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12AX7/ECC83/6N4 Tube Comparison In Pre AMP

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I decieded to take away the russian tube which I always belived to have better music quality, It has gold platted pins and its a custom tube.
With common sense, this thing is better than a chinese tube brought for dirt cheap and one that isn't a high end tube either

I have the Chinese 6N4 brought for dirt cheap, You can get these for less than 2USD each in China and its a geniune China product.

Russian tubes has bad music quality, The china tubes beat it.
And here are the few reasons why

The russian tube uses a isolated cathode design. You can barley see the glowing cathode durning night.
Thus the music produced is hard, non clear.
There is less valve tube taste. Therefore, less tube like bass, in adition the 6N4 from china had better soudning base.

We test the sound of the tubes using a pre amp, all that changed was tubes nothing else during the test.
I had listend to all these tubes for more than 400Hours and 600+ hours on the 6N4
So brun in isn't a plorbem, they say it takes 80-100Hours for the tubes to burn in and sound at its best

We test using a single 8Inch speaker and we are operating in mono
No Tweeter or midrange speakers were connect, just a straight single 8 inch







post #2 of 9
Thanks for sharing! Have been looking in to maybe doing something like that my self smile.gif
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post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
I may have other tubes, comming, my dad has told me he brought quite a few So I may give those some direct comparisons too thumb.gif
I'll may start a new thread on 6Z4 tube rectifier sound quality comparison too. Currently I only have two 6Z4 and I can hear the qualty is much better when I use a better rectifing tube biggrin.gif
post #4 of 9
Sounds good smile.gif I will try to remember to follow you then hehe! Can't say I am any pro when it comes to AMP building or what components to choose, but it might be a fun project for later as I am an audiophile biggrin.gif
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post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
If you want more idea if you ever going to do your project,
you can try chaning compacitors. See how each diffrent brand sounds.
Change to audio compacitors too, they should be superior over normal compactors.

Other than this, circuit modifiying would be involved which is the part I love the most. thumb.gif
post #6 of 9
Thanks for the tip smile.gif for now it is most likely a few years in the future, but I really want to try it out some day smile.gif
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post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
I got my preamp from an authentic Chinese website in China. I think you can get the same in aliexpress etc.

I think you can get cheap pre amps with tubes on ebay too.

I have recived a 12ax7B now its a matter of me burning them in and then comparing it with the other tubes
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
http://g04.a.alicdn.com/kf/HTB19QfhIpXXXXXTXVXXq6xXFXXXb/-Promotions-bag-Paired-early-New-in-original-boxes-Beijing-12AX7A-6N4-12AX7-tube-replacement.jpg
This is how the 12ax7a looks like, sounded hard and had no tube taste to it, no resonate sound etiehr.
Simular to gold lion with gold pins, but gold lion sounds better than the 12ax7a from china

Its very weried that a cheap 6n4 tube sounds better than a gold lion, hes a possibly on why I think that may have happned.
It is because tubes might take more than 100Hours to break in, would take 500-1000Hours to fully break in. and the 6n4 have been used for the longest time
Edited by Iwamotto Tetsuz - 4/1/16 at 3:28pm
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
Today I review the shuguang 12ax7-T brought from aliexpress
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/NEW-SHUGUANG-12AX7-T-12AX7-ECC83-Tube-9PINS-Tube-1Piece-Free-Shipping/32622515375.html?spm=a2g0s.9042311.0.0.f4hLKl
It has gold pins and is expensive. If you go on taobao and search up this tube, they advertise this as China's best 12ax7.

In terms of sound quality it is very much upgrade of 6n4 in all ways.

It has the positive points of gold lion ecc83, the shuguang has clear midrange similar to gold lion. 6n4 lacks clarity but has tube taste.
However in terms of clear midrange or clarity wihch is same thing, gold lion is slightly better than ecc83.
I actually still cannot decide weither gold lion has better clarity than 12ax7-T cause they are very similar in this area.

Shuguang also has equivalent or more tube taste compared to 6n4. Gold lion lacks tube taste, it is harsh like transistors, that is the main reason why I prefer 6n4 over gold lion.

In addition I feel like 12ax7-T shuguang has a little gold taste to the sound, it is flat in terms of mid high and lows.

Further more, my dad had also tried out gold lion vs 6n4 and 6n2-q. We both reckon Beijing 6n4 and Beijing 6n2-q(12au7) sounds better than gold lion ecc83.

As seen in pictures I had re capped my pre amp with geniune caps panasonic made in china 0.47uF and 2.2uF metalised polypropene brought from rs components, the orignal caps were marked also as MKP(metalised polypropene) However I observed improve in sound quality after installing genuine caps. With research, online they say that MKP are the best generic type capacitor for audio. I though Panasionic was made in Japan, but apparently they are made in China, the packaging of the ecwfe caps from rs components says made in China

I also have another tube pre amp which I had designed shown in picture. Mine Outperforms the one brought on taobao, by having zero feedback and very high bias current.

The pre amp had been tested using the Class A OCL head amp which I had designed from scratch, also with the power amp I modded driving 15inch with tweetes response 20-20khz.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)









Edited by Iwamotto Tetsuz - 8/15/17 at 12:20am
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