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PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2008 7:04 pm 
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Bottle Rocket

Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2008 1:20 am
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I think it makes sense. Just imagine how many people don't really know very much about tubes and their tones. Any regular person who has only a minimal knowledge of amps (which I imagine would equal to or surpass the number of people who are tube discerners) wouldn't be able to tell much difference between JJs and the mesa stocks would not appreciate the different tone, and would probably perfer the longevity of the mesa tubes OR not realize that the tubes are meant to be replaced and would play them to failure.


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 Post subject: tung sol 6l6str
PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2008 8:56 pm 
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Mark I
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How does the tung sol 6L6 STR tubes hold up in performance and tone?

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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2008 7:03 pm 
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Single Recto

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I agree. It's all about the $$$$$$$$$$. Thats the American Way! But I have yet to get a set of JJ 83's that last longer than a month or two.
JAZZGEAR wrote:
"He claimed that in a shipment of JJ's, that they tested, the percentage that passed Mesa standard was very low and it was not worth it to offer JJ's at this time. The deciding factor to Mesa was the fact that JJ will not give Mesa a price break on mass quantities of tubes

This is B.S. from Mesa about the longevity of JJ tubes. I had a set in my MK IV for almost three years and gigging it every weekend and only replaced them because the legnth of time seemed excessive and wanteed to put fresh ones in there.

I think the latter part of the quoted statement is the real reason Mesa doesn't offer JJ tubes.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2008 9:46 pm 
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Mark III

Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2008 12:57 am
Posts: 327
Location: DFW Texas
Hi all,

One question that I have been wondering about is related to bias, etc. when replacing tubes. My 92 MKIVa is a fixed bias amp. I've always used Mesa tubes because my expectation was that the QC on Mesa tubes ensured that the setup would retain the proper power characteristics. I've been content with the tone (ecstatic would be more accurate), but then again, I have never ventured out of the box. Tone nirvana could be one experiment away...

When you swap out tubes for JJ's or GT's or whatever in a MKIV, do you have to get an adjustment or are you content to just hope for the best? I'm sure I could see if a tube was glowing too hot, but its the less extreme deviations from allowable limits that concern me. I figure pushing plate voltages, etc could eventually damage the amp.

Am I wrong?

BTW, this is my first post here.
Been reading for hours and hours...
Awesome site!

Mongo

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2009 8:28 pm 
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Mark II

Joined: Mon Jun 02, 2008 10:15 am
Posts: 101
Location: Canada
Hey shredd6,
Maybe you'll remember me. You help me decide to buy RFT tubes last summer...or fall!!!!
Finally, the RFT are doing a great job and the things that i didn't like with my sounding was more a guitar and pickup thing.
Anyway, one of my RFT is now dead and i read somewhere that those tube are supposed to last forever....or nearly.
My mark 4 (brand new from this summer, one of the last one sold in Montreal) eats a lot of 12ax7...(a lot of russian...and a RFT )
Do you think i should worried or all of this may be normal???
Thanks a lot man,
Normand.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 10:57 am 
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Single Recto

Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2009 5:16 am
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Guitarzan wrote:
Hi All,
We just had an Andy Timmon's clinic here in town today and several reps came out to promote the gig as well. I had a great talk with Rich Longacre (Mesa's Divisional Sales Rep for the Western U.S.)

First I'd like to let everyone in on the thinking behind Mesa's tube choices. I addressed the tube issue with Rich and asked what Randall Smith thinks of JJ tubes and other assorted tubes as well. His answer was that Mesa (Randall and his engineering group) Select tubes mostly on durability. Their perspective is that if they can put out the amp and have the tubes last as long as possible, without the end user having to change tubes frequently, then, they feel their product is best when viewed in that light.

Contrary to popular belief here (Boogie Board) Randall has experimented with JJ's and various other tubes. His long time Master Tech, Mike Bendinelli, has a favorite tube (Sylvania 6L6's) which he bench marks EVERYTHING off of. Mike claims that the new Chinese 440's that Mesa have in their Recto's/RK's/Roadsters' and LSC's are the closest thing to the old Sylvania's and the sound that he favors hearing. Mesa feels that the JJ's do sound good however, their operational lifetime is not "up to par" with Mesa's guidelines.

