#1
Hey everyone.

Story continues. I started collecting ideas for retubing of my new power amp - VHT/Fryette 2/50/2. The tubes in it are still working, but they are pretty old and I want to be prepared.

So... I sent an email to Fryette support and very quickly got this nice answer:

We use and recommend Mullard EL34 power tubes.
For the preamp tubes we use Shuguang (ruby tested) 12AX7 and12AU7.
With front panel facing you and counting left to right, that’s 12AX7, 12AU7, 12AX7, 12AU7.


And I responded with something like this:

I already started searching for the tubes, but it is a problem here in EU, the market is more limited that in the States and since shipping fees from the US (+also tax and duty) are ridiculous, I have to shop here, on my side of the pond.

The amp I bought, has Ruby tubes in all positions: I can imagine, that the preamp Rubys are Ruby-tested Shuguangs, as you wrote me last time. But I have no idea, what the EL34 Rubys are....

However, I very much like the sound of the amp with those Rubys all over the thing, problem is I can´t get Rubys anywhere in my area.

I managed to find Shuguang preamp tubes here in EU, but just plain Shuguang, not Ruby-approved. Are they good enough? Or is there something else I should put in the preamp positions and it would sound just like those Ruby-Shuguangs?

SED winged-C EL34 - is this a good alternative? Would it sound similar to the Rubys or differnt? In what ways? Somewhere I read, that the 2/50/2 was reportedly "built around the SED EL34s" - is that really so? Because somehow I managed to find those, some EU shops still have some in stock....

TungSol EL34 - many sources recommend them for tight high gain with upper midrange bite - would they sound good in the 2/50/2? Aren´t they too thin and dry for that amp?

Any other recommendations, that could get me that "Ruby" sound? In addition to the above mentioned I can also easily get JJs (my home brand, I´m from Slovakia), Sovtek, EHX....


....I know I know, that´s a crazy long email and it would be no wonder if I did not get an answer for that. BUT PLEASE have patience, read thru it and maybe you will be able to come up with some ideas, helpful to me.

So thanks in advance for your patience and advice!
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....
#2
Since JJs are easily available I'd go with them. Besides, for high gain applications they're the go to tube for many people. I use them in the power section of my amp and I can't complain.
#3
SED =C= are great tubes but pricey (and out of production). I have two of their EL34's that I am saving.

I must say that my favorite (yet common) EL34 tube is the JJ EL34L (note the 'L'). It has the midrange of the EL34, but with a better more rounded low end.

Ruby are just relabled tested tubes, they come from multiple companies. They are coded though so you can tell what is what. I wouldn't buy ruby's personally, i would just buy whatever brand i want that is tested from the seller.

I am not a fan of EHX tubes. Not a huge fan of sovtek either.
WTLT 2014 GG&A

Quote by andersondb7
alright "king of the guitar forum"


Quote by trashedlostfdup
nope i am "GOD of the guitar forum" i think that fits me better.


Quote by andersondb7
youre just being a jerk man.



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#4
Quote by trashedlostfdup
SED =C= are great tubes but pricey (and out of production). I have two of their EL34's that I am saving.

I must say that my favorite (yet common) EL34 tube is the JJ EL34L (note the 'L'). It has the midrange of the EL34, but with a better more rounded low end.

Ruby are just relabled tested tubes, they come from multiple companies. They are coded though so you can tell what is what. I wouldn't buy ruby's personally, i would just buy whatever brand i want that is tested from the seller.

I am not a fan of EHX tubes. Not a huge fan of sovtek either.


So if you have personal experience with both, how would you compare SED =C= and JJ E34L, in terms of tone? Very different price, so how about differences in sound?
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....
#5
Quote by Airfish
So if you have personal experience with both, how would you compare SED =C= and JJ E34L, in terms of tone? Very different price, so how about differences in sound?


That is a hard one. The SED's are really nice, but they aren't worth the price difference. IMO. I haven't had them in the same amp, and I haven't used them in a long time. JJ EL34L is the way to go IMO. cheap, and they sound great.
WTLT 2014 GG&A

Quote by andersondb7
alright "king of the guitar forum"


Quote by trashedlostfdup
nope i am "GOD of the guitar forum" i think that fits me better.


Quote by andersondb7
youre just being a jerk man.



****** NEW NEW NEW!
2017-07-07 2017-07-07 Update and a Chat On Noise Constraints *** NEW FRIDAY 7/7
2017-04-13 RUN AWAY from COMPUTERS!!! TCE? RANT ALERT!!!
2017-03-02 - Guitar Philosophy 1001- Be Prepared For the Situation (Thursday 2017-03-02)
2017-02-21 How to Hot-Rod the Hell of your Stratocaster for $50! (Tuesday 2017-2-21)
Resentments and Rambling from a Guitar Junkie
---> http://trashedengineering.blogspot.com/
#6
I like EH EL34s for more grit. That's what I use in most of mine and definitely in the standalone tube power amps that I've had. Really it is a matter of preference.

