By Mckenna Power. Guitar Electric. Published at Friday, August 31st, 2018 - 19:51:13 PM.
The third OEM tube is the European JJ ECC83 (ECC83 is the British name for a 12AX7; JJ's are made in the Slovak Republic). They are constructed with short, fat plates and a halo getter, like the Shuguangs, but they have only two spacers and a metal disk above the plates that is connected to the getter. You may see these sold as Groove Tubes ECC83's but the label doesn't matter; they are still JJ ECC83's. As for the sound, they have a more linear tone than the Sovteks or the Shuguangs, and a more prominent midrange. Personally, I think they sound best with Marshall or Vox amps that run EL34 or EL84 power tubes.
Another thing to consider is the wiring harness (i.e. the tone and volume controls, and the pickup selector) inside the guitar. You can swap out cheap pickups to improve the tone of your guitar, but you won't be able to get the most out of the change if you have a cheap, low quality wiring harness connecting the pickups to the output jack. The harness consists of two or four potentiometers, one or two capacitors, a switch and the wiring connecting them all together (and any shielding inside the control cavity or around the wires). The best components are US-made CTS pots, Sprague caps, Switchcraft switches and jacks, etc. The controls reduce volume or treble by introducing resistance and capacitance into the circuit. If the quality isn't there, the tone will be negatively affected even when the controls are turned all the way up; and the pickups may hum more or less depending upon how well the harness is shielded. So if you are replacing your pickups to improve the sound, it usually makes sense to also check the wiring and see if it needs to be upgraded or additional shielding needs to be added. And, last but not least, any effect pedals you use between the guitar and the amplifier will also tend to dominate the final tone. Some pedals are more transparent than others, but obviously if you rely heavily on pedals for the tone you want, then the type of pickups and strings you use will have less of an effect.
Because the strings of a guitar are close together, and the pickups use magnetic vibrations, there is a natural tendency for these magnetic pickups to detect and pickup electromagnetic signals from other nearby sources - anything from nearby microphones, to other electric equipment in the area - even lighting. This extra noise is generally not overly distracting, but does tend to create a kind of background hum. Single coil pickups tend to create the most amount of background hum, and the fact that most electric guitars tend to be incorrectly shielded against any interference of this kind, this can be quite unwanted.
Guitar Wiring 102, now we’ve got the basics down, let’s have a look at some simple modifiers to the circuit. This article first shows you how to add a "killswitch" to the guitar, then uses the lessons learned from that process to change that killswitch to a volume control instead. Finally, we’ll find out how capacitors are used in guitar circuits and install our first tone control.
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