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JesusOfSuburbia

So Cal 50H head

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Well I got my So Cal 50H head yesterday and first off, it's LOUD!!!

 

It seems well built, nothing was loose and no tubes were broken during shipment.

 

It came with 5 - EH 12 AX7 preamp tubes and a matched pair of Ruby EL34B-STR power tubes. Those are the bigger bottle version EL34's and generally get great reviews in the forums, especially over the EH EL34 tubes which I was considering as replacements. It looked like there were some fingerprints on the Rubys so I took the back off (all 14 screws!!!) and wiped them with a clean cloth before I fired it up.

 

I ran it mono with the 4ohm jack on my 1960A cab and later that night at practice and at home since using the 2 - 8ohm stereo jacks.

 

Like I said, it's pretty loud but initially I am underwhelmed. The clean channel is bright but I think it's better than other reviews and the Guitar World review video, especially with my Les Paul.

 

The Gain channel (channel 2) is not what I had hoped with not nearly as much gain as I wanted. The video review seemed like it had much more gain than what I can get out of the amp I recieved. Granted, I haven't had a chance to really drive the power tubes to get them cooking and help add some distortion. When the gain is cranked it's like a decent rhthym crunch ala AC/DC which is kewl, but not for solos. Some nice singing feedback can just start to come thru at even low volumes, which is kinda sweet but I was hoping for more 'ooomph'. The contour knob is kewl and can add good tonal options to the crunch/channel 2.

 

The reverb is OK, I keep it set low because it has a lot of dwell. I may try a 12AT7 or U7 in that slot in the future to see if I can tone it down a little.

 

I changed the preamp tubes (taking 14 screws off the front this time!!!) to some other EH 12ax7's I already had that were screened & matched. I used a matched triode (90/90) in the PI slot and also ended up using a New Sensor Tung Sol 12AX7 in the V2 slot and another EH12AX7 matched triode (95/95) in the V1 slot.

 

The amp still doesn't have the gain I want in channel 2, especially with my Strat. The Les Paul sounds pretty good after the preamp tube swap but the amp is still not as warm as I had hoped being "all tube". My Cyber Twin seems much warmer at this point, but I'm still tweaking the So Cal.

 

I read that the Ruby EL34B's are high gain and have to be pushed harder before they break up so I am considering a power tube swap next. Probably EH EL34's or the Svetlana EL34's because I understand that they might give me the 'break up' power tube distortion I'm seeking without having to crank it so loud. There is also the issue of power tube burn in, I've read were you have to get at least 40 hours in on them before they "break in" and sound better although board member CGil says that it's not really the case, the tubes should sound good when you put them in, so idk. Any suggestions?

 

I have an EH LPB-1 that I won off eBay on the way to help for a solo boost but I am also considering a compressor (1 So Cal owner on Harmony Central said this amp really enjoys the boost & I can understand now) and/or a distortion pedal. The same reviewer I just referenced said his Tube Screamer didn't fit well with the amp but he also said he his So Cal had good gain on channel 2, which I seem to lack. I also read lots of good reviews on the Digitech Bad Monkey & in my case it might be a good boost or crunch while on the clean channel and use channel 2 for leads.

 

Well that's my initial review. I'll keep you updated and I would appreciate any tips or suggestions.

Thanks,

JOS

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Admitedly mine was a copy, a grainger copy, apparently/allegedly same specs, from same factory but different badge. But I didnt really like mine. It was loud but sterile like a SS amp. I much prefered my junior.

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Well I had a gig tonight and decided to use both my rigs which includes my new So Cal head.

Before the show I went to my awesome local music store and grabbed a matched set of EH EL34's (lp:51) and a Digitech Bad Monkey. My Vox V846 wah I just won off eBay also arrived today so I had that to try out with the So Cal also (my Cyber Twin has a wah built in, choice of Vox or Crybaby).

I swapped the power tubes (no no re-bias, idk how to do it & didn't have time if I did) and let the tubes warm up about 20 minutes or so before I tried every thing out to make sure it all worked before I left. It sounded a little better, can't tell too much differance and still not the gain I'd hoped on channel 2 but with the Bad Monkey it really sounded good!!! That little pedal is sweet and does not color your tone much, just added some better gain & crunch. The wah sounded good but not as much with the Bad Monkey, I had the BadMo 1st in the chain.

