The Jemsite guide to amps - Page 2 - Jemsite
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post #16 of 124 (permalink) Old 07-29-2003, 06:48 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: The Jemsite guide to amps

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drew
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Orange
It is not as midrangey and breaks up a bit earlier than the EL34.
I always thought the reverse was true, and that 6l6's were a "cleaner" tube...?

-D
Yup, it's "cleaner" & smoother because it's not as midrangey, that's why it doesn't have the EL34 "bark", and that's why they dig it in Fenderish applications. It has slightly less power than EL34 so it breaks up a bit earlier.

http://scobro.150m.com/Rivera/PowerTubeGuide.htm#6L6

Quote:
6L6 Tube:
When Fender began producing guitar amplifiers, they based them on an RCA hi-fi design. RCA gave free use of these designs to promote the use of their tubes, in this case, the 6L6 power tube. The beam tetrode 6L6 has a round scooped voiced uncolored "white" tone that is crystal clear in clean and a Bluesy overdriven style of distortion when pushed. The American 6L6 makes up a large part of the signature Fender sound. In comparison to the EL34, 6L6 tubes have slightly less output.
6L6 tubes are best suited for those using mostly or only guitars with single pickups, like a Fender guitar through Fender amp sound. 6L6 tubes and single pickups are both scooped voiced which compliment each other's sweet spots. Humbucker / P-90 pickups will retain the full-bodied tone in distortion, a common combination for traditional electric Blues like BB King and Buddy Guy. In clean, Jazz through a Fender style tone, muddiness can be a problem. One solution for this is higher wattage speakers.
"British" amps will lose much of the signature Marshall grind but it wasn't unusual to use 6L6 or similar tubes in Marshall amps. A notable example is Jimi Hendrix. Jimi switch out the stock British made Mullard EL34's in his Marshall Plexi with American made Tung Sol 6550's. 6550's sound like 6L6's except much louder and they tend not to distort when pushed. Jimi did this to have his Marshall better fit the tone of his Fender Stratocaster.
6L6 tubes are also known for high gain distortion. Though the 6L6 is mostly associated with Fender powered American Blues, Country, R&B, etc, it was also used in the original high gain amps (Mesa Boogie "Mark I" & Soldano "SOL 100"). To solve the problem of extreme muddiness in high gain distortion, the mids were dropped out. The 6L6 naturally distorts in a scooped voiced fashion.
Quote:
5881 / 6L6WGB Tube:
The 5881 / 6L6WGB has slightly less output then a 6L6 with an earlier break up. These tubes are a favorite in Fender style amps to distort at a lower volume. 5881 is the military designation and 6L6WGB is the commercial designation.
Quote:
EL34 Tube:
Marshall originally had American 6L6 tubes in their guitar amplifiers back when the JTM45 was essentially a Fender Tweed Bassman clone. After deciding that importing American tubes were too expensive and that close was good enough, Marshall switched to the domestic 6L6 British equivalent, the GEC KT-66. After finding this too expensive as well and desiring something with more output, they moved over to the British made Mullard EL34 for their "Plexi" amps in the late 1960's. It is the EL34 that has defined the sound of British Rock.
The pentode EL34 has a midsy crisp sound with a grind crunch distortion when pushed. The EL34 does not have the crystal clean sound or the headroom of the 6L6. However, because of the higher output, you can run an EL34 clean at a higher volume then a 6L6.
The EL34 is best suited for guitars with humbucking / P-90 pickups, like a Gibson through a Marshall sound. EL34 tubes and humbucking / P-90 pickups both have a midsy tone that compliments each other's sweet spots. EL34 tubes work also well for those using single pickups, though it will have a less full-bodied tone then with 6L6 tubes. A notable example of the typical "Les Paul Gibson through an EL34 equipped Marshall" setup is Angus Young from AC/DC.
The modern EL34 is a more versatile tube then the 6L6, easily usable with single pickups and humbucking / P-90 pickups in clean and distortion. EL34 tubes are not known for their clean tone but it can remove some the muddiness in humbucking / P-90 clean tones. Though most Jazz guitarists using a tube amp will use a 6L6 equipped Fender style amp, EL34 tubes can offer more "spacing" between the chords, making it easier to EQ.
Quote:
6550 & KT-88 Tube (high wattage):
The beam tetrode 6550 tubes are tonally similar to the 6L6 with a scooped voiced crystal clean sound. The beam tetrode KT-88 is tonally similar to a KT-66 with a warmer, less crystal clear, sound then a 6550. In a Rivera, four 6550 or KT-88 tubes will produce about 150 to 160 watts. Two 6550 or KT-88 tubes will produce about 75 to 80 watts.
The most common use of 6550 and KT-88 tubes in amps is for guitarists that need a louder clean tone and do not require a full-bodied distortion tone. When pushed, these tubes do not produce the harmonically rich distortion like lower wattage tubes but tend to stay clean and just get louder. With any increase in wattage, the tone will become brighter, deeper lows, and have a lesser emphasis on the mids. The brightness can easily be compensated for by the use of darker preamp tubes.
Two other reasons guitarists use high wattage tubes:
First, guitarists seeking to get a Jimi Hendrix sound out of their Marshall amp use 6550 tubes. Jimi switched out the British made Mullard EL34 tubes for American made Tung Sol 6550 tubes. He wanted the tone of a 6L6 to better fit his Fender Stratocaster yet as loud as possible. Jimi did turn up his Marshall amps to 10, but much of the distortion was derived from the preamp section or a fuzz pedal. For those not performing in stadium sized venues, a 6L6 is a better alternative.
Second, shredders like to use 6550 tubes in their high gain amps for the tight exactness to play a billion notes a second.

