Mar 162012

Those of you who have been following my posts know how much I’ve enjoyed using the 6n3cE tubes in my Leben CS-600 amplifier. Almost two years ago I posted about my experiences with this tube and recommended it to fellow Leben CS-600 owners. You can read that post here.

I’ve been buying my tubes from Jim McShane who has an outstanding reputation for honesty in his dealings and quality in his offereings. JIm sent me the following message:

Hi Jeff,

Just a quick heads-up for you … the supply of the 6P3S-E is quickly drying up. I still have 150 or so (including the electrically fine tubes in tilted bottles) but that’s not a whole lot. I shipped over 35 pieces in 1 day last week. I just thought I’d give you a heads up since you’ve been so kind in recommending me as a vendor. 

Take care Jeff!

That’s really thoughtful of Jim to give me a heads up, and I wanted to pass that heads up along to along to all of you. If you’ve been sitting on the fence about the 6n3cE vacuum tubes it’s time to act or perhaps forever miss out on one of the finest vacuum tube in existence for the Leben CS-600.

 Posted by at 4:13 pm

  45 Responses to “Supplies of 6n3cE / 6P3S-E vacuum tubes drying up! May be last chance to get them before they’re gone!”

  1. Seem to be a good supply here:

    Owner – Ron Sheldon, is a great guy to work with.

  2. You know this really makes you wonder if it wouldn’t be prudent to start buying tubes for potential amp or pre-amp or phono stages that you might acquire! Here’s to hoping a manufacturer comes out with a solid new product that brings the strength of the NOS JANs and others to the modern area!

    • I’ve bought a pretty good stash of the 6n3cE outputs for my Leben CS-600 with that in mind. Ditto for the 6CS7 in the input/driver stage. I consider the CS-600 a ‘life-time’ amplifier – one that I’ll never part with – so I’ve stocked up a bit on tubes for it. Although, with the CS-600, it is so flexible on using different tubes in its output section you don’t have to worry about it much (inputs are another matter, as I don’t believe anyone makes a new production 6CS7, but fortunately they last a long time). It would be really nice to see companies making tubes that are the match of the NOS Mullard small signal tubes, for example, at real world prices.

  3. You can’t tell by a guy’s website how much he’s got in stock. Also, sometimes things disappear quickly – and that’s what seems to be happening here. A month ago there seemed to be plenty available – now that’s not the case.

    Ron may have quite a few on hand – but as other vendors’ supplies dry up the people who have them get tapped out quickly. If you want to get some from him I’d suggest you do so soon.

    I knew this was a “damned if I do/damned if I don’t” situation – but I felt I owed Jeff a heads-up on what APPEARS to be happening. I’m not trying to start a rush on these tubes – there ‘s no need to, I can BARELY keep up with demand. But there aren’t many around for me to buy anymore, and about 40% of the ones I have are the tilted bottle tubes – electrically fine, but not perfect cosmetically.

    FYI, I have about 200 in stock – about 50 of which are tilt bottles. Now 150-200 sounds like a lot, but one day last week I shipped 35 out – if it continued at that pace I’d be out in under 2 weeks!!

  4. Hello Jeff. I already use 6P3S-E .I think so what you say. Please listen to “6P3S-E Williamson” on youtube. The quality of 6P3S-E is really high-end!

    • Thanks for bringing my attention to this youtube post – appreciated!

      I’ll go check it out!

      Kind regards,


  5. Thanks for the “heads up” re the 6P3S-E valves Jeff. I purchased another 2 matched sets for the future.
    Much mention is made of “rolling” the Leben power output valves but what about the Leben pre-amp valves?
    I have a Leben RS28CX pre-amp with the built in mm phono stage and I would be very interested to hear whether there has been any successful tube rolling done to both the Leben pre and also the phono stage. Regards, Stuart

    • Hi Stuart,

      I keep planning on rolling tubes in my Leben and New Valve Audio preamps and phono stages, but they sound so good it seems like I never quite get to it. If you get there before I do be sure to let me know the results.

      Kind regards,


      • Hello!

