Valve recommendations

Discussion - HT-1 amplifiers
imalrightjack
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2015 8:04 pm

Wed Feb 25, 2015 8:14 pm

So...any thoughts on the best valves for this bad boy? Got the head which I'm running with one or two 12" cabinets. I'm playing either a Strat or Les Paul and mostly Megadeth/Metallica when on the gain channel.

Recommendations welcome!

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thephantum
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Location: Virginia, United States

Wed Feb 25, 2015 9:15 pm

I would go with either TungSol reissues or Mullard reissues. For what you are playing, you could also use JJ's, but I personally don't like them...but that's just a personal opinion.

The good news is that the HT-1 is actually cathode biased....meaning that you do not have to adjust it when you change the tubes. So, like the preamp tube, your power tube is plug and play. That amp takes one 12AX7 and one 12AU7, which typically cost around $15 USD apiece. So you could pick up two or three different brands of each and roll them across the amp until you find the ones that sounds best to you.

imalrightjack
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Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2015 8:04 pm

Wed Feb 25, 2015 9:25 pm

Thanks for replying.

So possibly a Tungsol for both ECC82 and 83? When you say reissue, is that just a modern one and not NOS?

Thanks!

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thephantum
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Wed Feb 25, 2015 11:42 pm

Correct. The reissues are current production tubes. Both TungSol and Mullard reissues are made in Russia. If they were NOS, they would be a bargain at $15 USD. ;)

Both of those tubes are fairly bright, but the TungSol is a little bit brighter than the Mullard. Again, I would suggest buying one of each (2 x 12AX7 and 2 x 12AU7) and try all the combinations to see which you like best.

If you want to go NOS, I would recommend US made TungSol's or RCA's, preferably from the late 50's early 60's. If you can get UK made Mullards or German made Telefunkens, they would trump everything...but they will cost you.

imalrightjack
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Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2015 8:04 pm

Sat Feb 28, 2015 10:52 am

Well, I bought NOS Mullard ECC82 and a Svetlana Winged C 12AX7 and put them in. I honestly can't hear a huge difference. It's perhaps a little crisper, a little warmer.

Regardless, I'm not unhappy because it's a damned good amp anyway! Perhaps £40 I could have spent better elsewhere but spare valves always come in handy!

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thephantum
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Sat Feb 28, 2015 4:52 pm

I never really liked the Winged C 12AX7. Unlike their power tubes, Winged C never really figured out how to make a good preamp tube. Still, it will sound better than a lot of the new tubes being produced today. On the other hand, the Mullard you got for the power amp is a really nice score. Crank that puppy up and enjoy it. :mrgreen:

imalrightjack
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2015 8:04 pm

Sat Feb 28, 2015 5:02 pm

thephantum wrote:I never really liked the Winged C 12AX7. Unlike their power tubes, Winged C never really figured out how to make a good preamp tube. Still, it will sound better than a lot of the new tubes being produced today. On the other hand, the Mullard you got for the power amp is a really nice score. Crank that puppy up and enjoy it. :mrgreen:
It's so hard to find much out about NOS valves. Other than Mullard, I'm not too sure which are really well-rated. And I crankd it earlier with two 1x12 cabinets. Monstrous. Two friends who were with me were staggered!

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thephantum
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Sat Feb 28, 2015 6:29 pm

Yea. You really have to know what to look for to find a good NOS (or lightly used old stock) tube. Either that or buy it from someone reputable who has done that work for you.

imalrightjack
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Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2015 8:04 pm

Sun Mar 01, 2015 3:47 pm

Live and learn, I guess! Reckon it'd be improved with another Mullard or something else? Not that I'm too fussed, just interested to know what you think.

Also, do you know why the gain channel is quieter than the clean channel? It's the same with the old or new valves. Not massive but odd.

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Classicplayer
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Sun Mar 01, 2015 4:57 pm

imalrightjack wrote:Live and learn, I guess! Reckon it'd be improved with another Mullard or something else? Not that I'm too fussed, just interested to know what you think.

Also, do you know why the gain channel is quieter than the clean channel? It's the same with the old or new valves. Not massive but odd.
So far, my HT1R combo does not exhibit a louder clean channel over its' gain side. I use the clean about 75% of the time lately. The clean side can put out a lot of "grunt"; considering it's only one watt. I have the Celestion Eight 15 in it now and after getting broken in, I think that accounts for the girth coming out of this little gem of a practice amp. Then too, I have a pair of Tung-Sols which, as Phantum knows, are on the bright side.

Tip: If you are using a Les Paul, roll the guitar's volumes to zero, switch to the amp's clean channel and dial the gain to 10:00am, dime the volume, adjust the ISF to somewhere between 7:00am and 8:00am and reverb to about 9:00am. Situate youself about 5 feet away and have the amp at ear level. Try rolling the guitar's volume on the neck pup to around 7 and listen for a balanced tone. You should hear that if your neck pup is adjusted sufficiently. You should hear all the notes in chords and no one string should be louder than the other. Pick the two e strings simultaneously. They should be about equal in volume. Go on to the bridge pickup and try the same procedure. The HT1R combo due to its size will not sound very good with it on the floor and the player standing above the speaker. The amp's closed-back design tends to beam the highs and turn the sound into one that's "directional". Just keep in your mind that this scenario is with the Celestion speaker that I now have installed.

Classicplayer

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Last edited by Classicplayer on Sun Mar 01, 2015 6:22 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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