First Sound Preamp Owner's - What NOS tubes?????

Of those that own First Sound Presence preamps, what NOS tubes are you using in your unit? What sonic character does the tube(s) yield?

Thanks, from another new First Sound owner.

What don't you like about the sound you have now and what do you hope to attain?
Hello R,

Why not call Emmanual Go, (the manufacturer) and ask him yourself? He is likely to know better than anyone else.

He is likely at CES, so maybe try towards the end of next week.


I don't think he is at CES as I spoke to him yesterday and while his gear might be there, I'm pretty sure he isn't. He also mentioned he loved the EH 6922 gold pins is his preamps.
Siemens 7308's. No question.
Congrats on your FS purchase!

I've found the Amperex NOS tubes to be outstanding. I have 6922s and, 7308s, both PQ and USN. Some are Holland, (under the Philips lable) and some are USA made. All are white lable. These are sonicaly even, clear, extended and seemingly un-colored.

Emmanuel, at last communication, seemed to like the less expensive, and currently produced Electro-Harmonik tubes. Sadly, these (EH 6922 Gold Pins) don't seem to work as well in my system. I still have apair just sitting here. :( Email me if you want them.

I have also tried the Ei 6dj8, with good results. These are very surprising, considering the cost is about $20 for a pair! They are not the same as the NOS Amperex tubes, but at 8 -10 times LESS than the Amperex, they are pretty darned good.

good luck with your new toy. :-)

I've tried Siemens 7308 "D" Getters (1965), Siemens 6922 "D" Getters (1959), Amperex 6922 PQ USA White Label, and Amperex 6922 PQ Pinch Waist "D" Getter, and Phillips 6922 SQ in the First Sound Presence Deluxe II.

I preferred the Amperex 6922 PQ USA White Label tubes. They have bass equal to the Siemens, and are equally extended, but they have a slight midrange bloom, which I like. The Amperex 6922 PQ Pinch Waist tubes were not significantly better than the Amperex 6922 PQ USA White label tubes, and therefore I could not justify their exhorbitant price. The Siemens are excellent, with the flattest, most neutral response across the frequency spectrum, but I found their sound to be a little hard in the upper mids and highs. The Phillips 6922 SQ have a slightly softer top end than both the Amperex and Siemens tubes. This is all subject to personal preference.

If you haven't already read Joe's Tube Lore, then I'd suggest doing so. While his is only one man's opinion, he has been spot-on in my opinion.
When I owned a FS preamp, I really liked the Philips SQ E188CC tubes. Very well balanced tubes.
When one mentioned Philips SQ E188CC, one has to realise that Philips produced E188CC over many years. This mean that the sound of Philips SQ E188CC can be very much different within themselves. There a total of 8 product codes for Philips SQ E188CC representing each period of it. Starting from the most earlier VR0, follows by VR1, VR2, VR3, VR5, VR6, VR7, VR8 and VR9. You can find this code etched on the glass. I didn't come across VR4 all these years, if anyone come across it, do let me know.

Well, for the record, mine are VR5s. Thanks for the info Ace. I didn't realize there were so many variations.

I preferred the VR5s to any of the Amperex 7308 or 6922 tubes in the First Sound, as well as others.
I have found my FS Presence Del. Mk II, like any other component, highly sensitive to other gear in the system.

My Merlin TSM-MM monitors were excessively bright and this was tamed by moving from NOS Amperex (D-getter 6922, BB and Orange Globe 6DJ8s) to '60s vintage Mullard, Blackburn factory ECC88s.
Philips SQ E188CC. These add a little warmth to the FS which it needs. I prefer even a little more bloom than the FS can give.
this was tamed by moving from NOS Amperex (D-getter 6922, BB and Orange Globe 6DJ8s) to '60s vintage Mullard, Blackburn factory ECC88s.
I would agree. I wish I had discovered Mullard Blackburn tubes when I owned my FS Presence Deluxe II. While I owned the FS, I used several tubes (PQ, SQ, CCa, White Label, Orange label...if they made it, I tried it) from Siemens, Amperex and Phillips. None had the magic and sweetness of the Mullard Blackburn tubes as I subsequently discovered while using another preamp.

If you can't get the sweetness the First Sound preamp with Mullard Blackburn tubes, then it's time to move on to another preamp.
Anyone have a good source for Mullard tubes? Looking for a pair of Mullard E188CC tubes.
The MIT PPFX capacitors are contributing to the lack of sweetness and bloom. I would change those caps, otherwise IMO sell the pre-amp.
Mullard E188CC tubes are often labelled as Phillips. I believe some were made in Holland, and others made at the Mitchum, UK plant. These tubes on E-Bay are Phillips, made by Mullard in the Mitchum, UK plant as indicated by the "R" in the date code.

A Phillips (or Mullard) tube made in Holland would have the Delta insignia preceeding the second line of the date code.

I have never seen a Mullard labelled E188CC, nor have I ever seen any advertised for sale. Well, not true. A seller had a large stock of Mullard E188CC tubes, but he admitted they were relabelled E88CC tubes. Why they were relabelled was never determined, but basically they were not E188CC tubes.

Mullard E88CC Blackburn or Mitchum production are fairly easy to find.
Thanks for the info Grant that's exactly what I'm looking for. Don