my zinky head and tubes?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by neastguy, Jun 5, 2008.

  1. neastguy

    neastguy Supporting Member

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    I just realized that I've had my zinky head for 3 years and have never changed the tubes.. Everything seems to be working ok.. should I just let it be or is it time to get em change.... its a blue velvet head el84... not much of a tube guy and not even sure what I would have to get to replace them with...
     
  2. hamfist

    hamfist Member

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    If you're happy with the tone, I'd leave it all be.

    I'm sure when Mike (Blue Strat) chips in he'll say "Swap in some new tubes. If they don't sound any better than the old ones then leave the old ones in".

    Definately good to have some spares in though, if you haven't already.
     
  3. neastguy

    neastguy Supporting Member

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    i dont have any spares... maybe I should get some... I do gig 2 to 3x a month.. maybe I could leave in my glove box
     
  4. hamfist

    hamfist Member

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    I'd advise having spares, at least one 12ax7, and a pair of matched EL84's in your case. Then you're pretty much set up for most tube failures.
     
  5. Structo

    Structo Member

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    You never know how much the tubes are worn unless you have a failure.
    But the slow, gradual wear down of the power tubes usually aren't that noticeable.
    Then you slap a new set in there and say, damn, that sounds better.
     
  6. electronpirate

    electronpirate Member

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  7. neastguy

    neastguy Supporting Member

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    yeah, maybe I'll order a replacement set from him.. but I'm sure if I pull them out to see what they are I can get them somewhere online... he's so busy whenever I've called him.. I feel bad
     
  8. hamfist

    hamfist Member

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    Can't imagine why anyone would feel the need to call an amp's designer to discuss whether an amp should be re-tubed or not. I suspect Bruce may have better things to do with his time.
    The Zinky BV25 I used to have came with Sovteks in it. I did a lot of tube swapping with the amp, and every single other tube sounded better than the Sovteks to my ears !
     
  9. neastguy

    neastguy Supporting Member

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    what tubes do you suggest? I'm basically in a classic rock/everything type band... I think I want to try switching them... how much is this going to cost me?
     
  10. Blue Strat

    Blue Strat Member

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    Depends on the what you get. 12AX7s range from about $10 for new production to $150 for NOS. EL84s range from about $20 per pair to $200 for NOS.

    If you're interested, email me with a price target and the tube lineup for the amp and I'll make some recommendations.
     
  11. starjag

    starjag Member

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    I am also interested on this. Could you post "good", "better" and "much better" configurations? Thanks!
     
  12. hamfist

    hamfist Member

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    Personally, I found quality NOS tubes in the pre-amp to make a huge positive difference to the general flavour of the distortion in the BV25. I seem to remember liking a 5751 in V1, to make the range of drive more useable on the OD channel. Still PLENTY of drive available though. Couldn't beat a Mullard in V2 for me, although others like RFT and Raytheon long black plate 12AX7's were also excellent.
    I also found the amp to be quite "pre-amp orientated" (which is why it is such a good low volume amp). Swapping out EL84's, I found that everything else apart from Sovteks was simply less harsh than the Sovteks. I didn't find much of an improvement between putting something like JJ's in, or putting respected NOS tubes like GE's or Polams in.
    So my advice would be to stick some cheap (but very passable) JJ's in the power amp, and save your money for quality pre-amp tubes (V1 & V2 mainly).
    As for cost of NOS tubes, it all all depends if you want to take the risk on ebay, or buy from a dealer.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2008
  13. Blue Strat

    Blue Strat Member

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    That's kinda stepping over the line of doing business on the forum.

    Please email (not PM) me with your requirements. Be as specific as possible.
     
  14. neastguy

    neastguy Supporting Member

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    this?
    NOS-5751JAN[​IMG]Regular price: $24.95[​IMG]Sale price: $19.95, 5/$89.75[​IMG]Testing

    this tube sounds like what I might want, bringing down the gain a bit.. I'd like to spend no more than $60 to retube.. is that doable.. my BV has been sounding a little thin lately and I dont know why...
     
  15. Blue Strat

    Blue Strat Member

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    $60 for which and how many tubes? That'll get you about 6 cheap 12aX7s.
     
  16. neastguy

    neastguy Supporting Member

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    I'll have to see how many tubes I need
     
  17. neastguy

    neastguy Supporting Member

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    holy crap, didnt realize it had this many tubes
    [​IMG]

    stupid question alert.. where is v1,v2, and v3 in this pic and anything else I might need to know when ordering new tubes? thanks...
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2008
  18. hamfist

    hamfist Member

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    That 5751 sounds exactly the type of tube that I liked in V1. If you get that 5751, then get a couple of decent current production 12ax7's (ie, chinese, EH, JJ, but NOT Sovteks !) for the other two pre-amp slots. Then a matched pair of JJ EL84's, I don't think you'd go wrong. I suspect that will come in at over $60, but hopefully not by too much.

    If you really are trying to stay under $60 (or thereabouts), then just put the 5751 in V1, and get a pair of EL84's. Leave the other two 12ax7's alone. If you still felt you had a problem 12ax7 in V2 or V3, you would have the one you had removed from V1 to try in it's place to see if it improves anything.
    Chances are that any "thin-ness" of tone that you are experiencing is probably down to your ageing power tubes. In my experience, pre-amp tubes usually work great, until they suddenly die, or go microphonic.
     
  19. neastguy

    neastguy Supporting Member

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    anyone?
     
  20. hamfist

    hamfist Member

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    From memory, I'm pretty sure that the 12AX7EH on the left of your pic is the input stage (V1). Next to it, the 12AX7A is V2. These two tubes are both gain stages for the two channels.
    The 3rd and 4th from the left (the 12AX7WA and 12AT7EH) are for the FX loop and the reverb - not critical tonal positions.
    The 12AX7WA behind the EL84's is the Phase Inverter (PI).

    The suffixes after the "12AX7" bit of the various tubes are only relating to various manufacturers and tube qualities. They can all be replaced with any other 12AX7. the 12AT7 does need to be replaced with a 12AT7 though.

    If I were re-tubing that amp I would get a NOS 5751 or Mullard CV4024 (12AT7) for V1, a nice NOS 12AX7 for V2 (if budget allows - otherwise a good current prod'n 12AX7 like an Electroharmonix). I'd also get a good current production 12AX7 for the PI.
    If I was on a tight budget I'd leave the reverb and FX loop driver tubes alone, unless there was a problem.
    then a pair of matched JJ EL84's for the power section. Sorted !!
     

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