Doug's Tubes evaluation

5:25 and 5:50's

Moderators: Guitarzan, Grandor, ned, Platypus

pusher
Mark I
Posts: 43
Joined: Wed May 23, 2007 8:18 am

Re: Doug's Tubes evaluation

Post by pusher » Mon Mar 12, 2012 2:27 pm

Did you get your set from Doug's?

Newysurfer
Mark IV
Posts: 937
Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2007 6:53 am
Location: Newcastle NSW Australia

Re: Doug's Tubes evaluation

Post by Newysurfer » Mon Mar 12, 2012 4:34 pm

gadgetfreak wrote:Well after 3 days of messing around I settled on this for tubes and let me tell you the E.H 12ax7 was a close second for v1 but I opted for the jj because my e.h is older and the JJ had tighter bass and was brand new. I might try buying one eh just to see how they fare when brand new.

It makes sense because the mesa branded 12ax7a that says russian 2 is an E.H if I'm not mistaken so give mesa credit for tone testing there amps. I just cannot justify the price for mesa branded tubes when you can buy the same tube for less and ask the dealer to make sure it's high gain, or low noise,, whatever you want.

So here is what is staying for now and my tone is sick for what I play,Tons of blues new and old, classic rock(zeppelin,free,bad company etc.) and a lot of music from early 90's.Lots of gain when soloing with analog delay and definitely have to have the sweetest cleans possible because this amp can take pedals amazingly on the clean channel. Basically can play anything with this amp except the heaviest of metal,need an additional pedal to get into that territory but I can get a decent old school metal tone with just eq on amp and gain up and an additional eq pedal.

The hiss my amp made has been reduced to basically 0 if I'm playing with volume below 12 position or in 5 watt mode and that is with gain dimed, if the volume is above you can hear whirring air but not noisy hiss like before and that is because it's a freakin tube amp that is loud as hell and I don't know of any that are silent when volume is up that high with the gain dimed. This is just holding guitar noise I'm talking about, if I'm playing you hear nothing but music. The notes are fat and very articulate with no flubbiness. The cleans I just cannot find one thing negative to say, I would recommend this amp to somebody just for the clean tone, a pedal in front for gain sound's incredible. Some amps take pedal's horribly this one is not one of them as we all know.

I tried nos tubes in v1 and v2, they were Rca 12ax7a's from like 63 and for me I wasn't digging the tone I was getting, not as driving and cutting as the new production tubes imo,, now the nos I have aren't that used low hours so it could be I just have some bum nos tubes but they sound to die for in my deluxe so I don't believe they are dud's. I'm usually all over the nos tube's but I tried a 12at7 and lost something in my tone in the v5 reverb socket definitely lost a lot of verb and the lushness of it. YMMV, maybe try some different nos idk, my amp is singing and that is with fairly cheap new production tubes so I'm gonna stick with em.

Power tubes are Matched set of
S.E.D =c='s

Pre-Amp
V1=JJ Ecc83s
V2=Tungsol reissue
V3=Penta 12ax7
V4=Sovtek Lps
V5=Sovtek Lps
great thanks Gadget - nice to have a real tube expert on here now.
There's another guy here who keeps trying different speakers and knows all about em so its great to have you on board for tubes.

hehehe want a laugh - In Australia Mesa charge $70 for their 2nd rate chinese power tubes and $55 for their 12ax7s. - yeah EACH hehe
Gretsch Jet Firebird, Gretsch G5422, Gibson SG Deluxe, Strat Plus - Mesa 5:50, Mesa Mark V 25, analog pedal boards
Check my Mesa Soundclick recordings on http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default ... dID=792315

gadgetfreak
Mark I
Posts: 49
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2012 4:56 pm

Re: Doug's Tubes evaluation

Post by gadgetfreak » Mon Mar 12, 2012 5:03 pm

Holy sh!t mate :( that's crazy on the prices. Yes I always get my tubes from Doug, He is in the state right next to me so I can have them in 1 day from ordering, plus I've had tubes that were questionable and he immediately took them back and gave me what I wanted, didn't just give me replacements let me choose something else, he's the man.

