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Peavey Classic 50 retube

2/11/1997 4:02 PM
Peavey Classic 50 retube
OK, all you tube fiends...I have a Peavey Classic 50 head (the tweed one) that I am extremely happy with. I am starting to look around for info on retubing it. Question: can I vastly improve the sound by taking out the "Peavey Super 7" 12AX7's and replacing with Sovtek 12AX7WXT+SEL (or some other tube)? I like the level of preamp distortion I get now (though I wouldn't mind more!) Will I get a "fuller, richer sound" as advertized? Has anyone out there tried these? ALSO, the amp uses Sovtek EL84 output tubes. I like the way these distort when I crank it, but they're a bit lacking on the low end and low mids. One more thing: this amp has no bias adjustment. Thanks...
2/12/1997 3:04 PM
Aaron, I have the 4-10 combo classic 50. I have not changed tubes in it yet so  
I could not tell you if the sovteks will do you any justice, but I have done some other major changes by getting rid of the wimpy PCB's that the preamp and output tubes are mounted on and replacing it with a thick sheet of aluminum. This required some stand-offs with point to point wiring of all the components that were on both boards. Also I got rid of all those molex connectors and soldered in all connections. Now if only I could get the case from vibrating against the chasis this thing might be road worthy. I should of bought the head virsion like you did. -Oh well, maybe I'll break out the chainsaw.  
The classic 50 is class A config.- no bias needed.
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2/12/1997 3:59 PM

Thanks for the response, Matt. I've played many gigs with this head as is, tossed in the back of a truck, spilled beers on it, and it seems to have held up pretty well (except for the requisite tears in the covering!). Did your rewire affect the sound? How? Also-yes, I am really happy I bought the head version. I tried it in the store at the behest of some salesman, through the 4X10/1X15 cabs that were supposedly made for it and it sounded pretty damn cool. But it was NOTHING compared to what it sounded like when I brought it home and plugged it into two 4X12s! I have a friend with a JCM900, and my Peavey absolutely ROASTS it. And as an added bonus, a great clean sound. Thanks -- Aaron
2/13/1997 12:28 AM
John Martin

First, there is no such thing as a "Peavy" tube, they just rebrand someone else's. If they rebranded some chinese tubes you could do well to go with the Sovteks. I would recommend the 12AX7WB. The XT's etc may or may not work better in your amp. I find from experiance that some of the finer points of tube balance and symetry are lost on guitar amps.What you want is high gain. But if you have a few extra bucks get both and experiment, have fun, and post your results for the rest of us. thanks
2/13/1997 3:36 PM

I knew the "Peavey Super 7" was a rebrand, but there's no other way (that I know of) to tell whose they are. I imagine they are, as you say, some cheap Chinese tubes, in which case the Sovteks undoubtedly would sound better. I do get plenty of gain with the "Super 7's" - to my ears, it's perfect with both the Pre and Post knobs pegged. What I'm looking for is a little more richness or fullness to the sound, if you know what I mean. "Harmonic complexity", or whatever the twenty dollar phrase is. Perhaps some different power amp tubes - which brings me to my next question - what do you know about EL84s? Thanks to "the insane" John Martin for the most excellent response!
2/14/1997 12:49 AM
Mark C
The Super 7's are a Chinese tube (At lest in my friend's 5150).  
The Sovteck's would sound fuller and richer but may be muddy.Chinese one's  
have a britter tone and are a little more "open" sounding but more prone to microphonics.(in a weired way to putt it Chinese sound like a Marshall (britter) and Sovtek sounds like a boogie, not the gain but the tone (fatter but not as much edge).Is hard to put sound and tone to words sometimes.Hope that helps.  
2/17/1997 3:02 PM

Thanks, Mark, that does help. Which Sovtek did your friend put in his 5150? I emailed Sovtek and got a pretty detailed response from them - "Andy" from Sovtek says the 12AX7WB is a good tube but that it rolls off on the high end. That may account for the "muddy" sound you described. With that in mind, I wonder what the 12AX7WA would sound like? Or some other manufacturer's tube? Are there any 12AX7 gurus out there? Any comments from the panel would be appreciated!
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