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#1
I'm doing up an old Marshall plexi... it currently has mostly Svetlanas as far as I can tell, and one el34 of some other brand (hard to read).

I'm pretty new to tube types and brands, so any suggestions on a good set for this amp? I don't want to spend loads on it... I can get Svetlana platinum matched quads for under $200 but was considering trying Mullard after reading some forums. It seems you can only really get the new reissue Mullards for a reasonable price (can get a full set of matched el34 and 12ax7 for $190) but not sure if these will be better than the svets?
Last edited by loop-de-luke at Nov 11, 2014,
#3
Quote by darkwolf291
JJs

I've heard JJs are great in AC30s but haven't heard much about them in Marshalls... how do they compare? They seem a lot cheaper as well...
#4
Quote by loop-de-luke
I've heard JJs are great in AC30s but haven't heard much about them in Marshalls... how do they compare? They seem a lot cheaper as well...

I use em in my JCM800
#5
I also use them in my DSL100. They're a little dark. But very solid. Pre amp and power amp
#6
I have used JJ E34L and real Svetlana (or SED)=C= EL34 tubes in my Marshall and the JJ are nowhere near as good of a tube. All I will use in my powersection is =C= EL34, yes they are expensive, but IMO deff worth it and way cheaper than some NOS Mullard's.

This is the best deal on SED/Svetlana =C= EL34 you will probably find. The new Svetlana tubes are only the name, not the actual tube. New Sensor bought the rights to the Svetlana name about 10 years ago and the real Svetlana were renamed SED (short for Svetlana Electron Device). But the SED factory is closed down so all the SED tubes are now NOS and therefore more expensive

SED matched quad for $185 www.tubesandmore.com/products/T-EL34-WC

NOS Svetlana EL34 $80 a pair www.kcanostubes.com/content/nos-svetlana-el34s-pre-winged-c-st-petersburg-production-singles-pairs-quartets

Unless you want to spend $200 a tube on NOS Mullard EL34 these will be the best bet.
Last edited by Robbgnarly at Nov 11, 2014,
#8
SED are definitely the go if you can afford them. If you can't, go for JJ E34L. The E34L's kill the EL34's.

I thought I was coming in here to discuss NOS tubes. **** New Sensor with their buying up old brand names. Damn them to hell. Dodgey ****ers.
#11
Yeah. Now the only Russian tubes you can buy are those shitty New Sensor ones. The SED factory closing shot JJ to the top of the heap overnight.
#12
Well you can get E.A.T tubes which are soposed to be great but they are $200+ for a new 12ax7.
There is some other new USA company making high end tubes
#13
$200 will buy you a real NOS Bugle Boy. They'd want to be remarkable, not just great.
#14
Quote by Robbgnarly
SED are NOS now though, they stopped production early last year

Good thing I have 24 of them, then.
#15
Quote by Cathbard
Yeah. Now the only Russian tubes you can buy are those shitty New Sensor ones. The SED factory closing shot JJ to the top of the heap overnight.


And not the last factory that we'll be seeing closing over the next three years (according to the folks at NAMM that lean in and whisper things to you...).
#16
Quote by Robbgnarly
Well you can get E.A.T tubes which are soposed to be great but they are $200+ for a new 12ax7.
There is some other new USA company making high end tubes


This is what we're in for long term if you own a tube amp -- some boutique tube builder making tubes for what's left of the cork-snorting audiophile market. Tubes like that are just insane for a guitar tube amp that's smoking and chuffing and putting out 5% THD at standby.
#17
Quote by nickdohle
I also use them in my DSL100. They're a little dark. But very solid. Pre amp and power amp


"A little dark" is a blanket statement that can't be made for an entire brand of tubes anyway. That's just your amp.

I've got JJ's in vastly different preamps and power amps, including EL84s, KT88s, EL34s, 6L6s, 12AX7s, ECC83S's and even some 6551s.
#18
As long as there's demand, there'll be supply. I've been hearing these whispers of the death of tube manufacturing for 30 years. Sure we've lost SED, which is sad, but it hardly means the death of tubes is imminent. There's a buttload of tube amps out there still. JJ are a fairly new company, you know? JJ appears, SED disappears. Big whoop. The industry continues unabated.

Why are you talking about THD? How is that even relevant? It's a guitar amp, not a hifi. Who the **** wants 0% THD? That'd sound dull and lifeless - like guitar into a hifi. Talking about THD on a guitar amp is like complaining that Porsche 911's make a shit truck.
Last edited by Cathbard at Nov 11, 2014,
#22
Quote by trashedlostfdup
i use JJ's in my 1974X clone and JTM45 clone.

