Anyone ever have, use or hear this tube?

I always thought that the pinnacle of the ecc82/12au7 type tube was the Telefunken ecc802s. Even better than the Amperex 7316. But, I recently found out that there is an extra special designation for some ecc802's dubbed the G73R. These are supposed to be unmatched in quality and longevity, said to last 40,000+ hours! Anybody familiar with, heard or own these things??





@thecarpathian -

I had a set that I used in a 12AU7/12AX7 Cayin integrated amp. They were very quiet, and warmly-revealing tubes. Mine did not last 40,000+ hours, but I'm not complaining. And yes, they are black-shielded.

@wharfy ,

Yes, I forgot to mention they are coated with a black rfi/emi shielding.

They were made I think for a single specific company. If you did any tube rolling in the Cayin, how did they compare to other, less expensive tubes? Thanks!


I did a fair amount of tube rolling, with both the AU7 and AX7. I started with new production EH 12AU7-they are ok, are dependable, and very quiet. The Genalex ECC82 is terrific for modern production tubes--good dynamics, resolution across the sound spectrum, are rugged, and again no microphonics. Tung-Sol 12AU7/6189 sounds terrific and have low microphonics. If you find NOS Mullard 12AU7 you will get a tube with the Mullard house sound--great creamy mids, a tad rolled-off at the higher ends. The new Mullard 12AU7 are Russian production and are detailed, low distortion and terrific for their price. FWIW, my F-I-L also had sets of G73R because he was an electrical engineer for Hewlett-Packard, back in the day. That’s how I acquired them.

Before selling the Cayin (which was paired with a 2005-era Jolida JD100 CD player-GE5751’s sound GREAT in it), I started rolling 12AU7 variants because my father-in-law was a ham radio enthusiast, and had a cabinet full. The Sylvania 6189W is a AU7 variant and I liked it very much--clear resolution, good top and bottom end. Raytheon 5814 is good, for the same reasons as the Sylvania 6189W. The AU7 variant I liked the most is the CBS/Hytron 5814a. It is detailed with great dynamics and low distortion. Ironically, with the rolling I did I did’t try the Amperex 7316.

Since the G73R are Telefunken’s, from experience I think Telefunken made awesome signal tubes across the board. As time has passed, they have gotten expensive. Sure enough, I looked up the pricing and Tube Depot listed them at $500 a piece.

Hope this is helpful!

What audio equipment do you have that has 12AU7s?


Thanks, David.

I have about 14 pair of 12au7 variants. CBS /Hytron one of my favorites.

Mullard CV4003 is another good one. Telefunken red tips labeled for Tektronix equipment, Westinghouse 337 a surprisingly good tube if you can find them, Amperex, Amperex 7316 with ’D’ getter (my favorite), regular Telefunken long and short plates, Cifte, RCA black plates...can’t remember the rest.

The G73R’s would go in a Simply Italy integrated I’m contemplating buying. Last gear I had that the 12au7’s went in was an Odyssey Audio Candela preamp. Gone for a few years now. They're all just sitting in my safe, for lack of a better place to store them.

Total BS onthe hype even these so called10,000 tubes that’s not  realistic under laboratory perfect circumstances, that’s made up ,even if a tube could play that long it’s far past it’s optimum .I have had tubes since the 1970s  .

these rare tubes youtruly don’t know if they are matched, or even used unless 

you have a tube sellers put out ads and buy these  from all over the world in lots from people’s garages cellars used in equipment .

believe inly1/2 of what you read . I have been there done that ,and true vintage tubes are getting more rare ,anything NOS will be a premium over $500-$1k a pair 

such as these Tele tubes mentioned , 


Are you the Yoda of A'gon? Or perhaps James Joyce?

I re-read your posts multiple times.....

Spellcheck and editing would help.

Just sayin'

And yes, NOS are harder to find. As are good tube testers.



Yes, yes, yes. You named some terrific tubes.

I haven't heard of Simply Italy. Will look it up.

When my F-I-L passed we inherited BOXES of signal and rectifier tubes and a Hickok tube tester. I spent the better part of a summer testing tubes. Most were microphonic. The ones saved are in plastic boxes...never used, rarely thought about.

I'll be interested hearing what you end up doing.


Don't know about the 12A family, but I did a bit of rolling when I had an ARC SP10. Very good were Telefunken 6902, but standard T 6902 were almost poor beside the Telefunken 6902 specially selected by HP. They came with both T and HP seals.

Rumour in 1970's LA was that engineering co-op students spent a lot of time at HP testing tubes, discarding more than 95% to the dumpster. Which explained why HP want 10x the price for their tubes. 

Yeah, anything labeled for lab equipment and such used the tested cream of the crop. And you pay for those little letters and stickers!

@audioman58 ,

You think you’re the only one with tube knowledge and experience? I’m well aware of where nos tubes come from. They are what I research and buy exclusively. I’m also aware of the common ones, the rare ones and the ones in between. I’m aware of the applicable prices. I’m also aware of reputable companies that sell them, tested, matched, and readings confirmed with a print out. Although I appreciate you taking time to post, your blunt, rigid statements leave a bit to be desired.

@wharfy ...reminiscent of ee cummings, actually......waiting on taking a 'breath', so to....type... ;)

Not here to judge....just edu-lurking anyway....