This thread is becoming loaded with info... good! Keep up the discussion!
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post #17 of 124 (permalink) Old 07-29-2003, 08:34 AM
 
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Don't forget Ampeg too, and of course Vox! Wish I knew enough about them to write the profile/..
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post #18 of 124 (permalink) Old 07-29-2003, 09:05 PM
 
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In regards to the first post, Marshall : "their sound is saturated and not so mid-heavy". This is not right. Marshall's are all about the mids.
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post #19 of 124 (permalink) Old 07-30-2003, 05:28 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrossingStar
In regards to the first post, Marshall : "their sound is saturated and not so mid-heavy". This is not right. Marshall's are all about the mids.
Actually i think that was right about marshall.
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post #20 of 124 (permalink) Old 07-30-2003, 06:48 AM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al M
Quote:
Originally Posted by CrossingStar
In regards to the first post, Marshall : "their sound is saturated and not so mid-heavy". This is not right. Marshall's are all about the mids.
Actually i think that was right about marshall.
I think so too . Just compare a Marshall to a Mesa or a VHT and you get the picture... Of course in a way it's about mids, having EL34 tubes and playing with a Les Paul (humbucking pups), which both emphasize mids, but I wouldn't say Marshalls are particularly mid-emphasized amps as such. Not so sure about the '60s-'70s ones, though.
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post #21 of 124 (permalink) Old 07-30-2003, 01:25 PM
 
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I've always thought Marshalls had a bit more of a lower-mid emphasis to their tone- weak bass but thick lower mids, as opposed to the heavy bass and pronounced upper midrange of a Mesa-style distortion...

-D
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post #22 of 124 (permalink) Old 07-30-2003, 07:43 PM
 
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I don't know about newer Marshall's, I've owned a 1980 2204 (single channel 50 watt head), a 1985 JMC800 2203 (100 watt single channel head) and an 80's Artist 3203 and I would definitely say they were more about the middle frequencies than lows. Maybe the newer ones reflect people's change in taste toward the thumpy low end.
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post #23 of 124 (permalink) Old 08-01-2003, 02:18 PM
 
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No, a marshall low end is still, to my ears, more of a lower-mid than actual low end. My TSL, through a recto 2x12, does put out a lot of rumbling low end, especially with the deep control enguaged, but it's the sort of thing that gets buried in the mix anyway and isn't audible.

This actually isn't a bad thing- the reason I ended up selling my Mesa Rocket-44 combo was that, after gigging with a DSL combo, i realized that the weaker low end and more agressive highs (read: edgier, less smooth lead tone) actually made the amp stand out in the mix a lot more than the darker, smoother mesa. I still prefer the basic sound of a Mark-style Mesa (the Rocket series was a derrivative, with both a regular santana-esq and a darker, scooped distortion mode), but without the flexibility of the 5-band EQ to really tailor the tone to cut (usually, the 4th highest band, the upper mids, is where that magical "cut" seems to come from, for me), i just couldn't get the clarity in a mix i was looking for. Oh well, the TSL still rocks.

