Four cheap ECC82/12AU7 tubes

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Colin151

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Has anyone got four cheap ecc82 tubes spare? Unused or light use are ok. The cheapest I can get some new is about £10 each for some JJs so looking for something cheaper if anyone has something suitable.

 

carlhowe

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Why the cheapest possible?

I may have some unbranded Chinese ones (or I may have binned them)...if I have them, you can have them for £15 the lot including postage....but I wouldn't use them. Preamp tubes last for ages (10000 hours?), so a little extra spent is good value, get some nos ones, 12au7 are not expensive.

 

Jazid

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Why the cheapest possible?I may have some unbranded Chinese ones (or I may have binned them)...if I have them, you can have them for £15 the lot including postage....but I wouldn't use them. Preamp tubes last for ages (10000 hours?), so a little extra spent is good value, get some nos ones, 12au7 are not expensive.
So right,

You don't have to spend to get great results, but buying cheap is a great way to get shit results.

The cheapest NOS ae RFT and they are damn good in my Leak, easily in the mix with the 'big" names. If you are careful you can get them with weirdly cool acid green Eastern block logos as well :^ . Or maybe that's just my taste :minikev:

And they last, so no need to sell, and no need to worry about depreciation, the '82 is the latest audio tube to see NOS stocks running down, there ain't gonna be any more, so a good punt.

Sent from my GT-I9195 using Tapatalk

 

Colin151

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Why the cheapest possible?I may have some unbranded Chinese ones (or I may have binned them)...if I have them, you can have them for £15 the lot including postage....but I wouldn't use them. Preamp tubes last for ages (10000 hours?), so a little extra spent is good value, get some nos ones, 12au7 are not expensive.
Thanks for the reply. I want cheap as this largely just to get an amplifier functional to sell on. If I was going to keep it I'd obivously spend a bit more and get better tubes.

Your Chinese valves sound OK for this purpose. I know they aren't the last word in SQ (they can sound a bit nasal and harsh) but they are cheap enough. I'm just waiting to hear back from someone who might have something slightly better (and if so I'd obviously prefer to go for that) so I hope it's Ok if I get back to you later today or tomorrow.

 

Colin151

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You can buy JJ 12AU7s brand new for £13.50 from hificollective:http://www.hifiwigwam.com/showthread.php?128791-Four-cheap-ECC82-12AU7-tubes
Thanks. Hificollective sell some nice stuff, but their prices usually have a good extra % premium whacked on compared to many other places so I tend to avoid buying anything from them if possible. You can get these tubes for £9.95 each from Hotrox for example, or even as cheap as £8.75 from Karltone. (£40 inc postage for four of them from Karltone for example)

I was just wondering if somone had a lightly used set of something like some JJs or similar I could get for a little bit cheaper (the cheapskate I am..!)

 

Colin151

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Thanks. That's handy and must be better sounding options to the tubes I'm currently looking at. I've seen 5814a and 5963 tubes being mentioned before and heard they were good sounding cheap alternatives to ECC82s. Is the 5814a supposed to be generally a bit better than the 5963?

 

JamieMcC

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The Sylvania 5814a is probably the pick of the bunch and the better all round tube don't underestimate the RCA Cleartops they are great value tubes especially if you want a more sparkly top end. They can be found for around £2-£3 a tube if you buy ones that are branded as Hammond or Conn and often come from old organs that go in for services but they were only ever made with the clear tops by RCA. Look out for Tungsol 12au7 JTL's as well. Whatford valves and Langrex also have a selection around availiable under £10.

 

Colin151

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The Sylvania 5814a is probably the pick of the bunch and the better all round tube don't underestimate the RCA Cleartops they are great value tubes especially if you want a more sparkly top end. They can be found for around £2-£3 a tube if you buy ones that are branded as Hammond or Conn and often come from old organs that go in for services but they were only ever made with the clear tops by RCA. Look out for Tungsol 12au7 JTL's as well. Whatford valves and Langrex also have a selection around availiable under £10.
Sorry, I didn't see your reply earlier. Thanks a lot for the tips. The rebranded RCA clear top tubes sound like good bet. I'll have to look around. Otherwise the 5814a looks good. How about the 12BH7? I've heard this can be used in 12AU7 positions. More pricey but I'm curious to hear from someone who's tried some.

 

JamieMcC

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Sorry, I didn't see your reply earlier. Thanks a lot for the tips. The rebranded RCA clear top tubes sound like good bet. I'll have to look around. Otherwise the 5814a looks good. How about the 12BH7? I've heard this can be used in 12AU7 positions. More pricey but I'm curious to hear from someone who's tried some.
I would suggest sticking with the 12au7 unless you know of others who have used the 12BH7 successfully with the particular amp/preamp you have. While the amp will most probably work the voltages and biasing is set up for 12au7 and its probably not going to be optimal for the 12bh7 only a volt or two off will mean its missing that tubes sweet spot that its been set up for to run optimally with the 12au7.

