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12ax7 for my Fafner

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Uziel, Mar 20, 2005.

  1. Uziel


    Sep 2, 2003
    Hi here !

    I'ld like to change the tube of my Fafner (blue Fafner), but i dut no much about 12ax7...
    what will be the difference (sound and quality) between those once :
    - Groove Tubes 12ax7 C or 12ax7 M
    - Sovtek 12ax7 LP (i need a LP or a LPS for my amp ?)
    - Electro Harmonix 12ax7 EH
    - JJ 12ax7
    - Ei 12ax7
    - Svetlana 12ax7 (what is the difference between "c" or "s" label ?)

    I do like GT, but i don't know why... the name ?? the brand logo ? billy sheehan ?

  2. kringle77

    kringle77 Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2004
    Massena NY
    For me, the Ei gold 21ax7's are the best. They have a more defined sound than the rest, they all sound the same where as some brands quality varies from tube to tube and just seem to work in every piece of gear that I've tried them in.
  3. Bongolation


    Nov 9, 2001
    No Bogus Endorsements
    Go for a shortplate.

    A longplate like the Sovtek 12AX7LPS will go microphonic in no time in a high-vibration environment.

    If you can find one, get a rebranded Mullard or Dutch Amperex ("globe"). They are about the same price as many of the new tubes and have worked out quite well in every amp in which I've used them.
  4. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    Groove Tubes doesn't make tubes at all, they just buy them, relabel them, and sell them for a higher price, same as Mesa does.
  5. I have heard good things about the Ei Golds
    I have tried the 12AX7M's by groove tubes. They are a robust sounding tube.
    Also, tried the EH model. It was decent but not quite as robust sounding as the 12AX7M.

    The absolute best tube I have found for well defined output, robust sound is a NOS Blackplate RCA. Bit more expensive at $45 a copy but if you have just one tube in the preamp this is the way to go. Being NOS they should last longer than most of todays tubes making it a good investment.
  6. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    Spend 50 bucks and buy them all and a few others...then try 'em all out!

    I have pretty much all those...I like the JJ 12AX7 I got from Eurotubes right now...it's his 'high gain' version.

    The EH is Ok but nothing special...I believe its a re-branded sovtek anyway.

    I don't like stock sovteks I find them a bit harsh.

    I like the Ei too, it's pretty lively sounding. But they have a high failure rate, so if you buy, you'll want a few of them in case you get a bad one.

    I like Mullards too for their extra mids.

    Tubes are so subtle and their sound changes per setting, and I don't know your amp, so I can't say much else.
  7. basspro2

    basspro2 I'm seeing Gorillas...

    Apr 6, 2002
    Northbridge, Mass
    Groove Tubes:
    Groove Tubes bought it’s present building in August of 2000. The new GT home has close to 12,000 feet of office, lab, and manufacturing space and is located in the small town of San Fernando, California. The new building has allowed expansion into actual tube production, and Aspen was blessed to be able to acquire the entire production line from the old G.E. company upon it’s closing. This line will produce the original GE 6L6 and 6CA7 power tubes to the original specs and sound. Actually, at NAMM 2002 in Anaheim GT proudly introduced the first effort from this adventure, showing the new GT6L6-GE to rave reviews...it was generally confirmed this new GT tube is the exact equal of the famous 6L6. Jimi Hendrix recorded may of his hits with this tube in his Fender Twin Reverb. Go with the Groove tube 12AX7M Mullard version you can't go wrong. GT has the best testing facilites in the nation and test every tube or they don't get to be a GT.
    End of STORY.
  8. basspro2

    basspro2 I'm seeing Gorillas...

    Apr 6, 2002
    Northbridge, Mass
    This tube is very limited in quantity due to very small production runs to assure quality.
    The new GT12AX7M is an exact reissue of the original Mullard 12AX7/ECC83 dual triode preamp tube, the ultimate vintage 12AX7 by which all others are judged.

    The Groove Tubes 12AX7M is a dual-triode vacuum tube based on the highly sought after Mullard 12AX7, which went out of production in the late 60's.

    Its unique triple mica design reduces tube hum and microphonics, and gives performance stability under the most demanding conditions, such as high gain tube guitar amps sitting on 4x12 cabs.

    This tube delivers rich, harmonically complex tone and midrange warmth that is just not available in any other currently manufactured tube today. It is also the only 12AX7 type tube on the market today that meets (or exceeds) 100% of the critical performance specs of a textbook 12AX7 such as transconductance (1600 mU) and current (1.2mA).

    The new 12AX7M is an excellent choice as a replacement tube for any amplifier design using a 12AX7, ECC83, or 7025 preamp tube. “Of course, the real test is how it sounds,” continued Pittman. “Our new 12AX7M will really ‘wake up' an old (or new) Fender, Ampeg, or Marshall tube amp!”
  9. __________________

    I was wondering about that first quote myself, sometimes I wish people would disclose the origine of their information but I guess that would be to easy......Hear-say sucks!
    Anyway, you all know I just replaced a soviet 12AX7 in my pre with the Groove tube GT12AX7M and am very happy thanks to people here who (unlike others) know what they are talking about.
  10. Rod B.

