Sign in to follow this  
lee1975

What valves?? KT88

Recommended Posts

Hi folks, going to have me john wood re-valved. Looking for recommendations of good KT88 that are not a silly price and also ones to avoid 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Lee,

 About a year and a half ago, I put 2 x matched quads of PSVANES KT88 6550 TII series into my PrimaLuna power amps. They've added that wee punch in the bass,sharpened the timing and never missed a beat since. They,ve only got better...and better. Paid around £95 per quad then (are now around £100-110). They were among the earliest PSVANES produced after a squad of engineers and techs left Shuguang and formed PSVANE following a fallout over wages and shares.

Valves are very personal, depending as much on the pre-power, suitability and personal preferences, but for me, the subtle improvements I was looking for, were there.

Cheers, Smithy.

Edited by locheeboy
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Lee , John serviced & revalved mine about  a year and a half ago & he fitted Shuguangs to replace the originals (Electro Harmonix ??) They sound great , not noticed loads of difference from the originals but then again I've not done a direct comparison. Allegedly the NOS GEC KT88s  are supposed to be the ones to use but  way too Spendy for my pocket I'd certainly have to hear a big difference first before I took the plunge I'm afraid .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Golden lion kt88’s are pretty decent & svetlana winged “c” are also nice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Super Wammer

Only ever had an amplifier with KT66 valves so not that up on KT88 . Had a brief chat to a friend that builds his own amplifiers and has forgotten way more than I ever knew . His recomendation was these

https://www.watfordvalves.com/product_detail.asp?id=1920

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Moderator

Always very much depends on the amp. What sounds good in one circuit, may sound different in another. That said, most KT88 push-pull amps have a reasonably similar topology. YMMV.

My KT88 monos are only occasionally used (they are too ugly even for me), but I have a few 88s and some 6550s here. I've previously had Jadis monos and a Conrad, all of which ran 6550/KT88s and I found resonably similar results. The 'holy grail' tubes are the GEC KT88 and the original Genalex Gold Lion, both from the early 1960s. Forget them. There are loads of fakes and dodgy ones, and you're looking at more than the amp is worth for a set of four 'real' ones.

My own favourite is the re-issue Gold Lion KT88. If you can find them, the JJ ones with the blue glass are nice sounding as well. Both of these are quite similar to the original Genelex and I've not had (or heard of) notable relaibility issues. Most of the Chinese variants are OK, but there are some reports of failures. I had a matched quad of the early Shuguang, which sounded among the best I've ever heard, but two shorted internally within a few hours of use and the results were not pretty.

EAT are seemingly still in production, but also had serious issues with reliability initially, though the later ones are reportedly properly sorted. Many regard them as the 'best ever' KT88. Frankly, however, they're way too much money.

Svetlana 'Winged C' 6550s (the earlier the better) have a more 'tube' sound in some amps, but with lovely mids. You'd need to check with John though. The 6550s are 'almost' a drop-in, but the plate voltage is a little lower and I think John's circuit runs the 88s quite 'hot', so 6550s might not be suitable.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Super Wammer
16 hours ago, rabski said:

Always very much depends on the amp. What sounds good in one circuit, may sound different in another. That said, most KT88 push-pull amps have a reasonably similar topology. YMMV.

My KT88 monos are only occasionally used (they are too ugly even for me), but I have a few 88s and some 6550s here. I've previously had Jadis monos and a Conrad, all of which ran 6550/KT88s and I found resonably similar results. The 'holy grail' tubes are the GEC KT88 and the original Genalex Gold Lion, both from the early 1960s. Forget them. There are loads of fakes and dodgy ones, and you're looking at more than the amp is worth for a set of four 'real' ones.

My own favourite is the re-issue Gold Lion KT88. If you can find them, the JJ ones with the blue glass are nice sounding as well. Both of these are quite similar to the original Genelex and I've not had (or heard of) notable relaibility issues. Most of the Chinese variants are OK, but there are some reports of failures. I had a matched quad of the early Shuguang, which sounded among the best I've ever heard, but two shorted internally within a few hours of use and the results were not pretty.

EAT are seemingly still in production, but also had serious issues with reliability initially, though the later ones are reportedly properly sorted. Many regard them as the 'best ever' KT88. Frankly, however, they're way too much money.

Svetlana 'Winged C' 6550s (the earlier the better) have a more 'tube' sound in some amps, but with lovely mids. You'd need to check with John though. The 6550s are 'almost' a drop-in, but the plate voltage is a little lower and I think John's circuit runs the 88s quite 'hot', so 6550s might not be suitable.

See I told you the man who advised me knew what he was talking about the link I posted above is for the same Genelex Golden Lion Reissues mentioned by Rabski . 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.