TUBE AMP CORNER
Tu - be Or not Tu - be
Dave Brand alias The G-man
Copyright 2001 - Cosmic Debris Musicians Magazine
I've heard myself described as (among other things) a tube nut. Fair enough. What makes a tube nut you
say? In my case it's the desire to have the tubes necessary to keep my growing army of tube amp's fed.
Which leads to the question does a tube amp travel on its stomach. The answer in no, but I digress.
Last issue we talked about some of the problems a tube can have and a few symptoms to watch for.
Some other signs that your tubes may need changing are loss of highs or lows, muddy chords, no sustain or
fast decay and poor balance in the output levels of various notes. Its part of the secret language
musician's use to describe their sound. What the heck is a muddy chord (I prefer Bo Diddleys myself)
or all of the above? These are all things that you can hear if you have the time tubes and or patience
to experiment. I guess that's another thing a tube nut does.
One of the joys in my life lately has been re-tubing other people's amps with Groove Tubes.
This however seems to contribute to a couple of problems. One is writers block, something I thought a
babbling idiot like me would never have. The reason is I don't want this little space I occupy in this
fine magazine to turn into a commercial. (And now a word from our sponsor) However, that said,
I cant keep quiet about it any longer.
There is a difference. You can hear it. I've been a big fan of
N.O.S (new old stock) tubes made in the USA or Canada. Unlike some tubes form China or Russia these
tubes generally are very dependable high quality. However the matching system that groove uses plus
the testing that they do make their product one cut above the rest. That leads to problem 2.
Now I want my amps to sound better too. I've already done my 64 Showman and my Seymour Duncan
Convertible but my 71 Super Reverb, my number one had not been. I confess the other night I took
the plunge. Out with a set of truly beautiful Sylvania's and in with the Groove's.
Right away I thought the reverb sounds different, somehow more present. In with the Sylvania's,
I thought they sound great too, then I noticed that the sustain seemed different, not as long.
In with the Groove's. Chords ring out more, notes are clearer every thing seems more balanced
In with the Sylvees bass and treble response not as good.
Darn before GT's these tubes sounded
awesome but now these subtle changes add up to drain in the G-mans wallet. If you are not happy
with the way your amp sounds or even if you are, think about hearing the difference yourself,
you will be amazed.
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