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Sunfire Classic Tube Center


Kappa man
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Hello fellow

Carver Connoisseurs !!!  So I'm a newbie to the tube world, I have a Sunfire Siggy 6x2 amp that was done by Flannerys last year and I just purchased the tube center that had a full refresh by Roland two yrs ago. I just replaced the 3 line stage tubes with brand new JJ gold pins. The first couple days I was BLOWN away at the difference in sound and the incredible detail they produced and were dead quiet. Fast forward to today, I turned on my system to pretty loud static on left channel only with volume all way down and will not "adjust" / change or go away no matter what knobs or buttons I touch on preamp. 

   Has anyone had this or does anyone have advice before I spend the day diagnosing ? 

  Thanks in advance guys ! 

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Switch V2 and V3 tubes and see if the noise follows the tube to the other channel. (keep track of the tubes at first one switch is easy but when you start getting pissed and switching you might lose track) If you aren't using the tone controls turn the contour switch off. If noise follows to right channel then switch V1 tube with the noisy one. Just because a tube makes noise in a  Sunfire doesn't make it bad it might be perfectly fine in another preamp the Sunfire is picky and hard on Tubes.

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On 9/3/2022 at 2:16 PM, cuda said:

Switch V2 and V3 tubes and see if the noise follows the tube to the other channel. ..........................

 

................Sunfire is picky and hard on Tubes.

 

 

Good advice offered on swapping V2 and V3 to see if the distortion follows.

The second statement I don't understand and would like more info.

 

 

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Switch V2 and V3 tubes and see if the noise follows the tube to the other channel. (keep track of the tubes at first one switch is easy but when you start getting pissed and switching you might lose track) If you aren't using the tone controls turn the contour switch off. If noise follows to right channel then switch V1 tube with the noisy one. Just because a tube makes noise in a  Sunfire doesn't make it bad it might be perfectly fine in another preamp the Sunfire is picky and hard on Tubes.

 

This was from a thread on DIY audio about tubes :

I worked for Sunfire when we ran out of our original buy of Sovtek 6922s for the Classic Tube Preamp. We tried the current production Sovteks and they were quite noisy. The old tubes had the black coating on the plates and the new tubes were shiny silver. Apparently the quality control at the original factory went to hell after the Soviet Union collapsed.
We tried NOS JAN Phillips tubes, which sucked, along with several other brands.
We finally went back to the beginning- the tubes which Sovtek rebrands as 6922s are actually Reflector 6H23 or 6N23 depending on how the cyrillic letter is translated. We were able to buy old Soviet era tubes in quantity from eastern European sources.
I believe you can still get these from Triode Electronics or Upscale Audio.
The Sunfire preamp was very demanding on its tubes due to its classic anode-follower design. The tone section was extremely demanding on the tubes used. The tone section would make some Phillips tubes oscillate.

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4 hours ago, cuda said:

The Sunfire preamp was very demanding on its tubes due to its classic anode-follower design. The tone section was extremely demanding on the tubes used. The tone section would make some Phillips tubes oscillate.

 

Response appreciated, although for me the claims made could still use a good bit more explanation. Circuit design is not my thing.

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I am the same way, I found when I used the stock tubes the unit was quiet and worked as expected. But seemed plain compared to some tube equipment that have the "Tube Sound" I started buying lots of tubes but the recommendations where not just for the Sunfire but 6922 and 7308 for other brands of preamps. And that's when I started having weird low low hisses and static noise between songs again very very low but it bugged me. It seemed that every time I found a good tube that sounded Great! to me a few weeks later some noise would pop up. I would switch the tubes around and it would eventually happen again. Well I thought I can't use these tubes and bought other ones to try. I have some in right now that have lasted 8 months and ae still quiet and I like the sound I am getting. They are 7308's White labels Made in Holland  Amperex. it was the USA made ones I liked the best but kept making noise. But I tried a lot of Bugle boys and others and it just seemed like if I liked the tubes then the Sunfire didn't like them.  But right now I am good and even have 3 exact spares of the current tubes as back ups. And I am just speaking of the main 3 tubes I have no problems at all from the phono board tubes.

Edited by cuda
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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey guys,.. so I finally found time to play around with this Classic Tube Preamp. 

  Recap : there are roughly 25 hours on brand new JJ-gold pin tubes in line stage and the left channel (only) had a very annoying static that was rock steady and would not change with volume up/down or off.  I switched the V2 and V3 tubes and now there is same static in (both channels) but now it varies up and down a little in noise level also.  

