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Can I change the tone of my Blues Junior with a different set of tubes? Of course, a new tube will always sound brighter than an old, worn-out one. Your Blues Junior has five tubes, V1 through V5, numbered right to left as you look at the back of the amp. Only half of V2 is used unless you have the cathode follower mod. It too is an amplification stage, and has a minor effect on tone. They’re EL84s and they should be purchased as a matched pair.
Each manufacturer’s tube has a characteristic sound, but overall the differences are slight–about one notch on your tone control. V2 re-amplifies or recovers the signal lost in the tone stack. It makes mirror images of the signal and drives the output tubes, V4 and V5.
It had the usual tone stack and coupling mods, plus the cathode follower, TO20 output transformer, and 6V6 conversion.
I was using the customer’s 12AX7s, so I switched to my bench tubes, which are fairly low-mileage Sovtek 12AX7WCs. With good tubes in V2 and V3, I decided to mess around a little. As I said earlier, tubes are like tires: they’re round and they wear out.
(Don’t ask me how these things happen.) I adjusted the amp to just below the verge of breakup on the volume, set the master for just below ear ringing, set the tone controls for a nice Fender-y scoop. There are subtle differences; here are my observations: Sovtek 12AX7WC The workingman’s tube. There’s a reason why Fender stuffs these into just about everything, but the tone is very straightforward, little harmonic complexity. The low filament-to-cathode voltage rating means that you should not use these in a cathode follower circuit.The plate on the back says Type PR 257, serial numer T-32941.the tube sticker doesnt seem to have any of the number/letter stampings that fender talks about on their product dating page. Pro Jr.'s have been manufactured from 1993 to the present..... So dating it might not be too important except for your own curiosity.This is a hybrid tube that has the gain of a 12AX7 on one side and the gain of a 12AU7 on the other.It drives the output tubes unequally, which causes distortion pretty much all the time.