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#1
Hey, everyone. As you know, I have my EHX Mig50 Sovtek Mig50 re-issue. When I'm at stage volume (about 1.5)(Yes, it's that loud) my cleans are already pretty saturated. I'm in the process of re-tubing the whole thing. I love really clean cleans and I love having a huge sound once I kick in my fuzz/distortion, while not being muddy and still in the mix well (Alice In Chains, Smashing Pumpkins, etc...) The Mig50 is loaded with all Tung-Sol tubes. The two power tubes are 5881 tubes and the three pre-amp tubes are 12ax7 tubes. I'm going to start with changing out the power tubes. I was recommended to get two Sovtek 5881wxt tubes because "They have more clean headroom than the Tung-Sol 5881 tubes and they are basically 6l6gc tubes." I'm curious to hear what the forum has to say.So, my question is; what are the best power tubes for more clean headroom (less breakup) while still having a huge sound when the fuzz is kicked in and what are the best pre-amp tubes to do the same? I'll be changing out the power tubes first. Start up the comment section. Thanks! 
#2
I'm not too familiar with that amp at all but your Master is at 1.5 and it's breaking up?  Sounds like the issue is in the pre-amp and not the power amp.  
Guitars:
Jackson Kelly KE3 - MIJ (Distortion/Jazz)
Jackson DKMGT Dinky (EMG 81/85)
ESP E-II Eclipse Custom (JB/'59)
ESP LTD EC-1001FR (EMG 81/60)
Fender MIM Strat

Amps:
Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier Roadster 212
Laney IronHeart IRT-Studio
Peavey Vypyr 30
Peavey ReValver Amp Sims
TOOOO many T.C. Electronic Pedals. . .
#3
metalmingee This is my first tube amp, so I hope that everyone can bare with me. Yes, at 1.5 the amp is already breaking up. That being said, this thing is extremely loud. At 1.5 I'm pretty much already at stage volume (no mic needed). It breaks up even sooner when I click on my EQ pedal. For some reason, my EQ seems to turn up my overall volume of my head too. The EQ is an MXR 6 band EQ. 
#4
I'd suggest a proper 6L6GC power tube set, JJ/Tesla makes a quality 6L6GC.  I've used Electro Harmonix EL34's with good success, not sure about their 6L6GC tubes, but they would probably work fine for your purposes as well.  If you opt to make that swap, make sure to rebias the amp when switching the powertubes on the Mig amps.

Which input are you plugging into?  I can't remember which one is the higher gain input, but one of the two has less gain on tap.  I want to say input II is what you want to use.  Try them both.  

I also believe you can run an a/b/y pedal and use both inputs (jumper them) on the Mig 50.

If you are still getting too much gain after snagging up some 6L6 power tubes and plugging into the low gain input, start playing with some lower gain preamp tubes.  V3, the tube closest to your power tubes doesn't need changed.  V1 and V2 I'd try either a 5751 or a 12at7 tube to tame the gain.  

Hope that helps.
Gear: Gibson Les Paul Studio, Gibson SG Special, Fender Stratocaster, Fender Telecaster, Fender Jazzmaster, Gretsch Pro Jet, Carvin C350, Epiphone ES-339 P90, Epiphone ES-335 Pro. Peavey 6505, Sovtek MIG-100, Vox AC30, Peavey XXX.
#5
ThunderPunk Thanks so much for your reply! I'll look into JJ. Is the Sovtek 5881wxt a 6L6GC? Or, where were they getting that a Sovtek 5881 is a 6L6GC? I've heard great things about Sovtek build quality (for tubes). I'm plugging into the normal channel (channel 1) channel 2 is the bright/high gain channel. I also have the presence on about 4 o'clock. This seems to bring out the sound more and "un-muffle" it. If I have that at noon, it sounds muffled and dull. I have treble between noon and 1 o'clock, mids pushed hard at between 4 and 5 o'clock, and bass between 11 o'clock and noon. I'm not sure if pushing the mids hard is causing more breakup? Also, as I said to Metalmingee, the amp breaks up even sooner when I put my EQ pedal on, so I can barely use my EQ pedal now because it pushes the volume up on the amp and it makes it break up even sooner than 1.5. 
#6
dustin.schumach 

