Modern Tubes 12ax7

The good, the bad and the ugly.

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St August
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Modern Tubes 12ax7

Post by St August » Sat Dec 08, 2007 8:01 am

In this thread list your favotite Modern 12ax7 or equivilent
Where you use them (V1,V2,V3)

And a brief discription Of what they sound like in your amp

This will help reference all the New Modern tubes for New and old forum
members alike

Also what amp do you have ?(Metro 68, Marshall JMP etc)
Is it modded? If so What Mod

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Post by novosibir » Sat Dec 08, 2007 11:39 am

Among the current produced tubes there's only one type at the moment, which I may accept, and that's the Tung Sol reissue from Mike Matthew's plant in Saratov/Russia.

This tube surprisingly comes pretty close to the sound character of a NOS Tungsram, just a tad slender in its overall sound. Unfortunately there are a lot among these tubes, which do have hum issues or will get it after a while of use.

So this tube I only may recommend for amps with DC heater supply (like my DINO or British Purist 8) ) or at least an elevated AC heater supply, what's easy done to any amp.

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Post by GUITARmole » Wed Dec 19, 2007 3:56 am

So far I've been underwhelmed with the TungSols in my Marshalls (they seem thin sounding and somewhat harsh on the top end) but I could see where they'd be good in a Fender.

The much hated JJ short plate actually beat out the new TungSol, an old Chinese, and a NOS RCA in my 100W but I'm still experimenting.

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Post by StuntDouble » Sat Jan 05, 2008 7:55 pm

It seems that so much of how tubes sound depends on the voicing and how the gain structure of the amp is tailored, but these would have to be my favorites in my Mojave which is set up with 4 tubes in the preamp and voiced unusually dark for a plexi type amp, so I'm not sure how the V2/V3 translate over to a traditional 3 tube plexi layout. Anyways...

1) +1 on the Tungsol RI- can be a tad dark but nicest breakup of any new 12ax7 I've heard. I like it in V1
2) Groove Tubes 12ax7c- (9th gen Shuguang)very chunky sounding with lots of gain, can be a little fizzy on top; IMHO, sucks in the PI though.
3) Sovtek LPS- Smooth and well balanced with good gain, IMHO good for PI...not vintage Tesla good, but still good; very underated tube.
4) Chinese 7025 "Silver Specials"- whole lot of gain; good for V2 if you've got a good NOS in V1 thats a tad dark or "oval" sounding; will help give it a little teeth...Mullard, Amperex. Seems edgy and fizzy in the V1 and IMHO sucks in the PI
5) Pentalabs 12ax7c(11th gen Shuguang)-just tried this one at the suggestion of a friend in V3 of my Mojave Peacemkaer... great for V2; can help open up the sound of a dark tube in V1. Well balanced w/ a fair amount of gain...not bad for PI either
6) Electroharmonix 12ax7- Decent all around tube; not bad in the PI either, although I prefer the prefer the Sovtek LPS
7) New Sensor Mullard RI...NOT Groove Tubes!- A little more gain than the Tungsol RI and IMHO, not quite as smooth but a nice tube none the less...not on par with a good NOS Mullard, but a fine tube in it's own right

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Post by Grosh_Guitars » Fri Apr 04, 2008 10:28 pm

I actually like the JJ in V1.
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Post by LivewireBlanco » Tue May 13, 2008 3:38 pm

How do the JJs compare in the PI? Anybody try them in there? I find them to be a little bright in V1.
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Post by StuntDouble » Tue May 13, 2008 4:54 pm

not bad in the PI; from what I've tried, it really depends on the amp . To my ear, JJs can sound kinda lifeless w/ flat "cardboard-like" mids in some amps...i.e. my Peacemaker but ok in others.

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Post by JimiJames » Tue May 13, 2008 6:49 pm

I like the shuguang I used in V1. meaty...
personally I would pm T.K. "he'll staighten' ya' out... :wink:
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Post by LivewireBlanco » Tue May 13, 2008 7:20 pm

How are the new Tungsols in the PI? Never tried one in that spot. Like them in V1.
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Post by The Pup » Sun Jun 29, 2008 4:50 pm

I like the Shuguang 12AX7A ( Gen-8 ) gray plate

The Shuguang 12AX7A (gray plate) has slightly less gain, but was surprisingly close in tone to the RFT (with low noise too). It was slightly darker than the Shuguang gen 9 silver plate 12AX7B...which is not as bright sounding as the new Tung Sol reissue.

The JJ ECC83S provides slightly higher gain and seemed to exhibit a slight bass and mid presence in comparison.

These Shuguang 12AX7A/B 8th and 9th generation tubes sound fine to me...no worries, microphonics, fuzziness, buzzing or background noises here.

Disclaimer: Amps used:

Marshall JVM (C83 mod) Note: The Clean Red channel greatly pronounces the mid-freq girth and the amp itself is an excellent platform to sample the tonal characteristics of varying tubes at greatly varying gain levels.

Bruno U30: Note: This is a uniquely voiced amp that seems very sensitive to different V1 placed tubes.

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Gen 8 gray plate:
Image

Gen 9 silver plate:
Image

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Post by 54strat » Mon Jul 14, 2008 10:16 am

I have JJ EC83's in my 50 watt Marshall metal plate (V1-2-3) along with SED EL34's and it sounds awesome, but can not say I've tried many others. I have some American RCA's that I've put in to check out and wind up keeping the JJ's. I wondering if anyone has tried SED's pre tubes? I saw on their web site they make a 12AX7A but can not find anyone so far who sells them.
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Post by joshwilson3 » Mon Jul 14, 2008 3:23 pm

54strat wrote:I have JJ EC83's in my 50 watt Marshall metal plate (V1-2-3) along with SED EL34's and it sounds awesome, but can not say I've tried many others. I have some American RCA's that I've put in to check out and wind up keeping the JJ's. I wondering if anyone has tried SED's pre tubes? I saw on their web site they make a 12AX7A but can not find anyone so far who sells them.
Yeah, I've never seen 12AX7 SED tubes.

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Post by 54strat » Mon Jul 14, 2008 4:51 pm

Here's a picture from sed-usa.com. Their web site also lists The Tube Store and a couple of other dealers we are familiar with, but no one actually has it on their web site for sale! As much as I and other folks like their EL34's I sure would like to check this one out!
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73 Marshall 1987
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54 Fender Stratocaster hardtail
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Post by MarvinMitt » Mon Jul 14, 2008 5:08 pm

I have one SED 12AX7 from Tube-Town. The box is completely white with label:

ELECTRONIC VALVE
ECC83 ________ MADE IN
12AX7 ________ RUSSIA


Tube says without any logos:

ECC83
12AX7
MADE IN
RUSSIA


Never tried that tube but inside the glass it looks exactly like the one on the upper picture with Светлана (aka "Winged C") logo.
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Post by 54strat » Tue Jul 15, 2008 2:37 pm

I got a response from Brian Overstreet at The Tube Depot...located in the same building as SED's distributor in Memphis. He says SED has not produced a 12AX7 in quite some time and need to update their web site.
My bad.
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