Linlai E 6sn7 tubes

I just placed an order for a pair of these for my Aric Audio Motherlode II.  I’ve been chatting with a fellow that runs the E 6sn7 in his Don Sachs pre. He loves them, He says they make his NOS tubes sound thin and lifeless.  
    It will be a couple weeks until I receive them,and I was curious if anyone out in Agon land has tried these,and what are your impressions?   
Thanks in advance,



I did get mine off of flea bay. I searched for a seller with 100% positive feedback. Unfortunately,that seller is out of stock. I know a lot of you are hesitant to buy there. AliExpress has a bunch of sellers with plenty in stock. None have 100% positive feedback.  I figured I was safer with epay and using PP,if something went south. It was 18 days from the date of purchase to my front door. 

One thing that is definitely noticeable immediately,is these are really quiet tubes.  

Beware...Linlai does not have any authorised dealers on AliExpress. There is a "buyer beware" page on their website.

Has anyone tried the Grant Fidelity globes, (the spherical ones)?  Wondering if there’s any difference with the SE version?

thanks, Ted 

I’m at the 70 hour point. Like I’ve stated earlier,I was told to give these at least 100 hours. I can easily say that I am happy with my purchase.  The depth and width of the soundstage is really wonderful.  I don’t find these dark at all any longer.  They present with meat on the bones as it were, but not thick.  I don’t listen very loud,so low volume detail means a lot to me. These are delivering.   I’m going to give these another week or so, and at that point I plan on doing a side by side comparison with the KR black glass.  
           I’m looking forward to hearing what others have to say regarding the Linlai’s.



@rocray  on the flip side, the Premium Box set of PSVANE CV181-TII (6SN7s) tubes arrived today.

27 days to reach my doorstep in the USA, ordered from a large overseas distributor. Surprised the package arrived undamaged after many station scans, transfers.

A little taller and slightly wider at the base compared to the TJ Full Music 6SN7s.

Shows tested 10/9/2021, a little over 5 months ago, likely distributor inventory.

Starting burn-in now, hearing changes in the first four hours already. Interesting.

Hi @decooney, congratulations on the tubes. Please keep us posted as they burn in. How many hours do the Psvanes require? 

Hi @rocray Not sure at this juncture, and its because of how these tubes sounded in the first 45 minutes and the next 6 hours brand new. I’m more use to the sound being kinda strange first 2-20 hours on new input tubes like this.

First, I’m wondering if these were pre-burned in 72hrs or something like that. I doubt it, but they almost sounded too good at 6hrs of run-in time last night. So much so, that I don’t want them to change any more, hoping they stay put as-is.

Trying not to pre-judge them yet, they are too new, will try to run them in some more evenings this week and a lot more next weekend. I’m comparing them to my NOS Sylvania 3-hole black plates,  TJ Full Music 6SN7s, and generic TS re-issue 6SN7GTBs as a very wide baseline to compare to. To be fair, I’d need to buy a set of Linlai too, maybe later this year on those. Will do.

@decooney, thanks for your feedback on the Psvanes.  It will be interesting to hear how they stack up once broken in,but I’m guessing you like them very much at this point. 
          I have about 95 hours on the Linlai’s. I’d be pretty shocked if they were to change drastically in the next few hours.  I still haven’t put the KenRads back in,but one thing that these offer up(to my ears) is realism in tone. Stan Getz sounds like he’s right in front of me.  The tone is full bodied,and bass is tight and deep. They also get cymbals right. They have the right “ting” and “splash”. As you can tell,I’m not a writer,or musician.  I’m really looking forward to more folks getting some ear time with these.



@rocray Good to hear. And @decooney good to hear that you’re evaluating the Psvanes. I’ll be watching thread with interest.

This thread is causing my "need to increase my backup supply of tubes" addiction to rear its’ ugly head again. 🤨 I don’t need more 6SN7s. I’ve got a pretty good supply. But there’s always that nagging fear of missing out. After all, I never bought any of those so-called WE 6SN7 plus tubes, which were very highly rated, and they became unavailable. Neither did I every buy any of the various versions of the CV-181s, and they’re very highly rated, too. 😕 I’m almost afraid of trying either the Linlais or the Psvanes. If I like them I’ll want another pair as backup. Geez! Not to mention the fact that I also run 300Bs in one of my amps and know there are a lot of good sounding options out there for those, including the Linlai options. 🤔

@markusthenaimnut "...If I like them I’ll want another pair as backup."

Exactly. It does present a unique challenge when we find something you like even "better". Makes a case for us learning to be content with what we have now. Not! LOL :) 


@markusthenaimnut,LOL! It’s a sickness that drives many of us. I was reading some threads on another forum yesterday,and found out Western Electric will be manufacturing 6sn7 tubes that will be officially released in September. No idea about pricing. There is a gentleman over on SH forums that tested a set of preproduction tubes,and said they are very good. I’m hoping to grab a pair if they aren’t out of my budget.  

