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Any impressions on the new jj 6386 tubes in old vari mu's? Dynamics Processors (HW)
Old 20th November 2016
Gear Nut
Any impressions on the new jj 6386 tubes in old vari mu's?

I have just acquired an early serial (70) vari mu that has just been re tubed by Manley with jj 6386 tubes. Acording to the seller the folks at Manley said the tubes were well balanced and performed well in their tests etc... my question is to any tube sluts who saw the recreation of the 6368 by jj as an opportunity to refresh their aging ge tubes in their vari mu's . Are these tubes performing as expected in these units or is it worth the trouble and expense to seek NOS tubes for the early vari mu's. I have read a wide range of experiences from folks using the jj's in their Sta Level's and Fairchildren but was hoping for some direct feedback on the issue from fellow early vari mu (SN.244 or lower) users as to their performance in that circuit. I am cautiously optimistic that I will soon be able to experience the more positive side of reviews I read about the heady goodness of the original David Manley designed Vari Mu. I don't want to get my hopes up only to find the Russian tube company is missing the mark. What's the scoop?
Old 24th November 2016
Gear Maniac
8inthemorning's Avatar
I am a happy owner of a QES Labs Variable Gm stereo unit featuring the 6386 LGP tubes (on their site you'll find some sound clips), and also worked with a Retro Sta both 6bj6/6386, and other units featuring 6ba6 EF93 or Russian equivalent 6K4P-EV.

I feel the modern 6386 is a very good tube and, when real balanced, it is superior to the T-Bar mod, both 6ba6/6bj6.

BTW it is extremely hard if not practically impossible to get a well balanced, perfectly working and genuine 5-star GE 6386.
Old 24th November 2016
Gear Nut
Well that sounds encouraging . It seems so rare when older tec is revived that it works or sounds the same as the original. (Carnhill trannies) etc... I'm glad it seems our russian comrades are on point with the tube manufacturing. I guess we would be kinda hosed with out em. Thanks for the feedback.
Old 27th February 2018
Gear Maniac
any new insight or practical value on this topic?

I've got an itch to try the current production JJ 6383 in my non-T-bar-modded Vari-Mu...
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