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KT88s Other Than New Sensor Brands?


JohnW
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Do not pay high prices for Russian tubes, they are not any better than the alternative, it's just hysteria driving prices up for no reason.

 

Even before this all happened I did not use the Russian KT88's unless someone specifically asked for them. If I have a piece of gear that needs to be restored or just new power tubes I have purchased many many quads of the Shuguang KT88-98. You can get duds from any factory, this is why it's important to purchase them from a company that buys in bulk, screens and matches them. If they make it through that process you shouldn't have any issues. The Shuguang KT88-98 is very rugged, is rated for 45w plate dissipation and 600v on the screen. They are specifically made to handle high powered ultralinear amps where the screen has higher voltage on them than the plate, typically over 500v. I have had more problems from JJ than Shuguang, but because Shuguang doesn't have fancy silk screen print on them and come with a big price tag people don't think they are any good. I have opened amps up years later and the bias hasn't drifted which makes them very stable.

 

I can still get quads for $150, they are my go to KT88.

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I've used Shuguang KT88 for the duration of my VRD ownership with no issues. Penta Labs, the VA KT100 (which is pretty much a KT88-98) and the Ruby are all pretty standard tubes in the "echelon" and they always worked pretty well. The Russian KT88 usually failed within 100 hours (assumed from the high screen) but I never had a problem with the Chinese versions; I do know a number who used the Russian KT120 and such with good effect. That said, nothing wrong with the Chinese KT88 versions as others state and no drop-off in performance - maybe slightly different but nothing earthshaking and in fact I liked the Sino versions better anyway.

 

The SED 6L6GC was another matter when it was in production but that's another discussion/subject, and that tube hasn't been made for years.

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