Tube Shootout 2021 style

guitfiddle

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I couldn't hear any difference at all on these speakers. With the amp biased correctly for each set the amp just sounds the same. I might be able to with headphones and a quiet room, but you'd NEVER hear it live.
 

Nitro

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Speakers and drive/boost pedals make a huge difference,I’ve been down the tube rolling BS I just stick with JJ tubes never ever had a problem with them and they sound excellent in a Marshall
 

cooljuk

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I hear some pretty significant differences. More than the 12AX7 shootout, actually.

A 50W Marshall into blackback G12Ms is not exactly a transparent rig. Maybe not best for showing off subtle differences in anything but I hear enough differences that I could tell what’s the Mullards, the Siemens, and JJs with my eyes closed in random order.
 

Freddy G

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I liked the very first one a LOT for the mid gain examples. The original Mullard. Chime and bite.

But in both mid and high gain I consistently liked Sylvania 6CA7 after several back and forth sample listens.
 

eslover

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at the risk of sounding like a troll (I am not trolling here) can a lot of what we’re hearing sound more the same if we tweak the EQ a bit? I’m a bit naive about these things, so this is an honest question.

I know Pete’s demo kept everything in the Marshall identical just bias changes between tubes which completely makes sense.

I have nothing against NOS tubes except possibly their price tag. But, at least to me, there are only subtle character changes from one tube to the next, and, I am just wondering, if we had a really good equalization can they be made to sound the same? Maybe not the Marshall treble middle bass, but perhaps a graphic EQ?
 

cooljuk

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@eslover - some stuff, sure. Like you could roll the bass off on the (original) Mullards to give them less low end similar to the Siemens. ...but the individual dynamics that each type has in various frequencies and the particular harmonics - that'd be impossible. For example, you can't take something so compressed in some frequencies as the SEDs and undo that compression, even with some fancy multi band expander.
 

cooljuk

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I liked the very first one a LOT for the mid gain examples. The original Mullard. Chime and bite.
Ya, man. I absolutely agree. They remind me of why I love original PAFs. Everything all at once. Big and fat and rich, with breathy clarity at the same time. That nearly impossible combination that so much old gear has and so much new gear doesn't.

...and he was running XF3s. The earlier XF2s are exactly the same vibe but with more of "all that" Blackburn Mullard thing. The XF1s have it too, but are absurdly expensive now, out-pricing even the early metal base Telefunkens.

Those early Blackburn Mullard XF2s are generally my favorite EL34s in all but the warmest amps.

After years of swearing off buying NOS output tubes and kicking that habit, I've fallen off the wagon and am running the British, German and US made stuff in everything, again. It's not getting any cheaper and you only live once. Better for you than drugs, at least!


I'd like to set up an amp with the 6CA7s and try to get them to work for me. In the past, I've tried other stuff in Marshalls and always come back to EL34s, though. The kinkless tetrodes are too unforgiving for my sloppy playing. lol!
 

eslover

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@eslover - some stuff, sure. Like you could roll the bass off on the (original) Mullards to give them less low end similar to the Siemens. ...but the individual dynamics that each type has in various frequencies and the particular harmonics - that'd be impossible. For example, you can't take something so compressed in some frequencies as the SEDs and undo that compression, even with some fancy multi band expander.
that make a lot of sense. Sound is probably more complex than color.
 


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