12AX7 Comparisons - With Clips

Discussion in 'Member Video and Sound Clips' started by glasman, Jan 21, 2006.

Which 12AX7 Clip sounds the best to you

  1. JJ83S

  2. JJ803S

  3. Ei

  4. R9 China

  5. Telefunken

  6. Winged C

  7. JAN - GE

  8. JAN - Philips

  9. JAN - Sylvania

  10. Groove Tubes - Mullard Copy

Multiple votes are allowed.
Results are only viewable after voting.
  1. glasman

    glasman Guest

    I was bored this morning and thought I would spend some time making clips of the various 12AX7's that I had lying around the shop. I have my ideas on what sounds the best of this group, but really curious to get feedback on what you think sounds the best.

    Conditions.

    R7 Les Paul - Neck Pickup
    Amp - SOD 50
    Speakers - EVM 12L's
    Amp was adjusted to a reasonable tone with the JJ83S that was installed.
    No Reverb
    No amp controls were adjusted between tubes.
    Strictly evaluating clean tone here, I will use the same group for OD testing in a week or so....

    Oktave MK-319 half way between center and edge of the speaker - 3" in front of cabinet.
    APHEX 107 mic preamp to Yamaha 01v96r2 digital mixer to Mackie HDR.
    Mixer was set flat, no compression, no gating. No gain or level changes between tubes. Converted to MP3 using Wavelab


    JJ83s
    http://glaswerks.com/media/tubetest/JJ83S.mp3

    JJ803S
    http://glaswerks.com/media/tubetest/JJ803S.mp3

    Ei - Not the Elite version
    http://glaswerks.com/media/tubetest/EI.mp3

    Groove Tubes - Mullard Copy 12AX7M
    http://glaswerks.com/media/tubetest/GT_MULLARD.mp3

    JAN - General Electric
    http://glaswerks.com/media/tubetest/JAN_GE.mp3

    JAN - Philips
    http://glaswerks.com/media/tubetest/JAN_Philips.mp3

    JAN - Sylvania
    http://glaswerks.com/media/tubetest/JAN_SYLVANIA.mp3

    R9 - Chinese
    http://glaswerks.com/media/tubetest/R9China.mp3

    Wing C - SED
    http://glaswerks.com/media/tubetest/WindedC.mp3

    Telefunken - Diamond
    http://glaswerks.com/media/tubetest/Telefunken-Diamond.mp3

    Really like to see some feedback on this post!!

    Gary
     
  2. LHanson

    LHanson Member

    Messages:
    7,541
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2003
    Location:
    Houston
    The Phillips was really fat sounding, the only standout other than the GE, which was glassier than the rest. Guess it depends on what you want to sound like.
     
  3. thintele

    thintele Member

    Messages:
    776
    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Location:
    Scottsdale,Arizona
    for me the it was between the Tele and the JJ803s...with the Tele having a little more warmth and detail...but from a buyer stand point I'd have to with the JJ . The GE was amongst my least favorite ...I thought the phillips and the Sylvania would work well for a good Jazz tone...
    BRAVO Glassman ...do some more ! :AOK
     
  4. mkg

    mkg Member

    Messages:
    1,769
    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2004
    Location:
    Kentucky
    I listened to three: the JAN GE, SED, and Telefunken. The only difference I could detect was that the SED was just slightly louder than the other two. Since you made no changes in any amp or guitar settings, I attribute the difference to the human factor...it'd be practically impossible for you to attack the strings exactly the same each time out.
    I plan to listen to the other tracks, but thought three would make a good sample for some immediate feedback.
    It's very cool of you to provide the samples, and I think quite revealing that, so far, and to my 54 year-old ears, there's very little if any difference in the samples.
    Further, I think any detectable differences would disappear in a gigging situation.
    So for me, it comes down to reliability and longevity. Am I correct to assume that you were testing the tubes in the amp's first gain stage?
    Thanks for posting the clips!
     
  5. fig

    fig Member

    Messages:
    837
    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2005
    Hi Gary -

    I did a quick listen, and it's a toss up between the Ei's and the JJ803S (I usually never like JJ's). Do a clip of some EH's. They're my favorites.

    Greg
     
  6. glasman

    glasman Guest


    Yes you are correct. This was the first clean stage of the amp. I am looking for that perfect sweet complex tone and I did hear it in a couple of the tubes. I will say that my supply of JJ83s's is going to form mold on them before I use them again..... and they had been my tube of choice. I should have made these recordings a LONG time ago.


    The least favorite for me was the GE, low gain and bland.....

