NOS Tubes for AC and Blackface Circuits

Discussion in 'Ampage Area' started by Srellim1, May 16, 2018.

  1. Srellim1

    Srellim1 Gretschie

    465
    Feb 6, 2016
    Los Angeles
    Hey folks,

    I realize that this has been done to death....

    ...to death.

    That said, I'm wondering what NOS preamp tubes you folks are loving in your Super or Deluxe Reverbs and in your AC15s and AC30s.

    I'm thinking it might be time to start playing with NOS tubes and tube rolling. Just curios what others here may have found in their travels.

    Truly appreciated!
     
  2. Redfish

    Redfish Electromatic

    39
    Apr 11, 2018
    St. Augustine, FL
    I bought several 60's Baldwin and Hammond 12AX7's on ebay that were pulls from an old organ and they are by far the nicest sounding preamp tubes I've used and that includes the NOS RCA's I have. Most tested as new and they have been in and out of every amp that has passed through my hands and they are currently in my Vintage Sound Princeton clone and my Koch Studiotone Vox clone. I never hear them mentioned so you can sometimes get them cheap. They sound round and full and are extremely quiet.
     
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  3. Srellim1

    Srellim1 Gretschie

    465
    Feb 6, 2016
    Los Angeles
    This is good information. I never would have thought Hammond/ Baldwin.
    Thanks!
     
  4. Srellim1

    Srellim1 Gretschie

    465
    Feb 6, 2016
    Los Angeles
    Does anyone have any experience w/ JAN GE 12ax7wa’s?
     
  5. Sid Nitzerglobin

    Sid Nitzerglobin Country Gent

    Jun 8, 2015
    fROMOHIO
    Have loved the mix of JAN GE 5751s and 12AX7LPs I've got in any of the Vox-y or Fender-y circuits I've had them in, haven't tried the WAs though. For current production (and significantly less expensive) stuff I've been really into the New Sensor Mullard CV4004s in my Voxes and Marshalls as well.

    Had a quad of ANOS EI EL84s that were great in my now departed AC30CCH too until 2 of them took a dive a couple months after I got them :(

    The NOS Tung Sol 6V6GT pair and 5AR4 have totally been worth it IMO on the Fender side of the street (although I've liked the New Sensor ones well enough that I haven't felt compelled to buy multiple sets of the NOS ones), haven't grabbed any NOS 6L6s though.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2018
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  6. Srellim1

    Srellim1 Gretschie

    465
    Feb 6, 2016
    Los Angeles
    This is interesting. I’ve yet to try a 5751 but have had them recommended a few times. I am interested in Long Plates but have an interweb generated fear that they might go microphonic on me.
     
  7. Sid Nitzerglobin

    Sid Nitzerglobin Country Gent

    Jun 8, 2015
    fROMOHIO
    The 5751s are sort of situational and usually only get slotted in the gain-ier circuits that I'm trying to tone down a bit, but they've sounded great in anything I've put them in. The JAN Phillips and Sylvania 5751s I've grabbed have been equally as good as the GEs IME.

    Usually I hear most of the worry on the long plate being directed at combos, I can't personally say I've had a problem w/ them in a head or a combo. They're my default go to tube for the phase inverter slot but I've liked them in gain slots as well. YMMV though if you're amp is getting carted around on a super regular basis.
     
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  8. Srellim1

    Srellim1 Gretschie

    465
    Feb 6, 2016
    Los Angeles
    I really appreciate the input.
    I’m also eyeballing a pair of ANOS RCA 7025 /12ax7a’s if you or anyone bay have experience w these fellas.
     
  9. Robbie

    Robbie Country Gent

    Age:
    65
    Jun 17, 2013
    Sarnia Ontario Canada
    I've tried NOS pre-amp tubes on half a dozen occasions. AT's in reverb driver and PI seem to work fine for me but in V1 and or V2 (JAN Phillips 12AX7WA), while they sound great, they haven't lasted and give up at the worst possible time. In a couple of months they go microphonic and in one case I got that "windstorm" sound. I'm personally happy with current production Tung Sol, JJ or similar. Just MHO.
     
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  10. stevo

    stevo Country Gent

    May 1, 2012
    Atlanta
    Yep. They weren't designed for their tone, they were designed for robustness and accurate specs and didn't necessarily go into audio applications.

    I have several that I'll never let go of, but they never go in the front end of my amp. They can often be microphonic because 1) all the best ones are already in someone's collection and 2) they weren't expected to be used in applications where microphonism mattered.

    I do put them in my phase inverters because they're well balanced and last forever. But for V1 and V2 of my amps where the tone of the tube is evident, I typically find the Tung Sol reissues to be the best sounding with a breadth of tone that really outshines the 12AX7WAs. And this also applies to NOS Tung Sol and NOS RCA long plate etc. The modern tubes just sound great.

    And the same goes for any JAN tubes. They may or may not sound great, but if you get a balanced pair of triodes and they test NOS, you can count on them for a long time.

