Recommendations for super high gain preamp tube

Discussion in 'The Workbench' started by Kris Ford, Jan 5, 2015.

  1. Kris Ford

    Kris Ford Well-Known Member

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    What is my best option tube wise (and which spot, as in V1, V2 or V3) to eeekk the most amount of gain out of my '78 2203? Links are super helpful.:D It's the UK version (2 speaker outs vs. the 4 outs that the US versions had) that runs EL34s.
    It's running older EHX tubes at the moment.
    Any thoughts would be appreciated!:hbang:
     
  2. keennay

    keennay Well-Known Member

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    V1 is the start of your chain, so that's where you'd want your highest gain preamp tube. I'd recommend a Ruby 12AX7AC5 HG or Amperex 12AX7 if you wanna go older.
     
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  3. Micky

    Micky Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    You should run that Ruby in all three positions for maximum gain...
     
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  4. Joshabr1

    Joshabr1 Well-Known Member

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    Amperex BBs as stated above. Can't beat em.
     
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  5. Georgiatec

    Georgiatec Well-Known Member VIP Member

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  6. Kris Ford

    Kris Ford Well-Known Member

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    That chart is amazing! Pretty handy reference.:yesway: I bookmarked it, thank you!
    I'd LOVE to go NOS/vintage, but seems the reissue Mullard is pretty damn gainy..and price is right...


    I swore to myself I wouldn't go down the tube rabbit hole...looks like I'm slipping away LOL..:naughty:
    My problem is that I'll always second guess myself..which is why I went with the EHX, which according to the chart are a 7 out of 10 for gain, so not too bad, and have a nice hard rock sound in this amp, but I want to peel paint off the side of a barn..:hbang:...so in this instance, I'd probably go with the Mullard reissue, as it is 10 of 10.

    Guess there's only one way to find out...
     
  7. yladrd61

    yladrd61 Well-Known Member

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    Can't go wrong with an Amperex, I ran about 20 different NOS and CP 12AX7s in my 1980 2203 and the Amperex sounds the best in V1.
     
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  8. clevohardcore

    clevohardcore Active Member

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  9. plexilespaul

    plexilespaul Well-Known Member

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    slightly off...i recieved an old mullard ecc83 which i put on v1 and v3 and resulted in very low gain as opposed to other tubes old and new. is that naturall to the old mullards? no noise and works perfect though...what you think?
     
  10. keennay

    keennay Well-Known Member

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    That was my experience with Mullard I63's.
     
  11. yladrd61

    yladrd61 Well-Known Member

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    I have not found the Mullard I63 to be "very" low gain, maybe less gain than some others. Which I think actually sounds better in this Circuit especially at higher Pre Amp Volume Settings. I ended up going with the Amperex over an I61 but not by much.
     
  12. Joshabr1

    Joshabr1 Well-Known Member

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    Mullard 161 or 163 are not low gain tubes. They have great gain. I guess everybody has there own idea of gain But with my superbass cranked any 161/3 mullard I have ever tried had as much gain as any other NOS 12ax7. Which is plenty. If we are talking metal amounts of gain you ain't getting that from any 12ax7. That's coming from the circuit. Put in a old nos tube and your ears will praise your ass for it!!!
     
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  13. pittbull

    pittbull Well-Known Member

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    If you go with new production the JJ ECC83S(12ax7) is the highest gain out of all the new production pre amp tubes.
     
  14. danman

    danman Active Member

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    As with any tube, new or old, its transconductance can vary quite a bit from one tube to another and still be within spec. I have some NOS Mullards that test down around the lower end of the acceptable range and others that test quite high. Without testing it's hard to say if a tube is high gain or not. If buying CP tubes you should be able to ask the dealer to give you one that does test at the higher end.
     
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  15. yladrd61

    yladrd61 Well-Known Member

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    I have actually found that Chinese Shuguangs, and Russian RI, Tung Sol, and RI Mullard tubes to have more gain than the JJ ECC83 which is actually a much darker sounding tube than most CP tubes.
     
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  16. 92LX

    92LX New Member

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    I have gotten a JJ ECC83 from Eurotubes that was 120/120 and another that was 115/120 but I called and ask for the highest gain tubes he had. I also use and Mullard reissues and they have been as hot as 110/110 and again I called Tube Depot and ask for them that hot. But the JJs are the hottest I have ever seen
     
  17. 92LX

    92LX New Member

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    And yes I did notice more gain with tubes that hot
     
  18. Dannyz

    Dannyz Active Member

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    Quick question (slight offtopic)... if you have 2x Ruby´s 12AX7AC5 HG and 1x Tungsol 12ax7 CP, what would be the best order/combination for V1-V2-V3 for these tubes?
     
  19. plexilespaul

    plexilespaul Well-Known Member

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    go trial and error . practiclly it comes down to what sounds best to your ears and your set up.
     
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  20. RiverRatt

    RiverRatt Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    Try a NOS 12BZ7 in V1. They are cheap and you won't find a higher-gain tube.
     

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