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Fattening up my distortion.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by popinfresh, Oct 21, 2005.


  1. popinfresh

    popinfresh

    Dec 23, 2004
    Melbourne, Aus
    Well a while ago I made a thread about the same thing, and it seemed a few people were going to be trying some tubes out (Tom B comes to mind) so I thought i'd ask again before buying up.

    The gain II in my V8 is very bright, and whilst it can sound nice, I find it contrasts with my gain I setting too much. ie: My gain 1 setting will sound deep and thick, then I switch to my gain to and it's bright (it then doesn't fit with my previous sound). I also find when the deep switch is in, the channel will still be pretty bright, but it also seems VERY scooped and can easily get lost in a mix, or even on it's on it can become harder to distinguish notes when playing fast.

    So i'm looking for some preamp tubes to fatten my whole sound up, and also make it a bit more aggressive (if possible). I may replace all of them, so if any of you V8 owners think certain tubes will fit certain Vspots then let me know. For those of you who don't know, theres 7 preamps tubes in there..

    So what do you guys reckon a should go for? Also, where is the best place to buy them from (Especially NOS tubes) that will ship to me in Aus (and I can have confidence in them packing well etc).

    Thanks guys.
    PS. Sorry if the threads a bit vauge and spelling is bad, i'm reeeallly tired and heading off to bedy byes right now.
     
  2. Metal Mitch

    Metal Mitch

    Jul 14, 2003
    NJ
    ROFL, I saw this right after I replied to your post on another thread about the tweeter.

    Just turn off the tweeter.

    :ninja:
     
  3. popinfresh

    popinfresh

    Dec 23, 2004
    Melbourne, Aus
    Heheh, nah i would, but whilst it does decrease the brightness a little, i then find my clean sound a little 'flat'.
    It's also not that I don't mind the brightness that much, it's just the difference between the two gain stages =/
     
  4. DEVILMAN

    DEVILMAN

    Nov 24, 2001
    New York,NY
    ...what tubes do you have in there presently & what do you have on hand?...

    ~S~
     
  5. popinfresh

    popinfresh

    Dec 23, 2004
    Melbourne, Aus
    Currently they are all the stock Sovtek 12AX7-WA's.

    I have no other preamp tubes, so i'll be buying them all to put in.
     
  6. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    WHat about power tubes ? Stock too ? If so, they must be getting old.
     
  7. popinfresh

    popinfresh

    Dec 23, 2004
    Melbourne, Aus
    Yep, Ruby's in the power section.

    They seem to be going strong, I havn't had any complaints really. Although at times it's a little noisy through my cab, so I'll take it to get biased. I'd love to swap power tubes over as well, but I don't really have the money right now unless I get this job over the summer..
     
  8. Petebass

    Petebass

    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    I fattened up my distortion by dumping my Samsamp BDDI and replacing it with a MXR M80. Talk about chalk and cheese. The M80 has a lot of balls.

    It's one more thing to carry around, but it's not as hit-miss as changing tubes.
     
  9. fattened up distortion ay....try a boss heavy metal hm-2 or metal zone mt-2...yes yes i know the cheesey name, the guitar orientated pedal but beleive me these are untapped goldmines...ive been using a hm-2 for a while now and i had to cut, YES CUT, some of the low end off the pedal for it to remain consistant, yet still be greasy fatty distorted and boosted...but i swear these are the best distortion pedals for bass.....unless you want a slight tube O/D :D
     
  10. Metal Mitch

    Metal Mitch

    Jul 14, 2003
    NJ
    Try an EH in that position. It's not as grunty as the sovtek but it has more aggressive mid grind.

    That's what you need is a map. My SVP only has 5 and the positions of various tubes make a huge difference.
     
  11. el_Kabong

    el_Kabong

    Jul 11, 2005
    Have you thought about using an eq pedal? As well as just eq'ing the brightness out of your second channel you could also use it to set up an alternative sound for the already fat sounding 1st channel. I use an eq20 in front of an svt to get more flexibility and it's probably the most useful pedal I own. It's nice as it lets you footswitch between two different eq/vol settings (as well as bypass) but I imagine an mxr would be worth a spin too? Changing tubes may make some difference (I don't imagine your V8 came with junk tubes?) but IME switchable eq would be much more useful and flexible.
     
  12. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    The Metal Zone drains TONS of low end out of your signal... you could plug in a mandolin and complain about a lack of low end....




    As for replacement tubes, JJs will definately tame the brightness you're talking about.
     
  13. not in my experiences, but the HM-2....its the ultimate
     
  14. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    So far, my favorite tube in the V2 position is a NOS Mullard 4004, but I still have a lot of tubes to go through! I may try some 12AT7's or 12AU7's.
     
  15. popinfresh

    popinfresh

    Dec 23, 2004
    Melbourne, Aus
    Thanks guys.

    I might try some NOS Mullards and also grab a couple EH 12AX7's. I'm leaving the Ruby's for now (money IS a factor) but when they start to go sour, i'll most likely look at JJ's or something.

    As for the pedals, i'm not into distortion pedals, as, well, I have a tube amp. lol. Even though this is bright on Gain II, it's still fatter than any pedal i've tried. An EQ pedal is allready on the shopping list though :) Mainly on there to get some more low mids in there (i've only got bass, mids, treb now).

    Anymore tube suggestions, hit me.
     
  16. Hey Popin',

    Channel II is too bright on my V8 as well... it's a bummer huh!? My EQ positions on Channel I are on the 'flat' positions (0, 10, 0) and together with my L-2000 bass this gives me a really thick sound.

    So then I kick in Channel II and *whoppah* the thick tone is gone. Although I love the sound of the distortion/overdrive of Channel II, I think it really lacks balls.

    It would be rather fantastic if someone finds the ultimate tube replacement to make Channel II sound just as phat as Channel I. I don't have the experience and/or cash to experiment with different preamp tubes for Channel II though...





    I've got some tips though:
    • Put an EQ pedal in the loop and make a setting that beefs up Channel II. You have to exercise your switching abilities though; hitting two footswitches at once might be tricky! :smug:
    • I've got a Fulltone Fat-Boost that thickens up everything. Although it a nice pedal that works like a charm with all tube amps, I'd still like to see the best preamp tubes for Channel II.






    Other V8 experiences:
    I'm a distortion/overdrive freak! Really! :) I put the gain on Channel I rather high so that my main sound is thick and overdriven... I also have some different fuzz and overdrive pedals in my collection and although I really loved them on other (Hybrid or Solid State amps), these overdrive pedals really start to shine on this all-tube V8. Both my EHX Big Muff, Fulltone Bassdrive and my EBS MultiDrive sound awesome when combined with this tube amp. I never experience such nice and musical overdrive bliss. Tubes for ever!
     
  17. I just reread the V8 manual. It says that Channel II adds two preamp tubes to the gain stage.

    Does anyone know which two preamp tubes are for ChII and which other five ones are for ChI?
     
  18. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    It adds two additional tube gain stages, and both of these come from one tube (with each 12AX7 having two "sides"). If you look at the schematic, you should see this. And channel 1 only has one tube, also. The other 5 tubes have shared functions (like EQ, compressor, DI, etc.).

    Tom.
     
  19. This means that one cannot change the sound of Channel II without changing Channel I too, I guess?
     
  20. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Well, if you changed the "downstream" tubes, then you would effect the tone of both channels, but as I read the schematic, Gain I (using both sides of V1) and Gain 2 (using both sides of V2) operate independant of each other, so I do think that you can (potentially) change the tone of each channel (via switching preamp tubes in V1 or V2, respectively) without effecting the other.