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,



@aldnorab both sets of my TJ Fullmusic and recent Psvane (6SN7 / CV181) tubes at 24-48hrs hrs did not sound like they do at 100-150hrs. Patience did pay off.     

For example, the Psvanes were smooth at first 2-10hrs, then became more brittle and detailed at 24hrs for a short window.  THEN, slowly started smoothing out gradually up to 48hrs. Once I got past 100hrs it seemed like they were overly smooth, almost too much so at this point. Kept at it, hoping it would change again.   Past the 100hr mark maybe at 150hrs they've balanced out nicely.  Still very smooth, not lacking smoothness, not lacking midrange, picked up a little sound stage again, a little more detail back in the picture now with no edge, grain, or harshness now. Not changing now. Maybe stabilized between 100-150hrs.  


ASK: Can you report back after 100hrs and again at 150hrs on what you hear?



@decooney I'll be sure to report the 100 and 150 hour results. My Linlai seem to be loosely tracking Your Psvane break in results. Really interested to hear what 4 mature Linlai E 6sn7 sound like in the Don Sachs linestage.



@aldnorab my TJ FullMusic (TJFM) kinda did the same thing as the Psvanes just did. Gonna pull the Psvanes soon and go back to the TJFM and see if I notice subtle differences.  Thanks for tracking and reporting out on your Linlai E 6SN7s.  

Soundstage width and height were pretty equal. Soundstage depth went to the Linlai’s.

@rocray  Interesting findings. One of the attributes I love about the Ken Rad VT-231 is its 3D image. It presents music from the front of the speakers all the way back to my front wall. I know YMMV but the K-Rs have this ability in both my amp and preamp.


Who wins for best bass and low-end?

@lowrider57, the bass also goes to the Linlai’s.  Don’t get me wrong, the KenRads are fantastic.  But a back to back comparison in my findings, the KenRads are the second best tubes I own. 

It sounds like you've found the perfect tube, Ray. If only you could become a beta tester for those WE's.

Do most people believe the WE 6sn7 will surpass all the other brands? Does WE still have that much knowledge and technology?



The western electric company is not the same company that produced the nos tubes of yesteryear, that company was a subsidiarity of bell systems and AT&T.

@invalid, I haven’t tried them yet. I’ve been considering them as a higher gain alternative. 
@aldnorab, I’m hoping to get the chance to compare for myself.  It will depend on what the price point will be.  I don’t assume anything in this hobby.  WE has definitely peaked a lot of interest. Mine included. 

I definitely need the gain, with my krell amp that needs 2.5 volts and my apogee duetta 2 speakers that are 80db.

This hobby is without a doubt, a sickness.  So, for no other reason than they look cool, I just bought a pair of these. I’m not expecting world beaters, but who knows?? 

Don’t get me wrong.  The purchase of the Psvane 6SN7-BE has nothing to do with not being happy with the performance of the Linlai’s,and everything to do with something new and shiny. 

I purchased them used on usaudiomart. Other than the blue glass,I have no idea what the difference is. Sonically,I have no idea what to expect. This was an impulse buy. They look cool. No other reason.  

...Other than the blue glass, I have no idea what the difference is. Sonically,I have no idea what to expect. This was an impulse buy. They look cool. No other reason.


It’s what we do. We try stuff, and compare. It’s fun.

Some consider it cheap therapy too :)

I ask because Psvane is going heavy into the 6SN7 market. There's a 6SN7-UK in addition to the CV-181 and the globe tubes mentioned above. Perhaps they are filling the need for the dwindling supply of NOS tubes. The UK variant is a copy of Mullard/Brimar construction.



Thin and lifeless can be adjusted with resistors, capacitors, chokes and design at a much cheaper price than those tube3s but I also have the Psvane 101D tubes in our DHT DAC.


Happy Listening.

@lowrider57, filling a huge gap in production would be a great business plan. If there was ever a time to offer more vacuum tubes,now is the perfect time. I never looked at it that way. It does make perfect sense. 


