12AX7 ?

Discussion in 'Tube Audio' started by teisco, Jul 4, 2018.

  1. teisco

    teisco AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I am sure this has been asked a thousand times here but I would like to know the current thinking on what are some of the better 12AX7's to use in a tube preamp situation. Your favorites?
     

     

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  2. thornev

    thornev Active Member

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    Sovtek 12AX7LPS seem to add some oomph wherever they're installed.
     
  3. Dave451

    Dave451 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    +1 on Sovtek 12AX7LPS
     
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  4. jeanmarie

    jeanmarie AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    telefunkin, it is all I use other then mullards. Have a ton of em.
     
  5. savatage1973

    savatage1973 Addicted Member

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    Location:
    NW Pennsylvania snow belt
    Baldwin "Greenies"--Sylvania long plate 12AX7 branded Baldwin with green lettering. The orange, yellow and white Baldwin labelled tubes were RCA and Raytheon, and IMO, not as good. Nice smooth gain and very quiet background--love them in phono pres.
     
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  6. primosounds

    primosounds SE KT120 w/ 6J5G drivers. LCLC ps + 2 x 5ar4 Subscriber

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    I always "pass on" the currently made ax7 with any equipment i am selling and prefer to keep the original vintage ones. They seem to be made better and will not change in sound quality as they age.
    If you have too much gain or noise issues, you might want to try some 5751 tubes.
     
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  7. Dswankey

    Dswankey Super Member

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    I'm not boasting or trying to be a jerk but luckily for me I have a nice stash of (late 50's/early 60's) Mullards, Tele's, Amperex and a few Valvos. They all tested good and I have them because i was fortunate to acquire them over these past several years plus I'm not a tube seller so they're here if I need them.

    As to which is my favorite I don't know cause to be honest I can't tell the difference. I guess I don't have the ear or the patience to try an discern if I can hear a difference.

    I do like the look of the Amperex Bugle Boy's
     
  8. EastPoint

    EastPoint Factory Code No. 4200 Subscriber

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    Raytheon black plates and sylvania long gray plates are good cheaper alternatives to Mullards and Teles.
     
  9. multichamp12

    multichamp12 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Telefunkens are great, everyone should have a pair of them. Mullards are great (I personally prefer Mullards to telefunken in my setup). Amperex and Brimar are also good. I have some Amperex 12AX7A Medical tubes which sound the best to my ears.

    The one new production 12AX7 I like is the Sovtek 12ax7lps, although I have not tried many of the new production tubes.
     
  10. bjlefebvre

    bjlefebvre AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    For the newer edition, Sovtek 12alps and the new Tung-sols are good.
     
  11. Nixxuz

    Nixxuz AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I'm in the minority here. I really like the Genalex Gold Lions and the GE JAN drivers for the clean top end, while still being full bodied.
     

     

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  12. crispycircuit

    crispycircuit AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    GE 5751s
     
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  13. thornev

    thornev Active Member

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    Location:
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    Nix - I use the Gold Lions in my Little Dot MK3. They are far better-sounding in that amp than anything else I tried in those positions. Thorne
     
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  14. Tubeglowpio

    Tubeglowpio Active Member

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    Location:
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    I've enjoyed the typical vintage mullard and Telefunken and Sylvania but honestly the current tungsol and genalex are right up there as far as sound goes for 12ax7 especially for the price.
     
  15. kmolles

    kmolles AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I very much like Sylvania's, but my real faves are RCA Black Plate 5751's
     
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  16. MRL_Audio

    MRL_Audio AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    So that means pretty well all varieties are great.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2018
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  17. Nixxuz

    Nixxuz AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    It very much depends on the individual. I prefer an almost, but not quite, solid state sound. Many prefer more rolled off highs and pronounced mids. Some favor a heavy bottom end. Tubes, to me at least, are a kind of expensive and overtly complicated tone control. You have to experiment a bit to find the sound you prefer, since they all add a bit of coloration in one way or another.
     
  18. mashaffer

    mashaffer Super Member

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    3,341
    Location:
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    I have a couple dozen each of yellow lable AX7s and green lable AU7s salvaged from a spinet organ that I haven't gotten around to trying. Will probably use some for the console resto-rod.
     
  19. teisco

    teisco AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, Iowa
    Wow, great replies! I did change out the 2 stock 12AX7 tubes in my tube amp for some old RCA clear tops and love the open sound of these - still open to all suggestions.
     
  20. FrostEOne

    FrostEOne Active Member

    Messages:
    318
    Location:
    Southeastern Iowa
    Tubes like capacitors all have their own + and - traits, really depends on your system, ears and preferences as to which would sound best to you.
    Personally, with my system, NOS Mullards. That being said, the JJ's are reasonably priced and many like them.
     

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