Swapping tubes in ART gear

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kinger
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Swapping tubes in ART gear

Post by kinger » Thu Feb 26, 2009 10:21 am

It seems to be very common practice to swap out the tubes in ART VLAs and MPAs, etc. and I'm just wondering if it really makes that much of an audible difference or if it's just snake oil? I've got a PRO VLA and an MPA Gold, both of which I think sound pretty darned fine, and I've got a little music-money to blow and was thinking about upgrading the tubes.

Anyone have any first-hand experience? Did it make a huge difference or did you have to convince yourself you could hear a difference? If someone snuck into your studio and changed the tubes back, would you be able to tell? How do you know someone didn't do this already? Sorry to all the paranoids for that last sentence...

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;ivlunsdystf
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Post by ;ivlunsdystf » Thu Feb 26, 2009 10:38 am

I did that with an MPA Gold and I'm not sure I could tell the difference. I only did it cos I had extra tubes laying around. The circuit, being starved plate, isn't really putting much heavy lifting onto the tube anyhow.

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Post by thereminman » Thu Feb 26, 2009 1:56 pm

I've got one of those little tubepac ART's.
The one that's a compressor and mic pre.
---but boy does it have a buzz.

Anyone have similair experience?
Would swapping the tube be helpful in this case?

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Post by kinger » Thu Feb 26, 2009 3:14 pm

I think those tube pacs have the XLR connectors mounted directly to circuit boards. I'd check to make sure the solder join on the XLR ground pins isn't cracked (pin 1) as I've experienced that problem before and that'll definitely cause you lots of 60Hz hum.

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the velour fog
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Post by the velour fog » Fri Feb 27, 2009 10:38 am

i swapped the tubes in my mpa and vla, and i did notice a difference. mine were stocked with some no-name chinese tubes. i did a few experiments with swapping and found that a lot of tubes are better than the stock ones. right now i have jj's in the mpa and some nos rca tubes in the vla. it's definitely worth trying. worst case is you wasted an afternoon experimenting.
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trodden
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Post by trodden » Fri Feb 27, 2009 10:41 am

yes, noticed a difference.

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JWL
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Post by JWL » Fri Feb 27, 2009 11:35 am

Me too, I used a 12AT7 in one, and a 12AU7 in another (I may have the types wrong, I know they were less gain than a 12AX7, but compatible). Cleaned it up a bit.

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trodden
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Post by trodden » Fri Feb 27, 2009 12:40 pm

I switch out jan phillips and mullards in my vla depending on what i'm going for. Both types of tubes sound great. bought it used with the Jan Phillips in it already.. don't think they are stock.

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ott0bot
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Post by ott0bot » Fri Feb 27, 2009 12:43 pm

Anyone try swapping the tube in the TubeMP project series? I'm wondering if it'll help warm up the sound a bit. It works good as a di...but the preamp is a bit sterile at low volumes then noisly when the gain is anywhere past 13 dB.

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Brian
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Post by Brian » Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:17 pm

couldn't you change the tubes and then raise the plate voltage a tad to make it more linear/cleaner?
Harumph!

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ott0bot
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Post by ott0bot » Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:25 pm

Brian wrote:couldn't you change the tubes and then raise the plate voltage a tad to make it more linear/cleaner?
Is this referring to my question on the TubeMP?

If so...I'm not bad with electronics, but I'm not sure how you'd raise the plate volume. Any how to advice?

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Brian
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Post by Brian » Fri Feb 27, 2009 5:05 pm

ott0bot wrote:
Brian wrote:couldn't you change the tubes and then raise the plate voltage a tad to make it more linear/cleaner?
Is this referring to my question on the TubeMP?

If so...I'm not bad with electronics, but I'm not sure how you'd raise the plate volume. Any how to advice?
you mean plate voltage, yeah, don't you meter it and select a resistor that doesn't shunt the voltage down as far, or, use a pot to push them up a little and get a cap for the other side with a higher value and fast recovery time.
I'm not describing this well.
Harumph!

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Post by kinger » Fri Feb 27, 2009 8:45 pm

Well, it sounds like it's worth trying. I think I'll start with buying something cheap like a pair of JJs to see what that sounds like and then maybe move up from there. Thanks to everyone who chimed in!

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trodden
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Post by trodden » Fri Feb 27, 2009 11:43 pm

kinger wrote:Well, it sounds like it's worth trying. I think I'll start with buying something cheap like a pair of JJs to see what that sounds like and then maybe move up from there. Thanks to everyone who chimed in!
use the search engine and try things out and make a determination on what you hear.

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JWL
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Post by JWL » Sat Feb 28, 2009 10:56 am

Not sure I'd bother trying to raise plate voltage in the ART TubeMP circuit, since it's a starved plate design.

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