2a3 Tubes - Favorites?

Hi all,

Doing a quick search, it's been some time before specific 2a3 tubes have been discussed, and I just recently got a 2a3 SET amp, so I'm curious what tubes everyone prefers.

Ideally, looking for recommendations of tubes that are easily obtainable in 2024 - they can be new production like the Takatsukis, or easily sourced NOS. In the past when I've asked around in various places about tubes recommendations, I often hear about tubes that are near impossible to source nowadays, so I'd like to avoid those recommendations since they're pretty much irrelevant if they're unobtainium now.

Thanks for any suggestions!


It has been a while since I ran 2a3s, but, I too liked the EML tubes.  I had both meshplate and regular EML tubes.  The meshplates threw a very large soundstage and sounded vivid and colorful and alive.  The solid plate version delivered a little more weight and a tighter, albeit smaller soundstage.  For want of a better way to describe the difference, I would call the meshplate sound more "phasey" but it was not extreme in that regard.  I personally preferred the meshplate tube.  The solid plate tube, I believe, lasted a bit longer than the meshplate tube.

Interesting! I'd heard about EML before, so will look into the mesh 2a3s from them. They're significantly cheaper than Takatsuki 2a3s (and I can't really find any reviews on those at all).

The Takatsuki's are good but their claim to fame is that they are most expensive.