The 5881wxt is going to 'break-up' earlier than a 6L6gc.  Both tubes can be used interchangeably' generally speaking, with some differences in plate voltages and what not - just from a technical stand point.  They are from the same family.  5881 tubes are generally 'military spec' so they are considered to be more rugged.  But, I don't think you'll be subjecting your Mig-50 to any insane G-Forces any time soon.  They also tend to have a long lifespan, though, that isn't really a certainty with any tube - some last, some don't.  The 5881 tubes aren't as 'musical' in my opinion as a 6L6gc tube.  They're also cheaper, which is why they tend to come stock from factory in a lot of amps.  

The break-up you're getting is probably a combination of power and preamp since your amp is a non-master volume amp.  Putting a bigger wattage 6L6gc will give you more power amp head-room and putting a  lower gain 5751 or 12at7 into the V1 position in the preamp should yield you more cleans to work with.  I'd start with the lower gain preamp tube in V1, and then, if you're still getting too much gain, try a lower gain preamp tube in the V2.  

What cab and speakers are you using?  That is going to have some impact on your tone as well - including 'break-up' if you have something like greenback speakers that are more woody/gritty.
Gear: Gibson Les Paul Studio, Gibson SG Special, Fender Stratocaster, Fender Telecaster, Fender Jazzmaster, Gretsch Pro Jet, Carvin C350, Epiphone ES-339 P90, Epiphone ES-335 Pro. Peavey 6505, Sovtek MIG-100, Vox AC30, Peavey XXX.
#7
ThunderPunk Again, thank you for your easy to comprehend explanation. I've really been so lost lately with different opinions and technical terminologies with tubes. You're helping to clarify everything so much. My cab is a Mesa oversized 4x12. The speakers in it are all stock V30s. I have been thinking about possibly doing the classic combo in the cab and keeping two V30s and taking out the other two V30s and replacing those with G12T-75 speakers. Admittedly, I haven't researched the "X-pattern" enough to know if I will go through with it or not. 
#8
5881 and 6L6GC are not the same tube, no matter what suffixes are on each. They're nearly the same tube but the 6L6GC is a 30 watt spec and the 5881 is 23. If a certain 5881 were "basically" a GC, then it would just be labeled GC. I think what they were trying to say is that the Sovtek 5881 has sturdier specs than the usual 5881, which may or may not be true. Practically speaking, if your 5881 amp is chewing through power tubes too fast you might as well just put an actual 6L6GC in. Not surprisingly, the GC will almost always break up later than the 5881 even if your amp isn't capable of putting out all the power they can handle. Sovtek are middle of the road where quality and sound are concerned. I'd suggest the JJ 6L6GC.  

This sounds like a preamp tube issue and not a power tube. You might as well replace the power tubes at the same time, but if the amp is properly loud and you get more distortion when you put a pedal in front, it's not the power tubes. I don't think you are getting any power tube breakup, and I don't think you need to mess around with lower gain preamp tubes just yet. Start by making sure all the glass is working properly, then make changes if necessary. 
#9
Roc8995 Thank you for clarifying as well. I'm pretty cramped on budget right now, so I can either afford two good power tubes or I can replace the pre-amp section (three tubes), but at this point, I can't do both at once. Would you say that JJ is the best for the price? Also, what would your top five tube brands be? I'm aware that most tubes are just re-brands, but I'd like to have some names to research. 
#10
dustin.schumach 

I wouldn't recommend a G12T-75 with your Mig-50 if you're wanting to do an x-pattern later on.  A better speaker would be a G12H30 if you want a more vintage break-up tone. Or a G12K100 which has better bottom and top end than the 75, and isn't mid-scoopy fizzy either.  