        I made tube rolling in my Leben RS30-EQ.
        It’s the same phono section like in the RS28CX.

        Probably the best tube on this phono is a mullard ECC81 / 12AT7.
        Try to get good pairs with Square Getter!!!

        Forget ECC801S. Try this Mullard.


        • Hi Malk,

          Thanks for letting me know about your results with the Mullard – that’s awesome! I’ll see if I can’t find a pair to try, and then I’ll report back.

          Kind regards,


        • Thanks for your comments Maik.
          I am seriously considering changing to the Mullards you recommend.
          Would you be willing to describe the difference in the sound of the Mullard ECC81 / 12AT7 tubes compared to the GE ones (that are supplied as standard) in the Leben phono stage?

          Kind regards,

          • Let me muddy the pool…

            Please try Mazda 12AT7, or 12AT7WA, the grey plate, better the black plate, and the triple mica, Best possibly the Silver plate and finally if possible the Mazda FSE…..

            My mullard are not being used and not being conserved either!

          • I’ll have to see if I can find a set of the Mazda tubes – thanks for letting us know about them!



  6. Hello at all!

    The Mullard 12AT7WA with the Top square getters is that Tube, that makes the soundstage very huge. And this Tube has very High musicality (is that the right Word?). She’s very natural and not to airy like a ECC801S.
    The GE 12AT7 are good but the Mullard from the sixties are very impressive.


    • Hi Maik,

      I’ve ordered the Mullards to try and they should be here next week.

      Thanks for the tip!

      Kind regards,


  7. I’m curious about it.
    I like it very much.


  8. Hi Jeff

    I have bought the Leben CS 600 driving Pro-Ac D28, and after reading ur recommendation of 6n3ce, i have changed the stock tube to quad match pair of 6n3ce, it is just an amazing marriage, fantastic and all leben cs 600 out there should try it.

    Now i just wonder does any one have ever try 350B tube, i am thinking of getting Valve Art 350B but i m not sure how does it sound in leben. Thanks.


    • Hello YK!

      Do read the actual prices for 350B? Western Electric 350 B?

      Sorry but this is not my range.

      Best regards


    • Hi Maik

      I cant afford too, i am talking about the new release, Valve Art 350B. Also i might consider a quad match EH KT90.

    • What is the setting for 6n3ce?..same as 6L6GC?

      • Hi Sting,

        Here’s a link to the tube settings table for the CS-600:

        Essentially you can set the 6n3ce the same as you would a 5881, with the cathode resistor switch in the forward position and the plate voltage switch in either position (your choice, pick the one you think sounds the best).



  9. I’m not so interessted in modern tubes like the Valve Art 350B and EH KT90.
    On the other side: I can’t close my CS600. It looks not so cool.

    @YK: Which source do use for the CS600?
    I use a Nouvelle Platine Verdier. The choice of the power tubes depends on the source.

    @all: Yesterday i’ve got NOS Philips 6CS7. Please use the Sylvania! It is the better tube!

    • Hi Maik

      My source is AMR cd 777, and i might consider its bigger bro CD77 when my cash flow allow. But now i just sit back and enjoy music with my present set up. Still using 6n3ce tube, perfect oooo.

  10. Hi YK!

    Do you use a record player? I think it’s so obvious, that vinyl is much better than cd.

    Do have a email-account? Please send to

  11. Guys, what speakers do you think sound best with CS600. Currently using Zu Druids MKIV/08 but further upgrade the caps/resistors.

    • Hi Sting,

      I know that ProAcs, DeVore Fidelity, and Harbeth (in smaller rooms) loudspeakers work well with the CS-600.

      I’m sure others will have more suggestions.



  12. WLM speakers and Contrast speakers sounds very nice with Leben 600

  13. I have the best experience with Line Magnetic 755.

  14. Jeff, is there any different in Saratov factory and Photon factory made 6n3cE tubes?

    • Hi Sting,

      I do not know. Can anyone else shed light on Sting’s question?

      Kind regards,


      • Jeff,

        I managed to find the info…6N3CE was produced at Foton plant in the 60’s before Saratov took over and it’s hard to be found now. Many claimed that Foton has a reputable quality products.

