What's so bad about Sovtek 6922s?

I've seen lots of preamp reviews and remarks where people say they replaced their "hard sounding stock sovteks" with "brand X".

I have an Anthem Pre 2L, and the first thing I tried to do was get rid of the "nasty Sovtek 6922s". I tried the Teslas (new and cheap) and a used set of Amperex Bugleboys. I rotated between the two - very hard to A/B of course. Was not satisfied. The Amperex seem to be allergic to bass (I guess it's possible that these are forgeries - bought off ebay). The Teslas seem like "ok" replacements, but nothing special happens with them.

For the heck of it, I put back in the Sovteks (after many months), and abracadabra - the system sounds its best. Nice microdynamics. Very clean and not the least bit harsh. No unwanted noise. Just sounds very good.

Is anyone else living happily with the "hard sounding stock sovtek 6922s"? Just curious. I am not going to take a stab at some megabuck Telefunkens based on the lack of improvement trying more moderate tube "upgrades".

Are Sovteks underrated?
Price wise Sovteks are a bargain and youre the one who decides which tubes sound better.I feel that their KT-88 are good but folks rather go for the more pricey tube.you might want to try out the ELECTRO-HAROMINX tube too,they at the same price range as SOVTEKs
I had a set of Sovtek 6SN7 in my amp and replaced them with Raytheon's and the improvements were amazing, it brought new life to the entire system- more depth and feeling of being there, very impressive. I am not sure I would say the Sovteks are bad though I would say you can find a smoother sounding tube, that isn't to say that maybe you prefer the Sovtek sound, we all want different things from our systems maybe the Sovtek is for you. ~Tim
Sometimes a manufacturer will "voice" a piece of equipment utilizing a certain tube. Which could explain part of the problem. Have found that the different tubes all tend to have different characteristics that may or may not react well with your equipment and musical tastes. If the Sovtek work well for you and you are happy with the sound ENJOY!
No air, lacking fine detail, very rugged.
tubes are very system dependent. if you can't hear a difference either your system doesn't resolve the difference or you are blessed. i suspect the latter. i use both the old sovteks (halo getter), the 6h23's, and the tesla's. the only ones i can't find a place for in my amp or pre-amp are the new sovteks (plate type getter) they are just to cold for my components. if you have components that are warmish in the first place, and i believe your preamp may just be so, they could be just your cup of tea if you like a more neutral sound.
Well, the 2L is not a warm sound, IMO (neutral is more like it). Because of this I would guess that this is the type of sound that you prefer from your preamp. If you go to the FAQ section @ audioasylum.com and research your "Amperex" tubes under Joe's Tube Lore you may be able to verify and/or identify them. Amperex 6922 types are not generally shy in the bass region, though new ones do require anywhere from 25-60 hours of playing time for the bass to kick in. Other than bogus Amperex's the namesake has been owned by Richardson Electronics for years and they can re-brand any tube that they like as Amperex, perhaps this is what you purchased?

There are also many different Sovtek 6922's. I received a pair of 1970's versions (boxes marked Upscale Audio) with a used preamp that I purchased and they have an entirely different sound than later production (early 90's on) Sovteks. I also have some 80's Relector 6H23-EB's from ATSI tube that I feel are much better than the later productions.

I myself prefer Amperex/Philips/Mullard types and and am not a Telfunken fan though I have never used their CCA's. As far as Siemens go I find the two Russian varieties mentioned above to be competative sound wise for a lot less money (Siemens are dryer and less warm than Amperex and the like).

Keep in mind that any new tube needs to burned in for X amount of hours and that any tube (new or used) that has been shipped through the mail will sound odd for the first 24-48 hours (regardless of burn in) due to some sort of charge or static that is picked up during transit).
I'm going to put the BugleBoys back in there and try to play them longer. They were freshly swapped in when I noticed the lack of bass, so maybe that was part of it. I can't tell from Joe's Tube Lore if they're genuine. They do have the four partitions at the top.

I have to go back in there with an open mind I guess. Maybe tubes just aren't for me period, I'll see. The Anthem was such a good buy that I hate to give it up (it'll be for SS if I do) - but I don't know that there's any "tube magic" going on. It just seems to be a good preamp.

Where can I get ELECTRO-HARMONIX? I browsed everywhere I could think of on line (all the audioasylum links). Didn't see any 6dj8/6922s of that brand.

A few comments: I think that tubes require AT LEAST 72 hours to start sounding right (although I like to burn them in for a full week). Be careful that the "lack of bass" you are perceiving may well be due to the fact that the Amperex tubes may have improved and opened up the treble so dramatically that you are misinterpreting this as a lack of bass. I think that someone bought the "Amperex" trademark back in 1999 and are simply rebranding "who knows what tubes". NOS Amperex these are not!!! In that vein, by the 1980's the golden age of NOS tubes was over, so that even the great NOS tubes brands of this era were pale imitators of their earlier '50's, '60's and '70's predecessors. Also, there was much rebranding in the '80's so it takes an expert to know what's what! (I use Andy Bowman of Vintage Tube Services He's the BEST that I've found! Tel # is 616-454-3467.) Buying tubes on Ebay is a crap shoot...the odds are against you. I have heard the argument that "manufactures voice their equipment for current production tube stock." From a merchandising perspective, a manufacturer could not possibly use NOS and keep costs under control. Don't forget, they would also have to provide for replacement NOS sets! The well respected manufacturer of my amp/preamp FOR YEARS stated that his equipment was meant to be used with cheaper Russian tubes. Well, in the last year, he has finally come around and states that NOS tubes do make a HUGE improvement in the sound of his equipment. When I swapped Sovtek 12AU7's for RCA's, it made a huge improvement in the sound! Going from the RCA's to Telefunkens was beyond belief! Happy Tunes!
I've had better results with the Sovtek 6922 supplied by Audible Illusions for the L-1 preamp than with the replacements purchased from Upscale Audio which were 70's vintage Sovtek 6922's. The AI's have better microphonics, a more extended and airy treble. Go figure?

Also, I can attest to their KT-88. Sounds terrific in my Music Reference RM-9.