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Best EL34's for HD-130?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by ihixulu, Feb 19, 2004.


  1. ihixulu

    ihixulu Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2000
    getting warmer
    Well, as the title says, what are the "best" replacement EL34 bottles for a Musicman HD-130? This head can be bias adjusted (12ax7 in the driver circuit)
     
  2. If you're using it for bass, you need big bottle 6CA7's. Ei and Sovtek(EH) both make good ones currently.
     
  3. andertone

    andertone Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2000
    Southwest USA
    Hi:

    Yes, you need 6CA7's, and I've tried Sovteks and Teslas, both no good.

    I just retubed from Lord Valve with these tubes,

    http://store.yahoo.com/thetubestore/ehx6ca7.html,

    make sure you adjust your bias. These are the best I've
    played, and are pretty close to my beloved Sylvania 6CA7's which are hard to find and pricey

    Hope this helps

    Phil Anderson
    Tucson, AZ
     
  4. ihixulu

    ihixulu Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2000
    getting warmer
    Thanks for the replies. Just ordered a set of the EH.

    I've downloaded the schematics from the Ernie Ball site for the correct chassis number and will bias to the spec listed on that.

    While I'm at it, is there any reason to replace the 12ax7? I'd like to keep as much of the amp as original as possible (pox on the person who broke the original RCA tubes) but if it will improve performance, I may as well.
     
  5. andertone

    andertone Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2000
    Southwest USA
    Hi:

    First off, as a very earl HD130 owner, here is a web page you absolutely must have:

    http://65.173.181.17/cgi-bin/discus/discus.cgi

    Yes, replace that tube. It doesn't affect tone, but if it goes alot of very expensive items will self destruct and your amp will be worthless (can you say transformer?)

    For $10, don't take a chance.

    I believe the correct bias voltage is 0.5V, check the web page
    above.

    Best!

    Phil
     
  6. ihixulu

    ihixulu Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2000
    getting warmer
    Holy Cr@p! What a Great site! Thank you very much.

    Does the brand matter in that position or will any new tube do? And yes, according to the schematic it's .5v off pin 8 of tube 4.

    Thanks again for the resource and help.
     
  7. andertone

    andertone Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2000
    Southwest USA
    Hi:

    You don't need a super high quality 12AX7 tube in
    that slot. Call Lord Valve (who deals exclusively in
    tube amps) for his best opinion. Or, just use your
    generic groove tubes, just not cheap thin glass
    Chinese. Power tubes, yes, very important

    Great site indeed. Musicman amp owners are a
    strong breed keeping these gems running after 30 years.
    I also own and use a Blackface 1967 Fender Showman

    Phil
     
  8. The EH's ARE Sovtek, and JJ Electronics (formerly Tesla) does not and has not ever made a big bottle 6CA7.

    Amp's need bias adjustment ANY time the output tubes are changed. .5 volts is the bias voltage for the model with the driver transistor, for the transistor itself, NOT the output tubes! At .5 volt bias, output tubes will burn up.

    Some Music Man amps ran near Class B which dumps in excess of 700 volts on its output tubes, so good quality tubes are a MUST. If the amp has the 12AX7 driver, its quality WILL make an audible difference. I like using 5751's in driver positions as it gives the amp more clean headroom.
     
  9. andertone

    andertone Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2000
    Southwest USA
    Well there you have it.

    I respect Pyscho Bass guy 1000% after reading
    many intellegent posts of his over the years. I think you have
    the full story, isn't this a great site!

    I got my info from Willie at Lord Valve, and
    Bill Bolton, also a HD130 owner who I respect greatly.

    Have fun!!!

    Phil
     
  10. Fat Willie is pretty reputable. Bill Bolton likes to talk about things that he knows VERY little about as though he is an expert. Like most things in life, you can't believe everything you read on the internet and I encourage everyone to double-check a lot of the supposed "facts" floating around in cyberspace. There are LOTS of great tube resources I'd be glad to steer anyone towards. It takes a little reading and legwork, but the knowledge you gain is invaluable.
     