 

At the gig I actually used the So Cal more than I thought I would!!! At first I was unsure what songs I was even gonna use it on. I play mostly classic rock and some newer rock, not much metal which is why I thought this head would be kewl because I don't need that super uber crunch, I just want a classic crunchy tubey sound that I thought I wasn't getting with my Cyber Twin because of its SS power section. And I knew that if I had gotten the Valve Sr. I'd only get the one sound so it's nice having the clean channel on the So Cal. And now with the Bad Mo it gives me another option & it did sound good on that channel but that was at home, I didn't actually use that sound during the gig. I mostly used either channel 2 only with the Bad Mo for a solo boost or switched between the ch1 & 2; clean to dirty. Like I said, the Les Paul sounds much better than the Strat thru it, I only used the Strat on 1 song. There is another sound from a blues song we play that I can't quite seem to get with my Strat on the Cyber Twin and just messing around before the gig today I seemed to nail it with the So Cal, so I'll keep experimenting. But the LP sounds FAB on the new head, funny how the Gibson sounds better on the Gibson made amp and the Fender sounds better on the Twin, hmmm...:-k

 

I did get a compliment on the new head from a veteran musician friend who really keeps track of my tone. He could even tell when I had put new preamp tubes in my Cyber Twin when I was experimenting last year with differant brands & types and his opinion was usually on the mark so I trust his ear. He likes my Cyber Twin but says I'm the only guy he's heard who actually knows how to use all it's capabilities and he still thought the So Cal sounded really good.

I felt it cut thru very good, my drummer had no prob hearing me

*note* he's a LOUD drummer which is why I never went the Valve Jr. route because I knew live it probably wouldn't keep up with him as per descriptions on the msg brds*

although I still didn't get to crank it too much more than I can at home, it's a loud beast. I did crank the clean channel a little more than at home and maybe got just a hint of breakup but it sounded good with the LP. The Strat may need a compressor or another boost since it still sounds a little thin/tinny on the clean channel. But with the LP it really sounded good on both channels and had a good presence and sustain overall on all notes, definately seemed to cut thru a little better than the Cyber Twin and that amp, IMO, has good cut thru live. And it was pretty quiet, no hum or buzz or feedback which is very kewl without having a noise gate like the Twin does so I was pretty impressed by that.

 

So so far I am happier than I was with the head and it wasn't "sterile" sounding as schotness describes, I felt it was actually a little warmer than the comparable Cyber Twin prgms I use with my LP. I knew I'd have to gig it out to really know and the fact that I used it almost all of the gig was a good sign, even without all the pedals I still have on the way or am looking into getting.

I still have to get an ABY box, looking at the cheaper Radial one and I may want to add a nice chorus to the mix which will warm up the clean sound right there. Looking forward to getting the EH LPB-1 so I can use the BadMo and still get a solo boost so I'll keep you posted how that combo works.

 

peace & tone ya'll,

JOS

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Yeah, it's a Big Daddy alright!!!

 

A lot of big clean watts isn't bad IMO, it's nice to know I have plenty of headroom if needed and again, it runs very quiet with no hum or feedback issues, definately a plus!!!

 

Kinda glad I didn't go with one of the Bugera 100watts although they probably have more of the gain I was looking for on their lead channels. Nice features for the money but the msg brds indicate they have can some reliability issues and aren't easy to repair or mod due to construction methods and components used. Also more tubes to replace & maintain.

 

And hopefully once the new power tubes get burned in on the So Cal it'll get a little warmer sound, but that's about 40-50 hours and beyond away so I think I'l get started now and go mess with it!!!

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Just an update:

 

I got a new EH12AU7 for the reverb slot which I determined was the V5 slot after finding a link to a user submitted copy of the schematic online,

 

http://i28.tinypic.com/19ms0p.jpg

 

Now I had thought that the PI was usually the last tube in line but the schematic labels the reverb as V5

and the PI must be V4 since I can see how it directly links to the Power tubes.

 

I know the PI is in differant locations on differant amps, put the schematic- which is a little confusing to me-

shows the V4 tube as being on the end, but I again assume that was how it was drawn and is not a literal interpretation.

