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-   -   Is tube rolling purely a McIntosh activity? (https://www.audioaficionado.org/showthread.php?t=19871)

GaryProtein 03-13-2013 07:21 AM

Is tube rolling purely a McIntosh activity?
 
Is tube rolling a McIntosh activity or do owners of other brands of tube equipment do it as well?

Rayooo 03-13-2013 07:50 AM

I've got a box of about 20 or so 6922s that I've rolled in and out of the 6922 based CJ preamps that I've owned....so yea, In my case, I've rolled. :banana:

The good news is I've gotten over this addiction in recent months, I was worried I'd wear out the tube sockets! :nono:

bakerman 03-13-2013 08:18 AM

I've always rolled tubes with all of the tube gear I've owned, and none of it was McIntosh. It truly can be a sickness. Looking for rare tubes, trying out different brands and styles. Hoping that next batch will have the elusive tube that brings everything together like a ray of light shining down from above...

The exception may be Shindo owners. All the tubes are hand selected for each piece, not to mention that most if not all are from stockpiles bought many years ago. There's no need to swap tubes when you have the best of the best already.

Audiophilehi 03-13-2013 08:46 AM

Tube rolling is huge within the headphone amp community.

Ohighway 03-13-2013 09:40 AM

Tube rolling. For any equipment that uses tubes. NOT just McIntosh.

Allan W. 03-14-2013 08:07 PM

I have multiple non Mac devices that use tubes. Rolling is an addiction for some of us.

Masterlu 03-14-2013 08:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Allan W. (Post 460198)
I have multiple non Mac devices that use tubes. Rolling is an addiction for some of us.

Tube rolling is like marinating a fine steak. ;)

MyPal 03-14-2013 08:55 PM

Tube rolling is like trying a fine old wine that has been mostly forgotten. It's amazing to think that exceptionally rare tubes of yesterday have been stored unused for 50 years & are only now being energized by enthusiastic high rollers.

What I hate about this thread is that it reminds me to stay on the hunt which often results in another big spend on a risky NOS proposition.

bakerman 03-14-2013 09:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MyPal (Post 460237)
Tube rolling is like trying a fine old wine that has been mostly forgotten. It's amazing to think that exceptionally rare tubes of yesterday have been stored unused for 50 years & are only now being energized by enthusiastic high rollers.

What I hate about this thread is that it reminds me to stay on the hunt which often results in another big spend on a risky NOS proposition.

+1 :smoking:

MtnHam 03-14-2013 11:27 PM

Yes! Tube rolling has been practiced by tube equipment aficionados (particularly preamp tubes) as long as tube equipment of all sorts has been around! Contrary to the general opinion of many members of this site, the world of fine audio does not exclusively revolve around McIntosh gear!!

Leon 03-17-2013 09:26 AM

Most musicians like myself are also into tube rolling with their amps. It's truly amazing how two different brands of the same tube type can sound different.

One of the mysteries of the universe I guess... :scratch2:

mraudio 03-17-2013 02:16 PM

I have never owned a piece of McIntosh gear and have 3 drawers full of tubes. Probably well over $25K worth, so no, tube rolling really has nothing to do with McIntosh specific equipment.

rlw3 03-18-2013 05:23 PM

only bad thing about tube rolling is finding that perfect tube and not being able to buy another when it wears out

AKA_Hyfi 03-19-2013 08:04 AM

I rolled the tubes in my first tube pre, Sound Valves 101i, and recently both my VAC pre and Counterpoint Amp. I have a happy combo right now so not going overboard.

I recently got some NOS 6FQ7 RCA Cleartops for the Counterpoint and they made my Dynaudio speakers sound like never before.

rob.hughes 03-19-2013 12:13 PM

Definitely not McIntosh only. I even have a cable that uses a tube to energize the shield, and I've rolled tubes in that, aside from rolling tubes in my other gear. And since everything in my system except the CD player is tube, that gets expensive, quick. For now, I've kind of settled on some stuff, and have decided to focus on upgrading, rather than just rolling. Of course, as soon as I get some of my system upgraded, I'll be back to rolling since I'm pretty sure I'll be sticking largely to tube based gear.

jdandy 03-19-2013 03:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MtnHam (Post 460356)
Yes! Tube rolling has been practiced by tube equipment aficionados (particularly preamp tubes) as long as tube equipment of all sorts has been around! Contrary to the general opinion of many members of this site, the world of fine audio does not exclusively revolve around McIntosh gear!!

