AAAGH! I have done a couple of posts on my journey to “my” perfect tone (face it, its all relative to 1- You! and 2- to the person listening, who also generally doesn’t care as long as your tone does not just SUCK).
Today I setup my gear and it sounded weird, like the pedals were not getting enough voltage. Service had started, so I kept playing on and we still had 2 more services to go. Then my tubescreamer started sounding less like a tube and more like dry gas as one would find in a Will Ferrel or Jack Black movie. My tone was farting and even my volume was inconsistent.
What is up with this???At the end of the service, I hit my mute button (TU2) and moved my amp around. Out of the 3 tubes, one of the power tubes was faintly glowing instead of glowing strong. Well, we did a new song today, with a fun, fast solo for about 12 beats that helps the keychange. In practice I was just playing with a quarter delay and a D Chord pattern with a sweet “bend up a full step” right at the key change. Needless to say, with the blown tube, this was less than impressive.
There is something sad about your rich, deep tone being turned into solid state crap.
So here is where your comments and knowledge come in. I have heard wonders about certain tubes. What are your opinions on which I need?
I obviously need 2 6V6 and a 12Ax7 for the preamp. Again, what would you choose?
Here are my details of my sound and why I chose my amp:
I was looking for a small, easier to carry around tube amp that sounded great about 5 and awesome up to 10. I wanted it to break up easy at about 5 to give a jazzy/blues sound, and I wanted a range of distortion. I played this amp in a store here in PR, and they wanted 500 clams for it (a pack of electric elixers is $25 here). So I bought off of musiciansfriend for $320 at the time. It had everything I wanted, with the exception of the digital amp models being a bit overkill. I did find 4-5 of the overdrive channels that sounded great through the preamp tube and suited my style, particularly with a main OD going into them while the rest sounded like a Line 6 wannabe.
What I like the most about that amp is at the level 5 (which is where I most play it, as it gets LOUD) it is nice and crisp with slight breakup, but when pushed a bit more with the Zendrive or the TS9, it really cracks and sounds like pure heaven. Bliss… ah, sigh. Not like today.
So what tubes would you recommend? I understand that the Electro Harmonix are okay, but not the best- however those are what was in this thing, and I LOVED the sound I got. You guys should know by now that I go with “End Result” tone vs “pure, perfect, best from the beginning tone”. I guess it comes from playing with all the Nashville guys that can hook their guitar to a harmonica and have it sound good. If there is a differing brand with better breakup/tone, I’m open to suggestions! Although I do not want break up early on, so I am thinking of staying with the “mediums” for now.
Thanks for all your thoughts/comments, especially you- “Tubeman Karl“! And remember, the Fender Super Champ😄 rocks for being such a small amp! When I graduate, I am definitely getting the “real” amp, but If I do not, this amp has sold me!
Filed under: setup