Which tubes for DRRI ?

Discussion in 'Amps/Cabs Tech Corner: Amplifier, Cab & Speakers' started by Rockwell, Jan 25, 2003.


  1. Rockwell

    Rockwell Guest

    I am thinking of changing tubes in my DRRI. But I have no clue what to get?
    Deluxe Reverb
    American Strat
    60's-70's rock
    Blues
    Fat boost, FD 2, Fuzz, Distortion.
    I play a wide variety of styles.
    Thanks for any help!! :confused:
     
  2. blair

    blair Member

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    Location:
    DeLand, FL
    'Lo Rock, Here is what I have done and am very pleased with the results. Many have heard the amp and have been very impressed that it's a ReIssue. I also have a Strat with Kinmans.

    Preamp tubes (inexpensive, no need to go to NOS IMHO);
    V-1 JJ 12AX7A or WA (Chan 1 first gain)
    V-2 Sovtek 12AX7LPS (Chan 2 first gain, very important tube)
    V-3 & V-6 Phillips 12AT7 (Reverb driver & Phase inverter)
    V-4 & V-5 12AX7A Stock Goof Tubes (2nd gain for Chan 2 and Reverb return)
    Ruby 5AR4 recifier tube

    Re the 6V6 power tubes; I've tried the older EH's and found them to be inconsistant and harsh. I understand the newer ones are much improved. The RCA Black Plates are very nice and also very expensive. A bit to creamy for me. I finally settled on a matched pair of MAZDA 6V6's biased at 26-27 ma. Very smooth with a bit of bite. Works for me.

    I have also clipped capacitor C-10 to get the icepicks out and it also opened up the Treble control up so it does something. I pulled the stock Eminance speaker and installed a Weber C12N.

    The tubes and speaker change cost me about $150 and a couple of hours to change the speaker out, get into C-10 which is a pain in the butt and rebias.

    The whole packeage is VERY nice now. She's a 'keeper'.....

    Good luck on your tone quest.

    Hammer on......Blair
     
  3. blair

    blair Member

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    Location:
    DeLand, FL
    As an after thought, check out this site for recommended NOS tubes for the DR's and the tube layout for most of the blackface Fenders. http://www.kcanostubes.com/layout.htm

    Hammer on......Blair
     
  4. Rockwell

    Rockwell Guest

    Thanks for the help Blair!
    I had already found web site you recommended. It is great!
    I have learned a lot! I was wondering about the V4 and V6 power tubes. I am going to use either 12AY7/ 6072's or 5751"s. These are supposed to take away a little of the harshness. So I was wondering what I should put in the V4 socket ( 2nd gain stage ) Also I am not sure what is best for V6. I am going to use a Mullard CV 4024 in the V3 socket. I have everything else figured out .........I think

    Thanks again for your help!!


    :D
     
  5. Rockwell

    Rockwell Guest

    Sorry , I wasn't very clear:
    V1-No change
    V2-12AY/6072
    V3- Mullard CV 4024
    V4-12AY/6072 ?
    V-5 No change
    V6- Mullard CV 4024 ?
    Then I am thinking about either:
    RCA 6V6 GT/A
    Standard 6V6 GTY Usa.
    These are not carved in stone, I chose these after lots of reading.
    I found several web sites to look at.
    Any opinions are welcome!!
    Thanks!

    ;) :cool:
     
  6. blair

    blair Member

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    Hello again Rock.....sounds like you've done your 'homework'. I think the keyword here is "harshness" as you noted.

    I strongly recommend you clip the C-10 capacitor on the Trem side Vol pot. It will take the harshness/icepicks out and allow the Treble control on the EQ to do something. No more running with it at "2".

    The older DRRI's have the Eminance speaker, it's weak and lax in the midrange almost 'flubby' IMHO. The newer DRRI's have the Jensen and is supposed to have a better freq response but I haven't had a chance to play one yet.

    I started with the tubes.....wasn't totally happy, then speaker which helped but not THE answer, then I was enlighten with fine tone when I clipped the C-10 capacitor. The icepicks dissapeared! It's a hassle to get to as it's on the pot chassis which requires dropping the amp chassis and partially dismantling. Nothing real involved other then taking your time to accomplish.

    If your doing the power tubes be sure to bias! The preamp tudes are more or less mix and match to get 'your' tone.

    Good luck and I hope I've been of some help to you in your tone quest.

    Hammer on......Blair
     
  7. PaulC

    PaulC Member

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    I don't want to come across as picking nits, but V4 is not the 2nd gain stage of the reverb channel. It's the 3rd stage and the reverb recovery stage. V2 functions as both the 1st and 2nd stages of the reverb channel just as V1 is the 1st and 2nd stages of the normal channel. But besides all that it sounds like you've got some great tubes to play around with. I do agree with Blair about removing the bright cap on the reverb channel volume knob. Switching geek mode off now... PaulC
     
  8. Rockwell

    Rockwell Guest

    Thanks Paul and Blair for your advice.
    Is there a web site I can go to that will help me understand
    how to cut the capacitor?
    I can find the pot, trem volume, right?
    But what am I looking for that needs to be cut?
    It sound like exactly what I need......Treble at 2.....
    I really do appreciate you guys taking time to walk me through this!

