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6 x 12AX7 in my Sunfire Pre

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BrianT

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Post Wed Jan 01, 2014 2:35 pm

6 x 12AX7 in my Sunfire Pre

Well after months of not finding the time, I finally found the time.
At Carverfest 2013 Snoop65 passed along a set of Siemens 12AX7
and Mike a set of Mullard 12AX7 for me to try out in my Sunfire Pre Phone Section.

All test where done using the same vinyl track in order.
1) High Hopes, David Gilmore, Live in Gdansk
2) Telegraph Rd, Dire Straits, Studio Albums 1978-1991
3) Private Investigation, Dire Straits, Studio Albums 1978-1991
4) Romeo & Juliet, Dire Straits, Studio Albums 1978-1991
5) Wish I Could, Norah Jones, Not Too Late
6) Not My friend, Norah Jones, Not Too Late

The Sunfire Pre set up:

Main preamp Board:
V1 Sovtek 6922 (tone turned off) V2 Valvo 6922 (left output) V3 Valvo 6922 (right output)

Phono Board:
V1, V2, V3, V6, V7, V8 all Amprex 6922 Gold Pin V4, V5 12AX7

Turntable:
VPI Classic c/w Transfiguration Phoenix Cartridge.

The contenders:

Siemens 12AX7, Mullard 12AX7, Genalex Gold Lion 12AX7, EI 12AX7,
Psvane 12AX7, Telefunken 12AX7

In my system, in my bright room, with my ears the winners are:

1) Telefunken 12AX7, Open, Crisp, Great Vocals, Solid Bass.
2) EI 12AX7 (shocker), Very hard to tell apart from the Teles, vocals not as clean. Good bass.
3) Psvane 12AX7, Could not decide if this should be the 2rd or 3rd place. (nice tube)
4) Gold Lion 12AX7, Little compressed sound, lacking in sparkle, slightly muddy vocals
5) Mullard 12AX7, Compressed sound, vocals bassy, lacking mids
6) Seimens 12AX7, Vocals so cloudy, boomy bass sorry Snoop did not like this tube.

Chow Brian
Last edited by BrianT on Wed Jan 01, 2014 2:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
VPI Classic Turntable (blk)
Transfiguration Phoenix Cartridge
Sunfire Vacuum Tube Control Centre. C/W Mod'ed Phono Stage
Carver Silver 7's Tube Amps
Raysonic CD-168 CDP (silver)
Carver TX11.
B&W 802D's Rosenut
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Zoot Horn

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Post Wed Jan 01, 2014 2:43 pm

Re: 6 x 12AX7 in my Sunfire Pre

Brian,, the Ei's were made in Yugaslavia on the old Telefunken equipment. Hang on to them,, as they are not made anymore-- congrats!!!
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mbskeam

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Post Wed Jan 01, 2014 3:51 pm

Re: 6 x 12AX7 in my Sunfire Pre

thats why I pulled them out of my amps, when I put the tellys in it was like..... aaaawwwwwhhhhhh :shock: :shock:

it sounded way better. :D
Mbskeam


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radioeng2

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Post Wed Jan 01, 2014 4:20 pm

Re: 6 x 12AX7 in my Sunfire Pre

Not to at all lessen the value of the listed experience, but don't forget guys, that in different circuits with different voltages present, the opinions could vary somewhat. You can take away some learning but don't be surprised if in different equipment you could wind up ranking a bit differently. Though qualities tend to show through...

But thanks for taking the time to note your experiences Brian, and taking the time to post them. Good stuff!

Mark
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Snoop65

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Post Wed Jan 01, 2014 4:43 pm

Re: 6 x 12AX7 in my Sunfire Pre

radioeng2 wrote:Not to at all lessen the value of the listed experience, but don't forget guys, that in different circuits with different voltages present, the opinions could vary somewhat. You can take away some learning but don't be surprised if in different equipment you could wind up ranking a bit differently. Though qualities tend to show through...

