crate palomino v32 - tube/speaker swap?

Discussion in 'Amps/Cabs Tech Corner: Amplifier, Cab & Speakers' started by xrpark, Feb 20, 2009.

  1. xrpark

    xrpark Member

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    Hi everyone,

    I recently purchased my first tube amp, Crate palomino v32, and was considering speaker/tube swap. I do love the sound of this compared to my old SS amp, but the bass/treb sounds too harsh to my ears at higher volume. I have never worked with amps before, but I do have some experience with electronics. Can I get some recommendations for which speaker/tubes to get?

    Thanks
    Ray
     
  2. INX

    INX Member

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    Hello Russian preamp tubes!

    Get a Mullard 12AT7 from Mike at KCA for under $30 and fall in love with your guitar again...after you see what one tube in V1 can do.

    :AOK
     
  3. rockon1

    rockon1 Member

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    The stock 70/80 isnt too bad but a speaker swap will make a big difference. Im using an old G12K-85 in mine. I also like the G12K-100 in it too.

    Before you do anything though the amp has a lot of range in the tone controls depending on whether you have the presence in or not or mid boost in or not. Try dialing it in somewhat dull sounding at lower volumes and then crank it up. Im not quite sure what you mean by harsh bass though.

    Not a big fan of the Mullard CV4024 (12AT7) though. Got a bunch of them and I dont hear what others seem to? Recently put a Tung Sol 12AY7 in mine in the V2. It lowers the gain slightly but its got more than enough tothrow some away. Seems to smooth it out a bit. Bob
     
  4. xrpark

    xrpark Member

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    Thanks for such quick replys! Right now, I don't use the boost button but I do have the presence button on. I set my gain around 4~5-ish so that I can still play clean sounds when I pick lightly and use my od pedal for more crunch.

    I'm not sure if I shoud bother swapping out the tubes/speaker when I can barely go past volume 1.5 at home! This thing is so loud that I haven't even got past 3 when I was jamming with friends lol. Because it's so loud that I was thinking about purchasing an attenuator from Weber-mass (heard these were good values). What's your guys' opinions on attenuator? Are they worth it?
     
  5. rockon1

    rockon1 Member

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    Well speakers and tubes will make a difference at any volume. I get some nice low volume sounds out of mine. Then again I play mine at around 11 oclock on the master routinely too. It does sound nicer opened up a bit with the power section working harder. Bear in mind though the amp runs the tubes pretty hot and will definately eat them up quicker if you use an attenuator. I think I'd try to tweak it in the direction your after without using an attenuator if possible.

    For 17$ you can get a used GE 12AY7 from KCA to try in the V2. http://kcanostubes.com/products/565/ANOS-GE-12AY7-17.htm
    The tone generated by the pre amp tubes isnt volume dependant like the power tubes. It will bring down the gain a bit and smooth it out a bit. The biggest difference will be a speaker swap. Still less expensive(or as hard on the tubes) than an attenuator. Finding the right one for your ears/amp is the hard part. I imagine youve tried dialing in the amp without the presence engaged? Bob
     
  6. xrpark

    xrpark Member

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    I do get decent sounds at lower volume as well. I wasn't sure if buying an attenuator for "perfect tone" was worth it since attenuators are very expensive! Bear with my lack of knowledge with tube amps, but if I remember correctly, the Palomino has 4 power tubes and 3 preamp tubes. IF I end up buying those 12AY7's, do I have to replace all 3 of mine?
     
  7. xrpark

    xrpark Member

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    And yes, I've tried the amp without presence and I noticed it sounded more dull/neutural(?).
     
  8. rockon1

    rockon1 Member

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    Just one 12AY7 in the V2 (middle pre amp tube) seems to work nicely. A quality 12AX7 tube in the V1 wouldnt hurt either. Im lucky enough to have virtually every 12AX7 ever made at my disposal. Im currently using a Mullard short plate in the V1. That said anything other than the stock Sovtek 12AX7WA is bound to be an improvement IMO.

    Yeah without the presence at low volumes it can sound dull. As the volume goes up it opens up a bit. Bob
     
  9. xrpark

    xrpark Member

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    Thanks a lot Bob! I just ordered one :). Any recommendation for speaker?
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2009
  10. rockon1

    rockon1 Member

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    Hopefully you will like the results. At 17$ its not much of a gamble. Lots of guys have thier "favorite" speakers and Im no exception. However my favorite might not be yours! What type of music styles do you play? Bob
     
  11. xrpark

    xrpark Member

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    I mainly play classic rock like Pink Floyd, Eagles, Aerosmith, Deep Purple, etc. I also like to play bit of metal too like Megadeth, Metallica, or Dream Theater, but I don't really play it as much as classic rock.
     
  12. rockon1

    rockon1 Member

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    I like the G12K-100 . Its not harsh on top,big mids and lows. Might be a tad to aggressive in the mids for some. That said its fairly efficient(99db). Thye stock 70/80 is 98db so its a tad louder that that. Also if possible(without of coarse disregarding the most important aspect -tone) you probably would do better with a less efficient speaker- 97db or less. That would allow you to turn the amp up a bit more without adding volume. Perhaps a G12-65 or G12-65 type speaker-slightly less volume and darker-less bright,smoother. I'll hook mine up to one of my G12-65 cabs and let you know what I think.