Just to give a little scale to the Linlai’s. The tube on the left is a KenRad 6sn7gt black glass. You’ll need some room for the Linlai’s.

@rocray wow, they are big. They look like power tubes. Can't wait for mine to arrive. 

Thanks for providing the photo,



Thanks for posting the pic. Makes me wonder if using a socket saver will provide enough clearance between my input tubes.

I think that picture is helpful. One thing it seems to show is that this tube shares some characteristics with the well-regarded so-called Shuguang WE 6SN7 plus tubes that were around a couple years ago. They also were constructed with the tube structure positioned very high in the tube also. I have no idea how or why this might affect performance, but thought I'd mention it.

Does anyone make a horizontal off set 6sn7 to 6sn7 adapter? It would allow spacing tubes further apart on open top preamps. If not, it looks like a fairly simple DIY project.



Hi @aldnorab, I have never heard of such a beast. However,I can’t remember where I saw this, someone used 2 socket savers on one side to stager the tube height. Might be worth a quick innerweb search? 

I ordered the Linlai tubes suggested by Don from Helen in China, who informed me that there would be a delay in shipping.  Extra tubes in the closet are the way to go, like bullets in a magazine for a soldier: you can't have enough of them. 

I have a stash of 24 middling NOS 6SN7 tubes including GE, Raytheon, etc tubes, which will get me though this pandemic. The new Chinese tubes are much preferred.  I got the stash of 6SN7's some years ago for $10-$20 a tube, all fully tested.

I have a stash of 24 middling NOS 6SN7 tubes including GE, Raytheon, etc tubes, which will get me though this pandemic. The new Chinese tubes are much preferred.  I got the stash of 6SN7's some years ago for $10-$20 a tube, all fully tested.

Great stash. @whitestix. I am very curious to hear your impressions of the Linlai’s. For me, these are wonderful tubes. I was considering getting an extra set, however,I’m going to try and wait to see what the Western Electric 6sn7 will be priced at. I don’t have a huge stash of tubes,but I’m pretty sure I have enough for my lifetime.  One of the many great things about Aric’s Motherlode II is you can also run 6SL7’s also. 


This is the contact information for Helen, Don Sachs' preferred source for the Linlai tubes:

This is the supplier I got from Don Sachs for the Linlai tubes: I can't find a link to JJAudio.  

Thanks guys,

I have a stash of NOS tubes as well and Psvane, CV 181, Sophia and really liked the WE and have ordered a set of Linlai from Helen. Looking forward on hearing them...


Knowing that Don Sachs uses and recommends the Linlai’s,was the last push I needed to try them.  I have never heard a DS preamp.  I’ve done a lot of reading, and the only downside I’ve read, is the long wait to get one built.  If I understand correctly, if you deal with Helen, make sure you specify no “gift” box.  That will lower the price I’ve been told. 

Ray, Aric, and my fellow audio brethren. For the last few years, I have been using the Shuguang Black Treasure 6SL7-Z tubes in my Aric Audio Motherlode and have enjoyed the sound and dynamics. Is anyone able to provide any A-B comparisons/detail between the Linlai and my current tube choice?


My kind thanks in advance!

@invalid, yes it is. Make sure you’re looking at the E-6SN7. It is their ELITE series. 

@laaudionut I haven’t tried the Shuguang Treasure 6SL7s yet, but I have tried the PsVane CV-181 (6SN7) TII which are very similar, if not identical to the ’guang Treasure CV-181. I can assuredly state that the Linlai Elite 6SN7s blow the TII 6SN7 Treasures out of the water. I don’t know if the SL7s will match up the same, but my gut says the Linlai’s are superior tubes. You can purchase Linlai from Grant Fidelity in Canada, or for quite a bit less from a reputable seller on eBay "kt88_6550" whom I’ve purchased from more than a few times with excellent service.



It seems the Elites have been flying under the radar for a while. I’m hoping durability matches their sonics.  I haven’t seen much on long term reviews. @aricaudio, do you have any insight? 

@rocray I haven't had an opportunity to put more than 200 hours on 2 sets of the Elites as I was only burning them for customers to send with their preamps. However, out of all of the Linlai tubes I've tested and used (more extensively were there DG series 845s, Elite 2A3s and baseline 5U4Gs), I have not heard a tic, pop, or any other anamoly whatsoever. This is out of well over a dozen pairs tried. I cannot say the same for many of the top tier PsVane tubes I've used, and that's all I'll say about the PsVanes with the exception of their ACME 211s.

I hope this helps, Aric

Has anyone here compared the Linlai E 6SN7s to the Shuguang WE 6SN7 Plus tubes?

Don Sachs was using the Shuguangs for a while and thought very highly of them. I haven't heard either.

