Hi, it is completely normal for 300B tubes to display a blue or violet hue. I would be concerned about any extraneous hissing sound or pop. Did you ask the dealer for a replacement pair? I would.
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Thanks for the responses. I talked to my dealer today and he said he'll speak with the distributor to find out what's going on. I also tried to call and email WE..but the call wasnt answered and the email got returned since there's no such address as firstname.lastname@example.org, and this address is listed on WE website for the customer service/warranty issues (#*!(*)
For those interested, i also got a response from audioasylum.com ..thought i'd share with ones who are not experienced like i am , and want to learn more:
" Jaytea, hi. Sounds like classic gassy tube syndrome. Normal blue glow
hugs the inner glass surface. Three dimensional glowing as you describe
moving in a sweeping motion in the interior is as far from normal as you
can get. Don't run these tubes. Return them as defective. How tube savvy
is your dealer? What you have been observing is a severe warning sign. The next thing that will happen is the ionization of gas on the interior will continue to the point where thermal runaway can take place and lead to
catastrophic failure of the tube. This could take out an output
transformer. In what amp are your WE 300B? "
Just be warned that KR also sells a higher output 300b "equivalent" that may not be right for some amps. Check with manufacturer and make sure you are getting the right tube. Cary specifically recommended that I not use the higher output 300b. I had always thought about buying some WEs to see what the excitement was all about; I guess I will stay away. Also I think that the KR tubes are very similar/identical to Emission Labs tubes.
The KR 300BXLS are the higher output tubes(24 watts), I am using the 300B (Western Electric clones)9 watts. Here is a link the six moon review. BTW the only time that the tubes light up is on start up, while running I really dont see any glowing. http://www.sixmoons.com/audioreviews/kr300b/kr300b.html
There is another thread on the VAC amps that has a great response with tech details on the 300b and the 300bXLS (thanks cyclone). Search on VAC tuberolling and it should come up. Bottom line is that there are some other significant differences in specs and you should not use them as a substitute for a typical 300b unless you are technically competent to understand the specs OR the amp manufacturer has been consulted. I never heard the Shugang but I have heard Electro-Harmonix and Sophias. The KRs beat them both to my ears.
Thanks all for your responses. I'm still waiting for the dealer's answer on the warranty. The tubes should be covered since they are only 2 weeks old. Will keep you posted on how the WE 300B tubes work out. So far...I tried to contact WE by both phone and email, not a good experience.
Swamwalker, Rwbadley, CycloneHarry: Which KR 300B do you use/suggest? I think the only real-compatible 300B from KR for my preamp would be the WE clone, since the KR300B balloon or the XLS has higher filament current (1.9A vs 1.2A) How does the KR 300B WE Clone sound? Did you guys have a chance to compare those KR with others like EH, Sophia ...?
I never heard the Shugang but I have heard Electro-Harmonix and Sophias. The KRs beat them both to my ears.
There was really no comparison. The Sophias are pretty good and if you want to try a pair, drop me a line. The KRs are just plain better all around. Deeper tighter bass, smoother. Can't give you much on imaging since I am using the amp to power AKG K1000 headphones.
Well..Finally, my dealer went extra miles to exchange the 4th (you heard it right) pairs for me...he's extremly nice for not making me wait too long for the seem-like-forever response from WE itself ! Now the new pair is working OK at the moment, i'll have to let it run for more hours to see how it is. The sound so far is really balanced vs the sweet, sugar coated Sophia Electric. To my ears & my setup, i think the Sophia electric is really lush in the midrange, a little more rounded in the bass and i love it ..overall, it'd be my first choice over the WE300B and ofcourse the EH gold, BUT somehow all the Sophia pairs i tried produce a slight hum on the left channel...which i cant do anything to get rid of...otherwise it'd be perfect...Not sure if anyone out there experience the same thing with Sophia electric?
One of my friend let me try out his pair of the AVVT 300B, boy oh boy..I wish i could find a pair on sale !!!!