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opinions on speaker and tube upgrade

Discussion in 'Amp Input - Normal or Bright' started by heltershelton, Nov 2, 2017.

  1. heltershelton

    heltershelton ROCKIN FOREVER Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jun 5, 2013
    Not Florida
    then ill keep it to myself and wont tell anyone. i might be drunk, but i aint stupid.
     

  2. xland

    xland Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    49
    Oct 5, 2014
    Illinois
    I put a 25W Greenback in my AC4-112 a few months back and I like it a lot. :thumb: But I am partial to the sound of Greenback/Creamback speakers. I also have a Creamback in a 1x12 cab I play my Bassbreaker through.

    I did change out the tubes but I added a Tungsol in V1, JJ in V2 and JJ EL84 tubes. My Vox AC4 has become my most used amp for practice now.

    I suspect you will really like the speaker and tube change. Let us know how it works out for you.
     
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  3. heltershelton

    heltershelton ROCKIN FOREVER Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jun 5, 2013
    Not Florida
    ill do it man. i wanted preamp tubes with alot of headroom, and the mullards seemed to have the most out of all the ones i compared. im gonna be cranking the thing all the time so i imagine ill have all the drive i need, and if i dont, i have the ocd.

    oh.....did that speaker make a pretty noticable difference?
     

  4. Kstu

    Kstu Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    41
    38
    Oct 18, 2017
    Massachusetts
    I heard something like this. One or two factories make all these valves and just name em differently.
     

  5. rolandson

    rolandson Senior Stratmaster

    Jul 13, 2015
    Cascadia
    It's all under the umbrella of a corporation called New Sensor... aka ...Sovtek. It's owned by a guy named Mike Matthews, who's in deep in Russia. Mike bought up the factory and the license to use the names of desirable brands like Tung-Sol and Mullard. Electro Harmonix is his too.

    Basically they're all Sovtek now.
     
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  6. CGHguitars

    CGHguitars Strat-Talker

    360
    Sep 8, 2015
    Rancho Cucamonga
    THIS. I've played with tubes a ridiculous amount, and find that preamp tubes can make a really significant difference. If you're using reissue, current Mullards, Tung Sol, etc, not much difference.
    The most difference I've found would be to use the less expensive stuff in most positions, and then play with changing the V1 position to better NOS stuff. It will surprise you.

    good luck!

    Chris
     
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  7. heltershelton

    heltershelton ROCKIN FOREVER Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jun 5, 2013
    Not Florida
    this is true...but they do have different varieties of the same tubes.....headroom, low gain, high gain, blah blah blah. I only chose the mullard preamp tubes because I found a thing online that showed the characteristics of the different tubes. I think it was tube depot under "tubes by amp" or something like that.
    https://tubedepot.com/t/tubes/tube-...KBrypqAB3_gBpZ16hNfYnZMBQUWWG3_4aAmDnEALw_wcB
    if you put in your type of amp and all that, it will give you tube suggestions, starting with jj's. then if you want you can change brands, and in the preamp part at the bottom it says " compare to other tubes" or something like that. if you click on it youll see what I mean.
    here it is....https://tubedepot.com/tube-comparison-tool
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2017
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  8. rolandson

    rolandson Senior Stratmaster

    Jul 13, 2015
    Cascadia
    A thing that I have found rewarding, insofar as NOS tubes are simply outside the realm of reasonable these days, is to play around with the tubes themselves...

    For example, just because the Fender tube chart says that I am supposed to use a 12AT7 in V3 or V6 (reverb driver and phase inverter in the Blackface stuff) doesn't mean I have to. I've dropped a 12AU7 into V3 and found that I have significantly greater control over the reverb because it is a "less robust" medium frequency tube. I get an earlier break up with a 12AX7 as PI as opposed to the 12AT7....

    The JJ 6V6 is capable of handling a higher plate voltage than other 6V's, thus I am running my Super Reverb with them instead of 6L6's; which provides for less power and therefore happier neighbors when I am "in the mood".

    In the eighties a friend who worked for a company that made it's 'nut' with Oscilloscopes called Tektronix. He gave me a rather large box of vacuum tubes and a book published by GE called Essential Characteristics. I have no idea when it was published but I suspect sometime in the late fifties or early 60's.It's got everything I would ever want to know about every damn tube ever made, plus circuit designs for all types of stuff and construction data for speaker enclosures.

