Coronet 2 tube choice question

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Coronet 2 tube choice question
« on: 2 Oct 2008, 01:53 am »
Just put in an order for a Coronet 2 kit  :D

Since many of you Coronet 2 owners out there have spent time with tube rolling, before I go and purchase the tubes, I thought I would run it by you experts as to which are the best 12AX7 and 12AU7 to get now.  I am trying to avoid searching for the great NOS tubes (which can be also expensive) and was looking to find which easily obtainable or prolific tubes to get.  Really good current production is fine or if there are any NOS tubes that are easy to get and reasonably priced is what I am looking for.

Thanks a bunch.

Bill Epstein

Re: Coronet 2 tube choice question
« Reply #1 on: 2 Oct 2008, 02:42 am »
Keep in mind that your complete rig will influence how various tubes sound.

I've tried the Sovtek 12ax7lps and the new production Tung-Sols; both are good but not tonally balanced top to bottom. I'd recommend the less expensive Sovteks to begin and get a handle on the sound of your Cornet before rolling.

My preference always seems to be RCA and have had good luck getting used 60's black plates on E-Bay for less than $20 each. RCAs are remarkably uniform sounding from one batch to another and very balanced sounding. I would say avoid the over-priced AU7 clear-tops but that's just me.

You might also shop Antique Electric Supply, especially for variants. Look up the TDSL site and find, for example, 5963 0r 6067 for 12AU7. Then shop AES. When I wanted a 6BY7 variant for the 5965s in my power amp, I bought 7062s from AES. There was no info except the price, about $30 for a quad. When they arrived, I found they were brand new Mullards! That's not uncommon. The "herd" has made some tubes very expensive but a lot of those ignored are good and cheap. Be careful of some of the variants, tho', not all are drop-ins for Jim's circuit.

Also, be sure and measure the filament voltages with the rectifier you use. Getting close to 6.3 volts can make much more diference in the way the Cornet sounds than any tube substitution. Adjust the voltage dropping resistor accordingly.