I got my Soldano Decatone yesterday :( :( :(

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by ShredHeadJHJ, Feb 19, 2009.


  1. ShredHeadJHJ

    ShredHeadJHJ Member

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    & it didn't work!!! I even got a brand new Port City cab & a Monster speaker cable delivered RIGHT AFTER I got the Decatone. I was pissed. I troubleshooted the amp & couldn't figure out the exact problem. The tubes were basically brand new.

    I took the amp to a tech this morning & he found that 2 of the power tubes were bad. I'm thinking it likely got damaged in shipping since the tubes were fresh(****ing UPS!!!). He rebiased, put new tubes in the amp, & reseated everything inside the amp & cleaned it's insides out & now he said it's like brand new :D :D :D He was really impressed with the build quality of the amp. He said he hasn't seen a Soldano in a long time.

    The cost was $205 for the parts/labor, $35 of which was for a rush fix. I'm at work right now & the amp is in my trunk. I won't be able to play it until tomorrow after work, but to say I'm excited as hell just doesn't express how I feel. I can't wait to get home. Anyways, the seller is going to refund me $130, so I basically payed $75 to refurbish the amp, which to me insures that I got the amp in very good used condition.

    I didn't put JJ 6L6's in the amp... The guy who helped me troubleshoot the amp over the phone recommended to go all JJ 6L6's & I also was recommended elsewhere to go this route, but the tech was highly against it. He said they're microphonic tubes & are not nearly as reliable as Sovtek's. He also said I would have had to order them & bring them to him, so I'm thinking of possibly going that route next time I retube. For now I want to play the amp how Mike Soldano intended with Sovtek 5881's & Sovetek 12AX7's (Those are the brands they come with stock, I believe?).

    Last night was a bad experience, but today made up for it. Pics & review soon to come!
     
  2. joolzriff

    joolzriff Member

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    nah the pretubes are a JJ12AX7s in V1 and ruby chinese in the rest of the slots....wish u would of put the JJ6L6's in they are a wonderfull output tube,boy i dont miss those 5881's 1 bit
     
  3. bilbal

    bilbal Member

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    You got lucky. I ordered my SLO and had it shipped to me only to discover it was DOA. I had to send it back to Michael and wait another couple of weeks for it to get fixed and sent back.

    Michael was awesome throughout the entire experience and my SLO has been PERFECT since but I know the feeling you had at first. I'm glad everything worked out and your amp is kicking a$$.

    Michael and Soldano are the best going IMO. On top of that, they build some killer amps!!!

    Bill
     
  4. gkelm

    gkelm Supporting Member

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    if it's good enough for Martin Barre... :)

    Would love to check one out some day.

    Greg
     
  5. ShredHeadJHJ

    ShredHeadJHJ Member

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    Ruby is a tube company right? I don't hear too much about them. When I got the amp it had all Sovtek 12AX7's in the preamp section.

    I want to eventually try the JJ 6L6GC's & will likely do so next time I reube, but I've been under a SHITLOAD of stress lately & I didn't want to wait any longer to play this beautiful machine. I also would have had to oder the JJ's myself & bring them to the tech & that's just too much hastle ATM.
     
  6. illini

    illini Member

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    I played a Decatone for a few years. Loved the crunch channel, which is where I mostly lived with that amp. I did not like the 5881's at all with that amp. It gave the amp an ice pick to the ears thing that couldn't be tamed. I purchased the amp with KT-66's, but like you I wanted to try it with the tubes that Mike puts in it stock. The 5881's lasted about 10 minutes before the KT-66's went back in and I never looked back. I was running it with a 212 Soldano cab loaded with Vintage 30's.
     
  7. ShredHeadJHJ

    ShredHeadJHJ Member

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    It didn't have too much to do with that, I just didn't want to wait any longer than I had too. I didn't want to deal with the burden of going back & having to order the tubes & wait for them & all that ****.
     
