Help Identifying 12AX7A tubes.

Discussion in 'Amps/Cabs Tech Corner: Amplifier, Cab & Speakers' started by BigPapiFan, Aug 6, 2008.

  1. BigPapiFan

    BigPapiFan Member

    Messages:
    2,218
    Joined:
    May 16, 2007
    Location:
    Albany, NY
    Rather than buy alottery ticket, I decided to take a chance and buy a couple of United-branded 12AX7A tubes for $12.00. I can't find any codes on them and was hoping somebody could identify them. The first looks suspiciously like one of my B&L Mullard Series 10M,except it has no gold pins. I was thinking it might be a Matsushita:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The second bears a striking resemblance to a Telefunken, and even has a diamond imprinted on the center of its base:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Any information would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Blue Strat

    Blue Strat Member

    Messages:
    30,036
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2002
    Location:
    Sterling, VA (not far from Washington DC)
    The easiest way to spot a Matsushita compared to a Mullard is to look at the semi-circular openings near the center of the plate flanges. In a Mullard or Philips tube, there's a solid shiny piece of metal blocking the hole. In the Japanese tube, you can see right through. This seems to be the case with the top/right tube.

    On the "Tele", the foolproof characteristic is how the getter post attaches to the ring. In a real Tele, the getter ring is indented where the post attaches. I can't see that in your photo.
     
  3. BigPapiFan

    BigPapiFan Member

    Messages:
    2,218
    Joined:
    May 16, 2007
    Location:
    Albany, NY
    Thanks for the information, Mike. I was hoping you'd see this.

    P.S. We once had an exchange about Manny Ramirez and you thought he was a bum - you might be right. Lord above, he can hit! But he turned out to be big trouble. Can't wait until the Yankees sign him this winter!
     
  4. Blue Strat

    Blue Strat Member

    Messages:
    30,036
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2002
    Location:
    Sterling, VA (not far from Washington DC)
    You're mistaken about the manny exchange. I didn't even know who he was until about 2 weeks ago and have never posted about him.
     
  5. Timbre Wolf

    Timbre Wolf GoldMember Supporter Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    8,817
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Location:
    Berkeley, CA
    That second tube is certainly a Telefunken. The embossed "diamond" is enough of a clue, but the pointy plate tabs are also a characteristic of note. Mike is correct about the getter wire attachment, and a closeup photo of that would also confirm.

    One additional bit of info about the Matsushita 12AX7A: their halo-getters are conspicuously angled (like some early Valvos from Hamburg), making them easy to spot at the distance.

    By the way, BigPapiFan, I like your line of thinking with regards to lottery tickets. I think you just won!

    - T
     
  6. BigPapiFan

    BigPapiFan Member

    Messages:
    2,218
    Joined:
    May 16, 2007
    Location:
    Albany, NY
    Sorry about the confusion over Manny. Must have been on the Red Sox forum. I guess I am getting too old to keep my internet forums straight in my head.
     
  7. Blue Strat

    Blue Strat Member

    Messages:
    30,036
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2002
    Location:
    Sterling, VA (not far from Washington DC)
    I think a Blue Strat would probably look great on a Red Sox forum.;)
     
  8. rockon1

    rockon1 Member

    Messages:
    11,472
    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2005
    Location:
    Stamford CT
    Yes the one to the right doesnt have an angled getter like a Matsu. I thinking perhaps made in India by Bharat Electronics, Ltd. (BEL), . -Never actually owned by Philips but used Philips tooling according to resident expert Jeff west. Bob
     
  9. BigPapiFan

    BigPapiFan Member

    Messages:
    2,218
    Joined:
    May 16, 2007
    Location:
    Albany, NY
    Yes, the getter ring is indented where the post attaches, I just checked it with a lupe (did I mention I was getting old?). Diamond on the base, indented getter - I guess it is a Telefunken. Who'd a thunken it? Thanks for the help guys!
     
  10. Blue Strat

    Blue Strat Member

    Messages:
    30,036
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2002
    Location:
    Sterling, VA (not far from Washington DC)
    Good call on the BEL, that's probably what it is.
     
  11. Lonely Raven

    Lonely Raven Member

    Messages:
    1,003
    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2004
    Location:
    Bolingbrook, IL
    Is there a database somewhere with photos and information such as you guys are sharing?

