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High-end tubes for Engl Guitar Amp
Old 2nd June 2006
  #1
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
High-end tubes for Engl Guitar Amp

I just got an Engl Thunder 50 combo amp, and I know nothing about tubes. Can someone either direct me to a place where I can find out more about guitar amp tubes, or give me some info?

I haven't heard the amp yet so I don't even know if the tubes need to be replaced, but eventually I will need to, and I want to keep all my gear slutty. I just don't know what slutty tubes are. Is this the kind of thing where you won't know what a good match is unless you hear it in the amp, or something where this or that certain tube will make it definitely sound better?

If anyone owns this amp (I think Jules does, could be wrong? I'll do a search...) or a similar amp I'd love your suggestions.

Any other slutty amp? Speakers? Power soaks? Can I even use a Hot Plate with this combo or would I have to get it modded (or can I do it myself?) FX pedals? Tone tricks? Lets make a big ol guitar tricks thread!

i love you guys
Old 2nd June 2006
  #2
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AdamJay's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
this very forum's search function will give you a wealth of info on tubes.

search terms like 12ax7, 12at7, telefunken, mullard, amperex

those are the slutty tube terms. The last 3 of which are definitely the sluttiest NOS (New Old Stock) tube manufacturers of yester-generations.

www.audiotubes.com is not only a great place to buy tubes, but that site is loaded with information on the variances between tube sub-groups (12AX7WA, 12AT7A, etc.), as is www.kcanostubes.com

the amp you bought uses 3 ECC83 preamp tubes, which is the european code for 12AX7. The first tube slot is the most important, if you can put a Telefunken or Mullard NOS 12AX7 in there, do it. Theres a guy on ebay by the user name of "lotsoftubes", i've purchases Telefunken 12AX7's from him and they worked out great. usually around $30 a tube which is more than fair for Telefunkens.
Also consider using 12AT7 tubes where a 12AX7 would usually go. they have 70% the gain and are generally smoother and much lower noise. www.tubedepot.com has Mullard 12AT7WA (military) for $20.

In my '72 blackface modded twin reverb i've got a Telefunken 12AX7 in the Ch. 1 gain stage. I just put it in this morning. This is great for a chunkier, higher gain overdrive of that channel. Also great bass response. It really gave the Twin some balls. The cleans are punchier too.
Ch. 2 has Mullard 12AT7's in both gain stages, which gives me a much smoother, lower gain option for glassy cleans it also smoothed out the reverb. I use that channel alot for Rhodes. Tube selection with 2 channel amps can really give you alot of versatility.

Tubedepot.com is also a great place to find cheaper Electro Harmonix 12AX7EH's, great for tremolo's, reverbs, and the occasional phase inverter. They're on sale there for $8, great utility tubes.

I'm sure others will chime in, theres a ton of info in these forums as well as the resellers sites i mentioned. And then you also have power tubes... JJ's and RCA's are typically good values.

good luck!
Old 2nd June 2006 | Show parent
  #3
C/G
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C/G's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamJay
www.tubedepot.com has Mullard 12AT7WA (military) for $20.
These are fantastic tubes for phase inverters.
Old 2nd June 2006
  #4
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Adam, thats some great info. Exactly what I wanted to know. I'm looking on ebay now for these telefunkens - what do I need to know when shopping around? Whats the difference between ribbed and smooth plate?
Old 2nd June 2006 | Show parent
  #5
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AdamJay's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
what to know about telefunkens.....

don't buy ANY telefunken without the diamond shape <> in the bottom of the tube. (between all the pins) If it doesnt have the diamond, it wasn't made by Telefunken.

genuine telefunken markings will rub off with your fingers.

So the most common copies have no <> in the bottom, and the printing will not rub off. Here's a good example of a suspect so called "telefunken" 12ax7
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...tem=9731430455
emaculate markings, no diamond, and shipping from Hong Kong? no way is that a Telefunken.

smooth plates are early manufactured. ribbed plates later.
difference in sound? not really.

Fisher, Scott, Dynaco, and H.H. are common OEM Telefunken brands. Just check for the diamond molded into the bottom.

for ebay i think the "lotsoftubes" guy is one of the best, i don't really look to deal with anyone else on eBay. he just put some Mullard 12AX7's up as well.

this looks like a good deal:
http://cgi.ebay.com/MATCHED-PAIR-OF-...QQcmdZViewItem
Old 3rd June 2006 | Show parent
  #6
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
I really appreciate the info Adam.

Any info on whether or not I can use a hotplate with the combo?
Old 3rd June 2006 | Show parent
  #7
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AdamJay's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Poopants
I really appreciate the info Adam.

Any info on whether or not I can use a hotplate with the combo?

i don't see why not
Old 4th June 2006 | Show parent
  #8
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
I've seen more than a few people get excited about their ENGL's after putting in RFT's. I'd have to agree with them since I put them in my Savage.
Old 4th June 2006 | Show parent
  #9
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🎧 15 years
what are rft's?
Old 5th June 2006 | Show parent
  #10
C/G
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C/G's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Poopants
what are rft's?
RFT is/was an East German company, similar to Telefunken in ways that they sold tubes, mics (most made by Gefell) mic pres, consumer electronics, Geiger counters, lab gear ect.

RFT made great tubes and the 12AX7's the guys were more than likely referring to have a nice break up in guitar amps. I use there EL34's which they made for Siemens and Telefunken and they are excellent. Truly one of the last great deals for NOS tubes.
Old 6th June 2006 | Show parent
  #11
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Very interesting I will look into this.
Thanks for the info!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Colin Gaucher
RFT is/was an East German company, similar to Telefunken in ways that they sold tubes, mics (most made by Gefell) mic pres, consumer electronics, Geiger counters, lab gear ect.

RFT made great tubes and the 12AX7's the guys were more than likely referring to have a nice break up in guitar amps. I use there EL34's which they made for Siemens and Telefunken and they are excellent. Truly one of the last great deals for NOS tubes.
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