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,




How were they packaged? In the nice display case or in 2 standard tube boxes? I received damaged tubes in the thin paper tube boxes.

Inside plastic sleeves, in a custom box with cut foam to the exact shape. Very nicely done. Can't complain about the packaging for sure. We'll see what they say. I've got plenty of good tubes and the new Stealth Indras are performing admirably with my Shunguangs!

Some times triple-boxing is required. Check your tracking number and shipping history, did they go through Shenzen China sorting facility here?: 😫


Wow!  I’m a letter carrier. I’ve seen some crazy stuff throughout my career,but nothing like that. WOW

@rocray that video is what caused me to buy the premium matched Psvane CV181 MKII set which comes with the harder case box with foam encasing inside for each tube vs. the paper thin individual box versions sold to dealers in large lot boxes. While that video was said to be an ultra-peak busy day, it gives imagination of what a chaotic sorting center can be like there. I tracked my last package deliberately, it sat in facilities around there for 4-5 days before it went onto a plane over the pond into the USA. Was scanned over 20 times from origin to destination to give u an idea. Shipping damage a likely culprit on D.O.A tubes. TJFM concluded this too a few years ago so they started doing even better packing and boxing since.  

BTW: guessing over 120hrs on the PSV 181 MKIIs, as transparent as can be now.


My Linlai’s came in a “display” box as well.  The contoured foam inside ensures a tight and safe journey.  I know how packages can be handled. I’ve just never seen them stacked like a mountain before. A couple extra bucks is definitely worth the added protection.  @decooney, I’m glad the Psvane’s are working out for you. It’s great that there are alternatives to NOS tubes.  

I did hear back and the sellers were closed due to Covid for a week. I am told they are sending me another pair. Stay tuned.

So, I popped the top on my fine Black Ice hybrid preamp, removed the TungSol tube and popped in a Linlai 6SN7. After the tube warmed up, it is clear that it was an upgrade. More tonal saturation, more meat on the bones so to speak which was my only issue with the stock tube that came with the preamp. It had great clarity and soundstaging but was a touch more lean sounding than my tastes.

I recently purchase 6 Tung-Sol Black Plates 6SN7 tubes for my Canary Audio Grand reference 300B mono amp.  These are NOS tubes from the 50's.   This amp also has 16 Western Electric 300B tubes so I am very particular about what goes in my system. 
​I let the system do a soft 14-hour burn-in before playing actual music.  Right out of the box, there is more resolution and clarity, and detail.  I am very happy. 

Hey, I can confirm what others been saying in this thread. Tha Lin Lai E-6SN7 is really very interesting tube. I’m using it in Feliks Audio Euphoria and compared to the gold PsVane 6SN7, it’s quite a bit more expansive and bass is notably tighter. Those were 2 major difference that I noticed immediately.

The PsVane tubes are great also, but different, so I think someone might prefer one over the other.


@bugredmachine, I have no firsthand experience with them. However,the gentleman that recommended the Elites, said he really didn’t care for the non-Elites. I believe he said they they were very lean,no body. But, we all hear differently.  To my ears, I find the Elites top notch.  Others may not care for them. I guess this was a long winded way of saying I don’t know.LOL  He did,by my standards,make a great call on the Elites. Me personally,I’d probably pass on them. 

@flisker, I agree with your opinion on the Linlai’s,and the Psvane.  There are so many variables, synergy, how and what we hear, and personal preferences.  In the history of audio, there has never been a “one size fits all” product. That’s one of the things that makes this hobby so interesting. 

Vivatubes is carrying Linlai as of May 2022. 6SN7, 811, 811A.

6SN7 referred to as "E-6SN7 Globe-Balloon Black Plates", if that’s not the same as what you guys are talking about here - same or different?  A photo from their site.



So I bore the loud hiss of those Linlai's last night just to see if they do sound "good" and I do see how nice they are. Very fleshy.

I tried both my Sachs outputs and both have the same loud hiss. I'm wondering if the cables are influencing this so I might swap out the preamp cables tonight and give it a whirl. I have to put my ear 8 inches from my tweeters to hear noise with all my other tube choices.

