Hong Kong “Vacuum Tube Power Amplifier World” October-- PSVANE 274B is better than Western Electric's




The PSVANE 274B Rectifier Tube

(Each 1,500 RMB)

The PSVANE 274B certainly is the best-voice rectifier tube from China mainland in the history. It is reproduced according to the appearance and the structure of Western Electric in 1930s, but has the same sound performance as the antique tubes of “Western Electric” which are worth about ten thousand in the market. Since 274B can be used interchangeably with the most common 5U4 rectifier, the people who are qualified for enjoying the magic effect of 274B are uncountable. I suggest you check your amplifier immediately to see whether it is 274B/5U4, if it is, then you “have earned”, for you only need to change a PSVANE 274B and your whole acoustics system may have a triple jump at once. In my memory, there was never a new-made rectifier before which could give such a good voice but sold at a so low price. Before PSVANE appeared in the market, I won’t believe it if someone told me that China mainland can produce a valve as good as the antique tube of Western Electric. However, I was deeply impressed by the PSVANE 300 produced by the same factory since my first test at the beginning of this year. Now the PSVANE 274B come to the market, I also get excited after comparing the two 274Bs of PSVANE and Western Electric: The former only is one tenth the price of the latter but offer nearly the same sound effect. To the fanciers who are used to “You get what you pay for”, it is tantamount to a realizing dream. 


The PSVANE brand was established by Hengyang Electric, Changsha, China. The person in charge has decades of experience on vacuum tube researching. Its first success is PSVANE 300B, which is a reproduction of Western Electric 300B, is nearly the same as the original one in size, structure and material. The facts prove PSVANE 300B not only has outstanding sound performances, but also is as reliable and durable as the original one. To the 300B amplifier users, the appearing of PSVANE 300B is a kind of luck and made most of 300B owners cheer. I believe its sound performance is nearly the same as the original one but the price only part of it. From the perspective of the customers, it’s a joke if 300B users do not adopt PSVANE 300B. In the meanwhile, Zhang Xiangsan, the writer of our magazine, has tested the PSVANE 274B trial- produce version on his large-scale horn speaker system in his hometown Shan Dong and found it does have the same appealing feelings as the original item. Since 274B/5U4 is the most common rectifier tubes and was used with millions of amplifiers during the last half century, I believe it will bring a greater shock than PSVANE 300B if it also possesses the same reliable and durable quality. The main reason is that 274B is cheaper and more popular. If a rectifier as perfect as Western Electric 274B comes into the market, I really do not know how many items can sell in the world.     

Few months later, the manufactured PSVANE 274B goods were put in front of me. At the first glance, there is no difference with its original item. For sake accuracy, I put the two products together and check them carefully. The result is the same as it of last time: to the naked eyes, the two has the same shape, size, structure and material. As to the sound performance, it should be listened and then can be proved. Now it’s convenient to have the listening test of PSVANE 274B, because the power tubes in our magazine’s permanent monitor adopts a Western Electric 124A (one type of the 274B rectifier tubes). I myself own 3 pairs of them, which respectively were placed at my home in the mountain top, Bei Jiao private house and the audition room of our magazine. Thus I am well aware of the sound characteristics of 124A: it is fine-sounding and powerful. Now Western Electric 124A sells only more than 200 thousand RMB and certainly becomes the high cost performance item in power tubes. It is difficult to surpass if it match proper equipments. Therefore, I usually recommend it to the fanciers of Western Electric antique tubes. For the price, 124A is the “basic level”; but for the sound effect, it absolutely the “top-level”. However, it must be used together with Western Electric 274B to reach the high sound level. Anyone who tries to save money to change another 274B/5U4 rectifier tubes will only to find a lower sound level. Among all the 274Bs in Western Electric, only the oldest engraved 274B is the most fair-sounding and expensive. I have a few pairs which were bought several years ago at a proper price. Now when I find the new and unused NOS Western Electric engraved 274B is sold from 10 to 30 thousand per pair, I shall admit that I cannot afford more pairs for “backup” purposes. Now PSVANE 274B appears to the market and when I compare it with the Western Electric one, I cannot expect it has the same sound level but only if the 80% or 90% of it I shall be contented and happy to speechless.     

I chose some recent CDs for testing, such as the female voice of Zhao Xue’er, the male voice of Nat King Cole, the violin of Grappelli and the Saxophone of Stan Gets. Then I use PSVANE to instead of Western Electric engraved 274B and after playing it its beautiful tone and great emotion made me have nothing to say. Only “impeccable” can use to describe it. For a more accurate view, I changed the Western Electric engraved 274B back and found the voice of the two nearly the same. It is difficult to tell the differences between them if not adopt the way of ABA to compare. The results show us again the sounds of the two items are so similar that the emotion and breath in the music of Zhao Xue’er were performed nearly the same. Nobody would know the replacements if he had not been told before. As the person who changed the tubes, I psychologically feel the engraved version 274B sound richer, but I feel it is normal when I think of the 70 to 80-year time differential of their producing and even believe it is the most rewarding rectifier tubes when I think of their price differential. PSVANE items are based on the designing of great Western Electric rectifier tubes and were produced under the excellent industrial condition of China mainland. They are the best 274B/5U4 tubes since the Western Electric ones and can be regarded as the most outstanding achievements since the amplifiers of our country went into the Hi-FI vacuum tubes production.           

274B and 5U4 are the two commonest rectifier tubes among amps (another are GZ34/5AR4). They are not only usually adopted by the antique amplifiers in 50s or 60s of US, but also are the common products of the newly-made amps in China (see the advertisements in the magazine). I have a 6V6 amp of 50s which specially used for organ pipe PA also adopted a SYLVANIA 274B. One day I took a PSVANE 274B home to replace the original one and as expected the PSVANE immediately gain a complete victory. Though the SYLVANIA 274B of 50s is a good antique tube, when it compare with PSVANE it is still not so good in the tone, emotion and potential. Therefore, I predict PSVANE 274B’ coming will bring a psychological shock to most of the amp fans, for they may never have listened such a beautiful-sound rectifier tube!