#1
**PLEASE DON'T POST IN THIS THREAD, POST HERE **

But, I have to get in my requests before the stores go crazy.

Okay, for starters, I'm not spoiled. We're riding just below the poverty line, money-wise, and this money is money given to my parents by the GOVERNMENT to give to me. Also, I may be using a bit of my money as well.

Budget:
$200 (I may throw in $50-100 from my own funds)
Genres: Literally, everything... I like a smooth, clear tone that can be used in most situations (a jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none sorta thing...not the best tones for all, but good enough to qualify)
For example: AILD, Opeth, Tool, Muse, Metallica, John Mayer, Trivium, Beatles, Dream Theater, Underoath, etc.
My gear is in my blogs, via my sig.

I was thinking of getting...
-new power and preamp tubes ($50?)
-used delay pedal (<$100)
-new Bridge/neck (this is how I marked them below) humbuckers for GRG170DX (<$150) (I'd like to be able to split-coil)

I need help with tubes, I have no ideas, whatsoever.

For pickups, I had in mind Breed/Breed, ToneZone/PafPro, or PafPro/PafPro. My sound needs more depth (dynamics/tone) and clarity. Don't say my technique, I DO use my guitar's volume, tone controls, and accord my picking with playing.

I know my amp can play up to just under death metal (where I need it), but I'm lacking a certain 'oophm', if you will. I'd like improved clarity and not a terrible articulate pickup (ala Evo's). It doesn't necessarily need to be high-output, but it needs to be able to clear up some of the gain that the VK provides.

Thanks, in advance
Last edited by dudey5691 at Nov 21, 2008,
#2
I'm guessing you're replacing the ValveKing tubes?
I hear JJ Tubes are good for hi gain

Pickups..
I love EVO's
For their "clean distortion" and they're not muddy (Aka "warm")
But they are considered the ultimate shredder pickup
So I guess they're not your cup of tea..

Read up on Dimarzio's website
Really helped me choose what pickup I want
Has the Output rating, type of magnet they use etc etc..

http://www.dimarzio.com/site/#/pickups/
#3
Quote by huevos
I'm guessing you're replacing the ValveKing tubes?
I hear JJ Tubes are good for hi gain

Pickups..
I love EVO's
For their "clean distortion" and they're not muddy (Aka "warm")
But they are considered the ultimate shredder pickup
So I guess they're not your cup of tea..

Read up on Dimarzio's website
Really helped me choose what pickup I want
Has the Output rating, type of magnet they use etc etc..

http://www.dimarzio.com/site/#/pickups/


Thanks

Yes, the VK tubes are up for replacement. I don't know the stock tubes, but they're good for me. I just need ones that produce a very similar sound, but with more clarity and tone, if that makes sense.

Yeah, I'm no where near shred... I'm a much stronger rhythm player than lead, but I'd need a pickup that would be able to do both.

I went to the Dimarzio site, and did look through quite a few, listened to clips, etc. I know how the Drop Sonic, Evo, Super Distortion, and X2N sound; the Drop sonic is the tonality I need, but I'm not sure if it would work for me, as I rarely play out of standard and it may not be the most versatile? The Super and X2N... I hated the highs, and they were almost too raw for me.

I'd like to stay with Dimarzios, and I'd like input on my pickup suggestions or suggestions you may have.
#4
Alright, just for future reference, I found what tubes I have now.

Ei Preamp Tubes the two positions closest to the power amp tubes.

Ruby 6l6gcmstr power amp tubes.

The preamp tube closest to the transformer on the right (looking at from back) seems much smaller than the other two, and does not have a brand insignia on it, or at least I cannot see it.

I hope this helps...

I like the sound of these tubes, but they are two muddy. Know of any tubes that are not as muddy, but maintain or have better tone than these?
#5
IMO if you want to clear up mud get an equalizer pedal, particularly the MXR M-108... mine made my VK roar. I have clips of the difference on my profile.
Quote by DeathByDestroyr
What the hell is a G&L.



Quote by Flux'D
Gay & Lesbian I think, the box smelled funny
Greg what did you send me??
#6
Hey dudey, i would say get a nice set of GFS pickups. The crunchy paf's are very nice, and about 23-28 per pickup, and i love them. Then i recommend an eq pedal. I would say JJ's if you want a tube upgrade. hope that helps

Epiphone Les Paul Standard
Coming soon: Egnater Tweaker


#7
Well, I already have the Danelectro Fish and chips EQ, and I, unlike many, find it somewhat giggable. It's good enough for what I need, and I find I sometimes get better tones without it.