How far can you turn your amp up before it doesn't actually get any louder?  My MIG-100 only gets louder up until the 11 o'clock position.  After that it just gets more distorted.  If you're at stage playing volume at 1.5, I don't imagine you have much more volume increase beyond the 9 o'clock position, probably just more saturation.  Which line is your volume set at?  There are 13 lines, and I can't imagine that you're only between the first and second line on your volume and at stage volume.  

Have you tried plugging into the other input, does it make a difference at to how quickly it distorts?

It's strange considering most guys have to crank the bejeezus out of their non-master volume mig-50 amps to get them to break up and distort.  
Gear: Gibson Les Paul Studio, Gibson SG Special, Fender Stratocaster, Fender Telecaster, Fender Jazzmaster, Gretsch Pro Jet, Carvin C350, Epiphone ES-339 P90, Epiphone ES-335 Pro. Peavey 6505, Sovtek MIG-100, Vox AC30, Peavey XXX.
#11
Quote by dustin.schumach
Roc8995 Thank you for clarifying as well. I'm pretty cramped on budget right now, so I can either afford two good power tubes or I can replace the pre-amp section (three tubes), but at this point, I can't do both at once. Would you say that JJ is the best for the price? Also, what would your top five tube brands be? I'm aware that most tubes are just re-brands, but I'd like to have some names to research. 

If the amp is loud, the preamp tubes are the ones to replace first. Power tubes dying generally sound either super quiet or mega shitty, or both. 

If you need three new preamp tubes, just get one of each. I'd start with one JJ, one Sino and one Sovtek. V2 and V3 aren't going to sound all that different, so you can just cycle through each type in the V1 slot (the first gain stage, most important one tonally) to figure out what you like best. 
#12
ThunderPunk The amp gets louder with each dash/line. There are 13 dashes/lines on this one too. At around the 8th dash/line it's shaking the head. At the second dash/line, it's pretty saturated and crunchy. Believe it or not, yes, 1.5 to 2 (the lines/dashes) is my stage volume. We play smaller venues and DIY venues usually, and it's pretty loud at that point. At practice volume, I hover a bit below 1.5. Plugging into the second input breaks up a tiny bit more, but it more so just adds high-end to my tone. Given, this is a re-issue and Electro Harmonix branded with new and sturdier components, so that may be why I don't have to crank it hard like an actual Sovtek. 
#13
Roc8995 Wow, there are so many pre-amp tubes to choose from. What do you recommend? Currently, I'm working with 12ax7 tubes. I still want to keep that thick and huge sound like Smashing Pumpkins, Alice In Chains, Soundgarden, etc...  
#14
dustin.schumach What is your complete signal chain starting with the guitar and pickups you are using?  

I'm guessing that something is goosing the front of your amp and giving you the break up sound in the preamp.  

If you are in the USA, I suggest Eurotubes for your JJ tubes.  I've been quite pleased with them on several occasions and have no affiliations with them.  
Guitars:
Jackson Kelly KE3 - MIJ (Distortion/Jazz)
Jackson DKMGT Dinky (EMG 81/85)
ESP E-II Eclipse Custom (JB/'59)
ESP LTD EC-1001FR (EMG 81/60)
Fender MIM Strat

Amps:
Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier Roadster 212
Laney IronHeart IRT-Studio
Peavey Vypyr 30
Peavey ReValver Amp Sims
TOOOO many T.C. Electronic Pedals. . .
#15
metalmingee From the head>>>Holy Grail reverb>>>Small Clone chorus>>>MXR EQ>>>Fuzzrocious fuzz>>>Korg pitch-black tuner>>>guitar. My bridge pickup is what I use most and it's a Railhammer Alnico Grande. 
#16
Quote by dustin.schumach
Roc8995 Wow, there are so many pre-amp tubes to choose from. What do you recommend? Currently, I'm working with 12ax7 tubes. I still want to keep that thick and huge sound like Smashing Pumpkins, Alice In Chains, Soundgarden, etc...  

