#1
Ok, so although I'm a experienced guitarist... I'm a complete n00b when it comes to tube amps, replacing tubes, knowing when to replace them... etc

Here's my situation,

My triple recitifer, which usually sounds awesome, has begun to feel 'weak.' I usually play on the modern high gain channel, and just recently, the gain has gotten weaker and weaker to the point where I need to turn my amp way up in order to get gain that sounds somewhat ok (not nearly as good as it has in the past though).

I was just wondering if this is a sign I need to replace the tubes? and what tubes does this mean i need to replace? (There's two different kinds in my amp from what I can see)

The tubes in my amp are exactly like the one's in the picture below

here's a pic of the rear of the amp
http://www.alpha-music.com/productcart/pc/catalog/2TREC1BLC_1XL.jpg

what should I do to get my gain back?!?
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#2
Yes, sounds like new tube time.

There are 3 different types. Power amp, pre amp and rectifier tubes.

Your Recto tubes are probably fine so (esecially if you don't use them).

I'd replace the preamp and power tubes though. I suggest SED 6L6GCs for the power section. Tung-Sol 12AX7s for the first 4 preamp positions and a 12AT7 for the phase inverter.
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#3
Does the Triple Rec have a tube rectifier? I thought SS rectifiers were standard on most amps nowadays.
#4
Quote by imicius
Does the Triple Rec have a tube rectifier? I thought SS rectifiers were standard on most amps nowadays.



The Dual and Triples have the option to switch between both SS and tube rectifiers.
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#5
Do not use a tung-sol in V3, it will destroy the tube (cathode follower). A tung-sol in V1 and V2 and chinese tubes in the rest of the preamp is a more cost-effective solution.
#6
Quote by Roc8995
Do not use a tung-sol in V3, it will destroy the tube (cathode follower). A tung-sol in V1 and V2 and chinese tubes in the rest of the preamp is a more cost-effective solution.



I've never heard that one before.
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#7
You heard it here first.

Tung-Sols and sovtek LPS can't handle the large cathode voltage of a cathode follower stage. They die much earlier than they should if used there.
#8
Quote by Roc8995
You heard it here first.

Tung-Sols and sovtek LPS can't handle the large cathode voltage of a cathode follower stage. They die much earlier than they should if used there.


Interesting. I have a friend who has them across the board on his Tremoverb. I will have to ask him how long he's had them in there.

I will also have to rethink my upcoming Triple Recto retube...
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#10
I agree a tube change is required. I also agree that you should do power and preamp tubes and ignore the rectifiers. However, I strongly recommend you just buy Mesa brand tubes that exactly match what would have come with the amp new. Yes, it's a tad more expensive, but they sell power tubes that are in the right transconductance range so you don't have to re-bias the amp. Avoiding the PITA of rebiasing more than makes up for the slightly added expense, and they sound fine and are reliable since they're what the amp was designed to use.
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#11
Quote by Even Bigger D
I agree a tube change is required. I also agree that you should do power and preamp tubes and ignore the rectifiers. However, I strongly recommend you just buy Mesa brand tubes that exactly match what would have come with the amp new. Yes, it's a tad more expensive, but they sell power tubes that are in the right transconductance range so you don't have to re-bias the amp. Avoiding the PITA of rebiasing more than makes up for the slightly added expense, and they sound fine and are reliable since they're what the amp was designed to use.


I disagree. Mesa tubes, while they aren't bad, aren't great either. Most tube vendors can sell you better tubes inside Mesa's specs without an issue.
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#12
Quote by TheRectified
I disagree. Mesa tubes, while they aren't bad, aren't great either. Most tube vendors can sell you better tubes inside Mesa's specs without an issue.


My experience with this has been poor, but I guess it's up to personal opinion. I rather like having tubes that I know will work right, plug them in, and forget about them. There's a lot of merit to the Mesa fixed bias scheme plus a tested tube supply that matches that bias point, and I see no reason to go elsewhere.

But if you want, I'm sure any of hundreds of tube sites on the web will sell you tubes they swear are perfect for your mesa. A few of them might even be telling the truth.
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#13
Quote by Even Bigger D
My experience with this has been poor, but I guess it's up to personal opinion. I rather like having tubes that I know will work right, plug them in, and forget about them. There's a lot of merit to the Mesa fixed bias scheme plus a tested tube supply that matches that bias point, and I see no reason to go elsewhere.

But if you want, I'm sure any of hundreds of tube sites on the web will sell you tubes they swear are perfect for your mesa. A few of them might even be telling the truth.



I guess my experiences have been the opposite. Only one of my Mesas has stock tubes in it and that's only because i got the amp a month ago and haven't had the extra $$ to spring for a sextet of 6L6s. Mesa tubes sound dead to me and there are many alternatives (SED in my case) that sound a lot better, IMO.

If you deal with a reputable dealer, then you will get quality. Personally, I only deal with Doug's Tubes or Jim McShane. Both guys know their stuff and I've never been steered wrong by either. YMMV.
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#14
I do think SEDs tend to be good power tubes (both for el34 and 6L6). Unfortunately the supply for them seems to be lousy at the moment. I know groove tubes dropped them from the lineup for starters.

