I had a BAT VK-30 and used numerous different 6DJ8/6922/7308 tubes in it. Not sure what the Upscale Audio guy was thinking? The VK-30SE uses ONLY 6H30 tubes, maybe he was confused.
Of the ones you listed, I have #1,2 and 4. My favorites are the USN-CEP Amperex 7308 and the Mullards.
I have always had excellent service from Kevin Deal, (the owner) at Upscale Audio, maybe try to talk to him. He has never steered me wrong and I have been buying from him for close to 20 years.
If you dont buy from them they do not like to sell you or give advice.
Looks like they are no longer BAT dealers and appear to be selling off remaining stock.BAT does not appear on their products list.Sounds like you hit a sore spot.Plenty of tube sellers around and i am sure you will get some decent advice here.You can always contact BAT.
If Upscale says something it's a good idea to listen. IMO
There are other dealers and tube sellers besides Upscale. I suggest that you contact one who is willing to give you more time and better service.
Why quiz this panel? Call BAT and get it straight from the horses mouth. 302-999-8855
I did contact Victor and he said contact Kevin @Upscale lol
Victor was not sure as to what tubes to recommend which somewhat surprised me given he is MR BAT. He states he is no expert on the the variety of tubes that are out there unfortunately.
Well with a reply from BAT like that, now I understand why you`re quizzing the panel. Good luck.
Well, I re-tubed my VK-3i with tubes from Upscale just a few months ago. I called, left a message for Kevin and he called me back. I had an idea what I wanted and we discussed the merits of various tubes. He then put me on hold to go and check his notes about another customer who he seemed to recall had problems with a particular tube in my preamp. In short, I seem to get great service from Kevin but maybe you spoke with someone else. Mofi may be right in that whoever you talked to thought you had the SE version. There are other good tube sellers out there too but Kevin is definitely a good one as well. BTW, I didn't buy the BAT from him - this is my second set of tubes from Upscale and he never asked where I bought the preamp.
This certainly sounds like confusion over SE version vs. non SE. One of the things I like about my VK300xSE is that I like the sound of the tubes but I don't have to fret over which ones to run because there aren't a lot of options. I doubt that Kevin is coppin' an attitude to alienate BAT owners who will buy tubes just because he's not carrying BAT components anymore.
You talked to the experts and you didn't get the answer you wanted, so you came here? Now that's funny! Do you really believe the higher priced tubes are better? They cost more because there isn't as many.
I have been buying from Kevin, the owner of Upscale Audio, for 15 years and he has always given me sound advise. He is one of the most knowledable tube guys in the business. If you were not talking with Kevin, perhaps putting in a call specifically to him would help clarify the issues you are trying to sort out. Upscale does have a policy of selling certain select tubes to customers who have purchased their tube equipment from them. However, they also have a large selection of tubes available to anyone.
Viktor may have been hesitant to recommend any certain tube, because you may not appreciate the difference in presentation. All of the tubes that you referred to, are direct replacements for the Russian 6H23, as they are all iterations of the the 6DJ8/6922. The tubes mentioned will all provide a warmer presentation than the Russians did, when new, with a better sense of venue ambience & sound stage(if your amps/cables/speakers/room are up to it). The only currently manufactured 6922s that can compare(in sound quality) to NOS 6922, are the EATs(high dollar)(http://www.musicdirect.com/p-5315-eat-cool-valve-ecc-88-aka-6922.aspx). They, NOS Telefunkens and Siemens(E88CC/E188CC/CCa)ie: (http://www.tubedepot.com/nos-7308-siemens.html) will provide a more neutral(less warm than those you asked about) sound, still with better ambience/staging. Anyone that tells you that NOS tubes don't sound any better than the common, presently manufactured 6DJ8/6922, is either deaf or simply knows not of what they speak. DO be certain to purchase tubes that are graded for preamp/phono stage use(the way Kevin does).
Which tubes did you end up purchasing from Upscale audio? I am curious. I certainly got the feeling that the Inside guy was adamant about the majority of what they stocked was incompatable with the VK-30 not the VK-30SE. Much to my dismay, he clearly stated that the 6922-6H23's which I have already were the only ones that they would recommend and that would work properly. Go figure :(. I heard that the Genalox Gold Lions would work and that they would be definately an upgrade over the 6H23's. Who Knows lol
Thank you for all of your responses. If you have anything further to add please do so!!!!
I'm using Genalex Gold Lion 6922 reissues in my 3iX. Pricey for a current production tube, but they have very nice "tone". I've tried some orange globe Amperex 6DJ8s, but otherwise haven't experimented much with NOS tubes in this pre-amp.
I've been rolling 6922's in my CJ ART preamp for yrs. They came with EH's (6h23's). Decent tube but I found some I liked better. The JJ's had a nice tone and were very cheap but some would come to their end way too soon. I'm trying and liking the Genalex GL's a lot.