Yes, and the 6SN7 has become widely used in modern designs. I for one have been bitching about the prices and lack of NOS stock.

Members over at the head-fi org forum have been studying all the different variants of Shuguang and Psvane CV181 / 6SN7 tubes for years. Different shapes, different colors, clear, grey, blue, silver, and a variety of custom versions sold to different amp manufacturers who use them in their amps.   

Similar stories about how the son of TJ Fullmusic ended up selling off tooling for their smaller tubes to Psvane as well. Trying them seems to be the only way to know if they work well or not. 


Over there is where I read about "Funn Chen", in 2013 a Psvane employee and the stories about the engineers who split off from Shuguang and formed Psvane.  

Thanks for the great link @decooney. Much appreciated. Trying things out for oneself is really the only way to know what works for you. Gear,room,ears,tastes all play a very important part.  

Thanks decooney, lots of good info at Head-Fi.

I've had Funn Chen at Chinese restaurants. It's a tasty noodle dish.

The Head-Fi link is very informative. Chinese politics is very concerning as stated with the Psvane company. I wonder about the future of Linlai, President Xi Jinping does not want companies to be independent anymore. However, it might not affect a small business like Linlai.

If the resurrected WE Co could get serious and not overly greedy on price, make a bunch of different quality tubes, and then sell them to diehards like us.

I think Ralph was exposed to them when i convinced him to install them into the MP-1 Mk3.3 for my client. Which is now up for sale.


They were tested properly here for a good 2 weeks and showed allot of pontial, it sounded better than any other new production 6SN7 i have tried in the past. Exellent and 4 managed to fit into the MP-1 and so far have been excellent and low noise.

This thread has just been discovered by myself and the content is very appealing.

I have a few years ago over the period of approx' 18 months carried out a tube rolling experience on my Power Amp input Valves.

The Dark Glass Ken Rad  VT 231 won over the other options and some of these were other brands VT 231 Tubes.

To find such positive comparisons of a burnt in Linlai Tube in comparison to the KR VT 231 is quite satisfying and one further tube option to be looked into.

I was of the view I was only to be interested in LinLai 845's which are not too commonly discussed for their capabilities.

Hey Ho do I use the 6sn7 as a positive and dive head first into the complete LinLai experience?   

@pindac, I’m not sure I understand the question.  If you are asking about which 6SN7 Linlai to try,I only have experience with the Elite E-6SN7. Any other Linlai version I can’t say,because I haven’t experienced them. The E-6SN7 does,at least from my experience,need about 100 hours of burn in to really hit stride.  
   I also want to state again, that these observations were in my gear,in my listening room,with my ears. I never want to come off sounding like I have the definitive ear in all things. ;-)  

From the Report I would say I am influenced to try a E-6SN7 and give the KR a breather for a 100+ Hours before seeing how the comparison works out in my system.

Until discovering this thread I was set on trying out Linlai 845's as I thought I was finished with input tubes selections on the Power Amp'.

The idea of having the KR and E-6SN7 on board to be used along with the exchanged 845's does seem to be a improved preparation.   

It appears the Psvane 6SN7 blue globes will be delivered today.  I won’t get to hear them until this evening. I purchased these used with about 80 hours on them,so I won’t have to run them for days on end to burn them in.   I have no idea what to expect.  This should be interesting. 

I have my Linlai running for about 100 hours now. Compared to Tung Sol 6SN7 from Upscale they produce better clarity and bass. A good upgrade for the money and they look great.

Hi @tom2015

   I’m glad to see that these work for you too.  Any difference in quietness compared to the Tung Sols?  

@rocray  curious to learn more from your feedback on the blue globe Psv. I now have well over 150hrs on the Gray/Gold PSV CV181 premium pair tubes in my preamp. They are a unique tube, different from everything else in my stash. They are not crisp on top. Ultra smooth. Its nice yet odd to me how they are smooth, almost soft, and yet somehow still let upper detail still come through without adding too much edge or grain, at all - if that makes any sense. I’m using my most revealing OCC/Ohno interconnects between pre>amp too. Last night, once the system was fully warmed I was actually getting closer to 3D’ish sound from my FM tuner of all things. Its good to know we have other options with Linlai, PSV, etc.

