Which 12ax7?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by wedewer, Feb 26, 2009.

  1. wedewer

    wedewer Supporting Member

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    Here's the scenario. Got a killer tone from my straub cantus earlier this week. I posted the video here on the tgp. Harry had given me a 12at7 to try in the phase inverter position as well. Tried it, didn't like it that much. Put the 12ax7 back. Heres the catch. I put a different 12ax7 than was in there before. It has a chinese one when I got the great tone. I accidently put a JJ in when I swapped back. The JJ sounded completely different. Way fuzzier, much thinner and less bottom end. The chinese 12ax7 was much tighter and better sounding. There is another JJ in the first position as well. How much will this effect the tone. Should I put a chinese one in there as well. Even though I have played tube amps for years, never paid attention to the types of tubes. So I need advice from people here with more experience then me. Here's the clip I posted and a good idea of the tone I like.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=embKhhouNds
     
  2. Bottle_Rocket

    Bottle_Rocket Member

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    The 9th generation Chineese 12AX7's have a great sound but they don't last too long. Still a real nice tube for the $$.

    Experiment and use what you like best. Let your ears be your guide. Some tubes work better in some ampsand not so good in others. The JJ's are dark which might be just the ticket for a bright amp or your taste.
     
  3. teleman1

    teleman1 Supporting Member

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    How old were your JJ's/ Have you tried the new Tung-Stol???? Cough up the change
    for a good tested used Mullard or Ampreex Bugle Boy. Move into Mantone territory!
     
  4. FrankieSixxxgun

    FrankieSixxxgun Member

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    He'd have to get off that booteek amp in order to do that.

    The first position tube in an amp, commonly referred to as V1, is the most tone critical. You'll notice a huge difference by changing those tubes around. Chinese 12AX7's are notoriously high gain, and if that's your thing, you can't beat it. An old Mullard or Telefunken will probably sound weak to you as they have way less chainsaw gain.
     
  5. wedewer

    wedewer Supporting Member

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    Well between the chinese and the jj, the jj seems to have more gain. Not good in this case. It seems fuzzy and brittle. I know the jj is good too because Harry brought over his tube tester and checked all of them. I know that in my shiva, they recommend only the chinese preamp tubes.
    I am going to have to try a chinese in the first position and see how that sounds.
     
  6. FrankieSixxxgun

    FrankieSixxxgun Member

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    JJ's are normally dark, but you're swapping the PI, not the gain stages. Swap some tubes around in V1 and see what you like. There's no rule on preamp tubes and combinations, so use your ear and mix and match whatever you like.
     
  7. wedewer

    wedewer Supporting Member

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    I think that was part of my suprise, that swapping out the PI position preamp tube could have that much of an effect on the tone. I guess that's part of being a tone chaser. I am sure I will spend the entire day tomorrow swapping out preamp tubes.
     
  8. FrankieSixxxgun

    FrankieSixxxgun Member

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    Dude, I have a mountain of preamp tubes in my music room. I had an old drummer that'd make fun of me like, "Dude, you have a tube on every flat surface in your house! What the hell?" It's part of the tone quest, and it can get expensive once you realize the joys of NOS and vintage used tubes. I've had tubes in amps that were worth more money than the amp they were in! How's that for messed up?
     

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