I have several pairs of the Shuguang CV181-Z, the Shuguang CV181-T and the Psvane CV181-TII.
I prefer the Shuguang CV181-"Z" in everything I’ve tried so far. Best 6SN7 out there, IHMO. I found the "T" series to be just a tad to bright for my tastes. Most listeners would say they had more detail, but to my ears, that also means brighter.
I also really like the Sophia Electric 6SN7.
Info on the difference between the two companies:
Look at these new limited edition 6SN7 tubes! I might have to try a pair of these babies:
Thanks for the comments and info, guys. Yes, Mofi, these are the Zs and they seem to open and deepen with every passing hour. I contemplated the Sophias but took a chance with the Zs...glad I did.
And in case it's unclear, I have no vested interest in saying such things...I'm just kind of dumbfounded at how much of a difference one tube has made. It sounds like a completely different amplifier...
Discoveries as you experienced are what make audio such an interesting hobby. In addition to experimenting with driver tubes, there is a lot of potential improvement in trying a variety of audio grade fuses and audio grade wall A/C outlets.
Congratulations on the Black Treasures sounding so good in your system.
Old discussion, but thought i would elicit feedback - I want to replace the stock 6SN7 tubes in my preamp, but I'm unsure if I should go the NOS route or the "new Chinese" tubes? I'm leaning towards the Black Treasure CV-181-Z, but I would appreciate feedback from anyone who has had the BT tubes in a preamp for any extended period of time. At the prices being asked of these (and solid NOS tubes) I don't want to head down the wrong path - very expensive to recover from the wrong decision. My other option would be 1940s Sylvania black base (non-metal base) NOS tubes.
Thoughts . . . . ?
I have a pair of the BT CV-181-Z and I prefer the Sylvania's of course that could change depending on preamp. The manufacturer of my favorite preamp just changed the circuit and added a jumper so that I can use 6NS7 or 12SN7's. I have found an abundance of NOS 12SN7 tubes at far lower prices. I got a great deal on 40's Sylvania bad boys and Tung-Sol Black Glass Round Plate Oval Mica.
Hi msgtrlsmith – I can't speak to a comparison with Sylvanias, but I can tell you that the Black Treasures trounced the gold pin EH 6sn7s that were originally in my Blue Circle...to the point where it sounded like a different amp (in a good way): better sound staging, more air, sweeter treble, more precise imaging...and on and on. In every way that matters to me, the BTs were noticeably better – as they should be, for 3X the price of the gold pins. But I've never regretted the purchase...it was a no brainer for my system. Just be aware that the BTs are significantly larger than stock 6sn7s...make sure your preamp can accommodate. I had to have my chassis altered to enable me to use them...but it was worth it.
I just received a pair of the following:
TJ Full Music
Black Treasure Z (New Series)
Black Treasure T Series.
I'm About to Order The WE Replica 6SN7 and the Psvane TII Series.
So far the MP-3 Atma-Sphere Pre-Amp has been installed with the Z Series. The sound is opening up. Its a lot more quiet than few of my nos tubes.
My MP-1 is arriving within 2 weeks back from Ralph. I'm Planning to load all 6 different Chinese Tubes into the Pre-amp and see what happens.
If it becomes too lush I can start to remove them by the pair.
So far the Z Series seems to be promising. More info soon. Need to pass atleast 75 hours on the tubes to let it settle down a bit.
I would like to know if the TJ full music 6sn7 and the Sophia 6sn7 tubes are the same and who makes who.Remember, Sophia does not manufacture tubes they are a re-seller/re-brander of Chinese tubes with "supposedly" higher screening and tolerances. Grant Fidelity Audio provides a similar service but with a bit more transparency. Yes, the TJ and Sophi are the same tube.
Psvane CV-181's, pricey and intially captivating, develop static around the 90-day mark. Psvane KT-88's in my experience are shoddily produced with little or no quality assurance testing, despite Rachel's claims. Upon receipt of 2 matched quads, one of them laid a 'lint short' on my VAC Phi 300, disabling it for 3 months. I notice now Psvane no longer offers the KT-88; they'd also changed their plate voltage to a value in excess of 100%, defying manual bias. Back they went, at my expense. Interestingly, Kevin no longer tubes his amps with Chinese tubes, deferring instead to Golden Lions.
I’m a huge fan on Psvane Tubes
Prima Luna Prolog 7 Mono Blocks
12axy & 12au7 TIl’s
Cary SLP 98 pre Amp
x4 Treasure Globe 6SN7-SE
‘I have the CV181 TII’s as well but the globes are a little bit more refined.
I have had previously used numerous NOS tubes, Winged C’s, Mullard, Jan, Raytheon, Svetlana,etc, and I prefer the Psvanes over everything else by a long shot.
A broader deeper sound stage with a wider sweet spot is my favorite attribute with this tube combo, but a taught punchy low end and the sublime delicate highs are also worththe price of admission. I’ve stopped tube rolling I’m done. I was going to upgrade my mono blocks but I prefer the sound of mine to systems worth far more expensive components. They are not cheap but worth the investment.
I have had 1 CV 181 get really microphonic after about 800 hrs? But that’s the only problem I have had. Great customer service and fast shipping are a bonus.
I have lots of low hours NOS tubes for sake
New issues Mullard EL 34 x8
Numerous matched pairs of Raytheon, Jan, RCA, Gold lion 6ns7 tubes
mostly brought from Upscake Audio or Tube Depot.
‘Numerous variants and quads of both 12ax7 & 12au7 tubes
Finally had a chance to start testing the BT Zs on my MP-3 and the first driver on MA-1, due to the size I cannot put 2 BTs next to each other on the Amp sockets.
Sound completely different, trying different styles of music the BT gives more uncontrolled not so tight bass as the stock shuguang, the midrange and highs on the stock shuguang is wonderful.
Wife immediately asked "what did you change this time, sounds awful" she is a pianist and a singer with better music assertion and ears than mine and I noticed as well.
I believe these BTs need some time to adjust so I'm planning to cook them with a few power Russian tubes I got as spares and will post again, I hope they will improve, I think I was expecting much initially. Also expecting some chrome domes and Russian melz which I will expect to be disappointed.
If anyone can post more of their experience with Sophia and Sophia blue and psvane tii that would be great