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Shuguang Treasure KT88-Z vs PSVane KT88T with Cary

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Posted on January 1, 2017 at 23:26:30
akolegov
Audiophile

Posts: 712
Joined: July 1, 2010
I want to try Shuguang Treasure KT88-Zs or PSVane KT88Ts with Cary SLI-80. Now I am using RCA-labeled vintage TungSol 6550 tubes. The amp sounds very wide, with heavy bass and recessed midrange (with open baffle Italian Nightingale CTR.2 speakers). I purchased it in 2003 new, and the stock output tubes were Ruby/Svetlana "Winged C" 6550C. At that time, I admired its sound, but the speakers were Snell E/III.

Since then I used vintage GEC KT88s, various EL-34s and reissue GL KT88. With the latter tubes, the sound was good overall, much "fresher" and brighter than with vintage tubes, but they had a tell-tale Saratov-style" metallic sheen...

I remember how good my other amp sounded with Black Treasure KT-66s - very sweet and musical with excellent midrange. Perhaps, the Black Treasures KT-88 will do the same trick with the Cary?

I am going to purchase a quad of Black Treasure KT88-Zs or PSVane KT88Ts to get a more consistent sound.

I've read a lot of reviews on both tubes yesterday. Some people report that the PSVane tubes are the best tubes they've heard in the lives, others say they are not reliable and don't hold the bias properly.

Any comments and opinions will be appreciated.

 

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RE: Shuguang Treasure KT88-Z vs PSVane KT88T with Cary, posted on January 2, 2017 at 00:24:12
Michael Samra
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Posts: 35453
Location: saginaw michigan
Joined: January 30, 2005
Contributor
  Since:
June 24, 2005
The biggest influence on the sound is not going to come from the output tubes in this case of one brand vs the other. While there are some sonic differences in output tubes,the biggest differences are are going to come from your 6922s and your 6SN7s because they are in the early stages and the amplification factor is much higher.You might want to try 7308s in place pf the 6922s or even different 6DJ8s or 6922s.You would also want to try different 6SN7s such as the 6SN7GTA or several Russian military versions.
The other thing is the rectifier tubes.GZ34s will boost the B+ and change the operating points a bit that may be to your liking.

Did you change coupling caps in this amp? The K40Ys and the KBG paper in oil caps,along with 196P Vitamin Q caps work very well in Cary and AES amps.The Black Treasures are an excellent sounding KT88 tube but if you are expecting them to make this huge difference sonically in this case,you are going to be disappointed. Try the smaller tubes first.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong" H. L. Mencken

 

RE: Shuguang Treasure KT88-Z vs PSVane KT88T with Cary, posted on January 2, 2017 at 00:44:30
akolegov
Audiophile

Posts: 712
Joined: July 1, 2010
Michael,

I have plenty of pre-amp and driver tubes. The 6922-type tubes I currently use are Amperex green label 7308, the driver tubes are Raytheon JAN-CPR/6SN7 GT (the box marked "Western Elect. Co, Inc.) and the rectifiers are Sylvania 5U4G.

The coupling caps are Jensens .22uf CIO caps; I also tried V-Caps (for a year) but eventually found the sound to be too "mechanical".

I know they are not considered to be the best driver tubes in this family, but GE 6SN7 GTAs sound excellent with the Cary.

Perhaps, I have too many amps; otherwise, I would experiment more with the Cary SLI-80.

Are GZ34s the same as 5AR4s? They are now very expensive!

 

RE: Shuguang Treasure KT88-Z vs PSVane KT88T with Cary, posted on January 2, 2017 at 05:12:09
SETdude
Audiophile

Posts: 3786
Joined: January 20, 2000
Alex, the new Gold Lion GZ34 is said to be an excellent rectifier and won't break the bank. I have one of Dennis' single ended, triode strapped, Inspire amps and the Treasure KT66z is my fave in it. They are more vintage sounding and the GL KT66 is more modern sounding. I have not used the Psvane of Treasure KT88. I do have the Shuguang black glass and Psvane grey glass CV-181's. The black glass sounds more vintage and the grey Psvane more modern. The reviews of the KT88's that I read, black and grey, seem to follow the same line. Where are you trying to go with the sound?

 

RE: Shuguang Treasure KT88-Z vs PSVane KT88T with Cary, posted on January 2, 2017 at 05:27:22
Mechans
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Posts: 1547
Location: East Coast
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What other 6SN7s did you try? You mentioned recessed midrange, I use Sylvania 6SN7Ws in my AES pre and found magnificent mids. You may want to give them a try.
I like the white label Amperex 6922s if you haven't tried them.

 

RE: Shuguang Treasure KT88-Z vs PSVane KT88T with Cary, posted on January 2, 2017 at 06:35:07
sony6060
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Posts: 677
Location: SE MI
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Order RCA 6922 with gold pins and 'Made in Germany' stamped in black ink on box. These are early 1960s Siemens tube and are very good sounding. Order Sylvania 6SN7GTA. The 'A' after the 'GT' guarantees 1953 or earlier production. This is a clear sounding 6SN7. Later Sylvania does not sound as good as these tubes.

