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Tung-Sol 12AX7 Tube

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The 12AX7 Tungsol has high gain, ultralow microphonics and superb linearity. The sound of this tube is full and musical....Click To Read More About This Product

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The 12AX7 Tungsol has high gain, ultralow microphonics and superb linearity. The sound of this tube is full and musical.


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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
Tung-Sol12AX7 Tube
 
4.5

(based on 113 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (85)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (13)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (8)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (3)

88%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Improves sound (39)
  • Good quality (38)
  • Functional (25)
  • Easy to use (22)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Concerts (16)
  • Practicing (14)
  • Back-up (12)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (36), Professional musician (17)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

MOST TRUSTED PRODUCTION PREAMP

It's tough to review vacuum tubes these days. AND sad to realize that there are precious few good American products out there.

Tung-Sol preamps are the 'go to' tubes of...Read complete review

It's tough to review vacuum tubes these days. AND sad to realize that there are precious few good American products out there.

Tung-Sol preamps are the 'go to' tubes of choice here at GREG GUITARS when customers are budget conscious. They perform well and are fairly musical as well. They will not stand up in a head to head competion with average to good NOS RCA tubes, but they will get the job done in all but the "cleanest" applications.

If you're serious about tube technology, our advice is read everything you can get your hands on, then test, test, test. Nothing is a better teacher than personal experience. We use 2 high end tube testers, then load them into a simple lower power amp and play them. You'll soon have your own opinions about Tung-sol and others. Don't simply spend your hard earned cash on Boutique, or NOS antiques. Test!

Start by comparing these with your Fender stock GT's or JJ's, then move onto the GE and RCA, then to Genelex NOS if yu can find them.

However, our own experience tells us that these new Tung-Sols are better than most of what comes stock in a great many production amps. They tend to have an adequate musicality without a piercing high frequency quality. In our experience they are best used in amps that are not involved in recording and amps that are not expected to sound great in a squeaky clean setting.

Bottom line...We use them in a lot of rebuild projects for customers on a budget. We do not get complaints.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Poor Quality, Poor Service

I bought eight tubes from MF... out of the four Tung-Sol 12AX7's I ordered, three of the four tested below 40/120, dead-out-of-the-box. Poor, poor, poor quality. When I...Read complete review

I bought eight tubes from MF... out of the four Tung-Sol 12AX7's I ordered, three of the four tested below 40/120, dead-out-of-the-box. Poor, poor, poor quality. When I called to return them, the woman who initially handled the call told me that 'tubes are not returnable if the box has been opened', which is not MF policy. Poor, poor, poor service. It's been seven days since MF confirmed receiving the return, and I still don't have my refund. Poor, poor, poor policy. I bought eight tubes from MF... and only ONE was usable. I also order a matched quartet of Tung-Sol 6L6's... one of the four arrived CRACKED, and the silver coating inside the tube was white, flakey, and burned off. I never used nor even tested this tube, so it was obvious the damage did not occur in shipping, but must have occurred while the set was being tested/matched. Poor, poor, poor.
I will NEVER, repeat NEVER order tubes from Musicians Friend ever again.

Reviewed by 113 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

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(13 of 16 customers found this review helpful)

 
1.0

Poor Quality, Poor Service

By Yes I Know What Im Talking About

from North Of Nowhere

About Me Professional Musician

Verified Buyer

Pros

    Cons

    • Dead Out Of The Box

    Best Uses

    • Return And Avoid

    Comments about Tung-Sol 12AX7 Tube:

    I bought eight tubes from MF... out of the four Tung-Sol 12AX7's I ordered, three of the four tested below 40/120, dead-out-of-the-box. Poor, poor, poor quality. When I called to return them, the woman who initially handled the call told me that 'tubes are not returnable if the box has been opened', which is not MF policy. Poor, poor, poor service. It's been seven days since MF confirmed receiving the return, and I still don't have my refund. Poor, poor, poor policy. I bought eight tubes from MF... and only ONE was usable. I also order a matched quartet of Tung-Sol 6L6's... one of the four arrived CRACKED, and the silver coating inside the tube was white, flakey, and burned off. I never used nor even tested this tube, so it was obvious the damage did not occur in shipping, but must have occurred while the set was being tested/matched. Poor, poor, poor.
    I will NEVER, repeat NEVER order tubes from Musicians Friend ever again.

    (10 of 11 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    MOST TRUSTED PRODUCTION PREAMP

    By DOC

    from Coastal N Carolina

    About Me Experienced

    See all my reviews

    Ask me a question

    Pros

    • Good Quality
    • Improves Sound

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Backup
      • Practicing

      Comments about Tung-Sol 12AX7 Tube:

      It's tough to review vacuum tubes these days. AND sad to realize that there are precious few good American products out there.

