Valves for guitar and bass amps

We have a good stock of guitar amp valves at both the retail and repair shop so check the site for prices or contact us for availability and advice.
We stock most of the "big" brands and can get most others inc NOS but advise against this as the market is so flooded with bad valves being sold as good, the success rate of getting good serviceable valves is getting harder and harder.
We generally always have stock of JJ, EH, Sovtek, Tube Amp Doctor, Groove Tubes, EI, Valve Art and Winged C with some Tungsol and Svetlana and more valves in stock.
We've found in the repair shop that JJ valves are a good, solid performer and generally sound pretty good. Good value for money and easy to get in most forms. I use JJ's in most of my personal amps and all Tym amps come standard with them.
EH and Sovtek 12AX7's perform well in higher gain amps and keep a tighter bottom end. The EI ones are great in Vox AC30's with a real "jangle" to them.

All this of course is subjective. The best way to find what's best for you is to try them. This can get expensive but all valves behave differently in different amps and just because you use one brand in one amp doesn't mean you should or have to use that brand in another amp.
Winged C EL34's, 6L6's and KT88's generally outperform the JJ's but are more expensive. We've been getting great tones from the TAD's in both preamp and power amp stages but they're not for everyone.
You can mix and match preamp tubes with different brands and sometimes types of valves to try and get the best tone. Sometimes one brand works best in VR1 but not 2 or 3. Power valves however MUST be matched in brand and type and most amps need biasing when new power vales are fitted so we recommend you get these fitted by a tech.
So this, like everything else in your signal chain is all personal. We can "steer" you towards what might be close, but at the end of the day it's up to the player to decide what valves best suit their style and taste. Come in and have a chat if you like or contact us and we'll help as best we can.

Jul 15 2013 Written By: Tim Brennan