Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Tung-Sol 12AX7 - any good for bass?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by fourstringbliss, Dec 16, 2005.


  1. I have a Carvin RC210 which had a hybrid 600w amp in it. The preamp can solid-state, tube, or a blend of both. Right now there's a Sovtek 7025/12AX7WA in there and there's very little difference between the solid-state sound and tube sound. Would changing the tube make a difference? I know that Sovtek's a cheap tube. Would a Tung-Sol 12AX7 be a good replacement? I want to have a choice between clean and warm, and be able to blend the two. For the tube I want a warm but articulate sound.

    Thanks!
     
  2. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    I have not tried that tube, but I do think that it's worth swapping out that Sovtek. They are a bit muffled sounding to my ears, and somewhat frequency limited (at least in the highs) - again, to my ears, at least. Of the newer 12AX7's, I like JJ's and EH's. I have some Ei's that I need to try, too. The GT Mullard reissue seems like an okay tube, but it hasn't blown me away. I've become somewhat of an NOS snob, but I definitely think that it's a matter of finding the right tube for the right gear (as opposed to one tube being better than all the rest, no matter the application).

    I would also be interested to hear from someone who has used the Tung-Sol 12AX7.

    Tom.
     
  3. kringle77

    kringle77 Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2004
    Massena NY
    The Ei tubes are great in almost anything tom. They are more balanced than the EH which are also really good. NOS Jan/Phillips AU7 tubes are also a must have. Hey, I bought an avalon 737. Samples will be posted soon.
     
  4. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Cool, I look forward to trying them out.
    Agreed.
    Cool! :)

    Tom.
     
  5. SubMonkey

    SubMonkey

    May 3, 2004
    Denver, CO
    I use these in my Classic 400, Hard for me to really give a comprehensive answer.... but....

    I've run the stock Chinese 12ax7's that came with the amp for a while. Found them to be brittle and break up easily..

    I ran some used RCA's that I loved (nice deep response, had to hit them hard to get them to break-up)...

    Currently I have the Tung-Sol's in there, they seem to have a little less deep lows and a little more upper-mid response than the RCA's. They seem to break up _SLIGHTLY_ sooner than the RCA's

    All of this is exactly as anecdotal and unscientific as it seems.... :D

    SM
     
  6. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Ah, but to me it's the real world experience that helps the most! Thanks!

    Tom.
     
  7. iriegnome

    iriegnome Bassstar style Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2001
    Kenosha, WI 53140
  8. Templar

    Templar Supporting Member

    Ya, I popped an old (but fresh) Tungsol 12AX7 into a XS400, replacing a Sovtek.

    Instant improvement in strength, clarity, and noise reduction in this application.
     
  9. Eric Cioe

    Eric Cioe

    Jun 4, 2001
    Missoula, MT
    I just bought 2 NOS GE 5751s and a Mullard 12AT7 for my Bassman 100 head. It currently has a no-name 12AX7 in one channel and a "USA" 12AX7 in the other. I'm running the no-name in the bass channel and the "USA" in the other right now, and use mostly the non-bass channel. I'm curious to see what the new tubes do, not because I'm disatisfied now, but because I've never had a tube amp and want to reap the benefits of being able to play with the tone.
     
  10. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member

    You mean the new ones, right? I just put a set in an old blackface Vibrolux. They sound great in that amp, which had old Mullards and RCAs in it previously. Haven't tried 'em in a bass rig yet though.
     
  11. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Yup.