Mark V EL34: worthy difference?

papersoul

Silver Supporting Member
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Yes if I use Extreme on channel 3, I have volume about 9:00. For Mark IV, I have it higher, like 10-11.
Good Pont on the volume.
Do you recall how you set the loop volume?
That's the odd thing.
Even with no effects on, there is a drop in volume. I am trying shorter cables, only 18' down to 10'. But, I use buffers, so it should not matter.
It's weird because my MXR chorus is fine as it has level. My Tech 21 has level too but it's weird, it is dark and muffled on Crunch mode, yet sounds Greta on Extreme and IV.

I'll play around and then I can always try another delay unit. Maybe a good multi unit is the way to go.
 

Jaji

Member
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401
From the Mesa forum, a trick to fix the effects loop is to put a JAN Philips 12AT7 in V4. That also seems to work for those that get an "ice pick" tone on Channel 3. Some also put that tube in V6 and/or the PI slot. When I had my V, I just had the JAN in V4 and was very happy. Of course, a good buffer pedal on your loop chain isn't a bad idea, either.
 

papersoul

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A friend of mine, sent me this (below) from the manual, but I've read my manual a few times, and don't see this. Anyway, it makes sense.
I was also playing at low volumes last night which is part of it.
I have used delays at rehearsal and also at home before without issue but I don't recall at what volume. The master was way higher at rehearsal and I may have had it higher at home, rhe last time I tested my History Lesson v3.

FROM THE MANUAL…

“When the LOOP is engaged (LOOP ACTIVE/toggle up) the MASTER also functions as an EFFECTS SEND control for the EFFECTS LOOP. After you have set the Input level signal strength of your effects using the MARK V’s EFX SEND LEVEL control, flip the LOOP to HARD BYPASS and check that you still have unity gain (the sound doesn’t drop or increase in volume) and if not adjust the MASTER control(s) until the volume stays roughly the same as you toggle the EFFECTS LOOP in and out of the signal path in the Channels. In most cases, with the GAIN controls in their middle ranges, the FX SEND signal strength will be similar in the three Channels when the playing volumes are similar.
For general applications and to get the best performance out of all the Modes we recommend MASTER settings in the 9:00 – 12:00 range with most people settling in around 10:30 for average playing volumes.“
 

papersoul

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From the Mesa forum, a trick to fix the effects loop is to put a JAN Philips 12AT7 in V4. That also seems to work for those that get an "ice pick" tone on Channel 3. Some also put that tube in V6 and/or the PI slot. When I had my V, I just had the JAN in V4 and was very happy. Of course, a good buffer pedal on your loop chain isn't a bad idea, either.
What does that tube do for the loop?
I have no ice pick tone at all. Sounds fat.
I even thought of just leaving the loop on all the time as I often do with amps. Seems to add fatness from the added tube stage.

Yes, I have my Tech 21 Delay in the loop which has a good buffer. I also tried the Koko boost buffer in the oop.
I tried short cables too.

I turned the amp up and it seems better now. It may have been a volume thing.

Curious why that Jan Philips tube helps? I think I have a few. I also have the equivalent JJ - the JJ ECC81.
It makes sense in the PI.
Why V4?
I only see one tube associated with the loop - V6 (loop return).

Are you saying that some place the tube in V4 and V6 or one or the other?

That's a low gain tube. Not sure I'd like that. Hmm...

The loop in general darkens the tone some, so maybe the ECC81/12AT7 is bright and low gain?
 
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Jaji

Member
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401
@papersoul
Others in that Mesa thread said they couldn't run their Vs without hard bypassing the loop. They would get a drop in tone. When they tried the JAN tube in V4, that issue seemed to resolve itself. I did not have that problem. For me, it made IIC+ mode more "musical" - for lack of a better word. I still preferred IV mode, but at least IIC+ mode wasn't as thin or harsh.
Some others in the thread tried other tubes, but the JAN seemed to have the most profound effect. I only used the JAN myself, so I honestly can't speak to other 12AT7s.
The guy who initiated the thread said that tube was a general "fix-all" for many of the amps he's owned. I would never have considered using a lower gain tube in the V, but I liked it's effect. I even left it in place when I sold the amp.
To be completely fair, you should read this huge thread:
The OP for it has since deleted most of his content, and "why" is still a mystery. But, there are many other posts that ask some of the same questions you have.
 

papersoul

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Could a worn preamp tube that is part of the loop be at fault ?
Hmm..
My tubes are all fairly new. I got them last month and tried various tubes.
I think I was just messing around at too low a volume. Apparently the Master volume is part of the loop circuit and it needs to be turned up, like 9:00 or higher. When you bypass the loop, the master no longer works, so it makes sense.
The manual only lists V6 for the loop - loop return.
 

papersoul

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I like 6CA7, Ruby BSTR EL34 or whatever they are called and even the stock Sovteks sound good. JJ 6L6 too.

EL34/6CA7 seems warmer.
 

papersoul

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Thanka Jaji - I appreciate.

I'm not a fan of the IIC+ in any ay, not thr amp nor the mode. Not my thing. I use Clean fat and clean, Crunch, IV and Extreme.

A 12AT7 should theoretically lower the volume of the amp and or the loop. Odd.
Either that or lower gain.
They are not known to be as musical as a 12AX7. They are more of a "driver" tube.
 

Jeronimo

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193
I tried the Mesa EL34 tubes (I do believe these are =C= but not sure) but don’t like thes tubes. Works good on channel 2 Crunch but I was not a fan of how it changed Channel 1 and especially channel 3. Tried a couple of times but I keep going back to Mesa 6L6
 

Jaji

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401
Thanka Jaji - I appreciate.

