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PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2013 1:11 am 
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I thought I would start a new thread about Tramp tubes, both preamp and power tubes, either or both. So here is the topic: What tubes are you guys using in your Tramps and why?

I will start it off. I have fallen in love with TungSol 6V6Gt. I bought several EL34's, 6L6's, a KT88 and one TungSol 6v6gt. Why do I recommend the TungSol 6v6GT? After trying all those other tubes, I keep coming back to it. It seems to give a warmer tone, more bluesy, smokey sounding at lower volumes. You don't have to push it all the way up for it to get some tone. Even in tweed mode this TungSol 6V6gt rocks.

The only drawback I have found is that it does not seem to have the edge that the JJ 6v6 has. Someone wrote somewhere that the TungSol 6v6 does not have quiet the edge as the JJ and that if you are gigging live with 6v6's that the JJ is the way to go. However, in the home, in the bedroom, in the studio, I absolutely love TungSol 6v6gt for its bluesiness at low volume.

In another thread we have been talking about the tremendous headroom of the Tramp in tweed mode. Using a tungSol 6v6Gt will not remove (all of) that headroom, but it makes the Tramp warmer at a slightly lower volume than with the JJ's.

Price? At about $18 dollars for a single tube, the TungSol 6v6gt is worth the $$ to try it out and see for yourselves if it is indeed worth the tube change. It is a cheap way of adding some bluesy warmth at lower volumes.

So, what tubes do you guys live and die for with your Tramps?

BTW, my Tramp blew my Genelex Gold Lion KT88. Don't know why, but that is another post.

So, what tubes do you use and why? which ones do you not like and why?


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 11:08 am 
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Winged "C" 6L6 on Coco's recommendation. Haven't tried other tubes, because I like this one...I run it in 'tude mode, and I like some hair. Sounds pretty ballsy through a tone bomb. As a bonus, by using the neck pickup and rolling back the guitar tone and volume, it gets very warm and smooth...harmonically rich.

Still, I'd be interested in trying other tubes - such a versatile amp!


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 1:02 am 
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tinnitus wrote:
Winged "C" 6L6 on Coco's recommendation. Haven't tried other tubes, because I like this one...I run it in 'tude mode, and I like some hair. Sounds pretty ballsy through a tone bomb. As a bonus, by using the neck pickup and rolling back the guitar tone and volume, it gets very warm and smooth...harmonically rich.

Still, I'd be interested in trying other tubes - such a versatile amp!


I also bought a SED 6L6GC. It is noticably better to my ears than the Sovtek; it has great harmonics and is dynamic. Obviously it puts out some volume as well. If I were gigging with my Tramp and had to keep up with a loud band, I would definitely go with the SED 6L6GC --no question. At home or in a small studio it is loud, but then with the myriad of tonal and volume, master and power adjustments of the Tramp I could tame her down. I just love the 6V6gt for the home and it is the perfect volume. Again, I agree with you about the SED 6l6GC. It is probably the "gold standard" for 6L6's and sounds fantastic, rich, dynamic and yet smooth.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 5:19 pm 
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I'm not much help in this thread, I really haven't done any tube swapping in my Tramp as yet, I bought a matched pair of JJ 6L6GC tubes about a year ago and have been running one of those ever since, seems to sound great and seem to be tough as nails. So I have a spare JJ 6L6 from the matched pair and I also have a new EH 6L6GC which I haven't tried yet. I would like to try the Winged C tubes but locally they are twice the price of the JJ's, about $50 a tube so I keep talking myself out of buying them.

In the preamp I have an NOS RCA 12AX7 and that seems to sound good, other than that I've tried a JJ which I think was maybe a little smoother sounding when pushed, not a night and day difference though. I have a few NOS Philips 12AX7's which I haven't tried yet.

The go to recipe for the Tramp I keep reading about is a TungSol 12AX7 and a Winged C 6L6GC.


Snowy


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 11:14 pm 
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The TS 12AX7 is good, with great clarity and distinction. My only beef with the TS AX7 is that I get too many failures and noisy tubes. So the tone is good but the quality is suspect.
I really used to like the Mullard RI too, and it is good but I've had them go microphonic too many times.
The JJ is tough as nails and go to to fix problems with other tubes, it is not as clear or defined as either of the others, but it is rock solid in my experience. We have probably used 1000 of them .
If TS were as robust, there would be no contest. I would like to find that tube!!

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 4:47 pm 
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I just received that TungSol 12AX7 in the mail yesterday. I too had read a good review about it. It looked good on paper. HOWEVER, when I swapped out my JJ 12AX7 with the new issue TS 12AX7 I was disappointed. It seemed to be dull, dark, no sparkle, not as dynamic. Let me be clear, I absolutely LOVE the TungSol 6v6GT for blues--it is smokey, warm, has character and still has definition. But I am not a fan of the TS 12AX7.

I have tried several other preamp tubes that I dug up. These included some older Amperx, Jan Philips, RCA, Jan GE and Sylvannia. I will report back on these, but I will note here that these old tubes sound fantastic, but finding them today is costly.

I also found a few Amperex 5751 tubes which are very low gain preamp tubes that can be subbed out for the 12AX7. What was surprising to me is that these 5751 tubes sound great in the Tramp. They have character, sparkle, clarity, dynamic appeal, but they are audible lower in gain. So why use them? Well, certainly not for gigging. But, if you were in an Apartment and had neighbors that complained about your amp, putting the 5751 in the preamp would help and of course you could turn down the Tramp's power level a bit.

