TE V6 / Tube eaters?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Bassin' 'Round, Aug 21, 2009.


  1. Bassin' 'Round

    Bassin' 'Round Inactive

    Apr 30, 2005
    Have spoken to a couple tube stores that have mentioned that Trace V6s tend to go through power tubes rather quickly, relatively. Anyone have comments? And even if so, is everything else about the V6 worth it?
     
  2. Evanseveneleven

    Evanseveneleven

    Aug 23, 2009
    Melbourne, Australia
    Endorsing Artist: DR Strings
    Lord Valve told me the same thing when I ordered a new set of valves. I have a V6 that is 12 or 13 years old and has just had it's first revalve. It has also been well used in that time, generally 3 to 5 gigs a week up until 3 years ago when I ditched the corporate covers scene for original music and a day job. Since then it has been limited to a couple of shows a month. The sound is definitely worth the occasional revalve.
    Before you get one though, I would speak to a couple of your local techs, and check that there was someone who is experienced and competent specifically with the Trace V Type series, as from my experience they are not be the easiest amps to get repaired. I took mine for a routine service and revalve at the end of May and haven't seen it since with my amp tech having all sorts of problems getting it going again. If you are confident that you have someone who can keep it going, then don't hesitate to buy one. I have owned quite a few amps (Acoustic, Gallien Krueger, Labsystems, Eden and a couple of different Traces) and the V6 is far and away the best sound I have ever had. I'll repost here if and when I get it back.
     
  3. Evanseveneleven

    Evanseveneleven

    Aug 23, 2009
    Melbourne, Australia
    Endorsing Artist: DR Strings
    Well it's been a while, but I finally have my V6 back and working well as of yesterday. The Electroharmonix KT-88s were not suitable according to the first tech that worked on it, so at his request I returned them to the dealer and got some Genalex Gold Lions. The problem I was having was oscillation, specifically a crunching sound that happened particularly on loud low notes.

    When I got the new tubes I took the amp to a different tech and he was able to solve the problems and get it working again. He said that tubes available these days were somewhat different than the original ones Trace used, and the amp needed some rewiring to get it operational again.

    Cheers
     
  4. disssa

    disssa

    May 6, 2009
    Germany
    What Kind of Tubes are in the V3 and V4 Position at your V6 Preamp? Sometimes a defect tube on that postions can "destroy" the powertubes...
     
  5. Evanseveneleven

    Evanseveneleven

    Aug 23, 2009
    Melbourne, Australia
    Endorsing Artist: DR Strings
    Up until the middle of last year, it still had the original "Trace Elliot" branded tubes (13 years old) throughout the whole amp. The 4 preamp tubes were replaced with "Tung Sol" 12AX7's and initially the output tubes were replaced with Electroharmonix. The EH tubes proved to be unsuitable but were not damaged at all in the process and were exchanged without problems for a set of Gold Lions. The Gold Lions that are in it now seem perfect though I probably should give it a little longer before I sing its praises too loudly.
     
  6. Bassmec

    Bassmec

    May 9, 2008
    Ipswich UK
    Proprietor Springvale Studios
    A properly biased Trace V 6 with a well matched set of tubes that comply with the original spec of Gec KT88's will be very, very reliable.
    A lot of new manufacture tubes are sadly not really very reliable let alone very, very these days.
    The so called golden Lions are what? Re-badged sovtek's I think.
    The original golden lion was originally manufactured under the Genalex banner and where just good old GEC KT 88's with flashy graphics for the hi fi boys.:bassist:
     
  7. What? Trace elliot v6's are no where near as hard on valves as soundcity 200's / hiwatts / simm watts amps and i've never had a problem running JJ's in them.

    The trace has a fan aswell which means valves should last a very long time.

    oscillation is nearly always a preamp problem.
     
  8. Bassmec

    Bassmec

    May 9, 2008
    Ipswich UK
    Proprietor Springvale Studios
    Quite so!:bassist:
     
  9. Evanseveneleven

    Evanseveneleven

    Aug 23, 2009
    Melbourne, Australia
    Endorsing Artist: DR Strings
    All cool. My V6 has been really reliable for many years and probably 1000+ gigs, so I can definitely attest to it's robustness, and the 13 year old tubes were still working and sounding ok. I noticed that it was a little quieter than normal at a gig in the middle of last year, so I took it to a tech who was recommended for a basic service, fully prepared to pay for a revalve. As mentioned, I don't have a regular tech as I haven't had to service the amp at all up to this point.

    The EH tubes were bought at the recommendation of the tech servicing the amp. The initial problem he had was the amp not holding bias, a problem he diagnosed after a couple of months of tinkering to some sort of interference between the upper structure of the EH tubes. Apparently if he put a metal plate between the tubes it would hold bias ok.

    I contacted both British Audio Service and Trace Elliot directly, and they both confirmed that the V6 is pretty finicky with the tubes it will accept. Recommended were either Genalex Gold Lions or JJ's. Lord Valve who supplied the original EH tubes was more than happy to take them back, and exchanged them for a set of Genalex Gold Lions. Once I got the Gold Lions I decided to try a different tech, and less than a week later I have my amp back and working well.

    I feel a little bad for not taking it back to the original tech who obviously spent a lot of time with the amp, way more than he charged me for, and I am sure he would have appreciated the chance to fully diagnose and solve the problem, but my feeling was that it needed to be looked at from a fresh perspective. The second tech was quite complimentary of the work that the first guy had done. It works again now so I am happy.

    I will preface this by saying that there are not many all valve v types in Melbourne, and neither of the techs had seen a V6 before. The one who got it working in the end had worked on a V4 once. I had a V4 that took to a different tech many years ago, but he took quite a while to get it right too and he has since sadly passed away.

    As to the authenticity of the Gold Lions, here is some info

    http://www.newsensor.com/ProductHighLight.aspx?ProId=1149

    How similar they are to the originals I don't know and I honestly don't care. I'm just glad to have my favorite amp working again.

    I have absolutely no knowledge of electronics, and as such I can't really provide that much in depth analysis besides my own experience and what my techs have told me.
     
  10. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Jun 12, 2021

Share This Page