which 6sn7 gives the most air??

guys I have the triangle arts amps that came with the NOS rca 6sn7 which sound good BUT would like a little more air to the top end- what is the best ones out there- i have read about the Popes but mostly with cary preamps- any thoughts would be appreciated- thks

I’ve used that Dehavilland/Chimera list as a guide and found the results spot on, although not complete. The VT-231 Tung-Sol, round black plates have it all, air, dynamics, 3D image, and a premium price.

As stated above, Sylvanias are neutral with airy highs. These are the go to tubes for clear top-end extension. All the RCA’s have a classic warm presentation with open sonics and excellent soundstaging. Amperex Bugle Boys have airy highs with amazing 3D imaging.

There are so many good tubes on that list, try to buy from a dealer who accepts returns or exchanges. A good source of tube info and a very good dealer is Brent Jesee. http://www.audiotubes.com/6sn7.htm

As someone who only just entered the world of tube amps (but knew quite well of their strong appeal among the Hi-Fi community for years), it seems crazy why few if anyone actually makes these specific tubes anymore, given the way you describer their aural performance. Is it because they are too difficult and/or expensive to clone perfectly or because there’s not enough demand even to do short runs of them?

It has been quite a while since I used an amp requiring 6sn7s.  The ones with the most extended and "airy" top ends were metal-base Sylvanias, which were fairly expensive then, and they were a touch too lean for my taste and set up (Audio Note Kageki amp).  I liked the Tungsol Roundplate and a copy of that tube (Neotron 6sn7).  There was another rare metal-based tube, I believe a GE tube, that was lean and mean and very extended on top--I did not like it and gave it away to a friend.

Sylvania 6SN7 GTA 1950’s are my favorite. Sweet air and extraordinary midrange. Plenty available.

I tried RCA smoked glass, Ken RAD smoked glass, Sylvania Bad Boys, NP EH, Raytheon JANs.  

Is your RCA labled as 6sn7 made in 1950’s?


Then I recommend you to get RCA vt 231 made in 40’s which will give more air and refined sound.


Sylvania vt231 also give lot of air but could sound lean lacking bass.


Tungsol bgrp vt231 also sounds nice as RCA vt 231 but over priced due to hype.


Amperex is a nice tube but not with good air.


Kenrad sounds bass heavy not much air.



I favor 6f8g tubes not for air but for fuller sound.

By the way I had collected more than 100 different kinds of 6sn7 and variants for fun not for business.


I do not sell tubes.




If your system sounds bass heavy, it is advisable to try Sylvania vt231.


Tube rolling could be fun to tune your system.


The only bad part is that some hyped tubes get over priced.