Follow us on...
Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Facebook Watch us on YouTube
Register
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 18
  1. #1
    Top Of The World 5150 Frankenstrat's Avatar
    Join Date
    06.09.08
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    205
    Favorite VH Album

    5150 and Fair Warning
    Last Online

    02.20.13 @ 06:15 PM
    Likes
    0
    Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default Tube Amp Questions

    About a month ago I bought an Epiphone Valve Half Stack because I was fed up with the sound of my old Marshall MG30DFX and I wanted a tube amp, so I figured an Epi Valve Jr. would be a great place to start. The two tubes that came with the amp were a Sovtek EL84 and a Sovtek 12AX7. The sound that came from the EL84 sounded very fuzzy, harsh, "cardboard" so to say, and just flat. There is almost no overdrive when I play which can easily be solved when I buy an overdrive pedal. Anyway, about 3 weeks into playing the amp, somehow, don't even know how this happened, the EL84 got a crack in it and that was it for the Sovtek. So a few days ago, I went to a local guitar shop which sells vintage gear, and I purchased two JJ EL84s, which sound so much better than the Sovtek.

    Since I'm new to tube amps, I was wondering if you guys could give me some info on tube amps, like how long do tube generally last, how long can I play without blowing the tubes. What does low, mid and high mean in terms of the amp. What other info can you suggest. What gear could I use to help get a warmer tone like the Brown Sound, What do you guys think about the Valve Jr.? I wish I had the money to get a 5150 Combo but I didn't lol.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Good Enough
    Join Date
    12.15.07
    Location
    Iowa/Illinois
    Posts
    1,807
    Favorite VH Album

    Balance
    Last Online

    10.26.16 @ 03:37 PM
    Likes
    2
    Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 5150 Frankenstrat View Post
    About a month ago I bought an Epiphone Valve Half Stack because I was fed up with the sound of my old Marshall MG30DFX and I wanted a tube amp, so I figured an Epi Valve Jr. would be a great place to start. The two tubes that came with the amp were a Sovtek EL84 and a Sovtek 12AX7. The sound that came from the EL84 sounded very fuzzy, harsh, "cardboard" so to say, and just flat. There is almost no overdrive when I play which can easily be solved when I buy an overdrive pedal. Anyway, about 3 weeks into playing the amp, somehow, don't even know how this happened, the EL84 got a crack in it and that was it for the Sovtek. So a few days ago, I went to a local guitar shop which sells vintage gear, and I purchased two JJ EL84s, which sound so much better than the Sovtek.

    Since I'm new to tube amps, I was wondering if you guys could give me some info on tube amps, like how long do tube generally last, how long can I play without blowing the tubes. What does low, mid and high mean in terms of the amp. What other info can you suggest. What gear could I use to help get a warmer tone like the Brown Sound, What do you guys think about the Valve Jr.? I wish I had the money to get a 5150 Combo but I didn't lol.

    Thanks!

    You will never get the "Brown Sound" with a 5150, so don't worry. As far as that crap sovtek calls a tube, I would think the JJ's should last at least 6 months to a year. Anyone have an EL84 amp and know how long those tubes last in a typical amp?

    As for your VJ, you mean there is almost no GAIN; there is plenty of overdrive. You will be able to get very close to the brown sound with this amp just because running a powertube full out is what makes a lot of that tone. You can't really get any gear short of a new amp that will do that for you better than the amp's own powertube. The only gear that will help with this is an EQ pedal, since your amp has NO EQ. Without a means to adjust the sound, the amp's (and guitar's) natural frequencies will overpower and probably not give the greatest tone. That's all the lo mid and hi is in an amp -- they are EQ knobs. They basically adjust how loud certain pitch or frequency ranges are coming out of the amp.

  3. #3
    Hot For Teacher mike-o's Avatar
    Join Date
    12.04.07
    Location
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Posts
    263
    Last Online

    02.16.10 @ 05:23 PM
    Likes
    0
    Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    The brand of tubes you use makes a huge impact on the final sound... some tubes go really well with some amps, you'll figure it out from experience.

