XTC owners: What preamp tubes are you running, and in which slots?

Random Hero

And why?

I retubed my IV with a Tung Sol in V1, JJ High Gain in V2 then Chinese 9th Gen 3-5. How are you guys tubing up your XTCs?


I've had a few over the years, and they can be almost lifeless (is that possible?) with a poor V1 tube.

The best I've ever used was a Mullard ECC83/CV4004; expensive now, but they last forever and it's worth it if you can find and buy one. The Amperex/Bugle Boy was second, and an RCA 12ax7 was third; all to my ears. After that, different tubes made some difference, but not as much; those high-gain Chinese tubes do well in the other positions, but tone is definately improved across the board with better tubes.

Good power tubes also make a big difference, but not as much at lower volumes. I had an Uberschall that was tubed with Mullard XF2's and was the most awesome-sounding amp... I almost always wanted to plug into that amp, over 100b's, SLO's, etc... it was just so powerfull, juicy, and articulate; no mud whatsoever and more powerful-sounding than about anything. The tubes tired out, and I had it retubed with a matched set of hot JJ e34l's. The thing lost so much character and dynamics that I sold it after that... it was not even close to the same amp.

Not a big fan of the JJ's since.


I run a mixture of chinese and Electro Harmonix tubes. Chinese in V1 gives a closer tone to the sound Bogner intended, but it is definitely brighter and harsher sounding than the EH in V1.

I may try some of the other combinations as my xtc has taken a back seat to my Egnater M4 since I got it. In fact, I'm contemplating selling it...although I'm worried I'll regret it.


I go non-labeled (non-Ruby) Chinese 9th Gen 12ax7s all the way across. I get them from Lord Valve.

Best sound I've heard. I've tried the Tung Sol RI in V1. Didn't beat the chinese sound. The Chinese are much richer and compliment the XTC.

I am curious to try a 60's NOS Mullard in V1. Not sure where to find one of these.

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