 

Well anyway, I tried the 12AU7 in the last slot and it must be the one as the reverb has much less dwell and sounds GREAT now!!! And there is no change in overall tone, gain or output so it definately isn't the PI slot because I'm sure I'd have noticed something. Now at max the reverb is now maybe not as deep as I'd like but I don't plan on setting it that high very often anyway. I used to dial the reverb at around 9-10:00 with alot of dwell but now I can put it at 12-1:00 and the dwell is much less and sounds way more natural and tighter, so I think I fixed that issue!!!

 

I also have an EH12AT7 on the way to try out in the PI slot and I hope that it makes for another equally satisfying swap,

but I'm not getting my hopes up, just in case. I'm just now experimenting with a re-issue Tung Sol 12AX7 in the PI slot until then.

 

I've also been messing alot with the EQ, mostly on the interactive setting, and there is ALOT of tonal availability on this amp. Turning the Mid to 0 reduces overall volume due to the scoop and also makes the amp muddier which you can compensate by turning up the Prescence which I usually keep at 9-10:00 when the Mid is up. On the gain channel you can use the Contour knob to add those mids back for your crunch. Some pretty neat sounds with the Strat.

 

I'll keep you posted when I do the 12AT7 PI swap and I also have a new BBE Orange Squash compressor I got on eBay coming soon. I'm anxious to see how the BBE unit works on the amp and if I can get that Mark Knopler clean strat sound with it, almost there now!!!

 

peace & tone,

JoS

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Jeez,

 

I think you've got the right idea. I've had really bad luck with EH tubes, especially the OEMs. You're lucky to have the glass you've got. I've found that the less gainful tubes work better in effect circuits. You might try a 5751 or a 12AT7 in the reverb channel. They are smoother in clean channels too. But for gain, you'll need some 12AX7Rs. Lucky us, the preamp tubes usually have the best life.

 

Nothing like EL34s for loud. But, you will find you can probably experiment here. A variety of 6Ls and KT66s should work without modification. The KT66s will probably get you to early Zeppelin if that is what you are trying for.

 

Thanks for the schematic too. Noticed that is a Pyotr Belov design. When he left Epi/Gibson he joined up with Crate to start Blackheart Engineering, some good stuff. I've looked into the SoCal in years past. I thought it might be a good mod platform for a gigging musician. But, I have a JTM, so what would be the point?

 

Keep us posted. I think the SoCal has the potential to be a super amp.

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Thanks for your response and interest Bakz, I appreciate ANY feedback on here. Yes, it's a pretty kewl amp that I'm digging more and more now!!! Just used it at practice last night and I'm going to another buddy's jam room next week where I can really crank it and put it thru it's paces, so I'll keep ya'll posted how that goes. And I plan on using it at my gig this weekend along with my Cyber Twin even though I don't have all the pedals I'd like, like my compressor (on it's way) and a delay. Still, I am happy with the sound I'm getting so far. And it's still a fairly quiet amp, no buzzes or hums that interfere, even with the overdrive pedal cranked it's still has very controlled feedback that's 'just right'!!! And when I scoop the mids using the contour control on the gain channel you can really get a great "Metallica/Metal" sound. Not my bag but it's good to know I can get that sound when we occasionally play Metallica.

 

As far as KT66's, thanks for the heads up, senior brd member Gil told me to try the KT77's if I wanted a more 6L6 sound with only a bias adjustment. I researched the KT66's and they are EXPENSIVE so I don't think that's an option at this time. I read up on how Marshall used the KT66's in place of EL34's and it sounds neat, maybe when I have more $$$ and can find a decent pair I'll try 'em sometime.

 

I've really had good luck with EH glass, my local tube 'afficianado' tech highly recommends them for consistancy and reliability (he's a tube NUT and has tried all differnat tubes in many configurations!) and their 12AX7's sound the best of any preamp tube I've tried in my Cyber Twin. The Tung Sol 12AX7 reissues are great but sound SO CLOSE to the EH's that it's not funny, just a little less bass response which is why I prefer the EH's, especially in a open back combo amp. And in fact I went back to the EH EL34's over the Ruby EL34's in the So Cal because I think they have a little better 'crunch' on the gain channel. So I'm all EH right now, no EH OEM tubes left in it, just other EH's I had alrerady purchased. I also need to consider price & availability in regards to tubes and since I like the EH's and they are more readily available, it makes sense to use them to remain consistant, but I always am down to experiment!!!

