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 have read that it’s closer to 50% of them are noisy/microphonic. That’s pretty good odds of getting bad tubes. You really need a competent and honest seller if you are going to buy them. 

@dlcockrum my light bulb E-6SN7 LinLai pair arrived and have 80+ hours on them now.  When I first played them they sounded quite bright with a booming bass and recessed dull midrange.  I was ready to send them back but read they needed 50-100 hours break-in for them to come to life.  On my system and my ears the LinLai  tubes have improved noticeably with break-in hours.    My assessment pretty much matches some of the other thread postings out there.  The Good:  excellent clarity, quiet, nice instrument separation, wide soundstage, fantastic tight clear deep bass. The not so great: treble on the bright side, soundstage is wide but flat lacking 3D depth, midrange just lacking a bit - just missing that full resonating sound.  Overall this is a very nice new construction tube.  I feel the LinLai’s had a Solid State kind of sound or digital vs analog analogy when compared to NOS.  I would highly recommend them for amp builders and anyone who doesn’t want to get into the NOS tube intricacies.  I could be very happy with this tube but I still prefer my NOS ‘50’s Melz, Sylvania GTA chrome domes, 6fg8’s.  I do like them better than Sylvania vt-231 and Ken-Rad black glass vt-231’s which I feel are a step down from the others listed.    Granted this is just my opinion, on my system with my ears and preference for the warmer tube so take it as such.  I will continue to give them more playing time.  They are definitely keepers and I will enjoy them for a different flavor choice.  


@tksteingraber Thanks for the thorough description of your listening impressions of the Linlai E-6SN7 tubes. Sounds like a good tube overall yet probably not one I want to add to my stable based on the weaknesses you noted.

The 1982 Melz 1578s have settled in very nicely as they accumulate more hours. I definitely place them in my top five. Still a touch forward in the upper mids but no longer objectionable. Their superb soundstage and bass continue to impress and, despite their reputation, one of the quietest tubes I own.

What’s up next for you? Perhaps a pair of Tungsol 6f8g round plates?

@dlcockrum I would not say the Linlai E-6sn7 has “Weaknesses” they are just subtle differences that I felt a few Nos tubes provided that I preferred.  The Linlai’s are really an excellent new production tube. No Tung Sol’s RP’s for me just too pricey for their performance review.  Looks like I am done adding 6Sn7’s.  I feel I have hit most of the key good 6SN7’s and have a good selection.  Selling off ones that just aren’t special to reduce collection.  It was a fun experimenting on my own system.  

@dlcockrum thought I would give an update on the Linlai E-6sn7 after 120+ hours.  The strong bass has declined to be very average, the highs are bright and don’t sound real, and the midrange has declined and sounds muffled.  It does sound better at higher volumes but still to solid state like for me.  I would not recommend it now and have started a return.  Maybe on other systems it sounds good but not here. Melz, Sylvania’s, 6FG8’s, are much preferred.