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Tube recommendations for CA Triptik?

Lkdog

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
442
Looking to retube my CA Triptik I picked up used. Really like this amp.

I don't have any particular issue with the present sound at all- just time to refresh the tubes.
Might be considered a hair noisy at higher gains, but not really a problem.

Has Valve Art EL 34's for power tubes right now.
TAD 12AX7 in V1 and V2 and a Chinese 12AX7B in V3.
Some unknown 5814 in effects loop.


Not looking to go cheap, but nothing crazy either.

This was designed as a modified vintage Marshall by Carol Ann so want to stay in that ballpark.
Has a slightly smooth character. Been described as a vintage Marshall with a little bit of Dumble and 5150 thrown in. That describes it pretty well.
It sounds a lot like a Shiva with more gain, or a Friedman HBE to me.


Thanks for any ideas.
 

DarrellM5

Member
Messages
1,882
I bought my Triptik from @jimpridx so maybe he can chime in with more info.

I'm running it with:
  • Chinese 12AX7's in V1 and V2
  • Sovtek 5751 in V3 (loop)
  • Sovtek 12AX7 long-plate in V4 (phase inverter slot)
  • TAD EL34's
Jim mentioned that running NOS Amperex (Holland-made) tubes in V1 & V2 made a significant difference in sweetening up the tone.
 

jimpridx

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,534
Hey Darrell! How are things going? Hope you're still digging the amp!

Regarding tubes for the Triptik, I guess you could say that I've tried a few. In all honesty, though, while a Bugle Boy 12AX7 (Holland tube) or two can sweeten things up just a bit, I generally feel that Alan's choice of running Chinese preamp tubes with this amp is a good one. While the differences can be noticeable, they're subtle enough that I'm not sure I'd bother spending the extra cash on NOS or ANOS tubes. As Lkdog mentioned, the amp is already a bit on the smooth side when compared to some Marshalls and other similar amps, and I'm not sure that many folks looking for a Marshall vibe would want the amp to be any smoother. For the past several years I've primarily played D-style amps, so I have this weird tendency to want to pull out a little of that "D" thing in nearly every amp I play. The Triptik was no exception. For all practical purposes, though, I'd continue running the TADs or most Chinese tubes for the preamp section (V1 & V2). They just work pretty well with this amp.

For the power section, I've run a set of NOS Mullards, Teslas, and a couple other production tubes, but again, the NOS didn't make the kind of difference that warranted spending the extra cash to buy them. In other words, Alan knows what he's doing with this stuff. Of course, there's nothing wrong with experimenting with other tubes, but unless there's something obviously wrong with a tube or two, I think I'd leave it alone.
 

BelgPJ

Member
Messages
600
Hey Darrell! How are things going? Hope you're still digging the amp!

Regarding tubes for the Triptik, I guess you could say that I've tried a few. In all honesty, though, while a Bugle Boy 12AX7 (Holland tube) or two can sweeten things up just a bit, I generally feel that Alan's choice of running Chinese preamp tubes with this amp is a good one. While the differences can be noticeable, they're subtle enough that I'm not sure I'd bother spending the extra cash on NOS or ANOS tubes. As Lkdog mentioned, the amp is already a bit on the smooth side when compared to some Marshalls and other similar amps, and I'm not sure that many folks looking for a Marshall vibe would want the amp to be any smoother. For the past several years I've primarily played D-style amps, so I have this weird tendency to want to pull out a little of that "D" thing in nearly every amp I play. The Triptik was no exception. For all practical purposes, though, I'd continue running the TADs or most Chinese tubes for the preamp section (V1 & V2). They just work pretty well with this amp.

For the power section, I've run a set of NOS Mullards, Teslas, and a couple other production tubes, but again, the NOS didn't make the kind of difference that warranted spending the extra cash to buy them. In other words, Alan knows what he's doing with this stuff. Of course, there's nothing wrong with experimenting with other tubes, but unless there's something obviously wrong with a tube or two, I think I'd leave it alone.
Premuim tested TAD's are what I use in my CA's, and what Alan has recommended in previous threads. The only exception to that rule IME has been JJ KT88's shipped in the Tuc 3 R, which seem to be the most reliable current production option

If you have a model with the new FX loop, the NOS tube Alan supplied in V4 is not a 12ax7, and should be replaced with the same spec if nescessary
 

kbgear

Member
Messages
1,129
Here's the set that Alan has recommended in the past:

Tube Set - for Carol-Ann Triptik 50W

That being said, it sounds like your amp has been converted to the new effects loop if you have a 5814A (high-grade 12AU7). That tube is very likely an NOS tube, so I'd personally recommend leaving it be. I would just buy the three T-12AX7-PS-TADs and a pair or quad of T-EL34B-TADs. It's what I'll do when the time comes.