    Also you might give Weber a call and see what he recommends.
    http://www.tedweber.com/
    A smoother speaker maybe slightly less efficient. Of coarse you might wait and see how the 12AY7 pans out too first. Bob
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2009
  13. rockon1

    rockon1 Member

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    Well as suspected the G12-65 was smoother than my G12K-100's and G12K-85- less aggressive sounding in the mids. The mids however are big on the G12-65. Its a darker speaker than the stock 70/80. That said I dont mind the tone thru the 70/80 at lower gain settings. It gets a bit fizzy sounding with more gain though.How many hours are on the stock speaker? A Celestion g12-65 is pricey though. Weber makes a G12-65 clone for a lot less but I havent heard it. Maybe the 12AY7 will make the difference. Also if the 70/80 hasnt seen much action at loud volumes it may still be tight.......Bob
     
  14. xrpark

    xrpark Member

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    I purchased the amp new around december so roughly 60-70 hours or more I'd say. I'll let you know how it sounds when the 12AY7 comes! Thanks.
     
  15. dgblues

    dgblues Member

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    I put one of these into my Vietnamese Palomino 32, for exactly the reason mentioned: to take some of the fizziness out of the grit. I also did a swap of V2 with a 12AY7 and installed a fan by bolting it to the cage holding down the power tubes with intervening rubber grommets. I wouldn't recommend this as a road-worthy approach, but I was just interested in a quick fix for the overheating bias resistor. It works great, but it's not exactly rock solid.

    The tone is improved: fatter, less fizz -- I'd definitely gig with this amp. I haven't tried a Strat yet, but the Les Paul is quite nice. At a little over half volume it's about perfect: any more on the knob just gets dirtier and fizzier, but not much louder, so the fizziness can be dampened by just not diming it. I get some nice controlled feeedbacky sustain with the Les Paul in a small acoustically-dead room.

    Since I was noticing some buzzing (seems to have a resonance at F#) I put self-adhesive weatherstripping all around the bottom of the tube cage, and also between the contact points of the grille cloth frame and the landing pads its screwed into. This helped immensely. That buzzing was driving me nuts.

    The Weber AlNiCo 1265 is just gorgeous. I like that AlNiCo knee. He recommended the pre-Rola doping to dampen the highs even more than the larger dustcap. I have no way of A/Bing that, but trust his judgement. I think that AlNiCo helps with nicer compression over the ceramic option as well. Whatever your religion about magnets, it's a fine speaker regardless, and certainly less brittle than the 70/80. I mean, I woudn't throw the 70/80 away -- it could work in a different amp quite nicely, like maybe a 6V6 setup.

    I also installed a Dr. Z Brake Lite attenuator, and it's fantastic, but I'm gonna move that over to a Blues Deluxe because it needs it more. For $160 or so, it's a pretty cool setup.
     
  16. 71cutty

    71cutty Member

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    not to steal the thread, but will I have to re bias my palomino when i re-tube it?
     
  17. rockon1

    rockon1 Member

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    Yes even though its cathode biased. Most will say "no" and that its "self biasing" . Its true its self regulating but that doesnt mean it will idle where its not running too hot. With the stock 60 ohm resistor thats exactly the case Ive found-it runs them hot. Its easy to check though. Just measure the voltage across the resistor and divide that by the resistors value. Divide that by 4(tubes).

    Example: I measured 10.5 volts across my resistor.

    10.5/60 (resistor value)= .175 ma 175/4 = .044 ma per tube

    Thats 13.5 watts . .044 X 309 plate voltage = 13.6 watts

    An acceptable idle for cathode biased amps is around 100% or in this case 12 watts.



    If you ask for low current draw tubes from the dealer you get them from you might get it to idle cooler without fuss.

    Ive toyed with the idea of changing the bias resistor to cool it down but settled on running some older Sovtek EL84M's instead. Bob
     
  18. Hangfire

    Hangfire Member

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    Very cool, thanks for the info ro1...:banana

    To get a better tone from my V3112 (same as the Palomino) I changed the V1 pre-amp 12ax7 (GT) to a NOS Mullard and the ToneTubby speaker to an Austin Speaker Works KTS-70.

    I love this Crate amp!!! :hide
     
  19. 71cutty

    71cutty Member

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    Thanks for your reply Bob. I have had this amp since 2006 and have swapped the factory tubes for ruby power tubes last year and they've already crapped out. I'm a total noob when it comes to the inner workings of a tube amp (or any amp) and its time again for a re-tube.
    In regards to your response, if I do check the bias and it is running hot, the only legit way to cool it down is by changing the bias resistor?
     
  20. rockon1

    rockon1 Member

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    That I know of,yes. Its the big honkin cement resistor in the middle of the board-cant miss it!

    That said Ive been going over my V32 because Im thinking of using it to gig with. Since I put Sovtek EL84M's in it a year ago it hasnt given me any power tube trouble. I went thru 3 sets of EL84/6BQ5's in too short a time before that.They(the M's) are still idling around 13 watts but can take it no problem! Visually inspecting them they showed no signs of running hot like the others did. I'll add that they are older Sovtek M's from around 2000 when I bought a bunch of them. Ive read the newer ones arent as good but thats hearsay. The older pre Sovtek versions are still readily available for cheap so thats my next purchase for the amp! These are them

    http://thetubestore.com/russianel84m.html

    Its not that Im afraid to mess with mine as far as the resistor swap goes.(see pic below) I think Im more afraid of losing the "mojo" by toning the bias down. with the M's it isnt an issue for me.

    [​IMG]
     

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