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Lone Star Classic and 6v6's

Posted: Sun Aug 10, 2008 7:30 pm
by spirit_light_speed
I tried it...
And love it! It tightens the sound up and adds a lot of beautiful harmonics. It reminds me of the Lone Star Special somewhat, but with a more Fender- edged sound. Give it a try!

And if you have... is it safe to run the amp on different wattages, other than 100 (as the manual specifies)???

And could you guys suggest any cool settings that you might have?



Posted: Sun Aug 10, 2008 11:21 pm
by Charles Reeder
Hey... spirit_light_speed!

What marvelously 'gushy', 'crisp' tone! Don't know if 'gushy' is really a fitting word....but it just somehow seems to match the tone I'm getting!

The LSC with 6V6s is now my primary gigging amp...and has been for over a year now. Since I've had a bit of experience with the 6V6s....I'll tell you what I've done.

Yes I have used it on the 50 watt setting as well as the 100 watt setting with 6V6s. I've used both the regular on/and tweed on setting. I have used both the tube rectifier and the solid-state-silicone-diodes rectifier.

Consider trying a Pair of THD Yellow-Jackets with a Pair of 6V6s. The Yellow Jackets will allow you to use EL84 tubes (just like the LSS). This (a pair of 6V6s and a Pair of Yellow Jackets) is my favorite way to use the LSC now. 4 X 6V6s sound great....and so do 4 X Yellow Jackets with EL84s...BUT...the sound derived from combining a Pair of 6V6s and a Pair of Yellow Jackets is nearly indescribable! But of course I'll try to describe it! You get rich, complex harmonics...and the contrast between the signature sound of the 6V6s (which is 'crisp' and 'biting') and the sound of the heavily saturated EL84s which are 'smooth' and 'buttery' is simply beautiful.

Initially; I bought some of the relatively cheap 6V6s (Electro-Harmonix and JJ Tesla) to try them out and have not had any overwhelming urge to upgrade yet. I know eventually I will...but I am still happy with these for the time being. When due to 'wear-and-tear'; I start 'needing' replacements....I'll buy some 'pricier' tubes and see if the sound is 'upgraded'.

To my ears...the EH 6V6s sound 'crisper' and have more 'top-end-bite'; whereas the JJ 6V6s have a fuller/rounder tone with more 'low-end' and sound 'bigger' mini-6L6s.

The EH 6V6s I've encountered seem to bias 'warmer' than the JJ Tesla 6V6s; and I use them on the 6L6 bias setting...but ALL the JJ Tesla 6V6s I bought were biasing very cold and I was getting 'crossover distortion' I tried the recommendation I got from a well-known tube vendor...and used them on the EL34 bias setting...with absolutely no ill-effects. It did indeed 'warm' them up!

If you should decide to try the 6V6/Yellow Jacket combination in your can use either the 6V6s or the Yellow Jackets in the outside tube sockets (although most people seem to prefer to use the YJs in the outside sockets). The outside sockets are a little 'hotter'....and whichever pair you place there will predominate and more or less 'set the basic tone' for the amp. If you place the YJs in the outer will get more of a saturated 'Class-A' type of sound whereas with the 6V6s in the outer sockets you will get more of a 'Rock-Crunch' or even somewhat of a 'twangy country' sound; depending on your tone settings. EXPERIMENT!

I usually favor the 4-ohm speaker output...but once again...experiment.

Many of my suggestions go contrary to Mesa's explicit instructions in the you decide if you want to 'risk it'...But; I can tell you that I've been playing jobs with this combination for well over a year...and (experimenting at home for a year before that)...and haven't even worn out a tube yet. The LSC just keeps chugging along ...and rewarding me night after night with beautiful tone.

I didn't recommend any tone settings...mainly 'cause there's just so many good sounds to be had...and it's really mostly a matter of individual 'taste' anyway.

I'm hoping that fellow board member 'djw' will 'weigh-in' with his experiences with the 6V6s and Yellow Jackets. He has been using them for quite some time now as well.

