Tube Choices?

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the_meridian
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Post by the_meridian » Thu Mar 24, 2005 12:50 pm

NoGlassNoClass wrote:I have JJ ECC83S's graded for high gain in V1-2-3, a standard gain ECC83S in V4 and a balanced one in the PI. Mesa STR454"s in the power section, and JJ GZ34/5AR4 rectos. Honestly the only reason I retubed was because the amp was 2 years old and it was time. IMO the JJ pre's are far superior to the Russian2's that were in there. I am also a huge fan of the GZ34's as they are much tighter-sounding than the stock 5U4's, but not as harsh as the diodes, especially for clean tones and hi-gain soloing.
I was considering those high gain graded JJ's for my preamp. What exactly do they do for your tone compared to a regular 12ax7? Because to me, if it just adds more gain, that might be a little too much for me. Also, how do they affect your clean tone?

I'm about to retube, so I could use the advice as well.

mloiaco
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Post by mloiaco » Thu Mar 24, 2005 2:02 pm

Has anyone ever tried the Siemens EL34s?

NoGlassNoClass
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Post by NoGlassNoClass » Thu Mar 24, 2005 2:07 pm

the_meridian wrote: I was considering those high gain graded JJ's for my preamp. What exactly do they do for your tone compared to a regular 12ax7? Because to me, if it just adds more gain, that might be a little too much for me. Also, how do they affect your clean tone?

I'm about to retube, so I could use the advice as well.
The ECC83S's are just a touch darker than the "Russian2's", but not as dark as the regular ECC83. IMO it kind of tames the hyperactive presence control on channel 3. I didnt notice a radical increase in gain. The tone seems smoother, with less buzziness in the modern modes. The amp still has massive lows, but substantially tighter response. The clean channel seems to be a bit louder, with better sustain and better definition (especially on the higher strings). These preamp tubes are also more tolerant of high-output p'ups, and seem to respond well to a slight boost on all three channels (10-band EQ, nearly flat curve, +6dB gain boost)
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Erik
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Post by Erik » Thu Mar 24, 2005 2:50 pm

When I first tried the JJ ECC83S, I hated them because they were too dark. I then started playing a Les Paul which happened to be crazy bright...on a whim I put the JJ's back in there...magical. Just keep that in mind, if you have a darker sounding guitar, you may hate the JJ pre-amp tubes.

Like NoGlassNoClass, I'm a convert and love them now.

StrykeBack
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Post by StrykeBack » Thu Apr 07, 2005 3:49 am

Has anybody tried the Ruby tubes?
I had JJs from bob at eurotubes in my ashdown and they were a big improvement over teh stock eh harmonix ones. But now that I've got my Mesa REctoverb series 2 head I'm thinking I might want to just change the stock tubes out now since somebody else had it for over a year or 2 anyways.

Can anybody tell me what kind of a difference I'd be geting going from 6l6s to el-34s? Also with some of the distortion modes seeming kinda thin for solos I'd like to maybe fatten them up, (would this be where I look for dark tubes like the JJs) how much was that JJ high gain tube set and was it drastick change? You said it made some things smoother? Perhaps that'll help me get to that smoother santana type overdrive :twisted:

Throw some recommendations out there for me mesa guys.

NoGlassNoClass
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Post by NoGlassNoClass » Thu Apr 07, 2005 12:43 pm

If you're worried about "thin-sounding", I dont think I'd use EL34's...they dont have nearly the bass/low-mids as the 6L6's. They do have nice upper-mid harmonics, though. More of a "British" sound.

For 6L6 try the JJ's or SED (Svetlana). EL34-sound with better lows try JJ E34L.

In the preamp Hi-Gain ECC83's (JJ) definately. They have a new ECC803 with longer plates that is suposed to be unbelievable in the V1 spot, but I have not tried one yet.

