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Fender EC Tremolux tube question

Discussion in 'Glowing Bottle Tube Amp Forum' started by mad dog, Dec 31, 2014.

  1. mad dog

    mad dog Friend of Leo's

    Jun 27, 2005
    Montclair, NJ
    So I traded for this amp recently. Came to me with all stock tubes. I messed around, tried other tubes. Ended up swapping all of them for something else, excepting (I think) the phase inverter. It sounded quite good to start, sounds even better now.

    I never use the tremelo, so didn't realize until today that it has mostly disappeared. Very faint, compared to how it sounded when I tried it out, with the stock tubes. (Note: There is only one knob for trem - speed. Intensity must be set somewhere in the circuit.)

    Do any of you schematic reading folks have a clue as to how I managed to diminish the trem, and how I might correct it?

    Thanks.
     

  2. milocj

    milocj Friend of Leo's Ad Free + Supporter

    Aug 21, 2005
    Michigan
    Since nobody with more experience has answered, I'll take a guess at it.

    I can't find the schematic for that amp on the Fender website, so it appears that you have to email or call them for a copy. Given that by Fender's description it appears to basically be a tweed Deluxe with tremolo added, and has one extra preamp tube from the specs, I would suspect that it would be the tube closest to the power tubes. Generally that would be the phase inverter, which you said you don't think you changed, but in the tweed Deluxe and early Tremolux (which are both cathode biased) the PI is half of V2 and there is no V3. When you swapped tubes, did you use 12AX7s in the V2 and V3 positions? If you went to a lower gain tube (12AY7, 12AT7, 5751) anywhere other than V1 that may affect the strength of the trem.

    With a tweed Vibrolux, brown, or black Princeton (which are fixed bias) they varied the bias to the power tubes and if the power tubes are biased too high the tremolo gets weaker. I don't know if there is a way to do bias varied trem on a cathode biased amp. If there is, then I would try putting back your old power tubes to see if anything changes. Maybe your new power tubes end up biasing hotter and are diminishing the amount of tremolo. Make sure to change only one preamp tube at a time, or just the two power tubes to try to troubleshoot it or you won't know where the problem is.

    Basically, I'd try swapping in one of the original tubes into V3 first, if that doesn't change put your new tube back in and try swapping V2 on the chance that it affects something since that tube is connected to the power tubes on the fixed bias models, and then try swapping back to the original power tubes.
     

  3. Del Pickup

    Del Pickup Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 24, 2008
    New Zealand
    Sorry I can't answer the question but my EC Tremolux came with a schematic along with the owner's manual - shame I don't know the first thing about electronics to be able to read the schematic!

    So I'm guessing that there must be a schematic somewhere on the Fender website.
     

  4. No457 Snowy

    No457 Snowy Tele-Meister

    275
    May 27, 2011
    Australia
    Here's some info that may help. (From Fender Forum).

    V1 (12AX7) is the first preamp gain stage, and only half of the tube is used. Half of V2 (12AX7) is the tone stack recovery (second stage), and the other half is the phase inverter (PI), which is a concertina style inverter section. V3 and V4 (6V6) are output tubes. V5 is the rectifier, and V6 (12AX7) is the Vibrato effect tube.

    The amp needs to be re-biased if the Output tubes are changed, it is a fixed bias type with an adjustable bias pot, it is not Cathode biased like a 5E3.
     

  5. telex76

    telex76 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    66
    Jun 24, 2006
    Fort Worth,Tx.
    I don't know the amp, but if the trem is bias vary then changing the power tubes without rebiasing may have lost the trem.
     

  6. mad dog

    mad dog Friend of Leo's

    Jun 27, 2005
    Montclair, NJ
    Interesting stuff. I have to check that V6 tube. I did rebias after changing power tubes. It is bias vary, so it's possible that did it right there. Even though I did bias it to the right range for the B+ voltage.

    Thanks for the input!
    MD
     

  7. Kelsey

    Kelsey Tele-Holic

    843
    Aug 5, 2003
    Memphis, TN
    I've replaced all of the tubes in my EC Tremolux. At the moment it has Tung Sol RI 12AX7s and 6V6s (the latter professionally biased), and I just replaced the 5Y3 that died with a NOS GE tube. It's a great amp for a range of live situations. I've swapped several speakers in and out, including Eminence Stonehenge and C.Rex and Celestion V30, but the stock G12-65 is back in it now. I prefer it and the V30. I tend to run the volume at 3-6 and tone at 8-9 with either a boost pedal or a low gain OD (Rockett Blue Note or Mad Professor SHOD) always on. That arrangement gives me enough volume in a band situation, even unmiked, and cleans up beautifully from the guitar volume control.
    I'm mainly a blues and roots/Americana player using Strats, but my LSL Mongrel (Tele pickups) and Gibson LP Jr are right at home with the Tremolux, too. The light weight is a blessing.
    I did not get a schematic in my manual, so if anyone can post one I'd be grateful. Thanks for the tube breakdown info in the meantime!
     

  8. Kelsey

    Kelsey Tele-Holic

    843
    Aug 5, 2003
    Memphis, TN
    I was puzzling over why only have of the 12AX7 in V1 is used here, but now I suspect that it's because there is only one channel - the other half would be used traditionally as the first gain stage of the second Deluxe channel. Sound right?
     

