#1
ok so ive been trying to take advantage of cheap upgrades to tweak my sound and to scratch off the list - tubes.

Im practicing with a bugera v22 lately while saving for a n avatar 2x12 and most likely a DV Mark lil 40. problem is, the drive on the v22 is somewhat lacking. it has a bit too much gain on tap and it gets REALLY buzzy and weird sounding really fast. box of bees.

it goes from clean, hits 3-5 with a good crunch, 5-6 brings on the bees, and anything past that is a plague of locusts.

i threw in a Sovtek 5751. 30% reduction in gain, but more than a 12ay7. well ITS PERFECT. now, the drive channel is clearer, no bees. a good crunch is now 5, not 3 and no bees. gain on 10 is a heavy crunch but still usable. if i want more, i use a good OD. this is a vintage amp, not a metal machine...i dont need 5 notches of bees.

everybody, for 15-30 bucks, tweak your v1 preamp tube. no biasing, definite tone change.

FYI here is my logic on the 5751:

5751 is a milspec 12ax7. very close plate voltage about 70% the gain of a 12ax7. the amp will treat it the same

12ay7 is about a 60% reduction in gain. too much. the voltage is lower so internally the amp will run different. it will make your amp really clean and the bias will effect the dynamics of the amp.

12au7 would be CRAZY clean. i would have almost no drive for rock. it would be a light breakup. it would also make the amp significantly quieter.

12at7 is very well suited for a phase inverter on v3, but due to its design makes a fairly bad v1 tube. i read articles, and im no expert, but i believed em.

to drop some gain i recommend a 5751 or a 12ay7. nothing else.


...next up: more tube changes, cobalt strings, and a custom oxblood / tweed cab with WGS speakers (when i get my tax return :liplick
Last edited by ikey_ at Mar 25, 2012,
#2
I agree for the most part here. I swapped out the 12ax7s in my Peavey Ultra for 5751s and it sounds much better. Likewise I put a 12at7 in the clean slot on my Splawn QuickRod, and the clean is much more useable. However, might I suggest that for a 5751, you would be better off saving up a bit more to spend on an old GE, RCA, or JAN Philips/Sylvania rather than a Sovtek. I believe you'll find the quality to be noticeably better.
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#3
i know. however, i was unsure if i would like the gain change. for 15 bucks i really dont care if it blew. now i know, i wouldnt mind dropping 30-40 on a nice *ass NOS tube. i will rock this one for a while. yes i did hear the Sovteks were lacking.

but if the sovteks were lacking, then BUGERAs BLOW HARD. cause that one tube is way better. more or less the same tone and character but the drive is totally redefined.

im going to call that tube a 12 a-BEES-7.
#4
Certainly!

If you're ok with using ebay, you can grab those tubes (used) for less than $30. I try not to spend over $25 per tube on an auction, though sometimes it goes over with shipping. 12at7s are even cheaper. You can find JAN Philips at7s for less than $10 each on ebay, and even Telefunkens often go for under $20 each. Tele 12ax7s are sky high most of the time.

God knows what tubes Bugera relabels. Probably the absolute cheapest they could find. But from what little I've read, the 5751 is about the best tube Sovtek makes right now, so, eh
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#6
311, I FINALLY got my hands on one of those last week! They're few and far between on ebay, and usually way more expensive than other brands. I put it in V1 of the Ultra. Gonna see if I can't find more when they pop up.
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#7
But a Sovtek? Their long plate preamp tubes are ok but the others are such crap. And military spec? A 5751 may have been a milspec component back in the day but a Sovtek milspec sounds like a contradiction in terms to me.
Grab yourself a JAN Phillips 5751 - now that is an actual milspec tube (JAN stands for Joint Army Navy, any tube with JAN written on it is a US milspec tube). You think the Sovtek 5751 sounds good? Wait til you try the real thing.
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Last edited by Cathbard at Mar 25, 2012,
#8
I stuck a JG-5751 (GE JAN) in V1 on my Jet City and it was a definite improvement. The amp has plenty of gain on tap so losing a tad wasn't a big deal since I never run the gain dimed or anywhere near it. The drop in gain isn't really that noticeable, it sounds like a more "mature" 12ax7 if that makes sense.
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#9
i dont agree with AT7s in a v1 spot due to some articles i have read about how they handle voltages and react with the amp in that stage. I have heard they are ideally suited for a phase inverter, especially if you want a little more clean headroom.

yeah, i agree. they have NOS phillips for like 30ish on some places. i wasnt going to drop the bones until i saw what a 5751 was like.

and yes, a 5751 was invented as a mil spec 12ax7. out of all the preamp tubes, it will behave most like a 12ax7 in terms of voltage and how it is automatically biased by the amp. the only difference is that it has about 60-70% of the gain a 12ax7 does.