 

And I tried an EH 12AT7 in the PI slot, it sounds kewl but I couldn't tell that much differance except when I used the EH 34's, the gain channel has a bit more crunch and it's not as 'fizzy' or loose on that channel as with the Ruby's. Also the Ruby's seem to be a tad brighter the the EH power tubes but since it can be a bright amp that's OK. Actually the 12AT7 may make the amp a little more "alive" but it could just be in my head so I think I'm gonna keep it in that slot for now.

 

I checked Miles (ex-Groove Tubes) 12AX7 chart (here: http://www.guitaramplifierblueprinting.com/12ax7.html ) and he says the 12AX7R's are the lowest gain of the 12AX7 tree, 5751's are next. I was thinking maybe a GT12AX7C or a JJ ECC83 for the V2 gain channel in order to increase gain. I currently I have a matched triode EH 12AX7 (95-95 gain) on the clean V1 slot and another matched triode EH (90-90 gain) in the V2 gain channel slot. I tried reversing them but the 90-90's sounded better in the gain channel & I hear that you should go from highest gain in the V1 slot and decrease the gain in the following slots down to the PI slot, in this case a 12AT7. Maybe I misundertood and you were suggesting the 12AX7 as a lower gain alternative to the 5751. Either way, thanks for the tip Bakz. And the 12AU7 in the reverb driver (V5) is working out great, the reverb no longer bugs me, just enough dwell now to keep it from sounding completely dry, much less obtrusive than before.

 

So that's my update, I'll let you know next week when I really get to crank it and how it sounds with some compression and delay. At first I was a just a little disapointed with this amp but now it's really growing on me and I think it's gonna be a great piece!!!

 

peace & tone,

JoS

 

"Savior to none, friend of many"

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Definately diggin' this amp now!!!

 

Played another gig with it this weekend and it sounded great both nights although I'm still in that new amp learning curve as to what it can do live.

 

I got my Orange Crush compressor in the mail on Saturday so I had a night to compare with & without & it definately helped the Strat sound great Saturday night. I nailed that Knopler tone on the clean channel when we played "Sultans of Swing" and I was very happy in comparison to the setting I use on the Cyber Twin for that song. In fact the Strat sounded great both nights, especially on the SRV stuff with the Bad Monkey as a clean boost for leads. Upon further play with the compressor after the gig I think it sounds best with the Strat as the Les Paul already gets a great "compressed" sound naturally on the amp so lighter the better with the comp on the LP.

 

The only issue I had was when I used my new A/B Y pedal I got a bad ground loop hum on the So Cal with it so I had to scrap that pedal and just plug the differant amps into my volume pedal between songs when I wanted to switch. I think I only used the Cyber Twin on a handful of songs so about 85% So Call all weekend. Also that club has electricity issues as we get hums there we don't get at other clubs due to neon lights and dimmer switches and that crap.

My buddy suggested I use a $2 ground lift which I already had in my gig bag & didn't think to use. I hooked up both amps again at home with the Spitzo and again the hum was there on So Cal so I used the ground lift on it (thru a power conditioner) and it was gone, no noise at all. And both amps in the Y setting sound GREAT, clean with dirty was really kewl as well as 2 dirty sounds together, real FAT!!! The Spitzo pedal is great, no pops when switching and the A or B LEDs function independently so that it will indicate which channel will be active when you go back to single channel mode, very kewl onstage...I can't wait to try it live.

 

BUT...I see the downfalls of the Cyber Twin even more now, LOL

It's very close approximation of tube amps is first rate, much better than the Line 6 and other modelers IMO, but the So Cal has that extra something I've missed these last 7 years!!!

 

I also got a Digitech Digi Delay delay pedal on eBay and it arrived yesterday so now I'm almost complete in what pedals I need, just a chorus and maybe another distortion pedal so I can use the Bad Monkey as a clean boost more for solos. The Digi Delay has a nice Mod delay which gives a great chorus effect so I can deal without one for now. The Tape delay setting is also kewl and this amp sounds even better now with that touch of delay!!!

