Mark V with 6V6s...

Discussion for the new Mark V

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KH Guitar Freak
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Mark V with 6V6s...

Post by KH Guitar Freak » Sat Jun 25, 2011 11:23 am

Has anyone tried their Mark Vs with 6V6s? Does it require any specific type of 6V6s, or would any work just fine???

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J.J
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Re: Mark V with 6V6s...

Post by J.J » Sun Jun 26, 2011 8:40 am

Unless you really like experimenting, I don't think that tube swap would be viable.

Even if you had adjustable bias so you could properly bias the 6V6 tubes, the plate voltage is still going to be on the high side and probably over 450V. The JJ 6V6 may take that, but many others will not.
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Re: Mark V with 6V6s...

Post by KH Guitar Freak » Sun Jun 26, 2011 10:22 am

J.J wrote:Unless you really like experimenting, I don't think that tube swap would be viable.

Even if you had adjustable bias so you could properly bias the 6V6 tubes, the plate voltage is still going to be on the high side and probably over 450V. The JJ 6V6 may take that, but many others will not.
Well, according to Mesa, apparently 6V6s work fine if I use the variac power setting. I'm just not sure what would be the required bias range for the 6V6s to work with the Mark V...

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Re: Mark V with 6V6s...

Post by ifailedshapes » Sun Jun 26, 2011 1:15 pm

Go to the Mesa/Boogie website and download the manual. If you search the most recent version you will find that "6V6" only appears twice in the manual, both appearances being in the feature article On Triodes, Pentodes and Irishmen that appears in every Mesa manual. Thus, I would assume they have concluded that the 6V6 is not an appropriate choice for the Mark V.

For what it's worth, I am pretty sure that I remember reading something about 6V6's when the Mark V first came out. I am pretty sure it was Variac power and 45 watts, but don't take this as gospel. I would always trust the most recent manual more than anything you read on here.

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Re: Mark V with 6V6s...

Post by KH Guitar Freak » Sun Jun 26, 2011 5:10 pm

ifailedshapes wrote:Go to the Mesa/Boogie website and download the manual. If you search the most recent version you will find that "6V6" only appears twice in the manual, both appearances being in the feature article On Triodes, Pentodes and Irishmen that appears in every Mesa manual. Thus, I would assume they have concludes that the 6V6 is not an appropriate choice for the Mark V.

For what it's worth, I am pretty sure that I remember reading something about 6V6's when the Mark V first came out. I am pretty sure it was Variac power and 45 watts, but don't take this as gospel. I would always trust the most recent manual more than anything you read on here.

Don't forget, you can always call them if you really need to.
Well, Tien Lawrence did mention on the Mark V NAMM video that the amp takes 6V6s in variac power mode. I guess I'll sent an email to Mesa...

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Re: Mark V with 6V6s...

Post by J.J » Sun Jun 26, 2011 7:13 pm

KH Guitar Freak wrote:
J.J wrote:Unless you really like experimenting, I don't think that tube swap would be viable.

Even if you had adjustable bias so you could properly bias the 6V6 tubes, the plate voltage is still going to be on the high side and probably over 450V. The JJ 6V6 may take that, but many others will not.
Well, according to Mesa, apparently 6V6s work fine if I use the variac power setting. I'm just not sure what would be the required bias range for the 6V6s to work with the Mark V...
Sure and I didn't suggest that because what if you forget or accidently use another setting. If you only end up with melted tubes you could consider your self lucky. A burnt screen resistor or power supply component caused by the tube shorting is somthing I can do without and electronics is my field...

Mesa could probably tell you which colour range from their 6V6 tubes to use if your otherwise happy with the risk.
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Re: Mark V with 6V6s...

Post by phyrexia » Tue Jun 28, 2011 2:59 pm

Tweed Power, 45 or 90w, is fine with 6V6s. Just like the Mark IV.

10w mode jacks up voltages inside the tube. Maybe you should only use JJ 6V6s in the amp if 10w is your goal and you fear for your power tubes, since they are much closer to a 6L6 than a real 6V6.

That said I rocked a pair of RCA 6V6s in the 10w sockets for a while. No problems.

In fact, I have terrified my power section with various methods to no ill effect.
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Re: Mark V with 6V6s...

Post by dlpasco » Fri Jan 27, 2017 4:03 pm

Interesting: http://www.mesaboogie.com/tubes/power-t ... R-417.html

"The MESA® 6V6 STR 417 is the little brother to the 6L6 and exemplifies classic American tube tone from yesteryear. Extremely sweet and bubbly with a beautifully deep bass and spacious, shimmering highs, this tube defines vintage "Deluxe" styled tones and is a great substitute in Mark & Lone Star Series amplifiers when used with their Tweed Power Switch featureMark & Lone Star Series amplifiers when used with their Tweed Power Switch feature (consult the amplifier owner's manual for proper use)."