Just stick with 12AX7. 

Eurotubes only sells JJ, if you're going to try a few different brands you'll want to use a dealer like KCA or Tubedepot or Thetubestore. 
#17
With my VHT and Valve Jr the JJ 12ax7 worked the best for me. 5751 and au7 reduced volume more then I cared for. For the power section I liked EH the best in both el84 and 6v6. Mullard, tung-sol  weren't bad. JJ's were to much and I just didn't like sovtek.
Dean Icon PZ
Line 6 Variax 700
Dean V-Wing
Dean ML 79 SilverBurst
MXR M 108
H2O Chorus/Echo
Valve Junior (V3 Head/Cab and Combo)
VHT Special 6
Phonic 620 Power Pod PA
Wampler Super Plextortion
Line 6 Pod HD
#18
I understand tubes make a difference in the quality or tone, but do they really make a difference in volume?
#19
dustin.schumach you sure your pickup just isn't too hot? A quick search yields that as a hot pickup. What happens when you use the neck pickup or turn down the volume knob on your guitar?
Guitars:
Jackson Kelly KE3 - MIJ (Distortion/Jazz)
Jackson DKMGT Dinky (EMG 81/85)
ESP E-II Eclipse Custom (JB/'59)
ESP LTD EC-1001FR (EMG 81/60)
Fender MIM Strat

Amps:
Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier Roadster 212
Laney IronHeart IRT-Studio
Peavey Vypyr 30
Peavey ReValver Amp Sims
TOOOO many T.C. Electronic Pedals. . .
#20
Quote by 33db
I understand tubes make a difference in the quality or tone, but do they really make a difference in volume?

They did with the Valve Jr and Special 6.
Dean Icon PZ
Line 6 Variax 700
Dean V-Wing
Dean ML 79 SilverBurst
MXR M 108
H2O Chorus/Echo
Valve Junior (V3 Head/Cab and Combo)
VHT Special 6
Phonic 620 Power Pod PA
Wampler Super Plextortion
Line 6 Pod HD
#21
hmmm, Tung-sol are by far the best sounding new production 12ax7's in my experience. Very good clean and smooth gain. I doubt that is your problem.
#23
hotrodney71 I've never heard anything but great things about Tung-Sol. That's why I've been really confused with what's going on. I think doing the swap to 6L6GC tubes would be more of an option thus far and would make some sort of difference since everyone seems to agree with sticking with 12ax7 tubes.
#24
metalmingee

I just tried the neck and the bridge at 2 (the 2nd line out of 13 lines). The neck is much cleaner, but it is still a bit crunchy at that point and broken up. The bridge is pretty much a step or so above crunch at that point. More-so like a distortion. I agree that the bridge is for sure causing some of the issues that I have. Thanks for pointing that out! As stated, there is still a break-up at 2 even with the neck, so half the issue is still there for us to figure out.
#25
dustin.schumach Let me put it this way and mind you I don't play clean very often:  

Using my strat on the neck pickup I get a clean sound.  When I switch to the bridge pickup I get some dirt.  

Another example is switching between the EMG 60 in my neck and the EMG 81 in the bridge - same thing - clean on the 60 and dirt on the 81.  

I didn't touch the amp settings at all, I'm just sending a hotter signal into the amp and the clean goes to dirt.  

If you want a super clean sound, you have to control the amount of gain going through the pre-amp and that all starts with the pickup itself.  

Just see what happens when you a) use your neck pickup and b) roll back the volume knob on your guitar.  

