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Questions about tubes and gear that glows. FAQ

I have several of the NOS/NIB Genelex and GEC KT88s.

These on the top are some of new old stock I pulled out of the boxes.I also have 7 new sealed in the packages with the data slip that I never opened.

These are used ones that test around 90% and you see Tungsol 6550 black plates in the bottom row.

" I'm going to level with you.I don't sell tubes but I own an awful lot of vintage NOS tubes and to get the best set,they would have to be matched.That is very hard to do especially these days with stocks being so depleted.
The truth is,you are wasting your money IMHO because they are not as great as people once thought they were. When the Genelex reissues came out along with tubes like the Shuguang Treasure KZ,people all of a sudden were realizing with proper biasing and buying from a seller that knows how to match them,the new tubes easily rival or beat the originals as they have now perfected the art of building them.
I have put my originals on many times and compared them to my reissues and I have found that the reissues have a more alive sound while maintaining the accuracy and musical body of the originals.The truth is,the best sounding GEC/Genelex originals were from 1956 to 1964 and I have one pair of those and all the rest I have were made from 1966 to 1977 and all UK made.I never really thought GEC was aiming for the audio market with tubes like the KT88, they were going for the industrial market.The seven that I have new in the sealed package from Ford motor co were used in a plasma cutter. I also got nine that were used and only two were good and the rest were arced over.Being I got all 16 tubes for buying the manager lunch,I'm not complaining.
They made the UK GEC KT88 up until 1988.CJ and Audio Research were both building 6550 amps at the time but chose the GE 6550 over the GEC KT88. At that time,they were priced within a dollar of each other because they were both current production tubes.They both chose the GE 6550 and as expensive as those amps were,I don't think five dollars difference for four tubes was an issue.They liked the voicing of the 6550 more. I have sold off about a dozen of my GEC and Genelex KT88s and I may sell more.I want to warn you tho,if you are expecting this big sonic jump,you are going to be disappointed because it just isn't there being tubes have gotten so much better.
Now the bottom row of New Jersey made Tungsol 6550 black plates,that's another story.Those are very sweet and musical and not dry and lifeless like the UK Genelex/GEC. Again,it will be a chore to find a matched quad of them in new old stock.You may find a slightly used matched quad,but an NOS matched quad will be next to impossible.
You also inquired about 12AX7 and 12AT7s,I think GEC bought those from Mullard or Philips.I have a GEC 12AX7 and it looks like an Amperex bugle boy as I recall.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong" H. L. Mencken

Edits: 01/10/17 01/13/17

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