    I have a Valve Jr. They're pretty cool. I don't need it at all anymore so I'll be selling it soon, but yea. Whatever you do, don't buy a Boss DS-1 to boost it. That pedal (stock) is total shit. The boss SD-1 might be better, but if you have the money I'd look in to something like the ibanez tube king or hughes and kettner tube factor. You won't be able to get anywhere near the brown sound with this amp stock, even if you crank the amp all the way up, for a few reasons. One, you're not eddie van halen, you don't have his fingers. Nobody does. Two, the VJ is COMPLETELY different than a SLP... the SLP is a class A/B amp, 100 watts, 4 EL34's and 3 12ax7s. One cranked EL84 sounds nothing like a quad of cranked EL34's. The VJ is class A (brighter highs, looser bottom end).
    Last edited by mike-o; 08.25.08 at 11:57 AM.

  4. #4
    Good Enough
    Join Date
    12.15.07
    Location
    Iowa/Illinois
    Posts
    1,807
    Favorite VH Album

    Balance
    Last Online

    10.26.16 @ 03:37 PM
    Likes
    2
    Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mike-o View Post
    You won't be able to get anywhere near the brown sound with this amp stock, even if you crank the amp all the way up, for a few reasons. One, you're not eddie van halen, you don't have his fingers. Nobody does. Two, the VJ is COMPLETELY different than a SLP... the SLP is a class A/B amp, 100 watts, 4 EL34's and 3 12ax7s. One cranked EL84 sounds nothing like a quad of cranked EL34's. The VJ is class A (brighter highs, looser bottom end).
    You'd be surprised how brown a cranked little EL84 can get. Is it a Superlead - no. There is no substitute. But it can do a pretty good job - especially for the money. This amp really isn't too far off from the Superlead schematic though in concept. If you look at the two of them, they have a similar 1st gain stage, and 2nd gain stage. Keep in mind the Superlead only uses 1 preamp tube per channel as 2 (halves of the tube) gain stages. That is identical to the architecture of the VJ. The difference is that the Marshall has an EQ and then a phase inverter, which is where the extra gain is coming from. The massive saturation of the power tubes also adds a lot of kick that the VJ just won't get.

    Hopefully, by finding the right clean-ish boost pedal and running that into the VJ, it will give it the extra 'gain stage' without altering the tone too much. That way you can keep the all out tube tone, but also enjoy the responsiveness that the extra gain will give.

  5. #5
    Top Of The World 5150 Frankenstrat's Avatar
    Join Date
    06.09.08
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    205
    Favorite VH Album

    5150 and Fair Warning
    Last Online

    02.20.13 @ 06:15 PM
    Likes
    0
    Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mrjstudios View Post
    You will never get the "Brown Sound" with a 5150, so don't worry. As far as that crap sovtek calls a tube, I would think the JJ's should last at least 6 months to a year. Anyone have an EL84 amp and know how long those tubes last in a typical amp?

    As for your VJ, you mean there is almost no GAIN; there is plenty of overdrive. You will be able to get very close to the brown sound with this amp just because running a powertube full out is what makes a lot of that tone. You can't really get any gear short of a new amp that will do that for you better than the amp's own powertube. The only gear that will help with this is an EQ pedal, since your amp has NO EQ. Without a means to adjust the sound, the amp's (and guitar's) natural frequencies will overpower and probably not give the greatest tone. That's all the lo mid and hi is in an amp -- they are EQ knobs. They basically adjust how loud certain pitch or frequency ranges are coming out of the amp.
    lol, I know there's overdrive, I just want to get the sound close to a cleaner overdrive if I'm saying that right.

