Ok so a while ago I asked about what to upgrade my tubes to in a couple amps. I'm using a Crate Vintage Club 50 (I just called it a V50 but we found the hang tab under a cloth that covered the reverb tank, pretty sure it could be called a VC 5310 as well) as well as a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe.

The suggestion was to go with all JJ all the way. I did that for both. The VC50 got new preamp tubes (a quartet of 12ax7's so now I know when they've been replaced and about when they'll need it again). The tech, Scott from VistaLuxe Amps in Ft. Worth Tx, said it was a good call and they'd need it real soon anyway. It also got a new quartet of JJ El84's.

I was thinking about doing something with the V1 but realized that I wouldn't know if it actually needed changing unless I started with all things constant.

Yesterday I fired it up and WOW! I haven't ever heard this thing sound so good! For reference, I'm using a Schecter C1 semi hollowbody with Duncan Buckers that came stock. The clean can now find that fat round punchy goodness that we all love. The drive is warm and very versatile. Very bluesy from 1-4 and above goes into metal head territory which I don't care for. It is a little on the dark side but with the guitar tone up and the lows rolled back a bit on the drive it sounds great! Independent reverbs add some extra life to the sound.

The HRD has a life to it that it definitely didn't have when it was just running 1 6L6 groove tube. With all its tubes in place and now running a pair of JJ's it sounds awesome! I now know what people have been talking about when they say the HRD cleans are so great! The drive/more drive sound great too. Just have to keep the gain control set WAY low since the channels share an EQ.

Thanks and a shout out to Cathbard for the advice!

Life is short. PLAY LOUD!
the Vintage Clubs are the second best amps Crate ever made, and definitely the most underrated
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Thanks for the review and update. It's amazing the difference a new set of decent tubes will make! FWIW I highly recommend JJ tubes as well.

and enjoy!
I still don't understand how you ran a HRD on one power tube...
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Unless its electronic drums.

I will join you guys in recommending JJ's!!! Also no problem about the update. I fugure I took the time to ask the question and others took the time to answer. How communities work best and glad to take part!

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I still don't understand how you ran a HRD on one power tube...

Pretty sure that it very much decreases the overall efficiency of the tube. Boils down to sound and output but not nessicarily good. That's about as deep as I can explain at the moment...

Life is short. PLAY LOUD!
A HRD with one tube? I'm surprised it works at all but if it did you just cut out one half of the signal. One power tube drives the +'ve half and the other drives the -'ve half. So even if it did work it would be presenting a signal with an effective DC offset to the speaker. That's just all sorts of wrong.

Replacing worn tubes is like buying a new amp. How you test if you don't have a valve tester (and who does these days?) is to try your spares one at a time (well, in the preamp anyway) and listen to the difference. Power tubes should be changed as a set. You don't have spares? Why not?
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