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Better sounding ECL86's
Better sounding ECL86's
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Old 9th August 2007, 08:30 AM   #1
Robyn_E is offline Robyn_E  United Kingdom
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Question Better sounding ECL86's

Hi Guys, I'm afraid I can't confess to being a DIY'er but your site seems to be the best place for the advice I need.

I have a 1988 Audio Innovations class A valve amp and love it to bits. However, when I took the top off I found all four of the ECL86's were different makes. I am assuming that this isn't doing the sound any favours and so would like to replace them.

So.......this is my quandry.

I've been told that Mullards are the best I can buy, but some one else has recommended that I buy Soviet or Siemens tubes as this will improve the overall sound. The amp has (so I'm told) been fully serviced within the last twelve months so this is my first excursion into the world of valves.

Do different makes of valves really sound different?
I like my sound bright and clear but with not too much bass. Can you give me any advise on what you think I should do?

Any help would be really appreciated

Thanks Guys
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Old 9th August 2007, 01:02 PM   #2
Tom Bavis is offline Tom Bavis
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Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Macedon NY
Matched pairs of output tubes are best - mismatch will result in some loss of bass quality mostly, and will reduce output power. That is ELECTRICALLY matched - drawing the same current. The tubes you have MIGHT be reasonably well matched. A new matched set of tubes might sound better... or not.

The ECL86 / 6GW8 is no longer in production, but you can find them NOS - findatube.com has them at a reasonable price. If you have to choose between brand match or electrical match... the latter will be better.
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Old 9th August 2007, 04:05 PM   #3
richwalters is offline richwalters
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Alps:Tube amp designs over 150W, SMPS guru.
Since you are resident in UK give www.chelmervalve.co.uk a bell. Several times they have gotten me out of muddles and are quick. They also have their own premium range and do matching.

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