  6. #6
    5150 A&Z Guitar Repair's Avatar
    Join Date
    03.23.03
    Age
    45
    Location
    North of STL, MO
    Posts
    602
    Favorite VH Album

    Fair Warning
    Favorite VH Song

    Cabo Wabo/Poundcake/dropdead
    Last Online

    03.24.17 @ 08:25 AM
    Likes
    0
    Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts


    Donor

    Default

    If you're pushing the amp hard, I'd change them every 6 months. You might try the Tung Sol's for the preamp tubes. They seem to have a little more bite and might push the amp into a more gain filled sound.

    Talk to Bob at eurotubes.com for a matched set of EL84's and jj preamp tubes. Bob's got lots of ideas as well as great prices.

    Also, there are hop ups available for the Epiphone amp. You might look at these as well... http://www.bitmomusic.com/brochure.htm

    Hope this helps,

    Scott Eivins
    A&Z Guitar Repair
    Scott Eivins
    A&Z Guitar Repair

  7. #7
    Good Enough SLEEPER5150's Avatar
    Join Date
    02.13.08
    Location
    Canada's West Coast
    Posts
    2,281
    Favorite VH Album

    Fair Warning
    Favorite VH Song

    Hear about it later
    Last Online

    12.03.10 @ 03:16 PM
    Likes
    0
    Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 5150 Frankenstrat View Post
    lol, I know there's overdrive, I just want to get the sound close to a cleaner overdrive if I'm saying that right.
    By cleaner overdrive, I'm assuming you mean getting pinch harmonics to sing and get longer sustain with less distortion. Alot of people get gain/overdrive confused with tube distortion. Also, tubes are unpridictable by their nature. JJ's I think right now are the best thing going in terms of some sort of consistency. The only other tube I like is Phillips for their 12ax7's. The life of a tube is kinda like a lightbulb. If it's shaken, or vibrated heavily, the delicate stuctures inside can break. Also if they are subjected to a lot of on-off-on-off use they will fail prematurely. An amp I bought sometime ago had a date stamped 1987 on two of the preamp tubes, and I know this amp well, and it has had a very functional life, not just sitting in some guys basement collecting dust. He has never changed the preamp tubes, only the power tubes, to my surprise, and it sounds great. I will change them to JJ's but for now it works. As far as a brown sound, like the other guys said, an eq will be a must with this amp in particular. Also to some extent, a different speaker might be an asset in your quest. I know guys, myself included who have spent thousands of dollars on their quest for the perfect tone. Good luck though. Their good amps. You've got a good foundation.
    She looks so $#@!'n good ,so sexy and so frail....Somethin's got the bite on me, I'm goin' straight to Hell.

  8. #8
    Top Of The World 5150 Frankenstrat's Avatar
    Join Date
    06.09.08
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    205
    Favorite VH Album

    5150 and Fair Warning
    Last Online

    02.20.13 @ 06:15 PM
    Likes
    0
    Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SLEEPER5150 View Post
    By cleaner overdrive, I'm assuming you mean getting pinch harmonics to sing and get longer sustain with less distortion. Alot of people get gain/overdrive confused with tube distortion. Also, tubes are unpridictable by their nature. JJ's I think right now are the best thing going in terms of some sort of consistency. The only other tube I like is Phillips for their 12ax7's. The life of a tube is kinda like a lightbulb. If it's shaken, or vibrated heavily, the delicate stuctures inside can break. Also if they are subjected to a lot of on-off-on-off use they will fail prematurely. An amp I bought sometime ago had a date stamped 1987 on two of the preamp tubes, and I know this amp well, and it has had a very functional life, not just sitting in some guys basement collecting dust. He has never changed the preamp tubes, only the power tubes, to my surprise, and it sounds great. I will change them to JJ's but for now it works. As far as a brown sound, like the other guys said, an eq will be a must with this amp in particular. Also to some extent, a different speaker might be an asset in your quest. I know guys, myself included who have spent thousands of dollars on their quest for the perfect tone. Good luck though. Their good amps. You've got a good foundation.
    You got it right Sleeper. I love pinch harmonics and divebombs, but I can't get them all that well. I can only achieve this if I turn the volume up, and that's pretty darn loud in my room lol.

