Which tubes to keep in 4210?

Discussion in 'Marshall Amps' started by joebor1776, Aug 3, 2020.

  1. joebor1776

    joebor1776 New Member

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    Hi,
    I have a few old 12ax7 tubes that I've pulled from two donated scrap organs, and my ears honestly can't tell the difference when I test them each in my old 1957 Gibson GA9 amp (two 6v6s, and preamp is a single 12ax7). I have a Marshall 4210 combo that I could use four of these 12ax7s in for V1, V2, V3, and V5 (I have a 12au7 for the V4 reverb tube), but in my quick tests I can't really hear much of a difference in that amp either. I was hoping someone here could tell me, is there anything in this list that you'd definitely hold onto and use, or are they all unremarkable? Maybe I'll eventually appreciate it after playing with it at volume for an extended period. I'd like to just keep the four or five best tubes and put them in the 4210.

    Baldwin-branded Slyvania 12ax7 from early 60s
    Baldwin 12ax7 from Japan early 60s
    Wurlitzer-branded RCA 12ax7a short gray plate, early 60s
    Wurlitzer-branded GE 12ax7 long gray plate (USA), early 60s
    GE 12ax7 short gray plate (Canada)

    I know the obvious answer, if my ears can't tell the difference, it doesn't matter...just looking for a "here's what I'd keep" opinion.

    Thanks!
     
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  2. pedecamp

    pedecamp Well-Known Member

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    Keep them all its good to have spares! :yesway:
     
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  3. Jethro Rocker

    Jethro Rocker Well-Known Member Silver Supporting Member

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    Let half go. To someone who woild pay fair market value. Ahem... like... me!! :applause:
    Which are best will be very subjective. I like the Sylvania amd RCA and some GE.
    Maybe try just V1 and V2 in the 4210 first? AB with the current tubes. If you really can't hear a difference even subtle then it doesn't matter. Keep some for future amps.
    I always find a subtle difference but it is there, usually.
     
  4. joebor1776

    joebor1776 New Member

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    Thanks, yea I guess I need to just do some more trials...my tone memory is pretty bad with subtle differences. I think I end up noticing more with longer term use, but then when I switch something up, I don't trust my memory :). So was hoping that a particular tube's reputation might help direct my trials. Right now I have a GE in V2 and a Sylvania in V1, sounds pretty good (but it sounded pretty good with a short plate RCA in V2 yesterday, lol). I'll give it some more time. Thanks again!
     
  5. Jethro Rocker

    Jethro Rocker Well-Known Member Silver Supporting Member

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    They may well be very similar but how are they compared to the stock tubes?
     
  6. Sg-ocaster

    Sg-ocaster Well-Known Member

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    The tube with the yellow tip is a philips.....cant see the etched code but I think you got an Amperex there......V1 right there....... The etched code above the pins does it say I65 and underneithet start with a lopsided triangle??? If so amperex.....if it's I61 or I63 and the bottom code starts with a B it's a mullard. Imo(and most others) those are some of the best tubes ever made.....could also be a bel labs which was a philips tube made in India.....just a different flavor of mullard and also very good......also the base does not appear blackened which is tell tale of a high mileage mullard......does that tube flash when you fire up the amp?? If so another tell tale philips trait ......ok enough rambling its a winner as long as it's strong.
    Ge long plates can be nice too.
    Sylvania are kinda hard and middy imo....but good pi tubes in some amps.
    Rca save for fenders imo.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2020
  7. joebor1776

    joebor1776 New Member

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    Yes, you're right, the yellow tip is not a GE tube! I had forgotten, I bought that tube several years ago, and the description I was given was this: "Philips Canadian Electrohome tube. It is built like a Dutch Amperex." I forgot about that and mixed it up as a GE. Thanks for triggering my memory! I may put that one in V1. The only code I can see on it is "r411" which appears under the 12ax7. Thanks for the advice on the others, sounds like I should use the Philips, GE, and Sylvanias in the 4210.

    @Jethro, as for the stock tubes, I never heard them, bought this 4210 a few weeks ago used and beat to hell. It had Fender-branded GTs in it and a JJ 12AT7. I really can't hear a diff between the Fender tubes and the rest either, lol. At least not with short comparisons.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2020

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