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Tube Rolling...

superdave2001

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,909
Has anyone switched back fully to AX7s after going down the rabbit hole of tube rolling? In my case, I purchased an HRDx III which I loved in the store as is. But got wrapped up in trying to make it quieter/cleaner/more blackface/etc etc etc. So I read and watched just about everything online to get ideas, swapped in 5751s, AY7s, AT7s, AU7s, you name it. And there was always an issue: too compressed, too soft, lost guitar dynamics, noise. Nothing captured the lively feel of the original tubes.

I'm using the amp clean and all pedals for dirt. And I might still play with different AX7s now that I've settled on the type of tube that works for me. Because it's TGP, right?

I'm just curious if this is common and if so what your experiences were. What amp, how you're using it, and what your journey was.
 

superdave2001

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,909
In fact...based on this experience, I just tonight went back to the ORIGINAL tubes (all vintage 7025 and 1 AT7) in my '64 Bandmaster head and it's never sounded better. And using both amps in stereo was exactly the sound that I was looking for in the first place. So yes...lesson definitely learned. ;)
 

Blue Strat

Member
Messages
30,192
In fact...based on this experience, I just tonight went back to the ORIGINAL tubes (all vintage 7025 and 1 AT7) in my '64 Bandmaster head and it's never sounded better. And using both amps in stereo was exactly the sound that I was looking for in the first place. So yes...lesson definitely learned. ;)
After modding several vintage Fenders in many ways, not only tubes, I've reached the conclusion that Leo had it right all along.
 

Barnzy

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,496
I've found that is depends heavily on the amp circuit as to whether tube rolling makes a difference or not. I had a JCM 900 that clearly loved cheap Shuegang (...sp?) 12ax7s and matched Groovetube "E34L" best. My DRRI made a big difference also, mainly in the preamp section. My current Vic5112 is really responsive in each tube position to brand and type changes. My Dr.Z Mini Z doesn't seem to care what tube is in it...it seems to change very little with rolling. Go figure that out for me?
 

superdave2001

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,909
Mike K -

Do you know any history and details around ARS/JAN Phillips 6L6WGCs? Those I DID leave in my HRDx because they were far superior to the stock Groove Tube 6L6s (which were a "5" breakup value on the base). They sound amazing - no compression or clipping and are sweet harmonic tubes. So curious about any info you could share. Thanks!
 

DaveKS

Member
Messages
16,704
In fact...based on this experience, I just tonight went back to the ORIGINAL tubes (all vintage 7025 and 1 AT7) in my '64 Bandmaster head and it's never sounded better. And using both amps in stereo was exactly the sound that I was looking for in the first place. So yes...lesson definitely learned. ;)
Well don't think I've ever found a amp that one of these in v1 wouldn't improve upon.



But I doubt from your experience that you can't say you didn't learn anything about tubes. This instance, you went back to stock, and that's what works for you. But that doesn't mean next amp you fiddle with will be same results, every amp circuit is different, I did same thing with this rude little amp.



Thought I'd tame it bit with a 5751 or a 12ay7 in its single preamp slot, but when I tried them, it just seemed to suck the life out of it, went back to GE 12ax7 it came with. Then on a lark I thought I'll try some other 12ax7, when I stuck a Amperex 12ax7 in it I knew I'd found the tube I liked best in it. Had the response and kick I wanted but just smoothed out the amps natural OD.
 




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