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V3M. Replace your tubes ASAP (well it depends)
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V3M. Replace your tubes ASAP (well it depends)
 PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 4:23 pm Reply with quote  
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  purpledc
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It really though depends on what you want. See for me, I liked the original V3, but hated the global controls so when I saw they were going to make the mini I was very very psyched. All that excitement died when I saw they were using the EL84 tube in the amp. Whats wrong with a el84 you ask? well nothing really but if you like a really tight low end and need to stop on a dime the el84 isnt your friend. Many EL84 tubes tend to have what I can only call greasy feel. Anyone watching the V3M videos when the guys try pulling off metal licks can tell that low end chugga chugga is a slight stretch for the little guy.


So I thought "well I always change tubes anyways so lets see what has the tightest low end available in a el84 tube" Well who would have guessed its my favorite tube manufacturer JJ. Of all the reviews Ive read the JJ el84 is probably the the closest you will get to not sounding like and el84 in a v3m. I can verify this personally. I just got a set of four and installed them. Biased at the standby to the Carvin recommended 80 DC ma. ( be patient as its a little bit of a PITA getting larger clips in the chassis to clamp to the standby. I recommend positive to the board and negative to the lug closest to the bottom on the actual switch.)

The difference? Night and day. The greasy slide vibe can still be had if you eq the amp right but the JJ el84s really tightened up the low end dramatically. With the sovteks I couldnt put the bass on any channel over 5 or it was just too well greasy. Now I can dial in any amount I want and it is tight as a drum. Oh, if forget to mention that the little package deal I got included 3 regular JJ ecc83s preamp tubes. So I threw those in V1, v3, and v4 and then left a High gain JJ in V2 to drive the distortion channels. That made a huge difference as well. The controls actually have a much better sweep and there is a much more dramatic change when using the controls. Where as before you couldnt dial in too much treble now I need to keep the presence and treble down a bit as they really opened up the amp.

I guess the bottom line is if you like that EL84 greasy vibe and you just couldnt wait for Carvin to make a multi channel head utilizing the el84 tone then by all means stick with the sovteks but if your like me and simply wanted a lower power and lower cost alternative to the original V3 and wish your amp sounded more like the original get some JJ's in that thing now. It really does make a night and day difference. Now only if they could get a el84 type tube to sound like a 6l6.............. Well for now the JJ is as close as your gonna get.
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re: V3M. Replace your tubes ASAP (well it depends)
 PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2011 12:00 am Reply with quote  
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  Bundy
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I'd already put JJ ECC83S's in the first three preamp slots of my son's V3MC and we've enjoyed the difference so far. Hopefully tomorrow we'll take this thing to the rehearsal space and get crazy-loud with it. I had a notion before this amp got here we'd be putting JJ EL84's in it but just haven't ordered 'em yet. Good to hear that you're digging the change. Cool

A few questions:
*What speakers/cab are you using? Pickups?
*How far off from the recommended factory 80mA @ standby switch were the JJ's when you put 'em in? (Just curious...)
*I'm guessing your happy with the Metal tones, but what (if any) changes did you notice for the clean channel? We've got the V3MC set up for "soak" on channel 3 and EQX for a warm & round tone. Not a fan of thin cleans over here.

Bob @ Eurotubes had mentioned he's got a few different grades of full retube kits for the V3M but they just haven't had time to put 'em up on the online store yet. That's good news for anyone looking to try something different with their amp.
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Re: re: V3M. Replace your tubes ASAP (well it depends)
 PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2011 12:02 pm Reply with quote  
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  purpledc
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Bundy wrote:
I'd already put JJ ECC83S's in the first three preamp slots of my son's V3MC and we've enjoyed the difference so far. Hopefully tomorrow we'll take this thing to the rehearsal space and get crazy-loud with it. I had a notion before this amp got here we'd be putting JJ EL84's in it but just haven't ordered 'em yet. Good to hear that you're digging the change. Cool

A few questions:
*What speakers/cab are you using? Pickups?
*How far off from the recommended factory 80mA @ standby switch were the JJ's when you put 'em in? (Just curious...)
*I'm guessing your happy with the Metal tones, but what (if any) changes did you notice for the clean channel? We've got the V3MC set up for "soak" on channel 3 and EQX for a warm & round tone. Not a fan of thin cleans over here.

