Help me understand tubes

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Joe Nerve, May 12, 2012.

  1. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    I need to replace the tube in my Carvin BX500. What's the difference between all the tubes on the page below. To be honest, before I had any problems with the tube in this head I couldn't even tell if it was engaged or not. My hearing is somewhat damaged from not wearing earplugs, and well...

    should I just buy the cheapest one, or is there a HUGE difference in sound and reliablity with the ones costing a lot more. Leaning towards the Sovtek for $9.99.

  2. B-string

    B-string Supporting Member

    From what I have read the tube brand choice makes little difference to the BX500 as it is a low voltage design. Not a high plate voltage design where the differences might be heard.
  3. Korladis

    Korladis Inactive

    With a preamp tube, I'd look to other sources, even if more expensive. Shouldn't need to be replaced very often.

    Though I guess since it's low voltage it doesn't really matter. Never mind.
  4. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    To be honest, in that setting, there may not be much difference at all...and with your hearing, and admitting you really don't hear a difference, probably even less.

    Howabout this. PM me your address, and I'll send you out one of the following:

    Groove Tubes 12AX7
    Sovtek 12AX7
    Electro Harmonix 12AX7

    Your choice.
  5. Tractorr


    Aug 23, 2011
    Like others have said it won't make that much difference. I changed the tube in my Hartke head and I tried more of a guitar 12AX7 (I was hoping it would add more grit) and I wound up putting the original back in because the new tube really pinch my tone. In other words, in an amp like that you have more chance of hurting the sound then helping it. Just make sure to get a more high fi sort of tube (does not mean you have spend a lot).
  6. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    Amp architecture and design mean a lot when it comes with tubes. I'm of the opinion true 'tube tone' comes with a traditional high-voltage design and not with most of the hybrid implementations. And again, it all depends upon the individual amp design within that as well. Most modern tube hybrids are designed to give a bit of 'tube warmth' whatever that amounts to.

    Beyond that, the circuit has been 'tuned' to what the designer has decided to use for a tube, so if that's a modern tube, sometimes those amps just sound better with a modern tube and with the characteristics they bring rather than an expensive NOS or old tube.
  7. Primary

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