New Preamp Tubes for my Mark V - my story

Talk about tubes and their effect on your tone

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Mark I
Posts: 21
Joined: Mon Nov 02, 2009 3:57 am

New Preamp Tubes for my Mark V - my story

Post by alboz28 » Sat Feb 09, 2013 2:39 am

First of all, let me thank all of you for such great info that this forum provides. It sure did help me a lot with my research on tubes.
I was feeling a little underwhelmed with my Mark V regarding Channel 2 in Crunch Mode and somewhat in Channel 3 in Mark IV mode. I just seemed that it was lacking something, and after watching the Mesa Doug West demo on YouTube, I thought to myself hmmm... my amp does not sound like that. So after many overdrive pedal experiments, I just could not understand why I could not get the sound I wanted.
I used to have a Mesa Studio Preamp and it had all the gain and punch you could imagine, but why didn't my Mark V sound the same or even better!! Anyway long story short, after researching about preamp tubes I purchased and replaced V1, V2, V3 and V7. I now get great crunch and clarity on Channel 2 and liquidy smooth saturation on Channel 3 Mark IV mode. It really did make a world of difference. I had to turn the gain back on both channels and re-tweak my settings. The Treble and Presence Controls now have a much better response than they did prior to the swap. Overall it really brought out everything I was looking for. While this selection may not be for everyone, this is the tube cocktail I used:

V1 = Mesa SPAX7
V2 = JJ Hi Gain
V3 = Ruby Hi Grade
V4 = Stock
V5 = Stock
V6 = Stock
V7 = Sovtek 12AX7LPS

Thanks again for your help and I hope maybe this selection might be the answer to others as well !
Mark V Combo, 2x12 Rectifier Cabinet with V30's - 2x12 Rectifier Cabinet w/ GH30's - BB Preamp - Free the Tone Chorus - Friedman BE-OD - Suhr Koji and Koko Boost - Eventide H9

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Mark III
Posts: 274
Joined: Sat Dec 17, 2005 11:16 am
Location: Bellwood, PA

Re: New Preamp Tubes for my Mark V - my story

Post by Daxman73 » Tue Feb 12, 2013 11:51 am

Thanks for sharing, it's always cool to hear the experiments from others and how they pan out. It's helpful. Happy to hear you found something that works for you.
...Bleed Boogie forever...

Mesa TC50 Head
Mesa Mark IV 1x12 WB Combo
Mesa Electradyne Lg Head
4x12 Recto Slant Cab (x2)
2x12 Recto Compact Cab

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mesa metal
Mark III
Posts: 189
Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2013 6:02 pm
Location: bethlehem,Pa.

Re: New Preamp Tubes for my Mark V - my story

Post by mesa metal » Thu Feb 21, 2013 8:04 pm

glad i clicked on this link too..i just posted my tube swap in the MKV page..
always looking to see what others are using for that awsome tone!!
may give that one a try just need to get the ruby...
MKV combo#18xx
MKV:25#14xx(autographed by randall)
simul-class 2:90(blue light)
triaxis 2.0(nofat)
4x12 straight/slant recto
2x12 recto v30 vert & horiz cab
jackson usa guitars
strictly7 usa guitars
dimarzio pickups
mogami cables
Free the tone

Mark II
Posts: 87
Joined: Fri Dec 17, 2010 5:59 pm

Re: New Preamp Tubes for my Mark V - my story

Post by farren » Sat Mar 02, 2013 5:40 pm

My setup is similar and my story is the same. New tubes made my Mark V sound even better than it already did.

Here's what I got from Doug's:

V1 - Tung 12AX7 100/110
V2 - High Gain JJ ECC83 115/115
V3 - Ruby 12AX7AC7 High Grade 110/115
V4 - Penta 12AX7 105/110
V5 - Penta 12AX7 110/105
V6 - Penta 12AX7 110/100
V7 - Sovtek 12AX7 LPS 100/100

Very pleased with it all, to say the least.

I get a lot more gain with more conservative gain/treble/presence settings now. Noise is decreased if anything and even the clean channel benefited. The amp is quite a bit brighter now, but I think that's probably directly related to the gain increase. It's easily tempered by decreasing gain/treble/presence/6600 hz.

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