and the other of the Siemens, I mixed pairs of the good Mullards and 'new' Siemens in each channel. Noise gone. (The noise was a high frequency squeal, or whistle that Mr. Park said, with further burn-in, would eventually go away). That was a little puzzling to me since i have at least 400 hours on the original set of tubes, probably a good bit more. The noise had only recently appeared, although you can hear the tubes singing in their sockets if you are near the preamp- it just did not manifest itself in the audio path until a week or so ago. I gather that these tube types tend toward microphony and thus the gel sockets that Allnic supplies with the unit.
Right now, things sound a little bright, it may be the newness of the Siemens and may be partly the inherent sound of the Siemens. I have no experience rolling this tube type, but with 6dj8 equivalents, in my experience the Siemens NOS seemed very linear but bright and less 3d and honeyed than the NOS Telefunken and not nearly as euphonic as the NOS Mullard (of that type).
I also found 4 NIB NOS UK Mullards which are, hopefully, going to be shipped from Eastern Europe. And a pair of US Mullards, NIB NOS (which I assume were made by Amperex). So, I'm rollin, whether I like it or not. By the time the UK Mullards get here, I should have gone through whatever 'burn-in' the Siemens required, so I may have a better understanding of what these different tubes sound like.
No questions really, unless anybody has some observations or experience with this tube type. I think one of the Kondo or Audio Note preamps may use it too.
I already quizzed a couple owners of the H3000 who said they have not had any tube noise problems. Of course, I'm using very efficient speakers so that may be part of the mix as well. More as it develops.
 
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cjfrbw

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Apr 20, 2010
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I don't have any answers or suggestions, Bill, but keep us posted as to your findings. I have always been happy with the original tubes on my version of the H3000 (mullard E810F) but have tended in the past to be an inveterate tube roller.
 

audioarcher

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May 7, 2012
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Hi Bill,

Glad to hear your problem was just the tubes. I have not tried to roll the E810F tubes myself. My dealer said the stock tubes are the best sounding tubes for the unit in the main chassis. He did say the rectifier tube can make a big difference and I agree. It does not sound like the Siemens are the way to go. As far as I know there are not that many different brands of E810F tubes to try. If your happy with the sound I'd stick with the Mullards.

What feet did you end up with under the PS and have you tried anything under the main unit yet?

Sean
 

Bill Hart

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May 11, 2012
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Thanks, both of my Allnic brothers. :) Yes, based on first impressions, I'd say the Mullard is the better sounding tube. Sean, the feet right now under the power supply are Stillpoint Ultra SS. And no, nothing under the main unit yet, and probably won't til I get the tube swapping fully sorted.
Postscript: I do want to let these Siemens tubes settle in a bit, since they really are 'new' NOS as far as I can tell. Many of the NOS tubes I've bought in the past are not 'NIB' particularly the pricey Tekefunken 6dj8 equivalents. In fact, can you remember when you've last seen somebody selling the Cca or high grade version as NIB? So, I'm hoping a little mileage may make them sound sweeter. Right now listening to a mono Nina Simone and it is fabulous!
Tubes are really a love/hate thing for me. I love their sound when they are right, but getting the balance between neutrality (not overly euphonic) and warmth/air, etc. isn't easy.
The other interesting thing about these particular tubes is that they aren't terribly expensive, because they are not used very much, but they aren't nearly as ubiquitous on the market as more commonly used preamp tubes.
 
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Bill Hart

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May 11, 2012
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More info. Speaking to Brendan Bievers (my usual source for tubes), he said this tube type is basically dutch or american and that the Mullards, branded as made in Great Britain, are in reality, probably Amperex, made in the US. Not counterfeit, but branded that way back in the day.
 

mep

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 21, 2010
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Ah, the joys of sleuthing the provenance of tubes. In a world today where competing businesses never seem to get along, back in the glory days of tubes, there was more inbreeding going on than a community full of Amish. It appears that all of the major tube companies around the world all took care of each other even though they were competitors and sourced tubes from each other in order to fill domestic demand. RCA was never shy of selling Mullard or Amperex tubes as their own even if they usually still gave credit with “Made in Great Britain” or “Made in Holland” appearing on the tube boxes. Amperex sold tons of Mullard tubes that had the Amperex label. I have some cool looking Amperex Bugle Boys GZ-34 rectifiers that are actually Mullard tubes. I have some gold pin RCA 6922 tubes that are Mullards. I did have some Mullard XF2 EL-34 tubes with the double halo getters that came in RCA boxes, but again the boxes did say “Made in Great Britain.”

The bottom line is that you really have to know your tubes in order to know what you really have, and I haven’t even touched on the counterfeiting that goes on.
 

