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.


@dlcockrum my 6f8g adapters arrived and I was able to listen to my NU 6f8g branded Raytheon round plates. All I can say is they really are special in my Supratek pre. They are just better in almost every way. Definitely the best tube I have heard. Also, I was able to listen to my RCA USNavy gray glass ST bottle 6f8g and they are really nice tubes as well. Second best tube. The Rca loses some detail/transparency but has such nice warm tone. A more relaxed tube you can listen to and not tire. Also, it is less focused with a larger soundstage.

So far here is my list of tubes in order of preference.

NU branded Raytheon round plate 6f8g

RCA USNavy gray glass ST bottle 6f8g

Ken-Rad black glass vt-231

Sylvania vt-231

Raytheon vt-231 (both Nos tubes became noisy and had to return=done with them)

Rca gray glass 6sn7 (early ‘40’s same as vt-231)

Sylvania 6sn7wgt brown base

Sylvania 6sn7gta tall boy chrome dome

Sylvania 6sngtb medium bottle chrome dome

Raytheon 6sn7gtb side getter

Rca 6sn7gta

GE 6sn7gtb

On order to try: Russian 1956/1953 Metz 6n8s, Russian Foton 1962 6n8s, Ken-Rad 6f8g staggered plate






@tksteingraber Glad to hear that you are enjoying the NU 6F8Gs. They have a very special blend of sonic attributes that I find impossible to beat.

The 1982 vintage NOS Melz 6n8s/1578 tubes I bought recently are sort of a mixed bag sonically. Extremely quiet (none of the crackling I read about) with the best bass slam/texture/definition I have heard (I prefer their bass to that of my KR Vt-231s) and unequaled imaging/soundstaging. Transparency is on par with my Tung Sol VT-231s. Upper treble is smooth and refined. Unfortunately, they are very forward in the upper mids, thus fatiguing after just a short session. They have improved in this area with additional play, but so far the upper-mid forwardness largely remains.

There is a ton of discussion on the Melz over on Members Paladin79, bcowen, and JKDJedi seem to be the foremost experts on Melz. IIRC they feel that the Holy Grail Melz 6n8s is the early/mid 1950’s non-hole shiny black plates with the same micas and metal supports as the later 1578s. Good luck finding those at this point!

@dlcockrum thanks for the detailed Melz summary of your experience.  I got lucky andc ordered 2 used Melz with test results in 90%’s.  1-1956 and 1-1953 due to arrive on Tues from Ukraine.  They are the non hole version and the picture shows black shiny plates.  We will see what arrives🤞.  My concern is noise and test results.  I have a tube  tester so we will find out.  Should be fun.  I have really been enjoying tube hunting and rolling🤪

I too have been a big fan of the NU 6f8g round plates, and I have been using them for quite a while. However, recently I have rolled in the Linlai Elite 6SN7s, and they are fantastic tubes, worthy of replacing the NU 6f8gs in my rig. I find the Linlai to have have better transparency and air, resulting in a more holographic soundstage, but they don’t do this by sounding brighter or etched, and the midrange stays very natural. They are a touch more forward sounding than the NU, but I like that. Other improvements over the NU - tighter bass, much, much quieter, and not microphonic (like the NU usually are).