Ok I am officially a tweaker... Komet tube switcharoo

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by sinasl1, Oct 5, 2006.

  1. sinasl1

    sinasl1 Member

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    OK, is everybody ready to go NUTS seeing if they can hear differences in tubes???? Well, you've come to the right place!


    I just did some serious experimenting with tubes in my Komet Concorde. I found a decent spot for my GT55 mic, i/2 foot in front of my 2-12" /13 closed back cab, with greenbacks. The mic never moved, so you are only hearing tube changes. One thing- I was using the Komet Airbrake attenuator, down 2 clicks. Amp was in gradual mode, on about 5.

    DISCLAIMER- I did this to display the reality of how much tube changes do and don't affect things... it's subtle! but cumulative... I'd recommend downloading the mp3, then loading it in an audio editor so you can see the waveform, then you can chop it up and listen to the various clips back to back. I did spoken commentary too, so that should help. Listen on good speakers or high quality headphones if possible.... Also, sorry about the tuning, it was a little dodgy at times.

    The amp came stock with Sovtek LPS 12ax7's in V1,2, and 3... winged C 34's in the power section. I quickly switched V1 to an Amperex. The rest I left alone, and that's how I started these clips, with that combo.. the first 4 all have the winged C's in the poweramp.

    For the 2nd clip, I switched v2 and v3 to Tesla E83cc NOS tubes from Mike at KCA.
    I heard an immediate slight clarity improvment (less "blurry") so I left them in for the rest of my tests.

    For the 3rd clip, I switched V1 to a Mullard 12ax7. Notice how the Amperex was slightly more "full range" and broad, and the mullard is fatter and more forward in the mids. Sounds Like we know Marshalls (I know, it's not a Marshall) should!

    Clip 4 is a new Tung-Sol 12ax7 in V1- nice tube! A little more "sizzle" on top than the mullard, and this guy hung in there really nicely I thought. Fat, sizzle, all there.

    Clip 5 is the Mullard in V1 and the new GT Mullard EL34M reissues in the poweramp.

    Clip 6 is the Tung Sol in V1 and NOS Tesla EL34's from Mike at KCA in the power section.

    Clip 7 is Mullard in V1 and the Tesla 34's in the power section. This combo had it all.

    What I learned from this-

    Winged C 34's sound really good, in this amp! I liked the Mullard in V1 overall, a little better than the Amperex... but suprise suprise that Tung Sol sounds really great I think, very clear and fat.

    The Tesla E83cc's added a clarity to the v2 and v3 positions that was pretty obvious to me, so that was a plus.

    The Tesla 34's sound woody and warm and clear, nice vintage sounding tube... The GT34M's were similar, but not quite there. Not bad though.

    I'd use the Winged C's for some stuff and the Teslas for other stuff. Liked them both.

    go here, click on "Komet tube experiment":

    http://music.mp3lizard.com/petethorn/

    Happy listening!
     
  2. matte

    matte Senior Member

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    i had a kf 50 with a bb in tube 1, valvos in 2 & 3 and nos brown base mullard 34s. sounded killing.
     
  3. GAT

    GAT Gold Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the clips. I'm using a couple of Mullards in V1 and V2 and everything else is stock. I got some NOS Mullarad EL34s from KCA so I will try those out, but the amp sounds great the way it is right now.

    What were your knob settings?
     
  4. Sam Evans

    Sam Evans Compliance Officer Gold Supporting Member

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    That must have a been a lot of work/fun, thanks. I like them all! You've contributed more than your fair share to this board, and it's appreciated.
     
  5. Tone Disciple

    Tone Disciple Gold Supporting Member

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    Ditto on that comment. Your contributions here have been really great! Thanks for sharing.
     
  6. sinasl1

    sinasl1 Member

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    Thanks guys. When I have down time, it's fun to do this stuff.... I was thinking how great this forum and the Les Paul forum have been for me, you learn so much in these places, it really keeps you on top of your tone.

    Anybody hear differences in those clips?
     
  7. glman

    glman Member

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    Very Interesting - I can hear a slight difference between the mullard and the other pre tubes in V1 - I like the Mullard - I also hear a Very slight difference in output tubes - I like the GT Reissue tubes - they are slightly warmer than the rest.
    what I learnt today is that some tubes are just not worth the ridiculous asking prices.
    The improvement ( if any ) is so slight it's almost impossible to tell the difference. - The Komet ROCKS!! no matter what you use!!!!

