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#19091 by jw123
Wed Jan 09, 2008 2:10 pm
I thought I would put this post in here.

I have a Mesa Triple Rectifier head. It is very loud. Lately Ive been trying to tame the beast some to play with some different acts. One of the old Marshall tricks is to pull some of the power tubes. Last night the kids were at their mothers, so I got the amp in the living room and pulled some tubes. The Triple has 6 6L6 power tubes. It is a push/pull amp so I pulled the outer tubes. I pulled 4 of them so it should effectively make the amp 50 watts. This amp also has rectifier tubes and I was told to pull 1 for each 2 power tubes, so I pulled 2 of those out also.

I then let the amp warm up and tuned my guitar. The first thing I noticed was that the sound was real thin. When I start playing with an amps controls I normally start at 12 oclock and work from there to get a good tone. With all the tubes in this head is a bass monster and I ussually run the bass at around 9-10 oclock, in this setup I found myself going to 2-3 oclock. The big problem to me with these heads is that when you turn the bass up this high it seems to rob sonic space from the mids. I wound up turning the mids up higher than normal. Of course the real magic on these heads is the high and presence control. For my vintage sound, I was turning high/presence almost all the way up.

Im trying to figure out how to get a good sound out of this amp at a lower volume. Ive got to go for a while but I will come back and elaborate, in case anyone on here uses these amps.

If anyone on here has used a THD Hotplate, I would like to hear what you think.

#19099 by jw123
Wed Jan 09, 2008 3:26 pm
Im back, had to do some work. Imagine that.

Anyway, back to my amp. With the tubes pulled it kills the tone of the amp. Big thick open chords that would ring before sound thin. I thought pulling the tubes would make the amp break up faster, but that doesnt seem to be the case. This morning I got up and put the tubes all back in and fired her up, sonic nirvana. I found myself backing down the eq knobs to get the sound back that I like.

Someone told me it is a volume thing on the speakers and how they react. The Rectifier head allows you to route the signal thru the effx loop and you can control the overall volume with the loop. I always run it this way to allow for some attenuation and to my ears my overall volume is the same running either 2 tubes or 6 tubes, it just sounds a lot better with all the tubes in. Possibly removing tubes changes the ohm load on the speakers which could make the sound thinner. Ive had people tell me it changes the load and some that say it doesnt. Im no tech, just trying to find out the possibilitys of this amp. I played for about an hour last night in 50 watt mode. I think next time I have a chance I will just pull 2 tubes making it 100 watts and see how that works. I'll update when I get a chance.

#20306 by phboo
Tue Jan 29, 2008 2:05 pm
I used to have the same problem--couldn't get a good tone with the amp turned down. I finally gave up on a "head" configuration entirely--they all seemed tuned to sound good with the amp turned up to ear bleeding levels. Without the power amp being saturated they just sounded like poo. I'd like to just play loud all the time, but it's usually not an option.

I've been using a Rocktron Piranha for a few years now after using just about everything else out there. It takes a little work to dial it in (it's not like most preamps where you put everything on 10) but I can get my entire sound out of the preamp and not need the power amp saturation. If you play one with stock tubes it'll sound horrible--I put in some Tung Sol's and it sounds amazing. I run it into a Boogie 395 (truly an excellent amp!) and I get the same tone at low volumes that I get with it turned up high.

Another thing I did is I got rid of all my cabinet resonance. Yeah, I know everyone thinks it's kuwl. I found it just muddied everything up at high volumes. I got a tone I liked at low and medium volumes (where cabinet resonance is minmal) but it got loose and flabby if I turned it up (I'm using Sheffield 1290's in my top cabs, and Celestion G1280s in the bottom cabs). So, I committed the ultimate guitar sacrilege and filled my cabinets with fiberglass insulation.

Now you can hear EVERY note and every string in a chord, regardless of the volume. Of course, you can also hear when I screw up (doh!) but them's the breaks. I can't tell you how many guitarists have come up to me after shows asking how I get it to sound the way it does. Guys who own everything (Marshalls, Rectifiers, everything) come up and the first words out of their mouths are "what are you doing? My amp can't do that!"
#20384 by G.E. PERRY
Wed Jan 30, 2008 7:06 am
I have a Fender Super Twin
6 6L6 output tubes.
Sounds great with all but loud.
Sounds pretty good with four but,
My rect is solid state and I believe yours is tube.
You may want to consider something like a Lonestar 50 or 100.
These can be switched to tube or diode rectifier and have varying wattage settings.
Mesa amps always seem to be tuned a little on the bright side.
Good luck.
#20385 by G.E. PERRY
Wed Jan 30, 2008 7:09 am
Just wanted to add that while you pulled output tubes from your amp your output transformer is designed to work with six tubes.

