Preamp Tubes? - Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How?

Discussion in 'The Workbench' started by joshuaaewallen, Jan 29, 2009.

  1. Bownse

    Bownse Well-Known Member

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    Once tested, will you be posting a list of available tubes?
     
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  2. StingRay85

    StingRay85 Well-Known Member

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    They won't be cheap you know... :)

    Looking at Amperex Bugle Boy long plates you won't find any below 100$, good ones probably not below 300$. I can't believe a preamp tube can be worth that money but I wouldn't mind people paying me those numbers lol. I was contemplating sending out samples to MFers to try to find out if they're really as good as people claim they are.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2020
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  3. Amadeus91

    Amadeus91 Well-Known Member

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    Here is a pair from my collection, 1956 Hamburg manufacture.
    Mullard 1600 from 1954, this type pre dates the Mc1.[​IMG] [​IMG]
     
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  4. StingRay85

    StingRay85 Well-Known Member

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    Also three made in Hamburgs, can be recognized from the nicely fired getter flash(7, 18, 19)

    20200918_191956_copy_3055x937.jpg
     
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  5. J Saw

    J Saw Well-Known Member

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    You guys are finding some nice ax7's. The prices are getting pretty crazy.
     
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  6. StingRay85

    StingRay85 Well-Known Member

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    none of those are NOS though, but most are only slightly used
     
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  7. CROWEMAG

    CROWEMAG Well-Known Member

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    I am looking for good modern 12AX7 set up for my 86 2204. I want more dynamics and “crunch”, less stiff if you know what I mean.

    what does everyone recommend for each of the three preamp positions? I am trying to make my way through this entire thread and feel a bit overwhelmed. Hahahaha. Thanks!
     
  8. SkyMonkey

    SkyMonkey Well-Known Member

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    I think this is the longest thread in the whole Marshall Amp Forum!
    That can make the relevant information buried in here nigh on impossible to single out.
    A new fresh new thread dedicated to preamp tube selection might be the thing, but there are probably hundreds of similar MF threads that have fizzled out after 10 or so posts.
    Using the word 'Official' in the title sometimes works to aid thread longevity.
    But for now this record breaking monster lumbers on.
    :2c:
     
  9. CROWEMAG

    CROWEMAG Well-Known Member

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    Right on! I have tried to search here and have not found what I’m looking for, really. I’ll make my way through this one hoping it’s not all about NOS because as much as I’d like to I’m not paying NOS prices. Hahaha. I want practical, everyday availability. Nice dynamics and crunch. I’ve heard that Chinese tubes are surprisingly good for that but have my doubts.
     
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  10. StingRay85

    StingRay85 Well-Known Member

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    Watch some vids on youtube
     
  11. CROWEMAG

    CROWEMAG Well-Known Member

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    I’ve tied that too and there is maybe one video I’ve seen that sounds good and I can actually tell a difference but that one is all NOS tubes. Hahahaha. Got any good links?
     
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  12. StingRay85

    StingRay85 Well-Known Member

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    This one features a couple of the modern options. JJ, TAD (Chinese?), EHX, Ruby, tung sol. You can see how they compare to the old ones
     
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  13. Sg-ocaster

    Sg-ocaster Well-Known Member

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    Hit up eBay....buy a few used 12ax7s of vintage stature. Buy from ebayers that test for mutual conductance and look at the chrome flashing for a haloing look aroubd the edge( worn out)stay away....also look for tubes that have a dark ring around the base( worn out) stay away........if you find a tube you want to try that has clear glass....no haloed flashing and tests decent.....and is around new production price snag it.....chances are it should be ok......yea you can run into a microphonic one( especially long plates 17mm)but it's worth a little risk......GE and rca shortplates can be had pretty cheap used and are generally pretty good about microphonic.
     
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  14. CROWEMAG

    CROWEMAG Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the advice! I’m going to start looking around on eBay and try my luck.
     
  15. StingRay85

    StingRay85 Well-Known Member

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  16. CROWEMAG

    CROWEMAG Well-Known Member

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    I live in VA. USA
     
  17. StingRay85

    StingRay85 Well-Known Member

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    In that case RCA and GE are probably your best options if you don't want to break the bank. RFT tubes are probably the ones you want to try if you want to spend a little more

    There seems to be a new pair for 60€ in France on reverb. Would seem like a good deal if they're really new. I would ask for some more pictures of the flash and pins, and ask for measurement values
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2020
  18. CROWEMAG

    CROWEMAG Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the tip! I’m on my way! Hahahaha
     
  19. Dogs of Doom

    Dogs of Doom Moderator Staff Member

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    I have bought plenty of old tubes (used)...

    I can't really tell you, if I've bought, but a few actually NOS, but, most of what I bought was used.

    The main thing is buying from an honest broker. They are not easy to come by, just looking around on ebay. You have to know who they are.

    Generally, an honest broker will tell you, if they are broken in & an estimated usage, say, if they might have 60% life left, or 80%, etc.

    TBH, a OS tube w/ 60% life left can outperform a modern CP tube... sometimes...

    The main thing is that the broker is selling accordingly. You wouldn't expect to pay NOS (new) prices for a tube that has been used & has a significantly shortened life span. Still though, if a tube is rated for 10,000 hours of use, 60% is still 6,000 hrs of use left. Many new CP tubes can't guarantee that & some people have gotten 30-50K out of old tubes...

    New tubes have gone up considerably, in the last few years. Used to be, you could get a 12AX7 for a little more than $10/ea, now, you're looking at $20/ea +/-...

    Last time I actually bought an NOS tube, I paid around $12/ea, for Ei branded tubes...

    PAUL8286_zps7bce85b2.png

    so, don't be afraid to buy NOS, or even UOS (used), as long as the dealer is honest & the prices are according to what the tube actually is...

    If someone has a bunch of ratty looking tubes & claim all as NOS, they probably aren't. On the other hand, be careful of people who silkscreen fake labels on tubes to pretend they are NOS.

    That's why I say, finding an honest broker is paramount.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2020
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  20. Sg-ocaster

    Sg-ocaster Well-Known Member

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    Also when I find a tube dealer on eBay.....i look over a number of thier tubes be for I buy....
    .i make sure thier used tubes have a range of test results.....if EVERY tube they sell test strong....i suspect something......when I see they have a few darker ones with lower results and some clear with high results.....it looks more like they REALLY tested them....ya know.
     
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