LinLai WE 300B or the LinLai Global Elite Permaloy 300B tubes ?

I presently am using Sophia Electric 300B mesh-plates and find them to sound good in general.  I originally used the Sophia Royal Princess 300B's and really loved the sound, however in my experience, reliability was really poor and for the price, it wasn't any fun trying to get replacements.  I'm getting ready to order new 300B's however would like to know if any of you have had experience with their WE 300B or their flagship Elite Permaloy 300B.
Thanks... John
I'm interested as well. I presently have Linlai Elite 101D mesh plate and Psvane WE101D for use in my Coincident Statement pre. Linlai build quality appears better than Psvane, thicker glass, interior build looks more substantial, much greater weight.

Sound quality somewhat of a toss up. Linlai a bit more warm, inviting, analog sounding in my system, Psvane somewhat lightweight sounding, more emphasis on upper mids, still airier sound is enticing.
I suspect Linlai may soon displace Psvane as premier Chinese tube manufacturer. It seems former head engineer and other critical team members left Psvane to start up Linlai. Read about this at 6moons.
Forgot to add, I believe I read somewhere Linlai WE300B is exact same as Psvane WE300B. Based on that, and their marketing, I'd expect the Elite to be the better tube.

At this point, the Linlai Elite and EML XLS 300b's are my two top contenders to replace the Shuguang Black Bottle Treasures in my 300B monoblocks. By the way, the Shuguangs are very nice tubes, reliable, rugged and sound quality no complaints. Supposedly in modern sound camp, they do expose even very minute changes in my system, so I'd describe them as very nicely resolving and transparent.  Really don't feel the need to change them out, simply curious as to any sq improvements.

The Elrog 300B would be at the top of my list if not for reliability issues, I think they're on at least 3rd iteration of this tube. Haven't heard about reliability of latest iteration, don't mean to hijack thread, but I'd be interested in hearing others experience with latest iteration.
This is an excellent question. I am interested in hearing what others think.

I had one of my ancient JJ 300Bs die and, due to it happening during the holidays and for convenience I locally purchased a replacement pair from the local JJ distributor. The remaining JJ still tested in spec. I don't know how old the pair were, but I think they were quite old. I know the JJ tubes are not considered as being in the top tier of 300B tubes. They sound very good in my system, but I haven't rolled 300bs.

I have read with interest many reviews of 300B tubes and the Linlai are intriguing. The Takatsukis are well-regarded, sound-wise, but are very pricey. It is daunting to consider how to do a shoot-out between the various 300B options these days. There are so many options out there! Linlai look very good. Psvane and TJ Fullmusic have been well reviewed and well regarded. The European tubes also well regarded.

I have been considering buying a new-production pair of the Western Electric 300Bs. I think they're $1500, direct from the factory. This is pretty expensive for new production tubes, but it sounds like they have worked hard to refine the consistency of the production process and are achieving good results. This is about double the price of the standard Linlai and $600 more than the Elite. But if they sound as good as the historic production and last as long, it seems they'd be worth it.

Good luck in making your decision, and please post the results back here so we can benefit from your experience.
I would be curious if there is a complete list of available 300b tubes. The number is overwhelming when it comes to making a decision, and the number seems to grow every year. My top two are Takatsuki and KR balloons. Has anyone heard the AudioNote 4300e?
OK...  I pulled the trigger on a matched-quad of the  LinLai Global Elite Permaloy 300B's...  I ended up joining their TubeVIP membership and on this purchase more than made up for the yearly membership cost on the discount for the 4 tubes...  Once I get them, I'll get them in place and do some listening.  I don't expect they'll sound terrific until they get ~100-hours on them so I'll try to document the sound as they break-in...
More to come...
@liquidsound  Congratulations!  Looking forward to your impressions and feedback.
I really like my 'new' Western Electric 300B's. but of course it is a matter of personal taste
I've heard an amp like mine with the original WE 300B's and it does sound really good !  Were you able to compare the "new" WE's with the original ones ?  I am contemplating buying the "new" WE's from LinLai, but want to hear the Elite Permaloy ones first.  I believe they will have their own sound "personality" so to speak.  

