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Valve suggestions

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by Ed Selley, Jul 23, 2004.

  1. Ed Selley

    Ed Selley
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    Not entirely sure that this is better than Hardware to place this but we'll see....

    My fab Audio Note AN CD2 needs a new valve in its output stage as the old one has popped (it was the original so I'm not upset about this). On Monday it will come in for a service and a new valve. The existing unit was an EL34- the most common valve on the planet from what I understand. Is there something a bit more spicy that I could replace it with that has the same basic footprint? The limitation of the CD2 has always been the "one note" bass performance with certain music and if I could improve this (without going crazy) I'd be interested to know.

    Thanks for looking.
     
  2. alexs2

    alexs2
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    Firstly,be sure of the valve type.

    If you're looking for different sounds from the EL34's(and there are quite a variety of them now,including Sovteks,JJ,Golden Dragon etc etc),I'd suggest trying to get hold of an original Mullard EL34.

    They can be found,especially via some of the better ebay traders but be prepared to pay,as most people know what they're worth.

    Avoid a lot of the cheap rubbish,although the newer chinese tubes are actually pretty good.
    You could also try giving Peter Qvortrup(hope I've got that right)of Audionote UK a call and get the maker's views before buying.
    If you want the names of some reliable and good NOS(new old stock)valve suppliers,give me a PM and I'll let you know all of the ones I've used.

    Hope that helps.
     
  3. Ed Selley

    Ed Selley
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    You sir are a scholar and a gent :). If possible I would prefer to avoid speaking to PQ as it can be a little "challenging." I also know from my boss (ex Audio Note) that the choice of EL34 (JJ in this case) was motivated by political rather than absolute sound considerations. Some of the engineers get a little wistful talking about Mullards so this might be where I'll start.

    Of course the engineering director of Cambridge Audio (ex MF) knows where to get a nu-vista but the surgery to fit that is pretty extreme.
     
  4. alexs2

    alexs2
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    My pleasure....you could try Chelmer Valves(www.chelmervalve.co.uk ) and also some of the ebay traders such as Colomor Tubes (www.colomor.demon.co.uk) or simply keep an eye on ebay for suitable tubes.
    I've just sold a set of Sovteks,which are pretty decent tubes,if a bit hard in the upper treble....you should find a good Mullard to be smoother and more detailed all round.

    If you're buying off a decent supplier(and both of those I've listed are excellent) they will be able to test the tubes for you and whilst there will be no guarantees in view of the age,you'll get a good tube.

    Given the very different characteristics of Nuvistors and an EL34,I'd think that not only would the surgery be extreme,but also unlikely to be good in terms of results!
    I'm sure you know,the Nuvistor was basically a very reliable,small signal valve in a metal case,and capable of very good sound quality(as MF will attest),but there are loads of other good sounding valves out there,and the humble EL34 is still a good tube,just in many cases a victim to poor circuit design.
     
  5. alexs2

    alexs2
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    One other point...I looked up the CD2,and it's listed as having an ECC82 in each of it's output stages,and not an EL34 which I did think was a bit odd,in view of it being a power tetrode.

    Please do check and make sure I'm not wrong!
     

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