    Now on my Alessandro English amp there is quite a big difference in feel and some difference in sound between the stock Sovtek EL 84's and the JJ EL 84's - there's also a big difference between stock 5691's and RCA Blackplate 5691's but it's more in the fingers and not so much in the sound.

    Pete - did you feel any differences in you fingers while testing the tubes?
     
  8. sinasl1

    sinasl1 Member

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    did them sop fast I didn't really pay attention that close- I figured the mic would tell the story pretty well. Yes, they are all pretty close.... I agree. The 3 sets of power tubes are all slightly different, but I wouldn't call one "better" than another, although I think I prefer the Teslas (I just contradicted myself!) The svetlanas (=c=) are damn nice.

    Also, the E83cc's in v2 and v3 made a pretty noticeable clarity improvement, and the mullard, amperex, and tung-sol's in v1 all have different shades- I like them all, but mullard was best I think.
     
  9. Sam Evans

    Sam Evans Compliance Officer Gold Supporting Member

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    I do hear differences, but I have no way to quantify/qualify them. I truly liked them all. That amp sounds fantastic.
     
  10. wsaraceni

    wsaraceni Supporting Member

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    i agree. they all sounded good. i really like the 2nd section though
     
  11. Rock Fella

    Rock Fella Member

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    BIG THANKS FOR MOST INTERESTING CLIPPAGE, !!

    gotta say , clip no 1 did it for me a lot more than the others, just had an inherent rightness stamped all over it.

    good job

    jimmy
     
  12. theirflowers21

    theirflowers21 Member

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    How do you like the Komet Airbrake? Great clips by the way. I could hear the differences in each. If you ever get a chance, I think one of the RFT 12ax7s might sound good! I love those tubes. I surprised that the tungsol reissue sounded as good as it did.
     
  13. laurencer83

    laurencer83 Member

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    i love the darkness riff!

    did you mention the guitar you were using?
     
  14. Tonefish

    Tonefish Member

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    Thanks for the comparison!
     
  15. sinner

    sinner Member

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    What a great clip and service you've done, Pete, thank you!

    I just listened once through so far, but can defenitly hear the difference in each clip. They all sound great but can't say what would be my favorite with just the one hearing.

    I also think one would need to be in the room and use each tube compliment for some time to really decide. Some tones may be great at first, but give ear fatique with more exposure (but may be the right sound for one application).

    I guess maybe many would try to find the best all-around combination of tubes, maybe even match those with the cab and your #1 guitar (?)
     
  16. sinasl1

    sinasl1 Member

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    Right, I think that's the approach, it's the right combo of amp/tubes/speakers/guitar/cables and efx, everything!

    Switching tubes, imho,assuming you are using good quality tubes, make the least difference (compared with say, switching speakers or changing guitars, or even pickups). But they still make a difference...

    BTW, the guitar was a brand new R8 VOS Les Paul, bone stock, that I just picked up yesterday, and the Komet attenuator works VERY well. My new favorite attenuator (I also own a Hotplate and a Weber MASS).
     
  17. sinner

    sinner Member

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    You're right about the attenuator, Pete--I even like it on the max. bedroom setting using a Marshall 4 x 12 cab in the bedroom! Of course I use lots of pedals, but it is still very satisfying using the Komet this way for practice at home when you cannot go straight to 5.
     
  18. sinasl1

    sinasl1 Member

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    Totally, sounds very natural, even down low....

    I should mention- I hear a bit of fitzy fuzz on these clips every now and then, something clipping (either my mic or my mic pre), I HATE it when that happens:jo I did the clips kinda quick and didn't notice something was right on the edge of clipping. Anyways, it's not bad, just slightly annoying.
     
  19. CPA

    CPA Member

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    How about a telefunken in 1,



    then a bugle boy in 2 and mullard in 3

    or mullard in 2 and bugle boy in 3

    :confused:
     
  20. Glide

    Glide Member

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    Thank you Peter. That was a great exercise and I enjoyed every bit of it. I keep checking the www.KometAmps.com website for the Peter Thorn artist's section but it hasn't shown up yet. Certainly you have sold quite a few of these so far just on this board alone.

    I would be first in line to recommend your site for the "Some of our Friends" list of links: http://www.kometamps.com/contact.html

    :)
     

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