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?


@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?





I was noting the less expensive short plate 60's production @ Blackburn and Heerlen.

I actually prefer them to my older (now super expensive) long plate versions.

A modern 12au7 that interested me (reading between the lines of the reviews) was the JJ ECC802S, but having had problems with the undersized tube pins on their (JJ) 300B/2A3 tubes I never tried them (don't know if it's even a thing with their small signal tubes).



@thecarpathian  Yes was an interesting read. Thanks.

I spent some time on the Brent Jessee website.  Read the review of the Pharaoh II.

Been running my Sphinx Ii for several hours. Seems to be sounding better as hours go by.  Going to let it break in. Get adjusted to how is sounds. Room is rather barren at the moment, still needs window shades and more furniture. 

Have yet not called Mark O'Brian of Rogue Audio. I intend to do so. 

I hope not to spend more than ~$200 on a pair of tubes. 

Thanks to all contributors!   

Let us know what tubes you are interested in before purchase.

I have a good many pairs, all nos, and am thinking of putting some up for sale.