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PostPosted: Mon, Sep 13, 2010 5:51am 
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So my searches/research have seemed to say the most positive things about the SED and JJ for tone and reliability, but a lot of that info was a year or so old. The amp is a Knucklehead Tre, the player is (for the most part) stuck in the 80's, from Dokken to Maiden to Metallica. It's my first adjustable bias, EL34-only amp, so I am on unfamiliar ground with this tube type. Preferences? Pros? Cons? Other suggestions?

It currently has JJ E34L's in it, and it sounds pretty good, but I can definitely tell they are a bit past their prime. I'm sure I could order a new set and be content, but I saw enough good things about the SED's that I thought I should get some more direct opinions.

Oh, and I saw that some of the JJ's (I think) come in red or blue glass. Do they light up enough to visibly glow, or is there some other reason a person would want colored glass? I've never seen such a thing before...

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PostPosted: Mon, Sep 13, 2010 6:13am 
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jet66 wrote:
So my searches/research have seemed to say the most positive things about the SED and JJ for tone and reliability, but a lot of that info was a year or so old. The amp is a Knucklehead Tre, the player is (for the most part) stuck in the 80's, from Dokken to Maiden to Metallica. It's my first adjustable bias, EL34-only amp, so I am on unfamiliar ground with this tube type. Preferences? Pros? Cons? Other suggestions?

It currently has JJ E34L's in it, and it sounds pretty good, but I can definitely tell they are a bit past their prime. I'm sure I could order a new set and be content, but I saw enough good things about the SED's that I thought I should get some more direct opinions.

Oh, and I saw that some of the JJ's (I think) come in red or blue glass. Do they light up enough to visibly glow, or is there some other reason a person would want colored glass? I've never seen such a thing before...

I have had some noise issues with the SED's. They have a better harmonic structure than the e34l. I prefer the Groove tubes E34ls. The E34l has better bass and more punch. I would go with the Groove Tubes E34ls. They actually have a 30 watt plate dissipation where the JJ's do not and stay cooler because of the added heat sink wings. The blue and red glass gives a colored hue.

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PostPosted: Mon, Sep 13, 2010 6:22am 
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I prefer the SED's over everything out there. Dosent mean they cant fail, but overall, I think its the better 34 made at the moment.
IMO, of course

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PostPosted: Mon, Sep 13, 2010 6:26am 
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My SED's are dead quiet, no issues, i do not like JJ's for anything, power or pre, they have issues.

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PostPosted: Mon, Sep 13, 2010 9:41am 
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Definitely the SEDs...the best sound I ever got out of my Riveras were with SED EL34s and Tung-Sol 12AX7s

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PostPosted: Mon, Sep 13, 2010 9:58am 
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PostPosted: Mon, Sep 13, 2010 10:04am 
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SED =C='s from Valvequeen :rock:

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PostPosted: Mon, Sep 13, 2010 2:49pm 
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Sounds like it will be SED EL34's.

tweed wrote:
SED =C='s from Valvequeen :rock:


Is there an RT member discount? :D

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PostPosted: Mon, Sep 13, 2010 2:58pm 
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SED'S! FTW!

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PostPosted: Mon, Sep 13, 2010 4:59pm 
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6string40 wrote:
Definitely the SEDs...the best sound I ever got out of my Riveras were with SED EL34s and Tung-Sol 12AX7s


Yep, Winged C´s and Tung-Sol 12AX7´s are where it´s at for Riveras in my book. Makes for a fairly bright and detailed tone, it seems.

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PostPosted: Mon, Sep 13, 2010 5:27pm 
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How are the Tung Sols holding up now? About a year ago I had 3, none lasted longer than two months, tops. They were in V1 of two different amp brands that didn't seem to kill any other newer New Sensor/Russian tubes, so I don't think it's a cathode-follower situation. I liked the sound, but the tube life kind of put me off. (From two different tube dealers, too.) I had good luck with Sovtek LPS in V1 of both amps, and I thought that was also a tube that cathode followers killed.

The current Rivera manual shows 12AX7A, WB, or WB in 3 of the slots, and EH or LP in the other two. (V1, 2, 4 and 3, 5 respectively.)

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PostPosted: Tue, Sep 14, 2010 6:39am 
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jet66 wrote:
Sounds like it will be SED EL34's.

tweed wrote:
SED =C='s from Valvequeen :rock:


Is there an RT member discount? :D

Thanks Tweed.

I would offer forum discounts if I could but I SED tubes are expensive and I don't make much on them. However, I do test them all, I do burn them in and match them on a Maxi-Matcher and again on my Rocca units at 500V. :thumbsup:

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PostPosted: Tue, Sep 14, 2010 6:43am 
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jet66 wrote:
How are the Tung Sols holding up now? About a year ago I had 3, none lasted longer than two months, tops.


I won't sell them because I have not had good experiences with them (they either went microphonic quickly or they died a sudden death). :no:

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PostPosted: Tue, Sep 14, 2010 6:56am 
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I´ve had a few Tung-Sols go microphonic quick, but I wouldn´t say they are more prone to fail than any other kind of tube that I´ve used extensively.

