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New tubes for Ampeg CL - Where to buy?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Kaspergreenday, Jan 3, 2012.

  1. Kaspergreenday


    May 19, 2010
    Hi Talkbass!

    I'm switching tubes in my Ampeg SVT Classic Amp,
    and since i'm far from expert in the area, the easiness from the Full Retube kits from Eurotubes appealed to me.
    More precisely one of 4 following kits;


    I've mostly been looking at the ''Ampeg SVT Classic & AV Standard Retube with KT88's'' option. (Im open to other suggestions, i'm only choosing what sounded best in the descriptions)

    My problem is that i live in Denmark, and the company is situated in USA. That means that i have to pay many different fees, which goes up to about 30% of the price + international shipping.

    I know that the guys from Eurotubes are experts, so i will easily trust them with my money, so i can get a full retube kit, but im a poor student, so im bound to find alternatives.

    My question is; Will i be able to buy equal tubes, in fx. the Thomann Web store? (The cheapest store in Europe)
    Thomann Cyberstore

    And if i buy them online, in separate packages, will the tubes still ''fit'' (paired, biased etc?) together? And will the tubes from Eurotubes and Thomann, be precisely equal? As i mentioned, i dont know anything about tubes, and i don't know if buying them seperatly will be the same, as buying them from Eurotubes.

    If so, will anybody do me the great favor of showing me what to buy on Thomann, precisely, so that the tubes will match the Ampeg SVT Classic & AV Standard Retube with KT88's kits contents. Maybe through some links, or a screenshot of a basket from thomann, containing the tubes.

    Hope you will understand my questions, you're welcome to ask me questions regarding further explanations.

    Thanks in advance!
    -Greatfull Kasper.
  2. BogeyBass


    Sep 14, 2010
    Any good tube company should be able to match a set of 6 tubes for you.

    If i remember right the spacing of the tubes in a CL is closer.

    So large bottle 6550 or kt88's can be a tight fit and get hotter.
    I would talk to Ampeg tech, they might just try and sell you a matched set for more, or at least recommend a bottle that fits well.

    I have had good luck with JJ's and never really liked Sovtecs.
    but some have mentioned better sovtec 6550's floating around.

    Electro Harmonics has the nice 6550EH but it has the larger bottle too similar to the kt88's.

    When i was touring with my CL it was frying tubes alot since i ran it on 2ohms with 2 cabinets all the time. My tech at the time hammered me for some pretty costly nos GE6550's
    I dont remember if those were big bottles or not, I want to say they were smaller and thats why they were chosen for the heat factor.
    bigger glass envelopes are actually better, but Ampeg for some reason likes to mount their tubes to close to each other.

    not sure if that helps much, i would talk to a Ampeg tech on the phone atleast once and see where that goes. I think they have gone back in forth between Sovtecs and Svetlana's for factory amps, so it might not be too bad buying from them, since your at least aware of average market prices, and could compare their price. Bias is not to painful with the CL's auto bias

    also EH and Sovtec both have certain pre amp tube models with spiral wound heater elements, which is suppose to be a low noise 12Ax7. Not much different than a old stock 7025. thats all they really were was spiral wound 12ax7's. Might help a little with preamp noise, otherwise i dont like to go cheap on pre amp tubes. especially the cathode followers for the PI or pretty much the higher wattage 12AU7's. I think the CL only needs one 12AU7 and its important to keep that as a AU7 and not switch it out
  3. coreyfyfe

    coreyfyfe Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    boston, ma
    Unless you're having funny issues with noise in the pre-amp I'd avoid buying these kits as you don't really need to replace the pre-amp tubes, just buy 6 6550s or 6 KT88s. If you've really been driving the power amp you could also go for some new driver tubes as well, but they aren't really as necessary. As said above, any reputable tube seller should sell you a matched set if you buy them all at once, but with an SVT you need two matched trios at least, but a matched sextet is optimal.
  4. Kaspergreenday


    May 19, 2010
    Well, the problem with the amp is, that it's switching between green and red, which means that there probably is a bad power tube.

    The reason that i want to switch everything out, is because, obviously, because the amp doesn't work properly, but also because that the guy whom i bought it from, owned it for 2 years, and recently changed just a pair of the power tubes, which i head was a bad idea, because you have to change all tubes when you change a pair. But maybe its just the power tubes i have to switch? Maybe some of you, more experienced player can tell me.

    Im buying the tubes i need to switch, and i will be seending the tubes to a nearby technician, FIY.
  5. Is Denmark in the E.U yet? Does J.J deal to locals? Seems a bit silly sending them Czech R USA, and back to Denmark.
  6. I would take it to a tech if you are worried.

