#1
Hi all,

I recently picked up a Peavey Bravo for $160, and it looks to have the original tubes still in it (three Peavey "Super 7" 12ax7's, two unmarked EL84's). Since the tubes have to be about 20 years old, I want to get ready for when the time comes to re-tube (which is really, really easy on the Bravo). Any suggestions?

What I like about my amp already:
Chimey cleans; jangly tones at low gain
Saturation at the power amp stage

What I want to change:
More preamp gain than I need
Higher gain settings too fizzy

I find that I love the sound I get with pre-amp gain at 4 out of 10; much higher than that, though, and things kind of fizz out. The gain boost switch mode is basically unusable for me. I'd like a bit less preamp gain so that I could open up some more intermediate stages between minimum gain and the highest gain that I like; however, I don't want to sacrifice too much volume.

Ideas?
#2
Hey,

If you are in the US then I would ask for recommendations from:

www.dougstubes.com
www.thevalvequeen.com
www.tubesandmore.com
www.tubedepot.com

Normally, I would suggest JJ's but with what you are looking for you may want something a bit brighter. JJ's are known to be fairly dark (rounded might be a better way to say it). I'd look at getting a Tung Sol 12AT7, and then maybe a Penta Labs 9th Gen (Shuguang) 12AX7 and maybe even a JAN Phillips 5751. I used this tube in both the V1 slot as well as the PI (last) preamp slot. If you can afford one, get one. I have direct experience with all of these. I've also had good results lately with the Groove Tube 12AX7.

12AT7s will have a bit less gain (70%) than a 12AX7 so def get try one of those. 12AY7s have even less gain but I have no direct experience with these as I like high gain.

As far a power tubes go - again, normally I would recommend JJ's but they had a run of poor quality EL84s not too long back. Not sure how they fair now. You won't notice much tonal differences in power tube brands so getting a quality brand is probably the key for you. I'd look at SEDs, Ruby, Tung Sol, JJ and Mullard for power.

Good luck,

PS: Also get some Dioxit contact cleaner spray. It comes is a small spray can. Spray some on the tube pins and then work the tube in and out of the socket to clean the socket up and provide a good electrical connection.
#3
The JJ EL84s just KILL in those amps! The excess gain thing cab be a problem. Just have to keep the gain lower. I know it makes it hard to get three good settings on the amp, but the way those amps sound when fully CRANKED makes you forget the problem.

I'm trying to remember what I finally settled on for the preamp in mine, but I think I had JJs all the way across.
#4
Old RCA's? I just went by a storefront and saw at least a dozen Mullard 12ax7's. F**kin' sweet! If their open on Saturdays I'm getting one ASAP.
Fender Mustang/Derfenstein DST> Boss Power Wah> Pedal Monsters Klone> Bogner Uberschall> Walrus Audio Janus> Randall RM20> Line 6 M9> Randall RM20
#5
Which GT, 311? Give me the full code.

My rec would be JJ everywhere but V1. In V1 stick a NOS tube in there. If you are in the US find a Phillips, RCA or GE (in that order of preference). RCA's would be probably the best choice as far as value for money goes. They are almost as good as Phillips but normally cost a bit less.

If you want to spend the money find a British Mullard or a Dutch Amperex/Bugle Boy.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#7
Yeah, they're Shuguangs.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#9
Those 9th gen Shugs aren't a bad tube.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band