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Questions about tubes and gear that glows. FAQ

RE: Need to know your equipment

I think we can agree on some fundamental sounds like analytic vs warm or euphonic. There are certain tubes like the 6DJ8/6922 family that do indeed try their best to sound SS in our view, but perhaps transparent and correct in another's view. The 12A-7 tubes you discuss can be only be roughly divided but very roughly, mostly by gain .
I can think of 12AX7s made by Mullard in the 1950s that are 'sweeter' than 12AU7s made by Telefunken in the late 60s. So I disagree that brand and year of manufacture are not as important in determining the sound of those tubes. BTW I think of the 12AT7 as having the most protean character of them, allowing them to sound like any number of things, or virtually nothing at all.
The joy of tube rolling continues to be hearing the differences I found among these tubes, some obvious and some subtle. It cost me a lot of money. Now I am contemplating selling a lot of my collection, but I just can't get myself to do it. I would wonder where I could get some of these tubes today. I would want to buy my own tubes back. ( I really do have a silly number of Sylvania Ws though.)
Yes the gear has a lot to do with it. ARC sounds like ARC, and ARC does not sound anything like CJ. Beyond that using more closely aprroximated gear things get interesting.


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