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(tube n00b) EVJ = Modern metal tone?

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So, I've had my EVJ for a while now. I bought it modified, stock tubes and OT, a few resistors changed, and a tone pot added. My cab has Celestion GT75's in it. I built a Bit-Mo 10uator for it, so I can run it without my dear old mother losing her mind.


I run it with a Coffin Blood Drive in front of it, and for the most part, I'm pretty happy with it. However, I do want to to get a more modern heavy tone out of it. I've played some Mesa's, and I love the Peavey Revalver Mk III software's 5150 and Dual Recto tones. So that's where I'd like to head.



I just bought a Danelectro Fish n' Chips (7-band EQ), as well as an Electro Harmonix 12AX7 High Gain, and an EL84 Platinum, but they're in the mail.



I guess my question is, will these purchases start pointing me in the right direction?


Will I need to bias my amp? And if so, is there a "math hates me" guide to doing so?



I've been told numerous times that a Hammond ESE is the way to go with an OT, but I just didn't have the funding for it this time around. I was also told by one of you fine people (before the board move) that an ESE will power a 6L6, which immediately grabbed my attention, as Rectos use em. What's involved in switching tube types?


Thanks in advance guys!

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I can't answer your question about the tubes you've chosen but you can't go wrong with the Fish and Chips. It's a great value for the money and it's pretty quiet. I have my vj tweaked the way I like it but when I'm playing clean or semi-clean I like to bump it up a little at 100Hz and cut it at 400Hz. If the bass sounds too muddy I'll drop 200Hz a little bit. If I want it to cut through I'll increase the mids at 1.5Kz. When I have it cranked, I'll switch it off because love the way amps sound on it's own. But that's just my taste. I think overall it's great tool but you'll have to decide for yourself.

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The VJr's compliment of one preamp tube is just not gonna get you any saturated preamp high gain Mesa tones. You'll have to add another preamp tube for that, or at least a stomp box with those tones built in.


Might want to check out Tech21's Sansamp stuff...




As far as general tube swaps in a Single Ended cathode biased amp like the VJr goes... No, you don't ever have to rebias this amp for a simple tube swap. But that's assuming, of course, that the amp is correctly biased in the first place with respect to the AC voltage available in your area. They set it up to work with standard power company voltages, but most folks report 5 to 10v higher than standard 115v AC (or 240v) from the wall, which makes these amps run hot and chew through power tubes like crazy. In these cases, the amp should be rebiased; and until it is, it'd be best to avoid using expensive NOS tubes. If you live where 220v is standard and that runs high, consider yourself lucky because you can simply avoid all this by wiring the 240v voltage tap to the power switch, instead.


To switch to a 6L6, you'll need to install an octal (8-pin) tube socket, and readjust the power supply resistors and tweak the bias for the tube. For that, I would highly recommend you check out the Beast and other octal mod info on SEwatt. http://www.sewatt.com/node/16268


The Hammond 125ESE is a great transformer. It's got a huge bottom end, sparkling highs, and crystal clarity throughout the frequency bandwidth. It'll give you a little more bottom end than the 125DSE, which is also suitable for a 10watt 6L6 by the way and will save you $5 bucks or more.


Here's a much less expensive, but from all reviews just as worthy alternative http://www.musicalpowersupplies.com/

There've also been plenty of good reviews on the Edcore OT's. (don't have that link, sorry), but I've heard reports that they've recently quit offering multiple output taps. If that isn't an issue, google it. You'll find 'em.



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That Beast sound clip is definitely getting into the neighborhood I want to play in.


I'm curious though, there seems to be several different versions of it, not taking into account Champ versions. That, or I'm misunderstanding the page's layout.


So it seems (according to your posts to another user) that a cascading gain stage setup maybe how I want to go?

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If you're up for doing some major surgery to the amp, adding a second preamp tube would nudge it closer to the Mesa Recto preamp tones. But will it be close enough?


Unfortunately, the bigger issue is that the VJr gets its tone from a clean preamp pushing the power tube into distortion. The Mesa gets it's tone from a distorted preamp pushing a relatively clean power amp. Those are two completely different schools of guitar amplification and a heavily distorted preamp pushing a heavily distorted power amp doesn't always come out quite right. More often it's a muddy mess. If you just gotta try to turn that VJr into a mini Mesa, go for it! But be prepared for endless tweaks to the components to make it usable. And that will most likely include modding the power amp section as well. There is no "Mesa mod" or kit for the VJr, but if you want it bad enough to brave the headaches of some serious research and studying, I'm sure you'll get it there eventually.


However, with the right pedal up front, I think you'll have more tones available and more flexibility. Getting a pedal to sound good with the amp is a matter of simple and easy tweaks to a few knobs. At least with a pedal, you can get your tone by tormenting the first preamp tube stage, and then adjust the VJr volume pot like a MV so it doesn't overdrive the power tube. Simple, sweet, and easy.



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  • 1 month later...

i have the tech 21 triac that cgil mentioned, the boogie ( calif ) setting really makes the vj sound like a thumpy high gain monster. max the dist, cut the mids a bit and boost the bass. i'm running the head through a cab with a 12" neo speaker. my girlfriend even thinks it sounds real good !

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There've also been plenty of good reviews on the Edcore OT's. (don't have that link' date=' sorry), but I've heard reports that they've recently quit offering multiple output taps. If that isn't an issue, google it. You'll find 'em.



I've used the Edcor OTs for a couple of projects but can't recommend them.


1. They only have quick disconnect tabs instead of flying leads. It is inherently dangerous to have exposed B+ outside the chassis. The disconnects need to be insulated well, or there is the risk electrical shock.


2. They sound good when the amp is run clean. In fact they have a very nice clean sound, much better than the Hammond 125SE series, IMHO. OTOH, the Hammonds sound much better when the amp is pushed to distortion or when using OD/distortion pedals.


3. Edcor no longer makes their transformers with multiple secondaries which is a drag ](*,)


The Edcor OTs are priced right at $20 for the "hifi" replacements and $30 for the guitar replacements.


More info here:





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