Best currently produced 12ax7

Blue Strat

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30,686
Please elaborate!

Where do they fall in the gain department, and what are they like sonically?
Are they durable as PI tubes?

Thanks.


Gain as in ACTUAL gain (numerically) versus guitar forum "gain" (overdrive)? About average readings on the VTV tester. Sonically I find them in the same ballpark as RCA 12AX7As...kinda.
 

Gearaddict

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1,431
Easy answer... give me any tube that works. I've had great luck with most 12ax7's, gt's, eh's, ruby, jj's. I couldn't tell one from another. Pure hype and snake-oil. I use what is stock in my amps, until they wear out, including cheap, non-branded Chinese glass in my Vox AC15C1. I wore the stock EL-84's out and recently completely retubed it with a Eurotubes JJ kit and couldn't tell any difference from stock other than the new power tubes gave me my volume back. Tubes are nothing more than tonechasing fodder for discussion. If there was a difference, the manufacturers would do comparison sound clips. Ever seen or heatd of one? Preamp tubes are cheap and I've tried the swap preamp tube game with no enlightening discovery. I also don't advise swapping 12AT7's or 12AU7's for 12AX7's if that is stock in your amp. If you don't like your amp stock, why buy the blasted thing?:bonk
 

Fulldrive-1

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5,926
]Easy answer... give me any tube that works.[/B] I've had great luck with most 12ax7's, gt's, eh's, ruby, jj's. I couldn't tell one from another. Pure hype and snake-oil. I use what is stock in my amps, until they wear out, including cheap, non-branded Chinese glass in my Vox AC15C1. I wore the stock EL-84's out and recently completely retubed it with a Eurotubes JJ kit and couldn't tell any difference from stock other than the new power tubes gave me my volume back. Tubes are nothing more than tonechasing fodder for discussion. If there was a difference, the manufacturers would do comparison sound clips. Ever seen or heatd of one? Preamp tubes are cheap and I've tried the swap preamp tube game with no enlightening discovery. I also don't advise swapping 12AT7's or 12AU7's for 12AX7's if that is stock in your amp. If you don't like your amp stock, why buy the blasted thing?:bonk


Right on bro. My '73 Marshall needed new preamps bad (sounded blurry, weird wave-form on the 'scope) so I threw in three Slovakian 12ax7a. Marshall now sounds like the Archangel Gabriel's amp.
 

Gretsch&Vox

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2,892
[B said:
Gearaddict;16957931[/B]]If you don't like your amp stock, why buy the blasted thing?:bonk

Because I know that it can sound even better with my favorite tubes. Apparently you don't hear a difference in tubes. While others, like me, hear a significant difference when you change preamp, power and/or rectifier tubes. To me, it's not snake oil.
 
Messages
2,192
Easy answer... give me any tube that works. I've had great luck with most 12ax7's, gt's, eh's, ruby, jj's. I couldn't tell one from another. Pure hype and snake-oil. I use what is stock in my amps, until they wear out, including cheap, non-branded Chinese glass in my Vox AC15C1. I wore the stock EL-84's out and recently completely retubed it with a Eurotubes JJ kit and couldn't tell any difference from stock other than the new power tubes gave me my volume back. Tubes are nothing more than tonechasing fodder for discussion. If there was a difference, the manufacturers would do comparison sound clips. Ever seen or heatd of one? Preamp tubes are cheap and I've tried the swap preamp tube game with no enlightening discovery. I also don't advise swapping 12AT7's or 12AU7's for 12AX7's if that is stock in your amp. If you don't like your amp stock, why buy the blasted thing?:bonk

In my Trainwreck build, the character of an individual tube totally shines thru, and has a huge effect on tone. So much so that only a couple brands of tubes that I own will make the grade, and they're not new production.
 

Fulldrive-1

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5,926
In my Trainwreck build, the character of an individual tube totally shines thru, and has a huge effect on tone. So much so that only a couple brands of tubes that I own will make the grade, and they're not new production.


