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Thread: My Tweaker is back to it's stock tubes, and I don't like it. What to replace it with?

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    Mojo's Minions Diego's Avatar
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    Default My Tweaker is back to it's stock tubes, and I don't like it. What to replace it with?

    I read a warning by Bruce Egnater not to **** with the Tweaker 15's stock tube type (6V6) and I've had EHX 6CA7 power tubes in mine for about 18 months.
    I was already kinda worried because after an hour of playin it gets crazy hot, and this confirms it's just not good.

    It seems anything bigger than 6V6 tubes heats it up quite a lot. And honestly, what isn't bigger than a 6V6?

    Took it back to its stock EHX 6V6 tubes and now it sounds so meh it's sad. Way less headroom, sweeter, more compressed and thin. It used to bark and spit when pushing the 6CA7s, now it gently compresses up.
    It went from being a small Hard Rock machine to a tame, versatile all-rounder that doesn't impress me. Some EQ in the FX loop helps, but it's still not as good as it used to be.

    So, what's a small-ish amp head that could use it's place?
    I'm thinking the following requisites:


    • Reasonably priced. Let's say $500 tops, as a reference.
    • 20 to 50 watts of tube power. I guess it could be a high wattage Solid State if it's a good one.
    • I believe in big tubes so I'd rather avoid anything with EL84s inside.
    • FX loop is a must and it better sound decent at low-ish volumes, so resonance/presence controls are welcome too.
    • One crunchy channel is enough for me. Two isn't bad, but I don't really need it.
    • I prefer a raunchy 90s Hard Rock tone. I guess that's more British than American, right? Not too scoopy.


    I'll use it through my 2x12 (Celestion V30/K100), and I'm thinking Laney GH50L, Jet City JCA50H or maybe a Tweaker 40 if I come across one.
    Is the Orange Crush 120 any good? I'd love a DSL50, but those are ****ing unicorns this side of the planet.

    Any candidates I'm missing?
    Last edited by Diego; 04-20-2017 at 09:04 PM.
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    Li'l Junior Member MetalManiac's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Tweaker is back to it's stock tubes, and I don't like it. What to replace it w

    Do NOT give up on the Tweaker-ain't nothnig wrong with it. Send me your addy I'll send you old stock 6v6's for your Tweaker... I've got so many old stock 6v6's it's pathetic.I think there is a big diffeernce, and the old stock 6v6's are pretty reasonable in price.You'll get some nice expansion in your amp with them./
    Last edited by MetalManiac; 04-20-2017 at 09:47 PM.
    Recycle, Reuse.

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    Toneologist VinceT's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Tweaker is back to it's stock tubes, and I don't like it. What to replace it w

    Yeah, I was about to say, try some other tubes before you ditch the amp.

    As for recommendations, combo only or are you open to head/cab.


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    Mojo's Minions Diego's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Tweaker is back to it's stock tubes, and I don't like it. What to replace it w

    I might try some JJs, since according to thetubestore.com they're the least "traditional" 6V6 around, being more crunchy and aggressive than their counterparts, with more headroom. My EHX 6V6 are described as vintage-correct, which would explain my issues.

    EDIT: I'm also thinking I could try some 5881 tubes? I understand they shouldn't strain my amp as hard as the 6CA7 did, due to lower current draw.

    http://www.thetubestore.com/Resource...V6-Tube-Review

    Also, if I replace the Tweaker I do not want a combo no matter what. Has to be a head.
    Last edited by Diego; 04-21-2017 at 06:05 AM.
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    Mojo's Minions Lake Placid Blues's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Tweaker is back to it's stock tubes, and I don't like it. What to replace it w

    How available are DSL40C's where you live? They run about $500 used in the states and you could convert it to a head. It should run 6CA7s with just a rebias too.

