need new tubes for my bad cat hot cat 30r.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by wsaraceni, Dec 19, 2005.


  1. wsaraceni

    wsaraceni Member

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    im thinking that i need new tubes for my bad cat. the original ones are probably at least a year old and i know i beat on them more in that year then i have any other time. anyone got any suggestions. im looking into nos and new production. not sure what to go with. what would you suggest. and what will make a bigger improvement. power tubes or preamps. should i get a nos rectifier while i am at it? what do you think?
     
  2. BozoTone

    BozoTone Member

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    Large question you ask...is this for a change in tone, or more of a "loss" of tone (worn out tubes)???...I have no idea what comes stock in the BC...if it comes with "great old glass", probably just need to check out your power tubes...at any event, I am a huge fan of NOS, or "good" old production whether it be pre., power or rect. tube, and think they are well worth the money thru a reputable dealer...man, there are so many great old manufactures and each one kind of fits a nich of where you want your tone...if it is a tone change your after, let us know more of what your wanting to hear and you'll get alot of great advice on the subject.....
     
  3. wsaraceni

    wsaraceni Member

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    well not so much a change in tone as it is that the originals are just old. right now i dont find the tone was lacking with the original tubes (when they were new). i believe the originals are ruby's. but now that i have to replace them, i feel as if i "owe" it to myself to experiment with some nice tubes.


    here is the tube chart. as you can see there are a lot of tubes. i cant afford $300 pair of mullard el34s but might be able to go for some pretty nice preamp tubes and a good rectifier for starts. maybe ill pick up some nos preamps and new production el34s for now. if i could do one thing to change tone wise it would be that the gain channel has a nice bite to it. id like to smooth it out but not to the point that it sounds like mush. i want a warm creamy gain sound maybe. i can always dial the brillance up if i need to. now i run it really low. thats about it.

    i play mostly rock so i live in the gain channel and only go to the clean channel when it is necessary. even then i feel like i need an ac booster. (which i sold like an idiot)

    [​IMG]
     
  4. BozoTone

    BozoTone Member

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    OK, I'll make a few suggestions...I would get a Bell GZ34...good rect. that will run with the Mullard/Amperex class at about half the cost...for the PI try a Tesla (NOT JJ) ECC803S...not sure how bright the amp is, but I always love a Mullard 12AX7 in V1...BTW, the reissue TungSol 12AX7 is a very good new production tube and may work well in your gain channel (and/or in your PI) to "cream" it up a bit...OR...how 'bout a GE JAN, or JAN Phillips 5751 in the gain channel...RCA 12AT7 is a great verb tube...for EL34's, not sure if there is any better new stuff than the SED Winged "C", but you may want to consider in the old glass Seimens 34's...may be a touch cheaper than the Mules.....
     
  5. wsaraceni

    wsaraceni Member

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    thanks. i think this is going to be a trial and error type of thing. i guess ill just start buying and hopefully stock up on some nice tubes so i can mix and match until im happy.
     
  6. BozoTone

    BozoTone Member

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    Always a great idea...too many tubes is never enough... :AOK
     
  7. jeffh

    jeffh Silver Supporting Member

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    For EL34s I would suggest the Shuguang EL34B. They are rebranded as Ruby EL34B-STR, and the stock tube for the Hot Cat. I have tried many different in my Hot Cat and always go back to these.
     
  8. Rod

    Rod Tone is Paramount Silver Supporting Member

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    I owned a Hot Cat 30 for a year, and Mark Samson designed those amps to sound best with new, currently made tubes, not nos stuff...I tried lots of old tubes in mine, and it was muddy, to compressed, lifeless...
    The amp sounded the best with all JJ 12Ax7's and JJ el34's, and it will cost you under $100 !!!!!!!!!:) :YinYang
     
  9. SuperSoundMusic

    SuperSoundMusic Member

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    x2 IMO

     
  10. Seditious

    Seditious Member

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    Bad Cat puts Ruby's in the Hot Cat 30R. I've tried the JJ's and some NOS stuff. The Ruby's sound the best. BY FAR! I just bought 2 pair for my 30R from Lord Valve.
     
  11. wsaraceni

    wsaraceni Member

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    well i was very happy with the tone when i got it so maybe the originals are the way to go. what about the rectifier? is that worth getting a nos one just because they supposedly last longer
     
  12. daneswede1

    daneswede1 Member

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    For a High Gain amp like your Bad Cat I would recommend NOS . As for preamp tubes I like the RFT ECC83s. They are great NOS tubes for rock tones. $35 a peice if you can find some. Also I really like NOS BRIMARS CV4004 which have a nice thick plate. Also a great tube especially in the V1 slot. As for NOS Powertubes. I like NOS SIEMENS EL34s with the dimple on the top. GREAT TUBES and you can still get them for around $120 a QUAD!!!They used to come stock in the early eighties Marshalls. Very similiar tone to the Mullard for 1/10th the price. I have some Mullard Reissue EL34s in my 2203x reissue which sound tight with less sag than say a Svetlana C Wing EL34 which have a nice warm midrange feel and are spongey! I really like the Svetlana C Wing EL34s. YOu can grab a QUAD of those for $58 bucks! Good new tube.. I like the Tung Sol 12ax7s for a new production 12ax7 as well.