I do not have experience with 6sn7 Linlai ,but I have with Linlai Elite 845 , and Elite 274B rectifier. In my amp I was using 5ar4 gz34 Philips Amperex nos ,but Elite 274B is far better. Better bass , and clarity  and  instrument separation . You can not go wrong with them.

@decooney, it appears that the Psvanes are definitely cut from the same cloth. First off,you are far more eloquent than I am!  In comparison to the Linlai’s,the blue globes seem a tiny bit rolled off on the top end,but definitely not dull.  I find the low end to dig just as deep,but with just a little on the flabby side, but not sloppy at all. These are also very quiet,just like the Linlai’s.  I think they do a good job of projecting a 3D soundstage,just not quite as wide as the Linlai’s.  I totally agree with you about having more options out there. I have no issue with running these newly manufactured tubes vs vintage. Of course, I’m not going to commit to not buying vintage tubes. ;-) 

@rocray for comparison, I would not characterize the bass on the Gray Glass / Gold base CV181 MKII Psvanes as being tight or super fast either. It’s not flabby, yet slightly more on the "bloomy" side, which I like. I have been sort of looking for this bloomy character with various 6SN7s too. In my experience this character also tends to bring nice lower midrange tones along with it. Something I prefer with my all-tube system. All part of my intentional moves away from analytical solid state sound past 5+ years.  The best part about tubes, tuning the sound.  

My 1st pair of Linlai 6sn7 are at 75 hours. Thankfully they have lost the shrill & brittle sound. They are engaging now, with more body and more open high. The soundstage is back and there is more decay. The high frequencies are more extended, but still not as floaty as the RCA. I could live with these, even if they don't improve further.

I do wonder if the 2nd set will displace the Ken-Rad or be too much of a good thing? They have entered the country. Can't wait to hear how this pans out.



@aldnorab, from what I understand,running four of them,you will experience more of a good thing.  However,time tells no lies. 

@aldnorab its possible you may notice more change after 100hrs. I thought my Psvanes were done settling after 60-75hrs, nope. Maybe after 100hrs it was still smooth, noticed a wee-tiny bit more bit transparency coming through, something new I did not hear in the first 40hrs. Same occurred with my TJFM 6SN7 tubes too, fwiw. I can imagine there was little test time on them from the factory, have no clue, uncertain.

When I purchased the Psvane 6SN7 BE’s, the seller said they had about 80 hrs on them. Since then,I’ve put another 30hrs or so on them.  I just put the Linlai’s back in,and they are,in my opinion, superior to the Psvane.  The Psvane is a little more rounded. (no pun intended) . The Linlai’s are cleaner and more focused on the edges.  I would describe it like the difference between cutting paper with a pair of scissors vs a razor blade.  I don’t know if that makes any sense to you folks? It does in my mind as I type.( LOL) 

  Here’s a pic of these side by side:

@rocray congrats on trying and learning the differences first hand. Having a few different types of 6SN7s is fun when you’re in the mood to mix it up every once in a while. My gray glass gold base Psvanes cv181 mkIIs are a bit rounded sounding on top, with less on the edges some too. I like and tend to seek this characteristic some times as it tends to expose the midrange frequencies a little more than my extra clean / vivid / transparent n7 tubes. Paying close attention to tones of piano keys and acoustic guitars is a favorite comparison test. I wonder if you might grow to like the Linlai and PSVANE globe for different reasons over time. Its also one of the tuning factors that keeps me running tube DACs, preamp, amps. Good fun. Thanks for taking the time to share back your experiences with this. Enjoy!

Just received mine this week. Was making some other changes so have not popped them in. Maybe today as Mother’s Day winds down.

My 2 Linlai's are very noisy so they are coming out. High level of hiss can be heard at my chair and over the top of music. So I guess I received a bad pair from China.