Shootout of Nos 6sn7 tubes

Brf

Well-Known Member
Sep 21, 2012
33
10
83
#61
I checked acid etched date to find that the lower one was made in 80 and upper one made in 83 not 70's.

But with no faults of sound I will not return it just based upon faulty description of manufacturing date.

Also 6n8s Nos tube has etched date of 12/78.
Thanks, that solves the dull plate mystery. Still an awesome tube
 
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thomask

Well-Known Member
Dec 9, 2018
601
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#63
s-l1600kr.jpg

After listening to 6n8s tube made in 1978 for several hours, I am back to Kenrad vt 231.
KR also has nice bass with sweet and refined atmostphere.

Definitely KR vt231 is at least half notch or even one notch above 6n8s .


Now I have 16 different variants of 6sn7 tubess.

After changing tube, sound also change as if new pre is being used.

It is like tasting various wines or coffees.

But if you do lot of tube rolling, be sure to use socket saver.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/CED-P-ST8-...e=STRK:MEBIDX:IT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649
 
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thomask

Well-Known Member
Dec 9, 2018
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#64
About 2 hours ago, I got delivery of another 1578 Melz tube from Russia after one week from placing order.

Very fast shipping.

I had not got tubes from Ukraine that I ordered 5 weeks ago.

It was made in 1980 and looks clean as Nos tube.

After playing demagnetization track, I am listening to familiar music to me.

"Thriller" by MJ sounds spooky with full bass and wide and deep soundstage.

Its bass, decay and soundstage is just beyond any other 6sn7 tubes.

But people may get the impression that it is bass heavy.

Now I have three pairs of 1578 Melz tubes and eight 6n8s tubes, I am going to stop shopping of 6sn7 tubes.

After being back from Kr vt231 this morning, I found that 1578 has more body and decay while KR give almost same amount of details as 1578.

s-l1600 (6)1587.jpg
 
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#65
My reference pair of 1578's are 1981 and look just like these.
 
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thomask

Well-Known Member
Dec 9, 2018
601
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#66
zipost
148 posts
05-29-2020 10:11am
shkong78..... when you get a chance, i strongly recommend the Telefunken 6sn7. With all the characteristics you described and your listening styles the Telefunken might be your cup of tea!

here is my lists of 6sn7 in particular order:

telefunken 6h8c 6sn7
GEC 1988 Metal base 6sn7
Amperex miniwatts ecc32
tungsol Round plates
Tungsol 6f8g Round plates w/adaptor
Sylvania metal base
Kenrad black Round plate
Metz Russian

Hands down the telefunken 6h8c my go-to for 6sn7


Thanks for your recommendation.

But there is no best thing for everybody.

It will depend on system and personal taste.

Also some audio gadgets are overpriced with hype or due to law of diminishing return.
Someone recommend Telefuknen 6sn7 but I found it is listed at 1,600$ from Italy.

I am done for shoot out.


I have more than enough 6sn7 (18 different kinds total 80 tubes) .

Thus I am going to stop purchase of more 6sn7 tubes.

Since my speakers with plasma tweeter and Dave and HMS is on the neutral or somewhat analytical side ( not warm or bloated) , my preference without considering cost is

1. 1578 Melz
2. TS bgrp
3. Syl vt231
4. Kenrad vt231 bg
5. Raytheon vt231
6. RCA vt231 gray bottle
7 6n8s made in 1978
8. Syl 1952 "Bad boy" three hole.
9 Syl 6sn7w brown base
10 Syl gtb tall bottle made in 1955
11 RCA gray bottle
12 Shuguang Treasure CV181-Z ( New production)
14.. CBS/Hytron made in 50's
15,Tungsol gtb tall bottle made in 1950’s
16. Amperex GTB
17. New production 6n8s ( stock tube of Schitt Freya)
18. New production Tungsol GTB
 
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thomask

Well-Known Member
Dec 9, 2018
601
433
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Washington State, US
#67
Someone is very happy with 1578.

But I have a problem with one of tube.

KR is dead quiet, but 1578 has hum and high frequency noise until 20 minutes warmup.

I am going to wait few more days before I contact the dealer.

big_greg
2,397 posts
05-29-2020 4:35pm
I bought a pair of the Melz 1578 from the seller @shkong78 recommended for my Modwright LS 100. I played them for a while last night and they sounded really good right out of the box (I had the LS 100 in HTBP mode for about an hour to get them warmed up, watching TV).

They are detailed, dynamic, and the bass is prominent with a texture that I have not heard in my system before. Pithy might be a good description of the sound of the bass. The soundstage was expanded and there seemed to be more separation between the instruments. I can't wait for them to break in a little more.

They were one of the best bang for the buck upgrades I've made to my system. I've used Shuguang CV-181, the stock Tung-Sol tubes, Sylvania Chrome Domes, Sylvania 6SN7GTA "tall boys", and Sophia Electric clear and blue tubes. The 1578s were the best by far.
 

thomask

Well-Known Member
Dec 9, 2018
601
433
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Washington State, US
#68
I am listening to "The Wall" .

