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Wathen Cryotone Tubes?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by 600 Ohms, Feb 13, 2020.

  1. 600 Ohms

    600 Ohms Supporting Member

    Jan 4, 2012
    Anyone try these? Their website has very little useful information but they appear to be an audiophile company that has started catering to musical instrument amplifiers. My eyes want to roll at the very mention of “audiophile”, but as far as newly made tubes, I’m always open. They seem to have some kind of cryo process that I’m naturally dubious about but was looking for people with experience.

    Swart seem to like them a lot.

    Wathen Deep Cryogenics
    pglaser01 likes this.
  2. ihixulu

    ihixulu Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2000
    South Shore MA
    They freeze the tubes to make them what exactly?

    Somehow, I can see someone selling frozen speaker cables in the near future.
  3. Mingo Sanders

    Mingo Sanders

    Mar 11, 2008
    Austin, TX
    I can see someone selling tanks of pressurized 78% nitrogen to optimize entire listening areas.
  4. Passinwind

    Passinwind I know nothing. Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    They're way ahead of you... Yel_wink.gif

    One vendor (of many, I assume): TFA Speaker Cables -
    Bassgeer, Coolhandjjl and wave rider like this.
  5. ihixulu

    ihixulu Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2000
    South Shore MA
    Bassgeer, David Jayne and Passinwind like this.
  6. Valveman

    Valveman Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 3, 2012
    Maple Grove, MN
    I found this to be a good article about cryogenic treatment of vacuum tubes from Phil Taylor at Effectrode.

    Conclusion from the article: The bottom line is that cryogenic treatment is no remedy for inferior materials or defects in tube construction and it won’t transform a rebranded modern manufacture tube into a genuine N.O.S. Mullard a or Sylvania tube—it just doesn’t work that way.
  7. Pre-warming them with hot water bottles has been my thing. ;)

  8. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    Telefunken tubes are Manufactured by JJ and then cryo treated in the US.

    TELEFUNKEN Introduces New Black Diamond Tubes at Summer NAMM - TELEFUNKEN Elektroakustik

    I am agnostic on the benefit of cryo treating a tube. I have bought quite a few JJ ECC803S, but I don't plan to buy any Telefunkens. Telefunken ECC83-TK tube looks like the JJ ECC83S, which I don't particularly care for in bass amps.
    BassikBrad likes this.
  9. 600 Ohms

    600 Ohms Supporting Member

    Jan 4, 2012
    I just looked at the price and I would be surprised if anyone here took a chance.
  10. FugaziBomb


    Jun 5, 2017
    I've been rolling pre-amp tubes for a while now. I've tried NOS GE 5751s and12 AX7s, Northern Electric 12AX7s, etc and in a blind test the Sovtek Large Plates win every time in V1 of my Demeter pre. Kind of a bummer, because I've dropped stupid money on audiophile tubes only to be disappointed. I've heard that for what bass preamps do, high end tubes don't really have as much of an impact as they would in a set top receiver or high end stereo set up.

    We are talking preamp tubes, right?
  11. 600 Ohms

    600 Ohms Supporting Member

    Jan 4, 2012
    They do both.
  12. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    Bummer? IMHO you should be thrilled that you don't need to drop any more cash on expensive tubes.

    A lot of people like the Sovtek 12AX7LPS. To my ears the current production Mullard ECC83 is very similar in the mids and highs, but is a bit more clear and focused in the low end. I have rolled the 12AX7LPS in several bass and guitar amps, but so far it's gone back in the box.

    In bass amps I often like the Mullard in V1 followed by a long-plate JJ ECC803S. This combination has worked well for me in several bass amps, but not every tube position in every amp benefits from tube rolling. I rolled a bunch of current production tubes through my Trace Elliot V-Type and wound up reinstalling the OEM tubes in V1, V3, and V4. I left a Gold Lion ECC83/B759 in V2 as it opened up the mids a little, but the difference was so minimal that I struggled with the decision since the B759 is sort of a pricey tube.
  13. Rabidhamster


    Jan 15, 2014
    Cryogenic treatment of metal isn’t snake oil, it has scientifically proven effects. It’s used in the aerospace field quite a bit.

    Whether or not it will lengthen the life of the tubes enough to be worth doing it, or affect tone significantly I’m not sure.

    I don’t know if relieving stresses of the metal interior of the tube would be of benefit.
  14. FugaziBomb


    Jun 5, 2017
    Bummer that I did in the first place...
    Wasnex likes this.
  15. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    I like Electro-Harmonics 6CA7's as an alternative to most EL34's, 6L6GC's and 6550's: clean headroom without harshness, when powered and biased properly. My point? Like the conclusion above, I believe there is a lot more difference from manufacturer to manufacturer than there is with one manufacturer's regular tubes compared to the same manufacturer's cryo treated tubes.

    BTW: with the temperature of vacuum tubes when an amplifier is turned on approaching that of a small space heater, and with the heat generated by the six 6550's in an Ampeg SVT being hot enough to roast meat, aren't any supposed benefits of cryo treatment gone the first time you install them and flip the power switch?
    sing-modulator likes this.
  16. Jim C

    Jim C Is that what you meant to play or is this jazz? Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    To me high end pre-amp tubes are original Telefunken, Amperex, or Mullard.
    Something about those 60's European tubes that I like.

    Why would making the metal parts in a tube more robust change the tone.
    For that matter does it really make them last longer?

    I've had some motorcycle transmission gears cryo treated as it sometimes is the only way to make them live when you are using a part designed for 75 HP and are now feeding it nearly twice that.
    600 Ohms, astrah and 4stringsjack like this.
  17. Tim Skaggs

    Tim Skaggs

    Sep 28, 2002
    Audiophile quality tubes in a bass amp? Isn’t that something like putting Nappa Leather seats in your weekend rock-crawler Jeep? Will they stand up to the signal coming out of my Big Muff? I think audiophile quality gear makes sense for multi-instrument recordings with 20Hz - 20KHz frequency range, but use in bass amps for live music doesn’t seem like it would be all that noticeable.

    On the other hand, any tube type gear used in a recording environment might benefit, if these tubes add as much performance quality as their price indicates they will...
    600 Ohms and sing-modulator like this.
  18. mikewalker

    mikewalker Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2017
    Canada, Eh!
    Personally, I am waiting for the crowd-sourced Quantum-accelerated nanosphere decoherent tensor blockchain variants...;)
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2020
    sing-modulator and agedhorse like this.
  19. Sure why not. Cryo everything. Somebody was doing strings for awhile, maybe still? How about pickups? I'm gonna freeze 'em. 9v batteries for effects? Yeah! Pedals?!?!? : D
    thetragichero likes this.
  20. salcott

    salcott Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2007
    NYC, Inwood.
    My amp guy laughs very hard at this sort of thing.
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2020
    David Jayne likes this.

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