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PostPosted: Thu, Dec 21, 2017 10:36pm 
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Hey guys, I'm currently running JJ 12AX7's and JJ KT77's in my Diezel VH4. My reason for using JJ's is so I can have a nice tight lows. However, I was noticing the highs are a bit on the creamier side. I was looking into playing around with new tubes.

I was looking at Tung Sol 12AX7's, and Gold Lion KT77's. I was wondering what kind of tone differences I would expect with these tubes, or any combination of the preamp tubes (Full Tung Sol, or mixing tung sol with other preamp tubes).

If anyone can share their experiences it would be very much appreciated!


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PostPosted: Thu, Dec 21, 2017 11:00pm 
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I tried em all in five diezels only to come full circle back to the ruby 12ax7ac5hg+ and the jjkt77.

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PostPosted: Fri, Dec 22, 2017 8:17am 
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Thanks a lot! Have you tried even tung sol 12ax7s and gold lion kt77s? What kind of tone differences did they provide?

Also, what kind of tone does the 12ax7ax5hg+ give ? Do you use them for all preamp tubes ?


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PostPosted: Fri, Dec 22, 2017 3:37pm 
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Does anyone have experience using a Tung sol 12AX7 in V1, and/or a Sovtek at the PI?


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PostPosted: Fri, Dec 22, 2017 6:34pm 
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O731 wrote:
Thanks a lot! Have you tried even tung sol 12ax7s and gold lion kt77s? What kind of tone differences did they provide?

Also, what kind of tone does the 12ax7ax5hg+ give ? Do you use them for all preamp tubes ?


Yes and yes. Tung sol dark. Cant remember gold lions, long ago.

I use them for all. You really only want to put the hg+ v1-3 and the rest the regular ones. Visit magic parts website.

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PostPosted: Fri, Dec 22, 2017 7:02pm 
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Hmmm.. perhaps an hg+ v1-3, sovtek in the PI, and JJ’s in the rest.


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PostPosted: Sat, Dec 23, 2017 1:50am 
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I’ve tried them all , this sounds the best to me.
Preamp: Ruby 12ax7
PI : Sovtek 12ax7 LPS

I don’t like JJ preamp tubes in any position of the VH4.
The amp is already smooth, they push it too far.

As for powertubes , The GL KT77s are well liked in the amp,
IMHO they are better than the JJs, (more complex sound) and very reliable.
Personally I prefer 6L6’s a bit more.

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PostPosted: Sat, Dec 23, 2017 9:03am 
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Hmm thank you. Would you be able to describe how different the tone is with gold lion kt77s? Also, with the ruby 12ax7s, would I loose a lot the bottom end that the JJs give me, or would the fact that I’m using KT77s not have that much effect on the low end tightness?

Finally, do you recommend HG+ 12ax7s anywhere?


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PostPosted: Sat, Dec 23, 2017 11:02am 
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I tried rolling tubes in my new VH4. What was in it from the factory was the best sounding combo. Tung-Sol cv4004 in v1, and the rest of the preamp tubes Chinese 12ax7ac5, with jj KT77'S. Never tried gold lion kt77s though.
Be careful with tung sol's 12ax7's in the other slots. Ive had terrible luck with them in cathode follower spots. Humm like crazy and fail quickly. Not sure which position in vh4 is the cathode follower though. Obviously not v1.

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Last edited by fusedbrain on Sat, Dec 23, 2017 2:17pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat, Dec 23, 2017 1:00pm 
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fusedbrain wrote:
I tried rolling tubes in my new VH4. What was in it from the factory was the best sounding combo. Tung-Sol cvcv4004 in v1, and the rest Chinese, with jj KT77'S. Never tried gold lion kt77s though.
Be careful with tung sol's 12ax7's in the other slots. Ive had terrible luck with them in cathode follower spots. Humm like crazy and fail quickly. Not sure which position in vh4 is the cathode follower though. Obviously not v1.



Thanks for the recommendations. I was just wondering what you mean "The rest Chinese".


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PostPosted: Sat, Dec 23, 2017 2:20pm 
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Sorry, I meant the rest of the pre-amp tubes were Chinese. I believe Diezel recommends Chinese 12ax7ac5HG.
I edited my other post for clarity.

