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,



My 2 matched Linlai E 6sn7 tubes arrived today. The Don Sachs Model 2 takes 4. I'll evaluate these in both circuit locations to see how they do. If prefer them to my current GE/Ken-Rad setup I'll order 2 more.

I have the older D Sachs with wood top. Two of these tubes will not fit without using a socket saver to raise one. Even then, a credit card would barely fit between them. I hear newer linestages have spaced the sockets further apart. My savers came from AES.

Initial sound is different than the GE. GE has more mid bass and beautifully sweet upper mids and highs. They can sound slightly distant in the midrange. At hour 2 the Linlai have tighter and more authoritive deep bass. They sound more linear top to bottom and very precise. The GE have more decay. This is like having 2 different preamps. 



Thanks for the update @aldnorab. The 100 hours of burn in that I was told I believe is very accurate. I hope they work out for you,the way they did for me. 

rocray, I miss understood. Ken Rad for KR audio which is a tube manufacture in the Czechs republic😮  

I guess I should take the time and type out KenRad vs being lazy and abbreviate. My apologies for the confusion. 

Thanks for pointing that out.  You can teach an old dog new tricks. No more lazy abbreviations.😁. 


Does KR only manufacture power tubes? The only small signal tube is the Marconi.

Yes they do. I have the prima Luna HP & takes 8 power tubes. I tried KR's kt88, & liked them so much, I bought another 8. 😏

I’ve been following this thread since the beginning. There are many comments about the Psvane CV-181 but I don’t recall if the Psvane 6SN7-UK has been mentioned. Has anybody tried these tubes? I’d like to know how they compare to Linlai, 6SN7 UK vs. E-6SN7.

I recently discovered that Psvane is making tubes for Audio Note.

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@lowrider57 UK-6SN7, seems like it would be worth a go. I did read once the clear UK version might be more neutral, less lush, compared to the gray coated CV181-IIs like I have now. And, we know the sound changes in different amp circuits, amps. It was a flip of a coin to try either for me, and a friend had good luck with his gray glass output tubes in an older Jolida, KT88s, running them for 2yrs solid now with no issues, so I tried the gray glass PSV CV181s next. Yours may vary. 

PSV-181s: A litte more detail is coming through now after 75hrs on the PSV CV181s, yet they are definitely a tad more lush at the same time. A little more of the highs rolled off [slightly, not bad] compared to my vintage sylvanias or the TJFM.  I like them, super easy to listen to for most content I listen to online. Keeping them in place for now. Wanna see what happens at 200hrs. Storing others.

AN-PSV: For a while there the AN use of PSVANE tubes was kept on the down-low.  My local dealer was telling me two years ago before the pandemic that Peter [@AN] has his own spec on the tubes made for them, fwiw. Not sure how much different they could be beyond a label change. Would have to buy a pair to compare native PSV vs AN versions of the tubes in an actual AN amp I guess.  

Many thanks @decooney . There's been so much written about the CV181, but it's not a drop-in replacement in some circuits. 

I'm looking for neutrality in a 6SN7 (similar to Sylvania). I'm awaiting delivery of a pair of Linlai E-6SN7's and if there are positive user reviews, I would give the Psvanes a try.

Regarding the AN Psvane, it's possible that Audio Note's valves meet tighter tolerances than the standard run. Similar to military tubes during wartime.

@lowrider57 oh, yes...that’s right... I do remember my local dealer mentioning that fact about the tubes that go to Peter at AN are more tightly matched.I’m sure he pays extra for it too. I had forgotten about that fact as I myself have resorted to seeking closer matched triode pairs in the premium boxes with test papers keeping my fingers crossed they might be a few % better and might last a tad bit longer now that I’m tube rolling less any more. These newer gen tubes are "good enough" for me and sounding nice. .


@decooney , you may have already mentioned this, but which premium tubes have you been using?

I have reserves of NOS and am starting my new tube experience with Linlai. 

@lowrider57 only the last two pairs of small signal 12ax7 and driver tubes and this last quad of cv181s / 6SN7s were true premium boxed sets.  The former Full Music 6SN7s were supposed to be premium match quads, two sets. Time will tell.  

I have read on the Supratek owner’s thread that Mick is shipping his preamps with these tubes. I think that says something positive about them.

I've sent him an email to confirm this and requested his opinion on these tubes.


Hi @markusthenaimnut,  Do you know if he’s sending them out with Elite E-6SN7? If so, that would make Supratek and Don Sachs sending their preamps out with Linlai’s.  That speaks very well for the Linlai’s.  I’ve been running mine for the last few weeks,and I keep waiting for the “honeymoon” period to end, but it’s not. I just can’t say enough how good these are working out for me.  