    But I think they're way overpriced these days. $100 for a JAN 12AX7WA? Seriously? Just 10 years ago I paid $15 each!

    And speaking of JAN tubes, some of the best values in tubes are the JAN rectifier tubes. I have a few of the old "potato masher" 5R4 tubes:

    https://tubedepot.com/products/5r4w...MIvc-Fsd6M2wIVxD2BCh1xSwkAEAQYAyABEgLqKfD_BwE

    They don't have the headroom of a 5AR4 so will break up a little earlier. But you'll never see a more robust tube. They were made to withstand the rigors of B-52 bombers so are shock absorbing and have really thick envelopes. And there are a lot of them on the market today at low prices.

    As for NOS 6BQ5/EL84, they can often be some of the best you will ever hear. I have a few NOS RCA and Sylvania EL84s that I used when I had a Laney and a Mesa and they sounded heavenly. But they wear out fast and cost way too much. Great if you have 'em. Not worth it anymore.

    But generally, NOS tubes are a waste of your money these days. WAY overpriced. All the best are usually in some collection (like mine). So what is left these days is usually the worst of the lot and for way too much money.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2018
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  11. NervousJohn

    NervousJohn Electromatic

    44
    May 8, 2017
    U.K.
    I can only really speak for AC-30s, and mostly I’d go along with what Stevo says. The only place for an old valve is in the rectifier where I’ve heard the modern production is not as robust as some of the old stuff. I use a NOS Zaerix GZ34 in my AC-30, who were a reseller in the 60s and 70s in the UK. It was cheap off eBay... cheaper than new stock JJs.

    Mullards are good if pricy - I keep a stash of used ECC83s for V1 where they will have the most effect, and the EL84s are whatever I can get.
     
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  12. MikeSchindler

    MikeSchindler Synchromatic

    659
    Feb 3, 2014
    Pennsylvania
    Tung Sols have been decent for me
     
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  13. swivel

    swivel Gretschie

    180
    May 13, 2018
    PNW
    Usually the Jan's are good.
    I have completely abandoned NOS preamp tubes myself. After years of hissing, microphonics, crackling etc. I decided I want to play guitar not change out tubes constantly. I have been using Mullard RI 12AX7's for a few years and couldn't be happier! I have probably bought about 30 of them and not had one issue with noise.
    I do use Jan military 12AT7's though. They are still pretty cheap.
    The Mullard RI are up to about $20 each now, there's probably a reason.... they're worth it.
    I must have 50 OS and NOS 12AX7's still out there.
     
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  14. Srellim1

    Srellim1 Gretschie

    465
    Feb 6, 2016
    Los Angeles
    I appreciate all of the responses so far. I don't want to get into a money sink. Perhaps the NOS/ ANOS thing really is reaching it's plausible end?
    I do have to say that the temptation to buy a pair of RCA 7025 12ax7a's is still pretty high. I do like the Tung-Sols quite a bit in all of my amps though.
    Does anyone here have any experience w/ the 7025's? From what I've heard, they sound great, however, it may also just be the fairy dust principle.

    Thanks!
     
  15. TV the Wired Turtle

    TV the Wired Turtle Gretschified

    Jul 25, 2009
    so cal
    this is easy.. for the AC30, NOS Ei tubes, oh gaawd these ARE the affordable tone chariots. No lies. the hard part is making sure the seller is reliable and actually tests them. The company fell apart in the 90's and specs were all over the place.. but these were from the Tesla factory, no Elan Musk was involved.
     
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  16. Srellim1

    Srellim1 Gretschie

    465
    Feb 6, 2016
    Los Angeles
    I’ve heard you mention this before. The only issue is that they are vaporware! I have found one online vendor who appears to have the 12ax7 but at $70ea
    I am finding EI made Phillips at $35 on Reverb. Any idea if those are the same?

    I suppose if $ is good this coming week I can get one Ei at $70 as a jump off and see if I like it in the top boost or normal channel.
     
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  17. TV the Wired Turtle

    TV the Wired Turtle Gretschified

    Jul 25, 2009
    so cal
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Pair-of-EI...002646?hash=item5b4776f696:g:wFYAAOSwKwpa9LRP
     
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  18. Srellim1

    Srellim1 Gretschie

    465
    Feb 6, 2016
    Los Angeles
    B48B24FF-EA59-4B5E-B608-1A7E5B40890E.png
    Any idea if these EI gold ‘elites’ are as good as any?
    An eBay seller has s pair fairly cheap and I have found a seller that has golds and gold elites for $40 & $50 respectively. (I realize that gold pins are likely hype but if it’s ultimately the same tube...)
     
  19. Srellim1

    Srellim1 Gretschie

    465
    Feb 6, 2016
    Los Angeles
    Very funny. Our posts crossed.
    I’ll put in a bid.

    Edit- I put in a bid on that pair and on a listing from the same seller. Lost out on both.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2018
  20. TV the Wired Turtle

    TV the Wired Turtle Gretschified

    Jul 25, 2009
    so cal
    dammit I wanted you to win!! You cant have mine though