I can't comment on reliability but length of warranty should count for something. Western Electric gives a 5 year warranty. As for sound, the $499/pair LinLai Western replicas sound extraordinary beautiful to my ears in my system. But they are not true replicas. They have over-hung filaments. 

Here are some further thoughts:

peace and strong emissions,

Liquidsound, great, I'll be looking forward to your impressions. What club are you talking about?
LinLai has a Tube VIP program...  Go to the LinLai website for more information...  
Thanks for sharing your listening comparison of the Linlai Elite Mesh 101D and the Psvane W.E Replica 101D. I've been using the Psvane W.E Replica 101D  for about 6 or 7 years and it has been excellent.  I was unaware of the Linlai 101D but  will look into as an alternative  in my Coincident Statement Line Stage. Your sonic description intrigues me. 
I owned the first generation of the Elrog 330b. Beautiful sounding but alas unreliable  (3 tube failures in 1 year). If they have truly solved the early failure issue then I believe that you'd be happy with them. Takatsuki was excellent as well but had 2 tube fail over a 4 year period (Rare situation for them). I've been using the EML XLS 300b past 4 years. I love this tube in my Coincident Frankenstein SET  amplifier .
Charles1dad, Joel's 6moon review of Linlai Elite Mesh was polar opposite of what I hear, he claims it sounds bright, no way in my setup. Israel at Coincident also mentioned to me he dislikes any mesh plate tube, claims of high frequency anomalies. I've also had no problems with microphonic from the mesh plates. Joel much preferred the solid plate Linlai Elite, I intend trying that one as well. By the way, Rachel at Grant Audio was the person who recommended the mesh plate to me.
Liquidsound, I'll take a look. I do wonder if Linlai is sending you US spec tubes if shipping directly from China. According to 6moons, Linlai manufactures or sends (questionable they would set up separate runs of tubes for different markets) only it's best quality tubes to US, lower quality sold only in domestic market/Asia. I think I recall it being mentioned in article large quantity orders from North America ensures one gets US quality tubes, perhaps that isn't exactly correct as the article was also tie in to Rachel and Grant Audio. Perhaps marketing hype? I presume US purchasers from Linlai direct would get the US spec. tubes.
I did just go over to Linlai US website, it does appear they only ship gobal spec tubes here.
The tube VIP program is in fact Grant Fidelity, the website named Premium Vacuum Tubes. Wonder how long club has been in existence? $30-$40 year membership.
Thanks, I will read the 6Moons review. I would not be at all surprised if the mesh plate versus solid plate Linlai Elite 101D preference is tied to particular audio systems and components in use, simply synergy factors. Interesting in this instance you, Joel and I use the Coincident Statement Line Stage .
I've had a pair of Sophia Royal Princess 300B's in my Woo Audio WA5-LE on-and-off for ~7years (more on than off), with no reliability problems whatsoever, maybe the luck of the draw, but so far so good. In fact I tried to by a second pair of the RP 300's, but they had all sold out  by then.

My other pairs of 300B's (all new or NOS) are:
  • Emission Labs 300BM - Mesh
  • AVVT 32B-SL
  • Takatsuki 300B
  • KR Audio 300B Riccardo Kron Limited Series
  • EAT 300B
  • Svetlana 300B (1995)
  • STC 4300A (1962), direct WE equivalents
Trying new 300B's is always interesting!
I will have to say that the Sophia Royal Princess 300-B's did sound the best in my BorderPatrol S20 SET amp.  However I really was taken aback with reliability issues about 5+ years ago with that tube, and challenges with getting them to replace them.  I still have personal issues with spending $2400/quad for those (I have no idea of what they cost now) and their not being reliable.  I presently am on my last-set of  Princess Mesh-Plate 300-B's which sound good and am looking forward to the LinLai tubes.  
I used to tube-roll years ago, however I guess in my older-age, I like just settling down to listening rather than trying to squeeze the last bit of sound improvement, especially at the price of some of these 300-B's !  
@peterh_nz  Peter, can you share more about your Woo Audio WA5-LE headphone amplifier? Woo Audio in general? Which headphones are you driving? Thanks.

