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Maxxed-Out Tube Question

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Posted on March 4, 2017 at 11:17:27
JLSmith
Audiophile

Posts: 110
Location: Northern VA
Joined: September 21, 2003
I've been using a Maxxed-Out phono stage for almost 8 years now. The original 6H23P-EB tubes are still in it. They seem OK, but I'm wondering if this could be a situation where the sound has degraded so slowly that I'm not aware of it. And if I replaced the tubes, I'd be surprised at how much better it sounds. Does anyone know how many hours these tubes should be good for? Has anyone replaced them and been pleased with the change? The ones I've seen online seem to be $50-$60 each, so I don't want to replace perfectly good tubes.
Thanks.
Joe

 

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RE: Maxxed-Out Tube Question, posted on March 6, 2017 at 17:04:18
KevinC
Manufacturer

Posts: 2911
Location: NC
Joined: April 19, 2001
I had more than perhaps 1000 hours on my demo MO Phono Preamp (rev 4) before someone insisted on having it so they wouldn't have to wait for 3 weeks to get a new one (what a problem to have...). I put new tubes in a couple of borrows before that and I couldn't hear a difference, so I kept the used ones and put them in the next new one (mine). If yours has 5000 hours (!) on it, then perhaps it's worth trying new ones, but not after 1000 hours.

Kevin Carter
K&K Audio
www.kandkaudio.com

 

RE: Maxxed-Out Tube Question, posted on March 7, 2017 at 06:12:39
JLSmith
Audiophile

Posts: 110
Location: Northern VA
Joined: September 21, 2003
Thanks, Kevin. Your help is always appreciated. I'm sure mine have more than 1000 hours on them, but it's hard to estimate over 7-8 years. Maybe I'll try new tubes at some point, but I'll leave the current ones in for now. They still sound very good!

 

Have had my unit for about the same..., posted on March 8, 2017 at 14:12:16
MWE
Audiophile

Posts: 538
Location: Hillsborough, NC
Joined: June 8, 2000
length of time. Have put in new tubes recently and went back to the originals- the originals sounded just as good if not better.

Mark in NC
"The thought that life could be better is woven indelibly into our hearts and our brains" -Paul Simon

 

RE: Have had my unit for about the same..., posted on March 8, 2017 at 15:50:47
JLSmith
Audiophile

Posts: 110
Location: Northern VA
Joined: September 21, 2003
Thanks, Mark. That's great to know. With your comment and Kevin's, I'm in no hurry to replace them.

 

I DO want to try some fancier 6922s..., posted on March 9, 2017 at 06:30:07
MWE
Audiophile

Posts: 538
Location: Hillsborough, NC
Joined: June 8, 2000
vs. the stock 6H23s at some point, but that's a different issue.

Mark in NC
"The thought that life could be better is woven indelibly into our hearts and our brains" -Paul Simon

 

RE: I DO want to try some fancier 6922s..., posted on March 9, 2017 at 07:29:00
JLSmith
Audiophile

Posts: 110
Location: Northern VA
Joined: September 21, 2003
Mark, what were the new tubes you tried (and went back to the originals)? It's my understanding there are basic 6H23 tubes and a higher quality version 6H23P-EB. The 6H23P-EB (Russian make) came in my kit. Thanks.

 

RE: I DO want to try some fancier 6922s..., posted on March 9, 2017 at 10:47:06
MWE
Audiophile

Posts: 538
Location: Hillsborough, NC
Joined: June 8, 2000
The new ones I put in briefly are the same standard Russian 6H23- forget which suffix- as the old ones (got them from Kevin as he's located not too far from me). I also have a pair of Voshkod ("Rocket" logo) 6H23's, also from Kevin, which I've not yet tried.

Mark in NC
"The thought that life could be better is woven indelibly into our hearts and our brains" -Paul Simon

 

RE: I DO want to try some fancier 6922s..., posted on March 21, 2017 at 09:18:03
Richard P
Audiophile

Posts: 466
Location: Upstate NY
Joined: October 8, 1999
I've tried several 6922/E88CC variants over the years in mine, and always come back to the 6H23 FWIW.

 

Gratifying (and money-saving) to know! nt., posted on March 21, 2017 at 16:55:41
MWE
Audiophile

Posts: 538
Location: Hillsborough, NC
Joined: June 8, 2000
nt.

Mark in NC
"The thought that life could be better is woven indelibly into our hearts and our brains" -Paul Simon

 

RE: Maxxed-Out Tube Question, posted on May 31, 2017 at 16:20:34
WntrMute2
Audiophile

Posts: 601
Location: Detroit
Joined: September 16, 2002
Contributor
  Since:
September 20, 2011
I know you have a number of responses that support leaving the stock tubes in the unit and I caution against trying to find "better" tubes. I tried some fancy Amperex 6922s, some RCA 6DJ8s and some supposedly phenomenal Seimens 7308s. None had the snap and explosive drive the original K&Ks had. Soundstage became recessed and too syrupy I put in a replacement set from Kevin as well as some rocket logo versions for when these wear out. I play music through them every single day for a couple of hours for a couple of years now. Not the quietest tube in the stable but the sound is head and shoulders above the fancy-pants tubes IMHO

 

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