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changing tubes in a SVT-CL mid 90's

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by hydrohydra, Feb 23, 2013.

  1. i recently bought a svt and i want to replace all the tubes, im going to get 6 tungsol 6550's, 3 Electro Harmonix 12AX7EH's
    i wanted to know if it was safe to replace the two 12AU7's with two more 12AX7EH's? also, could anyone runn my through the process of taking the tubes out of the amp?
  2. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    No, don't replace the 12au7's with anything but 12au7's. The 12ax7 has way more gain and isn't intended to be used in the spots where the 12au7's are.

    As for replacing all the tubes, may I ask why? Does your amp sound bad? Retubing an entire amp at once is the biggest waste of money in the world. Tubes don't just wear out because they get old, and they don't wear out at the same speed. Do what you want, but my advice is if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Replace only your broken tubes, and if you break a single power tube, at the most you should only have to replace 3 to keep the matching happening. But certainly not all 6.

    As for taking the tubes out, not sure about where all the tubes are since I don't have a CL at the moment, but it's very easy and straightforward. Pop the old one out, pop the new one in. There might be retainers around the power tubes you might have to unsnap, but it's a very easy procedure that anyone can do. Just remember to unplug the amp first ;)
  3. The obligatory +1:thumbup:
  4. aftec


    Feb 16, 2013
    Worn tubes sound bad. Loosing bass, definition and punch. You will notice it, until then why change? Those preamp tubes are designed to run thousands of hours, change only when they go microphonic. You can test it with turning the amp full on, and tap on the tubes gently with a tip of a pencil. If they audible rang like a bell or start screeching or rattling change them. If it's just the sound of tapping the pencil, (it's audible) you are good to go. You can do the same test with the power tubes. If you hear the filament rattling, (strange rattling metallic noise, but it's not coming from the speakers and heard only on specific notes/frquencies.) don't swap tubes, buy a couple of tube dampers and be done.
  5. AdamR


    Sep 24, 2007
    Bethel CT
    Different tubes sound different. Lots of guys roll tubes looking for their tone. Is it cheap ? No, But neither is the latest pedal, a new bass, a new cabinet. However if you dont even know how to pull the tubes out your defiantly going to need a tech to make sure it properly biased.
  6. Always take Jimmy's advice when it comes to Ampeg. Especially if he tells you to buy more.
  7. thanks for all the advice guys, i am new to the tube game, but i have narrowed it down as this, my tone and all setting is flabby and clinky, less when i use my 4x10 1x15 cab but still noticeable, after play for a little while i check my tubes visually and in my second row of my power section one of my 6550's doesnt seem to be glowing but im biased in on the back of the svt perfectly so this should tell me power being even distributed through my power hence my power tube couldnt have gone out (right?) also a amp tech i talked to said where the tube is positioned in the head might make it less visible to check if its glowing or not because of the retainers that cover the tube, if all this is true his telling me that this undesired tone my be coming from a micro-phonic pre amp tube, i hope this is true. also i certainly dont wont pay a amp tech to put in a pre-amp tube for me but ive seem to be lost in my svt, ive think i found the three driver tube inputs because theres three preamp tube input in front of my power tubes, now i can seem to find the other two, although i haven't looked to hard. suggestions to my world of confusion?
  8. gastric

    gastric Professional product tester for hire

    Jun 8, 2009
    Raleigh, NC
    Source Audio BETA tester
    Four screws on the top, then the preamp slides out from the front and your tubes are now accessible. Getting the preamp back in can be a tad tricky but not too hard.

    For microphones you can gently tap each tube while listening to the speaker output. You'll know if one is noisy.

    Good luck.
  9. is it ok to test with the pre amp slid out or do i only test the three in the back?
  10. gastric

    gastric Professional product tester for hire

    Jun 8, 2009
    Raleigh, NC
    Source Audio BETA tester
    Slid out is fine, just don't let it fall out as it's connected to the rest of the amp with wires you don't want to bungle.
  11. thanks alot man, this should save me like 75 dollars lol
  12. You do realize that when you change the output tubes the amp will NEED to be re-biased to suit the new tubes???
  13. Alex1984


    Jan 16, 2010
    It's worth the money to get a tech to change it and make sure it's properly biased and running.
  14. toomanyslurpees


    Jan 21, 2009
    Those lights in the back are so you don't have to take it to a tech to bias it, you should be able to adjust those two little pots in the back so you get the two green LEDs in but not the red ones, I was told you can turn it down so the green lights just turn off to bias it a little cooler without any negative effect on sound.. when you're playing you'll see the red LEDs light up which is normal. I'd say if in doubt take it to a tech. I haven't lived in Vancouver for a decade but when I was there Ho's electronics was the place to take an Ampeg, not sure if he's still there.
  15. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Those lights are close enough for rock and roll, but they can be set more exact with the real bias adjustments.
  16. 4StringShooter

    4StringShooter Banned

    Jun 26, 2011
    London, Ontario, Canada
    GBX Member #1
    That is NOT true. The ONLY way you can ACCURATELY Bias new tubes is with voltage check. Those lights on the back are CRAP .

    I owned one.
  17. I think I'm gonna still take it to the tech if for anything just a check, I know my **** isn't sounding right and I'm still new to this thing, the new one at guitar center does not clink when I play nor sounds like flabby blown cabs lol
  18. im still having doubts but apart of me thinks it might just be the the one power tube that wont light up in the back row in the middle, i can see all other five glowing brightly, but that one doesnt seem to be powered on at all, still trying to avoid the tech.
    should i just try to replacing a few power tubes first before going?
  19. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Hell, I'd just replace the one just to see, but I'd probably get a matched triplet set just in case it is the problem.
  20. thanks man, im gonna go for it

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