What preamp tubes do you favor for replacements??

Area for the Synergy line of amps and modules
Post Reply
Module
RM20
Posts: 18
Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2020 1:32 am

What preamp tubes do you favor for replacements??

Post by Module » Wed Dec 30, 2020 1:54 am

I'm looking at using Genelex Gold Lion (Gold Pin) 12AX7/ECC83's or Mesa SPAX7 special 12AX7 for better quality tubes, any notions on anyone using these or thoughts? Are the stock tubes just fine to leave in till they need replaced?
Module

gibsonash
RM20
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Nov 25, 2020 12:15 pm

Re: What preamp tubes do you favor for replacements??

Post by gibsonash » Wed Dec 30, 2020 1:48 pm

Some interest too !

Mike P
Lynch Box
Posts: 1062
Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2009 11:43 pm

Re: What preamp tubes do you favor for replacements??

Post by Mike P » Wed Dec 30, 2020 3:56 pm

I've been using ARS tubes since 2010 because Trace Davis and Dave Friedman recommended them to me personally and they use them in their amps. I've found that for me, they deliver the guitar tone that I want to hear, whereas Ruby, EH and JJ's have too much of a lower mids bump for my taste.

Since they're stock in all of the Synergy modules, I'm happy that I didn't need to replace them. :D
www.mikeplas.com
Jaded Faith: Vybe Deluxe
Sacred Groove: Rectifier
Synergy: SYN-2(4)|Bogner Ecstasy|Diezel VH4|ENGL Savage|Friedman HBE|Metro Plex|Plexi|Soldano SLO
Synergy Amps Artist: http://synergyamps.com/artists

Module
RM20
Posts: 18
Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2020 1:32 am

Re: What preamp tubes do you favor for replacements??

Post by Module » Wed Dec 30, 2020 8:07 pm

Nice so they come with high quality tubes, perfect. I should have guessed the designers would use the best available. I just got my first two modules modules and the dual dock which is waiting shipment from Synergy to Sweetwater hope they don't take too long. Can't wait to get this new Synergy rig up and running, what a great system. 2021 is looking to be a great year, my best guitar rig of all time!!
Module

Stillclimbing
RM20
Posts: 15
Joined: Sat Jun 27, 2020 7:22 am
Location: MO

Re: What preamp tubes do you favor for replacements??

Post by Stillclimbing » Sat Feb 13, 2021 5:21 pm

ARS doesn’t make their own tubes though do they? Aren’t they just JJs?
New to this MTS thing… what have I gotten myself into?

Synergy Syn-2 with SLO, Vai, Deliverance, Pittbull & Hilligan Scorch!

Mike P
Lynch Box
Posts: 1062
Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2009 11:43 pm

Re: What preamp tubes do you favor for replacements??

Post by Mike P » Sat Feb 13, 2021 6:32 pm

Stillclimbing wrote:
Sat Feb 13, 2021 5:21 pm
ARS doesn’t make their own tubes though do they? Aren’t they just JJs?
No, ARS tubes are not JJ's and they sound completely different than JJ's. They're Chinese made tubes made to ARS specs.
www.mikeplas.com
Jaded Faith: Vybe Deluxe
Sacred Groove: Rectifier
Synergy: SYN-2(4)|Bogner Ecstasy|Diezel VH4|ENGL Savage|Friedman HBE|Metro Plex|Plexi|Soldano SLO
Synergy Amps Artist: http://synergyamps.com/artists

lebobl
RM50
Posts: 95
Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2019 1:57 am
Location: St. Louis, Missouri

Re: What preamp tubes do you favor for replacements??

Post by lebobl » Wed Mar 03, 2021 12:25 am

That's only partially correct. ARS relabels both JJ and Chinese tubes. Every Synergy module I've bought has a JJ in V1 and a China in V2. Look closely at the fine print.
SYN2
Randall RT2/50
Mesa 2x12 Recto Cabinet w/ Celestion V30s
Modules: Jaded Faith VX30/EV Trilogy/XTC, Salvation Loneclean/Selma, Synergy SLO/BBBE

Mike P
Lynch Box
Posts: 1062
Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2009 11:43 pm

Re: What preamp tubes do you favor for replacements??

Post by Mike P » Wed Mar 03, 2021 11:17 am

lebobl wrote:
Wed Mar 03, 2021 12:25 am
That's only partially correct. ARS relabels both JJ and Chinese tubes. Every Synergy module I've bought has a JJ in V1 and a China in V2. Look closely at the fine print.
This must be a recent change because as a customer of theirs for more than 25 years, I was told directly that they do not rebrand JJ tubes as their own. I'll ask next time I'm at their shop.
www.mikeplas.com
Jaded Faith: Vybe Deluxe
Sacred Groove: Rectifier
Synergy: SYN-2(4)|Bogner Ecstasy|Diezel VH4|ENGL Savage|Friedman HBE|Metro Plex|Plexi|Soldano SLO
Synergy Amps Artist: http://synergyamps.com/artists

Elric
RM20
Posts: 17
Joined: Sun Feb 16, 2020 3:07 pm

Re: What preamp tubes do you favor for replacements??

Post by Elric » Thu Mar 11, 2021 9:18 pm

Take a look at the tubes like the other poster said. ARS rebrands/labels tubes. They will say “China’ or “JJ/Tesla” on them, literally. Not many places manufacture tubes so they rebrand them like groove tubes, mesa, and probably some others. I don’t know if their selection or grading process improves things, I would assume it offers some value or I doubt folks like BAD/Synergy would bother.