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PostPosted: Tue, Sep 14, 2010 8:12am 
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ldm wrote:
I won't sell them because I have not had good experiences with them (they either went microphonic quickly or they died a sudden death). :no:

All three of mine were sudden deaths: Worked fine, no noise, squeals, pops, etc. Shut down, come back later or the next day, and no sound was to be had. They sounded great, but there are other tubes I liked just as well that have held up for going on two years now.

I was mostly joking about the discount, it just never hurts to ask. :D I'll email you via your site's contact page with a couple of questions about a couple of the pre amp tubes you have that I haven't tried yet.

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PostPosted: Tue, Sep 14, 2010 9:26am 
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I've tried both and I think I actually prefer the Ruby EL34 BHT's. At least in my amp, the SED's are a bit darker and more muddy. Only amp I liked JJ's in was an Uberschall. In my VH4, Ruby sounds the best. But it will depend on the specific amp.

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PostPosted: Tue, Sep 14, 2010 9:34am 
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jet66 wrote:
ldm wrote:
I won't sell them because I have not had good experiences with them (they either went microphonic quickly or they died a sudden death). :no:

All three of mine were sudden deaths: Worked fine, no noise, squeals, pops, etc. Shut down, come back later or the next day, and no sound was to be had. They sounded great, but there are other tubes I liked just as well that have held up for going on two years now.

I was mostly joking about the discount, it just never hurts to ask. :D I'll email you via your site's contact page with a couple of questions about a couple of the pre amp tubes you have that I haven't tried yet.


Why is it that every new production preamp tube I really like has quality issues. The EI 12AX7's were my favorite in the past, but those were known to have issues. The Tung Sol 12AX7's are my new favorites, but then I see experiences like this. :doh:


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PostPosted: Tue, Sep 14, 2010 10:23am 
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blackba wrote:
jet66 wrote:
ldm wrote:
I won't sell them because I have not had good experiences with them (they either went microphonic quickly or they died a sudden death). :no:

All three of mine were sudden deaths: Worked fine, no noise, squeals, pops, etc. Shut down, come back later or the next day, and no sound was to be had. They sounded great, but there are other tubes I liked just as well that have held up for going on two years now.

I was mostly joking about the discount, it just never hurts to ask. :D I'll email you via your site's contact page with a couple of questions about a couple of the pre amp tubes you have that I haven't tried yet.


Why is it that every new production preamp tube I really like has quality issues. The EI 12AX7's were my favorite in the past, but those were known to have issues. The Tung Sol 12AX7's are my new favorites, but then I see experiences like this. :doh:

I have had similar issues with the TG's. What I find odd is that my tester cannot get a transconductance reading on these and some other Russian made tubes. I think it has something to do with the cathode having a coating on it. My tester functions well, bu is it older.

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PostPosted: Fri, Sep 17, 2010 6:07pm 
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Received my order from Valve Queen today. Ordered online at 9:30 Tuesday night, they were waiting for me when I got home today. I went with the SED's, and boy do they sound good. Also got some opinions from her on a few pre-amp tubes I hadn't tried before, so I picked up a few different flavors to try out. Excellent personalized service, she's very knowledgeable about her products and discriminating about what tubes she'll carry, and meticulous on the matching and testing. Highly recommended for anyone else looking for another source of tubes.

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PostPosted: Fri, Sep 17, 2010 6:13pm 
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jet66 wrote:
Received my order from Valve Queen today. Ordered online at 9:30 Tuesday night, they were waiting for me when I got home today. I went with the SED's, and boy do they sound good. Also got some opinions from her on a few pre-amp tubes I hadn't tried before, so I picked up a few different flavors to try out. Excellent personalized service, she's very knowledgeable about her products and discriminating about what tubes she'll carry, and meticulous on the matching and testing. Highly recommended for anyone else looking for another source of tubes.



My K Tre is in need of some fresh globes as well. So did you look to brighten it up a bit? Interested in what preamp tubes you went with. In your experimenting which ones had the most cut?

Thx,

Softail

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PostPosted: Fri, Sep 17, 2010 6:36pm 
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jet66 wrote:
Received my order from Valve Queen today. Ordered online at 9:30 Tuesday night, they were waiting for me when I got home today. I went with the SED's, and boy do they sound good. Also got some opinions from her on a few pre-amp tubes I hadn't tried before, so I picked up a few different flavors to try out. Excellent personalized service, she's very knowledgeable about her products and discriminating about what tubes she'll carry, and meticulous on the matching and testing. Highly recommended for anyone else looking for another source of tubes.

Thanks again! I really appreciated your email and I am glad that you are happy. Enjoy! :thumbsup:

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PostPosted: Fri, Sep 17, 2010 7:01pm 
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Heritage Softail wrote:
My K Tre is in need of some fresh globes as well. So did you look to brighten it up a bit? Interested in what preamp tubes you went with. In your experimenting which ones had the most cut?

