Fav Tube/Best tube

E80CC my all time fav, any brand, all sound nearly identical (pinched waist, getter stuff = snakeoil)
Tungsten, Siemes, Philips = same tube.
some have rhodium pins, ebay seller claims *sought after = superior to brass pins*,,,but these rhodium pins, do not have the copper posts, which i perfer. I will have to roll the E80’s , so far I perfer vavlo by a *hair*, but can not say for sure, as all sound nearly identical, at least to my poor hearing( I failed a hearing test at Valero Refinery some yrs back , but only in testing the highest FQ’s).
Next fav tube
is Tele 12AX7, Siemens are very close,,at least as far as i can tell, have not made a further compare on that as yet.
Next and last is the power drivers.
For that I’ll have to go with the KT150’s, which i’ve not heard, but am sure will love that tube.
When I rolled the 90’s to 88’s, i might have perfered the 88’s ,,,both sound very close,,,,sorry i should have made more shootouts on those 2 , before i sold off the 90’s.
Considering nearly all amps come with stock 88’s, that pretty much confirms the 88’s is the all around best tube for most amps, |
BUt if you have power to spare in your trans, as my Defy does (2 side trans run cold, mid trans runs slightly warm,,and thats running super low super high demanding 87 db speakers!!! Testimony to jadis' trans, built like german tanks, yet sing like ,,,,, Heavenly Angels) the 150’s is the best option as a long term investment.

So thats my 3
1) E80(far superior to the wimpy 12AU7’s, if the e80 did not exist, the 12AU7 is a excellent tube <<<tongue in cheek>>>)
and yours?
and go ahead and dunk all snakeoil you’ve heard over the years about certain aspects of a tube, such as *Holy Grails*

Favorites are system and listener taste dependent.

Tungsten, Siemes, Philips = same tube.
No they’re not. Phillips owned Siemens but Tungsol,  Tungsram, Siemens and Phillips are different tubes, I can assure you.

My favorite in my current preamp is a 12AU7 variant, the made in Heerlen, Holland Amperex 7316. Amperex was also owned by Phillips. It is not wimpy either.

If anyone is going to switch one type of tube (say a 12AX7) for another (say a 12AT7) check with the maker of your gear. Different types of tubes have different electrical characteristics and you can’t just substitute them one for another.
CV5042 black plate Mullard which was holophonic/black/lucid/sweet/spacious. 
I recently bought a pair of 12AT7 Mullards (1957) to try in my LTA pre.Along with the gorgeous mids the high frequencies are excellent.
I have 6 AT's in my jadis clone LiteLS9, I found the Russian EH's stock tubes equal tom Siemens, Philips AT's NOS. 
All AT's sound exactly same.
I plan to roll some AU's to see if there is any sonic dif. Perhaps Tele's are Kings  In  my Defy 7, the E80 blows away every AU, each system **may be different* but doubt it.
I've done research and from various testimonies, all back up my findings. = the E80 is the best sonic 12AU7 on the market.
Yes correct, if a  socket says 12AT7, = will not accept any other tube.

Snakeoil busting time
<<<<Matched pairs>>> snakeoil
From my experience, there are 3 tube scores, 
I have no issues marryinga  Strong with a  NOS, no one can tell the dif between Strong and NOS. = There is no such thing as <<match pairs>> thats all pure 100% snakeoil.
I had a  buyer on  a  pair of Siemens EL34's ask <<are they matched pairs?/>>
I told him  yes, at least the numbers were very close from the scores on the tubes.
I have no issues employing a  strong with NOS. To me they are both equal in sonics.
In 10 years the E80 will be discovered. 
I see a  bump in ebay prices already. 
I just missed a  qaud of NOS Philips from a swiss seller , who i bought often, endedv 5 am, awoke 1 minute late, bid to $130.
Oh well i have a  good stash and can not hold cash in tubes that are years away from doubling in prices.


With power tubes what may sound good in one amp is no guarantee it will sound good in a different amp circuit .
i have been through this for over 40 years . Never Assume.
regarding kt150  tubes a very good tube but,if the transformers are 
not optimized for them you are removing the design overhead 
and under duress msy create distortions, check with the mfg first.
Small tubes for balance pre 1955 Amperex slanted D getter long plates are excellent, Mullard 10 series for a warmer midrange 
and Siemen, or a Tele I am referring to a pair in the $300 range 
there are rare models that are $$ but almost impossible to find .many American tubes were also very good back in the 50s,and before late 60s
In terms of re-issue quality, I think most everything Gold Lion puts out is good to great, with a few superb in there too.

The Tung Sol 7581A is a special tube.

For NOS, I like RCA, Cifte, Telefunken, Mullard and National (too many variants/types to list).

There used to be great value in the military spec tubes. They usually sounded pretty good to great at a reasonable price. Plus, they last forever. But prices on those have risen so much that I will buy reissue over them.
+1 Tung Sol 7581A. The replacement tube for 6L6/EL34.
I’ve tried hundreds of tubes. The best 12AX7 is the Shuguang 12AX7LS black from Grant Fidelity at $149 a pair. 20 hour burn in needed.
I havea  quad of chinese preamp tubes, china can not make a  pre tube that comes even close to EU/USA NOS, I woill have to give away that quad on ebay for pennies on the $.

E80CCs knock out Tele Holy Grails 12AU7 in 1st few notes.
12AU7's sound like frogs croking  next to the ~~heavenly choir~~~ E80CC;'s


When I puchased my Schitt Mjolnir 2 I upgraded the stock tubes to Telefunken E88cc/6922 NOS tubes for $160 each from the TubeStore.

I was apprehensive about spending so much on two tubes...but 4 years later I'm very happy with that purchase and have no regrets.
Favorites are system and listener taste dependent.

+1...and I'll add unit dependent also.  One tube might sound great in a preamp, but sucks in a phono stage, (for example).

I have drawers full of tubes (hundreds and hundreds).

Really depends on what I am using them in.

I must say that the brand new production, frame grid, JJ Tesla E83CC (12AX7) is quite a surprise...
Of the 6922's, My fav is the E288, which CONTRARY to info posted on various (Brent Jesse and others) who cliam a  288 is *basically a  188 in a  slightly taller bottle*, Not true
The 288 is in a  slightly taller bottle, yes, but the grids are taller.
Which makes the 288 my fav of all/every/any 6922 variation, including the Tele E88cc's (which i've not heard and have no intentions hearing) 
The 288 offers everything all 6922's can muster and a  sonic nuance more.
Not trying to pump my 288 Ebay listings at all, Just saying. Bigger tube results in more gain/dynamics when needed/as muisc dictates = less breakup/less distortion.



188 = 88
288 is in a  class all by ~~itself~~