I'm not a fan of the IIC+ in any ay, not thr amp nor the mode. Not my thing. I use Clean fat and clean, Crunch, IV and Extreme.

A 12AT7 should theoretically lower the volume of the amp and or the loop. Odd.
Either that or lower gain.
They are not known to be as musical as a 12AX7. They are more of a "driver" tube.
I know. I was skeptical myself until I tried one. For some V owners, it was a game changer. For me, it was more like, "Well, that doesn't suck anymore...."

It was that thread that inspired me to buy a V, though. In the long run, it was worth it, but now I have gone a different route. Sold the V and now use my TC-50 instead. I would prefer to use my Electra Dyne, but it's too heavy to carry. But I won't ever part with it.
 

papersoul

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13,971
I tried the Mesa EL34 tubes (I do believe these are =C= but not sure) but don’t like thes tubes. Works good on channel 2 Crunch but I was not a fan of how it changed Channel 1 and especially channel 3. Tried a couple of times but I keep going back to Mesa 6L6
I hear ya!
Have you tried 6CA7? It's as PRS says in their new Archon demo... It's like the best of all worlds.
 

papersoul

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I know. I was skeptical myself until I tried one. For some V owners, it was a game changer. For me, it was more like, "Well, that doesn't suck anymore...."

It was that thread that inspired me to buy a V, though. In the long run, it was worth it, but now I have gone a different route. Sold the V and now use my TC-50 instead. I would prefer to use my Electra Dyne, but it's too heavy to carry. But I won't ever part with it.
Interesting, and you only did it for your loop?
 

peckhart

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
454
I'm looking at getting a Mark V 90 and reading lots of threads. This topic of the loop and its levels and the Master has me wondering how all this works. Perhaps someone can clarify.
So the amp has a loop hard bypass setting. With that engaged you have no FX loop, but also no overall Master (or Solo) correct? Only way to adjust volume is the individual channel volume.
I believe there are multiple other loop options to assign always on to a channel or use FS to toggle. In any of those modes you know have the global Master volume and solo back. What is confusing from there though is how having a global Master is useful if you have to use it to balance levels in your fx loop. Seems like a nightmare to balance channel to channel volume and fx and if God forbid you need to turn up or down during a gig its not just one knob that needs a tweak...touch that Master and throw off the loop?
Anyway, lots of folks state these amps can sound good at low volume. Is that by hard bypassing and setting the channel low or do you need the overall Master enabled to bring it down?
 

somedude

Member
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7,758
I'm looking at getting a Mark V 90 and reading lots of threads. This topic of the loop and its levels and the Master has me wondering how all this works. Perhaps someone can clarify.
So the amp has a loop hard bypass setting. With that engaged you have no FX loop, but also no overall Master (or Solo) correct? Only way to adjust volume is the individual channel volume.
I believe there are multiple other loop options to assign always on to a channel or use FS to toggle. In any of those modes you know have the global Master volume and solo back. What is confusing from there though is how having a global Master is useful if you have to use it to balance levels in your fx loop. Seems like a nightmare to balance channel to channel volume and fx and if God forbid you need to turn up or down during a gig its not just one knob that needs a tweak...touch that Master and throw off the loop?
Anyway, lots of folks state these amps can sound good at low volume. Is that by hard bypassing and setting the channel low or do you need the overall Master enabled to bring it down?
Unless I’m mistaken (don’t have the amp in front of me anymore), the channel masters are the effects loop send level and the global master* is after the effects loop… otherwise hitting solo would boost the loop signal.

*Mesa typically calls the channel volumes “master” and the global volume “output”.

Honestly, it seems complicated, but once you do it it’s more or less set and forget.
 

peckhart

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
454
Unless I’m mistaken (don’t have the amp in front of me anymore), the channel masters are the effects loop send level and the global master* is after the effects loop… otherwise hitting solo would boost the loop signal.

*Mesa typically calls the channel volumes “master” and the global volume “output”.

Honestly, it seems complicated, but once you do it it’s more or less set and forget.
Yeah was just coming back here to say I grabbed the manual and totally get it now. What I was referring to as the Master or global Master is really the Output and that is not what balances with the fx levels. Got it.
Man if I can get great cleans for different styles, a thick singing lead sound for jam band type leads, rock crunch and rock high gain out of one head....and they are all really good? Gotta get me one of these.
 

J Factor

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,573
Unless I’m mistaken (don’t have the amp in front of me anymore), the channel masters are the effects loop send level and the global master* is after the effects loop… otherwise hitting solo would boost the loop signal.

*Mesa typically calls the channel volumes “master” and the global volume “output”.

Honestly, it seems complicated, but once you do it it’s more or less set and forget.
Correct. The channel volumes (labeled master) are often the loop send level on a Mesa. The 90W Mark V also has a dedicated loop send level control on the back right by the loop jacks. Both the channel masters and the loop level on the back work in unison, and the procedure for setting them is in the manual.

The actual master volume (global output) is after the loop. When you hard bypass the whole loop, you bypass the loop, the global output, the solo output, and the mute function (all those functions are part of the return side of the loop, according to the manual). Now you only have the individual channel volumes (labeled master) to balance your channels, so you have to tweak around a bit when going from low to high volumes.

Edit: I wanted to add that I tried EL34s in my Mark V, and didn't really care for the change. I felt that the 6L6 suited more of the modes better for my needs.
 






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