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Trace Elliot Quatra Valve!!!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Kelly Lee, Feb 15, 2005.


  1. Kelly Lee

    Kelly Lee Yeah, I'm a guy! Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    Marana, AZ, USA
    My TE Quatra Valve arrived tonight and I must say...WOW!!! This head just plain rocks and has tone to die for IMO. Wow, I just can't say it enough! :D It appears to be as loud as my RAH350SMX and it sounds beautiful through my 2x15 :hyper:

    I have a couple of questions. First, the power tubes look to be fairly new. They are EH 6550 tubes that say made in Russia. Are these a good quality tube and are they just relabeled Sovteks?

    The preamps ofcourse are 12ax7 (ECC83) tubes. I can't tell what brand of tube they are. All that is on it is ECC83 in red lettering. Thats it. Any idea what they are? Thanks.
     
  2. Kelly Lee

    Kelly Lee Yeah, I'm a guy! Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    Marana, AZ, USA
    Tube guys?
     
  3. I think the the ECC83's are Chinese made tubes. I'm not sure about it. The power tubes are most likelly Sovteks. They're pretty good tubes. If I were you I'll swap the ECC83's with some JJ tubes. But thats just my opinion. Anywyas sweet amp you got there. Keep on rockin'!!
     
  4. My TwinValve sees a lot of use (for personal practice). I can tell you that it has the factory original KT-88s in there still and when I last had the amp checked over was told there was plenty of life left in them yet. Sorry but I can't make out a manufacturer... KT-88 coke bottles with chrome bases.
     
  5. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    toms_river.nj.us
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    I bought Sovtek KT88 for my head ON PURPOSE. All of my research pointed to them and the EH as the best out there of the current production stuff. New Sensor puts out the EH and Sovtek tubes. The EH 6550 and KT88 are the same tube... as is the Sovtek KT88 and the reissue Tung Sol 6550.

    as for the 12AX7. I've got some older JAN, some EH, a JJ, a dud old Mullard and I think I dig the EH the best of what I got.

    If it sounds good, there is no need to change tubes.
     
  6. Kelly Lee

    Kelly Lee Yeah, I'm a guy! Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    Marana, AZ, USA
    It definately sounds good.

    The only problem I'm having is I can't get that saturated sound. If I turn it up to get it I'm so loud I'm killing small animals and my neighbors get ticked at me! I have heard that I can pull out one pair of power tubes to cut my power in half. Is this something I can do or is it a bad thing? Thanks for the input guys!
     
  7. BME it's pretty hard to clip the front end (input) on these old-timers. I find that the absolute best sound from my TwinValve is when the "Input Gain" is at 10:00 or 11:00 and the "Output Level" is at 2:00 or a little more. That could be fairly loud with the Quatra so adjust the level(s) on your bass. You should still get a warm saturated power-tube sound.

    It may just be me, but I find that this particular series (Twin, Quatra, Hexa) seems to have a very strong suggestion of the famous Trace Elliot "A-curve" when the mid-shape and EQ are off. In other words it's not a flat sounding amp, but very "Trace" sounding.
     
  8. DEVILMAN

    DEVILMAN

    Nov 24, 2001
    New York,NY
    Can you set the bias on the pwr tubes with these Trace style amps?

    ~S~
     
  9. Kelly Lee

    Kelly Lee Yeah, I'm a guy! Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    Marana, AZ, USA
    To be honest, I don't know. I have never had to replace my power tubes and/or serviced to find out.

    Hmm, now you got me wondering. I think it is a fixed bias but don't quote me on that.

    We need someone that has more experience with Trace tube heads.

    Calling Tombowlus, Oddio, PsychoBassGuy!
     
  10. DEVILMAN

    DEVILMAN

    Nov 24, 2001
    New York,NY
    Thanks,

    Just took mine completely apart & cleaned the crap out of it...no biasing ability as far as I can see. Guess they're like Mesa's, plug n play...now I just have to decide what pwr tubes I'm gonna run(need 6/Hexa)...


    cheers,
    ~S~

    PS: I'll post some pics shortly...
     
  11. Kelly Lee

    Kelly Lee Yeah, I'm a guy! Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    Marana, AZ, USA
    well, if it is fixed bias I will have it modded over to an adjustable bias setup.

    Hopefully one of the guys I mentioned above will educate us a little bit. IIRC, I think Tom was talking about a bias mod on a TwinValve combo he had, hmm...
     
  12. DEVILMAN

    DEVILMAN

    Nov 24, 2001
    New York,NY
    ...definetly be cool to have, especially when you run different tubes 6550/88 etc... I like to "tweak" all my stuff. Personally, I can't/don't see how a fixed bias tube amp is a "good/reliable" thing, especially with the price of tubes these days...

    ~S~
     
  13. My Trace VA350 (same amp as the Hexavalve) has bias adjustment pots. If there's no cutout on the chassis to access them, then you'll have to disassemble the amp to use them, but they're there. Trace, unlike Mesa, wasn't full of BS and wouldn't let you adjust the amp as needed.
     
  14. Kelly Lee

    Kelly Lee Yeah, I'm a guy! Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    Marana, AZ, USA
    I knew one of you guys would know! Thanks for the info PBG!
     
  15. Aj*

    Aj*

    Jun 14, 2005
    West Yorkshire, UK
    Very nice amp, have fun with it. I think Sovtek tubes are reasonably well rated, I know Telefunken are supposed to be the king for pre tubes (but also the king for price).
     
  16. how do the rebranded sovteks compair to the JJ KT88's ?


    nice amp btw!
     
  17. DEVILMAN

    DEVILMAN

    Nov 24, 2001
    New York,NY
    PBG,

    In about 10mins I'm going to take the pwr sect completely out of the wood casing & have a better look for the pots. I thought the same thing when I didn't see any adjutability for the bias, stay tuned...

    thanks,
    ~S~

    PS: I'd also like to know how the JJ's compare to Sovteks & GE's?
     
  18. DEVILMAN

    DEVILMAN

    Nov 24, 2001
    New York,NY
    ...also, has anyone swapped their 6550/88's for the 90/100 style tubes out there? Are they better/worse for bass amp use?

    ~S~
     
  19. DEVILMAN

    DEVILMAN

    Nov 24, 2001
    New York,NY
    @PBG,

    I just took the whole power section out & short of seperating the chassis, there is NO way to set the bias on this beauty?!? Imagine that! Anyways, I'm sure I'll "fix" it the way it should have been...TBC(To Be Continued)..."It ain't easy being green"...

    ~S~

    PS: I've got some "autograph/signature" inside it near one of the transformers with a date of '91 ???...
     
  20. 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, sorry it took me so long to "get on board" here! I cannot find any way to modify the bias on my Quatra Valve (though I have not taken the chassis apart - other than removing the top plate). If I can't find one, either, I do plan on having bias trim controls installed.

    As for power tubes, I have some NOS GE 6550A's laying around, and I think I will try them in mine (which I bought with Svetelana's of unknown age/hours). I have two of the GE's in my Twin Valve, and it sounds great. But, I'm always up for advice as to what tubes might sound best...

    Preamp tube-wise, of the newer makes, I really like JJ's. But, I do think that some NOS Telefunkens/Mullards/RCA's/GE's might rock my world in this amp. I just need to find the time (with the wife and kids out of the house) to experiment. :D

    So, Devilman, is your Hexa Valve salvagable?

    Tom.