@rocray I keep waiting for the “honeymoon” period to end, but it’s not.

That's awesome. Good to know.  Keep on keeping us posted.  Thanks! 


Mick responded to my emailed question by citing the worldwide shortage of new production tubes.

In answer to my question about whether he thinks they sound particularly good he simply stated they sound about as good as any current production tubes.

So, let's not over-interpret his use of them. Sounds like if he could get a reliable source of the Russian tubes he's used he'd go back to them without a second thought.

This isn't to say that those who like these tubes are incorrect or that they're not better than other tubes. I think that's the purpose of this thread, is to collect the experience of those who are trying them out.


So glad the Linlai's are working so well. Can you remind me what the tube complement is in your preamp? ​​​​​​

My pre runs two 6SN7’s or two 6SL7’s, the separate power supply runs two OD3’s,

and a 5U4,5U4G,or 5U4GB. Aric designs his preamps  to be very tube friendly. I hope this helps @lowrider57

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Thanks, I remember the separate PS. I wanted to know how many tubes are in the gain stage. With only 2 6SN7GT's the Linlai's have a significant effect on your sonic signature. You're certainly capable of hearing all these tubes have to offer.

Does it make sense to try Linlai 6SL7s? 

@lowrider57, It probably doesn’t make sense, but I’ll probably do it anyway.  I run some low gain amps, sometimes I like to try a tube that is capable of a little added gain.  With my limited experience,I’ve noticed that 6SL7 also provides a different sonic signature.  I’m not 100% sold on the 6SL7 Elite, for the fact I’m still very curious about the upcoming Western Electric 6SN7.  The gentleman over at SH forum has been testing a pair,and speaks very highly of them.  He was not at liberty to discuss price point,but he did say they would be releasing them in September.  That’s a long time to wait……..

Yes, the guy who is beta-testing the WE’s has been posting his findings for awhile.) I wonder if he’s supposed to be talking about them). He can’t be the only one with those tubes, if there are any others they’ve been keeping quiet.

And I’m waiting with baited breath as well.

If WE makes more of these smaller tubes that sound good at a reasonable (not overly greedy) price, they will sell in volumes. Competition with PSVANE, Linlai, leftover TJFM, and possibly resurrection of Shuguang down the road, and others coming online is real now.  Good to now have 6SN7 and 6SL7 options we did not have as much 4-5 years ago.

Hope to read more about Linlai 6SN7s after 200hrs play time.    

I've been using a pair of NOS Sylvania 6SN7s I prefer them to Shuguang although no flies on the Schuguang. 

There are so many variants of Sylvania 6SN7. Can you be more specific?

Scroll down to see Sylvania's production through the years. And there are subgroups within these tube types. I use an assortment of Sylvania in my system.


I got them from audio The ower picked them based on my budget. $59.95 each. Ask the owner for his recommendation. He has turned me to great tubes on two occasions. The web site has a list of what's available. Yes it is confusing. Talk to Brent. The tubes looks like a military WGT.



I've been buying from Brent for years, and yes, he does make great recommendations. 

I've used every type of Sylvania 6SN7 except the metal base. Currently, I have WWII VT-231's and 6SN7GT 3-holes in my amp. The VT-231 is milspec and presents a transparent wide, 3D soundstage. These tubes have become very expensive. The GT is more dynamic with smooth extended highs and a deep low-end. All Sylvanias present a sense of realism.

I'd like to buy more VT-231's (they're so quiet and clear) but I'm waiting for the Linlai's to arrive. 

Just ordered 2 more Linlai E 6sn7 for the Don Sachs preamp. Interested to hear it with all Linlai tubes. I've got 25 hours of playtime on the 1st two.



@rocray well they sound different than the RCA and Ken-Rad. Replacing the RCA with these brings the lower midrange and midrange forward ( a good thing for my speakers). The high frequencies are rolled off and dark. There is no air and very little decay. Normally this would mean game over for me, but the midrange is so nice, I’m ok with it at the moment. Hope they open up a little with more time and get more "floaty" highs. The Ken-Rad lean a little this way and may be influencing everything. Need a full set of Linlai to know for sure. They should arrive in a few weeks.



You've got many hours ahead until the Linlai's are fully burned in, they'll go through changes during this period. This happens with any new tube.

I installed mine yesterday and the highs were rolled off. Today they have extension and sound harsh.

So far, you folks are experiencing what I heard in the early stages. This is exactly what I was told to expect. Hang in there. I think you will be rewarded. 

I don't want to derail the thread, but have a question. I noticed Linlai doesn't make any small signal tubes. Has anybody tried 9-pin tubes from Psvane, specifically 12AU7 or 6922's? 

