top hat club royale-needs tubes-new or nos

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by KDSI44, Jan 25, 2006.

  1. KDSI44

    KDSI44 Member

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    i just got a 2001 tophat clube royale 212 in.....came with broken power tubes(el84)....so my question is what brand tubes should i try....should i go with some new eh, sovtek, jj? or go for nos such as mullard, tesla, etc? also, what about preamp tubes? tophat users help me out....
     
  2. ericb

    ericb Silver Supporting Member

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    Hi, I don't own a Tophat CR 2x12, but did in the late 90's (maybe around 2000?) Anyway, there probably aren't many people who've tried Sovteks, JJ's, GE's, EI's, and Mullard EL84's with it, but those were the 5 kinds I had. The Mullards (AMperex labeled I had) were WAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY JUICIER..

    I have NO other Mullard tubes(other than a few relabeled 12ax7's) and I currently own about 30 amps.. So it's not like I'm biased towards MUllards or anything! They were great. The JJ's and Sovteks an EI's were fine ,and the GE's were a bit different but the Mullards I had were way nicer.. I like a fool threw them in with the amp when I traded it. What a dummy. ERIC
     
  3. meterman

    meterman Member

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    Brian from TopHat designs his amps to work with current production tubes so NOS shouldn't be necessary to get a great tone. I believe CRs ship with EH power tubes and a mixture of EH and Ei preamp tubes, but that changes sometimes too. Seems like I read that he wasn't crazy about JJs in his amps....

    Hopefully Riffmeister will respond, he's an expert on TH amps....you may also try posting this question at the forum at www.tophatamps.com, you'll get alot of good info over there.
     
  4. KDSI44

    KDSI44 Member

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    i sent brian an email, and this was his response....I recommend new Tung-Sol labeled Russian made 12AX7's, EL84 EH's. For the ultimate speaker combo -- a Blue with a Heritage H.Brian
    so my question is should i go with these new production tubes, or go with some nos mullards or teslas....
     
  5. meterman

    meterman Member

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    http://www.tophatamps.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2524
     
  6. rawkguitarist

    rawkguitarist Member

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    I've never been compeled to use any NOS tubes. I use a set of EH 12ax7's (matched dual triode for the phase inverter) and JJ EL84s. I've had pretty good results with EH EL84's too. I think that the NOS thing is BS for Internet-Tube-Amp-Nerds. I would rather play...

    My current tube complement has been in gigging service for over a year.
     
  7. outtahear

    outtahear Supporting Member

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    Don't be hatin'....:AOK:D (Try before you make up your mind...)
     
  8. spikeRI

    spikeRI Supporting Member

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    tho I kinda agree that with good new production stuff you can prolly get upwards of 95% great tone and the extra $$$ of NOS is chasing that last 5%.............still the fact good quality NOS will last 5X longer makes them worth the extra money. Keep in mind, not all NOS tubes sound great in any particular amp........still got find what works best for you.

    Also this notion of amps being "made" around newer type tubes is BS. Say what you want about NOS vs New ones, but the fact remain back in the day when tubes were used in everything electronic, the quality of the tubes produced was much higher. So regarless of how one percieves tone, how can a better produced product sound worse?
     
  9. joek86

    joek86 Supporting Member

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    I have JJ's in MY CR now and like them, they are pretty balanced. I have tried EI and liked them but found them to be a little brighter. EH came with the amp and were also good but had a static noise that drove me crazy.

    Preamp has Mullard in V1&3 and Tung Sol in V2.

    Joe
     
  10. Mr.Hanky

    Mr.Hanky Supporting Member

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    I put all NOS tubes in my Club Royale and it makes a difference.

    EL-84's, bang for the buck, you can not beat Phillips for $50 a pair.
    I had them and replaced them with Mullards, the FACT that the Mullards make no noise whatsoever makes them worth the price in a combo. EVERY EL-84 I ever had made some type of rattle noise, very annoying.

    For 12 AX7's, I buy em used and swap different ones in and out till I find what works. Again, NOS tubes will last a long time, it could be worth it for you to check into it.
    Start with the Phillips 84's and see how you like them. They worked very well in mine.
     
  11. ericb

    ericb Silver Supporting Member

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    NOS isn't necessary to get 'great tone' in any amp.. EVERY amp is designed to work on current tunes ... well any except merely a few that people don't really care about selling. Other than that , it's up to a user to try different types and make up their own mind.

    To the mention that NOS are for internet nerds.. My opinion might be EXACTLY opposite.. NOS are for people who are guitarists , that use amps how they're intended to be used, and who can hear and feel the difference.. HOWEVER, I won't generalize like that.. BECAUSE NOS does NOT = NOS...... NOS means only 1 thing NEW OLD STOCK... Each brand is different and some are way better than others, and some are not consistent within the same brand.. That's why blanket stmts like this on the net are totally useless. I tried the 5 different kinds above with mine and the MULLARDS were not even in the same ballpark they were so much better with my Club Royale II 2x12. BUT that's because I got to do it.. I'm bummed that I gave up the tubes with the amp, and then John Carmen sold the amp w/in a week! BUMMER..... Meanwhile, no doubt , there was a huge difference between Sovtek, JJ, EI .... then GE, then Mullard/AMperex...

