Kevin Deal Takes On Paul

He is “totally tubular” hippy slang speak from back in the days
of old while he hocks his wares…

His tube advice matches my own experience both small signal
and beam power tubes…

Have fun ya’ll

There’s definitely some instigators on this forum. I see 2 business professionals with much respect for each other. Takes on Paul? Please. I can back Kevin up. When I first got into PS Audio gear with tubes on contacted upscale and asked what tube would sound best? They said right away we don’t make tube suggestions. In Paul’s defense he said change them after a year not 6 months. I changed mine in the preamp after 1900 hours because they were making noise. I still have them they are resting in the tube drawer! Lol


I’m still mad at Uncle Kevvy (not really) for placing Upscale stickers on the label side of the original boxes for some nos RT 6189’s

They had 3 blank sides of the boxes to work with but chose to put the stickers, which take the lettering off if you try and peel them back; on the label side? This after I asked before ordering if they were in original boxes and was told “yes they are and the labeling is really cool” It was not Kevin I spoke with. Never occurred to me to ask them not to put a marketing sticker over the “cool” labels


Back in the 90’s Kevin sure did make tube suggestions and touted
his “Cookie Jar”…Knowing this from having purchased tubes from
Kevin for different pieces of equipment.

Best wishes

1 Like

My experience was different. I don’t have issues with Upscale or PS Audio I happily conduct business with both. If I’m not mistaken Upscale was a PS Audio Dealer before the plug was pulled on US dealers.

Agree w Elk. It would not end well for Paul or PSA. KD doesn’t lose social media tiffs. But if Paul started comparing the BHK amps to PrimaLuna imagine how fun that would be :flushed:. Just pack a lunch if you decide to go there, because there really wouldn’t be any out of bounds….

If you guys don’t think KD was going at Paul, then you haven’t watched many of his videos. Did you notice what the title of the video was? He could have done that bit about Klipsch and BS in any video, but he led with it here and then showed the clip of Paul in his own words disparaging Upscale. That wasn’t coincidence.

That’s how KD rolls - he doesn’t back down and in this case Paul mentioned him first, it seems. Not a fan but that’s how KD rolls. Paul would be wise not to retaliate (or to start anything in future - just steer clear). As an example of what I mean research the Raven/ PrimaLuna war about 5 months ago.

I’ll say pretty distasteful bringing up Bascom by name the way he did, but that’s how he rolls. That wasn’t coincidence either (making it sound like the PSA guys need to go to him for tube help)

I find this whole thread to be in poor taste.

Life is too short to seek or promote conflict. Conflict and strife manage to find their way into our lives often enough “on their own” so to speak. I recoil when folks promote conflict and feed the flames of discontent.



I mean, it is what it is. Paul surely knew when he mentioned KD and Upscale in his video that there would be a response. Both big boys, they’ll be fine : )

I agree.

If I recall correctly, didn’t Paul say he changes his tubes every 12 months, not 6 months?
Personally, I noticed an improvement when I changed the stock tubes in the BHK 250 at around 1000 hrs.

Kevin may have made recommendations about which tubes to use in the past, but the policy on their website now states, they do NOT make any tube recommendations.

I agree NOS tubes sound different, but they also sound better than the stock tubes, as do the current production Gold Lions.

I would say Kevin is not taking on Paul, rather he is using him as an example of what he contends are incorrect statements about tube life. Strangely he mentions other manufacturers that make claims about the life but doesn’t mention them. Huh, why is that? Afraid of libel?

Actually, Kevin makes a lot of correct statements about tube life and Paul has made those same statements. The statements on replacing tubes at six months or one year have been caveated by Paul saying “try the new tubes, if no sound difference, put the old ones back in”. He also said this tube life was based on his running the preamp or amp anywhere from 12-24 hours a day. I’d have to find his videos to see specifically what he said, but I don’t think it was intended as a blanket statement for all users. I will also say tube life is highly dependent on the circuit it is used in. I have no idea how the tubes are driven in the BHK series, so can’t make a tube life assessment, but Kevin acknowledges this design aspect by saying his Prima Luna amps run the tubes at very low levels. Excellent, good design! But then seems to infer that this long life is (or should be?) the norm for all amps. I will also say his reference to the Marantz is a bit of a red herring relative to Paul. I don’t know which of the tubes in the Marantz he refers to (all of them?) but it’s a completely different design, and given the timeframe it was designed (speakers were much more efficient back then) I’m sure it runs the tubes at very conservative levels. At this point in the video Kevin starts talking about power tubes, they certainly have a shorter life than preamp tubes, but that discussion is not applicable to Paul and PS Audio.

One other thing, maybe my concentration drifted, but I never heard Bascom’s name mentioned. Quite honestly I find Kevin a little hard to listen to, to preachy, so I’m not going to relisten!

He definitely did, declaring these tubes are the best in this equipment, etc. I did not find this troublesome, just an expression of opinion.


Can I hear a amen and close thread? Amen


I do regularly change my tubes when the sound loses a bit of life. Definitely yearly, but sometimes more often. Much depend son the amount of play they get.

Oh, goodness, I don’t even remember what I said.

Let’s let it go.

My stance with tubes is pretty much unchanged in that when my equipment gets a little tired sounding I change tubes. The improvement is immediate and obvious. Not sure how much thought has to come into all of this. It’s really clear.

On average I probably change tubes out every year, but sometimes on equipment I play a lot of music on it happens every 6 months.

That doesn’t mean anything for anyone else as your listening habits are surely different than mine.

Kevin’s a good guy and I consider him a real asset to the community. I hope I didn’t say anything different than that other than he and I don’t agree on everything.

I haven’t met anyone else other than me who agrees with everything I say and thing and even then I sometimes curse myself for what I did or thought.


Good move. Just take the high road. You don’t need that kind of drama that an escalation with KD would bring, haha. He’s pretty ruthless and I can just imagine what his “dramatic readings” of some posts on this forum would look like if he got into battle mode → no win situation. I’m not sure if Raven is even still in business (tongue in cheek) after a few months ago

haha… Right - I agree…

Look - I think everyone knows the underlying theme of Kevin’s ‘blah blah’ - and it wasn’t really at you … It was about selling the fact that his prima luna product doesn’t drive the tubes hard - and therefore save you lots of money!!! lol… So he used this as a way to ‘closet’ promote this…




I’ve traded with Kevin a couple of times purchasing tubes and equipment. I’ve run across him at some of the SoCal Audio shows. On one occasion, I bought some Japan National 7DJ8s when he was working out of his house. The tubes were sold as a set of non premium NOS tubes. I discovered that they were nowhere near as strong as the recorded readings on the box. I called his shop and his shop assistant initially refused to trade them back for better tubes. I explained I had tested them twice with an accurate tube tester which showed they revealed only slightly above marginal readings. The assistant spoke with Kevin, and a replacement set was authorized. Was it simply a mistake, or were they inflated mutual conductance ratings recorded on the box? A marginal tube will sound fine until it doesn’t. And it may only take a few hundred hours for the vacuum tube to perform below minimum acceptable strength. Who knows? If I didn’t have a tester, I would never had known.

That was my last dealing with Upscale Audio.

Sounds like an odd justification, but I don’t buy products Kevin Deals pushes because I don’t like his vibe. He may be a great guy, but his sales vibe seems sleazy.