#1.JJ Electronics Amplifier Tube T-12AX7
If you want the best 12ax7 tubes, we have to give them to the JJ Electronics Amplifier Tubes. These tubes are very well balanced and have a very clean distortion with smooth and strong overdrive. In essence, they sound really nice while keeping the price very reasonable.
Best 12ax7 Tubes
- #1.JJ Electronics Amplifier Tube T-12AX7
- #2.Genalex Gold Lion 12AX7 Tube
- #3.Mullard 12AX7 Preamp Vacuum Tube
- #4.Sovtek 12AX7LPS Vacuum Tube
- #5.BUGERA Amplifier Tube, White (12AX7A)
#1.JJ Electronics Amplifier Tube T-12AX7
When it comes to the best 12ax7 tubes, we have to give them to the JJ Electronics Amplifier Tube. These tubes are well-balanced, and have a colorful tone with strongly defined lows, mids, and smooth highs. We highly recommend you pair this with studio pre-amps and Hi-Fi gear. Also, we think that its standout feature is the fact that it allows for more clean headroom than higher gain 12ax7 tubes.
Additionally, when you have it in overdrive, it is very smooth and strong and the lows and mids are very well-defined. In overdrive, it also offers pretty clean distortion. All in all, we think that these 12ax7 tubes give you pretty much top-notch performance at a very reasonable price. It is one of the better bargains out there.
#2.Genalex Gold Lion 12AX7 Tube
Another one of the best 12ax7 tubes is the Genalex Gold Lion branded reissued ones in our opinion. These tubes are gain and transconductance are matched within 10 percent. In general, they are pretty high-quality tubes with a large detailed soundstage. These tubes also have gold-plated pins, which reduces oxidation in the socket.
Of course, it goes without saying that the original Genalex Gold Lion tubes are some of the best 12ax7 tubes ever made and are incredibly hard to find. And they are crazy expensive as well. The reissued tubes are a much better economic deal and do a really good job of recreating the sound signature of the original. And it does all of this without breaking the bank.
#3.Mullard 12AX7 Preamp Vacuum Tube
Next, we recommend the Mullard 12AX7 Preamp Vacuum Tube, which has a large sound stage with excellent detail. They are also factory selected for low noise and lowest microphonic. Overall, we think that this tube does a really good job of replicating the sound signature of the large plate Mullard ECC83 tubes. The bass response is powerful and clear and the mids and highs have a clear presence.
With these tubes, you can literally go from a good-sounding amp to a great-sounding amp. We also think that these tubes do a better job at the high frequencies in the preamp. Overall, we think that these tubes are very well made and to be honest we are actually pretty blown away by the sound.
#4.Sovtek 12AX7LPS Vacuum Tube
The Sovtek 12AX7LPS Vacuum Tube is a great tube for giving you a great sound for cheap. It takes a few days to break in and to fully get to its full potential. We really like the sound that these tubes make. The bass is cleaner and more focused overall and the mids and highs are a lot more rich and warm.
Additionally, we surveyed a bunch of other users and they all thoroughly enjoyed it and couldn’t really come up with any problems. They all love it for its warm and articulate treble response, rich overdrive, and low noise. The low end is tight and articulate and the harmonics are very clear.
#5.BUGERA Amplifier Tube, White (12AX7A)
Lastly, there is the Bugera Amplifier Tube which is a high-end version of the standard 12AX7 tube. It is a great Bugera Exact tube replacement and is incredibly cheap. We think that its standout feature is that it provides a very high level of gain and a great overall tonal quality with superior reliability and consistency.
Also, there is an extremely open and expressive tonal spectrum, with an incredibly balanced and smooth frequency response. You can use it in virtually all critical gain stages. All in all, if you have already tried most of the 12ax7 tubes we recommended above and just can’t find the right fit, we highly recommend you give these are shot.