We recently tried 6 versions of the 211 in our Cyber 211S monoblocks and conducted listening tests to compare the various types, these are our conclusions in order of preference==
Shuguang 211[aluminium base version], supplied as standard equipment for many 211 based amplifiers and due to low price often the only type offered[Valve Art/Electron Tube/Golden Dragon],well built and offers a good insight to this wonderfully transparent valve, decent bass and mid-band,can sound a little edgy on the top end, but considering price a good all-round valve for the money[£85/pair].
TJ Full Music 211 Mk2 Carbon Plate, a reasonable upgrade and much better control of the bass,firmer and with more grip, very clean mid-band but still can sound a little edgy on top,not great value for money however at £350/pair,can be unreliable too.
GE VT-4-C, this classic valve can show all comers a clean pair of heels with its mid-band transparency, simply to-die-for especially on vocals, very clean top-end with a complete lack of sibilance, but the bass performance is very limited, it was as if the bottom octaves had disappeared completely on some tracks, given the rarity and high prices that these sell for, upwards of £400/pair, I would rather spend my money on something better.
KR 211,when you first pick these up its plainly evident that they are made to the highest standards with the very best materials available,simply superb construction, and a very balanced all-round presentation and until recently our first choice until the price rise came along, but now they are priced ridiculously high at £895/pair,even if they do have a luxury box they are just too expensive,reliability is also an issue.
Psvane 211 [HIFI Series] The second least expensive in the group and without doubt the best value, these valves have BASS! And lots of it,they make the standard Shuguang valves sound insipid and weak in comparison,the mid-band is good and the top end is sweet, an excellent upgrade for little outlay at just £120/pair, very well made with gold bases and gold pins [Highly Recommended!!]
Psvane 211 "T Series" ,leaving the best 'til last, these are simply superb in all departments,physically larger than all of the others [see pic'] they convey the whole of the music without concentrating on the parts, when listening to these the music just makes you forget about the hifi attributes and gets out of the way like a good valve should,if you own a 211 based amplifier these should be the first and only choice, absolutely the very best 211 ever heard--Highly Recommended!!!!== 5 STARS!!
Bearing in mind that there are only 3 factories in the world making 211's and have been for at least 30 years only the Shuguang/Psvane production manufacture a reliable valve and are by far the largest valve factory in the world,if you have a 211 valve that is labelled with various names, it will be Shuguang made for sure,TJ only make one type as do KR.
Link to Psvane info website
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