Tube Time!!! a.k.a., Let the indecision begin

Try1256

Very Special Member
So,
It's time for some new 6922 tubes in the BAT VK-3i
Let me give you the back story, I will try to keep it short.

In my VK-P5, I have Phillips 7DJ8's in the 6922 slots. The sounded good but I decided to roll a few spare 6922's in to see how they compared. I had a spare set of EH 6922's, JJ's and Sovteks. I listened to a couple of albums through each and over the course of the week, got a feel for what each had to offer. They all had strengths and weaknesses. At the end of the week, I rolled the Phillips back in. Only to discover that they were good, I mean very good. Really, more like incredibly good compared to the others. Which got me to thinking....

I have EH 6922's in the VK-3i, they sound pretty good but based on my experience last week,
how much am I leaving on the table?

I started looking at NOS 6922's at various online vendors. There is a pretty good selection at the price point that I would like to stay at. Hint, not $100+ each.
These are the contenders so far, in no specific order:

NOS Tesla's
Seem to be fairly well liked, about $35 each at Tubemonger

NOS Tungsram
Highly regarded, priced from $55 to $70 each depending on production year, also at Tubemonger

NOS JAN Phillips
Mixed reviews, $40 each at Tubestore.com

Reflector 6H23p-EB
Highly regarded, well liked by most who use them $60 each at Tubestore

Jan Sylvania
I have Jan Sylvania 6V6's for the voltage supply in the 3i. Incredible difference between those and new production 6v6. I wonder if the 6922's would be similar. $50 each at Tube depot

Amperex, Phillips, Telefunken are all out of the price range since I need 4.

I want a clean open sound but not sterile. Hopefully that makes sense. I know this is a long shot, but I would like to get it right the first time and not have to buy several sets if you know what I mean. I also know it is hard to determine without actually hearing them in my system.

I am still relatively new to this tube thing so I am looking to the tube guru's here for war stories and suggestions. Thanks
 

paulbottlehead

Active Member
JAN Phillips and JAN Sylvania are not that great. They are what I give away when I'm doing a repair and a 6922 is needed.

You can definitely afford four used Amperex 6922s for your preamp.
 

MikeyFresh

Moderator
Staff member
I want a clean open sound but not sterile.

You might also then consider the 7308 variant, I like that linked to Siemens branded version quite a bit, hard to beat at this price point but of course thats dependent on both system synergy and personal taste.

The above was actually U.S. made for Siemens by Philips ECG, currently less than half the price of the Amperex 7308 gold pin version, which were also U.S. made.
 

airdronian

Radar Member
You may also want to look at Parts Connexion - $89.95/pr for the Reflektor 6H23p-EB. Sometimes they go on sale. They supplied those tubes in an Anthem Pre-1 I bought there. They also have an introductory pricing on Tungsram PCC88/7DJ8 - $29.95/ea. No experience with the latter though. (although I've always wanted to try Tungsram)
 

paulbottlehead

Active Member
Used isn't risky, especially if you buy with the option to return. I generally sell my used/tested/listened to Amperex 6DJ8s for about $25 each.
 

Try1256

Very Special Member

Try1256

Very Special Member
You might also then consider the 7308 variant, I like that linked to Siemens branded version quite a bit, hard to beat at this price point but of course thats dependent on both system synergy and personal taste.

The above was actually U.S. made for Siemens by Philips ECG, currently less than half the price of the Amperex 7308 gold pin version, which were also U.S. made.

I emailed an inquiry to Kevin, thanks.
 

Try1256

Very Special Member
You may also want to look at Parts Connexion - $89.95/pr for the Reflektor 6H23p-EB. Sometimes they go on sale. They supplied those tubes in an Anthem Pre-1 I bought there. They also have an introductory pricing on Tungsram PCC88/7DJ8 - $29.95/ea. No experience with the latter though. (although I've always wanted to try Tungsram)

That is a good price for those, thanks for the heads up. I have read a lot of good things about the Tungsram 6922. They seem to have all the qualities of the upper tier NOS tubes without the high price. I am hesitant to put the 7dj8 int the 3i as it isn't recommended by BAT. Tubemonger just added some 1973 Tungsram 6922's to their website at $55 each. Hmmm.....
 

Try1256

Very Special Member
I finally settled on the 1973 vintage Tungsrams from Tubemonger. They had good reviews so I ordered a quad on Monday.

They arrived today and after dinner, I popped the cover off the preamp and put them in. I was going to let them warm up an hour or so but I am far too impatient so I played some of my favorite tunes on the Sonos. Well......

Right out of the box they are exponentially superior to the EH 6922's. Seriously better. Powerful bass, sweet mids and smooth highs. And they are dead silent. The EH weren't "noisy" but I could hear them his from about a foot or so away. With the Tungsrams's I have to put my ear on the wire screen that covers the tweeter on my NS-1000 to hear the hiss.
This is with a couple of hours on them. I can't wait to hear them broken in.
These are military tubes from Hungary and are advertised as quiet and durable. So far, so good.
 
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