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GE 12AX7 blackplate pic

Discussion in 'Amps/Cabs Tech Corner: Amplifier, Cab & Speakers' started by rockon1, Sep 16, 2006.

  1. rockon1

    rockon1 Member

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    You dont hear too much about these so I thought I'd let em out![​IMG]
     
  2. Blue Strat

    Blue Strat Member

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    What indicates that they're made by GE?
     
  3. Sparky6string

    Sparky6string Member

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    How is the sound? I have a few RCA BP 12ax7s and I don't like em so much.
     
  4. rockon1

    rockon1 Member

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    I have a couple labeled GE in this group. They are identical in construction to the Ken Rads. The Ken Rads also have GE manufacture codes of 188-5 on them. Futher -GE's are the only ones Ive seen with these silvery plates too which they all feature.
     
  5. Timbre Wolf

    Timbre Wolf GoldMember Supporter Gold Supporting Member

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    Yessir - that EIA code of 188-5 indicates the Owensboro Kentucky plant, originally owned by the Kentucky Radio Corporation (Ken-Rad). GE bought out Ken-Rad in 1945, and the Owensboro plant never stopped production.

    For some reason, GE kept labeling the 12AX7 as "Ken-Rad," even though it was made after the buyout. Those 12AX7, with sort of black/silver plates (kinda cruddy looking surface, really) were made in the early '50s (I think all of mine are from '51), long after Ken-Rad had been subsumed. Rockon is correct to call those "GE," even though they're correctly labeled "Ken-Rad."

    Oh yeah, they sound terrific, too. Like a hybrid between a Raytheon black-plate/halo-getter and an RCA black-plate. They've got thicker lows than the Raytheons, and slightly later-breakup, but nice clear bright highs (more lean than RCA b-p). Lovely tubes.

    That's quite a collection you've got there, Bob!

    - Thom
     
  6. Blue Strat

    Blue Strat Member

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    Ah, so they're shiny or "satiny" black plates? I've seen those and wondered who made them.
     
  7. Sparky6string

    Sparky6string Member

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    Thanks Thom.

    BTW does anyone else find the RCA bp to be not so good sounding?
     
  8. rockon1

    rockon1 Member

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    Thanks. They are compelling! Most of these are 1950. Ive actually got couple with GE labeling on them. Im not using any at the moment but I love old glass.:)
     
  9. Timbre Wolf

    Timbre Wolf GoldMember Supporter Gold Supporting Member

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    They're not shiny black plates - those are either Raytheon or Sylvania. Non-reflective, dark black plates are RCA. These look as if they started out with dull, dark plates, and that surface scaled off, leaving a mix of black and grayish-silver.

    - T
     
  10. devbro

    devbro Member

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    Wanna part with a couple?
     
  11. Blue Strat

    Blue Strat Member

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    You can see this in the photo? Better get my eyes checked:)

    They look uniformly black to me with a slight sheen (not shiny, hence "satin") compared to RCAs which have the charcoal look.
     
  12. Timbre Wolf

    Timbre Wolf GoldMember Supporter Gold Supporting Member

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    It is all relative... if they are all I had of NOS, I'd be grateful for them. But as it is, I have not found a place for them in any of my amps.

    There's a softening quality to these that I don't really like. They break up early, and they tend toward the darker tonal shades, but the thing that I don't take to is that they've got an odd feel, to me. I know they're beloved by some, and who knows, maybe I'll find out why - someday.

    Anyway, this here thread's about Ken-Rads, which I do love and recommend highly. :AOK

    - T
     
  13. rockon1

    rockon1 Member

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    Very subjective.For instance many people really like short plate Mullards and HH Amperex but they dont do much for me.As for the RCA BP'sI rarely use them but they sound pretty nice overdriven-fat with strong top end.Seem to clean up better with guitar volume than gray plates.However because of my fondness for high gain amps Ive been using mostly short plates.Less trouble with microphonics-especially in combo's. I also like tubes with strong mids and subdues highs(again high gain).....I love old glass though.:)
     
  14. Timbre Wolf

    Timbre Wolf GoldMember Supporter Gold Supporting Member

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    Yeah, sure I can... check your glasses - maybe time for bifocals? :rolleyes:




    No, man, I've got a bunch of these too, and was just going from what I've seen in my own collection. I really like 'em, and would be mad at Rockon for mentioning them if I wasn't already sufficiently stocked.

    Mike, if you can get a stash of these, and of the Raytheon black-plate 12AX7A (like the one I sent you last year) to sell, I'll volunteer to spread the word, far and wide, to your potential customers. Gotta love free advertising!! These are tubes to shout about.

    - Thom
     
  15. Blue Strat

    Blue Strat Member

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    I'm working on quad focals! ROFL!

    I've got a small pile of the Raytheon blackplates in stock.
     
  16. rockon1

    rockon1 Member

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    couldnt resist....[​IMG]
     
  17. rockon1

    rockon1 Member

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    BTW- I call them(GE black plates) "silvery" but I guess "black-silvery" would be a better description...
     
  18. Timbre Wolf

    Timbre Wolf GoldMember Supporter Gold Supporting Member

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    Rockon - you are planning on rockin' on... for several centuries. Your stash is going to last at least that long.

    That is, unless you really piss off your wife :eek: :rotflmao

    - T
     
  19. rockon1

    rockon1 Member

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    Shhhhhhhh! She might hear you! BTW- I never have my whole stash out at once....lol!
     
  20. Timbre Wolf

    Timbre Wolf GoldMember Supporter Gold Supporting Member

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    :roll:rotflmao:D
     

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