I liked this because i ONLY wanted a gain change at first. i did not any other characteristics changing due to voltanges etc. I have read this acan affect your playing dynamics and response. plus, dropping more than about 30 % would be too much.

to be honest i feels like more than 30%. it feels like almost 50%. its because my dirty channel was unusable much past 5. now i can literally almost dime it and its still an improvement.
#10
Quote by Cathbard
But a Sovtek? Their long plate preamp tubes are ok but the others are such crap. And military spec? A 5751 may have been a milspec component back in the day but a Sovtek milspec sounds like a contradiction in terms to me.
Grab yourself a JAN Phillips 5751 - now that is an actual milspec tube (JAN stands for Joint Army Navy, any tube with JAN written on it is a US milspec tube). You think the Sovtek 5751 sounds good? Wait til you try the real thing.


that's what i'd have thought. i was a bit underwhelmed by the sovtek 5751 i tried. and the tube thread said it was a good sovtek!

don't get me wrong, it wasn't terrible. but i thought it was noticeably not as nice as even jjs or tungsols.
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#11
Quote by ikey_
ok so ive been trying to take advantage of cheap upgrades to tweak my sound and to scratch off the list - tubes.

Im practicing with a bugera v22 lately while saving for a n avatar 2x12 and most likely a DV Mark lil 40. problem is, the drive on the v22 is somewhat lacking. it has a bit too much gain on tap and it gets REALLY buzzy and weird sounding really fast. box of bees.

it goes from clean, hits 3-5 with a good crunch, 5-6 brings on the bees, and anything past that is a plague of locusts.

i threw in a Sovtek 5751. 30% reduction in gain, but more than a 12ay7. well ITS PERFECT. now, the drive channel is clearer, no bees. a good crunch is now 5, not 3 and no bees. gain on 10 is a heavy crunch but still usable. if i want more, i use a good OD. this is a vintage amp, not a metal machine...i dont need 5 notches of bees.

everybody, for 15-30 bucks, tweak your v1 preamp tube. no biasing, definite tone change.

FYI here is my logic on the 5751:

5751 is a milspec 12ax7. very close plate voltage about 70% the gain of a 12ax7. the amp will treat it the same

12ay7 is about a 60% reduction in gain. too much. the voltage is lower so internally the amp will run different. it will make your amp really clean and the bias will effect the dynamics of the amp.

12au7 would be CRAZY clean. i would have almost no drive for rock. it would be a light breakup. it would also make the amp significantly quieter.

12at7 is very well suited for a phase inverter on v3, but due to its design makes a fairly bad v1 tube. i read articles, and im no expert, but i believed em.

to drop some gain i recommend a 5751 or a 12ay7. nothing else.


...next up: more tube changes, cobalt strings, and a custom oxblood / tweed cab with WGS speakers (when i get my tax return :liplick


I agree with everything except the part about the 12at7. I've read plenty of articles that also say some negative stuff about them in high gain combos, other reasons they are not the ideal replacement for a 12ax7, but I put one in v1 of my 6505+ and its just fine. Decrease the gain, made the amp much smoother.
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#12
Quote by ikey_
to be honest i feels like more than 30%. it feels like almost 50%. its because my dirty channel was unusable much past 5. now i can literally almost dime it and its still an improvement.
Maybe you need to try NOS . You could also be hearing the tonal differences and the characteristics of the 5751 clarifying the tone vs how harsh it sounded when cranked. The distortion on my Jet City is very smooth and chunky with 12ax7's, the 5751 smoothed it out a bit more and the tone was clearer and more articulate than before.
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[thread="1166208"]Gibsons Historic Designs[/thread]
#13
that could be the case. perhaps the bees went away and i can actually hear stuff.

and yes, i know i need to try NOS. i think every reply here has said NOS. i want to, but not happenin any time soon.

hey - if i dod buy a NOS 5751, could i put my existing sovtek in v2? anybody try that?
#14
In V2 the Sovtek won't have as big of an effect on the tone as in V1, but it will still affect it. Personally I wouldn't even mess with the Sovtek once I got my hands on some NOS tubes. Actually, the majority of the tubes you'll see going for reasonable prices on ebay aren't actually new old stock or new in box, but they're mostly close enough to new. Close enough that you usually don't have to worry about them going bad any time soon, yet used, so the prices are usually affordable. Just a clarification on NOS that many ebay sellers, intentionally or accidentally, miss.

As I said before, you can often find good old 5751s - GEs, Sylvanias, Raytheons, RCAs, and sometimes Philips - for around $20-$25 a pop. And even though that's twice the cost of a new Sovtek 5751, I'd rather pay more for something that's working for me than someone pay me to take something that'll work against me. But, hey, you already knew that!

