tubes, speakers and low end

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by bungalowbill, May 23, 2006.


  1. bungalowbill

    bungalowbill Member

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    I recently changed the stock Celestion 70/80 in my V-32 for a Weber C1265 with 50 ounce magnet to tighten up the low end, unfortunately the low end is still "mushy". Will a power tube change be any benefit at this point or should I search for a 6L6 amp for a better (tighter) low end? My amp has JJ 12AX7s in the preamp and the original Groove tube EL84s in the power section. I really like the tone of this amp except for the mushy low end. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.........Joe
     
  2. uberpict

    uberpict Member

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    EL-84's aren't really noted for a big tight bottom (hunh,huh,hunh-big tight bottom, yeaaaah :D ) but I liked the JJ's better than Sovtek's which may be what the GT's are. The Sovtek's seem lifeless and "weak" sounding in my EL-84 amp (Vintage Club 50). The JJ EL-84's really opened up the amp sounded really "sweet", literally dripping with harmonics.

    It could also be the guitar, have you tried several to make sure? Some guitars are mushy in the bottom and a pick-up change could help. Try an ash body guitar if you can get your hands on one, these tend to have really good bass response with the right pick-ups.
     
  3. bungalowbill

    bungalowbill Member

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    Thanks for the reply. The guitar sounds fine through every other amp I play it through. I think I will give the JJ's a try......from what a lot of people tell me I should call Bob at eurotubes and tell him my needs. I guess if the tubes don't do it I will go for a 6L6 fender.
     
  4. jrigg

    jrigg Gold Supporting Member

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    Joe, I would check out trying out some Siemens E84Ls for your power tubes. They are a bit expensive but really tightened up my low end and gave me more headroom in my Marshall 18 watt clone. They are a tube designed for 10,000 hours worth of use so although expensive in the beginning, they will last a lifetime. I know Tubemonger has some for sale.
     
  5. Blue Strat

    Blue Strat Member

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    I'm not sure it's the right amp for you, but the NOS Tesla (NOT JJ!) EL84s would definitely be a big improvement over the Sovteks or JJs.
     
  6. mad dog

    mad dog Silver Supporting Member

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    Cabinet makes a big difference. The EL84 type amp I play is a magnatone custom M10A. Looks like a suitcase (OK, it IS a suitcase), has a fully enclosed cabinet, with some kind of folded horn arrangment. Tubes are 7189A, higher voltage variants of EL84. With an old Jensen C12P in there, I'm getting a surprising amount of bass. It's not a woody thump like you might get out of a pine cabinet. This cab is plastic, after all. There's a certain softness to the low end tone, which is probably the tubes, but the bottom end is substantial. It really adds to the distinctive sound of this amp.
     
  7. Scumback Speakers

    Scumback Speakers Gold Supporting Member

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    A lot of times a cap value change for the power supply will help with the low end, if tubes and speakers don't help.
     
  8. bungalowbill

    bungalowbill Member

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    I appreciate all the responses and would like to say the amp has a lot of low end (plenty of bass) it's just mushy with a lack of definition to the lower register. I don't mind spending a few bucks on tubes if they will help. My modded blues JR has a snappier low end and it is also EL84 powered. :confused:
     
  9. Guinness Lad

    Guinness Lad Silver Supporting Member

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    Try different 12ax7's. I've found the jjecc83's to have great gain but really have a blurred and indistinct low end. One tube which did seem to tighten it up a bit was the Electro Harmonix 12ax7. My Mesa Maverick is a little loose in the low end but my Guytron has no problems and both of theseuse el-84's as the platform. It's probably the amp design.
     
  10. bungalowbill

    bungalowbill Member

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    Thanks, I'll give that a shot. I have a few lying around. I'm also gonna run it through a marshall 4x10 and see if it is the speaker.
     
  11. jrigg

    jrigg Gold Supporting Member

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    Bungalow Bill- the pre-amp tubes, the speaker, and the cabinet can definitely affect the "flubiness" of the bottom end as well as the power tubes. If it is the amp and the preamp/power tubes do not make a difference, changing some values could tighten it up as Jim suggested.

