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Schu

New... not New Old Stock

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Been on a small quest to ferret out the Chinese power tubes. Besides the new Acme line which isn't out yet in a kt88, el34 or a 6l6 I've tried all the upper teir power tubes from both Shuguang and PsVane.

 

 

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All three are really good, especially when costs are factored in and comparing values of the better vintage NOS tubes. The two KT88s are slightly different from each other, the el34 is very different.

 

I wish these factories would emulate a Western Electric 350b enmasse. 

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I'm glad somebody is trying out all the new production tubes out there so that we can have knowledge of what sounds best .Hopefully I'll never have to resort to using New production tubes, but if I do, I'll know which ones to try out.

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4 hours ago, Schu said:

I wish these factories would emulate a Western Electric 350b enmasse. 

 

Maybe one WE gets rolling on the 300B they will also start up a 350 line...

 

Another question to ask when I arrange the tour.

Bruce

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yes sir... please do.

the 350b is really great, but at 1000-1500 ea they are way to expensive.

I figure it's probably because most will say that another 6l6 tube would be just as good or just fine... but they aren't 😛

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WE is pricing their new production 300B tubes at $699 each. They probably dont have the old tooling for the 350, but I will try to find out.

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Okay... I'll volunteer the listening impressions.

Three tubes:

Psvane EL34ph

Shuguang WEKT88+

Psvane KT88 Treasure II

 

Preface,  two of the three tube sets are less than 100 hours new (el34ph/wekkt88)

The two KT-88's (wekt88/kt88 treasure II) are similar in presentation and slightly different in sound quality. 

 

Both exhibit a very strong and FORWARD mid range, and great dimensional characteristics... probably exacerbated by the forward nature of the mid range. Both tube sets have strong output. The wekt88 with less than 30 hours on them are the smoother of the two kt88's and the treasure II's easily have a couple hundred hours + on them. The wekt88's are also the more focused and airy of the two tube sets... but they are both very close and are more similar than they are different.

 

The el34ph are completely different. Firstly they are much softer in output and the preamp needs to be turned up further to achieve similar output. I find this actually a good thing because the travel of my attenuator is much finer than the kt88 because they have such high output... I can't imagine using a 120 or a 150 for power.

The el34ph is also much smoother and exhibit a much more balanced range from top to bottom... nothing is really pushed forward, everything is balanced. The detail seems finer and smoother overall. This more laid back presentation can seem somewhat flatter,  but that's only because nothing is pushed into your face.

 

I still listen to both types, but I find myself listening to the el34ph more than the kt88's, and if I listen to the kt88's, I listen to the wekt88.

 

I love that all tubes carry their own individual serial number with corresponding print out.

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Those are some pretty tubes. I'm gonna be mad if I start buying new production tubes because of your posts!

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I think the main point that is over looked at times is... these are cheaper than NOS tubes at a similar quality level.

A quad of matched tubes is right around $300 +/- $50.

And if I were to be quite honest, these sound better than some highly touted NOS tubes.

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15 hours ago, Schu said:

I think the main point that is over looked at times is... these are cheaper than NOS tubes at a similar quality level.

A quad of matched tubes is right around $300 +/- $50.

And if I were to be quite honest, these sound better than some highly touted NOS tubes.

Luckily for me, I purchased a Dennis Had Inspire amp that only uses 4 tubes, so tube rolling is a lot cheaper. My Latino amp uses 4 output tubes, and it gets quite pricey swapping them out, especially if using vintage tubes. 

  I do have some new production tubes, Gold Lion KT-88's, Tung Sol 6550's, Kt-120s, Kt-150's, etc. I'm noticing that some new tube prices are approaching vintage tube levels.

Have you tried any new 6L6 tubes vs EL-34? I find the vintage 6L6's more to my liking than El-34's, just wondering how new tubes might compare?

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15 hours ago, Schu said:

I think the main point that is over looked at times is... these are cheaper than NOS tubes at a similar quality level.

A quad of matched tubes is right around $300 +/- $50.

And if I were to be quite honest, these sound better than some highly touted NOS tubes.

I agree. The only NOS power tubes I use are 6L6's, mostly 6L6GA's.  The Chinese CV-181 better almost all NOS 6SN7's. 

 

There was a problem with tubes that should have been culled leaving the factory and ending up on the auction site. 

