Author Topic: Your favorite 12AU7?  (Read 1087 times)

Offline jimbones

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Your favorite 12AU7?
« on: March 04, 2021, 07:25:11 PM »
Whats your favorite sounding 12AU7?
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Offline BobM

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Re: Your favorite 12AU7?
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2021, 04:37:57 AM »
the rebranded Baldwin. I think there were several different manufacturers of these at different times though.
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Offline Brap

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Re: Your favorite 12AU7?
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2021, 05:51:05 AM »
Found a NOS 1967 Amperex NIB 12AU7
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Offline jimbones

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Re: Your favorite 12AU7?
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2021, 02:58:42 PM »
the rebranded Baldwin. I think there were several different manufacturers of these at different times though.

Bob, The Baldwins are very reasonably priced. I just bought a matched pair (with very strong readings on test equipment) for 10 bucks a pair. At that price they would be great as a back up pair. These are green lettering with grey plates.
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Offline Jack

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Re: Your favorite 12AU7?
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2021, 06:05:55 PM »
Those are Sylvania from the late 50's to early 60's. Best of the Baldwin/Conn tubes to my ears are the late 50's Raytheon Black Plates which are yellow print.
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Offline jimbones

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Re: Your favorite 12AU7?
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2021, 06:43:59 AM »
Those are Sylvania from the late 50's to early 60's. Best of the Baldwin/Conn tubes to my ears are the late 50's Raytheon Black Plates which are yellow print.

Confirmed. From what I read Sylvanias have a nice clear top end. The Phillips Miniwatt tube is amazing. I like them better than the Mullards
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Offline S Clark

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Re: Your favorite 12AU7?
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2021, 07:08:38 AM »
I'm using Conn/Sylvania in my Hagerman Trumpet because that's what I had when it arrived- but I haven't had it long enough to do any comparisons.  They seem musical and articulate. 
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Offline Response Audio

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Re: Your favorite 12AU7?
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2021, 10:08:58 AM »
Depends on the system. In our preamps, I prefer either the Baldwin  (personal favorite) or RCA clear tops. Current production affordable goes to JJ for sonics for me but always have problems with noise. EH12AU7, dry and clinical with no life IMO.
Sylvania are some of my favs as well.
Keep in mind tbat in our Purity Reference preamp, it's optimized for the 6SN7. You can use a 12AU7 with adapter.
Our Musica Bella circuit was optimized for 12AU7.
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Offline Brap

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Re: Your favorite 12AU7?
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2021, 12:56:23 PM »
Got the 1967 Amperex today and have installed as my center driver. Granted, it needs some time but the Fritzies have now found a lower bottom, not to think they could have. Initially, the imaging has improved in depth but again, needs some more time. Now I have the NOS RCA as a good back-up and as my initial reference. Kept the same RCA's for both sides.
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Offline Nick B

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Re: Your favorite 12AU7?
« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2021, 12:01:49 AM »
Got the 1967 Amperex today and have installed as my center driver. Granted, it needs some time but the Fritzies have now found a lower bottom, not to think they could have. Initially, the imaging has improved in depth but again, needs some more time. Now I have the NOS RCA as a good back-up and as my initial reference. Kept the same RCA's for both sides.

Thatís great news, Brad  :thumb: Iím giving the Fritzies a workout tonight....not that theyíre complaining at all  :lol:
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Offline Brap

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Re: Your favorite 12AU7?
« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2021, 05:23:24 AM »
Nick,
Actually doing more listening yesterday, and comparing to my NOS RCA clear top, the Amperex sounded more "muddy". Played  few RTR tracks and then rolled the RC back nd quite a difference in highs and less compressed image.  I guess I need to run the Amperex for about 50 hours to see if it opens up.  Strange.
What did you decide on an amp?  I saw Roy had one he built for sale. Not sure if it is sold yet.
Loving my Fritzies!!
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VTA ST-70
Parasound Halo P5
Oppo 105
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Cambridge CXN streamer
Teac 3340S
Anticables 3.1
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Offline Nick B

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Re: Your favorite 12AU7?
« Reply #11 on: March 12, 2021, 09:37:55 AM »
Nick,
Actually doing more listening yesterday, and comparing to my NOS RCA clear top, the Amperex sounded more "muddy". Played  few RTR tracks and then rolled the RC back nd quite a difference in highs and less compressed image.  I guess I need to run the Amperex for about 50 hours to see if it opens up.  Strange.
What did you decide on an amp?  I saw Roy had one he built for sale. Not sure if it is sold yet.
Loving my Fritzies!!

Brad,
Itís interesting how initial impressions can sometimes change. Pls report back as it gets more hours on it. I am a tube rolling novice as the only nos I ever bought were gold pin Amperex 7308s for my pre. I wasnít disappointed.
As to the amp, I found a used Van Alstine SET 120 thatís very, very good.  I also finally found used Arion HS 100s, but they donít have the Dueland caps which Iíd want.
I have been getting such excellent advice from the guys here.
My system has really come together nicely. Synergy...as Charles would say  :thumb:
Van Alstine SET 120 Control Amp
Audio Hungary APR 204 preamp
Fritz Carrera 7 BE speakers
Border Patrol SEi dac
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Audio Envy cables
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PI Audio UberBUSS

Offline Brap

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Re: Your favorite 12AU7?
« Reply #12 on: March 12, 2021, 09:56:07 AM »
Nick, Will do as I get some hours. I hope it will change because the sound is really less impressive. Amazing. Thought you were going the tube route on the amp but Alstine has great reviews. How do the Fritzies like it?
Fritz Carrera 7 Be
VTA ST-70
Parasound Halo P5
Oppo 105
Rega P3
Ortofon Quintet Bronze
Cambridge CXN streamer
Teac 3340S
Anticables 3.1
Masterbuilt reference/Kimber Cable IC

Offline Bill O'Connell

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Re: Your favorite 12AU7?
« Reply #13 on: March 12, 2021, 11:59:40 AM »
Valvo ECC 186 with D getters, in reality I believe they are Amperex 7316 though.
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Offline Nick B

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Re: Your favorite 12AU7?
« Reply #14 on: March 12, 2021, 01:00:04 PM »
Nick, Will do as I get some hours. I hope it will change because the sound is really less impressive. Amazing. Thought you were going the tube route on the amp but Alstine has great reviews. How do the Fritzies like it?

Brad,
I was going the tube route as my first choice.... a super modded VTA ST 70. But the latest mods arenít finalized. I could do some assembly and light soldering, but wouldnít know how to test if properly assembled. Itís still a possibility at some point.
The Van Alstine is great sounding for a great price...very analog in character. Itís a great match for the Fritzies
Van Alstine SET 120 Control Amp
Audio Hungary APR 204 preamp
Fritz Carrera 7 BE speakers
Border Patrol SEi dac
Auralic Aries Mini & Mojo Audio lps
Audio Envy cables
Roon, Tidal, Qobuz
PI Audio UberBUSS