New tubes - AudioNote OTO Line SE

Installed new tubes in my Audionote amp and 1.1 DAC
WOW ! The difference is night and day.
Soundstage has opened up and is the light and airy sound I expected but with deep, tight well controlled bass
The evo432 has come to life

Amazing what a little money spent in the correct area can provide

There’s a lot of debate around tubes, but even from my ‘objective’ viewpoint, and personal experience, different tubes can sound very different and it’s worth playing around with them.

A word of caution, though - ideally, when tube rolling, you should adjust the bias and gain to ensure that you maintain proper L/R stereo balance. Even matched pairs will differ a little from each other.

If you already know about this, please ignore my comments, but I’ll leave them here for the benefit of anyone who doesn’t.


I used to like original Mullard valves military spec. They were cheaper back then for NOS. What I didn’t like was the electricity bill from two pre amps and mono’d power amps…
Life’s simpler now.

Did you leave them on all the time? :grimacing:

Goodness no. It was expensive enough on electricity. I listened a lot as it made fabulous sound to my ears. This is it with one amp, the hart speakers didn’t need two like the Cremona’s before. I think I was too far down a rabbit hole then though looking for the next best thing. I have contentedly stepped off now and am happy with NAD and Tannoy. The other half is too, aesthetically of course. She knows that getting rid of tannoy drivers will cause a scene though haha.


I used to leave my integrated amp on all the time to avoid turning the tubes on and off and to keep the solid state output end up to temperature - the amp seems to open up a little more when it’s been on for 20-30 minutes and the temperature has stabilised. Then we got a smart meter and I realised that even if I had to replace the tubes every six months, it would still be cheaper than the cost of the energy from leaving it on! My wife was none too pleased about it either when I worked out the cost :grin:


I used to tell her that it saved the heating in the winter and she liked the glow of the valves with the lights low. She eventually clicked on.