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PostPosted: Sat, Dec 23, 2017 2:27pm 
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fusedbrain wrote:
Sorry, I meant the rest of the pre-amp tubes were Chinese. I believe Diezel recommends Chinese 12ax7ac5HG.
I edited my other post for clarity.



Thanks! So i'm assuming these would be it? http://www.dougstubes.com/ruby-12ax7-ac ... grade.html

Also, would there be any benefit to getting matched triodes? Also, would the HG+ be another viable option for say, V1-3?

EDIT: I seemed to have linked the ACZ, as opposed to the AC5 you recommended. However, i've read that the ACZ HG+ is the highest gain pickup. Perhaps I could use ACZ HG+ in V1-3, then the AC5 in the rest, with a Sovtek LPS in the PI.


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PostPosted: Sat, Dec 23, 2017 9:30pm 
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O731 wrote:
Hmm thank you. Would you be able to describe how different the tone is with gold lion kt77s? Also, with the ruby 12ax7s, would I loose a lot the bottom end that the JJs give me, or would the fact that I’m using KT77s not have that much effect on the low end tightness?

Finally, do you recommend HG+ 12ax7s anywhere?


The gold lion KT77 vs JJ KT77 random thoughts ..

Gold lions are more classic , leaner less chunky, less bass.
Crunchy mids, not too hard and not too soft .. just right.
They have an almost el34 bite but aren’t abrasive sounding.
Slightly cleaner sounding than most EL34’s a bit more harmonic content than the JJs.

The JJs are thicker, tons of bass and low chunk.
They can be aggressive sounding, the focus is more in the low mids vs high mids of the Gold Lion.
Don’t get me wrong they are good tubes.
I find they sound somewhat simple and lack the same harmonic
content of many others.

As for the JJ preamp tubes. The amp has a huge amount of bottom end .. especially with the
JJ kt77.. are you playing bass??

The HG+ 12ax7’s I use in the first 3 positions.

Something you have to think about is your ear is accustomed to your tubes when you change them you may not like it. Whatever you do, I suggest to stick with it for a while before going back.

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PostPosted: Sat, Dec 23, 2017 9:37pm 
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Thank you. You say the gold lions have less crunch, would that make it not a viable option for high gain, metal style type playing ? Or is it just a matter of a different tone quality.

Also, I’m looking to get hg+ 12ax7s now. Do you know anything about the 12ax7 act?


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PostPosted: Sat, Dec 23, 2017 10:47pm 
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O731 wrote:
Thank you. You say the gold lions have less crunch, would that make it not a viable option for high gain, metal style type playing ? Or is it just a matter of a different tone quality.

Also, I’m looking to get hg+ 12ax7s now. Do you know anything about the 12ax7 act?


Remember all my opinion...
The GLs are not less crunchy , it’s that the crunch is more upper mid focused vs the low mid focus (chunk) of the JJs.

I think either would work well for metal just your preference.

If your JJ kt77’s are still good maybe change the preamp tubes first and see?

The higher grade 12ax7’s are recommended especially in the first 2 positions.
This is for low noise and high gain.

Look at the current recommendation below,
Not sure what side of the pond your on, in the USA Laura at valve queen carries these tubes.


This is copied from Peter Diezel :

Diezel Stock tubes 16.01.2017
V1: 12AX7-B High grade selection on B-side 678 or CV4004 High grade
V2: 12AX7-B High grade selection on B-side 678
V3, V4, V5, V6 (V7, V8, V9): 12AX7-B
Reverb: 12AT7-C
Power tubes KT77-JJ with 35mA bias each tube, 70mA each pair

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PostPosted: Sat, Dec 23, 2017 11:07pm 
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Quote:
This is copied from Peter Diezel :

Diezel Stock tubes 16.01.2017
V1: 12AX7-B High grade selection on B-side 678 or CV4004 High grade
V2: 12AX7-B High grade selection on B-side 678
V3, V4, V5, V6 (V7, V8, V9): 12AX7-B

^^^This^^^
Go here for the tubes: https://store.valvequeen.com/shop-by-tube-type/12ax7
You want the Ruby 12az7HG+ 678 (Diezel selected ) OR the Mullard CV4004 12AX7 for V1
Ruby 12az7HG+ 678 (Diezel selected ) for V2
RUBY 12AX7 AC5 HG for all the other pre-amp spots.