Bob @ Eurotubes had mentioned he's got a few different grades of full retube kits for the V3M but they just haven't had time to put 'em up on the online store yet. That's good news for anyone looking to try something different with their amp.


actually its funny I made a notation of where the trim pot was when I removed the old tubes and turned the bias down as I didnt know what to expect when putting in the JJ's. When I biased it back up to the 80ma across the standby the pot went to the EXACT same location it was before. Kinda funny as I didnt even need to bias the thing. But that might not always be the case for everyone.

The clean channel did get affected. The clean channel IMHO before was on the thin side as well as a little muddy. I really dont use clean tones that much but I just may start now. Since the retube effected how well the eq controls work I was able to get some really really full clean tones and was able to really crank the lows. I hate to even say it but more fender like?? Its hard to explain but it really changed the whole amp. I have to say man that If I didnt know that my amp had el84s in it I would swear it had a single 6l6 in it. Its really that big of a difference.

It may be that the stock sovteks just suck that bad or maybe the JJ's are really that good. But yeah man the cleans are bell like, with alot more useable low end. Now when I use the soak setting and crank the gain you can get that really sweet slight saturation and if you really dig in can get some really satisfying smooth breakup. But I really like my cleans super clean but powerful and chimey. It does that in spades if you keep off the soak and stay in either classic or bright modes.
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re: V3M. Replace your tubes ASAP (well it depends)
 PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2011 12:10 pm Reply with quote  
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  Bundy
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Thanks for the reply-- much appreciated! I'll probably order a quad of JJ EL84's for my son's V3MC on Monday.

And I still have fantasies about an integrated quad of JJ's in daddy's V3... Twisted Evil

Mr. Green
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Re: re: V3M. Replace your tubes ASAP (well it depends)
 PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2011 2:49 pm Reply with quote  
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  purpledc
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Bundy wrote:
Thanks for the reply-- much appreciated! I'll probably order a quad of JJ EL84's for my son's V3MC on Monday.

And I still have fantasies about an integrated quad of JJ's in daddy's V3... Twisted Evil

Mr. Green


Oh yeah and I forgot about your first questions. The pickups im using are Sound of Sin LT4 Alnico IV Vintage humbuckers in my CT6 (9K ohm neck and 11k ohm bridge) and my SH550 is running Tonerider Alnico II classics(7.6k for the neck , 8.5k bridge) The cab im using is a stock marshall 1960A cab with the celestion G12T75 speakers.
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Re: re: V3M. Replace your tubes ASAP (well it depends)
 PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2011 11:52 pm Reply with quote  
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  Bundy
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purpledc wrote:
The cab im using is a stock marshall 1960A cab with the celestion G12T75 speakers.


I have the same speakers in my V3 cab (bought when they were still offered as an option) and am really happy with 'em. I fear that if I were to add an extension cab to my halfstack I'd have to have the same speakers. What fun that would be! Very Happy
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re: V3M. Replace your tubes ASAP (well it depends)
 PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2011 12:43 am Reply with quote  
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  Krasneypoley
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I had a talk with Eurotubes about retubing the V3M as well.
Another suggestion they had was to use ECC803 in V1 and V2, and ECC83 in V3 & V4, along with EL 84's on the power side.
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re: V3M. Replace your tubes ASAP (well it depends)
 PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2011 11:04 am Reply with quote  
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  maxpower
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Can I ask why they suggested the ECC803? I had one in various positions on my V3 and finally took it out.
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re: V3M. Replace your tubes ASAP (well it depends)
 PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2011 12:11 pm Reply with quote  
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  Krasneypoley
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Maxpower-
I mentioned that I was turning up the treble and presence a lot to get some highs.
It might be my trashed hearing or something in the chain.
I want to see what Eurotubes finally lists for V3M tube kits.
My first thoughts are to try EC883 in V1 through V4.
Appreciate your take and experience with the ECC 803's.
Thanks
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Re: re: V3M. Replace your tubes ASAP (well it depends)
 PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2011 12:36 pm Reply with quote  
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  purpledc
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Krasneypoley wrote:
Maxpower-
I mentioned that I was turning up the treble and presence a lot to get some highs.
It might be my trashed hearing or something in the chain.
I want to see what Eurotubes finally lists for V3M tube kits.
My first thoughts are to try EC883 in V1 through V4.
Appreciate your take and experience with the ECC 803's.
Thanks


