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Tube rolling gain and buffer stages?

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

    Comment


    • 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?
    https://zaxisaudio.com/

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    • #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, Positive-Feedback.com
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      • #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?
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