#1
Hey guys and gals!

How I got the amplifier:


I recently completed a trade with a man in my church. He had a Mesa Boogie Dual Caliber DC-5 combo amp that was hit by a car- it still worked but looked in rough shape. He didn't use the amp other than as an extension cabinet, so he offered that if I built him a cabinet that I could keep the amplifier parts.

In short, I now have the amplifier for the Mesa Boogie but no speaker nor cabinet.


Amplifier's Tubes:


For tubes, this amplifier has 6 12ax7's - both Russian and Chinese made - and two Russian-made Sovtek 5881WXT 6L6 power tubes.

Where I would like Advice:


I would like to completely replace the tubes to help attain the tone that I am looking for: Powerful, Hard-rock style gain (think Avenged Sevenfold) with a wide dynamic and harmonic range. I don't want super high gain, I want warm and bright tones articulate enough for melodic, bluesy shredding (think Paul Gilbert).


Can anyone give me some suggestions for pre- and power tube replacements?
#2
for 12AX7's, i would pick up JJ's for the most part, but i would pick up a tung sol and a new mullard as well so you can swap them around. i would also get a 5751 or a 12AT7 to have around as well for more flexibility.

for power tubes, i would just go JJ. they are cheap and work well.

i don't think they are going to make as much of a difference as you think they will to be honest.
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#3
You should really just try it out with a speaker cab first, before you get heavily invested in tubes. There might be nothing wrong with what's in there.

Every amp has a particular tube that's just going to sound absolutely beautiful in it, it just really takes a lot of experimentation to find what you like.
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#4
Quote by timbit2006
You should really just try it out with a speaker cab first, before you get heavily invested in tubes. There might be nothing wrong with what's in there.

Every amp has a particular tube that's just going to sound absolutely beautiful in it, it just really takes a lot of experimentation to find what you like.

+1 on that. Speaker/cab changes should be done first, then play with your tubes. And BTW, make sure your pups height and poles are properly set before you go replacing components in search of a specific tone. You probably already knew that!

JJ and TungSol are both good... also look at NOS and some of the boutique shops. But you can dump a lot of $ quickly on a variety of tubes.

For example, I got a Peavey Classic 30 last year. Before I bought it I knew I'd have to replace the stock speaker, which had the icepick high end. But I had some tubes lying around so I started trying different combinations, the Tung Sol AU7 was the biggest difference, a bit warmer, smoothed out the icepick a bit. But man, it's a subtle change. Then I swapped speakers, obviously a bigger change in tone than tubes, but still not mind-blowing yet. Then I swapped the TS AU7 out and put a JJAX7 in (this was in socket 1 IIRC) and I found the holy grail of tone. For a while, anyway, until I got used to it. On the other hand, I have a vintage 1960 Guild that loves a JJ AU7 in socket 1 and AX7 in socket 2, but with an AX 7 in socket 1 I can hardly bear playing through it, way too driven and harsh. Just my experience, YMMV...