@aricaudio,Thanks for the info. @markusthenaimnut, I have no personal comparison with the WE 6SN7 plus,but the gentleman that recommended the Linlai’s,has the WE’s also. He stated that the WE Plus,was the best of the bunch. The Linlai’s were a close second.

       I will also add the Elite E6sn7 are dead quiet. 

@aricaudio ...I have tried the PsVane CV-181 (6SN7) TII which are very similar, if not identical to the ’guang Treasure CV-181.

Hi Aric, do you recall how many hours you put on the psvane before they settled in and your final conclusions were made on their sound?


Early Update:

@rocray During early burn-in first 75hrs the PSVANE CV181-TII do offer a slightly unique sound compared to my best vintage or Fullmusic 6SN7s. Super Easy to listen to right now with lossless streaming on R2R DAC, so far. Sitting in my Cary SLP-98 preamp (wider tube glass base barely fits). As new, requires 60 min play for the SLP-98 warmup then it opens up. Sorta liking the midrange tone better than my best vintage 6SN7 tubes. More similar to Fullmusic 6SN7 sound, maybe a tad smoother on top, soundstage opens up even more at 120 minutes warmup of ’98 for whatever reason, i dont know. Needs more burn-in / cycling on off settling time though. Not disliking them yet, staying put. We will see. Will decide more at 100hrs burn-in. My FullMusic 6SN7s warmed up faster (set point?) after 100hrs burn-in for whatever reason. Simply trusting my ears at this point.

@decooney I bought 4 pairs of PsVane CV181s and out of those, I received 1 tube that did not work out of the box, and one that hummed pretty badly. The ones that I kept in, I listened to as long as I could, which was likely less than 200 hours. I found them quite uninvolving and euphonic to listen to and that didn't change from hour 1 to the last hour I listened to them. I've never had any 6SN7s take longer than 100 hours to start to develop their character, and the Linlai Elites never sounded bad at any point during my listening. The Linlais produced beautiful colors and tonality at around the 70-80 hour mark and are very involving to listen to. While their detail is not lacking in any way, I believe that the Sylvania "Bad Boys" have better detail throughout, but are not as involving to listen to IMHO.


Best, Aric


@aricaudio fwiw, I followed a long 2-year case study on asian overseas DOA tubes.  Went a different route on buying more direct and original packaging.  Not buying from the lots removed and repackaged by US distributors or dealers when I can help it.  Three quads and three paired sets later, (0) zero failures on arrival.

Knock on wood, two years play time on TJFMs, one year on small PSVanes, hoping the CV181-TIIs hold up too..   Bought the Premium Pairs in the hard cases with foam inserts, direct.  Not the flimsy thin boxes, getting repacked and resold in the US. We'll see if the theory pays off here too. Sounding very nice right now, no euphonics.  Smoother and less grainy than my very best 60's Sylvania vintage triple hole black pates.  We'll see how it goes a year from now after long use.      

@rocray @decooney, congratulations on the tubes. Please keep us posted as they burn in. How many hours do the Psvanes require?

@markusthenaimnut @decooney good to hear that you’re evaluating the Psvanes. I’ll be watching thread with interest.


75hrs: knock on wood, so far so good. I like them. The 2yr old TJ Full Music 6SN7s have a tad more detail on super top-end and neutral midrange, yet the new PSVANEs have a slight roll off of the highs at the very top end, and slightly more pronounced midrange and texture that I really like. The detail is there, maybe a tad darker between notes - kinda nice. I’m kind of a midrange freak with guitar string tones, piano keys, and mid and lower register of voices, saxophones, violins, etc.

When I mix the PSVANE CV181-TIIs s in my preamplifier and the broken in KT120s in my mono block tube amps, the combination gives a pleasant sound overall. Nothing is fatiguing and most everything is engaging with different sources, tracks. Fortunately had most of this stuff ordered before all this sad war stuff started going on.




@decooney ,Glad to hear the Psvanes are working out. Would you say the TJ’s are bright in comparison,or just detailed? 

hI @rocray I sent you a private message with a scale regarding tubes both of us are familiar with.  No, TJFM are not bright in comparsion.  The PSVANES are little softer than TJFM with my preamp and setup.   

Update:  100+hrs on the PSVANE CV181-TII (6SN7s), opened up a little more past the 100 mark. Now neck and neck with TJ Full Music 6SN7s in the tone and detail department, still smooth though.  Now they sound more similar than different.  Very satisfied.   

Will let them play and maybe try and compare with Linlai later this year. Keep this thread going, looking forward to checking back every once in a while to see how others are doing with Linlai, other tube that may surface over the next year.   

@decooney, I’m curious how many hours before the Psvanes settle in for good.  As far as the Linlai’s, I had planned on doing a more substantial comparison with the KR’s,but I just can’t take the Linlai’s out of my preamp.  They sound that good to me. At some point I’ll do the comparison,but for now I’m just enjoying the music. 

Anyone else have any updates? 


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