Best sounding tubes in my MB125s are the Shuguang Treasures and Psvane Premium 12AT7s, just changed them out for the 2nd time.
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If your looking for a lower cost EL34 type, I can recommend the JJ E34L (not to get mixed up with the EL34)matched. There approx. $18.00 each at the Tube Store plus extra fee for matched and balanced. These were supplied with my Ars Sonus Filarmonia from the manufacture. I compared these to the KT77 (gold Lion tube) and found I liked these better. I also tried them in Primaluna Prologue 5 and P7 (Monos) amps and was impressed with the sound compared to the cost. Its like anything else, for the most part you get what you pay for, but I think its a great tube for the dollar. I can’t say how it will sound in your equipment. There are other options for a higher cost that I am hoping will improve the SQ of my system; maybe one of the Treasures, Psvane, RFT made for Siemens(RAM) or Sophia electric tubes, but since some are as much as $500.00 per quad, I am taking my time doing the research to be sure as much as possible that there worth the expenditure and do in fact provide better SQ
Thanks for all the responses, gentlemen. I agree that the shuguang treasure/psvanes are great, but as I stated in my original post, I'm trying to avoid spending $100/tube. The JJs are certainly on my radar, but I wouldn't know how to choose between el34, e34l, el34ii, kt77 and 6ca7?!
tooblue - I seriously need to update my virtual system. Yes, the mb125s eventually replaced the st150, but there were a few other amps in between. Same for speakers. I replaced the wilsons with quads, but eventually wanted to go back to dynamic speakers, ultimately "settling" on a pair of vandersteen quads. I'd venture that most of the difference between the mb125 and the st150 is due to el34 vs 6550. BUT ... I HAD to replace my st150, which failed catastrophically in a way that was simply not cost effective to repair - I can't say I did it as a direct upgrade, and there are too many other variables for me to make any reliable comparison.