DB680 tube choices

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Chef, Jun 28, 2008.

  1. Chef

    Chef In Memoriam

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    I have a db680 preamp...can you of you users recommend preamp tubes that will be very full range, and hi fi? In particular, I'd like to see a little more top end sheen out of her...

    here's what it came with; from what i've read, they're "nothing special," and they do indeed seem fine to me; except that I really have to add a lot of top end eq to get the amount of clarity and sparkle to the top end I want...


    maybe that's just the design of the preamp, and not an attribute of whatever tubes are in it.

    thx as always for your thoughts guys and gals;
  2. Jerry J

    Jerry J Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2000
    P-town, OR
    Not knowing the circuit it's kinda tough making suggestions on what tubes would make a difference.

    I would loosely assume that the two 12AX7 have a major affect on the overal tone. And it may just be only one of those tubes rather than both. So some experimentation may be necessary.

    I have a db750 and I changed one of the tubes to a Telefunken 12AX7 "smooth plate" and it made a world of difference to the tone overall. I feel that the change was well worth the expense of the tube. This seems to be the common change on the 750's. The change to a tighter bottom end and significantly more clarity in the tone overall.

    I tend to love tube preamps...Read, Kern, Alembic, Demeter so I pickup different brands of tubes any chance I get. So that I have options. Unfortunately my typical tube of choice is the Teles which are probably the most expensive.

    Maybe a first choice would be to try a JJ 12ax7 since they are fairly inexpensive and a lot of times work out really well.
  3. metron

    metron Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2003
    More hi-fi and top end from the DB 680?! Mine had that in spades with the stock tubes. I also found the EQ to be subtle with the exception of the switches. Whenever I needed instant snap I just hit the bright switch. I did some tube changing when I had it but never noticed much change in sound. I have always thought of the EH 12AX7s as top-endish but that could be because thats what my Demeter VTBP 201s came with.
  4. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    honestly chef,

    if the 680 isnt hifi enough, its time to upgrade to a millenia or an avalon'ish preamp.