#1
Hey guys my mesa roadster needs new tubes. It sounds really inarticulate and dead, when I first got it it sounded much different but the tubes are 5 years old now so I think I should get some new ones. I don't really have any idea what to get and the Mesa tubes are really expensive. I play pop rock/punk. Can anyone give me some insight? Thanks, Godbless.
Matthew 7:7 ""Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you."

Pop Punk! Check us out!: Flinch
#2
JJs, Sovteks, Rubys, etc.

Mesa tubes are an enormous rip off. They're just re-branded cheaper tubes that they did very limited testing on.
Last edited by Seref at Jul 6, 2011,
#3
Call Doug's Tubes (dougstubes.com). I ordered a set from him a couple years ago and couldn't be happier with what he sent. I'll be able to let you know the variety he sent me tomorrow.. but my Single Rec sounded a lot better than it did before the re-tube and I was happy with the sound before it.

This is not an advertisement btw. I was really happy with what I ended up with.
Music Man JPX 6
Ibanez RGT220H
Fender 50th Anniversary Deluxe Strat
93 Jackson Std Professional (Japan)
03 Gibson LP Special
Alvarez AD60SC

Mesa Single Rectifier/Mesa 4x12 cab
Mesa Transatlantic TA-15
Hughes & Kettner Triplex
#4
Quote by 3074326
Call Doug's Tubes (dougstubes.com). I ordered a set from him a couple years ago and couldn't be happier with what he sent. I'll be able to let you know the variety he sent me tomorrow.. but my Single Rec sounded a lot better than it did before the re-tube and I was happy with the sound before it.

This is not an advertisement btw. I was really happy with what I ended up with.


Did you just get the Mesa Kit ?
Matthew 7:7 ""Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you."

Pop Punk! Check us out!: Flinch
#5
I would strongly recommend against purchasing Mesa branded tubes, the quality/QC on them by most accounts is fairly terrible. As someone above mentioned, they are essentially cheapo tubes rebranded with the Mesa name.
Although a lot of people on here seem to recommend Ruby tubes, my own personal experiences have been far from stellar with these.
If you want 'new' tubes I'd personally recommend JJ's or TAD tubes, but I've found NOS tubes are FAR more reliable and sound massively better than anything new made today.
Gear:
Fender AVRI '62 Jazzmaster, Fender Gold Sparkle Strat (custom), Custom Swirled Roswell Rhoads
Marshall DSL15H, Weber Speakers, Fender Champs (x2),
'63 Fender Reverb, Mosrite Fuzzrite, Joe Bonamassa Fuzz Face, Whiteface RAT
Vintage Tubes!
Last edited by jukejointjohnny at Jul 6, 2011,
#6
Quote by jukejointjohnny
I would strongly recommend against purchasing Mesa branded tubes, the quality/QC on them by most accounts is fairly terrible. As someone above mentioned, they are essentially cheapo tubes rebranded with the Mesa name.
Although a lot of people on here seem to recommend Ruby tubes, my own personal experiences have been far from stellar with these - like the Mesa tubes, I believe some rebranding is occuring.
If you want 'new' tubes I'd personally recommend JJ's or TAD tubes, but I've found NOS tubes are FAR more reliable and sound massively better than anything new made today.



I bought a tone kit from Doug and they lasted like 6 months, so I had to put my mesa tubes back in and they've been running for 6 years. =\. I really don't want to pay for NOS tubes but Iwas thinking maybe these? http://www.dougstubes.com/brands/ruby-tubes/ruby-6l6gc-cz.html (why are they JJ's but labeled Ruby's?) and the preamp tone kit,

V1 - Tung 12AX7

V2 - JJ ECC83

V3 - Penta 12AX7

V4 - Penta 12AX7

V5 - Sovtek 12AX7 LPS

V6- I need this one because standard recto's only have 5 preamps and I have a Roadster.
Matthew 7:7 ""Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you."

