The Reference 6SN7 Thread
May 14, 2023 at 11:40 AM Post #8,747 of 9,814
Hello guys, I’m new to the world of 6SN7 so I could use some pointers. So long story short I recently acquired an EC Balancing Act that uses 1 6SN7 driver tube. From what I understand this can be substituted with 6C8G for higher gain or 6SL7 (although Craig doesn’t seem to recommend this particular type).

A local tube dealer is kind enough to lend me some of his leftover tubes that are missing their soulmates since normally people buy 6SN7 in pairs. From left to right, I think they’re Fivre, Ken-Rad black glass, Brimar 6SL7GT, RCA, and Tung-sol black glass.

IMG_4152.jpeg

I still need to listen further but I think the Brimar seems to have a slight edge among the rest followed closely by the TS and KR. The BA (with PX4 power tube) is more to the neutral, airy side of the sound spectrum and I think the sweetness of the Brimar complements it very well. It also doesn’t seem as warm and rounded as the TS and KR.

Now I would like to get an 6SN7 equivalent to match the electrical characteristics of the amp better. I see that for Brimar, CV1988 can still be found (the price is hard to swallow though) but usually with black glass and brown base. From what I can tell this Brimar has bottom O getter and parallel round plates.

Do these sound similar to this particular Brimar?
I haven’t come across anyone who hasn’t liked the sound of the Brimar CV1988 brown base clear top. These are the forerunner to the black glass versions being typically 40’s and 50’s. The black glass are 60’s and 70’s. If the clear glass takes your fancy, seek out the military marked versions as shown, they are more sought after.

IMG_1494.jpeg
 
May 14, 2023 at 12:17 PM Post #8,748 of 9,814
Thanks! ECC33 has a gain of 35, very similar to 6C8G so this could work… I need to recheck with the designer.

Would you say that the Brimar CV1988 is warmer and lusher than the 6SL7? I think the TS and KR (especially the KR) sound a bit too lush, at least in my system.
ok, if you dont like the lush on KR, then you are in trouble...LOL
Compared to SS, tube has lusher, tubey, airier or harmonic distortions sound signature (many names) in general, not to mention KR is one of the tube with lesser lush. BTW, CV1988 is definitely lusher compared to KR 6SN7. Just a thought, perhaps you are way too used to SS sound production???
 
May 14, 2023 at 12:46 PM Post #8,750 of 9,814
Thanks! ECC33 has a gain of 35, very similar to 6C8G so this could work… I need to recheck with the designer.

Would you say that the Brimar CV1988 is warmer and lusher than the 6SL7? I think the TS and KR (especially the KR) sound a bit too lush, at least in my system.
After reading your comment again, I think I know what you are talking about...
I believe you are referring to the aggressive sound signature of KR n TS, compared to Brimar 6SL7. Yes, at times, I find KR n TS can lead to hearing fatigue easily. In general, British tubes are more laid-back, settling, darker compared to US tubes.
 
May 14, 2023 at 12:59 PM Post #8,752 of 9,814
Hey guys

I'm looking for 2 or 3 pairs of 6sn7 for my wa5. Looking to spend no more than 150 - 200 dollars (600 altogether) on 3 sets with different flavours.

I already have tung sol 6f8g and ken rads and wanted to roll a few cheaper 6sn7s and compare them to my more expensive tubes.

When I bought the WA5 I just got top tier (or close to it) tubes. But now I want to compare some cheaper pairings and decide for myself if they actually sound all that much better. I was thinking of doing a blindfold test to take out bias of nos tubes and take some notes for fun.

So I'm wondering if you guys could help in recommending cheaper 6sn7s that pack a punch and sound different from each other.

Thanks

Paddy
 
May 14, 2023 at 1:26 PM Post #8,754 of 9,814
Hey guys

I'm looking for 2 or 3 pairs of 6sn7 for my wa5. Looking to spend no more than 150 - 200 dollars (600 altogether) on 3 sets with different flavours.

I already have tung sol 6f8g and ken rads and wanted to roll a few cheaper 6sn7s and compare them to my more expensive tubes.

When I bought the WA5 I just got top tier (or close to it) tubes. But now I want to compare some cheaper pairings and decide for myself if they actually sound all that much better. I was thinking of doing a blindfold test to take out bias of nos tubes and take some notes for fun.

So I'm wondering if you guys could help in recommending cheaper 6sn7s that pack a punch and sound different from each other.

Thanks

Paddy
How about a pair of CBS-JAN-CHY-5692’s
 
May 14, 2023 at 2:02 PM Post #8,755 of 9,814
Hey guys

I'm looking for 2 or 3 pairs of 6sn7 for my wa5. Looking to spend no more than 150 - 200 dollars (600 altogether) on 3 sets with different flavours.

I already have tung sol 6f8g and ken rads and wanted to roll a few cheaper 6sn7s and compare them to my more expensive tubes.

When I bought the WA5 I just got top tier (or close to it) tubes. But now I want to compare some cheaper pairings and decide for myself if they actually sound all that much better. I was thinking of doing a blindfold test to take out bias of nos tubes and take some notes for fun.

So I'm wondering if you guys could help in recommending cheaper 6sn7s that pack a punch and sound different from each other.

Thanks

Paddy
Try these:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/4041857952...SLF+WbeoHlSjeMO6ue2oXaeY1UIk|tkp:BFBM5vjctoNi
 
May 14, 2023 at 2:38 PM Post #8,757 of 9,814
May 14, 2023 at 3:47 PM Post #8,758 of 9,814
You can't be serious.
I could see it. It's circuit dependent. I always caution against making sweeping generalizations about certain tubes. For example, I had always heard that grey glass RAC 6sn7 tubes were warm and lush sounding. In my amp they inevitably cause dry and flat sound. Gotta try stuff in your amp and with your headphones/speakers.
 
May 14, 2023 at 4:06 PM Post #8,759 of 9,814
Thanks for the assist, @TLO @UntilThen @JTbbb. Haha in general I prefer an SS-ish sound so I was looking at Eddie Current or UltraSonic (God bless Tomas soul) tube amps that seem to be more neutral and less romantic in nature. The Balancing Act with Kron PX4 output tubes in my system is almost too neutral sounding so I feel that a sweeter driver tube should help to balance the overall sound better. I hope the Brimar and Mullard is the answer.

At first I wanted to get the Melz 1578 that seems to be highly regarded but I don't know man, after rolling the loaners that I have at the moment I'm not sure it will work well...
 
May 14, 2023 at 4:27 PM Post #8,760 of 9,814
I could see it. It's circuit dependent. I always caution against making sweeping generalizations about certain tubes. For example, I had always heard that grey glass RAC 6sn7 tubes were warm and lush sounding. In my amp they inevitably cause dry and flat sound. Gotta try stuff in your amp and with your headphones/speakers.
Oh yes, very true...and also all the equipment in the chain as well as personal preference. Objectively, I found that I am very sensitive to high frequency...though I enjoy TS, KR, Melz tubes but have to roll them out no more than 2 or 3 hours each time, otherwise I will have hearing fatigue. Have sold most of TS, KR and all of Melz tubes since then.
 

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