      Tung-Sol preamps are the 'go to' tubes of choice here at GREG GUITARS when customers are budget conscious. They perform well and are fairly musical as well. They will not stand up in a head to head competion with average to good NOS RCA tubes, but they will get the job done in all but the "cleanest" applications.

      If you're serious about tube technology, our advice is read everything you can get your hands on, then test, test, test. Nothing is a better teacher than personal experience. We use 2 high end tube testers, then load them into a simple lower power amp and play them. You'll soon have your own opinions about Tung-sol and others. Don't simply spend your hard earned cash on Boutique, or NOS antiques. Test!

      Start by comparing these with your Fender stock GT's or JJ's, then move onto the GE and RCA, then to Genelex NOS if yu can find them.

      However, our own experience tells us that these new Tung-Sols are better than most of what comes stock in a great many production amps. They tend to have an adequate musicality without a piercing high frequency quality. In our experience they are best used in amps that are not involved in recording and amps that are not expected to sound great in a squeaky clean setting.

      Bottom line...We use them in a lot of rebuild projects for customers on a budget. We do not get complaints.

      (10 of 10 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Gain and tone a'plenty

      By Skid

      from Central Florida

      About Me Experienced

      See all my reviews

      Ask me a question

      Comments about Tung-Sol 12AX7 Tube:

      If you're a NOS tube snob that does'nt mind spending ridiculous amounts of cash so you can say you have NOS tubes, you're gonna hate these. But if you're looking for an excellent current production preamp tube and want great tone and awesome gain, you can't go wrong with these. I play Hard rock, metal and "shred" style music.

      I have 4 of these Tung-Sol's in my Peavey 6505 plus (V1 and gain stages) replacing the JJ's that were in it and was immediately greeted with improved gain, punch and BIG tone. We all hear tone differently and to me, these are one of the best current production tubes out there if not THE best in this price range. I had gotten used to the tone and gain of the JJ's and did'nt realize how weak and anemic sounding they were. After I played the Tung-Sols for about a week, I put the JJ's back in just to satisy my curiosity and MAN are they weak. Keeping them for backup though because I'm waiting to see about the reliability of these Tung-Sols. I hope they last because the tone and gain RULES!

      I tried one in just the V1 and was happy with the improvement. After that, I put in 3 more in the gain stages and tone stack (my Phase inverter and effects loop tubes are balanced Pentas) and was blown away by them. But as the saying goes, to each his own.

      (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Tung Sol 12ax7

      By Matt_Krush

      from Saginaw MI

      See all my reviews

      Ask me a question

      Comments about Tung-Sol 12AX7 Tube:

      One of the best for distortion/gain stages
      Amp: B52 AT100...music: Speed Metal
      All the reviews from various sights give clean channel, or a blues tone review...which does nothing for us metal guys.
      I bought Tung-Sol, Electro Harmonix, Sovtek LPS, Sovtek WA & B, and compared them to some Chinese made tubes, including the factory Chinese that came in the amp from the factory.

      The Electro Harmonix produced the best warm, glassy tones..so it stays in the clean stage.
      The Tung Sol's produced the best distortion (saturation & crunch) and also seemed to have the most gain.

      I used had Tung Sol in all the preamp sockets (except the reverb driver) back in 2007...they lasted untill winter of 2011 at about 8hrs/week playing.

      I replaced them all with the Sovtek LPS and they sounded good, but the Sovtek LPS CAN NOT HANDLE THE HIGH VOLTAGES OF THE GAIN STAGES; they work fine for clean, overdrive and other applications, but burning up both gain stages in 6 months at 8hrs/week? other sites have reported similar results.

      the Chinese 12AX7's tested were branded by: Marshall, Peavy, TNT, and JJ, all of them to my ears, had less gain and sounded "fuzzy", compared to EH, SovtekLPS or the Tung Sol's.
      The standard Sovteks were ok, but were a little noisier (meaning the amp hum was noticeably louder). These will always make good back up tubes if ever needed, but they wont be my first preference.

      For preventative measures I also tried the JJ rectifier tube 5AR4....don't bother....the no-name Chinese one in my amp after 7 years still sounds "tighter". That tube is a turd.

      The power tubes (Sovtek 5881) were replaced with Electro-Harmonix 6L6 set about medium/cool bias. This didn't noticeably affect the tone of the amp; but the EH I chose are capable of handling the near 500 VDC this head produces, not that the 5881's couldn't.
      Held up pretty fair the first time...
      One of the Best Values...