Mesa has also had a tough time finding quality EL-34's. Which Rich quickly pointed out that Mesa has looked at the JJ EL-34L and is pleased with it's capablilty. They also have looked at the KT-77 but the jury is still out on that decision. Which brings me to the Groove Tube connection. Mesa is close with Aspen at Groove Tubes and always ask Aspen for his new tubes that are manufactured (here in the U.S.) Mesa supports the production of new tubes here with earnest and looks forward to the day when quality tubes are once again mass produced State side. Rich informed me that the only other tube that "WILL NOT VOID YOUR WARRANTY ARE GROOVE TUBES WITH A #4 to #7 RATING" Mesa WILL NOT replace these tubes if one comes back to them for repairs loaded with GT's, but they Won't void the amps warranty for using them. Got That! Good.

Another aspect that Rich pointed out was the spec/tolerance that Mesa tests for. He claimed that in a shipment of JJ's, that they tested, the percentage that passed Mesa standard was very low and it was not worth it to offer JJ's at this time. The deciding factor to Mesa was the fact that JJ will not give Mesa a price break on mass quantities of tubes.

Rich pointed out that Mesa buys their tubes from Ruby and most folks in the industry already know this, so for the few out there who don't know this...now you do.

Also mentioned was the addition of Aluminum chassis to the Roadster and Stiletto Ace's. Rich explained that Mesa is using these chassis because of less electrical interference with component placement within the amps as compared to the steel chassis used in the Rectos/Stiletto Duece/Trident's. Mesa is only offering this feature on the above mentioned amps. The cost of aluminum has skyrocketed as of late and offering this material to the public results in Mesa passing on the costs to the consumer. This is not a quality issue with the materials!! It's just that with the circuit design of the Roadster and Stilletto Ace, Aluminum is a better choice of material.

Hopefully this will give everyone here a better understanding of Mesa's thinking and challenges of putting out a quality product while dealing with the business world.

Regards,
Guitarzan


Nice info. Bah, I wished I had asked you earlier to ask Randall Smith why them STR-454s are no more in circulation... :?


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 11:01 am 
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Single Recto

Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2009 5:16 am
Posts: 1258
JAZZGEAR wrote:
"He claimed that in a shipment of JJ's, that they tested, the percentage that passed Mesa standard was very low and it was not worth it to offer JJ's at this time. The deciding factor to Mesa was the fact that JJ will not give Mesa a price break on mass quantities of tubes

This is B.S. from Mesa about the longevity of JJ tubes. I had a set in my MK IV for almost three years and gigging it every weekend and only replaced them because the legnth of time seemed excessive and wanteed to put fresh ones in there.

I think the latter part of the quoted statement is the real reason Mesa doesn't offer JJ tubes.


Then you should try the more current batch of JJs, they are atrocious when it comes to life expectancy these days... :?


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2009 5:57 am 
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Single Recto

Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2009 5:16 am
Posts: 1258
nwoforlif wrote:
Sorry have to disagree. My mesa 12AX7A tubes in my DR ARE JJ ECC83-S tubes rebranded to mesa ones! I'll take a picture if you want to see for yourself. I compared both tubes side by side and they look EXACTLY the same. I think the only reason mesa went with chinese tubes is they ARE CHEAP in PRICE and their quality control has nothing to do with it. All tubes go bad. It comes with this territory.

Think of it as amp selling business with a great reputation. Would you pay the supplier for bad tubes NO. I recently bought four sets of STR440 from mesa. Chinese tubes. Two boxes were arcing, therefore bad. Some testing you do mesa! Bullshit! I returned them to the music store and they were happy to refund me. Just like mesa would return them to the tube supplier. Therefore more mesa profit! Good for business. Greater Profit.

I think what really happened is that they returned ALOT of bad JJ tubes in their past dealings with JJ and JJ refused to replace them. They had a really big bad batch. Therefore a bad rap for JJ. Also they probably were not getting them at a cheap price any longer. Reason two to switch suppliers. The slovak republic is a pretty poor country. I have been there. That is where JJ's are made.

NWOFORLIF

JAZZGEAR wrote:
"He claimed that in a shipment of JJ's, that they tested, the percentage that passed Mesa standard was very low and it was not worth it to offer JJ's at this time. The deciding factor to Mesa was the fact that JJ will not give Mesa a price break on mass quantities of tubes

This is B.S. from Mesa about the longevity of JJ tubes. I had a set in my MK IV for almost three years and gigging it every weekend and only replaced them because the legnth of time seemed excessive and wanteed to put fresh ones in there.

