Tone Tubby Alnico-review/thoughts

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by slacker, Sep 16, 2008.

  1. slacker

    slacker Senior Member

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    I've been lurking on various speaker threads and bought a Tone Tubby. So to 'repay' the forum as it were I'll jot down my ramblings er findings as it happens.

    Amp-Cornell Romany Plus stock 6L6 and Jensen Chicago/Mod 12/70. I've been running it with an EL34 and Vintage 30 (well broken in given by a friend). This got the amp to gigging volumes but top end was a bit harsh at times. It was nearly there but not enough.

    So I bought the Tone Tubby, put it in the Cornell and as it loves my Strat that's what I plugged in. I must admit that I expected the speaker to sound horrible. So I strummed a G chord and cringed. Sound ok :huh So I gave it 10 mins of strummed chords at moderate levels. I then rigged up my SMMH and gave it a loop of barre chords slightly distorted for 30 mins. I then played over the loop with a bass guitar at low volume.

    I then gave it a rest.

    My initial thoughts are that it's a great speaker. It's very warm sounding. However it sounds not quite right as if it's trying to be a great speaker. I'm cranking the treble a bit and it still sounds a bit funny. However it's got about an hour of home volume on it. I'm playing out quite a bit so I'll give it some over the next week or two.

    I also have a 15w head and 2x12 so if the TT doesnt work out as a sole speaker I'll put it in the 2x12 with something that helps it along. This cab has EVM12L's (with a 15w head:dunno) and the plan is to try other speakers. I could even pair it with the V30.

    Please watch this space and I'll try it with other valves and other guitars as we go.
     
    Toowoombaus likes this.
  2. Bluewail

    Bluewail Tone curmudgeon Silver Supporting Member

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    Be patient. The TT's have a LONG break-in period. One of my buddy's who hangs with Carlos Santana says 40 hours+ before they get there. I have one in a Carr Rambler and love it there. Just keep pickin' and grinnin'
     
  3. slacker

    slacker Senior Member

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    Thanks

    I knew that there would be a break in period. If it takes too long I'll stick it in the 2x12 until it gets there.
     
  4. rockster12

    rockster12 Supporting Member

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    Definately don't give up on it. I am running several
    TT's in different rigs. I have one in my Carr slant6 combo and after trying several speakers with this amp, the TT definately is the keeper. I also have a 2x12 cab with one TT ceramic and one alnico. That cab sounds fantastic. I will say though that you have to log some hours at stage vol. to settle them in. But worth it IMO.
     
    Tommy_G likes this.
  5. slacker

    slacker Senior Member

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    Ok day 2...

    This time I hooked up my LP Classic and gave it 30 mins of clean and distorted loops on the SMMH. I also hooked up my Ric 330 and did the same.

    This amp was always better with the Strat than the Les Paul. With the Tone Tubby the LP sounds better. It's mellow but you can crank the treble a bit to compensate but it's never harsh. It still sounds slightly strange. I think that I'm getting used to the sound rather than it breaking in after 2 hours at home volumes.

    I didnt like the Tubby with the Ric at first because it (obviously) isnt doing the chime thing. I played around with the treble control on my boosts aand after a while was happy.

    I think that because the top end sounds smoother you can add a lot of treble without it sounding harsh. I'm hoping that after breaking in the speaker that it will have a little more treble. We'll see.
     
  6. slacker

    slacker Senior Member

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    Thanks.

    I am rehearsing tomorrow, jamming for 4 hours in a rehearsal room Saturday and playing in a church Sunday. Also I have Friday off work and my local rehearsal studio does solo rooms for very little money so I might hire one of these rooms for a couple of hours. So I should be able to give it some serious stick over the next four days.
     
  7. slacker

    slacker Senior Member

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    Day 3...

    I played the Rickenbacker at low volume for about 15 mins with no effects to play around with the eq. You can really crank the treble and it does not get harsh. I think I've been conditined to run the tone controls at 12 o clock for too many years.

    I also took the amp to church for an hour and a half rehearsal. The volume was on 6 and I used a Klon with a bit of od, treble and volume increase. I use the LP in this application (I dont want to start a religious discussion, it;s about music).

    I ran the treble a bit higher than the bass and was very pleased with the sound. With just the amp it's clean on technique and/or the guitar volume backed off and dirty when hit hard/volumes dimed. Wonderful. I was really pleased as this is the best this amp has sounded with the LP. Also the amp is way louder than it was with a 96db stock Jensen and seems a bit louder than the V30 (it's porbably either smoother or the mids are cutting through-or both).

    10 minutes from the end of the rehearsal the tone dramatically changed and was way too trebly, I backed off the treble from 8 to 6. I didnt have time to fiddle with the controls so that will be tomorrow.
     
  8. slacker

    slacker Senior Member

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    Dear diary, Day 4

    I hired a rehearsal room and did one hour straight (assisted by a looper) with the LP and various pedals.