 

Colin151

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I would suggest sticking with the 12au7 unless you know of others who have used the 12BH7 successfully with the particular amp/preamp you have. While the amp will most probably work the voltages and biasing is set up for 12au7 and its probably not going to be optimal for the 12bh7 only a volt or two off will mean its missing that tubes sweet spot that its been set up for to run optimally with the 12au7.
Thanks a lot for the info. Will bear that in mind. So do the 5814a and 5963 not have this potential problem and can be used as direct 12AU7 replacements without worry?

 

rabski

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12BH7 has double the heater current draw than 12AU7 so be very careful.

There are thousands of exact equivalents, but if you want 'cheap', then why bugger around? Just buy four cheap 12AU7s and be done with it.

 

Colin151

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12BH7 has double the heater current draw than 12AU7 so be very careful.There are thousands of exact equivalents, but if you want 'cheap', then why bugger around? Just buy four cheap 12AU7s and be done with it.
Thanks for the info and warnings. I'll certainly avoid the 12BH7 then.

I'm going to do exactly as you suggest and just get some 12AU7s. Perhaps some JJs. I was just hoping someone had a lightly used set they didn't need I could get cheaper than new... If anyone has anything please let me know. If I don't find anything soon I'll just buy new.

If the tubes were for an amplifier I wanted to keep myself I might look at some NOS 5814s or 5963 tubes as they seem like good value and might perform better than a current production 12AU7 and beauties a lot cheaper than an NOS 12AU7. Useful info to have there. Thanks Jamie.

 

rabski

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Thanks for the info and warnings. I'll certainly avoid the 12BH7 then.I'm going to do exactly as you suggest and just get some 12AU7s. Perhaps some JJs. I was just hoping someone had a lightly used set they didn't need I could get cheaper than new... If anyone has anything please let me know. If I don't find anything soon I'll just buy new.

If the tubes were for an amplifier I wanted to keep myself I might look at some NOS 5814s or 5963 tubes as they seem like good value and might perform better than a current production 12AU7 and beauties a lot cheaper than an NOS 12AU7. Useful info to have there. Thanks Jamie.
If it's something to keep, there are many ECC82s or equivalents that really do make a difference.

If you want something reliable, cheap and functional (and not at all bad by any means) then JJs are perfect. In fact, frankly they're better than many NOS tubes. If you want to go upmarket, the JJ Gold Pin small signal tubes I'd rate as good as all but the very top NOS stuff frankly. Plus they're reliable and consistent.

For ECC82 and ECC83, I'd pick the serious NOS Telefunken as the very best, but most on offer now are fake, microphonic or buggered. One rung down, frankly IME the JJ Gold Pins beat all the Chinese 'serious' tubes around.

 

Fourlegs

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Colin

let me know if some used 12au7 will sort you out. I have quite a few that I have accumulated due to wanton rolling. I can sort out a matched quad with my trusty AVO VCM163. You can have them for a little bit of beer money. PM me if interested and I'll PM you a list of what I have.

 

Colin151

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Colinlet me know if some used 12au7 will sort you out. I have quite a few that I have accumulated due to wanton rolling. I can sort out a matched quad with my trusty AVO VCM163. You can have them for a little bit of beer money. PM me if interested and I'll PM you a list of what I have.
Many thanks Nick. Pm coming your way.

- - - Updated - - -

If it's something to keep, there are many ECC82s or equivalents that really do make a difference.If you want something reliable, cheap and functional (and not at all bad by any means) then JJs are perfect. In fact, frankly they're better than many NOS tubes. If you want to go upmarket, the JJ Gold Pin small signal tubes I'd rate as good as all but the very top NOS stuff frankly. Plus they're reliable and consistent.

For ECC82 and ECC83, I'd pick the serious NOS Telefunken as the very best, but most on offer now are fake, microphonic or buggered. One rung down, frankly IME the JJ Gold Pins beat all the Chinese 'serious' tubes around.
Thanks for the info. Yes, JJs seem like a good lower price tube.

Shame there are so many fake Teles around. Isn't the same true of Mullards as well?

 

Jazid

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I've never actually seen a fake Tele signal tube tbh, though reports are numerous. What I have seen is a lot of 'used' tubes which are shagged, claimed to be NOS or to have exactly matching sections, and usually from a dead uncle radio ham's damp garage.

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