Hey all,

I have a couple RCA 7025's in my BM 100 that I really dig. The amp runs super quiet, low noise. Pretty sure the tubes were basically NOS when I bought the amp because now the "RCA" labels are pretty much gone.

With that in mind, eventually I'm going to need to replace them. I have two thoughts; stock up on RCA 7025's while I can or find some alternative.

I'm aware that these are military grade 12AX7 tubes, and that's exactly what I want. While searching yesterday, I found Shuguang production tubes labeled "7025 CHINA" in red ink on the tube. Does anyone know about these?

I know TAD sells a 7025 for a huge mark up, which apparently is a Shuguang "7025."

There's an RCA 12AT7 in the PI. Those seem to be pretty easy to come by, but I know the Sovtek 12AX7LPS is known for being a good PI, among others. Not too worried there.

TL;DR - Who makes a high-grade 12AX7 that isn't just smoke and mirrors?
Fender '72 Telecaster Deluxe RI
Schecter C-1 Artist II
1978 Music Man HD130
+ a bunch of neat pedals

screamy emo band

just use jj's or sovteks or whatever. modern tubes are all terrible. just get one of each and pick whatever sounds best to you.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
Watch ebay, still alot of nos tubes out there. 5751 is another good sub, as well as 12ax7wa or 12ax7wb, ecc801s.(Edit - ecc803s)Tubes made now will probably dissappoint you, but, as said before, buy a few and try them out. Happy tuberolling!
Last edited by stratanswers at Jul 20, 2015,
I've been wondering the same thing. I have the TAD 6L6WGC-STR short bottles in my Bandmaster and Showman and I love them, so when I have to replace the preamp tubes, I will probably give any number of these a shot:


I don't have experience with any of them, but I'm willing to suggest them just based on how much I like the power tubes I have. At around $20 a pop I feel like they're worth a try. Another solution I'm reading about is the Genalex Gold Lion which runs about $25.

Sorry that I don't have more useful experience/info. I'm just in the same boat and this is what I've been thinking about.
I have been watching 7025's on eBay. I'm hoping to find a good deal on a pair. The biggest issue I find on there is that the best deals don't appear to be tested at all. Also, though my amp is 30+ years old, I am only 20.

The tubes that came in my BM were my first taste at the good ol' days of tubes. I'll check out those other alternatives! Fortunately, I've only been burned out twice with production tubes.

Definitely! Thanks for that. The thing that bugs me about those tubes being labeled 7025 is that it's like impossible to tell if their internal structure is the same as a 7025. Seems like most production 7025s are typical 12AX7s that have been tested for low noise and low microphonics. The actual quality of the tube isn't any better.
Fender '72 Telecaster Deluxe RI
Schecter C-1 Artist II
1978 Music Man HD130
+ a bunch of neat pedals

screamy emo band
Is it a head or combo? I can't remember. If it's a head, throw a JJ ECC803 in V1.

Otherwise take a look at tctubes.com
Gilchrist custom
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My band
If you are looking at pics of 7025s for sale, they should have a spiral filament, if not they are exactly what you thought- 12ax7's that test low for noise and microphonics, but still not a 7025.