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Sunn woes (Tube and otherwise)

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Matt Till, Mar 29, 2006.


  1. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    I've accepted the fact that my Sonic I will distort if pushed past 3... but I love how it sounds clean. It's so pushy and clean, it's the sound I'm looking for... but it's not loud enough!!!

    Is there any way (For the love of God cheap!!!) for me to use the Sonic I, in combination with something, to give it more VOLUME. I'm already considering selling it and looking for something SOLID STATE just to avoid the confusion!! But if I could use my Sonic I for loud performance WITHOUT distortion, I would love it. It doesn't allow much dynamic control to be distorted all the time.

    Also, a generic question: Where can I find more information about tubes... What tube is right? What tubes do? How I know when tubes are too old? Etc. Because someone told me Sonic I's can eat up tubes pretty bad.
     
  2. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    You can get a THD Hotplate, then run it into the speaker input of an Avalon U5, then into a poweramp, and into the cab of your choice.
     
  3. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    I'm actually keeping my Sunn Cab regardless... it's very nice. ;) and can handle more than I can push!

    That sounds pretty complex process... I'd better research new amps... :meh:
     
  4. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    Naw man, it's not that complicated. Besides, nothing sounds like a Sunn.

    Maybe you'd be better served by a Model T (not the Fender reissues) or 2000s?
     
  5. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.... I would, it's more a question of $$$$ at this point my friend. There will come a day... there will come a day. I think we have very similar opinions on what good bass tone is, but my income is negative right now. I'm probably going to sell off my Sonic I head, and buy a cheap-0 for now, but have a serious cab! That's a plus.
     
  6. Old Sunn amps are famous for their clean tone, even the guitar amps. If you can't push yours past "3," you either need to turn down your bass' output or get the amp fixed. The lack of overall clean volume leads me to conclude it's the latter. Get it fixed. It will be a MUCH better amp than the POS Behringer you're asking about in the other thread.
     
  7. savit260

    savit260

    Mar 6, 2006
    Boston
    If it's distorting at 3 then you probably ought to get into the shop and let a tech look at it. Could need to be biased. Also you can swap out the 12AX7 for a 12 au7. That's a lower gain version of a 12AX7 and might help a bit. Check your pick up hight on your bass too. If they're too close to the strings it's gonna start to distort quickly too. Probably not an issue with a gazillion watts of s/s power, but with 60 watts, it's gonna make a diffence.

    If you still need more headroom after all that, the 2000s is another option. More headroom and about 10% louder.
     
  8. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA

    See.... none of what you said made sense to me... :smug:


    I lack understanding of Tube amps, like I said above. Would needing new tubes be an issue? How do I know when I need new tubes? And so forth....
     
  9. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA

    Wow.... a high bass output makes a difference?! This could be a very big deal!! Because my Dean has active Bartolini pickups in it, which would kick more volume than a passive bass from 68! (when my amp was made)... I gotta do some experimenting!

    (Dammit my amp is at my guitarists house... PRACTICE TOMMOROW!!)
     
  10. Allow me to translate:


    Take your amp to someone who DOES understand tubes.
     
  11. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA

    I gathered that :rolleyes:

    Yet no one has acknowledged this:

    I'd like to eventually know something if I'm going to be a tube amp owner. How much will a professional checking/replacing my tubes cost?
     
  12. When you can't get past volume 3 without distortion, its a sign the tubes have worn out. If you like clean headroom, I suggest trying out some JJ tubes. How many power tubes are in your amp? The cost depends on that factor. Also depends on the bench price of the tech.
     
  13. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    3 Power Tubes... so would that be 60 to get a new set? Tubes seem to run about 20 bucks a pop. I noticed one of them is much dimmer, and they all seem a little dimmer then they use to be.
     
  14. The tube types should be listed somewhere on the amp itself. The schematic is widely availabe for free online, but since you are so inexperienced, I hesistate to give you any more information because there are lethal voltages in your amp, even when it's turned off. You could seriously injure or kill yourself trying to save money. You also should not try to replace your tubes yourself. They will need adjustment to the amp that you cannot provide and just plugging in tubes, even of the proper type, you could damage or destroy the amp and/or the new tubes.
     
  15. What kinda power tubes? 6l6? 6550?
     
  16. There are TWO power tubes; the other big one is the rectifier. Their "light" has NOTHING to do with their operational status. Take your amp to a qualified technician!
     
  17. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    toms_river.nj.us
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    My Sunn Sceptre was no where near loud enough cleanly. I sold it and got a bigger tube head.
     
  18. WalterBush

    WalterBush

    Feb 27, 2005
    Yuma, Az
    Full disclosure, I'm a certified Fender technician working in a music store that carries Fender, Yamaha, and Ibanez products among others.
    From what you're describing, I'd guess that your 12ax7 is trying to die, either that or your Dean has incredible output.

    A 12ax7 is cheap, available at 99% of stores that carry guitars and amps, and should cost less than 20 bucks. Switching it out doesn't require rebiasing, and can be done without exposure to lethal voltages. It's one of the tiny ones, not the three bigger ones, which I wouldn't touch yet.

    There should be another small tube, a 6an8, which, once again, probably isn't the cause of your distortion problem. If the tubes aren't clearly marked, there should be a layout somewhere on the amp you can look at. At the very least, the insides of a 6an8 don't look like a 12ax7 anyway. Even the novice eye should notice the difference, once you have a 12ax7 to compare it to.

    Lots of people have lots of opinions on the "best" tube for a given purpose, but if a dying preamp tube is the cause of your distortion, any functional tube will be an improvement.

    The only reason I offer this advice is because, between this thread and the Behringer one, I'm guessing that paying a tech for their services is out of the question for you right now. As soon as it's financially possible, I'd have the amp seen by a tech, even if a new preamp tube is all it needed to solve your problem. Good luck, I'd hate to hear that you had to get rid of such a treasure.
     
  19. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA

    I NEVER SAID I WAS GOING TO FIX IT MYSELF!!!!!!!!!!!!! ALL I HAVE BEEN ASKING FOR THIS WHOLE TIME IS INFORMATION! I never mess around with high voltage equipment, because I know the risk!! I know enough about electronics to know that electricity, when inserted into my body, hurts and kills me. I'm aware of this!!

    I know how to use the bold feature too! I'm trying to find out generally what I want! I don't want to take my amp to a professional and say, "Excuse me, something is not nice with my amp and I want it to be nice, could you make it nice?"
     
  20. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA

    See, that's what I'm thinking.... the Sceptre is pretty much the same model. And I'm in a "louder than average" band... I'm fighting over LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOUD guitars. This is a very important point I forgot to make. What does this bring to the table? Is 60 watts just not enough?
     

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