#1
Hi there.

Has anybody got personal experience with exchange/upgrade of the Tubemeister 18 tubes? What tubes did you get and most important: how did they change the sound/tone? I don´t need to exchange them yet, my amp is new and it sounds good to me even with the shitty chinese stock tubes. But when the time comes, I would like to have some info and other people´s experience gathered already.

So thanx to all in advance!
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#2
You can never go wrong with JJ's. You can do better, but JJ's are the standard for the most part. Preamp tubes are a magical world of tone tweakage, lots of options there. Again, JJ's are the standard.
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#3
My $0.02:

I personally have not found tubes in general to make a notable tonal difference. They can alter your tone subtly, but in perspective, you can alter your tone much, much more with an EQ. As long as you make sure your tubes are good (not dying), it's not a huge issue which ones you're using.

Many will disagree, vehemently even - just take everything with a grain of salt, and most importantly, try for yourself and reach your own conclusions.

JJs are very good (consistent and reliable) for the price.
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#4
Quote by Offworld92
My $0.02:

I personally have not found tubes in general to make a notable tonal difference. They can alter your tone subtly, but in perspective, you can alter your tone much, much more with an EQ. As long as you make sure your tubes are good (not dying), it's not a huge issue which ones you're using.

Many will disagree, vehemently even - just take everything with a grain of salt, and most importantly, try for yourself and reach your own conclusions.

JJs are very good (consistent and reliable) for the price.


Thou hast spoken the words of wisdom....

You are right, EQ makes a big change, I already have one in my loop (MXR 7-band) and it almost makes the 112 cab sound like a 212, if not a 412, but still very tight and concrete....

But back to the tubes: I really don´t wanna be hasty, just preliminary speculations.... Ok, so far twice 2 cents for JJs. Thank you gentlemen.

Any other suggestions?
B.C. Rich, Cort, Engl, Engl, Engl, Epiphone, Epiphone, Fender, Fender, Gallien-Krueger, Gallien-Krueger, Ibanez, Ibanez, Ibanez, KRK, KRK, KRK, Laney, Line6, Michael Kelly, Schecter, VHT, Yamaha....
Last edited by Airfish at Oct 15, 2013,
#5
Dammit, I just found out, that JJs are made in Slovakia (Slovak republic), where I live.... now I understand: Slovakia has been part of Czecho-Slovakia until 1993 when the two countries separated.... and Tesla has been the most common Czecho-Slovakian consumer-eletronics brand during the previous communist decades.... so that´s why they still produce Tesla-remake tubes in Slovakia....
OK, so if nobody persuades me to do anything else, then I tend to support my local brand.... so now my tube-uprgade is becoming almost political: stock crap from China vs. new stuff produced by my own homeland....
And it´s cool to hear, that people consider the JJs to be a good standard and value for money....
B.C. Rich, Cort, Engl, Engl, Engl, Epiphone, Epiphone, Fender, Fender, Gallien-Krueger, Gallien-Krueger, Ibanez, Ibanez, Ibanez, KRK, KRK, KRK, Laney, Line6, Michael Kelly, Schecter, VHT, Yamaha....
Last edited by Airfish at Oct 15, 2013,
#6
While JJs are not a bad tube they certainly aren't the greatest, I think the fact they are generally the highest gain tube wins them a lot of love which is great if you want an amp with new age gain for metal and stuff; however if you are a purist and your looking for dead on tone JJs just wont cut it as a lot of earlier amps ran lower gain tubes in them, especially when heading back into the classic rock and early blues days. Groove Tubes, Electro Harmonix, Tung-Sol, Mallard and Sovtek all make some awesome tubes, you just have to select one that falls into your gain requirements.
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#7
Quote by ne14t
While JJs are not a bad tube they certainly aren't the greatest, I think the fact they are generally the highest gain tube wins them a lot of love which is great if you want an amp with new age gain for metal and stuff; however if you are a purist and your looking for dead on tone JJs just wont cut it as a lot of earlier amps ran lower gain tubes in them, especially when heading back into the classic rock and early blues days. Groove Tubes, Electro Harmonix, Tung-Sol, Mallard and Sovtek all make some awesome tubes, you just have to select one that falls into your gain requirements.


