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Thread: Best Telefunken ECC83?

  1. #21
    Join Date: Nov 2010

    Location: Yorkshire

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    I'm AnDreW.

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    I kinda guess the only way your gonna find your ideal ECC83 is to buy, experiment and get cracking!
    SS

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  2. #22
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

    Posts: 90,156
    I'm AudioAl'sArbiterForPISHANTO.

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    Sorry for the late reply, Jim..

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbo View Post
    So valves were only developed to meet a technical specification? I suppose back then how they sounded was not a concern?
    Yes, Alan's right. As far as I know, the KT88 is the only vacuum tube to have been specifically designed for audio purposes, although the 300B may also come into that category, but I stand to be corrected on that one!

    Anything else, or the vast majority of valves, were designed for commercial purposes, often in telecommunication and broadcast applications, and especially in military ones. Therefore, they were built with reliability and longevity in mind, not sound quality.

    However, the unintentional by-product of that, due to the superior construction techniques and materials used on the best military spec valves, was often improved sound quality, when said valves were used for audio purposes, which is why the best sounding valves often come from NOS examples of ex-military (WW1 & 2) stock.

    As for "evolving the technology", that only happened during the heyday of when valves were used universally, in the applications outlined, probably up until the early 60s. After that, when transistors were introduced, things went downhill rapidly, in terms of the quality of materials used and vacuum tube production techniques, as factories down-scaled their production and moved to transistors.

    Therefore, it's fairy safe to assume that the best valves, for hi-fi purposes, were produced from around the 1920s to the early 1960s, and that current production varieties are inferior for that reason. You just have to listen to, say, a modern Chinese or Russian-produced ECC83 (the only two countries still making valves), compared with an (electrically optimal) NOS Telefunken, Tesla (not JJ), Mullard, etc, and you'll instantly hear the difference!

    However, there's also just as big a difference in cost, some of which is down to rarity and/or inflated pricing, due to demand from audiophiles for the best NOS varieties, but mostly you get what you pay for

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

  3. #23
    Join Date: May 2016

    Location: Much Wenlock

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    I'm Gary.

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    Bought some of these recently, not saying they're the best, but they do sound good!

    NOS Chinese Military 6N4-J 12AX7WA - Square Getter.

  4. #24
    Join Date: Jan 2009

    Location: Essex

    Posts: 21,093
    I'm openingabottleofwine.

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    I believe Chinese-made valves have improved considerably in the last fifteen years or so. Earlier ones were awful: they would often crackle, pop and bang.

    Not that I would use them - I'll stick to NOS Mullard, Philips, Siemens & Halske and Telefunken. (I have no experience of US-made valves.)



    The 300b was designed for US telephone repeater units. The repeater units were buried underground, and thus the valve had to be sufficiently robust and reliable to operate in that specific environment.
    Barry

  5. #25
    Join Date: May 2016

    Location: Notts

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    I'm Geoff.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    I believe Chinese-made valves have improved considerably in the last fifteen years or so. Earlier ones were awful: they would often crackle, pop and bang.

    Not that I would use them - I'll stick to NOS Mullard, Philips, Siemens & Halske and Telefunken. (I have no experience of US-made valves.)



    The 300b was designed for US telephone repeater units. The repeater units were buried underground, and thus the valve had to be sufficiently robust and reliable to operate in that specific environment.
    I like the idea of "bulbs" being buried underground. Wonder what future generations of archaeologists would make of this?

  6. #26
    Join Date: Jan 2009

    Location: Essex

    Posts: 21,093
    I'm openingabottleofwine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sherwood View Post
    I like the idea of "bulbs" being buried underground. Wonder what future generations of archaeologists would make of this?
    Thermionic devices were also used in undersea repeater units up till the late '60s.
    Barry

  7. #27
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

    Posts: 90,156
    I'm AudioAl'sArbiterForPISHANTO.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    The 300b was designed for US telephone repeater units. The repeater units were buried underground, and thus the valve had to be sufficiently robust and reliable to operate in that specific environment.
    Thanks for that, Barry. I wasn't sure. Looks like then only the KT88 was specifically designed for audio use

    Current production Chinese valves may have become more reliable, but they still sound crap compared with the best NOS varieties, although Gary's NOS Chinese ones will no doubt be different.

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

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