Stock 2007 KT66 in Vintage Modern visit today's Shuguang?

Discussion in 'The Workbench' started by Kelia, Dec 1, 2019.

  1. Kelia

    Kelia Well-Known Member

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    Hi guys ,........I've read that Marshall had lots of KT66's from 2007 and were putting them
    in the more expensive Astoria's because they were good so my question is what's the difference between the earlier 2007 KT66's visit the from today's Shuguang ?

    Thanks!
     
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  2. mickeydg5

    mickeydg5 Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    If you have good stock why let it keep collecting dust instead of moving it?

    I do not think they are extroadinary as being made by the the high-elves of Aman or anything.
     
  3. Kelia

    Kelia Well-Known Member

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    Thanks ,.........someone has a new never used pair that he took out when the amp was new and wants to sell it for $30 so I was wondering if the quality was better in those years versus todays production.
     
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  4. neikeel

    neikeel Well-Known Member

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    I would be wary of some batches of Chinese EL34s from that era but I am not aware of any KT66 issues.
    Anyone?
     
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  5. Matthews Guitars

    Matthews Guitars Well-Known Member

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    For many years I'd been told that all the original KT66 tubes were almost totally all used up and that's why you never saw them in amps.

    Today, there seem to be plenty of "vintage NOS" KT66 tubes on ebay to go around. Genalex, Mullard, Gold Lion...where did people suddenly find all their old tube stashes all of a sudden, I wonder?

    I'm inclined to think that while some are genuine ones that have been held back until market prices got high enough to make it REALLY worth selling them,
    the rest are straight new production forgeries. You'd be surprised at how little you have to spend to get box artwork replicated to a high degree of accuracy if you look around for the right packaging manufacturers who won't worry about little details like intellectual property rights. (Ahem...China...)

    I simply do not believe, and have no evidence to support such a notion, that any of the "original" KT66 tube manufactures were still making those tubes in 2007. The final incarnation of Mullard, which had ceased making vacuum tubes some years earlier, finally was shut down in 1982.

    Brimar started up in 2015 so it's certain that they'd made nothing prior to that date. When writing this post I just now found out about Brimar's 2015 start-up, and I'm sure I'm going to support the company by purchasing some of their tubes.

    Genalex and Gold Lion were names owned by Marconi-Osram which was absorbed via company mergers and the GEC/Genalex name was gone not later than 1999.

    Philips stopped making tubes in 1987 but apparently continued to apply their label to tubes made in other factories for some time.

    I find no evidence that any tube that was made in 2007 could be anything but a reproduction from a Chinese or Russian factory.

    I would thus call BS on any such tube being "NOS" or "vintage". To me, NOS is an appellation that can never be applied to any reproduction tubes, no matter how many years ago they were made.
     
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  6. marshalltsl

    marshalltsl Active Member

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    I have from 07, 08, 12. To my ears all of them sound the same.
     
  7. Kinkless Tetrode

    Kinkless Tetrode Well-Known Member

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    In recent years there has been recycling of classic brand names. It is clever marketing.

    Historically these are the classic brand names for tubes:

    English manufactures: GEC =General Electric Company = GE- UK, MO= Marconi Osram, Mullard. MO was at one point owned by GEC, Genelex was a brand name owned by MO. Gold Lion was a brand name owned by GEC. Brimar was a brand name owned by Mullard. Mullard was actual a division of Philips. Philips is a Dutch company. Mullard and Philips were the same designs. Kind of like GMC and Chevrolet.

    Dutch Manufactures: Philips Eindhoven. Philips invented and owned the patent to the pentode. This is why you don't see any Mullard or Philips KT tubes. The didn't need an Kinkless tetrode or beam tetrode alternative to a pentode.

    German manufactures: Telefunken. Telefunken was started and owned by a Jewish family. During the Nazi era, Telefunken was taken over by the SS and the true owners shipped off to concentration camps. Other German companies pre war were GEMA and Lorenz. GEMA was the company that invented radar during the 1930s. During the war GEMA partnered much with Siemens as a subcontractor. After the war GEMA's assets were taken over by the communist party in East Germany and became RTF. In the west, GEMA's assets were absorbed into Siemens.

    The Nazi's occupied Czechoslovakia and Hungary and Holland during the war years. So there was a lot of cross breeding between German tubes and Philips, Tesla, and Ei. The Germans have always built pentodes instead of kinkless or beam tetrodes.

    Mazda tubes was a French company.

    There were also strong ties between English tubes companies and American tube companies.

    American tube manufactures: RCA, Sylvannia, Westinghouse, GE-US, Tung Sol.

    During the cold war the Chinese obtained the plans and manufacturing techniques (and some of tools) for tubes of Tung Sol.

