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Shuguang Treasure series of Valves

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Damn you SNA. There I was, enjoying my stock valves with my Quads, when I came across this thread.

The Shuguang Treasure KT88s arrived from Grant Fidelity yesterday. They are as good as everyone says. Better grip on bass, better sound stage and space around instruments and sweeter sound on mids and highs.

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Glad you are happy :) I am in the process of ordering some 845's from them. Unfortunately they have sold out, and I have to wait for the next shipment.

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We may have to get together for a comparo Dave.

Treasure CV181 v TJ6SN7 v Shuguang 6SN7 v Sylvania 6SN7w

Cheers, Earle

.

Hi,

I am replacing the 4 driver tubes on my Melody I2A3 and so am interested if this comparison ever happened?

cheers, Todd

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Well my new Shuggy 845T's arrived this morning. Buying from Grant Fidelity so far has been quite a pleasure - prompt emails, regular updates, friendly service.

[ATTACH=CONFIG]25025[/ATTACH]

The valves come in a really nice box.

[ATTACH=CONFIG]25028[/ATTACH]

The 845T (left) is noticably larger than the standard 845 (right). As you would expect, the internal construction is also different. In use, the 845T's are noticably brighter than the 845's (which were itself a very bright valve!). The base has some kind of anodized copper or gold finish. This was rather poorly done - I have four valves, and the colour on each of the bases is different.

So consistent manufacturing is not their forte. However, I noticed this:

[ATTACH=CONFIG]25026[/ATTACH]

845T's installed in the right monoblock. Note how the plates are angled at 45 degrees.

[ATTACH=CONFIG]25027[/ATTACH]

845T's installed in the left monoblock. See the leftmost tube? It is angled at 30 degrees!

I removed the valve and compared it to the others. Yes, Shuguang made a mis-aligned tube, and Grant Fidelity's supposed premium matching service sent it to me. The bias in the left mono is also off by 10mA compared to the right mono.

What do the tubes sound like? Closed in, lacking treble or bass, with poor dynamics. At least, when compared to the standard 845 tubes. But that was what the standard tubes sounded like when they were new as well. Bear in mind the tubes have been in my amp for slightly more than two hours - so decidedly not burnt in.

Despite the obvious manufacturing defect, there is no detectable difference between the left and right channel. But the soundstaging is so muddy right now that it is hard to tell.

I have sent an email to Grant Fidelity asking them to take the tubes back and send me a new set of four. Will see what happens.

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Very sorry to read of your experience Keith. Bit of a let down after such a wait and most certainly I would not accept those valves myself. Not trying to start the burn in row ad infinitum again but if they don't sound good now then can't see how running them for even a 100 hours is going to make to much of audible change.

Particulary for a premium valve that has already been through a comprehensive testing regime.

A day ago took delievery of some NOS Sylvania preamp valves which sound completely brilliant from the start.

Hope Grant F' come to the party.

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That's too bad Keith. Unfortunately, not the first poor review of these valves. They seem to be coming thick and fast. Hopefully they will come good after a burn in

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Well my new Shuggy 845T's arrived this morning. Buying from Grant Fidelity so far has been quite a pleasure - prompt emails, regular updates, friendly service.

[ATTACH=CONFIG]25025[/ATTACH]

The valves come in a really nice box.

[ATTACH=CONFIG]25028[/ATTACH]

The 845T (left) is noticably larger than the standard 845 (right). As you would expect, the internal construction is also different. In use, the 845T's are noticably brighter than the 845's (which were itself a very bright valve!). The base has some kind of anodized copper or gold finish. This was rather poorly done - I have four valves, and the colour on each of the bases is different.

So consistent manufacturing is not their forte. However, I noticed this:

[ATTACH=CONFIG]25026[/ATTACH]

845T's installed in the right monoblock. Note how the plates are angled at 45 degrees.

[ATTACH=CONFIG]25027[/ATTACH]

845T's installed in the left monoblock. See the leftmost tube? It is angled at 30 degrees!

Despite the obvious manufacturing defect, there is no detectable difference between the left and right channel. But the soundstaging is so muddy right now that it is hard to tell.

I have sent an email to Grant Fidelity asking them to take the tubes back and send me a new set of four. Will see what happens.

