We are often asked for technical support however due to the nature of tube amplifiers we are limited in the help we can give.
Tube amplifiers contain lethal levels of voltages and can hurt or potentially kill you even if switch off. This is the main reason we cannot provide technical information. If you know what you are doing then you won’t need the support of anyone over email or phone. Secondly, any technician will tell you that in most cases you really need to see the amp before making recommendations.
What will we support you with regarding technical information?
- Products selection (Choosing the right product)
- Understanding what tubes go with your amp
- Limited technical information e.g. questions that won’t put you in harm's way.
Here are a few of our most common questions
- Will these tubes sound good in my amp?
- The answer is “no one knows”, the reason is that sound is personal and what you like someone else might not. In saying that I believe that I could get most tubes to work in most amps without any real issues.
- I definitely believe some work better than others and I personally haven’t tried every option out there.
- I would suggest (and often do) that you look for people who have a similar amp (and you like there sound) and try those tubes as a start.
- Do the tubes I use, make a big difference?
- Yes, they will. To be very clear though it's my opinion that there are so many factors in determining the sound of an amplifier that thinking tubes are the ultimate answer to your search for tone is probably futile
- I believe that the following is often
- The cheapest mod you can do
- Look to change your preamp tubes.
- Try using a 12AU7 or 12AT7 in you first slot to tame the amp.
- I often keep a few preamp tubes around and test them in different positions.. you would be astounded at how must difference to the sound it can make.
- Do you bias amps?
- No sorry. Technicians are set up ready to go for this and we just don’t have space.
- I will add that I believe trying different preamp tubes is my first love when chasing tone but BIASing an amp to my taste is the second favourite thing to do
- Also, let you tubes run for a while before biasing them, I often find tubes a bit harsher at the start until they boil off some electrons and then settle down, after that I bias
- Do you sell bias probes?
- No Sorry.. they just aren’t worth it.. there are plenty around though
- What are the best tubes to buy?
- There is no such thing.
- There are definitely peoples favourites or types that amps come out with but we sell all the top brands and when you blind test people most can’t tell.. Yes I know there are people reading this right now saying they can and maybe they have some superpower but I am yet to see any A/B scenario that solves this age-old question for no other reason than sound is personal. What one person likes the other doesn’t.
- What reverb tank goes with my amp?
- You need to look for the number on the side or top of your existing reverb tank, then search the website.
- If you want to see what you can substitute your current tank for, then you can have a look at this link
- What style grill cloth looks good with my amp?
- Go black, you can never go wrong.. Nah not really
- Similar to sound, a look is personal.
- Try looking at google images and get some ideas from there
- How do I glue tolex on and what do I use?
- I use good old contact glue from Selleys Kwik Grip
- Heres a few tips though
- Lay you tolex out in the sun for a while. It will help with remove any creases etc
- Map out "on the back which is the cloth side" your amp.. each side top etc.. allowing room on the edges to wrap inside the amp
- spread a thin layer.. well covered but thin. no pooling of glue. onto both the cloth and the timber.
- LET THEM DRY TACKY… Sorry to yell but you can let these almost dry completely and they will stick (don’t let them dry but let them get very tacky)
- Have the right tools ready.
- Sharp decent scissors
- A Stanley knife
- A roller (to flatten the tolex)
- Do Not stretch the tolex, it needs to be laid on then rolled flat but stretching will hurt it
- Watch youtube… there are some great videos on the web
- Do you have testers and will you test my tubes?
Yes, we have several testers here including
- Amplitrex 1000 (perhaps the greatest of testers)
- Maximatcher testers x 2,
- 1 x Preamp tube tester
- 1 x Power tube tester
- A custom made 13E1 Tester
We can test tubes but you need to think about what you want to be tested. We simply don't test easily accessible tubes like a set of el84 JJs or Eh.
We only test Expensive tubes and we charge for it, sorry but time spent test you tubes will only be my time being removed from something else I could be doing. The proce varies and we would need to discuss via email.
- Do you sell kits?
- We have recently added the AK5 amp to our site and whilst its not really a kit but rather a bundle of parts ready to be put together, meaning the is not step by step instruct, There is a layout and schematic for it. Note: We do not support the build process. This amp works if you build it right.
- I highly recommend checking out the AGGH or EL34world forums, they are a good community of amp builders amongst other things.