Author Topic: Do different valves really alter the amps sound?  (Read 4192 times)

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Offline same same

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Do different valves really alter the amps sound?
« on: March 12, 2009, 09:56:50 PM »
EDIT: New question as my old one was answered just a few threads down.

Just wondering if certain tubes offer better tone or more distortion?
« Last Edit: March 12, 2009, 10:03:45 PM by sam »

Offline cyanide_christ

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Re: Do different valves really alter the amps sound?
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2009, 10:32:54 PM »
Of course they do.

Offline cdtBEAST

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Re: Do different valves really alter the amps sound?
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2009, 10:14:48 AM »
FUCK YES.  :headbang:

It's as subjective as hell to. Getting a clear consensis is pretty much impossible.
There are some sites around that will give accurate advise on the tonal differences between tubes. So if you know what tubes you already have & you know what direction you want to go from where you already are then I am willing to throw my opinion in.
Different tubes definitley work better with different amps. eg: my 5150 sounds great with jj's in the preamp. My PITTBULL however sounds shocking, drop in a set of tung sol pre tubes & WHOLY FUCKING CHRIST ON A STICK it kills.
The 5150 sounds fantastic with groove tube GE 6L6's in the power section. In the Pittbull they sound like shit. Drop a set of Sovtek 6L6's in there & much better, a set of wingedC kt88's even better $$$ tho, a set of Sovtek kt88's FUCKING GREAT & they are the cheapest option. The Sovtek's not only sound better & cost less, they also last longer. Why? they just do. In other amps however the Sovtek's sound terrible & don't last.
All amps treat their tubes differently hence the never ending tube argument.

So what amp are you using & what tubes are you using?


Offline old gregg

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Re: Do different valves really alter the amps sound?
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2009, 12:20:59 PM »
What do you suggest for a mesa dual recto my good man?

Offline same same

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Offline KH Guitar Freak

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Re: Do different valves really alter the amps sound?
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2009, 01:49:13 PM »
What do you suggest for a mesa dual recto my good man?

If you are loaded with cash, Mesa SPAX7 preamps and Winged C 6L6s is one of the best ways to go...  ;D

Offline goat

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Re: Do different valves really alter the amps sound?
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2009, 07:33:47 PM »
what about a 6505. currently i have Ruby Tubes.


Offline cdtBEAST

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Re: Do different valves really alter the amps sound?
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2009, 02:56:11 PM »
What do you suggest for a mesa dual recto my good man?

What do you have in there currently? & what would you like to improve?

Offline cdtBEAST

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Re: Do different valves really alter the amps sound?
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2009, 03:03:38 PM »
what about a 6505. currently i have Ruby Tubes.



In the pre- JJ's or groove tubes will give a more high gain compressed tone, shuguang/Penta Labs will brighten the tone NICELY, my fav are the Tung Sol in a 5150/6505.

In the power section- Groove tube GE are nice, WingedC are great. Ruby are also good. Make sure to get it biased hotter.  ;)

Offline KH Guitar Freak

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Re: Do different valves really alter the amps sound?
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2009, 03:29:01 PM »
what about a 6505. currently i have Ruby Tubes.



Electroharmonix or Tung Sol in the preamp. There are a few poweramps that are nice; TADs, Winged Cs, and JJs are what I like...

Offline goat

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Re: Do different valves really alter the amps sound?
« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2009, 09:11:26 PM »
how can i tell which ones are the power and and which are pre's? cant believe i dont know this. :err:

Offline Nosaj

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Re: Do different valves really alter the amps sound?
« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2009, 09:20:45 PM »
Thats easy. The size of the tubes. The smaller ones are the preamp and the larger ones are the power tubes.
So what kind of Metal classification would You give to CuntScrape?

I would say Thush Metal.

Offline goat

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Re: Do different valves really alter the amps sound?
« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2009, 09:41:40 PM »
ah, if it were that simple i wulda proly sussed it, but my tubes are all the same size. Big.

Offline KH Guitar Freak

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Re: Do different valves really alter the amps sound?
« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2009, 11:02:05 PM »
ah, if it were that simple i wulda proly sussed it, but my tubes are all the same size. Big.

The preamps are smaller, bloody obvious indeed...  ;D

Offline Ormsby_Guitars

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Re: Do different valves really alter the amps sound?
« Reply #14 on: March 16, 2009, 12:19:14 AM »
the preamp tubes in a 6505 are hidden behind a panel on the back...


Offline goat

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Re: Do different valves really alter the amps sound?
« Reply #15 on: March 16, 2009, 07:52:44 AM »
a seclet panel....sounds mysterious.
cool, thanks man.