Prices are high so I wouldn't want to buy without a recommendation.

@lowrider57 I have. Now using Psvane 12aU7 and 12aT7 MkIIs made in 2020/2021. They are installed now in two mono tube amplifiers.

Bought them to set my vintage nos Mullard Blackburns aside in storage. After the psvanes settled in a bit I kept telling myself I’d let them play a while longer. One time in the last year i reinstalled my other best curve-tracer matched triode Mullards back in play. That lasted a week, and i went back to the Psvane MkIIIs. I was looking for something smooth, not lean, and they fit the bill for the sound I wanted.

Prior, i had tried some older premium box pairs a colleague sent me, dated way back to 2013 I think it was, and they did not sound good to me On a whim, i re-tried the latest 2021+ version I have now. Sounded nice. Not bright, smooth, not overly detailed. Had tried vintage EI Yugo, RCA, GE, Tungsram, and newer JJ, new re-issue Mullard (not real Mullards) along with various original vintage mid to late 60s, and early 70s Mullards. Still have all of those. The 12axx psvanes have stayed put. Hoping they last beyond 2+ years. We’ll see, time will tell. Your experience may vary.


Thanks @decooney .

I have many NOS 12AU7s bought throughout the years, but these days the term NOS isn’t what it used to be. I haven’t liked the Russian 9-pins that I’ve tried so with Psvane becoming the leader in premium tubes, I may give them a try.


Edit: it doesn't seem like Linlai will expand into small signal tubes.


@lowrider57  wonder why Linlai isn't interested in small signal tubes? Harder to make? Less profitable? Also amazed tubes change so much during break in. Glass, vacuum, and some metal guts don't seem very susceptible to break in. 

My 2nd set of Linlai E 6sn7 have shipped. First set are gaining some air and decay. Unfortunately a small signal tube in the VTL ST150 quit. Couldn't find my replacements, so ordered a set only 170 miles away, in FedEx home town. Paid extra for FedEx 2 day shipping. 7 days later they are still riding around in FedEx trucks. Found my original replacements. Not the same tubes. Decided to hook up the delightful Pioneer Series 20 M22 class A amp. Will probably use it until all the Linlai are broken in. High-end is a war🙂.







It's always something in this HiFi hobby. Like being excited and waiting in anticipation of your new tubes breaking in, and an unrelated tube failure happens.

Maybe Linlai will expand their production, they haven't been in business very long and I think they want to excell in their current offerings. It may also be due to the design team that started the company. This may be their area of expertise.

Regarding fluctuations during the burn-in process, this is not the norm but does happen. I like how most true NOS tubes burn-in, as the hours pass you keep hearing improvement.



I’m now at about 175 hours.  They have definitely settled in. No more sound fluctuations.  The “honeymoon” is still on. These really shine in my preamp. 


Great to hear how you're enjoying these tubes in your system. Can you compare the sound to other tubes used in your preamp? I know this may take some auditory memory.

@lowrider57, when I get home from work, I’m going to pop the KenRads back in my pre for a bit,as a memory refresher. They are definitely (prior to the Linlai’s) the best tubes I have. 

I just finished a side by side test between the KenRads, and the Linlai’s. Songs played were,David Lindley/ Mercury Blues, Tommy Emmanuel / Beatles Medley, Carly Simon / You’re so Vain. Soundstage width and height were pretty equal. Soundstage depth went to the Linlai’s. The first thing I noticed, was in comparison,the KenRads seemed a little tipped up. I never thought this before about them,but again,in comparison. Symbols seemed a little too spashhhyy. I find the Linlai’s to be more balanced throughout the frequencies. They even felt a little richer in the lower ranges. More texture,more fluid. Symbols sound more like symbols.
Now,all that being said,will I be selling the KenRads? Ummmm,NO. However I will say,in my room,with my gear,and my ears, the nod goes to the Linlai’s. They are just so listenable.


At 40 hours the Linlai have picked up more high frequency extension, but it is a little brash sounding. They are less forgiving and not as much fun. Only certain songs sound beautiful now. Hope they move past this phase quickly. Glad the solid state amp is hooked up now. No reason to waste the tubes in the VTL.



@aldnorab, I would continue to burn these in. It has been stressed that these need 100 hours of burn in to hit stride.  I do understand that system synergy matters also.  You are running the same pre as the gentleman that recommended these to me.  

@rocray don't worry. I plan to forge ahead towards 100 hours. Already thinking about breaking in the other two, when they arrive. Trying to decide if I should pull this set while breaking in the newer set. That way all 4 would have the same playing time. This would also allow comparing the break in of the two sets. But, with the two sets in different circuits matched age could be meaningless. Audiophile dilemmas🤔.