The Tube Thread

c7spheres

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Chinese Mesas.
Hey, You're giving out all the secrets man. What are you doing?! :lol: Just kdding. I love my Mesa Chinese 12Ax7's. They are the old style that came in all the gear of the day from the 80's to mid 90's. They're pretty hard to find now and different than what's offered today by Mesa and sound different. I like the older ones more but they are a bit higher gain and more saturated from what I can remember. This first link is what the Mesa Chinese-2 tubes looked like though I'm not sure if those are Chinese or not they look exactly like them. The second is what the originals looked like, but The Original Mesa Chinese don't say Chinese on them, they say Mesa 12ax7-a-str, And have 2 wires going to the top of the getter part instead of one, but look the same. The grids on both are way larger too than what's offered now.

http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-5...0001&campid=5338014327&icep_item=323940008901

http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-5...0001&campid=5338014327&icep_item=303272844839

Althouth the second link looks like the originals they are 12ax7-b, which I've tried and the difference between the A's and B's is amount of gain. The reality is that the B's usually have enough gain but will make you turn the gain knob higher which will equal more noise for the same amount of gain it seems. The classic combination from the 80's and 90's was always Chinese preamp tubes and Russian power amp tubes for the rock tones. Marshalls and Mesa came stock with that combination back then.
 

vick1000

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Sorry, I but I run all digital now, so I guess I should stay out of it. :)

I believe the Mesas were hand picked 5th and 7th gen Sinos or Shuguangs, but even the modern SPAX7 are pretty good.

The best I have ever heard though, are by far NOS RFT (Telefunkin?) ECC83, but they are a risk as are all NOS, the source needs to be trust worthy.
 

Jon Pearson

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Figured I'd throw this in, just retubed a Krankenstein +

Quad of matched Sovtek 6550WE, got them with a burn since I have had problems with them being DOA, biased to about 50% dissipation (I like it a bit cooler than the usual 70%)

JJ ECC83S for the the three preamp slots, Sovtek 12AX7 LPS for the phase inverter.

Nothing special, but this sounds pretty fantastic as is, my first amp that runs 6550s so that's neat.
 

oneblackened

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Figured I'd throw this in, just retubed a Krankenstein +

Quad of matched Sovtek 6550WE, got them with a burn since I have had problems with them being DOA, biased to about 50% dissipation (I like it a bit cooler than the usual 70%)

JJ ECC83S for the the three preamp slots, Sovtek 12AX7 LPS for the phase inverter.

Nothing special, but this sounds pretty fantastic as is, my first amp that runs 6550s so that's neat.
Good choice on the Sovteks. Those are arguably the best 6550s on the market.
 

Jon Pearson

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Good choice on the Sovteks. Those are arguably the best 6550s on the market.

Glad to be affirmed, I mostly went with them because even the minor difference in price is a big deal for me right now. I have had rotten luck with their 6L6GCs and 5881s, so it's good to hear positive things about the 6550s.
 

oneblackened

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Glad to be affirmed, I mostly went with them because even the minor difference in price is a big deal for me right now. I have had rotten luck with their 6L6GCs and 5881s, so it's good to hear positive things about the 6550s.
They're by far the most durable on the market as far as I'm aware. I think the JJs sound better but I've had rotten luck with JJs other than the 6L6GCs, 6V6s, KT88s and the various 12AX7s I've got.
 

Jon Pearson

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Here's a question for all of you - has anyone tried running KT88s or similar (6550s for example) in a Roadster/Rectifier? I have a Roadster that I just bought new 6L6GCs for, but I was thinking that 6550s in particular might do something cool for the sound, the concern as usual is that the heater current would be too much.
 

oneblackened

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Here's a question for all of you - has anyone tried running KT88s or similar (6550s for example) in a Roadster/Rectifier? I have a Roadster that I just bought new 6L6GCs for, but I was thinking that 6550s in particular might do something cool for the sound, the concern as usual is that the heater current would be too much.
I ran KT88s for a bit in a Rev G. It's a cool sound but they draw significantly more B+ current and heater current than 6L6s. Power transformer got real hot. As such... wouldn't advise it.
 

juicedpeppers

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First post here! I just bought an EVH 5150 III but I'm not familiar with the particular tubes that are in it. I have a replacement set of 6L6s that I'd like to throw in just to hear the difference in sound but I have no idea what tubes are in my amp right now. They are called KBM 7s on the tubes. Anyone know what these are?
 

HeHasTheJazzHands

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Thinking about getting a retube on my SL/LD preamp (Recto based).