Why the 12AU7? Is it necessary or you can go with 12AX7 which will be hotter and might be something you'd want?

Tung Sol are what I use for milder/cleaner applications or Mullard, but since Mullard is not available in your area...try the Tung Sol.

Part of the fun owning a tube amp, you get to play around by putting different glass
#7
Quote by diabolical
I like EH EL34s for more grit. That's what I use in most of mine and definitely in the standalone tube power amps that I've had. Really it is a matter of preference.

Why the 12AU7? Is it necessary or you can go with 12AX7 which will be hotter and might be something you'd want?

Tung Sol are what I use for milder/cleaner applications or Mullard, but since Mullard is not available in your area...try the Tung Sol.

Part of the fun owning a tube amp, you get to play around by putting different glass


Yes, I can get some Mullards in my area....

And the 12AU7 just because the manufacturer prescribes it. I guess those two positions are like PIs or something, where a hotter tube is not needed. Again: I´m not sure why, I´m just guessing.... I had a 12AU7 also in the V1 of my previous Marshall power amp....
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....
#8
Quote by trashedlostfdup
That is a hard one. The SED's are really nice, but they aren't worth the price difference. IMO. I haven't had them in the same amp, and I haven't used them in a long time. JJ EL34L is the way to go IMO. cheap, and they sound great.


Maybe it´s really worth trying out those JJs.... If they fail to impress me, at least it´s not gonna be a costly failure.
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
Quote by diabolical
Part of the fun owning a tube amp, you get to play around by putting different glass


big +1

Quote by Airfish
Maybe it´s really worth trying out those JJs.... If they fail to impress me, at least it´s not gonna be a costly failure.


Go for it!
WTLT 2014 GG&A

Quote by andersondb7
alright "king of the guitar forum"


Quote by trashedlostfdup
nope i am "GOD of the guitar forum" i think that fits me better.


Quote by andersondb7
youre just being a jerk man.



****** NEW NEW NEW!
2017-07-07 2017-07-07 Update and a Chat On Noise Constraints *** NEW FRIDAY 7/7
2017-04-13 RUN AWAY from COMPUTERS!!! TCE? RANT ALERT!!!
2017-03-02 - Guitar Philosophy 1001- Be Prepared For the Situation (Thursday 2017-03-02)
2017-02-21 How to Hot-Rod the Hell of your Stratocaster for $50! (Tuesday 2017-2-21)
Resentments and Rambling from a Guitar Junkie
---> http://trashedengineering.blogspot.com/
#10
Quote by trashedlostfdup
That is a hard one. The SED's are really nice, but they aren't worth the price difference. IMO. I haven't had them in the same amp, and I haven't used them in a long time. JJ EL34L is the way to go IMO. cheap, and they sound great.


I know I almost made the rational decision (JJ E34L), with the help of your opinion, but still, I can´t get rid of that SED =C= temptation. Several reasons.... They are not produced any more and they are already sold out in some eshops. They are recommended for low tunings and described to have very tight bass, which is really giving me the stiffy.... They are reportedly the original type of power tube, that the VHT 2/50/2 was built around....

I know they are ridiculously expensive. But I only live once, don´t spend cash on gambling & drugs, cigarettes & alcohol (well, almost), wh0res & churches.... And don´t have to feed hungry kids either....

So my evil alter ego is telling me right now: "Hey man, buy those SEDs, before they are gone. And if you don´t like them, you can still sell them, at latest after some time, when they will be sold out in most shops. You don´t have to hurry with the cheaper and more rational experiments, such as JJs, they will be available any time later...."

So should I be JJ-responsible and rational, or should I just go wild and take a test flight with those winged-things?

Don´t wanna be sexist, but I really am not able to make up my mind right now, like a dumb blond in a shopping mall....
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 May 11, 2016,
#11
Get the =C='s they will not disappoint. I am reserving mine for something special though.
WTLT 2014 GG&A

Quote by andersondb7
alright "king of the guitar forum"


Quote by trashedlostfdup
nope i am "GOD of the guitar forum" i think that fits me better.


Quote by andersondb7
youre just being a jerk man.



