6922 Tubes!

Hi everyone, There are many old threads about the 6922, I wanted to know what people are using currently that wont break the bank, ( ie...$150 per tube seems a lot). I need to buy 4 new ones for my phono preamp. Should I just order a set of tubes from the manufacturer (Manley Labs) it seems they like to use Electro Harmonics and they are very affordable, so what does a $100 tube do?? because the originals were pretty nice sounding. I just dont want to overspend on tubes for the unit/system im using them in.  Help.

Matt M
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I have a MAGI Phonomenal preamp; it's all handwired PTP and uses four 6DJ8 types; one pair for input buffering (I think) and the other for gain and output. The topology is evidently similar to the Manley steelhead, but without as many front panel configurations, and not nearly as expensive. 

I got it used with a pair of 6922 and a pair of Bugle Boy 6DJ8s. It was a bit noisy and I went on a quest to quiet it down. I got a second set of 6922s. It didn't really lower noise significantly while idling, but when the music came on the noise was unnoticeable and the music was very nice.

Then, to see if I could lower the noise I got a pair of NOS 7308s off eBay for around $25 each. I tried them in various positions, but didn't notice any real difference, but they were at least as good as the ones they replaced. 

Finally, since Marc Voigt, designer of the MAGI Phonomenal, recommends 6N1P tubes (an ultra-low noise 6922-type) for this setup, I researched and concluded that the sweet spot is the Voskhod NOS Soviet Military surplus 6N1P with the rocket logo, made in the '80s. A USA dealer will want around $16 each. I got four of them from a Russian dealer on eBay for $21.95 shipped. I got them this past June and they have occupied all four sockets ever since. Dead quiet, musical, *excellent* dynamic range. 

So before you pay hundreds for some NOS tubes, check w/Manley that 6N1Ps will be OK, and then order some Voskhod Rocket Logo military surplus 6N1Ps. Although I bought them through eBay, the sale and shipping was facilitated by Tubes-Store.com. Their prices may be even better now. Prices are so low that even if the shipping cost as much as the tubes, it's easily worth it.
I've had very good luck with Amperex Orange Globe 6DJ8's. IMHO close to Amperex 6922 PQ in sound quality, but a LOT more economical. In my system, while the Russian rocket logo 6N1P's were indeed very quiet, they're a bit sterile for my tastes. I think I have a quad of those in my accessory drawer somewhere. BTW, there's a quad of Orange Globe's (made in Holland) for sale on EBay ($75). Seller has excellent 100% feedback. Check out Joe's Tube Lore on Audio Asylum for the rundown. If I didn't already have a pretty good back-up stash, I'd be all over it. Of course, YMMV. Good luck and Happy Listening!
I had been having  issues with noisy tubes in my preamp, mostly NOS Amperex, and was getting sick of shelling out big bucks for NOS tubes. Went with some JJ 6922 Gold Pins from The Tubestore, an extra $5 for balanced triodes made them $29.95 each. Hands down the quietest 6922's I've ever used and they sound excellent.
A good current option especially if your preamp uses a lot of tubes, mine takes 6 6922's.
You would need to check with Manley for sure, but Kevin Deal at Upscale Audio turned me on to, several years ago, the National (Matsushita) 7DJ8 tubes. I have used these in dozens of different preamps, phono stages, DACs that use 6DJ8/6922/7308 tubes with never a problem. Plus they are KILLER sounding. One of favorite tubes.

The platinum version, (the best testing and sounding) are only $35 each.

In my system, while the Russian rocket logo 6N1P’s were indeed very quiet, they’re a bit sterile for my tastes. I think I have a quad of those in my accessory drawer somewhere.

