Help with tubes(Egnater content)!!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by jimmyohio75, Oct 23, 2008.

  1. jimmyohio75

    jimmyohio75 Member

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    OK so I've come to the conclusion that I am keeping my Egnater Rebel and matching 1x12 cab. After 2 band practices I have concluded that the Rebel does everything I want it to do and for my purposes there's plenty of clean headroom an tap.
    Here's my question. I am relatively dumb when it comes to tubes. I am thinking about experimenting with different tubes in my rebel simply to gain a bit more headroom and warm it up a bit. I have been told that most amp manufacturers use the the cheapest tubes possible in their amps in an effort to maximize profits. Is this true? Can anyone recommend some preamp tubes and/or power tubes that will do the following:

    *Add clean headroom
    *warm up the sound
    *retain the current level of distortion
    *possibly clear up the sound when run at full
    gain(more articulation)

    Please don't recommend NOS tubes unless they cost under $25 each. I am not going to pay huge money on tubes.
     
  2. 3 Mile Stone

    3 Mile Stone Silver Supporting Member

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    Hi Jimmy, I'm a long time Egnater user and I have a Rebel too. Great amp. Hopefully you might find some value in what I offer. I mess with tubes a lot. Here is the first thing I plan to do with my Rebel. Yank all of the Groove Tubes, never liked anything I have ever heard with thier tubes and I was very disappointed to hear Egnater was going with them, although Jeff will tell you it's the first thing people will start messing with anyway so ... okay, so be it, I'm cool with that, it's business they gotta put something in there. I know what you are all going to say "doesn't groove tubes just buy tubes from every one else and re-brand them? True but I just never liked the way thier tubes sound. Maybe they look for a certain spec or tone that just does not make my ears happy. No knock on them, we all look for brands that suit our own needs and they just don't do it for me.

    Head Room - I hear a lot of people say 12at7 or 12au7 for valve one. Cleaner ... yes, problem is that also drops overall volume too IMO. I like the 5751. Buy the JAN, GE brand or something not the new electroharmonix (i do not hear good things about the EH 5751 tube).

    6V6 - JJ all the way although I would be interested to know what the Tung Sol sounds like because I have been very inpressed by thier other tubes.

    EL84 - Again JJ although I would also check out a set of Mullard for the heck of it.

    12ax7 - Electroharmonix, Tung Sol, and JJ, all good stuff.

    That's what i plan to do. :AOK
     
  3. jimmyohio75

    jimmyohio75 Member

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    Good stuff. In your opinion which tubes have a bigger overall effect on the tone, the power tubes or the preamp tubes? I am considering starting with just the preamp tubes and seeing if that make an improvement. I don't want to change the power tubes unless I feel that it will make a drastic improvement. Also, I don't want to lose any gain. Are there any tubes I should stay away from because they reduce the amount of gain?
     
  4. highrise

    highrise Member

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    Edit: I've read on THIS site...


    The tubes in the Rebel are JJ's...

    they're just branded groovetubes...
     
  5. jimmyohio75

    jimmyohio75 Member

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    What does this mean? Are they made in the same place as the real JJ's?
     
  6. highrise

    highrise Member

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    It means they ARE real JJ's...that GrooveTubes bought from the factory (or a third party for all I know), then sold to Mr Egnater after stamping on their logo.
     
  7. jimmyohio75

    jimmyohio75 Member

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    I can't believe that's legal. That's like Chevrolet buying a bunch of Lexus's and marking them "Chevrolet".
     
  8. hawkeye17

    hawkeye17 Member

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    The V1 preamp tube has the biggest effect on the overall tone from what I've read and heard. Just experimenting with that is a good way to start.
     
  9. helen_bach

    helen_bach Member

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    Hahaha.. I just replied in the other thread on this...
    This is going to be long, because I think this amp is worth the time. I almost gave it less than 30 minutes and almost tossed it back. Would have been a stupid decision for me... YMMV, of course ;) Since the OP already likes the amp.. :D

    OK, to go again...
    V1. This is the socket to the left of the one closest to the input with the chassis upright and front facing you. V2 is closest ot the input, and then V3, the PI, is almost in the center of the top of the chassis.

    V3, PI, is not as vital since this is a PrePIMV amp. My assumption is that the stock GT/Egnater (JJ) tube is a balanced triodes 12AX7. If you go playing with different tubes, I would stick to balanced ones. I tried ones that may or may not have balanced triodes (untested, so who knows), and generally speaking.. the stock tube did just fine.

