New Reissue Mullard EL34

After dissatisfied with the Sovtek 6L6WGC vacuum tubes in my Leben CS600, I bought a matched quad new reissue Mullard EL34 from ebay. After break-in them for more than 100 hours, they sounded better than the Sovtek 6L6WGC in my system. Although the bass is not as strong as 6L6WGC, they have beautiful forward midrange which focus more on upper mid and high. In my system, they sounded bright. I also heard sibilance. I listened to Jazz and Pop most of the time and some orchestra occasionally. Vocal’s baritone is very important to me but it is barely audible with the Mullard EL34.  Too bad. I really thought these tubes will works in my system. Guess I will be doing more tube rolling.

Below are the photos of these tubes.

ND6_0805

ND6_0806

ND6_0814

ND6_0816

ND6_0996

 

These photos are taken using Nikon D600 Full Frame DSLR camera with Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 28mm f/1.8G Lens.

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Sovtek 6L6WGC Vacuum Tubes

The Leben D600 integrated amplifier comes with matched quad stock Sovtek 6L6WGC vacuum tubes. After break-in them for more than 100 hours, they don’t sound good in my system. They have the typical 6L6 sound. Strong bass and extended high with sibilance in my system. The midrange sounded recessed due to strong bass and high. I am using Harbeth M30.1 speakers. M30.1 is a neutral sounding speaker. It very transparent too. My Creek Destiny 2 (solid state) integrated amplifer sounded better than CS600 with Sovtek 6L6WGC. Destiny 2 has a very balance sound with just the right bass, mid and high. And no sibilance whatsoever. It is one of the best value for money integrate amplifier in the market. This means, I will be doing some tube rolling to find the most suitable tubes for my system. Below are the photos of those tubes taken in total darkness.

Sovtek 6L6WGC Vacuum Tubes
Sovtek 6L6WGC Vacuum Tubes. This photo is taken with exposure of 15 seconds. This is what the tubes looks like in total darkness.
Sovtek 6L6WGC Vacuum Tubes
Sovtek 6L6WGC Vacuum Tubes. This photo is taken with exposure of 30 seconds.
Sovtek 6L6WGC Vacuum Tubes
Sovtek 6L6WGC Vacuum Tubes. This photo is taken with exposure of 68 seconds. Our eyes will never see this kind of colors. This is the fun of photography.

These photos are taken using Nikon D600 DSLR camera.

Unboxing A New Leben CS600 Stereo Amplifier

I was very thrilled to received the box containing the Leben CS600 stereo amplifier the other day from the delivery man. I ordered the CS600 more than two months ago and waited patiently for it’s arrival. The waiting was dreadful. The World Cup did help by diverting my attention away when waiting for it’s arrival.

The box was quite big and very heavy, about 25kg (55lbs). The amplifier itself is about 22.5kg (49lbs). I nearly strained my back when moving the box into my apartment.

The box containing the Leben CS600.
The box containing the Leben CS600.
Leben CS600 Box
The box containing the Leben CS600.
The top protective layer after opening the box.
The top protective layer after opening the box.

I was surprised to see another smaller box inside.

The actual box containing Leben CS600
The actual box containing Leben CS600
Leben CS600 is wrapped in plastic.
Leben CS600 is wrapped in plastic.

When I lifted the CS600 out from it’s box, I was surprised by how heavy  the amplifier is. Look at what is hidden underneath the amplifier.

A small box containing the power cord is located inside the box underneath CS600.
A small box containing the power cord is located inside the box underneath CS600.
The stock power cord is neatly wrapped inside the box.
The stock power cord is neatly wrapped inside the box.
Top side of the Leben CS600
Top side of the Leben CS600.
Rear side of the Leben CS600.
Rear side of the Leben CS600.
Front side of Leben CS600.
Front side of Leben CS600.
Inside of the Leben CS600 with the top cover removed.
Inside of the Leben CS600 with the top cover removed.

Those huge transformers at the rear side of the amplifiers contributed a lot to the amplifier’s weight.

Inside of the Leben CS600 with the top cover removed.
Inside of the Leben CS600 with the top cover removed.
A small Torx key is included to open the top cover for tubes rolling.
A small Torx key is included to open the top cover for tubes rolling.

 

The Leben CS600 operation manual.
The Leben CS600 operation manual.
The Leben CS600 operation manual.
The Leben CS600 operation manual.

An easier to understand Output Tube Setting Table is located at http://jeffsplace.me/wordpress/?p=141

The Leben CS600 operation manual.
The Leben CS600 operation manual.
The Leben CS600 operation manual.
The Leben CS600 operation manual.
The Leben CS600 brochure.
The Leben CS600 brochure.
The Leben CS600 brochure.
The Leben CS600 brochure.

Overall, the packaging is very good. The CS600 is fully protected by the two layers of boxes. The build quality of CS600 is first rated. As far as I can tell, the stock Sovtek 6L6WGC vacuum tubes which comes ready installed in the amp are in good condition. I am in the process of break-in these tubes right now.