• New Sponsor: ShipNerd, Ship Your Gear with Us... for less! Click Here.

Tung-Sol 12ax7 - Thumbs Up!!

dbun

Member
Messages
844
Just installed a set of Tung-Sol 12ax7's in my Hayseed 30 and was very surprised at how good they are.

Very harmonically rich, clear and break up nicely. I think I will settle on these as my standard preamp valves now.

Currently running NS Mullards in the power section, but have some NOS6p14p on the way.

I'm avoiding NOS as this amp is hard on the tubes, so don't want to unnecessarily wear my stash out.

I'm also very happy with how the amp is sounding with new production stuff too, so have no real reason to roll NOS tubes through it.
 

awp

Member
Messages
286
I don't have extensive experience with many different tubes but based on the consistently solid opinion of the TungSol tubes here I put them in the v1 of my PRRI and have been more than pleased with the result.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

PurpleStrat

Member
Messages
139
Best new tubes IMHO. Only place I don't like them is in my AC4C1 since they are so bright and the amp is so bright.
 

PGrant

Member
Messages
1,069
I can't really comment on what "the best" 12AX7 is, but out of the ones I have tried the Tung-Sol is my favorite.
 
Messages
1,471
Although I tend to use NOS, I tried the new sensor Tungsol when it first came out and loved it. It instantly became my favorite new production tube. Not many people seemed to like them back then, but I did so I stocked up. There was a bad batch that I think soured some people's opinions back then.

They seem to be very well liked these days. My only criticism is that since they are a bit aggressive in the upper mids (I like that bite) they can be too much of a good thing for me if I use too many in a single amp. (It of course depends on the amp)

I recently got some new sensor Svetlana's. So far, I only tried one in V2 of my DSL ,
But It worked wonders for that amp in that position. A bit less aggressive and a bit thicker
Than the Tungsol, which was exactly what I wanted. They work well together with a Tungsol in V1 in that amp.

So while I still am an NOS kind of guy, thumbs up on the Tungsol.
 

dbun

Member
Messages
844
I recently got some new sensor Svetlana's. So far, I only tried one in V2 of my DSL ,
But It worked wonders for that amp in that position. A bit less aggressive and a bit thicker
Than the Tungsol, which was exactly what I wanted. They work well together in that amp.
Did not know about these tubes. Might have to give them a try!
 
Messages
1,471
Did not know about these tubes. Might have to give them a try!
They are kind of a "stealth" tube. I found out about them from Mike at KCA.
When the "real" Svetlana (SED winged C) tried to make a 12ax7, it was for most of the production an epic fail.

Then New Sensor, who owns the rights to use the Svetlana name in the USA,
Made their own version of the Svetlana 12ax7.

So far, in V2 of the DSL, I rolled it with 4 or 5 other tubes including a jan GE 12ax7wa (Which I find to be useable but for lack of a better word bland...)

I did the same same test over multiple days and always picked the Svetlana.
It balanced out nicely with the Tungsol.

I need to try them in more amps before I give it a big thumbs up, but so
Far so good.
 

drbob1

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
29,047
I've got a 65 AC30 tubes with Tung-Sols and 6P14Ps and it sounds REALLY good. Better IMHO than my 65 combo with the Mullards (heresy, I know, but the one with the Mullards needs filter caps so maybe that's why).
 

vmjoe

Member
Messages
834
I've tried many NS and NOS preamp tubes and this is my 2 cents.

Overall I like the NS Tung Sol's more than anything I've tried in most of the amps I've tried. They just seem to have a clarity and definition that I haven't heard from most NS preamp tubes and I compared them head to head with others. I'm in no means an educated electronics junky, so I'm not exactly sure what Cathode Follower indicates in amp design, but I do know this, the NS Tung Sol's will not hold up in this application. Not only will they fail, they will fail very quickly. I have also read that the NS Tung Sol's are not true 12AX7 tubes. Again, I can't say that this is true or not, but this may be why they don't hold up in this aplication.

As far as NOS preamp tubes, there are certain one's that will help certain things about an amp that you may not like. A good example imo is an NOS RCA. First let me state that there are several variations and vintages, but for the most part the characteristic I'm going to describe holds true regardless of that fact.

To my ear and preferance, the NOS RCA's work better in a brighter amp such as a Black Face or even in modern Marshall amps in which some of us may desire to tame the high's a little. To me, they are very full and warm sounding tubes and I don't like them as much in some of the amps I own(ed) as other tubes. The amps I don't particularly like them in are as much are the Germino Club 40 (bass circuit plexi clone), Mesa Lone Star's (I've owned both), Mesa Electradyne, Dr. Z EZG-50, Dr. Z Route 66. At one point, I've owned all these and they tend to be plenty warm without the help of the RCA's. A few I've owned that I did prefer them in are the Bruno Cowtipper 90 and the Marshall Vintage Modern. I prefered the tonal qualities with both these amps for slightly different reasons.

I have found that in most amps the V1 position is the most critical to shape your tone. In no way am I saying the other positions don't have an affect, but it has been my experience that this position affects the tone more noticeably, typically. A 2 channel amp such as the Lone Star's is a little different because you have another gain stage that is primary to that second channel.
 

playthecray

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,174
I have had Tungsol 12AX7s running in V1 for several of my amps. They sound great with no problems.
 

tymish

Member
Messages
237
The main deal with current production tubes is lack of consistency and that they often don't meet the original specs. They're all made in the same three or four factories in China, Russia and the Czech Republic. That said some can still sound pretty good, especially if you buy them from a dealer who tests and burns them in first. That said the Tung-Sols do appear to be closer to spec than most of the other current tubes. Others that come close are the JJ ECC83S and the Ruby 12ax7C (which is a chinese Shugang tube selected by Ruby) I get this info from Myles Rose blog and he's a bit of a tube guru.

http://la-economy.blogspot.com/2013/05/current-production-12ax7-tubes-ten-of.html
 

Carl_Tone

Member
Messages
6,112
I tried one in my Fuchs...I didn't mind the brightness but there was a fizzy top end to the OD so I can't recommend 'em for D styles.
 






Trending Topics

Top Bottom