I know about Australia you poor guys get a beat down on good's coming in but you live in a beautiful place.

I'm totally into speakers and all that goes on with modding guitars as well, I don't think I will change my speaker though in the 5:50 it sounds great and I have no issue's. It's been broken in well and that's what you want in a good speaker.

I have however on other amp's primarily fender's swapped many of a speaker.


Hey your recording's sound great Newysurfer,, I went to your page. Did you record all those yourself at home? Who's the hot bird holding the Deluxe:) I have the epi sheraton as well but not tricked out with that beautiful bridge you have, I really like that and think it look's great. I have gibson's but my favorite guitar is my 98 epiphone standard plus all modded with 50's vintage wiring,57 classic/+,switchcraft jack and toggle switch,,it's the fastest playing les paul I've ever played. I really love old epiphones,just get rid of the electronics and you have a great piece of wood for 1/4 the price.

Newysurfer
Mark IV
Posts: 937
Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2007 6:53 am
Location: Newcastle NSW Australia

Re: Doug's Tubes evaluation

Post by Newysurfer » Wed Mar 14, 2012 4:19 pm

gadgetfreak wrote:Holy sh!t mate :( that's crazy on the prices. Yes I always get my tubes from Doug, He is in the state right next to me so I can have them in 1 day from ordering, plus I've had tubes that were questionable and he immediately took them back and gave me what I wanted, didn't just give me replacements let me choose something else, he's the man.

I know about Australia you poor guys get a beat down on good's coming in but you live in a beautiful place.

I'm totally into speakers and all that goes on with modding guitars as well, I don't think I will change my speaker though in the 5:50 it sounds great and I have no issue's. It's been broken in well and that's what you want in a good speaker.

I have however on other amp's primarily fender's swapped many of a speaker.


Hey your recording's sound great Newysurfer,, I went to your page. Did you record all those yourself at home? Who's the hot bird holding the Deluxe:) I have the epi sheraton as well but not tricked out with that beautiful bridge you have, I really like that and think it look's great. I have gibson's but my favorite guitar is my 98 epiphone standard plus all modded with 50's vintage wiring,57 classic/+,switchcraft jack and toggle switch,,it's the fastest playing les paul I've ever played. I really love old epiphones,just get rid of the electronics and you have a great piece of wood for 1/4 the price.
hehe thanks Mr Gadget :mrgreen:
yeah did all those recordings in my home studio. I play all instruments except sing.
And they're all done thru a mic'ed 5:50
Mostly covers to begin with to learn recording techniques and will start soon on lots of originals we're doin in my new band.

Yeah I mod most of my guitars too.
The Sheraton has had new Classic 57 PUPs, all new electrics, locking tuners, graphite nut & a Stetsbar.
Hard to tell the diff now between it and a real ES-335.
Put new graphite nut & saddles & new locking tuners in the SG.
New Lace Sensors in the Strat.

Only guitar I never needed to mod was my Gretsch Jet 6131 - just perfect stock and my No 1 for most things.
I've owned LPs too - luv em.

On 5:50 speakers - I got a custom 2x12 closed cab made with V30's & wired it so I can use either...
cab alone
cab & combo speaker together = 3 speakers
I prefer the v30s but it could just be cause it's a 2x12 closed cab. Either speaker is great for this amp imo

The hot girl is a friend here in Australia Ayeth from Philippines - she luvs posing for pics hehe :mrgreen:
Gretsch Jet Firebird, Gretsch G5422, Gibson SG Deluxe, Strat Plus - Mesa 5:50, Mesa Mark V 25, analog pedal boards
Check my Mesa Soundclick recordings on http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default ... dID=792315

gadgetfreak
Mark I
Posts: 49
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2012 4:56 pm

Re: Doug's Tubes evaluation

Post by gadgetfreak » Wed Mar 14, 2012 8:42 pm

I will have to send you some pics, we think alike on the guitar mod's. I have graphite saddles,nut and tree on a couple guitars. One of my les pauls I put the 57 classics in, love them.. I basically have the same mods and some others. I don't own a gretch yet but that is on the list. I have had money in hand and played a bunch of them but haven't played the ONE yet. I want to get into recording music myself but I am so anal retentive I don't know if I would ever get something done, in the past I have been completely ocd when recording.

