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Ah! the 6H30-DR "Supertube" is becoming "Superexpensive" !

PAINTING: Design for a Tragic Theatre (Death of a General Electric 6550)


I don't know which 6H30 tubes BAT and ARC are normally supplying for their gear, but I can almost guarantee it's either the current Sovtek or Electro-Harmonix because they need to have a virtually unlimited supply for selection. More importantly, the NOS -DR version is becoming rare and a $150 tube. I think that for a while, BAT would supply the -DR, but I heard later that the price increased to up to $200 and someone even mentioned $300 each. The Tubestore charges about $160 each. Though a Sovtek 6H30 retail is about $30 and the E-H is about $35, I think ARC charges $75 for replacements- reflecting the testing/selection process.

I've never heard the -DR version, but every report I've read says the NOS -DR is noticeably better than current production, but the cost seems to be rapidly equalling and even surpassing even the outrageous prices for 6922s.

Though I've heard superb 6H30 designs- the ARC REF3 for example, if I were to buy a replacement tube preamp today, I would only consider the last Audio Research designs that still used the 6922: LS5, LS15, and especially the 6922 version of the LS25- fantastic and to me makes buying a REF2 unnecessary. These choices are also partly because I have 120 NOS 6DJ8s, 6922s, and 7308s but mainly I prefer the idea of having a choice of tubes to refine the sound and the 6H30 is rapidly becoming a no-choicer.

Can you say something more about the ARC LS16/II sound (which I've not heard properly) and what is making you think about retubing?


Bambi B

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