Tube Overhall Question

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greenmeansjoe
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Tube Overhall Question

Post by greenmeansjoe » Wed Jul 30, 2003 1:34 pm

I've got a slowly degrading tube in my Fender Hot Rod Deville, which I'm thinking would be a good excuse to overhaul all the tubes. I'm playing a brand-spanking new Tele. I love my tone, but could stand to get richer highs.

Any suggestions on good replacement tubes?

Thanks.

Joe

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axial
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Re: Tube Overhall Question

Post by axial » Wed Jul 30, 2003 1:36 pm

don't worry we don't need to track, we'll fix it later!

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greenmeansjoe
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Re: Tube Overhall Question

Post by greenmeansjoe » Wed Jul 30, 2003 1:56 pm

Axial ... or whoever else:

Can anyone give me more info on Eurotubes? They look promising, but it looks like I'd have to get them mailordered, and I have no intention of installing them myself.

Would an amp tech at a guitar shop take my amp and tubes I'd ordered over the internet and install them?

Joe

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aurelialuz
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Re: Tube Overhall Question

Post by aurelialuz » Wed Jul 30, 2003 2:15 pm

hey joe,

first, how do you know the tube is degrading?

second, if you order the tube, and you know what tube needs to go, all that there is to do is pull the old one out and put the new one in. no need to pay some dude 50-100 bucks to plug and unplug something for you.

-EXCEPT IF IT'S AN OUTPUT TUBE-

no clue on what's in a deville, but if it's got more than one output tube and you need to replace one, replace them both with a matched set.

alex
Last edited by aurelialuz on Wed Jul 30, 2003 2:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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biasvoltage
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Re: Tube Overhall Question

Post by biasvoltage » Wed Jul 30, 2003 2:19 pm

The tech will gladly ream you $50 or so for installing tubes. Changing the tubes is really not that big of a deal; there is no soldering involved, they just plug in. For point of reference as to how easy this is, my Mom rembers changing the tubes in her old TV in college. I guess you'd have to know my mom, but she's not very mechanically inclined.

The small tubes have 9 pins arranged in a circle on the bottom; two of the pins have an extra large space between them that matches with an extra wide space on the socket so you can't plug it in the wrong way. The larger power tubes have a notched pin in the center that mathces up with a notched hole in the socket, so once again you can't put it in the wrong way.

I really think if you are able to hook a guitar up to a couple of pedals and an amp, you shouldn't have any problems with changing your tubes.

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aurelialuz
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Re: Tube Overhall Question

Post by aurelialuz » Wed Jul 30, 2003 2:29 pm

i strongly feel that if you're going to use tube amps, you better learn to work on them. i spent hundreds of dollars paying people to change my tubes, NOT fix problems, or order AC30 transformers from england that i didnt need and took two months because "i'm SURE i saw smoke coming out of the trannie..."

i took amps in to be fixed three times here in portland, specifically told the guy what the problem was and ended up with amps that didn't have the problem fixed, but had shiny new tubes, shiny new caps and a $200 repair bill. that was the end of that. a couple of days on the internet will teach you more than your average repair guys know about tube amps.

[insert obligatory note about how tube amps can kill you, blah blah, etc]

alex
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Re: Tube Overhall Question

Post by AGCurry » Wed Jul 30, 2003 2:41 pm

Not sure I believe what I'm hearing: You're afraid to change the tubes? It's no harder than changing a light bulb.

-- Andy, feeling his age

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wayne kerr
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Re: Tube Overhall Question

Post by wayne kerr » Wed Jul 30, 2003 2:57 pm

Yeah, you'll prolly need a pair of 12AX7s and either two or four EL84s. I can't imagine "Fender" using anything else these days. Just make sure you buy a matched pair or a matched quad on the output side. And it IS as simple as changing a light bulb. Modern amps are auto biasing, so you don't need to mess around with that - just plug 'em in and go! Just unlpug the sucker b4 you do it, that's all. I'd avoid Sovtek as consistency has been an issue with them. I've heard some nice Svetlanas and Electro-Harmonix tho. Groove Tubes are nice too, but overrated (read: overpriced) in my opinion. Good Luck.
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wayne kerr
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Re: Tube Overhall Question

Post by wayne kerr » Wed Jul 30, 2003 3:00 pm

Oops I stand corected - You need 6L6s on the power side. Who knew!
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axial
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Re: Tube Overhall Question

Post by axial » Wed Jul 30, 2003 4:06 pm

call the guy from euro tubes he is awesome he knows so many amps, he has better prices too! I would suggest doing that first, I dunno if someone already posted this but you may need your bias adjusted depending on the tubes and the amp, he would let you know right over the phone if thats what you'll need, he knows mods and all kinds of stuff he comes highly and I mean highly recomended.

good luck
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Re: Tube Overhall Question

Post by teleharmonium » Wed Jul 30, 2003 4:08 pm

It is certainly true that plugging in new tubes is no big deal, but in this particular case we are talking about an amp that has fixed, nonadjustable bias, and Fender biases them cold from the factory so that the tubes live at least past the warranty period (never mind that it makes the amp sound like ass). I recommend getting a matched quad of JJ/Tesla 6L6GC power tubes and as many of the JJ/Tesla 12AX7s as the amp needs plus a couple of spares. Then, take it to a respected local amp tech and have him not only install the tubes, but set the bias properly for the amp (this is why you are going to the tech). The amp only uses a pair of the power tubes, but since you will have 4 of them all matched to each other, in about 2-3 years you can just take the first pair out, throw them away, and put in the other pair without having to take the amp in again. The amp will sound better not only because it has better tubes than it came with, but also because the bias is in the right range.
If you buy tubes from your tech, or from Groove Tubes or Mesa/Boogie, you will pay more and quite possibly get lower quality Russian or Chinese tubes to boot.

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greenmeansjoe
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Re: Tube Overhall Question

Post by greenmeansjoe » Thu Jul 31, 2003 7:22 am

Ok, so do I go to a tech or not?

If the bias is fixed, as some of you have said, I should be able to handle it myself, right? No biasing. No biggie. Unplug. Plug in. Simple.

Someone asked how I know I have a bad tube. When I'm playing in certain ranges I get a nasty vibration, a rattling sound, as if there's something loose within the amp. At first I thought it was just my guitar, like fret buzz or what have you. But I've tried three different guitars now and got the same noise with each one. It was particularly bad when I played through a friend's Epiphone hollowbody.

So it sounds like all I need are four pres and two outputs then?

Joe

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Re: Tube Overhall Question

Post by Kyle » Thu Jul 31, 2003 7:33 am

Bob from Eurotubes is amazing, he know everything. Send him an e-mail and ask him your questions. He loves his job. I use him for everything with a tube.
Kyle

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Re: Tube Overhall Question

Post by greenmeansjoe » Thu Jul 31, 2003 9:39 am

Just noticed that I totally misspelled overHAUL. I'm a big dummy.

Joe

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Re: Tube Overhall Question

Post by teleharmonium » Thu Jul 31, 2003 9:45 am

Fixed bias means it needs to be checked and adjusted when you change tubes. If it were fixed, adjustable bias, you could do it yourself with a multimeter and a small amount of electronics knowledge; however, your amp does not have external test points or a bias pot, so that is not a real easy option. The bias has to be checked while the amp is running, which is dangerous for a newbie, and if the bias needs to be changed, which it almost certainly does, you can only do it in that amp by changing a resistor or adding a bias pot and resistor, which involves soldering either way.
Cathode bias is the type that does not need to be adjusted when you change tubes, as long as the components in that circuit are in good condition.

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