-D
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post #24 of 124 (permalink) Old 08-01-2003, 03:15 PM Thread Starter
 
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A way to even further tailor your sound is with preamp tubes.
They make a huge difference, I didn't believe it until I swapped all the preamp tubes in my amp with a totally different brand, chinese to JJ.

The chinese had more gain and were smoother, the JJs have less gain but they're more midsy, and now the amp's tone finds its place among the mix more easily, it doesn't get lost with that smoothness, which may be nice when you play at home by yourself. It also became less forgiving so I need to do some woodshedding...

I'd love to mess around with different kinds & brands of amps, power & pre tubes and cabinets... if someone gave me Marshalls, Mesas, Fenders, Cornfords, Bogners, Hiwatts, 10 boxes of different tubes, 20 different cabs with different speakers and three weeks of time I'd write a book on my discoveries!
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post #25 of 124 (permalink) Old 08-15-2003, 10:35 AM
 
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http://www.engl-amps.com/engl-amps/ for ENGL amplification,most people whom have played through them love em,those that have'nt seem to dismiss them as cheap mesa copie's

For what it's worth,i'd have prefered a Cornford or Tri-amp,but budget allowed me to get My ENGL,and i have not been dissapointed once,an by jesus for a 50 watter is frickin loud :-)

Rob
Jem7RB MK is offline  
post #26 of 124 (permalink) Old 08-21-2003, 12:23 PM
 
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I've been searching for a long a time an amp that's easy to carry, has enough power for small gigs, has a killer tone, is easy to maintain and also affordable.
And after playing through a lot of amps I discovered that the amp is Yamaha DG60FX-112. Sounds like a tube amp, and no tubes to swap. Great!
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post #27 of 124 (permalink) Old 11-25-2003, 02:49 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jem7RB MK
http://www.engl-amps.com/engl-amps/ for ENGL amplification,most people whom have played through them love em,those that have'nt seem to dismiss them as cheap mesa copie's

For what it's worth,i'd have prefered a Cornford or Tri-amp,but budget allowed me to get My ENGL,and i have not been dissapointed once,an by jesus for a 50 watter is frickin loud :-)

Rob
ENGL is better than Mesa any day IMO

Another thing regarding amps never believe brand names or magazine articles. Some amps (not metioning names) have too much hype. When cheaper amps are just as good.
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post #28 of 124 (permalink) Old 12-03-2003, 04:00 PM
 
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Thought this should be herE:

http://www.proguitar.de/AudioDemo/Co...mpareAmps.html

I couldn't follow the link directly, but going to http://www.proguitar.de/ and following the audio demo link worked. microdmitri, i think, posted this a while back... while audio clips aren't quite the same as actually playing the thing, this can show you the ballpark a given amp hangs out in, at least...

-D
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post #29 of 124 (permalink) Old 01-17-2004, 04:32 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freak
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jem7RB MK
http://www.engl-amps.com/engl-amps/ for ENGL amplification,most people whom have played through them love em,those that have'nt seem to dismiss them as cheap mesa copie's

For what it's worth,i'd have prefered a Cornford or Tri-amp,but budget allowed me to get My ENGL,and i have not been dissapointed once,an by jesus for a 50 watter is frickin loud :-)

Rob
ENGL is better than Mesa any day IMO

Another thing regarding amps never believe brand names or magazine articles. Some amps (not metioning names) have too much hype. When cheaper amps are just as good.
That's a gross generalization. For some things Mesa Mark line of amps blows away everything else. They have certain "note afterburn" which all other amps don't have. And believe it or not, Mesa Rectifiers are internally almost identical to Soldano SLO amps (only in high gain channel, though) which are regarded as the best by some folks. Converting one into another is 1 hour of work for someone with soldering skills.
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post #30 of 124 (permalink) Old 01-17-2004, 08:18 PM
 
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I agree with microdimitry here...I just got done "test-driving" a Mesa Nomad 45 2X12 a couple of hours ago and I am still in shock.

I am a Mesa man through and through, now...a lot of versatility, tons of different sounds, and responsive EQ...all I can ask for.

I have to agree that if you can't get a good tone out of a Mesa, particularly the Nomad, it's your own fault, either you lack articulation, because they are very sensitive, or you just don't have enough patience to spend 5-10 minutes working with an amp.
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