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Unread 11-02-2012, 02:03 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Re: "NOS" preamp tubes...worth it...or all hype?

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Originally Posted by Adrian R View Post
Yeah, thought the GEs sounded better. Gonna try some Sylvanias next from 1961...
Let me know how these compare to the GE's. I like them so far but I haven't been able to get the volume above 2.5 yet. I think they will shine at that point!
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Unread 11-02-2012, 02:16 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Re: "NOS" preamp tubes...worth it...or all hype?

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Let me know how these compare to the GE's. I like them so far but I haven't been able to get the volume above 2.5 yet. I think they will shine at that point!
With a DSL100, or ANY 100w all valve Marshall amp that will prove to be very difficult in any scenario! At rehearsal if I get my amp up above 2.25 in the A channel boosted..preamp set around 2-3pm...I get crucified!
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Unread 11-02-2012, 07:07 PM   #33 (permalink)
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Re: "NOS" preamp tubes...worth it...or all hype?

I guess I will have to try for myself!
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Unread 11-03-2012, 05:12 PM   #34 (permalink)
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Re: "NOS" preamp tubes...worth it...or all hype?

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At rehearsal if I get my amp up above 2.25 in the A channel boosted..preamp set around 2-3pm...I get crucified!
What?? Oh that's just not right. You'll have to come jam with us - we crank it up to 3, sometimes 3.5!
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Unread 11-03-2012, 06:06 PM   #35 (permalink)
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Re: "NOS" preamp tubes...worth it...or all hype?

i got my GE 12AX7's for $4 a tube

one time deal though.
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Unread 11-03-2012, 07:55 PM   #36 (permalink)
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Re: "NOS" preamp tubes...worth it...or all hype?

I've bought some tubes that I really wanted and spent $30 or $40, but the majority of the great 12AX7's that I've had were pulls from console stereos, turntables, or any number of odd pieces like reel-to-reel machines, I got some excellent stuff from a Wurlitzer organ that didn't work anymore, trading with other tube fanatics, etc. I usually end up with very little money invested in any of my tubes, and I'm always on the lookout for more.

The bottom line is, you have to decide on your own what sounds the best to you in your particular amp, whether it's current production, NOS, ANOS, or just old. I have an amp with seven Chinese 12AX7B's in it and it sounds monstrous. One thing that most people don't get is that just because it's a Mullard or a Telefunken DOES NOT MEAN THAT IT WILL BE A GOOD-SOUNDING TUBE. You can't try just one example of a tube and think that you'll know all about the tubes from that one. I've got a Mullard right now that looks brand new, tests brand new, and sounds like ass in V1 of any amp I've tried it in. If I based my judgement of NOS Mullard tubes on that particular one, I'd have missed out on some good sounding tubes.

Anyway, yes I hear a difference and IMO they are worth the trouble but they are not worth eBay prices. Do a little leg work and hunt them down. They are out there to be had. Yard sales, antique malls, junk stores, flea markets, basically anywhere you might run across vintage electronics from the 1950's to the early 1960's. Anything I get with a perfect label, I sell to the collectors. The ones the label is missing from sound just as good. Those go in my amps.
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Unread 11-03-2012, 07:59 PM   #37 (permalink)
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Re: "NOS" preamp tubes...worth it...or all hype?

Anybody know a good place to buy good tubes then? I've always used CP and they're fine. I also bought a couple of Baldwin tubes and they're not bad, just bright.
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Unread 11-03-2012, 09:30 PM   #38 (permalink)
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Re: "NOS" preamp tubes...worth it...or all hype?

Baldwin relabeled anything and everything. Mostly they are the more inexpensive tubes like Sylvania or Toshiba. Sometimes they are relabeled Raytheons - in this case the plates would be black. The others have gray plates.

