EF86 tube brands

Discussion for DIY amp builders.

EF86 tube brands

Postby Coca » Sun Feb 01, 2009 10:07 pm

I'm trying to source some good EF86 tubes fo a phono stage project and have come across a couple of brands that I am interested in, and wonder if anyone has any information re, their quality. They are, AMPEREX BRAND from the Tubeman. It doesn't say BUGLE BOY though, in the catalogue. and the other is a Russian one labled SED=C= I believe that is the winged C lable.
I have found some NOS TUNG-SOL & Mullard/ Miniwatt/Valvo, but I will deal with them later.
Thanks in avance.

Bernie.
BS Doars
Coca
Respected Member
Respected Member
 
Posts: 117
Joined: Sat Jul 01, 2006 5:29 pm
Location: London ont Canada

Re: EF86 tube brands

Postby Rock4016 » Mon Feb 02, 2009 11:12 am

The EF86 may be a little noisy, you might have to triode strap it. Are you building a high gain MC stage or a lower gain MM stage?
Modded Spud 6CL6, Stock Spud, DIY 6LU8 SE Amp, DIY SV83 Spud Amp, "Red Light District" amp, 76 pre, Scott Nixon USB DAC, PSI 15 Augies, MAC Ultra Silver RCA, MAC Cuq speaker cables, Pangea AC-9 Power cords. Dual 721 TT, Grado Red.
Rock4016
Respected Member
Respected Member
 
Posts: 442
Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2006 11:28 am
Location: Northern Virginia

Re: EF86 tube brands

Postby Coca » Mon Feb 02, 2009 12:12 pm

It's a MM stage. I had noise concerns about the EF86 as well seing that it is a pentode. However, this is a new kit by Bottlehead. All noise issues have been worked out. I wanted to source some good EF86's in advance, for that reason.

Bernie.
BS Doars
Coca
Respected Member
Respected Member
 
Posts: 117
Joined: Sat Jul 01, 2006 5:29 pm
Location: London ont Canada

Re: EF86 tube brands

Postby Rock4016 » Wed Feb 04, 2009 10:03 am

Russia has an equivelent. I've never heard it but for the price I'd say its worth trying.
http://cgi.ebay.com/6J32P-EF86-6267-Tub ... 7C294%3A50
Modded Spud 6CL6, Stock Spud, DIY 6LU8 SE Amp, DIY SV83 Spud Amp, "Red Light District" amp, 76 pre, Scott Nixon USB DAC, PSI 15 Augies, MAC Ultra Silver RCA, MAC Cuq speaker cables, Pangea AC-9 Power cords. Dual 721 TT, Grado Red.
Rock4016
Respected Member
Respected Member
 
Posts: 442
Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2006 11:28 am
Location: Northern Virginia

Re: EF86 tube brands

Postby Coca » Wed Feb 04, 2009 10:17 pm

Thanks a lot. They seem to have the "Winged C" logo on them. I believe that to be a good thing.

Bernie.
BS Doars
Coca
Respected Member
Respected Member
 
Posts: 117
Joined: Sat Jul 01, 2006 5:29 pm
Location: London ont Canada

Re: EF86 tube brands

Postby Rock4016 » Thu Feb 05, 2009 3:43 pm

Mullard would probably be the best brand and the most expensive, but if those Russian tubes sound good who cares! :mrgreen:
Modded Spud 6CL6, Stock Spud, DIY 6LU8 SE Amp, DIY SV83 Spud Amp, "Red Light District" amp, 76 pre, Scott Nixon USB DAC, PSI 15 Augies, MAC Ultra Silver RCA, MAC Cuq speaker cables, Pangea AC-9 Power cords. Dual 721 TT, Grado Red.
Rock4016
Respected Member
Respected Member
 
Posts: 442
Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2006 11:28 am
Location: Northern Virginia

Re: EF86 tube brands

Postby Eddie Vaughn » Fri Feb 06, 2009 1:14 am

Howdy Coca,

The Amperex EF86s on the Tube man's site are made by RFT in East Germany, or rather those were the ones he *used* to have. They're not quite the equal of Bugle Boys by any means, but very good nonetheless. RFT is the company that made lots of tubes for Telefunken and Siemens-Rohre during the years when solid state was rapidly gaining ground and tube sales were tapering off. The tube plants knew the end was near, so they stopped investing money in maintaining their tooling and began to cut quality, which is why most of the later production from nearly all Western tube factories is so poor. Many did what Philips did with the Amperex-labeled RFT EF86s, they discontinued their less popular types altogether and began sourcing them from Commie countries and putting their own names on them.

The Winged C Russian EF86s I've had in the past ranged from quite good to quite pathetic. Ditto for the 10 pcs or so that I have in my stash at the moment. I let the two best sounding ones I've ever had go with an amp I'd built, and they were (dare I say?) fairly close to Mullard in tone and clarity. But, they were the exception, not the rule. The problem is that there are no external cues as to which are good or bad! It's the luck of the draw as far as I can tell. All have a Winged C logo, but other than that the markings on most are different. A few have the glaring, Cold War "CCCP" on them!

Electro Harmonix EF86s are surprisingly good sounding, as good as the best of the old perf-shield Russkies, and waaaaaaay better than the worse ones. But, the one that'll really knock your socks off is the Tung-Sol reissue EF-806 Gold. AAMOF, I'm thinking about cryo'ing a couple of them to see what happens. Some tubes respond better to cryo than others, and if these respond well, they'll definitely be every bit as good as Bugle Boy or Mullard, if not better (if that's possible!).

Don't worry about noise in pentode mode with the EF86. It's probably the lowest noise small signal pentode ever built. Mullard specifically designed it for use in phono stages, studio microphone preamps, and the first stage of guitar amps. Very low permissable limits for noise and microphonicity are on-paper design parameters of the type.

Eddie :D
Eddie Vaughn
 

Re: EF86 tube brands

Postby Coca » Fri Feb 06, 2009 11:09 am

Thanks Eddie. I guess the solution is a nobrainer. I will invest in someTung-sol EF806's.
Do post your results on the cryoed version. I would really be interested in the results.

bernie.
BS Doars
Coca
Respected Member
Respected Member
 
Posts: 117
Joined: Sat Jul 01, 2006 5:29 pm
Location: London ont Canada


Return to Amp Builders

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 3 guests