Engl Savage 120 tube question

Discussion in 'Gear & Equipment' started by MStack, Oct 21, 2012.

  1. MStack

    MStack The Final Sleep

    Messages:
    435
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2012
    Location:
    Troy, NY
    I would like to experiment with preamp tubes in my Engl Savage 120. Can anyone tell me exactly what each tube positon (V1-V6) does specifically?
    I know V6 is the phase inverter, and I think V5 is the FX loop, but what do V1 - V4 do?

    Apparently the Unofficial Engl Forum is shut down, so any help would be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. Wizard of Ozz

    Wizard of Ozz Arch-Mage of Metal

    Messages:
    1,185
    Likes Received:
    791
    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2012
    Location:
    The Gates of Hell
    I'm not sure of the exact functions of each... but V1 will have the biggest impact on your tone... V3 IIRC will change the sound of the gain on channel 3/4 the most. I like Ruby tubes in mine.
     
  3. MStack

    MStack The Final Sleep

    Messages:
    435
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2012
    Location:
    Troy, NY
    OK, that is where I get confused. Everyone says V1 will have the most impact on your tone, but I was under the impression that V1 is for the clean channel. If that is the case, how does that affect your overall tone.

    I am currently experimenting with JJ and Tungsol tubes. What do you like about the Ruby tubes?

    Thanks for the help!

    Mike
     
  4. wakjob

    wakjob SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    3,610
    Likes Received:
    670
    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2011
    Location:
    C-137
    A 12ax7 is a triode tube. It's two tubes in one. The first half of the tube, v1a is used for the clean channel. Then, either it's cascaded or relayed around to v1b, the other side of the tube.

    Ruby's are relabeled Shuguang's. A very good current production tube from China. Ruby tests these and picks the better graded ones to put their name on. If you just buy Shug's from a reputable dealer who tests all their tubes before selling, you can bypass the Ruby price mark up.

    JJ's, so far, have worked out well in my Blackmore. Tung-Sol's, while a great, if not best the best sounding CP tube out there right now, have had reliability issues lately. I got 4 noisy ones this year. I also think they are too bright for Engl's in general. The JJ's darker nature compliment the Engl character better imo. YMMV.

    Also look into 7025's. Just a whisker lower in gain sometimes. But great tone and dead quiet. Perfect for V1 in any amp.
     
  5. Wizard of Ozz

    Wizard of Ozz Arch-Mage of Metal

    Messages:
    1,185
    Likes Received:
    791
    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2012
    Location:
    The Gates of Hell
    The signal for all 4 channels goes thru V1... it is the first/input stage, so that's where most of the tone shaping for the preamp section takes place. Just get a few new tubes, and start swapping them around. V5 is for the fx loop, so V5 & V6 I wouldn't bother with too much.

    I personally find JJ preamp too dark sounding... but they are a good reliable tube.
     
  6. MStack

    MStack The Final Sleep

    Messages:
    435
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2012
    Location:
    Troy, NY
    Thanks for the help guys!
    I have a few tubes, I am gonna start swapping them around and see what I like best.
     
  7. wakjob

    wakjob SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    3,610
    Likes Received:
    670
    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2011
    Location:
    C-137
    Right on MStack. Just go up to Parkway Music on Rt.9. They should have most newer production 12ax7's on hand.

    I just got a small lot of NOS pre's. RFT, RCA, Sylvania, Amperex, Raytheon black plates, old Tung-Sol. Never believed the hype until I tried them. They are worth every penny. What a difference compared to current production stuff.

    Quite<--floor noise wise, ballzy, warmer, richer, and more musical.

    Grabbed a nice pair of RFT el34's too. Good, but harder to tell at the volume I'm playing at right now. The 12ax7's made a much bigger impacted on the tone.
     
  8. MStack

    MStack The Final Sleep

    Messages:
    435
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2012
    Location:
    Troy, NY
    Thanks Wakjob!
    Yeah, I've been going to Parkway since they opened up. Best music store around!
    What amp are you using, and what positions are you using those tubes in?
    Would you be interesting in selling any of them?
     
