CHOOSING JCM 2000 TSL 100 NEW POWER AMP TUBES

Discussion in 'The Workbench' started by Mike89, Dec 4, 2019.

  1. Mike89

    Mike89 New Member

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    Hi folks, just as the title says I have to replace my 4 tubes from the power amp section, because the ones I have now are probably gone: they all appear to be dark brown in their upper glass calotte and the sound is gone pretty weak and thin even above 4-5 volume level. So now I have to choose 4 new EL34 tubes, but being this the first time I need to do this and not knowing much about the topic, I'm asking you what would you suggest. I know there are many different brands (I currently have 4 Tung Sol tubes, put by the previous owner in 2010) and they will all sound different in every amp and I know it's mostly a matter of one's hear taste. What I'm looking for is to just make up my mind and try to make the most conscious choice I can, given that I have little to no knowledge on how different tubes will work in a Marshall amplifier. Also, would you buy them online and where? Thanks in advance
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2019
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  2. anitoli

    anitoli Well-Known Member

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    Do you know how to check bias?
     
  3. Jethro Rocker

    Jethro Rocker Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    It doesnt matter nearly as much on a TSL122 (your avatar) as the preamp tubes. I get mine from my local dealer. The Tube Store is supposed to be good online. Get a matched set of 4 that's within your budget.
    The bias is easy to check on a TSL as there are contact points outside the chassis to read wuth a multi meter. Browse and see what you think. I have many different types in many different amps. It's really not that drastic with a TSL especially if it isn't turned up so high.
     
  4. marshalltsl

    marshalltsl Active Member

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    IMHO the best tubes for a TSL100 are the El34 Svetlana, winged C are great. But many others EL34 brands are fine. Right now I'm using a quad from TAD that sounds great in my favorite TSL100.
    I think this EL34 TAD are special because I tryed other EL34 TAD tubes that It didn't sound like this special quad. Who knows?
     
  5. Jethro Rocker

    Jethro Rocker Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I lkke Svetlana too
     
  6. MonstersOfTheMidway

    MonstersOfTheMidway Well-Known Member

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    @Mike89 : I'm not sure what your budget is, but you're basically going to choose between New Old Stock (NOS for short) and Current Production (CP for short). Generally, NOS will cost you more than CP, so make sure you read the descriptions carefully so you know what you're buying.

    For amps like the JCM2K TSL100, the power amp tube you choose will most likely have an impact on how you experience the low end. Some power tubes promote a low end that stays high and well-defined at almost any volume level(s), while other power tubes might promote a "looser" low end, especially at high volumes.

    Additionally, the power tube you choose might also affect the amount of headroom your amp will have. For some power tubes, the power amp section of your amp might start to distort earlier a certain volume level/levels than other power amp tubes. The JCM2K TSL100 power amp section is designed to stay fairly "clean" and well-defined (especially the low end) at even high volumes, so by design the amp already has lots of "clean" headroom at high volume level/levels. Decide how much headroom you need and use that idea as another criteria for helping you choose power amp tubes.

    Noise level should be a factor in choosing power amp tubes. Ideally, the quiet power tubes should be of paramount concern because any benefits that a power amp tube have to offer will be spoiled by noise. Choose a power amp tube with low microphonics in general (most tube dealers offer some kind of description on how they define noise and some dealers even have a rating system for noise).

    Ask for matched set of power tubes (in your case ask for a matched quad) because matched power tubes are usually easy to bias and might help in achieving a stable bias setting more quickly after you've played the amp for a few hours. So, bias a new set of power tubes (make note of the multi-meter setting); next play the amp for a several hours; finally check the bias again with a multi-meter to see if the bias setting your previously selected has moved; if it has moved, make note by how much and then determine if you need to make any re-adjustments. If you like the sound of the amp as is and the bias reading is not too high, you can choose to leave the bias alone if you wish.

    That's about it. Good luck on your selection.
     
  7. Headache

    Headache Active Member

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    I've got JJs el34s in mine and I'm pretty in love with my tone. Mullards are spectacular as well.

    I like thetubedepot.com or thetubestore.com

    Just remember that whatever you install you will need to rebias your amp.

    A matched quad can be found on eBay or reverb.com pretty reasonable as well and will make rebiasing even easier.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2019
  8. Mike89

    Mike89 New Member

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    Of course the title is wrong, since I have a TSL 122 :noplease: Anyway I've seen video on YouTube on how to bias a TSL and I've tryed miself just today for the first time in my life. The only strange thing is, I found very low values, let's say around 50 mV, and I read it should be between 70 and 85. I have screwed the two screws to increase the bias and got to the highest, but what I got was 74 one side and 70 the other, no more than that. Shouldn't it be far higher? Is it because the tubes are bad? Should I put it back on lower voltage in order to not damage the amplifier?
     
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  9. marshalltsl

    marshalltsl Active Member

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    Strange. Do you have red plate on your power tubes when you screw bias pots to max value?
     
  10. Mike89

    Mike89 New Member

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    Since I've set them to max value they appear to have a bit more intense light, but definitely no red plate. I can share a pic if it's of any help
     
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  11. ampmadscientist

    ampmadscientist Well-Known Member

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    Start the reactor... Free Mars!
    The board should be tested.
    The bias should be tested.
    The bias pots are known to fail pretty frequently and should be replaced.
    You should do this before installing new tubes just to be sure.
     
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  12. Mike89

    Mike89 New Member

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    This is how they appear when the amp is fully operative
     

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    Last edited: Dec 4, 2019
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  13. Jethro Rocker

    Jethro Rocker Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Very good points. Y'know, I never really looked for those things before with power tubes and honestly never really get to crank that puppy up. It's a very loud amp. I should.

    It should be. I set mine around 84. Manual states 90.

    Yep I wonder too if that isn't the issue. Common...
     
  14. Lukas

    Lukas Active Member

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    SVETLANA tubes rip in any Marshall they’re awesome
     
  15. MonstersOfTheMidway

    MonstersOfTheMidway Well-Known Member

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    I had good experiences with SED Winged =C= EL34 power tubes; this brand were very quiet, excellent low end response, easy to bias and stabilized very well after, good projection at any volume level.

    I also have good experience with JJ E34L; these have an excellent low end projection that keeps the sound very tight and well-defined much like the SED Winged =C= EL34. Additionally, JJ E34L are very quiet and bias was a breeze. Very pleased with JJ E34L.

    As far as online dealers, I've bought from TheTubeStore.com and TubeDepot.com. Both dealers have good information on their sites, and for the information they don't provide on their site, they answer in emails by the end of the day (if sent early) or not later than next day. Both offer good customer service and will assist you through the entire process. Prices are close enough on most items and both offer a good selection of tubes and other products. Both offer good packaging of their tubes for shipping.

    @OP: take you time and research dealers carefully. Ask dealers about return and/or exchange policy as well as any special discounts/coupons/special sale events.
     
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  16. Lance Chambers

    Lance Chambers Well-Known Member

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    V7 is bad, but the other three look fine.

    What tubes are those? They appear to be larger than normal bottles. :hmm:
     
  17. Jethro Rocker

    Jethro Rocker Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    How can you tell from that?
     
  18. Lance Chambers

    Lance Chambers Well-Known Member

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    Purple glow is bad.......going bad!
     
  19. Jethro Rocker

    Jethro Rocker Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Cool. I've never paid attention. When they start to die or calve it completely, I've changed them.
     
  20. Mike89

    Mike89 New Member

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    They are Tung-Sol, installed in 2010. And yes, they all have been glowing purple since I have memory of them... I didn't know it was a bad sign :confused:
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2019 at 2:01 AM

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