#1
Just how much does a different brand/type of tubes change the tone of your amp?


I have a Blues Deluxe Reissue and it just does not sound good to me. It's too metallic and cold sounding....

From what I understand, it takes 6v6 tubes. What would you guys suggest for the warmest, creamiest tone possible?

Also what is the difference between power tubes and the other ones? Sorry, I'm a little uneducated on the matter.

Thanks in advance.

NC surfer
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#2
old or cheap ones, I've found it can make quite a big difference IMO. With the good ones, the differences are more subtle, but still noticable. I mean, putting EL34 in a Mesa isn't going to make it sound like a Marshall, but it will give certain nuances to the Mesa sound that are different. www.eurotubes.com com has a pretty good page for info, but he also only sells JJ tubes. He has a comparison by his opinion. http://www.eurotubes.com/euro-h.htm . I've ordered quite a few kits because I like the JJ's, but that's just personal opinion. I've also ordered tubes from www.thetubestore.com , and they also have some good descriptions and comparisons. The preamp tubes are the small ones, probably 12ax7 , 12at7, or 12au7. They are used to shape your tone in the preamp, and the larger powertubes are used to amplify the signal and drive the speakers. I know a lot of the older amps like the vintage Fenders used the 6V6, so you may want to stay with those if that's the sound you're after. Dougs tubes are another that are supposed to offer some mix and match solutions, and they are good according to guys around here, but I havent' used them yet.
"The fool doth think he is wise, but the wiseman knows himself to be a fool." - W.S.
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Last edited by Erock503 at Aug 31, 2006,
#3
So you're saying the tubes do have a big impact on tone?
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#4
Quote by ncsurfer
So you're saying the tubes do have a big impact on tone?


They wont change the overall voicing of the amp, but the difference is definitely noticeable.
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
#5
Ok thanks guys. Another question I had was, if I change the pre amp tubes, do I need to change the power tubes as well?

And the pre amp tubes are the smaller ones right?

I think I found the ones I want:
http://www.thetubestore.com/tungsol6v6.html

When they come, I basically just unscrew the old ones and screw the new ones in, or is there more to it than that?

Thanks again.

NC surfer
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#6
they don't screw in, that's very important

They are on pins, so they just press straight in and out. With average playing a few hours a day, powertubes are supposed to last a year before they start to lose some quality in the sound. It's not an exact science though. Preamp tubes generally last twice as long as power tubes before they start to sound old, but again, there are no definites with tubes. They can last longer or shorter, it's an old technology.

I would probably replace them all, even if you get the preamp tubes just as spares. They are cheaper than the powertubes, and it's always a good idea to have spare preamp tubes. Power tubes should always be replaced as a complete matched set. So if one goes, you should really get a whole new matched set unless you had an extra matched from the last set. Preamp tubes don't have to be matched, and can be replaced one at a time if one dies.

The preamp tubes are used in your preamp to shape the tone, so these obviously can affect the sound quite a bit. I've noticed it in the amount and quality/character of the preamp gain, which you hear at lower volumes. You're going to hear the differences in powertube OD when you are driving the amp. They both play a role however, so they both contribute to the sound.

You should email that first guy Bob at Eurotubes, and see what he has to say about your particular amp. He knows a lot of makers and models. Even if you don't order from him, he has great advice and is very helpful. I'm saying this, because normally you should have an amp biased for new tubes, but I'm not sure if your amp is cathode biased. Remember too, you always want a matched set of powertubes.
"The fool doth think he is wise, but the wiseman knows himself to be a fool." - W.S.
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Last edited by Erock503 at Sep 1, 2006,
#7
Well its not that they're old, (they're maybe a month old) I just don't like the way they sound. So would it be ok if I replaced just the preamp tubes and left the power tubes? From what I understand the power tubes don't affect the sound unless they are getting old, so I was just thinking of replacing the preamp tubes for a different tone. Would that be ok?
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#8
yeah, you could just replace the preamp tubes, but the powertubes will affect the sound too. They are involved in amplifying the sound, so they definitely play a role in the sound you are getting out of the speakers. With that amp, I assume you like to be riding on that fine line of dirt and clean a lot, where it gets the best dyamics, and the volume on the guitar can clean it up. The powertube overdrive that your amp makes when you can push it, is all dependent on those power tubes saturating.
"The fool doth think he is wise, but the wiseman knows himself to be a fool." - W.S.
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#9
Ok Erock thank you so much.
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#10
no problem man

try to make some before and after clips if you have recording stuff, I'd love to hear how those 6V6 work out for you if you go that route. I've been curious about them as well.
"The fool doth think he is wise, but the wiseman knows himself to be a fool." - W.S.
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