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Thread: Another one - Tung Sol Reissue - test results

  1. #1
    Tone Member Myles's Avatar
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    Default Another one - Tung Sol Reissue - test results

    Tung Sol Reissue - test results

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    This is a post I answered on another forum that I thought may be of interest to some of you:

    Myles,

    Thanks for the advice, on the 12AT7's. I am still trying out different tubes and the Tung Sol 12AX7 may be all the Agression I need.

    Brendan

    Brendan,

    The current batch of Tung Sol reissues are great tubes and some of the most consistently high in gain of today's production tubes. The rightmost column is true, actual gain. Most of today's tubes are 75-85, most around 80 actually, so these are a great batch. Having a tube 5 points in gain lower than another in V1 will make a difference most folks can hear easily. Having a tube with plate current output down 20% from spec (spec is 1.2mA) as a phase inverter will also impact things a lot in most amps:

    Design spec is:

    1600 TC
    1.2mA plate current
    100 gain

    Plate
    Current TC Gain

    1.0 1470 0.0155 94.8
    1.4 1840 0.018 102.2
    1.1 1320 0.015 88.0
    1.1 1510 0.016 94.4
    1.1 1560 0.018 86.7
    0.9 1490 0.016 93.1
    0.8 1340 0.015 89.3
    1.0 1560 0.018 86.7
    1.1 1630 0.0175 93.1
    1.3 1740 0.0185 94.1
    1.2 1650 0.018 91.7
    1.0 1540 0.017 90.6
    1.0 1400 0.015 93.3
    1.2 1670 0.018 92.8
    1.4 1730 0.018 96.1
    1.5 1910 0.019 100.5

    In another batch the final specs were:

    Averages:

    Plate Current Output 1.1 mA
    Mutual Conductance 1514
    Gain 88


    High TC 1610 100.6%
    Low TC 1320 82.5%
    QA tolerance TC 18.1%

    High mA % 1.3 108.3%
    Low mA % 0.8 66.7%
    QA tolerance mA 41.7%

    High gain 91.2 91.2%
    Low gain 84.7 84.7%
    QA tolerance gain 6.5%

  2. #2
    Ultimate Tone Member J.LaGrassa's Avatar
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    Default Re: Another one - Tung Sol Reissue - test results

    Thanks for the post Myles I really like the Tung Sol RI in V1 of my VHT Super 30, compared to the stock 12AX7WB it was a huge Improvement in tone and gain!

  3. #3
    Tone Member Myles's Avatar
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    Default Re: Another one - Tung Sol Reissue - test results

    Quote Originally Posted by J.LaGrassa View Post
    Thanks for the post Myles I really like the Tung Sol RI in V1 of my VHT Super 30, compared to the stock 12AX7WB it was a huge Improvement in tone and gain!
    The Tung Sol is brighter, has closer proper gain, is more defined and articulate compared to the WA, WB or WC.

    Happy playing

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    Toneologist wanmei1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Another one - Tung Sol Reissue - test results

    Quote Originally Posted by Myles View Post
    The Tung Sol is brighter, has closer proper gain, is more defined and articulate compared to the WA, WB or WC.

    Happy playing
    However I don't believe it's as clean or articulate or smooth as a Sovtek 12AX7LPS.
    Short of using Mullard, Brimar, Telefunken NOS tubes I place the Sovtek and Ei (with qualification, though let's not go there. ) as the best sounding current production 12ax7s.
    An economical alternative thats close to ultimate tone is one NOS with the rest being current production tubes.

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    LoveMachineologist jeremy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Another one - Tung Sol Reissue - test results

    the ei's are so unreliable though. i popped one in my deluxe, tried it out at home to make sure everything is good, let it cool down, put it in the car and when i fired it up at the gig it squeeled like crazy and it was only a 15 minutes trip down a relatively smooth road. i tried three others and they all went bad eventually. the longest lasting one gave me four months of nice tone then squeeled like the others.

    still i wouldnt put it in the same catagory as my rca, telefunkins or mullards

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    Toneologist wanmei1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Another one - Tung Sol Reissue - test results

    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy View Post
    the ei's are so unreliable though. i popped one in my deluxe, tried it out at home to make sure everything is good, let it cool down, put it in the car and when i fired it up at the gig it squeeled like crazy and it was only a 15 minutes trip down a relatively smooth road. i tried three others and they all went bad eventually. the longest lasting one gave me four months of nice tone then squeeled like the others.

    still i wouldnt put it in the same catagory as my rca, telefunkins or mullards
    Couldn't agree more with you !!!