Hi Keith,

Consulted with Shuguang about the tube angle you mentioned - it's not considered a manufacturer defect by the factory. By measuring the top angle, it is not conclusive because the tube socket could be misaligned in the circuit by certain degree. And I don't think aligning the tube sockets is considered matching parameter in stereo equipment manufacturing.

We offer matching for electronic parameter on tubes, but not for tube internal parts physical measurement. Tube is a handmade craft - no two tubes will be 100% identical and we never warrant the matching you are expecting.

We have sold hundreds of Treasure tubes and quite a bit of the new Pavane tubes - no customers have requested us to match the mica plate on top, or angle of the internal parts. And we cannot warrant it if manufacturer doesn't consider it as defect.

According to what you said, your quad of tubes operate fine in your amp as far as I understand.

Regarding bias, it is subject to many many factors including how closely your circuit parts (resistors, capacitors, wires etc) are matched between the two monoblocks and if your power input to two amps are identical. I am afraid that measuring the bias differently at two power mono amps cannot lead to the conclusion that tubes are not matched properly.

If you have question about our tube matching, you can send the tubes to someone who own Amplitrex AT1000 tube tester and let me know your official results. I have confidence in our electronic paramaters matching. But again, we don't match tube internal physical measurement. It's a tube - an electronic parts, not twins.

Best,

Rachel

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Thanks for replying, Rachel. I accept that if the tube performs correctly on the tube tester, you have done your part in matching four tubes. I also accept that there are other variables involved when it comes to setting bias on the amplifier - including the possibility that the previous set of tubes I was using were mismatched, leading me to set a bias which were appropriate for that pair of tubes, but not the new pair.

It would have been nice to get a set of results though. As it happens, I do know someone with a tube tester so I might go and check for myself if the tubes are electronically matched.

In any case, my amps have not been switched off for 24 hours. They are now nice and hot and the valves have 24 hours of burn-in. The soundstage has expanded very nicely and the top end has improved by quite a lot. Nothing happening to the bass yet.

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As far as we know, tube tester for 845 type of tubes can only be tested at up to 500 volts. This is the limit of the Amplitrex AT1000. We take factory test results (at 1250V) into consideration when do our matching. You are more than welcome to re-test the tubes on another tester and let us know the test condition and results.

Thank you.

Rachel

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I have not been here for a while intersting to see tha activity in this thread.

I allready have the 12AU7 Pavanes and my KT88-Z are on thier way unfortunatly I wont be able to try them out for a while as the Amps are in storage and I am living in the Nurse Quaters at Monavale Hospital so no possiblity of squizing the amps in here.

DaveMS

Are you happy with your KT88-Zs :)

Keith

I hope the valves live up to your expectations :D

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That's too bad Keith. Unfortunately, not the first poor review of these valves. They seem to be coming thick and fast. Hopefully they will come good after a burn in

I can't find any poor reviews google searching, do you have any links?, we have nothing but excellent feedback so far and would like to know if anyone doesn't like them who actually has them or has actually heard them and for what reason, so that if someone has similar gear we can let them know. Thick and fast to me means a lot more than zero, maybe you have another definition down under :)

Thanks from up above,

Ian

Edited by iGrant

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Ye. Fair call. Yeas actually referring to el84 pavane tubes. I have had heard through several friends that these were disappointing.

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Hello Rachel, thanks for taking the time to clarify some of the mystery about China tube manufacturers.

What can you tell us about "GUI GUANG" tubes. I found that company's website which shows they have there own factory in FOSHAN?

Is this manufacturer still operating today. What can you tell us about their tube quality...especially interested in their 300B tubes...like the Gui Guang 4300B Gold Pin Ceramic Base tubes?

Cheers (ni hao...hello) ...Vanch

Hi Ian,

sorry for the late reply. I have been busy shopping for records lately so I wasn't watching this thread everyday.

To answer your questions about Chinese tube manufacturers, here is my attempt:

There were total 156 government projects in the 50-60's during the cold war period to establish new China's military and national defense system. Quite a few vacuum tube factories were born then in various parts of China. They are strategically located to service the Chinese army in all parts of China. The very first project of course was done in 1956 located in Beijing (of course just out of Beijing for secrecy reasons and it has to be Beijing as the new China's capital) - it is called 775 factory then. All Chinese military suppliers are numbered factory with soldiers guarding the entrance 24/7.