I find it odd that they would recommend that tube in those positions too. Its the main input tube for channels 1 and 2 and then the main drive tube for the dirty channels. To me it would seem you would want the ECC83S in those positions. Especially seeing since the ECC 803s tend to be noisier. Who knows it may sound great. I will say though I did some experimenting and tried EH 12ax7EH, sovtek 12ax7wa, GT12ax7R, Ruby 12ax7A in various positions and the only tube that even came close to the JJ's was actually the EH 12AX7EH but those only shined at low volumes. At higher volumes the dead winner where the JJ's. Very smooth but with good bite on the top end. The Electroharmonix were just tin city, and the others....... well lets just say I have a bunch of 12ax7's im not even going to keep around as backups. Thats normally what I do is put my favorite tubes in any amp I get and keep the originals in case I fry something. Well Considering how bad the originals actually perform Im thinking of just getting more JJs to have as backups.
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Re: V3M. Replace your tubes ASAP (well it depends)
 PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2011 9:38 pm Reply with quote  
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  Bundy
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purpledc wrote:
I just got a set of four and installed them. Biased at the standby to the Carvin recommended 80 DC ma. ( be patient as its a little bit of a PITA getting larger clips in the chassis to clamp to the standby. I recommend positive to the board and negative to the lug closest to the bottom on the actual switch.)


Busy week. Ordered the JJ's on Monday, got 'em Wednesday, and just now got the tubes in and biased. Haven't even fired it up yet simply because we can't get loud, but maybe in a little bit we'll risk it...

*Great advice on the clips: one to the chassis and one to the opposite lug on the standby switch.* Unfortunately, I didn't check the Sovteks before pulling 'em but I got the JJ's to hover at about 80.5mA. Pretty touchy bias pot there! We're gonna get crazy loud with it tomorrow. Very Happy
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Re: V3M. Replace your tubes ASAP (well it depends)
 PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2011 9:17 pm Reply with quote  
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  purpledc
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Bundy wrote:
purpledc wrote:
I just got a set of four and installed them. Biased at the standby to the Carvin recommended 80 DC ma. ( be patient as its a little bit of a PITA getting larger clips in the chassis to clamp to the standby. I recommend positive to the board and negative to the lug closest to the bottom on the actual switch.)


Busy week. Ordered the JJ's on Monday, got 'em Wednesday, and just now got the tubes in and biased. Haven't even fired it up yet simply because we can't get loud, but maybe in a little bit we'll risk it...

*Great advice on the clips: one to the chassis and one to the opposite lug on the standby switch.* Unfortunately, I didn't check the Sovteks before pulling 'em but I got the JJ's to hover at about 80.5mA. Pretty touchy bias pot there! We're gonna get crazy loud with it tomorrow. Very Happy


sweet man! let me know how you like those JJs I think your gonna be floored. No kidding about the bias pot! I literally had to get it close and then just touch it a couple times to get it to stay around 80. im sure though that the shaking from the Marshall 4x12 screwed with that in short order. But yeah, keep me posted on how it sounds. Im very interested to get anothers take on the JJ's in the v3m.
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re: V3M. Replace your tubes ASAP (well it depends)
 PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2011 11:42 pm Reply with quote  
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  Bundy
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The boy played it tonight at low volume (teaching 'im some Maiden Wink ) and he said he could actually tell a difference. It was aimed at me and I thought I could hear it as well, but at such a low volume I was thinking the low end tightened up considerably. I think we're already happy with the tube swap and we haven't even gotten insanely loud yet...

