Ei 12AX7 Tube Review
This tube should win an award for best and worst in class. The first one I tried squealed in the combo amp and produced a ringing sound in the half-stack. The second one I tried was fantastic. There were no microphonics problems with this second tube. The scores for microphonics (2 and 4) are for each individual tube that was tested. A few phone calls to another tech confirmed my suspicion: there is a high failure rate when initially screening these tubes for microphonics. The ones that do pass testing are wonderful; they are very musical sounding with lots of gain and a very low noise floor. When playing the guitar you could really get the benefit of their dynamic range. They can reproduce soft passages accentuated with a sharp punch and you don't have to go near the volume controls. I'm keeping the test tube for some long term testing. These would be great tubes for home audio applications. Due to the microphonics problem, I'm unsure as to their roadworthiness. At home or in the studio, they will deliver great results. The only caveats are; make sure they are carefully screened and don't think about using them in high gain combo's unless they are tested in a similar amp first.
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Filed under: ECC83/12Ax7 Review
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