The pre-amp tube thread

Discussion in 'Gear & Equipment' started by odibrom, Feb 10, 2020.

  1. oneblackened

    oneblackened Tube Amp Dork

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    I've heard of the Sovtek WA's failing in CF stages too, fwiw - as such, don't recommend using them ever.
     
  2. odibrom

    odibrom .

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    So... went back to my storage shelf and to my Triaxis back side. Original tubes in it were 3x Sovtek 7025/12AX7WB and 2 JJECC83S. It now has 5x JJ ECC83S and not what I previously said.

    Surfing the Grail Tone forum I found a few threads about retubing a Triaxis... There's no Phase Inverter tube, to my understanding.
    • V1 is the input tube for the LD1 exclusively.
    • V2 is the input for ALL other modes (Rhythm included and LD2)
    • V3 is LEAD and Rhythm Mixer (part "A" of the tube works before EQ and part "B" after EQ, as I understand it)
    • V4 is LD2 (drive/gain?)
    • V5 is FX Return.
    I've read that people are using lower gain tubes for V3 and V5...

    So, what do I feel? When changing the Sovteks for the JJs, I felt that it got a more open sound, specially on LD1 modes, which I found initially to be unsusable. Now, LD1 Green and Yellow are more organic but still lack some juice and are still underwhelming. LD1 Red is still pretty useless, I think I have the recto mode version.

    I've changed pickups since then, I was using DiMarzio's and am now using custom made medium/high output Alnico loaded pickups which drive the amp to distortion a little later. I gained headroom, being able to get cleaner tones with higher gain (not drive) settings on the amp (meaning more natural tube compression, which I appreciate a lot for the work I'm doing...). I also lost a bit of edge at the other side of the spectrum, I think, and sometimes it feels like I'm really missing that edge, mostly when I'm using my 112 cabs, not the headphones nor at the rehearsal studio (where I use 2x 412s)...

    I was thinking that maybe I could only raise the gain for the V1, 2 and 4 tubes...? Suggestions?
     
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  3. odibrom

    odibrom .

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    ... ah, back again... (so soon you may ask, lol)

    Well, looks like the Phase Inverter tube is at the power amp section... in a regular Head, it makes sense in the equation, in a rack pre-amp, probably not so much.

    Nevertheless, I kind of narrowed to the following tubes and am asking for your knowledge/comparison with the JJ ECC83S which are in place at the moment.
    1. JJ ECC832/12DW7 - https://www.thomann.de/pt/tad_jj_ecc832_12dw7_tube.htm
    2. TAD RT008 Tube ECC83 WA - https://www.thomann.de/pt/tad_rt008_roehre_ecc83_wa.htm
    3. Tung-Sol 12AX7/ECC83 - https://www.thomann.de/pt/tung_sol_12ax7_ecc83.htm
    By their description, I feel they're hotter than my actual JJ ECC83S - https://www.thomann.de/pt/jj_nn003_roehre_ecc83s.htm, but Thomann's description lack lots of useful info, like the tubes expected Gain level or a graphic EQ curve or something like it. They rely only on their ability to describe tones with words, which sucks big time for sometimes they are really poets and other times they don't say shit.

    Guess I'll just have to head back to my stuff and play the shit out of it to try to learn something...
     
  4. KailM

    KailM SS.org Regular

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    While we’re on the subject of tubes, I’ve always just rolled V1 and the PI tube, and finally settled on the JJ 5751 for both, as I mentioned earlier, and just leave standard JJ 12ax7s everywhere else.

    However, I’ve got quite a collection of other tubes that I certainly like better than standard JJs in V1. Am I a fool for not putting them in V2, V3, V4, etc.?
     
  5. c7spheres

    c7spheres GuitArtist

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    - I don't know if you're a fool like you're asking, but if you like a better tube in a certain position and can use it there and have the tube then why not use it? Isn't the goal to make the best tone you can to your liking?
    - I could see using stuff you don't like as much because of lower costs or rarity of the tubes, and only using your favorite stuff for things like recording or special shows etc.. THen you can use the lower cost easier to obtain tings for practicing and rehearsals etc. I use to do that with my power amp and only put my Winged C's in on special occasions and the rest of the time used JJ's. Then after I got more Winged C's I started using them all the time. Now I'm thinking of going back to the JJ's or Mullards and doing the same thing again because Winged-C EL34's are getting really expensive and hard to find from reputable sources since they are no longer made.
     
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  6. odibrom

    odibrom .

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    I've asked this before, but eventually not this specific. I have my Triaxis loaded with JJ ECC83S tubes and I am feeling them a little short in gain, I'd like them to drive a little more (reason why this thread was born). I'll be buying from www.thomann.de, so that's my available window. From what they have to offer, I selected the following options:
    How would you rate this against the ones installed? Thanks.
     
  7. c7spheres

    c7spheres GuitArtist

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    I don't know about al lthose tubes, but I do know a Chinese 12ax7-a or 12ax7-b will give you a lot of gain. I use the-a's and I understand b's might have even more gain. The a's I use can do anything you want for high gain metal stuff.
     