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2 minutes ago, kevinmi said:

Luckily for me, I purchased a Dennis Had Inspire amp that only uses 4 tubes, so tube rolling is a lot cheaper. My Latino amp uses 4 output tubes, and it gets quite pricey swapping them out, especially if using vintage tubes. 

  I do have some new production tubes, Gold Lion KT-88's, Tung Sol 6550's, Kt-120s, Kt-150's, etc. I'm noticing that some new tube prices are approaching vintage tube levels.

Have you tried any new 6L6 tubes vs EL-34? I find the vintage 6L6's more to my liking than El-34's, just wondering how new tubes might compare?

 I've had my Inspire SEP triode strapped for almost 5 years. If you like 6L6's try a pair of NOS 6L6GA's with a 5Y3 rectifier. The combo is about 5 watts in triode. I did get a Sophia blue glass 6SN7 and this tube, in my rig, is superior to any of the NOS I have and I have a lot of them. I'm not sure about the merits of the blue glass though. 

 

Luxman has a new amp that is voiced with JJ Tubes. http://www.luxman.com/product/detail.php?id=28  I would guess that they are specially selected. 

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The only 6sn7 I've had is better than the Chinese cv181 is the CBS/Hytron 6sn7, and not all of them were equally as good.

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Where do you buy your tubes,I have been looking on eBay and the sellers are from China and I am a little hesitant to buy from outside US,quality issues and custom fees are my concern.

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19 minutes ago, Schu said:

The only 6sn7 I've had is better than the Chinese cv181 is the CBS/Hytron 6sn7, and not all of them were equally as good.

 

Yup, it depends on the circuit. I should have said that in my Inspire amp/rig the CV-181's were the best to my ears...until I got a Sophia blue 6SN7. However, the CBS may rule in yours. There are no absolutes in this hobby.

Edited by Les Lammers

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8 minutes ago, bkwa1959 said:

Where do you buy your tubes,I have been looking on eBay and the sellers are from China and I am a little hesitant to buy from outside US,quality issues and custom fees are my concern.

 I bought mine on ebay. However, it appears that the Shuguang/Treasure etc. number of tube being offered there is shrinking. Perhaps Shuguang/Psvane are taking better control their inventory and this should prevent tubes that did not make the grade from being sold. There have been issues reported here and on other forums.

Edited by Les Lammers

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I also use eBay or grant fidelity.

they arrive very quickly from hong kong (which is not china)... and they have decent contact when there are issues. I sued this seller last time and I was very happy with the packing abd ship time:

 

el34ph

 

wekt88+

 

different sellers have different product lines. the WE KT series is the newest line of tubes, the ACME line should be released soon.

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On 2/21/2019 at 9:51 AM, Les Lammers said:

 I've had my Inspire SEP triode strapped for almost 5 years. If you like 6L6's try a pair of NOS 6L6GA's with a 5Y3 rectifier. The combo is about 5 watts in triode. I did get a Sophia blue glass 6SN7 and this tube, in my rig, is superior to any of the NOS I have and I have a lot of them. I'm not sure about the merits of the blue glass though. 

 

Luxman has a new amp that is voiced with JJ Tubes. http://www.luxman.com/product/detail.php?id=28  I would guess that they are specially selected. 

My Inspire amp has a different "infinite impedance regulator power supply circuit" that sounds like I don't need to swap out rectifier tubes. I am running a 5U4 with all tubes from 6L6 up to KT-150's without a problem. Right now I'm running RCA black  plate 6L6 GB tubes that sound wonderful. Also, my driver tube is a 6SL7, not a 6SN7. I've read that they aren't really interchangeable, but I've heard of people doing just that. I'm confused on that , I guess.

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21 hours ago, kevinmi said:

My Inspire amp has a different "infinite impedance regulator power supply circuit" that sounds like I don't need to swap out rectifier tubes. I am running a 5U4 with all tubes from 6L6 up to KT-150's without a problem. Right now I'm running RCA black  plate 6L6 GB tubes that sound wonderful. Also, my driver tube is a 6SL7, not a 6SN7. I've read that they aren't really interchangeable, but I've heard of people doing just that. I'm confused on that , I guess.

 

I believe you can use either a 6SN7 or 6SL7. They are not normally interchangable but are in some of his amps. Check with Dennis. 

 

My Inspire amp has a different "infinite impedance regulator power supply circuit" that sounds like I don't need to swap out rectifier tubes. Correct.

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