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Amperex PQ 6189 12AU7 ECC82 Preamp Tube - France 1968 - Original Packaging - NOS

Amperex PQ 6189 12AU7 ECC82 Preamp Tube - France 1968 - Original Packaging - NOS

Regular price $152.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $152.00 USD
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Sound Sample:

Perfectly balanced vintage Amperex 6189 audio tube - Made in France 1968 - PQ logo - Ultra Rare

Product Summary

This tube is very special for two reasons: 1) Made by Philips-owned Mazda factory (La Radiotechnique) in Suresnes, France (not in Holland like other Valvo ECC82 tubes) and therefore you get the distinct French flavor, a warmer and wider (and surely more romantic) sound with more vocal forwardness than the Heerlen production; 2) Marked 6189 ONLY and without the 12AU7WA (typically found on the military version of 6189) label next to the date code, this is a premium industrial tube, a delicious step-up in the 12AU7 family.

Sound Characteristics

Immediately appealing is the super smooth highs offered by these tubes with lots of open air. The overall tonality of Amperex 6189 tubes is warm, musical and euphonic. And this feature is even more pronounced on the French version with an unmistakable romantic flavor. The midrange displays some secondary octave nuances, which is very unique and can hardly be found even on the super high-end German tubes. Similar to Telefunken ECC802S tubes, the Amperex 6189 tubes can create infinite levels of harmonic depth and a liquid sonic texture without altering the musicality of the sound. The bass on these is the clear winner of the Philips tubes family: articulate, accurate, deep, textured, full-bodied and powerful. The sound stage is wide, deep and well structured. 

The richness of the music reproduced by these tubes surpass any other previous attempts of the other 6189 tubes. These are extremely low noise tubes, very neutral with pin-point tonal accuracy, providing an outstanding balanced and uncolored sonic tapestry that will put your mind in a whole new dimension.

Professional Sound Evaluation

The tube worked wonderfully and sounded terrific in our professional studio setup for monitoring. 

 - Input: Cambridge Audio CXC V2 dedicated CD transport + Schiit Audio Bifrost 2 Multibit DAC
 - Amplification: Handcrafted Bottlehead Crack Headphone amplifier
 - Output: Neumann NDH 20 Closed Back Studio Headphones

Our full tube sound review was written 100% based on the actual listening experience while this tube was running in the system described above.

Professional Tube Testing

Both tubes tested Strong NOS (110%+ nominal mutual conductance) and 100% balanced on a reliable and recently calibrated Mercury 2000 tube tester with the following result (mutual conductance both in uMhos and in percentage of nominal):

3,420/3,400 (114%/113%)

Good tubes start at 2000 and new tubes (incl. NOS/NIB) 3,000 - 3,100, and the Mercury 2000's rated mutual conductance (nominal) for new tubes is 3,000. Test result can also be seen in the pictures. In case you wonder what all these numbers mean to your sound experience, it's actually quite straightforward: mutual conductance directly translates to tube's ability to amplify sound, so the higher these numbers the stronger. No short, leakage or gas.

Appearance & Cosmetic condition

Besides the world-class sound characteristics, we still treasure this pair for its near pristine cosmetic condition given the tubes' age - nearly 100% of the paint is still intact, and the French date code etched on glass is perfectly visible: FRS 68133 (FRS = France, 68 = 1968)


This pair of tubes will be packaged in the Original Amperex 6189 tube box.
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