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In Reply to: RE: OK I gotta ask. Why no more 6p3se / 6n3ce for sale other than on Ebay? posted by Jim McShane on May 11, 2017 at 12:50:32
Thank you Jim. 73shovel has reminded me that I have asked this question before. I will try not to ask again. Though, old fartism is a terrible malady to overcome.
You paid HOW MUCH for that electrical receptacle?!!! Are YOU nuts?
From one old fart to another, the only time I ever A/Bd the 6pse against the Sovtek 5881/6L6WGC was about 7 years ago, with several others present. The two tubes looked exactly alike, however they CERTAINLY didn't sound the same. The 6p3se sounded much better to all of us, the Sovtek 5881/6L6WGC sounded dull and lifeless in comparison.
My advice is to get a tested quad or two from an ebay eastern block seller with an excellent feedback rating. Look for pre Gorbachev era tubes (before 1984), the ones we tested were 1970s production. I believe there are several reasons the tube quality dropped off during the Gorby years, but that's for another post.
Many (most?) of the 1970s and earlier production tubes were not made at Saratov. They were a slightly different tube. Were the tubes you compared Saratov made?
The Foton and other 60s-70s vintage tubes are getting hard to find and pricey. If you check on the 'Bay right now there is a group of 20 NOS Fotons for $500.00!
I'm not saying the Fotons weren't superior, but the Saratov made tubes are the tubes most people have been speaking quite highly of. And the current production is Saratov made as well.
It was several years ago when we did this test, and unfortunately I don't remember the factory. The reason I recommended pre Gorby tubes is that I saw a thread on the DIY forum between two Russians discussing the folly of paying the big bucks for later production 6n30p-drs.
According to them, the post Gorby era tubes were inferior. They said that during the glasnost era that tight military control was shifted to the civilian sector, and that profitability trumped quality. They also claimed that tubes during that time were considered old technology, and they closed and sold for scrap the factories that made special alloys and chemical coatings used only in the manufacturing of vacuum tubes. They also said that there were certain materials that were used during the Soviet era that wouldn't be used in the west because of the hazards to worker safety and the environment. The Soviets weren't sensitive to these matters, but these issues were more of a factor during the Gorbachev era.
I don't know for a fact that what they were saying was true, but they sure sounded like they knew what they were talking about. They certainly would have been in the position to know about such things.
I have bought many hundreds of Russian tubes, and seem to prefer the earlier production tubes. In the last several years, I've made a conscious effort to only buy tubes from the 60s and 70s, just in case those claims are accurate.
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