1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
     
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

AMPEG SVT-CL Tube Suggestion?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by TundraBooking, Oct 3, 2009.


  1. TundraBooking

    TundraBooking

    Sep 29, 2009
    I have a late model Ampeg SVT-CL. When they shipped everything overseas a couple years ago I immediately went out and bought the last St. Louis model our local store had, to give an idea of when it was made. I have been gigging pretty hard all over the country for the past 2 and a half years now with it, and at our last practice one of my tubes quit lighting up. Alas, it is time to retube the beast.

    I am not sure what tubes I should put in it, I run alot of distortion but need a good solid loud clean with a full range. I play alot of highs and low range stuff too. Think of it as stoner metal on speed.

    Going off of what I have heard from trusted sources:

    Sovtek 6550: Good for the price but not much after
    SED Winged 'C' : High rate of Failure, don't draw enough power, and have problems with frying amps. BUT I hear that they sound the best. I don't think I want to risk it.

    JJ KT88: Sound great but I would have to Modify the amp for them to run right, and couldn't Bias them myself.

    Any suggestions? What should I use?

    For an Idea of what we sound like:
    www.myspace.com/sleepingingethsemane
     
  2. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    John K Custom Basses
    the JJ KT88's or their 6550's should work well with no mods (just rebiasing). most of them ship with Sovtek 6550's and surprisingly, they work very well with them. and since that's what came in them as OEM, they might be your best bet for the money.

    i think that the Shuguang (or Valve Art) KT88's are also a great tube for them as they are built very rugged and IMO, sound alot like vintage GE6550's.

    replacing your output tubes with any brand is going to require setting the bias, and its easy to do yourself.

    2 cents.........
     
  3. Soverntear

    Soverntear

    Mar 17, 2008
    Toronto
    ive always heard the electro harmonics are good. but no personal experience with them
     
  4. TundraBooking

    TundraBooking

    Sep 29, 2009
    K, but people keep telling me since the JJ KT88s run hotter you can't use the self biasing controls on the back of the SVT. I have been facebooking two fellow gearheads and this is what they said:
    D** L******* Said: Kt88s are not 6550s. They have a similar range of plate voltage and are usually within the bias range of many pots of amps, but are certainly not direct replacements and it is likely that most amps would require modifications to accept them. When I put kt88s in my 6550 designed jmp, the bias voltage was within 1/10v of the proper voltage. Most anything outside of that would require circuit modification, which would make yer dick explode. Watch out!!!

    D** L******* Said: They likely are a drop in replacement, but you'll definitely need a bias adjustment. Kt88s will likely need to be biased quite a bit hotter and it just depends on the value and range of the bias pot. I have jj kt88s in my amp right now and am pretty satisfied. I'd like to try the gold lions though.

    D*** M******* Said: You'll need to test the bias voltage across the resistor, unless your amp is super smart and can tell you what needs to happen. You could rough it in, but I would recommend having ready access to a multi-tester, a resistor stick, and possibly a friend to call 911.

    If I got a set of JJ - KT88's Would I be able to Bias them myself or should put 911 on speed dial? With the LED Biasing system the new SVT-CL has I just want to make sure I am not going to mess anything up.
     
  5. coreyfyfe

    coreyfyfe Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    boston, ma
    The Sovteks are ok, and are manufactured by the same company as the Svetlanas that came with your SVT-CL. Honestly, the only time I've ever heard anything bad about SED was from a few people around here. The tech who works on my amp won't sell any other brand because he's had too many failures. I had the Svetlanas in my SVT-CL when I got it but had a tube failure early on and replaced them all with SED and never had another issue. I've used them for years since, and again, have never had an issue with a tube going bad prematurely. When I bought my V4, it came with Sovtek 6550WEs, which I did not like, IMO they are more suited to guitar as they breakup too soon and with too much over the top treble. I moved onto the SED tubes with the V4 and I felt there was a lot more bass while still being fairly aggressive when driven.
     
  6. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    John K Custom Basses
    i see no reason that the JJ KT88's wouldn't work perfectly. it has been said that they are able to take higher plate voltages than a standard 6550 and that's a GOOD thing.

    JJ states that they can be used in any amp that requires a 6550 or a KT88.
     
  7. TundraBooking

    TundraBooking

    Sep 29, 2009
    I guess I am just afraid of spending $250 putting them in myself, Biasing them, and completely destorying my amp.

    I don't need a $2000 set of tubes.
     
  8. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    John K Custom Basses
    then i guess that you'll have to pay someone to bias it for you.
     
  9. TundraBooking

    TundraBooking

    Sep 29, 2009
    Point, don't try to retube on a budget.
     

Share This Page