Tube Rolling Thread

Well I’m diving into tubes after a few years with solid state amps and I am wondering if we have an official Tube Rolling Thread. I’ve found a lot of threads that touch on it but none that are a one stop shop for newbs and pros to share their experience.
Seeing if there is any interest in a thread like this. Maybe we can get a new category made.


just to be sure…this is tube rolling for speakers…not headphones? we have one for headphones already… :slight_smile:

Dang can you link my search abilities must be lacking lately.

hmmm…perhaps we don’t have a thread dedicated to tube rolling in general and I’m just recalling all the tube discussions for particular tube amps. I suggest you ask a mod to move this into the headphone amp forum, eh?

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there is this one…

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Thanks and I fat thumbed the category lol
@mon any way we can move this to the headphone amp category?

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Tube rolling! After almost 2 months of trepidation, I have FINALLY swapped the Genalex Gold Lions with a matched pair of PS Vain 12AU7 tubes. I haven’t listened to the amp yet since the swap, I wanted to give them about an hour to settle in. Annnnnd… it’s time! I got these because I thought they would do well in a pre-amp application, which is basically what the TA-20 is doing for me now.

@ShaneD Well, here we go, dude! I have a matched set of Mullard 12AU7s ready to go if these don’t work out. I’ll let y’all know how we make out. Happy Friday…


Enjoy your weekend.

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Well. Here we are. I am at a loss, really. I went into this open minded, but with the notion that if there was going to be any real difference, it would be subtle. I was wrong. The changes are not only significant, they are remarkable.

Whereas the Gold Lions are warm, smooth and laid back, these PS Vains are strong, precise, more energetic and super clean. I opened up Notepad and typed out notes while I was experiencing them for the first time. Here they are:

"First session with TA-20 as a pre-amp, feeding the SP200 with new PS Vain Tubes and Sundara cans

  • Super clean. I mean immaculate. I wouldn’t say transparent (it’s a tube after all), but this is beautiful. There is a speed and precision coming through that frankly is surprising. You hear even the most subtle symbol hits and rim shots. Percussion really becomes part of the experience, even more so now.

  • There appears to be more depth in the sound satge. There are more things happening outside the headphones as well.

  • I noticed these tubes glow a little bit more than the Gold lions do, which is cool from an aesthetic standpoint. However, it would appear they did not produce quite the same amount of gain. Not by much, but it was noticeable. Not a big deal for the SP200, because you have headroom to spare. I had to go a little higher on the SP200’s volume knob, but it also gets you deeper into the amp’s sweet spot, so bass is really poppin’. I worked my way to the 1:30 position on the SP200 and the Sundaras are humming very nicely. Seriously, these sound better than I Have ever heard them sound before.

  • Sweeter, faster, tighter, more controlled bass than the Gold Lion tubes. Gold Lions have more punch and warmth in the bass and overall, actually. But this is more than enough. And I think it’s a better quality bass.

  • Mids are brought a bit more forward which changes the overall tonality of the presentation. I like it. Piano riffs are giving me chills. Acoustic guitar is heavenly.

  • Wonderful Highs. Crystal clear and super clean, no roll-off, no distortion, and so far no fatigue. "

I am very, very surprised and pleased by what has happened here. These tubes are fantastic. They are doing exactly what I hoped they would do for this XDuoo amp. This TA-20 / SP200 setup has become a killer combo! I am especially pleased by how the Sundara is taking to it. Fantastic.

Listen, I know this isn’t high end stuff here, but it isn’t bad either, and an upgrade like this is big for me. The tube swap has made this piece a lot better and has far exceeded any expectation I may have had going into it. And now, off for more testing!