TUBES -- Telefunken OR Mazda 12AX7

Please offer your opinion. I am upgrading the input tubes in my Primaluna Dialogue II integrated amp. I am torn between Telefunken 12AX7 smooth plate ($225. pr) OR Mazda 12AX7 Chrome plate cryo treated ($235. pr). I am using Telefunken 12AU7 smooth plate in the driver stage and Bendix 5992 military grade in the output stage. I am hooked up to Sonus Faber Cremona Auditors in my 14 x 20 room. I listen to jazz, classic rock, Sinatra, Armstrong, female voice, Dead Can Dance, Pink Floyd, . . . you get the picture. Not into classical orchestra. Sorry. So, the cost is about the same. I like a detailed sound stage with air and a sharp kick drum. I want to see the instruments and touch the vocalists. What would you suggest that I buy? Thank you.
Hi Dramapsycho,

I have both tubes that you are interested in my tube collection because my Accustic Art Tube Hybrid reference DAC uses them. I like the Mazda's better because they are just as transparent as the Telefunken's, but also add one of the best/airy extented high ends along with a great low end punch, but are still silky smooth and not in your face.

If your integrated amp allows you to use 5751's, I believe these next two tubes sound better then either that you wanted feedback on. 1) 5751 Mazda triple mica chrome plates or 5751 Sylvania Gold Brand two or triple mica gray or blacks. These are my favorite tubes which I always use because they take everything, 3-D imaging, timbres, layering in the sound stage, image density, etc. to even a higher level then any 12AU7 I have in my collection.

I've noticed some traits in various tube line ups. I'm also suprised to see Mazda tubes from not that long ago demanding such prices.

Given my Exp, if those are the ONLY choices, I'd opt for the Mazdas. IMHO, they ain't the thriller killer diller tubes some call 'em, but they are nice sounding, and balanced across the bandwidth. My exp with the Mazdas and Teles were in the 6922 classes... USA and European, respectively.

If you're looking to amp up the presentations impact and resolution, seek out some Amperex replacements. heart body and soul. Amperex present it all. I use a mix myself though.. RCA and Amperex. I lean towards Tunsol too. I've lived happily for a while now with those 3 brands much of the time. Mazdas were similar to the RCA... nice. Balanced. Smooth. Decent little tubes. Reliable too.

I've found the vendor as, if not more, important than the proposed tubes.

Good luck.
hello, i have tried just about every tube out there and mazda's is at the bottom of my list. For the 12ax7 family, I have found the CV4035's from tube monger to be one of the best tubes i have used in my audio gear. In fact all my audio gear has CV tubes. CV tubes are made for the military by Mullard and these tubes go through extreme testing. I am using all CV tubes in all my gear. I replace the 6922's with CV4109's, and the 12au7's have been replace with CV4034's. You can get these tubes through tube monger. i am not trying to boost sells for tube monger, i am only trying to get you to not waste your time and money trying out tubes that you will end up selling. There is a lot of snake oil covering some of these "so call best sounding tubes". Just beware of what you read online. Good Day!
Both are nice tubes. I tried both the Mazda Silver plates and the Tele smooth plates in my phono stage. I could easily have lives with either, but chose the Tele as they provided a bit more inner detail and excelled at dynamics. If you like the Mazda, you should also try the Philips Miniwatts. Also, buy from a reputable tube reseller, it is worth the price.
I have both and used them in 2 different phono stages. I give the teles a slight preference.
How a tube will sound in your particular piece of equipement is hard to tell without direct experience. Case in point, I have tried tele 6dj8's in a different pieces over the years and have always hated them. Recently, I was playing tubes in an Aesthetix phono stage and tried the tele 6dj8 in it. Wow! What a difference it made. I was using pinched waist Amperexes before so it wasn't like I was using junk tubes. I just found the right tube for that piece of gear. You'll need to experiment and do the same.

I would call Andy at Vintage tube services. He's a great guy to work with and can offer great advice.

Another tube I like almost as much as the tele's I'm using in the IO are the vintage EI tubes. Just a thoght as these will cost you a fraction of what tele's will.