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how much difference will new tubes really make?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by thetaurus, Jan 31, 2003.


  1. thetaurus

    thetaurus

    May 28, 2002
    Muncy, PA
    so in my ongoing process of figuring out what gear is going to work best for me, i've been a/b'ing my svp pro, and my bddi. so i was pretty set on selling my svp for an rbi. but...i messed with some of the settings on my svp, and started getting better tones out of it. now...i bought it used, and the guy said he had it for about 4 years, and that he never retubed it. everything else is pretty much mint on/in it. the thing i like about the bddi is how "full" it sounds, and how "thick" the bottom end is on it. that's something that i've been having a problem with on the svp. well...how much difference would new preamp tubes make in this situation? will the new tubes "thicken" up the bottom end? is it worth spending the money on new tubes, or should i just get the rbi? i already go a great deal on one if i want it.
     
  2. I believe good tubes are expensive, but I reckon your sound will improve by 100%!

    Your tone just now will so much better, if you think its clear now, then just wait till you try new tubes...

    I'm guessing at this. To me it seems sense that the tone will be more 'alive' again...

    But, I'm inexperienced. :)
     
  3. A new set of Sovtek EH's made a very large difference in my Mesa M2000. Preamp tubes do wear out after some time. Manufacturers don't always stick the best bottle in their preamps either so it is good to keep looking, you never know when you might stumble across "your" sound. Do a search of TB, much valauble info has been discussed on preamp tubes and their differing characteristics. EH's for example have a throaty midrange and a bit of snarl that worked well for me. Some folks prefer the rounder, warmer sound of a JAN 12AX7WA which I found too soft for my taste.
     
  4. Matt Dean

    Matt Dean Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2007
    SF (North) Bay Area
    :D

    Anyway, I recently replaced the tubes in my M-Pulse 600. The old tubes were Mesa... one Russian(2) and the other Chinese. The replacement tubes are nothing special... a couple of Tung-Sol 12AX7's.

    But, what a noticeable difference! I think the head sounds bigger/fuller than before.

    It's making me think about springing for some Telefunkens.
     
  5. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    [axe grinding] Some amps/preamps respond well to changing the tubes, others do not. It's always worth a try, but you can't make assumptions about the results beforehand. Sometimes expensive tubes (new or vintage) sound better, sometimes they do not.[/axe]
     
  6. Matt Dean

    Matt Dean Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2007
    SF (North) Bay Area
    It was a cheap experiment... @$14.99 a pop. I think the results show that it was worth it, but your point is well taken.
     
  7. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Oh yeah, I wasn't at all trying to dismiss the results you got in this case, just cautioning against assumptions re: future changes. :) Also responding to the earlier posts, even though they are from years ago, since the thread is now "back".
     
  8. Matt Dean

    Matt Dean Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2007
    SF (North) Bay Area
    I know what you mean about the assumptions we make in the quest for "ultimate tone."

    Generally, I don't worry about it too much and just stick with what I have. For example, I've been using my M-Pulse 600 for many years now and am generally happy with my tone. The same goes for the pedals I use... I am satisfied with what I have and don't hop from one pedal to another.

    Having re-read the somewhat inane OP, maybe this wasn't the best thread to resurrect