6922 vs 12au7

A Definitive Guide to Choosing between 6922 vs 12au7!

Introduction

There are many tube amps that are pretty famous for what they offer. 6922 and 12AU7 are two of the most used tube amps you can find.

But those are two very different applications for your amplifiers. If you use them carelessly, you’ll get very disappointing feedback from your system.

So, what are the differences between 6922 vs 12au7?

The very first difference between 6922 and 12au7 is the structure. The filaments have different voltage ranges. Also the 12au7 has more headroom than the 6922 tube. Apart from this the gain factor is also better found in the 12AU7 than in the 6922 amp tube. Lastly, the compatibility with devices also varies drastically.

Now, that was just the tip of the iceberg. You’ll be able to understand more about it once you know the full story.

So, let’s not waste any time and start!

A Brief Comparison

Before going into the full discussion, it’s important to go over the subjects. Otherwise, it’s quite easy to get intimidated while reading. So, this segment will only focus on the factors and their significance.

Obviously, structure or build does not require any introduction. Let’s not waste time as you probably already know what it means. The second point is quite crucial because the gain factor is the main differentiator in my opinion.

You may feel a bit lost already. Fret not buddy because I’m here to make things easier with a table!

Here’s the comparison table for you to understand the points carefully-

Factors 6922 Tube 12AU7 Tube
Structure6 Volts Filament12 Volts Filament
Gain Factor3320
HeadroomBetterDecent
Compatibility Power AmpPre Amp
PriceCheck PriceCheck Price

Then last two factors are headroom and compatibility. Those two will need further explanation as we dig deeper into the comparison.

So, these are the 4 major differences between these guitar amp tubes comparison. Now let’s take a look at this graph that summarizes all the differences:

 Now that we know a bit about all the comparison factors let’s move on to the details!

The Ultimate Showdown

Itching to know about the head-to-head battle between these two tube amps? I bet you are! But some things need to be mentioned beforehand. Otherwise, you might get the wrong impression.

Source: commons.wikimedia.org

The point of this comparison is to shed light on what these two offer. So, by no means, I’m trying to convince you to go with a particular tube amp. The final decision is always yours. 

With that being said, let’s start with the build materials!

Structure

While the build quality is more or less the same, the structure is not! These two tube amps don’t share all the things equally in them. Now, you might be thinking what is the difference in their structure?

The only thing that can be differentiated is the filament voltage. The 12AU7 has a 12 Volt filament that is two times higher than the 6922 tubes. Even other 12au7 equivalent tubes have the same 12V filament. 

If you’re in search for good quality 12au7 amp tubes then here are some our tried and tested ones: 

As mentioned before, the 6922 has a lower voltage rated at 6V. Now, what does this voltage difference mean? It means that you can’t replace one with another in most cases. Just like you cant replace 616 with el34.

So, you need to know which tube pin at what voltage rate you want. Then you can make the purchase decision.

Winner: The structures of the two tubes are different. However, 12au7 has a higher voltage than 6922 tubes.

Gain Factor

All tube amps don’t support your typical 50w or 100w amps. So, you have to know about the gain factor, or else you’ll be going in the wrong direction.

The gain factor on the 6692 tubes is rated at 33 which is quite high. Upon getting a higher current this or 6922 tube equivalent such as 6dj8 won’t distort that much.

On the other hand, the 12AU7 has a lower gain factor which is rated at 20. Now the only problem with the less gain factor is that it can distort when there’s a high current. Otherwise, it’s a very good amp tube to own.

Matching power tubes is very necessary for optimal functioning.

Winner: For a higher gain factor, the 6692 tube is ideal. 12au7 won’t disappoint you if you’re in for lower gain.

Headroom

This section is quite intuitive to understand. So, I’ll explain it as simply as possible.

As the 12AU7 gain factor is quite low, it has more wide headroom. Consequently, it has a rich, bright, and clean sound.

On the other hand, the higher gain becomes a burden for 6922 when you use high volume. The sound becomes a bit thinner and the headroom decreases.

Source: tubeampdoctor.com

So, when headroom is your concern, you now know what to choose!

Winner: Because of the lower gain factor, 12AU7 has higher headroom.

Compatibility

Now, the final but a very important factor to determine the tubes’ worth. The compatibility factor. If you understand this correctly, you’ll have no problem deciding which way to go.

So, as I’ve already mentioned before, the 6922 has support for 6 or 6.3V current. Now, where is the low current ideal for audio gear? 

Preamps! Yes, the preamps are perfect for getting low voltage power. As you can see lot’s of people love using the 6922 tubes for preamps-

That’s why 6922 is better suited for preamps. Now if you want get your hands on some good quality 6922 amp tubes for your preamps then you can take a look at these gems: 

That leaves us with 12AU7 compatible devices.

You may have already guessed it. Power Amps are ideal to support that high voltage current of 12AU7. So, in case you want to use these tubes for power amps, you’re on the right track.

Oh! don’t forget to check the cable that goes between preamps and poweramps! Otherwise, you may damage your tubes too!

Winner: For preamps, go for 6922. 12AU7 is better for power amps.

Which One Should You Get?

The moment of truth has come to light now. You are now equipped with all the knowledge to decide on your tube amp.

Still, feeling a bit confused? Let’s sum up all the points briefly with this table then.

The voltage difference is the first thing to look at when buying. So, make sure you clarify that. Then comes the gain factor scenario. As the 12AU7 gain factor is lower, it has better headroom and mightier current output.

The 6922 has a higher gain factor which can distort the sound a bit at high volume. So, you have to be careful when cranking it all the way up.

The most important part is the compatibility with amps. The 12au7 family is better suited with preamps whereas the 6922 is more power amp-friendly.

And that’s all you need to know to understand these two tube amps. Now, you can choose one and start jamming!

FAQs

Are 12AU7 and 12AU7A the Same?

No, between 12AU7 and 12AU7A amp tubes, there is a slight difference. The base 12AU7 can be used in many electrical components. But, you can’t use it in series string filament circuits. 12AU7A can do that because of its balanced warm-up cathode. That’s the only highlighting difference between these two.

Is a 12AX7 the same as a 6922?

No, 12AX7 and 6922 amp tubes are very different in nature and function. You can’t use a 6922 tube as a direct plugin in replacement for 12AX7. Even the build and structure are quite contrasting to each other. The pins don’t match and the pinout is also quite different. So, 12AX7 and 6922 are not the same.

What is a 6922 Tube Used for?

A typical 6922 tube is mainly used for circuits that go into amplifiers. When this particular tube was released and developed, it was mainly found in TV tuners. Later on, many audio gears started using these or similar tubes inside. There are many variations of it such as 6DJ8, ECC88, and E88CC.

Conclusion

And with that we’ve reached the end of this debate between 6922 vs 12au7. I hope now you’ll be able to distinguish between these two easily!

One tiny thing before you go. Always remember to take care of your audio gears. Otherwise, there’s no point in picking the best gear.

So, go on and have fun with your music!

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