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Old 01-21-2016, 05:29 AM   #1
SpiderM
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Tube time for my Marshall

Greetings!

My JCM2000 TSL100 has started making that crackling sound intermittently
I'm guessing it's a tube. I bought it second hand about two and a half years ago, so really don't know how long they've been in there.

Anyhow, I plan to taking it in to get a service but thought I'd ask you guys if you could recommend the tube types to go for or if I should stick with the standard ones for it? It is not that I am unhappy with the current tone (when it wasn't crackling), but keen to hear any options that are considered an upgrade.
I tend to play 80's-modern rock/heavy rock in a cover band so no one sound I am after. I obviously bought the Marshall for it's 'chugg' which I don't want to lose but happy to improve.
I really like it's cleans as it is but a little extra warmth wouldn't go a miss.

I'm in Australia if that makes any difference for availability of tubes.

Hope that is enough info.

Cheers!

Last edited by SpiderM : 01-21-2016 at 06:11 AM.
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Old 01-21-2016, 06:49 AM   #2
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I would go with JJ tubes.
But you should wait for cathbard for he is the all knowledgeable one.
He's like the Steven Hawking of tubes and Marshall amps.
And he's in Australia so he will know about availability.
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Old 01-21-2016, 07:03 AM   #3
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Millard or Tung Sol for your clean channel, the rest JJ.
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Old 01-21-2016, 07:39 AM   #4
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Load it up with JJ ECC83S valves. If it's a head, throw a JJ ECC803 in V1.
JJ E34L (that is not a typo) in the power amp.
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Old 01-21-2016, 07:58 AM   #5
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^+1
that is a good choice.

I like my DSL with a Mullard 12ax7 in V1, JJ ECC83 in V2/V3 and a Sovtek 12ax7LPS in V4.

I do have a spare set of JJ E34L just in case, but I prefer SED EL34's in it, they are just stupid prices these days ($200+ for 4)
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Old 01-21-2016, 04:22 PM   #6
SpiderM
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Thanks very much for the replies guys and nice to see that most of you suggest the same type. No point getting recommendations if you don't act on it, so I will let you know how I go.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cathbard
Load it up with JJ ECC83S valves. If it's a head, throw a JJ ECC803 in V1.
JJ E34L (that is not a typo) in the power amp.


Sorry if I make a stupid comment here, but I'm not too knowledgeable on these things.
It is a head, so should I ask for:

Pre amp:

3 x JJ ECC83S
1 x JJ ECC803 (in V1)...is that the shielded one?

Power amp:

4 x JJ E34L

Do they have to be matched sets?

I'm in Melbourne, does anyone have any recommendations on where I should take it? As usual, it has happened at a bad time, 2 weeks out from my first gig with this band
With the time ticking, I would have done the tube replacement myself but the biasing thing puts me off and the chance that it may not be the tubes at fault.

Cathbard, let me know if you happen to be in Melbourne and wouldn't mind some extra beer tokens

Thanks again!

Last edited by SpiderM : 01-21-2016 at 04:35 PM.
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Old 01-21-2016, 04:36 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpiderM
Thanks very much for the replies guys and nice to see that most of you suggest the same type. No point getting recommendations if you don't act on it, so I will let you know how I go.



Sorry if I make a stupid comment here, but I'm not too knowledgeable on these things.
It is a head, so should I ask for:

Pre amp:

2 x JJ ECC83S
1 x JJ ECC803 (in V1)

Power amp:

4 x JJ E34L

Do they have to be matched sets?

I'm in Melbourne, does anyone have any recommendations on where I should take it? As usual, it has happened at a bad time, 2 weeks out from my first gig with this band
With the time ticking, I would have done the tube replacement myself but the biasing thing puts me off and the chance that it may not be the tubes at fault.

Cathbard, let me know if you happen to be in Melbourne and wouldn't mind some extra beer tokens

Thanks again!


You will need 4 12ax7 tubes, not 3, so add an extra JJ ECC83 or a Sovtek 12ax7LPS (the LPS part is very important)
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Old 01-21-2016, 04:39 PM   #8
311ZOSOVHJH
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I'll let Cath answer you fully but yes, what you laid out in your post mirrors what Cath was saying.

Yes, you need to get matched power tubes but the preamp tubes do not need to be anything special (ie. some places sell them as 'matched', balanced, tested, pre lubed, gold pin, blah bla blah.

Just because you have a crackling sound doesn't mean you need to replace all of your tubes. I wouldn't. Find out what is causing the crackling first. If you gig and have extra cash laying around then by all means buy tubes. Good to have lots of extra tubes laying around I say. Otherwise, try 'rolling' one known good tube through all of them to see if you can identify the bad one or sometimes just rotating the tubes around in different positions will tell you something. Not sure if V2 is a cathode follower but it might be but you don't need to worry about that right now. Try the pencil test too.

Good luck,
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Old 01-21-2016, 06:33 PM   #9
SpiderM
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Thanks again guys.

I will ring around Today, with my newly learnt knowledge of tubes ;-)

I am thinking of replacing them all as I really don't know how long they've been in.

Cheers.
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Old 01-21-2016, 07:04 PM   #10
Cathbard
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Yes that is what I meant and yes the E34L's have to be a matched set.

I don't live near Sydney, I am in Bendigo which is about 100 miles north of Melbourne.