    I'd advise anyone :
    1) who's rich and likes to experiment .... TO EXPERIMENT
    2) Anyone who cares about tone , and likes comparing things-TO EXPERIMENT
    3) Anyone who believes what they read (DEFINITELY DON"T Experiment)
    4) Anyone who doesn't really care (Definitely Don't Experiment)
    5) Anyone who LOVES THE AMP the way it is (DON"T Waste time Experimenting)
    6) Anyone who has 4 or more kids, a f/t job, and plays in a band AND has a good relationship with their spouse , NOT to experiment... Probably why my relationships don't last that great :D

    I'm done with the vast tube experimenting at this point, because
    1) I've learned what I needed/SET OUT to learn
    2) I don't have the time to make it a worthwhile activity now

    I learned lots about tubes in the past maybe 10 years.

    SO Far the only really great current tubes I seem to like are certain Svetlana EL34's , the Tungsol 5881's (Awesome) and this JJ 6l6 I tried... Typically I love RFT , old Yugo, Tungsram 12ax7's way more than any new stuff... Haven't tried old Kt66's so don't know... Like my Siemens EL34's LOTS, Haven't tried any other Mullard power tube other than the EL84's and they were way better than the 3 other current models...

    You guys decide what's best for you and your situation! SOrry for the absolutely verbose post, but it's the way my mind works
    ERIC
     
  12. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

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    I had a year 2000 CR 2x12. In it I tried EH, JJ, and Mullard. I didn't hear a big difference. From what I've read, the JJ's are very reliable, so tha's what I used in the amp for about four years.

    Preamp tubes really require some experimentation to see what works for your guitar/playing style & ears. I tried everything in that amp.....new, NOS. For me, I absolutely love Ei. Straight across the board if you want. And I often use a Sovtek LPS in V3.

    Good luck and enjoy the amp!
     
  13. schmit

    schmit Member

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    I would go with what Brian recommends....he designed and built these amps, so who would know better.....besides that, have you ever talked directly with him?....he is a "tone guru" and will literally talk your ear off on the subject.....not only would I take his advise on tubes, I'd get the "ultimate speaker combo" he recommends too.
     
  14. Mr.Hanky

    Mr.Hanky Supporting Member

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    I disagree.

    As much as I love Brian and as much as he knows his sheet forwards and back.
    No one prescription is right for everyone, one man's tonal bliss is anothers so so. I like what Eric had to say, experiment until you find what works for YOU.
     
  15. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

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    I agree with your disagreement. :)

    I'd say this, though, about Brian's recommendations about tubes for his amps.........they will provide a great starting point!
     
  16. Blue Strat

    Blue Strat Member

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    LOL, I couldn't agree more. Based on my experience with close to 12,000 tubes orders, I can honesly say that most people with amps "that were designed around new production tubes" have been much happier when they moved up to NOS tubes.

    The NOS Tesla EL84s are been well received by almost everyone in every amp that uses EL84s.
     
  17. bscepter

    bscepter Member

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    I've got a quad of JJ EL84s and a trio of Tung Sol reissue 12AX7s in my Hayseed, and they sound pretty good. I've also got a quad of EI Elite Gold EL84s that are a little brighter. A lot of people swear by those, as far as new production tubes are concerned (though make sure you get the Elite Golds -- the regular Elites can be microphonic).
     
  18. schmit

    schmit Member

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    I do agree with your statement, one should experiment, but Brian experiments with tubes and speakers too and with my talk with him, specificly about speakers, he said he's tried Weber, Eminence, ect ect and still went with the Chinese G12H30 Celestion for a stock speaker.... My point was if you're asking for a recommendation, who better to take advise from than the person who makes the amps.
     
  19. meterman

    meterman Member

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    Sheesh you guys are touchy about your NOS tubes! :rolleyes: All I was saying is that Brian builds, voices and ships his amps with current production tubes and they sound damn good, good enough for him apparently and good enough for me. If you have the money, time, and inclination to gamble with something that may or may not improve the tone of your amp, go for it, I don't. I'd rather know that I can get a complete set of what the builder recommends for $100 than buy some old $hit online for 5X the price and no guarantees....

    But that's just me, I'd rather play and enjoy the amp the way Brian hears it than worry about that "last 5%"....I guess that means that I'm not a guitarist, that uses amps how they're intended to be used, and who can hear and feel the difference.....:jo
     
  20. ericb

    ericb Silver Supporting Member

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    It's funny how anyone interprets this stuff, but my Amperex/Mullard el84's in MY Tophat CRII were a good 100% difference than EI's, JJ' , or Sovtek El84's.. Might be 5% to someone but 100% was worth the difference to me!!!!! Many of my amps have stock tubes, and cheapie tubes. Those Mullards cost me USED 24.00 for the pair of them.. woopie.. ALSO , good EI (or 80's yugo ) 12ax7's TOTALLY stomped on the stock preamp tubes with that amp... NIght and day difference

    ERIC
     

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