Well, yeah. I can see your point, but it can also be related to system matching. Not long after I got my 6N1Ps, I put in a Denon DL-160 I had lying around, and it suddenly sounded engaging and dynamic. Then I got a Shelter 201, and it wowed me with its transparent and fulsome midrange, and strong but not overwhelming bass. Now I’m using an AT150 with Shibata tip mounted to a cherry wood headshell, and the combination is marvelous. The 6N1Ps may sound a little sterile with your current setup, but maybe if you warm things up a little elsewhere (wood headshell, warmer mat, etc.) it may help you appreciate the lower noise floor and broader dynamic range that the 6N1Ps bring to the party.
@mofimadness Thanks for that tip I bookmarked that page to try those out on my next retube, the price is right!
I got a full set of Philips 7DJ8 from Upscale Audio and I'm very pleased with them in my Chinook. Especially at $40 a tube, the price wasn't bad at all. You can save a little money and try a pair on the input stage (rear tubes) of the Chinook. Eva told me that this is where you'll have the most effect on the sound.
I've got the same Phillips 7DJ8s as @kgturner in my BAT VK-3i (also from Kevin).  They sound fantastic and won't break the bank.  Definitely talk to Kevin.  He may have specific recommendations for your equipment and he won't try to steer you to something more expensive than you want.
+ 1 for the National (Matsushita) 7DJ8 tubes from Upscale Audio.
I recently purchased a pair of white label Amperex 7308. While not dead quiet, the noise is minimal (only detectable within inches of the speakers) and not apparent when music is playing. More importantly, they are highly musical. Not cheap, but I only needed two.
Thanks for the suggestion @johnnyb53 , but it took a fair amount of trial and experimentation to settle on a combo that works for me. For TT set-up I'm using the AT150 cart with Audio Horizons TP 8.0 phono pre; and went through quite a few listening sessions with the preamp lid off. That way I could change out tubes in order to do some A/B/A type testing once deciding on a reference point. Were it not for the hassle of finding/packing them up, I'd give those 6N1P's to anyone willing to pay for shipping. As I very often say YMMV.  
I am using Tungsram PCC88 in my Modwright DAC.  It's very musical from top to bottom, great top end, deep bass and gorgeous mid range. You can get platinum grade from Upscale Audio for $50.00.  
FWIW, the Russian equivalent to the 6DJ8/6922 is the 6N23. The 6N1P has the same pinout but is not the same tube.
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bradf, thanks for sharing the article.  Very informative. 

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Your welcome lalitk
Brent has incorporated a great deal of tube info on his site. Makes for some good reading and well informed purchases
Regarding the Russian 6N23 tubes, I can attest to the fact that they are awesome, but the year they were made and the internal specifics are very important. I would not buy just anything on Ebay described as 6N23. I own several pairs from 1974 and 1975, and they were not super cheap. I paid around $200 for a matched pair of Reflektor ’75 6N23P SWGP Silver Shields which are considered to be the very best. Prices go down from there. A matched 1975 Voskhod gray shield SWGS pair I think was closer to $100. I own Telefunken’s, Phillips, and other sought after NOS tubes. The 6N23 tubes really are that good if you find the right ones. Musical, holographic, and good detail. Just make sure you buy them from a seller you trust. Ebay makes me nervous when it comes to tubes.

There is an extensive thread over on head-fi discussing different 6922 tubes with emphasis on the Russian 6N23’s. It is a lot of reading, and many of the tubes at the top of the list are very expensive, but this should get you up to speed. It is a headphone amp focused discussion, but I use mine in my living room system and it translates.

And as others have said, you can trust Brent Jessee.

Mullard NOS, is the best 6922 I've ever had, and while it is also the most expensive, it has lasted longer than any tube I've ever had. Got it from Brent Jessee.

Thanks for posting the shoot out artical on variants of 6DJ8
Just ordered 6 of the National Matsushita 7DJ8 platinums from Upscale should be here next Tuesday. Excited to see how they sound!
I'm thinking of getting a pair of that 7DJ8 tube myself, jond. It's a slightly higher voltage version of the 6DJ8, and is used in my line pre-amp.
When I bought my steelhead years ago, I installed some expensive siemens CCa and absolutely loved the resultant improvements.  After reading up on the Matsushita 7DJ8, I installed some just to try them out.  Amazingly, I have never reinstalled the siemens CCa.  They have been in the steelhead now for a couple years.   The Matsushitas are great tubes. 
Got my tubes today thanks Upscale and USPS for super fast shipping and delivery! Installed and fired them up about 45 minutes ago, right off the bat I'm getting greater transparency, a bit more airy high frequencies without brightness, and a touch more depth to the soundstage. My close quarters setup prevents any real soundstage depth so every little bit is appreciated. Great sounding tubes already and if they improve with burn in that will be a bonus! Thanks @mofimadness  for the tip!
I notice that Upscale offers cryo treatment of the tube. What is the claim of that for tubes?
Hi Eric,
Regarding Cryo treatment, I found the following link for Tyra Labs, which  briefly explains there cryo process and the electrical benefits. 
I thought you may be interested, being they are located in Lake Oswego, Oregon; semi close to your local.


