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Glassy Tone

2/18/1999 10:47 AM
Glassy Tone
Looking for suggestions on tube type/brand to help define a glassy strat tone in a Mesa T-Verb (I can rebias). This thing will do either 6l6 or el34s. The Mesa 6l6s don't seem to do the glass tone too well. I've tried some Svetlana el34s they seem to sound a little more "glassy" its time to retube -- looking for "that" tone!! Any help? Thanks RJH
2/18/1999 3:37 PM
Michael Tousek

You'd probably want to go with EL34's since they retain their top end when they distort (6L6's get really dark when you crank 'em). My recommendation would be the Svetlanas -- I've got a set and think they sound great, and lots of other people seem to like them, too. They've been described as having a bright top and a full but firm low end.  
Michael Tousek
2/19/1999 2:33 AM
Blues Lyne

I recently purchased some NOS Philips JAN 12AX7's. When I stuck them in the preamp of my Fender it got alot more of that glassy strat sound. Kind of glassy yet round with a nice definition and punch. I know you were probably talking about power tubes, but these might help also.  
3/1/1999 10:19 AM

I'd try a really good 12AX7 for the first stage and perhapes some Tesla EL34's. The Svetlanas are also good. I think this will get you closer to the "Glassy" tone you are seeking.  
In my humble opinion 6L6's are not "Glassy" or smooth when driven hard. It's sorta the opposite really.  
Best of luck;  
3/4/1999 2:15 PM
Dear Hunter:  
I play through two different Top Hat amps - a King Royale and Club Royale II. Although the Top Hats use EL-84's (versus 34's) I switched to Ruby/Tesla power tubes in both amps and found a substantial difference in tone from the stock tubes.  
I kept the stock preamp and rectifier tubes in my King, but the Ruby/Tesla power tubes have made it the single glassiest amp I have ever heard. Much glassier and more shimmering than the stock tubes. Since the power tubes were the only change made in this amp, I attribute most of the tone change to those tubes.  
In my Club II, I changed all pre and power amp tubes to Ruby/Teslas; also changed from a GZ34 to a NOS 5Y3 rectifier. In addition, had a larger transformer installed by Top Hat. The entire amp sounds much glassier, more responsive, and better breathing since the changes. It would be a bit more difficult to pinpoint the difference in tone to one specific item. However, I would guess that the Ruby/Teslas have a lot to do with it.  
6L6's have always sounded very dark, loud, and almost monolithic to me. The 6's tend to be very "American" sounding. However, Mesa is a classic American sounding amp.  
Hope this helps!
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