RavenDave's Dozen & Then Some (Revised : 7/28/2020) - Some of the Best Tubes in History are Available Right Now!!! REVISED AGAIN~!!! And again...
I just purchased a pair of Tungsram ECC81's. I am using them in the second row, with Amperex ECC81's in the first row and CBS 12AU7's in the third how. The Tungsram replaced a pair of 13D9's that I got with my Nighthawk. I was wondering what configurations other's who bought the Tungsram are using. The change I made just seems to make the sound a little different.
I am going with ripped .flac files on a HTPC > PS Audio Directstream DAC (Snowmass update) > Raven Osprey > Harbeth P3ESR Speakers in a study / studio setup (near-field configuration) - the speakers are about 3' from the ears. (See photo - hope it shows up OK) - The sound is very engaging and is sort of like headphone extensions!
My Osprey came equipped with: (I am using Dave's numbers for brevity) in Rows 1, 2, 3:
3 (Brimar 13D9), 21 (Amperex ECC81), and No Dave Number Cleartop RCA 12AU7. This configuration was very good with great texture, clarity, bass, dynamics.
Next I tried the same configuration with the 27 Tungsram ECC81 in Row 1: More clarity without harshness, beautiful mids, highs, lows, magical sound stage.
Next I tried the 11 Valvo in Row 2 - seemed to have a little more texture in the mids, seemed to warm up the presentation.
I tried a few more configurations, and here is what I ended up with (based on discussions with Dave - this is the first time he has tried the Tungsram and Brimar together):
Row 1: 27 Tungsram ECC81
Row 2: 01 Brimar 6060 Yellow T
Row 3: 26 RCA 12AU7 1950's Black Plate
I think I am done with tube rolling for a while - this configuration is rich, dynamic, smooth, tight bass, background nuances and sound stage are excellent. Hard to turn it off at night.
My original configuration was done with Jame's help. We have similar taste in music. I am also using Raven speakers. He was running Amperex in run one, Yellows T's in row 2 and CBS's in row 3. Since I had 13d9's he felt if I bought the Amperex and the CBS I would have around 85% of what he had. I did not fell I wanted to spend the cost of the Yellow T's. I was going to replace the 13d9's with Brimar cv4024's, but Dave told me to try the Tungsram instead. So I bought 2 sets of the and the same RCA's you have. My back up set becomes the 13d9's with the Tungsram and the RCA's. The sound is very hollow graphic and very musical. Vocals are in the room.
Just for grins, try the Brimar 13D9's in Row 1 (replacing the Amperex) - you might be amazed (I was with the Tunsram and the Brimar in Rows 1 and 2).