Any Koch Pedaltone Owners Out There?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by Josh O, Feb 14, 2005.

  1. Josh O

    Josh O Member

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    Have any of you retubed? If so, with what, why and how did it change the sound? I just opened mine up just to see what it had for tubes and oddly enought here's what I found from left to right: no name, Sovtek 7025, no name, no name. I highly doubt the dealer I bought it from three years ago had a reason to change the tubes so I have to assume it came from Koch this way. What's with the generic 12AX7s?
     
  2. Josh O

    Josh O Member

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    Answered my own question regarding the different tube in position 2. According to the Koch manual, a low microphonic tube is to be used, suggested is 7025/12AX7LM.
     
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  3. Bill D

    Bill D Guest

    I tried a few NOS tubes here and there but ended up using h 4 of the Groove Tubes "Mullard" reissues, the GT-12AX7-M.
    Before that I liked putting a GE 5751 in position V4 to smooth out the power amp a bit.

    P.S. SOT: Have a peek at Dr. Ika's modified Pedaltone at http://www.drika.biz/amps.html (scroll down a little to the picture of the pedaltone). I emailed him about the mods and he said he added a treble tone control for channel 2 in boost mode, and a pot to increase the gain on the power amp channel. That treble control for channel 2 boost seems mighty useful to me.
     
  4. Josh O

    Josh O Member

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    How do you think the sound of the Pedaltone changed when you switched to the GT Mullard reissues? Did the gain cut down at all? That's something I don't want to happen. I plan on sitting down with it this week and really dig into it's full capabilities, I never use the power amp feature, need to try and feather that in.
     
  5. Bill D

    Bill D Guest

    There was a *slight* loss of gain by changing out V1 but the overall sound improved, good cleans, drive has smoother mids, tamer highs, less raspy to my ears. Channel 2 with the boost engaged has plenty of gain. Great for Holdsworth-type tones.

    I have swapped tubes around many times, going back tot he originals .. retried a few NOS tubes .. always ended up with the reissue Mullards for the best overall balance.
     
  6. ericb

    ericb Silver Supporting Member

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    I tweaked mine a lot when I got it.. I'm a tubehead, and have lots of favorites, and YES the PEdaltone is very very receptive to tube choices.

    ERIC
     
  7. Josh O

    Josh O Member

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    Is the V4 slot for the power amp? I have a spare EH 12AX7 that I may drop in that spot just for grins to see what it does. I'm considering changing all of them to EH except I'll leave the Sovtek alone since it's in the low noise position. eric, what did you settle on?
     
  8. ericb

    ericb Silver Supporting Member

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    Hi Josh , just signing off for the night and saw this coincidentally . I have hundreds of 12ax7's here. My favorite 12ax7's are RFT's and 80's Yugo's .. They sound awesome in here.. I don't remember what the tube positions are as I did this 1-2 years ago , but I thought it told in the manual? RCa's sound great in it as do Mullards, and the above-mentioned tubes. I do remember 1 position (probably the 1st) being very susceptible to microphonics so it had to be a really lo-noise tube. I'm not a huge fan of current JJ, EH, Chinese, or any Sovteks , so I can't really tell you what you'd like better out of those!! I think Roccaforte has posted something similar before, but preamp tube advice on the internet is pretty useles.. EVERY SINGLE PREAMP tube should sound a bit different , and the only way to find the magical combinations is by experimenting.. That said, I still really don't like JJ's, EH's, or Sovteks unfortunately . Best of luck

    ERIC
     
  9. Shaman

    Shaman Member

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    Hey Josh, Eric, et al:

    Great to see other Pedaltone users here! I've had mine for almost two years now and couldn't live without it, but I have to say I've used it mostly in front of a VOX Valvetronix and listening through headphones out the VOX. My VOX has gone tits up so over the last few weeks I've also plugged it through a Line6 GuitarPort (with GP's preamp disabled and either one of the cab sims or bypassed). Lately I've even found a great tube combination that works well to get a good headphone sound out the Pedaltone itself (not it's strong out option, but serviceable).

    In any case, Josh, to answer your question, the last tube so far as I've been able to figure out is mostly for the last stage out (the master volume I think it's called -- don't have it in front of me and I gave up reading the labels a year ago! :). Like Eric I also love the old RFT ecc83 -- but only in the last slot and not all the time; it can be a bit too full in some cases. I'm not sure if the Power Amp is using one of the triodes of the last tube or of the 3rd tube, but I'm pretty sure it's the 4th tube. The Power Amp took me a lot of time to get excited about -- it takes time to find the right balance between everything else (at least how I've been using the Pedaltone). But man, I've had a few surprising discoveries with that feature. Just gotta work with it and use it judiciously. Someone in this post said "feather it in" and I think that's a totally acurate way to think about using it.

