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.


Interesting thread. I have been a 6SN7 enthusiast since around 2003. After owning and using all the better versions in that time, I have finally stepped off of the 6SN7 merry go round and settled on my latest find. I am now using Ken-Rad 7193 with adaptors. 7193 is half of a 6SN7, same as the 6J5. They differ in that the 7193 has the anodes on top like the 6F8G. My adaptors are made by a guy in Bulgaria who point to point wires them as opposed to the circuit board type from china. I found a U.S. source for the Ken-Rads who has a huge supply of them, new in military box, and they are only $8 each. So at $32 a set I'll take them all day long over the stupid money people charge for 6SN7!!

@Linlai Elites E

$354 delivered for a pair of chinese tubes? Oh hell no. Plus, chinese tubes are notorious for short life span. Good luck with these. 

@charliee ken-rad 7193 sounds interesting but I need less choices not more🤪.  For $165 for a pair I am willing to give Linlai-E’s a go.  I have not heard that these Linlai-E’s have had short life issues?  Several well respected Amp makers now use them with glowing recommendations.  Anyone experience issues with Linlai E’s?

@tksteingraber Thanks for the feedback on the 50’s Melz tubes. I find your observation regarding the constricted soundstage interesting. My 1982 1578 exemplars excel at soundstaging IMO. Perhaps a loss of some soundstaging is the price one pays to get the reputedly more balanced midrange of the 50s tubes?

Apparently it is not uncommon for the early Melz to have noise issues. IIRC there is a tutorial (on for resoldering the pins on Melz tubes that has been reported to yield positive results in many cases.

Regarding the upper-midrange prominence I was experiencing early on from the 1982 1578s, I ran the ISOTEK break-in/conditioning track several times and it seems to have further reduced this. These tubes are sounding very good now, but I still perceive that, despite the strengths you denote in your post above, they lack the musicality and emotional engagement of the NU 6f8g’s or the TungSol VT-231s. More time will tell…

I am interested in hearing your feedback on the Linlai Elite.

@dlcockrum ok update on Melz noise issue. Seller told me 30-40% of these older Melz tubes have noise issues due to old tin solder in the pins. He told me to heat each pin with a solder iron and get them hot enough to repair internal joints. He said it rarely doesn’t solve the issue. I got my solder iron out and the noise is gone now👍! Time will tell if the noise stays away🤞. These tubes paired with my DAC 1974 Reflector 6N23P Single Wire Silver Shields is beyond what I thought my modest system had in it. They just sound better in every way with zero fatigue. I am truly surprised the impact tubes can make.It is going to be hard to switch them out but each tube has its pro’s and cons.