Copying the link below, should the Agon 300B aficionados want to comment. I'm evaluating headphone amps and your feedback will be valuable. Thanks.

@charles1dad  thoughts on the Mundorf caps upgrade? : )
I have Canary Grand Reference 300B mono amps.  There are 16 300B tubes.  When I purchased the amps, I purchased Golden Lion tubes.  In talking with Canary they stated the biggest game changer for sound in their amps is not power cords, fuses etc, but WE 300B tubes.  In my case that would cost me $12k for 16.  I would love to swap out the Golden Lion tubes but that is a steep price to pay.  Anyone have any suggestions?  
The Woo Audio 300b amplifiers have been  well regarded for quite some for both sound quality and built quality. Mundorfs are very well regarded. I have to believe that those higher quality coupling capacitors and power supply capacitors would make a worthwhile sonic improvement. I can't speak precisely  to how reasonable the upgrade cost is but probably good when considering the parts involved and the professional labor.
Thanks, Charles. Let's see where the journey for a headphone amp leads. Woo Audio (several options) is on the list. Viva Egoista 845 or 2A3 is as well.
I can't imagine that you could possibly go wrong with either choice. Viva does possess that special  beautiful Italian  musical aura. 
I have the LinLai E-series 300B and the new WE-300B. I like the WE better and hard to beat the 5yr warranty. The price difference per pair is ~$500 US (1/3 total) and I think that is a fair evaluation comparison of the two tubes. That being said, the LinLai E-6SN7 is crazy good in my pre-amp. Wow!
The 5 year warranty for the WE-300b is crazy. Not even the Japanese offer anything close. 
Tinear123...  Can you tell me a little more about the sonic differences you're hearing  between the LinLai E-series 300B and their WE 300B ?  
How long of a break-in of each before they stabilized ?  

Just to make things clear my WA5-LE is a fully upgraded (standard attenuator, not Alps, etc) Mk 1. Whether the upgraded version was worth the money (~$1K), I honestly don't know as this is the only one I've heard! But I do enjoy it and find it suits my tastes.

My recent dealings (last year) with Woo Audio, were not great. I had an issue with the anodising on part of the power supply unit changing from black, to a burnished brown. Woo basically said tough luck, that's what happens, especially if you have any sunlight on your equipment!!! My gear is kept in a rack well away from direct light.

I found the person I was dealing with a little obnoxious, in that he was more interested in upselling (a new WA amp and more expensive tubes) rather than dealing with what I wanted fixed.

Electrically/electronically the amp has been reliable, with no issues to date.

Though I'd owned tube amps before, I'm surprised at just how much I've spent over the last few years on tubes for this beast. It's at least 3 time the cost of the amp!

The headphones I used with it are:
Senheisser:    HD600, HD650, HD800S
Focal:             Elear
Audeze:          LCD-X
Meze:             Empyrean with their silver cable

My outright favorites are the Meze Empyrean's and yes the silver cable upgrade is worthwhile.

All the best from NZ - Peter
@peterh_nz  Peter, thanks for the detailed response and the information you shared. Very helpful. 

I have Focal Utopias and the HiFiMan HE1000 and HE560. HeadAmp GSX-Mk2 for amplification. DanaCable leashes.
If you mean the LinLai WE ones, most-likely yes.  By the way, my Global Elite 300-B quad-matched just came in so I'll be putting them into my amp this weekend and start the break-in process.  I want to get some listening-hours on them before I consider buying the LinLai WE's.  
There's a pretty interesting article in this month's Stereophile by Herb R about 300b's, including the original WE version, the reissue a number of years ago, and the currently available WE version, manufactured I believe in Rossville, Georgia (USA).  Along the way he has some comments on other manufacturers' versions of the 300b.
@liquidsound  Great to hear you have them in your system. Looking forward to your impressions and results. I was referring to the US WE-300B replicas (not the Linlai replicas).

