Basically, I should hopefully be getting quite a bit of cash after exams, and I'm going to spend it on my rig.

1. Retubing my amp and getting new speakers.

I'm pretty much set on getting Vintage 30's, but I have no idea how to install them. Basically: What do I do?

For the tubes, I have no idea where to start. I like my Ashdown's tone as it is, but I feel it lacks clarity. I'm looking to get a fairly high gain sound, but i don't want to sacrifice my cleans to get there. Any recommendations?

2. Pedals

I'm looking to keep things pretty simple. I'm thinking of a Bad Monkey as an OD. I would only be using to it to drive my amps dirty channel to give it a thicker and tighter distortion, with a bit more gain. Is it really worth spending the extra money on an Ibanez/Maxon tubescreamer?

Otherwise, I'm looking into a Holy Grail reverb and a #1 Echo. They're cheap, but from what I hear EHX are very good quality pedals, and I've seen them on several pro musicians pedal boards. Anything I should watch out for with these pedals?

Lastly, I'm going to get an NS2 to reduce any excess noise.

3. Powering the pedals/pedal order/FX loop

What would be the best way to power these pedals? Both the EHX pedals are 18V as far as I'm aware, and the others are all 9V.

What order would I put these pedals in, and which would I have to put through the FX loop, if any? I'd like to keep it as simple as possible, so could I would like to put everything straight into the front of the amp if possible, unless it would degrade my tone.

A lot of questions, but I'm sure someone can help. Thanks in advance, no doubt I'll think of some others later.
I can sadly only help you with the pedals.. but I just looked up both types of Holy Grail Reverb, and the #1 Echo, and they're 9v... in any case, get a Voodoo Labs PP +2 power supply, it's great.

Use a true bypass box if you want an effects loop, you can find diagrams online for them, unless your amp has an FX loop...

Lastly, pedal order is totally a personal preference, you have to find what works for you

The Bad monkey is good but if you can, go for something better. I have heard good things about the EHX's as well. For tubes, maybe JJ's in the Power, tungsols in the preamp?
Most I can really see myself going up to is an Ibanez TS9. Can't really justify spending over £100 on a Maxon, as nice as they are :/

For the tubes, whats the difference with all the different types? (12AX7, 6L6 etc)

EDIT: Looking in the Ashdown's manual, it says mine has 4 12AX7 tubes in the preamp, and says nothing about the bias. It then says it has 2 EL34 on the output, with fixed bias. I'm assuming the preamp is fixed bias as well? What sort of tubes should I be looking at?
Last edited by treflip at May 27, 2008,
The speaker swaop will do the most for your tone. Swapping them out is pretty straightforward. Just take a good look at how they're in there in the first place. Label the wires "+" and "-", disconnect them, and unbolt the speakers. Install the new ones in place, and wire accordingly.

If you feel your amp lacks clarity, I tend to wonder if the mid-rich V30 is going to help you all that much. I'd prefer something like an Eminence Swamp Thang.

Tubes are a pretty personal item. I'd contact a reputable dealer and tell him exactly what you're looking for. Barring that, I like Winged C 6L6's (J.J.'s are another popular choice) and Tung-sol 12AX7's. You may want to go to a tech to have them installed and biased. Ask to watch.

Modulation effects (delay, phaser, chorus, reverb) go in the FX loop, and your distortion, OD, fuzz, and wah go out in front. It's not more complicated, but you're going to need another couple cables. It's worth it. If not, put everything in front of the amp with the wah and OD towards the guitar, and modulation FX downstream.

The Bad Money is a nice pedal, the Ibanez.Maxon is better. If you use them a lot, you may want to go with the better pedal right away. I have a TS808, and I'm thinking about something better. That's how it is with gear.
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Quote by jj1565
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If your power tubes are fixed bias, then all you need to do is pop the new tubes in. The preamp tubes (12AX7's) are almost always fixed bias. If the El34s say they are fixed bias, then just put the new ones straight in. Just as simple as changing a light bulb. Tung-Sol tubes in the preamp should brighten things up a bit. I like JJ tubes but they are a bit darker. Check out their EL34 tubes. I also like Mullards as EL34, but new Mullards are made by New Sensor, who also makes Svetlana, Sovtek, Electro Harmonix; etc tubes.

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I'm going to replace the speakers, and then see if I still wish to change the tubes. Any speaker recommendations othre than V30's? Preferably ones that aren't too expensive.

If I do decide to change the tubes afterwards, I'm thinking of some Tung Sol 12AX7's in the preamp, as I've been told they would increase the gain but not effect my cleans very much. Have I been told wrong? Seems my amp already has some EHX EL34's in the output, is it worth changing these? Read the thread about tubes and it said they were pretty decent.
Quote by treflip
I'm going to replace the speakers, and then see if I still wish to change the tubes. Any speaker recommendations othre than V30's? Preferably ones that aren't too expensive.

WareHouse Speaker's Veteran 30 is a clone of the V30 and some say it even sounds better than the current run of V30s.

Another good one to consider is an Eminence Legend, great sounding speakers.
Quote by Dave_Mc
I've had tube amps for a while now, but never actually had any go down on me
Quote by jj1565
maybe you're not saying the right things? an amp likes to know you care.

So I'm still no closer to deciding what tubes or speakers to go for. Looking for a clean tone like This Will Destroy You and at the same time, a fairly high gain distortion, which will then be boosted with an OD, to sound something like I Killed The Prom Queen. Help?