Current Production 12AY7 Tubes?

The Ballzz

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Hey All,

Wondering about finding good production 12AY7 tubes. The discussion of preamp tubes is often dominated by the much more popular 12AX7/ECC83 variants, but the disparity between various 12AY7s seems even more drastic. I have a pile of various brands and most sound like ASS! I have TAD, SINO, Chinese, TungSol, JJ and Sovtek and they all sound either wimpy, lackluster or sterile!The best sounding 12AY7 I have is an old Wurlitzer or Baldwin (I think) branded GE. Although it can be intermittently noisy, the tone is glorious. Given that I have a 5E3, needing 1 12AY7 and my new build requires 3 of them, I need to find some good ones. And I'd prefer to avoid having a drawer full of overpriced, generally useless junk!

Any Suggestions?
Gene
 

Case24

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I got a pair of tested GE 12AY7 tubes from @mrdannyboy last summer. Very reasonably priced too. I’ve tried new production with the same results in my 5E3 clone.
 

akuster777

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I got a nice RCA 12ay7 from vacuumtubes.com

I've also had good luck with current production electro-harmonix
 

irocdave12

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12ay7
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SWeAT hOg

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When it comes to current production tubes, I don’t believe there’s a lot of choice. Three tube factories on the planet in Slovakia, Russia and China. Plenty of rebrands out there too, like Groovetubes, Ruby, Mesa Boogie, etc. Those all came from one of those factories, and could be your favourite tube, albeit at a marked up price.
 

NorlinBlackBeauty

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I use a new JJ 12AY7 in my Studio One. Works / sounds great. Also have a lower output 12AU7 (5814A) in its place sometimes.


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cooljuk

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Some really awesome NOS 12AY7s and 12AT7s are still easily available, unlike 12AX7s.

GE, RCA, Phillips, Sylvania, etc. for American brands. I've gotten NOS long gray plates for about the same price as modern Russian Mullards or TADs, especially if you add a few bucks for some place to pull low-noise or balanced.
 

TWANG

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I recently built this 1974X type not clone..
(top amp)
and I tried my old GE 12AY7.. and it really really did the job.
I then tried a new JJ 12AY7 and it was also a definite improvement.
Not quite as nice, I don't think, as that GE.. it was smoother somehow I can't describe better.
I would buy more GEs!
TWANG
 

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