1. The Rules have been updated regarding posting as a business on TGP. Thread with details here: Thread Here
    Dismiss Notice

Nitro to compliment XTC. What tubes?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by lesterchopper, Feb 14, 2009.

  1. lesterchopper

    lesterchopper Member

    Messages:
    497
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2006
    Location:
    Austin
    Ordered a Splawn Nitro. Trying to decide between EL34b or KT88. Love the QR HR Marshall tone. First order thought is EL34b to entertain classic Marshall tone. Is this valid? Can the KT88's deliver this tone as well as the extra gain/headroom? Most seem pretty happy with the KT88's. Need expert opinions please. Meanwhile, trying not to cover too much of the same territory as the XTC red channel.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2009
  2. billm408

    billm408 Member

    Messages:
    3,015
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2007
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    IIRC, the old Marshall JMP's came with 6550's (basically the same as a KT88).
    If you're running EL34's in your XTC, the bigger bottle in your Splawn would make a nice compliment.
     
  3. lesterchopper

    lesterchopper Member

    Messages:
    497
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2006
    Location:
    Austin
    Thanks for the reponses. I guess the general trade off I'm thinking about is using the

    EL34B's (Ruby's or Tung Sol?) to get over the top high gain Marshall (smooth, full mids) while sacrificing a bigger tighter low end
    VS.
    KT88's (Ruby's probably) to get that mean ass low end while sacrificing some of the mid frequency tones.
    VS.
    Consider 6550's???

    First, does this sound reasonable as the likely tradeoff? Secondly, I'm tempted to go for the KT88's but will that put me further away from hot rod Marshall than I wanna be? Thanks again.
     
  4. lesterchopper

    lesterchopper Member

    Messages:
    497
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2006
    Location:
    Austin
    Will the 34B's cover too much of my XTC 101b tone? I want it all. I want the KT-88 low/mid thickness while retaining some hot-hot rod, high gain Marshall. Someone talk me into the KT-88's please. Will I still have enough middle frequency to find that nice marshall coloration? I have no problem putting extra coin down on the Genalex Gold Lions if they're worth it.
     
  5. billm408

    billm408 Member

    Messages:
    3,015
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2007
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    Why not put the KT88's in your XTC and EL34's in the Nitro?
    I have the GL KT88's in my 101B and they're awesome! Gives the amp a wider tonal footprint, slightly less compressed and works well with the prominent low mid voicing of the Bogner. Also a huge improvement in the amps clean channel. Then you can retain the hot rodded Marshall tones of the Splawn with the EL34's. Just a thought.
     
  6. anoobis

    anoobis Member

    Messages:
    1,645
    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    I was quoted this on regards to the Nitro El34 version vs. KT88s-

    'KT88 is gonna be more hifi, clear, tight, and boomier.'

    The Nitro EL34 I have played was 'boomy' on the boosted gain mode. might be too much with KT88s. Didn't hear much boominess on standard mode, just boosted.

    Anyway, I saw a do it yourself diagram online to change out the El34s to KT88s. Just a tiny transistor I think. Pretty simple if you want to change one for the other.
     
  7. ShredHeadJHJ

    ShredHeadJHJ Member

    Messages:
    201
    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2009
    Location:
    Orlando, Florida
    I have a friend who has a Quick Rod. He's tried every tube known to man in that amp & he keeps coming back to the Mullard EL34B's. Those are legendary EL34's. That amp of his does Marshall better than Marshall does Marshall.

    If you're going for the Nitro you're going to cover a different ground than your standard old school Marshall tone. I don't really know if Scott Splawn intended for anything but KT-88's to go in the Nitro. It makes it a different beast. When I was amp shopping I was torn between a Nitro or a Pro Mod, but I wound up with something different.

    I kinda like the idea of putting KT-88's in the XTC & getting a Quick Rod with Mullard EL34B's if you must have two amps. If you don't want to toy with the XTC I would definitely go with the Nitro with KT-88's. You can get that oldschool Marshall vibe out of it by rolling the gain back.
     
  8. fearhk213

    fearhk213 Member

    Messages:
    343
    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2007
    Location:
    SC
    The other guitarist in my band has a Nitro with KT88's and I also had one with KT77's at one point in time. So I think I know the Nitro pretty well, although I've yet to here it with the EL34's. We have a 69/70 Angry Hippie Super Bass and a early 80's JMP Cameron HG Jose to compare it with to see how much of the "classic" Marshall tone it can get.

    The Marshall flavor is still there with KT88's, but it's the least "classic" sounding of the bunch. You'll get the added headroom from the KT88's and the extra gain from the Nitro preamp, but it also has strong low mids you aren't going to find in a "classic" Marshall tone. Putting EL34's, while maybe getting you a little closer, isn't going to instantly give you the "classic" Marshall tone either. Don't get me wrong it's a ripping amp and if you're looking for a more modern twist on the Marshall sound then I think you'll be more than happy, but if you really wanted "classic" Marshall then I'm not sure if the low mids will do it for you.
     
  9. lesterchopper

    lesterchopper Member

    Messages:
    497
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2006
    Location:
    Austin
    The 101b(EL34), to my ears, gets pretty close to "classic" Marshall. It just won't quite get to that high gain Marshall territory (using QR through 412 SBs as reference). I want the bigger low/higher gain end from the Nitro but would like to still reach those QR tones. Thus, EL34s or KT88? Now we have a tradeoff. Sounds like modern high gain Marshall is attainable with the KT88's. Done. I'll call Scott today and let him know.

    dare I hijack my own thread slightly but, Ruby's or GL RI? It's been discussed some but would like more opinions. I'm inclined to let Scott put what he thinks sounds good, being the Ruby's.

    Thanks for everyone's input. Very helpful.
     

Share This Page