Ref6 tube rolling
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  1. #1
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    Ref6 tube rolling

    I've asked a question a while ago if anybody did some tube rolling with Ref6 and did not get any answer, hence i decided to open a new thread so interested might easier find it.
    Anyhow, I have a great buddy of mine with BAT gear who several weeks ago did this exact same trick with his gear and was stunned by the change it happened. Namely he swapped 6n30 tubes (apparently super tube) with 6n6p tubes. As within my Ref6 I have the same tubes he advised to try the same. Of course I was reluctant/afraid to do so, so i did a fair share of exploring the web (no info regarding the 6n6p in ARC gear) and also talking with world class tube gear designers and they all confirmed that I can swap them without any issue.
    Off to ebay and i got two tightly matched quads and used only 6 pcs for the line stage, as I did not touch the one in the power supply section of the preamp.
    Have to say i was quite nervous before turning the preamp ON but as preamp warmed up without glitches moment of truth arise with turning the volume knob from 0 to listening level.
    After several notes played I was already sure that something magical happened which left me in total disbelief. Totally different ball game. Music is just flowing, you can literally feel it and touch it, super palpable, notes seem to last longer, dramatically more fluid, you can feel the darkness between the notes and overall feeling is that preamp is much calmer in positive way - like it was super nervous before. Staging as well massively improved. Even my mother, who was at my place, just out of the blue commented wooow this sounds really fantastic now. I had the system on for like an hour to burn in the tubes so will play with it of course further but those babies are not leaving the preamp as to me now 6n6p really are SUPER TUBES.
    All in all massive improvement on already great preamp - highly recommended.

    PS I did not return the tube rings as i was instructed they are not needed in case of this tubes as they are not microphonic and the cooling is better without them...
    Few pics will follow...
    LS: Vienna Acoustics Imperial Liszt
    PowerAmp: ARC REF 75 (KT150)
    PreAmp: ARC REF 6
    Source: Lampizator Pacific SE
    Streamer: LDMS Music Server
    CD player/Transport: Audio Analogue Maestro
    Power: IsoTek Sigmas EVO3
    Cabling: Shunyata (various), FTA (Final Touch Audio) - Ganymede RCA & XLR, Callisto USB, LS
    Rack: Finite Elemente Spider

  2. #2
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    Re: Ref6 tube rolling

    Attached Images Attached Images
    LS: Vienna Acoustics Imperial Liszt
    PowerAmp: ARC REF 75 (KT150)
    PreAmp: ARC REF 6
    Source: Lampizator Pacific SE
    Streamer: LDMS Music Server
    CD player/Transport: Audio Analogue Maestro
    Power: IsoTek Sigmas EVO3
    Cabling: Shunyata (various), FTA (Final Touch Audio) - Ganymede RCA & XLR, Callisto USB, LS
    Rack: Finite Elemente Spider

  3. #3
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    Re: Ref6 tube rolling

    Rolling the Rectifier Tube with give you the biggest improvement. I canít remember the tube choice but it will come to me.

    Ken
    "No summit worth climbing is easily attained."
    --------------------------------------------
    Source: MSB Select II DAC with Two Mono Powerbases, Femto 33 Clock, Renderer V2 Digital Input Module and Roon Nucleus Plus
    Amps: Vandersteen M7-HPA Mono Amps
    Speakers: Vandersteen Model 7 Mk2
    Power: Two AudioQuest Niagara 5000ís with Analysis Plus Ultimate Power Ovals

  4. #4
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    Re: Ref6 tube rolling

    The best Rectifier Tube would be the GE 6550 A NOS. It will give you more ease. Expensive but worth it.

    Ken
    "No summit worth climbing is easily attained."
    --------------------------------------------
    Source: MSB Select II DAC with Two Mono Powerbases, Femto 33 Clock, Renderer V2 Digital Input Module and Roon Nucleus Plus
    Amps: Vandersteen M7-HPA Mono Amps
    Speakers: Vandersteen Model 7 Mk2
    Power: Two AudioQuest Niagara 5000ís with Analysis Plus Ultimate Power Ovals

  5. #5
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    Re: Ref6 tube rolling

    Thanks Ken!
    If i made a decision to try what i did, I guess I'll try this advise as well.
    Except I kind of doubt that tube in power supply can have more profound effect on sound quality as the tube/s used in line stage as such.

