Not So Mediocre Member
I have now acquired 3 pairs of the Shuguang CV-181s and have compared them to at least 10 different 6SN7s in two different preamps. A Wright WLA-12 and a Cary SLP-98. I have to say that despite their high price, they may be worth it. I find them to be the best of the bunch I have. From lowly new EHs to high priced Tung-Sol Mickey Mouse eared ones and pricey Sylvanias these CVz-181s are far more balanced across the audio spectrum IMHO. The RCA backplates may have a bit more sparkle at the upper end and the Sylvanias may have a tiny edge down low, but none of them has the creamy smooth texture across the spectrum I am enjoying with the Shuguangs. The closest thing I have to how they sound is the metal based Russian 6SN7s with the holes in the plates but good luck finding them and even if you do, many are noisy. I have even found them an improvement in the supposedly unimportant buffer position in the Cary SLP-98. The Tubestore carries them as well as Grant Fidelity. I bought two of my pairs from Grant and a lightly used (claimed) pair off Agon. I am going to try them in a Don Sachs built Tubes4HiFi SP-14 preamp at some point. Additionally, it is nice knowing you can get more if needed at some point unlike some of those NOS stuff made of unobtanium. This is the ONLY new tube I've found that sounds comparable or better than the vintage stuff!