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Thread: Need to re tube a VOX AC15HW1X Where to buy What to buy

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    Supporting Member blearyeyes's Avatar
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    Need to re tube a VOX AC15HW1X Where to buy What to buy

    I'm a bit overwhelmed at all the hoohaa.

    Where is a good place to buy tubes?

    VOX AC15HW1X has a lot of fizz that I can't dial out.
    Want to try to warm it up and add some decent distortion quality.

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    I've had good results with JJ tubes in these amps and I fit these to all the Vox amps of any era that come my way. Is your amp still on its original tubes?

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    Supporting Member blearyeyes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mick Bailey View Post
    I've had good results with JJ tubes in these amps and I fit these to all the Vox amps of any era that come my way. Is your amp still on its original tubes?
    YES. The original ruby tubes. I bought it new and it has never sounded right to me. I'm thinking there is a bad tube that causes it to be brassy and fizzy. It's post EQ, I believe, as I am not able to filter the fizz with the EQ or the treble cut control. It's an integral part of the distortion as far as I can tell. Not sure where those controls are in the signal flow as I have never gotten a definitive schematic for the 15HW. After searching and reading all the BS online I'm a bit up in the air as to exactly which tubes to change out first, which tubes to buy or where to buy them.

    I there any trouble shooting tips you can give me?
    Maybe a setting that will point to the tube(s) to check?
    It has a Master Volume control. Don't know what type it is or how it works.

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    Last edited by blearyeyes; 05-03-2018 at 02:43 AM.

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    Supporting Member blearyeyes's Avatar
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    I found the diagram on nikplayer.com.

    Looks like v3 and v2 are the ones in the front end. The master cuts input to the power stage so I'm guessing since it has the issue with the master way down that it should be in these two tubes? Any input is very welcome!

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    The output tubes sing when the amp is turned right up, and that's when you get the best from the output tubes. At moderate volumes there isn't a great lot of difference and a set of (say) NOS Telefunken cylindrical-plate tubes won't sound much different to JJs.

    Unless your preamp tubes are faulty or low-gain for some reason, there's only a certain latitude in how a 12AX7 behaves and the circuit defines the sound more than the tubes. What people usually hear when they talk about the sound of a tube is the sound of the circuit. A given tube type has surprisingly similar characteristics between manufacturers and there's insufficient capacitance or resistance in a tube to make any difference to audio. However, the gain of the tube and how it drives subsequent stages can make a fair difference.

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    Supporting Member blearyeyes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mick Bailey View Post
    The output tubes sing when the amp is turned right up, and that's when you get the best from the output tubes. At moderate volumes there isn't a great lot of difference and a set of (say) NOS Telefunken cylindrical-plate tubes won't sound much different to JJs.

    Unless your preamp tubes are faulty or low-gain for some reason, there's only a certain latitude in how a 12AX7 behaves and the circuit defines the sound more than the tubes. What people usually hear when they talk about the sound of a tube is the sound of the circuit. A given tube type has surprisingly similar characteristics between manufacturers and there's insufficient capacitance or resistance in a tube to make any difference to audio. However, the gain of the tube and how it drives subsequent stages can make a fair difference.
    OK I get it. Thanks. I’ve been building pedals for a few years and I understand. I watched a youtube demo of different tubes in an amp and the only thing I heard was a slight difference in the texture of the distortion but the overall tone was the same. Gain staging was a little different. Not much though.

    I’ll switch out tubes with another amp I have to see if I have a bad one in there. Thanks for your help clearing up all the chatter about tubes. I really appreciate it!

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