    THe speaker seems to have really loosed up. I'm running the treble and bass on 4 which was where I had them with the V30. However there are two differences. The amp never sounded quite right when driven hard which always limited it for live use. With the TT I prefer the amp overdrive to pedals. Also the neck pickup sounds very mellow the mix balanced and the neck very bright and agressive without being harsh.

    It is a different sound to Celestions or Jensens and it does take a little getting used to. So that's nearly 5 hours on the speaker and I'm very happy with it.

    Hope this helps people looking at buying a Tone Tubby.
     
  9. Dave_C

    Dave_C Supporting Member

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    These days, I won't even listen to a brand new speaker until I've pounded it at high wattage (50-70% of rated power) with a guitar loop for 4-5 hours. I use an ISO box or just set up in the basement and leave the house. Even 40 hours at gig level won't give you that kind of break-in...unless you're wailing at high volume in large venues like Santana.
     
  10. slacker

    slacker Senior Member

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    That's probably the best thing to do but I dont own an ISO box or a basement. Also I wanted to hear the changes in sound over a period of time. Tone Tubby speaker break in seems to be a hot issue, so I thought I'd provide a commentary. IMHO the TT sounds a lot better after 5 hours of moderate use and it wasnt bad out of the box.
     
  11. hipfan

    hipfan Member

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    Great thread! Thanks for starting it. I use a pair of TT AlNiCo's with my AC30 and the sound is heavenly. I pounded both speakers with my band's PA (Zune set on loop play) for 100+ hours, and that really made them find their tone IMO. They sounded good out of the box; they sound fantastic now.
     
  12. slacker

    slacker Senior Member

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    Day 5

    Took it to a rehearsal where it got played at 6-7 for 3 hours with various guitars and a Klon. We didnt have time to analyse the sound but everyone liked the amp.

    Day 9-today

    I went on a business trip so couldnt play for a couple of days.

    I fired up the amp today and used the Strat at low volume and no pedals. It sounds good and you can crank the treble for really bright sounds without it being harsh.

    I also plugged in a Sovtek 6L6 and the amp ounds a bit brighter and generally better for want of a...better word. THis makes sense at it's the stock valve for this amp.

    I'll look into different valves in the future.

    SO that's that. After about 10 hours the speaker is brighter than it was. It's a slightly different sound to what I'm used to but it is a good one. I'm going to keep the TT in the Cornell. Will I change all my speakers to TT's? Probably not but I'm glad I have the option.

    Hope this little exercise helps.
     
  13. strings

    strings Member

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    It will continue to evolve for 20 or 30 more hours in a good , subtle way. Hopefully your documenting the break in will make folks less scared of them. My 5e-3 Deluxe has never sounded better, cooler, more hi-fi, bigger, ect. since the TT broke in:dude
     
  14. slacker

    slacker Senior Member

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    Thanks.
     
  15. slacker

    slacker Senior Member

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    ok final update (for now)...

    I've been using this speaker at home this week and I reckon it's settled in nicely. THis conforms to what some people on various sites stated, that it would break in over 10 hours and continue to get better.

    IMHO the hemp cone giving no 20k spike means that the treble control is more usable. I've also found that the tone control on my Fulldrive 2 seems more lively. Cranking the Klon tone control is amazing.
     
  16. TopDog

    TopDog "jumping the valence" Silver Supporting Member

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    I have one in my DRRI, it sounds great. I helped break it in by playing my drum machine/with the bass lines doing heavy thumping through a stereo receiver for 3 days straight. I do that for all my new speakers. That's how Avatar breaks in their Helltones.
     
  17. slacker

    slacker Senior Member

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    Ok I thought I would give a final report on this speaker...

    I'm using it a lot at home at low volumes and I dont fiddle with the eq any more. It feels like a natural sound. YMMV but it might help people who are unsure about pulling the trigger on one of these speakers.
     
  18. slacker

    slacker Senior Member

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    I thought I'd finished this thread but as a post script after another two months...

    I've started using the TT loaded amp as my #1 choice. The EV loaded cab just doesnt sound right. I'm getting compliments on my sound. I'm using the amp on 6 and getting told to turn down when with the stock Jensen the amp was on 8 and sounded strained as well as not cutting through the mix.

    So in conclusion I'm considering buying more TT's.
     
  19. FFTT

    FFTT Member

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    Every Tone Tubby review I've read over the last two years
    indicates that patience is a must with these speakers.

    And for most that patience is well rewarded.

    My NOS EVM12L and JBL-K-120 AlNiCo mix in my 2X12 was brutal until
    the cab had been played at gig volumes for about 40 hours.

    It's still warming up, but the sound is getting much creamier at the top
    as time goes on.
     
  20. phillygtr

    phillygtr Member

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    Not to hijack, do the TT's take the AC30 out of Vox land or does it still sound like an AC30? I know that the lower wattage Alnico Blues are part of the classic sound. I like the concept of mixing the AC30 circuitry with a smoother higher headroom speaker.

    Back to the TT thing. I have an Ampeg 20 watt combo. It's very dark. I'd like to brighten it up (it has the original Jensen). Are TT's the right place to look or are they natually smooth (no chime)?

     

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