But thanks for taking the time to note your experiences Brian, and taking the time to post them. Good stuff!

Mark

X2! Good review Brian! And no apologizes needed! I'm happy you tried them.
CARVER LIGHTSTAR REFERENCE+SUNFIRE CLASSIC TUBE PREAMPLIFIER+JBL XPL200+MUSIC HALL MMF-9.1+GRADO REFERENCE MASTER 1+CARVER SD/A 390t=WOW!!!!!!
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MRHP

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Post Wed Jan 01, 2014 5:03 pm

Re: 6 x 12AX7 in my Sunfire Pre

Thanks for the review Brian! Always interesting to hear results from other listeners.

At Carver Fest I run a completely different set of tubes than here at home. I guess room characteristics play a big roll in tube selection.
TFM-75 serial #0001
PT-2400 serial #0001
Baby Black serial #0001
Baby Black serial #0002
Bone Stock Lightstar
Vintage Hi-Fi modified Lightstar
Cherry/260's
Carver 490t
Sunfire Tube preamp
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OK ERIC, LET GO OF THE MOUSE AND BACK AWAY FROM YOUR PC WITH YOUR HANDS IN THE AIR. NOW SLOWLY LAY FACE DOWN ON THE FLOOR!!!! - Snoop65
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BrianT

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Post Wed Jan 01, 2014 8:21 pm

Re: 6 x 12AX7 in my Sunfire Pre

radioeng2 wrote:Not to at all lessen the value of the listed experience, but don't forget guys, that in different circuits with different voltages present, the opinions could vary somewhat. You can take away some learning but don't be surprised if in different equipment you could wind up ranking a bit differently. Though qualities tend to show through...
Mark


Mark

I do tend to agree with you, thats why I said:

In my system, in my bright room, with my ears the winners are

Brian
VPI Classic Turntable (blk)
Transfiguration Phoenix Cartridge
Sunfire Vacuum Tube Control Centre. C/W Mod'ed Phono Stage
Carver Silver 7's Tube Amps
Raysonic CD-168 CDP (silver)
Carver TX11.
B&W 802D's Rosenut
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Chauss

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Post Wed Jan 01, 2014 9:31 pm

Re: 6 x 12AX7 in my Sunfire Pre

Awesome review Brian! Thanks for sharing. =D>
Like Mr Wizard said-- electronics / circuits are a funny bird indeed. What works in one brand / setup, etc.....May not in another- Keep on keepin on, that's half the fun! :D
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BrianT

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Post Thu Jan 02, 2014 6:18 pm

Re: 6 x 12AX7 in my Sunfire Pre

MRHP wrote:Thanks for the review Brian! Always interesting to hear results from other listeners.

At Carver Fest I run a completely different set of tubes than here at home. I guess room characteristics play a big roll in tube selection.


Eric

So what tubes where you running at CF13 and what do you run at home.

Brian
VPI Classic Turntable (blk)
Transfiguration Phoenix Cartridge
Sunfire Vacuum Tube Control Centre. C/W Mod'ed Phono Stage
Carver Silver 7's Tube Amps
Raysonic CD-168 CDP (silver)
Carver TX11.
B&W 802D's Rosenut
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Chauss

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Post Thu Jan 02, 2014 6:52 pm

Re: 6 x 12AX7 in my Sunfire Pre

Brian- inquiring minds want to know.....how does it compare to the LOMC portion of the Sunfire Pre and your LOMC "Caddilac" cartrige? :-k
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Good sound—like good music, good wine and good fellowship—is meant to be shared.
"The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits" Albert Einstein
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F1nut

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Post Fri Jan 03, 2014 1:30 am

Re: 6 x 12AX7 in my Sunfire Pre

Brian, if you can run 5751's in your pre, the late '50's Sylvania triple mica, black plate, D getter are to die for. They have thin yellow print. Do not get the later version with the green print.
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MRHP

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Post Fri Jan 03, 2014 8:10 pm

Re: 6 x 12AX7 in my Sunfire Pre

BrianT wrote:
MRHP wrote:Thanks for the review Brian! Always interesting to hear results from other listeners.

