Quick Tube recommendation for a noob please

Hi all.

I know very little about tubes. I have seen where some folks have supply issues and a simple 25 dollar tube being 100 bucks ea as they’re rare, Kevin’s stash", cyro etc.

Basically I’m hoping someone will just point me at a product and retailer and I’ll order a set and keep the stock tubes as backups. Seems prudent to have at least one set of back ups and might as well order a new set (Gold Lion?) that are as good or better sonically.

In short, I just grabbed a slightly used/demo MA252. Manual states " The preamplifier stage uses two 12AX7a and two 12AT7 vacuum tubes"

The Mac is in “sys2” and will be playing Spotify, TV, general background music etc. Basically optical and USB into a Musical Fidelity Dac, to the Mac and then out to Tannoy Eyris DC3 speakers. This give a very smooth all day non fatiguing sound.

Any help is much appreciated! Of if you are selling some you have that is great too. Thanks!

Brent Jessie will steer you in the right direction, Its worth the minor effort to get him on the phone for a couple minutes



Thank you. Holy smokes…a quick glance and there is page after page on just one tube…history etc.

A recommendation from me for the 12AT7: an Amperex 7062 tube, pinched waist and D foil getter are the very best. These are tall tubes, as tall as an EL84, and have a rich, detailed, smooth sound.

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Agree–Brent Jesse for sure.


Why not give the good folks at McIntosh a call? It’s their product. McIntosh is legendary for supporting its gear regardless of how new or old it is, as long as you bought your demo from an authorized dealer. I have little doubt they can help you make the right choice for backup tubes. They may even be able to offer you a replacement set from the same stock they pick from for factory production.


Thank you and that brings up a excellent point. My tube guards may not fit a tube like this. No big deal for me but a consideration.

Yes, it’s true you may have to do without the tube guard. In your shoes, I would. The tube is that much better. (And I have never had a need for a tube guard).

For symmetry, you could also use the excellent Amperex 6085 for the 12AU7. These tubes have a big bold sound and are almost exactly the same size as the 7062. And like the 7062 they are rated with about twice the hours of life as a regular 12AU7 or 12AT7.

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Holy smokes- Maybe I better just make due with what I have. Availability and pricing is ridiculous. I did check with Brent and looked at Upscale. 300-500+ for a set of Gold Lion or what Brent recommended. Talk of hoarding, limited supply etc etc.

Hopefully these last at least a year which they should. It is a demo unit that then sat in the box the last 18 months.