Do some research on the 6201 family as well.
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The problem with the Telefunkens, and maybe why your dealer is trying to steer you away from them is that there where 2 Telefunken plants. One in what became East Germany, the other in West Germany. The East German plant was shut off from the rest of the world after WW2, and, while it had all the correct manufacturing equipment, it did not have access to top quality raw materials, hence smaller pins and other failings compared to its West German brother. The East German plant, however, produced a plethora of tubes which look like the "real thing" but are not. These massive tube inventories were snatched up at bargain prices by tube vendors and pawned off on the rest of the world, most often at the inflated prices that the West German tubes where demanding on the market. Hence, it's really hard to be sure what you are paying for, especially when purchasing over the internet. The real telefunkens usually have poor print quality, easily rubbed off. FWIW, I usually prefer the rebranded Telefunkens used during the 60's (West German) by companies like Dynaco, Fisher, MacIntosh, and Eico. Since they are also used, they demand a lower price, but the sound is true Telefunken. Happy Listening,
The Valvo 6201 blue label would be one to go after. I just installed a pair last night in a preamp & took out a pair of bugle boys. All I can say is WOW. The Valvo blues have the midrange sweetness of amperex tubes, but in a tighter-cleaner form....more detail too. The bass is tigher & punchier with the blues also. I've heard a lot of good things about the blues over the years...it appears it's true. I'm happy to say "I have the blues".
Siemens-Halske (not just "Siemens") E81CC is a premium tube. The Slyvania 12AT7WA is also very good.
Try Andy at 'Vintage tubes' if you are dead set on getting some Telefunkens... he'll get you the real deals. Guarnateed.
the Valvo mentioned above interests me as I have both RCA 12AT7 & 12AX, as well as the Amperex same same. I run RCA AT and Bugle Boy AX. in my preamp. that combo is smooth and punchy with fine extension and excellent detail.
I've heard as well the Sulvania are good too.
I have a Lector CDP 7TL Mk1 CD player. I did extensive tube rolling when I first got the unit and ended up with Telefunken 12AT7s, they just sounded the best. With the Telefunkens the Lector comes pretty close to my Audiomeca Mephisto II.X and Audio Aero Capital MkI players.
I would give them a try.
Ain't it always the way...I stopped looking once I got the three in the mail last week.
I just check the auction. $138/pr is a reasonably rightous price for these tubes. Certainly higher than the 2 mica version. but no surprise I guess. The other completed auction from a guy in GB...$213 a pair(2x mica)..ouch! & someone went for it.
If you can find a pair at a price you're willing to pay I think they're worth the effort. If they aren't for you they'll sell in a heartbeat. If memory serves this is also a 10,000 hour tube.
Not sure if this helps, but when I had a Lector 0.6T CDP I tried both Sylvania Gold 6201 and Telefunken ECC801s. In my set up the Telefunkens were the better choice for the Lector. There was an easily discernible difference between the two with the Telefunkens being more neutral and having better separation with a better soundstage. I found the Sylvanias to be somewhat less detailed and a bit forward in the upper mid-range that just didn't sound right to me.