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Trace Elliot V6

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Jugghaid, May 5, 2004.


  1. Jugghaid

    Jugghaid

    Jun 28, 2002
    Denver, CO, USA
    I just upgraded from the Trace V-tpe 600H hybrid head that I got a few months ago. I liked it so much that I went on a quest for the almighty V8. Couldn't find one in good enough condition, but I did find the 400W version of the V6.

    This thing is truly an amazing head. The only downsides to it are the weight (about 70 lbs) and a little bit of the typical hum you get from an all tube amp.

    The tone from this thing it absolutely incredible though. So far I have only played the Status Empathy I bought from ProgChris and my old Ibanez RB850 through it, but it rocks. And this was through my cheap cabinets (2 avatar 410 cabs).

    I can't wait to plug it in to my Eden Cabs (210XLT + 115T), plug in the Fbasses or my prototype and let it rip.

    I've gone through so many amps (SWR, Eden, Glockenklang, EA, Ampeg, Genz Benz, etc) and this by far beats the living crap out of them all.

    No more amp GAS for me. And I have a nice 600H V-type hybrid head for a backup in case anything does go wrong. I doubt it though as this baby is pretty much brand new NOS with all of the factory upgrades to make it much more reliable.

    Heres a few pics of the beast hooked up to my basement banger cabs:
     
  2. There should be NO hum from that amp. Hum is NOT "typical" to tube amps. Whoever told you that is full of it. I have a V6 and it's dead quiet, direct out included. If you have a hum, there's something wrong with it.
     
  3. Jugghaid

    Jugghaid

    Jun 28, 2002
    Denver, CO, USA
    It's not like it's loud at all. Probably no louder than any hybrid amp I've every had. The DI is quiet as a mouse. I checked it with my v-type 600H hybrid version and same thing. It's probably the power source in my basement adding a little 60 cycle hum in there. I'll check it out at my rehearsal space when I plug it into my power conditioner.
     
  4. nysbob

    nysbob

    Sep 14, 2003
    Cincinnati OH
    If there are any other all-tube Trace users on this board (V-6 or V-8), I'd be interested hear how you feel they stack up sonically as compared to a vintage SVT... ;)
     
  5. Jugghaid

    Jugghaid

    Jun 28, 2002
    Denver, CO, USA
    Hi Bob. I'll let you know saturday when I a/b the V6 and a 1969 SVT. I think going in that the main difference will be that the SVT gets more natural distortion/overdrive than the trace (unless it's the newer version with the OD channel).

    Other than that, we'll see. I going to a/b/c/d the Vintage SVT, an SVT-2PRO, a Sunn 300T and the Trace.
     
  6. I've been using a V8 for some time now and I'm extremely pleased with it. It has the characteristic "signature" Trace sound and is extremely warm and powerful. It purrs beautifully, roars when required and does everything that a great tube amp should do. The V8's built-in compressor is exceptional. The overdrive is a bit "over the top" for me but is also well done.

    To my ear a vintage SVT has a different sound - a bit more grunt and grit. Unfortunately it's been so many years since I owned my SVT I can't provide an accurate comparison.
     
  7. Jugghaid

    Jugghaid

    Jun 28, 2002
    Denver, CO, USA
    Oddio and PBG, either of you guys ever have any reliability issues with your V6 and V8 heads? The one thing that almost scared me off buying this bad boy was all of the horror stories I've heard about Trace tube heads. How they're like a Jag or a Ferrari. They perform tremendously, but are in the shop all the time.

    Mine has had certain upgrades from the factory that supposedly really reduce these issues, and 1/2 of what you hear is bull**** anyway, so what are your experiences?
     
  8. Aside from the SVT II Pro, I have had all those amps at the same time and a/b'ed them. The Trace is cleaner than the old SVT, but has a more harsh breakup. It's also slightly louder. I didn't like my Sunn 300T at all and ended up getting rid of it. It was mushy, muddy and underpowered compared to the others. I hated the onboard compressor and the distortion channel. I'll also mention it was the first and only of FIVE of those amps I ever seen that even worked at all! I blew three NEW ones up doing low-volume demos in music stores and there was no external reason any of them should have tanked!

    Nary a thing, and mine is stock complete with its original Chinese KT88 power tubes. I found it on eBay three years ago from a liquidator sale for American Musical Supply and it was brand new, even came in its sealed factory box. I paid $325 for it. The only downside is they put my name on a mailing list and sent me a "complementary" subscription to Vibe magazine that I still get to this day no matter how many times I've tried to cancel it! I did swap out the preamp tubes for some Telefunkens, because the stock tubes were harsh Chinese crap, but I've never had a single problem with it.

