Discuss the stuff that makes your ears bleed.

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BY Marshmallow
#739773
Hey all,

I don't know anything about valves. Thinking of changing my valves on my 5w amp to a new set, its running 2x12ax7 and 1x el34.

It's an amp with a clean platform with very little break up (through gain). Before I change anything, The tubes inside it are unbranded but if I were to change it and I want it to sound a little darker maybe? Just wanted to know if the different brands do really make the sound difference. If so any valve recommendation to make my amp sound darker? I'll be replacing everythine. I heard Jan-ge's 12ax7s are great. but where can I buy them?

See article below.
http://atoragon.blogspot.co.nz/2012/04/which-tubes-choose-for-your-guitar-amp.html
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BY jeremyb
#739775
Find the cheap chinese ones that go in stock amps, Ruby is one of the brands, but there are worse, very dark usually :)
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BY mrmofo
#739777
maybe a resister change in the front end might do the trick
BY Marshmallow
#739779
jeremyb wrote:Find the cheap chinese ones that go in stock amps, Ruby is one of the brands, but there are worse, very dark usually :)


I meant Dark but good quality and good sound ahaha. Should I just go with JJs? haha :lol:
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BY Aquila Rossa
#739780
Sometimes places like T.u.b.e Depot and Mojotone etc will carry NOS vintage valves like Jan-ge's 12ax7s but they are silly expensive for something that is hard to even notice. Current manufacture Russian and Chinese valves can be fine if they come from a supplier that tests and grades them and then only sells the good ones. Different valves of the same type can have slightly varying sonic character, but most important is the measurements when tested, i.e output, microphonics, balance etc
Last edited by Aquila Rossa on Thu May 18, 2017 2:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
BY Marshmallow
#739781
Aquila Rossa wrote:Sometimes places like T.u.b.e Depot and Mojotone etc will carry NOS vintage valves like Jan-ge's 12ax7s but they are silly expensive for something that is hard to even notice. Current manufacture Russian and Chinese valves can be fine if they come from a supplier that tests and grades them and then only sells the good ones. Different valves of the same type can have slightly varying sonic character, but most important is the measurements when tested.


:crazy: sorry what do you mean by measurements? haha :mrgreen:
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BY Aquila Rossa
#739783
Marshmallow wrote:
Aquila Rossa wrote:Sometimes places like T.u.b.e Depot and Mojotone etc will carry NOS vintage valves like Jan-ge's 12ax7s but they are silly expensive for something that is hard to even notice. Current manufacture Russian and Chinese valves can be fine if they come from a supplier that tests and grades them and then only sells the good ones. Different valves of the same type can have slightly varying sonic character, but most important is the measurements when tested.


:crazy: sorry what do you mean by measurements? haha :mrgreen:


Long story short is the seller will put them in a machine to test if the valve measures to blueprint specs. They grade out the bad ones. For modern valves i think this is far more important than brand. Tung Sol and JJ 12X7s are different in plate design and do sound a little different, but as new they also can stray quite far from spec and that will make a far bigger difference.

For example. I have a vintage Mullard 12AX7/ECC83 that is a perfect example in that it measures exactly as it is supposed to for output, balance and microphonics etc. I had a modern production Tung Sol that measured much the same. i really could not tell the difference when swapping them in a Marshall. On the other hand a valve with a 10% weaker output on one of the triodes was different sounding

Locally a guy called Ryan used to grade the valves he sold on trade me etc. Not sure who locally is doing it now.
Last edited by Aquila Rossa on Thu May 18, 2017 2:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
BY Marshmallow
#739785
Aquila Rossa wrote:
Marshmallow wrote:
Aquila Rossa wrote:Sometimes places like T.u.b.e Depot and Mojotone etc will carry NOS vintage valves like Jan-ge's 12ax7s but they are silly expensive for something that is hard to even notice. Current manufacture Russian and Chinese valves can be fine if they come from a supplier that tests and grades them and then only sells the good ones. Different valves of the same type can have slightly varying sonic character, but most important is the measurements when tested.


:crazy: sorry what do you mean by measurements? haha :mrgreen:


Long story short is the seller will put them in a machine to test if the valve measures to blueprint specs. They grade out the bad ones. For modern valves i think this is far more important than brand. Tung Sol and JJ 12X7s are different in plate design and do sound a little different, but as new they also can stray quite far from spec and that will make a far bigger difference.

Locally a guy called Ryan used to grade the valves he sold on trade me etc. Not sure who locally is doing it now.


I see, that's good to know! I'll ask around. maybe rockshop or music planet? worth a try. . .
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BY WellyBlues
#739786
I got JJ's from the forum's tonelounge matt via his http://www.tonelounge.co.nz website and they made a real difference to my 5w Fender Champion 600. Better clarity. worth asking Matt via the forum or his website.
BY Marshmallow
#739787
WellyBlues wrote:I got JJ's from the forum's tonelounge matt via his http://www.tonelounge.co.nz website and they made a real difference to my 5w Fender Champion 600. Better clarity. worth asking Matt via the forum or his website.


Nice will do it now!
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BY Mini Forklift Ⓥ
#739790
If you ever want a little less gain sometimes it's worth swapping out the 12AX7 for a 12AT7, you can usually pick a JJ 12AT7 up from a music store for around $30. I always chuck one into V1. Can't say I notice a huge amount of difference but I do prefer the characteristics of that particular valve.
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BY Dharmajester
#739893
Tubes branded Ruby or GT ( groove tubes ) have been put through a selection process already. They are a selection of different brands JBJ, Eh, etc that have been tested and then relabelled. Doug's Tubes from the US stock Ruby. TAD (tube amp doctor) in Germany also have their own select tubes. These are all a safer bet than the standard tubes. TubeDepot will test your tubes for you but with an additional charge for each test.
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BY sizzlingbadger
#739898
I get my tubes from the tubestore.com never had any issues. The Chinese tubes are usually pretty good, strong gain and fairly bright. I would put a JJ ECC83 in there to darken it a bit.
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BY Dharmajester
#739926
Just pointing out that the forums spell swap mechanism has substituted valve wherever I've used Tyoube ( sans yo ) above which makes tracking down the retailers with aforesaid word in their name confusing :(