6L6-type vacuum tube shootout

Review by Tim Smith

Shortly after my EL34 tube review on Wall of Sound, Jon Esau of www.thetubestore.com asked if I might be interested in reviewing a bunch of 6L6’s. It happens to be one of my two favorite tubes, right up there tied with the majestic 845 that I use in my Line Magnetic amplifier. An offer I couldn’t refuse!

Like the EL34 and the less common 6V6 and 5881, the 6L6 is revered by rock, blues and jazz guitarists. I find that in the single-ended configuration it is usually superior to the EL34. Even in push-pull configuration I prefer the 6L6: my Primaluna Prologue One was significantly more fluid and musical with the 6L6 and it’s no coincidence, I think, that the finest Japanese push-pull amps tend to use the 6L6 instead of the EL34 (think Leben and Air Tight). There’s more lusciousness, more punch and fluidity, more romance, especially with piano. Like the majestic 845 tube the 6L6 was brought into the world during the mid-1930s by RCA although in this case, many argue, RCA borrowed some intellectual property from Phillips and tweaked it. In any case the 6L6 beam tetrode is behind the sound of tens of thousands of classic rock, blues and jazz albums. Today the tube is commonly employed in guitar amps and audiophiles have never had more options to buy affordable 6L6-base integrated amplifiers from the vast Chinese emporium.

I was fortunate to spend a few months comparing and contrasting these fine tubes. I would be happy using any of the tubes reviewed–there are no bright, glassy, hollow duds. The world will be a richer place when the last of China’s NOS stock from the 1970s and 1980s is gone–those truly are ghastly tubes. Today’s Chinese and Russian tube production emerges from a different universe. The quality is high across the board. The only things I am certain of are these: among the current production tubes reviewed the Tung-Sol would be at the very top and the Svetlana, while perfectly enjoyable, would be near the bottom. As for everything in between–it’s really a bit of a subjective toss-up, an expression of my personal taste and the performance of the tube in one single Musical Paradise amplifier. A big thanks to www.thetubestore.com for lending me these fine tubes.


I listened primarily with my US-made Tekton M-Lore loudspeakers, rated at 95dB sensitivity and an easy 8 Ohm load. These are world-class speakers for under $800. For amplification I used only the Musical Paradise MP-301 mk3 Deluxe edition integrated amplifier. It’s a fantastic little single-ended amplifier designed by Garry Huang in Edmonton and made in China. The amp is serviced, if the need should arise, in Edmonton. I know of no greater value in the world of tube amplification under $500. In the preamp stage it’s vintage RCA metal, all the way!


My sources were a Marantz SA-15S2 Limited Edition CD/SACD player (for both redbook CD and SACD) and the new Musical Paradise DAC-2 for redbook CD using the Marantz as a transport. I listened in a 12 foot by 24 foot living room with 9 foot ceilings, plaster walls, hardwood floors with a scatter rug, and plenty of damping courtesy of a couch, two armchairs and the irregular profile of several hundred books and papers sitting on built-in shelves at the far end of the room.



1st Choice, towering above the rest:

The Tung-Sol 7581-A (USD $29.95 each) is surely one of the finest current production power tubes available in 2016. It’s flawless. It is always in complete command of the music. That may be because this tube has a plate dissipation rating of 35W as opposed to the typical 30W for a 6L6-GC. The Tung-Sol took my Musical Paradise MP-301 mk3 Deluxe version to a new level. It has almost zero noise through speakers and headphones alike. It’s dynamic and crunchy like a KT-120 or KT-88 but with more warmth and depth. It has nice tonal saturation but it’s not excessively mid-rangy like some old RCAs I have owned. It can dig up micro-detail but it’s never bright. It’s in control of the music even at low volume levels–this might be its finest attribute for those considering near-field listening applications, as in an office or den setting. It can do romantic and can be luminous but it can rock the house too. It can sound surprisingly deep and powerful. It throws an immense soundstage but it’s disciplined: images are stable, firmly locked in place. On Tomasz Stanko’s Lontano one can hear deep into the music and this tube captures the distant decays of Marcin Wasilewski’s piano like my far pricier Audio Research/First Watt pre-power amp combo. Cymbals shimmer and shine. The 7581-A is big, up front. It follows aggressive beats without a drip of sweat. No other tube has imparted such a sense of strength and complete control to my Musical Paradise amp. With this single tube, my MP amp is now as authoritative as my pricier EL34-based Coincident Dynamo amplifier. This Tung-Sol’s a keeper. It seems to possess virtually all of the attributes I love about the 6L6 family–the elastic-like punch of guitar, the almost unparalleled ability (outside of directly heated triodes) to capture the warmth, depth and reverberant romanticism of a fine piano–but with added power. It’s like a marriage of the KT-120 with the 5881. Perfection.

