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  #1  
Old 15th July 2017, 06:56 PM
Phil Y's Avatar
Phil Y Phil Y is offline
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Default KT88 choice

Hello all,

I find myself in need of a new set of KT88s for my Kat88. I had one fail today and upon testing, 2 of the remaining ones have poor k/h insulation. Only one tests good.

Does anyone have any particular preferences with KT88s ?
My current set are JJ but I have never heard any other makes in this amp so I have nothing to go on really.

I have nothing against JJ, these valves are very old and I always found JJ o/p valves to be reliable in my KEL84 but something else might sound better so I thought I would ask for opinons.

Phil.
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Old 16th July 2017, 10:27 AM
Riggers Riggers is offline
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Default Re: KT88 choice

Hi Phil
My only experience re KT88's are the Golden Dragons as supplied as standard by Matthew with my WD88VA. Mine are still going strong 2 1/2 years later and sound great. Just my 2 cents worth.
Cheers
Phil.
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Old 17th July 2017, 05:36 PM
Richard Richard is offline
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Default Re: KT88 choice

Hi Phil, I tried a few KT88 and 6550 types in my Kit88 inc the JJ KT88. They were very good, dynamic, clear and detailed, the most "hifi" of the ones I tried. Svet 6550C and KT88 sound very similar to each other, warmer, softer in the highs and a little more natural in the mids to me at the time but you may miss the sparkle if you like the JJs.
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Old 17th July 2017, 06:56 PM
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Default Re: KT88 choice

Thanks for the replies Phil/Richard.

I have no reason to doubt the Golden Dragons but there seems to be very little info/opinion about them online and at about 190 for a set of 4 they are quite pricey.

Richard, I assume you are talking about the "original" Svetlana valves. These are no longer available and the "Svetlana" that are now on sale are made in the Sovtek factory. Not that that is a problem as such, but they are not the same valves.

I am currently using my "backup" old Svetlana 6550s that Greg also sold me with the amp. I preferred the sound of the JJ 88s when I compared them when I first had the amp.

I will keep researching, the 3 contenders at the moment are:
JJ 128
TAD 160
"new" Gold Lion 176

Phil.
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Old 17th July 2017, 08:21 PM
bob orbell bob orbell is offline
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Default Re: KT88 choice

Hi Phil, I have been using the JJ KT88 in my amp now for many years, just replaced the old with new, as I had one fail, I also have some Svetlana, but find then a bit to much in yu face, be wary of the TAD, I bought 3 ECC83's for my phono, not impressed at all, I replaced the JJ, much nicer. BOB
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Old 18th July 2017, 08:58 AM
Richard Richard is offline
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Default Re: KT88 choice

Hi Phil, yes my Svets were from 20 years ago and had the large square hole getters.
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Old 18th July 2017, 05:23 PM
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Phil Y Phil Y is offline
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Default Re: KT88 choice

It is strange how these things vary from one circumstance to another.
BOB, you think the JJs sound softer/nicer yet Richard thought the Svetlanas did. I am with BOB on this one, I find the Svetlanas are more impactful in the bass, almost exaggeratedly so, and rather cool and matter-of-fact sounding through the midrange. I found the JJs more engaging and musical in the mid.

I think I am veering towards the JJs. They have price on their side and I know I like them whereas something else is a risk, and could go either way sound wise. Also, if I get JJs again, I have a working spare of the same make/type in the draw.

BOB, I also use JJ 83s in my phono, their ECC803S are the best sounding I have tried. I refuse to pay the silly prices NOS 83s now command.

Phil.
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Old 18th July 2017, 05:56 PM
Richard Richard is offline
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Default Re: KT88 choice

Yes I would if you like them Phil, better the devil you know than be disappointed and they are a good price. I had my last valves from Mark at Hotrox here in Nottm, good seller

Looking at Watford, he's still got the review of some of these types on his site, https://www.watfordvalves.com/cgi-bi...treport_42.pdf but as you say you probably can't get the square hole getter ones these days.
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Old 18th July 2017, 08:06 PM
bob orbell bob orbell is offline
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Default Re: KT88 choice

Yes, I am with Richard, Hotrox are good. BOB
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Old 18th July 2017, 09:10 PM
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Greg. Greg. is offline
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Default Re: KT88 choice

+1

Also look at Bansai Music (for as long as we are in the EU)

http://www.banzaimusic.com

They are very price competitive and their customer service is second to none. Replaced a 300B I had without quibble when it flashed over. I bought a year previously but not actually used it.
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