5AR4 rectifier tubes - Chinese or Russian?

I'm needing to replace 2 - 5AR4 rectifier tubes in my Primaluna Prologue 3 preamp. Kevin at Upscale Audio has both the Sovtek and Shuguang tubes for $15 bucks each. The next step up is the Japanese tube at $45 each.

The tubes I'm replacing are original so I assume they are the Chinese model and I haven't tried rolling in any others. Should I stick with the Sovtek/Shuguang or step up to the Japanese or other tube replacements?

The ModWright tube rectified power supply PS 9.0 uses 5AR4. The original tube was the Sovtek, which went bad in less than a year. Dan Wright replaced it with a Chinese Ruby 5AR4. He said he had problems with the Sovtek. I have had the Ruby for about 5 months now. Works just fine.
The JJ gz34=(5AR4)is a good new production tube. thetubestore.com has them for $15.00
I use the Japanese tubes which Kevin Deal carries.Two in my Prologue 8 CDP .And one in my SLP-05 Cary Pre amp power supply...Great bang for the buck..You won't be disappointed.
Your rectifier tube will have a marked effect on the overall sound of your unit. By going cheap there, you'll be ripping yourself off for a lot of music. If you went with a pair of NOS Mullards (GZ34/CV1377, from the Blackburn plant), they'd probably outlive your ownership of the unit, and would definitely improve the unit's presentation(compared to ANY new production tube).
I agree with Rodman99999 .

I have Mullard 5AR4/GZ34 Tubes [ Amperex - Holland are nice also and fall into the same Class ] that were well used when I bought them and have been in service for 7+ years in my System . They still Test as New and will probably outlast me .

If you can find NOS - NIB great , but you will pay big time for them . I suggest buying New Testing Used for $25-$35 . They DO have a better sound than the New Production Tubes that I have tried and have a much longer life-span .
A third knod to Mullard / Blackburn NOS. Expensive, but worth it and will likely last long. Buy from a reputable seller, like Upscale, Vintage or The Tube Store. A rebranded Mullard should be $75-85/tube last time I checked and could be branded as Amperex, RCA, GE or some other companies that had Mullard make their tubes. Mullard branded tubes (labeled "Mullard") will run more expensive so I'd look for the rebranded ones from a reliable seller. Same tube with a different label. Best versions of the 5AR4 are actually metal-based versions but those will cost your first-born, and I'm not sure are worth the added premium (I guess that depends on how much you love your child). If you'd prefer to hang onto your heir apparent you could seek out an NOS 22S22C substitute, for which your soul may be adequate payment. Worth it for the extra bottom end resolution and bragging rights.
If the Mullards are beyond what you'd like to spend, you might look into those Japanese Mullard copies. I've no personal experience with them, but if Kevin gives them his endorsement- that speaks volumes.(http://www.upscaleaudio.com/Japanese-5AR4_p_75.html) I DO know that the Japanese are positively anal when it comes to quality control and consistancy in manufacturing practices(diametrically opposed to the chinese mindset). You might contact him, and ask his opinion with regard to their use in your unit. He's always happy to assist a fellow music lover and tubeophile. It's a shame he doesn't have any Mullard GZ34's(which would still be my #1 recommendation).
About 11 years ago I bought a boutique guitar amp--a Top Hat Club Deluxe, which is all tube PTP wired, and also used a GZ34/5AR4 rectifier. I decided to replace the Sovtek tubes and Chinese rectifier with new old stock US and European tubes. The NOS preamp and power amp tubes were affordable enough at the time (if you knew where to look), but all the US and European NOS rectifiers were well over $100. I decided to compromise and got an RCA-Japan 5AR4 for $25. I'm glad I did. Word from the vintage guitar gear enthusiasts was that a poorly made rectifier tube could kill your amp. My RCA-Japan has been exemplary. Its price sits on the low side between a Chinese tube and a US-Euro NOS, but its dependability is like the US-Euro NOS.

So to me, the Japanese tubes are worth the extra money over a Chinese tube for the peace of mind.
Buy a metal base gz34 and never look back.
Having a little trouble locating a matched pair of Mullard NOS or rebranded or even used testing new. I guess I'll be out of tunes for a while, unless I rotate in my old Marantz integrated amp in the meantime.

By the way, it seems that Upscales price on the Japanese tubes is $60 so if I could find Mullards new or used for 85 -100 each that'll be the way I go.

Thanks for everyone's input.

By the way, Kevin Deal said he'd spend his money on the 12AU7s and 12AX7s and not worry about expensive rectifiers,

By the way, Kevin Deal said he'd spend his money on the 12AU7s and 12AX7s and not worry about expensive rectifiers,

Kevin knows what he's talking about and I would pay attention if I were you. Prima Luna are his product line and he knows them as good as anyone. People here probably responded to your query the way they did because of the way you stated your question.

12AX7's - I really liked Tungsrams in another application (a different amp), which can be find re-labled as Amperex. I haven't had much experience with 12AU7's so could not comment.
I would invest in high quality, NOS small signal tubes first as well(like some good Amperex). They(the tubes in the signal path) will always provide the biggest bang for the buck. Still- Why would you want to rob yourself of all that the unit could offer, by not upgrading the power supply as well? Either shop further for the Mullard GZ34s, or pop for the Japanese knock offs, after you experience the signal tube upgrades. Then you can quantify what each step provided in presentation. BTW: Being they are in the power supply, there's no need for the rectifier tubes to be all that closely matched. You just don't want any kind of crazy disparity between them.
As mentioned above, I would go with a NOS Mullard. I did this in my Cary SLP-05 and was blown away by the difference. Worth the money and they will last many many hours.