Comparison on current production 6SL7's

Discussion in 'Tube Audio' started by asilker, Oct 7, 2017.

  1. asilker

    asilker Bible Reader Subscriber

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    I am currently running an old set of clear 6SL7's in my JE Labs 2a3 amp. I generally believe in modern manufacturing so I'd like to taste new production tubes.

    Currently I'm aware of JJ, Tung Sol, Sovtek, and a few other Chinese makes.

    What's good, what's not?
     
  2. Salectric

    Salectric New Member

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    Why bother with new manufacture when NOS vintage tubes are plentiful and cheap and last a long time. Try a Sylvania blackplate VT229 or Brimar CV1985 and then try to find anything made this century that comes close to their sound quality. I don't think you will. I can understand an amplifier manufacturer wants an easy source for reliable, consistent tubes, and therefore has to use new stock. But a hobbyist isn't concerned about hundreds of tubes; he just needs a couple so why not get the best?
     
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  3. asilker

    asilker Bible Reader Subscriber

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    I understand the preference for NOS, but the purpose of my question is simply to ask which in current production stand out. I'm already running some nice NOS
     
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  4. byoungman1

    byoungman1 AK-47 Subscriber Subscriber

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    You might get lucky and find something new that stacks up with the old stock US-made stuff. But like Salectric pointed out, at ~ $20 a tube for either new production or NOS, I wouldn't take a chance on anything currently being made.
     
  5. asilker

    asilker Bible Reader Subscriber

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    I would like to take that chance. I would like to hear NOS up against a well made contemporary tube.

    Still looking for someone who can recommend from experience with specific contemporary manufacturers of 6SL7
     
  6. primosounds

    primosounds AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    It seems like you will need to do the tests yourself. I would be very interested in your findings. As for myself i will stick with the RCA red base 5691
     
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  7. mhardy6647

    mhardy6647 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    They're goofy looking and expensive, but the PSVane/Shuguang Treasure/whatever brand 6SL7 is probably going to be the best one could do with new production.
    You know, this kind of thing: http://psvanetube.com/wordpress/purchase/shop-by-tube-model/6sl7/

    [​IMG]

    or...
    http://www.sophiaelectric.com/pages/se/6sn7.htm

    [​IMG]

    Not to flog deceased equines or anything, but with excellent, affordable NOS 6SL7s still relatively plentiful, it's really hard to rationalize buying modern day, low production, built on equipment of questionable pedigree (and condition) with 'as is' materials by folks who, no matter how skilled and passionate as they might be, couldn't have the person-decades (if not centuries) of experience that went into the manufacture of tubes 60 or more years ago.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2017
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  8. primosounds

    primosounds AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    There is a tendency if not conceit for those who developed their tube knowledge on the equipment and tubes from the "golden age" of vacuum tubes, to believe that tubes made then were the best. And i am firmly entrenched in that camp. But, I guess the current tube makers and their followers would disagree. So, it would be nice if someone using their own resources, and a neutral disposition, does a comparison.
     
  9. BillWojo

    BillWojo AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Wow are those PSVane tubes expensive! $229.00! That buys a lot of really good vintage tubes. Yea, I know that there are some vintage tubes that get quite pricey as well, the very rare ones with magic mojo.
    I stand with primosounds on this subject. Like a lot of old intricate items, there is a bit of the black art that was involved. Just because you purchased the old tube manufacturing gear from a defunct tube maker doesn't make you a world class tube manufacturing facility. Like anything else that is manufactured, there are tricks of the trade and special knowledge that goes along with it. Knowledge that was learned through years of building tubes and handed down. Back in the day when there was a problem there were the old guys that could quickly point out what was wrong because they had 40 or 50 years in the business. Today, it will probably go unnoticed. Or they will sell them anyway.
    I remember seeing an old photograph of the back lot of one of the major tube manufactures with mountains of tubes that failed QC. I don't think we would see that in China.
    If not, we would all be buying brand new Chinese tubes. And raving about how good they are. Instead all I hear about most Chinese tubes is that they are easily surpassed by vintage tubes and that the vintage tubes last a lot longer.
    Depending on how a tube fails, it can also take out some expensive or irreplaceable components.
    For me, it's cheap insurance to use tubes that were built in the golden years of tube manufacturing, not tubes built by some company that thinks they can make some quick bucks by being in the tube business.
    If you still feel the need to pursue this, feel free to buy all the examples you can find and give us a report.
    Thank you

