Matching 4 Tubes - How Important?

Talk about tubes and their effect on your tone

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thadc
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Matching 4 Tubes - How Important?

Post by thadc » Mon Dec 09, 2019 5:51 pm

Hi, I have an Electrodyne. I want to swap the four 6L6s for four EL34s. I recognize that it is best to use "matched" tubes. Its easy to find "paired" EL34s to buy, such as Mesa's NOS EL34s, but they come matched as pairs and I am replacing four. Am I seriously supposed to find match set of four? If so I can't find those. Is it good enough to get two sets of matched pairs?

Thanks!

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jnoel64
Mark III
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Re: Matching 4 Tubes - How Important?

Post by jnoel64 » Tue Dec 10, 2019 11:27 am

I also have an Electra Dyne and use EL34s. Mached pairs are absolutely fine. Just make sure the inner pair are a matched pair and the outer pair are a matched pair. Tube Depot will also sell you a matched quartet, but it's not necessary.

There are a few out there who think matching is pointless. Back in the 60s, there were no such things as matched tubes - according to my father. You just replaced your tubes and played.

One thing that I do with all my tube amps is when I replace power tubes, I leave the amp on for 24 hours. Some tubes can be a bit harsh when brand new, and this "burn in" process smooths out that harshness. Mesa says they do that with all their amps before they ship. But, I have found an additional 24 hours, especially with the STR 447s, helps a lot.
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thadc
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Re: Matching 4 Tubes - How Important?

Post by thadc » Thu Dec 12, 2019 9:07 am

great, thanks for reply. I will get two sets of matched pairs. As far as order I think I understand what you are saying. If numbered 1,2,3,4 left to right ( or right to left), just make sure 2 and 3 match, and 1 and 4 match, correct?

Also I will leave on for 24 to break them in. thanks again!

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jnoel64
Mark III
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Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2013 12:45 pm
Location: Southwest Michigan

Re: Matching 4 Tubes - How Important?

Post by jnoel64 » Thu Dec 12, 2019 11:09 am

That is correct. The manual for the Dyne is really good, too. It will tell you the functions of each preamp tube, which could be useful if you are interested in shaping your tone from the inside as well. They also go into detail about the power section and how the tubes are used in 45 watt mode and 90.
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TC-50, Mark V, Electra Dyne, Road King I
Mostly Fenders with Duncans
Celestion, Eminence, EVM, and WGS speakers

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