Similar to AFB's 1962 US-Amperex 6922, in my camp, the 1961 holds the throne. However, today I received what I expect to be some major contenders to that throne.
Recently, in the Lyr tube thread, I read a review by rb2013 comparing three 1975 Voskhods and a 1965 US-Amperex 7308.
I already had some 1975 Voskhods on the way and then stumbled on a couple US-made Amperex 7308s, 1965 and 1966, and decided to get them. They were $30 each, way beyond $8, but figured it was highly unlikely I would ever find these for anywhere close to $8....
So anyway, I now have two of the three Voskhods and the 1965 7308 used in that review, so figure I am about ready to have a similar tube "faceoff" between these contenders and my 1961 6922. I have checked to see that these newcomers light up and play, and while I am not sure they need to be burned in, figure it still might be a good idea.....
First the Voskhods: rb2013's tied for second and third place winners
Evidently, there are four different versions of the 1975 Voskhod, based on shield color and getter post. The two I received today have gray shields, but the left one has a wire getter post and the other has a post that appears to be an extension of the shield.
And the US-Amperex 7308s: rb2013's tied for second place winner
Even though manufactured almost exactly a year apart (65-42 and 66-40), both have the same change code, and thus I expect them to be virtually identical.