    ;) :D
     
  9. PaulC

    PaulC Member

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    Hey Rockwell,

    The cap is located between the reverb channel volume pot and the #2 input jack. You can't miss it. If you're brave you can just snip it out, but the "correct" way is to unsolder it from the board. Just be sure to follow all the rules on being safe with these things! Yell if you need anything. PaulC
     
  10. Rockwell

    Rockwell Guest

    Thanks Paul, I'm sure I will be calling on you soon.

    :D ;)
     
  11. blair

    blair Member

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    Hi Rock, we have to stop meeting this way :rolleyes:

    Clipping the capacitor (C-10, labelled) isn't much of a hassle, it's getting to the damn thing! You will have to remove the tubes to assure you don't break one (keep them in order for reinstallation - write it down if you have too), pull the knobs off the front panel (I suggest turning all pots to "1" for ease of reinstallation), take the nuts and washers off each of the pot shafts and then........

    Remove the cabinet braces in the back, disconnect the speaker and remove the screws on the top of the cabinet, including the handle to drop the chassis. Be careful to 'gently' drop the chassis so as to not punch a hole in the speaker cone. Not a good scene which is usually accompanied by many four letter words :(

    Drop the amp chassis very carefully. As Paul noted the cap is btwn the Vol pot and the input jack, it's the only one there. You can clip it and push it to the side, clip the whole cap out or more correctly desolder it. I don't bother to desolder myself, just clip it out close to the solder tabs. You won't be putting it back in so it's a throw away item!

    Reassemble in reverse order, double check your work and your online. Assemble your tools before starting and have a good well lighted work area and allow about 2-3 hours to accomplish the job first time around. Second time will be less than an hour but don't rush the first time. Don't over tighten the screws, just snug and a quarter/half turn and before working on the amp shut it down with the STBY ON and let it sit for a few hours or overnight to discharge the internal caps. Don't put your fingers in the circuitry as there are high voltages stored in the other capacitors that can put you on your butt! Not kul!

    You will find that you will be setting the Treble EQ at 5-6 and the harsh 'icepicks' will be gonzo.

    It's not as involved as it sounds, just time consuming for a first go at it. The results are more than well worth the time spent! You'll be a happy camper with a ReIssue DR that "talks the talk and walks the walk".

    Let us know how it all comes out, I know you'll be pleased.....

    Hammer on......Blair
     
  12. PaulC

    PaulC Member

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    Nice post Blair, but I've got a question :) .

    It's about removing the handle to be able to drop the chassis. I've never had to do this with vintage or reissue deluxes. In fact there's never been a fender I've worked on which needed this done. I wonder if there is a quality control issue here... A few years back I worked in an authorized fender shop where I was a service tech. I never received any service bulletins about this issue. That's one thing fender is good about. They follow up on problems and correct them. I've got stacks of service bulletins where they address problems and ask for updates to be made to amps that are both in and out of warranty. If it's something that looks like a production issue you should report it.
     
  13. Rockwell

    Rockwell Guest

     
  14. Rockwell

    Rockwell Guest

    Oooops :D
    You'll have that on these BIG threads!
    That sound very scary!!
    However with your very thorough step by step I believe I
    have a good chance.
    I will be in touch as soon as I get started. I'm not sure when.
    You guys have been really, really helpful! I could never or would
    never have thought or tried something like this on my own.

    Thanks Again!!

    Talk to you soon.

    :D :D
     
  15. Jon Silberman

    Jon Silberman 10Q Jerry & Dickey Gold Supporting Member

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    The keys with that amp have already been covered, but to repeat:

    1. Bias the darn thang correctly (they're cold as the arctic stock);

    2. Replacement speaker (Jensen; Weber C12N; whatever).

    In fact, you may well find that after you bias it right, you won't need to change anything else.
     
  16. blair

    blair Member

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    Paul, you are probably right, I kept thinking about that late last night. I did mine five years ago and one of my friend's soon there after. I couldn't remember exactly when I wrote the post so figured I'd include it to cover all bases and it wouldn't be a problem either way, just some wasted time. My boo-boo..... :(

    Jon's recommendation is a good one. Rock I assumed you had already bias'd, as I did, and it didn't help much.

    Rock, it's no big thing to do, just a pain in the butt with the disassembly to get to it. It will keep you off the streets for an evening and you will become more familiar with your amp. It's awful hard to screw it up unless you really really try!

    Good luck.......

    Hammer on......Blair
     
  17. Rockwell

    Rockwell Guest

    No actually I haven't. I do plan on doing that first.
    I got a bias tester probe, but no meter. I read somewhere tha t
    the volt meter that Radio shak sells will work?
    I don't really know.
    If not I guess I'll go to ebay oer someother site that sells them.
    Do you have any recommendations?:confused:
     
  18. bluesdoc

    bluesdoc Gold Supporting Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Not exactly the same, but I also cast a vote for Mazda 6V6s in my Fuchs modded DR.

    jon
     

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