NOS tubes, need some help deciding.

Reg18

Member
Messages
242
I have found a local chap who has in his words "thousands" of tubes that he has collected over the years and is having a big clear out. Will be a mix of NOS and ANOS but I imagine there will be bargains to be had and I don't want to miss out on any odd brand labeled ones that are actually Mullards or Bugle Boys etc! I have a few Hollard Phillips 12at7s,a Brimer 12ax7 and only after doing some research last night found out they could be the same as Mullards which makes it even harder for me to figure out what is what when I get to sort through these "thousands" of old tubes.
Is there any good pages I can go to which helps identify NOS tubes?
I know there are some experts here on this subject, hopefully you can chime in to give some
Buying tips.

For the record i currently have a Vox AC30HWH so would be looking for something to keep the Vox chime and don't need to add any gain or volume! Currently have a mix of JJ, Tung Sol and 1 of my old Phillips 12at7s in V1.
 

Reg18

Member
Messages
242
Great info on these pages, a bit overwhelming! There are so many different branded tubes from the same factories. I see that looking at codes can be helpful in identifying tubes, ie: 161 and a B for Blackburn factory.
 

lemonpaul59

Member
Messages
2,065
I have found a local chap who has in his words "thousands" of tubes that he has collected over the years and is having a big clear out. Will be a mix of NOS and ANOS but I imagine there will be bargains to be had and I don't want to miss out on any odd brand labeled ones that are actually Mullards or Bugle Boys etc! I have a few Hollard Phillips 12at7s,a Brimer 12ax7 and only after doing some research last night found out they could be the same as Mullards which makes it even harder for me to figure out what is what when I get to sort through these "thousands" of old tubes.
Is there any good pages I can go to which helps identify NOS tubes?
I know there are some experts here on this subject, hopefully you can chime in to give some
Buying tips.

For the record i currently have a Vox AC30HWH so would be looking for something to keep the Vox chime and don't need to add any gain or volume! Currently have a mix of JJ, Tung Sol and 1 of my old Phillips 12at7s in V1.
I've fallen in love with NOS Sylvania 7025s (fancy low noise 12AX7). Highly recommended, supposedly quite capable of V1 duty in a high gain amp. I also love RCA and GE 12AX7s from the 1960s. Short plate versions (14 mm vs 17 mm)are better for high gain applications, less microphonics generally.

I am afraid you will need the services of a tube tester, or he will. Screening tubes is just so much fun, for the entire family.
 

DaveKS

Member
Messages
16,706
Great info on these pages, a bit overwhelming! There are so many different branded tubes from the same factories. I see that looking at codes can be helpful in identifying tubes, ie: 161 and a B for Blackburn factory.
Here's the Philips code book.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/rwv3ik1oikit30o/PhilipsDateFactoryCodes.pdf?dl=0

All tube makers rebranded back then, American and Euro.

Don't ignore good old American tubes either. RCA 7025, Sylvania/GE 5751 and 12ay7/6072. Cream of the crop tubes. Old tubes sometimes marked Magnavox or organ branded tubes can be real sleepers.

Here's PDF of EIA codes you find on some tubes.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/hmciyb8cwrhzb1h/EIACODES.pdf?dl=0

Here some old Magnavox 6v6, really CBS tubes, superb. See the 210 code and 6v6 etch with little dots under it, code for CBS, 210, 1960, 5th week. GE also used dot codes etched in glass.


Here a old Tungsol 12ax7 labeled Magnavox from same batch, absolutely one of the best tubes I ever laid my ears on and I paid pennys on the dollar just because of the off branding.


322 is EIA code for Tungsol.


Good luck.
 




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