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NOS Tubes for SPL Vitalizer MK2-T?
Old 26th September 2012
  #1
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NOS Tubes for SPL Vitalizer MK2-T?

Can you recommend me the best tube to use with spl mk2-t vitalizer? Unit has stock Sovtek 12AX7LPS tubes (one operating in stereo enchancer circuit, and the ither one processes hi-mid freq). The company recommneds JJ ECC803s/ECC83s for better replacement. I've done it, but I'm still not happy. I've been thinking of EI smooth plates or Valvo tubes (can't afford ole Telefunkens!).

Any experience? Which can be good for this unit?
Old 27th September 2012
  #2
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sat159p1 View Post
Can you recommend me the best tube to use with spl mk2-t vitalizer? Unit has stock Sovtek 12AX7LPS tubes (one operating in stereo enchancer circuit, and the ither one processes hi-mid freq). The company recommneds JJ ECC803s/ECC83s for better replacement. I've done it, but I'm still not happy. I've been thinking of EI smooth plates or Valvo tubes (can't afford ole Telefunkens!).

Any experience? Which can be good for this unit?
Get some Valvos, they might be either original Valvo or Philips/Mullard, labelled Valvo, but in any case, those are much better than any ecc83 currently produced.
But maybe you just do not like the sound of the vitalizer, no matter which tube, there are some regular opamps in the signal path and the tubes do probably just some icing on the cake.
Old 27th September 2012
  #3
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Thanks. I know that they're running full voltage so the tube actually HAS its potential released in every way in this unit. I like this unit, it comes handy when you want to make dull recording sound clearer (or harsh recording sound softer) which cant be done using regular EQ design. Just needed sweet valves to make those things sound best possible way
Old 27th September 2012
  #4
Gear Nut
 

A long time ago I had that thing. It helped me to enhance some not so perfect mixes and did that job pretty well. But it kind of encouraged me to work harder on the mixes in the first place, so that I did not not need it any more, and sold it. I never thought about the tubes those days, but it messed with the signal somehow, so enhancement in clarity and definition came with the price of something that felt like I was loosing emotional impact or something like that. Maybe it was the tubes, but I guess it is inherent in the concept of the vitalizer, it manipulates the phase relationships between the frequencies (If I remember right) and that is a powerful but dangerous thing to do.
But I wish you good luck with the new tubes and hope you can improve the vitalizer that way.
Tobias
Old 30th July 2013
  #5
I'm also looking to put new tubes in my vitalizer. anyone have any recommendations? or should I just go for the telefunkens?

OP, did you find anything you liked?
Old 30th July 2013
  #6
Gear Maniac
 

Not sure if you know about this website -- excellent discussion of the various 12AX7s that are available: 12AX7 Tubes in Stock
Old 30th July 2013
  #7
awesome. thanks!
Old 30th July 2013
  #8
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For another opinion try this: If a tube falls in the forest, does it make a sound? | leedsradio.com Blog

leedsradio.com is also the best place in NYC to buy NOS vintage tubes. Brick and mortar store in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
Old 30th July 2013
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sat159p1 View Post
The company recommneds JJ ECC803s/ECC83s for better replacement. I've done it, but I'm still not happy. I've been thinking of EI smooth plates or Valvo tubes (can't afford ole Telefunkens!).
In my opinion....

NOS RCA 7025 tubes are still one of the best 12AX7 replacements available, followed by GE Five Star, followed by Telefunken. I put Telefunken last because they have a noticeable smoothness that you may or may not like, but are an excellent tube. Every NOS RCA 12AX7/7025 I have used has been very balanced across the entire sound spectrum.

So what sound are you looking for? Smooth, then go with T-funk. Dark, warm, balanced, and slightly more aggressive then T-funk, then go with RCA or GE Five Star. Keep in mind that the GE Five Star tubes were GE's premium brand and generally sound better than standard GE tubes. Mullard made great tubes as well.

The 7025 is simply the low noise version of the 12AX7. And the ECC803 is the low noise version of the ECC83. The 5751 is also a low noise 12AX7 alternative which sounds smooth as well, but sometimes is too smooth in the wrong circuit. But try one and see how you like it. I use lots of 5751s here.
Old 30th July 2013
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjrippe View Post
For another opinion try this: If a tube falls in the forest, does it make a sound? | leedsradio.com Blog

leedsradio.com is also the best place in NYC to buy NOS vintage tubes. Brick and mortar store in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
now thats exactly what i needed. thanks!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank_Case View Post
So what sound are you looking for? Smooth, then go with T-funk. Dark, warm, balanced, and slightly more aggressive then T-funk, then go with RCA or GE Five Star. Keep in mind that the GE Five Star tubes were GE's premium brand and generally sound better than standard GE tubes. Mullard made great tubes as well.
thanks for the info! its just so hard to know without actually installing the tubes and trying them out in this particular piece of gear. looks like i'll be buying 2 or 3 different pairs and doing a shootout.
Old 31st December 2013
  #11
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Channel time's Avatar
Hey Jack,

So how did your tube shoot out options turn out?
What difference did you find from the ones you went with compared to the stock tubes?

Cheers
Old 25th July 2018
  #12
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rectape's Avatar
Bump
Old 10th October 2019
  #13
Here for the gear
 

Interesting shoot-out of tubes with the Vitalizer in use:
http://www.audiodrom.net/en/special-...lmost-no-money
Old 18th October 2019
  #14
@ work Thanks for sharing this nice article, it is just what I was looking for before upgrading tubes of my Vitalizer.
Did anyone here tried to install 2 different kind of tubes?
E.g JJ ECC803S GOLD PIN in the stereo signal processing path and RT011/7025 S Mullard-Style in the stereo width circuit?

Cheers
N
Old 18th October 2019
  #15
Here for the gear
 

As much as the Mullard-style TAD was loved the best performance was achieved with the JJ ECC803S GOLD PIN in the processor circuit and the JJ ECC83S in the stereo width circuit.
The best = open, detailed, transparent and tonally balanced. Depending on your project you may prefer a different pair.
Old 6th December 2019
  #16
Just for the gearslutz crowd,
Upgrading stock JJ tubes to 1970 EI Yugoslavia long grey plate made huge difference, Vitalizer is reborn.
Definitely high end device.
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