Regards: Charles

Posted: Mon Aug 11, 2008 11:12 pm
by djw
Ah, yes, a beautiful thing, this config. I second basically everything Charles says about this. I use YJs in the outer sockets with JJ EL84s, and EH 6V6s in the inner sockets, full power, 100w setting on both channels, with the speaker in the 4 ohm output. It's just amazing. I don't have to be overpoweringly loud to get a sweet, sweet response out of the thing. Chimey, clear, sparkly cleans and OD tones; I occasionally an OCD as a boost in either channel, and it just really sings with this setup. This is what I use now.

I don't have much to report on the EL34 bias setting, as I have not yet heard much difference so far; I do plan on trying some JJ 6V6s soon, so maybe that will make a difference.

I agree also about sharing settings; the amp is so responsive that one's playing style dictates as much about what you hear as where the knobs are. You can;t really go wrong anyway. I can't make the thing sound bad at any setting.

Posted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 7:32 pm
by agefender
sorry guys for hijacking the thread.I just wrote an e mail to Doug's tubes saying I wanted the 6v6 He said the EH definitely wouldn't handle 100 watts JJ's might with spongy setting and lower voltage but not the EH .He must be just wrong I am giving el 84 a go on the outside and 6v6 in the centre I am in The middle of doing both mods by the way-Three gigs this weekend to test it out :wink:

Posted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 9:02 pm
by Charles Reeder
Quoting 'agefender':
"sorry guys for hijacking the thread.I just wrote an e mail to Doug's tubes saying I wanted the 6v6 He said the EH definitely wouldn't handle 100 watts JJ's might with spongy setting and lower voltage but not the EH .He must be just wrong I am giving el 84 a go on the outside and 6v6 in the centre I am in The middle of doing both mods by the way-Three gigs this weekend to test it out"

I do not consider your comments to be 'hijacking' the thread at all. Any and all information which is pertinent to the topic at hand should be welcomed. I made a few remarks as to how I use 6V6s...and made a point of mentioning that they ARE CONTRARY to Mesa's specific instructions. I have mentioned in other places...the fact that it was recommended to me by another Established-Tube-Supplier that I could indeed use the Lonestar with 6V6 tubes as I do. (including the EL34 bias setting!) Thus far that has proven to be true. I have yet to lose a single JJ or EH 6V6 on the 100-watt setting. The four pairs of 6V6s (2-pr. of EH & 2-pr. of JJ) are ALL STILL PLAYING 2-years later.

It needs to be stated (just in case there is some misunderstanding)...that using the amp on the 100-watt setting WILL NOT put 100-watts through the 6v6s! If you perhaps mistakenly worded your email to ask 'will 4 6V6s handle 100-watts?' then you got the right answer...NO THEY WILL NOT HANDLE 100-WATTS. But, they will not be called upon to handle 100-watts. They will be required to put out about 40-watts. What must be taken into consideration is how well either the EH or JJ 6V6s will handle the high voltages of the Lonestar. Both brands (but the JJs in particular) have been repeatedly proven to be capable of handling the voltages involved.

It costs Mesa nothing to take the 'Ultra-Conservative-Position that the amp should only be used on the Tweed/Spongy setting in their amps...with 6V6s...and it could save them (and users)a lot in repair bills which might be caused by the 'mis-use' of older 6V6s which ARE NOT ABLE TO HANDLE THE VOLTAGES INVOLVED. They (Mesa) are taking a safe position which shifts responsibility away from them. That just makes sense.

We will all eagerly await the results of your 'experience' with the 'mods' and the EL84-Yellow-Jacket/6V6 combination this weekend! I can safely predict that you will be delighted and your 'band-mates' will be astounded by both the tubes AND the 'mods'. Of course; I am just a 'wee-little-bit' prejudiced in favor of them all!

