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New preamp tubes.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by popinfresh, Jun 20, 2005.


  1. popinfresh

    popinfresh

    Dec 23, 2004
    Melbourne, Aus
    Hey guys, after I get my new Schroeder 410 in a while, I'll have a spare few hundred dollars (AU$).

    The one thing that i've found I don't like alot about the V8, is the drive stage (II). It's very bright sounding, whilst it unique and still sounds good, i'm after a bit of a smoother sounding overdrive on that channel.

    Now, theres one 12AX7LP (All of mine are Russian Sovteks) for the first gain stage/channel, then there are two more added in for the second stage, as I understand it anyway (Any V8 owners want to correct?). What I want to do is swap the tubes responsible for the overdrive channel (So I suppose, the two that are added in when you change onto it).

    So what are some nice smooth sounding 12AX7/ECC83's that will overdrive with a nice sweet smooth and fat sound?

    I would even go to the extent of getting Mullards (only two) if need be, and I had enough $$. So i'm pretty much open for anything. It's just changing from the first channel to the second in a band setting can get some harsh/too bright overdrive/distortion sounds as I don't have channel two set very bass/deep oriented (I find I can smooth out channel II a bit with the deep switch and cutting some treble).

    So hit me with suggestions!
     
  2. tombowlus

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

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Same here. I have a bunch of tubest that I'll be playing with, but so far, the best that I have used at thickening up and smoothing out an overdrive, while still remaining nicely growly, is the Mullard CV 4024 (12AT7).

    Actually, the manual mentions that Gain 2 kicks in two extra gain stages, but they come from both sides of one tube. The second preamp tube, V2, controls Gain 2 (see schematic from Oddio that I sent you via e-mail).

    Tom.
     
  3. Figgered the schematic out, eh? Good job Tom! Thanks.

    Interesting that you mention the Mullard CV4024... I just scored a pair of these with plans to put one into the Origin. Now I know where I can use the second one.
     
  4. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    toms_river.nj.us
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    I've got some JAN Phillips in my pre that I'm digging the dirty side of.

    http://www.tubedepot.com/nos-12ax7-janph.html

    I got my pair from the classifieds here @ TB. I've also got a pair of EHX and a JJ in the other slots.
     
  5. Ostinato

    Ostinato Guest

    Feb 7, 2005
    Toronto ON
    I just recieved a pair of NOS Tungsram ECC83 for my F-2B from Evil Bay. I bought them after reading some online blurb that said they were Hi-Fi's best kept secret. The phrase "poor man's Telefunken" keeps coming into my head.

    So far, they appear to sound seem nice and warm, with very sweet highs, not harsh or brittle, with a nice "open" sound. Sorry but that's all can come up with so far.

    P.S. CLEAN YOUR JACKS ON A REGULAR BASIS!!
     
  6. popinfresh

    popinfresh

    Dec 23, 2004
    Melbourne, Aus
    Cool, thanks guys.

    So tom, for the second gain stage, I only need to replace V2? Or would I need to replace V1 as well?

    If I only need to replace V2, I may get a Mullard and something else (Perhaps JAN Phillips) then just fiddle around and see what I like best. By the way, any tips on where I could find a 4024? I can ony see a 4004. Your not talking about this are you? http://www.tubedepot.com/nos-12at7-mullard.html

    Ostinato: Have you overdriven that pre tube at all? What's the sound like?

    Thanks.

    EDIT: I can't figure out those schematics :p
     
  7. popinfresh

    popinfresh

    Dec 23, 2004
    Melbourne, Aus
  8. 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, V1 is for Gain 1, and as I read the schematic, Gain 2 gets added to Gain 1 (blended, actually), so yes, it would have some effect, though my guess that just replacing V2 would be the most noitceable difference.

    Tom.
     
  9. Rezdog

    Rezdog Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    T.Rez, Canada
    Greetings from the North,
    I was going to go the Telefunken,Mullard,Bugle Boy etc NOS route. I took a chance on a JJ/Tesla ECC83S and it really opened up my XS800H. Take a chance on them cause they really work and they're inexpensive before you put out a load of cash that you can use for something else. Just a tip from the North......
    Happy Times,
    Rezdog
     
  10. tombowlus

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

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    I don't know why not. The gain will be reduced, which may or may not work better, depending on which socket you install the 12AT7. I would think that in V2 it might be a real improvement.