I have looked at the GFS pickups, but I have not exactly heard too much about them. Are they in anyway comparable any of the pickup selections I had mentioned? How would you say they affect the tone? Are they really one of those cheap, awesome product deals?

I'm pretty sure I'm looking for a PAF style thing, but I have no idea.

Thanks for the suggestions, and I am still open to whatever anyone else has to say...
#8
Well i have a set of the crunchy paf's in my sg, and i love them, they are very versitile and give a great clear punch. They're very defined, and have a lot of clarity, they dont squel like cheap stock pups, they are very well potted. I have a push pull pot on both to split the coils, and they give great sounds split. overall, i love em i spent 60 something bucks for the set, and dont regret it one bit. I'm getting a duncan custom sh-5 in my fender right now, so when i get that all in, i'll do a side by side comparison and tell ya the difference.

GFS is top quality stuff, i say go for it.

Epiphone Les Paul Standard
Coming soon: Egnater Tweaker


#10
How are the Ei preamp tubes in my amp already compared to the Tungsol Preamp tubes recommended in the tube sticky?

I still do not recognize the tube that is smaller than the rest... I'll take a picture and put it in this post, and maybe somebody else can?

I have no idea on poweramp tubes, so some help with that would be greatly appreciated. Are the Ruby's in right now, good enough for the tone I want?
___________________________________
I have been looking around at pickups, and am now interested in those offered by GFS and Lace, as well as Dimarzio.
From GFS, the Crunchy PAFs look good, but the clips on-site are done on a SS amp, so I couldn't really get a good listen of the tone. For those who have them, do they sound good in basswood?
From Lace, I am quite interested in the Alumitone, Arena, and D-series pickups. Again, I am not familiar with these, but youtube clips sound pretty good, but the compression can make even the worst things sound good... so if anyone has experience with these, help would be great.
___________________________________
The delay pedal is still up in the air...
I could get a used Line6 Echo Park, Boss DD-3/6, or some other random one I find on youtube, and I have no idea.
I'd like to keep it around/under $100 used, though. (difficult, I know)
#11
Nobody even has ANY input on any of this?
That being said...
____________________________________
I have looked at the Alumitone a bit more, and it seems they are more along the lines of "single-coil sized humbuckers". if anyone knows more about them, please help.
The Arena/D-series pickups (Lace) seems pretty good, but little internet information doesn't help...

The GFS Crunchy PAF is apparently modeled the Dimarzio Super Distortion, and I know that is not the sound I want going through my amp. If anyone knows any GFS pickups and how they are compared to the Dimarzio line, then that would be awesome to know.
_______________________________

I'd REALLY like some help, and I appreciate the people who contributed to this thread's help.
#12
whats the pickup config of the guitar you want to upgrade? ex: SSS HH HSS HSH?

Have you considered a duncan JB? I hear they are very good and cover a wide range of genre's.

Epiphone Les Paul Standard
Coming soon: Egnater Tweaker


#13
oh and delay pedal, depending on how much you have, i really like the boss dd-3/dd-6. both are good and have many features.

Epiphone Les Paul Standard
Coming soon: Egnater Tweaker


#14
Quote by gtr_101
whats the pickup config of the guitar you want to upgrade? ex: SSS HH HSS HSH?

Have you considered a duncan JB? I hear they are very good and cover a wide range of genre's.


Thank you for yet another post gtr_101!

I am only looking to upgrade my neck and bridge humbuckers, but if there is money left, I'd be fine with upgrade the middle single coil.

So, HSH.

My friend has a Jackson with the JB/Jazz combo, and it neither really have the bite or tone I was looking for.
*EDIT* ^Exactly why I was looking at them. That and half of my influences use them or some type of delay, in general.
#15
Can't really speak to the pups your after, I'm a Duncan guy. Custom Custom ftw.

Are you talking about the preamp tube on the far left of this pic? V1? I noticed it looks a little 'shorter' then the others but I think it is just because it's base is set in lower. It's the same size. I replaced V3 with a GrooveTube (out of necessity and it was all GC had) it helped the amp quite a bit actually. The Tungsols and JJ's get a lot of praise for preamps as do JJs for power.

Have you done a speaker swap yet? I'd do that before changing tubes. I think you saw my NPD thread from last week, I really like the Carbon Copy delay and the SmartGate by MXR.
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#16
Quote by 311ZOSOVHJH
Can't really speak to the pups your after, I'm a Duncan guy. Custom Custom ftw.

Are you talking about the preamp tube on the far left of this pic? V1? I noticed it looks a little 'shorter' then the others but I think it is just because it's base is set in lower. It's the same size. I replaced V3 with a GrooveTube (out of necessity and it was all GC had) it helped the amp quite a bit actually. The Tungsols and JJ's get a lot of praise for preamps as do JJs for power.