I have another set coming from China but coming from the same suppler doesn't make me think the end result will be any better. I bought these on Ebay. I should look at another vendor perhaps? I can't imagine shipping with those nice boxes and foam inserts caused both tubes to be damaged. 

I should send my first pair to someone here to give them a try and see if it is my system. Any volunteers?

@bugredmachine I agree it is hard to believe both tubes could be damaged in shipping the same way. Also hard to believe cables are going to make a huge difference, since they are working well with all the other tubes.

I have seen reports on noisey old tubes being fixed by cleaning the pins and even resoldering them. If you have to send the tubes back, I wouldn't try resoldering. It might be obvious they were "messed with" and seller could blame that for the malfunction. 



New tubes from the dealer on Ebay and the pins are shiny new. I did not want to muck them up with the High Fidelity contact treatment. I could try the old standby solution, Deoxit.

I'll send these to Dan so he can try them regardless.

@bugredmachine IF one tube can get rattled apart in shipping, the tube sitting next to it in the same box, taking on the same drops, blows, or crushing during handling, can get damaged too. Triple boxing with stuffing will become a cheap fix of the future. One of my sources learned this after two years of multiple DOA sets.  

Or, maybe it has nothing to do with shipping, so (as you are) it sure seems worth trying a second pair and letting someone else try out the first pair for ya and compare notes. Good idea.  

This is the inner box they come in:




Blurry, but pins in new condition 


I also ordered a pair of the "black plates" from your recommended source. I am okay with hoarding tubes since I believe this Sachs is a keeper. Mated with my Coda 8, I am very happy. I also ordered a bunch or rectifier tubes including a rare 5852 Bendix.

I have a box of 6SN7's from my days with a Dude but those tubes are not as musical as these globed tubes available these days.

Mine came in the same display box with sculptured foam.  I thought that was pretty solid packaging.   @bugredmachine, is it possible your tubes somehow made it past QC?  My tubes are dead quiet with the volume up way past the volume I would ever listen.  The Dude. That is a pre I lusted after.  My interest with Aric’s Motherlode II came about after reading that the original Motherlode was an attempt to duplicate the Dude topology.  Changes were made,thus the Motherlode II.  I would love to do an A/B comparison between the two preamps.   Now back to our regularly scheduled program.  Also,please give an update if you swap out your cables. 

I cleaned all the tube pins with Deoxit and no change in hiss.

Then I changed out the Stealth's for Gabriel Gold's and no change.

After that I put my Shunguangs back in with the Indra's and all was quiet and enjoyable again.

Tomorrow I'll send them to Dan to see if they continue to hiss.

@bugredmachine a buddy of mine has a preamp that reacts in an odd way to gain of different tubes, so it will be interesting for @danmar123 to test for you. Dan, what preamp do you have, same or different than what bugred has?

Sorry cleaning didn't work @bugredmachine .  Will be interesting to see what @danmar123 finds. Wonder what can go wrong in a tube to make it so noisey? 



@bugredmachine does your line stage preamp have R/L Gain adjustment knobs on the front?

IF so, what happens to the hiss if you back off from 5’oclock to 12’oclock position, etc. Does the level of hiss stay the same as you now turn up the main volume control on the line stage. I was not able to find db gain on that Linlai tube pair, or if its over 20db. A quick test.. 

Why? ... doing some light reading on gain of various N7 and L7 tubes, preamps, and amps with higher input sensitivity. No real finds, just curious.Wondering if that particular pair of tubes experiencing hiss in the overall system may benefit some by backing off on R/L gain at the amplifier or preamp. Easy to try real quick if you have gain adjustment on the line stage.

Put a Linlai tube in my Black Ice hybrid preamp in place of the stock TungSol. No contest. The thinness of the stock 6SN7 is gone. It has been replaced with body and vibrant tone colors. Very nice upgrade for my preamp.

Maybe 1hr isn’t enough? Maybe they have to burn in a little?

I'll still give them a try, & record the hrs. I put on them.

Running the LinLia E-6SN7's in my Aric Audio 6SN7 line stage. Feeding my Aric Audio Super KT88 120SE, the one pictured on his website! I will be buying a second set for the amp.