Like you mentioned, that bias pot was extremely touchy! I had it close a few times and tried to barely nudge that blue plastic tab on top of the pot. I followed the procedure on Carvin's website to the letter (link below) and went for 80mA. Normally I would use a bias probe and/or different lead hookup procedure, but wanted to do this one by Carvin's "book" so to speak. Nothing to it! Very Happy

http://www.carvinservice.com/crg/faq_docs/how_to_bias_the_v3_and_v3212.pdf
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Re: re: V3M. Replace your tubes ASAP (well it depends)
 PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:15 pm Reply with quote  
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  mmcwill
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purpledc wrote:
Krasneypoley wrote:
Maxpower-I mentioned that I was turning up the treble and presence a lot to get some highs.
It might be my trashed hearing or something in the chain.
I want to see what Eurotubes finally lists for V3M tube kits.
My first thoughts are to try EC883 in V1 through V4.
Appreciate your take and experience with the ECC 803's.
Thanks


I find it odd that they would recommend that tube in those positions too. Its the main input tube for channels 1 and 2 and then the main drive tube for the dirty channels. To me it would seem you would want the ECC83S in those positions. Especially seeing since the ECC 803s tend to be noisier. Who knows it may sound great. I will say though I did some experimenting and tried EH 12ax7EH, sovtek 12ax7wa, GT12ax7R, Ruby 12ax7A in various positions and the only tube that even came close to the JJ's was actually the EH 12AX7EH but those only shined at low volumes. At higher volumes the dead winner where the JJ's. Very smooth but with good bite on the top end. The Electroharmonix were just tin city, and the others....... well lets just say I have a bunch of 12ax7's im not even going to keep around as backups. Thats normally what I do is put my favorite tubes in any amp I get and keep the originals in case I fry something. Well Considering how bad the originals actually perform Im thinking of just getting more JJs to have as backups.


I ended up ordering a retube kit for the V3M, but first, I emailed Eurotubes about what they could do to get me a bit more sparkle and transparency out of the amp. This is what they had to say:

"Your Carvin V3 Micro uses a matched quad of EL84's and four 12AX7's. We typically go with a matched quad of the JJ EL84's for power and four of the JJ ECC83S preamp tubes with one being a balanced ECC83S for the phase inverter in V4 which is the farthest preamp tube from the input jack. This will eliminate any dead spots due to phase cancellation. This combination has a really thick tone with lots of articulation.

For what you’re looking for though, I would suggest substituting one of the JJ ECC803S’s (emphasis added) in V1 along with the standard JJ ECC83S’s in the remaining positions (one still being balanced for the PI in V4). The JJ ECC803S’s have a slightly cleaner overall character with more high end presence and a punchier upper mid. This gives them a very classic sounding crunch when driven. Using one in just V1 should be enough to help open things up without adding any harshness."
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Re: re: V3M. Replace your tubes ASAP (well it depends)
 PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 9:47 pm Reply with quote  
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  purpledc
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mmcwill wrote:
purpledc wrote:
Krasneypoley wrote:
Maxpower-I mentioned that I was turning up the treble and presence a lot to get some highs.
It might be my trashed hearing or something in the chain.
I want to see what Eurotubes finally lists for V3M tube kits.
My first thoughts are to try EC883 in V1 through V4.
Appreciate your take and experience with the ECC 803's.
Thanks


I find it odd that they would recommend that tube in those positions too. Its the main input tube for channels 1 and 2 and then the main drive tube for the dirty channels. To me it would seem you would want the ECC83S in those positions. Especially seeing since the ECC 803s tend to be noisier. Who knows it may sound great. I will say though I did some experimenting and tried EH 12ax7EH, sovtek 12ax7wa, GT12ax7R, Ruby 12ax7A in various positions and the only tube that even came close to the JJ's was actually the EH 12AX7EH but those only shined at low volumes. At higher volumes the dead winner where the JJ's. Very smooth but with good bite on the top end. The Electroharmonix were just tin city, and the others....... well lets just say I have a bunch of 12ax7's im not even going to keep around as backups. Thats normally what I do is put my favorite tubes in any amp I get and keep the originals in case I fry something. Well Considering how bad the originals actually perform Im thinking of just getting more JJs to have as backups.


