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Best Tube Replacement for EBS Fafner...

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by dwc3690, Feb 25, 2006.

  1. So im getting an EBS Fafner, and the previous owner said that I will need a new tube, any one have any knowledge of the subject?
  2. Well, the fafner comes stock with a ECC83, (a euro tube) which is a 12AX7. I personally like the JJ's tubes.
  3. Yeah I was wondering what good companies are? Ive heard JJ is good.
  4. 4to5to6

    4to5to6 Bassist Supporting Member

    I have an EBS Fafner with the stock JJ 12AX7 tube. It sounds great. I use it as a back up for an Aguilar DB750 which has the stock 12AX7 tubes replaced with 1960's Telefunken tubes. Both these amps are very close in sound - one with a single JJ 12AX7 and one with 3 Telefunken 12AX7 tubes.

    As an additional comment. I believe these two amp heads to be the ultimate available for under $2000... both with great musicality, crisp highs, deep lows etc. The Aguilar DB750 is higher powered and heavier in weight with "one" sound (one great sound!). The Fafner is lighter in weight and has more flexibility in sound with the additional Drive pot and character button. With the Fafner and a single 1x12 Epifini ULII cab, I can easily carry all my gear in, in one load and still blow the windows out!!!
  5. mbw82


    Jun 7, 2008
    Sadowsky, Fender, GK, Dean Markeley
    JJ for sure. Not expensive and they sound wonderful. I just replaced the tube in my Aggie DI and the difference in sound between the JJ and the stock Sovtek was immense.
  6. bass.player


    May 30, 2006
    Another vote for JJ
  7. i love when ancient posts come back alive
  8. emjay

    emjay Supporting Member

    You may also try the "higher end" 12AX7 tubes from the 50's and 60's selling on eBay. There is a difference that you can really hear, particularly in hybrids like SWR that only take one to three 12AX7 tubes. It can get a bit risky with vintage gear, but if you stick to sellers with 98+ feedback that post tube tester measurements, you may get a much better deal that from Brent Jesse. Here's what to look for, IMO:

    1) For all round balanced performance on the mid-rangy side and nice shimmer: Phillips (Amperex, Bugle Boy) tubes branded with three or four digit date codes, all beginning with a Delta symbol for the Heerlen, Holland plant. The three digit tubes are from the '50s; the four digit tubes are from the '60's - the number following the delta is the last digit of the year, and the third digit is the letter corresponding to the month (A=Jan, B=Feb, etc). Look particularly for the 17mm long plate tubes with foil D-getters and copper grid posts, or the triple-mica Phillips SQ tubes. Expect to pay $80 - $125 for the Bugle Boy D-getter tubes, and $40 - $80 for the long plate Halo, or round getter tubes with copper grid posts. Short plate 14 mm halo getter Bugle Boy tubes go for $30 - $50.

    2) For a warmer tone than the Dutch tubes, but also a lot of presence and mid-range: Mullard tubes branded with three or four digit date codes from the 50's and 60's (like the above) beginning either with a B for the Blackburn, England plant, or an R for the Mitcham plant. Look particularly for the box plate CV4004 or M8137 tubes, and the long-plate square or D-getter tubes with copper grid posts. Expect to pay $80 - $125 for the square getter tubes, and $60 - $100 for the box plate tubes. Long plate halo getter tubes with copper grid posts go for $50 - $100, and the 14mm short plate tubes $40 - $80. The gold colored shield 14mm plate tubes appear to have a higher gain than the white shield Mullards at the same price; and the 10M tubes (10,000 hour life) tubes with 14mm plates go for $100 - $200 per tube, depending on the condition.

    3) For even and accurate tone and linear presentation: Telefunken, Siemens and Valvo tubes. The date and manufacturing codes are confusing with the Telefunken tubes - but look for Siemens and Valvo tubes that have date codes beginning with a D for the Hamburg plant, or the vertical ++ symbol for the Munich plant. Telefunken tubes should have a diamond or square shape <> embossed in the bottom glass. The tubes will always have a halo getter, but look for the 17mm long plate tubes. Valvo tubes may have a halo getter welded to the plates at a 45 degree angle, which is highly sought after. Expect to pay $40 - $80 for the most German tubes, and the sloped halo getter Valvos go for $80 - $120. The Telefunken ECC803S is possibly the longest lasting 12AX7, and goes for $300 - $800, depending on the condition.

    Some note on the condition of tubes:

    1) Collectors in Asia pay a premium price for tubes with clear and pretty silk-screened logos. These easily wear off. That means you can get high-performance tubes with faint or even no logos at really bargain prices. Expect to pay on the lower end of the rages above for a no-logo tube.

    2) Look for high mutual conductance test readings if possible. The seller should provide readings for each of the two tube triodes, and the closer they are together, the better the tube will perform. Also the higher the values, the better the condition is and life expectancy of the tube will be. Make sure the seller divulges what the reference values are with his tester, for either a good or a new tube. Be suspicious of a used tube from the '50's tests "better than NOS" (new Old Stock). That seller is most likely either not using the tester correctly, using a poorly calibrated tester, or is outright lying. Now, I have a Hickok 800 that I can set up so that a reading of 1250 Micromhos is an average new tube; but I can also set the tester up so that 1250 is a minimum good reading. A tube that measures over 1000 on each triode, when set up for 1250 = new, is a pretty strong tube. That same tube will read 1900 or better, when the tester is set up for 1250 = minimum good.

    Well now you have my tube spiel. I hope I wasn't too boring. Happy tube hunting!
    punchdrunk likes this.
  9. maschine


    Sep 13, 2007
    Sorry, maybe a dumb question: how do I notice that I need a new tube?