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NOS TUBE WAR:Taste test done with 6 brands!And the WInner is!@?$$$


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Six seperate Brands of very expensive NOS 12ax7s were purchased and tested against one another in order to determine which one(s) would get "THE SOUND!"


TELEFUNKEN (Ribbed Plate)

AMperex (50s script Logo)

Amperex Bugle Boys

Mullard (old logo)

RCA Black Plate (50's stock)

TUNGSOL (50's stock)

MAZDA (SHiny Plate 50's French Military)


THe amplifier used was a single ended Magnatone vintage amp with one 12ax7 and one 6v6 slot which was felt would really show the differances between these old expensive NOS-ter's!


TELEFUNKEN WON in a tight race against the AMPEREX (Script Logo). The Test really came down to to finding the balance between DRIVE and SWEETNESS/ COMPLEXITY. THe AMPEREX (SCRIPT LOGO) was a great sounding tube and hotter than the rest. It also had excellent balance with a little added midrange bite that made me smile as I ran through some raunchy double stops. THe TELEFUNKEN had slightly less drive and lacked the accentuated midrange bite of the AMperx, but over all was a more musical sounding tube. Its BOTTOM was FULLER with no flabiness. The highs were brilliant and shimmery. They add a multi dimensional sound that adds life to your amp.

AV COST: $60 to 100 for one tube. I have checked only two NOS selling websites so they may be had for less.


AMPEREX (BUGLE BOYS): They were remniscent of the Script Logo 50's AMperex Tube, yet lacked the life of the earl;ier tube.A fantastic tube, but didnt have that extra something found in the TELEFUNKEN & (SCRIPT LOGO)- AMPEREX.


The same may be said for the MULLARD, though it prewsented an even greater accentuation of the mids (Schenker fans may approve!) Great for Crunchy RHythms and raunchy double stops.


RCA (BLACK PLATE) & TUNGSOL: less drive then either the AMperex or Mullard. Both of these NOS brands had terrific bottom end and highs, though not as OVER THE TOP as the other brands. These are a more polite sound and probably a better choice for Jazz or clean.rhythm.


MAZDA 12ax7: Coming in at a whopper price of $75.00 / piece. This tube proved to be a little dissapointing gi.ven the "hype" that they have recieved as of late by some. They came in the middle between the DRIVE of the MULLARD and the sweetness of the RCA. A good tube. Yet it did not live uo to its pre-flight press.


THanks to Jeff Morris for the contribution to this post .

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