    That, my friend, is a matter of much speculation and debate! Personally, I have found that there seems to be more variation in tonal character amongst the various NOS tubes (meaning that comparing different brand NOS tubes seems to yield a more discernable sonic difference than comparing different brands of new tubes, which tend to sound more like their competitors). That said, IMHO, the better new offerings (I really like JJ's, and EH's are a solid choice) just kill some of the NOS tubes, but my favorite tubes so far have still been NOS (Telefunkens, Mullard and Amperex are examples).

    Tom.
     
  11. Ostinato

    Ostinato Guest

    Feb 7, 2005
    Toronto ON
    I'm going to try it as soon as I can find an extra patch that's hiding around here somewheres.
     
  12. tombowlus

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

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    That looks like it. The 4024 is a 12AT7.

    Tom.
     
  13. maxvalentino

    maxvalentino Endorsing Artist Godin Guitars/ Thomastik-Infeld

    When I went "back to tube" some time ago I decided I would make the investment and find some good NOS tubes to have around. Of course, the first thing I went looking for were NOS Telefunken's...which are quite pricey. I do have one, and it was expensive (but then again, it SHOULD last through my lifetime...). They are very very good sounding and do make a world of difference, but then again not everyone wants to pay $200 for a preamp tube....

    I also came acros two others which I find incredible. One being a Mullard (NOS) 4004, which I now have in my Demeter preamp. This has a very smooth and sweet response with tight and focused lows and detailed mids. Not as expensive as a Tele, but a bit pricey nonetheless.

    The other, which I really like NOS JAN GE 12ax7 Long Plate (dated 2/63). This is an exceptional tube, and from what I hear is fairly rare. I believe it was around $40....soundwise it is very much like a Telefunken.

    Max
     
  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
    Where was that from? I paid about that for four NOS Telefunkens (two smooth plate and two ribbed plate) - yes they are "real" Telefunkens!

    Tom.
     
  15. maxvalentino

    maxvalentino Endorsing Artist Godin Guitars/ Thomastik-Infeld

    Tom....
    I might have worded that better. I did not pay that much but I have seen NOS Tele's go from anywhere between $80 and $200.

    In fact, I just looked at a place where they had Mullard 4004's (platinunum grade..) for $150 ea and Mullard ecc83 NOS for 200!
    The Telefunken ECC83/12ax7 (NOS early 1960s) were going for $225 ea while used ones were going for 45-75 ea
    I have seen NOS Tele 12at7 going at $75-85 ea, and $30-50 ea used.

    These are NIB/NOS....maybe you bought some a few months, or longer, ago...but the price on vintage NOS tubes is goin' thru the roof!

    Max
     
  16. DEVILMAN

    DEVILMAN

    Nov 24, 2001
    New York,NY
    Tom,

    Did you notice a difference between the ribbed & smooth(sounds like a condom comparo, LOL) Tele's?...

    cheers,
    ~S~
     
  17. DaveMcLain

    DaveMcLain

    Jun 19, 2005
    Cuba MO
    I would probably use the JJ 12AX7 from Groove Tubes, they call it the ECC83. The JJ's are very inconsistent out of the box so getting a selected one is the way to go. Also, if you want to reduce the gain in a channel, try a 12AY7 like the one from Electro Harmonix, it might be just what you need. Groove Tubes also has a Mullard reissue that's very good.
     
  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
    Wow, prices sure do vary! I also have a couple of NOS Mullard CV 4004's and one ECC83, and I've never paid over $50 per tube (and most were a good bit less than that). BTW, I have bought many of my tubes from Doug Preston at Doug's Tubes. He doesn't list most of his NOS inventory on the webpage, so it can be worthwhile to e-mail him.
     
  19. tombowlus

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

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Gosh, I don't know if I even want to go there...

    But, as for the different plates in the Tele's, to my ears, they sound the same.

    Tom.
     
  20. DEVILMAN

    DEVILMAN

    Nov 24, 2001
    New York,NY
    ...ummmm...ok...

    ~S~