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Hey Cuda,.. no, the amp came with all Genelex Gold Lions and had zero noise. I purchased the "best" JJs from them by checking all the boxes when ordering. I only wanted to try diffrent tubes strictly out of curiosity being this my first vacuum tube line stage... and I was WOWWED by them immediately,.. although like I said l, after some hours the left channel started making noise, and so on. I out the Gold Lions back in and they are almost dead quiet so it's obviously the tubes. 

  Since the static sound I have obviously done EXTENSIVE internet poking and prodding. I'm seeing ALOT of people stating that this Preamp is HARD on tubes. A wonderful unit once dialed in but hard and finicky ! 

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I recently read a book "The Perfect Sound" by Garrett Hongo. It's a story of his journey with audio (and life).  He gets into talk about tubes in a few parts of the book. I wish that I was more knowledgeable about tubes to better follow along.  But if i got into it, it would be one more thing to get get compulsive about for me. Hahaha.

I think what you are doing is pretty interesting. Keep us posted.

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6 hours ago, Receiver2000 said:

I recently read a book "The Perfect Sound" by Garrett Hongo. It's a story of his journey with audio (and life).  He gets into talk about tubes in a few parts of the book. I wish that I was more knowledgeable about tubes to better follow along.  But if i got into it, it would be one more thing to get get compulsive about for me. Hahaha.

I think what you are doing is pretty interesting. Keep us posted.

Wow,.. I wish you knew me as a person to validate the reply you just sent ! The sonopsis you mentioned is (literally) the very journey I have been on ! Ive been wanting to write a book for over a year now explaining my journey to the perfect sound and what my definition of "audiophile" is.

 The chase this compulsive, addictive and ever changing rabbithole of sound has taught me SO much more than just audio ! Thank you for mentioning that book and author ! I'm eager to read it !   

  

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5 hours ago, Kappa man said:

Wow,.. I wish you knew me as a person to validate the reply you just sent ! The sonopsis you mentioned is (literally) the very journey I have been on ! Ive been wanting to write a book for over a year now explaining my journey to the perfect sound and what my definition of "audiophile" is.

 The chase this compulsive, addictive and ever changing rabbithole of sound has taught me SO much more than just audio ! Thank you for mentioning that book and author ! I'm eager to read it !   

  

 

@Kappa man,

 

i've read that book too..., and - you should write and publish yours.  It would not be hard to write a better book than Hongo.  While a good read, I wasn't overly impressed.  I wrote a book review here on the forum..., maybe in the "What did you do today" thread..., I forget.

 

If you write your book with just 10% more-better, I'll buy it and read it!  The bar is not that high in this area of books..., and, well, everyone's journey is different, and interesting - so there's lots of room in market to do a book.

 

Enabler/encourager, 

AJ

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I would read your book also. Write it!!! I agree that the book wasn't spectacular but it was at least something in the audiophile arena that follows what we do. For me it did have some great stories and good information that I enjoyed. We need more.

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On 9/5/2022 at 10:50 AM, cuda said:

Switch V2 and V3 tubes and see if the noise follows the tube to the other channel. (keep track of the tubes at first one switch is easy but when you start getting pissed and switching you might lose track) If you aren't using the tone controls turn the contour switch off. If noise follows to right channel then switch V1 tube with the noisy one. Just because a tube makes noise in a  Sunfire doesn't make it bad it might be perfectly fine in another preamp the Sunfire is picky and hard on Tubes.

 

This was from a thread on DIY audio about tubes :

I worked for Sunfire when we ran out of our original buy of Sovtek 6922s for the Classic Tube Preamp. We tried the current production Sovteks and they were quite noisy. The old tubes had the black coating on the plates and the new tubes were shiny silver. Apparently the quality control at the original factory went to hell after the Soviet Union collapsed.
We tried NOS JAN Phillips tubes, which sucked, along with several other brands.
We finally went back to the beginning- the tubes which Sovtek rebrands as 6922s are actually Reflector 6H23 or 6N23 depending on how the cyrillic letter is translated. We were able to buy old Soviet era tubes in quantity from eastern European sources.
I believe you can still get these from Triode Electronics or Upscale Audio.
The Sunfire preamp was very demanding on its tubes due to its classic anode-follower design. The tone section was extremely demanding on the tubes used. The tone section would make some Phillips tubes oscillate.

 

I have a limited number of 6H23P  tubes for $15 each plus shipping from GA if anyone wants to give them a try.

I bought a number of them from Ukraine last December and they work well in the 10 Octave LP1.

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