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RE: Tung sol 12ax7 vintage black plates? Is the hype true?

Yes, they are fantastic and the hype is real. Very transparent, lots of resolution, excellent soundstage and body, and are never harsh, extremely smooth and liquid. Among the best US tubes made. Rival some of the Euro tubes too. Hard to find

1948-49 The Tung Sol 12AU7 black plate, clear glass w/vertical D getter has the same attributes, but is extremely to find. I am lucky to own both and they are fantastic tubes. The later 1949-51 12AU7 black plate/black glass are close in sound. The even later black glass/gray plates loose some of the transparency and resolution comparatively, but are still impressive

I haven't heard a Tung Sol tube I don't like. One of the most underrated tube manufacturer's around. The TS 5751 is another stellar tube resolution in spades and never over bearing or harsh, very liquid too.

I have a pair of 1948 Tung Sol 6SU7GTY tubes that are superb also.

YMMV based on gear and tastes.

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