Favorite Tubes 12au7

Hi there, I’ve now listened and analyzed countless 12au7’s (and it’s equivalents) and thought I’d give my opinion on my current favorites.

1st Place Tie: Mazda 6189 Silver Plates 3-Mica and 50’s Valvo Long Plate Angled Getter

*these are somewhat similar to me in that they both have soaring/sparkling top-ends and beautiful midrange.  Both have lots of detail.  I think Mazda has better bass and is slightly more precise, forward and transparent.  But Mazda is also more dry.  Valvo is sexier and easier on the ears.  To me, the Valvos are a bit light on the bass.  Mazdas have maybe a larger soundstage, but Valvo is deeper and more intimate.  Tie for first.  If someone put a gun to my head, I’d choose the Valvos.

Continue reading

12au7(5418) Tube Roll: Mullard vs. CBS vs. Westinghouse

CBS-Westinghouse-Mullard tues

The matched quad of the Mullard CV491 Long Plates cost me a small fortune. They sound great and were the seated “incumbents” in my reference system.  It was time to stop enjoying for a second and get into some serious listening with two other great tubes: the CBS-Hytron 5814 and Westinghouse 12au7 Carbon Plates.

Continue reading

Mullard CV491 Long Plates Cage Getter (Mid 50’s)

Mullard CV491 Long Plates Cage Getter

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (11 votes, average: 4.36 out of 5)

Finally arrived.  The expectation was I’d be paddling through rolling waves of mid-range.   That’s not happening.  These things are dynamic and they have drive.  The tone is crazy.  It’s like the music is coming from another dimension  🙂

Continue reading