NOS Tubes 12AX7

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joshwilson3
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Post by joshwilson3 » Sun Jan 06, 2008 4:13 am

StuntDouble wrote:
joshwilson3 wrote:About how much do these NOS Tungsram go for?

Is there a particular Tungsram to look for?

Found em here for $55.00-$60.00 a pop; I'm gonna get one and a Sylvania

http://www.tubemonger.com/Tungsram_60s_ ... _p/703.htm
http://www.kcanostubes.com/products/33/ ... -12AX7.htm
Thanks. I wonder how much Larry would let one go for...

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Post by master keeper » Tue Jan 08, 2008 3:27 am

StuntDouble wrote:
joshwilson3 wrote:About how much do these NOS Tungsram go for?

Is there a particular Tungsram to look for?

Found em here for $55.00-$60.00 a pop; I'm gonna get one and a Sylvania

http://www.tubemonger.com/Tungsram_60s_ ... _p/703.htm
http://www.kcanostubes.com/products/33/ ... -12AX7.htm
I usually don't pay more than $15/tube. I've bought quite a few for less than 10! Mostly this has been rebranded tungsram. It takes some time to find them, but they're out there!

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Post by Roe » Tue Jan 08, 2008 7:31 am

I don't pay more than about 18 usd for a preamp tube, including shipping.
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Post by SB Monster » Thu Jan 10, 2008 3:59 pm

novosibir wrote:My personal favourite for British sounds is the Tungsram, because no other tube does have this knocky, woody and nonetheless tight tone.

The Mullard's are similar, but I don't like it too much, because they are too fat soundwise IMO and slower in response, compared to the Tungsram's.

Another mullard-ish sounding tube I like sometimes is the Brimar. Again similar to a Mullard, but slender in its overall sound and not as boomy, as the Mullard.

Although, my 2-nd favourite is the orig. Tesla (not JJ!) with the factory code '32' and the gold pins and I like it due to its smooth, silky sound with the nice & mild presence. My favourite in fender-ish amps, but also for British sounds as i.e. tone amp tube, loop recovery stage, aso.

Another one of my 'out of the row' favourite is the Telefunken smooth plate, but never as V1 or as V2! I very much like it as the PI tube, because it makes IME the power stage work more stable than any other tube brand in this spot.

Larry
Just to add to larrys's description and btw Larry you've nailed it as usual, thanks...

I'm sat at home, it's january, gigs have gone baldy, off the drink after christmas and it's pissing down with rain. so i got my whole stash of pre's together and started playing around all day today with different ones in v1.

I'd been using the same 163 mule in v1 for ages and really liked it, did a couple of gigs in nov/dec that were launches of albums i sat on, just local stuff, but you can guess they were full of musos. heaps of guys complimented the tone so was feelin pretty good about the glass i got there. It's a metro superbass. for this experiment, a strat with '11-49's and a cornish ss2 for some boost. In v2 we got a brimar and in v3, a tesla e83cc ( btw larry i checked and i have two with codes '32' and gold pins, one of them was already in the amp which was really cool to find and thanks for the info )

Heres what I found out, i'm no expert on how to describe these things but i think my ears are okay. no doubt some of you guys will tell me you how close i am to getting it right ( ...or wrong, please do! ), but at least i hope it helps somebody out there before they hand over their hard earned. The t'rams are much tighter top and bottom with a lovely top grind, chimey, back to back with various mules, the mules do sound looser, boomy is a great way to describe it. The trams have a great, immediate bark on rythm work and compress beautifully using more drive on lead playing but the faster timing of the trams mean you don't have to work as hard as you would with the mules to retain clarity, the more you push the front end and the dirtier things get. although the trade off being when pushed, the mids seemed sweeter, more tuneful in the 'old faithful' 163.

I've got 5 t'rams all of which seemed pretty consistent, so i decided to keep one along with the 163 i was familiar with to use a reference against the other tubes i got. next was an rca short/grayplate i got from trampy. slightley darker than the tram. not as heavy in the bottom end. a great musical but softer sounding midrange and overall response is lazy like the mule but not just as slow. the top end got softer, less presence, the more i pushed the front of the amp, still a great tone but i think maybe one to stash away for v2 or v3, or another amp perhaps. the telefunken diamond bottom, 17mm gray ladder plate, also from tubetramp, was just too much, this tube just sounded so strong, more gain, abundant wide-ranging honky mids, a howling top end bite and a very tight bottom end, even with a lot of gain in front of it, the wound strings chimed out like the low end of a grand piano, too much for this set-up but man, i can see how guys get into them.

