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Thread: 12au7 vs 12ay7

  1. #1
    Tone Member BenPerkins's Avatar
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    Default 12au7 vs 12ay7

    Hi guys,

    I have an Orange Micro Dark, which comes with a 12ax7. I wanted to increase the amount of clean headroom available, and make it so I really had to turn up the Gain in order to get the full amount of dirt. I found a late 60s Mullard 12au7 and it sounds amazing in this capacity.

    I also have an OR15 and would like to do the same thing. But before I go searching for more Mullard 12au7s, how much different would a 12ay7 sound? Or should I stick with 12au7?

    Thank you
    Gibson SG Standard
    ESP LTD EC-300
    Squier Jagmaster Vista
    Squier VM Telecaster

  2. #2
    Mojo's Minions Lake Placid Blues's Avatar
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    Default Re: 12au7 vs 12ay7

    Amplification factor,

    12AX7=100
    12AT7= 60
    12AY7 = 44
    12AU7 =17 and 19.5
    12DW7 = 100 and 17-20

    The 12AY has a little more than twice as much gain as a 12AU7, but a little less than have as much gain as the common 12AX7. The 12AY7 was used for V1 in Tweed Bassmans but a 12AX7 is often substituted for more gain in guitar applications. The 12AY7 seems to work better as a AX sub possibly because it has similar cathode bias needs. I think its better as an AX sub than a 12AT which is often used as a PI in Fenders. Each of these 9 pins are actually two triodes in one bottle. In the case of the 12DW7 one triode is a 12AU and the other is a 12AX.

  3. #3
    Tone Member BenPerkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: 12au7 vs 12ay7

    Awesome! Thank you for this info
    Gibson SG Standard
    ESP LTD EC-300
    Squier Jagmaster Vista
    Squier VM Telecaster

  4. #4
    Toneologist JollyRoger523's Avatar
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    Default Re: 12au7 vs 12ay7

    I think I have a 5751 in my Micro Terror. The gain is a little less, but the biggest difference is it eliminated a harsh sizzle I was hearing with the stock 12ax7

  5. #5
    Tone Member BenPerkins's Avatar
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    Default 12au7 vs 12ay7

    Quote Originally Posted by JollyRoger523 View Post
    I think I have a 5751 in my Micro Terror. The gain is a little less, but the biggest difference is it eliminated a harsh sizzle I was hearing with the stock 12ax7
    Which brand are you using? I was looking at a 5751 Tung Sol. JJ seems a little noisy.

    https://www.tubedepot.com/products/t...mp-vacuum-tube
    Gibson SG Standard
    ESP LTD EC-300
    Squier Jagmaster Vista
    Squier VM Telecaster

  6. #6
    Toneologist JollyRoger523's Avatar
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    Default Re: 12au7 vs 12ay7

    Quote Originally Posted by BenPerkins View Post
    Which brand are you using? I was looking at a 5751 Tung Sol. JJ seems a little noisy.

    https://www.tubedepot.com/products/t...mp-vacuum-tube
    I don't remember if it's a JJ or EH. It's been a while since I swapped it out.

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