      (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Tung Sol 12AX7

      By benderb9

      from St Petersburg,Florida

      See all my reviews

      Ask me a question

      Comments about Tung-Sol 12AX7 Tube:

      Excellent, non-microphonic preamp tube. Solid tone, lots of singing musical gain. Every amp I put them in just suddenly sounds better. I have put them into brand new amps and experienced a major change for the better in each amp I popped one into. Try one in your V1 tube spot and it'll open up your amp to a whole new tonal sounscape.
      The best of the new Russian made pre-amp tubes. The build is like the old GE/RCA tubes. They're as good as it gets other than NOS tubes (spell those excessive $$$).
      They must have a very specific build for the factory. I've bought a bunch of these for my various amps over the last year or so and each one is consistantly excellent. I don't even bother with any other 12AX7.
      You might spend more or less but because of the consistant quality in the Tung Sol's you might not get what you pay for. Excellent service life as well, these Tung Sol's deliver on the value in a tube.

      (5 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Freak'en AMAZING

      By Mike Yelenik

      from Pittsburgh PA area

      See all my reviews

      Comments about Tung-Sol 12AX7 Tube:

      Tube websites tell you DO NOT USE IN CATHODE FOLLOWER CIRCUITS. They are not kidding. Marshall owners, buy Sovteks or Mullard re-issues. From what I have read, the originals were the same way. Every amp I have used these tubes in sounded AMAZING. (In V1.) Your wasting your money in V2. PI should be a 12AT7, so don't waste your money there either. In V1, these things are worth their weight in gold. Also, don't stick these in V1 and bitch about losing headroom. These are high gain tubes (As in pre-amp distortion makers.) You want clean headroom, stick a JJ ECC82 in there and you'll have clean for days. Man, I can't say enough about the Tung-Sol. Run these in my Fender BJ, modded Epi VJ, modded V18, etc.
      Even after being dropped on a concrete floor, it did not fail. Nuf said.
      Are you kidding!

      (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Re-energized

      By MOONROCK

      from Miami Florida

      See all my reviews

      Comments about Tung-Sol 12AX7 Tube:

      I purchased 3 of these along with the Tung-sol 6L6 and did a total tube replacement in my PEAVEY VALVE KING 112. The Valve King was re-energized. The clean sound was vibrant and the overdrive had a nice punch to it , as well as the volume being restored to it's orignal wailing power. I experienced no hum or floor noise at all. In fact it was so quiet I thought the standby switch was on. The amp has never sounded better. A definate upgrade from the tubes that were on there before.

      (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      a new winner

      By tom-Ivs32

      from st louis mo

      Comments about Tung-Sol 12AX7 Tube:

      I recently bought sets of JJ's,ElectroHarmonix,Tungsol,and Sovtek 12ax7's(all new production) for comparison. The EH tubes were great in clarity and overall sound. The JJ's had a smooth,creamy overdrive that I love. But the Tungsol was on a different level than all of them. I was blown away by the rich, mellow, and....how else can you describe the sweetest tube tone ever? I've been stocking up on Tungsol tubes and everyone loves my sound.

      (4 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

       
      2.0

      Sounded good, fried fast

      By Stephens

      from Wilkes-Barre, PA

      About Me Experienced

      Pros

      • Improves Sound
      • Sounded Better Than Jj

      Cons

      • Short Life

      Best Uses

        Comments about Tung-Sol 12AX7 Tube:

        I replaced my JJ 12ax7 in the V1 position of my Peavey 3120 with this tube. It sounded great but the tube blew after about 5 hours of play. I could understand if I put it in a cathode follower stage or something, but for V1 it should not have done that. First and last time I buy Tung Sol.

        (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Nice Tube

        By wiregrass

        from Montgomery, AL

        About Me Experienced

        See all my reviews

        Ask me a question

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Good Quality
        • Improves Sound

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Backup

          Comments about Tung-Sol 12AX7 Tube:

          Got this because I heard that Peavey Classic 30's did well with one of these in preamp V1 position. The preamp had JJ's in 1 and 2 and a Ruby in V3. To me the JJ sounded better in V1, so I put this in V3 and noticed a pleasant change vs the Ruby. The Tung Sol seems more hi fi, with better bass and more extended highs. I realize that is subjective, but I'm happier with my clean sound and my amp settings.

          (4 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Nice preamp tube.

          By fishpotpete

          from St Louis, MO

          About Me Experienced

          See all my reviews

          Ask me a question

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Easy To Use
          • Functional
          • Good Quality
          • Improves Sound

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • In A Tube Amp

            Comments about Tung-Sol 12AX7 Tube:

            I've heard that these preamp tubes last about twice as long as the power tubes - I got about 500 hours out of my power tube before it started going out (making random noises). So that's about a year for my power tube - to make life easy, I change both the preamp and power tube at the same time. I use it in a VHT Special 6 (one preamp and one power tube), so for me changing the tubes once a year just before our church Christmas program is easy to keep track of.