    BillWojo
     
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  10. mhardy6647

    mhardy6647 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Well --

    (FWIW) I do use goofy looking Chinese 2A3s in my amplifer(s). The "Sofia" (TJ) so-called "meshplates" -- actually more like perforated plates. They're actually more like 300Bs with 2.5 volt filaments than they are "proper" 2A3s.

    They're neither the cheapest nor the most expensive possible option, and they're very silly looking -- but they do sound good... and they've held up well, so far.

    Top-quality NOS 2A3s have gotten to be rather uncommon and consequently rather pricey, though.
     
  11. asilker

    asilker Bible Reader Subscriber

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    I'm running JJ 2a3-40 tubes. From what I understand they're also closer to a 300b with a 2.5v filiment. Also not NOS
     
  12. mhardy6647

    mhardy6647 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    They're supposed to be very good. I am planning (as much as I plan anything) to try a pair when the Sofia/TJ tubes bite the dust.
    but I digress... ;)
     
  13. Destructor

    Destructor Super Member

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    JJ makes a very good 300B, I’ve been using them in my AES SE-1 for a very long time, which are driven by a pair of 6SL7’s. The plain stock Sovtek labeled 6SL7’s didn’t sound bad. I’m currently using 60’s Raytheon 6SL7’s.
     
  14. Blueglow

    Blueglow AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I've used the new production Tung Sol 6SL7s tubes as a preamp stage in a SE amplifier with good luck. Not saying they are the best tubes out there, just saying they held up well and sounded good. I wouldn't be afraid of them.
     
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  15. maxhifi

    maxhifi Super Member

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    They are BETTER than NOS.

    At least, better than any NOS I have tried, which don't include the rare and special single plate tubes.

    What I would love to see is a new production 6J7, they're about my favorite small signal tube.

    I didn't know JJ made an SL7, makes me curious.
     
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  16. maxhifi

    maxhifi Super Member

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    Deleted double post
     
  17. Tom Bombadil

    Tom Bombadil AK Member Subscriber

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    Haven't heard the Psvane 6SL7 tubes, but their 6SN7 tubes are extremely good. For some reason they renamed their 6SN7 tubes as CV181 tubes. Technically a CV181 is not compatible with 6SN7, but their CV181s are exactly the same as a 6SN7. I know people who feel that these tubes are the best 6SN7 ever made. So it would not surprise me for their 6SL7 tubes to be right up there.
     
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  18. mhardy6647

    mhardy6647 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Interesting discussion of the current "Tung-Sol" (Russian) 6SL7 tubes, apropos of this thread:

    http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/tubes-valves/1290-production-6sl7-6sn7.html

    post 18 to that thread, I thought, was interesting.
    "Disgusting" seems a little hyperbolic, but it does make one wonder about the provenance of these tubes


    Offered strictly as-is; I have zero experience with these or any of the other current production tubes being sold under classic brand names, for that matter.

    :confused:
     
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  19. asilker

    asilker Bible Reader Subscriber

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    In context though, this is the only negative feedback in a thread which otherwise praises Electro Harmonix and Tung Sol and their 6s*7 tubes
     
  20. mhardy6647

    mhardy6647 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    True enough.
    I guess the only "issue" is callin' 'em "reissues" when they may be something else entirely -- not a sonic, nor even a performance issue; more a 'truth in advertising' issue.
     
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