Tell me about these tubes..

Discussion in 'Amps/Cabs Tech Corner: Amplifier, Cab & Speakers' started by Mooncusser, Oct 9, 2006.

  1. Mooncusser

    Mooncusser Member

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    Hi all,

    I collect old preamp tubes...I have quite a collection of them...I run into them because of my job. I have a collection of:
    GE/ RCA / Ratheon (I'm not sure if the Ratheons are a relabled maunfacturer)/ Sylvania/ couple Telefeunkens, ect.......

    I have come across a quad of Baldwin labled (Sylvania?) EL-84 (6BQ5's)
    Are these worth anything or considered good tubes?
    I know the Baldwin 12AX7a's are relabled Sylvanias.
    Also,
    I found an AMPEREX 6AQ8...what is this?
    Thanks for the help.
    I love this stuff.
    Best regards,
    Mass
     
  2. rockon1

    rockon1 Member

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    Well saying GE,RCA,Raytheon means they are good stuff but without more description I cant say much more.Good pics help a lot. If you see any of the tubes you have on this site (picture library) you can provide a link to them and get feedback about the particular tube. Nothing like old glass eh?

    https://69.36.182.51/NOS%20Tubes%20Picture%20Library/index.html
     
  3. DEMENTED

    DEMENTED Supporting Member

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    Yeah , those are nice tubes! Baldwins are relabled for Baldwin Organs...is that what you got them out of?
     
  4. Mooncusser

    Mooncusser Member

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    Yeah,
    I got the Baldwins out of an organ...The quad of 6BQ5's and the Sylvania 12AX7A's and 12AX7's.
    The RCA's....GE's....RCA's....and the Telefunkens were from other finds.
    I hoard them lie they were gold...LOL!
    I have always wanted to know what that Amperex 6AQ8 was though.
    Thanks for the link...but it doesn't work right now.

    BTW.......I LOVE North Stonington ,CT!
    I was thinking about moving there at one point.
    How do you like it?
    Peace,
    Mass
     
  5. rockon1

    rockon1 Member

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  6. Timbre Wolf

    Timbre Wolf GoldMember Supporter Gold Supporting Member

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    The "Baldwin" 12AX7A are not necessarily Sylvanias. Sylvania did make most long gray plate 12AX7 that were used in Baldwin organs, but Raytheon made the long black-plate/halo-getter 12AX7A used in Baldwin organs in the late '50s/early '60s, and they are, in my opinion, perhaps the best 12AX7 ever made - at least one of the top three.

    In 1962, Raytheon began outsourcing their tube production to Japan. Those tubes were also used in Baldwin organs, but they are gray-plate. Look at internal construction clues to distinguish Sylvania from Japanese Raytheon gray-plate 12AX7, labeled "Baldwin."

    - Thom
     
  7. rockon1

    rockon1 Member

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    Yeah, Ive got a lot of Baldwin/Raytheons.Pics please!:)
     
  8. Mooncusser

    Mooncusser Member

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    Point well taken, and I appreciate that point. I thought Sylvania were Baldwin, but thank god you mentioned that because now I can retain that bit of info.
    This particular Raytheon is labeled Raytheon 12AX7A.
    I also have Baldwin labeled 12AX7A's...I'll check out the construction as you mentioned.
    Currently I have an RCA in V1 in my Plexi, maybe I should give the Raytheon a shot.
    But then, if I love it, it may be hard to locate more if needed and I will be spoiled..LOL
    Peace,
    Mass
     
  9. Dave C

    Dave C Gold Supporting Member

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    The 6AQ8 was used as an RF amplifier and "mixer" in the front end of FM radio receivers from what I've read. Doesn't look like it would have any guitar amp applications.
    Dave C
     
  10. Timbre Wolf

    Timbre Wolf GoldMember Supporter Gold Supporting Member

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    Fear not - they are still available. For me, the worst side-effect of discovering Raytheon black-plate 12AX7A has been that most people think I'm crazy when I scoff at short-plate Mullards and smooth-plate Telefunkens. But there is no contest, in my experience.

    - T
     
  11. rockon1

    rockon1 Member

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    As you can (sort of ) see. A lot of these BP raytheons are Baldwin.[​IMG]
     
  12. uberpict

    uberpict Member

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    It seems the Sylvania's have green labels and the Raytheons are yellow. The Sylvania's plates are very different from the others, they have a much narrower "rib" running down the center of the plate. I've got a few white labeled Baldwin's that are definitely RCA with an angled square getter and long grey plates, EIA codes match the RCA code 274.

