Originally Posted by Frihed89
The gain tube matters a lot, despite what Lloyd says. I have the ear + HD something-or-other, fully loaded. I loved the Russian Sovtek. The I tried some "NOS" Raytheons and Sylvanias which i paid a lot for from a private seller. It took the Ear to another level (to my ears): much better soundstaging, better bass, smoother more liquid mids (but still tons of detail), extended open highs. The differences between the two tubes were slight and actually I am going deff.
Stay away from RCA and GE NOS. They did nothing for me, although i was not using tripple micahs.
I do not understand how some can say the tube will not make any difference. A tube is a circuit and each manufacture had their own metalurgy, coating, vaccuum, glass, skill standards. They ALL figure in. Change opamps and find out. Well change tubes, even though they operate in the same specification range this means nothing. I have some Japanese tubes that were not made on the old Mullard tooling. I got them used and thought they may have had it but they are by far the best EL34 I have and I have Amperex from the 50's and some of the best EL34's ever made but the Japanese 34's I have are rare and I have never seen any others. What I am getting at is that tubes are a circuit and they DO make a difference though I will agree that in some circuits it may be less or more depending upon the implementation but in a gain position they will make a noticable contribution or lack thereof to the sound depending upon the quality of the tube.
I have some 1949 12AX7's, the first year of real production and though it isn't my favorite tube these do rock.