    I can take some pretty decent photos, I have a few tubes I'd like to ID, and I'm thinking a good database with the accumulated knowledge of you tube gurus would help everyone in the long run...

    Just a thought!

    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]
     
  12. rockon1

    rockon1 Member

    Messages:
    11,472
    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2005
    Location:
    Stamford CT
    Ive been down this road before with uncoded Philips short plates with holes that go thru the plates. Jeff West chimed in about the possible BEL connection. He's a real wealth of information on tube history for sure. Bob
     
  13. Blue Strat

    Blue Strat Member

    Messages:
    30,036
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2002
    Location:
    Sterling, VA (not far from Washington DC)
    All it takes is time.....
     
  14. rockon1

    rockon1 Member

    Messages:
    11,472
    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2005
    Location:
    Stamford CT
    It would be cool to have a tube only forum! I think its a great idea.

    No database so to speak of besides a few guys here-Timbre Wolf,Blue strat, Jeff west(in no particular order) to name a few,the internet, Tubemongers picture library. One forum to consolidate all the tube ID/history threads would be nice.

    Great photo's BTW. Ive seen them before here and they have great detail! Bob
     
  15. Lonely Raven

    Lonely Raven Member

    Messages:
    1,003
    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2004
    Location:
    Bolingbrook, IL
    Thanks for your kind words!

    Those photos were taken 2-3 years ago when I first got into photography. I can do much better now...I've just not had time to practice at all!

    But now I got a house...I'm hoping to setup a photo booth just for macro photography.

    If I can talk the powers that be into creating a tube forum, I'd be happy to start populating it with photos of my stock. Maybe work something out with someone who has decent stock that I don't have.

    I think I feel an E-mail heading towards TGP admins....
     
  16. Timbre Wolf

    Timbre Wolf GoldMember Supporter Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    8,817
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Location:
    Berkeley, CA
    Tubemonger's photo library is a blessing, and I believe they accept submittals.

    Tube World also has some helpful photos, as do a few other tube seller's sites. Might even try eBay searches - this sometimes works for me, but you've got to keep in mind that the seller might not have properly identified the tube (quite often the case).

    I like your macro tubescape, Raven. I can almost see the tone in action. Keep up the good work.

    - T
     
  17. Lonely Raven

    Lonely Raven Member

    Messages:
    1,003
    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2004
    Location:
    Bolingbrook, IL
    Thank you, TW. That's exactly what I was going for. And thank you for those leads.

    Would you guys be interested in starting up our own gallery here? My photos with your guys descriptions? I'm 100% serious about this.

    I'm also looking for a Telefunk with a better logo, and a Mullard Shield logo tube (doesn't matter what tube they are) to take some photos of, and I'm going to print them 20"X30", frame them, and hang them in my guitar room.

    In fact, I'm hitting ebay hoping to score a few tubes only for the logos. Maybe someone would allow me to borrow some for a night....Mike?
     
  18. Timbre Wolf

    Timbre Wolf GoldMember Supporter Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    8,817
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Location:
    Berkeley, CA
    I've always wanted to contribute to a site that has photos, with unique features highlighted, sonic characteristics, and sound clip examples of various tubes. Contributors could expound on which amp(s)/location(s) they've found the tube to be most useful, and what qualities made them so choose. We've had some lively and helpful discussions here already, with Bob/Rockon1, Jeff West, and others. And Mike/Blue Strat can have his own page (Curmudgeon's Corner), telling us all why all of our tonal character observations are wrong. That sounds like true TGP-style fun!

    My only concern is the bandwidth a macro photo gallery might suck up. Have to check with our friendly neighborhood TGP Staff about that.

    Let's see... is that the Telefunken ECC803S that you want? I'm sure someone will send you one of theirs. :rotflmao

    - Thom
     
  19. Lonely Raven

    Lonely Raven Member

    Messages:
    1,003
    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2004
    Location:
    Bolingbrook, IL
    That's just it...I don't care what the tube is, I just want to photograph one with a better looking logo on it to make a poster out of.

    I'll tickle the ear of the admins and see what they say about a tube forum. I have plenty of my own gallery space to host photos, but as you said, bandwidth usage might go up!
     

Share This Page