Matchless C-30 Tubes NOS or NO?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Jujo, Jan 16, 2008.

  1. Jujo

    Jujo Supporting Member

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    Hey People,

    I'm new to the Matchless world, but I read that using NOS tubes in the C-30 makes a tremendous audible difference. Those of you that have experience with NOS tubes in a C-30 please let me know what you think. What tubes did you replace and what NOS tubes did you put in? Tell me about the sonic differences as well.

    Thanks!
     
  2. clothwiring

    clothwiring Supporting Member

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    I have an old Mullard GZ-34 on my Chieftain. I'm running JJs EL-34s and the preamp tubes are what were in it when I got it used, I don't really know what's in there as it sounds fine. I'll try some of the NOS tubes laying around when I change the preamp tubes (when they go bad), but I'm happy with what I have now.

    I believe a JJ GZ-34 was in there before, it's been over a year since I changed it, but I believe the Mullard is a tad more organic and warmer but sags a slight bit.
     
  3. sickboy79

    sickboy79 Member

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    Absolutely they make a difference. My HC-30 was actually outfitted with NOS tubes in every slot when I purchased it used from a fellow TGP'r, so I haven't tube swapped in that amp. But, I can tell you that I have in my other two Matchless amps - a Clubman 35 and Chief heads. The difference is night and day, to me. But, I feel that way with NOS tubes in general in most amps.

    My advice, for your C-30 would be at a minimum get a NOS EF86 tube for that channel (the tone control/click channel). They will be less mircophonic than new production, better tone, and last much longer. I would recommend Mullard, Dario Miniwatt, or GEC for this tube. Personally, I would go with the 2 12AX7s (V1/V2) in the top boost channel next. Lots of good ones to choose from, and for just about any budget (KCA is a fantastic source for them). Maybe try a couple different brands and see what your ears like. I like RCA Grey and Blackplates myself. Mullards are great too - but pricey! Reasonably priced NOS 12AX7s include JAN Philips (nice and fat sounding), RFT (lower headroom and a touch darker), Sylvania (lively and rich sounding). NOS EL84s are a great idea as they will better tone, IMO, and longer life. Matchless amps are pretty hard on power tubes so NOS work well here. I would suggest either NOS JAN Philips, or NOS Tesla (not JJ) - both are reasonably priced. I hope that helps a little.
     
  4. Jujo

    Jujo Supporting Member

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    sickboy- That helps A LOT. Thanks for taking the time to respond with so much info- and for pointing out the reasonably priced options. I tried some NOS 12ax7s in my TopHat Vanderbilt and it didn't make much difference. I know some amps are designed around production tubes, so maybe that's why I didn't hear/feel very much difference.
     
  5. rburkard

    rburkard Gold Supporting Member

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    I have an SC-30 and a Phoenix and have tried NOS stock tubes in both, but to be quite honest with you: I don't detect any major performance differences, be it in terms of unwanted noise or sonic spectrum. The NOS EF86 tubes I tried don't perform better than the new production tubes the amps came with in this amp design. The rectifier would be the only area where I would recommend the extra expense. C-30 designs eat output tubes for breakfast, this is a known fact. It is better to change new production output tubes every few months instead of burning NOS tubes that "might" last between two to three times as long, but cost five to ten times as much. You are still much better of cost wise than with NOS tubes.
    Rene
     

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