Tweed Deluxe tube swap; re-bias?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by youdevil, Dec 29, 2012.

  1. youdevil

    youdevil TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    27
    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2011
    Location:
    Wayne, PA
    Apologies in advance for what may be a stupid question, but I'm relatively new to vintage amps.

    I have a nice 1959 tweed deluxe but would like to swap out the Groove Tube 6v6s it came with; I hear that RCAs sound great in this amp.

    Will I have to re bias the amp? How will I know it? If something is out of whack, do I run the risk of damaging the amp or injuring myself?

    Thanks.
     
  2. mad dog

    mad dog Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,222
    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2005
    Location:
    Montclair, NJ
    No bias needed for power tube swap on that amp. Swap away.
    MD
     
  3. youdevil

    youdevil TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    27
    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2011
    Location:
    Wayne, PA
    Thanks! Anything I should listen for, tone-wise, in comparing these two sets?
     
  4. BobbyZ

    BobbyZ Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    12,460
    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2011
    Location:
    Snellman MN
    Tone wise. Who knows what kind of tubes the GTs are and RCA made more than one kind of 6v6 over the years.

    Just try them.
     
  5. fauxsuper

    fauxsuper Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,688
    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2007
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    There are a lot of tubes that are likely to sound better than the Groove Tubes.

    I wouldn't assume that popping a set of RCA's in your amp is automatically going to make it sound "better". If you've got a set sitting around that's another matter.

    Do some reasearch and you'll find that there are not only some decent new production tubes being made, but there are also some alternatives to the RCA tubes, and they all have advantages/disadvantages. What I'm trying to say is it isn't just as simple as finding the "best" tube for your amp and that's it. There is no one "best" tube for your amp. Are you a blues player who'd like a nice break up at a lower volume? Are you more of a clean player who would like a little more clean headroom? Does the amp have it's original stock speaker? What are the pre-amp tubes in the amp? Do you play in a band and need to cut through a dense mix?

    You'll probably get a dozen opinions on the page along as to what the best tube is if you were to ask that question.

    Take a look at this site: http://www.thetubestore.com/6V6-Tube-Review or this one: http://www.audiotubes.com/6v6.htm
    and: http://tubedepot.com/6v6.html

    By now you should get some idea of the spectrum of information floating around out there. It is possible to self educate yourself and follow a rational course of action, but the real problem is finding a source of tubes you can trust. Go to E-bay and search 6V6 tubes and you find them all over the map in price.

    If you state a little more about what type of music you play, a little more information about the amp and it's condition, along with the guitars you plan to run into it, there will be people here who can give you some specific advice on what to expect with various brands/types of tubes in your amp.

    In any case, with an amp with potentially high value, your best friend is likely to be a good tech who can help you make it sound it's best. If that amp hasn't been to a tech lately, it would be in your best interest to take it to one and have them check it out. A good one will ask you questions like some of the one's I've stated here, and help you acomplish whatever your goals might be. An amp as old as yours is very likely to have had some parts swapped out along the way and others will have drifted from their original values.

    If you find 5 different 1959 Deluxe amps, I'll bet they will be all over the map in how they sound and many of the parts will be replacement items picked up along the last 50 years or so.

    A good tech will help you sort this all out and give you a baseline of where to start.
     
  6. BobbyZ

    BobbyZ Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    12,460
    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2011
    Location:
    Snellman MN
    One thing about Groove Tubes they've been relabling tubes for a long time. In an amp this old the GTs could be RCAs or JJs or MIC it's hard to say.

    Just me but I pulled the NOS RCA6V6GTAs out of my BFDR and went back to Tung Sol RIs. I like them better for what I do with that amp.

    In the 5e3 I built a set of old smoked glass RCAs from a radio sounded best to me.
    (think about how many hours a radio puts on a set of tubes and they're still going!)
     
  7. mad dog

    mad dog Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,222
    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2005
    Location:
    Montclair, NJ
    This is the real fun in tube swapping. No way to know until you try. I have several different types of RCA 6v6s. The old blackplates being usually the best, but it totally depends on the amp.

    My sorta tweed deluxe is a Victoria Trem de la Trem, Mark Baier's tribute to the old tweed tremolux. He put in NOS GE 6v6s, and these whup everything else I've tried, including a set of old Brimars that work so well in my '58 GA-40.

    Haven't tried those Tung Sol RIs, but intend too. JJ 6v6s are always worth having on hand. A little different, somewhere between 6v6 and 6L6 tonally, can work really well in certain amps.

    MD
     
  8. spankdplank

    spankdplank Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,899
    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2007
    Location:
    Houston, Tx.
    I like JJ's for a little more clean headroom. The EH 6v6 tubes are cheap and sound good--they are more on the crunchy side and sound a lot like the old RCA 6v6 to my ear. I like the old RCA 6v6 tubes, but they are hard to find ones that aren't worn out or really expensive. IMO, the best thing you can do for a 5E3 is to make sure you have one 12AY7 in the preamp rather than 2 12AX7 tubes.
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.