Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

 #31396  by Stratmaster
 Thu Nov 29, 2007 11:15 am
Hey guys, i have a fender twin and i want to get new tubes. What tubes did Jerry use? I want to get them soon. Is there a good site to order them from or should i just go to the guitar shop?

 #31398  by strumminsix
 Thu Nov 29, 2007 11:43 am
What year Jerry sound are you looking for?

For most of his time with a "Twin" he used a solid state poweramp.

I've never, anywhere, ever heard anything about Jerry having a preference for preamp tubes.

However my advisement would be for NOS tubes if that is your desire.

Mike @ KCA NOS is a very good resource.

 #31401  by waldo041
 Thu Nov 29, 2007 12:28 pm
i remember reading somewhere that the roadies or crew would go out and buy out whole surplus at auctions for military tubes, potentiometer, resistors, capacitors, and anything musically useful.

try some old american made rca or phillips if you can find them. otherwise experiment with different combo's of newer made tubes. same type pf course. it may take some money, but that is how the pro's find what they want. ain't that right TS!


 #31415  by tigerstrat
 Thu Nov 29, 2007 1:09 pm
First of all, Jerry had NO power tubes in his Twin Reverb! Not since about 1968. Around 1969, preamp out jacks were added going to McIntosh power amps which drove the speakers, and WERE tube MC275's and later MC3500's at first, but around late 72 were switched to solidstate MC2300's, which he never stopped using until his death.

Preamp tubes, I have a friend Simon who is the son of a Prankster and friend of all the GD crew was given one of Jerry's Twins and he said it had 60's-era RCA's, but I don't know if that's what they would have used all the time. I know they purchased huge wholesale quantities of military surplus, so there may have been a lot of sylvania and/or G.E. as well. I'd be interested to know.

Google "Tube Primer" with "12ax7" and find a very informative online document , and and sift through some of those explanations and comparisons... bear in mind the guy works for Groove Tubes but he presents some pretty unbiased stuff imho.

Basically V2 is the tube that affects tone (V1 is only for the normal channel and you can pull it and get a slightly hotter reverb channel) and I really like an RCA in there, but I also like certain G.E.'s , I go back and forth. At one point I was using a Westinghouse of Hungarian manufacture but it actually fried on me, one of the only times I've had a preamp tube fail.