amperex 6922 pq white label tubes

  I am somewhat new to tubes so I apologize if this is a dumb question.  I am looking to get some amperex pq white label tubes but the prices are confusing.  There are matched pairs on ebay for 129.00 but there is also a guy on audio asylum selling matched pairs for 235.00.  They are both made in the usa.  Are these the same tubes and the audio asylum guy is just overpriced.  I am not sure about buying on ebay is why I am asking.  thanks
Very nice 6922’s; I like their sonic signature very much. As always, a lot depends on the piece that they will be used in and your tastes. The ones I have I like because in my gear they are quiet with very stable imaging; and, most important for me, rich sounding with good bass, extended enough up top and with natural tonal colors (not thin and bleached out). I looked at both ads. The ones on the Asylum are NOS and claimed to be tightly matched (important); the printing on the glass is pristine and the boxes look new. Lastly, I always like when seller offers local pickup even if I can’t. I would feel confident that these are, in fact, new. The ones on eBay are not NOS although claimed to test as new. The printing on the glass makes it obvious that they have handled quite a bit. Although claimed to test within the "new" parameters, one of the sections in one of the tubes tests below the "new" spec. Those tubes have seen some use. IMO, although a little pricy (not much as today’s prices go) the asylum tubes are a much better buy. Having said all that, take a look at this; great and reliable vendor who will offer good advise (no affiliation). The 7308 is also a great tube and there will be no issues dealing with this guy. Good luck!

Btw, one pair has O getters the other D getters; not the exact same tube.  I have only used O getter PQ's.  I am sure there are opinions out there about this.

Unless you plan to really get into tubes, learn about them, and get a tube tester, buy from a reputable dealer and talk to them about what you want soundwise before placing an order. That will save you a lot of money and help ensure you get the sound you want.

Some reputable dealers, but not all, are:

Upscale Audio

Brent Jessee

Vintage Tube Services

Jim McShane


There are more. Just search the archives for "tube dealers" and you’ll find a number of threads on this topic.

There are many variations of 6922/7308/6dj8/CCa/etc - even with white lettering and coming from Amperex. Cost is determined not only by matching and measurements, but also by wear, when they were made, etc. There are codes to indicate year and date - closely matched tubes should also be matched as to manufacturing dates, for example. I have several pairs of Amperex USA-made white label 6922 and have typically paid about 200usd per matched pair. The Ebay listed pair has seen significant wear despite the measurements. Like frogman, I have used PQ (premium quality) labeled O-getters; the sound is glorious. The AudioAsylum pair seem to be a better deal.

If you really want to get confused:
Then there’s the E188CC, E88CC, ECC88, CCa.
All the companies and countries where each were made,
plus all the changes to each over the years etc.

I would hold off on buying expensive tubes until you familiarize yourself with the variables, OR get advice from someone who knows the subject.
Save yourself from expensive mistakes and/or getting ripped-off.

About half of the "NOS" tubes I bought on ebay were not; some were not even marginally good when tested with a calibrated Hikock tub tester.  Stick w the known good dealers. Tomcy6 gave you a good place to start.
The acronym "NOS" (New Old Stock) is overly used by many, especially on eBay. This means the tube has never been used and tests at or above new values with no issues, shorts or gas, etc. Also, test results should be on a recognized tester that is calibrated. The tube should come in it’s original box, however sometimes that isn’t possible. Bulk pack tubes were packaged 100 to a single box. Many years ago I acquired some NOS Brimar tubes that were the remainder of a bulk pack and I did get that original large box. Many sellers label used tubes "NOS" if they test at or above new values, and most of the time what tester was used is never cited. This is very misleading, since it’s actually a used tube that has good test results if done on a recognized calibrated tester.

The term "matched" gets used loosely as well. Is the internal structure of each tube the same? Do the date codes match? How about test results, within 10%, 5%, etc and how does that relate to the sections of each tube, then to the pair? What type of tester was used and was it calibrated?

As others have said, it’s best to buy from a trusted seller. Otherwise before diving in, you need to know the water is clear or be able to detect just how cloudy it is. Sometimes on an extremely good deal that was just ever so slightly cloudy, I have taken a chance and everything was OK.