When I had a pre that only used a pair, my favorites were Amperex, Siemen and Mullard. If my ART didn't use 10 tubes total, I'd probably be using Amperex.
The JJ's or Gl's should give you a nice change from what you have and you can see if you like their tone.
FWIW: I don't know how "hard" BAT runs their tubes. the 6h23's are some of the most durable of this type.
Vinyl, I got 4 Phillips platinum grade PCC88/7DJ8s (which are a direct replacement for 6922s) for $35 each and 2 Pope 6V6GTs at $49 each. The Pope 6V6GTs were at the suggestion of Kevin rather than the ones I had picked out (can't remember which ones now). The Phillips PCC88/7DJ8s were the ones he had to check his notes on. He thought he remembered a customer complaining they became noisy in their VK-3i but he still believed they would work. I can confirm that they work wonderfully in my preamp and they are NOT noisy. They also are not the high-dollar tubes you were apparently looking at. :) I'm very pleased for not much money ($238 plus shipping)! Dick
Your problem is simple- either your preamp uses a tube that is a direct equivalent of a 6922 or it is the other type which can only be replaced with the same tube. If you have a 6922 whatever it is called in Russian you have the options to roll a whole variety of tubes into it. The family of those tubes includes 6DJ8,6922,7308 and Cca.
I am certain however that only one of the two mentioned and no I don't know which, is only compatible with itself.
Get that straight and then post for suggestions. I happen to use amps that use 6922s and rolled in number 4 on your list CV 2493s which are Mullard military tubes also called E88CC-01s, Unfortunately it is the nomenclature of all the 6922 variants has you confused.
Just figure for certain that the pre is compatible with 6922s and take it from there.
I would also call Victor back because I think he misunderstood your basic premise when you gave him Upscales suggested options, just ask him if you can use a plain old 6922 in your pre. IOW I think your inforest and can't see the trees. I will actually post a question on tube asylum asking if a 6H23 is a direct sub for a 6922 or not.
I looked it up. If you Pre uses 6H23 then any of the 6922 family of tubes can be directly substituted. It has been my experience that using one of th NOS/OS choices that Upscale has on offer will sound better than the Sovtek. Others may disagree but you should explain as best you can what sonic charactristics you prefer. If your not quite sure which appears the case I have found that Amperex white label tubes are well liked.
The gold pins are usually present on the 6922 and up. The 7308 has slightly different electronic parameters making it a particularly reliable tube as well as yielding better sound in most cases. Given all that the best choice in the absence of any specific direction would be the 7308 Amperex as long as they are not the cheesy JAN green letter ones. Otherwise if you have the money to play around buy a few different types and audition them. Tubes are resellable if you don't want to start collecting but be careful its a slippery slope when you first hear the magic of a newly tried tube. It can be habit forming.
I was of the impression that you can use a 6922 in a 6DJ8 circuit but not a 6DJ8 in a 6922 circuit and that PC88/7DJ8 wasn't compatible in either of the circuits!!!??? Best to check tube data sheets!!!!!
... I also think nos Amperex, Telefunkun, Seimens and Mullards sound better than any Russian 6922/6DJ8 in every circuit I've heard them in. They all have a different "house" sound that you'll have to try to hear what you prefer in your preamp just make sure they are graded for pre/phono as Rodman99999 mentioned.
is Upscale's page concerning the 6922 family of tubes. As I said, the 7DJ8s are working fine in my preamp and have been for the past 5 months. Dick
I dealt with upscale audio on NOS 6922's for a BAT phonostage. At first, Kevin recommended the Amperex 7308. As these were going to cost $100.00 each I decided to wait. After a few months, I contacted Kevin again about the 6922's and mentioned that he had previously recommended the Amperex tube. I Asked if they were still his "personal Fav." He told me they were but not in BAT equipment. Recommended the Ediswan 2492. I bought 4 of them. They did not work out for me. I had two go bad right away. I think he called it "microphonic." Anyway, I sent the tubes back and he replaced two of them. Long story short, these tubes did not improve the sound and in fact never really worked that well. I went back to new production Sovtec's.
Kevin was real good to deal with but I think that the BAT equipment is very sensitive to what tubes it likes and Kevin kinda realized that. Sounds like he is getting totally away from recommending NOS for BAT stuff. I would take his word for it. It has been my experience that Bat and NOS don't mix.
Thanks Dick interesting info !!!
Can't swear to how hard the BAT pre's run their tubes, BUT- I've had the same six early 60's, Siemens CCa's in my VK-D5, for over five years(they were NOS), without a single problem.
Just for an update I have tried 6 Holland made BUGLE BOYS. They sound very good compared to the 6h23's that they replaced. So that answers one question is that I can use more than the Russian made tubes as I was told a few months back. Hope they last more than 2 weeks though.
I had questions on mixing tubes on a thread I started last night.