#1
Okay as many of you know I have a classic 30 head on a 412 cab loaded with celestion g12k-100. The other guitar player in my band bought a Classic 50 because he found a great deal on a mint condition used one. Heres the deal my C30 came stock with jj-el84 and 2 jj-12Ax7 in the gain stages with a EH-12AX7 in the frist position. His amp came with sovetec El-84s and all EH-12ax7. The deal is my amp has a lot more gain on board than his, I know that your OD channel sounds comes from the pre amp tubes but I really had no idea that they could make this much difference. We both use TS's to boost our OD channel, and his amp flat out with the TS sounds like mine flat out with out the TS. So can pre amp tubes really change your sound that much or is am I missing somthing? He was running a digtech Gnsx 4, or whatever, and I thought that was changing his sound, and it was changing it a ton. He sounds much much better with out it. I just don't understand why his amp is lacking gain compared to my amp. What do you all think?
#2
try putting your tubes in his amp?
other than that - ever thought of the fact that a classic 50 needs to be driven more than a classic 30 to get the same level of gain?

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#3
Not really my area of expertise but are you cranking the gain and master on the 50? Could be it just needs more juice to kick in that extra gear.

My Orange AD30 has a reputation of "not having enough gain" by some people's opinions...... and when I first got it I sort of agreed. Then I cranked it.....and I mean Football field style cranked it. And anyone who thinks Orange doesn't have enough Gain must have Sh*tty guitars.

So it could just be the settings. But I'm sure that certain Tubes and configurations have different voices and attributes. Could be the speakers too...... I was thinking of getting one of those 20 watt hand-wired Marshalls..... and I tried to play it through a 300 watt 4 x 12 Cab and it sounded like Sh*t. Then I ran it through 2 15 watt Blue Alnico's and it sounded amazing.
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#4
Having my C30 on a 412 should really make the idea of the 30 being driven harder null and void, since it will naturally be louder (the celestion speakers are more effecent than the peavey stokers, plus there are more of them.) But reguardless we don't crank our amps because we play on a smaller stage and value our hearing, we only turn up loud enough to get over the drumer then mic our amps to aid our volume. I guess we could do a tube swap and see if thats the difference. I Thought mabe it was his guitar, but I went back and forth last night between amps with my guitar and found the conclusion to be the same. I also set the EQ the same way on both amps. I guess the speakers could have smothing to do with it as well, but really don't think it should make a differnce in the amount of gain that comes out of the amp, only a differnce in the amps overall tone.
#5
Quote by hendriko
try putting your tubes in his amp?
other than that - ever thought of the fact that a classic 50 needs to be driven more than a classic 30 to get the same level of gain?

Yeah, the tube swap's a great idea, & super easy.
I personally like the higher-gain levels of the JJ ECC83/12AX7s. I subbed a set of Groove Tubes into my Scorpion's pre-amp, & it sounded like I filled my speakers with Jello. Absolute crap. All my dynamics & smooth gain were gone. My other amp has Sovteks, & it has so much gain, I never even thought about swapping tubes. There's a reason amp companies choose certain tubes after lots of research & development work. The cost differentials aren't really that big a % of the amp's cost, so they usually choose what sounds best in their amps.
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#6
So the JJ ECC83/12XAX7's are higher gain than most 12ax7's? Thats probably the difference between the two amps.
#7
I'd try a mix'n'match tube swap between the two amps to see what differences you can make. However, the differences stay quite subtle until the power valves are really cooking -only a proportion of the gain should be from the preamp valves, which is why things can get a bit fizzy at low volume.
Maybe hire a cheap rehearsal room for the afternoon so you can really crank it? Take a few beers down with you, could be a fun (albeit somewhat nerdy) way to kill a few hours.

Preamp tubes can make a big difference to your tone though it isn't always a difference you like. JJ AX7s are quite dark and gainy, a little too dark for me. If you can also replace the Sovteks do so, they're rugged valves but produce a pretty bland, characterless tone.
#8
Quote by hendriko
try putting your tubes in his amp?
other than that - ever thought of the fact that a classic 50 needs to be driven more than a classic 30 to get the same level of gain?

+1. One brand or model of 12AX7 won't be terribbly higher or lower gain than another.
#9
Quote by Johnbryant
So the JJ ECC83/12XAX7's are higher gain than most 12ax7's? Thats probably the difference between the two amps.


