Small or big tubes/valves for pre amp ?

Hi guys, have been thinking about going to a tube pre with a solid state amp.

I have a hybrid intergraded amp with small tubes in pre section, I am no expert in tubes, but know my way around the 6DJ8 / 6922 / ECC88 variants where I have preferred the Mullard tubes with my amp.

The pre amp that I have my eye on is the Don Sachs model 2, it uses bigger tubes and I am told that the bigger tubes have better sound than the 6922 variants I am used too.

Would appreciate if someone could enlighten me about the difference in sound signature between these tubes, I believe that Don uses 6SN7 tubes.


"Do your amps use one or two 6SN7 tubes ? I am confused about that" As I stated: I’ve been using 1940s, Tung-Sol(round plate/JAN CTL/VT-231) and Sylvania (6SN7W/JAN CHS/tall bottle/metal base) tubes, in my monoblocks for a couple decades(one each per amp). Yes, that’s one JAN CHS and one JAN CTL("one each per amp"), at the same time. I collected a couple pair of the metal base and a couple pair of the slightly later(sans metal), tall bottle 6SN7Ws(which to me seem equivalent), before either became so rare. If you’d read the observations, contained in the 6SN7 comparison article, the author mentions the following: "It appears combining tubes like the VT-231s as voltage amplifiers and 6SN7Ws or 6SNGTA/GTBs as driver tubes you gain the strengths of all. Using one type seems to accentuate the tube’s weaknesses." I’ve found my Sylvanias very faithfully pass("well balanced") whatever information I feed them(including the bottom-gettered VT-231s). I chose my favs, based on my preference for tubes that don’t editorialize. They all(Sylvanias, Tung-Sols and Ken-Rads) also passed more ambient information, resulting in a wider/deeper sound stage, than any of the others I tried. Happy listening!
I'll take 6922 based gear all day over 6sn7. Not a fan of the 6sn7; they all have their own sonic quirks and colorations which is why you get recommendations to balance 2 types off each other. And if you have a high-gain circuit you'll likely run into noise/microphonics issues unless you go for the later GTA/GTB versions, which also aren't as sweet sounding. The only one I really liked sonically was Tung-Sol black glass round plate VT-231, but they're so hard to source with any decent life left - and again, good luck with noise. 
No, don't care for the GTA/GTB's.

I ran a single-gain-stage preamp with all brands of NOS 6SN7s and loved them (some more than others). But that design easily revealed microphonics. Using Herbies tube dampers sometimes helped.

My whole point is ,The Sylvanias don’t have near the bass of the Ken Rads or Tung Sol 6SN7. Also Andy with Vintage Tube Services confirmed this for me . He actually told me that any of the Sylvania 6SN7s do not do Bass well .I agree with the article about mixing them. The main problem is that a Very High percentage of Tung Sol and the Ken Rads are Micrphonic. these are the only two 6SN7s that have great Bass.I have tried many many different 6SN7s. SO using a 6F8G with the 6SN7 adapter in place of the Ken Rad or Tung Sol , works great and gives you way more options
I agree with you 100%
Given the number of circuit designers, over the decades, that have chosen to utilize both nine pins(ie: 6DJ8 iterations) and octals(ie: 6SN7s), and the excellent results, that have been attained with both choices, has led me to believe that blanket statements are worthless. They only serve to prevent some from experimenting on their own, to find their personal preferences. Regarding Sylvanias and, "having Bass": I don’t want my tubes to, "have" anything of their own, but- to pass what’s presented them, without leaving their own footprints. The author of the 6SN7 comparison, made this statement(his first sentence): "Let me stress that the optimum tube for your system will depend on your equipment and how your ears judge the tube’s ability to reproduce live music." It seems some miss(or choose to ignore) those very salient(and universal) points(circuit variations/subjectivity).