Have you done a speaker swap yet? I'd do that before changing tubes. I think you saw my NPD thread from last week, I really like the Carbon Copy delay and the SmartGate by MXR.


Yes, the V1 (I don't know about positions of tubes in this amp, yet )! I was assuming it was lower into it, but wasn't sure, so I didn't say anything.

Did your amp come stock with the Ei preamps and Ruby poweramps? Based only on looking at the price, it seems the Ei could be better than the Tungsols.

I was one of the first few to get the Veteran 30 from WGS
I did see your thread, and actually last night it helped me a bit. I am looking for a gate, and was considering the HUSH because I don't really have that much hum, but if I can find a good price for the MXR, it'd be great.
Also, the carbon delay furthered my GAS for a delay pedal, but it's out of my price range used...

*What are the positions of the tubes in this amp? It'd be great to know for ease of communication later in the thread
#17
using my picture.
V1 far left
V3 closest to power tubes - true for all amps (the one without the casing on it)
V2 in the middle

Mine had ElectroHarmonix preamps and Ruby power tubes.

Mike.h has been thru quite a few tubes now. He might know more.
#18
Well i did a side by side comparison of an sh-5 and a jb, and the sh-5 was exactly what you described. It has more umph, it's clear and packs a great punch. Check out some vids on youtube, theirs a guy with one in a gibson les paul and he plays through a splawn go to the video then click his high quality link. very good sound. For the neck pickup maybe a duncan 59' or the jazz model.

Epiphone Les Paul Standard
Coming soon: Egnater Tweaker


#19
Quote by 311ZOSOVHJH
using my picture. V1 far left V3 closest to power tubes - true for all amps (the one without the casing on it) V2 in the middle Mine had ElectroHarmonix preamps and Ruby power tubes. Mike.h has been thru quite a few tubes now. He might know more.


Thank you for that information! It should come in handy.

I'll try to get a hold of Mike.h and see what he has to say about it.

Quote by gtr_101
Well i did a side by side comparison of an sh-5 and a jb, and the sh-5 was exactly what you described. It has more umph, it's clear and packs a great punch. Check out some vids on youtube, theirs a guy with one in a gibson les paul and he plays through a splawn go to the video then click his high quality link. very good sound. For the neck pickup maybe a duncan 59' or the jazz model.


Thanks for doing the comparison!

I took a look at the tone chart for the sh-5, and listened to the clips you told me to, other on netmusicians.org, your profile clips, and the ones on the SD site.
That pickup may be a bit too raw for what I need... sounds great, but if it's anything like the sh-6 (duncan distortion, my neighbor has a kramer with one) then it won't sound very good through my amp. The problem with the sh-6 was WAY too much treble, and I tried to EQ it out and it was still there. I don't know if the sh-5 would be like that...could you comment on that?
I'm looking for a pickup that would kind of round-off certain frequencies (smoother) when I used the volume/tone controls, and the sh-6 didn't do that for me

Sorry to sound like a douche, but I'm just trying to narrow this down for financial sake
#20
well when i played the jb/ sh-5 they were in fender mim strats, and i played through a fender hot rod, and a peavey jsx. I found the jb better for an overdrive, and the sh-5 better for metal. I will have my guitar tomorrow, and it will have the sh-5 in the bridge, when i get it i'll try to make some clips of it through the valveking. I'll keep in touch.

And don't think your sounding like a douche, you just want what all of us want, the perfect sound.

Epiphone Les Paul Standard
Coming soon: Egnater Tweaker


#21
Quote by gtr_101
well when i played the jb/ sh-5 they were in fender mim strats, and i played through a fender hot rod, and a peavey jsx. I found the jb better for an overdrive, and the sh-5 better for metal. I will have my guitar tomorrow, and it will have the sh-5 in the bridge, when i get it i'll try to make some clips of it through the valveking. I'll keep in touch.

And don't think your sounding like a douche, you just want what all of us want, the perfect sound.


Thanks, that would be great
-------------------------------------------
I have been scanning the Bay for delay pedals under $100...
-Biyang AD-8 Double Chip Delay (not really analog, but same circuit as Memory Man apparently)
-Artec Analog Delay (I've heard this name, and good things about their EQ)
-ModTone Analog Delay (never even heard of it)
-Boss DD-6/DD-3/DD-7/DD-5 (of course, it's brilliant)
-Carl Martin Red Repeat (que?)

