New Production KT 88's - Opinions
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  1. #1
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    New Production KT 88's - Opinions

    Other forums have discussions that are getting a bit out dated. Let's update this topic!

    What experiences (good or bad) have you recently had with new production KT 88's? What amp are you using?

    This is NOT about which tube is "best", but the qualities of sound they create for your system. The sound created by tubes can be amp and system dependent.

    Still, there are some brands that are certainly higher quality than others. If you know details, then let's hear them!

    I'm currently looking at Sophia, JJ, KR, EAT (so expensive!), TJ Full Music, Psvane.

    I have new production Gold Lions, but looking for opinions on how they compare with other options.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Re: New Production KT 88's - Opinions

    As I posted in the Kt150 with my 200IQ Vac thread I had a quad of KR Kt88’s on loan and I preferred them to the new production Gold Lions. To me they were a lot more linear and well balanced. More definition in the bass region specially and somewhat smoother.
    Larry


    Lumin U1
    Chord Dave Dac
    Vac Master Preamp
    Vac 200IQ Amp
    Magico S3 Mk2 in Mcast Pewter
    Denali 6000S
    Ansuz and MIT cabling
    Timbernation walnut racks

  3. #3
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    Re: New Production KT 88's - Opinions

    Bumping this back up!

    Since my original post I have located one matched pair of NOS Gold Lion KT88's (still in boxes with the testing sheets)... But, who knows if/when I will find the next pair that I need. So, I'm currently trying out the KR KT88's. I have my eye on the Sophia's.

    Anyone here have experience with the world of new production KT88's? Thanks!
    Jeremy

    Speakers: Magico S3 MkII
    Power Amp: VAC 200iQ (stereo)
    Source/DAC/Preamplifier: MSB Reference DAC (Femto 77 / Dual Powerbase)
    Power: Shunyata Triton V3 / Shunyata Typhon QR / AQ NRG 20 Outlet / Dedicated 20 amp circuit
    -------------
    Power Cables: AQ Dragons to components / AQ Hurricane to Typhon QR
    Speaker Cables: MIT Heritage MI 2C3D - Level 1
    Interconnects: MIT Heritage MI 2C3D - Level 1 (XLR)
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  4. #4
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    Re: New Production KT 88's - Opinions

    Congrats on the find! Keep us updated on how you like them.
    i loved the vintage quad I got a hold of but I preferred the stronger bass of the KT150S that I run in my 200IQ. The mids and spaciousness of the vintage is amazing though.
    Larry


    Lumin U1
    Chord Dave Dac
    Vac Master Preamp
    Vac 200IQ Amp
    Magico S3 Mk2 in Mcast Pewter
    Denali 6000S
    Ansuz and MIT cabling
    Timbernation walnut racks

  5. #5
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    Re: New Production KT 88's - Opinions

    I have a audiopax 88 monoblocks that use matched pair kt88 per side. I've used SED, New gold Lions, Sophia and EAT.

    My preference in desending order-

    EAT best from resolution and frequency extremes, Sophia not far behind and a lot cheaper ( but still expensive), SED nice and linear, gold lions kind of thick and too mid rangy for my system.

    I sold the EAT due to cost, and kept the Sophias for my main tubes in the Audiopax.
    Avantgarde Duo Mezzo,
    Nagra VPA, FW J-2,
    Conrad Johnson GAT, Zesto Tessera
    Esoteric K-01X, Esoteric N-01,

    Clearaudio Innovation TT,
    Graham Phantom 2 Supreme Arm/Ortofon Anna, Bobs Sky 2 SUT
    Clearaudio Universal Arm/Benz LPS,

    Galibier TT,
    Graham Phantom Elite Arm/Clearaudio Goldfinger Statement,

    Kubala Elation Cabling, Shunyata Trident, Typhon QR
    Zoethecus stands, Minus K platform

  6. Thanks joeinid thanked for this post
  7. #6
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    Re: New Production KT 88's - Opinions

    Very amp dependent. I have tried Winged ‘C’ and reissue Gold Lions in my McIntosh MC 2301’s. No difference really, the 12AT7 driver tubes in these amps make more of a difference than the power tubes. In my MC 275V the Winged ‘C’ Are more linear overall. I think they are out of production though.
    Tom

    Audio:
    Amati Futura Mains
    Amati Homage VOX Center,
    Proac Response 1sc Rears,
    Three MC2301's for L,C,R
    MC 602 for the rears
    C 1100, MX 151, MCD 1100, MR 77
    Nottingham Dais with Sumiko Palo Santos Presentation
    SurfacePro 3, JRiver, WW Starlight Platinum USB, Schiit Yggdrasil, Benchmark DAC3 HGC

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  8. #7
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    Re: New Production KT 88's - Opinions

    Quote Originally Posted by W9TR View Post
    Very amp dependent. I have tried Winged ‘C’ and reissue Gold Lions in my McIntosh MC 2301’s. No difference really, the 12AT7 driver tubes in these amps make more of a difference than the power tubes. In my MC 275V the Winged ‘C’ Are more linear overall. I think they are out of production though.
    agree on amp dependency. And also that driver tubes make a bigger difference. Mullard NOS 12AT7 made a significant improvement over the stock Ruby in my Audiopax.

    That said, if you have a high bandwidth KT88 amp like the AudioPax 88s (15 to 50k) I think one would find the same results as mine - EAT and Sophias have better bass and highs, SEDs are linear and Gold Lions very midrange heavy.
    Avantgarde Duo Mezzo,
    Nagra VPA, FW J-2,
    Conrad Johnson GAT, Zesto Tessera
    Esoteric K-01X, Esoteric N-01,

    Clearaudio Innovation TT,
    Graham Phantom 2 Supreme Arm/Ortofon Anna, Bobs Sky 2 SUT
    Clearaudio Universal Arm/Benz LPS,

    Galibier TT,
    Graham Phantom Elite Arm/Clearaudio Goldfinger Statement,

    Kubala Elation Cabling, Shunyata Trident, Typhon QR
    Zoethecus stands, Minus K platform