Pop Punk! Check us out!: Flinch
Last edited by tr3nt at Jul 6, 2011,
#7
The JJ's are labelled Rubys because Ruby rebrand other companies tubes - it can sometimes be a bit of a crapshoot getting decent ones, but if they're JJ's you should be fine.
In terms of pricing on NOS tubes, if you shop around (ebay etc) you can get them for just as cheap as new tubes. I live in the UK but import most of my NOS tubes from the states because they are so plentiful and cheap over there compared to UK prices.
When you say your previous tone kit lasted only 6 months, what exactly happened to the tubes? And what did you do to waste them that quickly? I've got 60 year old tubes that I regularly run in amps cranked up full blast that haven't ever let me down.
Gear:
Fender AVRI '62 Jazzmaster, Fender Gold Sparkle Strat (custom), Custom Swirled Roswell Rhoads
Marshall DSL15H, Weber Speakers, Fender Champs (x2),
'63 Fender Reverb, Mosrite Fuzzrite, Joe Bonamassa Fuzz Face, Whiteface RAT
Vintage Tubes!
#8
Quote by jukejointjohnny
The JJ's are labelled Rubys because Ruby rebrand other companies tubes - it can sometimes be a bit of a crapshoot getting decent ones, but if they're JJ's you should be fine.
In terms of pricing on NOS tubes, if you shop around (ebay etc) you can get them for just as cheap as new tubes. I live in the UK but import most of my NOS tubes from the states because they are so plentiful and cheap over there compared to UK prices.
When you say your previous tone kit lasted only 6 months, what exactly happened to the tubes? And what did you do to waste them that quickly? I've got 60 year old tubes that I regularly run in amps cranked up full blast that haven't ever let me down.


They put out no volume or gain. So I think the powertubes and preamp tubes failed.
Matthew 7:7 ""Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you."

Pop Punk! Check us out!: Flinch
#9
I'll be honest, I've NEVER heard of a whole set of tubes failing outright. If you're getting no output /volume, then that is usually a power tube issue or maybe something else a little more complex. Did you try swapping out each tube one by one with known working tubes to try to isolate the problem?
Gear:
Fender AVRI '62 Jazzmaster, Fender Gold Sparkle Strat (custom), Custom Swirled Roswell Rhoads
Marshall DSL15H, Weber Speakers, Fender Champs (x2),
'63 Fender Reverb, Mosrite Fuzzrite, Joe Bonamassa Fuzz Face, Whiteface RAT
Vintage Tubes!
#10
I did not but I put my whole set of mesa tubes back in and it was fine.
Matthew 7:7 ""Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you."

Pop Punk! Check us out!: Flinch
#11
Quote by tr3nt
I did not but I put my whole set of mesa tubes back in and it was fine.


Well it would be if you did that as you have likely removed the offending faulty tube. A far better bet would be to go back through replacing each Mesa tube at a time till you find the faulty tube(s). I would hedge my bets on it being a faulty power tube if your volume/output has gone, unless you've done something silly with your amp.
Also, don't assume that new tubes are all going to work perfectly straight out the box- I conducted a little test a few months ago where I got a hold of a good selection of brand new tubes from various manufacturers and several of them tested as shorting or with the emissions meter in the red on my B&K tube tester straight from the box. Quality just isn't there in tube manufacturing any more
Gear:
Fender AVRI '62 Jazzmaster, Fender Gold Sparkle Strat (custom), Custom Swirled Roswell Rhoads
Marshall DSL15H, Weber Speakers, Fender Champs (x2),
'63 Fender Reverb, Mosrite Fuzzrite, Joe Bonamassa Fuzz Face, Whiteface RAT
Vintage Tubes!
#12
^ +1

Quote by tr3nt
I bought a tone kit from Doug and they lasted like 6 months, so I had to put my mesa tubes back in and they've been running for 6 years. =\. I really don't want to pay for NOS tubes but Iwas thinking maybe these? http://www.dougstubes.com/brands/ruby-tubes/ruby-6l6gc-cz.html (why are they JJ's but labeled Ruby's?) and the preamp tone kit,

V1 - Tung 12AX7

V2 - JJ ECC83

V3 - Penta 12AX7

V4 - Penta 12AX7

V5 - Sovtek 12AX7 LPS

V6- I need this one because standard recto's only have 5 preamps and I have a Roadster.


That looks like typical Doug recommendation

I've bought his Penta Labs 9th Gen as well as JJs and JAN Phillips with great success. I recommend his outfit too. I am not however a fan of Tung Sols for V1 or Sovtek LPS for PI. I would put either JJs or JAN 5751s there but that is just me.

It doesn't make sense that the tube kit only lasted 6 months. It is possible however to have a single tube die within 6 months. That is not Dougs fault. As someone said - buying tubes is somewhat of a crapshoot. Especially these days.

Maybe there is something else wrong with your amp

I'd let Doug know you had an issue if you have not already, and maybe swap some of the preamp tubes around to see if you can find a culprit. Then just buy one or two tubes instead of a whole kit.

