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 Here, we discuss tubes... 
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Post Here, we discuss tubes...
Been experimenting with these in a Marshall TSL 100 for years...usually go with groovetubes 12ax7 but trying to get a more crisp overdrive tone lately. Heard mixing tubes actually does more damage to the amp and JJ tubes are kinda mediocre imo. Any thoughts, experience, recommendations?

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07 Apr 2014, 11:49
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Joined: 16 Sep 2012, 19:40
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Post Re: Here, we discuss tubes...
"Mixing tubes does damage to the amp"

What in the hell are you talking about? When you replace the power tubes you should replace them all at once with a matched quad or pair and bias them correctly (if your amp needs biasing). You will not damage your amplifier by not following this, but your performance will be suboptimal.

Preamp tubes you can mix and match as much as you want.

Groove Tubes is a rebrander, they dont actually manufacture anything. They buy shipping containers of tubes from Russia and China and "Stringently test" the tubes. Those who "meet their standards" get slapped with their logo and that is that. 50% markup please.

There are only 4 operational factories of vacuum tubes producing any kind of quantity.

- The Svetlana factory in Russia, which is owned by New Sensor/ElectroHarmonix. They also manufacture under different brands like Tung-Sol and Mullard that they bought the rights to. As far as I understand these are just labels; they did not purchase any tooling that went with the old reputable brands.

-Shuguang (sp?) in China. I think these are made on old Philips machines that the chinks bought for scrap in the 90s. These are shit.

- JJ Electronic in Slovakia. These are built on the original TESLA machines that were bought by a former employee when the original TESLA electronics cartel was broken up in the 90s.

-Some other factory in russia. Can't remember which brands they make

When it comes to NEW manufactured tubes, the only ones I bother with are JJ. The only real option is between JJ and the Svetlana variations, and I have no patience to keep track of how the Svetlanas are being marketed or branded. All JJ tubes in North America get sold through http://www.eurotubes.com, and they will guarantee everything if bought from them. They are also the cheapest new production tubes because they don't have the stupid markups other brands like to tack on.

If you want to talk about New Old Stock or Vintage tubes, thats something else. Good bargains are Telefunken, especially since they are impossible to counterfiet. They have the diamond logo molded into the glass rather than just painted on.

EDIT: Looking at the TSL schematic, much of the distortion appears to be created by FETs (transistors) acting as clippers. Basically a distortion pedal circuit in your preamp. I don't think cork sniffing your tubes will make that much of a difference.


13 Apr 2014, 15:57
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Post Re: Here, we discuss tubes...
"cork sniffing," i like that.

good to know. :thumb:

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13 Apr 2014, 18:44
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Post Re: Here, we discuss tubes...
So,

I am looking to replace the tubes on my tiny terror... I don't know if it needs to be biased or not (will look that up).

I don't know if they need replacing, I bought it used a few years ago, and have put in some good miles on it... but I figured it is time to jump in to the lake:

so Tiny terror: ✓Tubes: Preamp - 2 x 12AX7, Output 2 x EL84

I mainly play metal on it although it isn't really isn't ideal for it, I should probably just buy that Blackstar HT Metal 5H 5-Watt Tube Head from sweetwater: http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/HTMetal5H/

I was thinking with the different tubes I might be able to get a better metal sound out of the tiny terror, ( by using say JJ Electronic ECC83S - 12AX7 ). BUT maybe I am doing an apples vs oranges thing here and trying to make the tiny terror do something it is never going to do well?

Maybe I should focus on improving what the tiny terror already does fairly well and go for a better bluesy sound with say: JJ Electronic ECC803 S Gold Pin - 12AX7 ?

This is all new to me and have been thinking about making a post about tubes for some time.

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18 Apr 2014, 22:10
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Post Re: Here, we discuss tubes...
Fraeg wrote:
So,

I am looking to replace the tubes on my tiny terror... I don't know if it needs to be biased or not (will look that up).

I don't know if they need replacing, I bought it used a few years ago, and have put in some good miles on it... but I figured it is time to jump in to the lake:

so Tiny terror: ✓Tubes: Preamp - 2 x 12AX7, Output 2 x EL84

I mainly play metal on it although it isn't really isn't ideal for it, I should probably just buy that Blackstar HT Metal 5H 5-Watt Tube Head from sweetwater: http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/HTMetal5H/

I was thinking with the different tubes I might be able to get a better metal sound out of the tiny terror, ( by using say JJ Electronic ECC83S - 12AX7 ). BUT maybe I am doing an apples vs oranges thing here and trying to make the tiny terror do something it is never going to do well?

Maybe I should focus on improving what the tiny terror already does fairly well and go for a better bluesy sound with say: JJ Electronic ECC803 S Gold Pin - 12AX7 ?

This is all new to me and have been thinking about making a post about tubes for some time.



It depends on what kind of metal sound you're looking for... I've read that sticking a Tung Sol 12AX7 in V1 of most Terror amps will help improve general tightness and clarity, and add a bit of brightness to the amp. This is what I plan on doing with my Dark Terror soon enough.

That being said, I don't think you'll ever get a super-aggressive metal sound out of the TT without a distortion pedal but you could get a very serviceable stoner/doom sound out of it.

If you're looking for high gain in a lunchbox amp though, I'd look into the Blackstar you mentioned, or a Dark Terror or Jim Root Terror.

Check this out:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V7oROJyQ9ws


19 Apr 2014, 12:06
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Post Re: Here, we discuss tubes...
thanks for the feedback. Yeah I bought it on ebay for a nice price (was modded with an fx loop as well), a couple months after I bought it the Dark terror came out :duh:

I have been playing it with a Japanese made Boss HM-2 with everything turned to 11 to get that old school Entombed etc. sound.

I also have a mid 90s era Sovtek Big Muff Pi so I can get some big heavy stoner stuff, and perhaps with your tube suggestion I can get that even more so.

I guess my real issue is I would like to get tones like this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kzQpiJjdprQ

and I am thinking that just like my kayaks: I have a creek boat, a downriver boat, and a play boat, no one boat really does it all. And with Heads I guess it is the same.

My brother has a dark terror, and has offered to let me borrow it (means shipping across country). Might take him up on that if he is truly serious about (would mail him my TT so he had something to use). hmmmm that is probably the best bet. Hell if I sweeten the deal he might even trade me as he is more into making electronica that includes guitars, where I am more into Godflesh, Anaal Nathrakh etc.

cheers.

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19 Apr 2014, 12:41
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