The Tube Thread

Discussion in 'Gear & Equipment' started by DrakkarTyrannis, May 13, 2009.

  1. Jacksonluvr636

    Jacksonluvr636 SS.org Regular

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    Here are some pages that are definitely worth a read IMO.

    I will post this one first since it is a worthwhile Power Tube comparison and the rest are mostly pre amp tubes. You may have to use google translate on some of the text but I found it very informative.

    http://www.tube-town.net/info/doc/tt-tubemap.pdf

    For anyone wanting to get into rolling some of the more rare and vintage tubes. This page is more to be able to identify what you are looking at vs. the characteristics of the sound but one hell of a good page:


    Tube Classics - Audio Tubes


    Here are a couple of articles by the tube king. Definitely some of my favorite comparison articles.

    Part 1: The Tubeking's Guide to NOS and Vintage Audio Tubes | eBay

    Part 2: The Tubeking's Guide to NOS/Vintage Audio Tubes Part II | eBay

    This is a good comparison regarding vintage black plate 12ax7's.


    Old Stock Audio: August 2011



    Here is a good one on current production 12ax7's and 6L6's.

    https://www.tubesandmore.com/products/vacuum_tubes/articles



    There are also some general comparisons from other places as well just for example.

    You will see a lot of commonalities between these pages but just keep in mind this is all someone's opinion. A more than likely much more experienced opinion but results may always vary.


    NOS Valve / Tube Guide | Shredaholic.com

    http://www.worldtubecompany.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=TF-2

    https://tubedepot.com/tube-comparison-tool
     
  2. Ice4600

    Ice4600 SS.org Regular

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    Hey guys. I've got a Series 1 Mesa Road King and I'm looking to re-tube it. I haven't had any loss of power or any sign that a tube has failed, but they're at least six years old and I'd like to experiment with tones. I find the amp to be very punchy, specifically when the EL34s are engaged, but overall the low end is saggy on every channel. This makes me think I could fix that with preamp tubes. I'd like to smooth out the high end on the dirtier channels and brighten up the cleans if possible (I know, it's still a Mesa).

    I know very little about tubes so it's likely that I make no sense right now. Does anyone have any experience with this particular amp? Does the progressive linkage circuitry make it substantially different than other dual recs? maybe different voicing?
     
  3. mongey

    mongey SS.org Regular

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    just retubed my dual recto this week. pre were 7 years old and power 3 and a bit . decided to mix it up and go with EL34s and I'm really digging it it so far .I was looking at the doug tubes recto kit but with exchange rate and delivery it got expensive. so I did my own version through different suppliers here in Oz

    JJ EL34 quad
    v1 tung sol 12ax7
    v2 Ruby 12ax7ac5hg+
    v3 groove tubes 12ax7c
    v4 groove tubes 12ax7c
    v5 sovtek 12ax7 lps


    digging it . gonna give it a few rehearsals to get used to it then try the ruby in v1 to see how it sounds
     
  4. axxessdenied

    axxessdenied :: 2077 ::

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    I just did my dual recto tremoverb went with mesa 6l6 power tubes and tung sol preamp tubes. Interested in how EL34's would sound though.
     
  5. StefanWest

    StefanWest SS.org Regular

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    Has anyone touched base on the Shuguang Nature Treasure tubes?
    I just bought matched quads of Ruby el34b strs and I've been trying to locate actual 9th gen Shuguang that everyone talked about throwing in their Cobra.
    So far the Ruby 12ax7 ac5 hgs are the only ones I've been suggested .
    I see 12ax7 b on eBay all day, in black lettering as well as red.

    I've also been seeing the gold lions that go for some $47 a piece but only for v1.

    Has anyone used the treasures? They're not cheap at all.
    So far nobody has spoken up.
     
  6. Tukaar

    Tukaar Bringer of DOOOOOOOM

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  7. lewis

    lewis SS.org Regular

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    using a tube preamp now for the heart of my entire pedalboard only live rig. Sounds great. Thinking about trying to upgrade it to stereo and getting another batch of devices. Love that tube tone but confined to a nice small and very convenient pedal.
     
  8. HeHasTheJazzHands

    HeHasTheJazzHands greg rulz ok

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    Quick noob question. :lol:

    I have a Peavey 5150II, and I wanted to check on the tubes. I looked inside, and the power amp tubes are Ruby 6L6s and Sovtek 12AX7s, so I'm assuming these are stock. I see the Sovteks have numbers on them, labeled "99 09". Am I righ to assume that means these tubes were produced in 1999 or 2009?

    EDIT: Already bought some preamp tubes to do the swap, but I just wanted to make sure because I'm also seeing how old the power amp tubes are. They seem very ancient. :lol:
     
  9. op1e

    op1e Blood_Lust:Unlimited

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    Groove Tubes GT-KT88-SV; Anybody try these? I'm finding em for $40 a matched pair, that's the price of one JJ. Probably gonna order anyway, just don't see any reviews.
     
  10. Kingcrimson

    Kingcrimson Electra Glide

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  11. lurè

    lurè SS.org Regular

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    Quick question:

    Does anybody have experience on putting a lower gain preamp tube (V1) on an high gain amp (6505/5150, Engl ...)?