Send me a PM. I probably have some GE tubes I could send you for a very decent price. I'm a little low on everything right now, but for some reason I have more GE tubes than other brands. USPS First Class International Shipping would be under $10 for tubes. Also, the stuff I sell is the same stuff I use, so when I sell a tube it didn't come from my "junk" box. I do have several tubes that test marginally OK. I don't throw them away but I don't use them either. Those, along with my Russian and Chinese pulls, go into amps I'm trading at Guitar Center or selling on Craigslist. Don't get me wrong, they sound good, but they aren't the strongest tubes in my collection. With the old tubes, even the ones that test on the weak side of good can still sound excellent. They just won't sell for as much at retail.
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Unread 11-03-2012, 09:50 PM   #39 (permalink)
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Re: "NOS" preamp tubes...worth it...or all hype?

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Baldwin relabeled anything and everything. Mostly they are the more inexpensive tubes like Sylvania or Toshiba. Sometimes they are relabeled Raytheons - in this case the plates would be black. The others have gray plates.
Here's one from the pair I bought:


They were sold as Baldwin relabeled Raytheons. From other tubes I've seen the plates are indeed black. They cost $35 for the pair... pretty similar to CP so that's why I took the plunge
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Unread 11-03-2012, 10:04 PM   #40 (permalink)
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Re: "NOS" preamp tubes...worth it...or all hype?

Yeah, you've got a real Raytheon there. Excellent tube! Put that in V2 of your DSL and put a good tone tube in V1. If the Raytheon is a good, strong tube you won't believe what it does for the DSL.
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Unread 11-03-2012, 10:06 PM   #41 (permalink)
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Re: "NOS" preamp tubes...worth it...or all hype?

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Yeah, you've got a real Raytheon there. Excellent tube! Put that in V2 of your DSL and put a good tone tube in V1. If the Raytheon is a good, strong tube you won't believe what it does for the DSL.
Yay! Time to open up the DSL
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Unread 11-03-2012, 10:14 PM   #42 (permalink)
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Re: "NOS" preamp tubes...worth it...or all hype?

Sure they are different
But add a drummer and a bass player

Now how different are they..?
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Unread 11-04-2012, 01:04 AM   #43 (permalink)
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Re: "NOS" preamp tubes...worth it...or all hype?

Well, I went ahead and recorded a small idea after changing V2 to the Raytheon tube. I must say that the aggressiveness of the amp was reduced (I had a high gain Tungsol in V2).

Here it is:
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Unread 11-04-2012, 02:14 AM   #44 (permalink)
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Re: "NOS" preamp tubes...worth it...or all hype?

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Sure they are different
But add a drummer and a bass player

Now how different are they..?
Great point.

So we should all just play Solid State Crates from now on.
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Unread 11-04-2012, 09:14 AM   #45 (permalink)
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Re: "NOS" preamp tubes...worth it...or all hype?

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Sure they are different
But add a drummer and a bass player

Now how different are they..?
I don't understand..really, what do you mean with this question??
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Unread 11-04-2012, 09:16 AM   #46 (permalink)
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Re: "NOS" preamp tubes...worth it...or all hype?

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Yeah, you've got a real Raytheon there. Excellent tube! Put that in V2 of your DSL and put a good tone tube in V1. If the Raytheon is a good, strong tube you won't believe what it does for the DSL.

I had a couple Raytheons, long gray plates...I thought the GEs noticeably outperformed them in my DSL...
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Unread 11-04-2012, 10:49 AM   #47 (permalink)
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Re: "NOS" preamp tubes...worth it...or all hype?

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I don't understand..really, what do you mean with this question??

Two things mostly
The infinitesimal subtleties of tweaker tone can only be measure in millimetrical progress (at best) and frequently it's sitting down hunched over an amplifier... which I have no problem with - it's fun to tweak

But
So much of that is not only lost - it's also not useable or "transferable" when you add another guitarist and a bass player and a drummer and a singer etc. etc.

I've found that usually when I tweak out a tone and get what I think is just perfect - as soon as I introduce everybody else into the jam - that magical tone I was all geeked out about isn't particularly useful and I go back to: Standard head settings etc.

