12AU7 tubes for a Rouge Audio Sphinx V3 Integrated

I believe my unit was shipped with JJ tubes. Wondering what tubes others have tried. Looking to steer the amp towards more 'bloom' and less clinical.

Maybe Mullards?


My rogue set up is ST100 power amp with RP1 pre, so not sure if this is helpful. I've experimented with a handful of tubes in the 12au7 and 12ax7  spots and best combo for me without a doubt was Mazda 12au7 and Telefunken smooth plate 12ax7. I was actually surprised how much of a difference the 12ax7's made in the power amp. Brent Jesse tubes is a great resource btw, he responds to emails quickly, tubes descriptions on his website are very helpful, and he has a wide selection. Good luck!

I thanks all for the great recommendations. I intend on leaving the JJs in place for a while I get acquainted with this amp.  Then explore some of the options suggested herein. 

At the moment I have the amp in a system set up to supply music and augment TV in a living room which is on the bright side. As i move forward I will get the room tamed down some, however It will remain livelier than my dedicated room which is treated to my liking. 

@dekay A harmonically rich, liquid 3D sound is exactly what I am looking for. I will reach out to Brent Jessee. 

@decooney Yes, it true that rolling tubes in any tube product is not necessary, however should bring results. If not then one has to ask what are the tubes bringing to the design. I can't believe that tube rolling in this unit wouldn't alter the presentation in some fashion. 

I will call Rouge and see what they have to say regarding this.


Save your money and buy the Rogue Pharaoh II.

You will be in A-D Heaven oh and call Hi-Fi Heaven to buy. 

Listening to Mozart 10 Variation in G Minor and it is magical. 


@mesch the article @juanmanuelfangioii shared from enjoythemusic makes an interesting comment. I also own some of the absolute best-of-best Blackburn plant Mullard 12au7 cure-tracer close matched triodes from Brent Jesse too, similar to what @dekay may have been referring to above.

Sure, they are nice, expensive. and my other PSVANE 12au7 hold their own against them comparably, and I can run them all of the time with no worries. My amps came stock with JJs, and there are select au7s that sound much better, imo.

Noting this comment in the recent Pharaoh_II article link above, quote:

  • "My comparisons of the Pharaoh integrated amps were based on using only stock tubes for evaluation. I did substitute in a couple of rare vintage NOS Mullard 12AU7 tubes in the Pharaoh I. It got me closer to Pharaoh II, but not all the way. The tubes cost $300! The people at Rogue Audio have great ears and they choose tubes to go in the production models very carefully"

When you call Rogue, maybe they can share more about why some of the more recent designs including the Pharaoh_II (reportedly) may sound better. See what they say, and why?