Many people thought this situation would always stay that way, and the TESLA management thought so too. How typical for Ebay. Then they keep just this value no matter how long hours or days I let the tester run. Well ok, JJ is new production, so I thought this was the explanation.
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The Number 1 tube in my shootout! With They do some things I have not heard from any of the other tubes — at least not to their extent.
First off they have the greatest detail of any tube in the review, and the highest amount of Clarity while remaining completely Musical, with a warm naturally rich tone. Superb balance of air and transparency with positive Euphonics.
There is an immediacy to the sound, crisp and tonally dense, never etched or brittle. Just the right amount of attack and decay of the waveform. A quick and clear transient dynamics, but warm and relaxed at the same time — breathtaking! But the Sound Stage is as wide and deep as the best — at times the sound field seems to just envelop you - extending from wall to wall — then seemingly around you.
Sounds appearing behind you can be quite startling — I sometimes had to take my headphones off as I thought I heard my wife speaking behind me. Part of the magic of this Sound Staging is the amazing detail retrieval of these tubes, you can hear the faint echos off the back and side walls, that help replicate the recording venue. The imaging is pinpoint precise, with an inner lit quality. I find they are the most holographic of all the tubes in the review. Vocals are smooth and grain less — even on the female vocals, which can sound a bit pitched on lessor tubes.
Always smooth and Musical on these loud and complex passages — with the tubes pushed to their seeming limit - the image never flattens, the sound stage never shrinks. They present the music as whole cloth — without holes or seams — one grand unified place. This center forwardness brings the center into spotlight like it should be. Cavernous deep and tight — cymbal work crisp and real.
Great stuff! And everything in holographic clarity - crisp and decisive. For me they are the tubes to measure all the others against. That was the only flaw I found in the whole week of reviewing them. Finally, the last area they truly excelled at — Flow. They had the ability to just stop time, as one track flowed by and sometimes spilled into the next. It was hard to stop listening and go to the next tube. I just wanted to sit there and let the rest of the album keep going. What else can you say Mainly for feedback from others — to see if they sound as good in their systems and to their tastes as mine.
For those who found them forward they tend to love the Holland sound — so another path for some to explore. The particular pair I used for this review was not some special pair — but my only spare backups. No month matching, but output matched. Value for the money? So how did the other tubes fair? On to number two. They are simply incredible. Or that could just be tube variances. And they share the same characteristics.
They do every thing right — why not number one then? I never heard a hardness or glassiness in all the recordings. Excellent holographic Sound Stage. They just did not deliver the level of excitement or realism of the 1 tubes, for me.
They just seem to get it right in a very nice way — I could listen to them for hours. Bass was deep with excellent definition — ranked at a tie there for 2 with Amperex PW and Philips Miniwatts. Especially the rich natural tone and incisive Transience.
Where do they differ? They have just a bit less Clarity, Detail and Scale — finishing at 3, 4 and 3, respectfully. While never disagreeable in their own right — they were a notch below the very best of the best in these categories. This was very stiff competition, not your ordinary vintage tube lineup — so to finish fourth is quite an accomplishment! They finished 1 in two categories — Musicality and Euphonics. Just as warm and forgiving as any tube I have heard — this tube is just sublimely rich in tone, gorgeous on female vocals.
Amazing bass — finishing in a tie for 2. But for me they were not 1, or 2 or 3, or 4. They lacked that ultimate Transient realism and excitement. Just slightly less forward, more laid back then the others. Polite is a great word — never offending — but never producing goosebumps as well.
Their immediacy, lending a kind sparkle to the music. The Holland tubes just did not have that precision. Superb tube! Warm and Musical, with a rich Euphonic tone finishing 5 and 2, respectively.
Beautiful on vocals. Nice Tone! But the tone was creamy smooth, really nice. Great Detail and Clarity finishing at 6 and 7 — not at the level of the top German and Russians, but nothing lacking unless measured in comparison. Bass tied for 2 with the best — deep, articulate. Well done. They finished with excellent scores for Clarity and Detail, 5 and 6.
Very good Scale and Transience, at 4 and 5. They have a clean, incisive presentation, a bit forward , but also very good Euphonics and Musicality. These have always been my favorite Amperex tube. There was no one area they were weak in, Bass was nice and deep, ranking at 4. But as always YMMV. You can read my original review from nearly two years ago. They are still my 3 6N23P and ran very well in this tube Olympics. Talk about tough competition! I still find they have incredible Flow — at times I was just lost in the music, even though these came far down the listening cue.
Bass as well was excellent finishing at 5. They did not have as open of a presentation as the top tubes, nor the deepest level of detail. But a great natural tone and Musicality. Nice rich natural tone with good Detail and Clarity.
They finished 7 in Clarity and 8 in Flow. In the Bass category they finished 6. Not the last word in Euphonics, but Musical enough. They still had really nice warmth for their level of Detail. Of the two - the Tele is the warmer, the Siemens is the more detailed. They are not the common dual dimpled plate getter post Reflektors you can easily find.
These are way better. So decided to include them in the review. Well they are very nice — smooth and laid back. But not as forward as well. A really pleasant tube to listen to. Their best finish was 8 in Clarity. Just good, sweet sounding, warmish tone and Musical. Sound Stage was below average as were the dynamics, but that is below average for this group. I would say they are better then those. Very energetic and lively. Fun to listen to. Not bad as far as Musicality — a few times I cringed a bit — but mostly it was smooth sailing.
They run very hot and are not compatible with the Lyr 2. So these are clearly a step up.
JJ E88CC / 6922
JJ E88CC / 6922 / 6DJ8
JJ E88CC / 6922 Gold