Vintage Cal Audio DAC

Planning on pulling out my old Cal Audio Alpha DAC, and using it thru my Sennheiser HDV 820’s unbalanced analog inputs (RCA). The source will be a TASCAM SS-CDR250N media player, connected to the Cal Audio via it’s coax connection.

What 12AX7 tubes would you use in the Cal Audio? I have a pretty wide variety to try, including vintage Brimar, Mullard, and Yugo’s. I’m sure any will give that tube warm midrange, but also looking for some smooth brightness. Appreciate your thoughts before I start rolling tubes. Thanks!

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You should roll a few and see which you like. I’d also consider 12AT7 variants as well.

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I loved the CAL Delta/Alpha combo. Had it for many years. The GE5751 black plates worked great in that.

So, I’ve compared the Delta/Alpha combo to the TASCAM CDR250N with balanced analog XLR connection…both connected to the Sennheiser HDV820. Very hard to tell them apart. Volume level is identical, but the balanced XLR has a little more open sound…better soundstage.