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Old 16th February 2012, 10:39 AM   #1
FSHZ:42 is offline FSHZ:42  United States
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Default Which KT-88 tube?

Hello everyone,

I had purchased a quad set of Gold Lion Genalex KT-88's a while back and it appears that one of the tubes is showing signs of getting bad, as the measurement of my DMM is indicated a problem with the voltage reading being out of tolerance. Anyhow, I looked around the web for other info on tubes with good reviews. I found two that I would be interested in, so I would like to ask you guys here if I would be making the right choice. The first tubes are called Shuguang KT88-Z (KT88) Treasure series, and the other would be the (SED) Winged "C" KT-88. The company that has the Shuguang tubes is located in China, but am skeptical of sending money there. Here is the website: Shuguang KT88-Z (KT88) Treasure Match Pair_Beam Tetrode_Shuguang Tube_Analog Metric - DIY Audio Kit if anyone can give me info on what tubes would be my best choice/s, it would be deeply appreciated! One last question- I breifly saw the Emission Labs tubes and was wondering if these would be a good choice, and also wondering if I could get them in the KT-88 size? Thanks for any information!!!
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Old 16th February 2012, 01:44 PM   #2
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I've been using the Winged 'C' tubes in my PP KT88 amps for about 3 years...I am a huge fan of them - they sound excellent triode strapped.
They are pretty tough too; as I have about a thousand hours on them running them close to their max ratings.
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Old 16th February 2012, 02:32 PM   #3
FSHZ:42 is offline FSHZ:42  United States
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Hello Steven! Thanks for the comment! I have heard the Winged "C" EL34 tubes, as I have another tube amp that I had purchased years back, in which I had swapped out the oem tubes for the Winged "C" EL34's. I can say that they did make an improvement in sound for the better. I now have 2-mono amps that I have been running for some time using the Gold Lion Genalex KT88's. I do like the way the GL tubes sound. Just recently, I checked the voltage on them, and they are usually set at around 90.5mV. The latest measurements indicated that one of the tubes were begining to go out, as the voltage reading was out the norm. I checked around the web for reviews on KT-88's and found the Shuguang KT88-Z Treasure series had a good review. I was wondering if someone else here may have used them and could give me some input. The winged "C" KT-88 are another one I may be interested in as well as the Emission Labs tubes. I am wanting to get some feed back here to see what some of the other people here have to say about them. Thanks again!
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Old 16th February 2012, 02:35 PM   #4
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Can you elaborate what you mean by 'Checking the voltage' - Did you put them on a tube tester; or were you looking at the bias ? If you are talking about bias; all tubes will drift at one time or another....What amplifier are you using ? It maybe as simple as readjusting the bias....
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Old 16th February 2012, 03:56 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FSHZ:42 View Post
Hello everyone,

I had purchased a quad set of Gold Lion Genalex KT-88's a while back and it appears that one of the tubes is showing signs of getting bad, as the measurement of my DMM is indicated a problem with the voltage reading being out of tolerance. Anyhow, I looked around the web for other info on tubes with good reviews. I found two that I would be interested in, so I would like to ask you guys here if I would be making the right choice. The first tubes are called Shuguang KT88-Z (KT88) Treasure series, and the other would be the (SED) Winged "C" KT-88. The company that has the Shuguang tubes is located in China, but am skeptical of sending money there. Here is the website: Shuguang KT88-Z (KT88) Treasure Match Pair_Beam Tetrode_Shuguang Tube_Analog Metric - DIY Audio Kit if anyone can give me info on what tubes would be my best choice/s, it would be deeply appreciated! One last question- I breifly saw the Emission Labs tubes and was wondering if these would be a good choice, and also wondering if I could get them in the KT-88 size? Thanks for any information!!!
What kind of amp are these going to be finding a home in?

Even before I got into this forum, I was out shopping and ended up getting a pair of Preferred Series KT88 in a round the world about way from the tubestore.com (btw, they are a site sponsor here). It is their own branded tube and when I first heard the tubes, I ran it as a comparison between the Preferred Tube and a pair of GED tubes a friend had.

KT88 Tube Types

The old GED tubes had one strange problem -- they were not as secure as the rest. I figured out by looking at the legs that they were slightly skinnier (took a micrometer to it too) and were looser in the socket.

Compared to the GED KT88, it was difficult to tell other than the GED sounded a little more musical in SE triode mode versus the ultralinear mode whereas the Preferred sounded about the same as the GED in ultralinear mode. This is some jazz and blues out of the updated Mikael Abdellah's KT88 SE Tube Amplifier using a pair of older speakers (forgot which brand those were). The tone was definitely there in both in ultralinear. In triode mode, the Preferred KT88 tubes were tack sharp.

The Preferred ones were also very new having maybe 10+ hours of burn in.

The previous owner of my tubes was a friend of mine who had bought and compared them to a pair of daily use JJ KT88 tubes and a few others. He mailed them as he didn't want them anymore. He didn't like the Preferred KT88 enough to keep them (aesthetics possibly?) and said that the Preferred tube sounded better than the JJ and sounded "fuller" and was comparable to a good number of his KT88. So he had something to compare them to... then again, this is a guy who at first glances looks like he collects tubes and amps and has them all displayed and stuffed into a small space.

I am staring at the KT88s right now and they are going into project number one of mine, (either an updated Mikael Abdellah's KT88 SE Tube Amplifier or the Bob Latino ST-70). The tubes are shiny with triple getters and base and they were the right price.

Hope this helps and maybe gives you one more KT88 to consider.
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Old 16th February 2012, 06:25 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven-H View Post
I have about a thousand hours on them running them close to their max ratings.
I had this with New Edit TungSols 6550's....everything seemed happy... then the quiescents started to drift as the 2000 hrs ballpark arrived and the getters started to look sulky...expect anything.

The cue was outgassing due to improper annealing, (takes time) so manufacturers put 3 getters in to deal with the manufacturing shortcut..

richy
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Old 16th February 2012, 07:26 PM   #7
FSHZ:42 is offline FSHZ:42  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven-H View Post
Can you elaborate what you mean by 'Checking the voltage' - Did you put them on a tube tester; or were you looking at the bias ? If you are talking about bias; all tubes will drift at one time or another....What amplifier are you using ? It maybe as simple as readjusting the bias....
Steve, I was refering to setting the bias as my amps have connectors that are located on the top, along with an adjustable pot, that allow me to measure and adjust the voltage.

The brand of the amps are Oddwatt Audio. They are called Odd Block series 2. You can view them here: OddWatt

Thanks again!
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Old 16th February 2012, 07:28 PM   #8
FSHZ:42 is offline FSHZ:42  United States
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Thanks Overtheairbroadcast, for that info. I will keep the Preferred Series KT88 in mind.

Thanks for your comments!
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Old 16th February 2012, 09:38 PM   #9
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No problem. If I can figure out how to properly upload pictures here, then I will take a few snaps and you can take a look.

For me, it will be good to hear what your experiences are and what you will ultimately purchase. I think that when my project number one will be finished, I will probably have to make some more purchases to make in the KT77, KT88, EL34, and 6550 areas.
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Old 16th February 2012, 10:19 PM   #10
mbskeam is offline mbskeam  United States
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KT88 and 6550 Tube Directory

lots of reading.....
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