    Not sure if they're consistent with the color coding but so far the green/Sylvania, yellow/Raytheon and white/RCA seems to hold true from browsing around the web. Would you want to let go of a few of the green label Sylvania's? One of my particular favorites.
     
  13. Mooncusser

    Mooncusser Member

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    WOW! :AOK

    I can't speak right now...get back to you later.
    Peace,
    Mass
     
  14. Timbre Wolf

    Timbre Wolf GoldMember Supporter Gold Supporting Member

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    You're talking about the long gray-plate Sylvanias, with the uniquely raised plate "rib." Yeah, I believe all those that I've seen labeled for organ companies have green print. Older, long black-plate Sylvania 12AX7s also have yellow print, but they're not typically found as organ OES.

    Some older Raytheon tubes have red print, but generally, I'd agree with the green = Sylvania, yellow = Raytheon, white = RCA formula, during a certain era, for organ-manufacturer OES tubes. That's a good guide for the first glance. Then I'd look inside the tube for a final i.d., as those three have distinct innards.

    What qualities, in particular, do you appreciate about the long gray-plate Sylvanias, uberpict?


    - Thom
     
  15. uberpict

    uberpict Member

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    This is just a personal observation but they seem to handle higher gain applications without losing harmonic detail. I like them in the gain stages with an RCA in the input. One of those "wow, it works for me" kind of things that I discovered while swapping out assorted tubes.

    The greyplate RCA has nice detail but when driven too much they can get harsh, IMHO. I'm still experimenting with tubes, that new Tung-Sol seems appealing, but I really like the grey plate RCA/Sylvania combination.
     
  16. Timbre Wolf

    Timbre Wolf GoldMember Supporter Gold Supporting Member

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    Cool! I thought people generally liked this Sylvania for greater gain/overdrive situations.

    By the way, I like New Sensor's Russian "Tung Sol" fairly well - top of the new-production heap for me. When it comes to clarity, though, the other Baldwin 12AX7A, made by Raytheon, really does it for me. Some people go crazy over these and buy waaay more than they ever need :rotflmao(I'm only jealous, Bob!).

    - Thom
     
  17. rockon1

    rockon1 Member

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    Not everybody.:AOK Got about 50 Mullard and Amperex short plates I will get around to seling one day. Got no use for them. (or my smooth teles)
     
  18. rockon1

    rockon1 Member

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    I will have to get out some of my long grey plate Sylvania's again. In the past Ive found them to be lacking clarity under high gain applications.Perhaps some fiddling with these in the V2 is in order...
     
  19. uberpict

    uberpict Member

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    I've noticed that too with the Sylvania's, not great in V1, that's where the RCA comes in. I first discovered the RCA rebranded as Magnavox for hi-fi use, bought them from a guy who actually lived near the Magnavox plant in Tennessee, and they have really good clarity and detail. Ideal in V1 if you're looking for maximum frequency response.

    I was using the Sylvie's in V2 already with a GE in V1, popped the RCA in V1 and wow what a difference. The GE was good but the RCA brought the detail out and really sweetened the tone. Took some EQ tweaking (always) to really hit the sweet spot but I really like the combination. The Sylvies are really hot (they normally test way above normal on transconductance? IIRC) and the RCA's are really clear. Makes for smooth break-up across the entire spectrum and seemed to increase sustain quite a bit.

    Interesting story about these tubes. My friend is a guitar tech extraordinaire (Tom's the man for any repair or set-up) and he has this old no-name hybrid amp, tube pre and solid state power amp. Well, the tubes started going bad so I gave him one RCA and one Sylvie to try in the amp. I still can't believe how good it sounds being what it is. He had an acoustic plugged into it today and it had this woody, sweet growl when it was pushed. Didn't feedback at all, just warm sweet tube tone, with a solid state power amp! The difference was like night and day when he switched those tubes in.
    :dude
     
  20. uberpict

    uberpict Member

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    There's another one to add to the list of must try tubes, LOL. It gets longer with each visit here. :messedup

    One good thing about the organ tubes, they're still available in larger quantities at relatively low cost. Well compared to Telefunken, Mullard and Amperex. Plus they're usually sorted and graded for musical instrument use and sound great if you don't mind you're guitar sounding like an organ. :D :D
     

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