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Old 22nd February 2009, 05:20 AM   #11
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Yes,the ECC83/12AX7 Mullard would be my choice but with such high prices for NOS one doesn't dare easily to risk.But since you mentioned about two very diferent Mullard 12AX7's can you tell me which are they and how they compare?Who knows maybe next X-mas Santa may surprise me.Till then,I have to know a few things and write him what I want.I would go for the warmer smoother one.Any advice?It seems that the same -various versions-is true for other manufacturers,including Philips.I hope the mimiwatt is at least better-to my taste-than the JJ Gold pin I'm using now.
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Old 22nd February 2009, 02:30 PM   #12
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I was thinking of the difference between the "box" anodes of the M8137/CV4004s, special quality ECC83s and the classic thinner "ribbed" anodes of the ordinary ECC83. I have no idea about "warmer, smoother " sound. To me that implies loss of detail, as live music is a lot spikier than people think. I woud look for accuracy of reproduction. Generally speaking the "special quality" valves conform more closely to published specifications or over fulfill them (usually in anode current). It's conceivable that the ordinary valves could be "warmer" and "smoother".
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Old 22nd February 2009, 03:31 PM   #13
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The Philips ECG 12AX7A and JAN 12AX7WA were artifacts of the Philips acquisition of GTE Sylvania's ECG component division in the very early 1980s. (I was working at GTE LABS at the time) The European Philips produced tubes were made on entirely different (and unrelated) tooling than the US made version which was really unchanged from the old Sylvania types - Philips continued production here in the USA until around 1989 so this is a time frame of about 7 or 8 yrs IIRC. (Unfortunately I don't remember the exact date of the change over. Philips and GTE had very cordial relations and the GTE company store had a lot of Philips products in it.)

IMHO Just about any of the European made Philips versions sound somewhat to significantly better than the old Sylvania/Philips ECG type which I used extensively because it was readily available to me in those days. The ECG type seemed to have a lot more 1/f noise than the European made types which was particularly noticeable in the passively eq'd phono stages I was designing at the time. I measured it at the time and IIRC the difference was a not trivial - something like 6 - 10dB worse in very late production - I suspect this was due to poor processing practices in the last few years of operation.
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Old 22nd February 2009, 04:09 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by barretter
I was thinking of the difference between the "box" anodes of the M8137/CV4004s, special quality ECC83s and the classic thinner "ribbed" anodes of the ordinary ECC83. I have no idea about "warmer, smoother " sound. To me that implies loss of detail, as live music is a lot spikier than people think. I woud look for accuracy of reproduction. Generally speaking the "special quality" valves conform more closely to published specifications or over fulfill them (usually in anode current). It's conceivable that the ordinary valves could be "warmer" and "smoother".

For me,"accuracy of reproduction"is the most dangerous words to use in hi-fi.What sounds nice and "accurate" with an EMI record,suddenly collapses with the next Deutsche Grammophon record.I believe that all have an "accurate" ideal,or,better still,taste.Also,we all receive music in a diferent way and sensitivities,and this is one reason why we have diferent perception of what "accuracy" is.For me at least live music is one thing and recorded music is another.Recorded music is not so "spikey" as live music as you rightfully said.And in the end,what we listen through our hi-fi systems is recorded music,so we can "tune" it to our taste/perception,one way or another.
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Old 22nd February 2009, 05:23 PM   #15
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Why worry then?
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Old 22nd February 2009, 05:30 PM   #16
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Not really worried,just curious.Unfortunately,our personal ideals are never achieved in audio,but some things take us closer to them Your opinion and advice however,is very valuable.Since I have paid for those Dario's,I hope they take me at least a bit closer to my ideal.
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