Offline goat

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Re: Do different valves really alter the amps sound?
« Reply #16 on: March 16, 2009, 09:50:58 AM »
checked out the pre tubes and the first two are electro harmonix and the rest are JJ's.
power section are all ruby's.

is mixing the pre tubes like that advisable?


Offline KH Guitar Freak

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Re: Do different valves really alter the amps sound?
« Reply #17 on: March 16, 2009, 01:24:56 PM »
checked out the pre tubes and the first two are electro harmonix and the rest are JJ's.
power section are all ruby's.

is mixing the pre tubes like that advisable?



Mix and match the preamps all you want. You might prefer certain preamps for certain positions...

Offline cdtBEAST

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Re: Do different valves really alter the amps sound?
« Reply #18 on: March 17, 2009, 04:15:00 PM »
Yea you can mix the pre tubes any way you like.

If you change the power tubes though you will have to get the amp biased. Although if you don't know when the tubes were last replaced/biased, then I would suggest getting ALL your tubes tested, as 1 bad tube will fuck up your sound.

Give Jim Wills from blue Glow a call. 0417970318. I will personally recomend his work. Most times he can get any tube you want, usually cheaper than dougs tubes online. Plus he checks & tests them all before they go in your amp. If they are damaged or test up substandard before going in, you don't wear the cost or the hassle of chasing up the supplier.

He modded the bias on my 5150, replaced all the capacitors & got me some sweetass tubes. Also added a kettle style plug to the back  :headbang:

I ordered pre & power tubes for my PITTBULL last tues, they arrived thurs, He tested all my old tubes for me, fitted & biased it within 45mins on saturday, 15mins before we jammed. The guy is a champ.

He is running RS components now out in osbourne park.

Offline goat

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Re: Do different valves really alter the amps sound?
« Reply #19 on: March 19, 2009, 07:39:35 PM »
do you mind if i ask how much he charged for that man?

dont supposed he itemised it so you can give me an idea of what its worth up till the kettle plug?

cheers Mate.

Offline cdtBEAST

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Re: Do different valves really alter the amps sound?
« Reply #20 on: March 20, 2009, 10:20:58 AM »
Fuck me, that was a while a go now for the 5150. In my experience, his work is soe of the best I have seen. He isn't an arrogant prick, which is a nice change & to top it off he is cheaper & mre eliable than any of the other amp tech's I have met.
He will also go out of his way to get specific parts for you.
The guy is Texan & talks more than me though, so be prepared for some lengthy conversation.  ;)

When he replaced the caps in my 5150, he used higher quality components & it didnt cost me any extra.

Offline goat

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Re: Do different valves really alter the amps sound?
« Reply #21 on: March 20, 2009, 03:55:21 PM »
no worries, will check it out sometime. gotta buy  a sub for recording studio yet.

Offline -=[Cataclysm]=-

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Re: Do different valves really alter the amps sound?
« Reply #22 on: March 24, 2009, 02:17:14 PM »
What do you suggest for a mesa dual recto my good man?

dude do what i did and go through Doug's tubes site. He is really helpful and to buy and send the tubes over from America was bullshit cheap.

You basically get onto his site and put down what sort of amp you have, what tone you are after, what artists/album you dig the guitar sound on and he suggests what combination of preamp/power tubes to do the trick.

He sorted me out for my mesa dual with:

power -
RUBY 6L6GCMSTR matched quad
pre -
> > V1 - Tung-Sol reissue 12AX7
> > V2 - High gain JJ ECC83S
> > V3 - Penta Labs 12AX7
> > V4 - Shuguang 12AX7C9
> > V5 - Sovtek 12AX7LPS

and it made a HUGE difference to the standard mesa tubes.

Offline cdtBEAST

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Re: Do different valves really alter the amps sound?
« Reply #23 on: March 24, 2009, 04:46:47 PM »
If you have a popular amp like a mesa or 5150 & want a particular tone especially if it to is popular & popular pickups, then douges tubes is a winner & I would recommend them.

However if you have a boutique amp Diezel, VHT, Rivera, Bogner etc & use custom wound pickups & you are chasing a particular sound, Douges is still helpful, however limited.

If your amp/pickup situation or the tone you are chasing is out there, then it is best to start by chasing up sites that offer tube comparisons. Then look in your amp & see what it has. Figure out what you do & don't like about the tone of your amp currently & use the chart to reign it in to where you want it.
Also read up on your amp & figure out which tubes do what before doing anything else.  ;)

Offline same same

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Re: Do different valves really alter the amps sound?
« Reply #24 on: April 08, 2009, 07:34:50 PM »
Just Got a RG50TC combo, Any idea what tubes i should put in it?
Has:
Two EL34 power tubes Or might be 6L6 Tubes
Four 12AX7EHS