Good news! The Matsu****a E88CC 6922 Mullard Tooling Gold Pin tubes arrived yesterday, as did the NOVIB socket savers. I also picked up a bottle of CAIG DeOxIT D100 Power Booster Metal Electric Connection Cleaner, Enhancer, and Lubricant from Amazon.
Application of the DeOxIT was easy with the included nail polish type brush. I used the DeOxIT on both the Matsu tubes and the NOVIBs. Wiping the Matsu tube pins with a Q-tip resulted in some black oxidation residue, so the DeOxIT seemed to do its job. Curious about the lubrication property of DeOxIT, I brushed a small amount of fresh DeOxIT on the pins of one tube and NOVIB. Comparing the ease of insertion and removal with the other tube and NOVIB sans-DeOxIT was quite impressive.
I swapped between the stock tubes and the Matsu tubes and, although I can't say in detail the differences I noticed, the Matsu tubes were slightly more pleasant and seemed a bit more lively than the stock tubes. Certainly this could be expectation bias, but when the other tubes arrive, I'll do a more careful comparison among them all against the stock tubes.
With the NOVIBs installed, I can't -- at this point -- discern any noise as was mentioned previously, but everything is still pretty new and I'm still figuring out the nuances of my system. Again, when all the tubes arrive, I'll try listenings with and without the NOVIBs installed (I checked, and removal was relatively painless thanks to the DeOxIT. I figured out a wiggle that removes both the tube and the NOVIB in one attempt). I DO like the tubes being more visible. Makes me feel a bit better that I can see my $$ glowing a nice orange when all the lights are out.
Thanks again for your help!
Edited by mwillits - 3/1/14 at 3:55pm