Contact Kevin Deal at Upscale Audio.He sells the A.I units and he also sells and knows tubes.
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AI is very firm about only using Sovtek 6922 in the pre amp. Many , most tubes do not work in the 3A. So be advised that if you put other tubes old stock etc, you might find them noisey in just a few days. Experment if you must but be careful and prepared for bad results with tubes other than a Sovtec.
I find it hard to believe Sovteks are only recommended for the A.I. When I got my Rogue 99 with phono I had to replace the sovtek L.P.S. tubes because they were NOISEY!! and there wasnt anything wrong with them.I replaced them with Telefunkin 12AX7 tubes and they demoloished the Sovteks.I also replaced my amp EL-34 Sovteks with Svetlanas.HUGE improvement!!! I will NEVER waste my money on Sovteks again.Kevin Deal @ upscale audio will sell you what you need.He knows!! Stay away from Sovteks!!
the Sovtek tubes strength is durability not exceptional sound .While the A.I. M3A is fussy on what tubes it uses, there are stil a few better tube choices.BTW the A.I M3A has gone through small production upgrades each year since the 3A was introduced in 1996 and the current production model has adressed the problem of limited tube choices. Once again Kevin Deal is the tube guru and as well as sells the A.I line.He is unquestionably the absolute source for matching tubes with the M3A.If one may be looking for unmatched bargain tubes, then that may offer a different or even improved sound, but by no means an exceptional sound!You would not buy a mint used performance car and put budget tires on it,or would you?
Lihifiguy, I just tried last week. Times have changed. He would supply Sovtec 6922 but no NOS. All others like 12ax7 and 12au7 NOS he will supply. His web site even now states no NOS tubes for the 6922 series. I then called him and he said no! I am still searching for Amperex 7308's. Some guy in Hong Kong has them but I do not trust him. His site is http://wiwitubes.com/
Mi3491, Use the search section at Audio Asylum.I know that there are posts about other local tube stores that are reliable ,are highly recommended and will probably have what you want . At A.A. ,You might consider posting for other tube stores and state your experience. I also may have to resort to one of them after your update about Kevin.Take care.