THD Yellow Jackets Questions

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vds5000
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THD Yellow Jackets Questions

Post by vds5000 » Mon Feb 25, 2008 10:56 am

Hi,

I have a 100W head, but to coax any decent gain, I have to turn it up and it's a bit too loud (ok, maybe more than a bit). I did some research and one option is to use a set of THD Yellow Jackets.
So now, I have a few questions:

1.) There seems to be two types ('Cathode Biased' vs. 'Grid Biased'). How do I know which type I'm suppose to use?

2.) Will these allow me to get some decent amounts of gain at civilized volume levels?

3.) Are there any drawbacks to using these?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
* GUITARS: Baker 'B1 Inferno', Jackson CS 'Dinky' San Dimas, PRS '513 Brazilian', Peavey 'Wolfgang Standard Deluxe'

* AMPS: Matchless 'Phoenix', Mesa 'Mark IIC+', Mesa 'Mark IV', TopHat 'Emplexador MkII'

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redmax61
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Post by redmax61 » Mon Feb 25, 2008 3:57 pm

First question, what amp are you putting them in, and what tubes are they going to replace? The grid bias models work in most of the amps I know of, but you can email them directly at info@thdelectronics.com if you have any questions. I've met Andy and Ed, they're very nice people that will answer any questions quickly.

I really don't understand your gain question. Gain is going to come mostly from the front end of your amplifier. If you crank the amp, you will get some really cool output tube distortion, but switching to YJ's isn't going to reduce the overall volume of the amp that much.

There are no drawbacks to using YJ's that I've found. IMHO, they really sound best when you combine them with another set of tubes in a 100 watt amp. You would put the YJ's in the outer power tube sockets, and the normal tube in the inner sockets. The amp will take on the best characteristics from both sets of tubes!

I've had them in my Dual Rectifier since '02, and I don't see myself changing anytime soon.
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gonzo
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Post by gonzo » Mon Feb 25, 2008 4:26 pm

i dig the groovetubes Substitubes more than the THD YJ's...

a/b'd them both, went with the GT SUB's..

they seemed better made...

they had a better feel.

took my MarkIIb 6l6's down to el84's, which is a cool thing..
that el84 chime, mixed with the classic boogie overdrive, pretty sweet.

vds5000
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Sorry, let me clarify my question

Post by vds5000 » Mon Feb 25, 2008 8:25 pm

I just bought a 100W Bruno head. This is suppose to be a high-gain head, but I can't get too much distortion out of it unless the volume is increased significantly. I was hoping that the yellow jackets would have the same effect as a power soak/brake (meaning that I can increase the master without disturbing my neighbours). At least this what people at GC have been telling me.

I was also under the impression that using a power soak/brake can be hard on an amp. Just wondering if the Yellow Jackets are just as hard on an amp.
* GUITARS: Baker 'B1 Inferno', Jackson CS 'Dinky' San Dimas, PRS '513 Brazilian', Peavey 'Wolfgang Standard Deluxe'

* AMPS: Matchless 'Phoenix', Mesa 'Mark IIC+', Mesa 'Mark IV', TopHat 'Emplexador MkII'

thinskin57
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Post by thinskin57 » Mon Feb 25, 2008 8:25 pm

make sure that they'll actually FIT in your head. the yellow jackets add a bit of height to the tubes, so if they're barely fitting in there now...

vds5000
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Post by vds5000 » Tue Feb 26, 2008 8:13 am

Thanks Redmax, I just emailed them.

Hey Gonzo, quick question about the Substitubes - when they need replacing, are you suppose to replace the entire unit or just the EL84s themselves?
* GUITARS: Baker 'B1 Inferno', Jackson CS 'Dinky' San Dimas, PRS '513 Brazilian', Peavey 'Wolfgang Standard Deluxe'

* AMPS: Matchless 'Phoenix', Mesa 'Mark IIC+', Mesa 'Mark IV', TopHat 'Emplexador MkII'

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CoG
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Post by CoG » Tue Feb 26, 2008 1:14 pm

Hey vds5000,

No, YJs or Substitubes won't make much of a volume difference-- that's for going from "really loud" to "loud."

As far as I know, attenuators are only hard on your amp/power tubes in the sense that you're going to crank it more because it's attenuated; you won't do any more damage than you would by just playing loud all the time.

I use a Weber Mass 150 on my Mark III sometimes and find it works really well for going from "oh god loud but it sounds so good" to "kinda loud but sounds good." It sounds really bad dialed down to the kinds of bedroom levels that other people are going for (I have a Rec Pre for that.)