Same. Also what I've got in most of my RM100 too. The power section is JJ. E34L's.
#23
Quote by Cathbard
Same. Also what I've got in most of my RM100 too. The power section is JJ. E34L's.


i run JJ's in one of my Splawns (the other came with =C=) they are great too. if i had them in both or changed either set i would feel comfortable commenting but the amps are pretty different, supposedly the Nitro had a fresh retube (i had a receipt he sent me) so likely the =C= are probably pretty fresh, but i have no idea on the pro mod.., but just in the Nitro. both amps are KT88's.

and i just wrote a hell of a long run-on sentence. lol.
#25
Quote by Cathbard
SED are brilliant, they're just too expensive now.


i bought some new tun-sol's and mullards to try.

the 5f1 is getting a tung sol then a JJ power tube and rectifier. i also stocked up again on JJ 12AX7's as well.
#26
I run a NOS preamp tube in mine. An Amperex ATM IIRC. JJ power tube though. I've got a Brimar 6V6 as well but the difference is so marginal that I just use the JJ to save the Brimar.
The rectifier is some old American tube, Jan Ray I think. NOS rectifiers are cheap.
#27
Quote by Cathbard
I run a NOS preamp tube in mine. An Amperex ATM IIRC. JJ power tube though. I've got a Brimar 6V6 as well but the difference is so marginal that I just use the JJ to save the Brimar.
The rectifier is some old American tube, Jan Ray I think. NOS rectifiers are cheap.


i don't really think i will ever be a NOS kind of guy. i like the idea that my tone will be available as long as JJ is in business. i would hate to get really sweet tone out of something and not be able to find that tone again.i am a little odd, but thats just me.

as far as tone goes, what is the rec tube change tonally? i am sure something, but i haven't ever changed one, nor bought anything that wasn't all JJ and even amps with a rec tube i got and have been JJ.
#29
Cheers for all the advice dudes! It seems all-round JJs are getting a lot of love here... would it be a safe bet to go for a full set of JJs in EL34L and 12ax7? I've been told by a guy at a music store that the JJ EL34 give a kind of warm vintage tone, and the EL34L can be more aggressive but with more bottom end and also more treble. I'm not really keen on going NOS as I use my other plexi more often and it's just too expensive. Only want to spend under $200 on a set if I can help it
#30
Quote by loop-de-luke
Cheers for all the advice dudes! It seems all-round JJs are getting a lot of love here... would it be a safe bet to go for a full set of JJs in EL34L and 12ax7? I've been told by a guy at a music store that the JJ EL34 give a kind of warm vintage tone, and the EL34L can be more aggressive but with more bottom end and also more treble. I'm not really keen on going NOS as I use my other plexi more often and it's just too expensive. Only want to spend under $200 on a set if I can help it

Yeah then the JJ's would be just fine.

I would advise you get one of the new Mullard 12ax7's and try that in V1. I have one in V1 of my DSL and it makes a nice difference (it is not as dark as the JJ's) and I relly like the Sovtek 12ax7LPS (the LPS part is critical) in the Phase Inverter slot.
#31
Another +1 for JJ E34L's
Had the same set in my plexi for a year or two now, no issues. Though they've only had about 50 hrs of use so far... people and their sensitive ****ing ears
#32
It would be a safe bet to run jjs throughout. Get one of their ecc803 tube for the preamp, i like using that in the last spot of the preamp to negate any dullness imparted by using their regular ecc83s in every other spot. Although i've found lately that their regulars have sufficient brightness when new. I like their regular el34s fine as far low end & brightness is concerned, not sure if its vintage warm sounding but if you really want a lot of low mids & tight huge low end with you rounded highs then their newer 6ca7s are great at that. There was a vid of someone with a jcm somekind running jj 6ca7 on youtube, you could look it up for reference.
Last edited by steven_ferns84 at Nov 12, 2014,
#33
I've built more than a couple of 18W'ers. JJ's throughout, man.


Hang on, wait a minute. You said 1974 - that's an 18W EL84 amp. What's this talk about EL34's?
Or do you mean it was made in 1974?
Exactly what amp s it?
Last edited by Cathbard at Nov 12, 2014,
#34
Quote by Cathbard
Why are you talking about THD? How is that even relevant? It's a guitar amp, not a hifi. Who the **** wants 0% THD? That'd sound dull and lifeless - like guitar into a hifi.
I don't agree with the last part, but I definitely agree with the first - if reproduction accuracy was a concern nobody would use guitar amps

For the pre tubes, I'd sure as hell go for NOS Philips.
#35
Quote by Spambot_2
I don't agree with the last part, but I definitely agree with the first - if reproduction accuracy was a concern nobody would use guitar amps

For the pre tubes, I'd sure as hell go for NOS Philips.