    V1. Yep.. important!!!
    The first triode is what gets the signal up to initial working level. Use a real warm, heavy lows/low mids type tube, and it will flub once the gain stages are allowed to kick it up. Back the gain to about 2 o'clock or earlier, and the warm/fullness of a sweeter V1 can be a benefit. Or, throw an EQ up front to tame things. It is not the gain at this stage as much as the tonality/timbre the tube will impart IMO. In the end, I opted for a Tung Sol 12AX7 (new manufacture). These can be harsh in some amps for some people, and an EH will be magic. In other amps, vice-versa. For me, for my ears, the Tung Sol in V1 in the Rebel got that signal up a decent amount (like the Chinese tubes will do), but while allowing the mid-sweetness to remain, but not so much that it flubs out horribly with decent gain. Once the first triode is done, the Gain knob seems ot be the next stop, and then.. I am guessing.. second triode of V1, and then first triode of V2.

    V2. Ahh, the final forntier! Careful here as well IMO. Throw a Chinese tube in V1 and V2, and say hello to "hairy gain." Modern gain. Fizz. I do not care for it, but based on recordings of popular stuff, some people do ;) I put an old 70's Brimar ECC83 in V2. This is a very warm tube. No harshness ever. Not as high gain as the Tung Sol, but enough to allow the Gain to push enough.. nice cascaded gain types like the Marshall 2203 (JMP) would be similar here IMO. In fact, with Greenbacks, I can get AC/DC type stuff pretty easily. It is not exact.. the Egnater Tourmaster series has "that Egnater sound" IMO, and the Rebel does it too. If I did not have the Brimar, I would try.. maybe a second Tung Sol, but more likely a tested (for non-microphonic) Tung Sol ECC803S (long plate), or a Mullard 12AX7 (new, long plate love as well :D). Shy of those, maybe some nice decent gain medium plate (15mm). A short plate in V2, IMO, will afford more "hair." Grab a Chinese short plate and gain city.

    I am guessing that the second triode in V2 is used as the cathode follower, which (simply put) boosts the current (not voltage) to allow the tonestack to do it's thing post gain. So, you get (from what I see)..
    Input -> V1a -> Gain pot -> V1b -> V2a -> V2b (cathode follower) -> tonestack -> MV -> Send/Receive -> V3ab (PI) -> power section.

    For the power section, I left the tubes for now. I am assuming it is not self-biasing, and I know if I swap tubes, I will want to play with biasing it; would love to see how bias affects the tone in this, especialy with the power scaling feature and tube blend!

    I love the Brit sound, and initially was full-on EL84. But, once I got the pre section sorted, I found I was using the blend. Set at about 1 o'clock (pushing the EL84's a bit more than the 6V6's), it seems really sweet with the gain anywhere from 2 o'clock to full up. Also, I begin with the Master full off, and Watts at 1 Watt. Raise Master, and then play with the power scaling (Watts knob). With non-clean stuff, I prefer the power section to be able to color thing up a bit. If you don't want that, simply set the Watts to 20 watts, and be done. When I get the gain up, I bring the Master up, and then when I hit the volume I want, bring the Watts knob up to see where I prefer it set.

    Finally, speakers are HUGE with this IMO. Everyone has their own ears, and mine tell me this amp has a "gain sound" that is sort of.. well, piggy-backed is what I have been calling it. There is a vintage-ish mid thing; maybe Marshall, maybe Fender.. more Marshall than Fender to me though, especially with my tube chocies. But, piggy-backed on it is a modern voicing that has that "hair" to it. Choose a more sterile, closer to FRFR type speaker, and the "hair" can be a bit much. Get a speaker with hype in one area, and then another speaker wiht it in another.. complete alteration. With my Greenback loaded 2x12, the vintage shines, and the "hair" is tamed. With my EVM-12L's, the "hair" rises to the top, and was a bit much. Swap tubes out back to the stock GT's, or go full Chinese high gain and I would guess it would be almost all "hair" and modern voicing, and very little vintage. Make sense?

    Sorry for the long post, but I spent ALOT of time playing with tubes and speakers and stuff with this amp. I got it, unpacked it, played it for like 20 minutes or so and started to pack it back up. I was so disappointed. But, I took a chance and called John at Egnater (had spoken to him before), and he said to try different tubes in the preamp section, and try different speakers first. I did, and am SO glad I did. It has a unique voice, and I LOVE the gain now. Humbuckers and single coils have done well, including lipsticks in my Tele (neck spot), and even an Evo in the bridge of a franken-RG I built. I love using an EQ pedal in front of an amp, and the Rebel seems to love them as well. I would go.. MXR 10-band (new or old), or Boss GE-7 (sniper mod). Plenty of others, but those are my favs. With the Tung Sol in V1, I can use the output slider on the MXR to push that first triode a bit harder, and really get into 2203 and JCM800 territory, albeit with that Egnater Tourmaster "sound" being easily identifiable. Have not even tried an OD pedal yet! I have had so much fun simply boosting a little with the EQ to get into gain areas I might want, or to alter the timbre of the gain when not full up. IMO, this little amp is a monster, and really responds to little tweaks. Subtleties are hard to discern at first, but once you do.. magic.