  11. ihixulu

    ihixulu Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2000
    getting warmer
    Well then, let me pose the question this way:

    The only reason I'm having to replace the tubes anyway is because some schmuck somehow managed to crack three of the tubes (i'm guessing by roughly forcing the footswitch into the back).

    Up until then, the amp sounded great, in service as a guitar amp.

    The 12ax7 is an old sylvania and wouldn't surprise me if it was the original.

    How do I tell if it's it's time to replace the driver tube?
     
  12. I have yet to EVER see a driver tube wear out without something else being wrong. If it does need replacing, you'll notice low volume with little to no headroom. I'd replace the outputs first and see if the driver needs swapping afterward. If the amp was working fine before, it should still be fine.
     
  13. ihixulu

    ihixulu Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2000
    getting warmer
    Cool beans. Thanks PBG.

    Now just have to wait for the tubes....
     
  14. ihixulu

    ihixulu Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2000
    getting warmer
    Just an update:

    Got the tubes, installed them, set the bias per MM schematics (courtesy EB website) and the HD130 is up and running again. Sounds pretty good through my Aggie 410, even if it does break up sooner than I'm used to. Looking back on the thread I noticed this from PBG:

    ".5 volts is the bias voltage for the model with the driver transistor, for the transistor itself, NOT the output tubes! At .5 volt bias, output tubes will burn up."

    As this does not jell with the schematics, I just wanted to get more info regarding this statement. IOW, what are the other options for bias settings that won't cause long term damage?
     
  15. If your tubes aren't glowing red, then it's not too low. I did some more checking into MM amps and their bias voltage reading reference isn't the actual bias voltage, but rather the stage regulator FOR the bias. You're taking the grid voltage reading, but the tubes are cathode driven, meaning the total bias current is varied by the tubes' cathodes, like a cathode bias, but the amount of initial grid voltage can be varied like a fixed bias amp.
     
  16. andertone

    andertone Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2000
    Southwest USA
    Hi:

    My tech sets mine to 0.5 volts. I know this as
    I also have a Showman and the setting is
    significantly higher.

    Stay with 0.5 volts!

    Mighty low notes!

    Phil
     
  17. ihixulu

    ihixulu Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2000
    getting warmer
    Cool. Thanks again, everyone. :bassist:
     
  18. jem777vbk

    jem777vbk

    Sep 26, 2005
    I am confused. Sorry guys, just got a sweet Music man HD130 with the 115 cabinet that houses a 15" speaker.

    Question is, is it for bass or guitars? Cos the thread here says for bass. Anyone can advise? I am using it with guitars. The speaker was changed to celestion and the tubes are tesla EL34.
     
  19. Le Basseur

    Le Basseur

    Mar 26, 2002
    Croatia
    No wonder you're confused,because,AFIK,most MM's are not specified to be either bass or guitar amps.There is a wide plethora of MM users out there who use their beloved MM with a bass but I have my own reserves about that.
    First thing that comes in mind is the output transformer's size.Most MMs I got on repair had a,say,rather "normally-sized" OPTs for the B-class output stage,meaning that you could run a guitar through that amp BUT a bass guitar....hardly.Why?Because the lower the freq.a OPT has to "transform" (primary-to-secundary-wise),the sooner that OPT's lamination goes into magnetic saturation and this translates as a distortion.Of course,this is (highly) desirable with a guitar but not with a bass wich is supposed to remain clean.Just look at a beefy bass amp's OPT and compare it visually with that skinny MM...you'll get the idea.
    Second,I really don't dig the preamp's sections and the tonestack with ICs as seen in MMs.Surely,the MM's tonestack values (freq.controls) are OK for a guitar but,being a bass player myself,I don't like at all a guitar amp's tonestack "versatility" with a bass.Sure,some guitar players swear for a bass amp's tonestack (Marshall developed from a Fender Bassman,remember?),but,for us,lowenders,it rarely functions this way.
    HTH!
    Regards,
     
  20. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    Damn, maybe that's why I didn't like the sound of mine. I should have used a Big Bottle 6CA7. :crying: