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Tube recommendation.....

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by SUNNyday r., Feb 28, 2008.

  1. SUNNyday r.

    SUNNyday r.

    Oct 17, 2006
    Bay Area
    Getting paid tomorrow and will be able to order new tubes for my SVT-HD. I sifted through past threads and found some nice info but people are rolling tubes for different sounds so this probably gives fresh perspectives more all the time. I am unsure if I want to try 6550's or KT88's. Brand wise it looks like Tungsol are a good bet. What about SED's? Others?
  2. SUNNyday r.

    SUNNyday r.

    Oct 17, 2006
    Bay Area
  3. Rob Mancini

    Rob Mancini Guest

    Feb 26, 2008
    NOS. I don't even waste my time with new tubes anymore. You pay a tiny bit more, but they're well worth it.
  4. SUNNyday r.

    SUNNyday r.

    Oct 17, 2006
    Bay Area
    Yeah, I wouldn't mind the investment as I have GE 6550's in my old Sunn and it sounds great. Still, I wouldn't mind anyone chiming in with their newer tube experiences.
  5. I don't even waste my time with NOS anymore. I think there are some good tubes being built these days. ;-) seriously tho...... ask PBG he's 'in the know' best about these imho.
    where do u pay 'a tiny bit more' ??????
    all the nos tubes i seen are lotsa motsa more!

    I've had good results w/ JJ's tho they were KT77's. but were very good. eurotubes.com
  6. Hoss


    Jan 9, 2006
    Vienna, Austria
    As with my Skunk for the pre I would recommend either:

    NOS JAN Philips 12AX7
    (compared to the Sovteks I had in before, the Philips made a big difference for me - more growl with a bigger midrange, tighter bass) - but maybe the sovteks where just old and needed to be replaced anyway? Maybe they were just not to my personal taste? :D


    let the pre changed back to 12DW7 specs. Its done really quickly for a tech (its only a change of 2 or 3 resistors) and you can use just normal and cheap JJ 12DW7. I tried NOS RCA 12DW7 and the difference was only barely audible for me if even noticeable.

    Both ways made about equal results for me. Some say you MUST do the 12DW7 swap with either a Skunk or MTI SVT to get the "original" sound. Maybe those guys had cheap and worn out 12AX7 in before and than switched to NOS 12DW7???

    My personal experience is, that if the 12AX7 are of good quality (NOS) than it sounds just the same with 12DW7. But the JJ 12DW7 beeing really affordable today it still makes some sense to do the 12DW7 swap.

    With the 6C4 you must go NOS anyway. I had a Mullard in it but I guess any NOS tube like GE, Philips or RCA would do well.
    They are quite affordable compared to other NOS tube types.

    For the phase inverter in the power stage you can either use a 12AX7 or a 12DW7 - just test what you prefer.

    The 12BH7 are significant to the sound. See if you get good selected quality american NOS tubes there. Once you got good ones, those tubes last forever in your SVT. The pair does NOT need to be matched because it can be adjusted with the Balance pot.

    For the Power tubes you can go with any GOOD SELECTED and GOOD MATCHED current production tubes. NOS 6550 and expecially KT88 are INSANELY expensive today. I dont know if they are worth the money cause I never could (or wanted to) afford them for my SVT. :p - Some are selling GE 6550 via the internet and you can NOT tell for sure if they are not already worn out or from old B-Stock. I wonder if they sound better than GOOD SELECTED and GOOD MATCHED new tubes???

    For my Skunk I went with a sextett of tubeampdoctor (TAD) selected and matched Svetlana Winged Cs. It made a HUGE difference to a cheap matched (and obviously not proper selected) sextett of EH 6550s that I had in before. More headroom, louder, punchier and more balanced sounding.

    A sextett of really good matched and selected new production 6550/KT88 is probably more expensive than a 20$ per tube "mixed together" set.

