Rollin' Tubes

Re: Rollin' Tubes

Postby barefootdave » Sat Oct 20, 2012 10:13 am

This was fun to sit and compare...

1. Fair but unremarkable

2. Much more personality than 1, fuller, more gain

3. Very Jerry, this one is the clear winner to me

4. Better than 1, but not as good as 2 & 3; very acceptable tone

5. Very rich sounding, probably rate this one second only to #3

So I guess my final rating would be 3, 5, 2, 4, 1

3 & 5 are so close it's hard to pick between them. I might like even like 5 better, but 3 was the closest to THE TONE.
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Re: Rollin' Tubes

Postby jeager » Sat Oct 20, 2012 12:35 pm

Number 3 jumped right out of the speakers. Very nice. What were they? I have not done much hunting around I had a set of JJs put in my Bogner Alchemist a few years back on tech's recommendation... that was just before getting my SMS Classic and going through a host of poweramp trials including a brief stint with the MC 250. I have settled on the Mesa 50/50 for power now, i swapped out the old tubes for JJs from Euro tubes that are supposed to run a bit hotter than what Mesa puts in there and everybody compliments me on my tone if nothing else.

Question, i have a set of JJ Phase inverter tubes to go in the Mesa that I got as part of a retube kit, anybody know if this will make a big difference/improvement. I am reluctant to open the thing up and change them myself...
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Re: Rollin' Tubes

Postby lunasparks » Sat Oct 20, 2012 12:59 pm

lunasparks wrote: If a handful of responses come in, I'll follow up with details on the tubes


Thanks for the feedback. I love these kinds of little tests! Here's what they were:

1. Tube Amp Doctor (TAD)
2. Tung Sol (new issue). These are kind of fat and gainy, as noted.
3. The favorite thus far...kudos to Mr. Sarno, these are the Chinese tubes that came with my SMS from Brad. I think he's sung their praises in the past IIRC. I believe brand is Shuguang...and probably cheapest of the bunch!
4. old school Positron brand pulled from my Boogie
5. The second favorite it seems: These are old GE brand I bought off ebay and most expensive of the test batch.

For now I think I'm sticking with #3 :smile:
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Re: Rollin' Tubes

Postby JonnyBoy » Sun Oct 21, 2012 11:32 am

Nice LS! I don't have the patience to do such a test, that was really great you showed and proved the Chineses 12ax7's. I liked all of them since the rig sounds awesome in its own right, so they were all pretty close down the line for Jerry tone, but 3 and 5 are the winners in my ears. They seemed richer and a tad brighter which I like. But seriously, you could use any of them and sound awesome, if that makes any sense. Its the SMS->MC->JBL thing.
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Re: Rollin' Tubes

Postby lunasparks » Sun Oct 21, 2012 4:50 pm

JonnyBoy wrote:Nice LS! I don't have the patience to do such a test, that was really great you showed and proved the Chineses 12ax7's. I liked all of them since the rig sounds awesome in its own right, so they were all pretty close down the line for Jerry tone, but 3 and 5 are the winners in my ears. They seemed richer and a tad brighter which I like. But seriously, you could use any of them and sound awesome, if that makes any sense. Its the SMS->MC->JBL thing.


Thanks, JB. I'm forever hunting the TONE but still think there's a gap to close. It's really like a thousand small steps to get there. There's still a kind of crispy crackling thing that I can't reach. I've rolled the tubes and come back to what Brad put there in the first place! What I'm working on now is trying to get some computer gear that will let me get a really LOUD signal into Audacity without clipping...I still think maybe it's just a pushed JBL away from the grail, but who knows? Of course I should just be practicing :-? But I can't let the tone hunt go...just want to hit a chord, exhale, and say "yep, that's it!" Forever hungry.....?
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Re: Rollin' Tubes

Postby Bear62 » Tue Oct 30, 2012 10:17 am

I have to totally go w/ Brad on the Kranked live tone and standing close to the cabinet. I played a big pool hall w/ terrible acoustics. I ran Res Guitar w/ Waldo buffer into SMS>Mosvale MV-962 one side into SSP 2x12 w/ 2 Weber Neos at 8 ohm. Occasional use of Fulltone Fulldrive 2 (1998 version). Perfect downsized volume rig at 80 watts and all the natural feedback and grit is there by just opening up the amp and letting it rip. Did not turn the amp up past 6. Even had the drummer asked me to turn it down. The sweet spot of these rigs is clean w/ some delay and your own favorite OD pedal. I prefer my original Way Huge Aqua Puss analog delay from 1998. I think the new ones use a different chip. I digress.... The original tubes are still in my SMS and they just get sweeter sounding every day! Next pedal will be an Earth Drive. peace,

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Re: Rollin' Tubes

Postby Smolder » Tue Oct 30, 2012 11:29 am

the first one was bright but I really like the glassiness of it... the bright could easily be tempered with tone adjustment. (not necessarily judging agains emulating Jerry tone. 3 and 5 were both very full bodied.
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Re: Rollin' Tubes

Postby JonnyBoy » Tue Oct 30, 2012 2:39 pm

lunasparks But I can't let the tone hunt go...just want to hit a chord, exhale, and say "yep, that's it!" Forever hungry.....?[/quote]

There is nothing wrong with searching for a tone that nails it. It does make playing and practicing much more enjoyable. Plus, it is something we all have learned to guage. Its a hobby of sorts that we enjoy the payoff in the end. I think you really helped people see that Brad IS using a tube he feels (and does) embody Jerry's tone successfully.

[quote="Bear62 wrote:
I have to totally go w/ Brad on the Kranked live tone and standing close to the cabinet......Gregg


There is a sweet spot that can be obtained through volume for sure. That "spot" is where I really enjoy the tone of my guitar. Where the guitar will feedback during a solo if you hang a note and face your cab. I really enjoy it during the solo in "Loser",,, That is nice.
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