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Thread: Croft valve rolling question

  1. #31
    Join Date: Mar 2017

    Location: Melbourne

    Posts: 208
    I'm Karl.

    Default Croft valve rolling question

    Quote Originally Posted by fiddlemaker View Post
    I think you'll be absolutely fine with the very nice NOS valves you've got already.
    Looking back on my own experience, the only change I'd consider a priority would be swapping any ECC99's that might have been fitted for NOS 12bh7's.
    Apart from that if someone were to sneakily replace my carefully selected NOS valves with others I'd rejected, I reckon I probably wouldn't notice the difference.
    You can get really hyper about these things when you're "in the zone" and waste an awful lot of time and money.
    That's what I reckon, anyway.
    This is what im worried about. Are the changes going to be so small that it doesnt warrant all the extra money on posh valves.

    I think i will sit tight and see how i go replacing the GE in the monos as the pre has a nice (and pretty expensive according to Blodger of this parish) nos sylvania in it already . Dont want to be wasting precious vinyl money if i dont have too.

    Thanks


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Last edited by Bigbird; 22-05-2019 at 06:02.
    Linn Sondek LP12 ( Santos rosewood plinth ,Roksan Nima with Tiger Paw Skale and Yannis tonearm cable, Cirkus, Trampolin2, SSP12 inner platter, Tiger Paw tranquility, Vivid subchassis, Vinyl Passion thick top plate / Mose Hercules 2 gold power supply / Audio Technica ART 9 / Whest 2.2 phonostage / Croft 25RLS preamp with NOS RCA valves / Croft 7R monoblocks with NOS RCA valves/ Spendor SP2/3R2 / Chord cobra 3 interconnects / QED signature revelation speaker cable / Marantz CD DAC /Atacama Equinox rack

  2. #32
    Join Date: Mar 2017

    Location: Melbourne

    Posts: 208
    I'm Karl.

    Default Croft valve rolling question

    Just thought id post a quick update on my thoughts on the new valves.

    Ive done a lot of experimenting with different combinations tonight and have been absolutely glued to the seat with the results. I really wasnt prepared for it to be such a big improvement with the NOS Ď56 RCAís but my god they have wiped the floor with the Sylvania and Edichrons.. and i mean wiped, in every single way. So much so ive been sat thinking that if i never did a single thing to the setup from this day forward i would live with it happily forever.

    With the law of deminishing returns as you move up the ladder, i honestly think youd have to spend best part of a grand on equipment in relative terms to get this sort of upgrade. Its been that big a difference. And i just thiught it would be a slight change of flavour so to speak.

    Firstly i kept the setup the same as its always been with Sylvania in the pre and ediís in the monos and all sounded as brilliant as it has always done. So, out with the Sylvania and in with one of the new RCA... and bang... from the first few notes i could instantly hear just how much more rich and holographic it sounded. It had a much better tonal balance as well, smoother, more detail, everything just sounded right. Winner!

    I didnt want to think i was just tricking myself into justifying the $150 for the 2 valves so after a couple of tracks out came the RCA and back in with the Sylvania.

    instantly it sounded flatter, warmer, darker and constricted, even the missus could here it. The same sort of feeling you get when you go from using a decent component of some sort (like a phono stage) to one that isnt quite as good. So back in with the RCA and wow, back with a bang.

    Next i wanted to try the new valves in the monos so the sylvania went back in the pre and the RCAs in the monos and that beautifully balanced richness and detail was still there but it retained a bit of the darkness and warmth from the sylvania but none of the flatness, a really nice sounding combo actually , and possibly how it is going to stay for the time being until i hunt down another 56 RCA for the preamp so i have a tri of them in the hotspots.

    However the best combo was easily the RCA in the preamp and the NOS edichron in the monos. It was jaw dropping good. The sound just filled the room beautifully. Hopefully with the RCAís in all three positions it will be able to beat this combo and add a little extra to what is already here.

    My final combo will be trying the NOS Edi in the preamp with RCAís in the monos, but thats for tomorrow as its getting late here in oz.

    Anyway conclusions are the 56 RCA are STUNNING and well worth their high price.
    Rolling the preamp makes the biggest difference in sound quality BUT the monos also make a substantial difference and should definitely be considered when upgrading valves.

    Cheers

    Karl


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    Last edited by Bigbird; 04-06-2019 at 12:09.
    Linn Sondek LP12 ( Santos rosewood plinth ,Roksan Nima with Tiger Paw Skale and Yannis tonearm cable, Cirkus, Trampolin2, SSP12 inner platter, Tiger Paw tranquility, Vivid subchassis, Vinyl Passion thick top plate / Mose Hercules 2 gold power supply / Audio Technica ART 9 / Whest 2.2 phonostage / Croft 25RLS preamp with NOS RCA valves / Croft 7R monoblocks with NOS RCA valves/ Spendor SP2/3R2 / Chord cobra 3 interconnects / QED signature revelation speaker cable / Marantz CD DAC /Atacama Equinox rack

  3. #33
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Birmingham

    Posts: 4,830
    I'm James.

    Default

    Nice review Karl and a good to hear the NOS RCA's worked out. They have always been the best valve in my linestage (12BH7a). They seem to do everything just right and some more!

    My personal thoughts were that they sounded well balanced from top to bottom without accentuating or loosing out in any area plus they have a lovely holographic aspect which makes the imaging really pop.

    I am using a Brimar at the moment but it has a darker tonal quality. I prefer the RCA.
    VPI Scout 1.1 - Ortofon 2M Black FGS - Croft 25R+ - Croft Series 7 - Spendor SP2

  4. #34
    Join Date: May 2018

    Location: Woking

    Posts: 228
    I'm Chris.

    Default

    Hi Karl,

    my experience mirrors yours above with 50's RCA's. Mine were put into a Micro 25 but I've had similar experiences putting 50's RCA's in plenty of amps. They were the shorter plates but I'd assume the sound signature will at least be similar. I too swapped in some Sylvania's which I know do a fine job in other circuits but it was a night and day comparison.

    Just massive full sound front to back, left to right. Rich and detailed.

    As you have noticed, biggest difference in pre and pre-sections.

    Glad you've found some good'uns

  5. #35
    Join Date: Mar 2017

    Location: Melbourne

    Posts: 208
    I'm Karl.

    Default

    Thanks Jim and Chris, massive, rich and holographic they are. Problem is where do you from here?? Surley its only downhill from here?

    Time to get saving and focus my efforts on a new tonearm now ive got the amps sussed out.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Linn Sondek LP12 ( Santos rosewood plinth ,Roksan Nima with Tiger Paw Skale and Yannis tonearm cable, Cirkus, Trampolin2, SSP12 inner platter, Tiger Paw tranquility, Vivid subchassis, Vinyl Passion thick top plate / Mose Hercules 2 gold power supply / Audio Technica ART 9 / Whest 2.2 phonostage / Croft 25RLS preamp with NOS RCA valves / Croft 7R monoblocks with NOS RCA valves/ Spendor SP2/3R2 / Chord cobra 3 interconnects / QED signature revelation speaker cable / Marantz CD DAC /Atacama Equinox rack

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