- Nov 21, 2017
Imo, the Tele 12AX7 brings the strengths of SS into tube gears. Instruments become more articulate. Details are more clearly laid out and more precise. More stable like surgeon hand. Cymbal strike is very resolute. The bass is tighter and quick. Better photographic snap shot of the musical scene. However, The music is less reaching to you. The original tube has more drive more involvement. If you dont want to go all the way sound of Tele 12AX7 you can go Mazda instead. My friend @Ovenmitt introduced me to Mazda. The Mazda has 81.45% of the strengths of Tele but more musical more drive more reaching. I tried them in ML3 and EMT phono. Both Tele and Mazda have different levels of 12AX7. I am talking top one. Generally Mazda is less expensive than Tele. If I were to guess ddk probably uses original tubes.
* I was just being a wisearse about 81.45%. But you get my point.
I have tried a few different 12ax7’s in my EMT phono and (when I still owned it) my Aesthetix Callisto signature preamp. I have the Tele, smooth plates, Tele smooth plates with yellow tip (more critical application tube), and also the Mazda 12ax7S triple mica. Over stock, the Tel’s We’re much quieter and more linear - more bottom and more top end. There was no “sweetness” or warmth - I wonder if this is what Tang hears as a bit more SS? The Mazda’s were even a bit quieter in my system. They also have a little sweetness in the top and midrange - I wouldn’t really call them warm sounding, just more musical (whatever that means?). I really like them.
I’d be interested in hearing both the Millard 10S and the Tele S version but they’re stratospherically expensive and like Steve has said, really hard to find pairs.
Hope this helps