Also, ask some of the other reputable online dealers what their recommendation is:
www.tubedepot.com
www.thetubestore.com
www.valvequeen.com
www.eurotubes.com


Edit: Also, I don't see Ruby tubes getting recommended a lot here in GGnA
Last edited by 311ZOSOVHJH at Jul 6, 2011,
#13
I've heard a few horror stories about eurotubes myself. Another great store you wanna check out is

http://www.watfordvalves.com/

I've never had any issues with buying from them, in fact they are my supplier of my beloved Weber speakers

Edit: Yeh, by all accounts Ruby tubes are pretty crap, although I read recently that Keef Richards himself uses Rubys in one of his vintage Fender amps, although I'm sure he probably has pick of the finest stock for his needs
Gear:
Fender AVRI '62 Jazzmaster, Fender Gold Sparkle Strat (custom), Custom Swirled Roswell Rhoads
Marshall DSL15H, Weber Speakers, Fender Champs (x2),
'63 Fender Reverb, Mosrite Fuzzrite, Joe Bonamassa Fuzz Face, Whiteface RAT
Vintage Tubes!
#14
I don't understand what I'm reading about the PT being biased for my amp. Can I just buy a quad of any PT and it will work?
Matthew 7:7 ""Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you."

Pop Punk! Check us out!: Flinch
#15
Quote by tr3nt
I don't understand what I'm reading about the PT being biased for my amp. Can I just buy a quad of any PT and it will work?


Unfortunately it's not as easy as that. PT's will work within a general recommended spec (swapping like for like), but ideally you need to bias your amp every time you replace your power tubes if it is not a self-biasing amp, as every set of tubes is different in it's own way, and your amp needs to be calibrated to run the tubes correctly. You could be running your PT's too cold or too hot if you don't. Too cold and your tone will sound sterile and dead, too hot and your amp will scream for the short amount of times your tubes will last before they burn up and need replacing.

Edit: This might go some way to explain your apparent tube failure if you are running a set of unbiased power tubes.
Gear:
Fender AVRI '62 Jazzmaster, Fender Gold Sparkle Strat (custom), Custom Swirled Roswell Rhoads
Marshall DSL15H, Weber Speakers, Fender Champs (x2),
'63 Fender Reverb, Mosrite Fuzzrite, Joe Bonamassa Fuzz Face, Whiteface RAT
Vintage Tubes!
#16
^ no

Mesa amps do not need to be biased. There is no variable resistor for biasing them (at least not most of them). That is why Mesa wants you to buy Mesa branded tubes. Because they have matched them up already. You DO want to buy matched tubes no matter what you do.


Quote by jukejointjohnny
I've heard a few horror stories about eurotubes myself. Another great store you wanna check out is

http://www.watfordvalves.com/

I've never had any issues with buying from them, in fact they are my supplier of my beloved Weber speakers

Edit: Yeh, by all accounts Ruby tubes are pretty crap, although I read recently that Keef Richards himself uses Rubys in one of his vintage Fender amps, although I'm sure he probably has pick of the finest stock for his needs



no

I've heard plenty of horror stories about watfordvalves and I do not recommend them. Plus, do they even ship to the US? I've never dealt with them personally I will admit.

Ruby actually makes some good tubes these days - I would not rule them out totally. And it is Keith Richards not Keef.
Last edited by 311ZOSOVHJH at Jul 6, 2011,
#17
^ Care to elaborate?
Gear:
Fender AVRI '62 Jazzmaster, Fender Gold Sparkle Strat (custom), Custom Swirled Roswell Rhoads
Marshall DSL15H, Weber Speakers, Fender Champs (x2),
'63 Fender Reverb, Mosrite Fuzzrite, Joe Bonamassa Fuzz Face, Whiteface RAT
Vintage Tubes!
#18
Well my amp is a fixed bias =\.
Matthew 7:7 ""Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you."

Pop Punk! Check us out!: Flinch
#19
Quote by tr3nt
Well my amp is a fixed bias =\.


Ah thanks for that one, I've never used Mesa gear personally, was just speaking from general amp experience (been through a fair share of new and vintage amps over the years).
Gear:
Fender AVRI '62 Jazzmaster, Fender Gold Sparkle Strat (custom), Custom Swirled Roswell Rhoads
Marshall DSL15H, Weber Speakers, Fender Champs (x2),
'63 Fender Reverb, Mosrite Fuzzrite, Joe Bonamassa Fuzz Face, Whiteface RAT
Vintage Tubes!
#20
Well does the fixed bias mean I don't need a tech to bias the tubes to run correctly?

Edit: So essentially I can get a matched quad of any tube and run it when it comes to my door?
Matthew 7:7 ""Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you."

