No announcement yet.

Tube rolling gain and buffer stages?

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Tube rolling gain and buffer stages?

    We all know about the audible effects of rolling different brands and vintages of tubes in a gain stage. But are there audible effects when changing tubes in a cathode follower (buffer only ) stage? If so, is it as great as a gain stage?
    Magnepan 1.6 QR Loudspeakers, Amherst A-2000 MOSFET 150 WPC Amp, Conrad Johnson PV-10A Modded Tube Line & Phono Stage, Electrocompaniet MC II Class A Head Amp, Audio Technica AT-OC9XML Cart (Stereo) , Graham Engineering 2.2 Tonearm (Stereo) , VPI Aries-1 Turntable (Stereo) , VPI Clamp, Denon DL-102 Cart, (Mono) , Luxman Tonearm (Mono) , Kenwood KD-500 Turntable (Mono) , Michell Clamp, Marantz 20B Analog FM Tuner, Pioneer SACD, Onkyo DX-6800 CD Transport, DIY 24B/192K DAC, Sennheiser HD-650 Headphones, Headroom Max Balanced Headphone Amp, DIY Silver Interconnects

  • #2
    Then there's power supplies. Definitely heard worse after swapping out Svetlana 6550Cs for GE6550A in ARC Reference gear.


    • JCOConnell
      JCOConnell commented
      Editing a comment
      No doubt changing power supply tubes can make an audible difference, its just these follower circuits that bother me.

    • Barry
      Barry commented
      Editing a comment
      To clarify, so you liked the Svetlana 6550Cs better? Were these Winged Cs? I certainly agree PS tube swaps make a big change and my discovery was made in ARC Ref gear as well. Thanks.

    • Guest's Avatar
      Guest commented
      Editing a comment
      Yes, I preferred the Svetlana 6550C, yes Winged -=C=-. I also choose it over the Sovtek 6550WE which ARC now uses in place of the no longer available 6550C. Wish I had a stock of the 6550C.

      I know there are people who are in love with GE 6550A in ARC gear, I'm just not one of them. (It's a great tube in CJ amps such as the Premiers 11 and 12.) I sent a GE 6550A to ARC when I reviewed their REF 2 Phono back in 2010 and it was not a happiness: "Terrible sonics--as far outside the acceptable sonic window as conceivable" and more in a similar vein. I've read forum reports that the GE6550A works better in, say the REF 5/5SE than in the phono stages, but I did not find that.

  • #3
    Good question, no idea though, certainly psu rectifier valves make a difference but buffers, maybe?


    • #4
      Yes based on results with older cj gear. As you know, cj has done away with cathode followers nowadays altogether.
      Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
      Senior Editor,

      -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
      -Goldmund Telos 440 and 1000 Nextgen mono amps
      -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
      -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 phonostage
      -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
      -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
      -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, vdh Colibri Master Signature, Mutech Hayabusa,
      -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
      -Assorted cables including Skogrand, Kubala-Sosna, Audience FrontRow; Audience FrontRow, Genesis Advanced Technologies , Goldmund and Ensemble Power Cords
      -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz 3 racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA OHIO Class 2.3+ platforms.


      • #5
        Help... I mean oops, one of the power tubes in my ARC REF10 preamp was glowing a little odd so I ordered up some replacements from Upscale Audio. I looked only at the manual for my REF10 pre and it said the power supply used 2ea 6550c tubes. But I ordered new production Svetlana 6550c (not the 'winged c' variant). When I removed the cover the original tubes are Sovtek 6550we.

        Should I return them for the Sovtek "we" variant? Has anyone rolled these tubes using the Svetlana? Tima?
        Etsuro Gold cartridge(mg), AMG v12 turntable w/ 12JT Turbo tonearm, bespoke LFD phono cable, CS Port C3EQM2 phono stage, dCS Rossini DAC, Roon ROCK, Audio Research Ref10 pre, Audio Research Ref160M amps, Wilson Alexia (v1) speakers. Transparent Ref MM2 & Gen5 signal, Ref MM2 speaker cables, Shunyata SigmaNR, Ztron Python power cables. Shunyata Hydra Triton v3, Stillpoints. HRS. Acoustic environment optimized by Dr. Bonnie Schnitta of SoundSense.