Cheap NOS tube for V2 - 5E3

Discussion in 'The Squawk Box' started by ac/dcfan87, Sep 6, 2017.

  1. ac/dcfan87

    ac/dcfan87 Senior Member

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    im looking for a cheaper NOS 12AX7 for V2 in my 5E3. Another RCA 12AX7A I bought turned out to be bad, which is really frustrating bc this shit is expensive. I'm not gonna mention the vendor I bought it from because it's popular and I'll just get crap for it. Any suggestions on brand?

    Right now I am using a preferred series tubestore 7025 in V2 which actually sounds very good.
     
  2. sonar

    sonar Senior Member

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    Wish I could help, but I've had a bad run with NOS/Puller 9 pin pre's for the last year or so. New isn't much better.

    It's gotten to the point where I'm happy when, either old or new, tubes are not microphonic.
     
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  3. Axis39

    Axis39 Senior Member

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    If the 7025 sounds good, why not leave it alone? 7025's are just low noise 12ax7's, right?

    I've had decent luck grabbing old tubes on eBay. Not to share my secret, but I buy lots of them and sort through. I've ended up with a lot of 12at7's (and only one of my four amps has reverb....) and a few microphonic tubes, but I've ended up with a good pile of 12ax7s, 5751s and 7025s too.
     
  4. mdubya

    mdubya Senior Member

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    Rolling preamp tubes in my 2204; they all sounded slightly different, but none really stood out as better, even using iconic old tubes vs. new MIC.

    It made a bigger difference in my MIC Champion 600, funny enough. Still ended up with a new tube in it. The Champion sounds better with a fat warm preamp tube.
     
  5. ac/dcfan87

    ac/dcfan87 Senior Member

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    Switching from the EH 12AY7 to an RCA 6072 made a big difference. Doing some research on it- it seems that the EH 12AY7 has more gain than the old ones did and it behaves almost like a weak 12AX7. While it sounds OK, I found it made the amp a little too hot gain wise and it sounds a bit muffled and the bass frequency is indistinct.

    I also have some CP Tungsol 6V6GTs to compare to my RCA 6V6GTA. The Tungsols sound good. But what I found was that- it causes the amp to breakup way too early. It sends the amp into overdrive almost immediately that the amp begins producing sound (which is about 2.5 on the volume). For a low volume compression sound this could be good. These tubes also tended to fall apart at higher volumes and made the high frequencies strident sounding. Too much mushy mushy. But for solo line blues this could be a good tube because it gives up the goods right away.

    The RCA 6V6GTAs- a whole different story. Much cleaner, later breakup, clearer sound. Better note separation. Does not fall part at higher volumes like the CP Tungsol did. Just overall far superior. The amp sounds bigger. Night and day. Even the sustain is way better.

    I think in an amp like this tubes are important. It has so much gain and such a simple circuit than subtle tube changes make a drastic difference in the sound and feel of the amp. And it seems like among 12AY7s, no one makes them like the old design anymore.

    Currently I have all old RCA tubes + rectifier except in V2 where I have the preferred series 7025, which is a tube I really like.

    It would be nice to find a good cheap NOS tube to put in V2 but I may not need it.
     
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  6. ac/dcfan87

    ac/dcfan87 Senior Member

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    The guy who modded my amp suggested I try 5881 power tubes. But he says NOS 5881s are the only way to go. He says - tighter, different vibe and more mids. So once I scrounge up enough cash I'm gonna get a pair of those to try.
     

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