Tewb Newb!

Zuman

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Feb 25, 2023
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Hello, All. I've just gingerly dipped my toes into the world of tubes for the first time with the purchase of an almost-unused Modwright KWH 225i hybrid integrated amp. The KWH 225i has a solid state Class A/B output stage (Class A first 25w) and a tube preamp section. It includes a phono stage. The preamp section comes with a pair of 6922s provided by the manufacturer, and also a matched pair of 1960s Amperex Holland ECC88s the previous owner bought from Vintage Tube Services but hasn't installed.
As a tube virgin I don't really know any recommended protocols for comparing the two sets of tubes. Should I try switching them out on back-to-back days? Is it ok to do so more frequently? Any hints on what I might want to specifically listen for? Any warnings or cautions?
Thanks!
 
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Another Johnson

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A few things to share.

First, power down and let things cool before swaps. Second, the more you swap, the more wear you put on your tube sockets. You don’t want to “wallow them out.” Third, make sure the pin configuration and heater voltage are the same as the OEM tubes for the alternates you are considering.
 

Lowrider75

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Dec 4, 2019
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Hello, All. I've just gingerly dipped my toes into the world of tubes for the first time with the purchase of an almost-unused Modwright KWH 225i hybrid integrated amp. The KWH 225i has a solid state Class A/B output stage (Class A first 25w) and a tube preamp section. It includes a phono stage. The preamp section comes with a pair of 6922s provided by the manufacturer, and also a matched pair of 1960s Amperex Holland ECC88s the previous owner bought from Vintage Tube Services but hasn't installed.
As a tube virgin I don't really know any recommended protocols for comparing the two sets of tubes. Should I try switching them out on back-to-back days? Is it ok to do so more frequently? Any hints on what I might want to specifically listen for? Any warnings or cautions?
Thanks!
1960s Amperex Holland are very good quality tubes and have become expensive. As others have stated, tubes shouldn't be inserted to the socket and pulled out often (as in every day).
If these vintage Amperex have never been used, or any tube for that matter, it takes some time for tubes to break-in. Day 1 will not sound the same as day 7. So when swapping tubes give them time to heat up and "burn-in" to hear how they really sound.
 

Cellcbern

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Hello, All. I've just gingerly dipped my toes into the world of tubes for the first time with the purchase of an almost-unused Modwright KWH 225i hybrid integrated amp. The KWH 225i has a solid state Class A/B output stage (Class A first 25w) and a tube preamp section. It includes a phono stage. The preamp section comes with a pair of 6922s provided by the manufacturer, and also a matched pair of 1960s Amperex Holland ECC88s the previous owner bought from Vintage Tube Services but hasn't installed.
As a tube virgin I don't really know any recommended protocols for comparing the two sets of tubes. Should I try switching them out on back-to-back days? Is it ok to do so more frequently? Any hints on what I might want to specifically listen for? Any warnings or cautions?
Thanks!
When I compare different brands/"vintages" of preamp tubes I listen to each for several weeks before swapping, and listen to familiar recordings of multiple different genres of music. I also take notes. In my experience clear differences typically reveal themselves with extended listening between modern Chinese/Russian tubes vs. NOS American and European versions).
 
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marty

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Agree with the advice not to swap out too often. Just listen to each for a week or so and see if you like the sound of one more than the other. Another switch perhaps to confirm and then you're done!
Don't overthink it or you risk becoming an audiophile :eek:

The 6922 is a bedrock tube for a lot of gear. If you want a concise review of the 6DJ8/6922 offerings and some guidance for sonic impressions you might wish to look at Brent Jesse's site:
 

modwright

Industry Expert
Nov 2, 2017
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Hello, All. I've just gingerly dipped my toes into the world of tubes for the first time with the purchase of an almost-unused Modwright KWH 225i hybrid integrated amp. The KWH 225i has a solid state Class A/B output stage (Class A first 25w) and a tube preamp section. It includes a phono stage. The preamp section comes with a pair of 6922s provided by the manufacturer, and also a matched pair of 1960s Amperex Holland ECC88s the previous owner bought from Vintage Tube Services but hasn't installed.
As a tube virgin I don't really know any recommended protocols for comparing the two sets of tubes. Should I try switching them out on back-to-back days? Is it ok to do so more frequently? Any hints on what I might want to specifically listen for? Any warnings or cautions?
Thanks!
I really like Amperex and Telefunken 6922's for the KWH 225i. The Telefunkens are the fastest!
 

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