I have a an ARC Ref phono preamp, which uses 10 (I think) 6922's. I retubed with NOS Amperex and NOS RCA for the 6L6. The main most immediate thing was a big drop in the noise floor. On top of that the thing just sounds better.... A lot better.
Given this, I have no idea what may happen if you tube roll in your PH3.....
I swapped out the tube in my Bellari VP129 for tube that came out of a Prima Luna. Huge improvement. I may consider upgrading to an even better tube in the future...
Funny I just posted this to another AudiogoNer: The Siemens E188CC's, 7308's and CCa's(grey plate beneath the getter support, from the 60's- the Holy Grail) are VERY dynamic and extended top(without any stridency) and bottom(very solid). I've been using them for years in ARC gear(had an SP9 and SP14), and now in my BAT VK-D5(6 NOS CCa's). Liquid midrange, very transparent(very quiet, nothing phoney, sweet, or extra warm, etc.) They just let all the music through, with an accurate sound stage. YES: The Tele's are good(of course), I've owned some of them too. Don't buy any CCa's with shiny metal under the getter support(regardless of the seller's claims): They will singe your ear hairs.
Pleeeease!Audio Research told me the same thing,but tube rolling was very well rewarded.There are some superb NOS tubes to still be had,but be careful about quality and price.I have had varying,but good results with Mullard 6922,Amperex 7308(best based on price),Amperex 6922 PQ(very pricey,but very good),Telefunken(over rated especially re:price),and the fabulous Siemens 6922 CCa(my current winner).The Ediswan 6922/2492,and Ediswan 6dj8/5358 are also fabulous,and I have these as well.
BTW,do a web-search for "Joe's Tube Lore".It is quite accurate,and informative.
I concur with Chris. I have a PH3SE modified by GNSC and have used Funken's and Siemens to wonderful sonic results. Now, the PH3 is packaged and put away as i have aquired a REF Phono that has been considerably modified by GNSC. V-CAPS tefelon and Caddock resistors throughout. Elna filter caps etc...ect....
I use Amperex 7308 PQ white label, RCA Blackplate 6L6GC and Phillip Miniwatts metal base 5AR4 in the power supply.
Svotek 6922 are probably the worst sounding signal tubes ever made. Anything else will beat those sonically.
ARC, like many manufacturers, care most about tube reliability and meeting their idea of what things should sound like. Of course different tubes will change the voice and tone - that's exactly what you're trying to achieve, a change to something more to your liking.
I currently have a PH-3SE an am using 6h-23 Russian tubes from the cable co. They're very quiet and are comparable to Amperex 7308's which I replaced them with. Sovteks are junk, the only reason AR is telling you that is because that's the tube they use to sell the PH-3's with which they don't even sell anymore. They went to electro harmonix as their stock tube.
Plese don't buy the siemens and telefunkens you see advertised here on Agon. They're very good and deliver exceptional sound but are not worth the astonomical price folks are asking. If people would stop buying these, the price would come down to what they're really worth which is considerably less!
This may come as somewhat of a shock, but tubes(like anything else) are worth whatever people will pay for them. If you want the best, you have to be willing to pay for it. NOTHING that is manufactured now can compare to the musicality of the select Siemens and Telefunken tubes. They last an average of 10,000 hrs, and that much musical enjoyment is hard for me to place a valuation on. I'm also using a pair of NOS TungSol round plate 6SN7GT's and a pair of NOS Sylvania 6SN7W tall boys(all from the 40's), in my Cary monoblocks. Check the prices on those if you think CCa's are expensive. People aren't going to stop buying them, because when those that are available now are gone- there won't be any more. I will admit the people that sell them on AudiogoN are awfully proud of them. I buy most of mine(the Siemens anyway) from Germany.
Wow, thanks to everyone for all the great replies! I had a feeling that your opinion may differ from ARC's. I will give some vintage tubes a go, possibly Amperex white label PQ's.
Rodman, It has not come as a shock to me at all. The fact that scare tactics have always been used as a means of getting people to pay more for something than its worth!!
"When these are gone they'll not be anymore" Yeah right.
There'll always be something to replace what's supposely not available anymore, that's what capitalism is all about.
We're paying $3.69 a gal. for gas right now because of a so call shortage of oil, when there's enough oil in our reserves to last for the next 75 to 100 yrs. All the gov. has to do is let some of that reserve oil out for 30 days and the price of gas goes down immmediately.
Keep believing there's no more tubes available and like gas the price will keep going up!
The Amperex white label PQs should be a great way to learn what is possible beyond the stock tubes. I've run a variety of Amperex, Telefunkens, Siemens 6DJ8s and 7308s in the ARC PH7 with results easily better than stock.
The trick will to use tubes that are quiet. Before purchasing pricey NOS tubes, get some assurance from the seller that they've been tested for noise. In a vinyl system the majority of all signal amplification happens in the phono stage and you'll learn pretty quickly if its tubes are microphonic or otherwise noisy. To an extent all tubes are noisy. This can be diminished (more or less based on the tube's condition) by using some sort of dampening. I don't know if the PH3 came with tube damping O-rings but ARC includes them with the PH7. And better than those are the ones from Herbies Audio Labs
(no affiliation, happy customer). Best of luck with your tube rolling!
Rodman99999 is absolutely right! Make sure you have some spare tubes so you can wait till the price goes down on the new and IMPROVED ones, and have GOLD put away for when the dollar no longer buys anything good. POLK432
Polk432- Funny you should mention that: I bought my gold in 1999, when it was $275.00 an ounce. Gold (like platinum, oil, real estate, and NOS vacuum tubes) is a limited commodity. What is in the ground is going to run out eventually, and God isn't making any more(Siemens, Telefunken, Valvo, Amperex, Mullard, etc. aren't in business now, and won't be ever again)!! That's why the price of all of those things keeps going up. What's being manufactured today, as far as tubes, is done so as quickly and cheaply as possible and will never perform sonically as well as the quality tubes of yesterday. The exception to that statement would be KR Enterprises, Western Electric and EAT. Have you checked their tube prices lately? (http://www.musicdirect.com/product/73403) (http://www.westernelectric.com/pricing.asp)
5 9's gave you away Rodman. I won't tell anyone where you're hiding your gold.
I've been trying to remember where I hid it myself. If I could: I'd pay off my mortgage!!
Well, I purchased some NOS 6h-23 Russian "Rocket Logo" Platinum Grade bought from Upscale Audio, 3 tubes for $100 delivered. They sound great! Crisper highs, more defined midrange, a fuller three dimensional sound, and yet great slam factor in the bass.
So, thanks to all that replied. You all really helped out. Still wondering what some Amperex pinched waists would sound like though...
Before you wonder away $975 on three pinched waists try Amperex 7308 PQ White Label 60's or USA-CEP's, very close to the PW's in my system, at a fraction of the price.
Hello forum members , I have some mods to my ARC PH5 :
the 6922EH tubes repl. by NOS Philips E88cc , added an external Tube rectifier ( Border Patrol ) , and to get more power for my Dynavector Te Kaitora I added an inbuilt Jensen MC Xformer JT 347-AXT .You can imagine this unit performs much better now.
Regards from Holland : Hans