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.


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). 

@1markr Thanks for the input on the Linlai Elites. I researched those a year or two ago and got lost in the endless back and forth forum chatter about which ones were the good ones (Horizontal or Vertical lettering, etc) and whom to buy from. Can you tell us exactly which ones you have (or better post a pic) and whom you bought them from?

Yes, those are the ones I bought @tksteingraber.  The lettering on both pairs of mine are horizontal, just like in that link. However, I got mine from an diff seller: atop authentic auction. I also bought a quad of the  Linlai WE 300B from them. They are solid sellers.

Alot of great 6SN7 types out there!


To my ears the Ken Rad - although a great tube with the best bass, has the weakest midrange and treble.  The Metal based Sylvania sounds amazing for the first couple hundred hours, but the pixie dust wears off as the tube starts to age.  The Raytheon flat plates are fast, dynamic, clean and exciting - but lack any midrange texture and warmth.  The RCA VT231 and 5962 both have the warmth in the mids, but are not as transparent.

The best tube overall, in a neutral system is the VT231 Sylvania.  Bass establishes a great foundation for the music, midrange is the best I have ever heard from a 6SN7 type, and the treble is clean and extended.