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  1. #1
    Eruption Paulsitive's Avatar
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    12.10.17 @ 07:25 PM
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    Default Crate Blue Voodoo/Basic tube amp question

    Whats up dudes. I recently purchased a Crate Blue Voodoo BV120H for insanely cheap off craigslist.org. I am new to tube amps and have never actually owned one before. First question, does this amp self bias?

    Next, the amp has three 6L6c Groove Tubes. I need one more tube to power it, my question is should I definetly use another tube of the same type and brand? or could I throw any old 6l6 tube in there? I am not sure whether or not I have to use 6L6C or what, and if i can mix and match different types/brands. Any helps appreciated

  2. #2
    Good Enough nobozos's Avatar
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    12.09.17 @ 07:17 AM
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    Default

    What you need to do is take the amp to a repair shop and ask them to replace all of your tubes, and bias the amp.

    Most tube amps will require a bias adjustment after you replace the power tubes. This is required because no two tubes are going to be exactly the same as far as current measurements. In order to make the tubes work together properly, small adjustments are made to the bias.

    Companies like Groove Tubes sell tubes in "matched sets", which is supposed to eliminate the need for biasing, as long as you use the same model groove tube every time. I don't trust that.

    As for the pre-amp tubes, they can be replaced without biasing. I always replace my pre-amp tubes all at once, even if only one goes bad. I save the ones that I take out that haven't failed yet for spares, just in case one goes microphonic on me at a gig.

    Your pre-amp tubes will be 12AX7 tubes. You will find that many of these tube will have a suffix of some kind of letter. This may denote some type of grading system by the manufacturer to indicate the anticipated output of the tube.

    Your power amp tubes will be 6L6, or 5881 tubes. Two different numbers, but it's the same tube. Again, the suffix is a rating system.

    Now, a word about tubes. I've never been a fan of Groove Tubes in a high gain amp. I think they work well in a Twin Reverb, but they sound like absolute dog-shit in a 5150.

    There are two types of pre-amp tubes that I prefer. One brand is Ei, and the other is JJ's(or sometimes referred to as JJ Tesla). I will only use JJ's 5881 tubes in my 5150 Combo.

    You can spend a fortune on tubes if you so desire. There are manufacturers like Mullard and Ruby that sell very expensive tubes, but for my money, JJs are as good as I need.

    A final note, if you are going to spend money on expensive tubes, spend it in the pre-amp section. The pre-amp section is where all the real tone of the amp is generated. The power section only amplifies the pre-amp signal. Sure, the power section does add some degree of warmth to the tone at higher volumes, but the actual tone is all coming from the pre-amp. If your amp sounds un-appealing, try changing your pre-amp tubes out for better ones, and you will be suprised at the difference it makes.

    out.
    "Having an opinion that people disagree with doesn't make you a Douche, arguing with the people who disagree with your opinion and calling them stupid does!" -Me.

  3. #3
    Forum Frontman fudd's Avatar
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    Ditto on JJ, stay away from groove, they're the hottest i've seen out there.

  4. #4
    Eruption Paulsitive's Avatar
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    12.10.17 @ 07:25 PM
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    so when it comes down to it I can use ANY kind of 6L6 tube no matter the letter or # after 6L6? am I correct on this? I'm looking into getting JJ's as everyone says they're awesome in the blue voodoo, depending on the price..as I am a cheap bastard.

  5. #5
    Good Enough nobozos's Avatar
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    12.09.17 @ 07:17 AM
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    Default

    Yup.

    check out eurotubes.com
    "Having an opinion that people disagree with doesn't make you a Douche, arguing with the people who disagree with your opinion and calling them stupid does!" -Me.

 

 

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