tubes for mesa bass buster

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by creedbass, Sep 3, 2003.

  1. creedbass


    Apr 5, 2000
    just wanted to start out by thanking everyone who posts here, I learn so much. anyways, I have a few questions, would appreciate any help. I am wanting to retube my mesa bass buster, I was thinking Svetlana, cause I have heard alot of good about them through the posts here, I just went to the tube store website and seen they have changed names to SED, anyone know what is up with that, would you still recommend them, and the other thing is, I was at a mesa boogie dealers store recently checking out cabinets to ad to my buster, I told the guy that was next after I get new tubes, he said he had some there for me and I said I was going to get Svetlana's from the tube store, he told me they wouldn't work cause only mesa tubes will work in the mesa amps, ?

  2. Are you just wanting to upgrade from the original tubes or is there some sort of problem with the amp? Either way Svetlana's USED to be a good choice but due to bad ecomonic conditions at the factory, their quality went down badly.

    Because of the bad situation with Svetlana, New Sensor, best known for their Sovtek and Electro-Harmonix lines, bought the rights to the Svetlana name for distribution in the US. They're currently selling tubes made in the Reflektor (Sovtek/EH) factory labelled as Svetlana. While they're not bad tubes, they're not as good as 1990's production Svetlana. As for what's happened with tubes produced in the Svetlana factory, they're being sold as SED (Svetlana Electron Devices) because New Sensor now owns the red and white box and Svetlana trademark, but not the actual Svetlana factory. Clear as mud, huh?

    He's either lying or severely misinformed. Mesa has a "rating system"(it's a total crock, BTW) which is supposed to allow replacement of power tubes by rating, so a rebias isn't required. It's not true, but Mesa says it, so people believe it.

    The range they provide to "grade" bias current draw versus plate current only ensures that the tubes won't blow the fuse from overcurrent. There are a couple of online tube dealers, Lord Valve at NBS Electronics and Bob Pletka at Eurotubes who can match tubes to Mesa's rating scheme, but it's no substitute for a good tech bias job.

    I'd recommend JJ Electronics, which both dealers sell.
  3. PBG
    So you are saying the SED are the 90's production tube? I assume you guys are speaking of the Svetlana 6L6GC ???

    I've got those tubes in my 400+ and they sound great. Also I have EH 12ax7 which are very quiet.
  4. No, SED is NEW production from the Svetlana factory in St. Petersburg. I'll use a quote from another board that will help explain it:

    Originally posted on AWS by Old Tele Man

    The tubes are the same, but they're not being screened as well for defects and lots more bad ones getting to the US than before. Svetlana's (under their old trademark) first runs that came to the US were also like this. I have several of the early Svetlana EL34's that have microphony problems.
  5. Thanks PBG
    You are top notch!
  6. creedbass


    Apr 5, 2000
    thanks Psycho Bass Guy, I appreciate your input and info, I am looking to get new tubes because I don't have the sound I used to have from my amp, plus it keeps cutting sound sometimes, hoping that is just the old tubes. thanks again
  7. Old tubes don't "cut out." They don't really do much anything different other than VERY gradually disappating less and less plate current. Total loss of output indicates something else is wrong, either bad solder connections or maybe loose contacts on the pins in the tube sockets. Mesa is FAMOUS among techs for bad soldering.

    There isn't a Boogie Buster in existence that should need its tubes replaced from normal use; they're not that old. A good set of power tubes ought to last decades in a properly functioning amp. Preamp tubes should last the life of the amp.
  8. bigbajo60


    Nov 7, 2003
    Laredo, Texas my Buster! Bass 200 1x15 combo... along with brand new 6L6's from Mesa... terrific tone, but as I discovered just a couple of gigs ago, VERY microphonic, hissy and sputtery. I knew it was the preamp tubes, because when I plugged my bass into the Effects Return jack (with a dummy plug in the Effects Send), the bass sounded HUGE and the amp sounded QUIET.

    Enter a set (3) of Electro Harmonix 12ax7's...


    The preamp is now much quieter and just as musical-sounding as ever!

    In the words of Droopy Dog...

    "I'm Happy!"


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