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What are your fav brand of tubes tubes (12AX7 & EL84)


krock

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As far as currently produced 12ax7's, I like Tung Sol's. JJ's are good but maybe not quite as durable. Chinese 12ax7c's are pretty good. Sovteks are o.k. but I don't really like them. The sovtek 12ax7WC is better than the 12ax7a.

 

I like to put a JAN 5751 in the second preamp tube socket to smooth out the gain. That's an older tube with lower gain than a normal 12ax7.

 

All the above tubes are in the $10 to $15 range. The 5751's are maybe $20.00 or so.

 

As far as EL84's go, I have tried JJ's, numerous Sovteks, including Ruby and Groove Rube branded ones, new Mullards. I like the JJ's for EL84's.

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for 12ax7's I like the (Russian)Ruby ecc83HG(high gain) I use it in a low watt head for low volume breakup....if a standard 12ax7 is too much gain, then a n.o.s. Mullard or RCA ecc82 (low gain tube) is just what the Dr. ordered....I ran a mix of 82's & 83's in an ancient Univox 105w stack for years, 3 of each, and had perfect mid volume breakup, without being "over the top" distorted.

 

Haven't tried the new Tung-Sol 12ax7's so I can't comment on them.

No experience with el84's either,.

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I've been using JJ, Tung-Sol, and Electro Harmonix brand 12AX7s over the last few years. All have performed

admirably, and I don't really notice that much tonal difference. The Tung-Sols might have a hair more gain.

 

A big second for the suggestion of Jan Philips 5751s. While slightly lower in gain, they are smooth and very

reliable. If the amp has plenty of gain (or if you use pedals anyway) you might be pleasantly surprised by

using one of these in the first position or the phase inverter position.

 

As for EL84s, the JJs seem to work best for me. I recently put a set of the newly reissued Mullards in my

18 watt Marshall, and I don't really notice any difference over the JJs. Though to be fair, I only recently

made the swap, so I have not played the Mullards much yet.

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Forget about tubes, I say.

 

Solid state is more reliable and, these days, a good solid-state amp will sound just as good as a tube amp.

Bulls**t!! I seriously hope you are joking. Name me one SS amp that sounds as good as an all-tube amp. I gotta hear this:)

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Bulls**t!! I seriously hope you are joking. Name me one SS amp that sounds as good as an all-tube amp. I gotta hear this:)

 

OK, check out the Tech 21 Trademark series and the old Marshall SS amps from the 90s are excellent--as are the current higher-end Marshall MG amps (I'm talking the 50 and 100W ones.) The Fender Frontman amps are really excellent, and Kustom made (and still makes, I believe) some -very good SS amps. But yeah, the Tech 21 Trademark 60 is amazingly warm and thick for a solid state amp.

 

This guy gets really sweet tones from the Tech 21. Even the overdrive tones are excellent.

 

You called bullsh*t. Wanna revoke it?

 

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I'm of the belief that SS and tube amps have their place! Like dem00n said SS amps are good for higher gain music, and I can vouch for it (even on my crappy little SS). But for some, nothing beats a tube (I am included in those people). For clean tones (in my opinion) nothing beats a fender tube amp, it just gets me. But if I want some insane gainy stuff, I'm going to use my cheap solid state for it. I think you need to find what you like about both and use it! I am partial to tubes, but they both have their place!

 

I have heard great things about those Tech 21's and I really want to give 'em a whirl.

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You make a pretty good point, but I'm still not very convinced. Each has it's place but tubes are still superior, IMO. Ask pretty much anyone who knows they're stuff, and they'll tell you tubes still have better tone. Reliability is a whole other issue though.

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This guy gets really sweet tones from the Tech 21.

 

I've heard 'em. In person. Meehhh. I think they record better than they sound live.

 

In fact a friend of mine was a Line 6 rep for a while. They gave him one of everything.

He sold them all and kept playing his old Marshall heads.

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You make a pretty good point, but I'm still not very convinced. Each has it's place but tubes are still superior, IMO. Ask pretty much anyone who knows they're stuff, and they'll tell you tubes still have better tone. Reliability is a whole other issue though.

 

I don't know my stuff. Thanks.

 

Tube snob.

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Tube snob here and proud of it [thumbup]

 

I think the brand of tube that sounds best depends on the amp. A Tungsol that I use in a little class A amp I build sounds great. But I bought a new Mullard and it was too clean for that amp. I should try that tube in my Ceriatone - it might make a great phase inverter if nothing else.

 

So, I say it depends on the amp.

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I didnt realise a simple thread asking about brands of tubes used would spark a debate about SS over valve. Geez [flapper]

 

Yupper! Anytime you ask opinion questions it can flare up.

 

They both have their place. For years I only used a SS amp. However, I was playing in a jazz band and I bought the amp for the clean sound and light weight. It fit the need at the time.

 

These days, the only SS amp I use is the built in simulators in my Boss BR1600 recorder. The Fender SS I had caught on fire about a month ago :( I had a LOT of great memories with that amp. I thinking about putting either a Train Wreck express inside her or a little Marshall 18watt. But I leaning towards the TW.

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I prefer tubes over SS anytime but I saw a guy playing a 137 through an old Lab Series and I was shocked to hear it is a SS amp. He was playing some Blues and R+B (not what they now call R+B). It sounded beautiful. A real warm, smooth breakup-just a bit of hair on it. I've had good luck w/JJ's but NOS RCA + Sylvania sound great. Don't like Sovtek. I like vintage sounding Blues/Rock.

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I prefer tubes over SS anytime but I saw a guy playing a 137 through an old Lab Series and I was shocked to hear it is a SS amp. He was playing some Blues and R+B (not what they now call R+B). It sounded beautiful. A real warm, smooth breakup-just a bit of hair on it. I've had good luck w/JJ's but NOS RCA + Sylvania sound great. Don't like Sovtek. I like vintage sounding Blues/Rock.

 

Im still yet to hear a SS amp that has the same warmth as a tube amp. All the ones I've heard have a slight harshness tto the sound. And for some reason I've always liked SS more through headphones than the speaker. Maybe because I can get more sustain that way.

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I use 2 EH 6V6GT on the power side and 5 12AX7's (Russian) on the preamp side-makes my LP STD bark! Only problem is this amp weighs 74 lbs and I am getting too old to lug it around-give me a 12AX7 tube amp anyday over the SS stuff-sweetest sound I have ever heard-now if I could just get a couple of strong youngsters to carry it for me-I love the sound of the 2-12's lady luck speakers.

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