12ax7 question, timbre wolf rockon1 and other experts...

Discussion in 'Amps/Cabs Tech Corner: Amplifier, Cab & Speakers' started by digear, Jan 28, 2012.

  1. digear

    digear Member

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    Hi a have been reading some threads about NOS 12ax7 and i do understand some basics like etched codes etc, but you have actual experience with the tubes. I have a two rock eric gales tube rectified amp and want to experiment tubes for v1 and v2(which is used only by the lead channel). I want a v1 with good clarity and defined and firm bass and lower mids(no too much bottom) and a v2 with great high mids, for that marshally raw overdrive, tight bass and controlled low mids. I thought of maybe an i60 or i65(or i66, i dont know the tone differences between the i65 and i66)for v1 and an RFT for v2. What do you recommend?
    ps. i want the tubes to be very quiet so i ruled out longplates.
    Thank you guys
     
  2. digear

    digear Member

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  3. Timbre Wolf

    Timbre Wolf GoldMember Supporter Gold Supporting Member

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    I know - you've eliminated long-plate 12AX7 from the running, but I don't really have other recommendations. So if you're willing to pay for low-microphony selected samples, then here goes...

    Good clarity, firm bass and lower-mids, without too much bottom = long-plate Mullard ("f9" type) ECC83. But that is expensive, and difficult to obtain. Early-'60s long gray-plate GE 12AX7 will do that for less money, and without the clarity and finesse. If you insist on a short-plate, you'll sacrifice some of the clarity. I would recommend you try Tungsram ECC83 for that - they're very good.

    Great high-mids, tight bass, and controlled low-mids... Of the Philips style short-plate 12AX7A, I would recommend the Amperex/Miniwatt from Heerlen (look for sloped triangle, and I65 type code). The previously-mentioned Tungsram ECC83 is also great for tight lows, and excellent tonal balance. RFT ECC83 is good for early breakup, but isn't the tightest, and is certainly one of the least clear sounding tubes. Still, RFT can be wonderful for overdrive - I kind of like its feel.

    There are lots of potential choices, and these are some that immediately spring to mind. Hope it helps.

    - Thom
     
  4. digear

    digear Member

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    Damn i'm waiting for a valvo i60 i've bought last week. So you don't think that it's a good tube for the tone i'm after? How does it sound compared to the i65 and tungsram? Not tight?
     
  5. Stu Blue

    Stu Blue Member

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    Wot Thom said, plus, if you're a Strat player, (short plate) JAN Phillips 12AX7WA.
     
  6. Timbre Wolf

    Timbre Wolf GoldMember Supporter Gold Supporting Member

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    Those Valvo 12AX7A happen to be my personal favorite of the Philips-style short-plate types (includes Mullard, Amperex/Miniwatt, Siemens, Matsushita, BEL). I hope you're happy with that tube, and believe you will be.

    - T
     
  7. DT7

    DT7 Member

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    FWIW, a good 60's RCA shortplate will do what the Tungsram does and do it a lot longer. The Tungsrams sound good, but loose their edge within a year of regular use.

    As for Strats, GE JAN 12AX7WA beats the Phillips version. :p
     
  8. Timbre Wolf

    Timbre Wolf GoldMember Supporter Gold Supporting Member

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    I hear those two tubes as having significantly different sonic character - to the degree that they're really not comparable, in my opinion.

    - T
     
  9. digear

    digear Member

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    I only play LP style guitars. Wont those have too much bass?
     
  10. digear

    digear Member

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    Cool, hope they do not take a long time to arrive. But what should i expect from the heerlen i65 compared to the i60 valvo?
     
  11. Timbre Wolf

    Timbre Wolf GoldMember Supporter Gold Supporting Member

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    It is a stretch to accurately express the comparison, without a recent A<->B test... But my sense is that the Valvo has more low-mid content, and different upper-mids, with a bit more clarity. The Amperex/Miniwatt has less bass and low-mid body, but the upper-mids are very nice. I think the Valvo has perhaps relatively extended treble, and it definitely has wonderful chime - not harshly bright. Either is excellent; just slightly different flavors.

    - T
     
  12. digear

    digear Member

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    So the amperex is tighter? Does it distorts in a pleasing way?
     
  13. Timbre Wolf

    Timbre Wolf GoldMember Supporter Gold Supporting Member

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    Both the Valvo and Amperex distort pleasantly. I wouldn't say one or the other is tighter - just that you'll probably find the Valvo to have thicker bass content. I suppose that if your speakers have a tendency to be flubby, the Valvo would accentuate that more than the Amperex, but I would then look to a speaker change to cope with that concern.

    - T
     

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