#20412 by jw123
Wed Jan 30, 2008 3:20 pm
Thanks for the replys.

As I said before you can route the signal thru the effects loop and use that as a master volume. Lately thats what I have been doing and it works for bedroom level up to blow your pants leg volume. The rec has both silicon diodes and tube rectifiers, I generally use the tubes. I tryed pulling 2 tubes making it a 100 watt amp, but to my ears I still lost something. Ive met lots of people that pull tubes and are happy, I guess Im just a little to picky.

Thanks again.


#21786 by TMF
Tue Feb 12, 2008 11:08 pm
I use a Tom Scholz Power Soak with my set up and it allows you to drive the tubes as hot as you want without the loud volume. It acts like a master volume. I use it either my 67 Fender Super blackface or my 63 Super. I can mix the settings to get more or less drive out of the amp. It cost me about $125 about 10 years ago. I have no idea if they are still being made, but mine still works great, and it has gotten a ton of use.

Dropping tubes out is not the thing to do though, and it sounds like you experienced why. The tonal quality is lost, and more importantly the electronics are being compromised. You might want to look into lower output tubes as well. There are a lot of tube sales sites out there.

#21895 by jw123
Wed Feb 13, 2008 3:54 pm
TMF, Ive got a power soak, but I never liked it either. It seems to kill the tone. I am watching e-bay and think I will get one of those Line 6 POD XTs. A friend has one and these days Im mostly playing by myself and recording. I borrowed his and love it. I even ran stereo out of it into 2 halfstacks and could get a really good tone at any volume level I wanted.

#21904 by Guitaranatomy
Wed Feb 13, 2008 4:46 pm
JW, that is fascinating to hear about the Line 6 POD XT. My friend has a Line 6 POD XT Live, I went over to his house to jam and used it - that thing made that Marshall Halfstack sound beautiful. I played "Nothing Else Matters" and was in shock of how real it sounded, it sounded just like the tape.

I have a question for you though, do you know anything about these Line 6 Spider Valve amplifiers? Are they true tube amplifiers? I think they are hybrids or something, or at least that is what I thought I read on the Line 6 website. Also, do you know if they are any good?

I cannot find an amplifier that I really like and want to save up for. I am crossed between Line 6, Marshall, Hartke, Rolland, and so on and so forth. I have no clue which one to go for. I mean right now I might just get a cheap one just to record and jam on, but later I would like some stronger gear and want something to save up for. So any advice you have I would welcome.

Thanks in advance.

Peace out, GuitarAnatomy.

#21914 by Starfish Scott
Wed Feb 13, 2008 5:56 pm
Take it from someone who has used many amps.

GA, you are secretly wishing for a Marshall JCM900 half stack or if you feel like spending a lot of cash, SOLDANO.

I always liked the JCM900 though. Nice tone, they are always for sale and people are stupid thus they are easy to find.

#21915 by Guitaranatomy
Wed Feb 13, 2008 5:58 pm
Lol, thanks, Captain Scott.

"Nothing can beat a Marshall," you always hear that. I personally do not know.

And it better be on sale, because I cannot see paying full price for some of these amplifiers.

Peace out, GuitarAnatomy.

#21918 by Starfish Scott
Wed Feb 13, 2008 6:11 pm
JCM 900 lowest I have seen is about 500$. 7-900 is average. Check your pawn shops. I NEVER buy that stuff new.

PS: The cab is unimportant. Match impedance and blow it up! Then get another one and repeat. lol

#21924 by Guitaranatomy
Wed Feb 13, 2008 6:27 pm
Lol, that is all I need, a blown up Cab. My life is not hard enough.


Peace out, GuitarAnatomy.

#21928 by Chris2203
Wed Feb 13, 2008 6:41 pm
Guitaranatomy wrote:"Nothing can beat a Marshall," you always hear that. I personally do not know.

For me, It's TRUE.

I have used/owned many amps, sold Marshalls just to end up back with Marshalls.
I like the sound of many amps, (Sunn, Carvin X100B, MESAs, Kranks) but my ear just loves that "something" only a Marshall gives.

For me, the JCM800 2203 is the best amp ever. I also like the pre SL-X 900's. I use a JCM900 4102 combo for kicking around with friends.

#21932 by Guitaranatomy
Wed Feb 13, 2008 6:51 pm
Hmm... That is a fascinating opinion, Chris2203. I am starting to become more fascinated with these JCM's now, lol.

Thanks for the info, it is helpful!

Peace out, GuitarAnatomy.

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