At Carver Fest I run a completely different set of tubes than here at home. I guess room characteristics play a big roll in tube selection.


Eric

So what tubes where you running at CF13 and what do you run at home.

Brian


My Sunfire pre does not have a phono section, so Im only talking about V1, V2, and V3. At home in V1 my favorite is a 1959 Mullard wrinkle glass that has a real nice open topend and in V2 and V3 I use either a pair of Telefunken CCa's or some 1962 Mullard wrinkle glass.

At CF I used a Valvo E188cc in V1 and a pair of 1957 Herleen Holland D-getter in V2 and V3. These tubes have a much warmer tone that seemed to work better with all that glass and hard wood floor.

Im a toob nut so if I run across a real bright recording Ill tone it down or a muffled recording Ill brighten it up with toob changes :D
TFM-75 serial #0001
PT-2400 serial #0001
Baby Black serial #0001
Baby Black serial #0002
Bone Stock Lightstar
Vintage Hi-Fi modified Lightstar
Cherry/260's
Carver 490t
Sunfire Tube preamp
ProJect TT Tube preamp
DENON DP-62L TurnTable
DQ-20's
Douglas Cables
More Douglas cables
OK ERIC, LET GO OF THE MOUSE AND BACK AWAY FROM YOUR PC WITH YOUR HANDS IN THE AIR. NOW SLOWLY LAY FACE DOWN ON THE FLOOR!!!! - Snoop65
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Snoop65

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Post Fri Jan 03, 2014 9:52 pm

Re: 6 x 12AX7 in my Sunfire Pre

MRHP wrote:
BrianT wrote:
MRHP wrote:Thanks for the review Brian! Always interesting to hear results from other listeners.

At Carver Fest I run a completely different set of tubes than here at home. I guess room characteristics play a big roll in tube selection.


Eric

So what tubes where you running at CF13 and what do you run at home.

Brian


My Sunfire pre does not have a phono section, so Im only talking about V1, V2, and V3. At home in V1 my favorite is a 1959 Mullard wrinkle glass that has a real nice open topend and in V2 and V3 I use either a pair of Telefunken CCa's or some 1962 Mullard wrinkle glass.

At CF I used a Valvo E188cc in V1 and a pair of 1957 Herleen Holland D-getter in V2 and V3. These tubes have a much warmer tone that seemed to work better with all that glass and hard wood floor.

Im a toob nut so if I run across a real bright recording Ill tone it down or a muffled recording Ill brighten it up with toob changes :D

Telefunken Cca's? We have to talk! :D
CARVER LIGHTSTAR REFERENCE+SUNFIRE CLASSIC TUBE PREAMPLIFIER+JBL XPL200+MUSIC HALL MMF-9.1+GRADO REFERENCE MASTER 1+CARVER SD/A 390t=WOW!!!!!!
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MRHP

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Post Mon Jan 06, 2014 10:41 am

Re: 6 x 12AX7 in my Sunfire Pre

:D[/quote]Telefunken Cca's? We have to talk! :D[/quote]

:D :D :D
TFM-75 serial #0001
PT-2400 serial #0001
Baby Black serial #0001
Baby Black serial #0002
Bone Stock Lightstar
Vintage Hi-Fi modified Lightstar
Cherry/260's
Carver 490t
Sunfire Tube preamp
ProJect TT Tube preamp
DENON DP-62L TurnTable
DQ-20's
Douglas Cables
More Douglas cables
OK ERIC, LET GO OF THE MOUSE AND BACK AWAY FROM YOUR PC WITH YOUR HANDS IN THE AIR. NOW SLOWLY LAY FACE DOWN ON THE FLOOR!!!! - Snoop65
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Magnaryder

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Post Thu Jan 09, 2014 10:14 pm

Re: 6 x 12AX7 in my Sunfire Pre

hey Brian, how 'bout some good pics of the modded phono board?

ray
Magnaryder

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