As for where to buy them. With the AUD being so dismally low ATM buying them from the States isn't really that good. I'd try ebay and compare that with what you can score them from say tubedepot. Pick a seller that's sold a buttload of stuff and has a good rating.
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Old 01-21-2016, 07:17 PM   #11
SpiderM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cathbard
I don't live near Sydney, I am in Bendigo which is about 100 miles north of Melbourne.


Bit of a difference there! Almost got a job up there a few years back.

Thanks for the confirmation on power tubes.

I put the head in my car this morning with a view to ringing around some techs. Lucky I did as I found one who is passing where I work and will pick it up.
I was able to have a bit more of an informed chat with him down to you guys.

Starting to feel at bit more relaxed now!

Last edited by SpiderM : 01-21-2016 at 07:18 PM.
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Old 01-21-2016, 08:13 PM   #12
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I wouldn't waste money on a tech at this point. Get the matched power tubes and 1 or 2 JJ preamp tubes and see what happens next. Does the crackling happen at all volume levels. Does the crackling get worse if you spin the knobs back and forth? Have you tapped on each preamp tube with a pencil and listened to them? Are you confident the insert jack is not loose or poorly grounded? Do you run any pedals at all? Is the speaker connection good?
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Old 01-21-2016, 09:22 PM   #13
SpiderM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 311ZOSOVHJH
I wouldn't waste money on a tech at this point. Get the matched power tubes and 1 or 2 JJ preamp tubes and see what happens next. Does the crackling happen at all volume levels. Does the crackling get worse if you spin the knobs back and forth? Have you tapped on each preamp tube with a pencil and listened to them? Are you confident the insert jack is not loose or poorly grounded? Do you run any pedals at all? Is the speaker connection good?


Thanks for that, I certainly see your point of view.

I was keen to get it serviced and tubes swapped anyway as I really don't know how long they've been in (absolute minimum of 3 years). The crackle has just bought the service forward. For this reason, I am not seeing it as an extra expense, just a bit earlier than expected.

I am also thinking that my first gig with this band is in 2 weeks and, as the fault is intermittent, I don't want to get to the venue thinking I've fixed it just to find I haven't. I'm assuming a tech can run tests to confirm there is no fault, whereas I would be doing more a process of elimination.
I also think my time would be better spent practicing/rehearsing at the moment, rather than trying to fix my amp.
I tried turning it on again last night, after posting, with the intention of trying some of those things you suggested but it worked fine - D'oh! For that reason, I can't confidently answer any of your questions.


Again, thanks for your points.
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Old 01-21-2016, 09:46 PM   #14
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I see.

Completely understandable.

Practicing for a gig instead and not wanting to take chances is very respectable.

Good luck and let us know what's up.


Edit: The last 3 amps I bought used all still have tubes that are good (even though they get moved around) so my point was only to not waste money on tubes if you don't need to. At a minimum, tell your guy you want to keep all of the old tubes as spares.
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Old 01-21-2016, 10:03 PM   #15
SpiderM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 311ZOSOVHJH
I see.

Completely understandable.

Practicing for a gig instead and not wanting to take chances is very respectable.

Good luck and let us know what's up.


Edit: The last 3 amps I bought used all still have tubes that are good (even though they get moved around) so my point was only to not waste money on tubes if you don't need to. At a minimum, tell your guy you want to keep all of the old tubes as spares.


Cheers bud. I found a tech and he's just picked it up from me at work! He should be in contact later to tell me what is at fault. Completely understand your points and would have gone that route if I had more time. I will ask to keep the tubes when I speak to him.

I've never heard the word 'respectable' to describe me before
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Old 01-22-2016, 08:30 AM   #16
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I've never heard the word 'respectable' to describe me before

wait, the older you get the more respectable you become. I'm 37 and I'm a damn gentleman
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Old 01-29-2016, 05:43 AM   #17
SpiderM
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I'm back and so is the amp!

It definitely was the tubes and they were the original ones. I checked the manufacture date and it was 2004!

Needless to say it sounds a lot healthier now, so happy days down here. The last rehearsal just wasn't the same with a Fender Frontman 25 ;-)

Also have the recommended pre-amp tubes, on their way from Europe, to try as he didn't have them in.

Thanks again guys!
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Old 01-29-2016, 05:49 AM   #18
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...and they say tubes don't last long, 12 years in your case 😀
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Old 01-29-2016, 10:48 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpiderM
I'm back and so is the amp!

It definitely was the tubes and they were the original ones. I checked the manufacture date and it was 2004!

Needless to say it sounds a lot healthier now, so happy days down here. The last rehearsal just wasn't the same with a Fender Frontman 25 ;-)

Also have the recommended pre-amp tubes, on their way from Europe, to try as he didn't have them in.

Thanks again guys!

Good to hear.

2004 is not that old.

Sorry about the Frontman - I used to have one. I'm sure that sucked.

What do you mean on their way from Europe? You mean eurotubes? What tubes did you order exactly?
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Old 01-29-2016, 02:59 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Cathbard
Load it up with JJ ECC83S valves. If it's a head, throw a JJ ECC803 in V1.
JJ E34L (that is not a typo) in the power amp.


If it were me, however, I'd....uh...do exactly that as well.

You might ask Cathbird for a source in Oz, though.

Here in the US, I buy my tubes from Bob at Eurotubes (dot com) because he's got some *serious* test equipment, and when he sends you a "matched quad", you actually get a matched quad. I think some of the others simply match colors or something.
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