Tube replacement suggestions for mic pre

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slowcentury
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Tube replacement suggestions for mic pre

Post by slowcentury » Sat Oct 15, 2011 5:54 pm

I have a TL Audio Ivory 5001 and I want to swap the preamp tube out, Any suggestions out there. I have been toying with the idea of buying some NOS Telefunkens but they are rather pricey.

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Post by AndyHutchinson » Sat Oct 15, 2011 8:24 pm

I was just reading the interview with Steve Hoffman on the main site wherein he talks about warming up some of his remasters by passing them through Telefunken 12ax7's. Out of curiosity, I looked at tubedepot.com, from which I've gotten tubes before. They have three NOS Tele 12ax7's...for $1,300 a piece. I swapped in some mullards into some "prosumer pre's," (I hate that word, but I'll use it anyway,) and it made a difference over the cheap no-name chinese tubes.

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Post by blungo2 » Sat Oct 15, 2011 8:44 pm

This probably doesn't help at all, but i have an altec tube pre clone. I've tried pretty much every kind of 7 tube in it, ax7s, at7s, etc. and finally settled on black plate at7s. For this particular pre (with miles and miles of gain) the ge at7s are so much smoother and clearer than anything else i've tried. Don't know how they'd be in any other pre though...

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Post by slowcentury » Sat Oct 15, 2011 9:11 pm

I was thinking about going at7 for a bit less break up. The pre has a ton of grit in its current tube configuration. I imagine a mullard at7 would sound a hell of a lot better than the sovtek it comes stock with.

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Post by Mudcloth » Sun Oct 16, 2011 12:01 am

My experience with swapping out 12AX7 tubes in my Altec 1566As was eye opening.
I thought the Ruby 12AX7 AC7 HG+ bested the reissue Tungsol 12AX7 and the reissue Mullard 12AX7. It just sounded more hi-fi, for lack of a better term. The highs were crisper and it sounded more transparent in general. I wasn't expecting that.
The Tungsol and Mullards sounded much better in my Fender tube amps, though.
Go figure.
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Post by KennyLusk » Sun Oct 16, 2011 7:00 am

Mudcloth wrote: The Tungsol and Mullards sounded much better in my Fender tube amps, though.
Go figure.
2 cents.

IME Mullards have a really nice "wooly" effect in the preamp section of an amp...Fender or Vox. I like them alot. Some people call them hi-fi, but I hear more of what I think of as hi-fi in tubes like RCA's and GE's. Smooth and uncolored. Brightness comes out from Philips tubes I've tried and it's always a very glowing brightness...sunny.
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Post by Brian » Thu Oct 20, 2011 7:19 am

I read a post somewhere else that the mullard was the only thing that sounded decent in these things, so, there you have it. They did a shoot out and they were right.
Harumph!

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Post by kslight » Thu Oct 20, 2011 9:52 am

Before plunking down the cash it might be worth your time to bring your pre to a tech and be there with him swapping tubes until you find the one you like best. Pay for the tube and his time but you might be satisfied knowing you got exactly what you wanted.

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Post by Rob Coates » Fri Oct 21, 2011 6:28 am

Teles will be brighter as a general rule. Mullards will give a smoother warmer sound. A really sweet preamp tube if you can find them is the Sylvania red label. These sound like mullards with a little more forward mid range. I've tried various RCAs as well. Most of the RCAs I've tried sounded boxy to me. The exception is the 5751 Command series. Very nice tube but slightly lower gain than the typical 12 AX7 and expensive.
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Post by teleharmonium » Mon Oct 24, 2011 10:11 am

AndyHutchinson wrote:I was just reading the interview with Steve Hoffman on the main site wherein he talks about warming up some of his remasters by passing them through Telefunken 12ax7's. Out of curiosity, I looked at tubedepot.com, from which I've gotten tubes before. They have three NOS Tele 12ax7's...for $1,300 a piece.
Those are Telefunken ECC803S, which are much, much scarcer than Tele ECC83.

I'm a fairly serious tube collector; for comparison I've got hundreds of old 12AX7 types, including a half dozen Mullard "10M" ECC83, which are considered rare and valuable; and I've never seen a Tele ECC803S in person.

NOS Tele ECC83 are typically $80-150. They're a nice, fairly flat response low noise tube. But there are lots of good clean sounding preamp tubes. The new production JJ/Tesla ECC803 is a pretty good substitute and they're $15.

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