Audio and Video Talk > Valves / Vacuum Tubes

What Make Valve?

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MadHat:
Please don't laugh at the question, but does the Make of the valve have an influence on the quality of the sound and if so for what Make should one strive to go for?

ScottulusMaximus:
Depends on the type of valve, date of manufacture and how it's used...

Or some will say it's all random and you just need to try and hope..

Some others will say it's all nonsense and tube rolling is a waste of time.

If you say what exactly you're trying to achieve there are very knowledgeable people on here to point in the right direction, the people who know what they're talking about will refrain from giving such a broad answer to such a broad question.

stereosane:
From the little Ive tried, besides make I find NOS tubes to sound more musical and 3D sounding than the new made tubes which sounded a bit sterile to me, buts that's just on the few ive tried in my Exclame.

Ampdog:
Madhat,

To use Scottulus's post as an example:


--- Quote from: ScottulusMaximus on June 29, 2016, 10:19:57 AM ---Depends on the type of valve, date of manufacture and how it's used...
--- End quote ---

Correct, but see below,


--- Quote ---Or some will say it's all random and you just need to try and hope.
--- End quote ---

Yes, in a sense - but see below!


--- Quote ---Some others will say it's all nonsense and tube rolling is a waste of time.
--- End quote ---

No.

Point being that, particularly with recent manufacture, spread in valve characteristics (same number) is often unacceptable. If you have the patience, look for experience by Ufudu and also myself months ago. Such can lie +/- 20%, and + 20% - 30% is not impossible!

In addition, manufacturers also ad another letter to the type and off you go! A 12AX7 should be a 12AX7 - if you think yours is better, give it a different number!  Or at least publish your specs.

The same number valve (bogey or book specs) will give the same result irrespective of make.  I am not going to irritate those believing they hear a difference between makes but valves (all active components for that matter) pass electrons according to particular natural laws. They do not know about bass, mids and highs or frequency per se, only start behaving differently when internal capacitances etc. start getting into the mix and so forth. With valves, how they 'behave' lies 95% with the circuit anyway.

I recall an incident published many years ago of 'tube rolling' by an honest guitarist. He listed the varying experiences of a group, but took the extra trouble to have the test examples measured. Some were drawing more than X2 the current of others (same type)!

I cannot differentiate between brands per limited experience. The older types: Yes, they generally seem to have closer tolerances. Long ago when I worked for the CSIR, we frowned on valves exceeding a +/- 10% spread. Presently I have mostly found EH to be acceptable, but not to the exclusion of other brands.

That in a nutshell (perhaps a coconut one).   

MadHat:
Gents, appreciate the opinions!

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