That does seem pretty inclusive.
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Re: Mark V with 6V6s...

Post by Nicklotsaguitars » Fri Jan 27, 2017 4:46 pm

Variac power knocks the plate voltage down to around 375v.

But why? Why do it?
I like 6V6's but they're of limited use. 3 modes on the clean channel and maybe Edge mode on channel 2.
The high gain settings are already lousy with bass and flub. You're only gonna exacerbate that with 6V6's. Just listen to a Fender Champ on full tilt then times that by 10.
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Re: Mark V with 6V6s...

Post by KH Guitar Freak » Thu Feb 02, 2017 11:10 am

Nicklotsaguitars wrote:Variac power knocks the plate voltage down to around 375v.

But why? Why do it?
I like 6V6's but they're of limited use. 3 modes on the clean channel and maybe Edge mode on channel 2.
The high gain settings are already lousy with bass and flub. You're only gonna exacerbate that with 6V6's. Just listen to a Fender Champ on full tilt then times that by 10.
Perhaps a different flavour. Never found the gain channels ever flubby or too bassy if you use the general rule of tweaking knobs on a Mark series such as turning down the bass, even almost all the way off, when running the gain knob high. Then you bring back the low end via the graphics EQ

Yes, I guess the space in the head cabinet is tight, hence removing valves would require a bit of fiddling around in the back (that sounded sexual, no pun intended). But doable none the less

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Re: Mark V with 6V6s...

Post by Nicklotsaguitars » Thu Feb 02, 2017 5:03 pm

That's my point. High gain, they'd be useless. Notice how the problems with the bass aren't as apparent on the clean sounds?
It's because of the way the preamp is cascaded to get the high gain sound.
You're already turning the bass to zero, why do you think it will do the job with a valve that is renown for adding bass flub to amps that ain't known for having a massive low end? Honestly go and turn a Fender champ up to 10 and you'll hear what I mean. Imagine adding a cascaded preamp to that which has a reputation for having to dial unusually large amounts of bass out of the eq.

I like 6V6's in the right application, I don't think high gain is it for the reasons stated. If it were, more amp makers would be using them. Particularly with the current trend for low power amps. Ask yourself why the Mini-Rec doesn't use em. Why does an American amp maker chose to use EL84's, a British valve not known for their massive bass end. In an amp supposed to be a lower power version of an amp noted for it's massive bass response. When 6V6's must be easier to get?

I personally think it comes down to the speed of the bass end. A long time ago I gave up listening for the tonality of drive pedals and listened instead to how fast up behind the note the bass thud came in. Which is the real trick with a pedal circuit. It's also largely responsible for why a JVM sounds so different to a dual rec. The bass thud on a JVM is right up behind the note and while you can slow it some with the resonance control. It never gets to that chest punching, trouser flapping level.
What people talk about with 6V6 circuit amps is the 'bloom' of the note. A large part of that is the low and low mids expanding well behind the note. It suits slower cleaner styles than you'll use a high gain channel for. 10watt, variac and Mark 1 with the gain all but dialled off (meaning the bass control is then of some use) gives somewhat similar bass lag.
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Re: Mark V with 6V6s...

Post by bandit2013 » Sat Feb 04, 2017 9:37 pm

The Mark IV had a disclosure on use of the 6V6 and using the tweed power (only). I have never seen reference in the Mark V manual on use of 6V6. There is a huge difference in the power supply design of the Mark V compared to the Mark IV. I would not do it unless Mesa recommends it.

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Re: Mark V with 6V6s...

Post by phyrexia » Thu Apr 13, 2017 11:56 am

What I said 6 years ago is still valid.

I worked at a Mesa dealer and had an excellent working relationship with my rep and with some of the guys in Petaluma.

6V6 in Variac power, in either 45w or 90w mode will cause no damage to a Mark V. Did it for hundreds of hours. I have Mark V #518, from the first run of combos. You won't hurt anything.

edit: sh!t, been that long! no more warranty for me ;)
bandit2013 wrote:The Mark IV had a disclosure on use of the 6V6 and using the tweed power (only). I have never seen reference in the Mark V manual on use of 6V6. There is a huge difference in the power supply design of the Mark V compared to the Mark IV. I would not do it unless Mesa recommends it.
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