There's just no need chasing tubes in your amp (especially the power section) if your pickup is the cause.  Changing pre-amp tubes to lower gain like a 12AT7 or 12AU7 or 5751 may be the compromise you're looking for but at least know what's causing your issue before you try to solve it.  
Guitars:
Jackson Kelly KE3 - MIJ (Distortion/Jazz)
Jackson DKMGT Dinky (EMG 81/85)
ESP E-II Eclipse Custom (JB/'59)
ESP LTD EC-1001FR (EMG 81/60)
Fender MIM Strat

Amps:
Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier Roadster 212
Laney IronHeart IRT-Studio
Peavey Vypyr 30
Peavey ReValver Amp Sims
TOOOO many T.C. Electronic Pedals. . .
#26
dustin.schumach You ninja'd my previous post.  So the pickups are adding to your issue.  

Is your amp even capable of clean cleans like you want (I have no experience with it)?  Some of the other guys may be able to help out if a pre-amp tube swap with lower gain will have the desired affect.  

Also for the sake of troubleshooting go Guitar >> Amp and take all of those pedals out.  Maybe one of them has a level control that's boosting the signal and causing the dirt.  

You can try lowering the pickups as well but at some point I find there's a trade off in tone vs. lower signal (i.e. if you go too low it sounds like crap).  
Guitars:
Jackson Kelly KE3 - MIJ (Distortion/Jazz)
Jackson DKMGT Dinky (EMG 81/85)
ESP E-II Eclipse Custom (JB/'59)
ESP LTD EC-1001FR (EMG 81/60)
Fender MIM Strat

Amps:
Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier Roadster 212
Laney IronHeart IRT-Studio
Peavey Vypyr 30
Peavey ReValver Amp Sims
TOOOO many T.C. Electronic Pedals. . .
#27
metalmingee I'm not sure if it's great for cleans or not, as others have said, I just see it odd that it's pretty saturated at 2 and 2 is my stage volume. For my last test with the neck and bridge, I went straight into the head. The only pedal that I for sure know of that causes any bump in volume is my EQ pedal for some reason. With the volume bump, it makes it more saturated as well. Yeah, I probably won't lower the pickup in that case.
#28
The Mig 50 is basically a Fender Bassman with a few 'plexi' differences (Marshall style tone-stack) in the circuit and some other changes to keep the lawyers away (that is probably an overly simplified explanation).  

Being a non-master volume amp, A hot humbucker is going to dirty it up quicker.  Your humbucker is fairly hot, so it's going to push the front end of your amp and make it more gritty and gainy.  You may need to roll down your volume on the guitar to help clean things up, or consider getting a less hot pickup installed.  These things have already been suggested/discussed, but I wanted to reiterate them, as there is good practical advice there.  

Tung-Sol makes a solid preamp tube - as others have noted.  So, you don't need to ditch them.  Now, the word was (at one time) that Tung-Sol 12ax7 tubes don't like being in the cathode follower position.  I'd need others to further confirm that, as I am not entirely sure how true that statement is.  

I'd still look into a proper 6L6gc as I think it will improve your over-all tone over 5881wxt. I always found the Sovtek 5881wxt to be a bit 'flat' and 'dull' sounding (perhaps 'generic' if I wanted to compliment the tube) in comparison to a good 6L6gc.  Power tube changes actually have a meaningful impact on the tone of Mig amps in my experience.  Whereas some of your more modern high gain amps that rely heavily on the preamp don't really see much 'tone' change with different power-tube swaps.  

Granted, my Mig 100 is a different beast from your Mig 50.  But, I run EH EL34 power tubes (You can't run EL34 tubes without modification just an FYI), a Tung-Sol 12ax7 V1, JJ/Tesla ECC83 V2, and a Sovtek 12ax7LPS in the PI.  
Gear: Gibson Les Paul Studio, Gibson SG Special, Fender Stratocaster, Fender Telecaster, Fender Jazzmaster, Gretsch Pro Jet, Carvin C350, Epiphone ES-339 P90, Epiphone ES-335 Pro. Peavey 6505, Sovtek MIG-100, Vox AC30, Peavey XXX.
#29
ThunderPunk Thank you for further clarification and reiteration! Would doing the 6L6GC swap still further clean things up a tad bit more? Please excuse my questions that seem to repeat themselves, I'm just such a novice when it comes to tube heads and I want to be as knowledgeable as possible. Also, you recommended JJ 6L6GC tubes, correct? Or, what do you feel is best?
#30
ThunderPunk Also, to add...My local music store has Ruby tubes 6L6GC tubes. I'm not sure what the opinion on those are. I know that they are Chinese made.
#31
dustin.schumach 

Not sure how much clean headroom you would get out of the 6L6 swap.  With the hot humbuckers, you're going to be pushing the preamp of your amplifier which will naturally result in some grit on your tone.   Hot pickups while serving a variety of purposes in this day and age, were somewhat designed to give a bit quicker overdrive on vintage amps.  Your MIG is basically a modern clone of a vintage amp circuit.  What you put into the amp is going to come out - hot signal from the guitar due to hot pickups means a hot signal coming through the speakers.  

The 6L6 tubes will be a tonal improvement over the 5881 in my opinion.  Better sounding low end, better highs, etc.

As far as Ruby 6L6gc(mstr) - I run them in my 6505.  They 'might' be a better option over the JJ/Tesla 6L6gc if you feel that your Mig50 is a bit 'dark' in tone.  JJ/Tesla tubes are known to be a good tube for taming bright amps.  I would say quality wise, both have a good reputation.  I've used both over the years - whether ruby or JJ.  My XXX has JJ/Tesla 6L6GC tubes.  I've run JJ/Tesla 6L6gc tubes in a few of my past amps with no problems.  With high gain amps, your tone is more impacted by the preamp than the power amp... in my opinion.  Not to say that swapping power tubes didn't yield some change in tone, but, the preamp tubes had more of a significant tonal change on my high gainers.  

The differences between different brands of the same tube type is relatively small.  Going from EL34 to 6L6 is much more noticeable than going from one brand 6L6 to another brand 6L6 unless you get a really crappy set of tubes.  

Nothing wrong with Chinese tubes.  The quality of tube production has gone up quite a bit in China over the past number of years in my opinion.  
Gear: Gibson Les Paul Studio, Gibson SG Special, Fender Stratocaster, Fender Telecaster, Fender Jazzmaster, Gretsch Pro Jet, Carvin C350, Epiphone ES-339 P90, Epiphone ES-335 Pro. Peavey 6505, Sovtek MIG-100, Vox AC30, Peavey XXX.
#32
ThunderPunk Thanks! I will get a hold of the shop and see if they can throw the Ruby tubes in. Also, I read that Billy Corgan used KT88 tubes in his JCM800, and I really love his tone. I believe they had to mod the amp though. I'm not sure what KT88 tubes are known for, but I thought I'd point that out. Also, I do have a JB humbucker laying around. I'm not sure if that would be the better option between that and my Alnico Grande Railhammer.
#33
Quote by dustin.schumach
metalmingee This is my first tube amp, so I hope that everyone can bare with me. Yes, at 1.5 the amp is already breaking up. That being said, this thing is extremely loud. At 1.5 I'm pretty much already at stage volume (no mic needed). It breaks up even sooner when I click on my EQ pedal. For some reason, my EQ seems to turn up my overall volume of my head too. The EQ is an MXR 6 band EQ. 

That's likely just a quirk of the preamp volume circuit. It doesn't mean you've really got any more power in reserve, just that you're accessing most of it immediately. In the same way, backing off the volume on a Les Paul doesn't really drop the volume as much as it cleans things up. You might find that modifications to your preamp and/or subbing in different preamp tubes will do more than changing power amp tubes. I've pretty much settled in on JJs across the board, and I buy them from Eurotubes (dot com). They've got very good testing equipment (I'm not sure that other retailers ever actually test their tubes before they go out). 