    I use it a lot. Found all kinds of substitutions for all kinds of stuff that way.

    But keep in mind, ymmv. If not absolutely certain that the substitution being contemplated won't open a portal to some other dimension or send you and your valued amp off to orbit Pluto, don't do it.

    As for Russian or Chinese tubes...if they work....they work! That's a win. Who cares whats written on them! As Mike Matthews has demonstrated, words are cheap and brand names mean absolutely squat.
     
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  9. Deschain

    Deschain Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    52
    90
    Jun 23, 2017
    Denmark
    In my experiense, one of the biggest improvements you can make to a low-end/budget tube amp, is to put in a quality output transformer.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2017
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  10. heltershelton

    heltershelton ROCKIN FOREVER Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jun 5, 2013
    Not Florida
    update.....got the tubes today, did a short vid of the amp as is, changed the tubes, and did another short vid (for @Ebidis )
    speaker should be here wednesday....ill swap it out then make another vid.
     
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  11. sumran

    sumran Fan of Leo

    Mar 7, 2010
    Gainesville, FL
    Good that are doing it in stages. That way you will know what made a meaningful difference. Look forward to your assessment.
     
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  12. heltershelton

    heltershelton ROCKIN FOREVER Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jun 5, 2013
    Not Florida
    well, just tracked the package and now it says it will be here thursday, which is cool because i have a meeting with my lawyer wednesday and she is not in this town....i was about to call her and say, "sorry, but i gotta cancell....gettin a new speaker".
     
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  13. heltershelton

    heltershelton ROCKIN FOREVER Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jun 5, 2013
    Not Florida
    got the speaker switched out...vids to come.
    IMG_20171109_141620.jpg
    IMG_20171109_141630.jpg
     

  14. Hairy Bear

    Hairy Bear Strat Fumbler Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    64
    251
    Nov 30, 2010
    The stolen land of the Iceni
    Not quite the same but I have the AC4TVH head with matching cab. Changed the valves, I don't remember to what without pulling the back off, and made a couple of component changes on the board. Result: improved tone, less harsh top and smoother lows, unmistakably still Vox, but still room for improvement.
    Swapped out the stock speaker whatever it was, just a Vox number on it, for a Celestion G12H(55) - a "posh" greenback left over from another project - and it totally transformed it. In retrospect I should have done the speaker swap first, the change was that great.
    We all have different expectations and different hearing so what we find works for us may not work for you, all we can do is cheer you on and say "go to it, you've nothing to lose". :thumb:
     
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  15. heltershelton

    heltershelton ROCKIN FOREVER Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jun 5, 2013
    Not Florida
    ok...got the vids done. i doubt you will be able to hear much of a difference due to it being recorded with my cheapo phone, but i can hear and feel a difference....also, this speaker needs to be broken in, so ill work on that awhile. @Ebidis

    STOCK


    NEW TUBES ONLY


    NEW TUBES AND SPEAKER


    WITH OCD AND A TAD OF REVERB
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2017

  16. Ebidis

    Ebidis Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    51
    Nov 14, 2013
    Alabama
    Not much if any difference that I could tell with the tubes, but the speaker... WOW! Huge difference. I definitely like the Greenback better. More open and less boxy sounding. Definitely a worth while upgrade. :thumb:
     
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  17. heltershelton

    heltershelton ROCKIN FOREVER Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jun 5, 2013
    Not Florida
    hell yeah man.....it will only get better as it breaks in.
     
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  18. thomquietwolf

    thomquietwolf Senior Stratmaster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    76
    Dec 2, 2010
    Peardale CA
    What number are the mullards?
    electroharmonix--good...
    Have you looked into Gold Lion?
    Have you looked into Warehouse
    https://wgsusa.com/BH
    Or
    Ted Weber
    https://www.tedweber.com/blue12a
     

  19. heltershelton

    heltershelton ROCKIN FOREVER Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jun 5, 2013
    Not Florida
    the mullards are pre amp tubes...12ax7's.
    and i already put the greenback in so i wont be looking for anymore speakers.
     
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  20. thomquietwolf

    thomquietwolf Senior Stratmaster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    76
    Dec 2, 2010
    Peardale CA
    12ax7 is why I asked about Gold Lion.