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Thread: Tubes 12ax7

  1. #1
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    Tubes 12ax7

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    Hi all

    I have Mesa triple rec. and i want to replace my tubes. What is the best choise and why ??? I need a heavy sound and nice clean channel.

  2. #2
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    Jul 2009
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    There is no "best" choice...and you're expecting too much from a tube swap.

    Here...just pick out a couple of sets, and try them both out. The descriptions give you some idea how the different tubes react...more/less gain and crunch...etc.
    Also...your power tubes matter it's not all going to be done with the 12AX7 preamp tubes.

    Vacuum Tubes | Antique Electronic Supply

    They can match sets for you...and they generally don't sell garbage tubes.

    I would suggest you just go to a Mesa Boogie forum...and see what other guys are using and read their opinions.
    I think you will find many different views on what tubes to use.

    I probably have 3 cases of various tubes I've accumulated over the years...preamp, power, rectifier...and frankly think of any one brand that I would say are the "best". I swap them around, try different combinations...sometimes it's a subtle difference, sometimes more noticeable.
    In the end...most of the better quality tubes should be the better bet...though sound-wise, you might be happy with the cheapest tubes you just never know.

  3. #3
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    Feb 2009
    northampton uk home of Dr Who and Blackstar Amps!
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    I am perhaps one of very few people who have built a rig allowing guitarists to instantly compare hot preamp valves and the musicians came to the conclusion that yes, there were subtle differences between brands of ECC83/12AX7s but not enough to pay a premium for any one make.

    The object of this exercise was to ensure the company was not held to ransom by any one supplier and that customers would not notice if a valve changed name through a production run. (they never did!) So, by all means experiment but I doubt there is a "magic tone tube"!

    This debate comes up regularly at at Directnic

    While on valve swapping. Never change valve TYPE, i.e. a 12AT7, worse AU7, for an AX7. Most modern circuits can handle the extra current but a few older ones will have their anode (plate) loads burned out. Always check with the amp maker. Some amp designs will cook anything OTHER than a 12AU7 in short order.


  4. #4
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    Jan 2006
    Fremantle, Australia
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    Some guys use 5751 tubes instead of 12AX7's they have a bit less gain but sound different. Also if you do change tubes to something else don't forget that you need to break them in for a while before judging the sound. Do a google search on the use of 5751 tubes.

    I swapped out a couple of my vale mic pres to 5751 tubes and I really like them on my mic pres.


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