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Tesla 6922 tubes in my preamp

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Hi guys , so I now have a wonderful counterpoint sa-3.1 valve preamp paired with 2 firebottle hybrid monoblocks.
It came with nos Tesla 6922 tubes , it sounds fantastic but I’m wondering are there better/preferred tubes I could or should try ?
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Super Wammer
Posted (edited)

If you check out other threads on tubes I have posted my research on 6DJ8s which also included 6922 valves if you cannot find it then pm me and I will send you my findings  .. it is a hybrid tube amp as is  my Audio Research SP9 .. I have tried a few and to be honest could not tell the difference.

Edited by uzzy
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Ah ok thanks for your input, I’ll check it out, still a newbie to valve hybrid gear.


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Posted (edited)

Bee in bonnet mode.

I've posted this before. Do NOT use a 6DJ8 in a circuit designed for a 6922 without checking first with the designer/manufacturer. Some manufacturers' variants are not drop in replacements, despite what you might read all over the place. The cathode to heater maximum voltage allowance is different. In some cathode follower circuits, that can easily cause a nasty problem.

Edited by rabski
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Bee in bonnet mode.
I've posted this before. Do NOT use a 6DJ8 in a circuit designed for a 6922 without checking first with the designer/manufacturer. They are not drop in replacements, despite what you might read all over the place. The cathode to heater maximum voltage allowance is different. In some cathode follower circuits, that can easily cause a nasty problem.

I think I’ll leave well alone for now then , thanks Rabski .


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Just check. Frankly, most manufacturers and most circuits are no problem. Just a few are.

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It's actually a weird one, but something I came across by accident. Not an isolated case where specifications can differ over the years. JJ quote exactly the same specs for E988CC, 6922 and 6DJ8, but AFAIK that's because they effectively use the same valve. The original specs for the 6DJ8 have a lower maximum cathode to heater voltage allowance. At least, they do in my datasheets, though they're original. Quite possibly other manufacturers upped the specs later as well.

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Super Wammer
4 minutes ago, rabski said:

Bee in bonnet mode.

I've posted this before. Do NOT use a 6DJ8 in a circuit designed for a 6922 without checking first with the designer/manufacturer. Some manufacturers' variants are not drop in replacements, despite what you might read all over the place. The cathode to heater maximum voltage allowance is different. In some cathode follower circuits, that can easily cause a nasty problem.

Aye very true - but as i said my posting did list the findings on 6922 valves as well .. this from Watford Valves lists specific 6922 valves https://www.watfordvalves.com/products.asp?search=6922

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Phillips Miniwatt SQ, Amperex PQ, and Siemens Halske  are fantastic. But then sadly, so are the prices today.   

If it was my birthday I'd ask for a(nother) pair of the SQs.

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8 minutes ago, uzzy said:

Aye very true - but as i said my posting did list the findings on 6922 valves as well .. this from Watford Valves lists specific 6922 valves https://www.watfordvalves.com/products.asp?search=6922

Watford valves also suggest a 6N1P is a substitute and do mention the heater current is higher. According to my datasheets, the maximum plate voltage is substantially different and so is the ideal plate current. Frankly, they are different valves. The maximum plate voltage also actually seems to differ between 6922 and 6DJ8 on some of my info, as does mu. 6922 is the same as E88CC, 6DJ8 is the same as ECC88. Mullard (for one) would not have made an ECC88 and an E88CC if they were identical.

Basically, most decent valve sellers are honest, and Watford are certainly decent. However, all sellers sometimes seem to miss things or take for granted that nobody would use a valve in a particular way. Or possibly they too check on the internet and note that everyone seems to suggest that A and B are suitable replacements.

There are some cases where different designations are the US and European versions of the same thing (12AX7 and ECC83 are identical for example). There are some cases where the designation is a military version with usually longer life and physical robustness (CV versions for example). In fact, there are countless cases along these lines. However, valves generally have different designations for a reason. And the reason is that something is different. That something might not matter 99% of the time, but 1% it might.

Of course, sometimes it gets even better. There has for years been a 6X4 rectifier valve. The Chinese also produce a 6X4 rectifier valve. They are totally different, even down to the pin connections.

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This is why I asked , hoping for clarification. Thank you all .


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You will be doing well to beat the Tesla valves. That's all I've got to say.
Actually it's not. ECC88, E88CC, E188CC are all a family, but they have different performance ratings (NOT necessarily sound quality) and manufacturers or techs who know the particular circuits should be consulted. I have a fabulous pair of Danish regulated PSUs that require E188CC, nothing else will do. A quick gander at the prices will tell you all you need to know. Would I waste them on audio? No way!

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Posted (edited)

For new valves JJ Tesla are one of the better options, with decent gain, punch and extension.  Where they suffer compared to better older valves is they can sound a little ragged in the HF as if the sound is starting to break up, and they don't portray nuances like a good oldie.

IMO, avoid the 6n1p.  I just listened to one in a Puresound p10 and it's lifeless.  Build quality is to the usual execrable Russian standard.... 

If you like a neutral presentation the genuine Czech Tesla e88cc is a lot better than its Chinese descendant.   And for a really dynamic presentation, the Hungarian Tungsram PCC88 is a killer. Avoid the cheaper and atm common Matsushita PCC88 which is rather dull to my ear at least in the p10.

Other excellent options are the Dutch Philips Amperex ecc88 (superb tone, open treble but exxy) and Brimar Cv2492 (bold but good middle ground) and still relatively decent value.

Of course differnet components may give different results, but i have tried several of these valves in different pieces and obtained very similar results.

It also helps if your preamp only has 2 or 3 valves, as costs can spiral.....

Edited by graham67
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above post edited to remove reference to ecc83 valves, should never post stuff after midnight....

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For new valves JJ Tesla are one of the better options, with decent gain, punch and extension.  Where they suffer compared to better older valves is they can sound a little ragged in the HF as if the sound is starting to break up, and they don't portray nuances like a good oldie.
IMO, avoid the 6n1p.  I just listened to one in a Puresound p10 and it's lifeless.  Build quality is to the usual execrable Russian standard.... 
If you like a neutral presentation the genuine Czech Tesla e88cc is a lot better than its Chinese descendant.   And for a really dynamic presentation, the Hungarian Tungsram PCC88 is a killer. Avoid the cheaper and atm common Matsushita PCC88 which is rather dull to my ear at least in the p10.
Other excellent options are the Dutch Philips Amperex ecc88 (superb tone, open treble but exxy) and Brimar Cv2492 (bold but good middle ground) and still relatively decent value.
Of course differnet components may give different results, but i have tried several of these valves in different pieces and obtained very similar results.
It also helps if your preamp only has 2 or 3 valves, as costs can spiral.....

Thanks Graham.


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