    I believe the first slot is the one designated for the low noise tube, no? It's exclusively for the clean channel and that'd make sense you want a low-noise tube in there. But I could be wrong.

    Like Eric I also love swapping out tubes, so I've tried probably at least 60 different tubes, mostly NOS (both 12ax7 types and 12at7 types are suitable). However, for slot 2 and 3 (the OD and OD boost I believe respectively) I think Mullards are your best bet. They are NOS and more expensive, but usually no more than the latest GT M's (the Mullard copy) -- last I checked anyway. I have no experience with the GT 12ax7M's. The Mullards are just great when wound up to distort. Perhaps a little warm, so for the Boost I use a NOS Siemens E83CC (a "special" quality 12ax7) -- it's a little clearer and smoother, but doesn't have the growl like the Mullard. The two work very well together.

    My current tube compliment: 1 - 1962 Raytheon 12ax7; 2 - 1959 Mullard 12ax7; 3 - Siemens E83CC; 4 - Brimar 6060. The Brimar has been a real surprise -- it's a 12at7 type so the gain structure is lower than a 12ax7, but it has a nice neutral yet dimensional quality to it. The RFT I usally have in pos 4 is ballsy and great for beefing things up; but for a more focused tone (especially w/the OD channel(s)), this Brimar is super cool in the last position.

    Sorry for the long post -- I'm just so jazzed about the Pedaltone (still after 2 years). IMHO it takes a lot of time to really master it, but given the right tubes, there's an almost endless supply of varied and cool tones. But most definitely you should swap out the Sovteks. I actually liked the JJ in slot 2 for awhile, and the gold plate EI might go well in the clean channel or in slot 4. If NOS are out of the question personally I'd try the GT M's in either 2, 3 or both -- if they are close to Mullards it'd should be rockin'.

    Cheers!
     
  10. Josh O

    Josh O Member

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    Wow, thanks guys. Wish I had a stash of 12AX7s to play around with! I have one EH 12AX7 to goof with and that's it. On the low microphonic position, it's slot 2. I did try the EH tube in slot 1, not impressed. Tried it in slot 4, seemed to smooth out the power distortion quite a bit. Gonna keep playing, maybe pick some tubes up off the net.

    One note on Brimar's, I popped a matched pair of NOS Brimar 6V6GTs into my Fender Brown Princeton, wow those tubes rock!!! IT seemed like my overall headroom increased and the OD just got creamier. Those tubes are great.
     
  11. ericb

    ericb Silver Supporting Member

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    Hey cool post Shaman. Thanks.. I have too many amps to keep track of all my current tube situations without backtracking. What I've typically done with my amps and tubes is: when I get the amp and decide it's a keeper for me (with no tube planning) , but I know some qualities that some of my tubes will help with , then I'll experiment using my gut instincts. IF/WHEN I find a configuration I'm really happy with , I STOP MY EXPERIMENTING.. These days anyway! I found it can be an ongoing situation turning into neurosis, or once you're really happy.. STOP. That's worked for me for the past few years.... One preamp tube I have NOT owned is Brimars.. Just luck of the draw, as I have loads of others. Have always heard excellent comments on them tho.. I also have never owned (or even heard of Siemens preamp tubes.. I have 8-10 of their el34's though and they're great . Anyway, with that pedal , unless I'm mistaken and there was a guide to which tube did which, I'd pull a tube, try the footswitch and if it didn't work , know that that tube was associated with that switch. No damage caused that way typically when dealing with pre tubes. ........ Shaman , are you a fan of GE or RCA 12ay7's from the 50's and 60's? Though I'm a diehard hi-gain guy 80% of the time, those tubes are just so tasty sounding, so creamy and in certain situations they can help hi-gain amps, or really cream up med-gain situations. Good luck Josh and have fun

    ERIC
     
  12. ericb

    ericb Silver Supporting Member

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    Hey Josh , a guy named Dearin C just emailed me and was gracious enough to include a pdf attachment of the tube chart for the pedaltone. He didn't know how to post it ,and I don't know how to post a PDF here either but here's the info:

    The 4 12ax7's left to right are:


    V1A = 1e stage Clean Channel V1B = 2e stage CleanChannel V2A = 1e stage Overdrive Channel V2B = 2e stage Overdrive Ch
    V3A = 3e stage Overdrive Ch. V3B=4estageOverdriveChannel
    V4A = 1e stage Power Amp V4B = 2e stage Power Amp

    V1 A+B 12ax7

    V2 A+B 12ax7lm

    V3 A+B 12ax7

    V4 A+B 12ax7

    Sorry it didn't work well ,so I just typed it out.. Thanks Dearin! If someone lets me know how to put a pdf on here, I can just do that but I'm too lazy (or tired now) and I'm thinking about how early I need to wake up! ERIC
     
  13. pfrischmann

    pfrischmann Member

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    Is Koch still making the pedaltone?

    I did not see it on their site.
     
  14. pepeteus

    pepeteus Member

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    Yes, they are still making it. It's there under the products on their site. I just checked it.
     
  15. Josh O

    Josh O Member

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    Thanks for the info eric, that i smost helpful. Let the experimentation commence (after I get some tubes!!!!).
     
  16. Josh O

    Josh O Member

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    update: I've messed around a bit. The EH 12AX7 made a huge difference in the V4 slot for the power amp. It's a keeper. I tried the original GE 12AX7 out of my Fender Brown Princeton in the V1 slot and to my ears, I didn't hear much of a difference. I was using the headphones and not the recording line our jack I usually use in a mixer but the difference between the two I didn't really catch. SO far that's it. I may just leave well enough alone although I'm still intrigued with using the GT Mullard reissues in V2 and V3. On the flip side, I kind of like the distortion I'm getting from channel two plus boost right now. But, I may not know what I'm missing right!!!!!
     
  17. Shaman

    Shaman Member

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    Eric, man so sorry for the long delay in replying. Slammed at work.

    The tube rolling is 100% a severe neurosis, I admit. :) I actually had settled on a good set that worked well in my setup, but then my setup has temporarily changed, and so I decided to try to get a great sound out of just the headphone out of the pedaltone (not it's best feature) for simple/quiet practice, so I dug back into the tube stash.

    Your question about the 12ay7's perked my curiosity, and it occured to me I had some old Raytheon 12az7's that I never found a use for -- until now. One's replaced the Tele ECC801 I had in slot 1 for the clean channel for a very neutral yet still slightly shimmery sound. The ECC801, while very cool, has a slight bump in the upper mids that I always wanted to dial out but couldn't.

    But now I'm curious about the 12ay7's, so I'm probably gonna get a few off Ebay. They seem to be much less expensive than the 12ax7's or 12at7's so I'm stoked! Thanks for fanning the flames of my neurosis, bro. ;-) Seriously, though, your suggestion is much appreciated. Would you recommend the GE black plates? Some tube forums seem to favor those.

    BTW, I think it was you or Josh that mentioned T2 was supposed to be for the low-noise tube. Confirmed. I tossed a CBS 7728 in there (lean, neutral, almost stiff but good for taming saturation so it works well in T3). While it's an interesting tube elsewhere, it was incredibly microphonic in T2 slot! Ouch. Back in went the Mullard where she belongs.

    Cheers!
     
  18. tjs

    tjs Senior Member

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    Since there aren't many clips of the Pedaltone out there, could some of you owners please describe the kinds of tones you can get from the device?

    I've heard that the cleans are similar to a JC-120, and from another source that they are somewhat Ampeg-ish. Which is it (or does the unit do both), and can it also get in the vicinity of a Twin or other Fender clean?

    Are the OD tones along the lines of a Marshall, Mesa, Soldano, Dumble, etc (or can it cop more than one of those sounds?) Is it capable of producing a dynamic low/medium gain tone or does it compress too quickly?

    Thanks.:)
     
  19. Shaman

    Shaman Member

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    Hmmm. I'd say the cleans are more a cross between Twin and Mesa with a hint of Tweed if you plug it with RCA tubes, while the dirt is maybe more a cross between Marshall and Mesa. But, rather than try to describe it here's a clip that I copped from one of the old Guitarist magazine CDs years ago -- it's the clip that convinced me to buy the Pedaltone. I had emailed the Guitarist reviewer that reviewed it and played on the clip and he said he recalled most of it being recorded direct out with a few of the lead lines running through an amp. Yes, the PT can get these sounds, even running direct, but it sounds great through an amp:

    http://www.lunadream.com/koch.mp3
     
  20. tjs

    tjs Senior Member

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    Thanks, Shaman!:BEER
     

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