@twoleftears  Thanks for sharing the information and the link. Very helpful!
Thanks for providing the Stereophile link. Interesting commentary from Herb Reichert. He compared the new production western Electric 300b to lower price 300b alternatives. A more insightful and ’even playing field’ comparison would include EAT, EML, Elrog, KR Audio, Linlai Elite series and Takasuki.

The Feliks Audio Arioso seems yet another fine 300b amplifier product from Poland. Along with Ancient Audio and the Closer Acoustics  Provacateur (Thanks @david_ten). Apparently lots of music lovers in Poland 😉.
If you check the Stereophile website, I think you will find that there are two previous columns by HR where he covers other brands of 300b tubes.
Seems like HR's preference for WE based as much on warranty as sq. I believe the Cossor brand LinLai are Asian market only tubes, certainly not the same as Elite or perhaps even their lower level North America exports.

As for warranties, assuming we need to use, the WE or EML are way to go. Based on sq AND warranty the choice becomes more difficult, if warranty issues never become factor then go with best sq. But then we have to take in account that warranty length likely correlates with tube life, you may have to replace tubes with lesser warranty two, even three times in the five year warranty period of WE tubes. And to make it even more complex, lets say Western Electric tubes don't suffer failure over five year period, but they measure only 70% or some lesser amount of new a year or two down the road, which means we're using a tube not operating at peak for whatever warranty time remaining. I'd like to see tube measurements correlated with operating time, but then different equipment may affect tube life differently. So now I'm really confused!

Above presumes warranties only cover failure of tube, don't cover accelerated wear.
SNS you're definitely on to something with the warranty specifics.  Is it tube-failure, or a certain level of spec degradation before they'd replace ?  Other than some type of appreciable sonic difference, unless you have a good tube-tester or know someone fairly close by that has how would you know ?  Sounds like a good question prior to purchase !  I'd bet they have run these things for 5-years+ and have plotted the degradation/failure curves !  

"but then different equipment may affect tube life differently. So now I'm really confused!" 

This is true. Some 300b amplifiers are more gentle  (or tougher ) on the output tube than others. It depends on their chosen operational points (OP).  I know that my Coincident Frankenstein 300b SET mono blocks are a bit tougher on 300bs than some other amplifiers with more conservative OP parameters. 

This is one reason why the EML XLS has worked out so well for me. This is a very rugged and durable tube. After 5 years of heavy use in my amplifiers they were re- tested and the numbers had not changed hardly a trace from when tested brand new. Above all they sound superb in my amplifiers. Reportedly they have a 40,000 hour life span (I don't doubt this).

Caveat,  in my opinion some brands of 300b sound/match better in some amplifiers compared to others. Synergy is always a factor. 

Yes...  There are a number of factors that affect tube-life.  Depending on the amp, some push the parameters to the limit, others are more gentle.  A testimony to EML if they can be used heavily for that long and still sound and test well !  I know with my BorderPatrol S20 EXD, the parameters aren't pushed to the limits, and I've had Sophia Princess mesh-plates last nearly that long.  I can tell though that the sound is not the same when putting new ones in and though the old ones still keep playing, there is definitely a notable sonic difference.  The tube loses dynamics, and sounds dull.  This is especially true of tube rectifiers !  
I've not been able to move past present Shuguang black treasures as PT in 300b mono blocks or as drivers in Coincident Turbo 845 because of warranty and durability questions. The Shuguangs expose every upgrade I've ever made in system, seem to be a decently high resolution tube. They're rugged, no failures ever over many years now, whats not to like.

