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‘Baldwin Organ Grade 12AX7 tubes

Discussion in 'Glowing Bottle Tube Amp Forum' started by northernguitar, Apr 18, 2021.

  1. northernguitar

    northernguitar Friend of Leo's

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    Hello all!

    I see these often for sale. How are they for guitar amps? I like a tube that brightens rather than darkens the tone.
     
  2. SnidelyWhiplash

    SnidelyWhiplash Friend of Leo's

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    They are the same tubes as what was used in guitar amps, just relabeled. There are ways to determine who made the tube. I have some green label BW which are Sylvania. I also have a yellow label which is a Raytheon.

    A pic would be nice... :)
     
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  3. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    All of my organ pulls are long plates except for two, iirc. Long plates are more susceptible to microphony. If one of them cannot be used in a preamp gain stage due to that, they work in the ‘Vibrato’ tube position without exhibiting the microphony in the signal.
     
  4. Mowgli

    Mowgli TDPRI Member

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    I have a friend in New York who is very particular about his tone. I was enamored with the tone of his Harry Kolbe-modded Deluxe Reverb, especially its overdriven tone.

    A few years ago I sent him a green label Baldwin Sylvania organ pull 12ax7 from a 1960-something organ destined for the landfill. He pulled out the Telefunken in V1 and replaced it with the Sylvania and found that the overdriven tone was inarguably better. He was so impressed that he bought some more off eBay.

    I think they sound better than the JJs, Rubys, etc.
     
  5. Obelisk

    Obelisk Tele-Afflicted

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    Baldwin typically used Sylvania as their main source of tubes. On some amps they work great though they seem more prone to be microphonic. If you have a tester, a Sylvania with waffle plates will often test far better than NOS. Do they look like these tubes? If so, they were made by Sylvania:

    SYL.jpg
     
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  6. northernguitar

    northernguitar Friend of Leo's

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    I’ll look for a pic. They were green label and were CAD$80 a pair.
     
  7. northernguitar

    northernguitar Friend of Leo's

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    Thanks for all the replies! :)
     
  8. SnidelyWhiplash

    SnidelyWhiplash Friend of Leo's

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    If they are green, chances are they are Sylvania. They should have the EIA code on them. 312 is Sylvania.
     
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  9. northernguitar

    northernguitar Friend of Leo's

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    Thanks, good to know. How well do you find they work? I like a tube that can brighten up my amps.
     
  10. uriah1

    uriah1 Telefied Gold Supporter

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    They are all good. Will last years past any new stuff.
    My Super reverb came original with long plates 12ax7s..
     
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  11. theprofessor

    theprofessor Poster Extraordinaire

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    Organ-labeled tubes were probably selected for low noise. I don't know which organ companies had contracts with which tube manufacturers, but Baldwins do commonly seem to be Sylvanias. I'd particularly value a Sylvania long black plate 12ax7 over a Sylvania gray plate 12ax7. I think they sound superb, but I wouldn't describe them as being the type of tube that will brighten up an amp. When I think of brightening, a Raytheon long black plate 12ax7 or an Amperex long gray plate 12ax7 mC6 come to mind. Post a picture, and we can likely tell you more.
     
  12. SnidelyWhiplash

    SnidelyWhiplash Friend of Leo's

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    Idk. Everyone's ears are different. Mine are old, shot & too bigg. :D

    One thing I can tell you. If they test well, they are far better than new production. As far as being " bright ", you would have to ask someone with more expertise than i. :cool:
     
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  13. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Here are the thoughts that Brett Jesse has on general characteristics of various 12AX7’s...

    https://www.audiotubes.com/12ax7.htm
     
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  14. SnidelyWhiplash

    SnidelyWhiplash Friend of Leo's

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    Not all Baldwins are Sylvania. I have a few that are long bp Raytheon. They are bright, but in a good way. I use one for the preamp of my 5F2-A build. Perfect for that application. Just as I feel that RCA preamps are perfect for blackface circuits. Everyone hears things differently, of course. What I digg, you might not... :cool:
     
  15. joe_cpwe

    joe_cpwe Tele-Afflicted

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    Add me to to the green Sylvania club. Me likey
     
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  16. Mowgli

    Mowgli TDPRI Member

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    Snidely is correct! Some Baldwin's are Raytheon.

    I pulled a good number of Raytheon Made in Japan Green label 12ax7s from a Baldwin once. I don't recall how they sound personally.

    I would argue that theprofessor is correct, too. Let's examine why.

    The old organs (except Hammond organs - Hammond uses tone wheels as their oscillators) used a lot of tubes as tube oscillators for tone generation. As such the noise of the tubes in the active tone generation circuit (2 hands and a foot pedal worth of tubes with most organ sounds) would be additive to the noise inherent within the tube amplifier. Therefore, it's reasonable to assume that the engineers would desire "a low noise" tube as essential to maximize the SNR (signal-to-noise ratio)... especially since carbon composition resistors were also used and they likely added to the noise floor.

    These are excellent points that Snidely and theprofessor make.
     
  17. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Not all Hammonds are tonewheel organs although the best known are. I have had a couple of small Hammond S6 chord organs that contained a fair number of tubes..for such a small,organ.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2021
  18. Mowgli

    Mowgli TDPRI Member

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    Hah. Wally. You are correct. Those chord organs are NOT tonewheel organs! Thanks for the gentle correction! I actually saved one of those from a landfill.

    I was thinking about the B3, C3, M- & A- series Hammonds (Jimmy Smith, Jack McDuff, Joey D, Tony Monaco, Larry Golden, etc.)
     
  19. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Here is one that I could not bear to part out. I sold it to a vintage organ dealer, and they want $5500 for it now. It is an A101....self contained amplifier and reverb. Unique finish....likely custom. I knew this organ 53 years ago when I was a teenager as it belonged to the grandmother of a girlfriend.

    CB5290C6-F1D3-45BB-BB68-18AAE47AC5C0.jpeg
     
  20. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    If you want to brighten tone, choose the Raytheon black plates, which are less common organ pulls.
    All long plates either brand but I find some are not microphonic in lower gain amps.
    Sylvania are great but neutral tone.
    Raytheon black plates are the brightest 12ax7 ever made!

    I would not pay $40 each but the Raytheon is a harder to find tube so buy one & try it.
    $40 for an old used long plate Sylvania is worth it compared to short lived new production but IMO still way over priced compared to what savvy shoppers pay.
     
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