Make note of the fact that a lot of brands are no more than that; there are very few tube manufacturers any more, so you'll find several brand names coming out of the Svetlana plant, several brand names coming out of the same Chinese plant, with very little difference other than pricing and external branding graphics. It's much more difficult comparing 5881s to 6551s to EL34s and 6L6s these days than it once was; some of what made each characteristically different has been blurred over. 
#34
dspellman Thanks for your response. I'd also like to note that I tried rolling back my volume on my Fender Jaguar, and it drops the overall volume instead of just cleaning it up. It seems to drop the volume and really dull my tone when I do that.
#35
Your Duncan JB won't likely make too much of a difference, as it is a fairly hot pickup as well.  You'll need to look into a vintage p.a.f. style humbucker in order to tame things a bit.  Duncan 59, Pearly Gates, Alnico II... stuff like that.  

KT-88 tubes will require your amp to be modified, significantly I would suspect - including requiring your output transformer to be upgraded (which can be pricey).  The Mig50 is not a JCM 800.  The Mig 100 is based more closely on the JCM 800 2203 circuit.  The Mig 50 is not the half-power version of the Mig 100.  The Mig50H model is the little version of the Mig 100 / Mig 100H.  

It's crazy trying to sort through all of this stuff, isn't it?  

Let me ask you this?  Does it do the overdrive the way you want it to?  Like, no complaints on the dirt?  Rather than trying to clean up a dirty amp......

You might find yourself better off leaving the Mig 50 to handle the dirt and picking up an a/b/y pedal and cheap used Peavey Bandit solid state combo to do your cleans.  
Gear: Gibson Les Paul Studio, Gibson SG Special, Fender Stratocaster, Fender Telecaster, Fender Jazzmaster, Gretsch Pro Jet, Carvin C350, Epiphone ES-339 P90, Epiphone ES-335 Pro. Peavey 6505, Sovtek MIG-100, Vox AC30, Peavey XXX.
#36
ThunderPunk All of this info really is a ton to take in for a new comer to the tube world. The Mig handles my fuzz very well. It handles it much better than my Orange CR120 solid state ever could. The "cleans" on the Mig, however, are pretty horrid to my ears, because the amp has to be either set very low so that there is no breakup, or I'm at stage volume and I might as well be going through a Tubescreamer OD, because that's what the cleans at that level sound like.
#37
Update: I took my head to my local tech and he found that one of the preamp tubes were shit. The tube must've been shit since I got it direct from EHX five months ago because it sounded like that for five months! He put in two 6L6GC power tubes and he replaced the shitty preamp tube with a 12au7 instead of a 12ax7. I can now turn up to 5 to be at stage volume instead of 2! I also have much less stiff tone and it's more clean and musical!
#38
Out of curiosity... do you know which preamp tube went out?  I want to guess that it was the V2 (the one in the middle).  I might be wrong, though.  Let me know if you know.
Gear: Gibson Les Paul Studio, Gibson SG Special, Fender Stratocaster, Fender Telecaster, Fender Jazzmaster, Gretsch Pro Jet, Carvin C350, Epiphone ES-339 P90, Epiphone ES-335 Pro. Peavey 6505, Sovtek MIG-100, Vox AC30, Peavey XXX.
#39
ThunderPunk I believe the terminology that he used included the word "phase". I know for a fact that it was in position three. I miss diagnosed in my initial update. He replaced the tube in position one with the 12au7, he kept position two the same (12ax7), and he took out the one that was bad out of the third position and replaced it with a good tube which, if I remember correctly, he used a good 12ax7 for that position.
#40
Interesting.  Well, I'm glad to hear that you are happy with the results of the tube swaps.  
Gear: Gibson Les Paul Studio, Gibson SG Special, Fender Stratocaster, Fender Telecaster, Fender Jazzmaster, Gretsch Pro Jet, Carvin C350, Epiphone ES-339 P90, Epiphone ES-335 Pro. Peavey 6505, Sovtek MIG-100, Vox AC30, Peavey XXX.
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