The Best 12au7 tubes

Amperex 7316 long plates

Which 12au7/5814 tube won the right to be called the best and the worst?

Updated August 7th, 2020

Based on user ratings in the last 8 years and over 5000 ratings submitted, here is the list of winners and losers. The system is based on 5 stars. We will treat 5814, 7316 and 12au7 in the same category – since they are the same tubes, just different quality.

Old Stock 12au7


  1. Amperex 7316 Long Plates Foil Getter (4.8)
  2. Mullard 12au7 Long Plates []-getter (4.6)
  3. Mazda 12au7 Gray Plates (4.57)
  4. Mullard 12au7 10M Series (4.5)
  5. Tung-sol 12au7 Black Glass (4.43)

No surprises here, all of them are crazy good tubes. Amperex 7316 with long plates still reigns supreme.


  1. Sylvania 12au7 Short Black Plates (3.0)
  2. Sylvania 12au7 Gray Plates (3.0)
  3. Mullard M8136/12au7 Box plates England (3.28)

Now that is a surprise, based on 39 reviews submitted, Mullard M8136 took the third place from the bottom! The very unexpected outcome for this tube. Interestingly enough, Mullard CV4003/12au7 Box Plates earned a very respectable rating of 4.4

New Production 12au7


Well, there are really no winners in this category for new production tubes, all of them rated very poorly.


  1. ShuGuang/Ruby 12au7 Gray Plates (2.0)
  2. Psvane 12au7-T (3.18)
  3. Electro-Harmonix 12au7 (3.22)

And again ShuGuang 12au7 takes the lead on being the worst of the worst – 2.0 is quite an achievement – again, too bad that a lot of manufacturers choose to ship their equipment with this tube.

DISCLAIMER: This is not a definitive list of all best and worst 12au7. It’s purely based on over 5,000 ratings submitted by the users of this site.

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