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PostPosted: Sat, Dec 23, 2017 11:14pm 
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Thank you. I'm assuming these are the 12ax7-b you are referring to for V3-V9? https://www.tubesandmore.com/products/12ax7b-china

Would you happen to know the differences between say, the Diezel selected 12AX7-B 678 vs 12AX7 AC5 HG+, AC7 HG+, and/or The 12AX7 ACZ?


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PostPosted: Sun, Dec 24, 2017 1:19am 
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The Ruby Diezel selected 12AX7-B 678, 12AX7 AC5 HG, & 12AX7 AC5 HG+ are all Chinese 12ax7-B tubes that have been screened by Ruby and identified as being high grade, with the 678 & HG+ having the lowest noise & micro-phonics, so they are suitable for use in V1 position of high gain amps.
The 12AX7 ACZ is a JJ ( CZ = Czech ) 12ax7 that has been screened by ruby for the same qualities, but is a JJ, not chinese.

All the chinese tubes mentioned will sound the same, but be slightly more or less noisy and micro-phonic ( still very low by comparison to regular chinese 12ax7-B ).
The 12AX7 ACZ ( JJ ) is also a very nice tube, but to my ears sounds darker, & thicker than the Chinese tubes.
I feel that the VH4 does NOT need to be any darker or thicker sounding, and benefits from the Chinese tube's brighter, more aggressive sound.
The JJ's sound very good in my Wizard amps, and also very good in my modded Marshall amps, but not so great in the Diezel or Friedman amps. This has more to do with the overall frequency spectrum and voicing of the amps than the quality of the tubes.
All tubes mentioned are very good, and Laura @ Valve Queen is an excellent tube vendor :rock:

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PostPosted: Sun, Dec 24, 2017 1:43am 
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Sorry, I forgot to answer your question about the Chinese 12ax7-b in the link you posted.
Those are the generic 12ax7-b, and yes, they can be used in the later positions of the amp.
All these 12ax7-B tubes are mass produced and the quality can vary widely, hence the price. They will generally all work, but they can be VERY noisy or micro-phonic. This is why it's very important that the tubes are screened for the application you will use them in. Out of a batch of 500 tubes, a very low number will be suitable for use in V1 & 2 of high gain amps. It's not as important for the later stages of the pre-amp, but a quality tube in the phase inverter position is a good thing.
Re-brander's like Ruby will do this screening and separate the tubes into HG, HG+ etc.. and vendors like Valve Queen will also test and burn in the tubes for a second level of screening. When you see generic Chinese 12ax7-B's for sale at the price in the link you posted, most likely the vendor is simply taking the tubes out of the case that arrived from china, and sending them on to you, without any screening or testing at all.
You DO get what you pay for when you buy quality tubes from a reputable tube vendor.
If you're not sure, or it's not clear on their website, call them and ask them how they are screening or testing the tubes they are shipping to you.

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PostPosted: Sun, Dec 24, 2017 7:51am 
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Thank you for all of the great help folks. So let me clarify:

Two of these for v1 and v2 https://store.valvequeen.com/ruby-ac5-1 ... l-selected

Then these for all the rest: https://store.valvequeen.com/tubes/ruby ... ac5-hgplus

I heard I need something different for the reverb? Or will the ac5 work for these too? Would a sovtek provide something different in the PI?

I might want to get myself GL kt77 just to switch around with the JJ’s, although they are expensive, and having to bias every time I change power tubes sounds rather tedious :)

Just to add in a little question here: Does the EL34 BHT have that much less low end then the KT77?


