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.