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Visual evidence Tung-Sol 5998 = Western Electric 421

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  1. DecentLevi
    Hello guys, I'm an Elise tube amp owner in California looking to get the most out of my tube amp. I'm keen on getting a pair of authentic Western Electric 421A tubes soon (or at least the ones that are purported to sound better). If any of you have an extra 1-2 of these you are willing to part with, please PM me because I am ready to buy right away.
    Also if you would advise me on which, if any of the below photos are a genuine WE 421A, that would be very helpful:
    This one seems genuine because, although it doesn't show the bottom getters, has the lower shiny section and the wiring indicating it would have either D or O getters at bottom
    This one seems questionable to me
  2. hdtv00
    Yea I would not pay the $250 they're asking for the questionable one, no way. I don't think it's fake it's just rebranded 5998 if you ask me.
  3. DecentLevi
    yup, thanks for your help. I've already ordered the first one shown, and am looking to complete the pair of these gems
  4. JKDJedi
    Copy and Pasted from Tube Maze..

    tubemaze on August 11, 2012 at 10:56 PM said:

    "This tube is end of the road for people that have amps that use 6as7 or 5998. There are a lot of discussions on the web about this tube and that it’s just a re-brand of Tung-Sol 5998. I have to state with absolute certainty that this is not a re-brand, but a very unique tube. It has a few similarities with 5998, for example plate structure looks the same, but there are a lot of things that are quite different. First, getter is located on the bottom for WE where Tung-sol has the getter on the top (this might seem as a small thing, but it is actually quite important since getter material, despite third mica gets all over the place during application and since Barium is a metal, it reduces tube performance). Second, plate color is different with WE having carbon black plates instead of shiny black like Tung-sol. Thirst and the most important, the sound is different. The general sonic signature is similar, but WE exhibits better bass response and overall dynamics and adds much more air and layers of details to the sound. These are getting very rare by minute and becoming extremely expensive. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED".

    Anyway I didn't know this was a highly debated topic..lol, have one coming in Wednesday and hope all the good reviews holds true. Amazing how these sill go for the same asking price as from when this thread started!
  5. spiderking31
    Hey guys,

    Came across this thread, and I own the Woo Audio WA3, and just ordered the Tung Sol 5998 NOS! Ironically I ordered the tube from Woo Audio, for $300! I’m hoping it’s a genuine Tung Sol!! Especially for the price I paid!!! The tube is being delivered tomorrow via USPS...I’ll plug it in, and share my thoughts with you guys...also I have my Focal Utopia’s plugged into the WA3...it won’t get anymore reference than this! I’ll share my thoughts tomorrow after I put a couple of hours on them (2 SACD albums)
  6. JKDJedi
    If it's for a pair then yeah, good deal. You can get them for about $150 to $200 a piece if you do some looking.
  7. spiderking31
    Understand completely...thanks!
  8. JKDJedi
    The Western Electric 421A appears to be a juiced-up 5998 built especially for WE by TS/Chatham. One major difference is the WE has a transconductance figure of 20,000 micromohs, 1.5 times that of the 5998, at 14,000 micromohs. The amplificatino factor is also a bit higher than the 5998, 6.1 compared to 5.5.

    (Western Electric 421a (left) pictured with Tung Sol 7236 (centered) and Mullard/Philips 6080 )

    The 7236 has a slightly lower transconductance than the 5998, 12,5000 micromohs. And the amplification factor is a bit less than the 5998, 4.8 compared to 5.5. So maybe one could consider it to be a scaled down version of the 5998?

    2019-05-17 12.05.18.jpg
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2019
  9. attmci
    Tung Sol 5998 NOS! Ironically I ordered the tube from Woo Audio, for $300
  10. JKDJedi
    For a pair right?
  11. hdtv00
  12. JKDJedi
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2019
  13. OctavianH
    I found this old thread while trying to understand how many Tung Sol 5998 variations exist. I have 3 pairs, one of them being a top and side O-getter:


    Does anyone know what is the story of this tube? My other 2 pairs are chrome tops top D getters.
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2019
    JKDJedi likes this.
  14. JKDJedi
    what year was that tube made?
  15. OctavianH
    The tube has no date code on the base or on the glass (maybe it was deleted?). All I can see is:


    Besides that only TUNG SOL / Made in USA. It came in generic boxes, so no information on them either.

    A similar construction I've found here, on a tube labeled as Tung Sol 421A:

    However, soundwise, the tube sounds to me similar to a 5998, and not as WE 421A (yep, I own both and I hear clearly differences between them). So it is a tube sounding as 5998, labeled sometimes as Tung Sol 421A and it has top and side O-getter. But regarding the sound I would need more time since I only had a few hours on them.

    Because it is different than everything I've seen I try to find out its story.
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2019
    JKDJedi likes this.
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