    Macaroni- I've got Telams, Amperex, Mullard, Sylvania and RCA black plates EL84s. They've all got their good points. I preferred the Sylvania black plates and the Amperex till I tried the Siemens E84Ls. They put out a watt or two more that may be contributing to the improved headroom. I also like the way they beefed up and tightened up the bottom end.
     
  12. Timbre Wolf

    Timbre Wolf GoldMember Supporter Gold Supporting Member

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    I completely agree. Those were on my mind as I read through this thread, and then you already said it. Tesla EL84 are tight and bright, in my experience.

    RCA black-plate 6BQ5/EL84 would be my next recommendation.

    I agree with this, too. There are a number of NOS 12AX7s that have a more solid/tight bass response, in my experience. Here are a few:

    Mullard '50s long-plate 12AX7 fantastic clarity, unbeatable barking lows, lovely singing breakup
    Raytheon late '50s/early-'60s black-plate/halo-getter 12AX7A superb clarity, early-breakup, lean and twangy
    RCA '50s black-plate 12AX7 very good clarity, early-breakup, thick and meaty
    TungSol '50s long gray-plate 12AX7 excellent clarity, thick and rich, with rolled-off highs. Similar to long gray-plate GEs, but better bass definition
    Tesla '70s E83CC fantastic clarity, low risk of microphonics, late-breakup
    Tungsram '70s ECC83 not quite as clear (or as costly) as others above, but is just as clear as short-plate Mullard 12AX7A, with more solid low-frequency definition.

    Of course, there are many factors involved here. Changing a preamp tube or two is probably the cheapest option, but every link in the sound chain matters, and the contribution of each link is only enhanced by improvements in the others.

    - T
     
  13. Timbre Wolf

    Timbre Wolf GoldMember Supporter Gold Supporting Member

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    It just occurred to me that the V-32 is probably a cathode-biased amp. You'd get tighter low end out of a fixed-bias power section, generally. Not that that helps you with that specific amp, Joe.

    - T
     
  14. uberpict

    uberpict Member

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    Probably so, the older VC series are cathode biased. My VC50 eat's up power tubes, it'll start popping and crackling badly when played at high volumes like the filament has sagged and started shorting out. New power tubes seems to cure it for awhile but it comes back after playing it for a month or two.

    Do you think a higher hardness rated tube would help?
     
  15. Blue Strat

    Blue Strat Member

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    Not in a cathode biased amp. "Harder" (gotta love that term, WTF?) means that it draws more current and will run hotter in a cathode biased amp...hence, less headroom and shorter tube life than a "Softer" tube.
     
  16. uberpict

    uberpict Member

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    Confusing term no doubt. What I would like to do is take it to a good amp tech and have the bias checked and resistor changed if necessary.

    Thanks, Mike! :cool:
     
  17. Timbre Wolf

    Timbre Wolf GoldMember Supporter Gold Supporting Member

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    +1 :AOK
     
  18. Reeek

    Reeek Member

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    I'll throw one more element into the fray here and that is circuit design. I agree that no EL84 amp is going to have the thump of most 6L6GC amps but when the circuit design is more conducive to that type of output, even EL84 amps can have a big thump and bottom. I own two Sano 160R amps that are 16ish watt dual EL84 driven and I have always described these amps as having the big low end thnump of a 6L6 amp and I still stand by that. They would surprsie anyone who played them and in fact they have.

    I think a big part is the amp itself most of the time as long as you have good tubes and good speakers and a good bias.

    BTW, I'm running the following in my Sanos:

    Sano 1:

    Two Mullard EL84s
    Mullard premp tubes
    30 watt ceramic Blue Dog

    Sano 2:
    Two brown RCA EL84s
    Valvo Preamp tubes
    30 watt ceramic Blue Dog
     
  19. The Whiz

    The Whiz Member

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    This reminds me of my Mesa Blue Angel. It's pretty thin on the bottom end and trying to run the bass any higher than 9:00 results in mush. With an open back cab, that is. My 2x12 cab can be run open or closed back and when I run it closed back with the Blue Angel, it's way better. With my old Dr Z Z28, the cab sounded at its best open back (as the Z28 has a big solid bottom end and didn't need any help from the cab to tighten it up).

    taco
     

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