Now that´s strange: I´ve read somewhere else, that the JJ AX7s are quite the opposite to what you said: less gainy.... at least compared to the chinese stock preamp tubes of the Tubemeister 18.... Or did you mean the JJ EL84s to have more gain than the TM18s stock chinese power tubes?
B.C. Rich, Cort, Engl, Engl, Engl, Epiphone, Epiphone, Fender, Fender, Gallien-Krueger, Gallien-Krueger, Ibanez, Ibanez, Ibanez, KRK, KRK, KRK, Laney, Line6, Michael Kelly, Schecter, VHT, Yamaha....
Last edited by Airfish at Oct 15, 2013,
#8
And one more question: is there a GAIN difference between JJ ECC83 red / JJ ECC83 gold and JJ ECC803 gold?
B.C. Rich, Cort, Engl, Engl, Engl, Epiphone, Epiphone, Fender, Fender, Gallien-Krueger, Gallien-Krueger, Ibanez, Ibanez, Ibanez, KRK, KRK, KRK, Laney, Line6, Michael Kelly, Schecter, VHT, Yamaha....
#9
everybody's going to say JJ's ( I recommend them as well) but they are a darker sounding tube, so if you don't like that, keep shopping.
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#10
The 803 has a tiny bit less gain than the 83 but not so much that it's really noticeable. IIRC those amps have a SS boost built into the front of it anyway so don't be too concerned about it. The main difference you will hear is that the 803 is low noise and has a little more top end sparkle.
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#11
Quote by deadsmileyface
everybody's going to say JJ's ( I recommend them as well) but they are a darker sounding tube, so if you don't like that, keep shopping.


Darker? That´s not a problem for me, I wanted to get rid of the top-end harshness of the Tubemeister anyway.... thanx for your view!
B.C. Rich, Cort, Engl, Engl, Engl, Epiphone, Epiphone, Fender, Fender, Gallien-Krueger, Gallien-Krueger, Ibanez, Ibanez, Ibanez, KRK, KRK, KRK, Laney, Line6, Michael Kelly, Schecter, VHT, Yamaha....
#12
Quote by Cathbard
The 803 has a tiny bit less gain than the 83 but not so much that it's really noticeable. IIRC those amps have a SS boost built into the front of it anyway so don't be too concerned about it. The main difference you will hear is that the 803 is low noise and has a little more top end sparkle.


And is the 803 suitable for V2? I already have a tube chosen for V1: the guys from Tube Town seem to be "more-than-a-vendor" pros and they make their own selection of tubes. And they have a specially selected ECC83 JJ for V1, so I would go for that one. And how about V2?
B.C. Rich, Cort, Engl, Engl, Engl, Epiphone, Epiphone, Fender, Fender, Gallien-Krueger, Gallien-Krueger, Ibanez, Ibanez, Ibanez, KRK, KRK, KRK, Laney, Line6, Michael Kelly, Schecter, VHT, Yamaha....
#13
That's dumb. Listen to Cath. Put the 803 in V1. I have A/B'd them myself. The 803 is quieter. As stated above the tone difference is negligible, IMO. Noise isn't.
Spin 'round carousel when your horse isn't screwed in.

My band:
Fractured Instinct
(For fans of Death/Groove/Prog Metal)

Ibanez RGA42E
Ibanez S420
LTD H-301
Ibanez RG520
Peavey Predator USA
Douglas Grendel 725
Line 6 Pod HD500X
#14
Quote by Offworld92
That's dumb. Listen to Cath. Put the 803 in V1. I have A/B'd them myself. The 803 is quieter. As stated above the tone difference is negligible, IMO. Noise isn't.


....ok, and what for V2, then? 83? 803?
B.C. Rich, Cort, Engl, Engl, Engl, Epiphone, Epiphone, Fender, Fender, Gallien-Krueger, Gallien-Krueger, Ibanez, Ibanez, Ibanez, KRK, KRK, KRK, Laney, Line6, Michael Kelly, Schecter, VHT, Yamaha....
#15
JJ ECC803 in V1, JJ ECC83 elsewhere.
You need spares so buy an extra ECC83 and experiment. They're like $10 each.
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Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
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Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#16
Quote by Cathbard
JJ ECC803 in V1, JJ ECC83 elsewhere.
You need spares so buy an extra ECC83 and experiment. They're like $10 each.


Good idea with those spares, thanks!
B.C. Rich, Cort, Engl, Engl, Engl, Epiphone, Epiphone, Fender, Fender, Gallien-Krueger, Gallien-Krueger, Ibanez, Ibanez, Ibanez, KRK, KRK, KRK, Laney, Line6, Michael Kelly, Schecter, VHT, Yamaha....