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    High Voltologist Wattage's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Tweaker is back to it's stock tubes, and I don't like it. What to replace it w

    They run very high plate voltage

    Metal Maniac if you have any grey plate RCA's they are fantastic in the Tweaker

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    Mojo's Minions Diego's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Tweaker is back to it's stock tubes, and I don't like it. What to replace it w

    Quote Originally Posted by Lake Placid Blues View Post
    How available are DSL40C's where you live? They run about $500 used in the states and you could convert it to a head. It should run 6CA7s with just a rebias too.
    Hey man. Thanks for the idea but I'd kill it's resale.
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    Mojo's Minions devastone's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Tweaker is back to it's stock tubes, and I don't like it. What to replace it w

    Yeah, I wish they made a DSL40 head, that would be killer!

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    Default Re: My Tweaker is back to it's stock tubes, and I don't like it. What to replace it w

    Yikes, I have a Tweaker 15 and I thought that part of its allure was being able to swap different power tubes into it, which I have done in the past. Can you point me to that warning from Bruce? I'm safe for now since I'm running Tung Sol 6V6's, but I might have changed that someday.
    Being cool is knowing when to let things slide.

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    Mojo's Minions Diego's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Tweaker is back to it's stock tubes, and I don't like it. What to replace it w

    Quote Originally Posted by WoodGrain67 View Post
    Yikes, I have a Tweaker 15 and I thought that part of its allure was being able to swap different power tubes into it, which I have done in the past. Can you point me to that warning from Bruce? I'm safe for now since I'm running Tung Sol 6V6's, but I might have changed that someday.
    This is what Bruce himself saying (http://www.rig-talk.com) about using EL34 tubes in a Tweaker 15:
    "The EL34 tubes draw way more filament current than 6V6, which is not a good thing.
    Certainly can cause excessive heat and even damage the power transformer.
    Also, check that the 10 watt output tube cathode resistor R29 is 470-510 ohms.
    Very early ones had a lower value (220 ohm) because the original tubes drew less current.
    Suggest JJ 6V6 as a reliable choice."
    Epiphone Les Paul PlusTop Pro / stock
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    Default Re: My Tweaker is back to it's stock tubes, and I don't like it. What to replace it w

    Quote Originally Posted by Diego View Post
    This is what Bruce himself saying (http://www.rig-talk.com) about using EL34 tubes in a Tweaker 15:
    "The EL34 tubes draw way more filament current than 6V6, which is not a good thing.
    Certainly can cause excessive heat and even damage the power transformer.
    Also, check that the 10 watt output tube cathode resistor R29 is 470-510 ohms.
    Very early ones had a lower value (220 ohm) because the original tubes drew less current.
    Suggest JJ 6V6 as a reliable choice."
    Try a set of 6L6...that's a hack that a lot of people have used (including myself) to get a bolder tone from a 6V6 amp.
    - Tom

    Quote Originally Posted by Frankly
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    Default Re: My Tweaker is back to it's stock tubes, and I don't like it. What to replace it w

    Quote Originally Posted by guitfiddle View Post
    Try a set of 6L6...that's a hack that a lot of people have used (including myself) to get a bolder tone from a 6V6 amp.
    Yes, 6L6s pull significantly less heater current than EL34/6CA7.

    6V6- 0.45 amps /tube
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    Default Re: My Tweaker is back to it's stock tubes, and I don't like it. What to replace it w

    The jet city 20W or 18W are nice sounding for the money. Orange maybe expensive in Chile, they have some options to pick from otherwise.

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    Toneologist Rex_Rocker's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Tweaker is back to it's stock tubes, and I don't like it. What to replace it w

    The Tweaker is cathode-biased, right?

    I've used a JJ 6V6S, the more traditional-sounding Ruby 6V6GTSTR and Tung Sol 6V6GT, as well as the Sovtek 5881/6L6WGC and Tung Sol 5881 in my Randall RVC. I was advised against using 5881's by Randall, so I stuck with a 6V6.