I also tried some OS 12AT7 tubes and they sounded great. Of course these have lower gain than the 12AX7, but they still break up a bit. They are perhaps 70% of the gain of the 12Ax7. Again, not really needed for gigging, but in a home or even in a studio some of these old 12AT7's can have sparkle, clarity and character.

BTW, I plugged my Tramp into the 2x12 Hot Rod Deville, switched the impedance rotary witch to 4 ohms and my Tramp was loud. I mean it was really loud. And I still had the 6v6gt in it. Even with the 6v6gt, having a pair of efficient 12 inch speakers made this little amp way too loud for the home, but definitely good for gigging. I plan on plugging my Tramp into two of my 10inch speakers on my 1966 Blackface Super Reverb, but I have not yet disconnected the speaker to try it out. I expect that these old CTS alnico's are going to sound fantastic with the tramp.

[[I forgot: I also have tried several EL34, KT77 type tubes. I will post my opinion later]]

Gotta go now. Sorry if this is long winded. Just want to get some of this info out about trying different tubes in my tramp.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 8:40 pm 
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Surprised on the Tung-Sol. But based on my experience, could just be one bad apple! Generally, I have found the opposite when compared to the JJ.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 11:46 am 
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I have a Tung Sol 5881 and a Tube Store Preferred Series 12AX7 installed in my Tramp. I play mostly using the Fat mode switch on and I really like the tone. I have mine in a larger Tweed (5E3) cabinet with a 12" BBQ (12A125A) speaker though. I tried different 6V6 and 6L6 tubes and settled on this one.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 9:36 pm 
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brimc76 wrote:
I have a Tung Sol 5881 and a Tube Store Preferred Series 12AX7 installed in my Tramp. I play mostly using the Fat mode switch on and I really like the tone. I have mine in a larger Tweed (5E3) cabinet with a 12" BBQ (12A125A) speaker though. I tried different 6V6 and 6L6 tubes and settled on this one.


Nice information here! Thanks. BTW, I also have my Tramp in a 5E3 cabinet which I had modified to fit the Tramp chassis. I have a question about your 12A125A. Did you get it at 30watts or 20 watts. ;ight or no dope? I am test driving both an old jensen P12r and the 12A125A this coming Sunday; both are used. Today I was switching back and forth between my blue dog ceramic and a pair of vintage 10's (in my Super Reverb). As much as I like the blue dog ceramic for its edgeness, those vintage alnico's just sound so sweet and right for this Tramp. I know this is off topic, but I would like to hear about the version of the 12A125A you use--light dope, 20 or 30 watts?

Back on topic, Tung Sol definitely have great power tubes; I love my Tung Sol 6v6GT. I have also just tried a new Tung Sol 6L6GC STR which also sounded very nice in my Tramp. I definitely like it better than the Sovtek 6L6; the Tung Sol is clearer with more definition than the Sovtek, but does not seem quite as transparent or as much sparkle as the SED 6l6 winged GC. From my experimenting with tubes, the 6L6's that stand out are: SED winged C and an old Sylvannia 6L6 that i pulled from my vintage Super Reverb, but just to try it out, and I put it back in the Fender where it belongs.

I have also played around with the EL34 and KT77 tubes. I will post some thoughts about them in a future post. They sound great in the Tramp, but they definitely give a different tonal color to the Tramp's tonal palete.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 8:44 am 
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I am particularly fond of Alnico speakers but I've not heard many BBQ ones.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 8:50 pm 
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I just finished an hour of ear testing all of my "old" tubes in my Tramp combo and here is my evaluation (for what it's worth). I was spurred to do this because I just added 4 nice RCA's to my collection via E-bay.

By the way, the amp is loaded with a 10" Scumback "Scumnico" speaker (made by BBQ exclusively for Scumback and unfortunately no longer available in the 10" size)

Amperex Bugle Boy - By far the sweetest overall sound, nice breakup without being harsh.

RCA - Excellent tone clean & distorted. More bite when cranked than the BB.

RFT - Amazing tone when shooting for the "Marshall" vibe. Cleaner tones lack some warmth.

Sylvania (some with "Baldwin" labeling) - Good overall tones in all settings. I would say these fall into that middle ground where the tone isn't overly coloured in any one direction.

Conclusion: They are all really good in their own way but for now the RCA is getting the nod. I'm running a superb NOS Sylvania 6L6 with it. Amazing combination in an amazing little amp. As an aside, I have found that new tubes like JJ's and Tung sols are OK but to my ear they are a little sterile. If you are patient on e-bay you can still find nice old stuff for the same price as new. I've never gone nuts and bought vintage Mullards (love to try one though). Probably bought 20 12AX7's and only ever had one flame out on me. :D


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 9:46 pm 
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Thanks for the reviews. That will help the tube rollers out there!
:thumbsup:

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2013 1:07 am 
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try a tad rt001 worked wonders in v1 of my 18watter and fairly cheap


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2018 10:10 pm 
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SPAM!!


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2021 10:12 am 
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I’m only on day 2 with my Tramp and trying a bunch of vintage tubes I found in my Dad’s garage. So far, the ElectroHarmonix 12AX7 is my fave with Mullard in second place. Have some RCA, Amperex, and Tung Sol too but haven’t tried them yet. This afternoon I’m going to try a 1954 vintage Mullard EL34 (1 of 2 matched set still in original tissue paper and boxes).

-Brian


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2022 3:51 am 
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On the Tung-Sol, surprised. But according on my previous experience, it might simply be one bad apple! Contrary to the JJ, I have typically discovered the reverse.gmail


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