Now look back at those 2 pair of tubes and see if you can tell how different they really are.

Another reputable seller for new and NOS is TC Tubes. He also offers a testing service for your tubes with what is considered a reference tester, the Amplitrex.

  Thanks everyone who has responded.  Lots of good information for me to process.  I like the upscale audio site.  I didn't know that all these tubes are interchangeable and now I am leaning towards the 7308 tubes that frogman pointed out.  You guys have made it a little easier to grasp all this and I am looking foward to some tube rolling now,  thanks again

"I am leaning towards the 7308 tubes that frogman pointed out"

Excellent choice, a few years ago I tried at least 10-15 different varieties of 6922’s in a component and that 7308 in addition to one other tube were my favorites. The other one is in the list here, under Siemens, scrolling down, the 2nd E88CC/6922. Writeup states, "Some are RCA labeled."

Just a matter of personal preference, I did land my plane with the Siemens, but I would have been happy with either one.

My current favorite is the late 1950s "Made in Holland" Amperex E188CC (European 7308) with D-foil getter. Really outstanding but they are pricey.
Last pair I bought from Brent Jesse, another excellent source who extensively tests his tubes.

The earlier "Made in Holland" E88CC (European 6922) with large halo getters are also excellent although some folks prefer the "Made In USA" Amperex 6922 and 7308 tubes. IMO: If tested thoroughly and bought from a reputable dealer you can’t go wrong with any of them.

BTW: There are some good tube dealers on ebay but how do you figure out who they are?

Kedoades, The 7308 and 6922 are a little different than most tubes in that they are members of the 6dj8 family, which consists of the 6dj8, 6922 and 7308. These tubes have different specs but are generally interchangeable.

Other tubes like the 12AX7 and 12AU7 are not interchangeable, although there are variations on these tubes, such as the 7025 for the 12AX7 that are. Brent Jessee’s site goes through all the variations of tubes that are compatible with tubes like the 12AX7 or 12AU7 in the sections devoted to those tubes.

I recently bought a couple of Tubes as Nos from Ebay, the experience was very unpleasant, even with a seller of 100% positive feedback.  Be aware, there are a lot of Russian tubes with stamps of famous brands, like Amperex, Siemens or Telefunken. The one at ebay that you mentioned seems to be one of those with perfect stamp. That's why I decided to buy  my tubes from (upscale) one of these site mentioned above.

As for 6922, it depends to your preamp or amp as to what feed them with. On my preamp (Einstein The tube mkII) I use two Telefunken for CD input which is kind of very neutral with some brightness. Amperex is more tuby sound and less neutral and use them on phono-pre input. Amperex has also a lot of variety, with construction made in Holland (very rare), England, Italy, India and ... Each has its own sound tonality.

Reading about tubes could be very useful, if you are like me and new on tube world:

Consider the tubes which were specially selected for HP test equipment back in the 60's. They typically have the HP logo and a dab of paint on the crown.

Back then, HP was THE technology company. They made the instruments that put men on the moon. At one point, they bought tubes from Amperex, Telefunken, built and selected to HP specs.

Then they selected for themselves, so the story goes. According to stories told at the time, HP used to hire engineering students for the summer to test tubes. For every 100 tested, they threw 97 in the dumpster.

That is why a tube from HP cost 10x what it cost from the electronics store - and it was a bargain. Few seem to remember this today - and as a result, HP selected tubes bearing the HP logo are available for no premium. Which is ridiculous. But it may also be that the HP logo indicates authenticity, because the crooks don't know enough to lie about that.

By FAR, the best tubes I have ever used are 1962 TF 6922 with HP seals. Quiet, clean, sweet, detailed, etc. Simply the best.
But the HP TF 6922's are rare. So rare that one knowledgable dealer told me that they had never been made, which made me smile, considering I was looking at a sleeve of them with both HP and TF seals.

I am new to tube rolling even though I have owned my Manley Steelhead since 07'. Purchased a pair of NOS Telefunkens from Brent Jesse. Nice improvement over original stock 6022s.
I am willing to pay the price if you will share your source for the HP TF 6022's. 

Thank You in Advance,