Wow, thanks a million Brad. Yeah, Lake Oswego is only about a half hour drive from me. Jena Labs has a dealer in Portland too, Echo Audio. Rather than paying Upscale more for each tube, maybe I can take all my tubes to Jena and have them treated. I think they have a minimum charge for the service, no matter the number of items, assuming they'll all fit in the freezing apparatus. Maybe I'll look into having my brass snare drums and cymbals done too!
Even though there claim to being an affordable process, I'm not sure what there definition means. I say this based on the cost of there cables, etc.
I'm considering cryo treatment for some tubes I have, more for increasing the longevity then SQ since NOS tubes are getting more and more expensive and harder to find. Of course any benefit in SQ would be a plus.  I need to do some further research regarding cryo of tubes.
I remember reading somewhere that due to the difference in the temperature coefficient of materials the process ruined a set of IC's; the shield contracted greater then the conductor and or dielectric. JENA claims that there liquid process obtains temperatures much lower then the gaseous process.
Actually I think the term "expansion/contraction coefficient of materials" should replace the term "temperature coefficient of materials" denoted in my above post
Liquid nitrogen is actually not much colder than nitrogen vapor. I also suspect Jena Labs uses the vapor for most of the Cryo process with a dip into the nitrogen liquid for a brief time at the very end. Otherwise thermal shock would be an issue. Furthermore the temperature difference between vapor and liquid within the dewar is only around 20 degrees F so there may be a bit of an exaggeration regarding the temperature advantage of direct submersion. Of course even lower temperatures could be achieved by pressurizing the dewar. In addition, the ramp down time, dwell and ramp up times are probably more significant than the temperatures in terms of effectiveness. Thermal shock would almost certainly occur if the tube or cable or whatever was immersed in liquid nitrogen right away without the slow ramp down and dwell times in vapor. Another indication that temperature per se is probably overrated is that very good results can be obtained with the home freezer, leaving the tubes or cables or whatever in the freezer for 48 hours. You can even ramp up in the main refrigerator section for 6 hours. I estimate that home freezing at -10 F can get within 80% of the results of real -300 F Cryo. Tell all your friends.

Geoff, Is your information about the putative benefits of refrigerator and home freezer temperatures based on real world direct experience or on what you have read elsewhere?  Back when I did some reading on the physical effects of cryo treatment, it seems to me the papers I could access state that there is no effect unless you go "all the way".  And I even think liquid nitrogen is not technically cold enough, but I may be wrong on that last bit.

Wiki says that cryo treatment of "metals" occurs at temperatures less than -190 degrees C or -320 degrees F.  N liquifies at -195 C/-320F.  At temps below -210 C/-346 F, LN freezes.

So, it does appear that the benefits of cryo treatment can be achieved at temperatures "around" where N vapor becomes LN.  Nothing on the internet about home refrigerator or freezer temperatures, however.

5,221 posts
01-19-2017 10:30am
Geoff, Is your information about the putative benefits of refrigerator and home freezer temperatures based on real world direct experience or on what you have read elsewhere? Back when I did some reading on the physical effects of cryo treatment, it seems to me the papers I could access state that there is no effect unless you go "all the way". And I even think liquid nitrogen is not technically cold enough, but I may be wrong on that last bit.

I was one of the very first in the US to use Cryo for audio applications and one of first to use the trusty home freezer for audio applications. Gee, there’s no info on the Internet? Imagine that.  I suppose folks could use liquid hydrogen or vapor which would colder but as I just intimated what's the point? Besides IIRC hydrogen has its risks, whereas nitrogen is relatively safe. But don't try this at home, kids.

Hi, geoffkait- "Besides IIRC hydrogen has its risks......"? I’d say you remember correctly, unless one intends to launch a Saturn rocket, or is planning a disaster. =8^) (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_R7GoRcuDzA)
Purchased the chinook a couple Of Months Ago. I have the special edition which the only difference is that it comes with NOS Phillips ecc88 tubes. Let it break in and to my disappointment there was no definition in the mid bass. Everything else was amazing. Ordered a set of the stock tubes from Manley and everything fell into place .smooth detailed transparent expansive Soundstage. I am now a believer in using the tubes the designer voiced the piece with.