Pop Punk! Check us out!: Flinch
#21
Quote by 311ZOSOVHJH


I've heard plenty of horror stories about watfordvalves and I do not recommend them. Plus, do they even ship to the US? I've never dealt with them personally I will admit.

Ruby actually makes some good tubes these days - I would not rule them out totally. And it is Keith Richards not Keef.


Seen it spelled both ways actually I guess as far as buying tubes online, everyone has their own personal success and horror stories. They do ship worldwide though according to their website.
Gear:
Fender AVRI '62 Jazzmaster, Fender Gold Sparkle Strat (custom), Custom Swirled Roswell Rhoads
Marshall DSL15H, Weber Speakers, Fender Champs (x2),
'63 Fender Reverb, Mosrite Fuzzrite, Joe Bonamassa Fuzz Face, Whiteface RAT
Vintage Tubes!
#22
^ k

Well, I wouldn't want to pay international shipping and customs VAT tax if I didn't have too. He's bought tubes from Dougstubes.com before so I assumed he is in the States. Doug is a reputable dealer - I've never had an issue with him and he ships fast.


Quote by tr3nt
Well does the fixed bias mean I don't need a tech to bias the tubes to run correctly?

Edit: So essentially I can get a matched quad of any tube and run it when it comes to my door?


Yes they are fixed bias but Mesa is an exception to the rule when we talk about biasing amps. But they don't operate like most Fixed Bias amps. Read your user manual and follow the instructions there.

See page 24 of the user manual:
http://www.mesaboogie.com/manuals/Roadster.pdf

and this:
http://www.google.com/#sclient=psy&hl=en&source=hp&q=Mesa+Roadster+bias&pbx=1&oq=Mesa+Roadster+bias&aq=f&aqi=g-v1&aql=undefined&gs_sm=e&gs_upl=75989l84131l2l22l20l3l6l6l0l275l1904l0.8.3l11&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.&fp=73edc9aee1714464&biw=1280&bih=709


fixed bias means the user NORMALLY has to adjust (fix) the bias themselves manually.

non-adjustable fixed and cathode biased amps do not require any adjustments by the user - the amp will adjust it's own bias accordingly.


Again - Mesa does not fit within these rules.

What Mesa wants you to do is buy Mesa tubes so they can ensure their amps sound good and work properly. As much as I respect Randall Smith, it is a bit gimmicky and confusing.

As long as you buy a matched 'quad' or pair of tubes that fit within the specs you should be fine. Find out what those specs are in millivolts and tell the dealer what amp you have and you should be fine. Otherwise, buy Mesa tubes and contact Mesa if your amp doesn't sound good.
Last edited by 311ZOSOVHJH at Jul 6, 2011,
#23
What ^ ?
Matthew 7:7 ""Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you."

Pop Punk! Check us out!: Flinch
#24
Dougs cocktail worked great on my buddy Jons dual rec.

Edit, and it never sounded that good before, his words...
I wondered why the frisbee was getting bigger, then it hit me.
Last edited by gregs1020 at Jul 6, 2011,
#25
Quote by 311ZOSOVHJH
^ k

Well, I wouldn't want to pay international shipping and customs VAT tax if I didn't have too. He's bought tubes from Dougstubes.com before so I assumed he is in the States. Doug is a reputable dealer - I've never had an issue with him and he ships fast.


Yes they are fixed bias but Mesa is an exception to the rule when we talk about biasing amps.

See page 24 of the user manual:
http://www.mesaboogie.com/manuals/Roadster.pdf

and this:
http://www.google.com/#sclient=psy&hl=en&source=hp&q=Mesa+Roadster+bias&pbx=1&oq=Mesa+Roadster+bias&aq=f&aqi=g-v1&aql=undefined&gs_sm=e&gs_upl=75989l84131l2l22l20l3l6l6l0l275l1904l0.8.3l11&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.&fp=73edc9aee1714464&biw=1280&bih=709


fixed bias means the user NORMALLY has adjust (fix) the bias themselves manually.

non-adjustable fixed and cathode biased amps do not require any adjustments by the user - the amp will adjust it's own bias accordingly.


Again - Mesa does not fit within these rules.


Yeh, that's what threw me, I read 'fixed bias' and reach for a screwdriver
Gear:
Fender AVRI '62 Jazzmaster, Fender Gold Sparkle Strat (custom), Custom Swirled Roswell Rhoads
Marshall DSL15H, Weber Speakers, Fender Champs (x2),
'63 Fender Reverb, Mosrite Fuzzrite, Joe Bonamassa Fuzz Face, Whiteface RAT
Vintage Tubes!
#27
Quote by 311ZOSOVHJH
see edits


my posts were getting out of 'order' because I couldn't type fast enough


So I'll need to bring it to a tech?
Matthew 7:7 ""Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you."

