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linden518
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John Marks on Leben CS600 at FSI

I was so happy to read John Marks' take on the Leben CS600 he heard at the FSI show. The fact that both JA & JM liked it so much makes me feel lucky that I got this gem as my 1st audio purchase. I don't think it'll be leaving my system, ever.

I believe at the FSI, they were running some EL34 tubes on the Leben... I wonder what tubes they were using? I was using Winged C EL34s for a while, and the limitations of the Leben that Marks notes in his report re: bass extension & dynamics - became very apparent. Also, I heard tube glare & kind of grainy breakage at loud volumes. I was considering using NOS tubes, like the Mullards, but purchased a quad of just-released Genalex "Gold Lion" KT-77 reissues. The improvement is significant. Better balance & poise in the music, and they don't fray at the extremities of loud passages like the Winged C EL-34s. The depth of soundfield is, well, deeper. Texturally more complex, too. The tonal lustre of music w/ the Gold Lion reissues is very golden in hue, very lovely, like the EL34s, especially in the midrange, but the KT77s bring a great balance and control in the sonic presentation. Winged C EL34s were too forward & extroverted in that regard, and a lot of the times, the bass would become flabby and fly away. I feel like these KT77s are a happy compromise between the EL34s and the 6L6s.. and these reissues are sweet modern tubes, a fantastic match for the Leben CS600, and after listening with these, I no longer have the particular desire to seek NOS tubes. Just my 2 cents about anyone considering the Leben CS600 after reading JM's column this month...

P.S. - I'd love to see a Tubes section in this forum! I know it will be DUP's favorite section...

Elk
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Re: John Marks on Leben CS600 at FSI

Great purchase!

It is hard to best the EL34's midrange.

For more extension at both ends and more pop, I like KT88s. I bet the Leben can happily use them.

linden518
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Re: John Marks on Leben CS600 at FSI

Totally read my mind, Elk. I've been wanting to try the KT-88s, especially for the extension at both ends, but the bottles are a tad tall, which would mean using the Leben without the top cover. I guess that would be okay, but I kind of like the look of the Leben with the top on. (I told you I was vain, right? ) If I could choose any NOS tubes to use on the Leben, though, they'd be Western Electric 350B tubes... although I'd have to use the Leben sans cover for them, too.

Elk
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Re: John Marks on Leben CS600 at FSI

The Leben does look great with the cover on.

I will admit though the part of the appeal of tubes is the glow and warmth - I just like them. Thus I would be tempted to run it without the cover.

I adore the sound EL34 tubes make when cooling. They emit a delicious gentle tinkling. The KT88s are silent. Bummer.

linden518
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Re: John Marks on Leben CS600 at FSI

What KT-88s do you recommend, Elk? I saw that the Gold Lion Reissue KT-88s have been getting a good word of mouth, as well...

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