However, my buddy's Roadster actually sounds good through the Weber down to, like, loudish conversation volume. I think it really depends on the gain structure of the amp.
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Post by vds5000 » Tue Feb 26, 2008 4:18 pm

Thanks CoG. I just heard back from Ed at THD, and he said the same thing - that I should use something like a 'Hot Plate'. So, how does the Weber Mass 150 compare to the THD product as far as sound, reliability and cost? Also, are there any other options/makes?
* GUITARS: Baker 'B1 Inferno', Jackson CS 'Dinky' San Dimas, PRS '513 Brazilian', Peavey 'Wolfgang Standard Deluxe'

* AMPS: Matchless 'Phoenix', Mesa 'Mark IIC+', Mesa 'Mark IV', TopHat 'Emplexador MkII'

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Post by thinskin57 » Tue Feb 26, 2008 4:45 pm

bottle rocket will disappear and change to different mesa amp names as you accumulate more posts

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CoG
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Post by CoG » Tue Feb 26, 2008 7:49 pm

vds5000 wrote:Thanks CoG. I just heard back from Ed at THD, and he said the same thing - that I should use something like a 'Hot Plate'. So, how does the Weber Mass 150 compare to the THD product as far as sound, reliability and cost? Also, are there any other options/makes?
As far as I know the Weber is slightly cheaper and more versatile; it can take any output whereas you have to buy Hot Plates in specific ohm values. I've only ever owned the Weber so I can't really compare tonally. Weber also makes smaller versions (the 150 is for 150 watts) but you always want one that can take 50 per cent more wattage than the amp is nominally rated for. Dr. Z makes one called the Airbrake, Marshall makes the Powerbrake which is really frickin' expensive... just google on 'guitar attenuators' and you should see most of them.
Royal Atlantic RA-100 Head
MkIII Green Stripe DRG
Dual Rectifier Tremoverb 100 head
Lots of Mesa cabs
Marshall JCM800
Also owned: Rec Pre, 20/20, Bottle Rocket, MkIII Purple Stripe DRG, Rev F DR, Rectoverb 50 Series II

vds5000
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Post by vds5000 » Tue Feb 26, 2008 7:58 pm

Hmm, I've seen the THD ones used at GC on occasion. I wonder if that would be a valid option. Are these the types of things that I should stay away from used?
* GUITARS: Baker 'B1 Inferno', Jackson CS 'Dinky' San Dimas, PRS '513 Brazilian', Peavey 'Wolfgang Standard Deluxe'

* AMPS: Matchless 'Phoenix', Mesa 'Mark IIC+', Mesa 'Mark IV', TopHat 'Emplexador MkII'

vds5000
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Post by vds5000 » Tue Feb 26, 2008 9:23 pm

Is it me, or does the Gibson Power Stealth Power Attenuator look suspiciously like the THD Hotplate. Other than the colour of the body and the knobs/buttons - the layout is identical - even the labelling.

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/ ... sku=481181

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/ ... sku=481283
* GUITARS: Baker 'B1 Inferno', Jackson CS 'Dinky' San Dimas, PRS '513 Brazilian', Peavey 'Wolfgang Standard Deluxe'

* AMPS: Matchless 'Phoenix', Mesa 'Mark IIC+', Mesa 'Mark IV', TopHat 'Emplexador MkII'

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Post by Nomad100 » Wed Feb 27, 2008 11:48 am

vds5000 wrote:Is it me, or does the Gibson Power Stealth Power Attenuator look suspiciously like the THD Hotplate. Other than the colour of the body and the knobs/buttons - the layout is identical - even the labelling.
They are the same. THD makes them for Gibson, though the Gibson does look cooler.

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Post by dayn » Wed Feb 27, 2008 2:22 pm

Had the YJ's in a Fender Deluxe and they sounded great!

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Post by vds5000 » Wed Feb 27, 2008 5:14 pm

Ok, at the risk of coming across as a dullard, the ohms on the speakers (or attenuator) MUST be higher than what is on the amp, correct?

For instance, it is ok to plug an attenuator rated at 16ohms into an amp's speaker jack rated at 8ohms.

Or have I got that reversed?
* GUITARS: Baker 'B1 Inferno', Jackson CS 'Dinky' San Dimas, PRS '513 Brazilian', Peavey 'Wolfgang Standard Deluxe'

* AMPS: Matchless 'Phoenix', Mesa 'Mark IIC+', Mesa 'Mark IV', TopHat 'Emplexador MkII'

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