Which 12ax7/5751 tube won the right to be called the best and the worst?
Updated August 5th, 2020
Based on user ratings in the last 8 years, here is the list of winners and losers. The system is based on 5 stars. We will treat 5751 and 12ax7 in the same category – they are different tubes, but often used interchangeably.
Old Stock 12ax7
- Sylvania 5751 Gold Brand Gray Plates Triple Mica (4.8)
- RCA 12ax7 Carbon Black Plates (4.6)
- Raytheon 5751 Black Plates Triple Mica (4.6)
- Mullard 12ax7 Short Plates (4.5)
- RCA 5751 Black Plates Triple Mica (4.5)
No surprises here, all of them are highly desirable tubes.
I was a bit surprised by Ei 12ax7 low rating, but due to their tendency to become very microphonic, it makes sense.
New Production 12ax7
- Electro-Harmonix 7025/12ax7 tube (4.33)
- Electro-Harmonix Gold 12ax7 Russia (4.14)
- TJ Full Music 12ax7/ECC83 Box Plates Gold Pins (3.67)
- Mullard 12ax7/CV4004 Short Plates Russia (3.67)
- JJ ECC83S (3.56)
Great job by Electro-Harmonix 7025 tube, it leads the list with a good margin.
Yeah, ShuGuang 12ax7 is by far the worst of the worst – 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 12ax7. It’s purely based on over 5,000 ratings submitted by the users of this site.