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Retubing My Marshall - What NOS Tubes Work For You

gillman royce

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,663
a Sovtek LPS will sound remarkably good in the PI position, if you can't afford a vintage Telefunken (etc) long plate.
an RFT would be my least likely choice for PI, the only thing worse would be a JJ ECC83S. o_O
in V1 & V2, RFTs are superb for those 80s hair metal tones in a 220x ! :aok
I still go with Philips made i6x ECC83s or Tungsrams for Plexi style amps & 220x, occasionaly a Telefunken smooth plate or EI for PI.
power tubes are XF or anything RFT made (dimple tops), for semi-NOS I also dig true =C= .


I'm referencing the manufacturers here, branding is irrelevant. :dunno
there is no law, but in general I tend to prefer US tubes in Fender derived circuits, and European in Marshall, Vox etc types.
with Boogies, D-styles, Soldanos etc you just have to experiment to find the magic recipe, for me it's usually US style power tubes (Sylvania, TAD) and a mix of various preamp tubes, individually selected for that particular amp.

ymmv,
Rhino
Thanks for the input ! Any thoughts on an EL34 ? Matsushita ? Siemens(RFT)?
 

big mike

Cathode biased
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
13,618
HI !

Aside from Mullard & Brimar - obvious choices - what are you rolling these days ? Any NOS U.S. tubes get " the tone ". I'm looking for '60's & '70's tone - no metal. Need EL 34's & 12ax7 ideas. THX!
Skip the nos EL34s and get new sensor svetlana.

preamp on a budget Nos,
Rft
Ge
Syllvania
Raytheon
 

Echoplexi

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
11,129
Skip the nos EL34s and get new sensor svetlana.
I recently had new Svetlanas put in when my Hiwatt’s Mullard XF2s went. Still has the old Mullard ax7/at7s. I do hear a difference when I crank it up, but not enough to lose sleep over.
 

big mike

Cathode biased
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
13,618
I recently had new Svetlanas put in when my Hiwatt’s Mullard XF2s went. Still has the old Mullard ax7/at7s. I do hear a difference when I crank it up, but not enough to lose sleep over.
Yeah wide open cranked it’s subtle imo.
Since I use a PPIMV anyway it’s it different enough from my Seimens/RFT to sweat it.
I have Mullard /bugle boy/telefunken in my lead and bass spec heads
 

ChickenLover

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,188
I was just retubing one of mine and it occurred to me that if I only use the Bright channel then I want a strong/low-noise B-section in V1 and I don't really care about the A-section as long as it works nominally. But in V2 I want a strong/low noise A-section and don't really are as much about the B-section because it's the cathode follower.

I ran a signal into one of my amps and swapped out V1 with about 25 tubes and wrote down the AC voltage for each triode in V1 just to get an idea of the relative strength of all these triodes. Next I want to crank the amp into a PowerStation and see if balanced vs lop-sided gain sounds better in the PI and which way the un-balance needs to go if at all. They always say balanced for the PI but I think that's for max signal swing. Marshalls are plenty loud, we just want good crunch.
 

gillman royce

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,663
I was just retubing one of mine and it occurred to me that if I only use the Bright channel then I want a strong/low-noise B-section in V1 and I don't really care about the A-section as long as it works nominally. But in V2 I want a strong/low noise A-section and don't really are as much about the B-section because it's the cathode follower.

I ran a signal into one of my amps and swapped out V1 with about 25 tubes and wrote down the AC voltage for each triode in V1 just to get an idea of the relative strength of all these triodes. Next I want to crank the amp into a PowerStation and see if balanced vs lop-sided gain sounds better in the PI and which way the un-balance needs to go if at all. They always say balanced for the PI but I think that's for max signal swing. Marshalls are plenty loud, we just want good crunch.
Still digesting this. What tubes did you end up putting in ?
 

ChickenLover

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,188
I have had horrible luck with NOS so I don't even really try to go that route. However I do have quite a few square-getter Beijing 12AX7s, I like them a lot and up until recently you could get them cheap. You can also find them in lots of older amps and I've been pulling/keeping the good ones for years. So I have those in V1 and V2 with selected triodes like I mentioned above. V1 is an Audio Glassic labeled one and V2 is a Peavey labeled one. I had a Brimar in V1 but it went noisy so that's what started this whole rabbit hole. The PI is a new prod Mullard (which look identical to Sovtek LPS when placed side-by-side).

Oh yeah, when I retubed with selected triodes the gain went up noticeably. The Brimar had OK gain on the B section but the A was very weak...and then B went noisy.
 






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