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Tube Tone and why its not as straight forward as some might think

22 Oct 2020

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tt1znxsqxs9s0edrmunrTube Tone is very intermittent = The Voltage and Bias is how tube tube tone is shaped like you know. Distortion comes from the pre amp stage in many cases, power tubes can give you contour and overall tone feel. Tube tone is more organic since it needs to heat up to get to the optimal voltage to produce the kind of sound the you are expecting. Having said that there is so many aspects which can affect tube (reference 1) sound, weather, room temp, tube wear, clean or dirty voltage, cold room, hot room, triod and cathode in the tube circuit. It's not as straight forward in tubes for them to be the same all the time. Tube models and Tube swapping does change the sound, it's not just the imagination of the user. Reasons why : refer to reference 1. The sound of tubes changes with the circuit: EL 34 Tubes mostly mid tone, 6L6 high and bottom sound and so on. As for Electro-harmonix vs Chinese or say Sovtek is a different type of thinking all together, the (reference 2) manufacturing process comes into play: the Russian Sovtek are sought after for a certain feel, now Electro-harmonix I heard are using those tubes now, the Chinese ones depending on new or old stock may be better or worse. The older stock is generally better tone most people say. So you see tube tone is not as straight forward as a load box test. (reference 3) The Term Headroom is also in the same breath here, The organic feel from the heating process, how much power the amp can create before the clipping circuit is engaged or distortion begins. Myself I use both Tube amps and Digital : Currently Running a ENGL E670 Special Edition EL 34 model and Axe-FX III I've used many tube amps Marshall 1975 JMP, JCM 800 2203,JCM 900, 1970 Purple Super Bass/Super lead the Hendrix model, Plexi, Fender Bassman, Randall Satan (why I mention this amp is because it has two types of tubes in the power stage KT88 and 6L6 plus pre amp (12AX7) tubes and others ... I can understand why you may question this area .. but its not as simple as discussing guitar wood being the tone, on acoustics yes it will have a large difference on electric not as much, because a good amount of tone comes from the pickups .. feel comes from how you play, as for how you feel about playing that instrument is another story.

James

 

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