    Reliability is a real problem and they are also noisy unless they are bought pre tested for s/n ratio.
    Really unfortunate as they are a nice sounding tube if you can find a good one.
    Quality control lets Ei down badly.

    Personally I wouldn't put RCA or G.E. in the same class as Mullard, Telefunken, Brimar, Siemens, AWV Radiotron, or even some of the NOS Japanese tubes.

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    Ultimate Tone Slacker Fresh_Start's Avatar
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    Default Re: Another one - Tung Sol Reissue - test results

    Same experience as Jeremy with Ei 12AX7s. They sound great... for a little while.

    wanmei1 makes a really good point. You don't have to cough up the dough for a complete set of NOS preamp tubes. The first two gain stages have the biggest affect on your amp's tone, and an NOS or ANOS 12AX7 in the V1 spot probably gets to 70-80% of the way toward a full set of NOS preamp tubes.

    FWIW I got a few ANOS 12AX7s from KCA NOS Tubes and they are S-W-E-E-T

    This is one area where going EBay or lowest price is a complete waste IMHO. If you're going to pay up for NOS or ANOS, you need a reputable tube guy. I'd bought a couple of "ANOS" elsewhere which were simply duds. Maybe it's all in your interpretation of "almost" in "almost new old stock"

    Chip
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    LoveMachineologist jeremy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Another one - Tung Sol Reissue - test results

    Quote Originally Posted by wanmei1 View Post
    Couldn't agree more with you !!!

    Reliability is a real problem and they are also noisy unless they are bought pre tested for s/n ratio.
    Really unfortunate as they are a nice sounding tube if you can find a good one.
    Quality control lets Ei down badly.

    Personally I wouldn't put RCA or G.E. in the same class as Mullard, Telefunken, Brimar, Siemens, AWV Radiotron, or even some of the NOS Japanese tubes.
    depends on the amp. some amps like mullards, some dont. a tv front pro i used HATED telefunkins, mullards, ge and brimars but loved an amperex. my bf dr loves a ge in v2. my 5e3 clone loves telefunkin in v1 but not v2 where an rca sounds better.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fresh_Start View Post
    Same experience as Jeremy with Ei 12AX7s. They sound great... for a little while.

    wanmei1 makes a really good point. You don't have to cough up the dough for a complete set of NOS preamp tubes. The first two gain stages have the biggest affect on your amp's tone, and an NOS or ANOS 12AX7 in the V1 spot probably gets to 70-80% of the way toward a full set of NOS preamp tubes.

    FWIW I got a few ANOS 12AX7s from KCA NOS Tubes and they are S-W-E-E-T

    This is one area where going EBay or lowest price is a complete waste IMHO. If you're going to pay up for NOS or ANOS, you need a reputable tube guy. I'd bought a couple of "ANOS" elsewhere which were simply duds. Maybe it's all in your interpretation of "almost" in "almost new old stock"

    Chip
    i agree but again, depends on the amp. the more simple a circut the more the character of the tubes comes thru. in a typical bf fender amp v1 can either be pulled or you can put whatever crap you want in there since almost no one uses the normal channel anyway. if you pull the tube and it has a shared cathode resister/bypass cap it will sound different, some like it some dont. reverb driver can be important but only effects that part of the circut, the other reverb tube has the last gain stage for that channel so that can be pretty important. the trem tube can be anything that works imo but the pi can have a big impact on how the amp responds. if you have a weak pi tube youll never push the power section the way you should.

  9. #9
    Joyfulnoiseologist Hoss's Avatar
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    Default Re: Another one - Tung Sol Reissue - test results

    ahhh...you guys are making me want to try out some different tubes in v1 of my Traynor now!
    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy View Post
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    Toneologist wanmei1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Another one - Tung Sol Reissue - test results

    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy View Post
    depends on the amp. some amps like mullards, some dont. a tv front pro i used HATED telefunkins, mullards, ge and brimars but loved an amperex. my bf dr loves a ge in v2. my 5e3 clone loves telefunkin in v1 but not v2 where an rca sounds better.
    I agree, .....it depends on the amp AND the users ears !
    Mix and match of brands and gain to tailor the sound is definitley where it's at.
    Like yourself I am definitely not one of the " I bought a set of XX brand tubes for my amp" brigade.
    My amps and ears don't rate RCA or GE tubes very highly however the Amperex Bugle boys are up there with the best.
    I mix output tubes as well. ( I thought I was the only one but I notice Myles said he has done this too. )
    Forgot to mention.....I'm too lazy to do a complete amp re cap upgrade but I do upgrade the power supply caps to higher voltage spec how about you ?
    Last edited by wanmei1; 11-13-2008 at 07:48 PM.

