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 Post subject: TC50, tube talk
PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2018 1:29 am 
Bottle Rocket

Joined: Thu Mar 05, 2015 4:28 am
Posts: 15
Hi guys.
My TC50 is still with the original tubes, as I would like to change its character just a little to give him the extra “spice” I feel it miss, I would like to mess a little with the tubes.
However I don’t want to start with too much $$$, I thought to start with the preamp tubes only and progress from there.
From past experience I had with rack mount preamps, replacing the preamp tubes (even all of them) did almost nothing to the sound.
Question to those who already had a chance to replace the preamp tubes in the TC, is there any noticeable change in the sound?
My main “problem” is with the red channel, no matter what I try to do, it does not sound focused enough to my ears, .

 Post subject: Re: TC50, tube talk
PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:40 am 
Mark III
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Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2013 12:45 pm
Posts: 340
Location: Southwest Michigan
I have had more luck with variances in tone from changing power tubes than with preamp tubes. I've tried the stock EL34s, Mesa 6V6, Mesa 6L6 and Mesa 5881s. I am currently running a pair of Mesa's =C= EL34 tubes. I personally did not care for the 6L6 or 5881s. To my old ears, they sounded a bit dull to me, but I am, admittedly more of an EL34 kind of guy. The 6V6, however, were quite different and pleasing to my ears, especially on the clean channel with the Drive mode engaged. Very "bouncy" and "juicy" to me. I can't say the =C= tubes were all that mind blowing, but I do like them better than the stock EL34s. What I have done in the preamp section is replace V1 with Mesa's SP12AX7 (kind of an old habit) and V3 with a Mullard CV4004. I have considered a JJ ECC803S, but haven't really found much of a need to try it yet since I am quite happy with my current tube compliment.

EDIT: I knew this had been discussed before and found the thread: viewtopic.php?t=73771

TC-50, Mark V, Electra Dyne, Road King I
Mostly Fenders with Duncans
Celestion, Eminence, EVM, and WGS speakers

 Post subject: Re: TC50, tube talk
PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2018 6:22 am 
Triple Recto

Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:31 am
Posts: 3066
Location: North Carolina
I too have messed around with preamp tubes. Not much to gain from change in preamp tubes, if any it will be minor.
I would agree, the power tube is the place to find the change in tone. I also have a set of the Mesa =c= EL34 STR442. Not bad in the TC-100, excellent in the RA100, and ok in the TC-50. For some reason the =c= EL34 sound incredible in the RA100 (lower plate voltage I would assume).

I also gambled and went overboard on the power tube testing with the TC-50. Gold Lion KT77 were a wow factor, but the tubes were basically spent since I had used them for 8 months or longer in the Mark V at full power before retiring them, they still work and sound great. Ruby (forgot what model) EL34 were way better than I expected (did not like those in the RA). EH 6CA7, tried those in the TC-100 ( :shock: what that did to the clean channel was sweet, almost fender tweed sound, and the gain channels :shock: definitely different variant than the EL34, similar to the KT77 but with more chime in the voice and deeper low end. Have them on reserve to go back to when I am looking for that type of voice). I have not tried them in the TC-50 yet. I had tried many power tubes including the Mesa NOS Siemens EL34 STR450 (surprising that they sound just like the Mesa stock EL34 but smoother in character). Mullard re-issue EL34 would be a bit too much for the TC, those are a blast in the RA100 though.

Most of the time, I am running the Stock Mesa STR447 EL34 tubes in both TC-50 and the TC-100. Preamp tubes, all stock but had to replace a few in the TC-100 shortly after I got the amp due to a nasty ping noise when channel changing between CH2 and CH3 (onset of going microphonic, not the first time I had that issue with a new amp, reason why I have a small surplus of power and preamp tubes).

Current amps: TC-100, TC-50, JP-2C, MK V, Roadster, RA100

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