What's that tube you have there?

It's a '78 Hytron 6SN7GTB that came with my Meishu amp when I bought it used on the 'Gon 1,1/2yrs ago. I have since delt with clean power (Isoclean), room treatment (DIY), and isolation (HRS) for my gear. I even went out and bought a TT as you fellow members said that it would kill digital and you were right. I really thought my system sounded wonderful until I was on line reading about the 6SN7 tube and that the Hytron late '70's 6SN7 was the worst tube ever made. Hey that's my tube your talking about! After reading what others felt were the better 6SN7 tubes I called Tom Tutay for help and sure enough he had some Sylvania's 6SN7WGT that were not even rated very highly in some people's opinion. I did insert the tubes in my amp and sat down for a listen and well you know what? that Hytron 6SN7 is indeed the worst tube ever made. My system sounded like crap in comparison to it with the new tubes in it. Can two tubes cause all that damage? You bet they can. They can make your system sound like garbage. How does garbage sound? With a '78 Hytron 6SN7 tube.

The Sylvania tubes have made the biggest difference in the sound of my system. Bigger than the Isoclean, HRS and TT put together. Wow that was a bad tube you had in there.

I have on order a pair of Tung Sol RP 6SN7GT VT-231. Price $400.00 Insane price you say? Well it's insane not to have it. The extra money spent makes a bigger difference than one can think.

Moral of this story is if you want to be a tube head make sure you have tried what others rate as the better tubes for your gear and go out and buy and try. Insteed of changing cables out like you do you socks make sure you have the very best tubes money can buy. You will be glad you did.

Showing 1 response by jmcgrogan2

I agree that changing tubes can make quite a difference, however, I do not agree with your statement to "have the very best tubes that money can buy". This statement would suggest that the more expensive tube is better, which from my experiences is not true. Just as the most expensive cables and power cords are not necessarily the best. I would recommend trying different tubes if possible, and choose what sounds best to you, in your system. You'll be surprised that the tubes you choose will probably not be the most expensive ones.

I also would not say that changing tubes are the only way to go. I know some who find more satisfaction from changing cables, power cords, coupling caps, or even internal parts of an amp. Tubes are just one more variable to experiment with. You're lucky you only needed one pair, my amp (BAT) uses 3 pairs of 6SN7's, and has a reputation for being hard on NOS 6SN7's. I've found that a $100/pair of Sylvania JAN Black base 6SN7GT V231, circa mid 60's work pretty well for me.

For me the key is balance. I wouldn't use ultra expensive tubes with cheap cables/cords anymore than I would use ultra expensive cable/cords with cheap tubes.