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Thread: Premium 12ax7 recommendations?

  1. #11
    Join Date: Oct 2011

    Location: Glasgow/Italy

    Posts: 534
    I'm Drew.

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    The best I've ever used '50s-'61...


  2. #12
    Join Date: Apr 2016

    Location: SE London

    Posts: 225
    I'm Michael.

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    Genelex Golden Lions

    http://www.hotroxuk.com/matched-valv...77-2176-0.html

    Absolutely storming these. So much better the the Full Music or PSvane 'premium' ones. I use them in my Icon Audio Phono Stage after trying so many valves from Mullard to PS.
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  3. #13
    Join Date: Feb 2008

    Location: South Wales

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    I'm NotTakingLifeTooSeriouslyTheseDays.

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    If your looking for the best as far as reliability etc, then Mullard CV4004/M8137, however, they are very expensive now, but last, and last!
    Hope this helps.
    A...
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  4. #14
    Join Date: Dec 2008

    Location: Lincolnshire, Home by the Sea

    Posts: 4,187
    I'm Shaun.

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    The best 12AX7's I've ever used were Genelex Gold Lions with gold pins. Lovely airy, bright clean sound. I also used Psvane 12AX7's but had countless problems with them and my preamp so cannot recommend them.

  5. #15
    Join Date: Jun 2012

    Location: Forster, NSW, Australia

    Posts: 265
    I'm Hal.

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    Thanks to all that replied, the winner is Gold lion, are the gold pin version voiced differently if anyone can comment? From the comments they are exactly what I like, disappointing though that so many have had trouble with the Psvanes.
    Without music, powerboat racing, photography and a whole stack of other stuff that floats my boat, life is just a non stop procession of deadlines and bills.

  6. #16
    Join Date: Dec 2008

    Location: Lincolnshire, Home by the Sea

    Posts: 4,187
    I'm Shaun.

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    Hal, no idea why the Psvane's wouldn't work but every time I turned the volume on my preamp down to zero there was a cracking sound through the speakers. I put the original's back in and bingo, no problem. I have since re-valved the preamp with JJ's and there is no problem.

  7. #17
    Join Date: Oct 2011

    Location: London Town

    Posts: 2,170
    I'm Julian.

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    Quote Originally Posted by da2222 View Post
    The best I've ever used '50s-'61...

    I've never seen those before, must be incredibly rare - I'm using the 1960's welded plate which are quite superb and not so easy to find.
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  8. #18
    Join Date: Oct 2011

    Location: Glasgow/Italy

    Posts: 534
    I'm Drew.

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    Quote Originally Posted by julesd68 View Post
    I've never seen those before, must be incredibly rare - I'm using the 1960's welded plate which are quite superb and not so easy to find.
    They are very rare indeed, the silver plate version even more so. Stunning tubes...

    Last edited by da2222; 14-10-2018 at 20:15.

  9. #19
    Join Date: May 2008

    Location: U.S.A. Neo-Socialist Kalifornski

    Posts: 2,657

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    After reading your thread Hal, I spent some time rolling 12AX7 tubes through a Jolida FX glass tube DAC .
    New tubes have improved and NOS if you can find something that is not re boxed well worn pulls, or relabeled and re boxed Chinese /Russian new stuff, if legit will cost you a large sum. So I'll go with Re-pops,best bang for the buck.
    I started out with reissue Tung sol's gold pins, I love this tube sounds a lot like the Ei silver long plates made on Telefunken machines in Yugoslavia in the 90's. Lively,toe tapping bass ,full sounding very fast and loads of gain. The Ei's just have a little more dynamics for example when a string is plucked on a guitar, bass or banjo it sounds a little faster and has a little more pop and vibrato.Bass is better controlled.(splitting hairs here)
    Gold Lion B759 gold pins , Mullard reissues and Sovtek LPS all have one thing in common, soft,smooth,slow and sometimes sultry vocals.( Diana Krall makes me want to touch my self with these tubes) Mids and bass are very rich and controlled but higher frequencies sound slightly vialed in the Mullard and Sovtek LPS. I would choose the Mullard over the Sovtek due to it's better bass.
    Of this family the gold lion B759 just gives you more of everything with detail and has upper end shimmer and sparkle that is not vialed but just soft in a good way.( You can listen to these all day long)
    Electro Harmonics have less gain than most . Gotta eat dinner now will be back with more on this. The EH dose nothing wrong but seems un-involving,it reminds me of NOS Phillips, it's ok but there are just better sounding tubes.( I'd rather be watching a Godzilla movie. )
    Chinese 12AX7W has a lot of gain but is thin sounding and a little bright and the most forward sounding of any tube I have ever heard.( loud and in your face).
    My favorites are:
    1. Ei
    2.Tung sol gold pins Ri
    3. Genulex Gold Lion B759 gold pins Ri
    The Ei's that are out there now are all noisy duds and if they are good ones they are way over priced now. $60.00 to $80.00 U.S. per tube for good,quoit new old stock . (micro-phonics can be a problem with these tubes)
    So depending on what floats your boat, if I where to start with reissues the tung sol and GL B759 would be my starting point both offer a different presentation of excellent sonic performance.
    Keep in mind, as different as these tubes are we are listening to small differences, no tube will re-voice your stereo system, but the right tubes complement a well balanced kit.
    Each tube got at least 30 min. warm up before listening, the CD used was Gillian Welch / Revival. Amp a Manley Labs Stingray 2 x 1960 Tungsol triple mica 12AT7 input,2 x early 60's 6414 Raytheon triple mica rectifiers, power plant 8 x cryo treated Genalex N709 / EL84 re issues ,push pull in Triode position .Custom Reference Tekton Lore speakers with updated /upgraded crossovers. All inter connects White Zombie silver Teflon , speaker cables 8 awg silver /Teflon.All mains cables PS Audio Signature and Prelude SC.
    Disclaimer: All tubes where evaluated under the influence of 90.4 proof Woodford Kentucky Whiskey at the average rate of one maybe two 1+ ounce swigs per hour. Total evaluation took just over 8 hours to complete over the span of 2 evenings.
    Last edited by goraman; 31-10-2018 at 07:01.
    Jeff :UBERTHREADKILLER

  10. #20
    Join Date: May 2014

    Location: Solihull

    Posts: 420
    I'm Martin.

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    I had good results using Brimar CV4004, the mil spec ECC83.
    Very similar to Mullard and made in the same factory?
    Prices are far better than Mullard
    Tangerine LP12,Naim Aro, Benz Wood
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