Later on in 1965 the Factory 775 (Beijing) sponsored the project in Hunan (Chairman Mao's home province, which is an important strategic location for Chinese government) - that project eventually becomes today's Shuguang.

Factory 775 has a subsidiary in Tianjin (where today's TJ Full Music is located) called 774 for a few years. But it has always been an integral part of Beijing so it never had its own brand.

Shanghai used to have a tube factory but it has been long gone and never been a major part of the Chinese tube scene.

Today there are only 2 active audio vacuum tube manufacturers in China - Shuguang in Hunan and TJ Full Music in Tianjin. Shuguang is still semi-government owned although it has joint venture with Korean giant Samsung. Vacuum tube production is just a small part of Shuguang's business, but it is a big deal for us audiophiles :P Shuguang's bread and butter is from TV LCD screen etc.., not audio tubes, unless the Treasure tubes start to become like hot cakes flying off the shelf day and night - it is still going to take years to overshadow the LCD business :)

TJ Full Music is a privately owned business - the owner bought out the old vacuum tube production equipment from Beijing with capital from Taiwan initially. Overtime TJ has become self capital sufficient and today it is solely owned by the Chinese owner - who used to a technology backbone of Beijing during the 50's.

Shuguang tube is solidly owned by the Shuguang Group - although many Chinese companies were publicized and listed on stock market, Shuguang is pretty much run like a state-owned enterprise (SOE). This is very different from TJ Full Music.

Beijing has been long gone as a tube manufacturer. It joint ventured with Panasonic in the 80s and now is a public company listed on Chinese stock exchange.

For the Chinese tubes you see on the market today, many of them is indeed NOS. Even when we order the generic clear glass tubes from Shuguang, sometimes we receive the NOS ones. The Chinese NOS tubes have never been pushed up in price very much - part of the reason is no one re-tests what is sold - good one and bad ones all come out together from all sorts of sellers, then overtime Chinese tubes are labelled all as 'crap' by buyers who got burnt in the tube hunting. If you see a Chinese tube marked "J" on the base, it is military grade; if it is marked "T", it is special military grade. However, it doesn't mean all Chinese tubes marked "J" and "T" are superb - if a tube has been on shelf for over 40 years, it should be tested before going into actual use.

Tubes made during the Red China era are often have a star symbol - the star symbolize Chinese party. The tube is likely made before the 80's. Shuguang changed its logo in the 80s and hi-fi tubes really only took off in the 90s when some Chinese get wealthy with China's open door policy starting in 80s. 1990's is the start of the whole Chinese hi-fi industry and only then the ancient vacuum tubes were dug out from history dust.

If some vendor telling you they have Chinese NOS tubes, don't pay premium just because it is called NOS. The tube has to be tested for its true value. A dying or failed NOS worth nothing, no matter how old it is :)

About the seller Beijing EVLT you have mentioned, it has nothing to do with the Beijing tube factory (775). It is merely a modern day vendor selling vacuum tubes out of Beijing. They get supply from many sources - always bear in mind that Chinese supply chain is a myth and a mess: you should only buy from a confirmed source to ensure quality and authenticity.

Are you more confused? Maybe - lots of things in the eastern world is not black and white. Many fall into the gray area and there is no clear lines for anyone to follow. For those buyers who got burnt by buying from China, they usually got burnt in the gray area. But the fun of audio is also in the process of hunting for treasures, isn't it? :)

Happy listening.

Rachel

p.s. feel free to ask me about anything of China even if it is listed on our website - I don't discuss politics as my family members are still there and I want to maintain good terms with government so that I can do my audio business :) Anything about audio is welcome - I will do my best to do research for you or tell you from my personal experience.

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Gui Guang tube from China:

Gui Guang - it used to be a brand name of Liuzhou Tube Factory out of Guangxi province. Gui - is the shortform of the province Guangxi (like CA is the shortform for California). Guang - means 'light' and many Chinese tube brand has this character, such as ShuGuang.

Liuzhou Tube Factory was established in the 1960's and closed down at around 2000. In between, the factory had been making other electronic parts - not much of tubes in the 80's and 90's. Some audiophiles in China bought out the equipment of Liuzhou Tube factory in 2007 and move them to Nanhai, Guangzhou, and the factory name is also changed to be the same as the brand name - Gui Guang. On their new tubes, you will see a printed logo of NGG - it's short form of Nanhai Gui Guang.

