Psvane is a brand name – owned by a private group of audiophiles inside and outside of China together. Initially some of the members of this private group worked for Shuguang and they were the key R&D personnel for the hugely popular ‘black bottle’ Shuguang Treasure series.
As the Treasure tubes became popular and in demand, the profit sharing arrangement between the key development personnel and the quasi-government controlled Shuguang Group started to become out of balance, which eventually resulted in earlier 2011 the sales rights of Treasure tubes were officially removed from this group of key R&D personnel. This event has triggered the formation of Psvane brand to maximize financial return on their tube expertise. A separate company called ‘Heng Yang Electronics’ is later formed for Psvane tube production. The company has trade name as ‘Psvane Audio’ and is a registered entity in Hong Kong.
Where are the Psvane tubes were made?
Initially when the relationship with Shuguang hasn’t completely gone sour yet, the Psvane tubes were made by Shuguang tube factory under contract. When Shuguang cut off the R&D team from profit sharing on Treasure tubes, many of the R&D and production members decided to leave Shuguang to join the new Psvane Audio to become investors and profit sharing employees.
In May 2011 with the efforts of the R&D team, a small scale production facility was set up close to Shuguang to start producing large tubes such as 845 and 211′s. Grant Fidelity visited the facility in September 2011 when it is on last stage of commissioning before production.
In Oct 2011, Psvane Audio made another major movement by buying out all the equipment and production team of Guiguang Tube Factory in southern China. Coming with the Guiguang buy-out deal is the ex Chief-designer of Shuguang, who left Shuguang before Psvane Audio was born to help revive Guiguang since 2010. (If you don’t know who is Guiguang, read my post here).
With Guiguang facility under Psvane Audio control and ownership, now Psvane Audio is on the way to develop and launch a full range of new high quality tubes.
What tubes does Psvane Audio make?
From the initial Psvane T-series vacuum tubes, the new Psvane Audio will have multiple series of tubes and related products available to the market:
Vacuum tubes: including 3 series
- T series (the high end black bottle tubes) – started production since 2010 first by Shuguang under contract, now by Psvane themselves. We no longer carry the T-series as it has limited differentiation from the Shuguang Treasure tubes (black bottle) and not as good as the newer high end TII Series (Grey bottle).
- HiFi series (the affordable clear glass tubes for everyone) – started production since Nov 2011. Good for replacing your stock tubes coming with the amp. Thicker glass enclosure, improved base and pin on some models over the Shuguang generic tubes. However, as these are generic tubes with only limited quality control from factory, quality of tubes on the market really varies. We carry some models with our re-selecting of quality.
- TII Series: This is the high end series that changes the tube internal coating from black to new materials (grey coating). Tube base has also been improved. The sound from TII series is universally considered more refined from top frequency to bottom end. They are priced more expensive than Treasure series but many audiophiles who have owned both Treasure and TII series confirm that the extra money is well worth the investment.
- Western Electric Replica Series (WE series) – these tubes are created with materials from the same source as the original WE tubes (wonder why the WE Re-issue from USA never become reality again?) and they are 1:1 100% replica, not just on technical specs, but also on appearance. They will let you share a piece of the legendary history Western Electric tubes and re-live the glory of vacuum tubes era. First model now available is the highly sought after 100% replica WE300B. Other models has also been added over time.
A: TII series: is further split to two sub-grade based on Psvane Audio’s own test results: Classic Grade (OK to good, less expensive) and Collection Grade (better to best, most expensive). This grading criteria is similar to Shuguang Treasure tubes split to Standard and Premium grade based on factory test results.
The Classic grade is packed in individual paper box, but many online sellers do not disclose the quality grade when offering them for sale. When the tube is taken out of the box, naked eye cannot tell the difference of it from the higher quality Collection grade. Consumers should pay special attention to know what quality you are buying and not attempted by just low price, because the different quality tubes appear just the same. Tubes are sold as electronics parts – the electronic specs cannot be seen by naked eyes. They can only be read by sophisticated tube testing equipment.
The Collection grade is packed in gift box usually either in pairs or in quads.
All Psvane TII series tubes offered on this site is Collection grade, further screened and tested by using Grant Fidelity test method. They are sold at premium price for the premium quality, and backed by Grant Fidelity 90 days warranty.
Grant Fidelity has been closely working with the original Treasure R&D team (who now is Psvane Audio) since the Treasure Z-series was born in 2008. We have achieved great quality control of Grant Fidelity tube orders and gained solid reputation among our customers for providing consistent Grant Fidelity Grade A tubes (best of the best – selected from the Premium factory grade /Collection grade) with premium purchase price (no free lunch – Grant Fidelity pay extra price premium for our factory orders to encourage and entice factory to provide us the best of the best. We have $6000 worth of tube testing equipment with Psvane Audio team specifically for Grant Fidelity order processing).
B: HiFi series: These tubes are in direct competition with generic Shuguang clear glass tubes. They are made with different (cheaper) materials compared to the T/TII-series, in clear glass enclosure, with less strict testing criteria than the T/TII-series. These tubes are developed for affordable average consumer market and tube amplifier manufacturers to be pre-packaged with tube amps for sale.
Packaging: HiFi series tubes are packed in dark blue paper box individually. It is easy to be identified from the T-Classic series although packaging the same – one tube is black bottle; the other is clear glass.
Price: the lowest priced Psvane tubes out of factory.
C: WE Replica Series: This series is to revive the legend of historical tube brands decades ago. The sound is after the vintage sound signature – which are highly sought after by worldwide super audiophiles. Because of high R&D cost to restore history and ensure 1:1 replica, the price of WE replica series is also the highest among all Psvane tube series. Is it worth the money? Some UK audio reviewer said the Psvane WE300B replica is better than the 78′ re-production WE300B, so you figure….:) Those WE re-issue 300B runs well over $1500 per pair, but Psvane replica is at about 1/2-2/3 price..
Besides vacuum tubes, Psvane Audio also contract other parties to make a series of tube amps with flagship model being the SET Parallel T845 monoblocks and T417 pre-amplifier with separate power supply.
How the Psvane tubes sound, compared to the popular Treasure tubes?
In short, Psvane comparable models of tubes sound as good as, or even noticeably better than the Treasure tubes in the top end extension according to audiophiles who own both tubes.
What is going to happen with Treasure tubes?
Going forward, Treasure tubes will be still made and sold by Shuguang to the market. After 2011, we have formed collaboration with Shuguang quality control team to screen and select Treasure tubes for Grant Fidelity customers. These selected tubes as called ‘GF-Select’ grade and has ‘GF-Selected’ printed on the glass after selection process.
In order to offer worldwide customers a great product with great price, these tubes are packed in plain kraft carton box, and sold only through this website without any middlemen markup.
Grant Fidelity will continue our successful path to support the Psvane Audio team for their original innovation in creating high end audio tubes. We will also work with Shuguang on developing unique tube models to serve the audiophile market. One of such example is our newest Treasure 6SN7SE Globe tubes.
Grant Fidelity will continue our efforts in streamlining distribution / shipping / logistics of tube orders and in the meantime, most importantly, continue our close monitoring and controling quality of top Grant Fidelity Grade A tubes for worldwide tube lovers.
Happy tube shopping and happy listening,
Rachel @ Grant Fidelity