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Recognizing Original 6N30 ΔΡ - 6H30 DR Tubes

Reflector-6N30P-DR

This article is about how to understand and recognize the Original 6N30 ΔΡ - 6H30 DR Tubes..

Back in mid 1990’s Mr. Victor Khomenko, founder and owner of Balanced Audio Technologies (BAT), adopted an unknown till then small Russian dual triode tube to update his VK50 pre amp to SE, the 6H30DR...

He had done this due to this tube’s advanced specs that were long different and quite better than the other most common Russian tube 6922, so he called this tube ‘Supertube’... And he was right... 6H30 has Amplification factor 15, Plate resistance 200 Ω, Transconductance 72 mA/V and it is very linear...

As time goes by

After that time, many hi-end manufacturers developed machines based on 6H30, with excellent results, so this tube became very popular and regarding the military Russian version DR, very expensive… Audio Research, Ayon, Consonance, Conrad Johnson, Mod Wright, Cary, Tenor and lately Greek hi-end company Trulife Audio (TLA) are some of them...

6H30_DR__WHITE_box 6H30_DR__YELL_BLUE_box

Original Russian 6N30's Dr's ... Up left blue-yellow box, Up right bulk white box, down left green box

And Some More

6H30_DR__GREEN_box

In 1992 Reflector Plant was closed so the production of 6H30DR stopped… BAT claimed that bought the total stock of all the existing tubes, the old military version DR’s...

In 1999 Reflector Plant was bought by Americans and the production of 6H30 started again… The early tubes were of extremely poor quality, they have not reached an acceptable level until around 2004… After that time point, the new production 6H30’s are of a good quality, most of today’s hi-end machines sound excellent with them...

New tubes come today in two versions… The ‘Sovtek’ 6H30 pi EB and the ‘Electro Harmonix’ 6H30 pi EH ‘goldpin’… These two versions are from manufacturing view and in sound field exactly the same...

New tubes as mentioned above are of good quality, but have never reached that of NOS pre 1990 DR’s in reliability, duration and sonics… On the DR’s data sheet is clearly mentioning duration of 10.000 hours and almost every tube has on glass the ‘OTK’ military periodic check!!! That’s why price have rise so high and that’s why some cunning people rebrand them to look like NOS DR’s...

The New Production Russian 6H30's...

a) Electro Harmonix 6H30 Pi EH gold pin

6N30Pi_EHG_01 6N30Pi_EHG_02

b) The Sovteks 6H30 Pi EB

6H30_SOVTEK_01 6H30_SOVTEK_02

Recognizing original NOS DR's

So the point is, if someone wants today to use those excellent ‘old time’ Reflector 6H30 DR’s, how is going to recognize them and NOT get fooled to pay a ton for fake ones...

Many people ‘wrongly’ state the paper box, the labeling and the color of text in recognizing original DR tubes… Many others also claim that OTK marking make a tube NOS… This is NOT true… There are NOS tubes in green box, in yellow-blue box and in white bulk box… They are all ok… Also there are NOS tubes with the Reflector sign or not, with black or gray text… That’s ok too… Also, it is very easy for someone to stamp an OTK mark on a new production tube...

6H30_DR_REFLECTOR_NO_S1 6H30_DR_REFLECTOR_NO_S2

As I have searched and studied for a long time the 6H30’s and I have also bought many of them, I have found three (3) significant points that someone can verify a NOS 6H30DR...

The deferences

  • The plate flaps... in NOS DR tubes are of smooth coloring, exactly same with the rest plate material, with NO shinny line defects as the new tubes
  • The hat type getter... is much bigger in NOS DR’s than the new tubes
  • The lettering on the mica under the plate does not exist in the NOS DR tubes (at least in those I have examined)

The real NOS babies

two original 6H30 DR's...

NEW_6H30_COMP1_LR

And today's good kids

one new production 6H30 Pi EB

NEW_6H30_COMP2_LR

In the end

Today's production 6H30 tubes are of excellent quality and in an affordable price... You can use them in today's hi-end machines... Depending on the written above you can examine the existing 6H30 tubes in your machines to verify if they are original NOS...

Also, if you wanna play with NOS DR's, you can pay attention to the above article... Keep in mind do not buy 6H30DR tubes if they don’t fulfill the above description... And be very careful on some near east sellers on ebay who want you to make themselves rich by selling rebranded tube monkeys...

Be careful of the fakes "NOS" DR's

behind all fake DR's... look at the signed plate flaps!!!

6H30_fake_016H30_fake_026H30_fake_03

by Manos Bitsakakis

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