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Does the tube in hybrids real affect the tone???

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by panic_striken, Dec 31, 2005.

  1. panic_striken


    Oct 13, 2005
    I just got a Genz Benz GBE500H tube hybrid. It has one 12ax7 in the preamp and a solid state power amp. Does that one tube really give it that much of a different sound than a solid state??? If so, I am going to change out the stock tube to a 1978 GE 12ax7/7025 tube. Will that drastically change anything??? Thanks!!!!!!!!!!
  2. ddnidd1

    ddnidd1 Supporting Member

    One of my amps is an Eden Metro combo. The Metro has two internal footswitchable preamps which makes it very easy to immediately A/B the differences between the two channels. One is a Tube preamp and the other is a Solid State preamp, both feeding the same internal Solid State amp.

    Assuming both channels are set flat, the Tube channel is what most people would (I believe) call 'warmer'. The Solid State preamp is more focused, defined and modern sounding.
  3. panic_striken


    Oct 13, 2005
    How does the tube sound overdriven??? Have you a/b'ed any other tubes???
  4. ddnidd1

    ddnidd1 Supporting Member

    IF you're referring to my post, I really like a very clean, well defined tone so I never use distortion.

    Since it takes so much time to change tubes (A/B'ing needs to be almost instantaneous), it's really not accurate to attempt to make a valid comparison. Your ears can play tricks on you. You'll hear what you want or expect to hear.

    However, if you search the Internet you can find comparisons between the sonic qualities of various preamp tubes by folks who have put a lot more effort and time into making the comparisons than I have.
  5. Dragonlord

    Dragonlord Rocks Around The Glocks

    Aug 30, 2000
    Greece, Europe
    It interests me too, I am torn between the WT550 and the TFB550, leaning towards the TFB but lately I've started being pretty skeptical about this factor. I'm after a warm (but tight even in low B) sound and I've read most people saying that these two heads sound very similar, but I don't see how this is possible given that the Eden has a tube preamp and the Thunderfunk doesn't.
  6. ddnidd1

    ddnidd1 Supporting Member

    First, I've never played through a TF so I have no first hand knowledge. However, given the intricacies of preamp/amp design, personally I think it's Certainly possible that the two amps could sound Very similar.

    It's one of those situations where you're lucky enough to be able to purchase either amp. I don't think there's a bad choice here. And the TF's certainly have their fair share of hardcore believers on this site.
  7. Kelly Lee

    Kelly Lee Yeah, I'm a guy! Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    Marana, AZ, USA
    I have always heard that changing a preamp tube on a hybrid really makes no difference. However, I decided to try a JJ's 12ax7 on my Trace Elliot SMX head. I could hear a noticeable difference in the warmth over the factory tube.

    I could A/B the tubes fairly quickly as I just left the top of my amp open to make the tube swap. Yes, I did unplug it for the swaps. BTW, that JJ's tube is still in there. I think I'm going to order one of the high gain versions. Unless, this talk I hear of the 7025 being even higher gain is true. :)

    Also, SS amps have made a lot of improvements over the years. It is very possible to have a "tube-like" warmth and be 100% SS. Just look at Ashdown, Thunderfunk, Bmax SS pre, etc.
  8. Stumpy6653

    Stumpy6653 Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2004
    Sacramento, CA
    I have the Metro and a yamaha trb5 (1st generation). It is tight, strong, and clear. It can be either warm or very focused.

    If you slap the 2x10sxt under it you will not have any issues with anything that you are looking for.
  9. burk48237

    burk48237 Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Oak Park, MI
    I a/b'd both of these heads thru an Epifani 310 UL and they were eerily close. The Thunderfunk was a little tighter and more focused, and the Eden a little warmer. If I was primarily a slapper I'd jump all over the TF but for fingerstyle I preferred the Eden. However both are VERY good and I feel that those two heads are the ultimate "working pro" heads. You would not be disappointed with either one.
  10. joetiii


    Oct 27, 2002
    My Eden combo came with a Mesa 12AX7 preamp tube. The tube ads warmth.... not grit even when you turn the preamp section past 3 oclock.

    I swapped in a 5751 which is a lower gain, less microphonic & less noisey tube built to military specs. Still sounds warm just not as grainy.

    Your choice to swap out for an older tube will alter your tone a tad just not as noticeable as a guitar head with multiple gain stages. try it and see
  11. zombywoof5050


    Dec 20, 2001
    Not all tube circuits are the same, so it really depends on the amp and how the tube is incorporated into the circuit. Some preamps may have a noticeable difference in sound after changing the tube, while others might not.
  12. panic_striken


    Oct 13, 2005
    Well, my new head ships Tuesday as does the new tube. So, I'll try to report back with the differences in my specific model.
  13. Yes.
  14. sloppysubs


    Nov 24, 2002
    Swansboro, NC
    I am glad someone brought this up. I have been wanting to know myself. I have an Ashdown ABM 900 and it has, if I am not mistaken, a tube pre and a solid state power amp.

    Here's what I don't get: the 'grind' knob that can give you more dirt on Ashdowns. I have been under the impression that with that knob all the way down or 'off' as it were meant it was totally solid state pre. But when the knob goes more clockwise or 'on' it engages the tube pre. I have been very confused on that for a long. Can anyone help me out with that? And can anyone suggest any tubes for a warm, light grit sound? Thanks.
  15. Fuzzhead


    Sep 26, 2005
    I've done the same comparison on my STT-1, which has switchable input stages, tube or solid state. Although you can get a nice gritty tone with the tube, the solid state preamp has a much faster attack, really good for slapping. Put a Keeley Fuzz Head through that and you have the grit as well. I know the Eden has a similar slower attack, the Thunderfunk being solid state is probably quick also.