Steve Hoffman is highly excited about the new Audio Note UK 211 and 300B tubes. Here is the full scoop... "Guess what? A joint effort between Audio Note UK and Psvane, amazing new 211 and 300B tubes, almost ready for sale!!!"

"Peter Qvortrup of Audio Note (UK) Ltd, one of the most fascinating people I've ever had the pleasure to meet. He is constantly on a quest to manufacture new what was only once possible in the good old days.

In this case, Molybdenum anode 211s, called 4242E's. There is a 300B version also but since I don't have a 300B machine right now, impossible to test but I'm sure they are just as amazing.

Right up front: In my system, these are a lot better than the Elrogs, and that is saying much. In fact, I feel they are better than all but the very, very best of the NOS types, primarily the United Electronics 38111a and the Westinghouse CG1985 (which by the way also has a Molybdenum anode, as does the old WE242E and the STC4242A.) These new old stock tubes are very, very expensive now, almost unobtanium at any price.

So, a few points. This is not an Audio Note UK invention, it is simply a reflection of the fact that they always research history for the best that was made in the past which is really the only way to know whether they are moving forward or not in absolute terms. This is why I love Audio Note and the crazies who work there. No one else in the audio industry does this with any kind of consistency. So all that has happened is that new technology invented for other branches of electronics have been introduced into the audio chain in the mistaken belief that new is better. Not always true.

I received two of these 211 beauties, directly from the UK and they are from a special batch, a beta test batch of 50 pieces that have now been confirmed to work reliably and sound consistent. Now Audio Note have 1,000 pieces on order and are exclusive to Audio Note UK under an agreement with Psvane, hence the small badge inside the glass showing the Audio Note logo and a serial number. A nice touch.

Let me remind you all that I love Psvane tubes. I used four of their 211's in my older AN UK amps (now with @Warren Jarrett at the "Audio Home") and I never had an issue with them. In fact, I have recommended them for a long time. No firecrackers these. So this union with Audio Note UK is exciting for me. The PRICE of these is also exciting. More on that in a minute.

Molybdenum is extremely hard and difficult to work with, it has a melting point over 3,500 degrees centigrade so very specialized tooling is needed to form it and the cost of starting production is substantial and a good barrier to entry so to speak, but Audio Note will no doubt see copyists having a go, as they always do. Beware of those when they show up (as they will.)

So as a result of this, the thickness of the plate can vary. This makes some samples glow red because the plate is slightly thinner than other samples, therefore please note that this is not an issue as far as reliability is concerned! Just a pretty color.

Audio Note UK will be offering these for sale at around $ 280.00 each or $ 560.00 for a matched pair. That's the deal of a lifetime.

These will be offered through the AN dealer and distributor network worldwide. Note that the 1,000 piece batch will not be ready for another 30 – 60 days, as AN has only just finished testing the beta samples to approve and placed the order. Same, I would imagine, for the 300B version.

Audio Note knows why Molybdenum sounds better, it is the same reason that silver sounds better and it has taken years of AN's research into molecular and crystaline structures in many different metals to gain a deeper understanding of this. It's what they live for over there. They do the work, we reap the benefits.

Obviously I'm an Audio Note UK fanboy unabashed, and there are good reasons why I feel they make better equipment than anyone else. They actually take the time to do proper research into what make the sound different and better. I don't think anyone else does this in the audio industry much, so when people complain that what AN UK makes is soooo overpriced they really have no idea what the hell they are talking about, and that especially includes their competitors. Rant over."


"So, if you have an amplifier of any make that uses a 211 radio transmitting tube or a 300B type tube (valve), contact your Audio Note UK dealer and grab these. They are NOT expensive, they sound amazing, and they won't blow up. Did I say they sound amazing?"

Photo credit - Steve Hoffman