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Telfunken vs Amperex 12AX7


boleiro
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 I tend to be a skeptic when it comes to a lot of "upgrades."  But, I had a very cool listening experience last night while comparing some 12AX7's... I actually was able to hear the differences... distinctly!

 

I was comparing an IEC branded Mullard and a Fisher Branded Amperex.  The Mullard is great, and part of me preferred the warmer, more relaxing sound.  This is the sound I have typically sought after.  However, listening to to the Amperex was just a different experience all together.  Across the board, the Amperex had more clarity and detail yet still "smooth."  I love it.  It's just a fun listening experience hearing all the instruments so clearly.  Loved the mullard... just like the Amperex more.  

 

Here's the rub, when I ordered the Amperex, I mistakenly thought the Fisher 'Made in Holland' was a Telefunken.  It wasn't until after that I learned the Fisher tube is an Amperex, not Telefunken.  So, now I am wondering how a Fisher branded Telefunken would compare to the Amperex?  Could I expect a dramatic difference or just incremental gains with the Tele?  Very happy with the amperex, but never leaving well enough alone, I want to try a Telefunken 12AX7 to hear for myself.  

 

Would love to hear what others have experienced between the 2?  I should note that I am not able or willing, at this time, to go all in with a tele branded NOS tube.  I would be looking to pickup a Fisher branded Telefunken to maybe keep the comparison honest.

 

 

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Oh man.

 

I’ve just spent the last year chasing The Sound. I honestly don’t know how many tubes I’ve bought.

 

To answer your question: the only way to know for sure is buy some teles and find out.


I gave up on 12ax7s a while ago when I discovered 5751s. Turns out I prefer GE.

 

At the moment I’m trying to determine the better replacement for 12at7s: is it 4024s, 5965s, 6021s, or 12av7s? 
 

I need a couple days to listen and make another spreadsheet.

 

 

 

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I think op described what I hear when I listen to amprex... I am looking for something better. I would equate amprex to listening to solid state... detailed,  clean... and flat.

 

I am looking for depth and separation personally... no amprex has been able to deliver that in any of the circuits I have tried.

 

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Interesting… Everyone is hitting on something here.  I have a black plate RCA 5751 in a guitar amp with some matsushita 12AX7.   I’ll pull those and listen for differences.   
 

schu, you’re making me ask existential questions I don’t know I want the answers too…. So I prefer a mite solid state sound to warm fuzzy tubiness?   Wjat 12ax7 gives you what you’re looking for in a tube amp Schu?
 

I need to listen to the IEC Millard for a while.  The one issue with my test is that I have been listening to the amperex for a few weeks now and only heard the mullard in the comparison.  Not the best format for an objective comparison.   
 

I’ll add the 5751 and matsushita to the mix also.   
 

But to the original question, will a Telefunken give more of the same of the amperex… detailed, clean and flat?  I would like that if it came with some warmth?

 

and yes, I will be trying out a tele but waiting to find one that won’t break the bank.  But it will happen.  In the meantime, interested in your experiences.

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Did a lot of tube-rolling for a recording project. Those IEC Mullards were beautiful, but in a pipe & smoking jacket sort of way. Not the sound we wanted for a vocal mic with high-brow pop music.

 

The ECC83s absolutely NAILED the early Black Sabbath tone in a MESA TriAxis. I'm sure they were whatever amp Tommy was using. 

Ultimately, we ended up with JJ Gold-pins in nearly everything; they covered the most ground consistently.

 

But that's not Hi-Fi. 🤡

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1 hour ago, DirtyErnie said:

Did a lot of tube-rolling for a recording project. Those IEC Mullards were beautiful, but in a pipe & smoking jacket sort of way. Not the sound we wanted for a vocal mic with high-brow pop music.

 

The ECC83s absolutely NAILED the early Black Sabbath tone in a MESA TriAxis. I'm sure they were whatever amp Tommy was using. 

Ultimately, we ended up with JJ Gold-pins in nearly everything; they covered the most ground consistently.

 

But that's not Hi-Fi. 🤡

This is a very good way to explain initial reaction to the mullard.  Loves the sound, but was too keyed on the differences from the amperex to fully enjoy.  I will definitely be spending a few weeks listening to the mullard to be sure I am being as objective as possible.

 

I’m no tube snob, only recently got into NOS, but I have never had luck with the JJs in any application, guitar or hifi.  They aren’t bad, just very good and always leave me wanting more.  

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On 8/15/2021 at 3:38 AM, boleiro said:

I’m no tube snob, only recently got into NOS, but I have never had luck with the JJs in any application, guitar or hifi.  They aren’t bad, just very good and always leave me wanting more.  

Might not be a bad take in the JJs, but for us they were 'vanilla' on everything. All the other new tubes we tried were very much one-trick-ponies. The Gold-pins were better, and I always got mine from Eurotubes. 

 

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19 minutes ago, DirtyErnie said:

Might not be a bad take in the JJs, but for us they were 'vanilla' on everything. All the other new tubes we tried were very much one-trick-ponies. The Gold-pins were better, and I always got mine from Eurotubes. 

 

Hey Ernie, I get that... in your scenario I could see the JJ's working out great.  In my personal system, I am getting to the point that I want different tubes for different music I listen to... one trick ponies indeed.  And I look a lot of the tricks!

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