    Gary
     
  7. mkg

    mkg Member

    Messages:
    1,769
    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2004
    Location:
    Kentucky
    Gary, in that case the difference I heard must have been the gain factor, not subtle differences in your attack. I think when you do some high gain clips the tonal differences will be more prominent.
    Thanks again for your time and effort in posting these, and in my first post I neglected to tell you nice playing, too.
    :AOK
     
  8. fig

    fig Member

    Messages:
    837
    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2005
    I agree about the JJ83S - I think they sound pretty bland. The GE's too.
    But I have to say I was pretty impressed with the JJ803S. I thought it sounded pretty good.

    Greg
     
  9. Zexcoil

    Zexcoil Vendor

    Messages:
    5,410
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2005
    Location:
    Delaware
    For me it was Philips, Ei then Telefunken. The Philips was the richest and also most articulate IMHO.

    For price and availibility, I'd take the Ei hands down
     
  10. fig

    fig Member

    Messages:
    837
    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2005
    After giving everything a second listen, I would go with the Ei's. They may not be as full as perhaps the Philips, but they're clearer, cleaner.

    Greg
     
  11. glasman

    glasman Guest

    Greg I was also impressed with the 803. Definately an improvement over the 83s. I was really surprized with the Philips and Ei that I had dismissed a couple of years ago. Of course the Philips are not that easy to find. The Ei are cheap and plentiful as are the 803's.

    Gary
     
  12. glasman

    glasman Guest


    Yes, there was quite a difference in the various tubes with respect to gain. I tried my hardest to keep the picking attack on the chords as even as possible.

    Thanks for the playing comment, just chords though, and nothing special at that.


    Gary
     
  13. gururyan

    gururyan Member

    Messages:
    4,854
    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2003
    Location:
    south of hell
    I sure wish you had an Amperex Bugle Boy in the mix.
    I am still trying to figure out which of those I liked most, the Telefunken, Ei and JJ803s win so far.
     
  14. gulliver

    gulliver Member

    Messages:
    6,241
    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2005
    Location:
    Buffalo, NY
    Not to knock this thread, but I would have really liked to listen to these tubes under fire ... with much more gain. All of the above tubes sounded okay to me, but I bet the guitar would have sounded good through some solid state sources too. Sure, the high-gain tube test has been done already, but there are so many factors involved, I would have liked to hear it again ... balls to the wall, where it counts.
     
  15. Guitar Desire

    Guitar Desire Active Member

    Messages:
    35
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2005
    For this application (clean jazz tone) the Ei really had more body than the others; warmer,richer overall more expressive tone
     
  16. jkr

    jkr Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,292
    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2002
    I agree with Thintele

    for me the it was between the Tele and the JJ803s...with the Tele having a little more warmth and detail...but from a buyer stand point I'd have to with the JJ . The GE was amongst my least favorite ...I thought the phillips and the Sylvania would work well for a good Jazz tone...
    BRAVO Glassman ...do some more !
     
  17. illinimax

    illinimax Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,582
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2002
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    Same here.
     
  18. glasman

    glasman Guest

    So after a couple of days the Ei is winning silighly over the Telefunken and Jan - Philips. Very interesting.

    I will try to test the OD with these same group of tubes next weekend. I am spending this week in beautiful Fishkill New York on business.

    Gary
     
  19. Broken

    Broken Member

    Messages:
    46
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2005
    Location:
    Sydney Australia
    Thanks for doing this test.

    I've had a frequency thats bugged me with my Mesa, can't dial it out (JJ83's)

    One listen to your JJ clip and there it was. It's a harsh, brittle sound in the higher frequencies.

    I don't have a favourite out of the bunch but i would have no problems using:

    EI
    Telefunken
    GT

    I thought they where very smooth
     
  20. Normster

    Normster Member

    Messages:
    921
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2004
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA
    This was a tough one, Gary. I put them all in a single directory and played them back-to-back about 5 times to really get a sense of what I liked and didn't like. (I also didn't look at the tube name while playing.) My favorite was the Tele for balance and musical tone, especially on the lower notes.

    I also liked the Mullard RI for its aticulation, but it lacked the warm bottom end of the Tele. I've tried Sylvania and JJ and been disappointed with both. They sounded pretty good here, but in my amps, the JJs are harsh and the Sylvania is lifeless. (Works great as a reverb driver. lol)

    First time I've heard a Winged C. Very nice tube! For a warm bluesy sound, it would be my second choice right after the Telefunken.

    Thanks for doing this!
     

Share This Page