I think the latter part of the quoted statement is the real reason Mesa doesn't offer JJ tubes.


Strange, cause I compared my Mesa Russian 2 12X7-A with one of my Sovtek 12AX7-A, and they look exactly the same. They sound pretty darn similar as well...


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PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2009 8:20 am 
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Mark II

Joined: Fri May 15, 2009 6:09 pm
Posts: 108
You guys do realize that the new mesa 12ax7a's are JJ's right? I just got my Mark V and its loaded with mesa relabled JJ's.
~mike~


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PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2009 10:42 pm 
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Single Recto

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t2mike2 wrote:
You guys do realize that the new mesa 12ax7a's are JJ's right? I just got my Mark V and its loaded with mesa relabled JJ's.
~mike~


Like I've said, it looks very similar to my Sovtek as well. Maybe those look very identical to the JJs? Also, is yours labelled a Russian 2 as well???


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PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2009 4:15 pm 
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Mark II

Joined: Fri May 15, 2009 6:09 pm
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Nope mine are DEFINITELY jj's.

~mike~


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PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2009 5:01 pm 
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Donating Member
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t2mike2 wrote:
You guys do realize that the new mesa 12ax7a's are JJ's right? I just got my Mark V and its loaded with mesa relabled JJ's.
~mike~


I'll have to check my Lonestar out...

Anyway, I personally don't like JJs. I found they tend to make your amp sound like you threw a blanket over the cab. They're also alot lower in gain than any other 12AX7 I've used.

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PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2009 6:39 pm 
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Mark IV
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screamingdaisy wrote:

Anyway, I personally don't like JJs. I found they tend to make your amp sound like you threw a blanket over the cab. They're also alot lower in gain than any other 12AX7 I've used.


Hear hear! An amp guy I used in Nashville swore by them for my Heartbreaker. Big mistake. Dull, lifeless.

ty

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 12:29 am 
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Dual Recto
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I haven't ever ventured outside of Mesa's tested tubes but I can comment a bit on quality. Although I've only once had trouble with a set of EL - 34 power tubes, the preamp ones are a different story. I recall walking into the local L&M and the salespeople let me back into the repair room where I just grabbed 12ax7s out of the boxes and kept swapping them in and out of my amp until I got some that worked the way I wanted. (the amp is supposed to make noise ONLY when the guitar is played) During this adventure, I found that there is a lot of variance between the SP12ax7-a tubes which doesn't make sense if we consider that they are supposed to be more rigorously tested than the others. Come on, these are all supposed to be high performance tubes for v1 but most of them had a nasty hiss. Eventually I found some I liked but they weren't as good as the tubes my amp originally had in them. I ran my original SP12ax7 in V2 for awhile but it got so old that my clean started to get really wet sounding and flubby so I was forced to change it. Back to L&M for more testing! As for preamp configuration goes, I actually run a hand picked SP12ax7-a in both v1 and v2 since this cuts the woosh considerably, but this is as far as I ever got to experimenting. Once the hiss was gone and my amp sounded good, I was finished. Tubes are too expensive, we just need a place where guitarists can go and try everything under the sun without having to buy it first.

I did try a different brand of 12ax7 once but my amp hated it. Literally. Lots of his and microphonics. That put an end to any of my preamp tube adventures.
Oh, I started googling some preamp tubes, namely the RTF ecc883 and a Seimens Long plate. They were selling for upwards of $50 or even $75 in the case of the seimens, and all this for a preamp tube. Furthermore, most were sold out on the sites I saw. By contrast, Mesa sells the chinese 12ax7s for $10, or $20 for the SP ones. Does anyone care to explain / justify this discrepancy for me!?


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 11:03 am 
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Mark II

Joined: Mon Aug 24, 2009 10:07 am
Posts: 96
I have used Mesa tubes for years, but in the last year have found that what they are selling are junk. 3 out of 5 Boogie labeled 12ax7's were bad. I have had a Boogie labeled EL34 and 6l6 both fail in a blaze of glory in my Mark IV with in a week of each other. The attitude from Boogie's service manager has been condescending and extrememly rude.

I replace all the Boogie 12ax7's with Tung Sol 12ax7's and it was like a completely differnt amp. My Mark IV is in the shop now from the power tube blowing issue. I called them for assistance on the issue, they tell me to send it back, I do, and then I get a truck load of attitude.

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