i13cssin (i13cssin) wrote in tone_junkies,

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power tubes

has anyone ever switched out 6l6s from their power amp for EL34s?

i have a Peavey TripleX, and i love the way it sounds currently, but i've heard that swapping the power tubes out for EL34s give it a grittier, darker, meaner sound (which i'm all for). i'm looking for some first-hand accounts from anyone who has made that switch.....is it worth it? does it make a noticable difference? were you happy with the change?
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I haven't done it, but I've thought about trying that out with my Mesa Nomad 100.
I currently own the nomad 100 head; do not! switch it out the 6l6s for el34s no matter what mesa tells you, the head is designed specifically around 6l6s and the preamp is voiced for that; the only thing that will change with el's is a loss of quality in the clean channel and a muddier quality to the 2nd and 3rd channels.

also, always bias the tubes even though the head has a set bias, my head blew a tube and my amp tech explained to me theres no such thing as set bias.

Just some tips on that head; I've owned it for three years and it sounds awesome but the reliability is too much of an issue for me.
set bias is a lie from the devil....and not that sweet devil the black metal guys are always singing about. that OTHER devil.
read my comment above, it goes for the triple x as well; the amp was designed around those tubes, and the power tubes dont effect the sound as much companies will have you believe, it really comes down to preamp voicing in the long run. If you want a darker grittier tone you may want to consider running an eq in front of the head and tweaking the brightness with that, and boast your signal with a compressor.
it was a few comments on the harmony central boards that got me thinking about this...but i generally don't trust the goons there so i thought i'd fish for some first-hand accounts here.

it isn't really an eq/compression issue, so much as it is the texture of the gain. if the tubes aren't the answer, it may be that i need to try another pickup (i currently have a dimarzio tone zone).

again, i dig the way my shit sounds now......but i think everyone in this community is always ont he lookout for something new/better/different.
if you like it now stick with it; if it doesnt break down on you stick with it. I'm a tone freak. but the bottom line is no matter what amp you have, its gonna sound like you.

As far as pickups go, you could always try something hotter; i have active emg single coils with a mid boost in my metal guitar and it sounds awesome through everything; the mid boost manages to kick the gain just enough to make it really chewy and crunchy at the same time. Check it out if you have a strat; its the david gilmour pickgaurd set up at emg. Aside from changing pickups it all does really come back to preamps
i've never been a big fan of active pickups. dunno why, maybe it's just one of those irrational biases. the TZ has a pretty significant mid boost though.

i've tried a few different brands of preamp tube, and there's never been an appreciable amount of difference, or at least not in the way i'm looking for. i tend to keep my channel volumes lower so that i have to crank my master, and therefore drive the power amp harder. THAT definitely makes a difference in my tone and the texture of my distortion, which is why i'm asking about the el34s. it's almost more out of curiosity, though if i hear good things i may try it.

and yeah, i agree 100% that no matter what, you sound like you. it's all about looking for ways to accentuate different shades and colors in your playing.
I had a Mesa Dual Rec that I put in EL34s and it blew my mind at how much better the EL34s sounded. You will definitely need to relearn everything about how your EQ works but once you get used to it you can dial in some mean tones.
what kind of differences did the el34s produce tone-wise/eq-wise?
obviously a bit more mid heavy, more compression without getting to squishy. it got rid of that horrible buzz 3 channel recs are known for. it just smoothed everything out but still sounded tough as hell. but then again, those 2 amps are totally different beasts. for cleans, i would hardly say el34s muddy up a sound but they can make a brittle tone sound fat and warm. all personal preference though.
Guitar tube amps are a great way to meet your neighbor!




August 2 2008, 21:07:14 UTC 9 years ago

Tube Amps (http://www.guitartubeamps.com)