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Re: Regarding power tube differences.


 :
4/12/2000 2:37 PM
Dave Charneski
Re: Regarding power tube differences.
Gil,  
 
I talked about the Shiva and Tone-Master as well. Why did you focus on the Guytron? In any case, my point really had nothing to do with promoting any particular amplifier, but more to do with how different "brands" of power tubes react to signals containing significant harmonic content. Without mentioning any amps in particular, I have found that *most* of them react in a significant way to power tube changes, even though the power tubes themselves are not clipping. I was not disagreeing with your particular experiences with any particular amp, but more with your assertion that because a power tube does not clip, it will not affect the tone of distorted signals being fed into it. If you were actually referring *specifically* to the amp that you and Mr. Graydon built, then I cannot disagree! Not only have I never heard that amp, but I have heard others that responded the same way you describe. Another point I wanted to get across is that I am *surprised* by my experiences and *expected* the same results that you and Mr. Graydon got with your humble clones.  
 
As for your comment about the Guytron sounding "OK", hey, it's all subjective, right? My bandmate and a local music store dealer (who happens to be a virtual Robben Ford clone, I might add) both seriously considered selling their GT Soul-O 75s after plugging into my Guytron. Thought it was the best amp they ever played. Thought it made their 75s sound flat and one-dimensional in comparison. There's just no accounting for taste, is there? :>) I happen to love the Soul-O 75 myself, as well as a bunch of other amps. Just don't have the cash to own 'em all! :>) Have a good one.  
 
Dave
 
4/12/2000 3:36 PM
Gil Ayan

quote:
"Gil,  
 
I talked about the Shiva and Tone-Master as well. Why did you focus on the Guytron? "
 
 
Dave, the point I was trying to make is that you talked about other amps. I did mention the Marshall as being one amp where the tubes did make a big difference, but not in the 100W D-clone IMHO,  
 
The Tone Master has a post PI master volume, doesn't it? I have no idea what the effect of power tubes would be in that instance. Regarding the Shiva, played one a couple of times and thought it sounded too boomy... Sorry, that's all I can contribute there. :)  
 
quote:
"Without mentioning any amps in particular, I have found that *most* of them react in a significant way to power tube changes, even though the power tubes themselves are not clipping. "
 
 
I had a Boogie Mark IIC+ and a III, and those amps were 100% transparent to power tube changes. I know the reason too: in order to make the amps sound sweet, one HAD to run the presence at (or near) 0, in which case the nagative feedback took away anwy coloration the power section might have imparted.  
 
quote:
"If you were actually referring *specifically* to the amp that you and Mr. Graydon built, then I cannot disagree! "
 
 
If you go back and read my post, that is preciselt what I said.  
 
quote:
"As for your comment about the Guytron sounding "OK", hey, it's all subjective, right?"
 
 
I thougt it did sound OK. I would have preferred independent tone stacks in there because is spite of the extra tone controls, I could never balance the sounds to my liking there. Also, the amp compresses quite a bit in lead mode, which is one thing the D-clone will actually not do. And of course, it is all subjective!  
 
quote:
"  
My bandmate and a local music store dealer (who happens to be a virtual Robben Ford clone, I might add) both seriously considered selling their GT Soul-O 75s after plugging into my Guytron. "
 
 
That may be the way to go... I have played a great many Soul-Os. Two were absolutely magical, the rest were dead sounding to me!  
 
Gil
 
4/12/2000 4:34 PM
Dave Charneski
OK, now we're getting close to my original point/question.
That is, why do some preamp-based-distortion amps seem to be transparent to power tube changes and others don't? The Tone-Master had NO power amp feedback whatsoever (which probably was one reason for its strident tone), but its preamp distortion tone reacted quite significantly to power tube changes, even at lower volumes, where the power tubes were not clipping. Yes, it does have a post PI master volume, but I can't think of good reasons why that would have had anything to do with it. For example, we can take this question "in the limit" (as they say in mathematics) and ask why Fender Twins (for example), played at non-power-tube-clipping volumes sound so different with different types of 6L6s? These differences seem to be exaggerated if you run a unity gain OD pedal, set for distortion, in front of it. The distortion seems to magnify power tube differences, even when the power tubes themselves are not contributing any distortion of their own. So, I was wondering if you had any theories as to why this might be.  
 
On another topic, I don't think my buddies' Soul-O 75s sound dead at all. I'm constantly impressed with my bandmate's tone, as well as my other buddy's tone whenever I go see his band. They both sound absolutely killer. In fact, we both feel my bandmate's Soul-O sounds better than his BF Twin (in comparable modes). However, in the one hour-long A/B I did with his Soul-O and the Guytron, I was able to get it to sound very close to the Guytron, especially in Class A mode (as expected), but could never get it to clean up as well or exhibit the same richness, response to pick attack and "dimensionality". However, in a band context, I have to admit that most of these "nuances" disappear and the damn Soul-O 75 just sounds incredible.  
 
As for the Guytron compression, I too find it to sometimes be excessive, but only in a "sloppy" cab. In the Guytron cab (with a Vintage 30 and Classic Lead 80), it's a thing of absolute beauty. I get the same "feel" I used to get cranking the Tone-Master into a Power Brake. However, the Guytron cab is extremely "tight", which balances well with the compression of the amp, but doesn't always complement other heads. A Shiva EL34 head sounded *really* stiff in the Guytron cab, but really loosened up and felt terrific in a Bogner 2x12. Lots of great tools out there, man...  
 
Dave
 
4/12/2000 6:25 PM
Gil Ayan

quote:
"and ask why Fender Twins (for example), played at non-power-tube-clipping volumes sound so different with different types of 6L6s?"
 
 
Ah, see, I would say that the differences in a Twin running different 6L6s are very subtle at low volumes. Maybe it is our "scales" that are different, Dave.  
 
Gil
 
4/12/2000 6:58 PM
Dave Charneski

Well, maybe the clean Twin example wasn't a good one because the differences are more subtle in that case. I mentioned other cases where the changes are not subtle, but you didn't comment on them, so let me hit ya from a different angle. Have you ever played an amp which exhibits the following traits?  
 
1.) Designed to use only preamp distortion to get  
overdrive tones at club-friendly volumes.  
 
2.) Exhibits noticeable change in overdrive  
tones (per #1) when the brand of  
power tube is changed.  
 
Dave
 
4/12/2000 8:32 PM
Gil Ayan

quote:
"Have you ever played an amp which exhibits the following traits?  
 
1.) Designed to use only preamp distortion to get  
overdrive tones at club-friendly volumes.  
 
2.) Exhibits noticeable change in overdrive  
tones (per #1) when the brand of  
power tube is changed.  
 
Dave  
"
 
 
Not really, but my main gigging amps have, by and large, been Boogies.... either a Mark I or a MArk IIC+. The IIC+ is completely immute to tube changes; the Mark I I actually liked better with EL34s because it was a little more open sounding that way.  
 
Gil
 
4/12/2000 8:37 PM
Dave Charneski
Fair enough, Gil.
I can identify with your experience. I've had amps that were almost totally immune to power tube swaps, namely the Shiva.  
 
Dave
 

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