Linlai KT88 experience?

I am looking to buy a backup pair of KT88's for a power amp and was wondering if any of you have feedback or experience with the newer KT88's from Linlai?  I like their E-6SN7 in my pre amp and am curious about the power tubes.





OK 25-30 hours.  As expected with any good KT88, they have really opened up.  The other KT88 I have run as drivers in this amp is the now unobtanium Shuguang WEKT88, which was their best KT88 right before the factory shut down.  The Shuguang WE series WE6SN7 and WEKT88 were very rich and full sounding.  They leaned towards the warm side of things, but still had good detail.  The Linlai E-6SN7 and this KT88-D are decidedly neutral sounding with great detail and very tight bass.   I would not call them warm, but rather very neutral.  Don't get me wrong, they are still tubes, and not solid state sounding at all.  But they are not overly romantic.  The JJ KT88 is a good tube, but in my KT88 amp it sounded just a little unnatural with emphasis of certain parts of the frequency spectrum.  Very subtle, but designed to sound very alive and grab your attention.  The Linlai offererings are just very neutral.  They do everything well with great detail and slam, but they are not overly warm like the Shuguang WE series, nor do they draw attention to themselves a bit like the JJ.   I really like the Linlai WE300b exact Western Electric copy.  It is also a wonderful tube to my ear.   

So those are my opinions.  You can take or leave them.  A data point for you all:)

Happy listening

@donsachs - a follow-up to your Linlai KT88 comments.

Do you have any experience with the Sophia Blue KT88 (vs Linlai KT88) as they are being re-introduced later this month?

Thanks, Don!




I heard some Sophia blue glass when I was doing the vintage work and a fellow sent me a quad to use with his citation II amp that I was restoring.  Sounded good, but I only listened for an evening and the amp had all new caps and power supply so not really a good data point.  I have not heard any other Linlai KT88, just the Kt88-D.   I have heard their egg shaped 300b tube and it is quite good, but the WE300b copy is much better to my ear.


I now have about 50+ hours on the Linlai KT88-D.  They are stable, no issues, and the sound is stunning.  Again, these are drivers in the 300b amps running about 15 watts, and not used as output tubes.  That said, they appear very well made and I would expect them to be quite good as output tubes in an amp.  My 2 cents... good luck to all.

I’m not surprised on how the Linlai tubes are as good as they are. I’m running the Global E in your personal pre-amp you sold me & like them as much as all my NOS JANs in my stash. I’m curious on how they would stack up against the K&R kt88 that’s in my PrimaLuna HP?