    Rod B.

    Jun 11, 2002
    So what's the story before 2002?

  11. Some tubes such as the 6L6GE are made right here in the USA at Groove Tubes using the original GE machinery and most of their components. The 12AX7R is made in Russia and the 12AX7C in China. I have tried the 12AX7R. While usable it was a little flat sounding to me..nothing special but then the 12AX7M kicked butt in my SWR350x Bass amp. As stated before the NOS RCA Blackplate is the only thing I tried that beat it.
    Prior to 2002 I believe most all their tubes were "farmed out" but tested at GT.
  12. basspro2

    basspro2 I'm seeing Gorillas...

    Apr 6, 2002
    Northbridge, Mass
    And if they didn't cut they were trashed.. Like I said they wrote the book on tubes and tube amps .. Literally. Get it it's a great book.

    Thats it............. over and out.
  13. Tell me more! How would I find one of these? Does it say "RCA Blackplate 12AX7" on it. I'd like to keep a few tubes around for my arsenal....:)
  14. basspro2

    basspro2 I'm seeing Gorillas...

    Apr 6, 2002
    Northbridge, Mass
    Sometimes on the E of the Bay you will see them do a search for vintage tubes 12ax7 or just 12ax7 . There are a lot out there
  15. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    The 'blackplate' refers to the metal plates inside the tube. There are a variety of different types depending upon the time of production I have both RCA black plate and grey plate tubes around here somewhere...I use a 6v6 greyplate in my Vibrochamp. It's kinda like mullards, some of those are smooth plate and others are 'ridged' if I remember correctly.

    If you're gonna dive into the world of tubes, it's a good idea to spend some time online looking at tube info pages. Since the main companies branded their tubes differently, though the tubes may not say RCA or Mullard they may be.

    Keep a lookout for tubes marked JAN too. It stands for Joint-Army-Navy. Those tubes were the ones that tested highest, and were suitable for military use, sorta the cream of the crop in the old days. They're highly sought after for their tone and their stability.
  16. basspro2

    basspro2 I'm seeing Gorillas...

    Apr 6, 2002
    Northbridge, Mass
    Hey Burningskies... Great to see there is another Tube NUT out there besides me.. :D
  17. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    Heh. As you know, tubes are fun. I love the arcane nature of those little bottles of fire...seein' 'em glow all blue and orange in the back of yer amp. It's this sorta voodoo that I really only dimly understand...I mean I know how and why they work, but the physics of them is pretty neat! I also like how you can mod an amp and create a unique sound by plugging in these things. For years people couldn't understand why my Hartke 3500 had such a good tone... ;)

    My twin is a bit too complex for me to work on (it's an early 70's silverface that's been blackfaced), but the Hartke has only one tube and you don't have to worry about adjusting bias...but my best tube 'tester' is my 1965 Fender V.Champ. It's got 1 pre and 1 power tube, so's you can REALLY hear how different tubes sound without any other variables. That's the amp that really turned me on to playing with tubes.

    Oh, and I might have a touch of 'detail oriented obsession' and a collector personality.

    Anyway, good to be in the company of others who appeciate 'old' technology! :)
  18. Sorry to strongly disagree. After reading the many debates here on Aspen Pittman and his company (Groove Tubes) I tried to approach this subject with as open a mind as possible. Unfortunately my personal experiences with their products were not that good after all. I find the 12AX7M to be quite usable, although the construction quality is poor, as is the quality control.

    On the subject of GT testing all of their tubes, I recently went through a large number of brand new supposedly-matched GT 6L6s which I purchased for our guit*rist's amp. The numbers written on the GT boxes had no relationship to actual measurement. For example, a pair of their highest-quality 6L6 tubes were both hand-marked 91 on the box. In the amp one ran cold while the other was almost red hot. Measurements were done in the amp using the scope method. I went through 6 tubes all marked "91" to find a single acceptably-matched pair. Although I am certainly in support of keep jobs from going offshore, it shouldn't be an excercise in charity. GT should be doing a much better job in practice than what their marketing department is telling you.
  19. basspro2

    basspro2 I'm seeing Gorillas...

    Apr 6, 2002
    Northbridge, Mass
    That's your right to disagree , That's what makes the world go round. But I find it very hard and difficult to believe that if I just spent a good amount of money on tubes and they were as bad as you say, you can bet your ass I'd be on the phone to Groove Tubes for an explaination. That is why I highly doubt your story or your testing method.There are more reasons than one for one tube to run hot and one not to. This post is not meant to start an argument just an opinion. Oh and by the way Great Band you have there.
  20. Finger Blister

    Finger Blister

    Jul 8, 2003

    Absolute and utter B.S.

    Rule of Thumb: Avoid Chinese Tubes.

    Any NOS American, Brit, or German tube will sound much better and last much longer.