Bill Hart

Well-Known Member
May 11, 2012
2,597
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Ah, the joys of sleuthing the provenance of tubes. In a world today where competing businesses never seem to get along, back in the glory days of tubes, there was more inbreeding going on than a community full of Amish. It appears that all of the major tube companies around the world all took care of each other even though they were competitors and sourced tubes from each other in order to fill domestic demand. RCA was never shy of selling Mullard or Amperex tubes as their own even if they usually still gave credit with “Made in Great Britain” or “Made in Holland” appearing on the tube boxes. Amperex sold tons of Mullard tubes that had the Amperex label. I have some cool looking Amperex Bugle Boys GZ-34 rectifiers that are actually Mullard tubes. I have some gold pin RCA 6922 tubes that are Mullards. I did have some Mullard XF2 EL-34 tubes with the double halo getters that came in RCA boxes, but again the boxes did say “Made in Great Britain.”

The bottom line is that you really have to know your tubes in order to know what you really have, and I haven’t even touched on the counterfeiting that goes on.
True that. You'd think that 'Made in Great Britain' on the glass might mean something, but apparently not. I've got a selection of different tubes coming, from various sources. It just reinforces what I already knew- buy from a reliable knowledgeable source!
 

Bill Hart

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May 11, 2012
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Turns out, after talking to the charming and informative David Beetles, the Allnic importer,that the Siemens and Mullard tubes are actually the same tube- made by Phillips. I was still getting some microphony, so did a little more tube swapping, and it appears to be gone. The Allnic guys have stepped up to the plate and are sending me more tubes, just in case.
David also said he likes the RCA rectifier, which I have, so at some point, I'm going to take the fat base Mullard out, and try the RCA. I also have a Tung-Sol rectifier which I listened to briefly, but will try again as well. Right now, the combo of the H3000 and the new Veloce line stage are very, very musical and I'm getting an enormous amount of information through the system that is 'of a piece,' not shaded, dark or too detailed. Just right. And the bass has never been better. (Don't tell MadFloyd). :)
 

audioarcher

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May 7, 2012
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Turns out, after talking to the charming and informative David Beetles, the Allnic importer,that the Siemens and Mullard tubes are actually the same tube- made by Phillips. I was still getting some microphony, so did a little more tube swapping, and it appears to be gone. The Allnic guys have stepped up to the plate and are sending me more tubes, just in case.
David also said he likes the RCA rectifier, which I have, so at some point, I'm going to take the fat base Mullard out, and try the RCA. I also have a Tung-Sol rectifier which I listened to briefly, but will try again as well. Right now, the combo of the H3000 and the new Veloce line stage are very, very musical and I'm getting an enormous amount of information through the system that is 'of a piece,' not shaded, dark or too detailed. Just right. And the bass has never been better. (Don't tell MadFloyd). :)

That's good to know about the Siemens. As I may have said before I'm using the RCA rectifier. I've tried a few different rectifiers and always come back to the RCA. On the recommendation of Steve Dobbins I just ordered a CBS 5U4G ST shape rectifier. Should have it Friday. He says he is digging the CBS and he was the one that recommended the RCA. I have not tried the Mullard rectifier so I can't really say how it stacks up against the RCA.

It might be time for Madfloyd to change speakers instead of upstream eq.:)
 

MylesBAstor

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Apr 20, 2010
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Turns out, after talking to the charming and informative David Beetles, the Allnic importer,that the Siemens and Mullard tubes are actually the same tube- made by Phillips. I was still getting some microphony, so did a little more tube swapping, and it appears to be gone. The Allnic guys have stepped up to the plate and are sending me more tubes, just in case.
David also said he likes the RCA rectifier, which I have, so at some point, I'm going to take the fat base Mullard out, and try the RCA. I also have a Tung-Sol rectifier which I listened to briefly, but will try again as well. Right now, the combo of the H3000 and the new Veloce line stage are very, very musical and I'm getting an enormous amount of information through the system that is 'of a piece,' not shaded, dark or too detailed. Just right. And the bass has never been better. (Don't tell MadFloyd). :)

I didn't like the sound of the Mullard in my system. Sounded thin, analytical and flat. The RCA was clearly better though I think it's a bit soft sounding and closed in. Of course, it all comes down to how the tube affects the stiffness of the power supply.
 

Bill Hart

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May 11, 2012
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That's good to know about the Siemens. As I may have said before I'm using the RCA rectifier. I've tried a few different rectifiers and always come back to the RCA. On the recommendation of Steve Dobbins I just ordered a CBS 5U4G ST shape rectifier. Should have it Friday. He says he is digging the CBS and he was the one that recommended the RCA. I have not tried the Mullard rectifier so I can't really say how it stacks up against the RCA.