    Sylvannia, GE, Osram, and Philips, still make light bulbs and LEDs of all types.
     
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  8. Matthews Guitars

    Matthews Guitars Well-Known Member

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    And Brimar is back in business with an actual manufacturing plant on English soil. A group of tube enthusiasts banded together, bought the rights to the name, and they actually were able to track down some original manufacturing machinery used in the Mullard Blackburn factory, refurb it, and put it back into production. I do intend to buy some of their tubes and support them.

    I've heard rumors that the Sylvania manufacturing machinery went to Japan and that the Japanese were making a customized product improved STR type 6L6 using that machinery, but I've never been able to substantiate that that happen or that this rumored improved Japanese 6L6 actually exists.
     
  9. Kinkless Tetrode

    Kinkless Tetrode Well-Known Member

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    Some of the Mullard equipment was shipped to Japan during the 70's and 80's. I believe the company was called Matsushita. They were good tubes.
     
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  10. Matthews Guitars

    Matthews Guitars Well-Known Member

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    So if it wasn't the Sylvania equipment that went to Japan, where did the Sylvania equipment go?

    I suspect it's unlikely that it's still sitting in the Sylvania plant. I don't even know if that plant still exists. As I recall it was somewhere in PA?
     
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  11. mickeydg5

    mickeydg5 Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    the art of shredding


    [​IMG]
     
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  12. Kelia

    Kelia Well-Known Member

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    Ver nice History lesson !........thanks !
     
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  13. Kinkless Tetrode

    Kinkless Tetrode Well-Known Member

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    Your welcome. BTW I forgot to mention that Amperex and Bugle Boy were Philips brand names.
     
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  14. Georgiatec

    Georgiatec Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    Looking for something I don't remember what.
    My understanding is when the Vintage Modern came out in 2007 Marshall bought a lot of re-branded Shuguang KT66's to go in these amps....and the JTM45 RI, of course.
    The VM's didn't sell as well as expected and Marshall were left with a lot of KT66's in stock...I actually saw these tubes on shelves when I went to the factory in June 2011.
    As the Astoria is capable of operating with any octal based tube, my best guess is they built them with KT66's to use up the old stock, re-tested and matched into strong pairs.
    The 2007 Marshall branded Shuguang KT66 is nothing remarkable....just a standard tube.
    The CP Gold Lion and Genelex are the same valve....made in Russia, but different construction than the Shuguang.
     
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  15. Kelia

    Kelia Well-Known Member

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    Thanks !!...........nice to know !
    There was a guy named Tube Tramp aka Gerry Kilgore or close that was selling 11th Generation Ghuguangs back in the Metroamp forum and Plexi palace forum and was always wondering if those earlier Shuguangs were better so thats why I asked .
     
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  16. DLW

    DLW Active Member

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    The Astoria was designed/developed with EL34's as the intended tube. Marshall had overstock of KT66 from 2007. They put them in the Astorias to save money. The Astoria can use any tubes from the EL34 family and the 6L6 family. It was simply a business decision.
    The tubes are fine. They sound good and work well but nothing particularly special or different about them. $30 USD is a fair price but there is not way to verify when the seller pulled the tubes. If you look on Reverb right now you can find a new matched pair of the same re-labelled tubes with a Groove tubes logo sold by the store Angelas Intruments for $34 shipped on sale right now and a matched quad for $68 shipped. I bought a quad a few months ago and they work and sound fine.
     
  17. Kelia

    Kelia Well-Known Member

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    Thank you !!
     
  18. Matthews Guitars

    Matthews Guitars Well-Known Member

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    I will give the Chinese credit where it is due. The Shuguang factory is apparently serious about making good tubes. If they're 11 generations/revisions into the KT66 type, or beyond, then that means that they're investing in making a quality product and I'm happy to hear it.

    I have an apex matched set of new Shuguang KT66's that are going into my 1959 when I rebuild it, starting hopefully about a week from now when I get my refurbished transformers back from Mercury Magnetics.
     
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  19. Adieu

    Adieu Well-Known Member

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    Matsushita = Panasonic / Technics btw
     
  20. Matthews Guitars

    Matthews Guitars Well-Known Member

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    They also were the parent company of Sansui, which was once a premiere brand of Japanese audio equipment. Later Sansui was pushed downmarket, possibly by direction from Matsushita's directors. Why they'd want to go down market, I would not know. I can only guess that somebody wanted the Technics brand to be their higher end choice and pushed Sansui into the lower end market solution.

    At one time Sansui was considered to be the Japanese answer to McIntosh. Their BA5000 power amplifiers are legendary to this day. As is the slightly less monstrous BA3000.
     
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