 

HAving compared the NOS TS 6550 Solid Grey and three holed grey plate , posted on January 2, 2017 at 07:29:57
Ivan303
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Location: Cadiere d'azur FRANCE - San Francisco
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with the PSVANE KT88T in a very well designed set of KT88 MONO Blocks, I can recommend the PSVANE KT88T without reservation.

Both quads of NOS TS 6550 were mine with about 100 hours on each quad.





 

RE: Shuguang Treasure KT88-Z vs PSVane KT88T with Cary, posted on January 2, 2017 at 08:10:58
akolegov
Audiophile

Posts: 712
Joined: July 1, 2010
As Michael suggested, I replaced a pair of Amperex 6922 with Siemens/RCA labeled 7308s, and the sound is quite different...

 

RE: Shuguang Treasure KT88-Z vs PSVane KT88T with Cary, posted on January 2, 2017 at 08:15:13
akolegov
Audiophile

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Joined: July 1, 2010
I don't have white label Amperex, but I have orange label 6922s and green label JAN Amperex 7308s. When I replaced the latter tubes with Siemens/RCA 7308s, the midrange is no longer "recessed" because the Siemens/RCA tubes are brighter.

 

RE: Shuguang Treasure KT88-Z vs PSVane KT88T with Cary, posted on January 2, 2017 at 08:48:19
Mechans
Audiophile

Posts: 1547
Location: East Coast
Joined: May 23, 2004
I have used both the Siemens and the green label 7308s. The Siemens tubes are really special, very clean tubes that worked wonders in an old Audio Aero CD player. In that application they were well balanced in terms tfrequenresponse, not favoring bass over mids but nonetheless some find them bright.

 

RE: Shuguang Treasure KT88-Z vs PSVane KT88T with Cary, posted on January 2, 2017 at 09:33:00
Nunki
Audiophile

Posts: 314
Joined: November 27, 2010
you should consider Penta Labs KT88 SC also. they sound more crispy, "faster" and bring the groove back into music.

N.



"How the fuck did our oil come under their sand?"

 

RE: Shuguang Treasure KT88-Z vs PSVane KT88T with Cary, posted on January 2, 2017 at 09:53:05
Michael Samra
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Posts: 35453
Location: saginaw michigan
Joined: January 30, 2005
Contributor
  Since:
June 24, 2005
The GZ34s are the same type as 5AR4s,that is correct.The Jensen caps you have are good caps but which ones are you using?

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong" H. L. Mencken

 

RE: Shuguang Treasure KT88-Z vs PSVane KT88T with Cary, posted on January 2, 2017 at 13:17:32
JKT
Audiophile

Posts: 454
Location: Midwest
Joined: November 26, 2002
One thing to consider is the fact that the SLI-80 has no provision to balance the bias current in the output pairs. You can only adjust the overall bias of the pair. Using tubes with a reputation for wandering bias opens the possibility for mismatch and a saturated OPT core with attendant loss of bass and increased distortion.

FWIW, I used to own an SLI-80 (buddy of mine was Marketing Director of Cary at the time and got me a deal at the factory). Had all the upgrades installed. Tried all kinds of tubes. White label PQs, "Pinched Waist" Amperexes, Siemens CCAs, Various 6SN7s and a matched quad of NOS matched GEC KT-88s. And don't over look the rectifiers. They can make a difference. I settled on Mullard 5AS4s. In the end the best move that I made was selling it and moving on. I could not overcome the inherent limitations of the design by "rolling" tubes. My rebuilt and "modded" Eico HF-89 ran circles around it. The big DIY mono-blocks which came later are in another league entirely.


"It is better to remain silent and thought a fool, then speak and remove all doubt." A. Lincoln

 

Psvane KT88Tll or GL reissue KT88, posted on January 2, 2017 at 15:09:43
Mossback
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Contributor
  Since:
December 0, 0000
Jim can provide the GL reissues, Grant Fidelity the Psvane T-ll KT88's. I like the Psvane T-ll slightly better than the GL reissue in my amp.

 

Now one of my expensive Pisvane KT88 greyglass won't hold bias......, posted on January 2, 2017 at 19:27:46
Mendel
Audiophile

Posts: 956
Location: GTA
Joined: January 17, 2009
Seems to be a constant problem with these expensive Chinese output tubes (Treasures, PisVanes). They sound great when they are working but just don't seem to be reliable over a reasonable period of time. I have never had trouble in the Rogue until I started spending stupid money on these fancy Chino output tubes. I'm done with them and do not recommend them to anyone. For that kind of money go vintage (GE 6550, EI KT90, SED 6550, GEC KT66, etc)
The good news? I replaced them with a quad of the Penta Labs KT88SC that I have had for years but couldn't seem to make it back into my amp because of these new fancy tubes. They sound great (different than the PisVanes but in the same league) and have always held perfect steady bias. They must have over a thousand hours by now.
The Gold Lion KT66 also sound great and have been rock solid in the Rogue. I believe you can use KT66 in your Cary?
Good luck in your search, and enjoy the roll!

