Different tubes produce different tonal patterns in different equipment. Much depends on the design of your pre-amp and your sonic expectations. If you identify your pre-amp and tell us what you are trying to improve in its sound quality it would be more meaningful. It helps a whole lot if the person making the recommendation has experience with your pre-amp and knows what aspect(s) you feel it is important to improve by making tube changes.
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Thanks. The preamplifier in question is the Premier 16 Series II with a total of 6 tubes (sorry, above mentions only five, my typo).
There is nothing really wrong with the characteristics of the sound per se but Im wondering if changing these for better quality tubes will indeed yield any results worthwhile or is it best to simply replace and re-tube the preamp with the same ones by contacting CJ factory directly. Im sure there prices will be quite high.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Usa, Think of changing tubes as comparible to changing components. It can make as much or more difference than the differences between CDP's or amps.
Lacking specific knowledge of the outcome of changing tubes in the '16' and what if any tonal differences you may appreciate, what I would suggest is that you do a bit of experimenting with some new production tubes to see what differences they might make. For example if you find that either JJ's, EI's, EH's, all of which have a different sonic signature, float you boat, you will have a basis for looking for some better NOS version with the same tonal signature, but might improve on things like high frequency clarity, bass response, etc.
Hope that helps a bit.
Yes, tube rolling can be exciting, addictive, and expensive. The 6dj8/6922 family can range from $10ea to $200ea. Having to deal with rolling 6 tubes at a time is very costly. A set of 6 gold pin tubes can cost you $450+. But on the bright side......... when you found just the right tubes.....! If you are interested in NOS tubes I suggest starting with Mullards, they have always been a sweet tube for me.
I have done some tube rolling on my CJ Premier 17LS. The difference between the stock Sovtek tubes and the Phillips
Mini Watts was signifigant. The noise floor dropped
dramatically with better extension on the top and bottom.
I ultimatley sold the 17LS but if I had kept it I would
never switch back to the stock tubes.
I was tempted to do some 6922 "tube rolling" when I 1st got my new Herron Pre but avoided doing so 1) can get expensive, time consuming & not always beneficial (ie: experiences from owning previous tube gears) 2) there are cheaper options for eg: Herbie's HAL-O's tube dampers
At least the HAL-Os provided an improvement to my stock Sovteks, overall better focus & tightening of the LF.
One thing to remember is that you can gain more or less benefit from a tube depending on their position. You might not need to replace all the tubes to get improvements. The amount of gain you need from a tube also influences how much risk you will take buying off Ebay. When I use tubes in my line stage, I only need 3 or 9 db. of gain, so I've been able to use almost everything I've bought over the years in that position. The phono circuit is a different matter, much tougher to get low noise in those positions. I've had quite good luck buying from sellers on Ebay, very few times have I been burned. The main thing to learn is how to recognize fakes and misrepresentations. The more desirable the tube the more likely to be faked.
I had to withstand the sovtek 6922, save yourself and get rid of them immediately they are wretched. In factit was by far the worst of about twenty or so I eventually tried. The sound you want and what the tubes are doing in their position are critical factors. Of course your budget counts as well.
I found that the white lable Amperex and you can pick these up as instrument pulls Texas instruments used them have a pleasant sound clean and neutral. If you can find pulls labled as the instrument makers tube they are an incredible bargain. I will say that most NOS tubes from reliable source, not the spent microphonic rejects I am finding on ebay these days (although for 5 bucks for an amperex pull is worth the gamble.) are generally speaking a better sounding tube from anywhere but China and Russia Whatever you choose even Ei or JJ,I like their products as a rule . Get rid of the Sovteks -they are an insult to tubes everywhere and why big companies use the cheapest piece of..... to put in their expensive gear is a complete mystery to me. If you have some money to spend and you know the tube slots citical to the sonics, take some time and look out for the Mullard 2493 not the 2492, these are truly special tubes extremely detailed not warm and soupy like a typical Mullard but robust and clean with great extension etc. It is a unique variant which actually sounds better, don't waste your money on silly things like pinched waist etc. Check out Tubemonger and see if he has any 2493 left.
Thank you all for your good and sound advise.
I was able to place an order for NEW Amperex white box NOS 6DJ8' at $25.00 each. The choice was either these or the Amerex branded "Valvo" ECC88 which according to this gentleman are almost identical sounding but, have the advantage of running a little cooler, making them run a little longer. The other alternatives were Sylvania 6922' at $15.00 ea. or Elctro-Harmonix 6922EH (gold pin) selling btwn $17.00 to $20.00 tested.
Based on a very strong recommendation from the seeler, I opted for the Amperex as he hates Russian tubes and especially the computerized tubes being produced these days.
This'll be the first experiment with tubes but, I thought worth experimenting with. I'll post my comments after I experiment with these but, I wanted to take a minute to post this quick note to thank those who responded and others who took the time to read this discussion. Thanks!