I think that the closed back does have a lot to do with you liking it. Don't get me wrong I like me a v30 but closed cabs are great for this amp. How did you wire it so you can have all three? I bet that must push some air in 50 or 5 watt mode huh...

Newysurfer
Mark IV
Posts: 937
Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2007 6:53 am
Location: Newcastle NSW Australia

Re: Doug's Tubes evaluation

Post by Newysurfer » Thu Mar 15, 2012 2:41 am

gadgetfreak wrote:I will have to send you some pics, we think alike on the guitar mod's. I have graphite saddles,nut and tree on a couple guitars. One of my les pauls I put the 57 classics in, love them.. I basically have the same mods and some others. I don't own a gretch yet but that is on the list. I have had money in hand and played a bunch of them but haven't played the ONE yet. I want to get into recording music myself but I am so anal retentive I don't know if I would ever get something done, in the past I have been completely ocd when recording.

I think that the closed back does have a lot to do with you liking it. Don't get me wrong I like me a v30 but closed cabs are great for this amp. How did you wire it so you can have all three? I bet that must push some air in 50 or 5 watt mode huh...
For the cab & combo together option a 16 ohm cab will do it.
You mismatch it to the 8 ohm output amp.
Mesa in the manual actually encourage experimenting with mismatches & no damage is risked.
Reduces overall output a touch - my amp tech calculated output would be about 43 watts but opined I'd be hard pressed to hear any output difference.
Audible outcome was actually a much fuller, louder sounding amp cause the spread is much better with 3 speakers.
On stage you can use the combo behind you as a monitor/amplifier & then the Cab on other side of stage :mrgreen:

I sent you a PM wif my email address too
Gretsch Jet Firebird, Gretsch G5422, Gibson SG Deluxe, Strat Plus - Mesa 5:50, Mesa Mark V 25, analog pedal boards
Check my Mesa Soundclick recordings on http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default ... dID=792315

melodiusthunk
Mark I
Posts: 36
Joined: Mon Dec 20, 2010 6:21 pm

My experience with mesa branded tubes

Post by melodiusthunk » Tue Mar 20, 2012 12:02 pm

gadgetfreak wrote:Well after 3 days of messing around I settled on this for tubes and let me tell you the E.H 12ax7 was a close second for v1 but I opted for the jj because my e.h is older and the JJ had tighter bass and was brand new. I might try buying one eh just to see how they fare when brand new.

It makes sense because the mesa branded 12ax7a that says russian 2 is an E.H if I'm not mistaken so give mesa credit for tone testing there amps. I just cannot justify the price for mesa branded tubes when you can buy the same tube for less and ask the dealer to make sure it's high gain, or low noise,, whatever you want.

So here is what is staying for now and my tone is sick for what I play,Tons of blues new and old, classic rock(zeppelin,free,bad company etc.) and a lot of music from early 90's.Lots of gain when soloing with analog delay and definitely have to have the sweetest cleans possible because this amp can take pedals amazingly on the clean channel. Basically can play anything with this amp except the heaviest of metal,need an additional pedal to get into that territory but I can get a decent old school metal tone with just eq on amp and gain up and an additional eq pedal.

The hiss my amp made has been reduced to basically 0 if I'm playing with volume below 12 position or in 5 watt mode and that is with gain dimed, if the volume is above you can hear whirring air but not noisy hiss like before and that is because it's a freakin tube amp that is loud as hell and I don't know of any that are silent when volume is up that high with the gain dimed. This is just holding guitar noise I'm talking about, if I'm playing you hear nothing but music. The notes are fat and very articulate with no flubbiness. The cleans I just cannot find one thing negative to say, I would recommend this amp to somebody just for the clean tone, a pedal in front for gain sound's incredible. Some amps take pedal's horribly this one is not one of them as we all know.