    I was considering swapping the stock 12AX7 of my Powerball 2 with a 12AT7/ECC81 tube.
    I've heard it opens the overall sound, reducing compression and gain.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2018
  12. mnemonic

    mnemonic Custom User Title

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    12at7 has the same pinout as a 12ax7 and technically will work as a drop in replacement, but it has different characteristics and isn’t designed to work the same way a 12ax7 does in a circuit. It’s more different than just lower gain, you may not like how it sounds. But NOS 12at7’s are still cheap and plentiful so it’s worth a shot if you want to try.

    You may be better off with a 5751 tube for v1 to tame things.
     
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  13. lurè

    lurè SS.org Regular

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    Thanks.
    The 5751 tube seems a good compromise.
    I've also checked the manual and the gain stages of channel 3 and 4 are piloted by the second preamp tube (V6 in the manual).
    I'll leave a 12ax7 in V1 and try a 5751 in V2; probably gonna also try a 12at7 just for curiosity.
     
  14. oneblackened

    oneblackened CROAKIES! CROAKIES!

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    Here are my experiences with tubes.


    Tung-Sol RI 12AX7: Very, VERY bright, to the point of harsh, in V1+V2. Nice in V1 if you want to tilt your amp bright, probably good in darker amps e.g. a Fireball 100 or something.
    JJ ECC83S: Sort of the opposite of the Tung-Sol - fairly dark. Really damn quiet too. Good if you want to darken an amp up. 6505s LOVE these IME, and for good reason - it tames some of the harshness.
    JJ ECC803S: Flat out awesome in V1 in my JCA100HDM. Not much like the JJ ECC83S other than its low mechanical noise - it's well balanced and lower gain with a nice chime. Super long plate design though, so it's somewhat microphony-prone.
    JJ ECC83MG: My favorite of JJ's preamp tube offerings. Somewhere between the 83S and 803S tonally, similar low noise and non-microphonic qualities to the 83S without being so damn dark. I'd do a whole amp with these any day - nice midrange bark without being overly bright.
    Mullard RI 12AX7/ECC83: Just kind of "meh". Neutral to warm-ish, nice enough in V2. Never tried it in V1. Not my thing in the PI slot - made the amp a bit too warm.
    Sovtek 12AX7LPS: Great phase inverter. A lot like the Mullard RI but not quite so warm.

    Power tubes:
    JJ 6L6GC: Nice and tight, kinda rolled off on top like most JJs seem to be. Well built.
    Tung-Sol 6L6GC-STR: A bit more vintage than the JJ - kinda "mushy" at the same plate dissipation by comparison. Tone's nice though when biased right - A bit brighter than the JJs but only a hair.

    I'm considering converting my SLO modded JCA100HDM to EL34 operation, but that's still up in the air. If I do, I'll report back on the tubes I try for that.
     
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  15. LiveOVErdrive

    LiveOVErdrive CNC hack

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    I didn't want to start a whole new thread for this post so here we go:

    I've always kind of poo-poo-ed power tube rolling, assuming a little eq tweaking would do a lot more and a power amp is a power amp (at least for metal where power distortion isn't a thing)

    Well today I replaced the original 6l6s from my Mark v with some JJ el34s. Good God what a difference. They definitely have more of that mid-focused el34 snarl people talk about, but the bass is also bigger and tighter at the same time. I'm impressed. The mk4 mode of channel 3 is now a violent, fire breathing monster.
     
  16. oneblackened

    oneblackened CROAKIES! CROAKIES!

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    Oh yeah - switching tube types (e.g. 6L6 to EL34) makes a pretty big difference. Within those types? Eh, not so much. An EL34 is an EL34 more or less.
     
  17. LiveOVErdrive

    LiveOVErdrive CNC hack

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    Yeah, definitely makes sense, though I always assumed the EQ difference must be pretty small. And I guess it IS, but I'm really impressed.

    I'm assuming part of it is that the 6L6s in there before were pretty old (I bought the thing used and I'm guessing they're original). People SAY that makes a difference. Whatever, it sounds great to me. I even LOVE the clean tone I'm getting out of it. Spanky and tasty. Which is not what you expect from EL34s. But then a lot of those stereotypes might be more of a Fender vs Marshall sound type thing.
     
  18. DudeManBrother

    DudeManBrother Hey...how did everybody get in my room?

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    The EL34 has a steep drop off in the lows around starting around 80hz, while the the 6L6 is more of a low shelf. There’s a noticeable difference around 125hz being strong on 6L6’s, then somewhere around 275hz there’s a steep notch cut with EL34. Then where the 6L6 starts to settle down in the 500-1.2k range is where the EL34 starts to come to life. Most of the high end is relatively similar(ish) but it’s enough to drastically alter the way an amp sounds.

    The KT66 is also a cool tube that has some of the mid range punch of an EL34 but is more in spec with a 6L6 and is a cool replacement for amps that don’t take EL34 variants. But they are wide bottles and don’t fit every amp.
     

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