    Obviously the old tube production brands like GE, Sylvania or Tungsol had much closer production specs and higher quality control than todays high power tubes from russia, czech or china. Those tubes did not require such a costly post production dealer selection process.

    Here in Europe I had good experiences with http://www.tubeampdoctor.com/index.php?language=en

    Today available new production 6550/KT88 have different sound characteristics that are a matter of personal taste primarly. NO tube delivers 100% linear amplification in every frequency. So some enhance or soften out a little bit here and some a little bit there. Maybe he likes more bass and more treble, while you care for a slight midrange bump?
    Probably both are decent tubes IF SELECTED properly.

    Here is a test and comparison of some 6550/KT88 tubes. Probably already beeing posted 100 times here, but I havent tripped over a another test, yet.

  7. Id go NOS with the preamp tubes maybe. But not the power tubes.
  8. FunkyFrosty


    May 28, 2006
    To be honest with you - I have owned some heads where NOS preamp tubes made a huge difference, SVT's weren't amoungst any of them - my advice - save your money on SVT preamp tubes - of course buy good quality new ones, but NOS did'nt really make a difference for me - in an SVT - JMHO.

    Power tubes however - thats a different story - but did you see how much a matched set of GE 6550a's are these days - if you can find them!!!

  9. Rob Mancini

    Rob Mancini Guest

    Feb 26, 2008
    I got off easy. My SVT uses 6146B's...I think they were $26 a pop. Ya, NOS 6550's would be a nightmare to pay for.
  10. SUNNyday r.

    SUNNyday r.

    Oct 17, 2006
    Bay Area
    Ok, I had my friend order the Svetlana Winged C's 6550's for me while I was at work. About $130.00 all together. This was reasonable enough for an experiment in new power tubes IMO. I have the original GE 6550's in my Sunn 2000s and have been offered money for them but would never sell them. I bought that with the 6550's as well as Amprex and Mullards in it. For the SVT, I feel that going with what I chose is affordable enough to see if they will get the sound I want. The Mesa Boogie branded older made in china 6550's are apparently horrible (and I am inclined to believe that as the sound is decent but on the anemic side for sure) so the Svets would have to be a step up? Needless to say, I am excited for their arrival!!!:hyper:
  11. SUNNyday r.

    SUNNyday r.

    Oct 17, 2006
    Bay Area
    They are the 6550WE's BTW.
  12. Hoss


    Jan 9, 2006
    Vienna, Austria
    These are Sovtek tubes from the Reflector Factory. The original Svetlana Winged Cs are from St. Petersburgh.

    6550 WE have a slight articulation in the Highs and High Mids. They should make kind of forward and aggressive Sound but still fullbodied with an SVT.
    The Winged Cs are Low Mid Monsters with a tight bass - Thump is the word. Great selected come closest to GEs.

    But anyway - If not selected and matched good they will not develop their full power.

    I am looking forward for your report. 130 for a sextett is rather cheap.
  13. SUNNyday r.

    SUNNyday r.

    Oct 17, 2006
    Bay Area
    I don't have a bass that isn't a mid monster of some sort so I will hopefully enjoy that forward and aggressive sound! 97 Thumb B.O.,Ibanez Roadstar II Musicman style and a U.S. made Peavey Fury Precision style (perhaps my favorite of all time basses I have among a few others I have:) ) that I plan on putting a Dimarzio Model One in with the switch. I am pretty excited about the whole experience. I am so darn proud to have the Skunkworks I just have to get it going to full potential. My friend that is helping me with tube and tech help is a rabid audiophile and tube fanatic so I trust the place he ordered them from. Thanks Hoss for your input and interest. I will add updates when the tubes roll in!
  14. Your right, I dont know where my head was, ive been to busy talking to guitarists about switching tubes recently :bag:

    For the SVT, the preamp tubes, aslong as they are sound, wont make much of a difference.

    And +1 on NOS 6550s being nice, but waaaay too expensive, I want my Sylvania 6550As back :(

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