Pre-amp tube recommendations for 18 Watter?

Pedro58

Silver Supporting Member
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5,848
I have a TMB 18 Watter built from a GDS Kit. I run it in a combo with a Celestion Blue 12" and a Weber Silver Pup 10". It is a killer amp. The Marshall-voiced side has one tone knob and a volume. It runs from a 12AX7. I tried a GT/Mullard copy and it was too smooth. No high end. I have a JJ ECC83-S in it and it sounds good, but the high end isn't there until you turn the volume WAY up and get crunch. I would like a 12AX7 that has some sparkle before it gets really driven. A good clean tone... Any suggestions? I would like to have it on the edge of breakup and have some sparkle.
 

TAVD

Guitar Player
Platinum Supporting Member
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3,677
Interesting. Both of my 18 watters lose high end when the volume is turned up. I'm using a Westinghouse branded tube in one and a RCA in the other.

One of mine really opened up after I changed the tone pot from 250k to 1m.
 

Swarty

Member
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1,130
Short plate Mullards and Amperex are typically quite bright. I've got a bunch collecting dust, send me email if you're interested.
 

goneracin

Member
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1,711
A telefunken 12ax7 will add sparkle and high end. They are hard to find without getting a microphonic one, but a non microphonic one sounds like what you are looking for.
 

goneracin

Member
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1,711
an EH 12ax7 is usually brighter than the jj's. Also, the new jj ecc803 is a decent tube IF you can get a non microphonic one.
 

TAVD

Guitar Player
Platinum Supporting Member
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3,677
Sovtek are bright although I find them harsh in most amps. Funny, I don't usually think of EH as being bright. They do seem to have more gain though.
 

Pedro58

Silver Supporting Member
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5,848
Denyle-Guitars-- I think I'll look into the tone pot. I'm not sure what mine is...
 

Blue Strat

Member
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30,151
Microphonic Telefunkens? Nothing is immune from problems, but you've had abnormally bad luck (or you don't have real Telefunkens).

In new tubes, the EHs and Ruby STR 7025s are candidates.
 

Pedro58

Silver Supporting Member
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5,848
Okay, I tried the Ruby 7025... still not enough top end. I think I'll try hte larger value pot. When I go to a 1 Meg, do I need to stick with audio taper or do I go with linear? It seems that most suppliers have a 1 Meg linear only... Is there a reason for that?
 

phsyconoodler

Member
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4,315
I find that the speaker is a BIG change in high end response.What speaker are you using?I have tried everything from a celestion vintage 30 to a randall jaguar(my fav) to a Cannabis rex(very nice too)in my 18 watter. All except the randall has high end sparkle.Maybe you have a bypass cap thet is too high a rating,letting only lows by in the frequency range.What are you using for a cathode bypass cap?

Note: Heyboer transformers are notoriously dark.
 

Pedro58

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,848
I'm using a Celestion Blue and a Weber Silver Pup... It's a GDS kit, so the trannies are Heyboer, I think. But the TMB side has plenty of top end... I still think a simple pot change might do the trick. The amp isn't dark. I just need the treble frequencies to open up a little. I'll probably purchase both kinds, linear & audio taper, and see what gets what I want.
 

jrigg

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
1,465
Another vote here for NOS tubes. I have tried multiple Mullards, Amperex, Valvo, Telefunken, RCA, Sylvania, Tung-Sol, Raytheon etc in all positions and the great thing about the 18 watt format is you can really hear the difference good tubes make. Right now I am using an Amperex in V1 and a Telefunken as the PI with a RCA blackplate for the trem channel. Power tubes are late 50's Sylvania blackplates.
 




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