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Tubes. Where to start?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by superbassman2000, Mar 4, 2008.

  1. So I think my ampeg SVT-BSP preamp's tube is dead. So I am going to replace the tube, but looking at the various makes of 12ax7 tubes, it appears that although each tube is still a 12ax7, they all sound somewhat different. I don't usually deal with tubes so I don't really know which one to get--Can anybody give me a good starting point in where to start looking?
  2. BZadlo

    BZadlo Supporting Member

    Mar 4, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    I almost always use Groove Tubes because they are very consistant. The tubes are pretty inexpensive so, you should buy 2 or 3 different brands and see which one you like best.
  3. fenderhutz

    fenderhutz Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2007
    Harpers Ferry WV
    Nah, hit up Butch at Bayou Cables and get some JJ/Tesla's. They sound REAL good in any Ampeg amp I have played.

    About 8 bucks per tube.

    I swear by these tubes and how they perform.

    I just replaced the tubes in my SVT so I have a *bunch* of 12ax7's (Sovtek or EHX) I can send to you if you want to just cover the shipping. Nothing wrong with them, I just like JJ's better.
  4. Why?
  5. because after playing for about 5-6 minutes on the clean channel the gain drops really low, and the tone gets really thin and it makes crackling noises. I don't have that problem with the distortion channel and since the clean channel has a tube in the circuit path and the distortion is SS, then I am guessing its the tube
  6. Hi.

    Bad solder joint or a bad cap IMHO, not a tube. But tubes are cheap, try it.

  7. i can get that checked out--the one thing i'd like to do is make sure its not something easy because i really don't want to take it in to a repair shop and have them look at it for two seconds, tell me its an easy fix and charge me a 40 dollar diagnostic fee haha!
  8. jimbilly


    Apr 19, 2006
    Tube testers are pretty cheap, easy to use too, and if you're going to own tube amps they are SO handy to own. I can't believe I went without a good tube tester for so long, now I can't imagine gear-whoreing without one. Owning a tube tester opens up the world of used tubes, -there are lots of great used USA tubes you can find for cheap, and all of the old USA and Euro production tubes are good, and are better than any of the new production stuff I've heard.
    In your case, you could just buy a single 12ax7, and swap it into the different spots until you find if one is bad. That preamp has a couple of tubes?, my SVP-Pro had 5, my svt4 has 3 I think.
  9. Bassflute


    Jun 24, 2006
    Endorsing Artist: MTD basses and strings; Bergantino Amps & Cabs
    I did a post on the Eden forum a couple of years back that was quite popular (back before I developed a deep and abiding loathing for that company and their practices):




    Also, if you start digging into this website (although ostensibly about guitar amps), your life as you know it will come to an end:


  10. New Tung-Sol's or JJ's sound great. I like either:)
  11. Thanks for the info--i will see if I can dig up a tube tester!

    btw, the SVT-BSP has only one tube :)

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