Recommendations for super high gain preamp tube

Kris Ford

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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:
 

keennay

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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.
 

Kris Ford

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According to this the New Sensor Mullard has the highest gain of the CP tubes in this test. I can vouch for the findings, but they can be microphonic in some amps when used in v1.

https://www.tubesandmore.com/tech_corner/12ax7_comparison_of_current_made_tubes

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...
 

plexilespaul

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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?
 

keennay

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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?

That was my experience with Mullard I63's.
 

yladrd61

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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.
 

Joshabr1

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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!!!
 

pittbull

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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.
 

danman

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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.
 

yladrd61

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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.

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.
 

92LX

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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
 

92LX

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And yes I did notice more gain with tubes that hot
 

Dannyz

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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?
 

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