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PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 6:12 am 
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Bottle Rocket

Joined: Mon Apr 07, 2014 2:46 am
Posts: 1
Hello all

I've recently got an Express 5:25 1x12 which came with a noisy tube in the v1 position, which I've currently just put a spare EH 12ax7 in for the moment to get rid of the noise. The rest of the tubes are from what I understand just to be the stock Mesa tubes so I thought I'd have a look to see if any different tubes would be worth looking into.

Searching around, there seems to be a general view that a good starting point is
V1 High Gain JJECC83
V2 Tungsol 12AX7
V3 Penta 12AX7
V4 Shuguang 12AX7 9th gen
V5 Sovtek LP/LPS

To which I've got a couple of questions
1) I'm in the UK and can't find anywhere here that stocks Penta tubes, is there one that's similar to this that I could use?
2) Is the high gain JJ tube different to the 'normal' one?
3) Has anyone had any experience with the Golden Dragon 12ax7?

TIA


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 10:18 am 
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Mark II

Joined: Mon Mar 24, 2014 9:10 am
Posts: 63
Have a new 5:25 Plus and the stock tubes sound fantastic, have been trying to subdue the urge to start chasing tubes as I have a box of them from by tube chases with my Fenders. If I were going to change the JJ's would be a first test then the Tung-Sols but that is entirely based on experience with Fenders. The JJ's were perhaps a bit warmer than the Tung-Sols, it's really hard to tell the differences are so subtle.

Just looked the TubeStore goes with the JJ's in their value pack for the Mesa Lonestar which the Express mimics in the clean channel and their Preferred Series in the premium set.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 4:36 pm 
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Mark II

Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2013 5:30 pm
Posts: 141
Well, I'm going to go a different direction here for you, as I've got an Express 5:25+ and have found using an RCA NOS 12AX7A in V1, a GE NOS 12AX7 in V2 and the reverb position (I think that's V5 but can't remember right now), and standard MESA tubes in the other positions have given me the best tone, to my ears. I tried a lower noise Doug's Tubes set, which did take the noise down a bit, but I still wasn't satisfied with the sound of the amp. The above suggestion is the result of hours of NOS tube rolling, which included Amprex, Mullard, EI, and Tong-Sol NOS tubes as well.

My 2 cents.....YMMV and all that......

Al


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 7:27 pm 
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Bottle Rocket

Joined: Mon Sep 04, 2017 5:43 am
Posts: 2
Hi:

5:25 newbie here. All this talk about trading out tubes has me confused. I was under the impression that trading out for anything other than Mesa-branded tubes woudld void the warranty. What gives? Please advise. Thanks.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 3:12 am 
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Bottle Rocket

Joined: Thu Apr 25, 2013 2:41 pm
Posts: 3
grritz wrote:
Hi:

5:25 newbie here. All this talk about trading out tubes has me confused. I was under the impression that trading out for anything other than Mesa-branded tubes woudld void the warranty. What gives? Please advise. Thanks.


Short answer: It's true, replacing Mesa tubes with non-Mesa tubes will void the warranty*. That is a consideration. But people change tubes anyway, because you can achieve a wide variety of tones from the same amp just by changing tubes. Some people, including me, love this sort of component-level tone chasing, while others thing it's a waste of time and money.

* if you want to read more on the Mesa warranty and tubes, this thread is good.


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