When that preamp first came out it was equipped with the 6H30 as standard. I can't remember now but I think that the 6H30s gave it more gain.
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Don't know if this will be useful or not to you but here goes...I used this tube preamp with a Pass X250 amp & it was a great match although the gain match (volume) wasn't perfect. I couldn't run the pre past 9-10am on the dial. I sent the unit to Cary for the "gain Mod" reduction ($125) because the gain was a bit much with the X250. Looking back I should have just used the 6CG7 tubes which reduces the gain without the mod. The mod was too much gain reduction for the X250. I used EH 6922's the whole time.
I don´t have experience with the Cary 2002, but I tried many 6922 tubes in my SF preamplifier.
As I know if you want more tubey and warm sound try NOS 6922 tubes (Amperex PQ, Siemens, Valvo...) but if you prefer more neutral sound try the 6H30, probably the 6H30 DR work better than the standard 6H30.
Interesting thread and sorry in advance for the tangent. I just got my SLP-2002 back from Cary. I actually sent it for repair - was getting loud popping/scratching noises after 15 minutes. They checked it out and said the 6922s were bad and I they did the gain reduction mod and added Jensen caps while it was there.
I am not getting the loud popping noise now, but I do notice a very light variable static on the right channel. Hard to describe, but the left channel has a more consistent low noise. Both can only be heard within 4-5 feet of the speakers. Running an Anthem a-5 amp, balanced connections, and Sonus Faber GP Home speakers.
I am running new Cary EH 6922s and some NOS 12AU7s for the buffer. I was just getting ready to pull the trigger on some 6H30s thinking that the gain drop may also drop the noise into the background.
What do you guys think?
Very interesting, Kyle--I just got back my Cary 2002 Monday, which I had sent in for a similar noise problem in the right channel. The world being the way it is, it didn't make the noise for them, but I had them do the Jensen oil cap upgrade, and they moved something else inside the unit from one place to another (you might rightly guess that I'm a bit of a low-tech guy...they said they wanted to move some doo-dads, and I said, sure), and seem to have checked it out pretty well. (Very nice folks, by the way.) So far, no noise that I can hear. If it comes back, I'm going to replace the 6922s, at least.
I do like the preamp quite well. I'm using it with an ARC VT 100 MK III and Vandersteen 3a sigs. Most people seem to think I'm crazy, but I think the Vandersteens can be a little TOO revealing of problems with source material, and I like the way the Cary makes everything more warm and friendly. I may lose a bit of detail compared to, say, an ARC pre-amp I have, but I'm generally a happier camper. (I'm going to be trying some other speakers as well, too, though.) As for tube-rolling, I've done that with a couple of other units, and I think it tends to send me into tech overload, though I do like some Amperex bugle boys that I have in my ARC LS-15 (very nicely modified by GNSC, by the way). I'm not sure the 2002 really needs it; it's pretty warmed up and tubey out of the box.
There is a big difference between the SLP-2002 and the ARC series of pre-amps: LS-15,16,25,Ref1. The ARC pre-amps use FETs prior to the first tube gain stage, to boost gain/bandwidth. Plus the volume control is digital. The 16MK2/25mk2 go even further towards solid state, eliminating completely any tube in the gain stage. The Cary is Class A Triode tube gain stage (4 individual line amps) followed by a tube buffer output. The Cary is more "tuby" because there are no transistors in the gain stage to enhance the bandwidth from a gain perspective. Though, here are FET transistors in the Cary that act as current sources to feed the 6 volt tubes. Properly tubed, there is as much HF extension (perhaps more)than the LS-25MK1 that I owned. If you buy a pair of 6H30 tubes, go for the DR, as they have a wider bandwidth.