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  8. r33per

    r33per SS.org Regular

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    I dabbled a bit in tube rolling on my Triaxis and pretty much settled on stock Mesa in V1,2,5, a Philips 5751 in V3 and EH 12AX7WA in V4.

    In the past I've used a Mullard CV4002 in V2 (thanks Grailtone!) and it really sweetened the cleans and LD1s, but resulted in losing too much in LD2. That's where I live most of the time, so I went back to the Mesa 12AX7 in V2.

    V3 is the driver for the Dynamic Voice. I don't use it (EQ pedal in the loop), but I've liked the lower output 5751 in there anyways.

    When I last did this i was straight into the amp with rack-based effects. These days I'm pedals only so I might try this again but use some OD/Boost as well for the gain stacking.

    My 2:90 has the stock Mesa 12AX7s in all positions.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2020
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  9. wakjob

    wakjob SS.org Regular

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    ^
    ALL of this.

    After years of collecting & rolling, this is exactly where I'm at...to a 'T'.
     
  10. Seabeast2000

    Seabeast2000 lifetime novice Contributor

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    so I found some old 12AX7's in my Box of Shit. New Old actually, bought EH in '99 or 2000. I see they have numbers hand written. Is this the gain or the mu for each side? Some are quite unmatched if so.

    upload_2020-2-29_20-40-30.png
     
  11. Seabeast2000

    Seabeast2000 lifetime novice Contributor

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    I just threw a chef 's blend of preamp tubes in the schecter . Had clear lead channel failure. Two mystery tungsram, a jj and the 4th already forgot. Sounds good.
     
  12. sharedEQ

    sharedEQ SS.org Regular

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    I've swapped alot of preamp tubes.

    It's mostly bunk, for a few reasons.

    Generally hotter tubes are also brighter. And tend to be more hi fi.

    All tube swaps I've done, I always prefer hotter and brighter tubes.

    Grove tubes measures and grades preamp tubes. The ecc83s are the hottest, brightest common tubes available. These ubes are also relatively quiet. Buy these, forget the rest.

    Any tonal differences in tubes are completely overwhelmed by changes to eq knobs.

    If you need more gain from an amp, an sd1 or any boost is more effective.

    Its the least important thing in the signal chain.
     
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  13. odibrom

    odibrom .

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    @sharedEQ
    Yes, I understand. However, when money is short, swapping tubes may be the cheapest option available. Justa as a note, I got 3 Tung-Sol tubes For the V1, V2 and V4 of my Triaxis, leaving JJs ECC83S in the V3 and V5 sockets. I think I did get a gain boost there, but haven't made any A/B test, just plugged them in and ride on. So far I'm liking the results...
     
  14. Seabeast2000

    Seabeast2000 lifetime novice Contributor

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    So reading around a little wanting to know how many actual factories make tubes these days.
    This guy says a lot, but really? I figured the factory count was 1-2 in Russia and China each and JJ in Slovakia.

    https://www.thetubestore.com/tube-brands
     
  15. oneblackened

    oneblackened Tube Amp Dork

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    At the moment: 1 in Russia (Xpo-Pul/Reflektor/New Sensor, makes Sovtek/EHX/Mullard/TungSol/Gold Lion/Svetlana), 2 or 3 in China (Shuguang, Psvane/Guiguang, Tianjin Quanzhen/TJ FullMusic), 1 in Slovakia (JJ).
     
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  16. USMarine75

    USMarine75 The man who is tired of the anus is tired of life Contributor

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    I have a Victory RK50C that will need new tubes. It has V1, V2, V3 preamp tubes and uses either EL34 or 6L6 power tubes.

    Anyone try the Russian Genalex Gold Lion 12AX7 in V1/V2?

    I was thinking Sovtek 12AX7LPS for the PI.

    And I was going to try the Genalex KT77 power tubes. I've read they get slightly more bass and have more character at lower volumes, which typical EL34s lack. Otherwise, I also bought some Tungsol EL34B to copmpare.

    Thoughts?
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2020
  17. oneblackened

    oneblackened Tube Amp Dork

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    The Gold Lion gold pin is the same as the 12AX7LPS or at least nearly so.

    The KT77 is a nice tube - fairly bright. The JJ KT77 is quite nice too, and is more even.
     
  18. Emperoff

    Emperoff Hasta la vista, Baby Contributor

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    Hi guys, need some assistance. I'm in the hunt of "slimmer" preamp tubes. I've noticed the hard way they're not all the same size, and my rack preamp has a damn relay literally touching a tube. It won't allow bigger tubes to fit properly.

    The difference is small, but critical in this case. Left is stock Siemens tube, Right is a JJ ECC81S which is thicker. Is it a NOS thing?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I managed to swap the stock tube with another of the same dimensions that was inside a pedal I bought a while ago, but the tube has no printing anywhere so I don't know what to look for. Any clues?
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2020

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