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Need recommendation for F-2B preamp tubes

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by um... yeah, Jan 25, 2005.

  1. I think my 7025 Sovtech tubes (EDIT: they actually turned out to be Chinese PM 12AX7A) are ready to be replaced. I'm getting a lot of intermitant hiss and such, which I think is a good sign they're ready for the ol' in and out, to paraphrase a line from A Clockwork Orange. (ie new ones in old ones out).

    I'm willing to spend maybe $15-$20 a tube If I know they'll make a difference. Should I stick with the Sovtechs, or something else?
  2. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    I'd personally go with JJs, but that's just me.
  3. I've heard good things about JJ. I seem to be having trouble getting my old tubes out! There's a metal sleeve that surrounds the tube and I'm not sure what to do with it. Hmmm...

    ... got them out. :oops: they're Chinese. Me no likey.
  4. Ben Clarke

    Ben Clarke Liquidating to fund a new business. Buy My Gear!

    Jan 6, 2005
    Western NY
    IMO, nothing being made today equals the sound quality and longevity of a good strong older production tube. There's a ton of 12AX7 variants out there. RCA 7025 would be pretty reasonable, and should represent a noticeable upgrade to those Sovs. Browse around some audiophile boards & do a search on 7025 for a plethora of info (and probably a flame war or two).

    www.audioasylum.com fer instance...
  5. Thanks for the info and the link, it's really appreciated. ;)

    I did a Google for the stockers in my pre and they go for around $3.00 a pop... CHEAPO!
    For any Alembic owners out there, I suggest you check your tubes if you haven't done your first replacement. If they are PM 12AX7A/ECC83 then just about any 12AX7 will probably sound a whole lot better.
  6. AlembicPlayer

    AlembicPlayer Im not wearing shorts

    Aug 15, 2004
    Pacific Northwet, USA
    try a pair of the Groove Tube Mullard reissues..12AX7M

    they are quiet, reliable and sound damn good!
    I've used just about every type of tube in my F2B..and these are great tubes. They just replaced a pair of gold pin Tesla's (not JJ). I have many NOS and new production tubes..and the 12AX7M's are the ones going on the road with me.
  7. Thanks,

    What others have you tried? Right now i'm leaning towards a pair of Ei PLATINUM 12AX7/ECC83 (apparently very sweet sounding and close to a Telefunken), or Sovtek 12AX7LPS (large plate, very even response from top to bottom).
  8. I have a 1994 F-1X. I haven't played it that often.. but the past few times I've powered it up, it makes intermittent, crackling, roaring sounds. It will do it several times, quiet down, and then it will recur sporadically until the tube is hot.

    I haven't opened the unit yet, so I don't know what kind of tube Alembic used. I'm guessing it must be an inexpensive 12AX7 and it's aged a bit more than usual due to the sporadic use. Guessing, of course.

    I'm going to get a replacement tube from Lord Valve Willie. He's recommended the GT 12AX7-M Mullard model tube. When that comes in, I'll install it and post a report.

    I'm also retubing my SWR combos (S. Redhead, BBB) with Electro-Harmonix 5751s per LV's recommendation, I'll post on that as well.
  9. AlembicPlayer

    AlembicPlayer Im not wearing shorts

    Aug 15, 2004
    Pacific Northwet, USA
    off the top of my head...GE 5751, JAN GE, RCA 7025, just about every Sovtek(including the LPS)..Tesla gold pin (very nice tube), EH12AX7(also a very good new production tube!)..and more over the years.

    For NOS...the RCA 7025's are about the best sounding, but expensive. For new production tubes, my first choice today is the Groove Tube Mullard 12AX7M, second choice is the EH 12AX7.

    One tube I have not been able to get my hands on is a REAL Mullard...I'm thinking these may be the perfect match for the F2B. One day I'll get a pair.
  10. zombywoof5050


    Dec 20, 2001
    My Alembic F-2B (bought in 1982) came with RFT tubes which were relabled as "Amperex 12AX7A/7025 Made in W. Germany". They are awesome sounding tubes and I'd recommend the RFT tubes to anyone with an Alembic preamp. KCA has some RFT 12AX7 tubes.

    I also have some Japanese Amperex 12AX7 tubes which were made in the Matsu****a plant (which was set up by Mullard). These Japanese Amperex tubes sound great too (and only cost $15 each), buy them if you run across any.

    The best tubes I've tried are Telefunkens, and that's what are in my F-2B right now. But these are not in your price range.

    I don't know why you want to spend so little for something that (if you get some good NOS ones) will likely last decades. My stock RFT's were 21+ years old when I replaced them with the Telefunkens, and they still sound awesome and I think they still have many years left in them.

    Persoanally, I wouldn't skimp on the tubes and I'd get the Telefunkens. They'll likely outlast you.