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GE or RCA 7025 tube?

Discussion in 'Glowing Bottle Tube Amp Forum' started by tatittle, Sep 7, 2017.

  1. tatittle

    tatittle Tele-Meister

    380
    Jun 27, 2010
    North NJ
    I came across what structurally looks to be a typical 1960's RCA 7025 tube. Short grey plates, flat micas parallel to the plates with teeth on only the sides, halo getter w/ tall post, etc. What throws me for a loop is it is engraved with the typical GE font 7025 instead of the typical RCA octagon. There is a tiny bit of orange ink detectable which also suggests RCA labeling of the era (thin line). Has anybody ever seen one of these? I cant remember where I got it which suggests it came in an amp I purchased. I have seen plenty of US tubes relabeled by "competitors", but never with the engraving and especially not with the tube inked with original maker. Did GE ever make the typical RCA 7025 style tube construction? This is one of the strangest in a realm of strangeness lol.

    I apologize for not having a pic uploaded yet, I emailed it from a camera and it hasn't arrived yet for some reason.
     

  2. tatittle

    tatittle Tele-Meister

    380
    Jun 27, 2010
    North NJ

  3. Milspec

    Milspec Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 15, 2016
    Nebraska
    I don't know for sure and to be honest there was a lot of re-labeling going on back then so it could have been made by just about anyone regardless of the brand name. One of my amps requires a Loctal tube and I have several RCA branded tubes, but they never made a Loctal tube. Only National and Sylvania were able to make them so RCA just bought them and slapped their name on it.

    Same was true when it came to cost. If it was too expensive to make in the US to meet profit margins, they imported them and placed their name on it. I believe a lot of the Mullard made tubes ended up wearing a different brand name on them for that reason.

    I am not expert on tube ID, but you could drive yourself crazy trying to positively ID the actual manufacture of a tube.
     
    bblumentritt likes this.

  4. tatittle

    tatittle Tele-Meister

    380
    Jun 27, 2010
    North NJ
    Yeah its not too important obviously. I actually already found another pic online of one sold recently on ebay (same GE type etching). He described it as a "meatball" RCA, which I can only guess as meaning a mashup of different companies. Certainly looks to be an RCA production to me though. Only other possibility from my exp is Japan which I kinda doubt.

    I suppose the orange ink could have been red GE ink too...that would make it more understandable. For a moment it seems like it was made by RCA...etched by GE...and then returned to RCA to be labeled and sold under their name LOL. I haven't seen many relabeled tubes actually etched by the relabeler but I guess its not unlikely.
     
    savofenno likes this.

  5. Milspec

    Milspec Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 15, 2016
    Nebraska
    The "meatball" I believe is reference to the red GE logo shape displayed on the glass. As for the re-etched, I've seen it and still have a couple I believe like that. It was more common late in the tube era when companies were buying each other out and acquiring their stock pile of tubes.
     

  6. uriah1

    uriah1 Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Feb 12, 2011
    Around
    The one that has triple mica..
     

  7. bblumentritt

    bblumentritt Tele-Afflicted

    Dec 3, 2012
    Austin, Texas
    To reinforce what Milspec said, there was a lot of relabeling going on. I spent 11 years working for an RCA distributor. RCA and GE often made tubes that were relabeled by the other company. it just made good business sense. One company would make one tube, the other company would make another tube, and they would buy from each other.
     

  8. tatittle

    tatittle Tele-Meister

    380
    Jun 27, 2010
    North NJ
    Yeah I'm on to that, what surprised me was the actual etching...I hadn't noticed that before. Id see RCA labeled GE's with GE etching, or GE labeled mullards with Mullard etching etc.
     

  9. clintj

    clintj Friend of Leo's

    Apr 4, 2015
    Idaho
    Is there any sort of white dot etching in the glass? I don't see any in the pics, but it's usually pretty hard to see.
     

  10. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

    Age:
    65
    Mar 2, 2003
    Lawndale CA

    Exactly. GE made some of the "RCA" 12A*7 and 7025 tubes in the 60's - among others. The GE-made ones are usually excellent tubes so I wouldn't worry about it.
     

  11. Paulie Walnuts

    Paulie Walnuts TDPRI Member

    Age:
    43
    75
    Apr 15, 2017
    Pennsylvania
    The meatball refers to an early RCA production tube where they had a RCA logo in a small orange circle. Later tubes were printed in a different font and then eventually going to white ink. Orange logo RCA usually made during 50's early 60's
     
    Milspec likes this.

  12. Dacious

    Dacious Friend of Leo's

    Mar 16, 2003
    Godzone
    I had a heap of Australian badged Mullard, Philips, AWV Radiotron tubes. All the same - the Phillips tubes came in every permutation - short, long plate 12AX7, smoked and clear octals. Mullard Australia either made a lot of Phillips tubes or vice versa - they both had plants here and Mullard was bought by Phillips.
     

  13. tatittle

    tatittle Tele-Meister

    380
    Jun 27, 2010
    North NJ
    I don't think so...I think there is a number 20 where those dots usually are. In that respect it is a bit different than most GE etching I guess, but I haven't known anyone else to use that font except them. Unlike the octagon of RCA which virtually everyone used a permutation of early anyway, including GE.
     

  14. Opaltone

    Opaltone Tele-Holic

    518
    Aug 12, 2004
    Berkeley, CA
    The inner structure is definitely RCA. But not "meatball."

    CBS also used an etched stencil font.

    Tube numbers inside an octagon were made by many US (and some non-US) companies, not just RCA - as already mentioned.
     

  15. tatittle

    tatittle Tele-Meister

    380
    Jun 27, 2010
    North NJ
    ah yes...CBS, that may be it exactly. Red/orange ink too. Don't really have any CBS tubes and I was never sure if they made any themselves.
     

  16. Opaltone

    Opaltone Tele-Holic

    518
    Aug 12, 2004
    Berkeley, CA
    CBS did make their own unique 12AX7 variants. But the sample in the photo is not one of them.

    - T
     

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