  15. Hey Jeff
    What kt88 tubes would you put in the Leben cs-600?

    All the best


    • Hi Rasmus,

      I have used the Genelex Gold Lion KT88 reissue tubes in my Leben CS-600 with very nice results, although right now I’m using the electro-harmonix KT90EH tubes and prefer them. I got both quads of tubes from Jim McShane.

      I hope that helps.



  16. Hey Jeff,

    I recently purchased a pair of MC30s that I’m restoring. I’m looking into tubes.

    I have Altec 604’s and I’m using Dueland 16ga and Belden 8402 interconnects!

    Have you tried your 6N3CE tubes in your pair of MC30s? I’m interested in getting a quad, but I’m also interested in Tung Sol 6l6Gs…

    Which of the do would you recommend?

    • Fantastic combination – awesome system!

      I don’t remember if I tried the 6N3CE in my MC30’s or not, which probably means that if I did I didn’t like them as well as my old GE 6L6GC Grey Plates that I have in there now.

      I was out cruising the web and saw these RCA 6L6G’s with an ST bottle shape that I thought were really cool and was very tempted.

      After I get little more $ in my pockets I might give them a try.

      If you beat me to it, be sure to let me know how you like them!

      In fact whatever you decide to go with let me know what you think of them!

      Kind regards,


  17. Thanks for the heads-up about the RCAs! Unfortunately, my wallet is running on fumes—out of envy for your Garrard, I started my own Idler Wheel project based on the lenco 75…. Jeff, you’re killing me will all of your suggestions. $$$

    I did buy the 6N3CEs last night, because they were only $70. I’ll keep you posted.

    • Hi Tysen,

      I know what you mean, my wallet is a little too thin for those RCA’s now too, but they sure are tempting!

      Let me know how you like the 6N3CE’s with the Macs. I’ve switched back to them in my Leben CS600 and they’re a great match there.



  18. Hi Jeff. I have a matched quad of 6p3se from Jim McShane, with probably 50 hours on them. Would you like them? I’ve enjoyed reading your articles over the years — indeed, your review of the Leben was instrumental in taking me along the “music lover’s” path. I’ve sold the CS600 now and am building a new system from Jeff Catalano of High Water Sound in NYC, so I thought this might be one way to show some appreciation. Free to a (your) good home!

    • Hi Alasdair,

      Congrats on the new system, sounds like fun!

      Thank you for your generous offer of the 6n3cE tubes. I’ve got quite a stash of the 6n3cE tubes still, maybe enough to last the rest of my life!

      So anyways, I think they would be wasted on me, and I recommend you make some local hifi enthusiast happy this holiday season!

      Kind regards,


  19. Hi Jeff,
    Last month I took my new Leben CS600 to home.
    I think the burn-in is important, it started playing “good”after about 100 hours, but I could not wait any longer for the first tubes rolling: and a few days ago, I’m playing with a Cryoset quarter of 6n3cE.
    it’s too early to understand how it sounds.
    Writing because I’ve seen that after the change, the heating led takes about 20 seconds to light up.
    Before it was much faster!
    It’s normal?

    • Hi Pat,

      Congratulations on your new Leben CS-600, it’s a great choice for an integrated amplifier.

      When I put my CS-600 back into the system I’ll have watch and see how long it takes for the light to come on. Just going from memory 20 seconds sounds about right, but usually I turn my CS-600 on, walk away, and then come back in a bit after its warmed up for listening, so I don’t pay too much attention to the light.

      Kind regards,


  20. Hi there Jeff!

    Thank you so much for your reply!

    How many hours do you think are necessary for a complete burn in?
    with Cryoset treatment will it be longer?

    thank you for your time!
    All the best!

    • Hi Pat,

      I don’t remember how long the 6n3E’s took to run-in, it’s been a while since I’ve used them. Tubes vary all over the place in how long it takes them to settle in, my current Sophia EL34ST’s took a long time, I don’t remember exactly, but perhaps a 100 hours. Your best bet is just to let the music play until they settle in.

      Kind regards,


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