The Biyang and the Boss are the two I'm most looking into right now. I'm pretty sure I would prefer a digital delay... but analog seems nice as well.
-----------------------------------------------
I'm still questioning what pickups, and for that I think I'm going to go to the local guitar store and see what selection they have, prices, and if I can test them through guitars similar to mine...also, see if I could sell my two electrics, in favor of one quite good one.
Thanks for the help on pickups, though...definitely going to use what I got from here when I go.
#23
The Rubys and EH tubes aren't bad at all, so changing them won't make a huge difference. For my VK 212 I put a matched set (a must) of JJ 6L6's, and for preamp; V1: Tung Sol, V2: JJ high gain ECC83, V3: 9th Gen. Penta Labs. This was the recommendation from Dougs tubes, and it made some improvement. A set will cost you about $100 shipped though, so I would just change the preamp tubes for now, then the power tubes when you save up more $$. For a delay pedal, I would try to get a used ANALOG delay pedal, though they are more expensive (looking for a good deal on one myself). Warmer sounding. I don't know who makes the best one but you probably know that Boss, MXR, Maxon, & Ibanez are all known for quality pedals. As for pickups, I tried the PAF Pros, too thin. The Breed is ok, but I never tried to tap the coils. About a year ago, I found the best all around pickups for me out of all the ones (a lot) I've tried over the years. Tom Anderson pickups. They build high quality guitars and components. I have an H3 in the bridge, and H1+ in the neck. They split very well for single coil stuff, and in humbucking mode they are thick, articulate, and well balanced. A close second (loaded in my other guitar) is Seymour Duncan JB in the bridge and Jazz in neck. Don't get EMG's unless you want to sound like everyone else that uses them, and they don't clean up as well either. You can find a good deal on new or used pickups if you search the web enough. Strings affect your tone quite a bit too believe it or not, and I finally found my favorite...DR Extra (Silver Stars). They have a thin coating, so they last longer, which also helps offset their higher price. They have a great tone, and somehow more clarity + less treble than most others I've tried. I don't have any clips at the time, but maybe this will still help some.
#24
Quote by ChadT
The Rubys and EH tubes aren't bad at all, so changing them won't make a huge difference. For my VK 212 I put a matched set (a must) of JJ 6L6's, and for preamp; V1: Tung Sol, V2: JJ high gain ECC83, V3: 9th Gen. Penta Labs. This was the recommendation from Dougs tubes, and it made some improvement. A set will cost you about $100 shipped though, so I would just change the preamp tubes for now, then the power tubes when you save up more $$. For a delay pedal, I would try to get a used ANALOG delay pedal, though they are more expensive (looking for a good deal on one myself). Warmer sounding. I don't know who makes the best one but you probably know that Boss, MXR, Maxon, & Ibanez are all known for quality pedals. As for pickups, I tried the PAF Pros, too thin. The Breed is ok, but I never tried to tap the coils. About a year ago, I found the best all around pickups for me out of all the ones (a lot) I've tried over the years. Tom Anderson pickups. They build high quality guitars and components. I have an H3 in the bridge, and H1+ in the neck. They split very well for single coil stuff, and in humbucking mode they are thick, articulate, and well balanced. A close second (loaded in my other guitar) is Seymour Duncan JB in the bridge and Jazz in neck. Don't get EMG's unless you want to sound like everyone else that uses them, and they don't clean up as well either. You can find a good deal on new or used pickups if you search the web enough. Strings affect your tone quite a bit too believe it or not, and I finally found my favorite...DR Extra (Silver Stars). They have a thin coating, so they last longer, which also helps offset their higher price. They have a great tone, and somehow more clarity + less treble than most others I've tried. I don't have any clips at the time, but maybe this will still help some.


I don't have EH in the preamp, I have Ei, completely different company...and I do need to replace all the tubes since it's been a year, and this was a used amp to begin with
What I'm thinking: V1 - Tungsol, V2 - Ei, V3 - philips 5751

Pretty sure I'm going with a digital delay, but it all depends on how much I love/hate the carbon copy.

The Anderson Pickups look great, but are a bit too expensive for an upgrade to this kind of guitar. If all goes as I want it to, I can buy an Agile PRS copy and I will DEFINITELY look into upgrading the pickups to those.

I love my DR Tite-Fits

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#25
I vote for replacing your power amp and pre amp tubes. But it will cost more than 50 dollars unless you find a good deal. But if you can't afford to do the preamp tubes too then just replace the power amp tubes. I use electro harmonix tubes and I also use boogie tubes. You will need to get your amp biased when you get a tube change. That way the tubes last longer and sound better. So, that will also cost money.