 

Still using the EH EL34's but I've been tempted to put the Ruby's back in to see if they make much of a differance. I like the crunch I get from the EH's but I seem to be turning the treble & presc up a little more with them and I thought before the Rubys sounded a little brighter. It could be it's a tone suck from one of the pedals, I know the old Vox wah is not hardwire bypass so I plan on modding it soon.

 

I hope to continue to be even happier with this amp as I learn all in it's ins and outs. I definately feel it was worth the money now. I LOVE the clean channel and now that I know how to work the gain channel by realizing it's not super high gain I'm much happier with it.

 

I told my friends I guess I'm going thru a mid-life crisis:

instead of getting a Corvette I wanted a tube head and a bunch of pedals like I had 20+ years ago, LOL!!!

 

 

peace & tone,

Jesus of YesIwritealotofstuffia

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Jeez,

 

Glad to hear you're into JJs. They have a new line of output tubes that includes the KT66, EL34 and KT77. They're not that pricey the KT66s are around $70 for a matched pair, still that's double the EL34, ouch$. http://thetubestore.com/jjkt66.html

 

Got into the JJs from the recommendations made by users around here actually.

 

I'm running the GT coke bottles in my JTM. Here's some pics.

 

000_0380.jpg

 

JTM45-chassis.jpg

 

This shows it with a Weber copper cap in the rectifier, but I'm using a JJ GZ34 now. The preamps are Mazda 12AX7s (30 year old NOS), but I'm considering a 5751 in V1.

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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

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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' date='

 

Michael [/quote']

 

So far no probs at all with the EH EL34's.

Yes, I've been running the EH's since the March 7 gig. I put them in at home to make sure they worked before the show. I've done a few practices and 4 club gigs now, all with the EH's and all with no issues.

 

But I have switched back to the stock Ruby EL34B's 2-3 times, at least once after I got the EH12AT7 for the PI slot to test for sound differances and also for a few days late last month to help burn them in a little better after the initial 3-4 days I used them before I got the EH's at my local store. But on a whim I switched back to the EH's for that weekends gig.

 

I tried the Rubys again this week and while the clean channel sounds just a tad nicer with them, the gain channel doesn't get a nice power tube crunch, they are slightly less gainy than the EH's; that is at a reasonable volume as the Rubys seem to have a little more overall output the the EH's I purchased.

Also, the Ruby's seemed to be a tad noiser than the EH's this last time, slightly more background hiss/hum.

 

I still really like the clean channel with the EH's but if I could get the Ruby's to get a better crunch on the gain channel at a reasonable volume I'd probably use them instead. I have 2 overdrive pedals that sound really great with the amp but I like that with them completely off I can still get a nice crunch on some songs with the EH's , especially when channel switching from the clean to the gain channel to help avoid the "pedal stomp dance", LOL. This is a loud amp and I have yet to have the volume of the gain channel over 5 yet with either set of tubes so any way of getting more volume headroom on that channel the better.

 

I plan to eventually get the amp looked at and biased by my local amp tech/tube afficianado when he is not so busy but since I have had no issues so far I will continue to run the EH's in it.

 

peace & tone,

Jos

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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

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No prob Michael.

I've never really done the msg brd thing much before and now I just like to type alot I guess, LOL.

Also with so many msg brds posts about the V Jr. & Blues Custom 30 I'm trying to get more So Cal 50 users to respond to help make up the differance. The amp seems to sell fairly well and there aren't very many selling used So Cals on eBay as compared to V Jr's & BC 30's so that means there are quite a few users out there, I'd just like to get more of them to post their experiences with it.

 

Now Michael, by "cleaner sound" with the JJ's do you mean quieter (either hum or overall volume) or smoother (more pleasant sound or less gain/crunch)?

 

I've been thinking about getting a JJ 12AX7 to try in the V2 gain slot as they tend to get a 'grittier' preamp crunch which I don't always prefer, I like a little smoother crunch, but if a JJ helps the gain a little it may be worth a shot.

 

I saw a couple older msg brd posts about guys who used all JJ tubes to replace the stock tubes on the So Cal and really liked them but I think JJ's are a personal preferance depending on the sound you're seeking.