For modern amps designed around modern tubes, it's been my experience that the sound difference is subtle. Simpler vintage circuits are more sensitive to NOS, IME. I have NOS tubes I could try in my CA 10th, but I haven't and likely won't. I've been slightly tempted to put a Mullard in v2, but again the CA doesn't seem to "expect" a Mullard-esque tube in that position, as perhaps a vintage Marshall would?

HIH!
 

kbgear

Member
Messages
1,129
What did your 10th ship with kbgear? New or used?
I bought mine through Humbucker Music, and IIRC the CAs come new with tubes that Alan sources, tests, and selects. The TADs are the same physical tubes, just tested and selected by TAD instead of Alan.

I had my 10th upgraded to the new loop and it came back with a NOS 5814A. From what Alan has said, I'm guessing his amps are now coming stock with an NOS 5814A (or AU) in the loop socket "while supplies last". ;)
 

Lkdog

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
442
OK, I ordered a matched pair of Tung Sol EL 34b power tubes, and a trio of EH 12AX7 preamp tubes.
Will leave the 5814 in there that Alan has in there.

Nothing too exotic, but I think these will be solid replacements. LOL.
 

fatbagg

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,278
Can someone please describe the tone of this thing? Really looking to get a Triptik 2, possibly 1. Looking for a smooth high gainer! Very little info.
 

draelyc

Member
Messages
1,235
Can someone please describe the tone of this thing? Really looking to get a Triptik 2, possibly 1. Looking for a smooth high gainer! Very little info.
Bump for this slight hijack, as I’m curious about how smooth this amp is as well.
 

fatbagg

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,278
Bump for this slight hijack, as I’m curious about how smooth this amp is as well.
This is with presence all the way off and treble low, mids a bit over half. Trying to darken/smooth it out.

It can be pretty smooth, but if you e had other amps capable of that, maybe not. What amps do you consider smooth?

 

draelyc

Member
Messages
1,235
This is with presence all the way off and treble low, mids a bit over half. Trying to darken/smooth it out.

It can be pretty smooth, but if you e had other amps capable of that, maybe not. What amps do you consider smooth?

That sounds fantastic! Great playing of course doesn’t hurt!

I don’t have a whole lot of amps under my belt to compare. Currently my main amp is a silver chassis EL34 Shiva, which — according to the internet, lol — might be considered somewhat smooth, maybe? :dunno
 

fatbagg

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,278
That sounds fantastic! Great playing of course doesn’t hurt!

I don’t have a whole lot of amps under my belt to compare. Currently my main amp is a silver chassis EL34 Shiva, which — according to the internet, lol — might be considered somewhat smooth, maybe? :dunno
The Shiva is a warm amp! I only played 1 Shiva, and while it is a bit warmer and fuller in those low mids, the Triptik I think is a little smoother on the top end. Tough call there...Triptik has more available gain.
 

draelyc

Member
Messages
1,235
The Shiva is a warm amp! I only played 1 Shiva, and while it is a bit warmer and fuller in those low mids, the Triptik I think is a little smoother on the top end. Tough call there...Triptik has more available gain.
Thanks. I love my Shiva... At the same time, I can see a lot of advantages to a true three channel amp with a less wonky effects loop.
 

shanesiegle

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,922
Thanks. I love my Shiva... At the same time, I can see a lot of advantages to a true three channel amp with a less wonky effects loop.
I had a 20th Shiva before I got my Triptik 50 and while the 20th Shiva was amazing I much prefer the Carol Ann. The Shiva probably has a slight nod for the clean channel but it's squeaky clean only and on the Triptik you can get some hair going. the two gain channels are identical so but you can get them to sound drastically different. It's super touch sensitive and the clarity and bloom are as good as anything i've had. Build quality is top shelf as it is with the Bogner stuff but the loop is light years better on the CA.

Really both stellar amps but I have never had an amp live in my life that blew me away quite as much as this amp. I've had it about a year and a half now so i'm definitely past the honeymoon phase. It can get really smooth liquid lead tones for sure but there is a lot of articulation and touch sensitivity there too, hard to describe without playing one.
 

draelyc

Member
Messages
1,235
I had a 20th Shiva before I got my Triptik 50 and while the 20th Shiva was amazing I much prefer the Carol Ann. The Shiva probably has a slight nod for the clean channel but it's squeaky clean only and on the Triptik you can get some hair going. the two gain channels are identical so but you can get them to sound drastically different. It's super touch sensitive and the clarity and bloom are as good as anything i've had. Build quality is top shelf as it is with the Bogner stuff but the loop is light years better on the CA.

Really both stellar amps but I have never had an amp live in my life that blew me away quite as much as this amp. I've had it about a year and a half now so i'm definitely past the honeymoon phase. It can get really smooth liquid lead tones for sure but there is a lot of articulation and touch sensitivity there too, hard to describe without playing one.
Oh man, I prolly didn’t need to read that! :p

But seriously — thanks for the comparison. It really is helpful, GAS aside. The more I read up on the Triptik, the more it seems to be right up my alley, at least on paper. Hmm...
 




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