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Post by redmax61 » Sun Apr 10, 2005 6:31 pm

StrykeBack wrote:Can anybody tell me what kind of a difference I'd be geting going from 6l6s to el-34s? Also with some of the distortion modes seeming kinda thin for solos I'd like to maybe fatten them up, (would this be where I look for dark tubes like the JJs) how much was that JJ high gain tube set and was it drastick change? You said it made some things smoother? Perhaps that'll help me get to that smoother santana type overdrive

Throw some recommendations out there for me mesa guys.
I've heard a lot of guys complain that the DR is "Buzzy" sounding on the top end. I tend to agree that they can sound a little buzzy, but I think I fixed that on mine. EL-34's took the buzziness away, and gave it a rounder tone that oddly enough wasn't that bright. I added a set of THD Yellowjackets (Basically class A biased EL-84's) in conjunction to the EL-34's and I was extremely pleased with the result. The amp is warm AND aggressive sounding with a very "presency" sounding bite. It really opens up quickly when cranked up, and it majorly tightened up the bottom end.
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Jimmy55
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Post by Jimmy55 » Thu Apr 28, 2005 1:09 pm

Hey guys, will changing tubes make a "massive" difference, i hope it does, the reason i ask is because ive never had a tube amp before and since i got my dual rec a few months ago ive never been happy at all with the orange and red channels which meant me always turning to my metalzone pedal thru channel 1 to get a fairly nice sound thru it, i bought the amp off ebay and its all working fine but the tubes ive got in it are mesa 6l6 str 425`s and according to this thread are intended for jazz, is this why i cant find the smooth heavy sound that everyone talks about? its definately not because of my esp or my 4x12 mesa cab, if anyone can help please do, thanx

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no soul
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Post by no soul » Fri Apr 29, 2005 12:48 am

Jimmy55 wrote:Hey guys, will changing tubes make a "massive" difference, i hope it does, the reason i ask is because ive never had a tube amp before and since i got my dual rec a few months ago ive never been happy at all with the orange and red channels which meant me always turning to my metalzone pedal thru channel 1 to get a fairly nice sound thru it, i bought the amp off ebay and its all working fine but the tubes ive got in it are mesa 6l6 str 425`s and according to this thread are intended for jazz, is this why i cant find the smooth heavy sound that everyone talks about? its definately not because of my esp or my 4x12 mesa cab, if anyone can help please do, thanx
If you have to run a Metalzone through a DR to get the sound you want it leads me to believe 1 of 2 things:

1) the voicing of the DR is just NOT for you.
2) you havent speant enough time learning how to dial in the amp.

I tend to (at least I want to) believe # 2, because you stated youve only had the amp for a couple of months. Believe me, these suckers take a VERY long time to get used to so you can really figure out how to dial your tone in.

Also, sad to say, no tubes dont make that big of a difference. The biggest thing that controls the voicing of an amp is its circuitry design, and tubes are just one aspect to that. Changing your tubes is more about fine tuning your sound.

Think of it like a car, I could put bigger wheels on a Toyota Camry, but that wouldnt make it an SUV or a Sportscar. It might make it look better, handle better (or worse) etc etc etc, but it wont change the fact that ultimately the car is a family car.

And if you want a smooth sound, Id say the 5881 tubes you have are pretty ideal. They might not be highest output 6l6 type, but considering all the gain in the preamp section of the DR, it shouldnt make that big of a difference. Save for differences in gain Id say what most metal players want is pretty similar to what jazz players want, which is by in large a stiff-controlled dynamic response.
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Post by Nomad » Wed May 04, 2005 8:04 pm

Well this ones been sitting for a while.

I use JJ 12AX7's in everything. Tried the Chineese Made GT 12AX7M good tube but no better than the tubes I buy for less than half as much money. Just cant see spending the money on em.

I use almost exsclusivley the STR430's. I've had good luck with those. Damn good tubes.

I have JJ 6L6's in my Tweed Amp and am pleased with them.

And my Mesa Nomad has Winged C EL34's in it of which I'm happy with.

I've had some Boogie Preamp tubes do good but have had some of them bad right out of the Box.

I find Mesa Boogie Honest and up front with what tubes they are rebranding and selling. The supposed rebranding is because they Test Them prior to selling them. If its tested and meets spec then it gets the MB Name on it.

One bunch I'm not happy with is GT they are less than fortcoming about what your buying. Its not to say they dont sell some good tubes but I find them a little sketchy about the origion of Manufacture of some of thier stuff.


Just because a Tube has a piece of Metalergy in it origionally made in the US does not make it US made if assembled in China. And I could go on and on about this. bUT i'LL SHUT UP NOW.

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