Stimer Reissue / Peche ala Mouche Amps - 12AX7s?

I just saw that video of Stochelo playing through the Peche ala Mouche amp, and it sounds pretty awesome - so much more like the crazy distorted late-Django than a lot of electrified clips I've seen. (It's in a the Guzz pickup pre-order thread)

But there was something I was wondering - for as die hard as a lot of are about authentic details, did nobody notice the 12AX7's in the tube compliment of both the Stimer and Peche ala Mouche amps?

Amps of the 30's-40's-and early 50's all used octal pre-amp tubes, stuff like 6N7's, 6SL7's, 6SC7's, and other now obscure models. Some early tweed Deluxes (5c3 and earlier) have octal tubes. Having a collection of three 30's Gibson EH amps (a 10" 150, a 160, and a 1st gen 185), I really feel there is something very specific about the tone and response of octal pre-amp tubes, and also field coil speakers, which we also used until the 50's. Both of them combine for a super warm/dark tone, and a tactile response that is definitely unique.

I would guess, not having seen a vintage Stimer, but just based on the time period, that it probably didn't have 9-pin "miniature" tubes like a 12AX7 in the pre-amp, and very likely had a field-coil speaker. The amps that would have been circulating during Django's electric period might have had very early permanent magnetic speakers, but I doubt that they would have had anything but octal pre-amp tubes.

Of course in Stochelo's hands, his fingers are providing a lot of the magic. However, wouldn't something like the octal-based circuits in, say, a Vintage47 brand amp, or perhaps a 5b3 or 5c3 deluxe-type be much closer sounding? Clearly, Stochelo isn't having a trouble nailing that tone, but some of us are human and need the help....

Also, I don't mean to dump on either amp, but I'm just wondering. Is there anything beside the cabinet construction that is really any different that say another amp with a 12AX7 pre-amp, and an EL34 or 6V6 or 6L6 power amp?


  • Al WatskyAl Watsky New JerseyVirtuoso
    Posts: 440
    I think the 12AX7 has more gain than the 6 SC,SL and etc.
    I have a couple of early amps. which have the 6 series preamp tubes.
    They are definitely cleaner .
    Clean preamp with a small power amp gets a different sound than the same power amp with a hotter pre.
    So yeah its all going to be different but amp builders are well advised to go with tube sets that are actually available.
    All the 6 series tubes I've seen/ owned were all old stock, don't know if those guys are even made these days.
    One thing for sure, the old amps are still out there. Its not that hard to find the original amps , the only problem is that you will have to in most cases invest in restoring them to some degree, but it can be worth it , it can also be difficult to find qualified or willing service personal.
    I have a Gibson GA50T that no one wants to work on. Its real point to point . No turrets or boards. Its a maze.
  • StevearenoSteveareno ✭✭✭
    edited February 2014 Posts: 349
    I love the funky sound of Stimers and Peches thru tube amps. I feel they capture the late Django, Charlie Christian, be-bop tone perfectly. I reckon they would sound good thru a Champ, Princeton, tweed Harvard, Deluxe, or any of the early Gibson, Silvertone, Valco, Victoria, Swart, etc. amps. About the 12AX7 tube, I believe the 12AY7 is a good substitute. It lowers the gain, but provides a warmer sound. At least that was my experience with a tweed Bassman RI. The Stimer amp and Peche amps look very ultra cool and seem to provide the desired tone at reasonable volume, but the other amps I mentioned would probably sound great too. I'd stay away from the Blues Jr, or any high gain amp designed for a lot of distortion. They're just too hot and noisy.
    I was hoping the new Low profile Guzz pickups may capture the Stimer, Peche tone. Stimers and Peches are a little too thick to fit well on my guitar. I'm waiting for more reports, now that they're out there. So far they sound a little too "clean" and natural for me. My Schertler already has that sound covered.
    Mi dos centavos,
    Swang on,
  • CampusfiveCampusfive Los Angeles, CA✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 98
    I guess I'm just arguing from my experience that Octal-tube/field-coil speaker-based amps sound significantly different that 12A_7/permanent-magnet-based amps. In addition to the 3 Gibson EH-amps I own, I just picked up a 1946 Gibson BR-6 over the weekend. Unlike the Tweed-type amps I had been playing through at the store moments before plugging into the BR6, the tone of the octal/fieldcoil BR6 was distinctly darker and warmer. And the response and breakup was also significantly different than a standard tweed-type amp - it's the kind of thing that is difficult to describe, but it's definitely a very different "feel". IIRC the tweed-amp in question was a Victoria deluxe copy, although it might have been the champ with the upsized 12" speaker.

    FWIW - if somebody's got the info that an old Stimer actually had those tubes, I'll totally be glad to eat my hat.

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