OPps I spelled Amperex wrong. Let the games begin.
16 responses Add your response
South: I don't know what you are using the Sovteks in but I am using a pair of Svetlana 300B's in an Audion amp that to me also sound better with old production Soviet 6922 equivalents (which are dissed by most tubophiles) because of the same reasons (added dynamics and clarity). I have some of the "cherished" 6922's such as Amperex White label USA PQ's, etc. but find them too soft in the mix. They do however sound nice with a pair of more crisp JJ 300B's that I just picked up. I am not willing to "tell all" about my favorite NOS tubes at this point as I am in the process of scarfing up 50-75,000 hours of them (minimum) to hold me over until I travel on to the other side. I will recommend the Svetlana 300B's from Conus Audio though, as they are specially selected and come with a six month warranty (they are beautiful sounding tubes). I plan on keeping my current amp and just having it rebuilt as needed (I sold some 25 year old amps - Mac 30's - in the 80's that were still going strong due to proper maintenance) and would like to pick up a push/pull amp such as an Audiomat in the future. I like solid state as well, but just cannot afford the stuff that really sounds good. Tubes are a cheaper way to go for me in order to get the sound that I enjoy.
Well, the favorite NOS tube really depends, to a large extent, on the equipment involved, and what it's mated to in the system. For my Jadis JP80 preamp, my favorites are Telefunkens for the 12AX7s and Amperex Bugle Boys for the 6DJ8s in the MC stage, as I prefer a rich, balanced sound. For the JA80 amps, I've liked both Teles and Mullards for the 12AU7 and 12AX7s (the Teles are smoother, the Mullards had a little more punch and energy--can you imagine being obsessive enough to change those tubes depending on the music you were going to play?), and MO Valve KT88s for the output tubes (wonderfully rich in the midrange and upper bass). However, were I running the JA80s into a speaker with a dark or rich midrange/upper bass, like my old Duntech Princesses, I'd probably opt for Tung Sol or the old ARC Phillips 6550s instead, as the KT88s were too much of a good thing in that case. For my Audio Logic DAC, the 6922/6DJ8s don't seem to matter as much to the sound, so I use Sovteks, but the 12AU7s make a big difference. Audio Logic supplies Mullards, I find them lively but with a glare in my system, so I use Telefunkens instead, which seem to have a more balanced frequency response in the unit. I'm curious to see others' favorites, particularly in Jadis equipment.
In my system i found the bugle boys were a poor choice as they sounded a little flat my system is a little dark. The mullard (english not holland) branded RCA provided better dynamics and extension while creating a 3d sound stage and natural tone the sovetechs are not capable of(in my experience.) These tubes however tend to be microphonic and may not work for you however I have substituted many and always return to the mullards.
South: I plan on ordering a new production Tesla 6922 that has had mixed reviews at AA. How a tube sounds does depend on the amps design (including the other tubes) and the system itself, not to mention indiviudal taste. I would guess however that there are some "universal" duds out there. I also lucked out on Ebay the other day and picked up a 6922 branded as GE that is either a Siemens or a Telefunken. Can't wait to give it a try. I am fortunate in that the Audion only requires one 6922 as singles are easier to pick up. You may want to search the Audio Asylum forums and see if you can find any feedback on tube rolling in your Anthem.
Dekay; are you comparing Sovtek 6922 pre-amp tubes to 300B amp tubes? I have an SF Line 2 pre-amp, and I like the stock 6922 Sovteks-- very neutral and detailed; some say sterile and boring. But just yesterday I put in a set of Valvo 6DJ8's (at twice the price of Sovteks) and am already noticing a slightly more "tubey" sound, which in this case could be good. The Valvos are smoother, warmer, more detailed, and a bit more prominent in mids and low treble in this pre-amp. These changes are subtle, but I'm starting to think pretty worthwhile-- too soon to tell for sure. FWIW, in their new Special Edition pre-amps, SF is using the Valvos. Cheers. Craig
Craig: I recently picked up an Audion 300B stereo amp that uses (one) 6922 and (one) 5687 as well as a pair of 300B's. I have three sets of output tubes so far (stock Chinese mystery tubes, Svetlana's and JJ/Tesla's) and find that I prefer a different 6922 with each set of 300B tubes. The sharper sounding Sovtek or better yet the old production Soviet 6H23EB with the softer Svetlana 300B's and the old fuller/softer sounding Amperex PQ and standard/USA white label 6922 with the more strident JJ and Chinese 300B's. So, I am comparing the sound of these combinations of tubes. It's kind of funny in that I never rolled tubes in my hifi amps in the 70's and 80's but I did roll them in my Fender Guitar amps in order to get the sound that I was looking for. It's a lot more difficult to chose now that I am not basing my opinion solely on the sound of a Strat or Telecaster. LOL. I am also trying out different 5687's with black plate designs. Sylvania Gold murders the mystery National 5687 that came with the amp (which sounded very murky) and I have a Tung Sol black plate 5687 on the way. The Tung Sols are readily available but I see people paying very high prices on Ebay for them. Go figure. There are a couple of people that I met on the web that also have the Audion Silver Night and we will be pooling info as each of us try out different combinations. I have also found that it helps to clean the pins on the tubes with alcohal and if needed a brush.