Shootout of Nos 6sn7 tubes

thomask

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Dec 9, 2018
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#22
Many thanks Tim, I’ll also explore that for sure. Looking forward to getting in some more and do some mix and match with them.
I

If you have good result with Sylvania vt231, then you may try Kenrad or RCA vt231 for fun.

Kenrad give fuller and deeper bass with sweeter sound while RCA give more warm and lush sound than Syl.

You can find pair of them around 150$.

I found TS bgrp overpriced above 500$.
 

jazdoc

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#23
Great thread! Gonna get off my arse and try the RCA's. Right now my reference is Sylvania with metal base. Re-listened to the Ken-Rad 231-VT and agree with the comments about the great bass, but I also miss the Sylvania sweetness. Might try again and play with set up....
 

thomask

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Dec 9, 2018
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#24
Great thread! Gonna get off my arse and try the RCA's. Right now my reference is Sylvania with metal base. Re-listened to the Ken-Rad 231-VT and agree with the comments about the great bass, but I also miss the Sylvania sweetness. Might try again and play with set up....
I am listening to music with RCA vt231 now.

Lady vocal sound warm and lush maybe not as transparent as Syl or TS but musical.
 

thomask

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Dec 9, 2018
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#25
List of 6sn7 that I have

1. Six Syl vt231
2. Six RCA vt231
3. Quad Kenrad vt231
4. Quad Raytheon vt231
5. Pair of Tungsol bgrp vt231
6. quad Syl GTB made in 1955
7. Two Amperex 6sn7 made in Canada
8. Six Rca gray glass gtb
9. Two Syl GT "Bad boy " made in 1952
10. Two Melz metal base 6n8s coming on May from Ukraina( two more coming on June)
11. Five Tungsol 6sn7gtb
12. Two CBS/Hytron 6ns7gt
13, Three Sylvania brown base 6sn7gtw

I will do second sets of shootout after delivery of Melz metal base which I ordered 3 weeks ago.
 
#26
I hope the Melz 6N8S you ordered have 5 round holes in the sides of each plate. These are the best.

I suspect once you hear these, the rest will go in the storage box.

BTW, anyone recommend a good 6SN7 tube damper?
 

thomask

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Dec 9, 2018
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#27
I hope the Melz 6N8S you ordered have 5 round holes in the sides of each plate. These are the best.

I suspect once you hear these, the rest will go in the storage box.

BTW, anyone recommend a good 6SN7 tube damper?
Before I receive the tubes, I can not confirm whether it has five or not.

i am curios about how it will sound in my system.
 

thomask

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Dec 9, 2018
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#28
All vt231 (Syl, Kr, Rca, RT and TS) are in the same tier, not that TS is one notch above .

Bass Kr, Rca, Rt, TS , Syl in the order

Transparency TS, Syl, Kr, RT, RCA

Details Syl, TS, Kr, RT, RCA

Tonal balance Kr, RCA, TS, RT, Syl

Soundstage width RCA, Syl, TS, Kr, RT

Soundstage Depth TS, Kr, Syl, RT, RCA


Thus overall they are close in SQ.

Unless you want see-through transparency, you do not need to pay 500$ for TS bgrp.

Kr is attractive due to best bass and sweet tonality.

Syl is attractive due to excellent details and transparency

RCA give warm and lush sound which make one comfortable with nice bass.

RT is not far behind other ones.

TS’s bass is close to Syl with tight but without full impact compared with KR.
 
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thomask

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Dec 9, 2018
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#29
Choice of tube or cable depends on system and personal taste.

There is no best thing. for everybody.


I had pulled the trigger for another Kenrad vt231 which fit my personal taste with sweet mid, treble and most strong bass today.

Thus I will have 3 pairs of KR vt231 which will outlast me.

Each vt231 has 10k expected hours.

The only tube which has possibility to dethrone KR vt231 is Melz metal base which I ordered 3 weeks ago.
 

thomask

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Dec 9, 2018
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#30
I hope the Melz 6N8S you ordered have 5 round holes in the sides of each plate. These are the best.

I suspect once you hear these, the rest will go in the storage box.

BTW, anyone recommend a good 6SN7 tube damper?
https://www.usaudiomart.com/details...added&utm_source=transaction&utm_medium=email

I placed an order for this genuine "Melz 1578" at 250$.