I ended up ordering a retube kit for the V3M, but first, I emailed Eurotubes about what they could do to get me a bit more sparkle and transparency out of the amp. This is what they had to say:

"Your Carvin V3 Micro uses a matched quad of EL84's and four 12AX7's. We typically go with a matched quad of the JJ EL84's for power and four of the JJ ECC83S preamp tubes with one being a balanced ECC83S for the phase inverter in V4 which is the farthest preamp tube from the input jack. This will eliminate any dead spots due to phase cancellation. This combination has a really thick tone with lots of articulation.

For what you’re looking for though, I would suggest substituting one of the JJ ECC803S’s (emphasis added) in V1 along with the standard JJ ECC83S’s in the remaining positions (one still being balanced for the PI in V4). The JJ ECC803S’s have a slightly cleaner overall character with more high end presence and a punchier upper mid. This gives them a very classic sounding crunch when driven. Using one in just V1 should be enough to help open things up without adding any harshness."



You never know its worth a shot. The V1 slot is your main input tube for all channels so it is going to effect everything. I say go for it and if you dont end up liking it you can do one of two things. You can pull that tube and put it in the V3 slot which will only effect the clean channel, and or I have a few extra 12ax7s including a high gain JJ that Ill swap it out for you. I personally dont ever hear much of a difference with balanced phase inverter tubes. Especially since many tubes will drift. Ive also been hearing a lot of talk on other forums from respected people who have bought balanced PI tubes from them only to test them and find they werent balanced at all. I cant confirm this and dont usually like to spread rumors but a lot of what ive been reading about them lately has me weary. Ill still order from them because they are nice enough people and the prices are good. But I will say that I wont buy any "High gain" sets anymore. I just dont think its worth the added expense when I cant verify that they did anything more than write HG on the box with a sharpie.

Bundy wrote:
The boy played it tonight at low volume (teaching 'im some Maiden Wink ) and he said he could actually tell a difference. It was aimed at me and I thought I could hear it as well, but at such a low volume I was thinking the low end tightened up considerably. I think we're already happy with the tube swap and we haven't even gotten insanely loud yet...

Like you mentioned, that bias pot was extremely touchy! I had it close a few times and tried to barely nudge that blue plastic tab on top of the pot. I followed the procedure on Carvin's website to the letter (link below) and went for 80mA. Normally I would use a bias probe and/or different lead hookup procedure, but wanted to do this one by Carvin's "book" so to speak. Nothing to it! Very Happy

http://www.carvinservice.com/crg/faq_docs/how_to_bias_the_v3_and_v3212.pdf


Did you get a chance to crank it yet? how do you like it? I know in my amp the difference was dramatic. You may have to plug into a 4x12 to really experience the new sound.
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re: V3M. Replace your tubes ASAP (well it depends)
 PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2011 9:19 am Reply with quote  
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  mmcwill
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Should have a full retube kit of JJ's from Eurotubes waiting at my door when I get home from work!
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re: V3M. Replace your tubes ASAP (well it depends)
 PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2011 10:55 am Reply with quote  
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  jawaRunner
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I just dropped a NOS 5751 in V2 and I do like what I hear. Less drive (but still hi-gain) and less compression (or so I hear).
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re: V3M. Replace your tubes ASAP (well it depends)
 PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2011 2:51 pm Reply with quote  
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  Webster8
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Jawarunner--I did the same thing, and I'd agree--definitely "opened up" those two channels, and to me, smoothed out the sound as well.

Did you consider changing out your EL84s like others have suggested? I was going to, but now I'm thinking that I might not need to.
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re: V3M. Replace your tubes ASAP (well it depends)
 PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2011 5:40 pm Reply with quote  
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  jawaRunner
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Webster8, I am holding off on power tubes for now. I am putting an ECC803S in V1 next week and see what that does before I do the Power section. So far I really like how the 5751 has changed the amps character.
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re: V3M. Replace your tubes ASAP (well it depends)
 PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2011 10:22 am Reply with quote  
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  Webster8
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Thanks, JawaRunner...Let us know how it goes. Like I said, I'm happy with the tones I'm getting now, but can't help wondering "what if I changed..."
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