    The JJ 6V6S I feel is actually as open-sounding EQ-wise as the 5881's (more lows and airier highs than 6V6's) if not a tad more, and it definitely has more headroom than the other more traditional 6V6's, but it's not quite as loud as the 5881's. AFAIK, full-size 6L6's don't stress the power transformer more than 5881's, so if you can run 5881's, there's no reason not to run 6L6's in it.
    Last edited by Rex_Rocker; 04-22-2017 at 08:09 AM.

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    PenultimateTone Member Demanic's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Tweaker is back to it's stock tubes, and I don't like it. What to replace it w

    +1

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    Mojo's Minions Diego's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Tweaker is back to it's stock tubes, and I don't like it. What to replace it w

    Wow, great advice so far guys. I didn't know 6L6 had that much difference in power draw compared to the others.
    Sadly nobody stocks JJ 6V6 tubes here, I searched everywhere. I only found Tungsols and EHX.

    So I might make the jump to the 6L6WXT tubes by Sovtek.
    They have a great review in Thetubestore.com and they're not the most expensive alternative, either.
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    Tone Member BenPerkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Tweaker is back to it's stock tubes, and I don't like it. What to replace it w

    I use Genalex 6V6GT and they sound great. I'm using Tung Sol for preamp.


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    Default Re: My Tweaker is back to it's stock tubes, and I don't like it. What to replace it w

    I hope you're able to sort it out. Tweakers are really cool.

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    Ultimate Tone Slacker dystrust's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Tweaker is back to it's stock tubes, and I don't like it. What to replace it w

    Quote Originally Posted by Diego View Post
    This is what Bruce himself saying (http://www.rig-talk.com) about using EL34 tubes in a Tweaker 15:
    "The EL34 tubes draw way more filament current than 6V6, which is not a good thing.
    Certainly can cause excessive heat and even damage the power transformer.
    Also, check that the 10 watt output tube cathode resistor R29 is 470-510 ohms.
    Very early ones had a lower value (220 ohm) because the original tubes drew less current.
    Suggest JJ 6V6 as a reliable choice."
    When I saw your thread I was actually going to post that exact quote. If you have an early Tweaker with the 220 ohm cathode resister, having that swapped to 470/510 per Bruce's suggestion should at the very least help with your heating issues. It's a shame that JJ 6V6s aren't available in your area. I just installed a set in my Tweaker after one of the stock Rubys failed and they sound amazing. I mostly use my Tweaker for Fender-ish tones, and the JJs are light years better than the stock power tubes. I still have the stock Sovtek 12AX7WAs in the preamp, andI hear that swapping those for something a bit more inspiring likewise helps overall tone.
    Quote Originally Posted by crusty philtrum View Post
    And that's probably because most people with electric guitars seem more interested in their own performance rather than the effect on the listener ... in fact i don't think many people who own electric guitars even give a poop about the effect on a listener. Which is why many people play electric guitars but very very few of them are actually musicians.

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    Mojo's Minions Diego's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Tweaker is back to it's stock tubes, and I don't like it. What to replace it w

    Quote Originally Posted by dystrust View Post
    When I saw your thread I was actually going to post that exact quote. If you have an early Tweaker with the 220 ohm cathode resister, having that swapped to 470/510 per Bruce's suggestion should at the very least help with your heating issues. It's a shame that JJ 6V6s aren't available in your area. I just installed a set in my Tweaker after one of the stock Rubys failed and they sound amazing. I mostly use my Tweaker for Fender-ish tones, and the JJs are light years better than the stock power tubes. I still have the stock Sovtek 12AX7WAs in the preamp, andI hear that swapping those for something a bit more inspiring likewise helps overall tone.
    Thanks for information, man.

    Do you know how can I tell what resistor mine has? And what would be the practical difference of doing the resistor swap?
    I'm so clueless on these technical subjects it's sad.
    Last edited by Diego; 04-29-2017 at 10:53 AM.
    Epiphone Les Paul PlusTop Pro / stock
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    2x12 - V30+K100 / 1x12 - Eminence Wizard

    Jet City Afterburner OD pedal / Line 6 M13 + Tons of pedals I'm not using anymore!

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