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Blackheart 5w Tubes...A Review

Just thought I'd give you guys a heads up on my testing so far. Don't bother replacing the EL84 and 12AX7 in these amps. They sound very good with the 5 watter.

I thought I had to have a JJ EL84 and Tung-Sol pre in there, but alas the JJ just doesn't sound as good as the more robust Chinese EL84. It has the Shuguang logo on it. A very robust looking and sounding tube. A little bright, but very musical. Great low end punch from this one. THe JJ really dissapointed me here. This Shuguang EL84 is new to me. I don't know of anyone selling these except under the TAD label. Well, Weber does, but he doesn't sell matched sets.

The Chinese 12AX7 isn't bad either. Still trying to decide if I'm gonna keep it or the Tung-Sol in there.


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Funny , I just got my BH 5 watt , and was going to post whether I should put this EH gold pin 12AX7 preamp tube I had , in there .... but so far the amp sounds pretty good the way it is ..........


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Similar experience here with the JJs in both the pre and power sections. I didn't think it was an improvement. Perhaps some NOS goodness would make a difference, but the JJs did not, to my ears. As always, YMMV.


I put an EH 12ax7 in mine and thought that it was good but not enough to warrant taking the stock preamp tube out and not using it. So I put the stock back in. It is pretty good stock. I also put a Sovtec in the power section and actually preferred the stock tube here. I could go either way with the preamp tube.
I could go either way with the preamp tube.
Yeah, I really noticed a difference in the JJ and Chinese EL84. With the TS 12AX7 vs. Chinese 12AX7B, I really didn't notice much of a difference.

Interesting to note tht the C EL84 was a little bit stouter in both glass/diameter and plate structure. And the TS AX7 is the bigger pre, I left it in there.

The Chinese preamp tubes that came stock in my Orange RV50 were bright and harsh. Took them out right away. Is there really a difference in generic chinese tubes (mainly pre), and these Shuguang or TAD's? Or do they all come from the same place/factory?


Kinda funny. I hadn't changed the tubes yet, but was thinking I didn't need too.

Thanks for the heads up!

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