I tried nos tubes in v1 and v2, they were Rca 12ax7a's from like 63 and for me I wasn't digging the tone I was getting, not as driving and cutting as the new production tubes imo,, now the nos I have aren't that used low hours so it could be I just have some bum nos tubes but they sound to die for in my deluxe so I don't believe they are dud's. I'm usually all over the nos tube's but I tried a 12at7 and lost something in my tone in the v5 reverb socket definitely lost a lot of verb and the lushness of it. YMMV, maybe try some different nos idk, my amp is singing and that is with fairly cheap new production tubes so I'm gonna stick with em.

Power tubes are Matched set of
S.E.D =c='s

Pre-Amp
V1=JJ Ecc83s
V2=Tungsol reissue
V3=Penta 12ax7
V4=Sovtek Lps
V5=Sovtek Lps
I recently re-tubed my 5:50 preamp (except for the reverb driver, which I left unchanged) one tube at a time using Mesa SPAX7's. Beginning with V2, noticed that CH2 hiss was significantly reduced, then V1 & V3 (no great change) & thean at V4 got rid of a microphonic squeal (not a loud squeal, but always there). Biggest improvement though came from replacing the power tubes, which were at least 18 months old and had seen some Fuzz into Univibe abuse under my command, with new MESA branded replacements. Got rid of a resonant rattle that sounded like a bucket of ball bearings rolling around a metal roof whenever I played certain notes at load volume.

Here in the USA, the SPAX7's are only about 4$ more than the regular AX7's Mesa sells; don't know off hand how this compares to other domestic retailers, but Newysurfer's Mesa price shock down-under would definitely motivate me to look at alternates. Here in the US, I decided that I have better uses for my time.

SteveB
Bottle Rocket
Posts: 18
Joined: Sun Apr 14, 2013 12:03 pm

Re: Doug's Tubes evaluation

Post by SteveB » Tue Jun 11, 2013 5:02 pm

This thread was very helpful to me in thinking about whether and how to address the hissing from my 5:25 plus. I decided to contact Doug and decided to order the preamp tone kit and power tubes he recommended. I then switched his V1/V2 and V4/V5 recommendation per the suggestions in this thread. So I ended up with:
- V1 Ruby high gain JJECC83
- V2 Tungsol 12AX7
- V3 Penta 12AX7
- V4 Sovtek 12AX7 LPS
- V5 Penta 12AX7
- V6/V7 Matched Ruby EL84CZ

To my ear the hissing is meaningfully reduced, though the amp is certainly not "dead quiet" as others have experienced. But separately I have found that running the 5-band EQ is a lot quieter than using the preset countour knob or having the EQ off entirely. So the combination of the new tubes with the graphic sliders engaged has made the amp reasonably quiet. And the tone is still great (I mainly use the clean voicing, and sometimes crunch or blues).

I also ran an experiment to install the tubes exactly as Doug recommended (without switching V1/V2 and V4/V5) but it didn't improve things. In fact it sounded a little noisier to me.

Thanks everyone for the constructive tips.

Newysurfer
Mark IV
Posts: 937
Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2007 6:53 am
Location: Newcastle NSW Australia

Re: Doug's Tubes evaluation

Post by Newysurfer » Tue Jun 11, 2013 7:44 pm

SteveB wrote:This thread was very helpful to me in thinking about whether and how to address the hissing from my 5:25 plus. I decided to contact Doug and decided to order the preamp tone kit and power tubes he recommended. I then switched his V1/V2 and V4/V5 recommendation per the suggestions in this thread. So I ended up with:
- V1 Ruby high gain JJECC83
- V2 Tungsol 12AX7
- V3 Penta 12AX7
- V4 Sovtek 12AX7 LPS
- V5 Penta 12AX7
- V6/V7 Matched Ruby EL84CZ

To my ear the hissing is meaningfully reduced, though the amp is certainly not "dead quiet" as others have experienced. But separately I have found that running the 5-band EQ is a lot quieter than using the preset countour knob or having the EQ off entirely. So the combination of the new tubes with the graphic sliders engaged has made the amp reasonably quiet. And the tone is still great (I mainly use the clean voicing, and sometimes crunch or blues).

