Preamp tubes for SVT CL

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by David Hayes, Dec 24, 2013.


  1. David Hayes

    David Hayes Guest

    What 12AX7s are you guys using and why?

    What 12AX7 and 12AU7s are you using and why?

    Just curious if anyone thinks a nice set of JJs are as good as anything else or are you running old Mullards or other NOS stuff.
  2. David Hayes

    David Hayes Guest

    No one running NOS preamp/Driver tubes in their SVTs?
  3. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

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    Apopka, FL
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    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I'm using the stock JJ's in my Heritage. I tried swapping some NOS tubes into V1 and it made it a shade too bright sounding. Wasn't a night and day difference, but enough to where I went back to the JJ. Same thing happened in my V4B as well. I'm now convinced that amps designed and supplied with new tubes should stay with new tubes. Besides, I'm not paying $60 for some run of the mill GE tube!
  4. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2008
    I use NOS tubes in my amps. The tone is subtly better and they tend to be more reliable. I also have a magic box. Every time I open it, there's a good selection of NOS tubes in there.

    I've never paid the crazy prices that people are charging today. Find a hamfest in your area if you want good prices.

    Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of good, newly manufactured tubes out there. If you find one that you like, find a way to buy some extras while the same stock is still available. The JJ's today don't seem too bad but a couple of years ago they had some serious issues. It pays to buy tubes from a reputable seller that carefully tests the tubes and offers a warranty. www.tctubes.com is one example of a good place that you can trust. www.tubesandmore.com sell more reasonably priced tubes.
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  6. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

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    Ya David, I was never a JJ fan because they'd never last very long, but so far so good in my new V4B and Heritage SVT. I did lose one tube in my V4B, but that was because I dropped it accidentally.
  7. JGR

    JGR The "G" is for Gustav Supporting Member

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    I like the reissue Tung Sols for overall balance, overdrive, and richness - tried them against some nice NOS and they sounded every bit as good if not better. Also like the JJ gold if you want crispness/clarity; they do sound different than the standard JJ which are a bit darker and more mid heavy - I prefer them for high gain guitar, but the gold pin seem better suited for bass.
  8. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

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    LOL. Better to accidentally drop a tube than the V4B. About a week ago I was pulling out some tube tubs and one went crashing to the ground dumping all it's contents. Thankfully none of the tubes broke. On the plus side, I came across a bunch of tubes that I forgot that I had.

    Yes, I also think that the Tung Sol tubes are another good choice.
  9. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

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    Actually, it was the V4B I dropped. But all I got out of it was a bum pre tube so I got lucky.

    You know, I have a very small box of tubes, but it's nothing compared to what some of you all have. I always jut buy tubes when they break and very rarely do I keep spares.
  10. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

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    I should add that when a manufacturer selects a tube company such as JJ for their amps, obviously they are looking for a good sounding tube. They also want to know that they can obtain a steady supply and that quality control is going to meet their expectations, for the price that they want to pay. Loud used Winged C till they were told that production was going to stop. Then they went with JJ.

    Loud used NOS tubes in their Heritage B-15 but obviously couldn't sustain that long term because of the cost and scarcity of the tubes. With regular production amps they have to go with current production tubes.

    My point is, JJ meets all of Loud's requirements. It doesn't mean that there aren't other tubes worth trying.

    Since you are talking about 12AX7's and 12AU7's, it is easier to buy other makes and give them a try. Harder to do when you're doing this with matched sets sets of power tubes.
  11. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

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    Yikes! I wind up christening all my stuff eventually. I try not to let anything take a dive too soon after getting it but things happen.

    I was looking at strings the other day at Strings and Beyond. Their prices and shipping are always pretty good.
    I noticed that Thomastik-Infeld JF344 are $77 a set (list is $144 as set). Good thing that I don't change my strings that often. I tend to change them when I want to try new types more than feeling the need to change. Well at least since I moved back to flats. When playing round wounds it was a different story.

    But strings are getting up there, just like NOS tubes.
  12. Jim C

    Jim C Supporting Member

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    Nov 29, 2008
    Generally I like either used Telefunken, Amperex, or Mullard in the V1 position. They don't have to be name brand as these manufacturers made tubes for others.
    The difference is slightly fuller tone and wider soundstage to me. Plan on $30-40 used. I haven't had a problem with a good used tube from the above assuming it tested good when I bought or borrowed them from dead or non-MI gear; these tubes are from the 60's and 70's.
  13. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

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    Yep, but good thing I like D'addarios. I bought a set of TI's about 10 or 11 years ago and they were $40 and I thought they were expensive back then!
  14. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

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    Were you ever able to get the D'Addarios in the type you wanted as individual strings to make up a custom set?
  15. wighat

    wighat

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    Port Aransas, Texas
    I've had 5751's, 7025's, 12AX7's and ECC83's in there. GE's, Hammond-labeled and I-don't-know-what-all. Some had more or less gain, some were brighter, some more dull. I can't really offer much past that. I've got JJ's all the way around in my SVT now (ECC83S/KT88's) and it sounds the best it ever has.
  16. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

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    Not for the Dano, but for all my long scales, yep.
  17. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion Gold Supporting Member

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    I recommend short plate Amperexes, especially the ones from 1959-1961 with the Big Halo Getter or one of the holy grails if you can ever find one the TUNG SOL 12AX7 ECC83 Black Plate.
  18. Laurent

    Laurent Supporting Member

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    May 21, 2008
    Location:
    Napa, CA
    I run a 12AX7 Tung Sol and Sovtek LPS in my SVT CL.
    These are the finest current tubes I have found after trying a fairly wide selection.
  19. Mike in Chicago

    Mike in Chicago Supporting Member

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    I just acquired a SVT IIP and it has 3 nice JJs in there, but Im gonna pick up some tung sols for s&g 's
  20. David Hayes

    David Hayes Guest

    Well, I have quite an assortment of NOS 12AX7s ( Bugle Boys, Mullards, etc.) but I generally keep them around for my very old guitar amps. It is sort of an expensive habit rolling tubes. lol I am not opposed to using great old tubes in my SVTs, but if the difference between current production and NOS isn't as pronounced as it is in the vintage guitar amps I was just wondering if there was a point in it. I understand that modern amps are not necessarily designed to be used with NOS stuff, is that correct? My vintage SVTs I don't even mess with. My tech is in control of that, but I do have a couple modern amps at my house I like to play with, including an SVT or two.

    So I see people are liking the Tung Sols, Sovteks and JJs. I believe the CL I have in front of me has WingedC power tubes and JJ preamp tubes. I have no complaints, but I suppose it might be worthwhile to swap at least the first position out with some Telefunkens and GEs to see how big a difference it makes.

    A relevant question I suppose. How difficult is it to get to the preamp tubes on a CL? Are these the tubes right there in the back by the power tubes?
  21. David Hayes

    David Hayes Guest

    And Mr. Beans on Toast, I have used TC Tubes in the past and have been very happy with them.

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