What is a tube amp and what do I need to know?

Discussion in 'Gear & Equipment' started by 7 Dying Trees, Nov 24, 2007.

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  1. Wookieslayer

    Wookieslayer OOOAAARWWWRR

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    Try JJ ECC83s Tubes, they sound great :yesway: I have a friend who uses them in his e530 and I'm going to but them in my band's Randall V2
     
  2. GATA4

    GATA4 Banned

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    This thread is very informative. Thanks for posting, man. I love learning the science behind why it all works :hbang:. Electric guitar is such an interesting instrument.
     
  3. StratoJazz

    StratoJazz SS.org Regular

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    Nice Article, and tubes are the shit!
     
  4. mot666

    mot666 raining bullets

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    is there anywhere on the net, or can anyone tell me about specific frequency ranges tube amps produce that solid state dont?
     
  5. motabaco

    motabaco SS.org Regular

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    I have a question I may have missed this, but I've been G.A.S.ing for a Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier hard for awhile now... and as you know they have that switch on the back for (vacuum tube) and (silicone diodes).. I know that it is a tube amp.. but when you switch to silicone diode/high power mode.. what exactly does this entail??
    because unless I missed something silicone diode to me means solid state.. thanks for any elaboration on this
     
  6. 7 Dying Trees

    7 Dying Trees Forum MVP

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    Amps need the power to be rectified, ie, turned from an AC (varying voltage) into a DC (fixed voltage) supply.

    For this you use a rectifier circuit.

    Now, diode rectification:
    - Faster reponse, so you get less sag, the amp responds quicker, generally you want this for rhythm sounds as you want it to be tight, direct, punchy

    Tube rectification:
    - Tube rectification is more "saggy" ie, is a bit spongy, kind of think thicker, more liquid, very very very nice for lead tones. However, for rhtym on an amp that's wanting a lot of power, the tube rectifiers are not anywhere near as quick as providing changes in power to the power tube section.

    The rectifier is basically what supplies power to the tube output section.

    Basically, the signal path (ie, what your guitar signal goes through) is tube, so it's not solid state.

    However, the circuit supplying power has different characteristics which affect how the amp reacts depending on the rectification circuit used. Most all tube amps are diode rectified, the whole thing with the rectifiers is that you can choose the rectification method and can use valve rectification if you want to.
     
  7. Ricky Roro

    Ricky Roro Christian

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    Is there much difference between different tube power amps with the same tube type? For example, if someone ran the effects loop out of their amp into another power amp that used the same kind of tubes, would the sound be noticeably different from if they just used the amp's own power amp? (aside from wattage differences, if any, or settings like resonance and presence that can appear with the power amp section)
     
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  8. Fat-Elf

    Fat-Elf Banned

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    My Valveking 100 Head has now kept doing all kind of popping and hissing sound while it's on. This has been going for maybe even a year now but lately it has gotten so bad that I'm afraid to even put the amp on, in case it makes my ears explode. I have had the amp for 4 years now and I haven't changed the stock tubes even once. Is there any change that this problem is caused by the old tubes?
     
  9. TheEntheogenEgoKiller

    TheEntheogenEgoKiller C.R.E.A.M

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    I have a rack with a power conditioner that I plug my amp, pedals and rack units into. Can I leave the power switch on my 5150II on and use the power conditioner to turn everything on and off? Of course the standby would be used as normal.
     
  10. Pav

    Pav ???

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    To put it simply, yes. There are a wide variety of factors that dictate how an amp sounds (circuitry, components used, etc.) The type of tubes used in the amp are just one of the many factors. For example, playing through the power amp of a Mesa won't necessarily sound the same as the power amp of an ENGL, even if they both use 6L6 power tubes. Every amp has its quirks and characteristics.

    Yes. Preamp tubes tend to last a long time so start by replacing your power tubes. 4 years is a long time to use the same set of power tubes.

    As long as you mind the standby on your amp, yes.
     
  11. DarkWolfXV

    DarkWolfXV Excised n anatomised

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    I got 6505+ 112 combo recently, its my first tube amp, turned standby switch to standby position, then turned amp on, let it warm up, plugged gear and turned standby switch to play position, its great, i played for 3 hours with few short 5 minute breaks and one 15 minute food break, without turning standby to standby position on breaks.
    So my question is, is it perfectly fine to have amp run for 3 hours non stop without standby? And even with it, is it fine? And how long should you cool down the amp till next playing?
     
  12. purg3be

    purg3be SS.org Regular

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    I feel kinda obliged to say that this is NOT the way to shut down your amp... Switching off the power of your amp without puttin on the standby (turning on means you can't play) could cause damage.
     
  13. vick1000

    vick1000 SS.org Regular

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    I have heard from many amp techs, designers and builders, that it's actually better to leave the amp in normal play mode, and turn the volume/ master down instead of placing it in stand by or shutting it down, when you are going to play again that session.

    Say like at a gig between sets, leaving the amp on all night instead of toggling it every time you break.

    Repeated heating and cooling of the power tubes and circuitry causes excessive thermal expansion and contraction on those components, and undo stress as a result.
     
  14. guitarfreak1387

    guitarfreak1387 squirrel chaser

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    quick question.

    I have an orange tiny terror. it has a switchable watt setting. its a 3 position toggle that reads top to bottom 15w-standby-7w. say im in the 7 watt mode and i want to switch to 15 watts can i just flip the switch or do i need to do something else like turn off the amp, turn to standby, turn on the amp, switch to 15watt mode.

    Im new to tube amps, dont want to ruin this amp.
     
  15. guitarfreak1387

    guitarfreak1387 squirrel chaser

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    well hopefully doing this does not blow my amp up or do damage...thanks for the help guys
     
  16. mesaboogie6l6

    mesaboogie6l6 SS.org Regular

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    The manual doesn't specify, you don't need to turn it off, switching it to the standby then to whatever watt you need will be fine, also switching from 15w to 7w should be ok too.
     
  17. BaptizedBurning

    BaptizedBurning SS.org Regular

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    Quick tube bias question. I recently bought a used 5150 II and a basic bias probe from Eurotubes. I connected the probe just like in the instructions, and found the bias pot was turned all the down and reading at 23. I turned it up to 38 and there was still plenty of room for more. Then today I started swapping around tubes and hooked up the probe again. Now the highest reading I can get is 29 with the bias pot turned all the way up, even with the same tubes in there like I had before.

    I was wondering why did I had such a broad sweep on the bias pot the first time, but now I max out at 29? :scratch:
     
  18. mesaboogie6l6

    mesaboogie6l6 SS.org Regular

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    Just ask Bob from Eurotubes, you will get the right answer the first time.
     
  19. Given To Fly

    Given To Fly Contributor

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    I had a Tiny Terror Combo and I would just put it in standby, flip the power from 7 watts to 15 watts (or vice versa), take it out of standby and continue playing.

    I don't want to imply that you shouldn't take care of tube amps, you should, but overall its rather difficult to accidentally break one. The only thing I can think of that will definitely hurt a tube amp is turning it on without a speaker or "load" connected.
     
  20. Jes Johnson

    Jes Johnson SS.org Regular

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    Nice! I love me some tube amps, wouldn't wanna play anything else.
     
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