Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by guitarman1956, Jul 16, 2006.
What tubes are you running in your 2204 Head? Why did you decide on them?
Svetlana 6550's. They sound good and I didnt have to refinance my home.
I'm currently running Groove Tubes. Any comment on those?
I've got NOS GE 6550's. Because that's what came in the amp when I got it. This is my 2nd 2204, it's a '81 JMP.
My first was an '83 vertical input JCM 800 and I always used Groove Tube EL34R2's in it.
Having tried both, I prefer the 6550's. They are a little brighter, but they have quite a bit more bite and spank. With a strat, they have a little bit more of a cleaner, bluesier feel. I can nail a lot of the Ed King and Steve Gaines tones off of Skynyrd's stuff. Also gets me into Doyle Bramhall II "Welcome" territory too, which is definitely NOT a bad thing.
I have a 1985 Canadian 2204 which has Mullard reissue EL34's and Tung-Sol reissue 12AX7's in it at this time. I have some real Mullard XF2 EL34's that will go in soon. Looking for Mullard 12AX7's now......
I have a '76, 78, and recently sold an '81. The '78 is my personal favorite. I have Siemens EL34 and Mullard preamp tubes. I have done alot of experimentation and the Siemens are well balanced from low to high and the Mullards also do alot for the gain and frequency response of the amp. I think it sounds as good as it can.should right now.
Svet. 6550s, Tungsgram in V1, JJ in V2 and V3.
I like the Svetlana "Winged C" 6550s. They're nicely EQ'd for medium-hi gain crunch. I often enjoy the original GE 6550s too. I always prefer the stock Tungsram 12AX7s in the pre-amp.
winged c el34's, i like the amp for the cleans actually
Mullard ecc83's in v1& V2; Mullard ecc81 in V3 the military version I think its a cv4024; Mullard el34xf2s in the power section.
I've tried a ton O' tubes in the preamp incl rft;tungsram;gt12ax7m; old chinese and jjecc83s and jjjecc803. The Mullards sound great, rich full and sweet. In the power section the xf's replaced old svets. They sound better but I got a great deal on them. They have more girth than the svets when cranked.
And cranked is where this amp wants to be.
Svetlana 6550's for me as well. They came with the amp and I've been using it for about 2 years. They are very nice sounding....driven...they have just a faint hint of 80's over drive. It can be dialed out, but secretly, I like it.
2203..."C" power tubes. RFT in V1, Tungsram in V2,3
our lead guitarist retubed his with all JJ's...sounded amazing. Clear, balanced, great gain!
The last time I retubed my '78 2204 I converted it to EL34s - SED (ex-Svetlana) and JJ preamp tubes.. Super creamy, a bit gainier, but lost some high end and volume (typical EL34 conversion tone change from 6550 tubes). No complaints here.
Depends on the tubes you want to use, to install the tubes and rebias should not be for than 1 hr of bench time..so $30-45 for the labor.
Tubes could as low as $60 for cheapo stuff or as high as $450 for real nice NOS stuff.
I'll chime in since my Jubilee is the 2204 power section. I replace them with the same non-labelled siemans German RFT plant EL34 that someone was selling a box of NOS on ebay recently. A matched duet was around $70-$80 but I don't see anymore of them. I am not an engineer but firmly believe that what Marshall shipped in them is what the amp was originally designed around with the engineers. Certainly not in all cases but the amp didn't sound as good with the Svets or Sovtek replacements I experimented with. The amp just sings with the same spec and tolerance tubes as the amp was designed around. Sure there are better tubes but I think the hype blinds any clear thinking on the subject. I would try to find out what brand was shipped in your amp which may very well be unlabelled 6550s or RFT EL34s which I read somewhere was to save Marshall on tax & endorsement fees.