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About theshrewz

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  1. Right on! Let us know how it goes......
  2. I did the bias adjustment on my SoCal 50 myself. Please see the SoCal 50H thread on page 2 of this forum for details. Michael
  3. I tried several tubes. the best that I've tried were JJ's. I got a high gain 12ax7 for the pre, and the standard EL84 for the power. I also did the bitmo trio mod, and run a boss metal zone pedal. blessings
  4. I did the Bitmo Trio mod. It made a big difference in the sound. It was easy to install, and took about an hour. If you can read, and use a soldering iron you should have no problem. I also changed both tubes to JJ's which made noticable improvement. Highly recommend the tube change, as it costs 20 or 25 bucks. Please post your findings when you do the mod. Blessings
  5. May I suggest that you email "euro tubes". They only sell JJ tubes, and have been very helpful with email tech support. Michael
  6. I finally got the new JJ preamp tubes installed. I was told it would be best to re-bias the amp, so I broke out the tube adapter and multi meter. The first time I biased the amp I was very cautious, and set the bias right in the middle of the recommended range. This time I played the guitar while my dad adjusted the bias pot. I was surprised how much the tone changed with such a small turn on the bias wheel. I was able to dial in the tone within the acceptable bias range. Now, the So Cal has never sounded this good! I would recommend that when you bias, listen to the tone, no matter if you do it yourself or have someone else do it. I'm not an expert, but just letting you know that this scenerio worked well for me. good luck!
  7. Hey Guys, After some research, I found a tool to bias my SoCal myself. I got it from "Euro Tubes", (but there are others that sell basically the same thing) and it was 25 bucks plus 8 for shipping. The bias was set very low with the JJ EL34's (I didn't check the stock tubes) so after dialing in the correct voltage, the amp sounded very good! I totally recommend doing the bias yourself, if you are at all mechanically inclined. The hardest part was removing the chassis from the cabinet. Go to eurotubes.com and check out the generic biasing video, it is about 98 % the same as the SoCal! Please post back with your findings. Michael
  8. regarding tubes- I picked up a bunch (11) of random tubes (incl. the JJ el34's) off Craigslist for 50 bucks. I got to try out several different tubes on the SoCal and my Valve Jr. I had a friend, who plays guitar, listen and judge with me. He like different ones than I did, and it take a couple of back and forth trade outs to pick a winner. the funny thing is that in the VJr I went with 2 no name-Chinese tubes over a couple of name brand tubes. So don't think more expensive = better (all the time). the tubes I didn't like I took down the local guitar shop and traded them for 3 sets of strings. Cheers
  9. the best way for me to describe the change is "clearer" or less muffled. Not sharper/shrill, just a cleaner sound. I use a Boss Metal Zone for heavy crunch sound, I am likin' the overdrive sound of the amp as well. I use a Boss DD 6 delay, so I kind of aternate between delay and the built in reverb, they don't sound good together, imho. Thanks for your detailed account on your SoCal, I'm learning alot form this forum! regards, Michael
  10. thanks for the udate JoS. The JJ's give my amp a cleaner sound all the way around. I should pick up the the JJ pre amp tubes Tues night, and I'll post back after I get those installed. I hope to get the bias check in a week or two. Michael
  11. I was wondering if you've had any prolbems with your amp by just switching the power tubes without re-biasing? Have been you running the EL34's since March 7th? thanks, Michael
  12. update-I went to the Epiphone dealer today and checked out a new SoCal 50. It has the same tubes (EL34-:) as mine. The salesman said there shouldn't be any problem running the standard EL34's. He suggested having the amp biased for the new JJ EL34's, I would like to save the time and money if biasing is not really needed. Any advice appreciated. I will reinstall tomorrow and see how it works. On the first try, I really liked the sound of the new tubes, they made a noticable difference. Regards, Michael
  13. Here's some more info on my situation. I just bought the amp used and wanted to upgrade the tubes. The amp looks like new and the seller said it is one year old. The previous owner didn't mention if he had changed the power tubes, so I'm not sure if the amp has the original power tubes. Everything I've read about the SoCal said it takes EL34 tubes, so I found a new pair of JJ EL34's on Craigslist and bought them. Last night I went to change them and noticed that the existing tubes were EL34-B's. They said "made in China", "Electron Tube". I had heard the factory tubes were "Ruby Tubes", but these did not say Ruby anywhere. The EL84-B's have 8 pins, while the EL84's have 7. I googled EL84-B and found only one reference, and it said the resistance was higher on the B's. I decided to try them, and they seemed to work fine, but I want to be sure the the EL34's are completely compatible. I am going down the a local Epiphone dealer to see if they know the difference, but they don't do amp repair/mods in house, so may not get a solid answer from them. Any advice from you guys is appreciated! Thanks, Michael
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