new tube sound

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by doomloop, Dec 6, 2013.


  1. doomloop

    doomloop

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2011
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Just retubed the SVT CL and everything seems to be running fine..the only thing is a difference in tone.

    Will new tubes 'settle down' or will there be a significant difference in tone when changing tubes?
    If I put my old pre amp tubes back will I gain some of my old tone back or is a significant amount of the tone from the power tubes?

    My old ones broke up so sweet and now things seem less 'solid' or 'thick' and more big and kinda on the trebly side...thinking there could be something else wrong or I'm just thrown off by the 'new tube sound'...in the meantime I'm rocking it but things are just so weird, Ive messed with the eq, gain and master settings and nothing sounds like it used to...any advice?
  2. JellinWellen

    JellinWellen

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2012
    Location:
    Houston Tx
    IIRC older tubes break up a lot faster. Play em hard for a week or so and if you still don't like it try a different tube.
  3. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2005
    Location:
    Apopka, FL
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Sounds like you were overdue for new tubes. However, some tubes behave better than others in an SVT, but it's mostly about V1 in the preamp. What did you get for tubes?
  4. doomloop

    doomloop

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2011
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    I got a matched set of JJs 6550s. The pres are also matched though the two matched in the back of the amp are 100 and 102 but I was told this should be fine.

    I've biased them up with the lights and everything seems fine it's just a different animal in some senses.
  5. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2005
    Location:
    Apopka, FL
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    JJ's sound great in my Heritage, so yeah, my guess is you've been operating with a weak tube or two and the new ones tightened it back up.
  6. B-string

    B-string Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2008
    Location:
    Lake Havasu City, Az USA
    Try sub'ing in your old preamp, driver and PI tubes one at a time. You may find you received a clunker. They are New Production tubes, so bad out of the box is not out of the question. I usually buy extras just for that reason.
  7. doomloop

    doomloop

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2011
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Cool...I will do a swap of pre's just to see. It was on my to do list just to be sure.

    I would bias this thing with my bias probe but getting into it for a plate reading seems cumbersome...maybe I can get it from the top.

    I have a suspicion I'm just used to old tubes, this being my first ever set of fresh tubes. Those old ones sure made me smile though.
  8. ledyard

    ledyard

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2010
    Location:
    Upstate NY
    Pre and power tubes do make a difference. When I had some work done on an old guitar head by my mod guy I also re tubed it. I went up when the mods were done and plugged it all in. My tech loaded multiple sets of power tubes into the power section. Mullards, Tung Sol, Sovtek, JJ, EH, and they all had different tonal characteristics. Then add to that switching the V1 12ax7 tube multiple times with each set of power tubes adds even more tonal variations.
    So while this was a guitar head, the same things will happen with bass amps. A new set of tubes isn't just a new set of tubes.
  9. Forrrest

    Forrrest

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2013
    if you didn't have any problems with your old preamp tubes, why did you change them?
  10. doomloop

    doomloop

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2011
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    I just figured I had bought it used and rode it pretty hard, if I was gonna change up just do the whole thing and let the past be that...

    I actually have three of the old power tubes that match up with the new sextet really well but the glass is starting to chip around where the retainers were so I'm passing on those...

    As for the pre's I can always put them back, or others I guess, like from my broken svt4pro, to try out different sounds...but I do like the idea of starting the amp from ground zero so my tube's origins aren't a mystery to me...

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