    The Thing you have to remember is that NOS tubes from the years gone by were made to handle higher voltage ratings and were built very sturdy. You dont see that as much now adays and coinciding with this is the new amp builds of recent years which can handle the new lower rated tubes that are produced. So in the end you can go new or NOS . I like NOS first but there are alternatives with the new stuff!
    Good luck!!
     
  13. dzeitlin

    dzeitlin Member

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    I have the 30R combo and have been experimenting with tubes. I like the JJ and old Svets for 34s, and like the JJ AX7s for everything except the 2 reverb tubes. For those, I find AX7As and AT7s work really nicely (better than the chinese).
     
  14. myles111

    myles111 Member

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    You are LONG overdue for a new output set. I use NOS in vintage amps in the studio and current production for newer amps and amps that are on the road. In a cathode biased EL34 amp to my thinking there is little reason for NOS especially when the life is going to be so short.

    I typically use the E34LS in a #5-6 rating in these amps and the Matchless amps based around EL34 tubes. The LS is a very stout tube that is a 30 watter rather than a 25 watter as other EL34 tubes.

    I will try to get the E34LS data sheet up on my website today.

    As of 12/21 10:45 pst I have data sheets on the Philips, Siemens, Mullard, and GT E34LS tubes added to the data sheets page on the GAB website.
     
  15. wsaraceni

    wsaraceni Member

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    i was thinking the same thing about getting nos and blowing through them like crazy in the bad cat. i hear that the bad cats really wreck the tubes. plus, i can buy a few pairs of output tubes and then a bunch of preamp tubes and switch back and forth if i am not paying as much. how long should tubes last in an amp like the hot cat? say if you play for 1 hour spans at a time from 5 to 6 times a week.
     
  16. myles111

    myles111 Member

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    In your amp I can hear a change after about 300 hours of use. In a grid biased amp as an average example 1500-2000 hours is not uncommon.

    The Bad Cat and Matchless push the EL34 amps pretty hard. An amp like a Carr Hammerhead, even though cathode biased, does not ask as much of the output, only about 20 watts or so. The Bad Cat and Matchless can put out 2x that wattage with the same duet of EL34 tubes.

    This amp is not a "vintage classic" amp. In an amp like a Tweed Deluxe at times folks want the same tubes as those that came in the amp originally. In Blackface era amps for 6L6 this would mean a GE or Sylvania STR387 as an example. But your amp is a design that is not trying to copy anything else and was designed around current production tubes. Therefore, from my personal point of view I would stick with new production especially when you consider that on the road you can get them anywhere. Most of the tone and character of an amp comes from it's front end topology and this is where you can make cool changes and have an army of tubes for V1. On the output stage, the character of the tubes comes from when they are pushed into distortion for the most part and this is where your output playing dynamics come into the picture. This is where you play with tube ratings in an output section.

    The E34LS stands up really nicely in these amps and it is what I use for my GAB clients.
     
  17. wsaraceni

    wsaraceni Member

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    i think that will be my plan. i am going to get 3 or so sets of new production output tubes. a full set of the ruby 12ax7s that they came with. and then get a messload of more 12ax7s to fool around with. i think that will be the best. i think one of the things that i like most about this amp is that it doesnt sound like its trying to recreate something from the past. i know the bad cat and matchless stuff gets tossed into that vox category but i think they are much different in personal opinion. especially the hot cat.
     
  18. myles111

    myles111 Member

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    I think the Bad Cat amps can cover many of the Matchless bases but can do other things too. The Hot Cat is a different animal, I agree.
     
  19. wsaraceni

    wsaraceni Member

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    just ordered about $250 of tubes.

    i got the following:
    1 SED (Winged C) EL34 (Matched Pair)
    6 Tung Sol Reissue 12AX7
    1 NOS Tesla (NOT JJ!) EL84 (Single)
    1 GT-12AX7-M "Mullard" reissue
    5 Shuguang 12AX7C
    1 Ruby EL34BSTR matched pair
    1 Ei EL84 single


    i might order a few more just to try out but i think this will hold me over for a while with my hot cat and my mini cat now.

    anyone know what the stock preamp tubes were in the hot cat?
     
  20. wsaraceni

    wsaraceni Member

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    what do the ratings mean? could i go with a different number for different tones or are they pretty much the same?
     

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