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Thread: Best Telefunken ECC83?

  1. #1
    Join Date: Nov 2010

    Location: Yorkshire

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    I'm AnDreW.

    Default Best Telefunken ECC83?

    Just wondering. I've been messing around with 6SL7GT's for 3 months. Now I'd like to spend a little time tube rolling my EAR834 clone. Tried some Mullards, tried som GE JAN's. Thanks to everyone that's given advice to me in the past with regards the ECC83. But is there a best Telefunken ECC83?
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  2. #2
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Bristol

    Posts: 5,857
    I'm Justin.

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    ECC803S.

    In my honest opinion after owning both the Tele and the Tesla 803S at the same time, the yellow print 32 factory version, it is a complete waste of money. The Tesla is so close to the Tele it is virtually indistinguishable from it.

    And that was using some Martin Logan Ascents and an Air Tight ATM2.

    Don't waste your money. The Teslas were made using Telefunken machinery. Structurally they are very similar internally.


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  3. #3
    Join Date: Nov 2015

    Location: Wolverhampton

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    I'm Oliver.

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    Quote Originally Posted by User211 View Post
    ECC803S.

    In my honest opinion after owning both the Tele and the Tesla 803S at the same time, the yellow print 32 factory version, it is a complete waste of money. The Tesla is so close to the Tele it is virtually indistinguishable from it.

    And that was using some Martin Logan Ascents and an Air Tight ATM2.

    Don't waste your money. The Teslas were made using Telefunken machinery. Structurally they are very similar internally.


    Sent from my ONEPLUS A3003 using Tapatalk
    I have to disagree!

    Telsa's I've tried arent even close in sonics!

    The Telefunken are all clean lines and transparency whereas the Tesla, whilst good and my second favourite, just aren't on that level.

    I tried multiple variations of valves is 3 separate pieces of kit and there was no denying it. I had Alan round when I swapped a NOS Tesla out for a NOS Tele and it was such a gulf that he went home and bought some Telefunken Valves and Alan rarely spends money!

    Seriously,l if you want to hear what that lovely phonostage can do, put some Telefunken Valves in.

    If you want to save a few quid, search for Fisher Valves. They are rebranded Telefunken Valves. Made at the original factory and they don't make counterfeit Fisher valves.

    My opinion of course. Feel free to disagree!
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  4. #4
    Join Date: Jan 2013

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    I spent hours comparing the two and there was absolutely no way I could really tell the difference.

    Did you really have the exact valves I listed? I'd be amazed if you did.

    I've spent 30 odd years rolling valves BTW.

    Just been looking and the Tele ECC803S price is now so insane I can't see many paying the going rates. They were extremely expensive when I had them but now it is absolutely bats.
    Last edited by User211; 08-04-2018 at 00:07.

  5. #5
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Birmingham

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    I'm James.

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    It all depends which Telefunken and which Tesla your are talking about. There are many NOS out there and not all of them are NOS, not all of them are genuine and as I have found with Tesla's in particular there are many ECC83's manufactures in different factories over different years. All claiming to be NOS and the genuine article.

    However on listening I have been surprised and dubious of the exact origin and authenticity of the cartridges I have owned. Yes I know all about reputable sellers etc but ultimately at the end of the day it all boils down to how they sound and not the magic faded writing on the tube.

    I have moved from older NOS Tesla's to younger Tesla ECC83's preferring their sound and recently actually found some very cheap JJTesla ECC83S were better in one position than my NOS.

    Ears are the best evaluator, not price, name or faded magic writing and symbols.

  6. #6
    Join Date: Nov 2015

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    I'm Oliver.

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    Quote Originally Posted by User211 View Post
    I spent hours comparing the two and there was absolutely no way I could really tell the difference.

    Did you really have the exact valves I listed? I'd be amazed if you did.

    I've spent 30 odd years rolling valves BTW.

    Just been looking and the Tele ECC803S price is now so insane I can't see many paying the going rates. They were extremely expensive when I had them but now it is absolutely bats.
    I wasn't refering to your "exact" valves, rather the brands. The ones available to me which were certified as never being used and genuine NOS.
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  7. #7
    Join Date: Jan 2008

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    Default

    Hmm... I'd argue [and with good reason] that the 'best' ECC83 isn't a Telefunken, so the question is somewhat moot...

    Marco.
    Proud anti-establishment/elite 'heretic', motivated to expose widespread Establishment bias, cover-ups and mind-control!

  8. #8
    Join Date: Nov 2015

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    I'm Oliver.

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    Best readily available?

    Is it the Radiotelecomunique you prefer ?
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  9. #9
    Join Date: Jan 2008

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    Default

    Yup! These things, however, are hugely personal taste and system-dependent, which is why it's a fallacy to consider that there is any one 'best' valve of any type, Telefunken included.

    What there is, however, are selected groups of valves, from certain manufacturers, which are of a higher quality overall than others (due to how they've been constructed), and among that you'll find ones that suit your ears and equipment best, as in my experience each has its own 'house sound' (sonic signature), which will either suit your ears and system or not.

    In that respect, the worst thing you can do is use too many of the one type (from the same manufacturer), i.e. all Telefunken, as that way you'll get too much of the 'house Telefunken sound' [cool, clear, detailed, if a little matter-of-fact and 'soulless' - it's a German thing], when a bit of Mullard 'phatness' and warmth might be what's needed, especially with equipment prone to brightness.

    You need to see valves as essentially tone controls, all with different 'flavours', so in order to get the best sound, it's about successfully marrying those flavours together, in order to create the right 'recipe' for YOU.

    However, for the sake of amusement, if you want to kid on that there exists a universal 'best valve', ECC83 or otherwise, then carry on!

    Marco.
    Proud anti-establishment/elite 'heretic', motivated to expose widespread Establishment bias, cover-ups and mind-control!

  10. #10
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Birmingham

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    I'm James.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    Yup! These things, however, are hugely personal taste and system-dependent, which is why it's a fallacy to consider that there is any one 'best' valve of any type, Telefunken included.

    What there is, however, are selected groups of valves, from certain manufacturers, which are of a higher quality overall than others (due to how they've been constructed), and among that you'll find ones that suit your ears and equipment best, as in my experience each has its own 'house sound' (sonic signature), which will either suit your ears and system or not.

    In that respect, the worst thing you can do is use too many of the one type (from the same manufacturer), i.e. all Telefunken, as that way you'll get too much of the 'house Telefunken sound' [cool, clear, detailed, if a little matter-of-fact and 'soulless' - it's a German thing], when a bit of Mullard 'phatness' and warmth might be what's needed, especially with equipment prone to brightness.

    You need to see valves as essentially tone controls, all with different 'flavours', so in order to get the best sound, it's about successfully marrying those flavours together, in order to create the right 'recipe' for YOU.

    However, for the sake of amusement, if you want to kid on that there exists a universal 'best valve', ECC83 or otherwise, then carry on!

    Marco.
    Good Observation Marco regarding mixing of valve types! I have experienced this myself and have pondered the question why. I have had better results with a mix of valves (different in PSU and phono stage) than if I use all the same. Maybe certain valves work better in different positions and what is needed for great sonics in the phono stage may not what is required in power supply or voltage regulation?

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