The New EH 7025
The Electro Harmonix 7025 is here.
If you are into music, be it a musician, recording engineer or a Hi-Fi aficionado then you know the difference between a good and great tube and you are probably spending serious money chasing the best tube for the job. As the community of valve users continues to grow, the opportunity for NOS tubes becomes less and less, therefore, we need to rely on new stock to fill the gap and they continue to do this.
Over the last few years, we have seen companies starting to take notice of the valve communities requests for high end, low noise / microphonic tubes. We saw this with the recent introduction of the E83CC from JJ with a frame grid which performed very well in tests and now we see the introduction of the 7025 from Electro Harmonix.
The more we see the introduction of high-quality low noise tubes designed for audio, the less we need to rely on the old stock, no longer paying over the top prices.
Along comes the EH 7025 which is not claiming to be a reproduction but rather a redesigned tube that meets the specifications that allows the valve to have the title 7025.
So, what is a 7025?
The 7025 valve was originally designed as a low noise / low microphonic alternative to the ECC83 (commonly known as the 12AX7) for sensitive audio equipment.
Fender knew what this tube offered and that is why you would often find these tubes in their early amps looking for the cleanest of tone.
So, what’s new?
Nothing really, the technology has been used in the past but is now being utilised in these new tubes. The tube has been engineered with a frame grid, a full plate to shield each triode and extra support to ensure they are protected from vibrations, giving the tube its very best chance to produce sound with as little noise as possible being introduced.
So why buy a 7025?
Well, depending on your use of tubes you may be looking for something that works in the 12AX7 section of your amp or effects unit and require the quietest tube possible and this is where the 7025 may help. I will often have customers phoning asking for the quietest 12AX7 tube available and this will definitely be one of the tubes I recommend.
Perfect for those Classic valve guitar amps that require a 7025 as part of the tube set and ideal for anyone that may have a sensitive V1. Ideal for Preamps in Hi-Fi's and recording, this tube will definitely be worth considering.
How does it compare?
I ran this tube using the same test as the ECC83 with one variance, On the bench is a build for a high gain Ecstasy / Marshall camp currently being built and this is where I found the biggest difference. Placing the 7025 in V1 took an amp that was almost fierce in its tone and made it more manageable. This amp now has an EH 7025 as its V1 and I will not be going back after trying this.
What does Electro Harmonix say about this tube?
Electro-Harmonix has released a low noise, low microphonic version of the 12AX7 that meets all specifications required for the tube to be designated 7025. The original 7025 tube was a 12AX7 that was tested and selected for the lowest noise and microphonics for use in the critical first preamp stages of amplifiers where noise and microphonics could be an issue. In order to ensure that the 7025 specification is consistently met, Electro-Harmonix has redesigned the structure of the 12AX7 and has implemented construction techniques to ensure the absolute lowest noise and microphonics possible. In all samples tested, noise and microphonics could not be detected.
The Electro-Harmonix 7025EH has a mid-range that gives clarity and definition to the sound and a smooth top end for warmth and balance. With these characteristics, along with the exceptionally low noise and low microphonics, the Electro-Harmonix 7025EH will work equally well in vintage and modern high-gain guitar amplifiers, as well as sensitive phono preamps.
I personally do not chase NOS tubes for my amps simply because the new replacement tubes are of quality these days that just doesn’t justify spending hundreds of dollars for the incremental benefit. If you do this, then power to you. However, the more companies like JJ Electronics and Electro Harmonix develop and release tubes of this quality, the better it will be for our musical requirements and of course our pockets.
Another winner in my book, remember, this is a 12AX7 and as such can go anywhere in you system that uses a 12AX7 and would ideally benefit from an ultra-quiet tube.
Try one today, you won't be disappointed.