The rest, in rough order of preference:

The TAD 6L6 WGC-STR (USD $28.95 each) has been in my stash for five years. It’s still going strong and it stood up very well to all the other tubes on review here. This is a full, warm tube with tamed highs and rich mids. Bass is not the best but it’s not flabby either. It simply lacks that extra sense of power and articulation you’ll get with the Tung-Sol 7581-A. But woodwind instruments are perfect–clarinet lovers, here’s your tube. Vocals soar and there’s rarely sibilance. It’s no slouch with sax either: if you wish to feel Wayne Shorter’s sax flutter through your room on the Miles Davis album E.S.P., here’s the ticket. If you want to feel the complexity of Grant Green’s apparently sparse notes, here’s the tube equal to the task. There’s always a great sense of fullness in the mids. The music flows with ease. This is a great all-rounder. Warm and magically delicious!

The Preferred Series 6L6-GC (USD $29.95 each) is an in-house design from www.thetubestore.com. It is a newer, revised version of the TAD 6L6 GC-STR (I reviewed the WGC, a slightly different tube). The Preferred Series is intended to improve on the TAD GC. It includes a black plate, double halo-style getters, gold grid wires and heavy gauge glass. This tube has no obvious major flaws. It’s big and airy, with a wonderfully large soundstage. There is a nice sense of rhythmic flow, as with the TAD and the SED Winged C under review. It’s a more balanced tube than the TAD, not excessively mid-rangy. Some listeners might rate the Preferred Series higher than the TAD for that reason; my preference is for a bit more richness and warmth. Bass is above average but not super deep or dry. With my Musical Paradise amp, this tube worked well but not as well as the Tung-Sol 7581-A or the SED Winged C. Compared with those two great, perfect tubes, there seemed to be a touch of body, some tonal colors, missing in the middle. Bill Evans’ piano on Flamenco Sketches was a bit glassy (and even glassier with the Svetlana and JJ). Saxophones were not as full and aflutter as they were with the Tung-Sol and the SED. Having said that, this tube sounded superior (to my taste) to the Svetlana, the Mullard and the JJ. It has an ease and a flow that some will find addictive. It’s a smooth tube, great for jazz guitar, not a crunchy one for rockers. At least not when used with the Musical Paradise MP-301 mk3 amplifier.

The JJ 6L6-GC (USD $19.95) was the biggest surprise of the lot. At just under twenty bucks there is no better value. Don’t let a snobbish aversion to the low sticker price fool you–this is a great tube, especially with acoustic jazz. Using the Musical Paradise MP-301 mk3 Deluxe in that context I absolutely loved the JJ. It had firm bass control and a great sense of air and ambience. It was never thin in the mids. It did suffer from a bit of noise at idle and that did bleed into the headphones (Beyerdynamic DT-880s and HiFiMan HE-400s). But using my 95dB sensitive Tekton M-Lore loudspeakers I heard no noise from 1.5 meters away. The tube glows a purple haze but it’s not really the best match for Jimi’s oeuvre. It was better suited to Duke Ellington’s Mood Indigo. It wants you to play piano, double bass, drums, horns, sax. Piano sustain was above average. Piano and jazz guitar tonal colours are generally ravishing. The tube seems powerful. It allows for great instrument separation and a big soundstage. But with the MP amp it does tend to make poor recordings sound poor. Sometimes rock from the 1970s did not fare well, sounding a bit shrill. This tube does have a longstanding, strong reputation with electric guitar players so keep that in mind. For those about to rock, here’s an inexpensive workhouse with a proven track record.

