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To facilitate convenient tube swaps I relocated a topless LS-100 to the uppermost shelf. Partners in crime were my Esoteric/APL Hifi UX1/NWO-M player fed from a PureMusic-driven iMac in memory play via the Audiophilleo 2 D/D converter; ModWright's matching KWA-100SE power amp; and the Cypriot Aries Cerat Gladius speakers with updated Fostex woofers. All cabling was Zu Event save for one Entreq Challenger USB. The important tube rectifier in the LS-100 was a lovely Mullard GZ34.

Psvane vs. Create. I kicked off with what I expected would be the closest call. It actually wasn't. Equally good yes, same flavor no. As I'd noted of the Create Hifi 300B earlier whilst comparing it to various contemporary Czechs and Chinese, this brand's sonic focus seems very modern. As such it leans more on the instant beginning of notes rather than their decay. This creates a sound that seems more damped, dry, wiry, incisive, better separated out and more energetic but texturally also leaner and less dense.

That distinction held for their 6SN7. Given that the beefy Special Edition ModWright amp is innately warmer and more buxom than the ultra-quick FirstWatt SIT2 which I usually have on the Gladius, I favored Create Hifi's injection of transient focus. And precictably the tables turned with the SETransistor amp. Here the precise reason why I fancy the ModWright preamp for its mate in the first place had even more cause. The Psvane tube played it denser. It soundstaged deeper, was texturally wetter ('bloomier' or more luscious) and also felt a bit more laid back and settled. Over the SIT2 any rhythmically incisive complex-layered fare filled out without getting even a tiny bit opaque or 'blended'. The KWA-100SE meanwhile shifted deeper into the center/tail portion of notes. This deccelerated the overall vibe and made the stage action denser whilst giving up a bit of perceived sparkle and spunk.

Where the Create Hifi bottle was tauter, slammier, with sharper separation, higher treble energy and greater perceived micro resolution, the Psvane was creamier, with richer textures, fatter tone and body and more pronounced layering but rhythmically not as nimble or driven. These aspects were distinctive enough to be identifiable in in the juxtaposition and trigger personal preferences but they certainly weren't pronounced enough to feel imbalanced as though being suitable only for a 'specialized sound'.

Rolling between these two quality 6SN7 didn't behave like tone controls which operate in the amplitude domain to selectively boost or cut certain bands. This was more of a focus shifter. The Create Hifi shifted a bit closer to the attack, the Psvane veered in the other direction. For all the rapid-air fiery brilliance which conservatory-trained Ulrich Herkenhoff puts into the very highest overblown notes of his smallest pan flute, you'd want the Create Hifi. For greater come-hither effect in Anna-Marie Jopek's Polish vocalizing, you'd want the Psvane. That's overdrawn and basic but fitting.

I'd rate either as equally 'advanced', meaning the presentation is cohesive, frequency extremes aren't trunctated and there's nothing coarse or basic in how the music is handled.