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PostPosted: Sun, Dec 24, 2017 10:21am 
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fusedbrain wrote:
Quote:
This is copied from Peter Diezel :

Diezel Stock tubes 16.01.2017
V1: 12AX7-B High grade selection on B-side 678 or CV4004 High grade
V2: 12AX7-B High grade selection on B-side 678
V3, V4, V5, V6 (V7, V8, V9): 12AX7-B

^^^This^^^
Go here for the tubes: https://store.valvequeen.com/shop-by-tube-type/12ax7
You want the Ruby 12az7HG+ 678 (Diezel selected ) OR the Mullard CV4004 12AX7 for V1
Ruby 12az7HG+ 678 (Diezel selected ) for V2
RUBY 12AX7 AC5 HG for all the other pre-amp spots.


Thanks a lot! What exactly is the 12-AX7B? I'm looking at valve queen and they don't seem to have a "B", they just have 12AX7 HG/HG+, and 12AX7 AC5 HG/HG+ ?

Also, i'm just curious as to why the HG+ tubes aren't recommended for all preamp slots? I'm still new to tube amps, and my inner metal guitarist thinks "High gain plus=more metal!" . If you could elaborate it will be very much appreciated.


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PostPosted: Sun, Dec 24, 2017 12:17pm 
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12-AX7-B is the generic term for the Chinese 12ax7's that we are talking about. All the Chinese 12ax7's @ Valve Queen are the "B" variety.
The Shuguang factory makes 12ax7-A & 12ax7-B tubes, among others. The "B's" sound the best for our application ( high gain guitar amps ) but, as mentioned earlier, they need to be screened as the quality control off of the production line can vary widely, and we need the highest grade, least micro-phonic tubes for our amps.
The "HG" is not high GAIN, it's high GRADE

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PostPosted: Sun, Dec 24, 2017 12:24pm 
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fusedbrain wrote:
12-AX7-B is the generic term for the Chinese 12ax7's that we are talking about. All the Chinese 12ax7's @ Valve Queen are the "B" variety.
The Shuguang factory makes 12ax7-A & 12ax7-B tubes, among others. The "B's" sound the best for our application ( high gain guitar amps ) but, as mentioned earlier, they need to be screened as the quality control off of the production line can vary widely, and we need the highest grade, least micro-phonic tubes for our amps.
The "HG" is not high GAIN, it's high GRADE


I sincerely appreciate the help. So would the 12AX7-B's for by V3 and the rest be just these: https://store.valvequeen.com/tubes/ruby ... ac5-hgplus

and the HG+ for high grade?


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That link is for the "plus" tubes that are pretty much the same high grade as the "Diezel selected 678" tubes, and you don't really need that high a grade for V3 and on. If you want to save $2.00 per tube, you could use the Ruby AC5HG that are $18 per tube. https://store.valvequeen.com/tubes/ruby-12ax7-ac5-hg
I would still be inclined to put a "plus" tube in the last ( phase inverter ) spot, but that's just me.

Also, if budget is not an issue, you could order 1 of these as well:
https://store.valvequeen.com/mullard-cv4004-12ax7
and try swapping it into V1 with the "Diezel selected 678" tube, to see if you prefer it.
In the worst case, at least you will now have 1 spare 12ax7 that you can use in any position in the amp, if you have issues. It's always good to have at least 1 known good 12ax7 on hand for trouble-shooting if the amp acts up.

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PostPosted: Sun, Dec 24, 2017 1:25pm 
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fusedbrain wrote:
That link is for the "plus" tubes that are pretty much the same high grade as the "Diezel selected 678" tubes, and you don't really need that high a grade for V3 and on. If you want to save $2.00 per tube, you could use the Ruby AC5HG that are $18 per tube. https://store.valvequeen.com/tubes/ruby-12ax7-ac5-hg
I would still be inclined to put a "plus" tube in the last ( phase inverter ) spot, but that's just me.

Also, if budget is not an issue, you could order 1 of these as well:
https://store.valvequeen.com/mullard-cv4004-12ax7
and try swapping it into V1 with the "Diezel selected 678" tube, to see if you prefer it.
In the worst case, at least you will now have 1 spare 12ax7 that you can use in any position in the amp, if you have issues. It's always good to have at least 1 known good 12ax7 on hand for trouble-shooting if the amp acts up.


Hmmm... thank you. What kind of tone differences would I expect from using a Mullard as opposed to the Diezel select at V1? Also, is a Sovtek LPS a good idea in the PI, or should I stick with the Chinese Ruby, or even a Mullard in the PI?


