Tubes: N.O.S. verses new
Although a N.O.S. 12AX7 can typically cost anywhere from around $50 to $100 verses $10 to $20 for a modern tube, the quality of materials, reliability and tone make them worth the coin. The V1 position is the critical one to change in your Effectrode pedal (or guitar amp) as this is the first amplification stage and a good N.O.S. Mullard or Sylvania tube in there will work wonders ensuring low microphony, hiss and hum to give some desriable tonal improvements. There are many working guitarists who talk themselves out trying N.O.S. tubes as imagine they can’t afford them but that’s simply not always the case. Here’s my reasoning: the lifespan of N.O.S. preamp tubes can easily exceed 10,000 hours, which means even if you’re paying $100 a tube, that’s 1 cent for each hour of use – that’s a cheap ride by any measure – the expense of your guitar strings, beer or just lighting the room you’re playing in will far out exceed this. Don’t be put off by investing in a good tube – life’s too short!