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In Reply to: RE: Tung sol 12ax7 vintage black plates? Is the hype true? posted by DAK on February 17, 2017 at 08:51:06
I find most of the European tubes over rated and over priced. I will take a mil spec Raytheon black plate square getter 12ax7 over any Mullard, Telefunken or Amperex 12ax7 I have heard (have not heard the Mullard 10M, Amperex long plates or the Tele 803s however). Same with the early RCA blackplates. Heck, I even prefer the Tung Sol grey plate square getter to most Euro types. These US tubes can still be found for reasonable prices if one looks around.
The best Euro 12ax7s I have are the Siemens long plates (the short plate double getter holder are pretty good too) and the Valvo tilted getter 12ax7s made in the Hamburg plant.
Of course this is all very circuit related and based on individual listener preferences. There is no "best" tube. All the tubes mentioned are at least good (and will smoke most if not all new production), I just find many Euro tubes overpriced because of the big names and because they are "European" as if US made tubes are necessarily inferior. Some very nice Japanese tubes as well.
Enjoy the roll!
Actually, IMO, some of the Euro tubes are excellent to superb. Pricing is another thing entirely. Perhaps they are over priced because the market will allow it.
Any of the 50's Long plate Euro tubes are superb and again IMO, have few if any American equal. The differences in some instances are minimal to huge.
50's Long plates from Brimar, Siemens and Valvo Hamburg made tubes are some the best I've ever heard.
But then again, Ken Rad, Lansdale, CBS, Tung Sol and Westinghouse (true Westinghouse manufactured tubes, not re-branded) all from the 50's as well, are stellar too.
I guess if one had to generalize any tube made in the 50's are the one's to get......I use them all, rolling is a lot of fun.
Lots of great advice guys thank you. I do agree that euro tubes are best and most money. I own nos pairs of just about every version of 12ax7 from every manufacture. I'm now branching out into original USA black plates which I've also heard compare nice with the best euro has to offer. I did locate and buy a black plate tung sol and black plate Raytheon 5751 windmill getter so looking forward to trying them soon. The tung sol is slightly used although but it's all I could find. They are all but impossible to find. Gonna be tough to top the mullard 10m I think
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