Genalex Gold Lion tubes

I’ve gotten the impression that Genalex Gold Lion brand tubes are of particularly high quality for a multitude of purposes, especially considering they’re, well, relatively cheap.

Share your tube rolling experiences with Genalex Gold Lions, please.
ALSO, if you know where to order specifically the E88CC in EUROPE, please link. I don’t want to pay a surplus >20€ toll or more for a few tubes from across the sea…

And am I wrong… I recall seeing Gold Lions used in BHK amps. Might be wrong, just a faint memory…


I’ve mixed results with GL tubes.

I have not used these in a BHK amp. The following is all on Decware equipment. You may get better results with PSA equipment.

  1. Just so what. The highs were soft, no shimmer. Midrange was clear, yet it was still so what. Bass is maybe a little slow yet pronounced.

12au7 and 12ax7. Same as the 6922. But seems to have a lot less gain than other 12au7 and 12ax7. I actually sent the first set of them back thinking they were defective.

KT66 I really enjoy this tube. Highs are clear and have that magical shimmer. Midrange is rich and clear. Bass is strong and tight.

This is by no means a definitive, scientific study on tube quality/reliability, but I have not had the best luck with the Gold Lion PX300B model tubes. My Canary Grand Reference amps takes a total of sixteen 300 B tubes. I installed a full set of these tubes about two years ago. Half of them have gone bad on me thus far. “Gone Bad” includes a run away bias that very well could have damaged the amp if not caught quickly, to completely dying, to not being able to hold a consistent bias.

The Canary Audio designer prefers Electro-Harmonix gold pin 300B tubes. I decided to give these a try and so far, so good. I have had them in for only about six months so time will tell, but I can generally say for sure, they hold their bias better than the Gold Lions did in this amp.

Electro-Harmonix is a brand under the New Sensor company, an American (Mike Matthews) company with its tube manufacturing facility in Saratov Russia which was formerly the Reflektor plant. Having owned many NOS Reflektor tubes, including the coveted 1975 “Holy Grail” 6N23P’s, I have confidence the facility is capable of putting out solid products. New Sensor also owns Sovtek, Tung-Sol, Svetlana S-Logo and Mullard.

Wow! Obviously I’m no expert on the subject of tubes, but can a tube, on it’s own, start drawing ever-more current? How does this happen?
And 16 300B’s?? How close can you get to the amp when it’s on without a fire suit? :grinning:

Yep. If the bias takes off, it will pull in enough current to start glowing red. My tube turned a bright red and began sparking inside the tube. When this happens, that heat is transferred to the tubes pins which will conduct that heat through the tube socket to whatever is connected to the socket, such as resistors, circuit boards, etc.

:joy: Surprisingly, it is not too bad. On occasion I do have to bias all of those tubes with my multi-meter :tired_face: The radiant heat can be felt when right up on them, but it really isn’t as bad a you may think. My ceilings are 18 feet so even if left on all day, they don’t effect the overall room temperature.

Tubes are amazing for audio but they’re not perfect. They naturally have a limited lifetime. Roughly 3,000 hours for power tubes and 5,000 hours for smaller preamp / driver tubes. It’s also not uncommon for tiny debris to get inside a tube during production. Over time this can cause a short within the tube. You want to find a tube vendor that knows what they’re doing and can properly match them for your needs. There are a lot of vendors that sadly don’t know much about tubes and you never know what you’re going to get.

12AU7 Genalex GL matched pair improved my BHK preamp. They happily replaced Psvane matched pair. Better clarity, bass definition, and sound stage. You can get them from Amazon or Viva Tubes direct.


I’m using Genalex GL 12AU7s in my BHK Pre as well. I am also using GL 6922s in my Modwright PH 150 Reference phono stage. Both pairs platinum matched and purchased from Upscale Audio. I’m a long-time NOS tube fanatic, but recently have become frustrated with the dwindling supply and insane prices (nothing but pure greed nowadays) of my NOS favorites (Telefunken and Siemens). I’ve been looking for new production tubes I can live with. I am happy to report these GLs have finally broken down my resistance to new production tubes. Both the 12AU7s and 6922s have silky smooth midrange with a touch of warmth and plenty of extension at both extremes. The 6922s in my phono stage are dead silent … when one can say that about tubes in the output stage of a high performance phono pre that’s as good as it gets. I have zero hesitation recommending both. But do keep in mind, NOS or new production, grading is everything so pay the extra for platinum level matching and noise performance. It matters.

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The first amp that actually sounds pretty darn amazing (IMHO) with its original tubes is the MC275… All my other (pre) amps have been rolled multiple times… It’s like stamp collecting… Worse… It’s audiophile stamp collecting… :joy:

12AU7 Question:
Serhan - Are you still happy with the Genalex GL 12AU7’s in your BHK preamp?
Any odd sounds - chirping etc.? Thanks.

Hi @browntrout

Genalex GL 12AU7 has been doing a great job in my system in terms of bass control, high frequency response, and sound stage depth and width. The second GL pair went in the BHK during the summer, and I do not recall having any of the symptoms noted above. However, if you turn the pre off and back on within 5 minutes of less, you could hear a whining high pitch sound. This was the case with PSvanes and it is the case with GLs. Should this happen, I’d turn the pre off for five minutes using the back switch.

Gold Lion 12AU7- Another question please: Any mid-range issues? Is the mid-range clear or slightly congested? This is very important to me because I listen primarily to classical piano music. The attack and overtones poorly produced convey muddiness or congestion. Thank you for your time.

Midrange is excellent with both PSvane and GL. PSvane did not have the slam nor the air needed for dimensionlaity and precision location of performers, but had very good midrange. GLs are especially good with chamber be it strings or piano and strings.

GLs do a great job here. Try listening to CDs (or stream them) with Steniway label and you’ll love it.

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Thank you for the excellent comments describing the Psavne and GL tubes. I started two days ago listening to my new BHK pre and I heard exactly your description of the Psavne tubes. I realize there is a break in period for the pre. My BHK250 amp, out of the box, is absolutely wonderful. The BHK250 exceeds my expectations. GL tube question - Are you using the 12AU7 or 6922 in the pre amp?

You’re welcome. I turned to 12AU7 simply because it was the designer’s original choice and they work just fine. I only made sure they’re a matched pair from a reliable source.

Congratulations your new gear. The BHK pre and the 250 should happily play your music for many years to come. May you enjoy them in good health.