I am happy that Line Magnetic 508 fitted with 1578 can drive my speaker Lansche 4.1 with such full force and control of bass.

It also give widest and deepest soundstage with holographic layering in my listening room so far.

If you are bass freak or soundstage mania, then you shall try 1578 Melz


Since having 1578 in my 2 channel system, I spend less time on headphones..

Headphones could not match dynamics and excitement of 2 channel system, although I have decent headphones, Raal Sr1a, Stax009s and HD 800s.
 
#69
If you want amazing soundstage width and depth and the walls to just disappear, consider the H2's from Stein Audio. Just got them placed and makes a big difference. They claim it is the only thing needed for acoustic treatments. If you have a quirky room like mine, it works wonders.
 
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thomask

Well-Known Member
Dec 9, 2018
601
433
75
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#70
I am back to Kenrad vt 231 playing "Autumn Leaves and Songbird" by Eva Cassidy.

Although 1578 Melz give best bass, decay, widest and deepest soundstage, it has two drawbacks.

The first one is slight hum and high frequency noise which is almost gone after 20 minutes warmup while KR is dead quiet without warmup.

The second one is that its treble can sound closed in slightly lacking air or sparkle.

KR vt 231 sounds very similar to 1578 but with slight more sparkle.

Thus I prefer KR to 1578 in playing lady vocal music like Eva Cassidy while I prefer 1578 in playing orchestral music.


I will take turns at tubes to taste different flavor depending on music genre and my mood.

But be sure to use socket saver if you roll tube often.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/CED-P-ST8-...e=STRK:MEBIDX:IT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649
 
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thomask

Well-Known Member
Dec 9, 2018
601
433
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Washington State, US
#71
I am back to RCA vt231 in Line Magnetic 508 amp which make me comfortable with lush and warm sound but also with nice bass.


f I want explosive bass or widest and deepest soundstage, I play 1578 Melz.

Ken rad vt 231 has nice bass with more air than 1578

If I want utmost details , then I play Sylvania vt231.

If i want see through transparency, then I play TS bgrp

For lush and warm sound, I would go for RCA vt231.

Raytheon Vt231 is also good choice midway between Syl and Rca.

With taking turns on 6 sets of 6sn7 tubes, it is like having 6 different set of preamp.
 

thomask

Well-Known Member
Dec 9, 2018
601
433
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Washington State, US
#72
I had done second sets of shootout

"Autumn Leaves" by Eva Cassidy
""Caravan" in the Still Harry Album.
'" You ll never find man" in Ice Age soundtrack
and some K pop

1. Shuagang Black 181Z

I got this tube upon reading some raved review that this one sounds better than Nos tubes.

But after comparing this one with Sylvania vt231, I found this one lacking details and transparency compared with Syl vt231 while it sound warm and organic.

i had done shootout with other tubes again this time.

It is just above average in detail, transparency, dynamics.

But it sounds balanced and musical with deep soundstage.

Overall it is a pretty good tube, but I will not buy at 120$ again.


2. RCA gray bottle made in 50's

This RCA sound similar to RCA vt 231.

But RCA vt231 is more transparent and more detailed than RCA gray bottel.

Gray bottle has very good bass and macro dynamics also with nice decay thus it also sound similar to 1587 Melz.

This make overall sound round and warm almost analog like.

Some people may find this tube boring while other people may like this.


3. 1578 Melz

After listening to RCA gray bottle, I switch to 1578 Melz made in 1980 for comparison.

They sound similar with nice bass, decay and wide soundstage.

But 1578 is slightly better than RCA gray bottle on every respect and more air than RCA gb.

1578 give best dynamics and widest and deepest soundstage while it may sound little bit closed in compared with Syl Vt231.

This one will be good for hard rock, metal music and big orchestral music.


To me this is the "Holy Grail" of 6sn7 tubes.

I had bought three pairs of 1578( two made in 1980 and one made in 1983).



4. Sylvania GTB Tall bottle made in 1955

This one sound very similar to "Bad boy " version made in 1952 with excellent bass and macrodynamics.

It also has some lively treble but overall kind of mediocre.

Not a bad tube but not excellent as Vt 231s.


5. Sylvania WGT brown base made in 50's.

I got three tubes at 65$ including shipping and tax from Ebay.

It could be hit or miss to buy Nos tubes from Ebay.

This one is clearly big hit.

This tube give lively details, good speed and transparecy.

It sounds almost like Raytheon VT 231 at much lower cost to me.



