What's with BAT?

I’ve noticed that, over the last few years, BAT tube preamps have gone almost exclusively to the 6H30 tube. No more tube rolling like in the older preamps, such as my VK-3i. Any ideas as to why this has happened?

The 60H30 tube BAT is using is the supertube version , there is no better
kind available , this tube last much longer than the standard version .
In my ARC gear all 6H30 tubes have been replaced by the 6H30P-DR 
version , just not only the lifetime , but also more musically 
The Russian 6H30 was actually introduced to the USA by BAT(who has as it’s designer a genuine Russian rocket scientist). The tube is more efficient than the previous 6DJ8/6922, allowing less tubes in circuit, to perform the same job. ie: My VK-D5 uses six 6922s(early sixties, Siemens CCa Grey Shields) vs the VK-D5 SE’s four 6H30s. It’s also an innately quieter design, which makes it attractive for high-gain devices. Nowhere near as many variants/iterations as the manufactured for many decades, by a plethora of providers, with as many sonic signatures, 6DJ8/6922/ECC88/6N23P types.
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The Russian 6H30 was actually introduced to the USA by BAT
 New Sensor was sending us samples two years before BAT went into business. Just FWIW.
Hello Ralph- Do you know of anyone, stateside, that actually incorporated the 6H30 in their designs/products, before BAT('98/'99)?
No- we rejected the tube as it had a lot of the same problems as the 6922 and similar. Frame grid triodes although very linear usually don’t have good microphonic characteristics.

New Sensor at the time made a pretty big deal about the tube- I think they wanted to sell some. But the guitar guys weren’t interested and it was a few years before we saw any product actually using them- and in that regard I do think BAT was one of the early adopters.
That’s what I thought. I was aware of the tube, but- never saw it used, prior to BAT’s VK-D5SE(et al). I’m with you, when it comes to the most excellent 6SN7, but- I don’t believe anyone made a quieter tube than the Siemens CCa(six, in my VK-D5). From what I hear, the German and Dutch Posts were pretty picky!

the supertube, 6H30, is almost used exclusively.  Happy Listening!
All "super tubes" are not created equal. The last BAT VK-300SE I purchased (three years old at the time) had noisy 6H30s. I purchased a new pair from Audio Research which were gritty and progressively noisy after three months. I finally "bit the bullet" and acquired two NOS "DR" tubes from BAT -$300 a pop (these were stamped ’91 as the year of manufacture). These have performed well and sound good.
I'm not too thrilled with the sound of the 6H30, as I think it sounds too clinical generally. Makes me appreciate my VK-3i a whole lot more than I do already.
I love to roll tubes but 6H30 sounds excellent in my ARCs so I just enjoy the music.
My experience is similar to rlb61.  The 6H30 implementation that I've heard/owned in various preamps much too close to a transistor in terms of sound to justify the downsides of tube ownership, at least for me.

I got tired of worrying about putting hours on the tubes, etc.

The 6H30 certainly is in vogue however and there are many who love them, I simply wasn't one of them.  I guess I'm just a SS guy when it comes down to it.
I'm currently auditioning a phono stage that is running (3) 6922s and has a switchable high output of 72db/MC stage.

Any recommendations for musical and quiet tubes? Any variant?



What is your source for the Seimens?
Hello, slaw- Generally speaking, it seems most that use the term, "musical", are referring to tubes that add warmth to their system. Siemens won’t. The early to mid 60’s, grey shield, internally date coded, CCa is a very neutral/clean tube, with beautiful extension(in both directions) and great sound stage. The later ones(CCa’s), with the silver shield, can be kinda zingy on top(for my tastes), but- most everything else is still there. Mullard and Ediswan made 7308/E188CC tubes that will probably fulfill your desires/tastes, if you’re looking for warmth.  Amperex, a bit less warmth than those two.  Just be certain to ask for tubes graded, "low noise". I bought a number of excellent Siemens tubes(mostly E188CC & CCa) from this guy, back when he had them: (http://www.ebay.com/usr/audiotubes_de?_trksid=p2053788.m1543.l2754) I haven’t bought any nine-pins in a few years(thankfully, given the current price of my preferences) and can’t find a link to the other sellers. One was in Argentina and it took the package of CCa’s 6 weeks to get to me. Yeah, I was sweating! Upscale Audio tests and grades their tubes for noise and a plethora of other parameters. (https://www.upscaleaudio.com/collections/preamp-tubes/6922-6dj8-7308-pcc88)

Thanks for your response. Maybe instead of "musical" I should have said expressive?
Your response included a lot of useful info. I've used Upscale Audio in the past.
Thank you.
  Here's hoping it helps, somehow.  Happy listening! 

Apologies if I've taken your thread in another direction. Since the 6922s were mentioned here, I thought this may be of some interest.


I purchased some tubes second hand through a member here who bought them through Andy's Vintage Tube Service. His site seems to offer more initial info and the prices are somewhat lower than Upscale Audio. The tubes I bought are very good, still in use in the unit I installed then in.
Recently purchase a new BAT VK 33 and do have 6922.
I bought this unit because it does not carry the super tube 6H30 DR.
Allows me to try a large slew of 6922/6dj8.
In my system the Pope PCC88 sounds the best followed by the Amperex 6dj8.

I'm not going to relay the manufacturer of phono stage I'm listening to out of respect for the designer....

From my conversations with him, he states most haven't used the 6922 in a way that achieves best performance.

So, no matter what, there will be many theories.
Boy I am not a fan of the 6H30. Just has a small sound. It does fit into closed cabinets, ones with lids on them, not sure that is of much concern to serious listeners. To me small tubes have a small sound. 845's to me have bigger sound then EL34's for example. Can you think of other examples.

I'm a big fan of the 6SN7, especially in the Cary SLP-05 preamp, as well as the 12AU7 in the VTL 7.5III which in my opinion occupies rarified air in the tube preamp world.

I've heard a few BAT's but never was really that impressed.  Different strokes I suppose...