New to tube: prob. with right channel of Aesthetix

Hi all,

So I recently set up my system for the first time in a while, and there are two new elements: the aesthetix Janus preamp, and the BAT VK-250 amp. I've noticed that there is a perceptible difference between the volume of the left and right channel when I change the balance, and wondering how to address this. The Bat tests fine for both channels, and since this problem is apparent with both my TT and CDP, then I'm assuming, since the speakers are okay, that the Pre is having problems. I'm new to tubes, and wondering if there isn't a problem with one of the tubes, and how I'd verify this. Any Aesthetix Janus/Calpyso owners (or any tube gurus in general) have any advice on how to fix this? I'm at a loss and could use some help.


Here's what I did recently to trouble shoot a problem that I needed to narrow to the culpable component. It'll work for you too.

1. Swap the L&R interconnects from your preamp to your amp. In other words, plug the IC coming from the preamp's L output into the amp's R input, and vice versa for the other channel. Does the channel imbalance now switch from how it was before the swap? If the problem lies with anything upstream of the amp, it will. If it doesn't, then the amp is to blame.

2. Restore the preamp to amp interconnects to normal, and then swap the L&R interconnects from one source at a time using the same method you just applied to the preamp to amp connection. Does the imbalance follow that swap? If so, the source is to blame. If not, the preamp is to blame.

3. If the preamp is the cause of the channel imbalance, then start swapping L&R channel tubes, one pair at a time. If a tube is to blame, the channel imbalance will follow the tube swap.

4. If after you've methodically swapped everything, and the process has not sniffed out the culprit, then ask for someone else's advice, 'cause this method has worked for me on several occasions, including the last time I had a bad tube, and I needed to determine which component and which tube was to blame.
Excellent trouble shooting advice from Tvad. I'm going through that same process here trying to find a noisy tube among about 70 in my system.

Matt, just keep in mind that if the only thing off is a channel imbalance, and if otherwise everything sounds fine, and if you can correct for the channel imbalance by adjusting the balance control, you're probably just fine if you can live with that. There's nothing inherently wrong in a tube setup having a bit more gain in one channel than another as long as you can compensate. As the tubes age and change, this can happen. And it may not be worth the cost of having matched tubes across the two channels just for this.