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What are your opinions of GE 12AX7, 12AT7, 12AU7 ?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Hi tube gurus... so I'm www surfing for various "preamp" tubes and running into the usual trendy-hot flavors telefunken, mullard, brimar, amperex...etc.  Some as much as $100-160 each from various NOS and used sellers.  And then I see EVERYWHERE, an underlying seemingly abundant surplus of GE tubes going for a fraction of that, like $6-7 each.

 

In general, then just how bad are GE tubes?... are they really "that" bad that people are literally giving them away?  What have been your experiences with them and what amp, source or preamp are/were you using them in?


Edited by kramer5150 - 1/22/13 at 4:14pm
post #2 of 6

ge tubes are nice when compared to new production tubes like jj or electroharmonix or anything made in russia, but compared to other nos tubes like non russian mullard or telefunkens even rca the GEs are just kinda run of the mill plain janes but it also depends which series tube it is because they had many iterations of the same type of tube if your lucky some GE tubes sound good some others by GE are just very plain nothing special so they arnt as sought after, For the biggest bang for the buck look for some good deals on RCA tubes. If your switching from new russian tubes to nos GE should be an ok transition.

post #3 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kazenoppix View Post

 some others by GE are just very plain nothing special so they arnt as sought after,

 

I completely agree. I recently bought a GE tube for my Bravo Audio amp and compared to the RCA tube I was using before (which I already put back in the amp), it was bland and boring. It didn't do anything wrong, per se but its blandness was too much.

post #4 of 6
The 5 star command series are better than their standard tube. Triple mica, black plates I rolled a lot of those in the SP amp and in my tube DAC. I used the Mullard, Telefunken, Tung Sol, RCA cleartop, etc and settled on a 12AY7 5 star. Not to say one is better than another but It offered the least compromise. Of course it could be that I got tired of rolling and accepted.
Edited by Happy Camper - 1/24/13 at 11:31am
post #5 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy Camper View Post

The 5 star command series are better than their standard tube. Triple mica, black plates I rolled a lot of those in the SP amp and in my tube DAC. I used the Mullard, Telefunken, Tung Sol, RCA cleartop, etc and settled on a 12AY7 5 star. Not to say one is better than another but It offered the least compromise. Of course it could be that I got tired of rolling and accepted.

right like happy camper is was saying their five starts are better then their standard but they had a couple other variations also just get a little of each and roll to your hearts content you might find something really nice. Also rolling for other types of the 12a_7 will give you some diffrent colors also tubes rolling is part of the fun. and for the prices you were listing before why not.

post #6 of 6
I find that GE tubes in general to be very good or even great no matter what the price is. GE was perhaps the biggest or close to biggest tube makers and they even made tubes in the USA in the 1980s I believe when other manufacturers stopped their USA production.

This could be one of the reasons why they are cheaper- the over abundance. I have GE tubes from the 40s, 50s and 60s and they sound excellent in my amps.

Depending on your amp, your mileage may vary.
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