@wharfy, i dont know what the real price of these tubes is, but typically sells at 2x-4x the legit retail price and even buy from retailers, just like any end-user, and jack up the price. their testing is minimal. theyre great for new production, especially for guitar amps, but for old stock their preice gouging and minmal expertise is a last resort. they also mis-identify OLD stock tubes, making basic mistakes like asserting that philips-labelled EI yugoslavia tubes, of which they sent me several pics clearly showing EI yugo codes,  are really philips.

after i informed them, they made no correction. 

for old stock tubes, the big three are brent jessee, jim mcshane (mostly retired), and andy/vintage tube services. andy takes a very, very long time, but hes quite strict. 

there are some excellent second-tier dealers as well, like tctubes. 


Good info. I did not know that. TY!

Anyone remember when "Tubes" was a very, very active category on A'Gon? Pages of NOS offerings. Today, I saw 29 listed.


I have found the Mullard CV4003 to be about the most balaced of the bunch. The romantic tubey blush with very good resolution. Another under the radar small signal tube that is equally great (depending on the component used in) is the La Radiotechnique 12au7wa - never imported to the US but a few retailers and specialty shops have had them in the past. I use them in my DAC - thy are spectacular. Just my opinion

@wharfy ;) You’re welcome...but I hope it isn’t the day peaking early....*>😖<*

@bgross ....

"The romantic tubey blush with very good..."

( He tried ’that’ on Fran.....began with

"Want some coffee? C’mon in, I’ll show you my new CV’s, so cool.....The {etc., see above....}...)


The minstrels and poets still sing and write about what ensued.....

"......the left backhand to the left cheek, impact heard across the busy street!

The right side chin, the pointed right hook? Hurt for the week, all it took..

The CVtubes? Still unlooked.....all of this in search of ’nook’ *!?!*"

The rest of the tale unravels rather quickly after that......*tsk*

"Solid states. Vacuum tubes. Etchings.

What has Sex Appeal Become in the
’Tweakin’ Twenties’..."


@asvjerry -

Dude!!! You are cracking me up.

Back in the day, before the Tweakin’ Twenties, it was "etchings."

Power abhors a vacuum, electrons…not so much.

I love the smell of warm tubes, coffee ( and napalm ) in the morning.

On a serious note.. while i love Andy and have in past been an ardent supporter / customer…. i just can’t tolerate the very long periods of incommunicado…. so for several years Brent at Brent Jesse Recording Supply has been getting 100% of my business… Just today ordered (3) AT-7…. Tuberolling is not a sport for the deaf

For all you 12AU7 users, have you tried the RCA 12BH7?  After rolling many 12AU7 variations, I learned the 12BH7 would work and once I heard the RCA in my preamp, CD player and amps, there was no going back to the 12AU7.  

Yes , I bought 4 of them about 7-8 years ago for $500. The seller had 5 pair, I bought 2. At that price I regret not buying all of them. I have multiple sets of Tektronix labeled Tekefunkens to compare them with , and they are dead quiet. In my Mid Fi system I can’t tell any difference in tone or soundstage Vs the Tektronix. I also have various Seimens and Amperex and they don’t come close to the Telefunkens in terms of a flat response or depth of sound. It’s sad that NOS tubes are very limited and have become unaffordable. I got back into tubes about 10 years ago after a 30 year absence and went on a tube rolling binge. For me it was such a satisfying experience experimenting with tube rolling and different types of music. 

The Apos Ray 12AU7 new production tubes are really terrific and come with a trial and a warranty. They sound better than new production Gold Lion and any of the NOS 12SU7s I have in my stash including Teles, Brimar, Radiotechnique, Mullard and more...

Apos Ray 12au7??

Never heard of them, interesting. I'll look them up. I've always exclusively used nos.

@jafox ,

I'm not sure 12bh7's are interchangeable with 12au7's in all applications.

Do you have any insight on this?

@buellrider97 ,

Man, good price!

Yeah, prices have really gone up on the more sought after tubes. Thanks for sharing your experience.

@andynotadam  I just ordered a matched pair of the Apos Ray 12au7s Will try them out in my Rogue Sphinx V3.  Was thinking of trying the Mullard 4003s as well. Not interested in the expense of NOS for this amplifier. Thanks for the rec.

   @mesch, please let me know if you like them. I’ve tried about a dozen different 12AU7’s and just prefer Telefunkens. That being said Tungsram 12 AU7’s and the nos Tesla ecc82’s  ( Not JJ’s ), sound similar to Telefunkens and are considerably less. As far as nos Mullards, you either love em or dislike em, I’m the latter as they throw a veil over the music. I run a paltry Rogue RP-1 with upgraded footers, power cable and nice interconnects. It actually sounds good for having reached its limit. I’ve not played with the Sphinx , but if it’s not too bright the tubes I mentioned would probably be good. Considering it ships with JJ’s pretty much anything will be an improvement. Happy Hunting, Mike B. 

@buellrider97 Will do! It may be a while as I have not received them yet and am leaving town tomorrow for a week. 


The G73R were manufactured for medical and military applications that required zero level of noise.  The glass was specially developed to ensure RFI & EFI shielding.  The tube is superior to the ECC802S - but as always, your mileage may vary.  Also, the tube is extremely long lived, with may claiming a 40,000 hour tube!


I became aware of the Apos Ray tubes recently.

Would definitely give them a shot.

Please keep us in the loop on these.

they also mis-identify OLD stock tubes, making basic mistakes like asserting that philips-labelled EI yugoslavia tubes, of which they sent me several pics clearly showing EI yugo codes,  are really philips.

Just FYI, cey,  Phillips was a Dutch conglomerate that owned many brands of tubes and would often put one factory's label on another factory's tube.  They would also brand tubes from factories they owned as Phillips.  EI was owned by Phillips.  Here is a link to the codes for all the various brands and factories Phillips owned:

Phillips Manufacturing Codes - Google Search