Randall Smith's rants sometime bend the truth a little bit, but one thing he said about tube resellers is spot on: the way they make money is to make sure that every single tube that comes in sells. This includes tubes that would fail for out of spec transconductance (or other parameters) at Mesa. Now a reputable tube seller will sell those tubes to customers who don't specify that they want to hit a given idle current at a given bias point. But ultimately, they've got to be sold to someone. I think this causes most tube sellers to fudge more than a bit from time to time to move the undesirable stock.
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#15
Quote by Even Bigger D
My experience with this has been poor, but I guess it's up to personal opinion. I rather like having tubes that I know will work right, plug them in, and forget about them. There's a lot of merit to the Mesa fixed bias scheme plus a tested tube supply that matches that bias point, and I see no reason to go elsewhere.

But if you want, I'm sure any of hundreds of tube sites on the web will sell you tubes they swear are perfect for your mesa. A few of them might even be telling the truth.


I've got TAD6l6GC's in mine. I ordered them from the tubestore. And they are in Mesa's bias range. You just have to specify when you order. Never had a problem with them. In my experience Mesa branded tubes are just rebranded generic tubes.

TS: keepin mind if your replacements are EL34's you have to use the tube rectifier. They run to hot to use diode recto.
If you start a reply with: I have never played one but I have heard good things about it! Your opinion is invalid.
#16
Quote by boxcarmonument
I've got TAD6l6GC's in mine. I ordered them from the tubestore. And they are in Mesa's bias range. You just have to specify when you order. Never had a problem with them. In my experience Mesa branded tubes are just rebranded generic tubes.

Mesa is indeed a reseller/re-brander - everyone who sells tubes in the US is (except GT may actually be making 6L6s here, not sure). Mesa mostly deals with chinese tubes.

The point is that unlike most tube sellers who have to compete on price and thus move every single tube that comes in the door, mesa can just test and throw out a bunch and charge a little more. In terms of tone, their tubes are nothing special. But in terms of reliability and how well the match the amps, they're top notch. I guess it just depends on what you value.
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#17
Quote by boxcarmonument

TS: keepin mind if your replacements are EL34's you have to use the tube rectifier. They run to hot to use diode recto.



That is incorrect.

All you have to do is flip the bias, switch if you have one. You can use either Rectifier with either type of tubes.
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#18
Quote by imicius
Does the Triple Rec have a tube rectifier? I thought SS rectifiers were standard on most amps nowadays.

The clue is in the title, nimrod.

Anyway, if you were perfectly happy with the way your amp sounded before it went 'weak', why are you worrying about preamp tubes?

And there are plenty of respectable retailers who I would trust to pick my tubes more than Mesa. Their 6L6s are thin and lifeless.
#19
Quote by kyle62
The clue is in the title, nimrod.

So it has 3 rectifiers?
#20
Quote by imicius
So it has 3 rectifiers?


Yes it has 3 rectifier tubes. The dual has 2 The single recto only has a solid state rectifier.
If you start a reply with: I have never played one but I have heard good things about it! Your opinion is invalid.
#21
Quote by imicius
So it has 3 rectifiers?



No. It only has 2. I guess it's called the Triple because it has 3 rectifier tubes...
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#22
Quote by Even Bigger D
Yes, it's a tad more expensive, but they sell power tubes that are in the right transconductance range so you don't have to re-bias the amp. Avoiding the PITA of rebiasing more than makes up for the slightly added expense, and they sound fine and are reliable since they're what the amp was designed to use.


The triple rectifier is a fixed bias amp, so tubes are plug and play. no bias adjustment to make. ever.

the triple in the name "triple rectifier" is a little misleading. It does not have 3 rectifiers, but it DOES have 3 rectifier tubes. Only 2 rectification modes though. tube, or silicon diode.

I would say your tubes definitely need replacement. Personally I would swap out the power tubes only (6L6) first, and if that doesn't do it, then go for the preamp tubes. Preamp tubes generally last much longer than power tubes, so maybe you can save a little scratch by not replacing them just yet.

I have yet to retube my triple recto, but it's gonna happen in the near future. I've heard good things about JJ tubes, I will probably be going with those when it's time. you can get a 6 pack of 6L6's for around $80-90 i think.

personally I would not spend $50 PER TUBE for the mesa rebranded tubes. I'm sure their QC standards are high and all that, but for at least 3X the price I'll pass.
Quote by tubetime86
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#23
Quote by jpatan
The triple rectifier is a fixed bias amp, so tubes are plug and play. no bias adjustment to make. ever.


That's true only if you use Mesa tubes, or tubes from another source with a somewhat similar transconductance. With arbitrary 6L6s from another vendor, you may be way off.
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#24
Quote by Even Bigger D
That's true only if you use Mesa tubes, or tubes from another source with a somewhat similar transconductance. With arbitrary 6L6s from another vendor, you may be way off.


I'll have to check to be absolutely certain, but I'm pretty sure there is no way to adjust the bias... like, it's hard wired set at a certain value, and cannot be changed. I haven't retubed mine yet, but i'm about 99% sure it can't be changed.
Quote by tubetime86
He's obviously pretty young, and I'd guess he's being raised by wolves, or at least humans with the intellectual capacity and compassion of wolves.


You finally made it home, draped in the flag that you fell for.
And so it goes
#25
Quote by jpatan
I'll have to check to be absolutely certain, but I'm pretty sure there is no way to adjust the bias... like, it's hard wired set at a certain value, and cannot be changed. I haven't retubed mine yet, but i'm about 99% sure it can't be changed.



I believe you are correct.
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#26
I bet you could mod it to have an adjustable bias.
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