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Retube a Marshall Class 5 with NOS???

bizzwriter

Member
Messages
843
Wondering if anyone has bothered to retube their Marshall Class 5 with vintage NOS tubes yet. If so, what tubes and did it make much of a difference? I've got a sweet old Amperex EL84 lying around collecting dust, and I was thinking of giving it a go when my Class 5 arrives later this week. :beer
 

solitaire

Senior Member
Messages
3,714
Of course it will make a difference, but perhaps not the expected one, depending on the actual design of the amp.
 

bizzwriter

Member
Messages
843
Of course it will make a difference, but perhaps not the expected one, depending on the actual design of the amp.
Yes, exactly. I'm hoping someone who has actually made the swap will chime in with their experience replacing the stock tubes with NOS. I'm sure someone has done it by now and either left them in or put the stock tubes back.
 

melven62

Member
Messages
843
Haven't tried it in a class 5 but I love amperex el84's in my ac15. I liked them much better than jj's.
 

Jimmy P

Member
Messages
797
no personal experience with this particular amp, but if you have an Amperex laying around collecting dust it would be a shame not to try it out. I CAN say from experience that when I have swapped stock EL84's with Amperex i have absolutely loved the outcome. Once you get the amp, let us know how it went.
 

bizzwriter

Member
Messages
843
Once you get the amp, let us know how it went.
The second day after I got the amp, the stock TAD EL84 power tube developed a nasty rattle whenever I would play a G anywhere on the neck. I pulled the chassis and replaced the TAD tube with the old Amperex I had in my tube bin -- problem solved. I decided to also pull the stock preamp tubes and replace with a NOS Telefunken and Mullard. Sounds VERY nice now. Once I get the speaker broken in, I think this thing is going to KILL. :bow
 

Crate love

Member
Messages
343
The second day after I got the amp, the stock TAD EL84 power tube developed a nasty rattle whenever I would play a G anywhere on the neck. I pulled the chassis and replaced the TAD tube with the old Amperex I had in my tube bin -- problem solved. I decided to also pull the stock preamp tubes and replace with a NOS Telefunken and Mullard. Sounds VERY nice now. Once I get the speaker broken in, I think this thing is going to KILL. :bow
Yep, I agree!! What a nice amp!!!
 

lang.murphy

Member
Messages
3,582
Wondering if anyone has bothered to retube their Marshall Class 5 with vintage NOS tubes yet. If so, what tubes and did it make much of a difference? I've got a sweet old Amperex EL84 lying around collecting dust, and I was thinking of giving it a go when my Class 5 arrives later this week. :beer
I tried a NOS RCA EL84 in my C5. (C5 has moved on to another owner since...)

Honestly? Didn't really make a -huge- difference to the tone. Might've been a tad more "rounded"... slightly less highs, iow. Being a bedroom player, I don't know if it would have made a huge difference in a band situation. Maybe... maybe not.
 

markophonic

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
667
Hate to drag up an old thread but this is the type of info some folks like me are looking for while doing searches.

I also tried a NOS RCA EL84 and it was kinda dull and lifeless in the class 5...sounds great in my other amps but a new JJ actually sounded better in the Class 5.

The RCA 7025's I put in the Class 5 sound good in the Class 5 but not a whole lot better than some new Tung-Sol reissue 12ax7's.
 

markophonic

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
667
I'm still breaking the speaker in on mine...I've only had it a week. I swapped out the stock tubes the day I got it for 2 new tung-sol 12ax7's and a JJ el84 (the el84 that was in in stock was also a JJ) It sounded better probably because of the preamp tubes.

I decieded to try some other tubes in it and put in 2 new Mullard 12ax7's and a Sovtek el84m. I played it for about 2 minutes and then...SILENCE! I blew the 125ma 250v fuse! I had to order the fuses from Mouser because I couldn't find any locally...put it back together yesterday and started rolling tubes through it.

I settled on 2 RCA 7025's I swiped from my 1970 SFDR. They sound slightly better than the Tung-sol RI's. I Tried some Mullard RI 12axy's but they were kinda lifeless. I tried a slew of Sovteks and others I have around the house but settled on the RCA's.

The power tube made more of a difference than expected...I thought the RCA el84 would sound good as they sound good in my other amps...but it was kind of dull...The JJ actually sounded better all around. I tried a handfull of Sovtek's and they were all over the board...bright, noisey etc.

I've been playing the hell out of it trying to get the speaker broke in and it's starting to sound better...

I still don't think the Class 5 sounds as good as a lot of people claim, at least to me. Most seem to claim that it sounds best cranked full bore but I think it sounds better with the volume backed off and a decent overdrive or boost pedal pushing it.

It does sound much better going through a seprate cabinet. I like it with a single 12" closed back cab I have with loaded with a Peavey blue marvel speaker 16 ohm.

