Sovtek 12AX7LPS
Sovtek 12AX7LPS

12AX7LPS, Guitar Amp Tube from Sovtek.

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MountAnDewMe 07/29/2012

Sovtek 12AX7LPS : MountAnDewMe's user review

« The best 12ax7 from Sovtek »

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If you are like me you have probably tried many different tubes over the years. I had a bad experience with Sovtek 12ax7 tubes in the past and found them to be very unmusical. The experience left a bad taste in my mouth for the name for years. A few years ago I took the advice of a trusted retailer who called them "One of the finest 12ax7 builds I have seen in modern production." I replaced the tubes in my preamp with them and was simply shocked at how good they really did shine.

The main differences in this line of 12ax7 are denoted by the LPS in the name. It refers to the use of long plates and a spiral wound filament. These tubes produce a very rich tone across the useable frequency spectrum and are designed to reduce hum in an AC circuit. It is a quality tube in a preamp or for use as a phase inverter. Just be sure to order a tube with balanced triodes for the PI slot, but that goes for any tube in that position. The only downside to the tube is inherent to the long plate design. If you are using them in a combo where they will be subjected to high vibrations they may develop micro phonic problems quickly.

They function well in all applications I have tried them in. In a clean channel they sound full and warm, while not being muddy. The mids are complex and satisfying. The highs have just enough shimmer to make them pleasurable, not harsh like some older productions from Sovtek. These tubes do especially well in a high gain situation and seem to go a bit farther than most other brand. They seem to compress a bit less and as a result offer more useable gain while retaining their tone. I find the lows to be well defined under these circumstances. The mids are well balanced, and the highs very complimentary neither smooth or harsh but just right to my taste.

There are many fresh new builds available today that I will eventually get around to trying. Many of them are from the New Sensor Company which owns a lot of the branded tube companies we now have available to us. The quality from their plants has risen over the years, which is good news to all of use tube amp users. With that being said I will always have some Sovtek 12ax7LPS tubes in my tube locker whether or not they are in my amp or not. They have proven to be a valuable component to me over the past few years and is the tube I use as "the bar" when I preview others.