Courtesy of Spectre Sound Studios. This'll collectively drive TGP insane.
The Russian tubes, from Sovtek/EH (Sovtek, EH, Mullard, Tungsol, etc.) are made in one or two Russian factories, each is made to different specs even if they look similar.While I respect the effort and the methodology here, I think there may be a false presumption:
Modern tubes all sound very much the same > Therefore, tubes don't make any difference in amps.
AFAIK, all modern vacuum tubes come from just two factories, and their production is highly automated.
It isn't surprising to me that these would be virtually identical regardless of brand name.
My understanding is that today's Mullards, JJs, and Mesas are all made on the same machines.
Of course they'd test the same.
I would be very surprised if the results were still the same testing classic vintage 12AX7s made in different factories - a real Blackburn Mullard, a French Mazda, a Dutch Amperex/BugleBoy, and a long plate RCA.
Or even some less scarce & pricey 1960s/70s tubes, like American Sylvanias vs British RFTs.
IME tubes from the vacuum-tube heyday can and do exhibit audible differences in tone character.
Those who've spent enough time with one amp to be highly familiar with it can verify this by swapping a couple of different NOS tubes into their V1 slot.
For this video? I scanned a little before posting.
Good to know that in fact there still are several modern sources. For a while there was even talk of somebody tooling up to produce new tubes here in the US, but I don't think it ever got off the ground.The Russian tubes, from Sovtek/EH (Sovtek, EH, Mullard, Tungsol, etc.) are made in one or two Russian factories, each is made to different specs even if they look similar.
JJ tubes are made in Slovakia, not Russia, they are an offshoot of the old Tesla tube factory.
As I understand it, there are a couple of Chinese factories making modern tubes, Shuguang is the most prevalent one.
Mesa sources tubes from all of these manufacturers, they don't make their own tubes. They are tested and relabeled with their logo.
So, more than two factories. There are a couple of other manufacturers that make receiving tubes but not audio tubes as used in music equipment.
Amen and end of thread, I'd say.Well, what I know is if you plug in 3 JJ ecc83 into my amps and play them they are dull. Pull those out and put in 3 old Mullard I61 and the amp is vibrant, chimy, and sounds correct. Power tubes:
Same story, they all have different sounds. I’m not going to claim favorites because each amp responds differently. I swap around until I find the mate for the amp.
The tubes from the 50's & 60's were produced for military, industrial & hospital level performance. The tubes were far more rigorously tested in the days when they had to keep medical or military devices running rather than someone's home stereo amp. As some that used to poo poo these type differences between tube manufacturers, I would say this video didn't answer the real question though he poked at it a couple of times. Granted changing a speaker will probably change the tone of your amp more than changing a 12AX7 in the first gain stage, but the older preamp tubes are certainly more euphonic than contemporary examples. I started collecting older preamp tubes in the 90's when it was still cheap to get them. People laughed at me collecting Miniwatt, Telefunken or Mullard 12AX7 tubes...I am glad I did because I have a couple hundred of them now.Good to know that in fact there still are several modern sources. For a while there was even talk of somebody tooling up to produce new tubes here in the US, but I don't think it ever got off the ground.
Even so, it's hard to imagine that today's automated production wouldn't be far more consistent than the skilled-labor methods of the 50s and 60s.
I would be very surprised indeed if similar comparison tests showed zero difference between a vintage Telefunken ECC83 and a modern JJ, or between a NOS 60s Tesla and a modern Sovtek.