My experiences and recommendations from people I trust with new manufactured tubes has led me to prefer Electro-Harmonix as I've yet to get a bad or microphonic tube from them. Even the OEM EH12AX7's that came with the So Cal are all good & quiet even though I swapped them for other EH's that I knew were pre-screened. In fact I just put 2 of those OEM EH's in my Cyber Twin and they sound good.

 

Also if the store where you get your JJ preamp tubes has them, try a 12AU7 for the reverb slot, it really tames the reverb down unless you don't use it, then no matter. The reverb slot is the last preamp tube, right to left, or farthest from the input.

I also have a 12AT7 in the PI slot (4th tube from right to left) with good results and I hear that JJ makes a nice 12AT7 so you might consider that as well.

 

Good luck and keep me posted.

 

Jesus of VJrandBC30ownersarejustjealousia:-"

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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

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Well maybe I'll have to try a pair of JJ power tubes next then, if not their EL34's than maybe the KT66's if I can afford them along with a bias adjustment. A little pricey for me seeing as how I need a couple more pedals, an amp cover and a new stage mic for gigs, my Shure SM57 just quit working.

 

Also, my Digidelay sounds great WITH the reverb on the So Cal after I put the 12AU7 in there, way more natural.

 

JoS

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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

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A little while back, i was after a replacement for my line 6 flextone III 112 because it wasnt stereo (I did something better to make it better so now its great but anyway)

 

I was after buying a bugera 333xl then modding the hell out of it, so i did alot of research.

 

i was gonna swap the EL34s (Classical rock, crisp distortions, nice cleans with some breakup) for some 6l6s (for a creamy 90s distortion, with sparkly cleans) but i had a look at groover tubes and found then not as good, just wernt really high gain.

 

However, you lack of biasing could be what your after.

 

Alot of people used to speculate at how eddie van halen got his "Brown sound" and people finally found out that he biased the valves in his amp LOWER then what they should be.

 

Alternatively, you can make them "Hotter" by biasing your amp up, and apprently that adds more gain to the amp, but kills the life of your tubes.

 

theres thousands of things you can do.

 

Good Luck

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Thanks Hiberna,

I thought about that when I put the EHs in without biasing and liked them that maybe it was biased for the Rubys and the differance is what I like.

I also wonder if Epi even takes the time to bias these amps before shipment given that they can come with whatever differant OEM power tubes they have at that time. Kinda like how a new guitar is "set-up" at the factory before shipment, basically good enough to play but if you buy it you'll still need a real "set-up" by a pro for intonation, neck adj, etc...

 

Today I was in another small local music store I go to occasionally and they had a set of JJ tubes; 4-ECC83-S & a pair of matched EL34's. He wanted $80 for the set but then said he'd sell me the EL34's for $24/pr, so I may try them if he doesn't sell them soon. I was just suprised to see some JJ tubes as most stores only carry the EH's around here.

 

Still looking for a good boost for my solos on this amp, many have been recommending the MXR Micro Amp or an EQ pedal, so I'm looking into both now. THe EH LPB-1 works GREAT as a boost on the clean channel but not as good on the gain channel either early or last in the pedal chain. Ahhh, the tone quest continues, LOL!!!

 

peace & tone,

JoS

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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

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Awesome, thanks for that info Michael!!!

 

I will look into that and try it in the near future as I am strapped for cash right now, but that's good to know you can get a bias kit for $25!!!

 

I am so un-mechanically inclined (OK, maybe not that bad) that with my luck I'm afriad I'd screw it up but with that video I might be able to do it so I'll check it out.

 

And yesterday I was in another small local music store I go to occasionally and they had a set of JJ tubes;

4-ECC83-S & a pair of matched EL34's.

He wanted $80 for the set but then said he'd sell me just the pair of EL34's for $24, so I may try them if he doesn't sell them soon. I was just surprised to see some JJ tubes as most stores around here only carry the EH's, if any at all.

 

Good luck and great job on your self bias job, you have more courage than I do Michael, LOL!!!

 

I'll continue to keep you posted from this side of the pond if you do!!!

 

peace & tone,

JoS

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Just be extra careful . There is lethal voltage just removing the Chassis .Search for capacitor discharge to be on the safe side nuff said

 

Thanks man' date=' that is [i']exactly[/i] why I don't usually like to do that kinda stuff myself!!!

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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!

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