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will my Walkabout stay clean with lower gain tubes

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by bino, Apr 7, 2006.

  1. bino


    Jun 27, 2002
    Orange County
    I love my little walkabout and have upgraded the tubes to a set of JJ ECC83S. It made a remarkable difference, but I'm finding that I don't really want or need the OD grind of this amp. I prefer the clean tone, but the volume isn't usually sufficient with the gain turned down as low as I like (9:00 or so).

    Is there a tube out there that will allow me to crank the gain a bit more and still remain comparatively clean? Maybe a 5751 or 12au7? Or will the design of the preamp make sure that OD happens regardless of the tube?
  2. Eric Cioe

    Eric Cioe

    Jun 4, 2001
    Missoula, MT
    Why do you insist on having the volume that low? I've found that when changing preamp tubes, you can't just recycle your old settings. What gain setting sounded good with the old tube might not sound good with the new one.
  3. bino


    Jun 27, 2002
    Orange County
    Well, I just prefer how clean the tone remains with the gain set that low. By 12:00 I really start to notice a break-up as the amp gets cookin'. I realize I can boost the master, but it still won't get as loud without adding more gain. I'm looking for a tube that allows me to boost the gain up to 12-1 o'clock and not break up.
  4. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    Is the effects loop pre or post eq?

    Maybe you can run a clean preamp through the effects loop, keep the gain down to avoid overdrive, but boost it through an external preamp enough to drive the amp volume up.
  5. WalterBush


    Feb 27, 2005
    Yuma, Az
    Full disclosure, I'm a certified Fender technician working in a music store that carries Fender, Yamaha, and Ibanez products among others.
    Switching to a 12au7 will allow you to set your gain knob higher before breaking up, but there may be a corresponding loss in overall volume, which won't help your situation any. This depends largely on circuit design. You're not likely to damage the amp trying, though, so why not go for it?

    I think seamonkey's idea is worth a shot, too, although depending on where the FX loop is in the chain, it could make things worse. Once again, you're not likely to damage it trying, so why not?
  6. I know this probably isn't the post your looking for but I say use the same exact tubes that you are replacing.

    Going into a tube journey can be a blistering adventure where lots of money is lost (they add up, trust me), and no improvemnet comes from it. At least this was my experience.

    If I could go back, I would of kept my life simple and just replaced tubes with the identical tubes.

    If you don't mind switching tube to tube and listening for the ever so sublte diffrences for 17 hours go for it!

    just my 2 cents, save yourself the headache and $$

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