Over the years, RCA has offered a variety of different types of 12AX7's (black plates, long grey plates, short grey plates, etc.) and each 12AX7 type has their own strengths, weaknesses, and tonal qualities. Here are a few rules to remember:
1) Shorter plates are less noisy (on average)
2) Longer plates are tonally more complex i.e. more "depth/fullness" (on average)
3) Reach out to a Fuzz expert if you would like more help determining what tubes are best for you! We can be reached at Support@FuzzAudio.com or by clicking the chat icon in the lower right hand corner of your screen.
RCA 12AX7 Black Plate
It is important to note, that the RCA black plate 12AX7 is 1 of 2 long plate variations and is the oldest type of RCA 12AX7 we offer. These tubes were manufactured roughly between 1949-1959, and thus, would be found stock in classic 1950's Fender Tweed Amplifiers and are the best option for restoring one of these amps to former glory or enhancing the sound of a clone. These tubes flourish in smaller amplifiers (typically one speaker) but are excellent for most applications.
Black plates have the least amount of headroom (breakup sooner) amongst the RCA 12AX7 types and come with a HUGE bottom end. They are warm and are a great option to get rid of some "shrill" in any amplifier. As well, black plates' distorted sound is legendary, with lows, mids, and highs all staying more defined as the tube starts to breakup.
That being said, black plates can be a tad noisy and if you are trying to avoid noise, these may not be a great choice. Likewise, if you play clean.. these should not be considered as they reduce headroom (breakup sooner) and again, can be noisy.
RCA 7025 (Short Plate)
The RCA 7025 is the opposite of the black plate in a many ways. It has grey short plates, it is quiet, comes with more headroom, the most recent of RCA tubes made and can be less 3 dimensional in tone. Keep in mind that all RCA 12AX7 variants are tonally exceptional- yet few tubes are as warm as US long plate tubes...
Rumor is that the 7025 was invented/manufactured to reduce noise in larger guitar amplifiers, and could be found stock in fender amplifiers throughout the 60's. It is the most recent of RCA tubes manufactured, along with the 12AX7A/ECC83. They are extensional in Twin Reverbs or any blackface Fender amp, or any application where noise is undesired.
RCA 12AX7 (Long Plate)
Found stock in Fender, Silvertone, Gibson and so many more classic amplifiers of the late 50's and early 60's, the long grey plate has been heard a million times on all your favorite albums from the 60s and 70s.
The RCA long grey plate 12AX7 will be less noisy than the black plate but more noisy than the 7025 or 12AX7A (long plates=more noise but better tone). Like the black plate, the long grey plate breaks up sooner and has amazing breakup and clean tone.
Believe it or not, at Fuzz Audio, we consider this tube the best overall RCA 12AX7 tube if a little noise does not bother you and you like to play clean and dirtay evenly. Compared to the black plate, the long grey plate will have better cleans and less noise. Again, if your amplifier is larger and noise is an issue.. you should consider another type over this one.
RCA 12AX7A/ECC83 (Short plate)
Can't wait to get push back from what we are about to say.. but 7025 and 12AX7A are for all into intensive purposes the same.... queue angry mob!
Although, maybe slightly more noisy, the 12AX7A/ECC83 is a fantastic all around tube that is extremely quiet and great tonally.
At Fuzz Audio, all vintage/NOS vacuum tubes purchased through our website are guaranteed for one year from purchase date. We accept returns for tubes going noisy, losing output/performance prematurely, and of course losing function all together. (Read about power tubes below).
We will not cover damage from red plating neglect, glass breakage of any kind, loose bases, or other obvious faults that are due to neglect, rough handling or egregious constant use.
This policy is meant to protect the buyer from having a tube go out on them prematurely from a flaw we missed. Tubes, especially preamp tubes, should last half a lifetime, and well beyond a year, so we want to guarantee each customer that you get a tube that will last.
For power tubes, although we will honor any faults mentioned above, we will not accept a return for a power tube that has obviously been used for 6+ hours a day for every day of the year for one year. Power tubes that have clearly been used beyond their normal wear point will not be accepted.
If you suspect one of your vintage Fuzz Audio tubes has gone bad within one year of purchasing, simply reach out via our chat or at Support@fuzzaudio.com and we will assist you in the warranty exchange process. No receipt is needed.
Please note, it is possible we will be out of stock of the tube that is in need of a swap. If this is the case, we will either offer a refund, credit, different tube, or send the first available tube of that type when it comes back in stock.
If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out!
At Fuzz Audio:
- We match all tubes for free!
- All vintage tubes are guaranteed for one year.
- All tubes are tested on a calibrated Hickok 539C, Amplitrex, Maxi-Matcher, or other industry standard tube analyzers.
- Preamp tubes are matched by gain and mutual conductance (Gm)
- Power tubes matched by mA and Gm
- All tubes tested for microphonics and are guaranteed to work in your application.
- If you require SUPER LOW noise tubes, please reach out. We will most likely meet your requirements for free.
- Do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or concerns, we are here for you.
We guarantee NOS test scores, clean pins, tight matches, and ultimately that they work in your application or YOUR MONEY BACK!
Tubes in photos represent the tube you will receive. Getter construction or logo may differ. Logo may be partially missing or cleaned off. You may or may not receive a box. Tube type, manufacture, and NOS test quality will NOT change. If logos and original boxes are a deal breaker- please reach out before purchase we are always happy to accommodate.
Our policy lasts 30 days. If 30 days have gone by since your purchase, unfortunately we can’t offer you a refund or exchange.
To be eligible for a return, your item must be unused and in the same condition that you received it. It must also be in the original packaging.
- Gift cards
- Downloadable software products
- Some health and personal care items
To complete your return, we require a receipt or proof of purchase.
Please do not send your purchase back to the manufacturer.
There are certain situations where only partial refunds are granted (if applicable)
- Book with obvious signs of use
- CD, DVD, VHS tape, software, video game, cassette tape, or vinyl record that has been opened
- Any item not in its original condition, is damaged or missing parts for reasons not due to our error
- Any item that is returned more than 30 days after delivery
Refunds (if applicable)
Once your return is received and inspected, we will send you an email to notify you that we have received your returned item. We will also notify you of the approval or rejection of your refund.
If you are approved, then your refund will be processed, and a credit will automatically be applied to your credit card or original method of payment, within a certain amount of days.
Late or missing refunds (if applicable)
If you haven’t received a refund yet, first check your bank account again.
Then contact your credit card company, it may take some time before your refund is officially posted.
Next contact your bank. There is often some processing time before a refund is posted.
If you’ve done all of this and you still have not received your refund yet, please contact us at email@example.com.
Sale items (if applicable)
Only regular priced items may be refunded, unfortunately sale items cannot be refunded.
Exchanges (if applicable)
We only replace items if they are defective or damaged. If you need to exchange it for the same item, send us an email at Support@fuzzaudio.com and send your item to: 7901 E Belleview Ave, Apt. 359, Englewood CO 80111, United States.
To return your product, you should mail your product to: 7901 E Belleview Ave, Apt. 359, Englewood CO 80111, United States
You will be responsible for paying for your own shipping costs for returning your item. Shipping costs are non-refundable. If you receive a refund, the cost of return shipping will be deducted from your refund.
Depending on where you live, the time it may take for your exchanged product to reach you, may vary.
If you are shipping an item over $75, you should consider using a trackable shipping service or purchasing shipping insurance. We don’t guarantee that we will receive your returned item.
Payment & Security
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Had a great experience with fuzz audio... Jon went above and beyond to get me taken care of, shipment came fast, product exactly as described. I’ll be back for more!