  9. DaveKS

    DaveKS Friend of Leo's

    Oct 21, 2013
    KS
    More than likely it's just a decision made by amp designer that he didn't need the full 100% gain both triodes of the 12ax7 would provide. He probably just said that it OD's to easy, let's just use 50% of v1 so it will stay a little cleaner.
     

  10. mad dog

    mad dog Friend of Leo's

    Jun 27, 2005
    Montclair, NJ
    Kelsey:

    I'm loving that stock speaker. This is such an interesting amp. Looks tweed deluxe but sounds different. I use mine always with TIM clean boost in front. It turns out to be maybe the best sounding amp for strats I've played yet. Such a fat, rich sound with the strat.
    MD
     

  11. Bartholomew3

    Bartholomew3 Friend of Leo's

    Dec 8, 2010
    Montreal
    I read somewhere that on some Fender amps when it's biased very hot the tremolo goes away - don't know how true that is but it happened to me on a twin.
     

  12. Kelsey

    Kelsey Tele-Holic

    843
    Aug 5, 2003
    Memphis, TN
    I don't think so in this case. This amp is based on the 5E3, which has two channels served by the two halves of V1. Since the EC Tremolux deletes one channel, it appears to leave half of V1 unused. At least that makes sense to me, since I don't think Fender started with a blank slate here.
     

  13. milocj

    milocj Friend of Leo's Ad Free + Supporter

    Aug 21, 2005
    Michigan
    This sounds more likely, especially if they claim that V6 is for the tremolo. Without a schematic it's hard to say, and since they added an extra tube I'm guessing that the tremolo uses the entire additional preamp tube instead of half of it like on a later Princeton (single channel, two preamp tubes). That would leave you with either half of the PI or half of V1 unused like you mentioned because the Deluxe has two channels and the second half of V1 on the Deluxe was the first gain stage of the second channel and half of V2 was recovery for both channels if I remember correctly.
     

  14. vet393

    vet393 TDPRI Member

    20
    Oct 5, 2012
    Illinois
    I used JJ 12AX7 in all the sockets and Tungsol 6V6 in power and NOS Tungsol for the rectifier. Everything works great and sounds so much better than the stock tubes. The tremolo on the amp is not that great since you cannot control the intensity. I just turn it off.
     

  15. vet393

    vet393 TDPRI Member

    20
    Oct 5, 2012
    Illinois
    On another note, I took the G12-65 out and put it in my blues jr, to see how it sounded, I will be getting another for my Jr, because it really sounds great.
     
    Reivaj likes this.

  16. Kelsey

    Kelsey Tele-Holic

    843
    Aug 5, 2003
    Memphis, TN
    Yes, I tried the G12-65 with my Bad Cat Cub and promptly ordered one for it, too. It's a unique blend of warmth/darkness and chime.
     
    Reivaj likes this.

  17. Reivaj

    Reivaj TDPRI Member

    17
    Jul 3, 2014
    Madrid Spain
    The G12-65 has been a revelation to me. I had imagined it being dark and sterile but it's nothing like that. I find it rich sounding and while seems to cut the really high end, it has a beautiful, controlled brightness to it, both clean and dirty, at least in this amp.

    I love this Tremolux .

    Mine needs power tube replacement, as lately it presents random volume jumps and some extrange fuzzy/rattling noises... It's the first time I have to replace tubes in an amp, but AFAIK those are warning signs.

    I bought it second hand, it came with Groove Tube branded EHX 6V6GT (factory originals I guess) and three 5751 preamp tubes. Really sweet.

    Changing the middle preamp tube changes the tremolo depth. Right now I have a Chinese 12AX7 for a deep pulsating effect.

    I wonder if anyone has tryed JJ 6V6 in it.
     

  18. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Age:
    65
    Mar 2, 2003
    Lawndale CA
    That's bad advice.

    That is the driver tub, and f it was bad the amp would either sound bad/weak or not work at all.

    Why? This is also bad advice - it's a Tremolux! A 5E9-A Tremolux is a 5E9-A Tremolux - the tweed Tremoluxes are all consistent.

    The tube in question is the second preamp tube - the first 12AX7. That is most likely the problem. If it's not the amp needs to go to a tech.

    Respectfully, I really wish folks would post advice when they know what they're talking about.
     

  19. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Age:
    65
    Mar 2, 2003
    Lawndale CA
    Nope, nope and nope!

    V1 is used completely - half for the instrument inputs, half for the mic inputs. Stock in the Tremolux is a 12AY7.

    V2 is the tremolo tube. Both halves are used. A 12AX7

    V3 is the driver tube. Both halves. A 12AX7

    V4 and V5 are the power tubes. 6V6's

    V6 is the rectifier. A 5Y3

    Everybody have that now? LOOK at the 5E9-A schematic - use Google, it's the FIRST one that pops up.
     

  20. Old Tele man

    Old Tele man Tele-Afflicted

    May 10, 2017
    Tucson, AZ
    Since I've never had aspirations of being the "next EC", I'll probably never buy that amp. Like the song lyrics go: "...I've gotta be me..." so, generic Fender works just fine, there's no snobbery in my gear collection.
     

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