Liuzhou Tube Factory (the old factory) used to make great tubes and mostly are sold outside of China. Not many available on the Chinese market and old stock has all been sold out long time ago. If you find some NOS Guiguang tubes (made by Liuzhou Tube Factory), they are keepers (well, if they tested good - don't just believe someone telling you the tubes are NOS - the test results will tell you everything).

New Guiguang tubes from NGG: since production only resumed in 2009 after the factory moved, I have to say that it appears that the factory still has sometime to go in order to get close to the quality from Shuguang (I am referring to the top quality high end tubes from Shuguang only. Shuguang makes lots of so-so tubes for mass market and those are not always impressive and reliable). I don't have first hand experience dealing with Guiguang and have never owned their tubes - but by reading the Chinese audio forums, it appears that the tubes still need some improvement on sound and reliability. Bear in mind that tube making is hand craft - it's take long time to train workers and conduct quality control. Having the right equipment doesn't mean the factory will pump out top quality tubes right away. As a business, we try not to be part of the learning curve of a tube factory, because if I get 2 good ones out of 10 tubes imported to North America, I basically have to throw away the 8 bad ones - shipping back to China is too pricey to worth the efforts to return and replace them. Factory do not pay for return freight - I need to pay both ways and God knows if I will get good ones on the 2nd round :P Same with consumers - if you get crappy ones on the first round, you will lose freight and can only hope you get better ones on the 2nd round.

My recommendation is: if you have the tube rolling itch and the Guiguang tube price is right for the risk you are taking, have fun and get a pair to try, but do not hold your breath hoping to score a big winner right away. Buying Chinese tubes is like treasure hunting - you may have to go through lots of crap to get to the good ones, if you don't work directly with the source. That's why I only deal with Shuguang on the proven good tubes and only buy the best :)

If you have further questions, feel free to let me know and I will do my best to answer.

Best,

Rachel @ Grant Fidelity

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Hi Rachel,

again thank you for clarifying about the Gui Guang factory which is still in production.

I have taken the plunge and purchased a matched pair of 'Gui Guang 4300B Gold Pin Ceramic Base' tubes...at a cost of AUS$150.00 delivered for the pair...I thought it would be interesting to compare their product. I hope to get them within the next 7-14 days, run them in for a few hours first then will be happy to advise of my impressions.

Tubes I will compare to in my J. Sound Lab SET 300B Mark II (made in Israel) are...Sophia Princess 300B...Sophia Mesh Plate 300B...Golden Dragon 4300B with pre valves...EH 6SN7GTB & vintage Sylvania 6SN7GTB.

I only use CD players (no turntable...oops!) such as ....Marantz CD 63 KI Signiature MkII....Musical Fidelity Elektra Class A Tube CD Player....Shanling CD-T80 (to name a few) so my comments will be based on these source components. Music mostly...modern Jazz, some Classical, instrumental etc.

Hope to chat again soon...Vanch

1.jpg2.jpg4.jpg

Edited by monaro8

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DaveMS

Are you happy with your KT88-Zs :P

:

Very pleased. They sound great out of the box and have not taken a backward step during the burn in period. They may be expensive for new valves but a cheap way to significantly upgrade your amp.:)

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After the unexpected F1 result I thought I would drown my sorrows with some music. Amps have been on for 36 hours now, with a total of >100 hours burn-in on the new valves. I decided to recheck the bias, and this time it was 90mA on the left and 95mA on the right. When i first got the valves i reset the bias to 100mA on both channels, so obviously as the valves settled in they required re-biasing. Don't ask me why!!

I re-biased both mono blocks and had another listen. They now sound really good, although only slightly better than the stock valves (a no-name 845). The most obvious difference at this point is a fatter midrange on the new valves, but it has always had that from new.

The top and bottom are now more extended, and the soundstage has dramatically expanded. It is not yet by any means good,but it is miles better compared to when it was new!

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Hi Rachel,

again thank you for clarifying about the Gui Guang factory which is still in production.

