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Here's a backstory to this tube-
Back in the 80's I had an Audio Research preamp that used 6922's or 6DJ8's. And I was well on my way into collecting tubes and figuring out how they sounded, why, and who really made them.
I went down to an old parts store called Dow on Holt Blvd, in a crappy area of Montclair, California. But I'll go anywhere to get some cool stuff. While there I found some 6DJ8 in International boxes with tubes inside labeled "Made in Gr. Britain" I figured I scored as they must be from Mullard, Ediswan Electric, or Brimar. But upon furthur inspection I found no etched factory codes. Hmmm. They looked like Philips/Amperex/Mullard, at least internally. After some detective work I found they were made by National, also known as Matsushita in Japan. Eventually National became to be known as Panasonic. These have the early old National logo on the box with the little cardboard tube holder.
Now I had seen many Japan 5AR4 and EL-34 labeled Made in Gr. Britain that were commonly thought of to be Mullard but were not. And anybody who knew them also knew that they were fantastic, well-made tubes.
So I tried them. Heaven. They had a sense of ease and grace I associated with the best new old stock tubes in my collection. I figure how hard can they be to find? I went looking for them. One here, two there. I found a few in RCA boxes, again marked Gr. Britain, but that's about it. So they remained in my private stash and we have never found enough to test and grade into Gold and Platinum and offer for sale. Bummer. So before now we have never had these to offer to our customers.
I recently found a small stash of them, and the heavens parted. My mind reeled back 20 years and I recalled how I felt when I plugged them in. They are PCC88, and as you know (or should know) they are a 7 volt perfect plug in substitute into literally every product using 6DJ8 or 6922's.
The sound? I used them here in a Cary SLI-80 Signature F1 and it was just like I remembered. The midrange is similar to a real Telefunken 6DJ8, but with better extension on top and bottom. There is a sense of humanity that is exhibited by the best in new old stock (NOS) tubes. I was at one point suggesting these for Audible Illusions preamps. Then I had a guy with a failure we warranted, and thought it was a bad move. THEN I got a call from a guy that said the Matsushita’s were “The best thing that ever happened to my preamp” referring to his L-1, and that they lasted for years. And another guy that wrote a review saying it was that good. So I guess that we will say party on guys.
Look. I love the super expensive stuff. Everybody deserves to own some at some point. But here is an opportunity to get something truly vintage, truly rare, and very sexy that sounds incredible for low $$$ considering you get our grading process. Buy these along with another type or two and have a blast. Have your own awakening.
Platinum grade - The best of the best. Lowest noise and microphony with the tightest triode balance we have available. This is typically 10% or tighter, but may be higher depending on available stock.
Gold grade - Low noise and microphonics with a triode balance typically between 15% and 20%, but may be higher depending on available stock.
Driver grade - Lowest noise but not the lowest in microphony. Triode balance will be similar to Gold grade.
This grade is only suitable for use in the driver stage of an amplifier, or the output/buffer stage of a DAC or CD Player.
Logo and box are exactly as pictured above. Price includes matching in any quantity you need at no extra charge.