KaPLOW! There goes the power tubes… so I decided to take some time and really invest in the overall sound of my Marshall JCM2000 DSL100 by retubing and rebiasing the beast. I had some great friends in the studio recording a few months ago. The guitar player Andy had a hot rodded jcm900 and I was really digging on the sound. I picked his brain and got some great insight into tubes and amp circuits, feeling brave I decided to jump head first into hot rodding my head (that doesn’t sound right).
So I decided to first try some new power tubes (JJ EL34s). I threw these suckers in and decided that I would go a little lower on the bias then marshall suggests. Personally I think they are a little too conservative with the settings. Marshall suggests a 90MV balanced voltage. This leaves the sound a bit bright and whiny for my taste. Since I wanted something with balls I decided to knock this down to about 87.5 MV. WOW punchy and tight great F**king power tubes.
The problem was that I was still feeling like I really had to blast it to get them to break up nice. After a quick call to my man Andy, he suggested pulling 2 of the power tubes and running the amp at 50w instead of 100w. BAM there it was. I was now replacing all that headroom with a warm crunchy chunk of guitar tone. I was ecstatic.
So now I had to battle the preamps. I ordered some JJ ECC83s (12ax7s) replacements for the original tubes. I threw them in and buttoned it up.. holy shit, that’s a lot of gain. Listen, if you want the most amazing death metal sound you could ever hope for, these are the tubes for you. Me, not so much.. So I followed up the order with a set of JJ ECC832’s these guys should reduce the gain enough to make me happy… Not the case 🙁 although I did throw one on the V4 inverted socket which gave me some really great clarity, I was still unhappy with the overall tone of all the gain stages..
So here we are today. After a few more quick texts to my man Andy, I think I am going to get some Tung Sol 12ax7’s these are supposed to be really warm and chunky. I’m going to couple them with some ecc803’s that will round out the mids and hope for the best… Ill post some sound clips when the new tubes come in.. But I am crossing my fingers that I might just have the right combination…