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RE: Sorry no, its designed in distortion numbers are quite poor

Yes the numbers for a 12AU7 are worse than most. However they do have their uses. Low gain stages are one of them. You have fallen into the same trap as your hero Eli D. The 12AU7 is very nonlinear when driven lightly. Ram at least 6-7 ma through and it runs out fairly well. It also works pretty good at low voltages unlike 6CG7 or 6SN7.
Is it a great tube. No, and I never said that. What I took exception to is your generalization.
The links you supplied are all gibberish.
If you want to see how a 12AU7 can be used in a line stage check out
Copland, Conrad-Johnson, Belles, Beard, Cary, and any number of manufacturers. Yes they were once cheap, but so were all the other tubes.

Dan Santoni

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