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Tungsram 12AX7’s were made in Hungary, and by looking at the location of manufacture, the date codes, the sound of the tube and the internal construction, I know that this was a tube actually manufactured in Britain by Mullard in their Blackburn factory. Not all vintage tubes cost a lot of money compared to modern production.You can get slightly used tubes from e Bay or garage sales for less than you’d pay for modern tubes.
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Slightly used ones are fantastic, as old tubes last so long, the difference between them and NOS tubes is insignificant.
I think they actually sound better after being “burned in” a bit.
You can probably get NOS Sylvania 12ax7’s for the same as modern tubes at the moment, the market is flooded with them. The really expensive NOS tubes are EL34’s/KT66’s/KT77’s/KT88’s, as they don’t last as long as preamp tubes and are harder to come across.
Generally speaking, pretty much any NOS or used tube made around 20 years ago or more will sound better than any current production tubes that you can buy.
The reasons for this are varied, but most are due to the fact that tubes just aren’t in demand anymore.
Manufacturers can’t afford to make the metals used in construction of the tube as pure, and the vacuum in the tubes isn’t as tight because tighter vacuums cost more time and therefore money.That’s why you will often find complaints today of certain manufacturers’ tubes being unreliable (eg.power tubes ‘red plating’ soon after they’ve been installed). Different manufactures produced tubes which sound different – a tube made in a different plant or by a different manufacturer will probably sound different.Certain chemicals can’t be used for tube production because they are toxic, and the ones that are still allowed to be used today tend to be only legal in countries where workers have less rights, and they don’t cost as much to employ either (eg. That’s why old factories in those countries are mostly the only ones still making tubes today, as opposed to old factories in England or USA. Many tubes were relabelled, so they may not necessarily sound like you’d expect by looking at the manufacturer name.The best way to know who made your tube or where it was made is to learn how to recognise the internal construction of tubes, and learn how to interpret the codes printed or moulded on the tube.For example, today from e Bay I received a Tungsram 12AX7 that I won for £3, yet the valve said “Made In England”.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating