02-13-2013 10:52 AM
Im an amp ignoramous, so Im asking you guys what needs to be done to re tube my old Crate Vintage Club 2110R.
This amp was bought new in the mid 90s and Ive never changed the tubes. Now its sounding kinda farty and not so good as it used to.
Heres the manual:
Uses 3 12AX7s and 2 EL84/6BQ5s
If I just buy new tubes of the same type and swap em, does it have to be biased? (whatever that means IDK, a tech would have to do it.) Or will I be good to go unless I change tube types?
What are the best (most longlasting and durable) mnfs of these kind of valves?
02-13-2013 11:06 AM
I'm not too privy to that amp, but from what I can gather it uses a cathode-bias, el84 power section.
So no need to bias. Just purchase a matched pair of el84's and replace. Any 12ax7 would work in the preamp. (some may sound better than others)
I would contact Crate (phone or email) and see what they say.
02-13-2013 01:10 PM - edited 02-13-2013 01:14 PM
Correct, it's the combo/reverb version of the Vintage Club 20, cathode-biased, any good mathced set of EL84's will do. The "20 watts" is a bit obtomistic, it;s actually ~12watts RMS power with maybe a 18-watt peak wattage.
People seem to like the JJ EL84 best, though qualty seems to have been called into question lately, but I can't think of a better replacement.
As for 12AX7's, the tube closest to the inout jack is the first two gain stages this will have the most affect on tone. The next tube is both the driver tube for the tone stack (pins 1-3) and the cathodyne phase invertor (pins 6-8), the latter job would dictate using a fairly robust tube, PI's take a lot of abuse. The off-set 12AX7 before the power tubes is the reverb tube, this will have the least affect on tone.
02-13-2013 03:16 PM
You can spray electrical cleaner on the pins of the tubes and carefully work them in and out of the sockets to make sure you are getting good contact
Make sure not to use a flammable cleaner
02-13-2013 09:56 PM - edited 02-13-2013 10:01 PM
Preamp tubes (the 12AX7s) last for decades, so I'd replace just the two power tubes first and save your money.
Well, they have. They are almost two decades old.
And since it's a mid-'90's amp, five will get you ten they are Sovtek 12AX7WA or WB's. The only other option would be Shuguang. 20 years ago pickings were slim for tubes options, especially ones that could purchased in large quantities with a steady supply chain.
For Pine Apple Slim, I would consider picking up a few preamp tubes and experiment some. If you've played the amp on a regular basis, 20 years out of ;90's preamp tubes is a god run.The fact is, the power tubes were probably wore out and in need of replacing long before you noticed, typially, the owner doesn't notice the gradual slide until it's close to hitting rock bottom. Also, often the PI tube needsraplcing about the same time as the power tubes.
But you also can swap in the new power tubes, test drive for a while and then decide on the preamp tubes.
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