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#2465932 - 01/27/13 01:45 AM Tube Replacement Questions
02R96 Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 11/04/07
Posts: 987
I purchased my Orange Tiny Terror in January 2008. After having it modded by Jule Amps, it's seen continuous service in my basement studio. Basically, it's had a life of leisure; the amp has never been gigged or driven very hard. It still has the original tubes and I figure it's about time to install a new set.

So I've been considering my options. I could install OEM valves from Orange, purchase new aftermarket, or try NOS tubes from GE, RCA, Phillips etc.

What does everyone think? I'm kind of interested in the NOS valves for no other reason than nostalgia (as long as the price is reasonable). Or would "fresh" tubes be a better choice?

I'm open to any suggestions! idea
_________________________
Dan

"When you play a stadium you almost have to do a Mick Jagger where you wave a sash around and prance about. I canít quite do that..."

David Crosby talking about CSNY's 1974 Doom tour.

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#2465935 - 01/27/13 02:42 AM Re: Tube Replacement Questions [Re: 02R96]
The Geoff Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 11/05/04
Posts: 8664
Loc: Near Glasgow
http://www.guitaramplifierblueprinting.com/GTsecrets.html

Read the article a little way down before perusing the reviews.

G.


Edited by The Geoff (01/27/13 12:26 PM)

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#2465960 - 01/27/13 07:41 AM Re: Tube Replacement Questions [Re: The Geoff]
Caevan O'Shite Offline
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Registered: 04/05/02
Posts: 22341
Loc: The Great Spirit's Handprint o...
Pricey NOS EL84's are largely a waste of money for workhorse amps, simply because they don't usually last as long as "big" tubes, NOS or not. If you had a vintage Vox or custom boutiquery or the like in a studio setting with alnico speakers and high-end mics with money to burn, then, sure, why not. But you're in luck, there are some very nice brand-new/recent/current-production EL84's out there...

THESE ROCK. Ruby EL84CZ's. Matched sets of the same tubes also branded as 'Groove Tubes EL84 S (#5)' and 'JJ EL84'. I've had a matched quartet in my Carvin that have lasted and lasted for WAAAY longer than they should have had any right to! (FWIW, mine were hand-picked by Myles Rose. cool ) And the improvement in sound over the stock tubes was PHENOMENAL.

Be sure to change the driver/phase-inverter tube along with the output-tubes. Check with Myles, your amp may or may not benefit from a "Balanced" or "Matched Phase Inverter" (aka MPI). If applicable, an MPI is HIGHLY recommended. They've made a HUGE difference for any amp I've put them in.
_________________________
Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~
_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

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#2466006 - 01/27/13 09:23 AM Re: Tube Replacement Questions [Re: Caevan O'Shite]
Larryz Offline
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Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 5510
Loc: Hwy 49, California
First, you should have your tubes checked and if it ain't broke, don't fix it. If you want to buy fresh tubes for future replacement, then you might want to check out brands with Jule Amps and see what they recommend, since you have trusted them to mod your amp and it has been working well for you...

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#2466094 - 01/27/13 02:40 PM Re: Tube Replacement Questions [Re: Larryz]
pinkjimiphoton Offline
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Registered: 06/28/10
Posts: 2418
Loc: new england, usa
rubys, jj's sovteks all good..

don't buy into the nos myth, cuz they may be JAN NOS etc, but that doesn't mean they haven't banged around for 4 or 5 decades and become poo sealed in glass.

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#2466396 - 01/28/13 04:15 PM Re: Tube Replacement Questions [Re: pinkjimiphoton]
02R96 Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 11/04/07
Posts: 987
That's a good point Jimi. I was thinking the same thing. I'm kind of leaning towards buying "fresh" tubes.

My TT uses a pair of 12AX7's and EL84's, so prices are fairly reasonable. The original tubes are Orange branded, but I wonder who really makes them...
_________________________
Dan

"When you play a stadium you almost have to do a Mick Jagger where you wave a sash around and prance about. I canít quite do that..."

David Crosby talking about CSNY's 1974 Doom tour.

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#2466448 - 01/28/13 07:57 PM Re: Tube Replacement Questions [Re: 02R96]
Caevan O'Shite Offline
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Registered: 04/05/02
Posts: 22341
Loc: The Great Spirit's Handprint o...
I'm tellin' ya, go with a matched set of the Ruby EL84CZ's (and a new driver/phase-inverter), they're about as good as it gets for new EL84's. They (at the time, the exact same thing with the GT brand) were what Myles recommended to me, and they've served me VERY well, indeed.
_________________________
Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~
_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

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#2467137 - 01/30/13 04:04 PM Re: Tube Replacement Questions [Re: Caevan O'Shite]
Bartholomew Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 02/29/04
Posts: 399
Loc: Montreal
I just had my 68 sf twin re-capped and put in JJ tubes.

Have read elsewhere that Groove Tubes are not so matched or very good but cost the same or more - any comments ?
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#2467422 - 01/31/13 11:36 AM Re: Tube Replacement Questions [Re: Bartholomew]
Caevan O'Shite Offline
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Registered: 04/05/02
Posts: 22341
Loc: The Great Spirit's Handprint o...
Originally Posted By: Bartholomew
I just had my 68 sf twin re-capped and put in JJ tubes.

Have read elsewhere that Groove Tubes are not so matched or very good but cost the same or more - any comments ?


When our own Myles Rose left GT at the onset of the Fender buy-out, he took all of his own specialized equipment with him (not to mention his considerable experience and expertise); GT, under Fender, is not very likely to have been able to keep up the previous quality and detail in testing and matching.

The Groove Tubes GT EL84 S Matched Quartet (#5 Rating) that I bought were tested, selected and matched by Myles himself while he still worked for the S.A.G. (Special Applications Group) at GT; when I replace them, I will be buying Ruby EL84CZ's, which are actually the same tubes as the GT EL84 S's (as are the JJ EL84's- all three are the same base tubes), and I will buy them tested, matched and rated by Doug at Doug's Tubes (who was recommended to me by Myles). Win - win. cool
_________________________
Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~
_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

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#2467517 - 01/31/13 06:38 PM Re: Tube Replacement Questions [Re: Caevan O'Shite]
pinkjimiphoton Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 06/28/10
Posts: 2418
Loc: new england, usa
i'm not all that sold on el84's needing to be matched too perfectly, but that's me.. they're generally self-biasing, so...

that said, them little bottles run HOT. find some you like (i like rubys or jj's) and stick with 'em. change them, if gigging once or twice a week, every 3-4 months. if playing more, more frequently.

caev's advice is sound also, change thdiver once in a while.. the 12 a_7 closest to the tubes... it gets driven hard, often well above what it's designed for. you probably don't need to replace it more than once or twice a year; if the amp seems "mushy" after a power tube change, swap it out, and odds are it'll improve it. preamp tubes you don't have to replace unless they're microphonic usually.

if myles reccomends something, well...he's MYLES, dude. wink

nuf said!

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