Shootout of Nos 6sn7 tubes

I will have shootout between TS BGRP, RCA vt231, KR vt231, Syl vt231, Raytheon vt 231 and "Bad boy" next weekend.

If I get MELZ 6N8S 6SN7 Metal Base next week, then I will also include it in shootout

RCA5691, Psavne Acme 300B, Psavne Acme 805 are also being used in Line Magnetic 508 amplifier.

Speaker will be Lansche 4.1 with plasma tweeter.

Digital source will be Dave and HMS fed by ripped CD stored in ssd drive of Cocktail audio x30.

I will play

Eva Cassidy's 'Autumn Leaves"

"Trinity Sessionn " by Cowboy Junkies

For classical orchestra, "Trittico" directed by Fennel.

"Still harry after all these years" will be for fusion jazz.

Any more suggestion gentlemen and ladies.


Correction: that was a1950's Sylvania 6SN7 pair the broker-friend picked up for $35 on eBay and preferred over the TG's. He thought they were made in the same factory as the GE's.

@shkong78 Thank you for sharing your tube obsession with us it is very helpful and enlightening. I am just starting to get into tube rolling with my new Supratek Cabernet preamp and these tubes are just like red wine. The more you try the more you want to try more. Is there a best? Absolutely not. It’s so system and personal taste dependent but your list is such a helpful starting point. So far I have tried RCA ‘40s Gray Glass $70, RCA GTA $28, Radiotron ‘40s Aussie ( came with amp 1 died day 2), Raytheon side getter $26, Raytheon VT231 $100 (1 noisy had to be returned searching for replacement), Sylvania Brown WGT $120, just ordered Ken Rad VT231 black $150, GE GTB $15, Sylvania VT231 $120 & GTB Chrome dome short $35, Meltz ‘53/‘56 $100, Russian Foton ‘60’s. $25. Prices listed are for pairs with no plans going for the crazy priced ones. All used and testing 90-100%+ confirmed on my Hickok 605A. My Top 3 so far are Sylvania WGT, RCA gray, Ray vt231. All sound great and very close just slight differences.
I do have a few questions for you if you don’t mind.
1- Which russian black base tube did you get? Reflector, Foton, other? Shape on glass identifies them diamond is foton, shield like shape is reflector and others.
2-Sylvania styles are very confusing so many of them. Which specific ones did you try? Tube size, plate type, getter type/location, years…?
3- Which Ray vt231 is better? T plate or ladder plates? Mine were T’s.

Thanks for sharing your expertise!


I agree with you that vintage tubes are like vintage wines.


There is no best one but they have different flavor.


I recommend you to get 6f8g tubes from Ebay.


Tungsol got overpriced, but you may get RCA, Sylvania, National Union or Raytheon 6f8g  at reasonable price if you keep searching.


You need adapter which is also avaiilable at Ebay.

Good luck!


@shkong78 Thanks for your response and recommendation.  Can you give me your opinion on how the 6f8g compares to the 6sn7?  Is it worth the plunge?  Selection is pretty limited driving prices.  



6F8g tubes tend to sound fuller than regular 6sn7.


Thus it may depend on your system and taste which one to choose.