The Mullard 6L6 (USD $35.95) is on the pricier side for a current production Russian tube in this family. I found it needed quite a bit of break-in to sound worth the price. Once it did break-in, after maybe 50 hours or so, I was impressed. In direct contrast with the JJ, the Mullard is the perfect tube for audiophiles with loads of 70s rock or other bright or poorly recorded music. Case in point: one of Bob Dylan’s greatest albums is also one of the most poorly recorded: Blood on the Tracks. With the Mullard, the shrill and poorly mixed guitars are now listenable, especially on “Tangled up in Blue.” I found this to be a somewhat reserved, relaxed, mellow and soft tube. It’s got that vintage RCA 6L6GB tone. Many people love that sound; I’m not a big fan. Others might rate this Mullard much higher. To repeat: the difference in ‘quality’ between the tubes under review is small and subjective.  The Mullard was certainly great with acoustic and jazz guitar. There’s a bit of that Sylvania punch and tonal compression. Its obvious strength is its vintage tone but with my Musical Paradise amp it was not the most powerful sounding tube nor did it excel with detail or ambience retrieval. If you want that 30th Street recording studio ambience, you’d be better off with a more neutral tube like the Svetlana. But if you want to chill with Louis and get ‘that old feeling’ this would be perfectly suited.

The Svetlana SV 6L6-GC is a $26.95 (each) is yet another inexpensive good-sounding Russian tube. In my Musical Paradise MP-301 mk3 Deluxe the Svetlana is an open, airy, neutral sounding performer. It is clear and less demonstrably warm and thick than the Mullard. It might be a tad quicker than the TAD and it sounds a bit less powerful and restrained. It’s strength is with ambience retrieval and a sense of holography. If that’s your taste, drink up! It has no major flaws. Bass is crisp and highs can soar without ear bleed. For the price it’s nice and will suffice.

Hors catégorie:

Unknown-3   Unknown-1

I saved the best for last but since it’s no longer in production I have set it aside from the rankings of the current production tubes discussed above. The SED ‘Winged C’ 6L6 GC (USD $75.95 each, NOS) is an epic tube. As in… Fifty-Year Wave Bells Beach tubularly once in a lifetime. This is a steal, a radiant gem. Bodhi’s on the beach…and Utah’s out of reach.  The treasure’s still within grasp.  Seen the prices of vintage 300B or EL34 lately? Seventy-six greenbacks isn’t pocket change but neither is it insane. Grab ‘em while they last and don’t look back. I once owned a quad of these tubes and loved them in my Primaluna Prologue One. What a fool I was to sell them before they became NOS!  My listening notes say: “A perfect tube. Rich but detailed. Quiet. Ample, slightly plummy and rich bass…not particularly dry, but more realistic as a result? Soaring highs. Bouncy and elastic mids, arresting in beauty as the tube turns and twists distorted jazz guitar notes inside and out. Piano as rich and warm as with my 85 pound 845-based amp. By far the most bouncy and elastic tube under review. A bit of that Sylvania NOS tone but less coiled up, with greater range… wider bandwidth? The quality of this tube should put to rest all the silly blanket statements we see regarding ‘poorly made’ Russian tubes.” The SED Winged C displays no sins of commission, no sins of omission. It’s the most versatile tube of the bunch. Once these tubes are gone, the Tung-Sol 7581-A may well be regarded as the greatest readily available 6L6-family tube. For jazz heads, I’d go with the SED. For rockers, I’d probably recommend the more powerful Tung-Sol. In fact, I recommend you buy both.

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30 Comments on 6L6-type vacuum tube shootout

  1. Fabulous and accurate review.
    I have Noams old Onix SP3 and have tried the Tungsol 5881 and am currently using the TAD 6L6 WGC STR…..his review on these TAD tubes is 101% bang on.

  2. I wish you would have included the Tung-Sol 6L6GC-STR, since that is what I am using in my MP-301.

    • Tim Smith // 2016/11/03 at 6:49 pm // Reply

      I wish so too, but there are limits to what I can listen to and what the supplier can provide. As Meatloaf once said, ‘two out of three ain’t bad,’ and a tube review of six or seven tubes out of a dozen currently available is close to the Loaf’s high standard! Cheers, Tim

  3. Matt Pickup // 2016/11/01 at 10:23 pm // Reply

    After reading this article I really makes want to give tubes another shot. My first entry to audiophile grade equipment, 90s era push pull 160 watt tube mono blocks, left me wanting more. I was seduced by the dark side of solid state with its allure of powerful bass, quick transients and “grip.”

    But reading all this stuff about tone makes me want to try a SET amp, and 6L6s seem the more affordable place to start…thus the no brainer is the Musical Paradise 301 amp.

    I have JBL 590 speakers, 6 ohm impedance (lowest dip 4.5 ohms) and rated 92 db sensitivity –think the MP 301 will produce any magic with these large towers?

