#1
I posted in the VK thread but that place is kinda desolate and I didn't get a whole lot of information. If you guys could help me out I would appreciate it greatly.

My Valveking is a year and a half old. Owned 6 months by its previous owner and owned for a year by me. Since I owned it it hasn't seen a whole lot of play time. Probably somewhere between 70 and 100 hours of play. The tubes are original.

I know the tubes will probably last me quite a long time but I would like to have an idea of what I would like to put in there before the time comes for me to do so. I think it would be a bad time to ask when my amp isn't operating properly anymore. So here are a few questions.

1) My amp has three pre amp tubes. V1 i believe is assigned to the clean channel. V2 to the distortion channel, and V3 has something to do with phase? What does this mean?

I know different pre amp tubes have different gain ratings. (I.E the 12au7 has less gain than a 12ax7). If this is correct would it be safe to assume I need a low gain tube in V1, and a high gain tube in V2? What would be a good tube for V3?

2) I know there are different types of power tubes, but are there different types of pre amp tubes? I know of 12ax7 style tubes. Are there any others?

3) What makes one tube brand's 12ax7 tube sound different from another's?

4) Can I use another power tube besides a 6l6 in my power amp section? What would be the consequences of doing so? What does it mean that my amp is self biasing?

I'm sure more questions will come to mind as these start getting answers. Thanks guys.
#2
1. V3 is the phase inverter. The PI is part of the power amp. In simple terms ones side of the PI drives the positive half of the signal and the other side the negative half.
A lower gain PI will drive the power amp less which makes it quieter giving the perception that you have more headroom. It takes a higher input signal to drive the output tubes the same amount. You can try other things in there, 5751, 12AT7, 12AY7. I wouldn't try a 12AU7 in there without doing the math first, it probably won't work.

2. See above

3. Physical construction.

4. You could use a 5881 (a military grade 6L6). KT66's and KT77's may work with a bias adjustment but they do have larger current requirements so don't do it unless you are sure the power supply can cope. You can't use EL34's without modding the amp (new screen resistor and connection of the suppressor grid) and again they draw more current than a 6L6. Don't do it unless you know exactly what you are doing. Stick with 6L6's.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#4
Quote by ethan_hanus
^ I bet you wouldn't have any problems with the 12AU7 in the VK, it is a medium gain amp after all with a Fender Twin reverb rip off clean channel.

I think Cath pretty much answered your questions.

Gain isn't the issue, it's plate voltage you have to watch.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band