I've been swapping pre amp tubes in my 18 watt and finally tried one of the Golden Dragon 12ax7's in V1. Stratdeluxer's comments on the tube from his preamp tube shootout really had me intrigued. I've tried various tubes(Tungsol, EH, EI, JJ, RCA Grey plate, and an old grey plate 7025) in all of the positions but V1 is the most sensitive to change. The GD has been the most musical, very quiet, great gain, low end and mids, very smooth highs and no icepick. I've found a winner in my own little shoot out. Great tube and inexpensive. You can still find them on ebay. Thanks John for turning me on to the Golden Dragon!
Current tube line up:
V1- Golden Dragon 12ax7
V2- Tungsol 12ax7
V3- JJ 12ax7
This all equals wicked tone, I love this set up!