Mike P
Lynch Box
Posts: 1062
Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2009 11:43 pm

Re: What preamp tubes do you favor for replacements??

Post by Mike P » Thu Mar 11, 2021 10:08 pm

I've always chosen their Select Low Noise Tubes but it sounds like things may have changed since the last time I was there and picked up their branded tubes, which is a bummer.
www.mikeplas.com
Jaded Faith: Vybe Deluxe
Sacred Groove: Rectifier
Synergy: SYN-2(4)|Bogner Ecstasy|Diezel VH4|ENGL Savage|Friedman HBE|Metro Plex|Plexi|Soldano SLO
Synergy Amps Artist: http://synergyamps.com/artists

Mike P
Lynch Box
Posts: 1062
Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2009 11:43 pm

Re: What preamp tubes do you favor for replacements??

Post by Mike P » Fri Mar 12, 2021 9:51 pm

I'm going to call ARS Monday or Tuesday because this is really bugging me now.

I've always purchased their Low Noise, Chinese branded ARS 12ax7 tubes and just assumed that the Synergy modules were using the same. But now that you guys have indicated that some of these tubes are JJ rebranded, it makes sense because the JJ's were always too low-mid heavy for my taste, from like 200-400hz. Since switching to the Synergy modules, I've needed to dial out peaks at 279 and 417 in order to clean up my heavier tones, something I never needed to do with the Chinese ARS tubes.

I've even gone so far as to have replaced the pickups in 5 of my guitars in the past 30 days in order to clean up the low mids but never once thought that it might be the tubes.

Thank you all very much for bringing this to my attention.
www.mikeplas.com
Jaded Faith: Vybe Deluxe
Sacred Groove: Rectifier
Synergy: SYN-2(4)|Bogner Ecstasy|Diezel VH4|ENGL Savage|Friedman HBE|Metro Plex|Plexi|Soldano SLO
Synergy Amps Artist: http://synergyamps.com/artists

Mike P
Lynch Box
Posts: 1062
Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2009 11:43 pm

Re: What preamp tubes do you favor for replacements??

Post by Mike P » Sat Mar 13, 2021 6:09 pm

Hey Guys, my apologies but I was wrong. All of my Synergy modules came stock with either ARS JJ branded tubes or just JJ tubes in Valve 1, while the Chinese ARS tubes are in Valve 2. I mistakenly assumed that all of the tubes would be the Chinese ARS branded tubes.

I just got back from picking up 10 ARS Chinese branded tubes for V1 but they no longer offer the Low Noise, Tested tubes-just straight ARS Chinese 12ax7's.

Apparently, the reason why JJ's are in Valve 1 is because they're low noise and tested for microphonics whereas the Chinese are not. The owner told me I may need to swap around tubes if they're feeding back or squealing, something I did not experience with all of my modded MTS modules but if so, I'll be sure to post. Hopefully, this solves my low-mid issue with the JJ's.
www.mikeplas.com
Jaded Faith: Vybe Deluxe
Sacred Groove: Rectifier
Synergy: SYN-2(4)|Bogner Ecstasy|Diezel VH4|ENGL Savage|Friedman HBE|Metro Plex|Plexi|Soldano SLO
Synergy Amps Artist: http://synergyamps.com/artists

Mike P
Lynch Box
Posts: 1062
Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2009 11:43 pm

Re: What preamp tubes do you favor for replacements??

Post by Mike P » Wed Jul 21, 2021 6:53 pm

While the ARS Chinese 12ax7's in slot V1 were definitely an upgrade for me in terms of overall tone (JJ's have a huge 250-400 Hz presence that doesn't work for my ears), I wasn't 100% happy with the tones. This past weekend, I decided to try an NOS GE 5751 I had lying around in the V1 slot of the Soldano SLO, which have 30% less gain than the standard 12ax7.

Mind blown! I wish I had tried this two years ago!

Now, the low mid bump is completely gone! The SLO sound really tight, yet it has more bass than before. I called ARS and ordered six more GE 5751's and replaced the V1 tube in every module and seriously, they're a game changer for me. All of the modules have so much more clarity. It's like someone took a blanket off the speaker! The modules aren't "brighter" or more treble-y but they're so much clearer sounding. And there's no difference in gain structure. I thought that I might be giving up some distortion in favor of more headroom but they all have just as much gain as with the JJ's or ARS Chinese 12ax7's, which was a little surprising but also very welcome.

The 5751 really cleaned up and tightened the bottom end on the Plexi and especially the Metropolis, both of which provide monster tones now. Gone is the mushy bottom end on the MetroPlex while the Friedman Plexi has so much more range than before in terms of dialing in cleaner and dirtier tones. They're all just absolutely freaking killer!

I realize that the GE NOS 5751's are definitely on the pricier side but these are the best guitar tones I've ever recorded - bar none - and have made a huge difference. I'll post some tracks in the coming weeks.
www.mikeplas.com
Jaded Faith: Vybe Deluxe
Sacred Groove: Rectifier
Synergy: SYN-2(4)|Bogner Ecstasy|Diezel VH4|ENGL Savage|Friedman HBE|Metro Plex|Plexi|Soldano SLO
Synergy Amps Artist: http://synergyamps.com/artists

Post Reply