It's a cool little amp for what it is...I bought it to record with...which I haven't tried yet...I don't really see gigging with it.

The low volume setting doesn't do much for me either...I think I can get a better low volume sound out of it with the volume turned down and an overdrive or distortion pedal...the low power setting is REALLY LOW. I understand some people need to have the ability to turn down really low but I feel you can get really low with a pedal and get a better tone.

Like I said it's a cool little amp for what it is.
 

rjpilot

Senior Member
Messages
2,607
We demand before and after clips.

Well let's just say I would appreciate it.

-t
 

AceBSpankin

Prince of Ales
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
4,699
What OD/Distortion pedals work with amp?? Sorry not trying to derail the tread, just didn't want to start another.
 

markophonic

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
667
What OD/Distortion pedals work with amp?? Sorry not trying to derail the tread, just didn't want to start another.
Everything I've thrown at it has sounded good. Here is a few I've run through it (off the top of my head)

Ibanez Tube Screamer
Way Huge Pork Looin
Reverend Drivetrain
Marshall Bluesbreaker I and II
Barber LTD
Fulltone OCD
Fulltone Fulldrive 2
Retrosonic Eight-o-Eight
Voodoo Labs Sparkle Drive
CMATMODS Signa Drive
Digitech Bad Monkey
MXR Custom Badass '78 Distortion
Proco Rat original
MI Audio Crunch Box
Way Huge Swollen Pickle

Lots of different Fuzz boxes

Boost pedals work especially well.
Way Huge Angry Troll
Rangemaster clone
RGW Bad Bob
several home built boosts

Uni-VIbe type pedals sound better with the class 5 than with most of my old Fender amps.

But like a said it takes the OD/Distortion pedals very well. Most pedals sound good on some of my amps and not so good on others...this seems to take them all quite well. There is not alot of clean headroom, but thats not what I bought this for. BUT the cleans it does have are nice and you can dial in a nice chimey clean albiet its lower volume only.

Hope that gives you some Idea...a lot of those pedals are of a similar nature/circuit and are TS type variants.

Hope that helps...
 

ken374

Member
Messages
7,040
Everything I've thrown at it has sounded good. Here is a few I've run through it (off the top of my head)

Ibanez Tube Screamer
Way Huge Pork Looin
Reverend Drivetrain
Marshall Bluesbreaker I and II
Barber LTD
Fulltone OCD
Fulltone Fulldrive 2
Retrosonic Eight-o-Eight
Voodoo Labs Sparkle Drive
CMATMODS Signa Drive
Digitech Bad Monkey
MXR Custom Badass '78 Distortion
Proco Rat original
MI Audio Crunch Box
Way Huge Swollen Pickle

Lots of different Fuzz boxes

Boost pedals work especially well.
Way Huge Angry Troll
Rangemaster clone
RGW Bad Bob
several home built boosts

Uni-VIbe type pedals sound better with the class 5 than with most of my old Fender amps.

But like a said it takes the OD/Distortion pedals very well. Most pedals sound good on some of my amps and not so good on others...this seems to take them all quite well. There is not alot of clean headroom, but thats not what I bought this for. BUT the cleans it does have are nice and you can dial in a nice chimey clean albiet its lower volume only.

Hope that gives you some Idea...a lot of those pedals are of a similar nature/circuit and are TS type variants.

Hope that helps...
what pedal worked best that kept the warmth with nice high's?
 

markophonic

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
667
A lot of those pedals have tone controls or seperate bass and treble controls and all work well with some tweaking.

But I would say that the OCD has the widest range from really good lows to clear highs.
 

Sean French

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
14,224
I got my C5 combo a year ago. $299 brand new at GC with a coupon.
Yes, I tried some NOS tubes. Just pre' though.
First I popped in a couple of Blackburn Mullard ECC83'. All they did was dull it down.
They are mid heavy and the amp is very mid heavy. So, not a good combo.
Tried several other NOS pre' and actually prefered the stock tubes.:omg
Go figure.

Those same NOS Blackburn pre' are glorious in my JMP 2204.:dude
 

markophonic

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
667
I tried a Sylvania EL84 that I got off ebay...after firing the amp up everything sounded pretty good...then the volume started to slowly start dropping. The tube was glowing a hot blue around the guts of the tube and the tube got really hot really fast. I shut it down as I figured something was wrong because of the volume drop. I pulled it out and put the JJ back in and it was fine.

The RCA 7025's I had in it sounded good. I also tried a 12AT7 and 12AY7 in V1 which did result in a later breakup but the breakup was slightly different.

Right now I have the Tung-SOl Reissues in V1 and V2 are slightly brighter and a tad more hair than the 7025's but they do have decent string seperation.

I'm going to continue to try different tube combinations, new, old etc. and see what I come up.
 




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