1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

Sovtek 12AX7AW, A gift from God?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by kelsound, Nov 27, 2018.

  1. kelsound


    May 11, 2017
    It's rare to find one common 'thing' that adds so much good to so many different things. I'm wondering if anybody has had the same experience as mine.
    Short version:
    As a music/recording major, after 35 years in the biz (I'm old) I finally decided to work on my own tone. Haaaa! (The roofer always has a leaky roof). I'm finally fixing my own roof.
    Again this is the condensed version, but after trying USA General Electric 12AX7, Mullard 12AX7, JJ 12AX7, Sovtek 12AX7, Mesa branded 12AX7, "Winged C old stock 12AX7" and some Chinese stuff (Gold Lion if I recall), in many, many A/B tests (my ears are bleeding) I have been blown away by how the new stock Sovtek 12AX7WA sounds in ALL my amps. It is simply amazing.
    This includes: 1999 SVT. 2011 SVT. Mesa Prodigy 4:88. 2017 Bugera Veyron Tube.
    If I had a Fender tube amp I'd try it there too.
    I have been chasing that lovely 'growl' in the mid range. It works so well in classic rock and other settings. And with EQ it works pretty much anywhere. It's such a nice tone if you can get it. Geddy Lee type tone, just slightly less aggressive.
    I actually had posted my Mesa Prodigy for sale. Then I swapped out the V1 "Mesa" 12AX7 tube for a Sovtek. Holy Crap!!!!! I might have cried a little. Good cry.
    And I had the exact same experience with my 2011 SVT. It was ok, but kinda bass heavy and a bit dumpy. Then I swapped the V1 position tube out from a stock JJ to a Sovtek. Holy Crap!!! The amp just came to life. Overtones that were never there before all of a sudden came alive.
    You can get these Sovtek 12AX7WA's from Tubedepot for about $25.
    I have nothing to gain here. Just sharing one of the most noticeable/valuable things I have heard/learned in many years.
    For cheap money, try one in your tube amp. You might be very very happy.
    Report back if you learn anything. Love to know what one would do in a Fender 100T or a Super Bassman.
  2. THANX for the post
    I'll report back if n when I try one in my Super Bassman or AD200B
  3. Jim C

    Jim C Is that what you meant to play or is this jazz? Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    Some years ago I spent alot of time rolling the pre and driver tubes in a Walkabout.
    That amp is very reposnive to tube rolling.
    The best tone by far was old used Telefunken's from Germany, used Amperex from Holland, and old Mullards.
    When bought from a solid source, these tubes can last another 40 years+.
    Is it worth $40-70 for an old 12AX7?
    It is for me.
  4. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2018
    bobcruz likes this.
  5. kelsound


    May 11, 2017
    Good point. I actually have two extras at the house.
    But I pay the extra $4 per tube for "low microphonics" which puts the price at $21/tube, plus shipping.
    I had microphonic issues on my older SVT and it drove me nuts, so a few extra bucks is worth it to me.
    flewis and beans-on-toast like this.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.