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Well... the tone differences are not that big, but I would say that the Mullard is smoother and not quite as aggressive as the Ruby's. Same with the Sovtek LPS. I find it adds a smoothness to the tone vs the Ruby chinese, which are more aggressive.

It's all a matter of taste at this point. If your budget is tight, stick with the Ruby's, as that is the proven formula. If budget is not a concern, then you can get a few extra tubes such as Mullard and Sovtek, and see what you think. All tubes mentioned are high quality and will work fine.

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PostPosted: Sun, Dec 24, 2017 2:52pm 
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fusedbrain wrote:
Well... the tone differences are not that big, but I would say that the Mullard is smoother and not quite as aggressive as the Ruby's. Same with the Sovtek LPS. I find it adds a smoothness to the tone vs the Ruby chinese, which are more aggressive.

It's all a matter of taste at this point. If your budget is tight, stick with the Ruby's, as that is the proven formula. If budget is not a concern, then you can get a few extra tubes such as Mullard and Sovtek, and see what you think. All tubes mentioned are high quality and will work fine.



Nice, that sounds like a solid plan actually.

I actually wanted to change the subject to power tubes. I currently use JJ KT77's and they are awesome. I was looking to get some other power tubes just to play around with. I heard that EL34's are no longer recommended for the VH4, but I hear Winged C's are pretty good. Have you had experience with the winged C's?

Also, random question: Let's say my power tubes happen to have similar mA readings, would I need to bias them every time I change them, or would the fact that they had similar mA readings at the beginning (unlikely, I know...) mean I wouldn't have to rebias since the amp is already biased for that particular mA rating.


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PostPosted: Sun, Dec 24, 2017 4:40pm 
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I haven't tried too many power tubes in my VH4.
So far I've tried JJKT77's, JJE34L's, Svetlana ( not =C= ) EL34's, and Chinese Shuguang EL34B-STR's.
The JJ KT77's sounded the best to me, and I guess they sound the best to the Diezel guys, because that's what comes in the amp stock.

I've used =C='s before, and still have them in my Wizards. They are great EL34's, but they don't make them any more and what's still out there are very expensive.
There is no reason why you can't use EL34's in the VH4, and I think Diezel is using KT77's more for the tone, and to a lesser extent, reliability. I find the KT77's more open sounding, and a little brighter than EL34's, which seems to work better with the VH4's core tone. Again, this is all subjective, and you may like something completely different.

With the ma ratings: yes, once you get the amp biased for a particular ma rating, you can switch to another set of the same type of tube, with the same rating, and you don't need to bias the amp. (EL34's and KT77's are the same type of tube in this case)
BUT.... and this is VERY important..... the rating #'s that tube vendors use are not standardised, and you can only do this with tubes from THE SAME VENDOR!!. This is because you need to know what plate voltage was used in the test that generated the current draw number. Changing the plate voltage will change the current draw of the tube.

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PostPosted: Sun, Dec 24, 2017 5:11pm 
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I missed alot here but wanted to chime in, dont pay for balanced triodes. Pointless.

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PostPosted: Sun, Dec 24, 2017 8:25pm 
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You guys have been great help. Thank you very much.


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PostPosted: Mon, Dec 25, 2017 7:33pm 
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rickenbacker198 wrote:
As for powertubes , The GL KT77s are well liked in the amp,
IMHO they are better than the JJs, (more complex sound) and very reliable.
Personally I prefer 6L6’s a bit more.



GL kt77's do have a nice complexity. However as far as reliability, not so much. I got a quad, and in less than 6 months they went way far out of match from one another, rattle, and are microphonic.

For $200 i expected much better reliability. I think the modern GL line up is built for Hi-Fi, where they don't get subjected to anything other than sitting on a padded shelf.


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PostPosted: Wed, Dec 27, 2017 10:15pm 
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Just dropping in one question here: Is a HG+ good for the PI?


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PostPosted: Fri, Dec 29, 2017 4:24pm 
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O731 wrote:
Just dropping in one question here: Is a HG+ good for the PI?


Normal grade will work fine.

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