Suggestions for new tube sound

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by superfly, May 25, 2005.

  1. superfly


    Aug 4, 2004
    I have a Mesa Boogie Buster 200 15" combo. All tube,6-6L6 Mesa tubes, and 3-12AX7 Mesa tubes. It sounds great as it is, but I want to change the tone a bit.

    Right now it sounds like a tube amp, but alittle too clean for me. I can't really get it to go into saturation without turning the volume and master up way high. By that time the whole sound is just blown out of whack. I DON'T want way too early saturation like some Ampegs, but I DO want to be able to get some breakup earlier than it does now. You know a more thicker "greasier" tone. :D

    Do I need to change both the preamp tubes and power tubes?
    Or will one or the other get me the tube sound I desire?

    I tried a Sansamp also, but it just doesn't help the sound. It just added noise and mud. I think I want to get the sound with a tube change.

    Suggestions please?
    Once again, would the preamp tubes do the trick, or power tubes, or both?
  2. protoz


    Nov 30, 2000
    I would reccomend a THD Hot Plate or Marshall Power Brake but I don't think you can put that in between the head and cab.

    Preamp tubes with a lower gain setting might help it break up easier if remember correctly.
  3. Folmeister

    Folmeister Knowledge is Good - Emile Faber Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    Tomball, Texas
    I have the very same amp. I replaced the Mesa tubes with JJs, and, when I ordered them, Bob, the proprietor of Eurotubes in Oregon, asked me if I wanted a hotter preamp tube that would more mimic an Ampeg. Call him and talk to him. I went with as clean a tube as I could, but Bob may have a grittier one for you!
  4. "Power soak" devices are great ways to kill a good set of output tubes. If you're getting too 'clean' a sound you can do two things: increase your preamp gain by either switching out the preamp tubes' cathode resistors and coupling capacitors- a pretty heft piece of mod work or finding a different type preamp tube with higher gain- a hard proposition, but not impossible, or just getting a clean preamp signal boost, like an MXR Micro-Amp (we use an original 70's model for signal gain in our television studio) to overdrive the preamp.

    You could also have the output tubes biased closer to class A, which would lower your available amount of clean power, but would dramatically increase distortion and harmonics and run your tubes much harder and shorten their lives, sort of a 'lesser evil' version of the power soak problem.
  5. protoz


    Nov 30, 2000
    Well that's something i didn't know about the power soakers. I figured the tubes would be fine...scratch that reccomendation