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DCC Archive OT Tube Guitar Amp Question

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by TommyTunes, Oct 12, 2001.

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  1. TommyTunes

    TommyTunes Senior Member Thread Starter

    I know this is outside this board but I'm thinking about buying a new guitar amp and I've looking at the Mesa Boogie Mark I reissue. I comes with 6L6's but the dealer says that I can get a dirtier sound by subsituting EL34's. Now to me they are the same tube. Does anyone know different on how they react when used in a guitar amp?
    I appreciate any feedback, thanks.
  2. Dave

    Dave Esoteric Audio Research Specialistâ„¢

    What does the dealer say he means by the word "dirty"? More overdrive, more distortion, more bottom end bite, more top end bite? Generally I've found that rolling tubes in a guitar amp does not enhance/change the sound that much if at all, unlike with audiophile stereo equip. Most if not all Mesas I've seen/played have the 6L6's in them, sound great, and are what the manufactorer recomends. Besides I believe that most Mesa's are designed for their smooth/warm sound ie. McLaughlin not Angus Young. Hope this helps :)

    [ October 12, 2001: Message edited by: Dave ]
  3. Drew

    Drew Senior Member

    San Antonio, TX
    I'm not a guitar player, but I have quite a few friends that are. I thought the EL34 was used mostly used in the Marshall stacks desired by the rock/blues guitar players for dirtier, heavier, meatier sound, and the 6L6 was used in (mostly) the Fender's and it creates in leaner sound jazz guitarists prefer.

    I've heard a lot of people dislike the sound of 6L6's in HIFI gear (even in amp designed specifically for it), unlike the EL34 which is used in the Dynaco ST-70.

    Whether tube rolling would make any difference in a Guitar amp, is beyond my experience.

    [ October 12, 2001: Message edited by: Drew ]
  4. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host

    Hey TT,

    Are you actually in to the Mesa Boogie sound? If so, ignore the rest of this...

    To me, a Mesa amp is like a Fender Amp with a distortion pedel stuck in the on position. No way to turn it off. They just cost too much money to be stuck on permanent overload...Sometimes ya want to play clean.

    If you want a great sounding guitar amp IMO, get one of the new American made reissue Fenders, like a Super-Reverb or Deluxe or something.

    By the way, 6L6GC's and guitar amps go hand in hand. If you have to switch out tube types to fix the sound of your amp, you've got the wrong amp. Famous American guitar amps were designed with 6L6's for a reason. They sound the best! Trust me here.

    [ October 12, 2001: Message edited by: Steve Hoffman ]
  5. TommyTunes

    TommyTunes Senior Member Thread Starter

    Hey thanks guys. Steve I guess you just made my mind up. I've got a Fender Blues Jr. right now and after playing a new Twin, I was set to go with the Twin. However I tried the Mesa and fell for the incredible sustain but wasn't happy with the overall sound. It lacked that 60's sound (ie. sparkle) and was looking for a way to get that sound but kept the sustain. Guess I'll probable landup with the Twin.
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