    There is alot to play with. It has been worth every minute and dollar it took to get where i am with it. But, I love "personalizing" my gear. Always have, always will. If I can, I want to know every screw.. every cap.. every wire.. It is not a Marshall, it is not a Fender, or a Budda or any other amp. It is a unique voice, but with ALOT of ability to personalize it, subtly, or even radically. You reap what you sow with it IMO...
     
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  10. jimmyohio75

    jimmyohio75 Member

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    Wow, good stuff. Thanks for the help. You're the second person that told me to try a Tung Sol in V1. Thanks again. I had band practice again tonight and I am liking the Rebel more and more. Since it is a one channel amp I need to get a crunchbox or OCD in order to use it like a two channel amp during gigs. I will set the amp to clean and use the pedal for dirt. I hope the Rebel responds well to pedals
     
  11. moffdiver

    moffdiver Member

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    Not that I want to be an ass on one of my first posts here, but Chevy does do that. It was called a Geo, a Sprint, A Sidekick... All built by Suzuki. Then there was the Nova - a rebranded Toyota Corolla. Chrysler has done it with their Mitsubishi products (Eagle Talon) and with the '70s Cricket (made by Hyundai). The Ford Ranger is a rebranded Mazda B2200....

    The new Egnaters have Groove Tubes that are actually rebranded JJs. That said, GT does not have a great reputation, so is it possible that they buy up and rebrand the stuff that the manufacurers don't want to sell with their own name on them? In short, maybe they're "seconds" that JJ didnt want teir name on...
     
  12. bmi

    bmi Senior Member

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    The power amp tubes are all JJ rebadged GT.
    The preamp tubes are all Sovtek 12AX7WA rebadged GT/Egnater.
     
  13. John Ewing

    John Ewing Member

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    Just so everyone is in the know. We bought the tubes direct from JJ and direct from Sovtek. We then sent them to Groove tubes to be tested and rated and then sent them to the manufacturer. Always was/will be JJs in the power section of the Rebel. We have since stopped using Groove Tubes to test our tubes and have begun doing it ourselves but with the same tubes we were buying before. Some of you that have newer Rebels and TMs will notice that the tubes no longer wear the Groove Tubes Logo.Just an fyi for everyone.
    Oh yea, we're all in Germany at Music Messe so if you call one of us we aren't there:BEER
    john
     
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  14. scott E.

    scott E. Member

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    so did gt not do a worthy job? i have an early rebel with the gt's............. also, is it ok to put the 12at7 in v2 and is that the best way to get more clean headroom. i love the tone of this thing but i am more of a non-master volume guy. a al plexi punch!:)
     
  15. whitepapagold

    whitepapagold Member

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    I can confirm the changes in internal tubes to JJ.

    I can also confirm that they still sound TERRIBLE!!!!

    Thanks to helen for the breakdown!

    Being quite snotty my self I put a matched pair of NOS 60s RCA grey plates in V1 and V2 and the amp sounds SO MUCH BETTER ON TOP ITS RIDICULOUS!!!

    I normally run a 59 and 56 princeton in stereo so Im not real accepting of crap highs... But I bought this amp anyway! Its that much fun and still soundced good if you were careful.

    With these new 12ax7s, the amp no longer sucks on top if you push it.

    Guys just FYI- tubes really DO make a huge difference. And 60s and 50s are just butter in glass... Ive got JJs, rubys, GTs, mullards, RCA 12ax7, 12ax7a, 7025, 5751, GE, Sylvania... I could go on and on.

    But I just want to let everyone know- LISTEN TO HELEN... She speaks the TRUTH! And I understand NOS prices are retarded but if you find a good ebay seller, its all good! Sadly I wont share mine cause I dont want to fight for tubes!!!!

    But for 69 bucks I got 2 grey plate 12ax7s (tested NOS), a grey glass BLACK PLATE 6v6 (tested NOS), and an RCA 5Y3... Thats cheap to sound GREAT! (I bought all my tubes for the princetons so I just used a matched pair I had).
     
  16. Jimmy P

    Jimmy P Member

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    don't be cheap on tubes dude. If you will spend $25 why not spend $40. You might say, "well that could go on and on" but no. You may as well get some good NOS tubes and get the most out of your amp. At least get a decent NOS for V1. Its much better than dancing around with crap in your nice Egnater amp. BTW Egnater Rebels love some sylvania black plates in the power section.
     

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