Is the SPAX7 a Better Tube All Around?

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Hendog
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Is the SPAX7 a Better Tube All Around?

Post by Hendog » Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:17 pm

I was wondering... Should I replace all of my preamp tubes with the Mesa SPAX7's? I know they are considered "better", but would they change the charateristics of my amp?
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Re: Is the SPAX7 a Better Tube All Around?

Post by eudaimonia02912 » Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:51 pm

Hendog wrote:I was wondering... Should I replace all of my preamp tubes with the Mesa SPAX7's? I know they are considered "better", but would they change the charateristics of my amp?
I was wondering that, too. I got 4 of them for my Mark V, and put them in V1-3 and V7. I didn't like the results. It seemed to weaken the tone and make the sound a bit thinner, though it did cut noise and hum considerably. I kept an SPAX7 in V1, though. I like it for V1 better than any other tube so far.
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CoG
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Re: Is the SPAX7 a Better Tube All Around?

Post by CoG » Thu Feb 18, 2010 11:15 am

I just got a JCM800 that has them in all three preamp spots (!?) It's really, really quiet, even when I slam the front end with an OD, and very clean and articulate. They don't seem super high-gain, though. Definitely a good V1 choice.
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Re: Is the SPAX7 a Better Tube All Around?

Post by jamme61 » Fri Feb 19, 2010 9:54 am

It really makes a difference to, move around what you have. What I mean is, try what 12ax7's you have in V1, v2,v3, ..... and see where they sound best. Even when you have the same brand 12ax7, they all sound different, somtimes a lot different. It's worth the time, IMHO and it dosen't cost any money.

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Re: Is the SPAX7 a Better Tube All Around?

Post by Birdy » Fri Feb 19, 2010 10:42 am

I recently did a retube to my Nomad 55 combo.
For me, I went with Tung-sols in V 1,2 and 3. I put SPAX7 tubes
in V4 and 5. Sounds killer.
YMMV.
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Re: Is the SPAX7 a Better Tube All Around?

Post by clutch71 » Thu Mar 04, 2010 7:36 am

The SPAX7 is designed for the V-1 slot as this is the first gain stage and does the most work. Not being a tube guru I'm not sure if it's actually a different designed plate structure, just more insolation on the galss, or a combination of the 2. Someone may be able to chime in.
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Re: Is the SPAX7 a Better Tube All Around?

Post by MrMarkIII » Thu Mar 04, 2010 7:46 am

When Mesa tests tons of 12AX7s, the SPAX7s are ones that test lowest in noise. Visually identical to their noisier brothers, they're just quieter. Then they wrap them to further ensure against microphonics.
None of any of this has anything to do with tone.

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Re: Is the SPAX7 a Better Tube All Around?

Post by eudaimonia02912 » Thu Mar 04, 2010 10:32 pm

I'm now using an SPAX7 in V1 and V7 (the PI) of the Mark V.
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Re: Is the SPAX7 a Better Tube All Around?

Post by Musical123 » Fri Mar 05, 2010 9:45 am

I am using a SPax7 in my V1 for my LSC. Much quieter and I noticed that it appears to have shrink wrap tubing around it. I assume this is to cut down on the vibrations.

My question is - can folks put shrink wrap on all of the 12ax7 tubes hurting them (maybe they would get too hot)? Does Mesa use something special for their shrink wrap?


Just curious.


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Re: Is the SPAX7 a Better Tube All Around?

Post by Heritage Softail » Fri Mar 05, 2010 12:40 pm

Musical123 wrote:I am using a SPax7 in my V1 for my LSC. Much quieter and I noticed that it appears to have shrink wrap tubing around it. I assume this is to cut down on the vibrations.

My question is - can folks put shrink wrap on all of the 12ax7 tubes hurting them (maybe they would get too hot)? Does Mesa use something special for their shrink wrap?


Just curious.


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I would not do that. Have you called MESA? They can help you out.
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Re: Is the SPAX7 a Better Tube All Around?

Post by rabies » Tue Mar 09, 2010 5:09 pm

I had all SPAX7's in my ex-Mark III green with IIC+ OT. All I remember is that amp was a beast, had me kicking the walls in the studio...

Don't recall the noise factor though...
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Re: Is the SPAX7 a Better Tube All Around?

Post by rabies » Thu Aug 28, 2014 5:17 pm

I'm looking to retube the preamp section (getting a new quad of JJE34L's now) of my Rivera S120. Should I go with TungSol in V1 or SPAX7? why?
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Re: Is the SPAX7 a Better Tube All Around?

Post by ryjan » Thu Aug 28, 2014 5:22 pm

SPAX7's have more electrolytes than normal tubes. It's what plants crave.
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Re: Is the SPAX7 a Better Tube All Around?

Post by elvis » Thu Aug 28, 2014 6:00 pm

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Re: Is the SPAX7 a Better Tube All Around?

Post by MrMarkIII » Thu Aug 28, 2014 11:05 pm

The SPAX7 is picked for low noise. Period.
Not for 'better" tone, whatever that is.
Mesa recommends them for V1. Period.

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