the best kt88 tube there is available?

now running sed 6550-c's. am interested in trying the kt88's. But wish to do this once. I have been considering between the gold lions and the shuguang treasure kt88-z's. Since I am unable to hear them in my system I must rely on those with experiance. I have read the reviews but I am interested in goners in the know. thanks for the insight whatever it is.
Hi Koegz,

That is a very impressive and nice looking system that you have. My experience with the KT 88 series is based on TAD, EH, SED winged C and GL. All of these were KT88's. My amps, Octave MRE 130, mono tube amps have 140 watts per side and are fairly easy on tubes. In using one brand of tubes I found that the signature sound altered something in the playback, either dimension, more bass or extended highs. On my system, the SED C and GL seem really close to each other in sound, the SED C's exhibiting more bass but even across the frequency spectrum, the GL's are really even handed and do not have any certain attribute that makes them stand out, they do sound good though. The EH's have a noticeably higher output on the top end and the midrange seems to have a little more energy, but it is not bad, accenuates voices beautifully. The TAD, OEM with the OCtaves years ago, just played musical music and I was a novice tube man when I first heard them, but for these virgin ears, they playe glorious music. The issue the TAD had back then was they were having a higher failure rate. On the failure rate, I have only lost one SED C in one year of use, 2 TAD's and one EH years ago. I am in the middle of doing some research for the distributor on the varainaces of changes with the SED, EH and GL to accurately provide the manufacture some good user feedback. So far, they all play good and except for the minor differences in attributes as stated above, one could easily listen to any one of them.

Right now, a new set of EH's are on the amps and they sound excellant, I ordered them from TAD. They have an exteremely wide and deep stereo field and music is so holographic. I hope this helps some. I am a true believer that tubes are matched to a system, and the other way around because there are so many different opinions of tubes in these forums and not everyone has the same system, so results are so far varied that it only makes sense to try a variety.

I should have a good baseline description of my tests with these tubes in the next week or so.
You have to realize that what someone else thinks is the "best" might not work for you at all?There are too many variables involved to say one tube is the best.If you want to find the "best" for you,you're going to have to bite the bullet and do some experimentation.Just a thought.Good luck.
I relize this. But the "best"(highest quality) kt88 tubes should sound great in any aplication where kt88 are the choice. so, to me, my question is reasonable. I am only interested in KT88 tubes.
You are right in that there should be a best but there are way to many variables. I have heard the GL 88's called the best, not in my book, they sound great, but so do my other tubes I have put through the hoops of my amps.

I know what you are referring about when you stated that there should be some information about the "best". There are many posts claiming that the GL 88's are the best, I bit and purchased a quad and they do sound good, but in my system, I cannot proclaim as the best. I truly believe that the TAD's I had years ago may have held that honor in my system. But if genrally speaking if many people state such and such a product is great and the general consensus is that it is a good product, then in all regards that product must have some merit. I have bought stuff based on this mentality and the results have generally been great, but there will be letdowns. That is why it is such a system and individual dependant issue and not really the consensus of the audiohood. If the reports state that some tube works great and later on you learn that it does not work on your system well, does it make that tube bad? No.

If there is one thing I have learned in this hobby is that there is no subsitiute for your own ears. I would at least purchase a set of the tubes you want allow and for break-in and validate the sound for yourself.

For what it is worth, I have posted the same question about the GL tubes and that is why I am referring you to try and validate for yourself. Feedback from someone who has the same amps as you do would be great. There are people who own the same amps I do, sadly, they either speak Japanese or German. From what I have learned from the German forums, it seems like a tossup between the GL's and other brands for the Octave amps.
Good luck,
There is only one true answer. Your system is of a very high pedigree and represents a significant investment. The only way that you are going to satisfy your curiosity is to purchase 24 GL and 24 Shuguang treasure kt88-z's and try them for yourself. Once you have determined which tubes you like best, sell the others and hope to recoup 70% of your investment. The loss of $400 or so will enable you to sleep better than wondering if you made the right choice based on reviews and other's opinions.
There's a new tube on the block you might consider. New Sensor just released their new ST-120 tube. It's like a KT-88 on steroids. 65W plate dissapation! I have a pair of DIY PP Parallel mono-blocks that run the output tubes at 60mA class A1. It kind of ate 6550s for breakfast. These new tubes so far have been great. Anyone who has an amp that is hard on output tubes should consider trying these.
actually I spoke with Bea at VTL. she said the shuguang treasure kt88z are kt88s made in a chinese factory. they "do not use chinese tubes especially for output because they don't usually meet the specifications required for VTL amplifiers." you can't argue with that. she suggests the gold lion kt88s or SED kt88s. so there you have it.
John tracy - It's the KT120 tube, although it was recently discussed being used in the Dynaco ST120 amp. See below:
I have two matched quads and the boxes are CLEARLY marked ST-120.
My bad. I went home and looked at the boxes again and they were marked KT-120. I guess old age must be rotting my brain. ;-)