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    Tone Member Myles's Avatar
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    Default Re: Another one - Tung Sol Reissue - test results

    Quote Originally Posted by wanmei1 View Post
    However I don't believe it's as clean or articulate or smooth as a Sovtek 12AX7LPS.
    Short of using Mullard, Brimar, Telefunken NOS tubes I place the Sovtek and Ei (with qualification, though let's not go there. ) as the best sounding current production 12ax7s.
    An economical alternative thats close to ultimate tone is one NOS with the rest being current production tubes.

    The real Mullards are on the dark side of the scale and real Telefunkens are on the bright side of the range. The Ei is as bright as a Telefunken (and the Ei is made on the original Telefunken tooling to that design spec as a side note). The LPS is a bit on the dark side of the mid point of a bright - dark scale in most amps but not as dark as a Mullard.

    Keep in mind when comparing tubes to compare tubes that have the same specs or specs very close or all bets are off in trying to compare accurately.

  12. #12
    Mojo's Minions Lake Placid Blues's Avatar
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    Default Re: Another one - Tung Sol Reissue - test results

    I must say that I'm learning a ton from Myles' input and discussion! I sure hope that you will continue here at this forum for a good long time.

  13. #13
    Ultimate Tone Slacker Sanford's Avatar
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    Default Re: Another one - Tung Sol Reissue - test results

    I'm trying hard to fight the tinkering urge on my new Egnater. I want to let the honeymoon wear off before I go swapping tubes, but reading these posts is putting thoughts into my head.

  14. #14
    Toneologist wanmei1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Another one - Tung Sol Reissue - test results

    Quote Originally Posted by Myles View Post
    The real Mullards are on the dark side of the scale and real Telefunkens are on the bright side of the range. The Ei is as bright as a Telefunken (and the Ei is made on the original Telefunken tooling to that design spec as a side note). The LPS is a bit on the dark side of the mid point of a bright - dark scale in most amps but not as dark as a Mullard.
    Except which one of the many 12ax7 variants that Mullard made are you referring to as the real Mullards ?
    ( box plate , 4004 etc )
    Telefunken also has the most extended , deep and articulate bass of any 12AX7 which the Ei doesn't have.

    What's your point ?
    Last edited by wanmei1; 11-22-2008 at 09:49 AM.

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    Mojo's Minions Ascension's Avatar
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    Default Re: Another one - Tung Sol Reissue - test results

    I have had good luck with the 12AX7 Tung Sols in my Fender Prosonics. these amps like these tubes a LOT in V-1 in particular. With the uber gain of the Prosonics noise and microphonics are CRITICAL issues. On the Tung Sols with the short plate design I find them quiet and quite resistant to microphonics.
    I have both the standard variants and the Gold Pin versions on the Tung Sols. i do find the Gold pin variants for some reason to be slightly brighter, clearer and less compressed than thes standards in head to head tests in V-1 on these amps. The gold pins I have seem to be slightly lower in gain than the sandard ones I have. I did however have Doug select the highest gain Tung Sols he could find but the clarity of tone makes up for that.

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    Tone Member Myles's Avatar
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    Default Re: Another one - Tung Sol Reissue - test results

    Quote Originally Posted by Lake Placid Blues View Post
    I must say that I'm learning a ton from Myles' input and discussion! I sure hope that you will continue here at this forum for a good long time.
    I plan to hang around here ... a great group of folks here that actually try to help one another. That may sound like the way things should be done but in most cases are not at all the way things are done

  17. #17
    Tone Member Myles's Avatar
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    Default Re: Another one - Tung Sol Reissue - test results

    Quote Originally Posted by wanmei1 View Post
    Except which one of the many 12ax7 variants that Mullard made are you referring to as the real Mullards ?
    ( box plate , 4004 etc )
    Telefunken also has the most extended , deep and articulate bass of any 12AX7 which the Ei doesn't have.

    What's your point ?

    I was referring to the most common medium ribbed plate, the tube used as the design reference for the Sovtek reissue Mullard and the GT reissue Mullard.

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