I have taken the plunge and purchased a matched pair of 'Gui Guang 4300B Gold Pin Ceramic Base' tubes...at a cost of AUS$150.00 delivered for the pair...I thought it would be interesting to compare their product. I hope to get them within the next 7-14 days, run them in for a few hours first then will be happy to advise of my impressions.

Tubes I will compare to in my J. Sound Lab SET 300B Mark II (made in Israel) are...Sophia Princess 300B...Sophia Mesh Plate 300B...Golden Dragon 4300B with pre valves...EH 6SN7GTB & vintage Sylvania 6SN7GTB.

I only use CD players (no turntable...oops!) such as ....Marantz CD 63 KI Signiature MkII....Musical Fidelity Elektra Class A Tube CD Player....Shanling CD-T80 (to name a few) so my comments will be based on these source components. Music mostly...modern Jazz, some Classical, instrumental etc.

Hope to chat again soon...Vanch

1.jpg2.jpg4.jpg

Gui Guang 4300B's still not arrived, should get them this week.

Will advise my impressions....

Stay tuned...

Vanch...:nana

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Gui Guang 4300B's still not arrived, should get them this week.

Will advise my impressions....

Stay tuned...

Vanch...:nana

Keep us informed .

I lent a friend a pair of EAT's to try in his amp as driver tubes, he liked the KR's I lent him .

Cheers

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Keep us informed .

I lent a friend a pair of EAT's to try in his amp as driver tubes, he liked the KR's I lent him .

Cheers

Will inform in near future.

Looks like you're not getting your tubes back too soon from your mate then???

I hope the Gui Guang's are not crappy...will see.

Vanch...:)

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Keep us informed .

I lent a friend a pair of EAT's to try in his amp as driver tubes, he liked the KR's I lent him .

Cheers

Well they arrived safe and sound a couple of days ago. Well packed in good boxes. Good!

Have been running them in since then and, to be fair...they will need at least 100 hours on them before I could start to give any reasonable analysis on their performance.

First impressions, however, straight out of the box...into the J.Sound Labs 300B amp...Musical Fidelity Elektra Class A Tube CD Player(sorry no TT)...they display the characteristic 300B traits...but...sound is on the 'thin' side of the spectrum. Detail is there, image seems wide with good height. Material..Patricia Barber, Acoustic Alchemy, Fourplay, Andrea Bochelli, George Winston piano & various jazz etc.

I should not forget to mention that at present my current tubes for comparison are the Sophia Electric Princess 300Bn tubes (circa. 90-100 hours running time thus far)...worth approx. 3 times the price paid for the Gui Guang's.

After 2 days auditioning...about 15 hours running...the Gui Guang 4300B's do sound somewhat better than the first session.

TOO early yet...keep listening!!

Vanch...:P

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Gui Guang 4300B tubes...

More hours on them now...must admit they are sounding better, more mellow than the first listen...not as thin sounding on top...bit fuller there now. No issues with functionality...no explosions...seem to be working fine.

Stay tuned...Vanch...:)

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Well ...having listened to these for quiet a while now, I must say they are more pleasing with some more hours on them than the first listen.

As I had been mainly listening to the Sophia Princess 300B/n tubes prior to getting the 4300B NGG Gui Guang tubes, the Sophia's having a more fuller, richer sound but they did have a fair few more hours on them already.

The NGG tubes are ceratinly not in the same class as the Sophia's which cost about 3 times more.

I would comfortably say IMO that for the price, the NGG tubes are "pretty good"! For an outlay of only...$150.00 delivered I think they would easily satisfy most 300B amp owners who don't want to spend $400.00 to $600.00 for a matched pair of 300B tubes.

The sound is more than acceptable...good detail, clean, spacious and they have not missed a beat as far as their construction.

(PS: I am not a tech, I don't have a valve tester or such...just my "ears")

Vanch...:P

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not sure if I ever mentioned my listening tests of all of our 300B tubes a few years ago in our old forum (closed), http://grantfidelity.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=281

Should be of interest as we all look for great tubes. btw, we just opened a new showroom in our hometown and have had many in the past 2 months compare the Treasure 300B-Z to original WE 300B in either of our 300B SET amps on various speakers and sources. I will be selling my WE 300Bs by 1 cent auction very soon, perfectly matched at 98% on the Amplitrex.

Cheers,

Ian

Edited by iGrant

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