Talk about tubes and their effect on your tone
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I decided since I have been using my studio pre-amp 295 simul-stereo rig a lot lately I should try different tubes, my theory on life and such is, "I'd trade it all for just a little bit more," so I needed to see if I could get a little more out of this set up. I liked the way it sounded when I bought it so I never changed the sovtek tubes it came with. In my Mark lll's any V1 tube change was drastic, literally night and day, but the studio pre didn't react that way. I tried several different tubes in V1 and worked my way down the line. I found the sovteks were the least harmonic and the "smoothest" sounding out of what I had, so I left them in V2-V4. I usually run the lead drive at 3.5 which is where it starts to compress and the attack is softened leaving anything above 3.5 unusable for classic rock, but good for metal, when I get to play metal I use my Mark lll blue stripe anyway. My favorite ax7's (Bugle boy, RCA, sylvania, groove tube, GE) broke up early, whereas the SPAX, regular MESA, sovtek, broke up later around 5.5 lead drive. I messed with the tubes for a couple of hours Monday thinking the sylvania was the one that worked best. Yesterday I went and fired the rig up and thought that it sounded too muddy so I started switching tubes again trying to get a clearer uncompressed classic rock sound with more color, not so metal sounding. I ended up liking one particular SPAX the best and this morning I confirmed my pick, great cut through when driven at 7, tremendous bite at 5.5, and crystal clear at 3.5 which is what I want with this rig. The low end dialed in much easier and didn't color the guitar's tone with the SPAX, which also was louder than the other tubes. My blue stripe was dull when I tried that SPAX, and came alive when I put an old GE in V1. The mark lll is very touchy with V1 tubes, the S.P., any tube was useable pretty much, and super easy to change.
JP2C, Mark llC++ DG, Mark IV-A/B.