  9. #9
    Good Enough
    Join Date
    12.15.07
    Location
    Iowa/Illinois
    Posts
    1,807
    Favorite VH Album

    Balance
    Last Online

    10.26.16 @ 03:37 PM
    Likes
    2
    Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by A&Z Guitar Repair View Post
    If you're pushing the amp hard, I'd change them every 6 months. You might try the Tung Sol's for the preamp tubes. They seem to have a little more bite and might push the amp into a more gain filled sound.

    Talk to Bob at eurotubes.com for a matched set of EL84's and jj preamp tubes. Bob's got lots of ideas as well as great prices.

    Also, there are hop ups available for the Epiphone amp. You might look at these as well... http://www.bitmomusic.com/brochure.htm

    Hope this helps,

    Scott Eivins
    A&Z Guitar Repair
    Thanks. I wasn't sure how long the EL84's lasted since I don't use them. We've already got a good connection with Bob from Eurotubes. He's a great guy running a great business. I forget -- what are Tung Sol's labeled as now? Is it groove tubes that uses them to manufacture tubes, or what?

  10. #10
    Good Enough SLEEPER5150's Avatar
    Join Date
    02.13.08
    Location
    Canada's West Coast
    Posts
    2,281
    Favorite VH Album

    Fair Warning
    Favorite VH Song

    Hear about it later
    Last Online

    12.03.10 @ 03:16 PM
    Likes
    0
    Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 5150 Frankenstrat View Post
    You got it right Sleeper. I love pinch harmonics and divebombs, but I can't get them all that well. I can only achieve this if I turn the volume up, and that's pretty darn loud in my room lol.
    Well that is a bit of a downside of tube amps unless you attenuate things. It's a funny thing. I have a solid state amp, 50w 10in. speaker and it doesn't sustain or pop the harmonics at all without help from an Ibanez Tubescreamer. But then on the other side, I have an old Pignose that runs on freak'n AA batteries, and you get feedback sustain and harmonics. All this from a 4 or 5 inch speaker! It's a bit of a tuffy. Have you tried a Tube Screamer? They are excellent. Just about every big name has used them for years. Most notably from the blues world Stevie Ray. They sound quite natural for a pedal. I'm afraid due to the fact that the circuit is fairly old school in terms of it's gain stages, you are never going to get the gain you crave at volume levels without a. a pedal. b, an attenuator, or c some kind of amp modelling preamp.
    She looks so $#@!'n good ,so sexy and so frail....Somethin's got the bite on me, I'm goin' straight to Hell.

  11. #11
    5150 bunnyman's Avatar
    Join Date
    08.04.08
    Age
    45
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    669
    Favorite VH Album

    Most
    Favorite VH Song

    Jamie's Crying
    Last Online

    11.06.14 @ 04:06 AM
    Likes
    0
    Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    I modded a Valve Jr. with a new turret board by turretboards.com. I went for the Marshall one.

    I bought NOS Jan tubes, and they sound pretty cool. Is this amp a Soldano or Boobtone? No. It never will be. But it isn't bad. I liked it for some recording.

  12. #12
    5150 A&Z Guitar Repair's Avatar
    Join Date
    03.23.03
    Age
    45
    Location
    North of STL, MO
    Posts
    602
    Favorite VH Album

    Fair Warning
    Favorite VH Song

    Cabo Wabo/Poundcake/dropdead
    Last Online

    03.24.17 @ 08:25 AM
    Likes
    0
    Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts


    Donor

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mrjstudios View Post
    Thanks. I wasn't sure how long the EL84's lasted since I don't use them. We've already got a good connection with Bob from Eurotubes. He's a great guy running a great business. I forget -- what are Tung Sol's labeled as now? Is it groove tubes that uses them to manufacture tubes, or what?
    Tung Sol's are still labelled as Tung Sol's. You can get them at the Tube Store

    http://thetubestore.com/tungsol.html...FRYLIgodkX7_aw

    Tube Depot. http://www.tubedepot.com/tungsol.html

    Etc.

