A quote from one of the online stores “Tung-Sol 5998- Matched pairs just $249.99! Lightly used but passed our rigorous test at NOS levels!” WTF?! This is a fantastic tube, but come on…
Now to the review. A great tube. Very well balanced without even a hint of sharpness to its voice. I compared it with RCA 6as7, Svetlana 6N13P and Raytheon 6080 and all of them have their pluses and minuses. Tung-sol has a huge plus, which is it’s dynamic and warm (but not overly so) to work with many different styles of music. Its gentle, laid back style is superb for vocal just, but yet it’s very capable and dynamic for rock music. Good balance across all audible spectrum. Is it going to bring the 40-50x difference when compared to other tubes, it’s for you to decide, but at a lower price – it’s a fantastic addition to your amp.
From another site: Now, about the sound. All the “rumors” about SQ getting better with the 5998 tube are true 🙂 It feels that another layer has been added to the sound. It sounds sweeter than Svetlana and more transparent and dynamic than the 6as7. If I can compare the 3 tubes to 12ax7: Svetlana is like Telefunken – clear etched sound, RCA is like… RCA Smiley warm and juicy, but not very transparent – also noisier than the other two; Tung-Sol is like Mullard – very transparent and dynamic, but relaxed.
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