EAT tubes are manufactured with great care and expertise, comparable to that expended on the better tubes from "the good old days"(NOS GE, Genelex, GEC/Mullard, etc). Whether the difference in sound quality is worth the difference in cost TO you, can only be answered BY you. I wouldn't presume to recommend you spend that kind of money, based on my opinion and ears. Some help/info/opinions: (http://www.euroaudioteam.com/pdfs/eat_kt88_hfn_0705_4web.pdf) (http://www.highend-sound.com/test/files/documents/506_hifi+34_audio_smorgasbord.pdf) (http://www.audioreference.co.nz/searchdisplay2.php?id=EAT+KT88+M4) Read Scot Markwell's comments on that last site(especially his last sentence).
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Do you have any personal long term experience with EAT tubes that you can share?
I was very interested in EAT KT88 a few CES shows ago, in spite of their cost. What stopped me was a heated discussion between EAT and a very high end American tube amp manufacturer concerning reliability.
That tube amp manufacturer now uses Wing C tubes, so I'm wishing for more data.
No "long term personal experience"(sorry to say). My recent past financial state(expensive divorce) had precluded that possibility. Thus- I can't say anything concrete concerning their reliability, but they do carry a warranty. It's been my experience, that if tubes make it for six months; they'll last the long haul. Things are starting to look better for me this year, and I'm giving an octet of EAT's tubes some serious consideration myself. The Winged 'C' 6550's I've got in my monoblocks right now probably have 6 months or so left in them. The taste that I've had of the EATs makes me want the whole burrito, and I've seen them on sale for around $1300 a matched quad!
Let me know how they sound, I won't be buying them at $325.00 each regardless of warranty. I pay high for 10,000 hour tubes but KT88 and 6550 are not in that category, at least not in VTL 750s or CATs.
Maybe if a quad would serve my whole system the price would not look so bad. Since I have two pair of 750s the total for a single fitting of EAT would be $15,600.00.
I use an Octet of selected Gold lion reissues in a DA-60. I bought them from Jim Mcshane over on AA tubes asylum classified. These tubes took me by surprise. I told him wht I wanted them to do. He gave a single answer this is it nothing else will be what I like or he likes for that matter. They are simply superb all around, fantastic!
They are expensive for current production but nothing like the EAT. I really don't believe that you can acquire a truly matched octet of never been used 1960s even 70s KT-88s, unless a private collector is willing to part with them. The price I couldn't even guess but the amount will never be printed that is for sure.
I recently aquired an octet of GL 88's from Jim McShane and they have been on since Thursday evening. Ever since then, I have had nothing but pure musical enjoyment. No isses, they were a matched set and were easy to bias on my Octave amps. The bass is deeper, well more powerful, the complete sound spcetrum is even, where the SED C 88's I had before had a tipped up mid range and lacked in bass, the GL's are even across the spectrum. The radience (new audiophile word, ha) is more immersive then before, great depth, width and detailed instrumentality. There is nothing I can bad at all at this time about these tubes. They have projected my system into the league of does it get any better then this? I mean, I am amazed at the thwack of bass strokes, the voices popping out of nowhere, this is what it is about. I had elements of those traits before, but now, it is on a grander scale.
From my perspective, the GL88's have been one of the best tweaks in my system in a long time. I have had EH, TAD, SED winged C's and now the GL's in my system, and the GL's by far are the most musical.
Not "long time" (1 year) experience, but I have used a pair of EAT KT88 Diamond Valves in my former Unison S2K. They came at almost a quarter of the amp's price, but they heaved it into an entirely other league compared to the Sovteks the amp originally sported. Much - and I mean much - more transparency throughout the frequency range and authority in bass. Stabler image, better detail, yet a nicer musical flow without excessive warmth or roll-off. Just right. I also had the distinct impression the amp played louder at the same volume setting. When I sold the amp, I actually kept the valves, given what the buyer was prepared to pay. Tough luck for him. It was this experience with the KT88's that made me think not even twice when I acquired my present Audion 300B. I had to have EATs even if this time it set me back 40% of the price I paid for the entire amp including a pair of new Harmonix Gold 300B's. Same observation: in every musical respect now a better amp. With my gear - and that is as always an explicit caveat - EAT have been shure winners.
I 3rd (or 4th) the Gold Lion Reissues from Jim McShane. I have been using them ever since they came out a few years ago and they are wonderful sounding tubes. I haven't tried the EAT, nor will I. I highly recommend Jim or other vendors that personally tests the tubes, as opposed to simply buying "factory matched" tubes.
Albert, I think there was a questionable "batch" of Reissues during the time of the thread you cite, but no ongoing issues that I am aware of. If you look around at AA there are many more positive threads on this tube than negative.
Another recent tube of interest is the Treasure Series from Shuguang. Early reviews seem positive.