    Also, IME, techs can often get/give you tubes for less than you buy online.

    Ok, you end up paying marginally more for the inclusion of the check up and everything, but the savings I've made in the past (through techs) has almost cancelled out the bench fees.
  7. Kaspergreenday


    May 19, 2010
    The problem is that there arrent many Techs around where i live, but i found one, and i waited 2 weeks, only to find out he doesnt know what tubes to order home. He knows how to change em, but yeah, already told you the rest..

    Anyway, thanks for all the answers, hope theres more to come, since im a little unsettled.. :)
  8. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Replacing a pair of power tubes in an SVT means someone doesn't know how SVT's operate. They operate in groups of 3 in an AAA BBB configuration. If you have one tube out, at the most you should only have to replace 3, and that's if you can't find someone with enough 6550's to find you a match to yours. Well I hope your tech, who I would also be unsettled by if he didn't know what tubes to order, can figure it out. Not rocket science, but that's something you shouldn't tell your client that you don't know what kind of tubes to get.
  9. Kaspergreenday


    May 19, 2010
    So JimmyM, what would you advice me to do? Should i use the time and money to find a tech who knows what to do, or should i order some 6550's and tell him to replace them, and hope that that will fix the problem?..
  10. blastjv


    Jan 8, 2010
    Philly Area
    Find a tech that DOES know what he's doing. Have him check all your tubes to find any that need to be replaced. Have him replace only the tubes that need to be replaced with tubes that match with what you already have. Have him bias the amp for you. That will all be a lot cheaper than buying a complete retube kit, even if you have to drive a ways to get to the tech...

  11. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Ya, I agree with Blast.
  12. Kaspergreenday


    May 19, 2010
    Damn, that was definetly not the answer i was hoping for! But thanks for the great replies, nothing like a incredible helping community! Guess i gotta do it the safe way.
  13. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Ya, some people are looking for affirmation when they need honesty ;) At least you took it better than most.
  14. Kaspergreenday


    May 19, 2010
    Yeah that's true! Maybe i was just thinking, that since the amp is bought used, and there only have been changed 2 power tubes, over the course of 2 years, it would be best to make a clean start, and change them all. Or what?

    I guess, if im able to find a good technician, he will know the system of the Ampeg SVT-CL, and only change the neccersary tubes, but should i take that for granted?
  15. My SVT-CL has the stock Sovtek tubes. I guess they're not the best but they sound good enough to me, at least that I'm not in any hurry to change them out.
  16. New output tubes can make a profound difference, often transforming the amplifier. I believe there is lurking a test or two of multiple tubes for an SVT with conclusions as to what gets you the holy grail tone you seek. Level of what is called "grind" with an SVT is a real consideration. It is possible to get a tube set that has headroom for miles and is incredibly clean, but breaks your heart because it just does not have the grease around the edges (grind?) you feel you want for your rig.
  17. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Eh, I'm a little up in the air about that. I don't believe in changing all tubes if only one is busted, but if you're willing to pay for it and can't find a decent enough tech, they might be your path of least resistance.

    And techs, even good ones, will sometimes want to change out all the power tubes if one is bad. Depends on the tech, and it also depends on if any of the power tubes in your amp are desirable, because many techs have developed awesome tube collections that way. You can specify otherwise, though, and you're well within your rights not to let them do the work if that's the problem.
  18. christw

    christw Get low!

    May 11, 2008
    Dayton OH
    Jimmy, I want to make that my sig. I feel like that's ground that is covered in half the threads in TB. :hyper:

    Oh, and +1 for another tech. The guys who do my work guarantee any work that they do and have stood behind that before. My SC120 was the only amp that came home from the shop with an issue and that was very quickly resolved even though it was a whole new issue unrelated to the original repair. Cool guy. :D
  19. Kaspergreenday


    May 19, 2010
    So heres what im gonna do; Find a recomended Tech, send it in, maybe write some notes about the AAA BBB configuration etc., just so he knows, and hope that the bill is manageable :)
  20. PawleeP


    Oct 8, 2012
    East Coast
    Where do I look to see how the 2 sets of 3 are laid out in an 06 svt-cl.. having tube issues and put 1, 6550EH 1001 (32.00) in because of a blown 6550we and that's all anyone seems to have around Maryland, and now one (left side) of the green led lights won't come on when biasing, even though the hum seems to go away when the red(s) go out, when loaded and at moderate low level test volumes, have tried moving the tubes around.. PP

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