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Tube question on behalf of guitarist

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by PanteraFan, Apr 21, 2004.

  1. Hi. My guitar player has a Marshall DSL50 head and he's going to retube, and he asked me for advice on tubes. I'm not a tube guy by any means, I've got a JJ ECC83S in my Hartke and it sounds great, but for hi-gain distorted metal guitar I was reluctant to recommend them to him.

    What tubes would be best for hi-gain metal guitar, think Machine Head/Pantera stuff with death metal leanings? There's four 12AX7's in there and two EL34's.


  2. He shouldn't need to change his preamp tubes unless he's unhappy with the amount of gain he's getting. Although many will disagree with me, I like those Electro Harmonix EL-34s.
  3. Well to be honest there is only just enough gain for a usable sound for im at the moment, he has to max the gain on the lead channel. Anything with more gain than that?

    Also, why do people not like EH EL34's?
  4. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    There's nothing with more gain than your JJ, it's a 12ax7 type tube which is as gainy as they get (all the other members of that familiy, 12at7, ay7, etc have lower gain).

    The holy grail of preamp tubes for Marshall's is the 60's or 70's Mullard 12ax7, that one has a beautiful bite on the high end that sounds great with an overdriven Marshall. Groove Tubes has a new 12ax7 tube the "12ax7m", that's supposed to be an exact duplicate of the Mullard, I'm not sure if they're generally available yet, but they will be soon. The other NOS type tubes to try are the Brimar and the Amperex "Bugle Boy".

    But JJ's are pretty good. For current production tubes, try that one and the Ei's (different sounding but also good in their own way). Try to stay away from Chinese tubes if possible. And, you can never go wrong with an RCA.

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