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Old 15th May 2010, 04:00 PM   #1
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Default RCA 7189 Black Plates

Guys: I'm a having a heck of a time finding ANY RCA 7189 Black Plates. The grey plates seem to be out there, but I really would like to find some 1950s black plates. My amp needs 7189s only, and while the RCA greys sound good, the black plates sound awesome in it. A friend let me borrow a quad to try out and boy was I impressed!

Anybody know any dealers that carry these? I've looked around alot and cant seem to find any.

Many thanks,
Retro Rick
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Old 15th May 2010, 05:16 PM   #2
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Dude,

Do you want blood from a stone? I'm surprised you can get RCA 7189s of any stripe. Across the board, type to type, stocks of desirable NOS are rapidly dwindling or they have already disappeared. IMO, the important thing is finding an available tube complement that keeps the unit playing well. 7189 users, like yourself, are reasonably lucky. The current production Russian 6П14П-ЕВ (6p14p-ev), AKA EL84M, is a genuine 7189 equivalent that's tough and its sonics are decent. "Roll" the small signal tubes to get the voicing you crave.
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Old 15th May 2010, 06:40 PM   #3
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I'd have to disagree with you there. The desirable NOS are out there, and most of them are on the worlds most famous auction site, but they cost $$$. I find only a few types, the RCa 7189 black plates among them (bad for me) as being really hard to find. By contrast, Rca black plate EL84s and Sylvaina EL84 BP are fairly easy to find.

The new production stuff, in my opinion are all inferior to tubes made in the 50s and 60s. For any new production tube, a plain old, cheapo GE tube from the 60s will get you better sonics. Thats been my experience.
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Old 16th May 2010, 12:18 AM   #4
Vargas is offline Vargas  United States
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Is it that you are stuck on the 7189? Being that the 7189 is basicly a 6bq5 and El-84, this leaves you with so many different types to choose from. Now, if it is a 7189a you are looking for then you are limited. Why is it that your amp needs 7189's only? Cheers
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Old 16th May 2010, 01:00 AM   #5
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I have one, but its old and maybe well used. Other three are mullard, mullard, ratshack.
It seems to me the RCA black plate warmed up far slower than the rest too...

I replaced whole quartet with JJ EL84 and no complaints. It takes the beating just fine.
(Fisher X100-3 with sockets labeled "7189", if guestimating my voltages matters to you)

6P15P "worked" in this same amp too, but sounded like crossing might be underbiased.
The JJs dropped in with no such hassle. Maybe bias explains your preference for the
black plate version? Could be a cheaper fix than rolling unobtainable matched 50's NOS.

Last edited by kenpeter; 16th May 2010 at 01:16 AM.
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Old 20th March 2011, 11:01 PM   #6
defec is offline defec  United States
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Kenpter, are the JJ's still holding up in your amp? I also have a X100-3 and really dislike the sound of the currently installed Sovtek EL84M's. I'm looking for a change. My voltages are pretty much right in line with the ones listed in the schematic.

Oh yeah how do the JJ's sound in the amp?. Thanks.
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Old 21st March 2011, 12:47 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Retrosonic View Post
I'd have to disagree with you there. The desirable NOS are out there, and most of them are on the worlds most famous auction site, but they cost $$$. I find only a few types, the RCa 7189 black plates among them (bad for me) as being really hard to find. By contrast, Rca black plate EL84s and Sylvaina EL84 BP are fairly easy to find.
Finding them is one thing - actually buying them is another. Eli's right - the 7189 RCA and such are just about gone - and getting matched sets is really difficult if not impossible.

Quote:
The new production stuff, in my opinion are all inferior to tubes made in the 50s and 60s. For any new production tube, a plain old, cheapo GE tube from the 60s will get you better sonics. Thats been my experience.
Well, there are many who have opinions that are 180 degrees from yours, but in any case it's almost a moot point.
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Old 21st March 2011, 02:29 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Retrosonic View Post
The new production stuff, in my opinion are all inferior to tubes made in the 50s and 60s. For any new production tube, a plain old, cheapo GE tube from the 60s will get you better sonics. Thats been my experience.
I, for one, will second that 100%. Perhaps not so much sonics, but definitely reliability and repeatability.
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Old 21st March 2011, 02:42 AM   #9
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I built a hot rodded Simple P-P amp that hits the output tubes hard. The plate supply voltage is 430 volts. The screen voltage is 330 volts and there is about 13 volts across the cathode resistor. I am using JJ EL84's. They eat this without complaint and give me 30 WPC.

I found an old Baldwin organ amp from a church that saw at least Sunday duty for 50 years. 7 out of 8 output tubes were the original Baldwin branded Sylvania 6BQ5's. I picked 4 and plugged them into my SPP. They worked just fine and maybe sounded a bit better than the JJ's. Will those JJ's work for 50 years?
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Old 21st March 2011, 02:50 AM   #10
defec is offline defec  United States
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Jim, I've noticed that the pre 90's 6P14P-EV look to have a different internal construction than the Sovtek EL84M. Do you happen to know if the tube sounds much different? Thanks.
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