Tubes

Freddy G

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Heyo!

I have a mic pre...I think the tubes are getting tired. Does anyone have any idea what are considered good brands of 12AV7 and 5879 tubes?
 

NotScott

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I prefer GE 5-Stars for my tweed amps. They are a bit quieter than RCAs and have extended highs. They are also cheaper than RCAs.
 

E.T.

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I'd recommend NOS Mullards if they exist. The regular guitar amp tube prices are utterly stupid but the less standard models can be good value- for example NOS EL-84s are $70+ a piece, but having designed my amp to take an EL-eighty-something-else I spend about $20 a tube, sometimes including shipping.
 
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redking

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Hey Freddy
My Bell & Howell projector amp (converted to Gibson GA-40 circuit) has a 5879 and I recently bought some NOS extras from the Tube Store (which turned out to be RCA - they don't specify on their website) so that I would have some on hand in case they become hard to find. I haven't put them in my tube tester, but I assume anything that comes from the Tube Store is already tested. They were only $17 per tube, so not a bad price either.

edit: Looks like NOS 12av7's are only $8 from the tube store, so probably a less common tube that are still in decent supply for NOS - I would guess they are either RCA or JAN military versions - they don't specify for this one either.

R
 
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irocdave12

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The 5879 was made in both 2 and 3 mica designs. The 3 mica is way more preferred for any mic duty obviously as it will be the most resistant to noise
 

redking

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The 5879 was made in both 2 and 3 mica designs. The 3 mica is way more preferred for any mic duty obviously as it will be the most resistant to noise
I can check the ones I just bought from the Tube Store to see if they are 3 mica
 

Freddy G

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The 5879 was made in both 2 and 3 mica designs. The 3 mica is way more preferred for any mic duty obviously as it will be the most resistant to noise
This is why I asked if there were certain kinds that are better than others. I've ordered both types from the tube store before, and in both cases they can't tell you what you're going to get. I had to roll through them to find good sounding, quiet tubes. Thanks to irocdave, now I know 3 mica is preferred....didn't know that before.
 

redking

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This is why I asked if there were certain kinds that are better than others. I've ordered both types from the tube store before, and in both cases they can't tell you what you're going to get. I had to roll through them to find good sounding, quiet tubes. Thanks to irocdave, now I know 3 mica is preferred....didn't know that before.
I can confirm the ones I bought this summer from the Tube Store are indeed triple mica. The amp that I have the 5879 in actually runs pretty quiet for an antique, but I couldn't easily access the tube that's in the amp without taking the chassis out to confirm what I have in there.

1635345973708.png
 

redking

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I can confirm the ones I bought this summer from the Tube Store are indeed triple mica. The amp that I have the 5879 in actually runs pretty quiet for an antique, but I couldn't easily access the tube that's in the amp without taking the chassis out to confirm what I have in there.

View attachment 568435
I should also note that the 5879 tube socket in that amp is mounted into a vibration dampening chassis (the socket is basically attached to a rubber "trampoline" of sorts). Does your mic preamp have a similar tube socket @Freddy G ? The 5879 doesn't get used much anymore, but it sure sounds great in this amp!
 
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Freddy G

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I should also note that the 5879 tube socket in that amp is mounted into a vibration dampening chassis (the socket is basically attached to a rubber "trampoline" of sorts). Does your mic preamp have a similar tube socket @Freddy G ? The 5879 doesn't get used much anymore, but it sure sounds great in this amp!
I built this mic pre...lives in a rack and doesn't get moved. So no, I just used a ceramic socket.
 

ErictheRed

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I don't know about 12AV7s or mic preamps, but old RCA tubes are the best I've ever used in guitar preamps, personally.
 

northernguitarguy

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Hey Freddy! I hope you and Ms. G are spectacular.

This store has been my go to for old tubes. The old man who owns the place is sitting on a mountain of used and NOS tubes. I ordered five from him last summer. At $25 each delivered, I scored two English Mullards and three Dutch Philips, all 12AX7’s. I had them all tested and they rate as new, even though they were pulls. Previously, I bought a pair of Rogers-branded Philips 12AX7’s, new in the box for the same price.


Might be worth checking out. He does ship, but you have to take a chance with a direct deposit to his bank account. I trust him. Last order he shipped a bible with the tubes (my atheism says big deal, but I know he meant well). If you’re ever out near Goderich, it’s totally worth seeing his shop; it’s like a tube audio museum, and then some.

 
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