Help With Tube Suggestions for BAT VK-55se, please

Hello, I've got a VK-31se preamplifier and VK-55se amplifier with balanced cables from Blue jeans. I have Sierra-1 speakers, a Velodyne SMS-1, and a Rythmik Audio 15HP-SE subwoofer. My cables are nothing special, and I use an Oppo BDP-93 as my source for CD's and Pandora for most of my listening.

I need to retube my VK-55se, and I'd like to get tubes that won't let my system down, but I don't think I can get much benefit from mega-buck tubes with my setup, either. I already have four new matched 6C33B tubes, so just need the others, and was hoping for some suggestions.

Which tubes have the largest impact on sound quality?

Can anyone offer suggestions on tubes I should consider? I plan on replacing all the remaining tubes; 6H30's, 6SN7's, and 6922's.

I listen to mostly jazz/blues, and ambient/electronica, so tight, deep, bass and an open soundstage are important to me.

Thanks for any input,


How about just suggestions for 6SN7's and 6922's since there aren't a lot of options for 6H30's?


Melz 1578's for the 6SN7's, perhaps? :-)
Do you prefer a warm/sugary/tubey sound, or a cleaner/more accurate/detailed(not talking bright/edgy/sibilant) presentation? I can offer suggestions for either.
Thanks C1, I'll read up on them.

Rodman, this is the only tube amp I've ever heard, so I don't really know if I want a more "tubey" sound or not. I think the 6H30's in the preamp (and the amplifier) are known for being more accurate than tubey sounding, so I'm not exactly sure how much change to the sound rolling tubes in the amp will have.

I'd like to try some tubes with a more "spacey" or "airy" and open soundstage perhaps. Doesn't necessarily have to be accurate sound.


Mullards for 6922, they also give good long service.
For your 6SN7 locations; the bottom-gettered Sylvania(JAN
CHS) or KEN-RAD(JAN CKR) VT-231's, from the 40's, will
provide you with a really clean, open sound stage and
imaging. ie: (
( They'll perform very close to the
round plate TungSol 6SN7GT and Sylvania 6SN7W, without
costing an arm and a leg. You give up a little stage depth,
for the money. Far as the 6922; Mullards will warm things p
quite a bit. Most Amperex; not quite as much. The cleanest
are Siemens and Telefunken 7308/E188CC or E88CC. ie:
( Note the
grey, metal shield, between the plates on the Siemens. The
later ones, with shiny metal, in that position, can get
strident, in the wrong system.
( Upscale
also sells Mullards, Amerex, etc and tests/grades their nine
pin miniatures for noise/microphonics. Especially important
for use in a preamp. Your interconnects, sources and
speakers all will contribute to, or subtract from, your
sound stage/imaging abilities. The tubes mentioned above
will insure that nothing is hampered, in your pre or amp.
Nothing above is cheap, but less expensive than the TungSol
RPs, tall bottle, Sylvania 6SN7W's and early 60's, grey
plate Siemens CCa's that I'm using. Hopefully, my stash of
those will last 'til I'm dead or go deaf. The prices on
those are nuts now!
Here is a more concise list of the bottom gettered Sylvania VT-231/JAN CHS tubes. I think the other search could get confusing. (
Thanks Rodman, I appreciate the suggestions. Time to do some reading/research.