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Mesa Bottle Rocket tube replacement.

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by bassmusic17, Mar 19, 2014.

  1. bassmusic17


    Jan 15, 2011
    I want to get some new tubes for my Mesa Bottle Rocket.
    They are 12AX7. Any recommendations from other users? Should I just get replacements from Mesa or are there other options that may be better? Please don't say Groove Tubes.
  2. lowfreq33


    Jan 27, 2010
    Endorsing Artist: Genz Benz Amplification
    Why do you feel you need new tubes?
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  4. bassmusic17


    Jan 15, 2011
    I got it used with Groove Tubes in it. I think it will sound better with better tubes in it.
  5. first thing I will say- you're gonna need to put a few hours worth of homework in before you start buying tubes.

    Depends on how the tubes are used in the circuit. I am not familiar with that pedal, but if they are run with high plate voltages like an amp, then changing the tubes *CAN* make a difference. I say can because some will be very subtle while other can be drastic. There's almost no way to tell until you try. If the tubes are running a low voltage (starved plate design) then changing the tube will probably have very little effect. HOWEVER- when I built valvecasters (single 12au7 overdrive pedal) the tube choice made a HUGE difference and they ran on 12vdc.

    For new production preamp tubes I really only like the JJ 12ax7. Eurotubes.com has a wide array and good descriptions. Will be between $10-15 per tube. Mesa and Groove Tubes are rebranded chinese tubes and nothing special, you're paying a premium price for the name only.

    So take that as you will. You'll need to do a lot of research and be prepared for other people's overload of goofy descriptive words. People will usually mention NOS tubes and some of the same brands a lot- Mullard, Amperex, Raytheon, RCA, etc. You don't need NOS, something that's used but been tested (and the measurements put in the description-know what those are too!) and is not microphonic is fine. If you're on ebay getting tubes you have a chance of getting ripped off- people are relabeling crappy new production tubes with old designs. Tube dealers are a more reputable way to get tubes but cost more. By reading lots of reviews you'll start to get an idea of how certain brands of tubes usually sound- for instance, most people think Raytheons are very balanced.

    Personally, I put a Raytheon into my Markbass Distorsore. It came with a JJ but the Raytheon sounded better when hit hard, the breakup is so much smoother. I had a Mullard in an old Budda Zenman years ago that was pretty bad ass, but those tubes go for ridiculous prices, I happened to luck out and find one that was rebranded and the guy didn't know what he was selling.

    RCA black plates are very nice tubes but will cost you. The grey plates are pretty good tubes as well. A good way to find RCA tubes on ebay is to look for rebranded organ company tubes. Conn often rebranded RCA tubes. Old RCAs are printed in orange ink, the ones used in Conn organs have the Conn name on them but in the same orange ink. RCAs also have the "12ax7" etched in them (grey) with an octagon around it. That's how you know it's an RCA despite what the screen print says. Raytheons were rebranded by Lowrey in yellow ink, and so on. Sometimes people won't know they have an RCA or Raytheon, they just think it's a junky old tube so they sell it much cheaper.

    Read, read, READ and then read some more. Make informed decisions because it can get expensive very quickly if you have to buy a bunch of tubes. Otherwise you're just peeing in the wind.

    Good luck!
  6. DirtyDuke

    DirtyDuke Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2012
    guelph ontario
    I have several tube driven pedals and the tubes make a huge difference,

    I finally settle on a ruby, mullard and RCA as my top choices. Not cheap, but sounds like a whole new pedal every time I swap one in.
  7. bassmusic17


    Jan 15, 2011
  8. DirtyDuke

    DirtyDuke Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2012
    guelph ontario
    They will work, I had surprisingly good results with inexpensive ehx 12at7s.

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