I also ran an experiment to install the tubes exactly as Doug recommended (without switching V1/V2 and V4/V5) but it didn't improve things. In fact it sounded a little noisier to me.

Thanks everyone for the constructive tips.
Ok - it seems the 5:25 reacts differently to noise with its EL84s against 6L6s in the 5:50.
I think the changed 6L6's gave most of the noise reduction on my 5:50.
But besides for the noise reduction did the new tubes deliver overall tone improvements as well ???
Gretsch Jet Firebird, Gretsch G5422, Gibson SG Deluxe, Strat Plus - Mesa 5:50, Mesa Mark V 25, analog pedal boards
Check my Mesa Soundclick recordings on http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default ... dID=792315

SteveB
Bottle Rocket
Posts: 18
Joined: Sun Apr 14, 2013 12:03 pm

Re: Doug's Tubes evaluation

Post by SteveB » Thu Jun 13, 2013 7:53 pm

I actually wasn't seeking any specific tone improvements. My objective was to maintain the range of great tones from the amp while reducing the hissing. I mentioned that to Doug. To my ear the tone quality of the amp has been maintained - no degradation in any way. The voicings that I use - mainly clean but also blues and crunch - all sound great to me. I can't say they sound better or a lot different than before, but I wasn't looking for that.

To your point about the power tubes, it might be interesting to swap the old power tubes back in and judge the difference with that change only. I will report back if I get to it. They were a lot easier to change than the preamp tubes.

Bigfellla
Bottle Rocket
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Jun 19, 2013 4:36 am

Re: Doug's Tubes evaluation

Post by Bigfellla » Fri Jun 21, 2013 7:01 pm

Hey guys

I have the 2x12 combo 5:50 and I love it, however the burn channel doesn't have quite enough gain for my liking. ;)

It currently has stock tubes and I would like to try some alternatives. What would you recommend to get more gain from the burn channel?

Krek13
Mark III
Posts: 166
Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2011 4:35 pm

Re: Doug's Tubes evaluation

Post by Krek13 » Sat Jun 22, 2013 4:08 am

turn the volume up :!:

a tubescreamer works great..

Bigfellla
Bottle Rocket
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Jun 19, 2013 4:36 am

Re: Doug's Tubes evaluation

Post by Bigfellla » Sat Jun 22, 2013 8:02 pm

Krek13 wrote:turn the volume up :!:

a tubescreamer works great..
Its not the overdrive im after, im after saturation.

Anyway I got a tone kit from Dougs and will see how that goes.

Krek13
Mark III
Posts: 166
Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2011 4:35 pm

Re: Doug's Tubes evaluation

Post by Krek13 » Tue Jun 25, 2013 9:15 am

I know, thats why I said to turn the volume up or get a tubescreamer (gain to zero, volume to max which pushes the amp)...

Bigfellla
Bottle Rocket
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Jun 19, 2013 4:36 am

Re: Doug's Tubes evaluation

Post by Bigfellla » Sat Jun 29, 2013 1:07 am

I play in quite a hard rock band and found the stock mesa pre amp tubes a little to be desired to be honest.

I went on Doug's recommendations and purchased his tone kit for this amp.

The difference is MASSIVE. The smoothness of the gain, the overall head room of the amp, the warmth of the clean tone.

Seriously massisve difference. The drummer in my band even commented on it

Very happy, big results and well worth the 120 bucks.

Did I say im very happy?? :)

Post Reply