6 x 12AX7 in my Sunfire Pre

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BrianT
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6 x 12AX7 in my Sunfire Pre

Post by BrianT » Wed Jan 01, 2014 2:35 pm

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 (black)
Transfiguration Phoenix Cartridge
Devialet 440PRO Mono Blocks
Audioprana SP/DIF-AES/EBU cable
Aurender N100H Music Server
Audioquest Diamond USB cable
B&W 803D3 Speakers (black)
Auditorium 23 Speaker Cables
Raysonic CD-168 CDP (silver)
Carver TX11

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Zoot Horn
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Re: 6 x 12AX7 in my Sunfire Pre

Post by Zoot Horn » Wed Jan 01, 2014 2:43 pm

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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Re: 6 x 12AX7 in my Sunfire Pre

Post by mbskeam » Wed Jan 01, 2014 3:51 pm

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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Re: 6 x 12AX7 in my Sunfire Pre

Post by radioeng2 » Wed Jan 01, 2014 4:20 pm

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
I was there "At the Fest!" Hope you were too!

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Snoop65
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Re: 6 x 12AX7 in my Sunfire Pre

Post by Snoop65 » Wed Jan 01, 2014 4:43 pm

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+Cayin CDT-17a =WOW!!!!!!

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MRHP
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Re: 6 x 12AX7 in my Sunfire Pre

Post by MRHP » Wed Jan 01, 2014 5:03 pm

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 Magic serial #0001
Baby Black Magic serial #0002
Cherry/260wpc Mono Blocks
Lightstar Reference
Sunfire Series II 625x2
Carver 490t
OPPO-103
Lucas Labs CF-14
Sunfire Tube pre
DENON DP-62L TT
DUAL CS 5000 TT
DQ-20's
Tesla CF-15 speakers
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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BrianT
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Re: 6 x 12AX7 in my Sunfire Pre

Post by BrianT » Wed Jan 01, 2014 8:21 pm

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 (black)
Transfiguration Phoenix Cartridge
Devialet 440PRO Mono Blocks
Audioprana SP/DIF-AES/EBU cable
Aurender N100H Music Server
Audioquest Diamond USB cable
B&W 803D3 Speakers (black)
Auditorium 23 Speaker Cables
Raysonic CD-168 CDP (silver)
Carver TX11

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Chauss
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Re: 6 x 12AX7 in my Sunfire Pre

Post by Chauss » Wed Jan 01, 2014 9:31 pm

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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Re: 6 x 12AX7 in my Sunfire Pre

Post by BrianT » Thu Jan 02, 2014 6:18 pm

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 (black)
Transfiguration Phoenix Cartridge
Devialet 440PRO Mono Blocks
Audioprana SP/DIF-AES/EBU cable
Aurender N100H Music Server
Audioquest Diamond USB cable
B&W 803D3 Speakers (black)
Auditorium 23 Speaker Cables
Raysonic CD-168 CDP (silver)
Carver TX11

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Chauss
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Re: 6 x 12AX7 in my Sunfire Pre

Post by Chauss » Thu Jan 02, 2014 6:52 pm

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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F1nut
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Re: 6 x 12AX7 in my Sunfire Pre

Post by F1nut » Fri Jan 03, 2014 1:30 am

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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Re: 6 x 12AX7 in my Sunfire Pre

Post by MRHP » Fri Jan 03, 2014 8:10 pm

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 Magic serial #0001
Baby Black Magic serial #0002
Cherry/260wpc Mono Blocks
Lightstar Reference
Sunfire Series II 625x2
Carver 490t
OPPO-103
Lucas Labs CF-14
Sunfire Tube pre
DENON DP-62L TT
DUAL CS 5000 TT
DQ-20's
Tesla CF-15 speakers
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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Re: 6 x 12AX7 in my Sunfire Pre

Post by Snoop65 » Fri Jan 03, 2014 9:52 pm

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+Cayin CDT-17a =WOW!!!!!!

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MRHP
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Re: 6 x 12AX7 in my Sunfire Pre

Post by MRHP » Mon Jan 06, 2014 10:41 am

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

:D :D :D
TFM-75 serial #0001
PT-2400 serial #0001
Baby Black Magic serial #0001
Baby Black Magic serial #0002
Cherry/260wpc Mono Blocks
Lightstar Reference
Sunfire Series II 625x2
Carver 490t
OPPO-103
Lucas Labs CF-14
Sunfire Tube pre
DENON DP-62L TT
DUAL CS 5000 TT
DQ-20's
Tesla CF-15 speakers
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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Re: 6 x 12AX7 in my Sunfire Pre

Post by Magnaryder » Thu Jan 09, 2014 10:14 pm

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

ray
Magnaryder

Its going to be used equipment when I sell it, so it may as well be used equipment when I buy it.


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