If there was 0% THD there would only be the guitar signal amplified with no color from the amp whatsoever. I don't know man, sounds pretty dull and lifeless to me.


TS, JJs are a fine tube, the sturdiest and most consistent of anything I have used (as far as new production goes). I would go with those if you aren't wanting to spend an arm and a leg.
#36
Quote by dementiacaptain
If there was 0% THD there would only be the guitar signal amplified with no color from the amp whatsoever.
Apart from, of course, amplitude distortion, frequency response distortion and phase distortion.
Quote by dementiacaptain
I don't know man, sounds pretty dull and lifeless to me.
Only if your p/up's sound dull and lifeless.
Don't you trust your p/up's to sound un-dull and lifelike?

Yeah, I mean, it's not like harmonic distortion doesn't do anything, but it's not like it's the only thing doing anything to the sound either even if it's what does most.

Plus with a good hi-fi system and a good even if clean pre you can get some pretty sweet tones.
80's funk for example, I like 80's funk.

Or jazz, you could get some nice jazz tone as well.
#37
Quote by Cathbard

Why are you talking about THD? How is that even relevant? It's a guitar amp, not a hifi. Who the **** wants 0% THD? That'd sound dull and lifeless - like guitar into a hifi. Talking about THD on a guitar amp is like complaining that Porsche 911's make a shit truck.


Go back and re-read.

Those fancy boutique tubes are designed for audiophile tube amps that have 0% THD. That's why I said it was pointless spending the monehy on $200 boutique tubes from those sources.

BTW, last I heard, the Mullard brand (which was used by the Phillips company in the UK until the late '80's) was simply another Sovtek brand name, as of 2007.
#38
Quote by dementiacaptain
If there was 0% THD there would only be the guitar signal amplified with no color from the amp whatsoever. I don't know man, sounds pretty dull and lifeless to me. .


Maybe Cathbard will be along to explain this to you in a better way, but THD is a marker by which most amplifier manufacturers rate the amount of power that the power section of a well-designed amp is putting out. For most of an amp's rated power, THD is very low. When you begin reaching the limits of the amp, THD will begin to rise dramatically -- you're overloading the amp.

The usual spec will sound something like "100W@0.01% THD", meaning that it will be putting out 100W at that distortion level. Manufacturers of poorly built amps or those who want to exaggerate their output levels will rate their power amp sections at 100W @ 5% THD. That should indicate to you that between the two power sections, the second one might be better rated at around 50W than 100. And in fact, the actual power output of a tube amp will depend on the tubes used, the bias chosen, the transformers used, the impedance of the load and other factors. It's an approximation, rather than a measured result, for most guitar amp builders.

Most players never (or rarely) get their amps into power tube distortion, but they talk about it a lot.

But that doesn't mean that an amp with a low THD power amp sections doesn't have "color." Most "color" in a guitar amp comes from the preamp section, where EQ, gain stages, tone stacks and other factors do their work. A few design choices (such as the amount of negative feedback) can work on power tube distortion factors, but for the most part, within the normal low power tube distortion levels, it's difficult to tell what kind of power tubes you're using in an amp.

Running an amp into power tube distortion levels stresses the power tubes (and sometimes the transformers) shortening their lives, sometimes considerably. At $50-80 for a matched quad of power tubes, this can get to be a pricey proposition. That's why the original $99 Epiphone Valve Junior was instantly popular. With a single twelve-buck EL84 making only 5 watts, you could run your guitar into power tube nirvana with much less expensive consequences.

These days, even power amp sections can be modeled. The Two-Notes Torpedo C.A.B., in addition to its cab-simulation IRs, will also model the most-used power amps (EL34, EL84, KT88, etc.), and will reproduce the characteristics of those power amps pushed to distortion levels that would ordinarily remove paint from the walls in confined situations.
#39
Most players never (or rarely) get their amps into power tube distortion, but they talk about it a lot.

I know you're speaking in generalities, but when I had my 2203, 2304, and Fuchs Train45, they had their power sections goosed the majority of the time.

But that's why I have 6 matched sets of EL34s lying around.
#40
Quote by dspellman
Maybe Cathbard will be along to explain this to you in a better way, but THD is a marker by which most amplifier manufacturers rate the amount of power that the power section of a well-designed amp is putting out.
And also a way of rating an amp stage's harmonic distortion.

Harmonic distortion does color the sound, and while it's hella more noticeable when you're overloading a stage it does make a difference on how much a sound gets "colored".
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