I am not a tubehead so I don't know. But I love my tube equipment and have changed and used many different small-pin tubes in my tuners (Mac and Scott), CD player (Ah Tjoeb), preamp, phono preamp, and integrated amp (the three latter all by ARC) and have had no problem or difficulty swapping in gold pins for the steel pins that were originally in all these units. So even if it's true it may have no practical impact for you. FWIW, the Siemens gold pins I now use in my ARC CA-50 are a lot better than the Sovteks it came with. Probably due to more than just the gold pins, though.
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