If you have both cleaned the pins and gave the tubes 50-hours to settle in, then its probably a bad tube. I would let them run for 50-hours before giving up. Have you contacted the seller to let them know the tube is noisy? There are a lot of e-bay sellers that will work something out with you. The Amperex OGs are nice, as are the Bugle Boys. The National Matsus tubes are nice for the money. http://www.tubemonger.com/Matsu****a_Japan_6922_E88CC_Mullard_Tooling_NOS_p/591.htm. Mullards are nice and warm, Telefunkens are neutral and very detailed etc. So, there are lots of tubes to try ranging from affordable to very pricey.
Are you using dampers? I just switched back to my Orange Globes, but decided to try them without dampers for the first time. Turns out one of the tubes is very microphonic with a static sound that doesn't go away without dampers. The herbies are nice, but expensive. Why not try silicone o-rings first? They are what I use for the moment and work perfectly for me. The only danger is that they may remove the silkscreen off your tubes, but I haven't had that happen to me.
The tubes are very difficult to access without the extenders. Also, if you tube roll extensively, you will really want that easier access. Using extenders and rolling a lot makes for less wear and tear on the Lyr sockets themselves. It is also easier to put dampeners on if you have very microphonic tubes (some of my very best sounding tubes are extremely microphonic - go figure). The extenders themselves, I believe, help with dampening also.
I have not noticed any degradation in signal using the extenders, but then again I haven't made any A/B comparisons in an attempt to check this.
I got a pair of 79 Voskhods in today that I had ordered long ago. I am pretty much done with rolling but I still have a few stragglers coming in.
These have silver shields between the triodes and are marked with the OTK stamp so hopefully they are going to be good. I've just done a little bit of listening and it seems to be promising and they already sound better than the 83 set I already had. These new ones seem to have a very very nice black background and some great transparency so far. Going to run them for a few days and see where it goes.
When it comes to the socket savers - yes those are worth it. I mean i know they're expensive if you buy good quailty ones, say from tubemongers. But a lot of people have went for the cheaper build ones made in china. Both work but i prefer to think of the long run expenses if anything.
It helps a lot with tube rolling and you get to admire the tubes glow and looks more with them.
First song and a half impressions: over the length of the last thread I've read about veils being lifted or dirty Window panes being cleaned. This is the first time I've heard it clearly. This is coming from the 1968 OG halo getter. The detail is insane. After all the hype I almost wanted to dislike these tubes, but everyone is right when they say these could be "end game"