A 12ax7 To Give Smoother Tone?

Discussion in 'Tonefreaks' started by Classicplayer, Jul 11, 2017.

  1. Classicplayer

    Classicplayer Senior Member

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    My tiny Orange Micro Dark gets a wide array of grainy tones, for sure and I'm liking it. Yet, there
    are occasions when I dial in some gain that's just north of the border from clean. With my guitar's volume controls, I can ride that area to a fine degree. It's at that point where I'm bordering between "clean" and gain that a "spikiness” can be heard. Is there a 12ax7 (the MD has just one tube) that can eliminate that aspect? Right now it has the stock JJ 12ax7s in place.


    Classicplayer
     
  2. Johnnyslim

    Johnnyslim Member

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    I would suggest a Telefunken AX7. There are varying viewpoints about Telefunkens with the diamond on the bottom of the glass. Some say the ribbed plates are better and some say the smooth plates are better. From my experience, I like the smooth plates better. Both should smooth out the treble some. I know they do in my JTM 45's. I have a few Telefunkens in boxes since I prefer vintage Mullard AX7's. Nothing like an old Mullard.
     
  3. cybermgk

    cybermgk Singin' the body lectric Premium Member V.I.P. Member

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    If NOS or old pull, Amperex, or many of the rebranded tubes made by Amperex (for Hammond for instance).

    If Current Prod, Mullard Reissue will be more rounded when distorting, but still has similar tone to JJs.
     
  4. BigM

    BigM Senior Member

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    5751. It's has a slightly lower Mu than a AX7. That should smooth things out a bit.

    M
     
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  5. cybermgk

    cybermgk Singin' the body lectric Premium Member V.I.P. Member

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    It will also change the gain structure and amount on that amp.
     
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  6. irocdave12

    irocdave12 Senior Member

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    Which JJ 12ax7 are you using? There are 3 variants made by them. If you're looking for an inexpensive tube then you could try the JJ 803s with gold pins. Definitely a smoother sounding tube than their short plate. They also make a mid gain medium size plate too. Otherwise +1 on the 5751 It will give you more clean room before distortion. The black plate Raytheon windmill getter is just about the best ever made. If you want a good tube NOS RCA, Mullard Amperex all make a great rock n roll tone. Telefunken will be more neutral and crisp. Amazing tubes but not often liked in guitar amps by many but may be just the ticket in the MD. Either way get some tubes and start rolling brother
     
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  7. Classicplayer

    Classicplayer Senior Member

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    I use the stock tubenin my MD, a JJ12ax7s
     
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  8. yamariv

    yamariv Senior Member

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    If you can afford a nice Old Stock Telefunken or Amperex these would do the trick. I have a few and they are definitely smooth. I find GE or Sylvania a little more gritty
     
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  9. Classicplayer

    Classicplayer Senior Member

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    What about the Preferred 12ax7? My reading of a few reviews shows some people are comparing it to the Telefunken. I had that in a Blackstar HT1 as the stock tube. As I remember it, the clean channel was smooth, but the gain channel's sound was a Metal tone even with the gain lowered.

    Classicplayer
     
  10. lung plunger

    lung plunger Senior Member

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    I could be wrong, but the HT1 may have opamps providing the gain/distortion on the gain channel. That's be the reason it's straight up break up.


     
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  11. Classicplayer

    Classicplayer Senior Member

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    The Metal tone for me in the HT-1 seemed more to do with the design of its gain channel. It reminded me of Mesa tone with the way the mids were handled in its design. I never got on with it. The clean channel, however, reminded me of a Fender Bassman sound of yore. At least, I could dial it in to "resemble" that tone. Very "thumpy" sounding......even with its 8" Blackbird speaker.

    Classicplayer
     
  12. northernguitarguy

    northernguitarguy SWeAT hOg

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    FWIW, I went through a rolling test to make my VOX as clean as possible. Out of a JJ, EH, Tungsol RI and a NOS Philips i65 'Rogers' branded tubes, the i65 is far and above the cleanest and smoothest sounding.
     
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  13. bulletproof

    bulletproof aka tarddoggy Premium Member V.I.P. Member

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    Just my 2 cents,however,give the ole EHX Gold pins a shot. Ive had a wonderful experience with them in my Traynor.
     
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  14. grayd8

    grayd8 Senior Member

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    The TAD 7025WA really cleaned up the harshness and fizziness in my DSL 40.
     
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  15. J-E-M

    J-E-M Member

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    I second this. Have one in my HT-5. Tried a JJ 12ax7 before the TAD - the JJ had lot's of gain, but it was too harsh and a bit mushy. The TAD, in comparison, is smoother, more focused.
     
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  16. grayd8

    grayd8 Senior Member

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    Plus you can crank the amp a bit more, I laso have one in my DRRI and I have to crank it to 5 or higher when jamming with a full band. Sounds great at that level.
     
  17. monitor2000

    monitor2000 Junior Member

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    I like using 12AY7s in my 5F1 Champ clone. Lower output but very rich full tone.
     
  18. Dilver

    Dilver Senior Member

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    I think a lot of us are saying the same thing: try an NOS or even used older tube. The JJ's are reliable and consistent, but not really musical to my ears. I went through a whole tube rolling period wth my Swart and old Supro 1616T. I like the old white or orange stamp Black or Grey plate RCA 12ax7s better than GE, Sylvania or Mullards. But that's me, my rig, my ears.
     
  19. tjdjr1

    tjdjr1 Member

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    in my 79 marshall master volume I found the Mullard reissue the smoothest and fullest between the JJ, RI tungsol, groove tube and an old RCA. I do like the sovtek for the PI tube.
     
  20. Matt_Krush

    Matt_Krush Senior Member

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    Sovtek LPS (or Mullard LP reissue if you like to spend an extra $5 for the same tube)
    JJ 803
     
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