Pop Punk! Check us out!: Flinch
#28
Quote by tr3nt
So I'll need to bring it to a tech?

No. You shouldn't have to. There would be no bias trim pot for a tech to use either - they would just pop in whatever tubes you gave them and charge you the minimum bench fee.


If one wants to learn more about what it takes to bias a 'fixed bias' amp the hard way I have a blog on the subject in my profile. Not to be used with Mesa amps

Also a helpful thread:
https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1411411
Last edited by 311ZOSOVHJH at Jul 6, 2011,
#29
Quote by 311ZOSOVHJH
No. You shouldn't have to. There would be no bias trim pot for a tech to use either - they would just pop in whatever tubes you gave them and charge you the minimum bench fee.


If one wants to learn more about what it takes to bias a 'fixed bias' amp the hard way I have a blog on the subject in my profile. Not to be used with Mesa amps

Also a helpful thread:
https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1411411


Yeah I just read it in the user manual

Edit: Rectifier tubes, should I replace them? lol.
Matthew 7:7 ""Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you."

Pop Punk! Check us out!: Flinch
#30
Honestly, I wouldn't worry about replacing the rectifier tube.

Honestly, I wouldn't focus on replacing all the tubes right now. Find out which one is bad or what the problem is.

Honestly, I would reread this thread.


---

what happens when you swap V1 with V2?
what happens when you switch to half power mode?
what happens if you swap the outer two power tubes with the inner two power tubes?
what happens if you spray some Deoxit contact cleaner on the tube pins while you do this?


that should be enough to get started - report back after doing some of those things. if you don't want to mess with it - take it to a tech.
Last edited by 311ZOSOVHJH at Jul 6, 2011,
#31
Let's just cut to the chase.
In the preamp get NOS valves. Something from Germany (Telefunken, Siemens, RFT), Holland (Amperex/Bugle Boy), Britain (Mullard, Brimar), Australia (Phillips/Miniwatt, Mullard) or America (Phillips, RCA, GE. Raytheon) - in pretty much that order of quality. Stick a JAN Phillips in the PI.
Haunt Ebay for a while and get yourself a bit of a collection and just experiment. You won't regret it.

For the output tubes (which is probably what you need most) get SED =C= or JJ depending on what you can afford. SED are pretty pricey but worth it.

Ruby and Mesa are a crapshoot. Forget them.
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
#32
^^^ This. I've accumulated several plastic crates full of NOS tubes over the last few years, it's great fun to experiment with.
Gear:
Fender AVRI '62 Jazzmaster, Fender Gold Sparkle Strat (custom), Custom Swirled Roswell Rhoads
Marshall DSL15H, Weber Speakers, Fender Champs (x2),
'63 Fender Reverb, Mosrite Fuzzrite, Joe Bonamassa Fuzz Face, Whiteface RAT
Vintage Tubes!
#33
Quote by tr3nt
Did you just get the Mesa Kit ?


No. He asked me what kind of tone I was going for and he made a set for me. Turns out I'm not going to be going back to my parents' house today so I won't be able to get the exact set (my Mesa isn't with me because I live in my apartment). I haven't been able to play it much over the last few years because of my living situation, so I don't remember what exactly is in it.
Music Man JPX 6
Ibanez RGT220H
Fender 50th Anniversary Deluxe Strat
93 Jackson Std Professional (Japan)
03 Gibson LP Special
Alvarez AD60SC

Mesa Single Rectifier/Mesa 4x12 cab
Mesa Transatlantic TA-15
Hughes & Kettner Triplex
#34
Quote by 3074326
No. He asked me what kind of tone I was going for and he made a set for me. Turns out I'm not going to be going back to my parents' house today so I won't be able to get the exact set (my Mesa isn't with me because I live in my apartment). I haven't been able to play it much over the last few years because of my living situation, so I don't remember what exactly is in it.


Here's what he gave me..

Two SED 6L6 power tubes

V1 - Tung-Sol
V2 - JJ
V3 - Penta
V4 - Shuguang
V5 - Sovtek

So I guess it looks like the kit, only with the Shuguang in V4 instead of another Penta.
Music Man JPX 6
Ibanez RGT220H
Fender 50th Anniversary Deluxe Strat
93 Jackson Std Professional (Japan)
03 Gibson LP Special
Alvarez AD60SC

Mesa Single Rectifier/Mesa 4x12 cab
Mesa Transatlantic TA-15
Hughes & Kettner Triplex