New 12AY7s - Groove Tubes vs EH

Discussion in 'Amps/Cabs Tech Corner: Amplifier, Cab & Speakers' started by uncledevo, May 14, 2008.

  1. uncledevo

    uncledevo Member

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    Please don't slam me for wanting new tubes, but I get tired of chasing NOS. It seems that the hardest tubes to get as new in the 12AX7 family are 5751s and 12AY7s. For 5751s, there is no choice but Groove Tube 5751M mullard design reissue. I'm not sure about this, but Groove Tube appears to be an OEM, not a manufacturer. If anybody knows who manufactures which of their stuff at what plants, that would be interesting info. What's of greater interest to me, though, is does anybody have experience with 12AY7s from both Groove Tube and EH? Groove Tubes cost more, are they worth it? For all I know they may both be identical tubes made in the same factory with different brand names, but then again they may be very different. :BEER Cheers!
     
  2. Blue Strat

    Blue Strat Member

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    AFAIK, GT must be using EH 12AY7s. The only tubes that Groove Tubes is making (more accurately, someone is making them for them on contract) are 6L6GE, EL34M, 12AX7M, 5751M, 6L6CHP. They had tried 6CA7GE and and still trying to get 12AX7M's "right".

    All GT rebranded tubes have a suffix which indicates the country of origin, the manufacturer and type. R= Russian, S= Solvak Republic, C= China, etc. R1, R2, etc denote various Russian tubes. The Groove Tubes website has, or did have, the "secret decoder ring" so you can figure out which tubes are from with manufacturers.

    Since NOS 5751s and 12AY7s are both plentiful and relatively inexpensive, I can't imagine why anyone would try to save $10 on a crappy "third world" tube.
     
  3. DAB

    DAB Member

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    Sovtek also makes new production 5751s. I just got some from TubeDepot.

    Dave
     
  4. uncledevo

    uncledevo Member

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    Thanks Mike & Dave. I was actually hoping to find good new production, but I was suspicious that all GT are is rebranding with a price increase of the same tubes that EH sells. Probably made by Sovtek. Some new tubes from 3rd world sound good (JJs do). I find Sovteks to be harsh, brittle, dry and cold. My objective was not to save $10 per tube, but to have a supply of tubes that is consistent from one amp build to the next.
     
  5. Blue Strat

    Blue Strat Member

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    Longevity is still an undisputed advantage of NOS tubes. At 2:1 in price, the longevity aspect alone is very compelling.
     
  6. tommytomcat

    tommytomcat Member

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    I'm using a 12AV7 (gain factor=41 vs. 12AY7=45) in my tweed bandmaster.. NOS. RCA from the 80's I think. You can get them from tubesandmore.com for $5:15 + handling and shipping costs. They're quiet and very nice sounding.
     

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