Common Small Signal Tubes Stock List
NOTICE: The tube prices in this catalog CANNOT be compared to others!! Each tube sold by VTS has been LABORIOUSLY auditioned, scrutinized, and matched by Andy Bowman in the VTS Analog Laboratory using National Institute of Standards registered gear. (See the Testing Laboratory, and Six Things, etc…)
Common Small Signal Tubes
This is the most popular of the common small signal tubes. All of the tubes listed here are recognized to be among the finest sounding, longest lasting and most reliable ever made! NOTE: Tubes are added regularly and the inventory changes so please call/email us if you have a specific need.
In the 12 volt family of popular preamp tubes, the 12AU7 has the lowest gain and lowest intrinsic distortion. In many instances, this tube can make magic if properly selected/prepared and truly authentic. Here again is the cream of the crop in sound quality, reliability, and long life.
The 12AT7 is the third member in the family of common 12 volt audio tubes. It has medium gain, but is the hardest of the three to manufacture and is the LEAST consistent of the three by far (meaning far higher rejection ratios)! This is a result of the very tight clearances between the cathode, grid & plate. At V.T.S. all 12AT7 tubes are matched on the fully calibrated RCA-WT100-A. This is the only machine with the precision needed to handle this tube. Here again is the best of the best. All VTS, the RCA 12AT7 has about a 6-to-1 rejection ratio! Compare that to any other tube supplier in the world!
Think these prices are high? Try “My Imitators”. Amperex 6922 PQ Gold pins at over $300.00 EACH and this is for a microphonic tube!!! Why would anyone want a Microphonic tube especially at $300.00 each????? Siemens 6922 made in the 80’s not selected at over $230.00 EACH!!!!! Yikes! “You can beam me up now Scotty!”
6DJ8, 6922, 7308 (Frame Grid Tubes)
Amperex introduced the frame grid family of tubes in 1958. These tubes used a new technology of stretching ultra fine wire (.00029) over a stiff frame. They tend to be troublesome.. There are currently used heavily in modern audio gear. Here again while looking at prices, PLEASE remember that NO ONE ELSE IN THE BUSINESS has even HALF a clue as to properly select frame grid tubes for Hi-End audio systems! Because of this VTS rejects many, many otherwise good and expensive tubes that others would sell you!!! Ever wondered why highly touted frame grid tubes like the 6DJ8, 6922, etc…sometimes don’t sound so good, but can’t quite put your finger on it? (Even though they are authentic and measure perfect?) Well, while the amateurs were spending the last four years trying to sell you Ediswan Brimar & other crap and 1970’s & 80’s Mullard and Siemens for $150-$300+ dollars each, O’le Andy was deep down in the sub-basement lab hard at work as usual figuring out why! You be the judge!