I was curious which route i should go...
Shunguang 12ax7b in all slots
Tungsol in all slots
Tung sol in v1 and the rest Shuguang
Shuguang in v1 and the rest Tung Sol
 

c7spheres

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Thinking about getting a retube on my SL/LD preamp (Recto based).

I was curious which route i should go...
Shunguang 12ax7b in all slots
Tungsol in all slots
Tung sol in v1 and the rest Shuguang
Shuguang in v1 and the rest Tung Sol


-I don't know what all the slots in your preamp are for or connected to and I can't remember what Tungsol was like but I know Shuguang 12ax7-b's (and a's) worked great for clean and heavy tones. I tried them in a Rockmaster pre, Rocktron Piranha and V-Twin rack pre and like them much more than the ecc83 and 7025's. I could see some people prefering the ecc83 or 7025 for a more tamed/spongy? clean tone, but the Shuguangs were big, deep and colder if that makes sense. Like clinical and sterile more.
- I think all these numbers are specifying different voltages, gain amounts, noise amounts and production run numbers and if they're European or not etc. I forget but the info is probably out there.

- The Shuguangs also worked well in the Peavey classic 50/50, Mesa 50/50, Mesa 2:90, Mesa 20/20 and my VHT 2-50-2 as well power amps (even though I don't think I was supposed to put them certain slots in the VHT if I remember right. I just plugged them in like an idiot before I knew what I was doing and thought everything was compatible at that time. Lucky I didnt' screw something up!
- Once I got my stock of Old Chinese 12ax7-A's though in my preamp I never looked back and pretty much stopped caring because I got what I wanted from them.
 

DudeManBrother

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Thinking about getting a retube on my SL/LD preamp (Recto based).

I was curious which route i should go...
Shunguang 12ax7b in all slots
Tungsol in all slots
Tung sol in v1 and the rest Shuguang
Shuguang in v1 and the rest Tung Sol
Tung Sol for V1, Sovtek LPS for PI, and Shuguang B’s or JJ’s for the rest is usually a pretty safe bet for high gain.
 

HeHasTheJazzHands

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Tung Sol for V1, Sovtek LPS for PI, and Shuguang B’s or JJ’s for the rest is usually a pretty safe bet for high gain.

I'll look into that setup with the Shuguangs. I have old JJs and Sovteks in this thing and it sounds like It could use a retube

I just remember Shuguangs being pretty bright so i thought they'd sound good in V1 of this preamp due to the dark nature of the amp. I'm assuming the Tung Sols are tighter?
 

DudeManBrother

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I'll look into that setup with the Shuguangs. I have old JJs and Sovteks in this thing and it sounds like It could use a retube

I just remember Shuguangs being pretty bright so i thought they'd sound good in V1 of this preamp due to the dark nature of the amp. I'm assuming the Tung Sols are tighter?
Tung Sols are bright, JJs are usually on the darker side, Shuguangs are relatively balanced and high gain; but typically a bit noisy/hissy. For that reason, I don’t like them in V1, but they work well for the bulk of stages when you’re in a budget.
 

DudeManBrother

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It’s worth noting that tons of OEMs use Shuguangs, they just have the benefit of selecting the best tubes. You can get some low noise tubes in the $10 range, but I find way more with a noticeable noise floor than without. It’s nothing a noise gate can’t cover up, and usually it’s not extreme, but should be mentioned.
 

HeHasTheJazzHands

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Tung Sols are bright, JJs are usually on the darker side, Shuguangs are relatively balanced and high gain; but typically a bit noisy/hissy. For that reason, I don’t like them in V1, but they work well for the bulk of stages when you’re in a budget.

It’s worth noting that tons of OEMs use Shuguangs, they just have the benefit of selecting the best tubes. You can get some low noise tubes in the $10 range, but I find way more with a noticeable noise floor than without. It’s nothing a noise gate can’t cover up, and usually it’s not extreme, but should be mentioned.

Aaah I see. Well I may grab some tubes from TubeDepot when I get the chance. They sell Sino 12AX7Bs which IIRC are just Shuguangs. I'll go with the 1 TS, 3 SG, and 1 ST combo.

Whats the deal with the Sovtek in the PI?
 

efiltsohg

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First post here! I just bought an EVH 5150 III but I'm not familiar with the particular tubes that are in it. I have a replacement set of 6L6s that I'd like to throw in just to hear the difference in sound but I have no idea what tubes are in my amp right now. They are called KBM 7s on the tubes. Anyone know what these are?

Not ringing any bells, can you post a pic? Which exact amp is it? New or used?

I think the 50/100 heads come stock with JJ 6L6GC tubes right now
 


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