Although I do not need more 6sn7 tubes, I pulled the trigger for shootout.

Let us see what happen!


The following is quoted from Jesse Brennt.

http://www.audiotubes.com/6sn7.htm

" New Old Stock White Box, aged. This is the rare military version of the 6H8C with the special 1578 stamp on the glass that audiophiles look for, NOT the junky blackbase version selling elsewhere for $25. Worldwide stocks of the military version have virtually vanished from the market. Heavy duty metal bases, T-shape plates with the holes in the sides, and spring steel plate supports like Tung Sol oval plate construction! These tubes have incredible air, image, "rosin-on-the-bow" realism, and powerful yet accurate bass. Very hot testing tubes with great gain, yet incredibly quiet. Some clients say these are the best 6SN7 tubes they have ever heard. I have a few RARE matched pairs of these, carefully selected and matched to within 1-2 percent. SINGLES ARE $100 EACH. Better grab them now, before these Russian beauties become rarer than Faberge"
 
#31
https://www.usaudiomart.com/details...added&utm_source=transaction&utm_medium=email

I placed an order for this genuine "Melz 1578" at 250$.

Although I do not need more 6sn7 tubes, I pulled the trigger for shootout.

Let us see what happen!


The following is quoted from Jesse Brennt.

http://www.audiotubes.com/6sn7.htm

" New Old Stock White Box, aged. This is the rare military version of the 6H8C with the special 1578 stamp on the glass that audiophiles look for, NOT the junky blackbase version selling elsewhere for $25. Worldwide stocks of the military version have virtually vanished from the market. Heavy duty metal bases, T-shape plates with the holes in the sides, and spring steel plate supports like Tung Sol oval plate construction! These tubes have incredible air, image, "rosin-on-the-bow" realism, and powerful yet accurate bass. Very hot testing tubes with great gain, yet incredibly quiet. Some clients say these are the best 6SN7 tubes they have ever heard. I have a few RARE matched pairs of these, carefully selected and matched to within 1-2 percent. SINGLES ARE $100 EACH. Better grab them now, before these Russian beauties become rarer than Faberge"
These are what I use, with 1578 on the glass of the tube. I think you will like them. Even these have different versions, with different "getters". The price was not bad if they are strong.

I like to buy these on ebay because they give the measurements, not just that it's NOS. There is big range in the measurements from NOS to new. I have a tester, so I can verify tubes that I buy.
 
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dminches

Well-Known Member
Oct 22, 2011
1,341
402
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#32
I went nuts about 10 years ago buying 6SN7s and variants. I had a preamp and DAC that both used them. My favorite is the TS BGRP but there are so many other really musical versions. The Sylvania WGTAs are really nice as are the RCA VT231 smoked glass.
 
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thomask

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Dec 9, 2018
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#33
I went nuts about 10 years ago buying 6SN7s and variants. I had a preamp and DAC that both used them. My favorite is the TS BGRP but there are so many other really musical versions. The Sylvania WGTAs are really nice as are the RCA VT231 smoked glass.
There are so many nice variants of 6sn7, its tube rolling could be fun or tiring.

So far I am enjoying different flavor out of 6sn7 tubes.

I like TS bgrp too but it is getting too expensive.
 

DaveC

Industry Expert
Nov 16, 2014
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#34
https://www.usaudiomart.com/details...added&utm_source=transaction&utm_medium=email

I placed an order for this genuine "Melz 1578" at 250$.

Although I do not need more 6sn7 tubes, I pulled the trigger for shootout.

Let us see what happen!


The following is quoted from Jesse Brennt.

http://www.audiotubes.com/6sn7.htm

" New Old Stock White Box, aged. This is the rare military version of the 6H8C with the special 1578 stamp on the glass that audiophiles look for, NOT the junky blackbase version selling elsewhere for $25. Worldwide stocks of the military version have virtually vanished from the market. Heavy duty metal bases, T-shape plates with the holes in the sides, and spring steel plate supports like Tung Sol oval plate construction! These tubes have incredible air, image, "rosin-on-the-bow" realism, and powerful yet accurate bass. Very hot testing tubes with great gain, yet incredibly quiet. Some clients say these are the best 6SN7 tubes they have ever heard. I have a few RARE matched pairs of these, carefully selected and matched to within 1-2 percent. SINGLES ARE $100 EACH. Better grab them now, before these Russian beauties become rarer than Faberge"

You can often find the non-hole black plate version for ~$50/pair and a few folks I know who tested all the versions think they are the best.