MtnHam.......Really? :laughin:

MC352 03-19-2013 04:47 PM

I have been rolling tubes for years, in many different pieces of gear. It's certainly not McIntosh centric. Ivan is right, it can be an addiction.

Tonepub 03-20-2013 03:02 AM

And it can drive you to madness! :)

cma29 05-25-2013 12:07 AM

I do some rolling with my Audio Research LS5 Mk II preamp.

This unit runs on ten (!) 6922 / E88CC tubes. The first and second gain stages use 4 tubes each. The cathode follower stage uses 2 tubes.

When I first got the LS5, it came with steel pin JJ Teslas. After that I tried German-made Audio Research NOS from the 1980s. Nice improvement. In its latest configuration I am using Siemens 7308/ E188CC tubes in the first stage and Amperex military grade 7308/ /E188CC tubes in the second stage and the cathode follower. This last set of ten tubes set me back over $500 and that was a great deal.

cma29 05-25-2013 12:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mraudio (Post 461973)
I have never owned a piece of McIntosh gear and have 3 drawers full of tubes. Probably well over $25K worth, so no, tube rolling really has nothing to do with McIntosh specific equipment.

Wow. That's impressive.

Do you have any extra Siemens or Amperex 7308/ E188CC tubes to sell?

MyPal 05-25-2013 01:47 AM

Mraudio....if you have a couple of Telefunken ECC803S or the Siemens triple mica in gold pins equivalent that test at spec & you would consider selling, I am receptive to a PM. :D

Formerly YB-2 05-27-2013 06:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rayooo (Post 459136)
I've got a box of about 20 or so 6922s that I've rolled in and out of the 6922 based CJ preamps that I've owned....so yea, In my case, I've rolled. :banana:

The good news is I've gotten over this addiction in recent months, I was worried I'd wear out the tube sockets! :nono:

Isn't the 6922/6JD8 the cat's meow of preamp tubes? Have had several different tube preamps and always go back to one with with the 6922s. Really like the JAN Philips and Bugle Boys, but if you have any matched pairs of low mileage 6922s you want to move out of that box, maybe I can help. Always looking for something else good.

Same with the 6SN7s. The reissue Tung-Sol are terrific. Better to my ears than either NOS RCA red-bottom or GEs. Tube rolling is part of what it is all about. Tailoring the system to one's own taste.

mulveling 05-27-2013 11:40 PM

I roll like crazy, and I've never had McIntosh tube amps (though I've love to hear them one day). Got lots of vintage tubes, and I believe that lots of the new production stuff is excellent. No, I haven't found new production tubes that are as lovely as say a Tung-Sol round plate 6SN7 or a Mullard long-plate 12AX7, but they do offer many fine options for perfecting system balance that are affordable, available, and sonically competitive with all but the best (sometimes unobtanium) vintage types.

In fact, I'm looking at various new production 6CA7/KT77/KT88, 12AU7, and maybe 12AX7 to roll into my system. My preamp uses 8 of the EH 6H30pi, and these superb sounding tubes are known for their extreme reliably (not much in the way of rolling options here, though). EH KT90 and KT120 both work great in my amp.

Some gear and some positions react more to rolling. Changes in my amp's output tubes and phase splitter/inverter are currently the big sensitive slots in the system; well worth rolling here. My prior VAC preamp and current phono stage are less rewarding to rollers, but fortunately they both ship with new production tubes and sound great as-is.

rlw3 12-05-2013 03:55 PM

What is great is finding some tubes you really like then pulling them out of the equipment never using them so they dont wear out............

Wasatch 12-05-2013 08:10 PM

I've rolled tubes in all my gear.

matt200sr 12-29-2013 05:28 PM

I have a fairly modified Mingda MC34-AB valve amp that I have tried a few different valves in both NOS and new production. I run a pair of Mullard ECC35 tall bottle brown base in the input stage as well as some Brimar 12AU7's. The Mullards are considered to be holy grail valves and for good reason they are very clean and open sounding with huge soundstage. I like them so much I bought a mint second pair, very expensive but worth every cent in my opinion. I run 8 x Svetlana Winged C new production EL34 valves in the output stage which I am very happy with. Having said that all the caps/resistors have been upgraded and I use these big old vintage chokes and the amp has been completely re-wired point to point with nice 7N copper solid core.

I would run some quality NOS output tubes but the cost x 8 would be huge!