Thx,

Softail

I don't know how good my baseline was as far as that goes, I think the tubes in it may have been a bit long in the tooth. I put a new HG+ in V1, and it definitely had some bite. I tried a Sovtek 12AX7WC in V1, just to see how it sounded. Not nearly as hot nor dynamic, so it went back to V2, for now. The amp calls for Wx type tubes, among others, for V1, 2, and 4, as I'm sure you know. I am assuming those spots are cathode followers, because the manual* was pretty specific about what NOT to put in those sockets. I haven't had the opportunity to do much swapping above that at the moment. I've got a couple of old Telefunkens, and a handful of GE, Sylvania, and the odd RCA I want to try in some of the spots. The SED's in the power section definitely added more bite and cruch vs. the JJ E34Ls that were in it. The clean definitely has a lot of spank to it now, and the notch option is sounding much sweeter now. It was a little 'hollow' before. (It was all JJ EC83S in the pre section.)

*Mine is a 2-channel Ktre, the only manual on the Rivera site is for the new 3-channel. Do you have a 2-ch, and if so, do you know where I can find a manual in .pdf? I haven't had much luck searching the web. I'm mainly interested in the tube socket designations, as far as what is channel 1 gain, channel 2 gain, etc. V1 for input and V5 for PI are the only two spots that I am positive of what they cover.

Oh, and I'm not certain I am getting the full effect of the amp with this cab. (Avatar Contemporary.) I'm beginning to think that although it sounds OK, I think it could sound better. Three different heads in, all very different, and I'm noticing some unpleasant mids with higher gain that just may be common with the cab. (Tried two totally different sets of speakers in it, too.)

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Last edited by jet66 on Fri, Sep 17, 2010 7:06pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri, Sep 17, 2010 7:03pm 
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ldm wrote:
Thanks again! I really appreciated your email and I am glad that you are happy. Enjoy! :thumbsup:

It was a pleasure doing business with you. In about a month or so, I'll probably look at getting another quad. Either something different to experiment with, or a second set of SED's. I like to have a full backup set on hand, and I'd rather not rely on the old tubes for that purpose in this case.

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PostPosted: Fri, Sep 17, 2010 7:09pm 
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jet66 wrote:
Heritage Softail wrote:
My K Tre is in need of some fresh globes as well. So did you look to brighten it up a bit? Interested in what preamp tubes you went with. In your experimenting which ones had the most cut?

Thx,

Softail

I don't know how good my baseline was as far as that goes, I think the tubes in it may have been a bit long in the tooth. I put a new HG+ in V1, and it definitely had some bite. I tried a Sovtek 12AX7WC in V1, just to see how it sounded. Not nearly as hot nor dynamic, so it went back to V2, for now. The amp calls for Wx type tubes, among others, for V1, 2, and 4, as I'm sure you know. I am assuming those spots are cathode followers, because the manual* was pretty specific about what NOT to put in those sockets. I haven't had the opportunity to do much swapping above that at the moment. I've got a couple of old Telefunkens, and a handful of GE, Sylvania, and the odd RCA I want to try in some of the spots. The SED's in the power section definitely added more bite and cruch vs. the JJ E34Ls that were in it. The clean definitely has a lot of spank to it now, and the notch option is sounding much sweeter now. It was a little 'hollow' before. (It was all JJ EC83S in the pre section.)

*Mine is a 2-channel Ktre, the only manual on the Rivera site is for the new 3-channel. Do you have a 2-ch, and if so, do you know where I can find a manual in .pdf? I haven't had much luck searching the web. I'm mainly interested in the tube socket designations, as far as what is channel 1 gain, channel 2 gain, etc. V1 for input and V5 for PI are the only two spots that I am positive of what they cover.

Oh, and I'm not certain I am getting the full effect of the amp with this cab. (Avatar Contemporary.) I'm beginning to think that although it sounds OK, I think it could sound better. Three different heads in, all very different, and I'm noticing some unpleasant mids with higher gain that just may be common with the cab. (Tried two totally different sets of speakers in it, too.)


Dig it.... there is no manual... I called Rivera and talked to a tech. He said they have not finished it yet.... sounds funny eh?

But the clean channel notch on my amp effects both channels, the tech said it should not. Just wonder how yours works.

The SED's sound interesting. I like a bit of power amp distortion and edge of distortion like with non-MV mashalls. I am hoping that running 2 tubes and a plate will get me close to that. The hi-gain on that KT is beastly. Is it even more outrageous with your new tubes?

I have been hitting the clean ch with an OCD and it is working pretty good. Getting good early Rush out of the clean channel.

Peace ....

Softail

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PostPosted: Fri, Sep 17, 2010 7:19pm 
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Yes, I was running the gain at 7-8 on the knob before, now I'm down around 5-6. I don't think the notch affected my dirty channel... I can't play any more tonight, but I will verify it tomorrow. I've got an OCD on my board, and it sounds great with the clean, with the notched pulled out too. I've got mine on Lo, with the gain down below noon. Does some nice dirty blues rock. This is my first full-on EL34 amp, so I can't really comment on how it stacks up to a Marshall non-MV. The clean stays clean pretty high up, though. It does get some break up to it around 5, but it's quite loud.

They haven't finished the manual yet? :confused: Mine has a date of 12/14/06 on the chassis... :lol: :LOL:

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