    I also have a Trace VR400 and VA350. They're completely different animals and run VERY high voltages on their tubes and will eat crap power tubes in nothing flat. They're a total pain to tear down, but once you get them apart, they're the easiest amps to repair I've ever seen. I make it standard practice to swap out the plate loads and grid resistors in them for higher values, because they're always cooked (but totally functional) and it's a breeze.

    I'd guess and say one or two self proclaimed "experts" armed with a steaming pile of crap like Gerald Weber's or Dan Torres' books made a mess of one and spread the rumor around that they're unreliable, just like I've heard about the SVT and 400PS and every other bass amp that's not a Fender/Marshall guitar amp or knockoff.

    Sounds like a big load to me. The amp doesn't need any "upgrades." I'm still bothered by your comment about the hum. I'm thinking whoever you bought it from has an unmatched or incorrectly biased set of output tubes in yours and is shooting a you a line of $hit to cover for their incompetence.
     
  9. I have only ever had problems with one Trace head over the years, and I have owned six. Five of these were "all tube". The Trace amps that I've loved best are the V8, HexaValve and V6 in that order, although YMMV. I've never had the pleasure of owning or trying a VR400 or VA350 but I understand they are among the very best also.
     
  10. nysbob

    nysbob

    Sep 14, 2003
    Cincinnati OH
    What is the power tube compliment in the hexavalve? I'm not at all familiar with that one...
     
  11. HexaValve is an older all-stainless steel chassis design with 6 x KT88s. Essentially it is an earlier version of the V6.
     
  12. Jugghaid

    Jugghaid

    Jun 28, 2002
    Denver, CO, USA
    The hum was 60 cycle hum from the power source. When I plugged it into a power conditioner, it went away. Clean as a whistle now.

    The "upgrades" are basically what you stated about the voltage plate and resistor upgrades.
    The mods include some power supply upgraded diodes, output circuit protection and lower plate voltages from a transformer design change.

    I'll retube it with higher quality tubes down the road, but it sounds really really good as it is.

    Thatnk for all the info. I really appreciate it.
     
  13. Jugghaid

    Jugghaid

    Jun 28, 2002
    Denver, CO, USA
    Hmmmm...I'll keep my eye out for one of those as well.
     
  14. Jugghaid

    Jugghaid

    Jun 28, 2002
    Denver, CO, USA
    Thanks for all your help guys. I think I'm gonna keep the 600H as a backup just in case, but it sounds like these are reliable, so no worries.
     
  15. nysbob

    nysbob

    Sep 14, 2003
    Cincinnati OH
    Good news on the hum...

    +1 on the thanks - TBers rock! :bassist:
     
  16. The power supply of the amp ought to filter out ANY line noise. You might want to check for grounding/polarity problems with the outlet it was in or with the amp itself.

    I upped their wattage because some of them were scorched from using cruddy tubes. It actually makes it MORE dangerous if you have a problem, (lower wattage resistors will blow, acting like a fuse if there's a bad problem) but I keep a good eye on how my amps run. Also once scorched, resistors change, usually going higher in value.

    Unless thery are clamping diodes like some old SVT's use on their grid lines, upgrading rectifier diodes will increase your plate voltage. But since you say the tranny got changed, too, it may actually be a downgrade so they won't put out as high a peak voltage.

    I've never had to crack my V6 and I don't have schematic for it, but the VR400 and VA 350 both have protection relays on the main bus lines. I have never heard one click on the V6, so maybe that was what got installed. It'd be a bitch mod to do, BTW.

    I'd say instead of swapping the power tranny entirely, they used the 140 volt primary tap instead of the 110, which will give you about a 20% drop in voltage all around. If that's what they did, you might want to check your heater voltage. If it drops, the tubes won't be getting warm enough to properly emit and you'll wear them out from cathode stripping.

    I like Chinese KT88's that come in it. I also put a set in my V9 Ampeg. I just can't stand their preamp tubes: icepick-in-your-ear treble and no bottom.
     
  17. Jugghaid

    Jugghaid

    Jun 28, 2002
    Denver, CO, USA
    It was definitely the outlet. The guy I bought my house from wasn't the best electrician in the world. I'm going to completely rewire the basement when I finish it.


    Thanks again for all the help. I'm loving this amp BTW. Where did you get you telefunken tubes from incidentally? I mat want to swap them out and see how big of a change you are talking avout. Same with my other V-type head.
     
  18. Ebay is probably your best bet for Telefunkens, even used ones aren't bad.
     
  19. Jugghaid

    Jugghaid

    Jun 28, 2002
    Denver, CO, USA
    Also are you using ECC83's or 12AX7's?
     
  20. They're the same thing. Telefunkens are ALL labelled ECC83 because they're European tubes, and ECC83 is the European designation for the 12AX7. If you ever see a "Telefunken" labelled "12AX7," it's a phony. I got mine off eBay five or six years ago before they were so expensive. I normally go for JAN Philips 12AX7WA's in bass amps, but the Tele's sounded better in the V6.