    • Tim Smith // 2016/11/03 at 6:55 pm // Reply

      Hi Matt, As I jot down this note, I have the Musical Paradise amp running with my Tekton M-Lores. Yesterday I had the First Watt F5 and Audio Research LS17 hooked up. True, the bass slam and articulation I get with the F5 is superior. But the MP with 6L6s (my TADs) nails the tone. There’s a richness that the First Watt cannot find. There’s less detail at the extreme edges but there’s more fullness in the middle. I am drinking up and liking the taste! My Tektons are rated at 95dB with an 8 Ohm impedance. In a 12 by 24 room with 9 foot ceilings, the MP amp gives me all the power I need. I cannot answer your question about your JBLs because I’ve never owned them. If you have a small room you would probably be ok. But be warned: you won’t get the bass you’ll get from a great solid state amp. But for 500 clams or so, including a great headphone section, it’s a win-win proposition, I think. If you like simple acoustic music, for sure, go for the MP. Hope this helps, tim

      • Matt Pickup // 2016/11/04 at 12:02 pm // Reply

        Thanks for the response! I am going to roll the dice and buy it (soon as I am able). I can always switch amps depending on the musical selection. Might even try bi-amping and see what happens. Wonder if there’s any way I can connect a sub to it?

    • Matt,
      Another good (reasonably priced) option are the Elekit amps. They have a 6L6 Single Ended with a headphone amp – Tim reviewed it here a while back. The one I own is older and has no h/p amp. These amps are a little pricier than the MP, but they’re from Japan and the quality is first rate. It also seems, subjectively, that the Elekit are capable of a bit deeper bass than the MP. (I’ve owned both) But as Tim stated, tube amps like these won’t give you that same grip. Depends on your room, your tastes, and expectations, to a large degree.
      Best regards,

      • Thanks for your reply Noam. I understand the Elekit amps are unassembled kits — I still shudder when I recall my attempts at soldering circuits in high school; not pretty. Perhaps in the future, with some modest projects under my belt, and assuming I like the SET sound, I’ll give the Elekit a go.

        • Hi Matt,
          I’m not 100% sure, but I believe Victor will build the kit for you if you’re not comfortable. (for a fee, obviously)
          Or you could get a friend to do it.

    • I really did enjoy the review! Thank you for taking the time to do it. I will try a pair of the 7581s. I also use the red preamp tubes. I tried some KT-88s in mine. Although the bass response was nice, the overall effect was that of a deeply smiley curved EQ. I felt too much midrange detail was sucked out to the point of not really being listenable to anything other than Van Halen for example. While listening to the Purple rain album there was a noticeable and almost complete loss of some guitar and synth parts. I noticed the same thing on several other albums as well, such as Heart Shaped World by Chris Isaak and Human League albums.

  4. Ben Reed // 2016/11/08 at 2:28 pm // Reply

    Thanks Tim, you have just cost me another fortune (especially post Brexit and our weak currency in the UK)!

    I rolled the Tung-Sol 7581-A (replacing Gold Lion KT77s) put on my reference track (RY X – track called Berlin) and WOW. The missing bass I craved is now here, with a great midrange and silky smooth top end.

    I am waiting for your next review (my next purchase) with bated breath. I’d love it if you got to review the YAQIN MS-650B – it has 845s


  5. Specifically to the MP-301, which tube would you say is the overall best?

    The Genalex Gold Lion KT77 or the Tung-Sol 7581-A?

    Which types of music would you prefer with either tube, in the case that they are equally good, but for different genres?

    • Benjamin // 2016/11/13 at 9:26 am // Reply

      Having spent more time with the 7581-A, I actually prefer the musicality of the Tung-Sol EL34B.

      So, now I am sticking with the RCA 5693 “Special Red” Tubes and Tung-Sol EL34B for the time being.

      Go with the Gold Lions if you like detail and precision, at the detriment of bass and a silky smooth midrange.

      • Tim Smith // 2016/11/25 at 5:26 pm // Reply

        My preference is for the Tung Sol 7581-A. I find that it sounds fuller and more spacious with the Tekton M-Lores. The Gold Lions are more crunchy

      • Thierry Gross // 2020/05/24 at 6:44 am // Reply

        I agree had that same experience, switched the Tungsols 7591A after a few days back to the EL34B and musicality just exploded out of that soundstage Ferndale vocals and acoustic music / blues at their best

  6. Joel Lopata // 2017/12/07 at 6:14 pm // Reply

    Have you tested the 5693 Special Reds vs the 6sj7 Black RCAs in the MP 301 Mk 3?
    Just ordered the Blacks for mine.

