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YO! Tubes(?). 
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Walrus meat
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Joined: Sun Jul 04, 2010 8:22 pm
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Post YO! Tubes(?).
Gotta retube my JCM800. Looking for maxxx headroom and whatever's good and nice. I know the usual suspects (JJs) but I know some of y'all are into some of the nicer stuff out there.

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Sat Jun 24, 2017 1:07 am
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Simethicone
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Post Re: YO! Tubes(?).
You actually want headroom? Hrmm. I tend to want that fucker breaking up as soon as possible, particularly with big bottles. That being said, if you can get yer hands on some Svetlana/Winged =C= EL34s, those are pretty much a tonal gold standard as far as modern production EL34s go.

6CA7s could be an option if you're feeling curious. I have a pair in my Musicman. Vintage Amperex, I think? I'll have to look.

Budget probably matters on this.

The Ampnation, Smithers! FB group might have answers as well. There are some folks who aren't members here who know their shite.

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Sat Jun 24, 2017 3:29 pm
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Pendulous
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Post Re: YO! Tubes(?).
You don't get headroom with the master cranked going into the low input?

I can't recommend for cleanliness of tone. But I will say that the Winged Cs in my 50 watter are so good. That's power tubes though. There are preamp tube alternatives to the 12AX7 that are lower gain...

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Sun Jun 25, 2017 10:18 pm
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Simethicone
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Post Re: YO! Tubes(?).
Ooh, I forgot that about the low input, despite being a former JMP 2204 owner. :facepalm: IIRC Cam's is modded in some way, though. As far as current production preamp tubes, the Mullard and Tung-Sol reissues are good stuff. I actually like the JJs in Marshall-flavored amps to darken/fatten them up, but they are definitely higher gain. 12AT7s or 5751s (Dan- newholland- swears by the latter) are an alternative on the front end for less gain. Decent NOS 12AT7s can still be had cheap-ish.

I'm betting Winged C EL34s is going to be a consensus for the power section though, unless you want to put something else (KT77, 6CA7, 5881, etc.) in there. Generally speaking, when dealing with large tube amps, I want the power section to start giving up the goods as early as possible- which is still pretty damn loud; drummer on a good-sized stage level- but my sonic needs may be different. If you just want a cleaner-sounding 800, I'd spearmint with some lower-gain tubes in the front end... And the Winged C EL34s are still a good choice for the power section, because an 800 is damned loud.

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Mon Jun 26, 2017 11:00 am
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Walrus meat
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Post Re: YO! Tubes(?).
When I say max headroom, I guess really what I'm saying is just so that the amp will stay pretty clean at cranked volumes, it is just a 1x12 after all. It WILL get fuckloud anyhow, but it will usually start going into a good bit of breakup. I suppose that really is not such a problem for most my purposes (it sounds nice) but a lot of what Alex does with it she plays quite clean most the time and then uses pedals for dirt. I'm also thinking about what happens when you slam it with an HM-2, I've experienced some amount of clipping that is definitely AFTER the pedal that is a little less than desirable. Though, that may also just be that the tubes really are on their last legs and can't handle the front end load.

Not too sure whether it's the preamp or power tubes that are starting to go, but I'm just gonna replace the whole lot. I'm gonna probably snag some Winged Cs and then try something more low gain in the preamp section, as per recommended.

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Mon Jun 26, 2017 2:43 pm
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