Just saying, give ebay a look. I bet you can find something on there that'll fit your budget and help your tone as well.
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#15
I gave about $20 shipped for mine, it was a used pull but it tested strong close to NOS. I'd gladly pay the extra few bucks for something that will last more than a few years and will give a better sound than current production.
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[thread="1166208"]Gibsons Historic Designs[/thread]
#16
so overall the gain structure is improved and the tone is not bad, but its not "sweeter". i can see the value of NOS.

however, having 4 other crap bugera tubes and not to mention a bugera amp is hurting my tone a lot more than a sovtek 5751 tube. its not the tube thats holding my tone back let me put it that way.

verdict: sovtek 5751, ok. bugera v22, ok. bugera tubes, REPLACE IMMEDIATELY.

i would love to know the original brand, because it must be the worst tube on the market. anything $15 part that makes that big a difference means something is clearly wrong with the original.
Last edited by ikey_ at Mar 28, 2012,
#17
That's a bit strange too. Are Bugera using old gen 7 Shuguangs or something? The gen 9 Shugs are actually quite nice - certainly better than a Sovtek.


Edit. Btw ikey - are you the LinuxMint Ikey?
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Last edited by Cathbard at Mar 28, 2012,
#18
Just to clarify, the 5751 wasn't created to be a mil spec 12AX7. They are different tubes. Not different by much, but they are not the same. All you need to do is look at a chart of characteristic curves for each tube to see that.

There definitely is something about the 5751 that gives it a tonal edge over the 12AX7. And it is worth noting that just about every single JAN-Philips 5751 (a true mil spec tube) that I get in stock tests out at a gain factor that is typically only 5% below the average 12AX7.

Anyhow, gotta love the 5751!
#19
yeah, I'll go with the gain factor of 5% below a JJ 12AX7. Honestly, I don't think I can hear a difference gain wise. The JAN Phillips 5751 is just an all around great tube.

and I have a Penta Labs 9th Gen (Shuguang?) and it stands out for me too. Along with my JJ's of course. The only preamp tube I never got along with really was the Tung Sols
#20
I'm yet to hear anything made by New Sensor that takes my fancy. Their long plate jobbies aren't bad per se but aren't very inspiring. Their short plate tubes are just crap.
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#21
Quote by ikey_


12at7 is very well suited for a phase inverter on v3, but due to its design makes a fairly bad v1 tube. i read articles, and im no expert, but i believed em.




I don't know about everything else you said, but if this is the case, then my ears are fooled. I tried one in V1 of my 6505+ and it sounds killer to me. I didn't really notice a major reduction in gain, and I still don't set it past 5/10 with an OD. Gobs of gain still available, but unneeded.

What it did do was to cut out most of the bees and made my crunch more "crunchy" instead of a slightly toned down lead channel. The lead channel remains brutal as ever -- perhaps moreso because you hear the bawls instead of bees...
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#22
well i did want less buzz and more clarity, the gain was secondary. because my gain was unusable, i wanted less of it. if it was all around better, i probably would not care as much.

last night i found that i sounded clearer, my tone reflected more of my playing and dynamics, and i had a wider array of gain channel to use even though the gain factor was reduced.

like i said, the gain literally sounds good from 1-10.

yes, between the sovtek 5751 and the stock bugera, it was a night and day, immediate improvement. no question. even at low volume.

if a 15 dollar mediocre tube has this effect, bugera tubes are probably the worst tubes in circulation today. and...this gives me a better arguement to change the rest of em. god knows that will transform my amp.
#23
I'd have changed em anyway! God forbid if I got a Road King, I'd have ALL the glass changed out of it by the weekend But seriously, it may just be that the stock tubes weren't your tonal cup of tea, and the new ones you're trying are closer.
For the price of Bugeras, it wouldn't surprise me if they do get the cheapest of the lot as far as tubes. But let me repeat what everyone's saying here: if you like the Sovtek, ante up and get yourself some JAN-Philips, RCA blackplate, or GE 5751s and see how that does!
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#24
report back - AMAZING.

i know its not a NOS, but with the mid boost on my amp i get a great natural sounding rock crunch. its perfect and the gain knob is 100% controllable and usable.

last night i played with a bunch of guys with pro level gear. i played like *ss. literally. probably the worst playing ive ever done but my amp sounded great!

best 15 dollar part ive ever bought. the other guitar player who had a fender blues deluxe reissue complimented my tone and said my amp sounds great.

his mouth dropped when i told him it was an el-cheapo asian 350 buck special you can get in any GC.

...that, and i rig my pedals and guitar right. probably in my fingers too (despite the fact that i was god aweful).