Replacement tubes for a fender blues deluxe

Discussion in 'Glowing Bottle Tube Amp Forum' started by dlew919, Nov 18, 2019.

  1. dlew919

    dlew919 Poster Extraordinaire

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    My duo partner has one of these. He doesn’t play it much because he’s primarily an acoustic player. When he does play it it’s with a 335 or occasionally a strat.

    he finds the amp a bit harsh and wants a warmer sound. I’ve EQ’d it a bit and it helped but he wants it warmer still.

    Would a tube chsnge help and if so what tubes?


    Thanks so much in advance
     
  2. kbold

    kbold Tele-Holic

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    Tube replacements:
    1) preamp tubes. If this doesn't improve,
    2) Inverter tube. If this doesn't improve,
    3) power tubes. If this doesn't improve,
    4) circuit changes (tone caps in the preamp stage).

    In this order, because changing preamp tubes has the greatest effect on tone, while the power tubes little.
    Inverter tube also effects tone IMO.

    Preamp tubes last a long time, so fitting used or NOS tubes (made in USA, UK, Europe, Japan, Australia) may give greater tonal rewards.
    Good bang-for-buck tube, since you're in Sydney, would be used AWV (made on Mullard or Telefunken machinery, if I recall correctly).
     
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  3. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    I dont think tube changes will be significant. Try a warmer speaker. The Blues Deluxe is a great sounding amp but with the 6L6's and wattage it can be a bit harsh at less than deafening levels...
     
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  4. corliss1

    corliss1 Friend of Leo's

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    I also don't look to brands of tubes as tone shaping devices. Might be time for something different. Those amps do the loud clean thing and they do it well, but if you're looking for something else, just get something else.
     
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  5. dlew919

    dlew919 Poster Extraordinaire

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    What about tube types. This is an arcane language I haven’t got my head around. 6L6 as opposed to 6axL? That type of thing?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  6. dlew919

    dlew919 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I’ll check those out and report to my partner.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  7. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    They do make some difference but require amp mods most often. ( bias, speaker or output tranny etc) Funny , I played a blues weekend yesterday (25 bands, 6 venues) and the performer before me said "she wishes her Blues Deluxe sounded more like 6V6's".
    Trust me, the speaker change is a ton more effect than tube mfr changes.
     
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  8. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    This is a simple easy change which fixes both the lightswitch volume control, the harshness, and nasally reverb.

    Easily reversible. Even though this is a Hotrod Deluxe it works on Blues Deluxes too.

    If he doesn't like it, it"s reversible. Three amps I've done this to, the owners all believe it's a major improvement.
     
  9. majorbugout

    majorbugout Tele-Meister

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    I had a blues deluxe for a long time and tinkered with it a lot. Fromel mod kit, switched tubes, Cannabis Rex speaker. Even lowered bias and ran it on 6V6's for a while. Most the changes were pretty subtle. The speaker did the most to tame the spikey edge and the 12at7 tube in the preamp helped. Wouldn't recommend the other stuff. One day I stuck a n MXR 10 Band Eq. on top running through the effects loop and was able to sculpt the tone to my liking. My friend said,"Your amp sounds like a Deluxe Reverb". So I tried out a Deluxe Reverb and ended up buying one. So anyhow, easiest mod ever, stick an eq pedal in the effects loop.
     
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  10. majorbugout

    majorbugout Tele-Meister

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    I seem to remember if it was biased to cold it had a harsh sound that improved with adjusting it a little warmer.
     
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  11. rolandson

    rolandson Tele-Meister

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    What is meant by "harsh"?

    For a player looking for a warmer breakup I suggest a lower gain V1...

    ...the higher the gain at that stage the greater the preamp tube distortion, which is rather unpleasant.

    The lower the gain in V1 increases the power tube distortion, which is warmer and more pleasing...

    If it's breakup that one is looking for.

    I suspect that the opposite is true for what you are looking for.

    But the truth is that in most cases preamp tube values are a variable that one can fool around with, to find what suits them.

    Just use high quality tubes. Rebranded crap made in China or russia might not be the most satisfying choice. Personally I've been very happy with JJ's.
     
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  12. ChuckC

    ChuckC TDPRI Member

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    I have the Blues Deluxe RI and replaced the 12AX7 (V1) with a 12AY7 and replaced the stock speaker with a Cannabis Rex. It's a great sounding amp now....
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2019
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  13. Linto

    Linto TDPRI Member

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    I'd start with some old Mullard pre amp replacement valves, much smoother than JJs etc
     
  14. Texas Special

    Texas Special Tele-Meister

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    I'm not sure what version you have and certainly don't know if they have differed in sound through their evolutions. I have one of the originals (1994 or so). All I've done as as s change the valves. I've got some 60's RCA's in the pre amp and some 60's GE's in the power section. Sounds glorious to these ears. Yes, it can be made to sound harsh, but with these valves and the original speaker - clean and warm.
     
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  15. 410DeVille

    410DeVille Tele-Meister

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    It took a lot of experimenting to get my BDRI to sound great. Here's what worked:
    V1: TAD 5751
    V2: TAD 5751
    V3: Sovtek 12AX7WC
    V4 & V5: TAD 6L6WGC-STR biased at 70 for the pair
    Speaker: WGS ET65
    Now both channels sound amazing!
     
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