Swamp: that's a bad tube - I've experienced it too in a VTL 5.5 preamp. Doubt that you've damaged anything - take off the top & tap the tubes individually while listening so that you can locate & throw away the culprit
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Bob- do you think its one of the signal (EC88) tubes, or could the new signal tubes have overloaded one of the drivers (6v6). I hope its not one of the EC88s; I just bought them from a guy in Singapore and they are marked as matched, tested quad, with measurements. Even tho I've owned tube or hybrid products for many years (starting with a NYAL Moscode 300) I'm really a neophyte with the tube details, I'm not sure I even have the terms correct.
I'm not that well versed with glassware myself Swamp. The 6V6's are output followers or buffers? Whatever, doubful that anything has been damaged. After you run the "tap-test" revert to your original tube configuration in order to find out for sure. In my case the ringing tube was in the gain stage, not the output. If it's possible to swap tubes around, then try that too as a diagnostic tool, even if it temporarily un-matches them. Your seller may not have experienced this problem because tubes' behavior can vary depending upon the circuit design of the equipment that they're used in. That, or you were taken? You might also discuss this issue with the seller?
Well now you've gone way beyond my knowledge of circuitry. Have no idea what an output follower or a buffer is. I can and will try the tap-test as soon as I get some time (pulling out the 16 torx screws from the BAT time after time is a real hassle). I hope that its not a problem with the NOS tubes since I fear that international customer service is not a strong point of ebay auctions.
Without knowing why it worked, let me provide a possible solution that was recommended to me and was successful. I had a similar ringing on one channel of my Line-3 when I put in 7308s, and it was recommended that I swap the channels they were being used in. It worked. No more ringing. Try changing the position of the E88 tubes ... seems like an easy fix and a heck of a lot easier than trying to get your money back.
Interesting reading thanks Lp. I'll clarify my definition of "tapping" vs. "banging" as referenced on the Upscale f.a.q. Obviously you don't go in there with a hammer. Go in with some thin gloves like white ones & be gentle & careful. In this case the ringing is so bad that even a slight wiggle in the socket should find the problem. Other places I've read that gently using a pencil eraser-end as your tapper is acceptable. This would produce no more stress than simply moving the equipment around, certainly less than, say, a UPS package handler. What else can you do find this - you just have to do someting? Maybe tap on the circuit board adjacent to the ssocket?
The output tubes are the last devices before the preamp's output; ask BAT or your dealer's tech. for some clarification, as I'm unfamiliar with this products' specifics
Swampwalker: Other than tapping the tubes to check for microphonics, you can also try using 4 Sovteks to two Siemens and trying out different combos of this to find the tube. Siemens E88cc's are not generaly prone to microphonics, but there are always exceptions. Also are you doing the listening with the cover off of the preamp? If so try it with the cover on which will help to block air born vibration. Sounds like you have a tube that enjoys singing along with the music though. Good luck.
David- the "ringing" starts off on its own and is almost a feedback like tone although not nearly so high in volume or pitch, nor does in "feed back" on itself in terms of self-perpetuating volume increase. The "microphonics" that I am talking about is a thump thru the speakers when I tap with my fingers on the top of the case, which is heavy steel. It varies in volume with the intensity of the tap. It seems to me that I should see if I can repeat the problem with the Sovteks back in the circuit. If its still there, then I guess I need new 6V6s ASAP. Any suggestions on the best for a pre-amp application? Most discussions I have seen address their use in a guitar amp or some such, rather than a pre-amp.
Thanks for the tip, Froggy, I guess all of us swamp creatures need to stick together. FWIW, I swapped channels on the input tubes and the ringing has stopped, even tho the microphonics are still there. I have thought of tube dampers but then I read that some say that they "deaden" the sound somewhat. Any thoughts out there?