12AX7 ID Question

Discussion in 'Amps/Cabs Tech Corner: Amplifier, Cab & Speakers' started by BTO, Mar 28, 2008.

  1. BTO

    BTO Member

    Messages:
    136
    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2005
    Location:
    Winnipeg, Canada
    First...I don't have any pics yet, but I was still wondering if someone could give me a couple of possibilities.

    I happened on another dog walking find...someone was chucking out an old Symphonic amp. (last year I found an old Wollensack tube reel to reel that I managed to get a real nice old RCA 12AX7 and Mullard 12AT7 out of)

    I did some research and found out these amps were made in Montreal in the '60's. It's kind of like a Champ I gather: 8" speaker, 1 preamp, 1 power and a rectifier tube. I will get it up and running eventually, but for now I am curious as to what the 12AX7 might be.

    First off, it sounds fabulous in V1 of my Laney VC30, which is the most important thing. :) I hate to use cliches, but it really does sound like a blanket was taken off the front of the speaker: every frequency seems to be much clearer, lively and balanced, but at the same time nice and smooth. I had been having issues with a real annoying upper-mid thing and kind of a spongy bass response. Both these problems are gone now.

    Here's the physical description: it's labeled "HIT-R" in white lettering. It has "12AX7A" inside an elongated octogon (like an RCA). Beneath that it says "JapanE1" It also says "8-5" on opposite sides of the bottle. On the bottom, between the pins is "11" inside a circle etched into the glass. The top of the bottle is very silver with very slight seams that seem to only run to the edge of the silver on the top.

    The plates are 9/16" and are a darker gray color. There is a single, very small rectangular opening on each side "flange" of the plates. The middle section of the plates have two raised horizontal bars. It has a halo getter with a single support.

    I compared it to a GT12AX7M, Mullard clone I have and the bottle is smaller, but except for the holes in the plates the innards are almost identical.

    I know, I know... a picture is worth a thousand words, but this is the best I can do right now.

    It sounds great and that makes it a keeper, but I'm just kind of curious as to what this is. Any thoughts???
     
  2. Blue Strat

    Blue Strat Member

    Messages:
    30,036
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2002
    Location:
    Sterling, VA (not far from Washington DC)
    I think the ""JapanE1" marking says it all. There are a lot of fakes and misprinted tubes out there, but no one tries to "upgrade" (increase market value) a tube by printing ""JapanE1" on it.

    It's impossible to say without a photo, but Matsushita would be my guess.

    The stuff that came out of Japan was still far superior to anything made today.
     
  3. BTO

    BTO Member

    Messages:
    136
    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2005
    Location:
    Winnipeg, Canada
    Thanks. Like I said, sound wise it's great, so it's a keeper. Blows away the recent issue preamp tubes I've tried in the Laney. I was playing it again this morning for a bit and I'm really happy with it now. I was pretty disappointed in that amp given the pretty good reviews it gets. This small piece of Japanese glass may have saved it's ass from GAS purgatory. :)
     
  4. Groovey Records

    Groovey Records Member

    Messages:
    3,146
    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2007
    Location:
    Jackson Heights Birthplace of Johnny Thunders
    I have a first generation Panasonic (matsushita) AM/FM Table Radio with the same Matsushita tubes a 12AX7, 12BA6, 12AL5, 12AJ7, 17 EW6 AND A 50C5 PT

    Sounds great and it even has an ext speker jack.

    I got a hold of a Motorola Record Player being thrown out after a church bazzar and came up with a nice set of Motorola Tubes and a brass plated amp chasis. Thinking of making a single ended Git Amp out of it.

    EnJoY ThE MuSiC
    Groovey Records
     
  5. Bonenut

    Bonenut Member

    Messages:
    249
    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2005
    Location:
    Northern Cal
    Sounds like the Japanese Hit-Ray brand tube to me, Hitachi made possibly.
     
  6. VikingAmps

    VikingAmps Member

    Messages:
    395
    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2007
    Location:
    VA
    Is this the same company that made the Jap Raytheons? I used a pair of them in my YBA1A thru most of the 70's and early 80's Great sounding tubes from what I remember. Those EL34's were cookin in that amp too. I hardly ever ran it below the distortion threshold. 90 watts RMS from the pair and I'm sure I got well over 1000 hours out of them like that.
     
  7. Axemeister

    Axemeister Member

    Messages:
    2,135
    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2003
    Location:
    La La Land, CA.
    I have recently tried some 12ax7 Japanese tubes.... Matsushitas. They sound good, and are open sounding compared to the Russian tubes that they replaced.

    So, I took another shot and just put a set of EL84 Westinghouse labeled Matsushitas in one of my amps, and they sound nice.. A somewhat crisper sound than the JJ's that they replaced.

    I imagine that there are decent MIJ tubes buried within a bunch of old hi-fi equipment for the 60's and 70's, but I am sure it is hit and miss with quality and condition.
     
  8. rockon1

    rockon1 Member

    Messages:
    11,468
    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2005
    Location:
    Stamford CT
    Japan and two raised horizontal bars? sounds possibly like one of these or similar. Ive got a box full of them if so. Could be slight variations in some of them. Warm,darker but not a lot of clarity from what I remember. Havent tried them in a while. Bob


    [​IMG]
     
  9. rockon1

    rockon1 Member

    Messages:
    11,468
    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2005
    Location:
    Stamford CT
    Actually this Japanese magnavox looks closer to your description with single plate holes.



    [​IMG]
     
  10. Axemeister

    Axemeister Member

    Messages:
    2,135
    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2003
    Location:
    La La Land, CA.
    FYI: here is my Matsushita...which is clearly labeled on the other side of the tube:
    [​IMG]
     
  11. rockon1

    rockon1 Member

    Messages:
    11,468
    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2005
    Location:
    Stamford CT

    Yeah didnt sound like a matsu thats why I posted the above photo's. Bob
     
  12. BTO

    BTO Member

    Messages:
    136
    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2005
    Location:
    Winnipeg, Canada
    That's the one!!!
     
  13. rockon1

    rockon1 Member

    Messages:
    11,468
    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2005
    Location:
    Stamford CT
    I took the time to load my VC50 with 3 of them-not bad. Smooth top end and pretty warm overdriven. Think I'll give them a listen for a bit. Bob
     
  14. jbird

    jbird Member

    Messages:
    973
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2003
    Location:
    Sacramento, Ca.
    I just bought one today for the V1 in my VHT Deliverance! A NOS Matsushida 12ax7 with Westinghouse labeling! It's a wonderful sounding tube in this amp!
     

Share This Page