So ultimately -all I'm saying is:
Is it useful..?
Is it a functional tone, good within a complex mixture of music..?
Sometimes fancy tweaker tone is only cool alone on "solos" in your bedroom
sure it's FUN (but maybe that's all)

don't hate me...
Observation: One of the great tone guys of all time - Dougie Aldrich uses a hybrid JMD1 head
Stock - no tweaks - right out of the box

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Unread 11-04-2012, 11:05 AM   #48 (permalink)
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Re: "NOS" preamp tubes...worth it...or all hype?

[QUOTE=Quasar-Kid;734659]
So ultimately -all I'm saying is:
Is it useful..?
Is it a functional tone, good within a complex mixture of music..?
Sometimes fancy tweaker tone is only cool alone on "solos" in your bedroom
sure it's FUN (but maybe that's all)

don't hate me...


**Ha, no hate here dude..actually quite the contrary. No one should EVER have to feel any disdain for stating a heartfelt opinion. Critical thinking is one of mankind's greatest caveats, and wish there was much more of it.

For me though, with respect to the subject at hand, couldn't feel any stronger conviction to the tonal advantages AFTER the tone is placed in a live band mix. The majority of my time comes from playing in a band and as such, is a major focus for my tuning practices.

Bottom line, in my experience, with these tubes I've acquired, has completely changed my perspective on the old vs. new preamp tube debate. I'm done with CP preamp tubes for the time being...and foreseeable future...
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Unread 11-04-2012, 11:57 AM   #49 (permalink)
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Re: "NOS" preamp tubes...worth it...or all hype?

I agree it can be a crap shot buying old production valves, and when i first started out I didn't have a clue and so paid over the odds for them, bought a few tukeys etc.

Ive got about 70 12ax7's now from lots of different manufacturers and as a rule pay less than I would pay for a JJ or other current production valve, and for me they do sound better, I know it's subjective or maybe even delusional but that's what I've found.

I've had several CP valves crap out on me (JJ's) after a very short time and so far have not had one old production valve that wasn't a dud from the start do the same. And when my budget is 5 tops I can't really go wrong.

Plus I really enjoyed the hunt, albeit on ebay, it's a great buzz spotting some nice old galss and actually ending up getting it in your amp.
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Unread 11-04-2012, 12:23 PM   #50 (permalink)
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Re: "NOS" preamp tubes...worth it...or all hype?

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I had a couple Raytheons, long gray plates...I thought the GEs noticeably outperformed them in my DSL...
Raytheon never made a USA 12AX7 with gray plates. Those are probably relabeled early to mid-1960's Toshiba tubes. I don't have time to dig up a photo, but I'll bet there's a large hole in the bottom mica between the plates on each side. You're right... they fall a little short tone-wise.
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That's what I like about you Alan...you got it bad. You're a tube-aholic.
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Unread 11-04-2012, 05:17 PM   #51 (permalink)
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Re: "NOS" preamp tubes...worth it...or all hype?

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Raytheon never made a USA 12AX7 with gray plates. Those are probably relabeled early to mid-1960's Toshiba tubes. I don't have time to dig up a photo, but I'll bet there's a large hole in the bottom mica between the plates on each side. You're right... they fall a little short tone-wise.
Ratman..
This is what I bought and returned. Is this what you are talking about??

2 Vintage Raytheon 12AX7 Grey Plates Test 1962 | eBay
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Unread 11-04-2012, 06:52 PM   #52 (permalink)
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Re: "NOS" preamp tubes...worth it...or all hype?

Here's the deal about 10M's. They don't have better tone than a regular Mullard, they just last a lot longer.

If I could turn everyone on my favorite V1 tube, it would be a Mazda Silver Plate.

I think it's insane the amount of money being spent on Telefunken ECC803's.
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Unread 11-04-2012, 07:07 PM   #53 (permalink)
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Re: "NOS" preamp tubes...worth it...or all hype?

