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Electro-Harmonix 12AX7EH

Electro-Harmonix 12AX7 preamp tube is a low noise, high gain tube with highly musical tone, and detailed harmonics. Thanks to its unique spiral filament, short plates and halo-getter it offers tone comparable to ultra high priced NOS tubes.

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A bright, harmonically rich, and gainy tube! Very musical... featured

Sound Where some Russian tubes are midrangey (JJ's) or bassy (Sovtek), the EH tube shines brightly and sparkles to life with harmonic richness that is brilliant! Never lacking in ANY form or fashion, the EH tube performs in every category you demand of it! Like all Russian tubes it has the most important character I require: GAIN! While not being as gutbusting and guttural as the Sovteks WB's, the 12AX7EH is a much more refined creature. When cranking the gain up you hear harmonic overtures and frequencies jump out at you from your speakers you didn't expect! Lovely to the max! As you legato and sustain the Electro-Harmonix tube speaks back to you with new fundamentals and overtones. While not possessing the ultimate bassy depth the Sovtek has - this is an illusion; the EH tube is FAR more balanced. With crunch or medium gain the tonal structures and musical response is brilliant and instantaneous. Never muddy and always snappy, with an extra sparkle of treble for attenuating harmonics. Blending levels of gain is always nice with the EH tube as it is great for swapping between amps (my 5150 loves it, and so does my Orange!), and it's also great for adding some harmonic brilliance to a dark amp or making a crappy setup sound better.

The clean tones are spectacular - probably the best tones. They are less midrangey than the JJ's and not as "honkey" sounding as Groove Tubes. More top end than any Russian tube available and produces actual harmonic brilliance, not just miffing sounds. The tube itself has an incredibly low noise floor making it perfect for your low wattage bedroom jammer or your Fender Blues box too. Bottom line - this is my top go-to preamp tube.

I'd like to add, this tube is so excellent they are bought by Mesa/Boogie and repackaged as Russian-2's (once retested and broke in). These are the best tubes you can get, IMHO, for your preamp.

Reliability Highly reliable. You can put lots of downtime on these tubes before they start sounding different or crapping out. The tested high Mesa ones are even better as they have been double tested. The "New Sensor" plant thing is kind (Meh) as really all EH tubes are made separately from Sovtek and Tung-Sol. Fear not, this quality is ultra-high. Well worth the coin!

Customer Support EH support is good, as are their tubes.

Liked about it 1) Great musicality! Incredibly dynamic.
2) Wonderful character in the gain; and plenty of it!
3) Supremely balanced tone. Harmonics everywhere.

Didn't like 1) Sometimes lacked bass; very trebly.

Overall satisfaction:

By SonicProvocateur
Jun 03, 2010
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Excellent Preamp tube!

Sound I have had these tubes installed in a variety of amps, Marshall, Peavey, ADA and others. Currently I've been using them with my ADA MP-1; which I mainly use for distorted sounds.

The tubes are definitely bright sounding, and rich with harmonic content and overtones. They have a liveliness to them that some tubes (JJ's) lack. This may be appealing to some, and maybe not to someone else. In certain amps they might be a little bright sounding. Nothing that couldn't be dialed out though.

They are nice for tube clean sounds as well, the sparkling, lively tone is great.

Reliability I have yet to have one of these tubes go bad. I change them out from time to time, just to have new ones installed as regular maintenance, but am sure I could still use any of the old ones without problem.

Customer Support Have not needed support.

Liked about it Great overtones, lively sounding, and reliable.

Didn't like In my MP-1, they can seem a little bright, and I have to dial down some high end. Not really a negative, just something to note.

Overall satisfaction:

By blackspy
Jul 04, 2010
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