Harma Cryo / 5881-HARMA CRYO
Harma Deep Cryogenic Treated valves offers the immense warmth and smooth distortion characteristics only normally found in very expensive NOS valves such as Mullards. The process involves taking the vacuum tubes and freezing them down to -312 f and soaking these for a minimum of 12 hours. Then the temperature is held at this low level for 24 hours. The vacuum tubes are then slowly brought up to normal levels over the next 12 hours. Metals respond very well to deep cryogenic process. The reasons are as follows. During the cooling or solidification phase of the manufacturing process, molecules are trapped in a haphazard pattern. This is down to stress caused in the bending and welding of the anode plate material. This random placement causes obstacles for electrons and when encountered this interference can cause noise, slow down electron flow and sound deterioration affecting the quality of the sound of the vacuum tube. At very cold temperatures (below -312Â°F), the molecules will align in a more uniform, compact structure through the removal of kinetic energy. When the material is returned to ambient temperature, this new uniform, compact pattern is maintained, Thus changing the structure of the nickel permanently. This process makes a permanent change and the benefits do not deteriorate over time or upon return to operating temperature, it changes the whole way the vacuum tube performs. The biggest benefits I have found has been a dramatic improvement in dynamic range. Bass response has been clearer with reduction in microphonics and clear more transparent highs.The Harma 5881-Cryo is the button based Russian military valve is the same valve which powered the Marshall and Mesa Boogie amps (STR 425) in the late eighties. This valve has bullet proof reliability and proven track record over decades of use in Russian military applications.
This valve was designed to withstand 3G as it was used in the servo motors of Russian fighter Jets. The valves are made with high quality military grade plate material for extended life in the most serve working conditions. Therefore have a reputation which is second to none in terms of clarity and reliability. These valves are of a much higher specification than current manufactured 5881 and each of these valves also has the Russian government stamp of approval for military applications.
So when used in Guitar amplifier applications this valve is vibration and rattle free and will give many years of excellent service.
The 5881-Cryo enhances the sound in a number of ways over the standard 5881 valve. The treble response has much more clarity and detail with more percussive attack. The valve also has a clearer midrange with a tighter more fluid bass response. The valve overall has more dynamics and a more musical response. The performance under distorted and saturated conditions transforms this valve into a valve worthy of the top division.
The Harma 5881 Cryo has a tight and dynamic lead sound with solo having a punchy and clear attack. The overdriven it sounds is warm and well balanced with excellent note definition. This will particularly suit fast players or music such as metal than involves extreme riffing. The top end has more smoothness than the standard item and this is a real benefit as some models of High gain amplifiers as can have an overly hard and bright treble. The 5881 is quite lean in this department in standard format. The good thing about the Cryo 5881 is that it maintains this leanness but just adds more clarity, thus making ideal for use in High gain circuits for Metal, Rock, Grunge and Fusion styles.
What the cryo treatment does to this valve is remove the haze that hampers the sound of the standard item. This transforms a valve known for it legendary reliability in to a valve that now sonically can compete with the best.
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