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PostPosted: Wed, Jul 11, 2018 4:49am 
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Just wondering what the general opinion is around here these days on power and pre amp tubes for mark IV's.
I can't afford nos, has to be current production.
I may just go with mesa 440's in the power section because they're readily available, and sound pretty decent, but what are you all using?


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PostPosted: Wed, Jul 11, 2018 5:19am 
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I've felt that Mesa tubes are a bit hit and miss in terms of tone, some sound great and some dull (especially in the preamp section). Tried a set of TAD in my Mark III and felt both preamp and power tubes sounded good. I'm based in Europe though so maybe there are other interesting options price wise other than TAD in the US.


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PostPosted: Wed, Jul 11, 2018 9:26am 
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Can’t comment on a brand, but I loved mine with 2 x 6L6 and 2 x EL34.

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PostPosted: Wed, Jul 11, 2018 9:32am 
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Check out tubesforamps.com:

http://www.tubesforamps.com/?gclid=CjwKCAjw1ZbaBRBUEiwA4VQCITzFCAMQIqdjXWkNe_YXd8Gj-RoiglxDu0rJbbRGpEcvtZotuoyllhoCQacQAvD_BwE

I got great tubes from them and also got a sample pack of 3 pre-amp tubes to try for $50 which is great considering you'll pay that for a single tube these days. I went with the Mullard re-pro pre amp tube in my rig for a nice warm bottom end but the Tungsol was a killer for Metal Mid tones.

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PostPosted: Wed, Jul 11, 2018 9:37am 
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I have the stock 420s 6L6s in mine, sound fine. As far as preamp I like a GT 12ax7c in v1, no kidding, after trying a RCA 12ax7 NOS no less, RFT ( this sounds good too a little darker, Ruby 12ax7 HG in v2, EH 12ax7 in v3, Mesa 12At7 v4, JJ803 or Sovtek LPS for PI v5. I haven't rolled my tubes since this combo going on 1 month now :lol: :LOL:


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PostPosted: Wed, Jul 11, 2018 4:29pm 
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I have lots of vintage tubes. I don't think any of them sound as good as the stock MESA tubes. I have STR420 in mine.

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PostPosted: Wed, Jul 11, 2018 6:07pm 
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TAD 6L6 are a good modern alternative to the Sylvania 6L6 that are considered by most to be the best 6L6 ever produced.

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PostPosted: Wed, Jul 11, 2018 6:10pm 
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I'll also add that you can find some ANOS(used but strong) Sylvanias for $20-50 per tube. When I got my first C+ I grabbed 4 off the net and they tested at around 30ma in the C+. Sounded great, more 3D than the Mesa 440s that were in it.

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PostPosted: Wed, Jul 11, 2018 7:23pm 
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Other than Sylvanias the only other two I tried in my Mk IV were Tung Sol and TAD and I went with TAD. They just had a much sweeter tone over the Tung Sols. But still not the girth and clarity of the Sylvanias.


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PostPosted: Thu, Jul 12, 2018 3:52am 
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i have 430's in it now that came with it when i bought it from mesa hollywood (used, post servicing).
i had those short bottle TAD's before, back in the day, they were nice.
apparently i fell off the face of the earth for 10 years, because i looked and all the sudden winged c's are like twice what they used to cost, so those are out.
hmmmm....choices choices....


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PostPosted: Thu, Jul 12, 2018 2:31pm 
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I am using Winged C SED 6L6GC's in the outer sockets and JJ 6L6GC's in the inter sockets. Generally running the mark IVA amp in half power, so not even really using the JJ's.

For a backup set I have the big bottle TAD 6L6GC STR, I have liked those in other amps.

For preamp tubes I use a mix of NOS, EH, and Tung Sol reissues. Check out the bejing 12AX7 tubes as well.

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PostPosted: Fri, Jul 13, 2018 9:15am 
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I love mine with E34L's (jj atm). Night and day over EL34's for it.

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PostPosted: Sat, Jul 14, 2018 2:32pm 
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Everyone has a different suggestion. I think it's best to go with Mesa branded tubes. How long before re-tuubing is the real question??? i don't know that, i wonder what most do? retube every year, every two years, every five!?? I don't know....


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PostPosted: Sat, Jul 14, 2018 3:30pm 
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Get the current Mesa power tubes. As for preamp tubes, look at Chinese 12ax7's with the square getters from the 80's and early 90's. Those came stock and make the amp rip. I tube rolled my IV, and the square getter Chinese 12ax7's are the best.


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PostPosted: Sat, Jul 14, 2018 7:36pm 
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Ruby 12AX7AC5 is a good current production preamp tube. Get HG+ for the first two positions.

The Ruby 6L6GCMSTR is a nice power tube too. It's what Mesa relabels as the STR440.

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PostPosted: Sat, Jul 14, 2018 11:40pm 
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I always used JJ's or =C= 6L6's in the power section. JJ's sound more aggressive. The =C= was sweeter sounding. It mainly depends on the vibe you're going for. As far as the preamp tubes, I almost always had a JAN GE 12ax7wa in V1 of any Mesa amp I had, and that included the dozen or so Mark IV heads I owned. After that, I mainly just used Chinese tubes in the rest of the slots.


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PostPosted: Tue, Jul 17, 2018 8:03am 
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SPAX7 for the first preamp valve. Standard 12AX7s for the rest. Then a pair of 6L6s and EL34s for the power amp.

Preamp valves and 6L6s -> JJs.
EL34s- Svetlana EL34s.

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