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!


Not suggesting Visseaux's but the RCA's seems to be available from a main/reliable dealer.

With a quick search it seems that Brente Jessee has new testing RCA  2A3 matched pairs for $300.



Quick update - I picked up a pair of NOS Svetlana SV-2A3 (2C4C) tubes and a pair of EML mesh 2a3s.

Both will take a little bit of time to break in, but immediately fresh out of the boxes, each set sounds much better overall than the Linlai tubes that came with the amp - as to be expected.

I'll see how they develop over time!

While I'm curious about the Takatsukis, I'm not curious enough to spend the asking price on them. I have heard that their 300b tubes are sublime, but they're even more expensive (and I don't have a 300b amp haha).


EML Meshplates are very nice. Should be noticeably better than either the Svetlana or Linlai tubes. I've tried Psvane Acme, KR, Sophia and NOS RCAs and keep coming back to the EML Meshplates. 

Running RCAs.

I found that coupling caps make a difference also.  When I changed from the EH/Gold Lions to RCA it was fairly big.

After upgrading the coupling caps, I put the EH back and the sound was pretty close.