Regards: Charles

Posted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 10:28 pm
by agefender
Thanks mate, I already ordered the tubes will be here next week. I just finished your mods and will report back after the weekend.Though I think they will be perfect for me as I haven't used the 2ND channel for a while preferring pedals on channel 1 and as for the bass ....well I'm a little excited :D By the way I just had a look at my e-mail and I did say 4 6v6's as you said. To be honest I didn't think there was a difference, thanks.

Posted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 10:55 pm
by Charles Reeder
Hey 'agefender';

Whether you use 4 X 6V6s, or 4 X Yellow-Jackets(with EL84s), or 2 X 6V6s combined with 2 X Yellow-Jackets(with EL84s)'ll get about the same wattage...which is:

#1. On full power at 100-watt setting: 30 to 40 watts
#2. On 'tweed' power at 100-watt setting: 25 to 30 watts

#3. On full power at 50 watt setting: 15 to 20 watts
#4. On 'tweed' power at 50 watt setting: 12 to 15 watts

These wattage approximations are based upon using the Solid-State-Rectifier. Using the 'Tube-Rectifier' will drop a few more watts.

What I meant...and apparently didn''t express too that if you asked any of the tube retailers if 4 6V6s would handle 100 watts...then the answer IS NO.

If you asked if 4 6V6s would handle being used on the 100 watt setting on the Lonestar...then the answer IS YES...because they will only draw 40 watts maximum on the 100 watt setting.

Regards: Charles

Posted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 11:58 pm
by agefender
Thanks Charles, Very helpful I will tell you what I think of the mods in a few weeks as when I put Her back together one of the tubes blew and took out the carbon resistor :oops:

Re: Lone Star Classic and 6v6's

Posted: Sun Jan 18, 2009 12:46 pm
by gregrjones
I'm confused by which THD YJs to buy. The following page lists several types:

Some are what they call "Cathod Bias" and others are labeled as "Power Reducing"

Re: Lone Star Classic and 6v6's

Posted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 3:59 pm
by Charles Reeder

You want the YJSD Yellow Jackets for use in a Lonestar Classic which uses 6L6s and EL-34s.

By the way...I frequently use my YJs in my Lonestars set to the EL-34 bias position. It will not hurt anything and seems to 'warm' things up nicely.

Enjoy,: Charles

Re: Lone Star Classic and 6v6's

Posted: Wed Jan 21, 2009 9:50 pm
by gregrjones
How would I bias the amp if using the YJs in combo with 6L6s or EL34s? Would I set the bias to accomodate the bigger power tubes?

Also, would I place the YJs in the outer sockets to reduce the power? Would it hurt the amp to place them in the inner socket pair?

And can I set the amp at either 50 W or 100W when using the YJs with the bigger power tubes without hurting the amp?

I read about people talking about the Mesa Manual giving instructions on the YJs. My manual has no such instructions. Are they referring to another Mesa source? I'd like to see a hyperlink.

Re: Lone Star Classic and 6v6's

Posted: Wed Jan 21, 2009 10:09 pm
by gregrjones
Guys, I just put a pair of YJs in my LSC and I'm honestly not hearing a volume difference. The amp sounds just as loud as ever.

I tried both placing the YJs in the outer tube sockets and the inner ones. I'm pairing them up with EL34s and running the amp with the EL34 bias setting. I figure that if the EL34 bias setting is best for the EL84s, I don't want to run 6L6s with them because that bias setting would damage them.

Re: Lone Star Classic and 6v6's

Posted: Sat Aug 11, 2012 11:55 pm
by Penguin
I figured I'd resurrect an old topic instead of starting a new one.

Are Tung Sol 6V6's tough enough to run in a Lonestar or should I stick with JJ's? I have a 100/50/10 Lonestar. Would it be safe to run 6V6's on the "tweed" setting at 10W? What would that drop the total wattage to?

Re: Lone Star Classic and 6v6's

Posted: Wed Oct 24, 2018 3:55 pm
by Guizan
Sorry to resurect an old thread... But I'm curious as well if the amp can be ran in the 10 watt mode with 6v6s?