I have accumulated a very good selection of NOS 6SN7 tubes. The LinLia 6SN7's while aren't perfect they give me the balance of my favorite NOS tube qualities. In my system they have the detail of the Sylvania's but not quite the high end extension. The midrange beauty of the RCA's. The low end I find a lot like the Westinghouse and a tonal quality like the GE glow domes. They just do it with such a large but intimate soundstage. Its as if the globe shape also represents the soundstage.

 They just managed to balance a lot of my favorite qualities. I will be buying more!

That's my ramble!


After reading this entire thread, I’ve decided to order a set Linlai E-6sn7. I recently purchased a SLP-98; can anyone tell me, if 4 will fit?

At 100 hours the Linlai 6SN7 sound about the same, perhaps a little more open with tighter bass. I could live with this sound, without further improvement. I would take a little more midrange warmth and ambiance. But, they sound really nice at this point. 



@coachpoconnor If it fits, I bet it will be tight in the ’98 and pins possibly not fully seated to the base. Also, may depend on which Linlai you buy. Some are narrower at the lower hip area. Here is a photo of the Psvane 181-TIIs, and they are wide and bulge out at the bottom. I was able to make the top psv work in my SLP-98 yet they could sit down more if the cutouts the top plate of the preamp was a wider diameter. The 2nd Linlai tube pictured here is narrower at the lower hip, might fit better. The bottom linlai tube pictured here is wider hip like my psv is and might be a tight fit or bottom out on the top plate before fully seated in your 98. Best of luck.

CV181-TII (wide lower hip)

New Linlai 6SN7 Hifi Black Plates, Gold Pins, shouldered (slightly more narrow hip)

New Linlai E-6SN7 Globe-Balloon Black Plates (wider lower hip)

I'll throw my hat into the ring as well. I received my Linlai Global Elite 6SN7 a couple of days ago. Got less than 10 hours on them but I have to say I'm impressed. Very open and transparent without any harshness or edginess. Some of the best bass I've heard from a 6SN7 tube. It has taken my Aric Audio Super 6SN7 up a notch or two. I'll be curious to see if they develop any issues but if they hold up these will be my go-to tubes.

I'm having bad luck with tubes. The Bendix 5852 burned up on me at 20 minutes of use last night. You've never seen a big man move so fast running for the power buttons.

I currently run my Cary SLP-05 using Sylvania 7n7’s from 1975 that I got from JAC music Germany. They are a real improvement imo over the EH stock tubes and considerably cheaper than similar 6sn7. You need to buy an adapter for the 7n7.

might be worth looking into as an option.

I would love to compare the Linlai with these but I would need 6 minimum so kind of a pricey comparison and not sure they would fit in the SLP-05. 

@bugredmachine, hopefully nothing else burned up!  

@jmbumgarner01, yes,three pair of the Linlai’s would be a bit pricey. 


What component had the Bendix?

FYI, Audio Note issued a warning that Bendix rectifiers draw higher current than the recommended  or stock type.

"The Bendix 5852 is direct a drop in replacement for any 6X5 tube type." This is false. Bendix 6x5 has burned up PS boards. Need to check with manufacturer.

My owner's manual for my Sachs states 5852 is an approved tube, just to let the pre warm up first. But after just 20 minutes the tube started flaking out so I powered down immediately and will send it back to the Tubedepot with free return shipping.

I did try a different 6X5 Raytheon I just purchased elsewhere tonight and it works fine. Just bad luck I guess.

If I'm not mistaken, the Bendix draws 1.2 amps and a 6x5 draws 0.6 amps. 

@invalid , if that's off the top of your head, that's awesome. I was going to look it up. You are correct or very close to it. Bendix is not a drop-in replacement as dealers are saying. I forget where I saw the thread about Bendix. I'm lucky I didn't buy one for my Audio Note but the price is so high now. 

Audio Circle:

NOTE: The Bendix 5852 is not a drop in replacement for a standard 6X5GT as it draws 1.2 amps versus .6 amps.

This reminds me of years back when dealers were saying that the nos cv181 was a drop in replacement for the 6sn7 tube even though it draws 50% more heater current.

Those Bendix 5852 rectifiers are expensive. I was going to try one in my tube DAC, but I can just buy another super rectifier power supply and run a couple $20 6 amp half wave rectifiers instead.