Engl Invader EL34 tube question.

Discussion in 'Pickups, Electronics & General Tech' started by TTWC Ben, Jul 24, 2012.

  1. TTWC Ben

    TTWC Ben SS.org Regular

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    I have had my beloved Invader now for almost three years and have decided to treat it to a new set of tubes. I love how the amp sounds so I have no hesitation replacing the tubes like for like with another set of Engl's own tubes..

    My question being..
    The EL34 powertubes in my Engl already have a label that states that they are "Grade 29."
    The shop that I am looking to buy the replacements from offer a "Grade 17" or a "Grade 32."

    What is the "grade" of an Engl tube? Does it matter which I buy? They are both the same price so it doesn't seem to be a "quality rating" so to speak...

    .. Thanks in advance for any help!
     
  2. MrPowers

    MrPowers SS.org Regular

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    I think most here would say you should avoid Engl or Mesa branded tubes because they are more inconsistent (and overpriced) compared other companies (Ex./ JJ's, Tung-Sol, Sovtek.)

    To answer your question, you can put any of the EL34's in your amp, it doesn't matter which you buy. If you get a different brand or get EL34b's the sound will change but only slightly.

    What really matters is how the amp is biased. If the amp is biased hotter the clean channel will start to "break up" at higher volumes from the power tubes. If it is colder it will stay clean and, some claim, sound more harsh. Engl is known for biasing amps very cold from the factory.

    My recommendation is getting JJ, Tung-Sol, or Electro-Harmonix EL34's and having the amp re-biased.

    Side note: I have JJ's in my Marshall and they really sound amazing.
     
  3. TTWC Ben

    TTWC Ben SS.org Regular

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    I appreciate the advice MrPowers!

    I have looked into the JJ's and it turns out a friend of mine has them in his peavey 6505, they sound fantastic! I think they are a good choice for me!

    Powertubes sorted!

    Just a small question about preamp tubes though.. the invader comes with ECC83's as stock, can they be replaced with 12AX7's?
     
  4. mcleanab

    mcleanab Theta Sagan Swords

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    As far as I know, ecc83's and 12ax7's are the same... is it that one is a European designation and the other American? But they are built the same?
     
  5. TTWC Ben

    TTWC Ben SS.org Regular

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    Yes that is correct, I found some information which stated exactly that on another site!

    I'm going for a full JJ's retube. Should sound hench!
     
  6. MrPowers

    MrPowers SS.org Regular

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    Not a problem man! I hope you like the JJ's. If you want you can always try other preamp tubes too and experiment. A lot of people like a Tung-Sol in the V1 preamp spot and then JJ's or EH's in the rest. Just see what works for you!
     
  7. Wrecklyss

    Wrecklyss SS.org Regular

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    Ever since i first tried JJs, that's all i use. If you want a more "hi-fi" sound a much more power, try out the KT77s instead of EL34s. I put some in my last 100 watt head. It sounded amazing, but the volume jumped up a lot.
     
  8. TTWC Ben

    TTWC Ben SS.org Regular

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    Just did a little bit of research and the tung-sol preamp tubes (the ones i found anyway) are descibed as "retro" I'm going for a "modern" high gain sound. I also play an 8string so something which works well with the lower frequencies.. Is Tung-sol the answer?
     
  9. MrPowers

    MrPowers SS.org Regular

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    I would just go will a full set of JJ's. If you feel the need to change the flavor in the future just buy one Tung-Sol and put it in the V-1 spot. Most people don't get a full set of Tung-Sol preamp tubes.
     

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