Preamp Tubes to Tame Brightness?

glpg80

Well-known member
What preamp tubes can I grab to try in V1 to tame brightness in Marshall circuits?

There’s one stipulation - I hate the top end sound of JJECC83s that have a type of brown sound to them.

I’ve got my amp tuned and I think the last step I need isn’t the amp itself at all, but rather it’s time to roll tubes.

What are your favourites to thicken up the higher registers of your guitar but still provide great rhythm tone without shrill brittle top end?
 

braintheory

Well-known member
My first choice would be a Telefunken ECC83 with ribbed plates. In my '79 2203 I like a lot JAN Philips ECG 12AX7's, but not as much in my '67 Tremolo 50
 

DanTravis62

Well-known member
Currently made or NOS?

I have no idea about modern tubes, but depending on what model of Marshall, I like RCA grey plates in plexis - they have just the right balance of amplitude and frequency response IMO, and are a good all arounder for nmv Marshalls in my experience. 16388669635594988395782302616466.jpg

If it's a jcm900 or newer, something super high gain, I actually use au7s or at7s to tame the fizz down and lower the gain into the usable zone (at least for me) I prefer the late 50s early 60s Baldwin branded Sylvanias for this purpose
16388671126622854720182089893677.jpg

Don't know if that helps at all.
 

Dino 939

Well-known member
Currently made or NOS?

I have no idea about modern tubes, but depending on what model of Marshall, I like RCA grey plates in plexis - they have just the right balance of amplitude and frequency response IMO, and are a good all arounder for nmv Marshalls in my experience. View attachment 97262

If it's a jcm900 or newer, something super high gain, I actually use au7s or at7s to tame the fizz down and lower the gain into the usable zone (at least for me) I prefer the late 50s early 60s Baldwin branded Sylvanias for this purpose
View attachment 97265

Don't know if that helps at all.
Hell yeah, good info dude!
 

Dino 939

Well-known member
For me, it's always a crapshoot.
RFT'S imhe, aren't dark but add early breakup.
That's why I appreciate the guy that went before
me in this thread.
Every amp is different and responds differently
to changes.
Nowdays, I don't care how You or I do it.
Just f'n do it and put your telephone away.
I'll use a pedal when it feels icky' or adjust
the eq & add an eq pedal, whatever it takes,
to find your own nuts, break them to shards,
hit the 76 stairs in Philadelphia and earn
the World Championship.
Suddenly...there's something authentic.

Everyday we're dying as humans and so is the top end of our hearing..
we need a f'n human EQ man.
 

midnightlaundry

Well-known member
RCAs are nice. Any Long Plate in V1 should help a lot.
THey are probably just as bright as a Chinese, but they add more low and low mids to fill out the sound.
 

glpg80

Well-known member
In the next coming weeks I’ll be on the lookout for these. I’m not a fan of buying tubes around Christmas as packages aren’t handled with care, but I’ll definitely be grabbing two of each mentioned here where possible to give them a try.
 

psychodave

Well-known member
One thing I do to tame some high end at times is change cabinet impedance. For example, I'll set my amp to 8 ohms and run a 16 ohm cabinet. High end is usually shaved off just a bit. Feel also changes a bit though.
 

braintheory

Well-known member
RCA’s weren’t my favorite in my ‘67 tremolo 50. They’re great tubes and will darken the amp, but I feel their American voicing with it’s more laid back, hollow mids just doesn’t mesh well with Marshall’s. It also smooths the amp out, less growl or upper mid grind, which imo is not a good thing for Marshall’s, but it does have big, punchy lows. IMO RCA pre’s shine most in old fender tweeds and Gretsch’s (killer there)

The Telefunken ribbed plates are warm, fat mids, really nice lower mid growl and imo mids that work more with Marshall’s. I like most my Mullard Blackburn’s in it, but not a dark tube

Really though if I wanted to darken my Marshall (not that it needs it since the ‘67 is a darker amp) I’d first try either different speakers, cabs or guitar
 

braintheory

Well-known member
One thing I do to tame some high end at times is change cabinet impedance. For example, I'll set my amp to 8 ohms and run a 16 ohm cabinet. High end is usually shaved off just a bit. Feel also changes a bit though.
Is this safe to do? I’ve done it a few times briefly by accident and remember it sounding a bit tighter/more focused, less thick
 
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