  9. wakjob

    wakjob SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    3,610
    Likes Received:
    670
    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2011
    Location:
    C-137
    The one in my avatar. It's an 86' Marshall 2204S, not many made. But no different than any other 2204, just in a 'short chassis'.

    Right now it RFT-- v1, Raytheon Black Plate-- v2, RCA-- V3. Still got a lot of rolling to do.

    The RFT el34's are cool. No quite matched though. About 4.5-5.0 mA apart. Tricky biasing. To be quite honest, at the volumes I play the =C= sounded just as good.

    As far as selling any tubes, its too soon to tell. I just got them a couple of days ago.

    Googles your friend (not really). Researching tubes on the net is quite the rabbit hole, but worth doing for the education. Just type in "darker sounding 12ax7 / NOS" or something like it that you're interested in achieving with your amp. You will have your hands full for sure.

    Every tube amp owner should have a healthy quantity of all types of 12ax7's and their variant's. Both current production and NOS. Don't be scared to grab one from a reputable dealer every now and then when you have some extra cash to experiment with.

    Parkway Music. Tom rules! What a nice guy. But I haven't been there in a couple of years. It's 2 hours away.
     
  10. MStack

    MStack The Final Sleep

    Messages:
    435
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2012
    Location:
    Troy, NY
    OK, I've really just started to scratch the surface of tube experimentation, but I will definitely take your advice.
    I've purchased tubes from Eurotubes and Doug's tubes, any other reputable dealers I should check out?

    Thanks for the help!
     
  11. wakjob

    wakjob SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    3,610
    Likes Received:
    670
    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2011
    Location:
    C-137
    Doug's is great. Ordered from him a couple of times now, no problems. NY state tax though.

    Have had really good luck with thetubestore.com and tubedepot.com

    I've yet to try kcanostubes.com

    I've got a couple of vintage NOS hook ups in another forum. If you stumble across something your interested in I can see if they have them.
     
  12. MStack

    MStack The Final Sleep

    Messages:
    435
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2012
    Location:
    Troy, NY
    Great... Thanks!!!
     
  13. Billis

    Billis Organharvest

    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2015
    Location:
    Albany, NY
    Wakjob, I have a Savage also. Actually MStack is who I credit for influencing me on that purchase. I have definitely been intrigued with the RFT's. I am currently running a NOS RCA 7025 in V1 and using the Mesa branded 12ax7's that came with the amp in V2-V6. I'm currently deciding between the RFT's and NOS Tesla E83CC's which were supposedly Tesla's version of the legendary Telefunken ECC803S. They have the gold pins. Have you any experience with those? If so, would you recommend those or the RFT's more? You said above that you have a hook up in another forum for NOS tubes. Any chance there's a matched pair of GEC/Genalex KT88's available for less than what both my kidneys go for on the black market? MStack can vouch for me. I'm new on this forum but he knows me well. Thanks for your advice and time in advance.
     
  14. MetalHead40

    MetalHead40 SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    767
    Likes Received:
    221
    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2015
    My Savage came with a TAD 7025WA in V1, a GT in V2, ENGL branded in V3-V4-V5, and a Sovtek LPS in V6. I tried swapping for all JJs and then tried a cocktail of JJs and Pentalabs and Mullard re-issues and Immediately went back to the previous tube configuration.

    I'm sure there's many tubes and tube combos that would great in this amp, but I have no desire to change anything regarding the tone this amp currently gets. It sounds freaking AMAZING with the TAD, GT, ENGL, Sovtek cocktail, AMAZING!
     
  15. DanielLunardi

    DanielLunardi SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2012
    Location:
    São Paulo, BR
    I agree with every word. In my ENGL Special Edition, i swap 4 preamp tubes and put JJ GoldPin in it. The jj goldpin is a little more clean tube, but with excellent definition.. it fits perfectly with tons of gain that SE have. Also try some balanced tube in phase inverter position.
     

Share This Page