#1
would it hurt the amp to change a 12ax7 ( ecc83)for a 12au7 ( ecc82 )( 19% of the gain ) 12ay7 ( 41 % )

????
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#2
You usually lose drive aswell as volume when you replace a 12AX7 with lower gain tubes
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#3
I have a Mesa Boogie Subway Rocket which I replaced all the 12ax7 with 12au7, it's much quieter (so quiet in fact that I may have to switch back). However, it sounds beautiful in my opinion, much less aggressive than before, which suits me.

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#4
Au7 and AY7 both have less gain, so it'll be mellower. Unless you want metal, you can probably conpensate by just turning the gain up higher.

Another option is a 12AT7, but those can sound like crap when overdriven (too much grid current), so I recommend against that unless it's either going into the LTPI slot or you mod the amp to account for the grid current.

Another option yet (and my personal favorite) is a 12AV7, which is probably in the realm of a 12AY7 or 12AT7 for gain (I can't recall ofhand, just know that it's more than a 12AU7). It draws 350mA of heater current instead of 300mA, but I doubt they speced the power transformer close enough that the extra 50 or 100mA would make a difference.

...if you do try 12AV7s and your PT blows up, I warned you though...
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#5
I like using the 12AU7 in the phase inverter tube slot so I don't get crossover distortion. You will have no problem using those. Just less gain and therefore less distortion.
#6
I replaced the ax7 in one of my pedals with a au7 and i didn't hear any less "distortion" but it's quieter and the highs are smoother and the bass is tighter.

ott, im no help.