Other Amps

bugle boy tubes


I know I don't post much on the Gretsch Pages. I am not that knowledgable to add much but I do learn a lot just reading. I guess I am a troll if I understand the definition but I have a lot of respect for the people and their knowledge. I just had to share something. I play a 6120RHH, and a couple of Telecasters through a assortment of amplifiers. My practice amp is a little crate Palomino V16. It is a good little class A Tube amp that I would have passed right by if not for the salesman giving me the "here try this" pitch. The past few times to practice it did not sound as good as it normally does. I decided to change the preamp tubes. A while back I found an old wreck of a Hammond organ. As usual I snatched all the tubes, threw them in my tube box and back in the closet. I got the tube box out to see if I had 12ax7's. The tubes I took from the organ were barely readable but had a picture of a horn and said Made in Holland. I put three of them in my little Palomino, fired it up and just about fell over. It has never sounded this good since new. I was almost beside myself. I went to the computer and browsed pictures of 12ax7 tubes and found that they are called bugle boy tubes. I have six more that are now wrapped in toilet paper, foam and in a wooden box on my dresser. If anyone here ever comes across these bugle boy tubes grab them. They are amazing. I just had to tell it. Thanks to all of you for this site. It is my favorite.


Thanks Dan, good to know!

There are always old organs people just want to get rid of and they have a whack of tubes in them.


+1. Thanks for the info 8-).


Back in the sixties late seventies my dad was in the juke box biss , many old juke box had those tubes . also try old RCA tube . they also had cool tone . i remember using Bugle Boy tube in a GIBSON FALCON amp , back then tubes were just tubes . today old good condition tubes can be little jewels , enjoy your new found tubes .


Yep.. The Bugle Boy tube were Amperex tubes.. Made in Holland.. Very much sought after especially with the vintage Marshall crowd. One of the best European tubes ever made.. Good score.. You wanna sell them ? ;-)


No thanks Forward. I will keep these. I always hear about the miracle tubes made by elves in the black forest and I don't really buy into that hype. I don't understand much electronic tech talk but my ears tell me these tubes are different somehow and in a good way. You would think that one of the current manufacturers would disect some of these old tubes and duplicate them.


They last forever too.I have an old Ampeg from the early '60's,I bought it in '72.It still has the original Bugle Boys in it and they are still going strong.The amp has seen a lot of abuse,including being used as a bass amp for about 8 years.Some of the best old stock tubes ever.Great find.


dan, thanks for posting.

You're not a troll - a troll tries to stir trouble for the sake of disrupting a forum.

You posted something interesting and useful. Big difference!


Not a troll, maybe a lurker :)

I recently scored some NOS Bugle Boys - unfortunately no 12AX7's. Some 12AT's and AU's, but haven't had a chance to try 'em out yet.


I figured there was a name for it. My nerd factor isn't high enough to know all of the terms but it sounds like a accurate description. :)


My '62 Concert has what are probably the original Bugle Boys in it. Tried a little tube rolling just for kicks the other day (I recently discovered 5751s for v1...), nah, not even a good ol' RCA gave that SOUND. So, yeah, now I agree with ya! And they do seem to last a long time...


Yup, Amperex 12AX7s were stock in some blond era Fenders and I agree they sound wonderful.

Everbody has their favorite pre amp tubes from the golden age. Mine are the Dutch Amperexes. The 1950s Long Plates, the 59-62 Large Halo Getter and the special Medical Grade tubes are as good as it gets in the NOS world.

I have these in an El Sonido (6G6-B Blond Bassman clone) and in a Victoria 45410 (Tweed Bassman clone). For me Amperex 12AX7s are the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. YMMV :)


I just bought a Magnatone 260 on Ebay that had 3 of those tubes in them.

I honestly can't hear much of a sound difference in tubes like some people claim...so I usually set aside a collection of these vintage tubes to retain their value and just use Chinese tubes.

I think Bugle Boys sell for around $50 on Ebay as "strong pulls" so the way I look at it I got the amp for $400 instead of the $550 I paid (including shipping)

BTW the amp only needed a grounded power cord and re-tolex. Now it looks mint and plays great with original electronics.

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