DetailsTransparenSpeedTonalityTreble ExTreble ClMi DynMac DynS. DepthS. widthNet costTotal cost
TS bgrp9.59.51099.510989.5957593
RCA vt231998.59.59.598.598.5108990.5
KR vt231999108.58910998390.5
RT vt2319998.598.5998.599288.5
Syl vt10109.5810109.57.59910092.5
Bad boy87.58.597.58.58.598.5921584
15788.5899899.5111010.525093.5
S 181z88.5898.598.5898.512085
RCA gr87.5897.588.59.591010584.5
Syl Tall8.588.58888988.510882.5
Syl Wgt999998.5988.58.54587.5


https://www.head-fi.org/threads/shootout-of-nos-6sn7-tubes.932083/



Treble Ex means extensionTreble Cl means clarity


So far 1578 Melz got the best score just above TS bgrp at less than half cost.

All vt231 tubes made in 40's are excllent.

Syl Wgt brown base was the best among the tubes made in 50's at only 45$ per pair.
 
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thomask

Well-Known Member
Dec 9, 2018
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Washington State, US
#73
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Raytheon-JAN-CRP-6SN7GT-VT-231-Vacuum-Tubes-1944-Balanced-Matched-on-Hickok/392787627010?ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649

I am listening to Jazz music including " I left my heart in San Francisco" through Raytheon vt231 that cost me 65$ from Ebay auction.

I had lived in Berkeley hill overlooking Golden Gate bridge from 1984 to 1987.

This tube does not sound pure as Syl,TS, RCA vt231 with some lively edge.

But Jazz music sound more realistic through this Raytheon tube.

It is really fun to go through nice 6sn7 tubes.

Although 1578 give nice bass and soundstage, but it sound boring with Jazz vocal music due to closed in treble
 
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thomask

Well-Known Member
Dec 9, 2018
601
433
75
60
Washington State, US
#76
https://www.ebay.com/itm/2-x-MELZ-6N8S-6SN7-Metal-Base-Tubes/264601117458?ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649


I got delivery of this 68ns Melz tube made in 1953 about 2 hours ago.

It took six weeks of wait from Ukraine.

But it is worth the wait.

This is the most exciting 6sn7 tube that I had tried in my Line Magnetic 508 amp.

it sounds very dynamic with excellent details, wide and deep soundstage.

Compared with famed 1578 Melz ( I have two pairs made in 80 and one pair made in 83), 1578 give slightly more bass slam, even wider and deeper soundstage.

While 1578 has clean treble, it sound rather closed in and bass heavy, but this 68ns Melz tube made in 1953 give more lively treble and details although its treble has slightly hard edge compared with 1578.

I am playing old rock. It seems that they are playing in front of me.

This is a steal at 65$ including shipping for pair which cost one quarter of 1578.

I place an order of two more pairs of this.

Thomas

s-l1600 (6).jpg
 
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DaveC

Industry Expert
Nov 16, 2014
3,098
988
200
#77
I run 2 pair of those ^ and one pair of the 6N9S metal base in my system, I'm sure other tubes may be better in some ways but I paid less than $50/pair + shipping. Sometimes a tube doesn't survive shipping though, so there is that issue coming from Ukraine or Russia.
 
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thomask

Well-Known Member
Dec 9, 2018
601
433
75
60
Washington State, US
#78
I run 2 pair of those ^ and one pair of the 6N9S metal base in my system, I'm sure other tubes may be better in some ways but I paid less than $50/pair + shipping. Sometimes a tube doesn't survive shipping though, so there is that issue coming from Ukraine or Russia.
After 10 hours of listening to 6n8s made in 53, I am more impressed with it.

It sounds dynamic with nice air and details.

I am listening to "Hero" by Mariah Carey.

It sounds so delicious and nuanced through this tube that I am just happy.

It is kind of midway between 1578 and TS bgrp.

All Russian tubes that I had tried have better bass than even Kenrad vt231 which used to be called bass king of 6sn7.


The only drawback of this tube is it has some high frequency noise as well as 1578.

Some people had claimed to cure this through re soldering pins.

i had to try that someday.
 

thomask

Well-Known Member
Dec 9, 2018
601
433
75
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Washington State, US
#79
I had gone through most of famous 6n7 except Telefuken and Sylvania wgt metal base ( I have Syl wgt brown base).

Now I am getting ideas of the pros and cons of each tube.

No tube is perfect.

1578 has rather closed in treble although its treble is pure and clean.

TS has no bass slam compared with Kenrad vr231 and Russian tubes.

So far my overall favorite is 6n8s made in 1953.

I do not claim that 6n8s sound better than 1578 or TS bgrp.


This 6n8s made in 53 goes midway between 1578 and TS.

Thus I enjoy this tube more than either 1578 or TS.


I placed just one more of 6sn7 tube.

Strong Matched Pair National Union 6SN7GT Black Glass Tubes Same 1951 Date
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Strong-Mat...e=STRK:MEBIDX:IT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649

It could be rebranded TS bgrp or maybe not.

https://www.head-fi.org/threads/the-reference-6sn7-thread.117677/

This will be my last order of 6sn7 (now I have around 100 6sn7 tubes).

I expect to get this tube this coming Friday.

I will finish shootout of 6sn7 tubes by this weekend.
 

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