Will JJ's help tame a harsh sounding amp?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by diddlybo, Feb 4, 2008.


  1. diddlybo

    diddlybo Member

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    I have one of the new Traynor combos, the Custom Special 50. Its a 50 watter using 5881's in the power section. Its a nice amp but its sounding a little on the harsh side and the mids are a bit congested. I want to swap out the preamp tubes and a local guy stocks JJs. For you guys who are familiar with JJs, do you think they would be a good choice to tame this amp a bit? Any other suggestions?
     
  2. sickboy79

    sickboy79 Member

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    What's in the amp now?

    In general the JJ ECC83 (12AX7) is a darker sounding tube comparted to other manufacturers, and can indeed help tame a bright amp.
     
  3. Steve Dallas

    Steve Dallas Supporting Member

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    You might also think about a set of Tung-Sol RI 5881s. Very nice sounding tubes.
     
  4. diddlybo

    diddlybo Member

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    I'm not 100% sure what preamp tubes are in it now. I'll check and post back later.
     
  5. Kapo_Polenton

    Kapo_Polenton Member

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    MAybe its that damn v30 speaker?! Is it a v30?
     
  6. Rosewood

    Rosewood Member

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    JJ ecc83s will tame some of the high end but the harshness may be something other than high frequencys. As little as new tubes cost it's worth it to try several for your self to see.
     
  7. diddlybo

    diddlybo Member

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    It has Sovtek preamp tubes in it now.
     
  8. diddlybo

    diddlybo Member

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    Yeah, the v30 comes stock in the amp. However, I've played other Custom Special 50s and they sounded fine with the v30.
     
  9. eru

    eru Member

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    I recently switched my amp from Sovtek ECC33 to Sovtek and then JJ ECC31s. Each change was pleasing. I think I might have liked the russian ECC31 a bit better at first because it's just a tiny bit brighter and not quite as much gain, which was what I was wanting.

    I guess I could describe the sound I didn't like as brittle, so we might have been complaining about the same thing.

    Preamp tubes tend to be less than $20 and the biggest difference in terms of your complaining, i was told, is just the tube in V1, so buy a few. Apparently there's a difference even in Groove Tubes tubes since they're all rebranded. I have a chinese ECC33 I've yet to try that someone recommended once...

    I could easily say I collect preamp tubes at this point, and I'm about to start doing the same thing with EL84s (yay class A and changing tubes at will).
     
  10. rockon1

    rockon1 Member

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    Perhaps they had more break in time on the speaker. Bob
     
  11. Brian G

    Brian G Member

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    I fooled around with a number of preamp tubes in my Rivera combo, and would up really liking Jan Philips 5751's. Slightly less gain than 12AX7's, and really lovely sounding - not as "hard" sounding as many 12AX7's. Open but not excessively bright or stinging.

    But if you're looking for max preamp gain, this is not the direction for you.

    Brian
     
  12. slider313

    slider313 Silver Supporting Member

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    The new Tung Sol 12ax7 is a very smooth sounding tube, much more so than either of the JJ's.
     
  13. diddlybo

    diddlybo Member

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    I got ahold of a Tung Sol and a JJ 12ax7 and tried them both in V1. The Tung Sol was a huge improvement but it introduced some noise that wasn't there before. I then tried the JJ and presto! Problem solved and the amp sounds awesome now.

    I think the Sovtek in V1 was a bum tube. I wonder if I should replace the other two Sovtek 12ax7s? I've always heard the V1 slot is the one that makes the biggest difference when swapping out tubes. Is this true or can I expect further improvements by replacing the other preamp tubes and maybe even the power tubes?
     
  14. sickboy79

    sickboy79 Member

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    Try V2 as well. Experiment with different types. Go with what your ear likes - just like the JJ in V1. I don't know how many other tubes your amp has but - the one usually closest to the power tubes is the phase inverter and has the least effect on tone. I wouldn't worry about that. Changing power tubes will absolutely has an effect on your tone as well. You might want to give those a try as well at somepoint.
     
  15. diddlybo

    diddlybo Member

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    It has 3 preamp tubes. Maybe I'll try swapping out the V2 as well to see what that does.

    Anyway, I'm really digging this amp now. Lots of bang for the buck here.
     

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