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christophe sas
christophe sas's picture
Last seen: 1 year 11 months ago
Joined: Apr 12 2019 - 7:53pm
Tube rolling on a Cayin A-88T mk2

could someone help me with some doubts regarding tube rolling?
I have a Cayin A-88T mk2, amp section has 4xKT88 Gold Lions, preamp section has 2x6SN7 Tungsol and 2x6SL7 Tungsol.
The source is a Mytek DSD 192 DAC, speakers are Monitor Audio Silver 6.

I listen to blues, jazz, vocal music, pop, electro... And would like to improve the sound of my amp, and its power since at low level, I find the sound to be a bit blurry, loosing many details, and bottom and high ends are quite weak.

Regarding the amp section, I would like to gain power, clarity and strength in the mids, the most important to me. And I hate agressive highs. For a reasonable budget, what could be a alternative to the Genalex?

Do you think my Cayin can work with KT120 or even KT150? If positive, I don't know how to adjust the bias...

I'm looking for 3 options: to find a better KT88, find a great EL34 (the best possible) and KT120/150.

Regading the preamp section, the Tungsol are ok, Tested a couple of other NOS tubes also (Sylvania JAN-CHS-6SL7GT and RCA-6SN7GTB).

What would be your advices to reach my goal of having more details and creamy middles, lows present and controlled, highs not agressive or shining too much.

Thank you!


commsysman's picture
Last seen: 3 weeks 2 days ago
Joined: Apr 4 2006 - 11:33am

I suggest that you contact Upscale Audio, since they carry many tubes and are very knowledgeable
on your subject.

bwright's picture
Last seen: 9 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: Aug 2 2006 - 8:54pm
Cayin Tubes

I had the exact same integrated from Cayin - it's a nice amp. I used NOS Tung Sols in the pre section and they were dead quiet with fantastic tonality. I also ended up with the Gold Lion KT88s and felt they were too loose and warm, with slightly degraded detail. I also tried the modern Tung Sol 6550s, which were a tiny bit better, but then transitioned to the Winged C 6550. That was the best set of power tubes I ever heard in that amp. Neutral and accurate, without that bloated warmth. They are still in it to this day - gave it to my younger brother, who likes it quite a bit.

If you like EL34s, the Russian Electro-Harmonix EL34 which were used as OEM tubes in my VTL IT-85 were very nice, and in terms of NOS, the RFT and Mullard EL34s are said to be superb. The Mullards are getting pretty expensive, as are other NOS European versions, but the RFTs are still reasonable. I'm trying the Gold Lion KT77 in my IT-85 right now, and although it has a nice full sound, I miss the edge and accuracy of the EH EL34s. I plan to put in a set of RFTs, or return to the EH set - will keep you posted.

christophe sas
christophe sas's picture
Last seen: 1 year 11 months ago
Joined: Apr 12 2019 - 7:53pm
hi bwright

hi bwright
thank you very much for your feed-back.
since I posted this topic, I tried EL 34 from Mullard (not NOS), TungSol, and KT77 gold lion. Liked them. Went back to the KT88 which I find richer, rounder and warmer. But the KT88 Gold Lion, lacks a bit of precision.

JRT's picture
Last seen: 5 hours 54 min ago
Joined: Jul 12 2007 - 12:36pm
The amplifier would operate

The amplifier would operate better with a flatter load impedance. The load impedance at the transformer secondary reflects through the transformer to the primary as the square of the turns ratio of the transformer.

Below is the impedance response of the Monitor Audio Silver RS6.

It would be nice if the loudspeaker manufacturers would begin selling optional conjugate filters for their loudspeakers that flatten impedance for use with tube amplifiers.

Kengt's picture
Last seen: 11 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: Nov 4 2020 - 11:56am
Tube rolling on a Cayin A-88T mk2

I replaced old kt88 tubes with Sevetlana 6550c and Tung-Sol 6sn7. It sounded much better than the old tubes. But, the biggest improvement and surprise was when I invested the 2 6sl7 with Sylvania vt-229/6sl7gt ($100 ea. Kavin's stash). The amp went from a good amp to an unbelievable amp. I used to own Mcintosh MC225 (regreted to sell it) and Marantz model 9 (1990 reissue). I learned from then that the tubes used would affect the sound of the amp no matter how good the amps were.

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