Do you get to listen to live music, and prefer a realistic/transparent reproduction, or do you like a "warmer/tubier" sound? Good to know your tastes before making recommendations.
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Search for a pair of Siemens E83CC(triple mica) or ECC803S tubes from the sixties. The 803S was a specially selected tube for the German Telephone Service, but you'll still want them(or whatever you buy) screened/certified pre-amp grade. You might try a pair of these: (http://www.upscaleaudio.com/product.asp?itemid=39&catid=40) An excellent tube and Kevin's tube testing/screening/burn-in procedures are second-to-none. No connection, other than a very happy customer. Too bad he doen't have any Siemens tubes. I've purchased a number of great Siemens tubes from this eBay seller(located in Germany): (http://myworld.ebay.com/audiotubes_de) You might check with him with regards to your needs.
With the Series I, if you're looking for the _Ultimate_ in transparency and dynamics, IMHO go for an original NOS pair of Telefunken ECC803S or ECC802S (lower gain, less audible tube "rush" if you're a nearfield listener, but less dynamic than the 803).
They won't come cheap though, a good pair of 803S will set you back about a grand and a half. The 802S about half that.
If you're not keen on spending that much, a good NOS Tesla ECC803S pair will come close, though not nearly as transparent IMHO.
I agree with Mr A with regards to the Teles. They were also manufactured to satisfy the German Telephone Service's needs(picky in the extreme), and specially selected for "low noise". The Siemens will outperform the Teslas though in realism. The Mullards, Brimars, Ediswan tubes will all impart the "warmth"/colorations that you are trying to avoid. If you don't skimp in this purchase: You'll never regret it! BTW- The Teles and Siemens are 10kHr tubes, so- they will probably outlast your ownership of the pre.
I used Mullards with great success. I also used 5751s which reduced the gain just a touch but also sounded great. I am a big fan of Siemens tubes as well. I am using their ECC801s in my amps. The Teles get too expensive at times. I did try a few of the S teles but I was unlucky. Be careful & use a tube dealer.
Thanks for all the help!
I ended up with a matched pair of Telefunken ECC801S 12AT7 from Brent Jessee. WOW what a difference. I would of never thought that $400 could make this much difference. I have bought $5000 speaker cables that never made this much difference. Everything is just better from the Bass to the Highs. All the glare is gone....
I really can't believe that there is really a preamp better then the VTL 7.5 with the Telefunken tubes in it. I have had preamp costing twice as much and they never had the overall sound quality that the 7.5 has.
BTW Brent Jessee is awesome to deal with and he sells the real deal.