****** NEW NEW NEW!
2017-07-07 2017-07-07 Update and a Chat On Noise Constraints *** NEW FRIDAY 7/7
2017-04-13 RUN AWAY from COMPUTERS!!! TCE? RANT ALERT!!!
2017-03-02 - Guitar Philosophy 1001- Be Prepared For the Situation (Thursday 2017-03-02)
2017-02-21 How to Hot-Rod the Hell of your Stratocaster for $50! (Tuesday 2017-2-21)
Resentments and Rambling from a Guitar Junkie
---> http://trashedengineering.blogspot.com/
#12
Quote by trashedlostfdup
Get the =C='s they will not disappoint. I am reserving mine for something special though.


Thank you, Satan!
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
Get them, at least to try so you are not always thinking about it. Some amps are designed in such a way that changing tubes drastically changes the voicing, others not so, so you'll never find out until you try them.

I have a Mesa Bottle Rocket overdrive for example and that one has a huge difference when you change 12ax7s. My Fallen Angel it was not so much, actually I had to climb down from expensive tubes to make it sound better but had to end up modding it in the end to fix its issues. It's all fun though, I enjoy it!
#14
Quote by diabolical
Get them, at least to try so you are not always thinking about it. Some amps are designed in such a way that changing tubes drastically changes the voicing, others not so, so you'll never find out until you try them.

I have a Mesa Bottle Rocket overdrive for example and that one has a huge difference when you change 12ax7s. My Fallen Angel it was not so much, actually I had to climb down from expensive tubes to make it sound better but had to end up modding it in the end to fix its issues. It's all fun though, I enjoy it!


"....so you are not always thinking about it...."

Wise words, doctor....
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
OK, so after changing my mind for 24 more times (without further bothering the public) I decided for something completely different: I ordered a set of TAD EL34s - they should be an "authentic remake of the British Mullard EL34s", Mullards are also the factory (and manufacturer recommended) tubes for the 2/50/2 and they are half price of the SED =C=, at least here in EU. So hopefully this was not a bad decision. I will come back with a result.
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 May 19, 2016,
#16
It'd be interesting to hear those as well. Let us know how it affected your sound.

BTW - I think the preamp has that scratchy character, I doubt the power amp is adding to it. It is the Engl sound. You either like it or not...in my case I'm in between, I like it for some things...say like Vader type of thrash sound. I kinda prefer the Mesa Rectifier sag and that's the route I went.
#17
Well, yeah, the Engl is a bit scratchy, but I really don´t mind it. I like the Engls for staying articulate even at high gain - not all of them, but many of them. I found it out long long time ago, when my only guitar rig was a Line 6 Pod - of course it was nowhere near the real thing, but at least the main character of different amps was there - the incredibly chunky Soldano, the angry grainy JCM, the scratchy but articulate Engl....
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....
#18
All right, so I´m back with a result. I got those TADs I mentioned above. And I am absolutely satisfied with what I hear. I can´t tell in which way they are better compared to the previous stock Rubys, there is no dramatic improvement in any specific way, no significant change in frequency response or the color of tone.... but the thing as a whole just sounds more fresh, it came alive, it pushes the air more spontaneously.... don´t know how to better describe it (me sorry, English no be me first langwidge.... ). But I hope you know what I mean, maybe you had a similar experience after changing old and tired tubes for a set of fresh new ones. So that´s all, folks.
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 May 28, 2016,
#20
Quote by diabolical
Yeah, I know what you mean, it is as if your wife suddenly gets about 10 years younger


Exactly! But making your wife younger is cheaper than retubing an amp - just have to drink a few beers and after each beer your wife gets two years younger! The only downside: you get sober in a few hours....
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 May 28, 2016,
#21
i just threw JJ EL34l's in two amps today. one had EHX in for the last few years, way more bass smoother lower mids. very happy. the other was a head with JJEL34's in for about 10 years, more bass and just more alive.

then i threw JJ 6L6's in a sovtek MIG 50 that hadn't been used for a few years, that sat without tubes. it had a pair of vintage RCA 6L6's (those are being saved for a while). didn't fire it up (obviously) but they were amazing last time i used them.

i have really been digging JJ's lately. lol.
WTLT 2014 GG&A

Quote by andersondb7
alright "king of the guitar forum"


Quote by trashedlostfdup
nope i am "GOD of the guitar forum" i think that fits me better.


Quote by andersondb7
youre just being a jerk man.



****** NEW NEW NEW!
2017-07-07 2017-07-07 Update and a Chat On Noise Constraints *** NEW FRIDAY 7/7
2017-04-13 RUN AWAY from COMPUTERS!!! TCE? RANT ALERT!!!
2017-03-02 - Guitar Philosophy 1001- Be Prepared For the Situation (Thursday 2017-03-02)
2017-02-21 How to Hot-Rod the Hell of your Stratocaster for $50! (Tuesday 2017-2-21)
Resentments and Rambling from a Guitar Junkie
---> http://trashedengineering.blogspot.com/