Also the claims they are rare may be overblown, I've seen steady sales of 1578s at similar prices for the last 10 years or so. Generally, if you want them you can find them for ~$200/pair + shipping anytime.
 
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thomask

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Dec 9, 2018
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#35
You can often find the non-hole black plate version for ~$50/pair and a few folks I know who tested all the versions think they are the best.

Also the claims they are rare may be overblown, I've seen steady sales of 1578s at similar prices for the last 10 years or so. Generally, if you want them you can find them for ~$200/pair + shipping anytime.
I

I found 200$ pair and shipping from Ebay.


But they are from Ukraine and Russia which will take 4-6 weeks to US.

Another thing is that you have to pay tax if you buy from Ebay now.

Thus I opted to buy from Audiomart without tax on the condition that I can return it if noise is excessive.
 

Brf

Well-Known Member
Sep 21, 2012
33
10
83
#36
I’ve been rolling 6sn7 tubes for years and own or have owned almost all the tubes mentioned on this thread. The Tung Sol bgrp are a very nice tubes and I really wanted them to be the holly grail for the price I paid, but they ended up just being a very nice sounding tube.

My favourite 6sn7 tube is the Melz 1578 t-plate getter with the 5 side port holes. Genuine tubes can be denoted by having the 1578, Melz logo and date code acid etched on the glass envelope. Most 1578 will also have at least one quality control stamped on the nickel base, typically an OTK stamp. My preference is for the mid 70’s production. These tubes are very rugged and long lasting. I have 10 tubes in my collection, with one pair with a military stamp denoting for use in nuclear applications.

People’s preference is a both a personal choice and the circuit and system in which the tube is deployed.
 

thomask

Well-Known Member
Dec 9, 2018
602
438
75
60
Washington State, US
#37
I’ve been rolling 6sn7 tubes for years and own or have owned almost all the tubes mentioned on this thread. The Tung Sol bgrp are a very nice tubes and I really wanted them to be the holly grail for the price I paid, but they ended up just being a very nice sounding tube.

My favourite 6sn7 tube is the Melz 1578 t-plate getter with the 5 side port holes. Genuine tubes can be denoted by having the 1578, Melz logo and date code acid etched on the glass envelope. Most 1578 will also have at least one quality control stamped on the nickel base, typically an OTK stamp. My preference is for the mid 70’s production. These tubes are very rugged and long lasting. I have 10 tubes in my collection, with one pair with a military stamp denoting for use in nuclear applications.

People’s preference is a both a personal choice and the circuit and system in which the tube is deployed.
My impression about TS bgrp is that it is a good tube but not head and shoulder above other vt231s.

1578 appears to sound vivid from other people's description.

I am also curious how it will turn out in my system.

As you mentioned, choice of tube depends on system and personal taste.
 

Brf

Well-Known Member
Sep 21, 2012
33
10
83
#38
A lot of comments regarding the Melz 1578 sounding hot in the treble can be attributed to the early (50’s and 60’s) regular nickel base 6H8C which is often mistaken for a 1578.

Regardless of other people’s impressions, you will soon be able to offer your own informed opinion once your 1578 tubes arrive. Look forward to your comments.
 
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thomask

Well-Known Member
Dec 9, 2018
602
438
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Washington State, US
#39
A lot of comments regarding the Melz 1578 sounding hot in the treble can be attributed to the early (50’s and 60’s) regular nickel base 6H8C which is often mistaken for a 1578.

Regardless of other people’s impressions, you will soon be able to offer your own informed opinion once your 1578 tubes arrive. Look forward to your comments.
Just one question to you.
How can you identify manufacturing years of Russian tubes?

Most Russian dealers are not clear about it.
 
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Brf

Well-Known Member
Sep 21, 2012
33
10
83
#40
Just one question to you.
How can you identify manufacturing years of Russian tubes?

Most Russian dealers are not clear about it.
With respect to the 1578 tube, the date is acid etched at the 6 o’clock position within the Melz factory stamp. The first two are Roman numerals denoting the week of manufactured followed by the year. I posted a picture (difficult to picture) but you ca clearly see the “76”. Hope that helps
 

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