I honestly don't know if the JJs are higher gain than most, but definitely higher than GTs. If you do some research on Google, you'll probably find some info on what tubes are gainier than others. Again, the R&D depts for amp companies really (usually) test the crap out of these things before going into production. That's why I usually just go with stock tubes. I wouldn't mind playing around w/ some NOS vintage tubes like old Mullards or something, but prices are extreme, & I don't want to screw around with constant bias adjustments.
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#10

+1. One brand or model of 12AX7 won't be terribbly higher or lower gain than another

Its not terribbly higher, as I said, about the difference a Tube Screamer makes. As far as levels are concered I running my amp equally as hard as he is, so I really don't see how that would effect the amount of gain that much. I have cranked both amps, we just don;t make a habit of it, as long as we can hear our selfs over the drummer then thats all the volume we use, unless we travel and are on a bigger stage, or our amps are pushing the volume to the listeners. But even when cranked the gain difference is defenetly noticeable.
Preamp tubes can make a big difference to your tone though it isn't always a difference you like. JJ AX7s are quite dark and gainy, a little too dark for me.


jj-12ax7 are gainer then most, I guess thats the difference maker, I don't think we will replace the tubes untill the power tubes need it, but when they do I going to urge him to go head and change the 12ax7s to a gainier ones, like a jj, or tun-sol.
#11
I honestly don't know if the JJs are higher gain than most, but definitely higher than GTs. If you do some research on Google, you'll probably find some info on what tubes are gainier than others. Again, the R&D depts for amp companies really (usually) test the crap out of these things before going into production. That's why I usually just go with stock tubes. I wouldn't mind playing around w/ some NOS vintage tubes like old Mullards or something, but prices are extreme, & I don't want to screw around with constant bias adjustments.

Peavey use to use Sovetecs and now use JJ on the Classics, the tone change is defintely noticable, good tubes can somtimes make a blad amp come to life. Our amps are good example of difference that can make.
#12
You're neglecting the power tubes. JJ El84s are pretty damn hot, and sovteks tend to be colder. Swap your power tubes, you should see a big gain increase in the C50.

The preamp tubes and wattage of both will of course matter as well. I think they have different speakers, which will also change the gain structure.
Last edited by Roc8995 at Apr 8, 2008,
#13
Sovtek El-84 will have more "head room" than the JJ El-84? I didn't think that really made that much difference. Roc8995, what do you think it is mostly? I see you posting in the tube thread and I take your opinion seriously. Would the preamp tube make a bigger difference in gain, or will the power tubes make a bigger difference?
So do my JJ-el84's break up faster on clean than the Sovtek's would?
#14
Quote by Johnbryant
Sovtek El-84 will have more "head room" than the JJ El-84? I didn't think that really made that much difference. Roc8995, what do you think it is mostly? I see you posting in the tube thread and I take your opinion seriously. Would the preamp tube make a bigger difference in gain, or will the power tubes make a bigger difference?
So do my JJ-el84's break up faster on clean than the Sovtek's would?

It's tough to say which one would have more effect on the gain, since tubes from the same manufacturer vary quite a bit. JJ preamp tubes are pretty high-gain, but Sovtek EL84s definitely run cooler than most JJs. If his tubes have been used more they will definitely have less gain. You checked to make sure all of his tubes are 12AX7? If there's an AT7 in there of course that would definitely lower the gain.
It would be very easy to simply switch the tubes between your amps to find out. My money would be on the power tubes, but it could easily go either way.
#15
^ the tubes are stock on the C50, It was one of those deals where some old fart wanted to learn guitar, spent a good chunk of money on an amp and guitar, then 6 months later gave the whole thing up. So his amp is basically new so I'm pretty sure its loaded with 12ax7's but thats a good point I will check that out. Thanks for your help, I will try both tube swaps and double check the pre amps are 12ax7. I never really thought about the power tubes making that much difference, but I am pretty new to tube amps and havn't messed around with any this at all.
#16
Oh and what exactly do you mean by hot? My amp physically runs much hoter then his, but the c50 has a fan, whould that make a difference?
#17
Nope. Hot when referring to bias means that more current is flowing through the tubes, which makes them overdrive more.
#18
it could also be his guitar. how hot are his pickups compared to yours? there could be a lot of reasons why his isnt getting as much gain as yours, but yes pre amp tubes can definitely change the characteristics of an amp.
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#19
^ don't want to be a jerk but read the entire thread,
I said:
Thought mabe it was his guitar, but I went back and forth last night between amps with my guitar and found the conclusion to be the same


Nope. Hot when referring to bias means that more current is flowing through the tubes, which makes them overdrive more.

Okay this is making much more sence now, if the tubes are biased to cool then the OD will suffer, if to hot, then they will sound better but the tubes life will shorten, a happy medium is what everone is looking for. Since the Classics are fixed bias then my JJ EL-84's mabe be running quite a bit hotter than the sovtecs, and that will change the amount of break up I get from the power tubes. So in therory I could rebias my amp to get more clean head room if I wanted, right? But would run the risk of the amp have less OD and sounding more sterile and life less all the way around. My amps cleans break up at a pretty low volume, his has to be nearly maxed before you hear the cleans break up. I never put two and two together, the jj El-84's are probably a much better match for the fixed bias on the classics.
Last edited by Johnbryant at Apr 9, 2008,