Now that might be. Different designs may be more susceptible to 12ax7 variations than others. Trainwrecks may be as finicky as a French culinary critic. Old Marshalls may be able to eat anything and sound like the thunderbolts of Zeus.
 

supergenius365

Disclaimer: Not an actual supergenius
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11,977
I haven't tried one and my memory may not be serving me correctly, but I swear I remember reading posts from the Adam at Satellite amps where during the amp show they did blind sound tests of a Gold Lion 12ax7 verse well respected NOS ones and the gold lion was the winner. I think it might have been this one.

http://www.tubedepot.com/gl-b759.html

But then again, I could be wrong.




I'll admit--I'm a tube nut. After recently getting burned on some NOS stuff (ebay) I bought some of these. For OD tones the Golden Lion is a great choice. It presents great mids. It will fatten up ice pick gain tones or smooth out harsh OD pedals. Not really enough "sparkle" for Fender cleans, IMHO.

Gold lions and tungsols

Gold lions are real similar but have a sweet warm mids though for a v1, still going strong 2 yrs later and I tried many old and new stock:D


Are you guys talking about the gold plated pin version or the regular?
 

ken374

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7,203
Gold pins were the only ones at the time i bought mine, there other ones look promising. I bought mine off ebay for 38.00
 

FourT6and2

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2,168
I tend to stick with Shuguang 12AX7AC5 HG+ from Ruby in my Diezels. Low microphonics, reliable/durable, and a fairly transparent sound. Lets the rest of the amp/guitar do their thing. Great for high-gain applications.

I don't have the patience to sit there and swap tubes all over the place. But I would like to try out some of the others for comparison at some point. I do know that I hate JJ. They always sound awful in every amp I've tried them in. Very dark and mushy.
 

dwoverdrive

Silver Supporting Member
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4,341
Plus one on the above post as I love the AC5 HG+ as well. I am using a Tungsol in front of one of those in my Bogner. Good combination
 

Carl_Tone

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6,352
I've found that only the best anos / nos types I can get will bring the full potential of my Fuchs

On the other hand my Pignose G60VR sounds GREAT with cheap Groove Tube ST-12AX7R3's

I do not know the 'origin tube' of the ST-12AX7R3...but it is some russian shortplate.


I actually tried some of my 'more pedigreed' tubes in the pig and went back to the GT's.


It just proves that this whole thing is very amp dependent.

I have not tried the Svetlanas but if as Mike says they are close to RCA 12ax7A...then that is something to try for sure.

RCA's are playing 2 out of 4 spots in my Fuchs...(RCA 7025 V1, Long Mullard V2, short grey RCA V3, Balanced Chinese in PI)

The RCA's bumped out some nice Holland Bugle Boys.
 

DaveKS

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16,705
Yea those RCA 7025 are just pure soul food for your amps.

I've become very fond of these recently... My #2 choice for that type of sound.
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Philips Canada (Amperex), they kind of sound like the Heerlen but have a little midrange skankiness that I love. I just scrounge them from eBay when I can, cost me about $18 a tube, have 7 of them now, only 1 of the 8 I got failed the micro/noise test. These are wonderful, super quiet tubes. Note the small "r" in the Philips code, that's the canada plant.
 

EastCoastRocker

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,781
Gain as in ACTUAL gain (numerically) versus guitar forum "gain" (overdrive)? About average readings on the VTV tester. Sonically I find them in the same ballpark as RCA 12AX7As...kinda.

Yes, actual gain Lol! Rca like.... And I need some tubes. Interesting.Greys or blacks?
 

rockon1

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
13,699
I'm curious... You certainly know more about tubes than I do, so educate me.
Are you saying that RCA never produced black plate 12ax7 tubes ? I'm confused..

Thanks.

12AX7A as opposed to 12AX7. RCA ,of course, made black plates but with the 12AX7 designation.Bob
 

sector9

Member
Messages
573
I absolutely have to have gold pin tubes in my amps, they sound so much better than non gold pin. I had a whole drawer full of old GE and RCA tubes that were useless to me, that is until i painted the pins gold. Now i can really hear my amp come to life like never before.
 

Blue Strat

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30,686
I'm curious... You certainly know more about tubes than I do, so educate me.
Are you saying that RCA never produced black plate 12ax7 tubes ? I'm confused..

Thanks.

No, I'm saying that they never produced blackplate 12AX7A tubes. That's not even totally accurate though, as I think I've seen a few (less than 4) versus 100s of the grays. But the blacks were long plates, and we're talking about the short plates.
 




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