McPlanar 12-30-2013 07:12 PM

I've rolled tubes in Dynaco, Cary, Audio Research, Vincent, California Audio Labs and of course McIntosh. :D

Puma Cat 12-31-2013 12:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GaryProtein (Post 459132)
Is tube rolling a McIntosh activity

No.

Quote:

Originally Posted by GaryProtein (Post 459132)
or do owners of other brands of tube equipment do it as well?

Yes.

Spirit Crusher 12-03-2015 04:15 PM

Hi,

I rolled at least 30 NOS types of 12AU7 in my VTL preamp. And you really feel the differences. This job is addicted!

jdandy 12-03-2015 05:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Spirit Crusher (Post 744665)
I rolled at least 30 NOS types of 12AU7 in my VTL preamp. And you really feel the differences. This job is addicted!

Stefan.......Tube rolling is great fun, educational, inspirational, and expensive if you become addicted. I have rolled tubes in all of my preamps and power amps. It is part of the joy of owning valve gear.

oddeophile 12-03-2015 06:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jdandy (Post 744695)
Stefan.......Tube rolling is great fun, educational, inspirational, and expensive if you become addicted. I have rolled tubes in all of my preamps and power amps. It is part of the joy of owning valve gear.


+1. Absolutely!!

SteveSem 12-03-2015 06:44 PM

There is a thread in the Cary Audio section of AA focusing on the new Dennis Had amps dealing with tube rolling in those amps, especially the power amps. It currently has run for a few years, has over 100 pages of posts, and remains active.

Spirit Crusher 12-04-2015 02:35 AM

Quote:

Stefan.......Tube rolling is great fun, educational, inspirational, and expensive if you become addicted. I have rolled tubes in all of my preamps and power amps. It is part of the joy of owning valve gear.
Yeah, well said! After my short experience with tube gear (less than 2 years) I have to say : there is NO WAY to live without...

bILLwOJO 05-28-2016 10:44 AM

I have a set of Mac MC40 monoblocks that have been restored electronically. For tubes I went with vintage good stuff. From all the reading that I have done on Mac tube amps, they seem to be the least responsive amps when it comes to tube rolling. The sound is shaped from the circuitry and the massive output transformers.
On the other hand I have several SE amps that respond well to tube rolling. I just took delivery the other day of a Dennis Had KT66 FireBottle amp, this amp is supposedly a tube rollers dream.

BillWojo

joe_marsh 07-09-2016 12:18 PM

I've rolled mostly in my MFA Magus with great results. I'm currently using a Siemens CCa in the 6922 spot, a Siemens E81cc triple mica in the 12AT7 spot and a pair of Telefunken ECC83 medical grade ribbed plates. I use this preamp as a phono stage only and I love it!

Antonmb 07-09-2016 03:06 PM

Have rolled tubes in my Luxman integrated and two Woo headphone amps.

PlanarSpeakerFan 07-09-2016 05:31 PM

Tube rolling appears to be prevalent with Lampizator DAC users as well.

Ken

robfine 07-09-2016 06:32 PM

If no one has mentioned PrimaLuna, well then-- PrimaLuna is well suited for tube rolling as well.

MC-3500 04-04-2017 11:42 PM

I own vintage Mcintosh amps but I really don't tube roll 'em. Tele smooth plates all the way in the Mc225's. Sylvania JAN 12AX7WA & GE 6DJ8 smokies in the Mc-3500's.

Just recently rolled a pair of Tele's ECC88 in a Lamm LL2 and a "huge" difference. Out go the stock Russian 6H23, whatever these are who knows. The LL2 also came with GE 12au7 that just ran out of steam after ten years, replaced with RCA clear tops. Nice neutral tube with a little zip on the top end.

The biggest improvement, replacing the GE 6X4 with a british GEC 6X4 from Upscale. tightened everything up.

Next up the Manley Steelhead but waiting to purchase a new cartridge first. Possibly Amperex 6DJ8 Bugle boys or a fresh pair of Tele E88CC gold pins from Kevin at Upscale. Also waiting to go in, a quad of 1949 Tung-sol 5687 ladder plates. Don't want to waste time on these tube over a Denon 103 cartridge, so tube rolling on hold for the Steelhead. May pop the Bugles in as I have extra pairs.

MtnHam 04-05-2017 11:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GaryProtein (Post 459132)
Is tube rolling a McIntosh activity or do owners of other brands of tube equipment do it as well?

Why would you think it might be limited to McIntosh owners? The fact is, it is common amongst almost all tube gear owners, and has been for years!


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