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"Tube Noob" question

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OK- Phil and where02190 were good enough to take me through mic warm-up 101 (and the fundamentals of turning things upsidedown, as it were).


Part two of my tube mic initiation:


I'm certainly going to work with my new MXL V69ME as-is, but I'm reading all over the place about folks who have had good results swapping in a different ("better") tube.


In my surfing, I came across "tube testing" options listed on the Tube Depot site. Can someone tell me what these are all about? Here's the link- see the section on the testing options:




EDIT: here is the verbatim info they give about the different tube testing options, to save you a few mouse clicks. Obviously, matching is probably not a must-have. But what about "balanced triodes" or "high gain" or "low noise and microphonics"? See following:


# Standard Test Included

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Well, since a tube mic is amplifying a very quiet signal (the sound coming off the condenser capsule, which is very low in level - usually too low to drive a mic preamp to sufficient levels for good recordings without the assistance of the mic's onboard preamplification circuit - which is where the tube comes in ;) ), "low noise" in a tube is a desireable characteristic, because any noise generated at that stage is going to be amplified even more later on down the recording chain. So that might be worth paying extra for.


As far as balanced sides of a triode, I dunno. Tubes can have two different "sides", and each side can be used for different gain stages or functions, depending on the design of the circuit it's being used in, and depending on the circuit, balanced sides might be beneficial.


The quality of their testing would determine wheter or not their testing fees are worth it IMO... and since I've never purchased from them, nor do I know their testing methodology (and no, I didn't have time to check out the link - gotta get back to the studio)... I can't really say - but assuming it's good, I'd go for the low noise test before anything else.

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