    I'm not sure about Groove Tubes. I've not been a fan of their tubes for some years.
    Scott Eivins
    A&Z Guitar Repair

  13. #13
    Top Of The World 5150 Frankenstrat's Avatar
    Join Date
    06.09.08
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    205
    Favorite VH Album

    5150 and Fair Warning
    Last Online

    02.20.13 @ 06:15 PM
    Likes
    0
    Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SLEEPER5150 View Post
    Well that is a bit of a downside of tube amps unless you attenuate things. It's a funny thing. I have a solid state amp, 50w 10in. speaker and it doesn't sustain or pop the harmonics at all without help from an Ibanez Tubescreamer. But then on the other side, I have an old Pignose that runs on freak'n AA batteries, and you get feedback sustain and harmonics. All this from a 4 or 5 inch speaker! It's a bit of a tuffy. Have you tried a Tube Screamer? They are excellent. Just about every big name has used them for years. Most notably from the blues world Stevie Ray. They sound quite natural for a pedal. I'm afraid due to the fact that the circuit is fairly old school in terms of it's gain stages, you are never going to get the gain you crave at volume levels without a. a pedal. b, an attenuator, or c some kind of amp modelling preamp.
    I have not tried a Tube Screamer, I do that they push a tube amp's preamp tubes into an overdriven state, which would help. As for an attenuator, I'm going to pick up a Weber MicroMASS with a 15 watt rating, and may be used on 4, 8, and 16 ohm amps which was the VJ has. To simulate the brown sound, I'm going to pick up a BOSS GE-7 EQ, along with the EVH Flange and Wah . Hopefully this will help the sound. I'm also going to pick up a BOSS Chromatic Tuner because I'm not all that great with tuning by ear.

  14. #14
    Good Enough
    Join Date
    12.15.07
    Location
    Iowa/Illinois
    Posts
    1,807
    Favorite VH Album

    Balance
    Last Online

    10.26.16 @ 03:37 PM
    Likes
    2
    Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by A&Z Guitar Repair View Post
    Tung Sol's are still labelled as Tung Sol's. You can get them at the Tube Store

    http://thetubestore.com/tungsol.html...FRYLIgodkX7_aw

    Tube Depot. http://www.tubedepot.com/tungsol.html

    Etc.

    I'm not sure about Groove Tubes. I've not been a fan of their tubes for some years.
    Oh, ok. I have not been a fan of Groove Tubes either, so I wasn't sure who made their tubes...

  15. #15
    Good Enough
    Join Date
    12.15.07
    Location
    Iowa/Illinois
    Posts
    1,807
    Favorite VH Album

    Balance
    Last Online

    10.26.16 @ 03:37 PM
    Likes
    2
    Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Just talked to *the famous* Mike Deal today. He says he's been getting a great clean boost from his re-issue model. Plus, doesn't slash use those in front of his marshalls? If so, he definitely doesn't have a thin tone like a lot of pedal freaks get.

 

 

Similar Threads

  1. Sound Questions/Equipment Questions.
    By A&Z Guitar Repair in forum Guitar Room
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 10.21.07, 10:59 PM
  2. tube question
    By solo-ed in forum Guitar Room
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 07.18.06, 09:12 AM
  3. check me out on you tube
    By RG550L in forum VH Fans Meeting Place (Music Only)
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 04.26.06, 04:53 PM
  4. Blew my first tube...
    By White Lightning in forum Guitar Room
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 04.18.06, 04:47 AM
  5. tube questions
    By stratogibson in forum Guitar Room
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 05.01.01, 05:33 AM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •