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    Chinese Shuguang/PSVane tube low-down

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    deepee99

    Posts : 1337
    Join date : 2012-05-23
    Location : Wallace, Idaho

    Chinese Shuguang/PSVane tube low-down

    Post by deepee99 on Wed Jun 29, 2016 2:35 pm

    I posted this on another thread but thought it might be of interest for those interested in acquiring Chinese tubes. It is from a major and very reliable dealer of both Shuguangs and PSVanes. Forgive his transliteration from whatever his Chinese dialect to English, but it makes sense to inform your buying decisions. I have become quite the fan of both PSVanes and Shuguangs (at least their 6SN7s and KT-88s. As for sound they're superior to any of my best old-stock -- as to longevity only time will tell:

    "Hello!
    I am happy see your message.
    Psvane and ShuGuang we talk about it now.
    Psvane have three series. Price from low to high is:
    HIFI,
    Mark-II,
    Re-edition Classics

    ShuGuang have four series.Price from low to high is:
    General Series,
    Black Treasures,
    Sound Of Nature
    Re-edition Classics

    ShuGuang earlier than Psvane was born.First they are same factory and same technical personnel.
    Now Psvane has been out of ShuGuang and It's an independent brand.
    You said KT88 and 6SN7.
    ShuGuang's General Series KT88-98 have the most stable performance and price is not high.
    6SN7 which one is better hard to say.
    If Psvane and ShuGuang comparison of the same level is can't say better or bad.
    Because every tube and every amp is different.They parameter is different.Personal preference also different.
    But high level's material is better than general."

    I see some US retailers starting to carry some of these tubes, but at twice the price you can get them shipped free directly from China (usually Hong Kong or Changsha). China Post hands off to USPS but all tubes I've received were very well packaged and arrived without any rattles. The Black Treasure Shuguangs and MK-II PSVanes in 6SN7 configuration are the best I've heard. The Black Treasures have a rather long burn-in time but the PSVanes are delightful right out of the box. Simple 6SN7 solution in the SP-14 is just to put the PSVs in the front holes and the Treasures in the splitter holes, and after about 50 hours you can swap them out.

    Kentley

    Posts : 335
    Join date : 2015-03-06
    Age : 64
    Location : Worcester, MA

    Re: Chinese Shuguang/PSVane tube low-down

    Post by Kentley on Wed Jun 29, 2016 3:06 pm

    Re: ShuGuang tiers: There seems to be some confusion in translation of these various types or levels of tubes. Google search for "ShuGuang Sound Of Nature" yields results for "Natural Sound", which I surmise is another translation of the same name. Search for "re-edition" type is more problematic. Anyone able to sort this out?

    deepee99

    Posts : 1337
    Join date : 2012-05-23
    Location : Wallace, Idaho

    Re: Chinese Shuguang/PSVane tube low-down

    Post by deepee99 on Wed Jun 29, 2016 3:10 pm

    Kentley wrote:Re: ShuGuang tiers: There seems to be some confusion in translation of these various types or levels of tubes. Google search for "ShuGuang Sound Of Nature" yields results for "Natural Sound", which I surmise is another translation of the same name. Search for "re-edition" type is more problematic. Anyone able to sort this out?
    I will have my people talk to their people and get back to your people.

    Kentley

    Posts : 335
    Join date : 2015-03-06
    Age : 64
    Location : Worcester, MA

    Re: Chinese Shuguang/PSVane tube low-down

    Post by Kentley on Wed Jun 29, 2016 3:14 pm

    deepee99 wrote:
    Kentley wrote:Re: ShuGuang tiers: There seems to be some confusion in translation of these various types or levels of tubes. Google search for "ShuGuang Sound Of Nature" yields results for "Natural Sound", which I surmise is another translation of the same name. Search for "re-edition" type is more problematic. Anyone able to sort this out?
    I will have my people talk to their people and get back to your people.
    Hopefully, the reply will be in simple English. Laughing

    sKiZo

    Posts : 1312
    Join date : 2013-04-01
    Location : Michigan USA

    Re: Chinese Shuguang/PSVane tube low-down

    Post by sKiZo on Wed Jun 29, 2016 4:58 pm

    Time for some engrish ressons ...



    On the other hand, he probably has fun letting his English speaking friends attempt to order in his language at the local restaurant.

    " Yes, I'd like the fried cat ears with a side of filled diaper please ... Oh, and can I get fried porn with that? "

    ArlanB

    Posts : 52
    Join date : 2011-01-23
    Age : 69
    Location : Santa Cruz, California

    Re: Chinese Shuguang/PSVane tube low-down

    Post by ArlanB on Wed Jun 29, 2016 10:36 pm

    Have been running Shuguang made KT88's marketed under the "KT88 SC" from Penta Labs, and now the same tube is being marketed by The Tube Store under their brand name and also by Ruby Tubes, again the same tube under their name, and whats more The Tube Store and Ruby Tubs are unabashedly dropping each others names as well as Penta Labs in their advertisements.   I have been using these KT88 SC's in my VTA ST120 for 6 years now and love every moment that I have.  They are solid plate and are according to the literature, being made to the specs of the GEC Gold Lion KT88 of yesteryear(?) makes you wonder just how much is truth and how much is hype. I began using Shuguang manufactured tubes after having poor luck with JJ, Electroharmonics, and Gold Lion all of which had catastrophic tube failures.  The quickest to fail was Gold Lion, lasting all of 17 days.  So I went to China and have not regretted the move.  Glad to see that others are finding that Chinese products are not all bad.

    arledgsc

    Posts : 340
    Join date : 2012-11-30
    Location : SF Bay CA

    Re: Chinese Shuguang/PSVane tube low-down

    Post by arledgsc on Fri Jul 01, 2016 10:46 am

    Kentley wrote: ShuGuang tiers: There seems to be some confusion in translation of these various types or levels of tubes. Google search for "ShuGuang Sound Of Nature" yields results for "Natural Sound", which I surmise is another translation of the same name. Search for "re-edition" type is more problematic. Anyone able to sort this out?

    Shuguang does have another variation of their black bottle types like the Black Treasures.  The "Natural Sound" series are denoted by "- T" suffix where Black Treasure "- Z".   Sold mostly by Asian suppliers the "Natural Sounds" have gold plated pins and come in presentation boxes.  What do they sound like?   From experience they are hotter on the top end of the frequency spectrum.  Here's a comparison I found online...

    "Sonically the T-series is considered modern refined with more top end extension while the Treasure Z-series were originally developed to [go] after the New Old Stock tube laid-back sound."

    ArlanB wrote:  Have been running Shuguang made KT88's marketed under the "KT88 SC" from Penta Labs, and now the same tube is being marketed by The Tube Store under their brand name and also by Ruby Tubes...

    The Tube Store rebranding of the KT88-SC is their "Preferred Series".   They seem well made and affordable.  Very balanced and have more low-level detail vs. KT-120s from recent memory.  Glad you have good luck with them.

    Kentley

    Posts : 335
    Join date : 2015-03-06
    Age : 64
    Location : Worcester, MA

    Re: Chinese Shuguang/PSVane tube low-down

    Post by Kentley on Fri Jul 01, 2016 12:03 pm

    Thank you, arledgsc, for the real substantive dope on the ShuGuang lines. I had been considering the Black Treasure KT-88s, but with this info, I think I'll save up the extra moola for the KT88-T {how confusing that the Treasure series is "Z" and the Natural Sounds are designated "T"}.
    The difference of $100 will be worth it for the purported high-end extension, which is critical with my rather mellow B&W classic old speaks.

    My guess, based on price and appearance, is that the Tube Store variant is derived from the lowest-tier General Series.



    Last edited by Kentley on Fri Jul 01, 2016 12:08 pm; edited 1 time in total

    deepee99

    Posts : 1337
    Join date : 2012-05-23
    Location : Wallace, Idaho

    Updated Chinese tube info

    Post by deepee99 on Fri Jul 01, 2016 12:06 pm

    The "re-edition" series of PSV and Shuguang tubes don't for the most part seem to apply to Dynaco-type amp tube requirements, unless you're using EL-34s. Here is the latest from my guy:

    "ShuGuang and Psvane Re-edition not all tube.They choose classics tube.WE and RCA,Philips.

    Psvane Re-edition:WE300B WE274B WE 211 WE845 WE205D WE212 WE101D WE275 WE211 RCA2A3 Philips EL34

    ShuGuang Re-edition: WE211 WE845 WE300B WE274B.

    They have not Re-edition KT88."

    Apologize for the confusion. My Mandarin not so good.

    -d-




    arledgsc

    Posts : 340
    Join date : 2012-11-30
    Location : SF Bay CA

    Re: Chinese Shuguang/PSVane tube low-down

    Post by arledgsc on Fri Jul 01, 2016 4:30 pm

    Kentley wrote:The difference of $100 will be worth it for the purported high-end extension, which is critical with my rather mellow B&W classic old speaks.
    My guess, based on price and appearance, is that the Tube Store variant is derived from the lowest-tier General Series.
    You are most welcome.   A few months ago I re-tubed the ST-120 with all "Natural Sound" tubes - CV181-T, 12AU7, and KT88-T.  First, the black bottles take a long time to run in.  And the abundant highs gave me ear bleed.  They sounded better after 1 week but still too much with an across the board swap.   After a month I have since swapped the KT-88Ts with Preferred Series KT-88s and have much better balance.  So try 'em one type at a time and let 'em cook for a while is my suggestion.  

    My first experience several years ago with "Natural Sound" KT-88s was a disaster.   Two of four tubes failed within several months of installation.  I bought cheap off of eBay and will never do that again.  But my god they sounded good while they lasted.  I was running them hard back then at 55mA and have backed off to 49mA these days.  

    Don't under estimate Penta Labs (Ruby, Preferred Series) KT-88SC.  They are suppose to be a "faithful" representation of the GEC KT-88.  Rumor has it the "SC" in the name stands for strict copy.   Who really knows but they are nice tubes and lot of people like them.  Penta Labs only sells a KT-90A these days but a lot of folks still prefer the KT-88SCs.   

    I haven't tried the general series of Shuguang tubes and probably never will.  Too many horror stories and life is too short.

    arledgsc

    Posts : 340
    Join date : 2012-11-30
    Location : SF Bay CA

    Re: Chinese Shuguang/PSVane tube low-down

    Post by arledgsc on Fri Jul 08, 2016 4:29 pm

    I have done a lot of tube swapping in the past three months.  Here's some conclusions I have made about Shuguang tubes and my setup.

    The Natural Sound CV181-T sounds very much like the Psvane CV181 mk. II.  They both have a slight tilt up on high frequencies compared to the Black Treasure CV181.   And all three are excellent as the center tube in the ST-120.

    Natural Sound and Psvane 12AU7s sound alike in being clean, open, and transparent in the ST-120 phase inverter positions.

    I tried to like Natural Sound and Preferred Sound KT-88s (and many other KT-88s as well) but Tung Sol KT-120s are my favs.  I love the KT-120 bass grunt for my bass shy speakers but they also have the right amount of sparkle on top.  The KT-120s can throw a wide and deep sound field as well.  Couple the KT-120s with Natural Sound CV181/ 12AU7s and my ST-120 is dripping with good sound at the moment.   Replace the CV181/ 12AU7s with Psvanes and virtually identical sound.

    Bob Latino
    Admin

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    Join date : 2008-11-26
    Location : Massachusetts

    Re: Chinese Shuguang/PSVane tube low-down

    Post by Bob Latino on Fri Jul 08, 2016 5:05 pm

    The Shuguang output tubes tend to be underated because their pricing is low compared to other output tubes .. These Chinese output tubes, which are also sold under the Ruby and Valve Art badges, are really good sounding and reliable tubes. Seven years ago in 2009 I made a post about the Shuguang's as being a "best buy" in output tubes. I ship a matched quad of the Shuguang EL34's with each VTA ST-70 kit in which the customer wants a set of output tubes shipped with the kit. Since 2009, I can only remember one tube returned to me because it failed. I must have shipped out about 100 matched quads of the Shuguang EL34's with ST-70 kits since 2009 so the failure rate on these tubes is extremely low.

    Forum post on Shuguang EL34's from 2009

    Bob

    sKiZo

    Posts : 1312
    Join date : 2013-04-01
    Location : Michigan USA

    Re: Chinese Shuguang/PSVane tube low-down

    Post by sKiZo on Fri Jul 08, 2016 10:00 pm

    No love for the TAD KT88STR? Those are listed as a "strict copy" of the old British MOV. I can confirm they have the heavy glass ... things are built like tanks and definitely have some heft to them.

    That's my backup quad ... I'd say they're at least on a par with the KT120's.



    Now that I'm thinking about it, time to swap those in and put a few hours on em. If you'll notice in the pic, I also have a set of their "special" 12AU7's ... might as well throw those in too.

    I can also confirm that these are built by Shuguang, but that's where the similarity ends, as TAD provides some unique construction and material specs ... they're also rumored to be VERY picky in their German QC labs, rejecting a high percentage of the tubes after extensive testing and burn in before their label goes on.

    They're not exactly inexpensive either, but you can get a matched quad for a bit over $200.

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