need tube advice from tube preamp owners.

i just recently bought a mcintosh c-2200 tube preamp,i pick it up from the dealer on monday(i cant wait) & im wondering what tubes will be nice for me to roll with that pre.

system its going into.

mc500 amplifier
mr85 tuner
mvp841 cd/dvd
cary audio tube dac.

i know very little about tubes so talk to me like i was an idiot & explain in detail.

merry xmas

You are really putting the cart ahead of the horse. Let your new pre-amp break in first then listen to it carefully for a few months and decide what about its sound you would like to improve, then post a question like "My pre-amp has rolled off highs (or bright highs), what tubes could I change to get a better balance" and what brands would you recommend". Then you will get a meaningful response. Otherwise recommendations are a WAG.
for very detailed comparisions of the sound qualities of various NOS tubes, check out Joe's Tube Lore at the tube forum on Audio Asylum.
newbee, im not looking to correct a problem that isnt there all im lookin for is advice on some good preamp tubes maybee even from a c2200 owner who has tried a few.

whats wrong with hearing differences in a preamp right from the start & making choices as to what sound i like the best.

from the little tube experience ive had with my mc2102 & c20 preamp i know a good tube makes the unit take on a entirly different feel & thats what i want to explore right from the start.
Take Newbee's advise, you need a base line for reference to start out, otherwise you don't know what you are comparing against.
thanks swampwalker, thats just what i needed.

i dont get it? really i mean i dont get it, if i swap out the gold dragons that are in my dac for some telefunkins i hear a difference right off the bat & i mean instantly.

while i admit i know almost zero about tubes i still have no idea why i need to listen to one certian tube for months before checkin out another,what base line do i need to hear.

to me swapin out a set of tubes is very little different from adjusting treble or bass or even changing a setting on a equalizer.

can somebody explain the benifit of listening for months.
Bigjoe, The point in my post was, first of all, you should let your amp break in and become accoustomed to what it sounds like in stock form. Once you have done that you can decide how to change its sonic signature - thats what most folks are doing when they change tubes. If you have no idea what you would like to improve how can you select tubes? You can ask on this forum what kind of tubes some one else uses in their amp but while thats specific it only really has meaning if you have heard their system in their room and you must know what kind of sound they prefer, for example I like a neutral sound and place a great deal of emphasis on clarity of tone. But a lot of folks want warm sounding tubes w/bass emphasis, and some like their tubes to have a slight emphasis or extra energy in the highs.

If you have no reference, i.e. what you want your system to sound like and you just change tubes because some one else sez that brand X sounds great in your amp you are likely to find your self spending a lot of money unnecessarily. Joes Tube Lore is a great starting place for an understanding of the difference in tubes, BUT the real measure of how a tube sounds is how it sound in YOUR amp, not how it sounds in mine. For example, until a few weeks ago I couldn't find a place for some EH12AX7a I bought to experiment with. Too much high energy. Voila, I got a new amp and for some reason they sound just fine.

Just trying to save you some frustration and money....sorry.
newbee, no sorry needed,i have very little experience with tubes & im tryin real hard to understand the sonics of different tubes,ive heard differences with my own ears so i know they are there & not folk lore.

the system im finishing up right now will be with me for a while so i really dont mind throwing a few $$ at some tubes plus messing with that kinda stuff is half the fun for me.

i do agree that the new pre will need to be broke in before it settles on its own sound.

the comments you made about each different tube has better bass or highs or is a neutral sounding tube is what i was looking for in reccomendations.

im gonna try to get a few different sounding sets of tubes while i let the new pre settle in,the way its been for me the only way ive been able to learn things is to try it out.
Bigjoe, The type and brand of tubes does make a large difference in the sound of a pre amp (or any other tube devise) - no doubt. If I may suggest, most specific recommendations you will get when you ask on this forum will be for NOS tubes, and not without some good reason, however NOS tubes can be a minefield loaded with hype and expense. Depending on the tube involved and the requirements of your component new production tubes can be as good and always much cheaper. If you want to get an easy lesson in how tubes sound start with new production tubes, many of which are modelled after old production and the sound difference isn't huge if even extant.

I'm not familar with the tube requirements of your amp, but if it requires a 12AX7a you could try JJ/Teslas (modelled after Mullards) for a warmer tone, EH's for a brighter tone, and EI's (my favorites) for a neutral tone and clarity. If it requires 6DJ8's you can try JJ/Tesla's for a warm tone, 6h23EB's for a very quiet and neutral to cool tone (not really a new production tube but fairly cheap for NOS),Sovtek LPS (or EH)for a cool tone if you need a very quiet tube, EI's for a neutral tone and clarity. There are others out there as well, I just mention these as a starting point which will give you an idea about how you might wish to voice your pre-amp. Once you have that pinned down if you have the dough and desire you can more selectively research the NOS market.
Inexpensive tubes: try some JAN's (joint army navy)
Mid price:Electroharmonix, JJ/Tesla.
Expensive: Don't know, I don't buy them.
thanks newbee & everybody else too,lotsa good starting points,its getting a little easier for me to understand the more i read but my learning curve ends with hands on or in this case ears on experience.

i will eventully update this thread & let you guys know what tubes i ran & which ones i settled in with.

Nice to hear the improvements but if one has a person that one trusts then one might just go ahead and have any upgrades done immediately. I am taking delivery on a Audible Illusion Modulus 3A soon and am having the stock Russian tubes (that is what is in it) replaced with NOS Siemens we sourced from Germany for 382 US landed (set of 4). I don't like to screw around with the gear so I just let a pro I know make a recommendation; if it sounds reasonable then I follow the advice. My advice comes from an engineer that manufactures single ended tube amplifiers that are very, very good.