Based on reviews and my experience upgrading various other signal and power tubes over the years I presume some of the tubes we're talking about would be an upgrade. Again, the EML and WE tubes seem to be the most durable, therefore, safest bet. LinLai Elite could be new top contender, I'd not expect any greater durability than Psvane. Recently I've been close to pulling trigger on EML, Charles, I know you've used the Shuguang in past, how would you compare it to EML? I'd expect higher resolution with the same modern sound as Shuguang. I'd hope for just a bit more romance, bloom in mids while keeping relatively tight bottom end. In fact, this is the exact sound qualities I'm looking for in any of the 300B's.
Does anyone else out there have direct experience comparing Shuguang Black Treasure to any of the other 300b tubes? As stated above, seeking a bit more mid range magic together with tight bottom end, wanting to stay in modern sound camp with just a bit more bloom and resolution.
My Coincident Frankensteins MK II purchased in 2009 came with Electro Harmonix 300b, a very solid/decent sounding tube.

I replaced them with the Shuguang Black Treasure 300b. An immediately recognized improvement across the entire sonic spectrum. As you note very reliable and trouble free tube. Used them for about 3 years. When re-tested they were roughly 75% compared to brand new test measurements. Frankensteins were a bit hard on them (But near 7 hours 5- 6 days a week x 3 years). So yes heavy use.

Moved up to the Takasuki and simply better in every conceivable way. One failed after 2 years and replaced by Takasuki with no hassle at all.

Purchased EML XLS after 3 failures with the early generation Elrogs (Fortunately replaced under warranty).

Purchased the EML and zero problems going on over 6 years. Sonically superior to the very good Black Treasure (Dynamics both macro/micro, more extended frequency at either end, more resolution and inner detail) .
Also fuller body and richer tone, essentially more fleshed out (Like Takatsuki and Elrog).

In my opinion the more expensive EML XLS is definitely worth it compared to the Black Treasure. A higher tier 300b that competes with Takatsuki and the Elrog. Although the EML fits the "modern " sound category it has an organic aura, definitely not dry or sterile. I’d say that the Takasuki is more organic however the EML is organic enough😊, very natural sounding. In my system the emotionally engaging quality is absolutely present.

EML has a thick glass envelope and just feels solid and very well constructed when holding it in your hands. Bigger and heavier than the excellent Takatsuki. You can stick with the Black Treasure 300b and know you have a good quality tube. EML XLS is better at a higher cost.
Hi Charles,

I understand it must have been frustrating back then to experience all these failures. But that is more than 5 years ago and the tubes are now being manufactured under my lead longer than they had been in the old company. Would we still have the same issues we would not have survived that long. Maybe it is time to stop repeating that experience form the past.I think the last 5 years have proven that our tubes are not prone to failures anymore.

Best regards

@vinylsavor wrote,
"Maybe it is time to stop repeating that experience form the past.I think the last 5 years have proven that our tubes are not prone to failures anymore." 

Well I can only testify to what my real experiences were with the Elrog 300b. Beautiful sound but fragile.   I clearly pointed out that mine were the first/early generation tubes and I offered no opinion of the current production Elrogs.

If under your 5 year ownership of Elrog you have resolved the reliability/early tube failure issues then that is wonderful and encouraging to know. I wish you continued sucess. 

I have an Ancient Audio custom 300b SET. It uses two 300b and two ECC88. I tried BlackTreasure, Sophia Royal Princess, Takatsuki, and KR Globes - in that order - each representing an improvement in sound quality. I loved the Takatsuki (simply sublime), but experienced reliability issues; and unlike Charles' experience, I was less than happy with the company - especially considering the cost. The KR Globes kept most of the Takatsuki sound quality, but were more dynamic. I would love to try the AudioNote 4300e (made by Psvane, I believe) or the WE reissues, but otherwise plan to stay will the KR Globes. Most recently, I upgraded the ECC88 to Telefunken and was surprised by the improvement.