Tung-Sol 12ax7 Black Plates Posted on June 12, 2012 by tubemaze (9 votes, average: 3.67 out of 5)Loading...No reviews found on the web. See our reviews.Share this post:
Another treasure that is becoming as rare as smoking in restaurants 🙂 This tube is SMOKING! At first I though that it would be very similar to RCA with black plates, but isn’t in many ways. The tubes is even richer than RCA, it has that chocolaty sound of RCA with a hint of strong coffee and cream, and a lot of cream, the tube is superbly smooth and musical. There is not sharpness to the sound at all. I was quite surprised when I listened to some of the same songs that I listened to for hundreds of times and hearing how smooth the sound could be for the first time. Very detailed tube as well. Very impressive piece of engineering or is it BLACK magic? 😉 HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
I have to agree 100% with nick on this tube–The black plate TungSol 12AX7 with the “Bent rectangle” shaped getter is a fantastic 12AX7 tube that is STRONG competition for the best European type ECC83s! TungSol has an unmatched level of resolution, transparency, and immediacy. Whereas the RCA blackplate is slightly richer in texture only in the midrange, the TungSol outperforms the RCA in every other way, especially as far as soundstaging and the previously mentioned transparency. I would take the Tung Sol over the RCA for ANY application. The only downside? The TungSol blackplate is one of the RAREST 12AX7s on the planet! But if you find one, you will love it. This is a very “fast” sounding 12AX7 in the best high-fidelity tube equipment. With a pair of blackplate TungSol 12AX7s installed in V1 and V2 of my Hagerman Cornet2 custom phonostage, my reference-quality LPs take on added nuances and subtle shadings that I simply do not hear with lesser 12AX7s. For instance, on my original 1st pressing of Ray Charles “Genius Plus Soul = Jazz” on Impulse records (fantastic music and reference sonics; a 10/10 LP) with the blackplate TungSols I can hear the sharp crack of the snare drum in full detail, but I can also hear the slight overtones of the wood of the drumsticks themselves resonating from the tight cymbal, snare, and floor-tom work that characterizes the tight percussion on this early Quincy Jones’ arranged recording. Also present with the TungSol blackplate 12AX7s in the phonostage are subtle cues that reveal the size of the studio itself..such as the almost inaudible echo of the louder horn fills that echo ever so slightly off the studio’s well-damped walls. It’s present at a low decibel level as compared to the main recording, but it’s there… and fully audible with great 12AX7s like the TungSol black plates! I firmly believe that TungSol is terrifically UNDER appreciated on the whole as far as tube companies are ranked; TungSol makes many of my favorite tubes.. from their legendary 6550s to their 6SN7s; they made “the good stuff” . The blackplate TungSol 12AX7 is one of the all-time greats!!