    Cheers;
    G
    LS: Vienna Acoustics Imperial Liszt
    PowerAmp: ARC REF 75 (KT150)
    PreAmp: ARC REF 6
    Source: Lampizator Pacific SE
    Streamer: LDMS Music Server
    CD player/Transport: Audio Analogue Maestro
    Power: IsoTek Sigmas EVO3
    Cabling: Shunyata (various), FTA (Final Touch Audio) - Ganymede RCA & XLR, Callisto USB, LS
    Rack: Finite Elemente Spider

  6. #6
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    Re: Ref6 tube rolling

    Quote Originally Posted by Alpinist View Post
    The best Rectifier Tube would be the GE 6550 A NOS. It will give you more ease. Expensive but worth it.

    Ken
    Ken-The 6550 used in the Ref 6 power supply is not a rectifier. ARC is running the 6550 very hot in both the Ref 6 and the Ref 3 phono. ARC recommends changing the 6550 every 2,000 hours. I was told you should really change them every 1,000 hours to make sure they don't blow up. Finding NOS 6550s and testing them for low gas and replacing them when you should will get expensive.
    Micro Seiki SX-8000 air bearing table, SME 312s arm, SME 3012R arn, Dynavector XV-1s cartridge, Lyra Etna SL cartridge, ARC Ref 3 phono stage, Otari MX-55 2 track R2R, Ampex 350 tape repros, Roon Nucleus Plus music server, PS Audio DSJ DAC, ARC Ref 6, ARC Ref 75 with KT-150s, JBL 4345 speakers, Viero Equilibro Level 3 speaker cables, and Definitive Technology Ref subs.

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  8. #7
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    Re: Ref6 tube rolling

    Quote Originally Posted by mep View Post
    Ken-The 6550 used in the Ref 6 power supply is not a rectifier. ARC is running the 6550 very hot in both the Ref 6 and the Ref 3 phono. ARC recommends changing the 6550 every 2,000 hours. I was told you should really change them every 1,000 hours to make sure they don't blow up. Finding NOS 6550s and testing them for low gas and replacing them when you should will get expensive.
    Thanks for this info. My experience is with the REF10, so it is everything times two. I ran over 2,000 hours with mine and never noticed any degradation in sound quality. But you are correct that this can get expensive, no question about it.

    Ken
    "No summit worth climbing is easily attained."
    --------------------------------------------
    Source: MSB Select II DAC with Two Mono Powerbases, Femto 33 Clock, Renderer V2 Digital Input Module and Roon Nucleus Plus
    Amps: Vandersteen M7-HPA Mono Amps
    Speakers: Vandersteen Model 7 Mk2
    Power: Two AudioQuest Niagara 5000ís with Analysis Plus Ultimate Power Ovals

  9. #8
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    Re: Ref6 tube rolling

    Quote Originally Posted by Alpinist View Post
    Thanks for this info. My experience is with the REF10, so it is everything times two. I ran over 2,000 hours with mine and never noticed any degradation in sound quality. But you are correct that this can get expensive, no question about it.

    Ken
    Hey Ken. Yes, your Ref 10 has dual mono power supplies so you have two 6550s and two 6H30 tubes which doubles your cost for power supply tube replacement. As for the 2,000 hour rating for the 6550 used in the ARC gear, this isn't so much about degradation of sound quality, but taking a chance on a catastrophic tube failure.
    Micro Seiki SX-8000 air bearing table, SME 312s arm, SME 3012R arn, Dynavector XV-1s cartridge, Lyra Etna SL cartridge, ARC Ref 3 phono stage, Otari MX-55 2 track R2R, Ampex 350 tape repros, Roon Nucleus Plus music server, PS Audio DSJ DAC, ARC Ref 6, ARC Ref 75 with KT-150s, JBL 4345 speakers, Viero Equilibro Level 3 speaker cables, and Definitive Technology Ref subs.

  10. Thanks joeinid, Alpinist, sam5 thanked for this post