  7. Hi Tim,
    I’ve read through your reviews of 6L6 and EL34 tubes. They are well written and have been very helpful.

    I’m getting an MP-301 MK3 and am looking to upgrade the tubes. I’ve decided to try the Tung-Sol 7581A (as per your recommendation) as my all around, everyday power tube, but I would also like a second power tube that I can roll for when I am looking to get the most rich, liquid mid-range sound for voices and acoustic instruments. I have pared down my choices to the Tung-Sol EL34B and the TAD 6L6WGC-STR. Which of these tubes do you think would best fit the bill sound wise?

    For the time being I am using BK-16 folded horns with the Fostex FF165K driver. I am probably going to try some Caintuck Audio Betsy open baffle speakers at some point down the road.

    Thanks in advance for any thoughts on tube choice.


    • Tim Smith // 2018/02/28 at 2:41 pm // Reply

      Hi David,

      Thanks for the nice words. I’d probably go for the TAD but the Tung Sol would also be fine. If you are using super high sensitivity speakers you might consider getting the red RCA preamp tubes (metal tubes). I use those tubes and only those preamp tubes. In my experience they are by far the quietest ones. The stock preamp tubes have always hummed. Maybe Garry has found a better supply of stock preamp tubes. I hope he has.

  8. Greg Stevens // 2019/01/22 at 9:57 am // Reply

    Hi Tim, count me in as another fan appreciative of the tube comparisons you’ve made (as well as your command of the English language — I don’t know what you do for your day job but you’re a very good/clever writer!).

    So here I sit staring at eight power tube sockets on my PrimaLuna DiaLogue Premium HP amp (with matching pre) trying to decide if I want to continue to partially duplicate what you’ve done.

    I followed your EL34 shootout up to a point. I didn’t bring in the GL KT77 or Treasures but I had all of the other tubes in and found that I really liked the “elasticity” (your word, which perfectly describes what I am looking for) of the Tung-Sol EL34B. It’s that elasticity that gives realism to drums in particular. The bounce or controlled “boing” is so very palpable that I find it heightens the realism of the playback. However, I’m finding that vocalists center-stage seem somewhat pushed back in the mix. Depending on the content, it’s subtle, yet obvious if you’re aware of it. Picture the instruments left/right across a straight line in front of you, and the singer in the center but standing 6-10 feet straight back towards the rear. This isn’t that much of a big deal for me because that “elasticity” makes it all worthwhile, and most of the tracks I listen to are mixed in such a way that a slight recess for vocalists isn’t all that bothersome, yet I find myself wishing I could get a bit nearer to them or have their vocals stand out a bit more — not too much, just another 5 feet forwardly pronounced (pardon the awkward grammar), revealed a bit better; to get them to appear more “up-front” BUT without giving up the elasticity. Is this even possible?

    I was going to order octets of Treasures and Gold Lions, thinking that maybe they’d get me where I’d like to be sound-wise, but then I stumbled across your 6L6 shootout. I didn’t realize that PrimaLuna could take 6L6s but I see that they can.

    Based on my reading of your analysis of the 6L6 shootout, I wonder, and I’m seeking your thoughts, if perhaps a 6L6 might solve my “dilemma”/desire to retain the elasticity of the EL34Bs while bringing vocalists more forward in the overall presentation? Am I headed in the right direction? Or, should I experiment first using the EL34Bs, but trying out different 12au7s on the preamp to see if that achieves my goal? Currently I’m using two of the Amperex Bugle Boy in the front two driver sockets (and twin Philips for the rectifiers).

    I’ve got quite a few 12au7s that I can experiment with: Cifties, Amperex, Brimar, Mullard, CBS, RCA, TeleF, and of course the PrimaLuna stock tubes.

    I realize that your shootouts are somewhat dated but I wanted to take a chance and see if you still read its comments and reply to inquiries. If so, then great, and I look forward to hearing your suggestions.

    BTW, in addition to the PrimaLunas, my setup includes Spatial Audio Triode Master M3 speakers fed via a VPI Prime and Bluesound Node 2. Listening preferences are strong vocal groups a la Beach Boys, Beatles, Shirelles, B52s, et al and single performers like Pet Clark, Etta, Streisand, Adele, et al and early rock and roll through the punk and New Wave of the mid-80s.

    Thanks in advance!


  9. I was quite impressed with Tung-Sol 6L6 big bottle tubes in a MC240. I have two quads of winged C’s and a quad of TungSol 7581A that I like very much. I also like 6P3S-E, although they take a lot of time to burn in.