            The sound of this brand was better (in my mind) than the stock tube. I did play with a 5157 preamp tube but it didn't give me enough clean head room. And the distortion the 5157 gave me wasn't the greatest either.

            (4 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

             
            2.0

            Over hyped.

            By Larry

            from SW Florida

            About Me Professional Musician

            See all my reviews

            Comments about Tung-Sol 12AX7 Tube:

            I put these in my '59 Bassman after hearing all the hype. I didn't notice a major difference in tone from the EH's I've been using for years, but they sounded good. I do a lot of festivals and other outdoor gigs where the 110v power supplied to our gear is sometimes less than clean. Pretty common for a gigging pro. After six months I had one working, one noisy as heck and one that was stone dead. Might just be my bad luck, but I've had better durability from Chinese tubes, and the Tung Sol's did not produce a noticeable improvement in sound over the EH's, which I've gone back to using.

            (4 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            12ax7 Vacuum Tube

            By TBrady

            from Long Island, NY

            About Me Professional Musician

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Affordable
            • Easy To Use
            • Functional
            • Good Quality

            Cons

            • Not Made By Us Labor

            Best Uses

            • Pre Amp Tube Fender Amp
            • Runs My Fender Guitar Amp

            Comments about Tung-Sol 12AX7 Tube:

            The 12ax7 is an affordable pre amp tube that I used to replace a burned out tube in my Fender Blues Jr. The amp sounds like new. I don't see a reason to use over priced, boutique tubes. If we are competent players we will sound good without the over priced stuff.

            (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Best 12AX7 Available !!

            By G.A.B

            from Dallas Texas

            See all my reviews

            Comments about Tung-Sol 12AX7 Tube:

            The last time I replaced the pre-amp tubes (12AX7) in my Ampeg SVT-3 Pro, I decided to try Tungsol. As good or better than NOS -and- a great value. I've been playing professionally for over 40 years -and- have used a "truck load" of tubes over the years.As far as I'm concerned,the Tungsol is as good as any pre-amp tube I've EVER used !!

            (3 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Solid performers

            By KirkL

            from Illinois

            About Me Experienced

            See all my reviews

            Ask me a question

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Good Quality
            • Improves Sound

            Cons

              Best Uses

                Comments about Tung-Sol 12AX7 Tube:

                These tubes replaced stock in a Fender Excelsior and an old Super Champ XD, together with Tung-sol 6V6GTs. What a difference! Warmth, smooth break-up, powerful yet clearly articulated bass notes, bell-like trebles, low noise and no pops. What more could you ask for?

                (3 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                1.0

                preamp tubes

                By Winston Kallendorf

                from Alabama

                Comments about Tung-Sol 12AX7 Tube:

                Over all, this is the best sounding tube for this price range. One complaint is the shipping, MF didn't take much into providing any padding for the GLASS tubes. The where just in a box, one of the tubes was actually out of its indiviual box rolling around in the shipping box. BOO! for MF. The tube still works fine but, they could have provided some bubble wrap or anything.
                Pretty nice cleans for the price.

                (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Good choice for 6505+?

                By MarkM

                from Sacramento

                About Me Professional Musician

                Pros

                • Good Quality
                • Improves Sound

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Concerts

                  Comments about Tung-Sol 12AX7 Tube:

                  Just ordered a couple of these along with JJEC83's for my Peavey 6505+. After much research (and debate) I was advised to put the Tung Sol 12ax7 in V1 and V6 and JJ83 in between. Anyone here try this? Thanks!

                  (2 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  Preamp tube review

                  By Capt Sac.

                  from West Virginia

                  About Me Professional Musician

                  Pros

                  • Easy To Use
                  • Functional
                  • Good Quality
                  • Improves Sound

                  Cons

                  • None

                  Best Uses

                  • Backup
                  • Concerts
                  • Practicing

                  Comments about Tung-Sol 12AX7 Tube:

                  They work well in my Marshall head.

                  (2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  Great upgrade

                  By Tj

                  from Seattle, wa

                  About Me Experienced

                  Pros

                  • Good Quality
                  • Improves Sound

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                      Comments about Tung-Sol 12AX7 Tube:

                      Swapped these in my new Hughes & Kettner tubmeister 36 and what a huge change. These are great. Much less noise and great tone. The amp sounded good but just not quite there but these did the trick. I swapped all 3. I would highly recommend these.

                      (2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      5.0

                      Good purchase

                      By rockerverb

                      from NJ

                      About Me Professional Musician

                      See all my reviews

                      Ask me a question

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Improves Sound

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                          Comments about Tung-Sol 12AX7 Tube:

                          I really like these tubes in my Orange Rockerverb 100 MkII. They have a little less gain than what came in the amp but is of no consequence because the amp still has an enormous amount of gain. I like the tone much better. It is less biting and much smoother.

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