I am using EH 6922s in my SP9 MKII - I think that is the way to go.
If you can get a pair of Tungsram 6922's (red print) give these a try. I found them to really open up my old SP-9MkII pre amp. I used EH 6922 and they were smoother than the stock Sovteks for sure. The Tungsrams are very transparent and have very deep and tight bass. They are a real sleeper of a tube.Lots of depth, air and detail. I liked them so much, Im still using a pair in my current LS25 pre, pass on the yellow print 6dj8 version, as they are not as good sounding IMO. :) Ken
Eagle- IMO, the DNA 0.5 is a great audio bargain (although that is not a news flash by any means. In my system, it worked with the SP9 MK2, and also worked when I went up the ladder with a BAT VK3i (which I also think has a great price/performance ratio). If your speakers/room do not demand the higher power, the 0.5 is somewhat smoother, and of course can be upgraded by SMcAudio to very much world class performance.
The Sp9 MKII has a really high gain in the phono stage of 67 db. It's been my experience thus far that low output MC carts have more than enough gain available to them. A HO moving coil or MM cart may have too much gain unless you open the unit up and swap out a resistor on the bottom of the unit. The stock change only results in a drop of 6 db.
If you use a HO MC cart, you may find that the stepped volume contol does not offer enough change in the percieved volume. One setting not being loud enough, the next click being too loud. One option would be to have the volume modded away from a stepped unit to a continual type.
Well, purchased a pair of Amperex NOS USN-CEP's from a reputable company that had test result and guarantees. Prior I had those grand dragons and they sounded dry, the voices were nasal and the bass was too tight. With the Amperex, the warmth came back, the voices sounded natural and the music had some pace to it. Amazing the difference that two little "light bulbs" make in the sound..... Highly recommend.....