    I think Tung-Sol has a quite impressive lineup of 6L6GC tubes. I just ordered a set of STRs. I think I’ll be set for a while. I wish someone reissue Saint Petersburg winged C’s, they would sell well at $40-50 retail.

  10. Michael Ruggieri // 2020/12/10 at 9:05 am // Reply

    I know i’m A little late to this article, I running four 7581A tubes in my Onix sp3 integrated amp and they sound great. The Onix only cost approx. $700.00 new, so spending $400.00 on four SED winged C tubes seems crazy. But this amp sounds great no matter what it cost and sound is the main objective. I’d be willing to spring if I thought I could use the tubes when I upgrade to a better amp. My question, of all the power tubes available what tube is best suited for the reproduction of music? I listen to all kinds of music. What are your favorite tube for listening to music?
    Thank you, Michael Ruggieri

    • Hi Michael,
      Thanks for the comment. It’s never too late to talk about a tube from 1936! 😉

      Nigel who bought my SP3 several years ago has replied, see above. By coincidence he was in touch just a few days ago and mentioned the amp and how well the TungSol are working.

      Best regards,

    • The SP3 has 2 inputs ,no remote and is built the way it minimalist is for a reason…….Music
      I had a PrimaLuna Dialogue 2 integrated
      I tried tolling KT88 ,EL34 And 6L6 and cost a lot of money
      The Onix is way more musical,I connect with this amp for better emotion and resolution

    • Also Michael
      I replaced the volume control for a more precise movement
      $100 at Partsconexxion
      I don’t like the stock one as it’s not precise,either to low or to loud
      Part was $15 and works great

  11. I have now had my Tungsol 7581A tubes in daily use in my OnixSP3 for 4 years now
    I would not consider Any other power tube for this amp.
    I have had TAD,Mullard and a few others
    The power gain and musicality is ideal and noticeable in this amp

  12. Michael Ruggieri // 2020/12/10 at 5:49 pm // Reply

    Thanks for everyone’s response. That was interesting what Nigel M said about the SP3 and the PrimaLuna. That’s the amp I was thinking about to replace my SP3, I though if the SP3 sounds this good imagine what the PrimaLuna would sound like (After watching Upscale Audio video). I use the SP3 for my Grant Fidelity MBS1 satellite speakers & a Bryston 4B for my 12” woofers I took out of a pair of JBL 100’s. I agree about the volume on the SP3 but I set mine to match the woofers and use a Khozmo Acoustics passive preamp to run everything, works great. My main source is a Oppo SACD player, and I’ve been listening to music almost as much as back when it was just vinyl.
    Thanks everyone, Mike

  13. With the PrimaLuna and the ability to use KT88, EL34. Or 6L6 it’s an advantage to try each type.
    I found KT88 to sound the most non tube sound,EL34 strong mid range but rolled off top end and
    Non musical bass.

    I tried 6L6 …TAD and several others and it was love at first listen..just no power
    .Then…….came the Tungsol and I found my tube Nirvana

    I feel other than remote and hefty price you won’t get a Big Bang upgrade to PrimaLuna
    I would change the Volume control and get a premium power cord for your sweet Onix……Cheers

  14. Michael Ruggieri // 2020/12/11 at 8:38 am // Reply

    Hi Nigel M, I thought the change of volume pot was for flexibility. Does the replacement also sound better? The PrimaLuna handles EL34 & 6L6 families, why won’t the SP3? Have you tried the KT66 in the SP3? I did change my power cord and am using Morrow MA1 interconnectors, neither are premium but sound decent. The SP3 recommends running bias at 1.15v, I run the bias at 1.18v for a warmer sound. What’s your thoughts?
    Thanks Mike

    • Nigel aM // 2021/01/07 at 1:20 am // Reply

      No the quality of the sound does not improve,
      What you get is the complete control of volume with a smooth unit
      The click click type that comes with SP3 you are missing volume accuracy

  15. With the PrimaLuna and the ability to use KT88, EL34. Or 6L6 it’s an advantage to try each type.
    I found KT88 to sound the most non tube sound,EL34 strong mid range but rolled off top end and
    Non musical bass.

    I tried 6L6 …TAD and several others and it was love at first listen..just no power
    .Then…….came the Tungsol and I found my tube Nirvana

    I feel other than remote and hefty price you won’t get a Big Bang upgrade to PrimaLuna
    I would change the Volume control and get a premium power chord for your sweet Onix……Cheers

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