Russian and Chinese tubes

I’ve made this little page because I’ve been asked several times how to replace those strange tubes on those chinese amplifiers (amplificatore a valvole), that are so popular nowadays.

For Italian readers: this page has been the source for writing an article for VideoHiFi, a popular free web hifi magazine.

DISCLAIMER:

I don’t encourage tube substitutions and rolling to inexperienced people. If you’re unsure on what you’re doing, please refer to a competent technician, or ask where you bought the amplifier. Remember that working in tube amplfiers can be VERY DANGEROUS due to high voltages involved, EVEN WITH THE AMP UNPLUGGED from the wall outlet.

First, an equivalence table, please note that NOT all china-tube types are listed here, mainly because they don’t have a direct euro-american substitution. I have to thank Jogi for those tables.

If you have questions, email me.

equivalenze1

equivalenze2

equivalenze3

And here another table, for some types that aren’t listed above. This table contains equivalences: please note that China amps use more other tubes, but they’re named the same as their euro-american counterpart.

It is usual for chinese tubes to drop the last letter, 6N6P becomes easily 6N6. Always remember that the “H” is cyrillic, so it is an “N” in our alphabeth, as in the tables above.

This means that most of the times, on the glass of the tube you’ll find 6H8 instead of 6N8!

Or 6CC42 instead of 6SS42.

As always, if you have doubts email me, or better, ask where you bought the amplifier 😉

 

US

European

Chinese

Russian

Premium Model

6DJ8

ECC88

6N23

6N23P

CCa

6922

E88CC

6N11

6N23P-EV

 –

6SN7

6SN7

6N8

6N8P – 6CC10

B65, 5692

6SL7

6SL7

6N9

6N9P

5691, 6SU7

6267

EF86

6J8

6J32P

Z729, EF806S

5687

5687

6N12

5687WA

ECC40*

6N1

6N1P

6N1P-EV

6AX7

6N2

6N2P / 6SS41

6N2P-EV
2C51 6N3 6N3P / 6SS42 WE396A, 6854, 6385, CV2831, 5670, 5670WA, CK5670, CK5670WA, CV2575, CV4013, CV5894, CV8247, GL5670

6BM8

ECL82

6F3P

 

6BQ5

EL84

6P14

6P14P

N709, E84L, 7320, 7189, 7189A

6L6

6L6

6P3P

6P3S

KT66, EL37, WE350B, VT75

6V6

6V6

6P6P

6P6S

KT63, 5992

6550

6P27P

6P27P

KT88

5U4G

5U4G

5Z3P

5Z3S

U52, WE274A/B, 53KU

5Y3

5Z2P

5Z2S

U50

5Z4

GZ30

5Z4P

5Z4S

 –

 

Tubes in italic, like this text, are not “direct replacement” types. However they may work in some circuits, and some of them are known to work.

* Note: ECC40 is only electrically equivalent to 6N1P, its socket is different so a direct replacement is impossible.

Find some other references for your tubes here!

Some known problematic tubes to replace:

  • 6N6 (chinese), 6N6P (russian). This tube has NO known direct replacement: the best replacement is another 6N6 – 6N6P. However if you are experienced, and with the proper tools, it could be replaced (given socket rewiring and maybe some circuit tweaks) with 5687, 12BH7, ECC99 or E182CC. This last tube seems to be the closest equivalent.

  • 6N2 – 6N2P: the question here is, can I replace it with ECC83/12AX7? Yes you can, but you HAVE TO REWIRE THE SOCKET. Refer to the tube datasheets for this: as always I suggest to have this work done from experienced people, don’t try poking inside dangerous tube amplifiers if you haven’t done this before!

  • 6N1: not much info. Best replacement is still another 6N1. ECC88 and its various cousins might work, but be careful of the much higher filament current for the 6N1, and much lower allowed plate voltage for the ECC88. If the amp runs the 6N1 at less than 130V you can safely replace 6N1 with ECC88 (don’t know how it will sound…), but if the quiescent plate voltage is more, ECC88 might fail and ruin your amp.

  • 6N30 – 6N30P – 6N30PI – 6N30PI-DR. Absolutely no western equivalence: the only known source for these is Sovtek that still makes them. However, russian NOS ones are even better but they’re becoming scarce and expensive.