Based on lots of internet suggestions (from this board and others) I decided to play around with V1 pre-amp tubes expecting to hear all the unique magic properties that have been described (Sparkle, gain, decrease in ice-pick, quiet, etc.) I did this in my MAZ Jr. and CARR Rambler. used a GT12ax7M, GT12ax7C, and an ElectroHarmonic 12ax7. I could not tell a bit of difference, they all sounded the same to me (good). I know I am not tone deaf, If there were a difference you would have to use an ocilliscope to tell, surely nothing that would be percieved in a live performance. Should I get my hearing checked???
Post by dixiechicken on Aug 21, 2007 2:28:21 GMT -7
No I think - what you're not hearing is quite correct.
The only thing we "normal" players can do to tweak our amps - is changing the tubes. ( well some of us have the time, know how gear etc to tweak & tinker with the innards of our amps )
So, when you expect a big change in sound by changing a set of tubes, you will in fact hear a big change - often anyway.
But if the various V1-tubes you were changing out met specs and everything else is green. The tubes then should work more or less at their designated points, so there should not really be a big change in sound.
( maybe different materials dimensions & geometry of the internal plates can make some tubes sound a little different - but I would say that in a truly blind test of this - not many people would hear a difference )
I'm NOT saying that there can't be a difference, BUT as always expectations play a major part of what you are experiencing - as in a case like this.
Agreed. It can be pretty subtle if you're comparing similar tubes. I notice that certain 12ax7's are a bit brighter than others, and there is certainly a difference in the noise level with some types of tubes.
From my experience (which isn't much compared to others on this board) I can't tell much difference between new production tubes either. However, when comparing NOS tubes to new production, I can tell a pretty noticeable difference between preamp tubes- even with my less experienced ear. It is cosiderably more expensive to experiment with multiple NOS tubes but thats the only time I can hear any difference. That said, imo, it's worth it. Myles has a very good explanation on his website as to why this is. If you interested, it's worth reading.
I think it's important to know what the typical character is of the tube your using and listen for that change in tone. It's a good way to train your ears. I've been doing it over the years and I can now hear the difference between and 12AX7C and a ECC83, new or old. I just listenend to 3 different EF86's in my Route 66 last night with all the control's dimed, it was an eye opener for sure! The differences are subtle with all of this, but 2-3 subtle changes in tubes can equal a noticable difference in the end when retubing an amp.
In your opinion wich EF86 do you like best in the Route-66? ( I'm still waiting for mine - so I'm curious ;D)
Dario, Mullard and GEC. First of all I liked them all and yes the differences were subtle. It's funny cause a while back I thought the Mullard was kinda bright sounding in my London but in the Route 66 it was the darkest of the 3. It also sounded best with my KoT, go figure. I thought it also had a touch more distortion than the other 2, but it could be that it's just THIS tube and isn't an accurate statement to say that the Mullard will have more gain. But, overall I like it the best in the 66. Especially since it looks like the Chinese output tubes are going to be the most available to most of us, and they are supposed to brighter than the HP's which are what I have in my 66. It's a good way to balance out the amp and darken it a touch if that's what ya want if and when Chinese tubes are all that's available. I'm running my amp with a Sovtek 12AX7LPS in the PI position as well, but I'm gonna try a GT 12AX7M in there in the next day or 2. And once again I agree with billyguitar, the differences in the Dario and GEC where VERY subtle, but I thought the Mullard stood out a bit more and suited me the best. JMO
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