  8. illini

    illini Member

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    Very good sir. Have fun with your new amp. May many new songs come from it.
     
  9. ShredHeadJHJ

    ShredHeadJHJ Member

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    I will say that in hindsight I should have held my horses & got the JJ 6L6GC's... I'm reading about them over at EuroTubes & they sound great from the reviews... Whatever, I can change the tubes out in a couple of months. It's only like $100... Well $150 if I get JJ preamp tubes.
     
  10. ericb

    ericb Silver Supporting Member

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    Eurotubes is just an advertisement for JJ's.. It's like reading a Musician's Friend catalog... Before you do anything at all, just listen to the amp as is. . THEN do research on the net forums if you really have more money to spend , and want to experiment .. NEXT , no matter what, don't believe everything you read. . . LIsten , experiment with your own ears and make up your mind which is better.. Seriously :BEER


    Eric
     
  11. ShredHeadJHJ

    ShredHeadJHJ Member

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    Word. I am searching for the holy grail though. I'm sure when I come home from work tomorrow & play the amp I will be blown away, but any way I can make it better will be a good idea. It's good to absorb as much knowledge on these subjects as possible.
     
  12. aleclee

    aleclee TGP Tech Wrangler Staff Member

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    About the only JJs I particularly like are the EL34s. I find the preamp tubes particularly uninspiring, including in the Decatone I used to own.

    The Decatone (most Soldanos, actually) can be hard to shop for in terms of power tubes. When my Deca was in the shop, the tech suggested some "better" tubes, then thought better of his recommendation after he realized how high the plate voltage was. Not many 6L6-style tubes will hold up to the 450+ volts across the plates.
     
  13. Greggy

    Greggy Member

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    The JJ 6l6C is an outstanding tube based on the 2 amps I've used them in. Rich and deep sounding, rounded sweet highs and good bottom thump. I use them in my GT Soul-O 45 amp, which runs at 510 plate volts. No problems, they've been in that amp for about 2 years now. Good tube.
     
  14. Stormin

    Stormin Supporting Member

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    My Decatone came stock with Sovtek's across the board. I retubed it with JJ's and that was an improvement. FWIW, according to Mike Soldano himself, speaker choice is more important with this amp than tube choice is.

    Then again, upgrading to a Bogner Shiva was the ultimate improvement (for me)!
     
  15. johnnyjellybean

    johnnyjellybean Member

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    Mike prefers the KT66 but uses 5881 because of the cost factor.
     
  16. ShredHeadJHJ

    ShredHeadJHJ Member

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    This is definitely an AWESOME AWESOME amp. I didn't get all that much time to play it last night; maybe a 1/2 hour; but it is freaking SWEET. Love how all three channels are totally different. I turn the gain on channel 2 to 2-3 with my guitar & I get a good light plexi style sound. Just killer. Channel 3 ****ing rips with the gain at 6. There's no reason any knob on this amp should have to go to 11 :AOK

    One thing I did notice is that when turned past a certain volume it did break up considerably, even to the point where chords sounded out of tune.I know I need to tweak the amp furthur, but it was my first impression. Maybe in a month or two I will retube again, as I have heard this about the 5881's. All the recommendations I have got have been for JJ 6L6GC's until a couple of you guys just started talking about Sovtek KT-66's...
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2009
  17. jnug

    jnug Member

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    If you haven't already, you should check out the soldano forums, really good place to get info on your amp, and tube recommendations.
     
  18. ShredHeadJHJ

    ShredHeadJHJ Member

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    Yup, I've been posting there. I won't be retubing right away, but I do definitely want more clarity when I crank it.
     
  19. Jimmydeez

    Jimmydeez Supporting Member

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    I seem to remember that Deca:)... I loved that amp. To me it did exactly what the Mesa Mark IV was supposed to do. Good clean, great crunch, and great lead tone.

    It was just too loud for me in the end. Now I'm back to playing a simple one channel 20 watt Swart AST... but thats the tone journey.

    Enjoy the amp!
     

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