| Originally posted by NIGHT'SCHILD |
This company is called Antique Electronic Supply maybe somebody has had some experience with them. They carry Telefunken "smooth plates" and Amperex Bugle Boy 12AX7's. One of the salesman there said these were the best 12AX7's ever made. Is this true?
How much of a difference can a $70 tube make? Should I get something current production?
Yes, tubes make a huge difference, but like anything there is no "best." For HI FIs, pre amps and compressors the NOS (new old stock) tubes are usually WAY better, yet you need to get to know the various brands and their sounds.
That dealer was good to me, as was www.tubeworld.com
New tubes like the Elecro Harmonix EL84s and a few of the Sovtek AX7s and JJ's for guitar amps sound good (read: probably poor specs on paper but good midrange and warmth or grit) . Recifyer tubes, however, are simply not made worth a damn anymore and NOS is a must.
As for the brands ... Phillips, RCA, Telefunken, Mullard, etc. All have a real value if you can hear it and need it. Buy not for the "best" but for what you want to hear ... a good dealer should be able to talk you through the tones of various brands.