Battubes....the begining


I sure would appreciate some help with finding the right tubes for my BAT vk5i.

A lot of talk surrounds the Amperex tubes. I'm coming fast to the opinion a good bit is hype. I'd like to know the truth.... and I can't afford to do my own testing for every amperex tube out there... Yep. I read joe's tube guide online... informative.

it'll take and run with 6922's, 6dj8's, and the 7308's. . . . and I know from talking with Victor at BAT it only needs six for signal development.... the other two are shunts. "They do nothing." says Victor

Is it all as simple as put in new tubes and leave it on?

Just buy tested tubes that test strong?

Upscale audio says there is no sonic difference between any of the amperex tubes.... green, white, etc... USN, JAN, PQ.... they were just made for certain issues.... USN & JAN for the military, PQ only made in '65....and he said get a different brand which I won't mention here (just to let you know though, they are real cheap), and leave it on. Don't turn it off....

I give up.... and solid state is looking better all the time.... but I'd hate to change again as I truly love the sound this preamp can put out, if there is a solution, and I'm sure there is....

What's your experience with the vk5i and tubes...

Please help. Thanks a lot.
Actually, you can cross the 6DJ8 off your list. According to Victor: "We do not recommend the 6DJ8's because they overstress the filament supply - our circuits are designed for 6922's, that have better electrical specs." That should help narrow your choices a bit.

I have had good luck with Amperex PQ white label 7308s and a pair of TungSol 5881s. You are correct about the Amperex stuff. The prices are totally out of control! As a measure of stemming the cost of replacement tubes, I'm going to try some cryoed 6H23s in the coming weeks. I've heard some good things about them.
Ive posted a few threads along the way regarding my old BAT 5i. I basically tried The Amperex PQ 6922 and PQ 7308 White label including the USN labeled tubes in all 6 line signal and the 2 shunt positions...then on to Siemens 7308...then mix and match with Tungsrams Red print 6922 and Ediswan 6DJ8's. I think the Siemens were the most to my liking as they were the most linear sounding and least bloated in the bass( the Ediswans too) I found this pre amp to be very smooth, with superb bass, but a little too closed in sounding for my taste on the upper end...hence the tube rolling, I ultimately prefered my former ARC LS15 in the mids and highs, but it suffered in the bass and depth of soundstage by comparison to the BAT..

The best 5881 I found was the TungSol 5881 by a big margin. It gets this pre amps mids almost halographic, but still doesnt open up the upper freqs.

If I were looking to roll tubes in the 5i now..I would definately try the Cryo'd 6H23n-eb SLNM avail from ATSI. I put a trio in my PH3SE phono pre amp and they are tremendously good!..I like them so much that I sent my Siemens early CCa's packing!

You should also make sure you use an excellent aftermarket cord. The Electraglide Ultra Khan Statement II Rev/Revised is awesome on the BAT. Really makes it dynamic and more transparent.The UK2 Statement R/R price has come down to a point that make it very accessable on the used market. That pre amp deserves an excellent cord.

I also Very Highly suggest you turn it off and dont leave it on 24/7... A 20-30 min warm up will get you going just fine, but leaving it on all the time will run your tubes( all 10 of them!) down very quickly. You dont want that. :) Good luck!
I heard a AR Ls25mk1 with a matched quad of 6922 electro harmonix and it sounded beautiful. At 65.00 for the quad, I would leave it on 24/7 and change out the tubes anually.
I have all bat equipment. The only thing that uses 6922's is my phono stage. I've had great luck with the Amperex 7308's.

One other thought, if you love the bat sound but don't like the tube rolling, go to one of their pre's with the 6h30 tube. A 31SE might be just the ticket for you.

If you're curious on this, search on the 30/31se and 50/51SE...send me a note to.

Good luck...your vk5i is a awesome preamp.
Check out my system....avoid 6DJ8 tubes...they buzzed big time in my 5i.
I'm using four matched sets of 1963 and 1964 7308 Amperex PQ (white label/with shield) small signal tubes and one set of 1957 Tungsol 5881's. It's by far the best sound that I've gotten out of my Bat vk5i preamp--great detail, dynamics, and bass with holographic highs. I've tried sets of the green label amperex (1976) and the orange globe (1967). The orange globe is way better than the green label. I've also tried 3 pair of new JAN Sylvania-the real stuff- not rebranded- 7308 (1977)small signal tubes that I stumbled upon in my area- (about like green amperex in pedigree). I suspect an ulterior motive, if Kevin Deal says that there's no difference between Amperex tubes. I've bought several sets of 12au7 tubes from Kevin about 5 years ago. Recently, he told me he won't even tube a Bat vk5i with Amperex tubes because of some past problem with a customer. I've had mine in my preamp for one and one half years, with no problems. Also, alot of your information is incorrect. For example, Amperex white label PQ's were made starting in 1959. The oranage around 1966. The green about 1970. I'd recommend a little more research. A good place to start is copying "Joe's tube lore" or talking to Andy @ Vintage Tube Services. Also, I turn off my preamp when it's not in use. It takes about 30 minutes to fully warm up. Leaving a tubed preamp on 24/7 will burn up the tubes in a matter of a few months. Good luck! Sincerely, Stan