I've been rolling old glass in my new DSL40watt combo all weekend and in the end I ended up with the original stock tubes back in it with the exception of a high gain Raytheon Black plate that I got from Marty in V2. I thought I liked a Raytheon JRP that I got from RR in V1, but in the end there were things about it I didn't like.

I'm worn out, my ears are ringing and I'm left disappointed. Other tubes I tried were a GE, Sylvania, Tungsram, Philips MiniWatt (high gain), Philips Electrohome and an RCA Mullard....tried them all in every combination I could think of.

I'm starting to think it's the speaker that needs upgrading before I mess with tubes anymore, but I kind of feel like I need to get it broken in good before I make that call.
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Unread 11-04-2012, 08:14 PM   #54 (permalink)
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Re: "NOS" preamp tubes...worth it...or all hype?

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Here's the deal about 10M's. They don't have better tone than a regular Mullard, they just last a lot longer.

If I could turn everyone on my favorite V1 tube, it would be a Mazda Silver Plate.

I think it's insane the amount of money being spent on Telefunken ECC803's.
I wish I had the cash to spend on a Mazda Silver Plate. Holy Crap, they are a lot of money!
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Unread 11-04-2012, 09:39 PM   #55 (permalink)
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Re: "NOS" preamp tubes...worth it...or all hype?

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Ratman..
This is what I bought and returned. Is this what you are talking about??

2 Vintage Raytheon 12AX7 Grey Plates Test 1962 | eBay
Well hell, here you go and find something that proves me wrong

I've never seen these before. They sure do look like USA Raytheons. They even have the Raytheon EIA code and date stamp. 280 is definitely the Raytheon EIA code and the rest of it says they were made in the 33rd week of 1962. I would have liked to see them up close and personal. I can't find a single thing on them that doesn't look Raytheon other than the plates. I stand corrected.
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Unread 11-05-2012, 08:35 AM   #56 (permalink)
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Re: "NOS" preamp tubes...worth it...or all hype?

[QUOTE=RiverRatt;734953]Well hell, here you go and find something that proves me wrong
/QUOTE]

Ratman: I can assure you that this was not my intention. I was just curious. Either way, I returned them as their tone was just okay and thought the GEs were far better. I have some Sylvanias of the same vintage enroute that visually look different. I am also eyeballin' some Raytheon black plates from 1959 that I am going to try out as well. I have read very positive things about them.
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Unread 11-05-2012, 09:15 AM   #57 (permalink)
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Re: "NOS" preamp tubes...worth it...or all hype?

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Quote:
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Well hell, here you go and find something that proves me wrong

Ratman: I can assure you that this was not my intention. I was just curious. Either way, I returned them as their tone was just okay and thought the GEs were far better. I have some Sylvanias of the same vintage enroute that visually look different. I am also eyeballin' some Raytheon black plates from 1959 that I am going to try out as well. I have read very positive things about them.
I think you misunderstood - I was just joking around. I don't mind being proven wrong. Sometimes I need to be reminded that I don't know everything. I learned something from you and thanks for posting it.

Tubes are always like that. You think you know all there is to know about a particular tube or company and then something pops up that makes you have to re-think all that. Those were probably from the transition period just before they started using Japanese tubes.
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Unread 11-05-2012, 11:37 AM   #58 (permalink)
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Re: "NOS" preamp tubes...worth it...or all hype?

Haven't heard much about vintage Tung Sols...I have a Magnavox labeled long plate Tung Sol and it is really nice in all spots of my 1987. For V1, it is my second fav so far.

Some early favs from my tube rolling, and this is in my newly added PPIMV in my 1987.

LP Tung Sol
BP Sylvania
I61 Mullard
I61 Valvo Amperex( #1)
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Unread 11-05-2012, 12:30 PM   #59 (permalink)
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Re: "NOS" preamp tubes...worth it...or all hype?

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I think you misunderstood - I was just joking around. I

Ratman, no need to even begin explaining, I'm from Chicago, your skin grows very thick and rough in this town! No time for thin skinned pussies around here.. LOL
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