so i stuck in a tesla gold pin '32'( white print ), back in t'ram territory but not as forward, not just as 'rich', a bit on the bright side. the tube i put in was nos so i tried the one i've had in v3 for nearly two years. what a difference, these tubes sound so much better burned in, fuller all round, a bigger sound, rich and even across all frequencies, like larry says a sweet presence, super fast attack, i could almost hear the notes before i picked 'em, makes me wish i had a telecaster. the trams have the maybe a tad more detail but it's the darker more authorative low end and their addictive 'bark' that gets them my vote over the teslas.

after a whole day messing around with these, and having great fun doing it, i'm gonna stick with a tungsram, i'm going to buy a few more if i can find them. the mules come a close second and luckily i have a good stash of those. i guess it depends what you want out of your gear. i'm on the hunt for some bugles only cos i hear so many great things about them but have yet to try them. hope this helps somebody ( and that i'm not too far off the mark )

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Post by novosibir » Thu Jan 10, 2008 11:19 pm

Bugle Boy are Philips made in Heerlen/Holland and were printed 'Bugle Boy' only for sales to the USA :wink:

And yes - as SB Monster has experienced - the Tesla's need about 10-15 hours burning in time to sound sweet, the Tungsram's even need about 30-40 hours burn in, to loose the edgyness.

Larry
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Post by tubetramp » Wed May 07, 2008 11:39 am

tungsrams are fantastic tubes without a doubt but the industrials mentioned here are not the best sounding, the older the better .most of the ones floating around out there can be identified with other lables on them .most of my best are rca labled this also goes for older eis so keep a wary eye out for strange looking rcas lol a rule of thumb is look at the tubes construction instead of its lable .ive sold alot of these for trainwrecks in the last 18 months ,probably due to ken fischers demise .alot of cloning goin on .his favs were tungsrams and eis, all older production. we all know that any older tube will improve the whole picture regarding sonic quality but for the budget minded individual american tubes are a great alternative .a good set of three is half of what european stuff is . american tubes are still the best deal going .a couple of ge shortplates with a euro in v1 will get you in the same spot that 250 dollars worth of euros will .i wouldnt mention this but i see it daily.there are some amps that have to have the best i usually sum an amp with three such as rft amperex tungsram .then switch to raytheon rca ge or sylvania and although different, the words better or worse shouldnt be used. if i think the american stuff isnt good enough ,i put in a jj and eh and a sovtek and all of a sudden i am in instant appreciation of the lowliest american stuff .tt

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Post by master keeper » Fri May 16, 2008 3:39 am

A while back had the pleasure to try a few very high gain sylvania ecc83. I put them in V1 (teamed up with a v2 mule and v3 tesla e83cc) and I liked it so much that I kept it in there. Two of those sylvanias sounded very much like the highest gain Tungsram I have used before for V1 in the same amp!

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Post by Roe » Fri May 16, 2008 4:31 am

how can I distinguish the earlier tungsrams for the later, industrial ones?
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Post by master keeper » Fri May 16, 2008 5:03 am

one thing to look at is the number tag, which moves upwards with time. IIRC it moved up above the mica in the early '70s...early tubes also have welded plates, not crimped.

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Post by Roe » Fri May 16, 2008 7:02 am

thanks!
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Post by 5150loveeddie » Fri May 16, 2008 4:50 pm

Can someone confirm to me if those are Tungsram 12ax7s branded RCA, like TT suggested???

thx! :)
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Post by novosibir » Fri May 16, 2008 6:48 pm

Confirmed!

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Post by 5150loveeddie » Fri May 16, 2008 9:13 pm

novosibir wrote:Confirmed!

Larry
Ouf great, wasn't sure if I got stiffed!! Thx Larry! You did mention earlier that those need a 20hr break-in to be at there best right? They seem a little harch/not so fantastic sounding yet!!? :?
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Post by TubeGetter » Fri May 16, 2008 10:25 pm

I've tried the Tungsrams from the late 50's to the 80's and they're all great. Some of the better Tungsrams were made around 1977. This is the rare case that newer isn't always inferior to older. The Honvedseg military versions in the 70's were great.

Regarding the industrial versions, after hearing a bunch, I really can't tell a difference.....I don't think there is. These are the regular looking Tungsrams but with a red code stamped on the side. A lot of people are using them and don't even realize they're industrial, I'm sure.

An NOS Tungsram is definitely one tube that will settle/break in after 10 or so hours of use (it varies from tube to tube). Be patient.

I've only heard a few crappy sounding ones, usually they're at least good sounding and often great........if they're used in the right amp and position. They can sound crappy in the wrong situation for sure just like any great tube will.

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Post by 5150loveeddie » Fri May 16, 2008 10:56 pm

Ok thx for the info! The ones here seems relatively new (well I think they are, nice flash, etc...??) and I didn't had the chance to break them in fully yet. They do sound very nice, but they didn't impress me that much as of yet most possibly because they are low milage!! Will play them alot I guess, like everything else in the tube amp world!!
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