It might be time for Madfloyd to change speakers instead of upstream eq.:)
Keep us posted on the CBS. Who the hell made that one, NBC? :) I realize, despite all my years using tubes, I am a babe in the woods, i've basically rolled the common triodes and know a little bit, but these things- jeesh! I need to find a telephone switch repair guy from the 50's!
 

Bill Hart

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May 11, 2012
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I didn't like the sound of the Mullard in my system. Sounded thin, analytical and flat. The RCA was clearly better though I think it's a bit soft sounding and closed in. Of course, it all comes down to how the tube affects the stiffness of the power supply.

Myles you keep saying that! But you are talking about a GZ 37, not the fat base 34. It's a different tube man!
 

audioarcher

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May 7, 2012
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I didn't like the sound of the Mullard in my system. Sounded thin, analytical and flat. The RCA was clearly better though I think it's a bit soft sounding and closed in. Of course, it all comes down to how the tube affects the stiffness of the power supply.

Hi Myles,

That can be solved with different feet under the PS. A hard material such as stainless steel is much better than the stock mushy footers. I just had a machine shop make some SS roller feet for me and the soft bass is no longer a problem.
 

audioarcher

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May 7, 2012
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Keep us posted on the CBS. Who the hell made that one, NBC? :) I realize, despite all my years using tubes, I am a babe in the woods, i've basically rolled the common triodes and know a little bit, but these things- jeesh! I need to find a telephone switch repair guy from the 50's!

Same here. There are so many tubes and so little time.:p
 

Bill Hart

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May 11, 2012
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Hi Myles,

That can be solved with different feet under the PS. A hard material such as stainless steel is much better than the stock mushy footers. I just had a machine shop make some SS roller feet for me and the soft bass is no longer a problem.
Until Myles chimes in to defend his honor, I'll give him props for pointing out that the voltage drop on different rectifiers makes a huge difference. If you look at some of the sites on the web that discuss this (usually in the context of the care and feeding of old Fender guitar amps) there is a substantial difference in how much 'tube sag' these various rectifiers have. Myles pointed that out in an earlier thread on the subject of rolling rectifier tubes and he is right. If you look at a GZ 37, it has a voltage drop of 3x the GZ 34, which is what I think contributes to the sound- guitar players sometimes like that kind of distortion, but hi-fi guys don't. And I think that's one of the difference here among these tube types, which may otherwise be treated as 'equivalents' for some equipment.
 

mep

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Apr 21, 2010
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Myles you keep saying that! But you are talking about a GZ 37, not the fat base 34. It's a different tube man!

I know that I sent Myles a Mullard GZ-34 to listen to though it was not labeled as a Mullard. The hole in the guide pin and the glass etchings give it away every time.
 

audioarcher

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May 7, 2012
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Until Myles chimes in to defend his honor, I'll give him props for pointing out that the voltage drop on different rectifiers makes a huge difference. If you look at some of the sites on the web that discuss this (usually in the context of the care and feeding of old Fender guitar amps) there is a substantial difference in how much 'tube sag' these various rectifiers have. Myles pointed that out in an earlier thread on the subject of rolling rectifier tubes and he is right. If you look at a GZ 37, it has a voltage drop of 3x the GZ 34, which is what I think contributes to the sound- guitar players sometimes like that kind of distortion, but hi-fi guys don't. And I think that's one of the difference here among these tube types, which may otherwise be treated as 'equivalents' for some equipment.

There is no doubt that the rectifier can and does effect the stiffness of the the power supply. I have a GE 5U4G that has better bass and highs than the RCA but it gets fatiguing after a while. With the RCA and my new footers I have what I am looking for without any fatigue. I am trying different rectifiers on the chance I will get even better sound. They are pretty cheap so no harm really. If I don't improve the sound no big deal as I'm very happy with it now.
 

Bill Hart

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May 11, 2012
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I know that I sent Myles a Mullard GZ-34 to listen to though it was not labeled as a Mullard. The hole in the guide pin and the glass etchings give it away every time.
Ok well I'll be the first to admit i may be wrong, but I thought I remembered his earlier postings re the Mullard to be the GZ 37. The one I'm using is the so-called 'first series' fat base GZ 34.
 

MylesBAstor

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Apr 20, 2010
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Hi Myles,

That can be solved with different feet under the PS. A hard material such as stainless steel is much better than the stock mushy footers. I just had a machine shop make some SS roller feet for me and the soft bass is no longer a problem.

I used various cones such as the Goldmund under the PS or the Wave Kinetics feet.
 

MylesBAstor

Well-Known Member
Apr 20, 2010
11,229
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Myles you keep saying that! But you are talking about a GZ 37, not the fat base 34. It's a different tube man!

OK I'll take your word for it. But it's a $300 gamble.

Still doesn't affect the sound of the RCA ;)
 

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