Looking for suggestions - AC30S1

Discussion in 'Glowing Bottle Tube Amp Forum' started by DimEyeGuitarGuy, Feb 21, 2020.

  1. DimEyeGuitarGuy

    DimEyeGuitarGuy Tele-Meister

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    Hey folks.
    I'm pondering the possibility of upgrading the tubes (still stock) on my AC30S1.

    I'm new to this so I was hoping to get some suggestions from the exhorts round here.

    Are JJs the kinda go to? Do they sell matched sets of 4 for the EL84's? Do the preamp tubes need to be matched? Where is the best place to buy from?

    If it matters, I'm trying to learn to play country style music so I works want to make sure my upgrades will maintain that target genre.

    Thanks y'all.

    Tom (DEGG)
     
  2. corliss1

    corliss1 Friend of Leo's Platinum Supporter

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    Is there a reason you want to upgrade?

    We seem to like JJ power tubes, but not their preamp tubes.

    You can get matched tubes of any type in pretty much any quantity you want.

    Super subjective, but I've never had a bad experience with Tube Depot, and have bought hundreds of tubes there.

    Doesn't matter at all. You aren't going to change a tube and turn into a metal shredder.

    With a tube change, you may or may not notice a difference at all. Sometimes I pop in a tube and I'm surprised and there is a noticeable change. Other times I change a tube (for noise related reasons) and it sounds exactly the same.

    It's a huge can of worms, with lots of opinions, but if the amp is working fine and you like the sound, I'd just leave it.
     
  3. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    Is there something wrong with the current amp - noisy, losing power? If you need new tubes then matched power tubes in quads are necessary. P

    Preamp tube are self biased, do not require matching as each half of the tube is used independently. I think JJs are a good choice for power tubes. Not so much for preamp tubes.

    If you google 'preamp tubes AC30' you will get recommendations. Sovtek 12AX7LPS are a good place to start for the first position V1 and maybe V2. 12AX7WA for the 2nd and 3rd positions, which have less impact on tone.

    If you're a beginner playing more will make you sound better faster than anything else.
     
    JL_LI and stnmtthw like this.
  4. stnmtthw

    stnmtthw Friend of Leo's

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    I put JJs in my AC15C1 and they're fine. Sov-Teks are good too. Reverb has a pretty good online selection of tube stores.

    I'm assuming the Chinese tubes are rattling? That happened to mine too, and seems to be a common issue on these Chinese made Vox amps.
     
  5. DimEyeGuitarGuy

    DimEyeGuitarGuy Tele-Meister

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    For the record, yes, I'm experiencing some issues with the original tubes and getting some random crackling/popping.

    That's the reason that I've started to consider a tube swap.

    I've done all the basic troubleshooting things like re-seating tubes, checking all the connections, not using the onboard reverb etc.

    It doesn't happen often but it is super annoying when it does.

    Thanks for the feedback.

    Tom (DEGG)
     
  6. KC

    KC Friend of Leo's

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    JJs have generally been good enough for me, all around, and I've gotten great service from Bob at Eurotubes. Exception being the EF86 in my Bad Cat -- the JJ EF806 sounds different and not as good to me. Currently running a Winged C that sounds amazing, have one more for a backup. After that who knows?

    I tried Tung-Sol reissues in the preamp & didn't notice a huge difference. And I'm pretty reluctant to part with the $$$ for NOS stuff. If Winged C were still up and running, I'd try those in a heartbeat.
     
  7. Squawker

    Squawker Tele-Meister

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    Tung-Sol reissues for the ECC83s, NOS 6P14P-Ev for the EL84s.
    JJ's tend to be a bit dark for a Vox preamp, but they're fine in the power section. The Milspec Soviet tubes are just finerer, and not stupidly overpriced :)
     
  8. alathIN

    alathIN Tele-Holic

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    Few different takes:

    For preamp tubes V1 matters more than the others. If you're just experimenting with changes you could probably just change this one and get 89% of whatever differences you're going to find.

    A well known tube amp guru in my town uses JJs for everything "unless the customer just wants to waste their money." His words. His take is that people change or upgrade to different tubes and most of what they like is just because they're fresh tubes.

    The only really noticeable differences I've heard changing tubes:
    Electroharmonix preamp tubes are noticeably brighter than anything else.
    A Soviet EF-86 equivalent sounded more lively to me than a NOS Amperex EF-86 in one of my Vox-inspired amp's channels.
    I haven't done tons of tube swapping, but I've built and modded and fixed stuff and just heard differences along the way.

    You don't necessarily want matched tubes. Sometimes the differences between tubes can produce desirable tones. Rob Robinette has a mod for adjustable bias to allow intentional "mis-match" between power tubes. I have paid extra for matched sets in the past but I don't think I will do so again.
     
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