 

RE: Shuguang Treasure KT88-Z vs PSVane KT88T with Cary, posted on January 2, 2017 at 20:11:57
akolegov
Audiophile

Posts: 712
Joined: July 1, 2010
CIOs (but I am not sure whether they are aluminum or copper foil; they are bronze in color). Purchased 6-7 years ago from Parts Connexion.

 

RE: Now one of my expensive Pisvane KT88 greyglass won't hold bias......, posted on January 2, 2017 at 23:21:02
Nunki
Audiophile

Posts: 314
Joined: November 27, 2010
yeah, Mendel,

the Pentas rock the Rogue! that
"How the fuck did our oil come under their sand?"

 

RE: Now one of my expensive Pisvane KT88 greyglass won't hold bias......, posted on January 2, 2017 at 23:31:55
akolegov
Audiophile

Posts: 712
Joined: July 1, 2010
I am not sure whether I can use the KT66s in my Cary. I tried them once, though, but it was obvious that they just were not 100% compatible - there was nothing except midrange...

 

RE: Shuguang Treasure KT88-Z vs PSVane KT88T with Cary, posted on January 3, 2017 at 12:48:29
akolegov
Audiophile

Posts: 712
Joined: July 1, 2010
Yes, I have the GE 6SN7 GTA. Theyt sound musical and clear.

 

Agree Srongly, posted on January 3, 2017 at 15:48:18
Frihed89
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Posts: 15080
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Any 6SN7W, short, long, metal base or not; they all work fantastically well as drivers in traditional circuits.

 

RE: Shuguang Treasure KT88-Z vs PSVane KT88T with Cary, posted on January 3, 2017 at 17:33:07
Mechans
Audiophile

Posts: 1547
Location: East Coast
Joined: May 23, 2004
Aren't Penta lab tubes, select Chinese tubes?

 

RE: Shuguang Treasure KT88-Z vs PSVane KT88T with Cary, posted on January 4, 2017 at 14:21:59
Mendel
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Posts: 956
Location: GTA
Joined: January 17, 2009
Yes the Pentas are Chinese tubes.
Apparently not all Chinese tubes are bad. The Pentas have been around a long time, long enough to establish that they are reliable and sound good. Not so the Treasures and Psvanes which have been nothing but trouble for me in the Rogue.
Around so long they may have become extinct. Apparently the Penta run is over and the tube is now branded Prefered Series and some model of Ruby tubes. Claimed to be the same tube as the Penta.
Nunki is right, these Pentas have extended treble (for KT88) and a lot of drive and speed. I really like what I am hearing. The Siemen long plate ECC83 and Sylvania 6SN7W aren't hurting things either of course.
I would try these or the GL first before doling out for the PVs or Treasures.

 

RE: Shuguang Treasure KT88-Z vs PSVane KT88T with Cary, posted on January 4, 2017 at 15:08:21
Mechans
Audiophile

Posts: 1547
Location: East Coast
Joined: May 23, 2004
What does hunting things mean in terms of the old stock tubes ecc 83 Siemens and 6SN7Ws. Do you you mean you don't want to hunt for them?
BTW I don't know the Siemens ECC83 I know the 6922 but it is a rare bird, if you don't get the RCA tubes.

 

RE: Shuguang Treasure KT88-Z vs PSVane KT88T with Cary, posted on January 4, 2017 at 16:52:56
akolegov
Audiophile

Posts: 712
Joined: July 1, 2010
6SN7Ws should be expensive... Do they differ much from Sylvania VT-231s?

I am now using the RCA/Siemens 6922 type.

 

RE: Shuguang Treasure KT88-Z vs PSVane KT88T with Cary, posted on January 4, 2017 at 16:56:10
Mendel
Audiophile

Posts: 956
Location: GTA
Joined: January 17, 2009
Sorry, I meant not hurting things.
I already hunted them down, that's why they are in my amp!
I will try and edit my post

 

RE: Shuguang Treasure KT88-Z vs PSVane KT88T with Cary, posted on January 5, 2017 at 00:19:14
Mechans
Audiophile

Posts: 1547
Location: East Coast
Joined: May 23, 2004
It is always a matter of opinion. However I found them best and check out Frihed post below re Ws. The short bottles aren't always ridiculously expensive. The 231 bottom getter tube while very good has a different sound.

 

RE: Now one of my expensive Pisvane KT88 greyglass won't hold bias......, posted on January 11, 2017 at 03:00:08
SETdude
Audiophile

Posts: 3786
Joined: January 20, 2000
Perhaps Rouge and those tubes just don't get along? I and many others have had no issues with them.

 

RE: Now one of my expensive Pisvane KT88 greyglass won't hold bias......, posted on January 12, 2017 at 14:50:48
Mendel
Audiophile

Posts: 956
Location: GTA
Joined: January 17, 2009
Hi SETdude.
Well the Rogue dose run over 500 volts on the plates I believe, more than some amps. But I have used many different kinds of output tubes on the amp with no problem, including the cheaper PentaLabs tubes also sourced from China.
I think for what they charge the Treasures and PisVanes should work in all amps.

 

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