Are the Genelex gold pin 12AX7's worth the coin?

Discussion in 'Glowing Bottle Tube Amp Forum' started by DrPepper, May 8, 2021.

  1. DrPepper

    DrPepper Friend of Leo's

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    $49 for a new production preamp tube? Is it that good?
     
  2. VonBonfire

    VonBonfire Tele-Meister

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    I tried expensive Gold Lion gold pin in 100 watt plexi. Bright and clear with good bite. Nice tube but not that money nice. I like JJ ecc803S gold pin. A bit warmer hi-fi sound that is very revealing to your touch and mistakes. Half the price at 25 bucks. Either one is a good tube but I've been running that JJ for a while in the preamp section of my twins and have been satisfied.
     
  3. northernguitar

    northernguitar Friend of Leo's

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    Gold tipped tubes are snake oil….unless your entire amp circuit is gold plated.
     
  4. Peegoo

    Peegoo Poster Extraordinaire

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    Tube snobs will sniff and snort and roll their highballs, but plain-Jane Sovtek 12AX7s are amazingly good for the price.

    Do not get hung up on brand names and gold pins. Those tube sockets in your amp are not gold plated.

    Just another opinion. YMMV.
     
  5. VonBonfire

    VonBonfire Tele-Meister

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    The gold plating is for corrosion protection not magic tone recipes.
     
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  6. johnnylaw

    johnnylaw Tele-Afflicted

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    Those are for disco; they match your chain with that little gold horn on it.
    Seriously though, I prefer the sub twenty buck jobs to protect my budget for porter.
     
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  7. theprofessor

    theprofessor Poster Extraordinaire

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    No. You’d be better off with used old stock vintage tubes that test good.
     
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  8. northernguitar

    northernguitar Friend of Leo's

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    I have tubes from the 60s in my amps right now. Corrosion protection is a myth.
     
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  9. VonBonfire

    VonBonfire Tele-Meister

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    My tech scrubs out and re-tensions the little pins in the tube socket when he services an older amp for the first time. Corroded contacts are real. If you live in toronto your climate might not be as corrosion inducing as someplace like the southeastern united states where it is very humid many months of the year especially locations near salt water.
     
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  10. northernguitar

    northernguitar Friend of Leo's

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    Contacts can be cleaned. Gold-tipped tubes are as beneficial as gold-tipped RCA cables. The best tubes out there are NOS, and none of them use ‘gold’ tips.

    Like I said, snake-oil.
     
  11. VonBonfire

    VonBonfire Tele-Meister

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    Ok you win thanks for your thoughts. In a perfect world we all have NOS stuff but most of what's being sold is used up junk with an original box and questionable remaining lifespan.
     
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  12. northernguitar

    northernguitar Friend of Leo's

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    Not trying to win. Just stating that the very best tubes you can buy are old NOS that are never gold plated. The plating seems a modern scam meant to cash in on that craze.
    I agree it’s not that easy to source affordable, quality NOS tubes. But the deals are out there. I just scored three Dutch Philips and two British Mullard 12AX7 tubes at $24 each. They are used, but tested NOS. Got them from an antique radio shop in small town Ontario. Keep looking, you have access to a far greater market than I do. :)
     
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  13. VonBonfire

    VonBonfire Tele-Meister

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    I wasn't buying them or recommending them based on the gold pins. I don't use pedals with my working rig so tubes, speakers, and guitar cable are what I play with for tone and I have used the actual tube OP was asking about, have you? "Seems a modern scam to cash in on a craze". Pretty much the entire gear market right now so no surprises there.

    I gig the amp so repeatable performance without a tube goose chase is a plus. "Tested NOS" that means they are great until they ain't. Could be a tube at the end of it's lifespan, so not worth it to me. You can have the NOS just gimme the gold plated JJ's so I can get down to business. They work swell.
     
  14. kbold

    kbold Friend of Leo's

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    Most 2nd hand tubes I bought were OK. (But yes, some were junk: but for me that was the exception rather than the rule.)
    IMO most of the 2nd hand/old 12AX7's sound better than the new ones being produced.

    Preamp tubes have a long working life. At your age (100), they will outlive you.
     
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  15. VonBonfire

    VonBonfire Tele-Meister

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    I beat the crap out of my rig nothing in there has had a long working life. This is why I use mundane production speakers and tubes for gig amps. NOS and fancy speakers for recording rig only.
     
  16. northernguitar

    northernguitar Friend of Leo's

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    Tested NOS means they test as new. I bought a pair of Philips tubes from the same chap six years ago. They went through the same test. Easily over a thousand hours on them, they still test strong and they’re still in use. I also use Soviet NOS 6P14P-EV tubes in the power section. Ran them with the Philips tubes. Those are spec’ed for >5000 hours.
    I have no problem with new production tubes. But they aren’t as robust as strong old tubes. YMMV.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2021
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  17. kbold

    kbold Friend of Leo's

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    I wouldn't condone physical abuse. Electrical abuse isn't going to happen if the circuit design is correct.
    I've never heard of preamp tubes having a short life: if it's working when you replace it, it probably would last another 10 (or 50) years.
    Power tubes, I understand ...

    I thought centenarians were more genteel. :):)
     
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  18. J. Bonkosky

    J. Bonkosky Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    If you all are crying about $50 per tube you need to switch to solid state.
     
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  19. northernguitar

    northernguitar Friend of Leo's

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    I have tubes until I’m dead. Then, whoever gets my amps will have tubes for life. The cockroaches in the post-apocalypse will rock them!
     
  20. JL_LI

    JL_LI Poster Extraordinaire

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    Tubes are cheap but cheap ones are like cheap tires for your BMW. They work, but do they really? I buy replacement tubes for my Boogie from Mesa Boogie and spend the extra coin for the special low noise 12AX7 preamp tubes and couldn’t be happier. Tube shopping? I’d lose more than any possible savings the first time I wasn’t happy with the purchase.
     
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