#1
So now with me owning a tube amp, I need to get some spare tubes to have on hand. As I am shopping, I see different types of the same tube. For example, a 12ax7 groove tubes Russian, or a 12ax7 groove tubes warm tone Chinese.

Is there a real big tonal difference between them? Will it change my tone much if I didn't get the same tubes that are already in there? Is there even a way to tell which tubes are there?

I have a Traynor Ironhorse dh40. Uses one 12au7, two 12aux7, and two EL34.
#2
Groove tubes are just rebranded tubes.

tubes will slightly color the tone, but it is not a real dramatic effect normally.
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#3
They absolutely make a difference although in the end I've always felt power tubes have more of an effect than pre (and tbf it isnt a huge change). That being said I have a completely different set of pre's in my Renegade than came with it because they'really a lot less harsh feeling.

IIRC V1 is the important one in the pre.
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#5
I had new power tubes put in my Marshall earlier this year, went for the new Tung Sol 6L6s, definitely made an audible difference. Less warm, but more bite
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#6
I'm not impressed by any modern Russian tubes with the possible exception of the Sovtek 12AX7LPS. The Chinese ones prior to gen 9 were garbage too.
JJ are making the best tubes these days, now that SED is dead.
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#7
Ok thanks! So where do you guys get your tubes? Or would it be cheaper for me to get a local shop to order some in. The locals are all small businesses so they may not carry in stock.
#8
Online is normally the best place to go. Check out Tube Depot, Doug's Tubes, the Valve Queen and Eurotubes. Or if you want some good and cheap NOS tubes got to TC Tubes.
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
generally dougs, tube depot or this place

https://www.tubesandmore.com

hard to go wrong with JJs for any reason, but why not backup. true, i generally upgrade my preamp tubes meaning i have the stock backups, but in the course of my tinkering, i generally wind up with some JJs and some new tung sols on hand i find to be the best these days.

i generally prefer a 5751 tube in v1 (limited brands) and at times, a 12AT7 in the last spot (decent selection but still limited) and then JJs in the rest or a Tung Sol when i need a more edgy, glassy, clear, brighter tone

so yeah i end up with a few random tubes on hand. ive been wondering about mullard recently. big name in tubes and i havent tried em.
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#10
Mullard was a big name when Phillips made them in the UK. They're just another Sovtek nowadays since New Sensor bought the name.
The originals were a great tube, the Russian ones, not so much.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
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Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
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Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
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